Our last league night (the fourth of the season) had somewhat light attendance, though we did have a rare visit from long-timer Greg and were joined by a new member, John, who works at The Avenue. But the most notable appearance of the night was Derrick, the pinball technician who services Pinball Pete’s games at The Avenue. I had heard his name for years, ever since I joined in 2013, but had never actually seen him before, so he was a semi-mythic figure to me. But there he was, with a game open and Chris peering into it alongside him.
Mike S., Chris, Joseph, and I proceeded to run around pointing at all the most bothersome problems in the games, while Derrick obligingly tried to troubleshoot them. Finally, Mike wanted him to look at “just one more thing”… the infamous Junk Yard slam tilt problem. Derrick said that he had received our notes complaining about the touchy slam switch, but he was perplexed. He opened the coin door to show us: the switch was bent as far apart as it could go. He couldn’t see how it could possibly be slam tilting.
Due to a tragedy at Pinburgh involving a questionable slam tilt, Mike knew exactly how it might be happening: games can have more than one slam tilt switch. He suspected that it might be on the left side, since hitting the left of the game is more likely to trigger it. He and Derrick together looked around and – eureka! They found a switch in the left side of the cabinet that was so close together that just touching it would cause a “slam tilt stuck closed” message. Derrick bent it apart for us and afterward we tested the game. Joy of joys, for the first time since we got it, it no longer has a slam tilt problem! Junk Yard is once again tournament ready! … More or less.
Due to a combination of the late start and some long games, league night ran quite late, at least for some groups. Half of my group actually left before I finished the final ball of the final game (and the one person who did stay was, well, Joseph). Some of us did still go to Theio’s afterward for our usual midnight “breakfast,” but it was a small group.
We are now halfway through the league season, so the heat is going to start turning up. To see where you (and others) stand, check out the results page. Our next meeting is tomorrow at 7, and we will be joined by a reporter from The State News who is working on a story about the league. So put on your favorite pinball shirt, slick your hair back, and get over to the Avenue for League Night #5!