Useful Links

The previous iteration of this site had links scattered across just about every page, many of which were long dead. Since I'm redesigning everything, I figured I'd centralize the links so I can at least attempt to keep them up-to-date.

The Pinball and Arcade Collecting Community
  • The Internet Pinball Database (IPDB) has detailed information on pretty much every pinball machine ever made, including player ratings and downloadable PDF manuals and schematics.

  • Pinside is a great place to connect with other pinball collectors to buy and sell games and to get advice on collecting, restoration, and repair.

  • The Pinball Owners Database is a lot like Pinside, only more...quaint. It's also a great place to meet collectors and browse everyone's collections. Here's mine.

  • The Vintage Arcade Preservation Society (VAPS) is kind of the video game equivalent of the Pinball Owners Database.

  • Facebook is a good place to mingle with other arcade and pinball collectors, too. Facebook groups like Pinball Enthusiasts are good for general discussion. There are also local collector groups (like my local group, Carolina Arcade and Pinball Collectors). 

  • Back in the "old days," newsgroups were the way we all stayed in touch. I haven't been there in a while, but rec.games.pinball still seems to be active...as is rec.games.video.arcade.collecting (RGVAC for short).

Pinball Parts and Repair

The collector groups above all have repair forums, and at least some collectors who are more than happy to provide you with advice. (Some people are snarky and mean...you'll have that...but most collectors are willing to help those who want to help themselves.) 

If you're looking for parts for restoration or repair--or you need someone to do the repair work for you--give these folks a try:

  • Coin-Op Cauldron is an amazing shop in South Carolina that I've been using for board repair on my games since 2005. Clive is friendly, communicative, and is a great repair tech who doesn't charge an arm and a leg. Turn-around time for repairs is usually only a couple weeks, tops, from the time you ship the boards to him.

  • If you need in-home service (as I sometimes do for the more complicated stuff), having a trusted tech in your area is invaluable. If live near Raleigh, North Carolina, email John Clements when you need help. He's an expert on EM pinball machines and is good with newer pins and arcade games as well. He's also super-friendly and not super-expensive.

  • If you find yourself tracking down switch problems and digging through the switch (or lamp) matrix in your manual a lot, I recommend downloading an app called Pintrix. It lets you trace wiring easily and quickly. Best $5 you'll ever spend.

  • Some of the best sources I've found for pinball parts and accessories include:

Virtual Pinball
  • VPForums is the starting point for all things virtual pinball. You can connect with the community and find pretty much everything you need to get started there--from the pinball emulating software to the art and ROMs for the games.

  • VirtuaPin sells pretty much all the parts you need to build your own virtual pinball machine. They also sell pre-built machines if you're not into building one yourself.

  • There are Facebook communities where you can mingle with virtual pinball enthusiasts, like Virtual Pinball and VPin Cab Builders. Just don't try talking virtual pinball in a "real" pinball group. Unlike me, a lot of pinball collectors consider virtual pinball an abomination that is to be avoided at all costs. (It's not.)

Arcade Video Game Parts and Repair
  • Bob Roberts doesn't have a slick website or the biggest selection in the world, but he's been a supplier of video game parts for as long as I've been in the hobby. His prices are good, and you're supporting a great guy by buying your parts from him.

  • QuarterArcade has parts, boards, artwork and a lot of other useful classic video game supplies. I've known the owners for years, and they're good people.

  • Arcadeshop was my go-to supplier of parts, monitors, power supplies...you name it...when I was deep into the video game side fo things. They have one of the best selections around when it comes to parts.

  • Arcade Renovations (now T-Molding.com) has lots of video game parts and art--plus virtual pinball parts, wiring, and other useful stuff.

  • Ultimarc is probably the best source of buttons, joysticks, and most other parts you'd need for a MAME build.

  • Paradise Arcade Shop also has a great selection of MAME parts, including pre-daisy-chained wires with slip-on connectors already installed (in many different colors) that make wiring a snap.

  • Monster Arcades is a great place to get pre-built cabinets, control panel kits, and parts for MAME (and virtual pinball) projects.

General Arcade Information and Collecting Sites

There's a wealth of information out there about the history of games and the restoration and preservation of coin-op arcade classics. Here are just a few of the sites you should check out.