How many Pachinko balls do I need for my machine?
A minimum of 250 pachinko balls are needed for play, but we recommend 500 to 1,000 so you won’t need to stop playing and refill the supply tray as often.
You can buy them from companies like pachinkorestorations.com
Do not use rusted or pitted pachinko balls in your machine they can damage to the playing field over time.
What are the specifications of a Pachinko ball?
They are 11 mm in diameter and weigh approximately 5.75 grams. The majority are chrome plated but some are gold/brass plated.
Most Pachinko balls are engraved to identify the Pachinko parlor they are from. Some companies have manufactured Pachinko balls without writing to be used in Pachinko machines, they both work the same. This link will take you to a website where you can see how pachinko balls are made.
What is proper care for Pachinko balls?
because the oil from your hands gets transferred to the pachinko balls, and the oil will attract dust and then deposit it throughout the pachinko machine. These deposits can interfere with the normal operation of your machine over time. Depending on how often you play, clean your pachinko balls once every few months.
There are many different options; the key is to make sure the balls are dry if you use a liquid so the balls don’t rust.
How do I get the rust off the Pachinko balls?
Surface rust can be removed with various rust removal products. If the rust is severe and won’t come off, throw them away. We use a large rock tumbler or vibration tumbler with crushed walnut shells from a pet store that cleans the balls and removes surface rust.
If the surface of the ball isn’t smooth, get rid of it. If rust has eaten into the ball and made it rough or if there is a crack in the ball, it could scratch your play field or cause other damage.
What is the model of my pachinko machine?
Vintage pachinko machines were made by hundreds of companies (Make) over the decades. Some of these companies include Daiichi, Ginza, Heiwa, Kyoraku, Maruhan, Maruto, Mizuho, Monako, Monami, New Gin, Nishijin, Okumurayuki, Sankyo and Sanyo. You may find the company name on the front or back of your machine. If that doesn’t work, browse our Pachinko Museum page which has pictures of many different machines and try to find one where the front looks like yours. These companies did not have specific identifications for each model they produced. The machines were made in assembly line fashion and in order to create variety, parts would be mixed and matched to create various combinations. So while there were many machines with a particular laminated play field design, the combination of parts on the play field can vary.
Also we have seen cases of two machines that have the same laminated play field and all the parts on it are exactly the same, but one machine is in a wood case and the other is in a case that has laminate. Other items that can vary are the play tray door, overflow tray and all the mechanical parts of the machine. Interestingly we have even seen where various parts on the play field for one company are also being used by another company. Perhaps “suppliers” would provide parts to more than one company.
It also appears that the companies were very efficient and no parts were wasted. Even as a new “model” design was being introduced, extra parts from prior models were used on the new models creating interesting variations. So all this means is that there is no definitive list of every pachinko machine produced with quantities and other statistical information. However, most people like to know what their machine is called or its model name. Since there are no official model names or designations we assign each machine we restore a model name which is a description of some aspect of the play field. It might be the design on the play field laminate, a description of some of the parts on the play field, or a word or phrase that can be seen on some part of the play field.
This can be interesting when you have a background laminate with horses and the center attraction is a hockey ring. Or the laminate is a picture of clowns but the center attraction is of a sumo wrestler. In this case we usually pick item that stands out the most. This method works OK for machines from the 1970s which were often have a “themed” laminate or part. It is harder to do on machines from the 1950s and 1960s which are more “generic”. If you have a machine that is hard to name, we suggest asking a few friends or family what comes to mind when they look at the machine (similar to spotting shapes in clouds). You will likely get a few different ideas then you can pick the one you like.
Note: Follow all safety precautions when working with electricity and if you don’t know what you are doing, get help from someone who does.
How do I check to see if my lights work?
The following steps are a general guide. Because there are hundreds of manufacturers of pachinko machines and unknown modifications to the electronics by previous owners, it is impossible to have an exact step by step procedure.
- Make sure your supply tray is empty of balls (the top tray in back).
- Your machine may have loose wires, a plug, or posts to the right of the supply tray.
- If you have loose wires, strip off some of the insulating plastic for each wire.
- If you have a plug, cut the plug off and strip the wires as above.
- If you have posts, connect a wire to each post and strip the wires as above; for Nishijin you probably need the two posts on the right.
- There may be two to four different wires or posts on your machine; you will only need two; the extras were used by the pachinko parlor.
- Take any two wires from the pachinko machine and touch them to the posts of your 9 volt battery. It doesn’t matter which wires go to the positive or negative posts.
- If at least one light doesn’t come on, try a different combination of wires until you find the two wires needed to make a light bulb come on.
What do I do if my lights don’t work?
Assuming that you can play your machine and jackpots are paid out normally, there are many things that could be wrong: a weak solder joint, a broken or cut wire, a bad microswitch, a dirty or bent leaf/reed switch, a bad bulb, or a bad fuse.
The problem could also be missing, damaged or miss-aligned parts that activate the lights. Finally a previous owner may have modified the electronics trying to get them to work but actually hooked something up incorrectly.
Naturally the problem could be a combination of any of the above. Check the following and if your lights still don’t work, you may want to purchase an electronics manual and/or new parts.
- Make sure the fuse and bulbs are good.
- Make sure the contact points of any leaf/reed switches are clean by sanding them lightly.
- Make sure that the leafs are either separated and then touch, or they are touching and then separate when you add balls to the supply tray or get a jackpot.
- Make sure the actuator of any microswitch is depressed or released when you add balls to the supply tray or get a jackpot.
What size fuse do I need?
If you are wiring your lights to a battery, then you can use any size fuse you want because the lights won’t draw enough power to cause the fuse to blow. If you are wiring your lights to a transformer, for the U.S. the fuse should be rated at 2 Amp. If your machine also has other electrical components such as motors, coils or cylinders check with an electrician for the proper size fuse.
What size battery or transformer do I use?
The lights were originally powered by a 10 volt transformer. This transformer was not included when the pachinko machines imported from Japan. You can hook up your lights to a 6 volt or 9 volt battery or a 6 volt, 9 volt or 10 volt transformer
Where can I get schematics for my machine?
The wiring diagram for the lights is very simple. The basic concept is this:
- run the negative to each bulb.
- run the positive through the supply tray switch to one bulb.
- run the positive through the jackpot switch to the other bulbs.
- If using a transformer instead of a battery, run both positives through a fuse before running through the switches.
What if my machine has motors?
There are a few machines from the 1970s (probably less than 5%) that have motors, coils or cylinders that do require electricity in order to operate those electrical components. It appears that most of these components operate off a 24 volt transformer but you should have an electrician determine what you need. Here are some notes about a few of those machines.
- Nishijin Power Flash and Nishijin Kan-Less pachinko machines require electricity.
- Pachinko machines with a round shooter knob instead of a flipper require electricity.
- Some Kyoraku pachinko machines have a coil in the shooter assembly. Without power to the coil, a part will block the flow of balls through the shooter assembly. You can either 1) wire the machine to electricity, or 2) remove/rig the part so it doesn’t block the flow of balls.
- Some pachinko machines have electrical components that ‘move’ something on the play field. Sometimes this movement is necessary for the machine to function properly and other times the movement is only to attract attention.
Why are there two Playing field glass?
There are two grooves in the metal frame around the playing field to hold the glass in place. Pachinko machines take two pieces of glass for the playing field covers. This is so people can’t use magnets to cheat at the game. The inside cover is a 1/8″ plate glass (This is for sound and to keep the balls on the playing field), and the outside cover is 1/8″ Plexiglas (This is to absorb shock and for protection of the glass).
Here are some of the most common machines glass sizes.
Nishijin Single Shoot glass size is 16″X20.0″
Nishijin Model-A glass size is 16″X17.9″
Nishijin Model-B glass size is 16″X15.9″
Nishijin Model_C glass size is 16.0″X16.0″
Sankyo glass size is 16.0″X15.4″
Sanyo glass size is 16.0″X15.4″
How do I build/buy a pachinko stand or cabinet?
Since pachinko machines were originally mounted in the walls of pachinko parlors, they need to be supported so they don’t fall over. The simplest solution it to screw or nail a couple of boards to the bottom of the pachinko machine. Just about any scrap boards you have will do. Pachinko Restorations sells boards that have routed edges and a nice finish; they are 1” x 4” x 10” also sells cabinet plans.
A more secure solution would be to construct a table top cabinet, floor stand cabinet or wall mount cabinet. You can view pictures of various stands and cabinets that we have for sale at Pachinko Restorationsalso we sell cabinet plans.
Links to other cabinets websites without recommendation!
Where can I get a key for my pachinko machine?
You can’t get keys for pachinko machines. The good news is you don’t need a key. Pachinko machines were exported from Japan without the keys because those keys could be used to open pachinko machines still being used in the pachinko parlors.
We have been to many locksmiths and even some national distributors to see if we could have keys made for these vintage locks and the answer was unfortunately no. We have heard over the years a few people were successful getting a key made by a Master locksmith, but we fill that skill is dying out.
When these machines were in Japan, they were mounted in a wall. The pachinko parlor attendants would walk up to the machine and use a key to open the machine to access the back. As long as your machine is not mounted on the wall, you don’t need a key because you have access to the back of the machine.
How do you package and ship pachinko machines?
FedEx, The UPS Store or other shipping stores can pack it for you. If you package it yourself here are some tips.
When packing the machine for shipping remove the glass if any (Plexiglass is OK to ship), please make sure the box is sturdy and that there is plenty of cushioning, especially around the plastic tray on the front and the plastic tray on the back. There should be no empty space in your box; otherwise the machine will bounce around inside the box during shipment. Completely fill it with Styrofoam peanuts, wrap with bubble wrap or sturdy packaging paper. If you can’t find one box that is big enough, you can try the following method: open the top of one box. Place the machine standing up in the box diagonally, with the top flaps up. Fill the box with packing material. Take another box and slide it down and over the first box. Tape it all together.