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Old 05-18-2018, 10:07 PM
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05-18-2018 09:50 PM
Hello and welcome back to Lodi for continuing coverage of the GSPF 2018.

It’s another hot sunny day but inside the three show halls it’s decidedly cool for the continuation of the set-up.  More and more machines began sporting the yellow Post-It notes indicating they have been leveled and are ready to play.

More machines in the EM zoneWoodrails in the EM zoneMore woodrail pinballsEM games from Bally, Williams and KeeneyLots more EM pinballsA little further back into the Chardonnay Hall are the two machines which are prizes for the raffle.  Draws are held on Saturday and Sunday and tickets cost $5 each.  The winner of Saturday’s draw gets to choose which of the two machines they would like.

The raffle prizes – Lethal Weapon 3 and Fire!In addition to the two raffle draws, there is a silent auction for a wide range of items – both coin-op-related and more generic products.

The tables with the silent auction itemsMore items in the silent auctionThere’s an Alien game at the show tooPlus a P3 and America’s Most HauntedColorDMD had a nice group of games featuring their multi-colour displays.

Games sporting ColorDMD displaysYes, The Dude made itMore of the DMD machinesMeanwhile, over in the Cabernet Hall, the tournament games were getting some final tweaks before the start of the pin-golf.

The tournament areaIn another corner of the same hall, the Pacific Pinball Museum had their Mini-JuJu Airstream containing five pinballs.

The Mini-JuJuInside the AirstreamInside the AirstreamThe show opened at 1pm, but games were still being set up as the top of the hour approached.

Not quite readyFinally, with minutes to spare, the last finishing touches were made.

Clean the glass and we’re good to goTime to power up all the Stern gamesThis Iron Maiden Pro has a speaker lights kit from Mezel ModsAs the doors opened, there was a lengthy queue of guests waiting to enter.

The queue to get in as the doors openedThe first few guests through the door purchase their wristbandsWristbands for everyoneThe first of the Pinball University talks began at 2:30pm on Friday with Rob Anthony of Pinball Classics demonstrating his soldering techniques.

Rob Anthony wielding his soldering ironRob demonstrated how he removed the RAM chip on a Williams WPC CPU board by desoldering it so he could install one of the NV-RAM non-volatile replacement RAM chips.  He had an overhead camera so he could show the audience exactly how he used the iron, while explaining the ideal temperature and types of bit to use.

Rob shows the WPC CPU board to the audienceThe second Pin-U talk was by John Mohr who presented his Five Cheap Tricks To Fine Tune Your Solid-State Game.

John MohrHis tricks included ways to repair flickery lamp sockets, how to re-use connector pin headers, and using an inductive amplifier tool designed to find signals in wiring looms and use it to trace the audio signal through a sound board.

After his talk, John took the audience to the back of the hall where he demonstrated some of his techniques on a real game backbox.

John Mohr demonstrated using an inductive amplifier to trace the audio on a sound boardThe third session at Pin-U introduced the audience to the new Kill Bill custom pinball and its designer Dennis Van de Paas.

Dennis Van de PaasBased on a Bally World Cup Soccer, the new game adds a number of shots to the playfield, changes the way the ramps and scoops work, adds more ball locking positions, and completely rethemes the artwork.

Kill Bill’s playfieldDennis spoke about his influence from games such as Twilight Zone and Attack from Mars before explaining why he chose World Cup Soccer as the basis for Kill Bill.  He described all the hardware changes he made, the new shots he added and the extensive supporting ruleset.

Kill Bill’s playfield featureHe concluded by moving to the game and simulating shots to trigger many of the modes and multiballs.

The final session taught novice and intermediate players how to improve their playing skills.  Our hosts were three local tournament players, Jon Olkowski, Louise Waggensonner and Eric Waggensonner.

Louise, Eric and JonThey showed video clips of various maneuvers including trapping the ball, bounce passes, post passes and nudging skills, then invited members of the audience to try them for themselves using a Guardians of the Galaxy machine set up next to the stage and fitted with an overhead camera.

That’s all for Friday’s action for now.  The show is still continuing, so I will update this report later tonight before starting on Saturday’s action in my next report.

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