Fun With Pinball

Electromechanical Pinball Machine Repair and Restoration class


The key to troubleshooting and repairing anything is to understand how and why it is supposed to work. Electromechanical or EM pinball machines (those made from the 1930s through the 1970s) are no different. This class explains in detail and demonstrates how relays, step units, motors and other devices work and how they are used in EM pinball machines. Many of the devices from the Fun With Pinball exhibit are used to demonstrate their operation.

Once the theory of operation of the various devices is established, discussion turns to reading and understanding schematics and game manuals using examples from the major manufacturers. With schematic reading skills in hand, class moves on to a series of troubleshooting exercises intended to put all of the class material into practice.

Other topics covered along the way include useful tools, game inspection, evaluation and moving, fundamentals of electricity, magnetism and logic, cleaning, tune ups and adjustments, and soldering. Classes include optional hands-on exercises to try out and explore what has been discussed. A bound copy of the illustrated class notes (pictured below) is provided as a reference and includes technical material originally published by the manufacturers.

Pinball Repair and Restoration workbookPinball Repair and Restoration workbookPinball Repair and Restoration workbook

Note that while some of the topics covered in class may apply to Solid State (SS) pinball machines, this class is focused on understanding Electromechanical (EM) pinball machines.

Class size

Class size is usually limited to 1 to 6 students to keep things interactive and hands on, and to allow plenty of time for questions and students' specific interests. Class time is usually 8-12 hours spread over 2 days and is catered to the interests and skill levels of the students.  For those more interested in a quick overview, a shorter workshop is also available.

Cost and Location

Although based in Northern Colorado, class locations out of the area can also be arranged. Suggested locations and offers to host a class are welcome. Cost varies with class size and location.


Upcoming classes are listed on the Events page.  If you would prefer to receive notices of upcoming classes please use the Subscribe page to add yourself to the mailing list, or you can Contact Us directly if you'd like to host your own class.


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