Author Topic: Free credits. True or false?  (Read 4306 times)

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Offline spacejam0

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Free credits. True or false?
« on: March 14, 2015, 05:44:18 AM »
Was talking to a mate last night and he said that back in the 1980's he used to go to a record shop to play an arcade machine they had there (he thinks it was pacman) . Anyway he swears that he and all the other kids used to sap the coin return button with a spark from one of those spark guns you would use to ignite the gas cooktop on your stove and this would clock up free credits.

Now i told him is was full of it but he was so adamant about it that I'm thinking could it be true?

Anyone else ever heard of this or to the electronically mined is this possible?

Offline Pop Bumper Pete

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Re: Free credits. True or false?
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2015, 05:56:24 AM »
Yep. Back in the 70s. Early video game
Go into the arcade wearing gumboots, shuffle on the floor to create static electricity , and touch the credit button with a two cent coin
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Offline Freiherr

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Re: Free credits. True or false?
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2015, 06:08:36 AM »
Yes, I have seen examples of this.
Back in 1981 when I studied at UTS Sydney, there was a games room for students which was carpeted. A student one day went to put a coin in a Space Invaders and found 40 credits pop up on the screen when the coin came neer the slot. The next week or so, news spread fast and many students would rub their shoes on the carpet to get a static build up for free games. The static would arc from their finger to the coin slot. I doubt this would have worked in hot and humid Qld. but on a dry wintery day in Sydney under ideal conditions it did.

After a few weeks, the operator got a whif of what was happening and did something in the coin mechanism to stop this rort.
If you don't remember the 70s then you were on drugs.
If you remember playing pinball in the 70s you were having a good time.
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Offline 4_amusement_only

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Re: Free credits. True or false?
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2015, 09:50:31 AM »
Yep it's true. Coin mech manufacturers later shielded the mechs to prevent this form of shorting

Offline Homepin

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Re: Free credits. True or false?
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2015, 11:10:18 AM »
100% true. I had an arcade with a crane machine and quite often I would walk past it to see 200 credits on the display.

I was well aware of this from "back in the day" - it was such a problem that LAI added a small board with an antenna that would disconnect the mains for a few seconds and re-boot the machine if it sensed a spark, thus zeroing any credits.

If you have ever seen this board in one of your arcade machines now you know what it is for.

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« Last Edit: March 14, 2015, 11:26:26 AM by Homepin »
Replacement Pinball PCBs that remain faithful to the originals

Offline Cursed

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Re: Free credits. True or false?
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2015, 11:10:56 AM »
Yep, and I remember kids used to pinch the push button starters from the gas water heaters on homes as well as they were a handy sized unit for free game hunting.

About the size of 2 AA batteries end to end, push button on one end and a nice spark at the other.

Offline Caveoftreasures

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Re: Free credits. True or false?
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2015, 11:44:13 AM »

I never stole lollies as a kid so I certainly wouldn't have stole credits on a arcade game.

Maybe that's why I ended up working in the electronic security industry most of my adult life.....lol

I guess as a kid some people thought it was OK. No big deal. I am just too straight. Lol

I need to go rob a bank to make up for my boring ways. Will static electricity open the Vault at the bank. ? I will let everyone know after I get out of the clink. Lol  @.@  That was a good thread for myth busters show.


« Last Edit: March 14, 2015, 11:47:42 AM by Caveoftreasures »
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Offline pinball god

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Re: Free credits. True or false?
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2015, 03:08:31 PM »
Works but gets harder to do the more beers you have. You run out of puff
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Offline Kaye841

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Re: Free credits. True or false?
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2016, 12:06:21 PM »
Yes this was true.  As an operator of these machines we lost plenty of takings and on some occasions coin mech was damaged, so double loss to us.  Also had the wire or icy pole stick down the coin shute trick tried but most times all it did was block up the mech.  I can remember another occasion when doing collection I found a whole lot of collectable coins from other countries as well as Aus. - some kid would have been in the s..t when dad found out, lol.

Offline Brettski

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Re: Free credits. True or false?
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2016, 01:49:54 PM »
Yep, wrecked a few arcade machines back in the day.. LOL.
It started when we realised that static from your body from wearing woolen jumpers etc and touch the door on old em's, some would put the arc across the coin switch and start it up.
Video games were not as easy due to the electronics as it sometimes upset the whole machine.. The spark guns for gas stoves put out a 12v charge when clicked and modified to expose the wires would sometimes work depending on the machine.

Best effort was the cotton attached to the coin and lowered into the slot until it triggered the credit, then pull it back as far as you can, hold the coin return button in and let go and the coin and string would come back out the coin return. I got banned for life at the local bowling alley for this LOL

Told the wife about our shenanigans and then had to prove it to her, lucky I had a pinball machine or two on hand and gave her a demo. Brought back a lot of teenage memories.. :)

Cheers: Brettski... :)


Offline Goingpinsane

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Re: Free credits. True or false?
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2016, 02:26:57 PM »
I feel bad about what we used to get up to also. Our weapon of choice was a piece of whipper snipper wire bent like a correct symbol. Get it in the right spot a jiggle away. . We got caught being greedy racking up way too many credits.

Offline Brettski

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Re: Free credits. True or false?
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2016, 05:12:21 PM »
Here is a video demonstrating how easy the coin with cotton worked.. it was a great scam back in the day.. :)



Cheers: Brettski... :)

Offline spacejam0

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Re: Free credits. True or false?
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2016, 05:44:52 PM »
Here is a video demonstrating how easy the coin with cotton worked.. it was a great scam back in the day.. :)



Cheers: Brettski... :)
ha ha nice one