Tuesday, July 20, 2010


(Firstly I would like to apologise to people who send me messages through eBay's system - I am not being ignorant by not replying, but in most cases eBay will not allow me to respond. If you have not heard from me, I am sorry but this is the reason why).

Penny pushers - Coin pushers - Sliders - Penny falls - Slot machines - call them what you like! In the trade they are simply known as pushers. These machines have been of great interest to me from a very young age. Thanks to eBay I am now the proud owner ofeight machines. Five of them are single player pushers,twoare two player machines and the last is a 3-player machine.

If you are thinking about buying one of these machines, there are several factors to take into consideration. Is space a problem? Why are single player pushers more expensive than, say, a 6 player pusher?Is it going into a house? 2p or 10p play? Are you willing to travel hundreds of miles to find the right machine? Are you prepared to pay hefty Carrier charges? Is it going into the garage? Do you have a warehouse? Does it matter if it has some damage, etc.etc.etc.

Okay, let's try and answer some of these questions. If space is a problem and you intend putting the machine in a house then a single player pusher is what you're after. This is the very reason that single player pushers are more expensive, they are more sought after because they will fit in a house. A 6 player pusher would certainly be a great machine to have, but how would you get one of these through a standard door? Quite simply, it is not possible! The majority of pushers are either on 2p play or 10p play. This may not sound like a big issue - again it depends on the machine, but amachine on 2p playwhich takes 20 to fill the playdeck is going to cost you around 100 (if not, slightly more) for the same machine if it is on 10p play. There are a few exceptions of course as 1 or 2 machines operate on 1p play or 5p play. Even so, 5p play machines with a big playdeck could cost you a few pounds to fill too. Depending on the type of coin mech. fitted, some machines can be changed from 2p to 10p etc. with considerable ease.Some can't without expensive kits. Some can be programmed via coin recognition.If this is important to you, check with the seller whether or not this can be easily changed. If you are really desperate to find a single player pusher, then be prepared to travel or pay a Carrier in the region of 80 to get the machine delivered. If your luck is anything like mine, the machines I'm after are always hundreds of miles away!!! If the machine is going into a garage then you may be able to get something bigger, a 2, 3 or 4 player machine perhaps? Another thing to remember though is the more playdecks you have, then the more it is going to cost you to fill it - of course you don't have to fill all the playdecks either! If you are lucky enough that space is not an issue, or the machine is going into a warehouse or very large shed or something then you can have virtually any machine you want. Are you fussy about the machine? Does it matter if there are some scores or scrapes on it? Does it matter if the keys are lost etc. etc. Obviously a machine in perfect working order and with no damage (apart from maybe minor scrapes) is going to cost youmore money than a machine with some damage. If you are mechanically minded, a lot of these things can be easily fixed (or made better). For example:- if there are no keys and the machine is all locked then the locks can be drilled out and new locks fitted (an inexpensive item, readily available from ebay for a few pounds). Blown fluorescent tubes can be easily found at most good electrical shops and make the machine look a lot better. Does the machine look grubby after purchase? Don't despair -give it a good clean and if you feel competent, dismantle it a bit and clean it up - it will look a million times better when you are finished and you willappreciate it more and be proud of it!Does it really matter if there are a few chips out of the blackwood effecton a corner? Would a touch of black paint not make it look ten times better and cover the majority of it up? These and other little things are all worth thinking about, easy repairs that don't cost the earth to remedy.One thing to think of though - does the machine you're interested in have a feature? And more importantly, does it work? Is this important to you? The reason I say this is that some older machines with features that don't work can be just about impossible to fix. For example:- a feature that pays out a certain amount of coins when you get a coin through a bonus trap (usually set off by the coin triggering a micro switch) is normally linked to a small pcb with IC's (silicone chips). These IC's are more often than not pre-programmed and if something goes wrong with them and you need a replacement, on say a machine that is a few years old - FORGET IT! Unless you are VERY lucky then you will not be able tofind a replacement. Apart from this, pushers, on the whole will go on for years and years and years, as at the end of the day the main thing that makes them all work is a motor andin the worst case scenarioif it does go Kaput, a replacement motor can usually be found - a contrast to modernfruit machines which are all controlled by IC's and pcb's. Another point worth remembering:- CONDITION. Everybody's idea of condition is different! Someone that describes a machine in very good condition might not be your interpretation of very good condition! Study the pictures carefully.If there is something that takes your fancy on eBay and there is something that you are unsure about or want to ask about or important dimensions etc. then don't be shy touse the 'ask seller a question' button and ask away. The majority of sellers are honest andwill answer your questions - beware of the ones that don't - they probably have something to hide! Finally if you get one of these machines, don't send granny to pick it up in a Corsa with the back seats down!!! They are very heavy machines, if you are collecting make sure you have the correct dimensions, make sure it will fit in,a suitable vehicle and a strong mate or two to help you lift.

I have been collecting these machines for around 2 years now and the knowledge I have gained about them in that time is vast. I have written this guide for anyone new to pushers, interested in pushersor looking to make their first purchase. The opinions are all mine and I realise they might not be everyone's views. Remember these are all electrical items and electricity can be dangerous. If you are in any doubt at all or are not competent with DIY and electricity- DO NOT DISMANTLE or interfere withthese machines.

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