LEARN HOW

Get the very best out of your pinball playing and repairs with Pinball News.

In this section we tell you how to play better pinball, learn about the people and companies in the business, find out how to fix those annoying faults and, through a series of educational background articles, look at various products designed to enhance your pinball enjoyment.

Today we bring you the following selection of articles (with the most recent at the top):

Wizard in Oz - French pinball wizard Franck Bona tells us about his recent visit to pinball events and locations in Australia and New Zealand.

Pinball by Santiago Ciuffo - We review the new pinball coffee-table book from the Argentinian photographer which is now available internationally.

Zaccaria Pinball Interview - Waldemar Banasik interviews Natale Zaccaria who, along with his two brothers, formed the world-famous Zaccaria Pinball.

Pinball Profiles - Bryan Kelly - Pin Footies creator turned pinball restorer, Bryan Kelly, tells us about his pinball history and looks forward to a potential new direction.

A Year in Polish Pinball - 2013 was an important year for pinball in Poland, so Łukasz Dziatkiewicz takes us through the tournaments and the people who made it special.

Pinball Profiles - Charlie Emery - Spooky Pinball podcast host and now pinball manufacturer, Charlie Emery, joins in the fun with his own Pinball Profile interview.

Pinball Profiles - Lloyd Olson - The owner and operator of SS Billiards for more than forty years, Lloyd Olson, is our latest Pinball Profile guest.

Pinball Profiles - Steve Young - The Pinball Resource has been one of the key suppliers of parts seemingly forever, so we get owner Steve Young's pinball profile.

Pinball Profiles - Jonathan Joosten - The editor and publisher of Pinball Magazine tells John Greatwich his views on hwo pinball is now and where is should go.

Pinball Profiles - Rick Bartlett - John Greatwich puts the owner of Bay Area Amusements and co-owner of Planetary Pinball Supply in the hot seat.

Pinball Profiles - Terry Dezwarte - Owner of Pinball Life is John Greatwich's second guest in our continuing series of pinball celebrity profiles.

Pinball Profiles - Randy Perlow - ColorDMD creator, Randy Perlow, is John Greatwich's first guest in our Pinball Profiles series of interviews.

Spanish Pinball - Spain has a long history of making pinballs with the largest manufacturing operation outside of Chicago. Waldemar Banasik looks back at how it all began and where it might be going.

Tiny Pin - It's like a pinball, only in miniature form. We hold up the magnifying glass to the Tiny Pin replica pinball model and explore its realistic features, which include playfield, backbox and under-cabinet lighting.

Acronyms Database - From ACDC-BIBLE to XF, find out what the abbreviations mean. Now refreshed and updated with even more mysterious letter combinations explained.

Pinball Price Guide - The latest edition of Pinballeric's Pinball Price Guide is out, and we examine the new features, modified layout and special articles about different aspects of the game.

Anti-Reflective Glass - You have a choice of playfield glass, from the standard glass supplied with most machines to expensive anti-reflective varieties. But which is best? There's only one way to find out.

P-ROC, P3-ROC and Custom Games - We look at Multimorphic's control system for custom game builders, their new P3-ROC controller, and celebrate some of the amazing custom projects shown at Pinball Expo 2013.

UK All-Skill posts - What are they, how do they work and why were they needed? Original article now updated and expanded.

DMD Extender - What could you do, if you you were able to send the dot-matrix display's signal to an ordinary TV, monitor, projector or recorder. Then add the abilty to customise the appearance and colours, and you have the DMD Extender. Find out how it works and what it can do.

Polish Pinball - 2012 was a significant year for pinball in Poland with more tournaments, greater media awareness, and bigger competition prizes. Łukasz Dziatkiewicz looks back on the year's events, and forward to all that's to come in 2013.

Disney and Pinball - The launch of the upcoming Disney Infinity product range includes a number of pinball references. Łukasz Dziatkiewicz was there to question one of the project's heads about it, and asks why there are not more real games with Disney themes?

LED Backbox Lighting Kit - We review the Lightning Kit from Superfluxshop in Germany and install it into one of our games to find out what you get, how easy it is to fit, and what the results are like, including a 7-minute video of the kit in action.

Japanese-Made Pinballs - They remain relatively unknown, but in the 1970s Sega of Japan made 25 different models of pinball machines. Our roving reporter John finds out what made them special, and why they were made at all.

Adding Multiball and Speech to Haunted House - A new mod from Pascal Janin gives Gottlieb's tri-level game the multiball and speech it so sorely lacks. Chris Williams fitted it to his game as describes the process.

Anti-Glare Sheets for Translites and DMDs - Tackle those pesky reflections in translite covers and display panels with these new anti-glare products from Playfield Protectors in Germany.

The PinDMD Controller Board - We report on a board which allows computer emulations of pinball machines to connect to a real DMD board for all the animations and the scores.

The Pinball Compendium Review - A new second edition of the third volume in the series covers the years 1980 to the present. We look at the changes made in this update and see if it's worth buying the newer version.

The P3 Machine - We look at a remarkable pinball machine with an LCD monitor embedded in the playfield and ball-tracking technology, so you can shoot objects on the screen with the ball. But that's not all as the game has a host of innovative features.

Mill Bulb Tool Review - Once a piece of rubber on a stick was all anyone needed, but now there is a much easier way to remove pinball lamps from hard-to-reach spots thanks to the Mill Bulb Tool.  We check it out.

PinWiki Founder Interview - Pinball repair guides are an important part of owning and maintaining any pinball.  We speak to the founder of the new PinWiki.com online guides site to see how it all started, what is currently available and his plans for new features.

Chris Bucci's Pinball DVDs Review - Chris Bucci has been creating video pinball reviews of games in his collection for many years.  Now he brings them all together in a 3-DVD set.  Chris Williams has been watching them and gives us his verdict.

Magnetic Balls - Diagnosis & Cure - Pinballs and magnets create great fun and produce some cool tricks on the playfield, but when the balls themselves become magnets, bizarre and frustrating things can start to happen.  Todd Andersen looks at the effects and shows how a ball's magnetism can be removed.

Pinball Repair CDs - Special Offer - Pinball repair guides are not a new phenomena and and Tom Callahan has produced many over the years.  Now they'll all together on a double CD set, and Todd Andersen checks them out for us.  Plus, there's a special price deal on the CDs exclusively for Pinball News readers.

Related Games - Many games were spliced from the same pinball DNA, while others can trace their ancestry back to a common movie or actor.  Todd Andersen gets us going with some big Hollywood names and invites your suggestion for related games.

The Pinball Book - A new iPad app showcases 32 popular solid-state pinball games.  We talk to the author Kevin Strasser and examine at the comprehensive details, pictures and videos provided for each machine.

Ramones Pinball - What do you do when nobody's going to build a pinball with the theme you want?  Build it yourself.  That's what Chris Williams did, and he tells us just how he created his Ramones Pinball.

Pinball Picture Quiz - Our end-of-year picture quiz returns with a new bunch of machines for you to identify, more letters for you to re-arrange and identify the mystery machine, and the amazing grand prize of... err... absolutely nothing.

Dutch Pinball's Bride of Pinbot - By combining a Bride of Pinbot with the P-ROC pinball controller and a dot matrix display, Koen and Barry of Dutch Pinball have created a whole new game, as they tell Pinball News.

Holiday Hints: Flippers - Get flipping ready for the holidays.  Todd Andersen shows us how make sure our games are fit to face the family in his festive flipper feature.

The Pinball Collector - The latest DVD from the makers of Pinball 101 looks at significant games in pinball's history and development.  We talk to the video's creator, Randy Elwin.

Pinball Pros: Cayle George - In the second of his interviews with the pros, Jon Olkowski talks to Cayle George to find out the techniques he uses to win tournaments and how the rest of us can improve our game.

More iPhone & iPod Uses for Pinball - In a follow-up to his earlier article, Todd Andersen shows us 12 new ways to use iPods and iPhone to enhance our enjoyment of pinball ownership.

Pinball Price Guide - As the newly revived eighth edition of the Pinball Price Guide is published by Pinballeric, we take a look at the price listing information inside as well as the additional articles about pinball collecting.

Inside the Pacific Pinball Museum Warehouse - The Pacific Pinball Expo regularly has over 300 machines for visitors to play, while the Pacific Pinball Museum has over 80 available all year round.  But where do they come from? Jon Olkowski gets inside their secret warehouse to find out how the magic is created.

Pinball Pros: Neil Shatz - In the first of a series of interviews, Jon Olkowski talks with Neil Shatz to find out what led to him becoming one of the world's top players, how he approaches a new machine and how he deals with pre-match nerves.

Fatal Attraction - Many games use magnets to control or disrupt the ball's travels, but those magnets can mean 'Game Over' if the ball itself becomes magnetised.  John Higgins examines the problem, builds his own magnetic detector and tells us what we can do to cure the problem.

Star Post Lighting - What's even better than a star post?  An illuminated star post.  Ivan Durneen installs the new star post lighting boards from Great Lakes Modular and shows us the results.

Boxster Pinball - What happens when you combine a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with a Checkpoint?  The answer is a Porsche Boxster pinball.  Evert Brochez tells the story of how Bart Baeyens combined these two machines and turned them into something special.

The P-ROC Pinball Controller - Want to build your own machine or re-program an existing one?  The P-ROC pinball controller links to a home computer and allows you to take control of any Williams WPC/WPC95 or Stern Whitestar/SAM game to create your own rules, sounds and displays animations.

From Mono To Stereo - A bunch of Sega pinball machines were produced with only one backbox speaker and monaural sound. But they were capable of stereo sound, so Martin Riley explains how to restore that second channel.

Why Do Pinballs Bounce? - If you've ever dropped a solid steel pinball onto a solid concrete floor, you'll have noticed how it bounces. What's going on there, then?  Todd Andersen explains the physics.

iPhone & iPod Uses for Pinball - After extolling the virtues of using digital clinometers such as those found in iPods and iPhone to level a machine, Todd Andersen looks at other ways these two iconic Apple devices can enhance your pinball enjoyment.

PinGulp Cup Holder Review - Playing pinball is thirsty work, so when you reach that elusive wizard mode and get a dry throat, you don't want that glass, mug or bottle too far away. So Todd Andersen gets to grips with the PinGulp Beverage Caddy and finds it refreshingly different to previous solutions.

The Making of the EPC 2009 - Creating an international pinball tournament takes a lot of planning and preparatory work before the first players come through the doors. We look back at how the European Pinball Championship in 2009 was organised.

PinHorse - The University of Southern California have created their own custom pinball machine. With just five connections, they have taken control of a Lord Of The Rings, rewritten the rules, created new display animations and taught it some new tricks.

Pinball 101 DVD review - The long awaited DVD from Keith and Randy Elwin teaches us how to improve our flipper skills with extra ball control techniques and game-specific hints and tips.

How to Level Your Pinball - In the latest in his series of articles, Todd Andersen takes us through the best ways, and the tools available, to make sure our games are correctly leveled.

The Pinballs of Riverview - Riverview was Chicago amusement park famed for its unique rides and attractions. Dan Marquardt looks back at its influence on various pinball games which even stretched into the new millennium.

Build Your Own Pinball Jack - Need to lift your game up so you can tweak the leg adjusters to make it level, add a cup holder or fit cabinet protectors? Todd Andersen tells us how to build a pinball jack from easily-obtained plumbing parts for under $5.

Tommy, Can You Hear Me? - Want to get that authentic prototype sound to your Tommy? Ben Yetter chimes in with his project which is sure to hit the right note.

Don't like the rules? Write your own! - Until now, making even the smallest changes to a game's rules has been a tricky job, but Chris Eddy's new Pinball Operating system runs on existing games and lets you break the rules or even write entirely new ones.

Tommy, Can You See Me? - You can be deaf and dumb but it's no good trying to play like Tommy if your blinds don't work. Ivan Durneen investigates a replacement driver board.

Acronyms Database - From Airborne to X-Files, find out what the abbreviations mean.

Pinball Mods Gone Wild - George Billig doesn't just mod pinball machines, he makes them everything he thinks they should have been.

Life After Death III review - We take a look at Warehouse Raid, the latest in the Life After Death DVD series.

The Building of Coconut Island - Game guru Christian Verryckt tells us how he designed and built his own game from scratch.

Ball Sack review - Keep your balls in tip-top condition in The Ball Sack. We put it to the test in our product review.
Note: these are no longer available to buy new, but can still be found second-hand.

Pinball Cover review - We examine PinWest's pinball covers to see how they perform and what protection they provide for your games.
Note: these are no longer available to buy new, but can still be found second-hand.

Pinball Tool Kit - Todd "PinTed" Andersen tells us about the tools he uses to repair the most common problems with games and why you may want them for your tool kit.

Pinball Art - Jim Jansen talks to legendary pinball artist Greg Freres about his years in the industry, the people he worked with and how he creates such beautiful work.

Soldering - Todd "PinTed" Andersen shows us how to join two metal parts using a hot liquid mix of lead, tin and silver. In other words, soldering. How to do it right along with a test to make sure you understand.

Flippers: The Whole Story - Todd "PinTed" Andersen examines Williams flippers from System 6 and 7 right through to the Pinball 2000 games and lists the 10 things your mother taught you about flippers.

Automatic Switching update - Todd "PinTed" Andersen gives more information about how to switch your game mods on and off with the game's lighting.

Theatre Of Magic Tiger Saw Mod - Phil Docker looks at Decorator Supplies' mod to put the spin back into your tiger saw.

Pinball Cup Holders - Need somewhere to put your drink while you play? We put some pinball cup holders through their paces.

Infrared Handheld Testers - Todd "PinTed" Andersen explains why Ir LEDs can be tough to troubleshoot and how to build your own testers.

Shooter Lane Overlay - We install a new overlay from PinWest designed to spruce up your shooter lane and prevent further damage.

Transistor Seminar - Todd "PinTed" Andersen shows us how transistors work and how to safely test them in this teaching seminar.

Judge Dredd Deadworld Mod - Adam Gould describes his modification to restore the game to its former glory, with instructions on how you can do the same to yours.

LOTR protector - We review David Eisner's new ramp protector for Stern's Lord of the Rings, now with a revised design.

Scared Stiff kickback - Leon from Flipper-Pinball-Fan shows us how to put the kick back into the game.

Fathom Playfields - Greg Walker of Halifax Pinball tells the story of how he reproduced playfields for the game Fathom and what else he is going to make.

Replacement Saucers - Marc Cohen reviews Specialty Plastics reproduction flying saucers for Attack from Mars.

Coming Soon - More saucery from Mars.

Cool Lighting Tricks - Dane Deal cools down his game's backbox by replacing the incandescent lamps and makes it cooler still with extra lighting effects.

Translite Review - Chris Poibug looks at Arcade Overlay's reproduction translite for Star Wars and compares it with the original.

Battery Holder - In his continuing series of articles, Todd Andersen explains how to protect your pinball game from damage caused by leaky batteries.

Revenge From Mars Mods - We show you how to fit saucer LEDs, Martian eye LEDs and liven up those targets.

Automatic Switching - Todd Andersen has an easy-to-build circuit to automatically switch your pinball mods on and off.

Pinball LEDs - In the second of his articles, Todd Andersen tells us all about LEDs, what they do in pinball games and how to troubleshoot them.

Pinball Lighting - Todd Andersen shows us the principles of lamps, how they are used in pinball games and offers some top tips on handling them.

PinLED Displays - We go through the process of installing an LED replacement display in a Bally Fathom and see how it compares to the original.

Game Restoration - See how Phil Palmer of Pinball Heaven restored an Addams Family to virtually new condition.

UK All-Skill posts - What are they, how do they work and why are they needed?

Playing Tips - Great pinball playing is all about ball control. Learn how to keep the game in check while still having fun.

Learn some basic playing techniques - Trapping, catching and passing.

More playing techniques - More tricks to learn and show off.


Technical articles
- Mad Pinball Professor Clive Jones explains how different parts of the game work.

Dot Matrix Controller - a technical disemmination of the controller for the DMD display.

How a switch matrix works - Every game has one. Clive shows us why we need it and how to fix it.

Squawk & Talk module - Clive looks at Bally's sound card

6820/1 PIA - Clive explains its inner workings.

Haunted House modification - Clive gives us a glowing report.


3D Modelling - A look at the work some great pinball modellers and renderers. Beware, there are lots of large images in here so put the kettle on now!

Clive Jone's images

Mark Vanstone's images

 

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