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Everything posted by RoadDogAmusements

  1. I wouldn't buy any equipment new unless you have the high traffic location for it already. Earning $5k in amusement vending is quite difficult. essentially that's 5-20k games played, depending on your cost to play.
  2. The Keymaster vs Prize Locker discussion above is accurate for CA. Although I have still seen some keymasters around... What's allowed and what's enforced are not always the same. As for how many tickets a machine should hold I would say at minimum 2 stacks. So 4000 tickets? They should not print out anything imo. The industry is set up to have them either give standard tickets, or the ticket dispenser itself is replaced by a third party card reader functionality. If the game machine gives out the tickets then you would use another "ticket eater" machine to make a receipt with barcode or add the credits to an existing card. Any prize merchandising game needs to have some kind of setting where you can control the frequency of payout. I run a bunch of stacker machines. If they didn't have that and it was all skill based... I wouldn't be putting things of any real value in them. There's no point in building a machine that just empties operator's wallets.
  3. I would say the problem is the UTurn machines. they are bulk only I thought? Do they have gumball wheels or capsule wheels for them? Keep the Uturn I guess for serving candies... but get a different machine for capsules imo. If you want to do 1" capsules you can do a beaver rb16 or a northwestern super 60. If you go that route you can get any accessory you need really...
  4. Sounds like it just expects a different model DBA. The Mars stuff is better imo. Is there no room for the stacker? Can you show pics of the coin box and chute? This doesn't sounds standard?
  5. I could use an automated self-redemption machine. there's smart prize center, benchmark tickets to prizes, and the newer baytek prize hub. I would like something that is a little more affordable than the prize hub... but then the other machines are older and harder to find. There is definitely room here for more products.
  6. I've never gone to one... there's also the Amusement Expo International that they're sharing space with the same weekend, I believe? I would love to go to both, but sort of strapped for cash right now...
  7. I put small parts/choking hazard and peanut warning stickers on some of my equipment... but I don't think that will really stop someone from trying to sue you. I would start with a single head vending machine... those are pretty low risk. You could chain it to an anchor as well so it can't fall over. Stickers are a hard sell, but can be profitable.
  8. A couple points about safety... there are plenty of cases of people being hurt by factory constructed firearms... it happens mil spec does not mean best. it means made to a dollar and a minimum req. you can get parts that are much higher quality than "mil-spec" the people at the factories, or machines, aren't doing anything special that you as an individual with a wrench can't do. If you understand what you're doing, you can do it more safely than a mass production factory. most important part about building your own firearm... is you have complete control over everything. With great power comes great responsibility. It's not inherently dangerous to do it, but it is dangerous to do it without any knowledge or planning. Gov cannot and will not be held responsible for individual's safety. So back on topic... I've built several of my own. I think the AR platform is the best for builders because of the massive amount of parts available. This is a good and bad thing, because it takes a lot of effort by the builder. I think for this reason it's a good idea to focus on a few brands who make quality components that you trust. The parts you pick are going to have to be dependent on your budget. The bigger budget you have, the more you can allocate to getting matching parts. Sometimes there's functionality to matching, and sometimes it's just to look cool at the range. And of course, local laws... Depending on your level of freedom, you may not be able to purchase the parts that you want. Since you mentioned a few things. Long-range accuracy and already have the lower. The thing that will effect accuracy more than anything else is the trigger group. Sorry, but that's the truth. Barrel is very very important, but a guy with good trigger control will out shoot a beginner with infinite budget. I think a mil-spec trigger group for AR-15 is fine. It will certainly do the job. I would recommend something from Geissele, if you have the budget. The rest of the lower parts are less important but get what you can afford. In the upper you will want to make sure your bolt and barrel match well. This will definitely affect your accuracy. The lockup needs to be perfect and consistent. Look into go and no-go gauges. Or you can buy a pre-matched set of bolt and barrel... Look into the different barrel options... cold hammer forged, chrome lined, etc. How close do you want to match military issue weapons? Is that your goal for having mil-spec parts? One huge decision when building your own AR is 16, 18, or 20 inch barrel. Different gas systems... The weight of the gun changes... its usability changes... Part availability and interchangeability is affected. Or if you go AR Pistol... that's its own thing. In conclusion... start with what you want out of the gun. If you want a Military M16 replica that is civilian legal... cool go for it. If you want a tactical quad rail nightvision red dot zombie killer... why not. Just have a vision and know what you want to end up with. Then figure out budget and how much you want to allocate to each component. Since you want accuracy I would prioritize trigger, bolt, and barrel.
  9. I'm being cautious... I haven't made up my mind yet. I haven't caught it so I don't have antibodies already. I dunno, I just don't know if I need it. I am not anti, just not in a rush to do anything. Is that selfish? I hate how covid has gotten wrapped up with politics... It's not about what "my team" says or does, because I'm a libertarian. I also don't get flu shots anymore.
  10. Yeah, it's an import. The manual has some language issues. I was thinking it might have that... but not sure how to clear it or program quantity?
  11. I have a laundromat location where I operate some amusement and bulk vending. The owners of the laundromat have the Jofemar machine and they want to use it to vend various Laundry needs like detergent, dryer sheets, etc. They do have the manuals for their machine, which helped me to figure out how to reprice the various slots. Now where I got stuck is after I restocked the row with one item I tried to vend it, and it was telling me that the item is out of stock. I couldn't see anywhere in the menus to adjust the quantity? I assume there is some kind of sensor to detect if there is product or not? There's different types of slots, they're not coils. There are a few different widths of conveyer belts and some have supports built into them. If you can help me with the restocking procedure... do I need to set quantities somewhere or should it be automatic? Do I need to clear errors somewhere or is there anything else that could cause me to not be able to vend items?
  12. Texas is hot, no? You might want to just buy quarterly... there might be significant savings at that volume... but if half of it gets wasted then you would have been better off just buying more often. Is your storage facility temperature controlled?
  13. if he's 2.5 hours away that's roughly 150 miles? what 10ish gallons at almost 4/gallon. so $40 to go there once to collect. $40 for a trouble call... at 50/50 split with no product COG, I highly doubt they can make enough to justify the full day of work to collect/service/restock stuff... if they have one trouble call they're now paying to put games on the floor. How many games can you operate at a loss before you die? One thing though... is you might want to tactfully just tell the owner that you don't like to share locations with other operators/vendors. If he says that the other guy is giving him more money... just point out to him that the other guy has less experience, probably financed his equipment, isn't going to make any money, won't come to maintain the equipment, etc. The owner is seeing a larger percentage and getting greedy... but obviously don't frame it like that. He's basically "buttering up" the deal to get in the spot and try to kick you out... so you should be trying to kick him out too. Don't do it by sabotaging his equipment or anything like that... just operate your business better. And if the owner doesn't see what you're talking about... tell him to give it a few months and then decide who is actually making more money and running a better service... and who is just big talk and big numbers.
  14. Are you sure they're not saying we split the profits 50-50? not the gross? seems like they won't be able to be in business long making that kind of margin?
  15. I got a trouble call from the laundromat owner... the machine sometimes doesn't kick out full sized cotton candies. I realized the problem was in the sugar feed, as everything else was working as expected. I thought that maybe too much sugar was in the hopper and the weight was causing it to stick? So I tried removing most of the sugar and that helped, but it did still get stuck occasionally. I ended up breaking it down and looking at the internals of the hopper to see why it was getting jammed up occasionally? The sugar auger piece is a plastic gear that had gotten partially deformed. It had a small groove in it that would catch on the sugar agitator. I thought about using sandpaper to smooth out the ridge and see if I could get a little more time out of the piece, but instead decided to out of order the machine. I ordered the auger and an extra agitator, and I'll install them on location when they come in. I'd rather not build up a history of bad expectations with the machine. Hopefully after this the machine stays working consistently. It's not going to be worth operating if I need to do a trouble call more than once a month.
  16. I would pallet and wrap them and then try to get a bid on uShip w/ pictures of the pallets and dimension/weight information. The thing about that long of a round trip is you are doubling fuel if you do it yourself. If you hire someone to do LTL you can share the fuel costs with other people. If you can't get a good price to freight them, then you can always do it yourself. Or as brmorr stated, it's cheaper to rent a real commercial truck and do it yourself. I use Ryder because they're the cheapest for me here locally. and yes, make sure you get a liftgate.
  17. yes, I think that many people in the industry just group all the prize games together as redemption, but I believe the ticket based games are the actual cause for the category name. You would "redeem" your tickets for a prize. I usually call machines like barber cut, keymaster, stacker, etc. "Prize Merchandisers." As they are more of a vending machine that may or may not pay out. I guess a crane game would also be a prize merchandiser, but I just put cranes into their own category? There will always be crossover... so it's hard to really define some pieces of equipment.. Let us know what you end up doing @RikaKazak. I am interested in hearing how your movie theater loc does.
  18. got the light in the marquee replaced... it was a weird bulb I had to order from Europe. I think you can use another more common 2 pin bulb, but I didn't want to mess with the wiring or putting a new fixture up there. I think in retrospect it would have been smarter to just LED mod the top box, but next time. Here's a picture of the machine deployed at my Laundromat location. I added Pink Vanilla Flossine to the sugar mix, but I think I should have added a little more. Again, next time. If this thing starts doing any kind of good business I will have to order sticks again soon. They are kind of pricey, but you get a year's worth at once. I have it set now to vend at $2 per 1 cotton candy. The cost of goods for this machine is very very low, but the maintenance costs are pretty high. It has a daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning regimen that probably won't be adhered to. So this means it will probably break down again at some point which is a problem with operating a location 2 hours away from your base. I tasted the product it makes... and it wasn't bad. Definitely nice to have something made fresh and hot, so I think $2 is fair for that, especially since I have to split profits with the owner.
  19. Definitely try to please the account if you can... but it's gotta be within reason. A movie theater location if it's busy enough would warrant almost any kind of machine purchase. It doesn't surprise me they don't want a candy crane or stuff that will make kids get hyped up. Also it's competition for their own candy sales. Balls will make kids run around and possibly get injured, at least that's what location owners think. Maintaining the pin is a problem, if you have no real idea about them... and you don't have a good pin buddy... But they can earn, don't let these guys fool you. I would also steer away from redemption games. If you have them you should offer 3+ different games to give ticket winning variety. And then you need a counter with attendant or an automatic prize vending solution, which is expensive and needs maintenance. Stocking the prizes, tickets, and all the associated stuff is just not worth it for 1-3 machines imo. It starts to make sense if you have 10+ redemption machines in one location. Prize merchandisers I think is another really great option. You mentioned you have a keymaster already so that's good. Maybe a barber cut or even a classic stacker in good condition would earn well. I don't know about the latest generation of stuff, but there's probably good things out there. A pair of nice drivers would really be a solid investment I think. You wouldn't need to stock any product and you just collect... Something like 2 Cruis'n Blasts, Super Bikes 3, Mario Kart GP DX...
  20. I think you can do buck hunter if you wanted to, but yeah you should get the HD one with the flat screen. MAME is a big no for operating commercially. Pinball, I would get a movie themed game by Stern, there are a lot of them. I would agree with candy crane if they will let you. What kind of cotton candy machine do you have? Is it the Intermatic?
  21. I built new Y harnesses and put the 12v ac adapters into the mix. There is a small hole in the bottom of the cabinet, that I used to route the 12v power supply lead in through. I suspect it's there for drainage in an emergency? Not sure why else there would be a small hole about 2cm? At least now I don't have to worry about bringing the batteries around and recharge cycling them. I can use them in another project or something... Both machines did really good I think, with the gumball machine just barely edging out the bouncy balls. One other weird negative I noticed is sometimes little gumball curds show up? I don't know if it's because they were just in the bag before I dumped them in or if the hopper and wheel are grinding up whole ones into pieces somehow?
  22. ok, maybe you're right. the sams deal on dubble bubble is just too good. i think that I want to try running 2 heads on a stand and put it by the door? and then I have capsules separately, with no bulk candy on that rack. the capsule rack is deeper in the restaurant by the ticket redemption counter.
  23. I am going to try selling gumballs at one of my pizza place locations I think. Or chicle gum? I was thinking mint because it's a pizza place, and it would be "fresh" and appealing for adults and children. But then I didn't really see much in terms of options for mint gumballs for $0.25 vend price? I guess I should just keep going with dubble bubble from sams for $22 a case... and not mess with mint? one of the only options I found? https://www.gumball.com/products/extreme-cool-gumballs-1-850-count Any suggestions or advice is welcomed.
  24. I got in a trouble call from the owner of the laundromat. He said that super bikes and the gumball machine were out of order. When I got there the super bikes had a coin jam and the gumball launcher had a dead battery. womp womp. It did last over a month, like 5 weeks. I'm not sure why it was so far off from my estimate of being able to vend 10k units? I am guessing the small amount of suck that the gumball launcher pcb has and the recharge circuit on the battery. I'm going to have to hook it up to an AC adapter? I didn't count it but it looked like there was about $40 in there. So what's that 160 or so gumballs sold in a month? I noticed that the gumballs have a bit of a hard crunch to them at the start but it's not necessarily unpleasant. They get better as you chew. They're dubble bubble brand ones... maybe I get something different next time?
  25. You'll probably have to get a junk machine and steal them out of it. Or you could try fabricating your own?
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