Visiting the Pacific Pinball Museum
I was planning to visit the National Pinball Museum in Baltimore during my visit to the USA, but it was far from any other place I was intending to visit. It turned out that I did not visit it. But I also decided to visit San Francisco Bay Area and some people told me that there is a pinball museum there too. So, I decided to check it out. I took the BART from San Francisco (where I was hosted in a friend's house) to Alameda - east bay - and visited the Pacific Pinball Museum!
When I arrived at the museum I introduced myself, telling them that I was looking for some advice on my homebrew pinball project and that I was also interested in buying some pinball parts for it. I was then introduced to Michael Schiess, the museum founder, who was very friendly and took me to a private tour around the warehouse where he stores the hundreds of machines that are not in the public area of the museum - either due to lack of space or because the machines need to be repaired/restored.
There, Michael guided me through some interesting machines including the world's largest pinball game, which is played with a pool ball and whose flippers are activated by 110 volts coils:
Then he started looking for some pinball parts for me, but he didn't have many spare parts. So he decided to give me a playfield, as a gift, so that I could take parts from it. He said to me that as it woudn't be possible for me to take the whole playfield to Brazil, I should remove the parts that interest me and then give the playfield wood (with the artwork of the game) to my host there in San Francisco. I liked the idea. He gave me a ride to the BART and then I brought the machine to Seth's place. Seth has lent me this shopping cart so that I could more easily move the pinball playfield around:
So, I took it to NoiseBridge (a hacker space in San Francisco) and spent 3 or 4 hours removing all the parts from it. I have left the playfield wood in the public area of the hacker space so that anybody can use it for whatever project and I have sent them a notice in their mailing list. My personal suggestion is to hook it to the walls as a decorative item. Perhaps they could use a microcontroller to blink some leds also, just for astethic purposes.
Here are the parts that I've brought to Brazil:
* 32 orange posts
* 4 hit targets
* 5 red rubbers and 5 new shining pinball balls given to me by Michael