Shut up 'n' play yer pinball!

(An unsigned notice I found one morning in my mail - complaining about pinball noise at night...)

Playing pinball is usually more fun in the late hours. However, often your neighbours can't understand that. If you live in an apartment house, these tips may be important for you:

Foam plastic reduces noise

First, put plastic foam sheets inside pinball cabinet. It reduces noise and echoing inside cabinet. The first picture shows adhesive foam with foil on the outside, it also reduces radio and TV interference. Also regular foam plastic will do. The second picture shows a game silenced by surplus foam sheets attached inside cabinet. It is easy to attach with a staple gun. The more foam you add, the better it silences, but even a 1 centimeter layer makes a difference. Take care not to block air vents, and do not put foam near parts that may get hot.

Leg damping

Noise at downstairs can be reduced significantly by damping the legs. Here we see a solid foam rubber glued onto leg, and under that is a piece of carpet. Do not damp the legs too much or your game will get wobbly. Moving the games will be easier when the legs have soft pads.

Coilstop damping

Much of solenoid noise is cause by plunger hitting the coilstop. However most work is done during the pull in phase. By softening the coil stop, solenoid noise can be reduced. One way is to glue a soft plastic part onto coilstop. This can be used on flippers, bumpers and slingshots.

If you have recently replaced the coilstops with new ones, the thickness of plastic may cause problems. This damping method is best suitable for slightly worn parts.

Vertical upkicker silencing

Many modern pinballs have one or more VUK's or Vertical Upkickers. When pushing the ball upwards they can make a lot of noise. A good way to silence these is to put a couple of old rubber rings around the VUK plunger.