Viewing 21 posts - 1 through 21 (of 21 total)
  • Old fruit machines (and the repair of)
  • zilog6128
    Full Member

    Acquired an old fruity of the weekend (Barcrest MPU5 unit). 99% working except there’s some kind of fault seemingly with the coin mech side (works great in “play money” mode 😃). Seemingly once very popular for home use as found a few sites/forums dedicated to them but not much activity in recent years so thought I’d ask on here if there are any (ex) techs or collectors! Otherwise will probably just start swapping bits as spares not too expensive!

    bruneep
    Full Member

    Get yourself on The Repair Shop, remember you’ll need a sob back story to tug at the heart.

    TheDTs
    Free Member

    Speak to JNC Sales they may be able to help.
    https://jnc-sales.co.uk/

    Bruce
    Full Member

    I used to work for Barcrest as an electronics design engineer. Un fortunately I don’t know anything about fruit machines as I worked other projects.

    binners
    Full Member

    Just out of interest, Which machine is it?

    I used to work for Barcrest designing/illustrating the glasses for the fruit machines.

    Probably the most techy job I’ve ever done. Each individual glass took weeks to design. 14 different silk screen colour separations anyone? All checked old school style on a light box. Printed in America due to their somewhat… erm… liberal attitude to the use of metal-based inks, so whatever you do, don’t lick it! 😂

    So it could well be my work

    That’s absolutely no use whatsoever to you at all, is it? Sorry 😂

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    It’s Sheik Yer Money, a tasteful middle-east themed game 😀 1999 vintage. It’s impressively put together, very robust, and everything’s laid out pretty logically inside & it does look very easy to service (I’ve found the service manual online) although it’s really just a case of swapping out broken bits rather than actually trying to fix anything.

    Opened it up & it stinks of old (pre-smoking ban) pubs, so pretty nostalgic even though I never used to play them 😂

    dyna-ti
    Full Member

    When I stayed in Blackpool, one of the large amusement arcades used to smash up old machines rather than recycle them or sell them on.

    I’m guessing they did this because they were rigged and were in fact destroying the evidence of their ill deeds.

    scruff9252
    Full Member

    When I stayed in Blackpool, one of the large amusement arcades used to smash up old machines rather than recycle them or sell them on.

    I’m guessing they did this because they were rigged and were in fact destroying the evidence of their ill deeds.

    One of my ex-gf’s dads used to be invested in puggies. Remember him telling me about the 78% return on his investment; Good business for some – just not the punter sticking pound coins in the slot!!

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    Remember him telling me about the 78% return on his investment

    it wouldn’t be 78% ROI – that’s probably how much they were paying out. So more like 22%, minus maintenance/admin/paying the venue etc. Still bloody good return for very little though!!

    I’m guessing they did this because they were rigged

    They don’t need to be rigged to make money, that’s how they all work! Mine has a sticker on it saying “average payout 72%”. Well, the meters inside which have counted every coin in (over £250k!) and out over its lifetime tell the truth… it’s not “about” 72%, it’s exactly 72%. Proper mugs game, there’s literally no way the house can lose, as it won’t pay out until it’s taken enough cash to be in profit. Clever though 😀

    Cougar
    Full Member

    Proper mugs game, there’s literally no way the house can lose, as it won’t pay out until it’s taken enough cash to be in profit.

    Yeah. They can be gamed though, a mate of mine regularly fleeces them. Not because of any skill on the bandit itself but because he watches what everyone else is playing throughout the night. If a machine hasn’t paid out for ages it’s probably due.

    The other low-hanging fruit is quiz machines that have been propped up by mouth breathers all day.

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    They can be gamed though, a mate of mine regularly fleeces them.

    well. Everyone knows someone who claims to do this; unless he’s driving a Ferrari and living in a mansion, I don’t believe it. No gambler you ever talked to has lost money, everyone’s always “up” – it’s a wonder the industry survives when they’re constantly making such huge losses 😂

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    They can be gamed though, a mate of mine regularly fleeces them. Not because of any skill on the bandit itself but because he watches what everyone else is playing throughout the night. If a machine hasn’t paid out for ages it’s probably due.

    Is your mate tam from still game.

    Ps he’s not gaming anything – house still wins.

    reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    I had a friend in college who used to do it most nights out. He would regularly come home with more in pound coins than he would spend. He was never up much, £30-40, but was definitely restrained enough to make it worthwhile for himself. The game company would still make money though as the machine wasn’t paying out any more than it needed to, he was just good at timing it so that he was the one that got the required payout. He would regularly not play a machine that he knew had payed out recently so had full restraint on not wasting money.

    His uncle did have a company that rented out the machines though so he knew exactly how they worked, which he was running last time I saw him.

    TheDTs
    Free Member

    I know a few people in the business, they are doing better than average… by a long way.
    One once said to me anyone who puts money in one of his machines is a fool. That was before the big pay out machines. This guy has got out the business now, the compliance became too much of a burden.
    Away from the gambling machines, have you seen what the novelty machines sell for! Coin pushers and cranes go for thousands££!

    rickmeister
    Full Member

    didn’t the channel ferry companies bar some folk who sat on the machines all day almost as if it was their job….

    binners
    Full Member

    It’s Sheik Yer Money, a tasteful middle-east themed game

    Not one of mine, but it sounds exactly like the sort of sensitive and considered title so beloved of the industry. Would the graphics depict any lazy racial stereotypes by any chance? 😀

    didn’t the channel ferry companies bar some folk who sat on the machines all day almost as if it was their job….

    The machines on the ferries didn’t have the limits on the jackpots as they weren’t technically on UK soil so not subject to legal restrictions. There was one guy who would go back and too on the ferries emptying all the machines. Barcrest got wind of him and gave him a job on a huge salary to design their gameplay instead. Poacher turned gamekeeper, or the other way around

    The people who design the gameplay are mathematicians with brains the size of planets. Your chance of sussing out the sequences that they programme are pretty much zero

    Proper mugs game, there’s literally no way the house can lose, as it won’t pay out until it’s taken enough cash to be in profit.

    Very much this. I didn’t work there long. I felt it was corroding my soul. The people who work at senior level in these companies are (somewhat predictably) some of the very worst human beings you will ever encounter. Truly vile people.

    Cougar
    Full Member

    Everyone knows someone who claims to do this; unless he’s driving a Ferrari and living in a mansion, I don’t believe it. No gambler you ever talked to has lost money, everyone’s always “up”

    I’ve watched him do it. As trail_rat says, the house always wins overall, but whilst you can’t beat the machine you can beat other players. See relcutantjumper’s post, that’s what my mate does.

    His uncle did have a company that rented out the machines though so he knew exactly how they worked

    Back when I was at college, a lad I knew used to play the quiz machine in the chippie every day. He’d put in whatever the credit cost was, 20p or something, and win enough to pay for his lunch. That was a similar story, he confessed to us in the end that he wasn’t a trivia god but that his dad was something to do with them (I forget what but it doesn’t really matter) and so he knew all the answers. He claimed that he deliberately threw the game once he had enough for his dinner money, reckoned he could just keep going but he couldn’t be bothered; how true that was I do not know.

    sam3000
    Full Member

    I worked with fruit machines for several years.
    All the components are modular, it isn’t possible to repair them without real in depth knowledge and time, very few people are in the business of repairing the modular components (coin mechs etc). However, they can be found. ‘Fruit Machine Spares’ in Leeds has a great stock of parts.

    If I recall, the payout is determined by a component (depending on the age of the machine) these can be swapped to a different %.

    On paper a great business to be in, however would you like to carry bags of coins/ machines in and out of the ‘less affluent’ areas of the world? Everyone seems to have ‘had a missing payout’ as soon as the bottom door gets opened!

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    I’ve watched him do it.

    Unless you’re with him 24/7 keeping a ledger you don’t know the whole story. All gamblers lie about how much they’re winning/losing, to themselves as much as other people.

    reckoned he could just keep going but he couldn’t be bothered; how true that was I do not know.

    Not very, I’d wager. 😂

    I worked with fruit machines for several years.
    All the components are modular, it isn’t possible to repair them without real in depth knowledge and time, very few people are in the business of repairing the modular components (coin mechs etc). However, they can be found. ‘Fruit Machine Spares’ in Leeds has a great stock of parts.

    thanks, I’ll check them out, yeah I’ve got hold of the service manual & this is seems to be the case. (i.e. if this part is defective, just details how to swap it out for a new one). Was quite impressed with the machine inside tbh, definitely very carefully designed to make it as easy as possible to get it up & running again and minimise down time! Spares seem to be plentiful on eBay and other sites (not new but out of other machines).

    If I recall, the payout is determined by a component (depending on the age of the machine) these can be swapped to a different %.

    yes, there’s a little board that plugs into the main program board via a D-Sub connector. Sometimes you just swap this board out to change the %age but mine has little DIP switches on it to adjust it!

    nickjb
    Free Member

    I don’t work on fruit machines but do work on machines that use a few components from them. There are quite a few shops out there selling parts. Seems more common in the USA and I’ve had to ship a few bits over. https://www.arcadeworlduk.com/ is good for basic bits. Some parts crop us on eBay too.

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    https://www.arcadeworlduk.com/ is good for basic bits.

    doesn’t have any fruity specific parts (I think you need a gambling license to get involved with that, certainly with complete machines anyway) but my plan-B is actually to gut the (extremely sturdy) cabinet & convert it into a MAME cab, I actually have one of those X-Arcade sticks already that I use & have modified with a Raspberry Pi inside that runs everything.

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