My eBay feed said "Classic Pinball Machine for sale - cheap" - I was on the lookout for another project pin, something to spend my winter months rebuilding and eventually playing, so I went to take a look.
The unit was in the back of the pawn shop, covered with debris. Once cleared out, I saw 4 things:
- it was non-functional. They said when plugged in nothing happened.
- The backglass was in terrible shape, half of it gone and lots of paint flakes all over
- The unit itself looked in great shape. Not very dirty, not much wear on it. We opened the back panel (keys provided) and it was filled with gears and motors and lots of wires, all looked clean and ready to run.
- It did not look like any pinball machine I had ever seen. The playfield was nothing but a bunch of holes and there were no flippers!
My initial thoughts were that all I needed to so was pop in a new fuse and it would probably run. We negotiated a price, they removed the "cash box" and took 100 or so nickels out of it, handed me the keys and I was the proud owner of.....something.
I got it home and did some digging, it turned out this thing was a "Bingo Pinball" used for gambling - who knew there even was such a thing! It turns out the Bingo Pinball machines are quite complex, with advancing odds and coin tracking, all using physical equipment rather than electronics.
Sadly a new fuse did not fix the problems, but my chance discovery did open my eyes to a whole new genre of pinball and a whole new set of mechanical toys to work on..
I have vowed to get this thing working and to be able to put money into it....stay tuned!
follow my newbie pinball repair successes and failures at: http://pinballrepairandlife.blogspot.com/