Gift Ideas 3
This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Gift Ideas

I felt like it was time to add another post for the gift idea series. This time I am going deep in the pocketbooks and present to you gifts that cost $50 or more. If you have any other ideas that should be on the list, please post in the comments.

In no particular order…

  1. De-Soldering Station – This tool will literally pay for itself after a couple of board repairs. This is one area where I felt the need to spend the money for a good quality tool. There aren’t too many things worse than a board with burnt traces and solder pads that have been removed. This tool makes de-soldering so much easier. Hakko FR-301 [$245.00]
  2. Soldering Station – The same argument as number 1…it’s nice to have a good soldering station, too. I have this station in my toolbox. It’s small enough to work inside cabinets and pinball machines and is temperature controlled. Hakko FX888D-23BY Digital Soldering Station [$129.95]
  3. Monitor Tester & Multicade – Craftymech gets the number three spot with two of his inventions. The TPG [$89 + shipping] (Test Pattern Generator) is an absolute must for repairing monitors. And, while you are at his website, pick up the 30+ games on one PCB. Bitkit [$149 + shipping].
  4. Oscilloscope – There comes a time in repairs when it’s nice to have an o-scope. I bought this one a while ago and upgraded it to 100Mhz. Rigol DS1052E 50MHz Digital Oscope [$297.13]
  5. Dolly – Save your back and buy one if you don’t have one yet. Harper Hand Truck [$74.98]. There are a few articles including mine about modifying a Harbor Freight [$179.99] cart to make it a pinball dolly. The last option is the cream of the crop and by far the most expensive. Escalera StairCat Motorized Stair Climbing Hand Truck [$2,499.00]
  6. Storage Bins – Clean up the shop and help get organized with some storage units. Performance Tool W5193 Half Bulk Bin Storage Rack [$105.42]
  7. Multimeter – Many people swear by the Fluke brand. A multimeter is a must tool for any arcade/pinball enthusiast. Fluke 117 Electricians True RMS Multimeter [$164.96]
  8. RAM/PIA Tester – I bought the Inquisitor IC Tester a few years ago, and use it all the time. It has a permanent home on my work bench. I did a short review of it a couple years ago. Inquisitor IC Testing System [Prices vary]
  9. Color DMDs – Jazz up those pinball machines with a new color DMD. ColorDMD [Prices vary]
  10. Blades – Talking about jazzing up those pinball machines…how about adding blades? TiltGraphics [Prices vary]
  11. Bench Buffer – Get parts buffed and polished with a mirror-like finish. OWERTEC BF600 Heavy Duty Bench Buffer, 6-Inch [$69.99]
  12. Ultrasonic cleaner – This is a great tool for cleaning parts. Set the timer and put the parts in the vat. Provides remarkable cleaning results. Harbor Freight sells a model that I use…2.5 Liter Ultrasonic Cleaner [$79.99] or if you need a larger one, Kendal Commercial Grade 220 Watts 3 liters Heated ULTRASONIC Cleaner HB23 [$189.00]
  13. Playfield Rotisserie – Tired of sticking your head into a pinball machine and hunching over the machine? Looking for an easier way to do a top and bottom shop-job? Look no further than the Pinball Repair Playfield Rotisserie [$239.99]
  14. Crimpers – Having the right tool for the right job makes a huge difference when making connectors or re-pinning connectors. I have HTR1031E, HTR2445A, and HTR2262A and they never leave my toolbox. Sargent Crimpers [Prices vary]
  15. Switch Matrix Tester – The Cadillac of switch testers. Can test individual switches, and has the ability to “lock” them on or off with dip switches. Great for troubleshooting pesky switch matrix problems. Pinitech 64 Switch Matrix Tester [Prices vary]
  16. Cordless Dremel – This tool made my other list, but might be worth the extra money and get one that is cordless. I use my Dremel all the time and really didn’t know how much I was missing one until I finally bought it. Dremel 8220-1/28 12-Volt Max Cordless Rotary Tool [$96.85]
  17. Digital Microscope – I don’t have one of these yet, but can see purchasing one down the road. I saw decent reviews for the following, but sure there are other models just as good or better. Opti-Tekscope Digital USB Microscope Camera [$89.00]
  18. Ryobi Light – I got this light last year, and really like it. It’s bright and easy to use around arcades and pinball machines. I already had two battery packs, so this was a good choice for me. However, it can run with an AC cord attached to it. 18-Volt ONE+ Hybrid 20-Watt LED Work Light (Tool-Only) [$79.00]
  19. Pinball Machine – If you have quite a bit of money just laying around…support the pinball companies. Stern | JPP | Spooky Pinball
  20. Radio – Help those repairs and projects go by quicker with a good job site radio. DeWALT 12V/20V MAX Worksite Charger Radio [$239.99]
  21. Pinball Speaker Upgrade – Upgrade your machine with better and clearer sounds. Pinball Pro Speaker Kit [Prices Vary]
  22. Rolling Seat – If you are going to be working inside an arcade cabinet, you might was well do it and be comfortable. Traxion 2-700 ProGear Mobile Rolling Gear Seat W/Equipment Tray and All-Terrain 5″ Casters [$119.99]
  23. Carpet – Go back to the ’70s and ’80s with a cool retro carpet for the game room. Astro Carpet Mills [Price vary]

Do you agree with the list? What do you think should be included on the list? Feel free to comment below.

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