(Topic ID: 206546)

1940 Chicago Coin "Fox Hunt"

By bingopodcast

3 years ago

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  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Vic_Camp
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    #1 3 years ago

    A friend (RyanClaytor) and I were discussing various machines that were coming up in our area or on ebay one day, and this beautiful Fox Hunt appeared. We discussed how impressive the artwork was on this game, and Ryan wistfully sighed that he wouldn't mind owning it.

    That one sold.

    Time passed, and eventually one of us found another! It was going to be sold at the York show, but Ryan wasn't going to be there this year (2017).

    I offered to pick up and fix up for him while I was there as part of the third annual Bingo Row (https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/bingo-row-at-the-2017-york-show), showing off my creation, the Multi-Bingo (https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/multi-bingo-machine) - and I wanted to document some of the struggles with this particular game. It's a weird one!

    #2 3 years ago

    Here's the before pic of the playfield: look closely and you'll see the bits of brown rubber that have bonded to every surface.

    IMG_20171002_103051 (resized).jpg

    This was as unloaded from the van in October of 2017. The missing plastics were luckily inside the game, near the transformer. You may notice that the diamond posts near the drain are illuminated! One of many interesting touches.

    #3 3 years ago

    Some more close up shots:
    IMG_20171010_132604 (resized).jpg
    IMG_20171010_132915 (resized).jpgIMG_20171010_132617 (resized).jpgIMG_20171010_132611 (resized).jpgIMG_20171010_132608 (resized).jpg

    #4 3 years ago

    Something appears amiss here inside one of the only components in the cabinet:

    IMG_20171010_133554 (resized).jpg

    #5 3 years ago

    Let's look in the head:

    Hmm IMG_20171010_233409 (resized).jpg

    HMM IMG_20171010_233416 (resized).jpg

    HMMM!! IMG_20171010_233405 (resized).jpg

    A lil bit dusty.

    #6 3 years ago

    Ooh, a mechanical timer! Always neat to see this in a game. Typically means that the game was originally battery-powered, but the transformer looks factory.

    Wait, what?

    IMG_20171011_202943 (resized).jpg

    Typically, in a battery-powered machine, this cuts off what amounts to coil power. Not so in this case - it cuts off 120V!

    #7 3 years ago

    IMG_20171010_133257 (resized).jpg

    Underside of the playfield - here you can see the timer (middle left) and various other components. Daisy-chained wiring to all lamps and... bumpers? This wiring design is also a hallmark of a battery-operated game. Again, there is no indication this was ever battery operated. An odd changeover game.

    #8 3 years ago

    Here's one of my famous in focus shots showing off the interesting single screw coil stop design that Chicago Coin used until sometime in the 50s:

    IMG_20171011_203305 (resized).jpg

    And another showing off some of the dust and grease removed from this one coil sleeve after one alcohol-covered swipe.

    IMG_20171011_204108 (resized).jpg

    The coil sleeves in this game are part of the coil itself - meaning, you cannot remove the sleeve without changing the entire coil. No reason unless the sleeve has been badly damaged or the coil is dead. More on that later...

    #9 3 years ago

    Ooh, a condenser! This is a spark-suppression capacitor. The earliest use I've seen (but it's pretty rare my opportunity to work on pre-wars).

    IMG_20171011_205648 (resized).jpg

    #10 3 years ago

    Under the bumper:

    On every other game with electrified bumpers from this era I've ever seen, a carbon ring was used to allow current to flow. For whatever reason, on this game, Chicago Coin decided to use these odd riveted circles.

    IMG_20171011_211928 (resized).jpg

    #11 3 years ago

    Cool older plug with an interesting attachment method for the male wires! Prior to starting work on this game, I hadn't seen this type before, but now I've seen a few games that use this style.

    IMG_20171011_213337 (resized).jpg

    Got the backglass out - looks like there's a few lamps to check/change.

    IMG_20171011_224027 (resized).jpg

    #12 3 years ago

    With that out of the way, now I can start to work on the mechanicals:

    IMG_20171011_230333 (resized).jpg

    Each stepper is tied together electrically, and the frames are energized as well. Wiring convenience-driven, but if one of those sockets touches anything - zap!

    #13 3 years ago

    My photos might be out of order, but I think I had everything cleaned and mechanically working at this point. You may notice the steppers are mounted horizontally instead of vertically (this will come back into play later), but for now - time to work on the cabinet hardware!

    IMG_20171011_233854 (resized).jpg

    Ball lifter assembly - yuk - frozen solid in place. Old grease had solidified.

    IMG_20171011_234216 (resized).jpg

    Took the trough out too - need to clean the ball drop/trough area to keep dirt from getting right back in the assembly. Might as well polish the metal while it's out.

    Glamour shot of clean stepper:

    IMG_20171013_000719 (resized).jpg

    Better clean that bell while I'm in here. Also, notice the two 'coils in a can' on this unit. This one handles scores. It will come back into play later.

    You might notice some rust - it is superficial and after a light sanding, does not impact coil pull or mechanical.

    #14 3 years ago

    IMG_20171013_124350 (resized).jpg

    See that tiny spring? On one of the units, the spring had broken. It is necessary for the spring to be there to allow the unit to ratchet up properly. Wonder why it broke? *muffled wrestling* oh, the unit is basically frozen solid with old grease.

    #15 3 years ago

    Did I mention there's a lot of lamps?

    IMG_20171014_110130 (resized).jpg

    There are. Each one had had some kind of dialectric grease applied that had hardened, and corroded the spring holding the screw-base lamp, and the socket itself. These were a walk in the park compared to the bumper lamps, though.

    IMG_20171014_110138 (resized).jpg

    Interestingly, the lamps used for replays (smaller holes in upper-left area) used a different type of socket, which appears more reliable, and the lamps unscrewed easily. I'm guessing they were more expensive.

    #16 3 years ago

    Thanks for all the pics. Love to see these old games. I've had a few games from this period which also used a timer to switch the AC line voltage on and off. Likely it saved some money, and on this game it kept the backglass from getting cooked by all of those bulbs.

    #17 3 years ago
    Quoted from Biffbar:

    Likely it saved some money, and on this game it kept the backglass from getting cooked by all of those bulbs.

    I love 'em too. The timer is interesting to me for a couple reasons: 1) There is a knock-off switch under the cab. Won't work when timer is inactive.
    2) There's a free play relay - also won't work when timer is inactive.

    Hope you're a quick player, otherwise, you can't play your replays! Also, to show the location owner and get paid, you'd have to be quick or willing to spend another nickel.

    #18 3 years ago

    You should haul this down to TPF and throw it in my booth


    #19 3 years ago

    Time to start playfield strip down to see what we're really working with here:

    IMG_20171014_113405 (resized).jpg

    IMG_20171014_114448 (resized).jpg

    I use a towel wrapped around a big pair of pliers to remove the posts holding the surround springs.

    IMG_20171014_115724 (resized).jpg

    That's better.

    IMG_20171014_144323 (resized).jpg
    Get those bumpers off!

    #20 3 years ago

    Check out this #2 near the number 2.

    IMG_20171014_144341 (resized).jpg

    It's really really old rubber that dry rotted/wet rotted(?)/fused to the playfield. You can sort of get it up if you can get under it, but it is adhered pretty well.

    IMG_20171014_145029 (resized).jpg

    Some more.

    IMG_20171014_145603 (resized).jpg

    Got it.

    IMG_20171014_170403 (resized).jpg

    Nerve wracking.

    IMG_20171014_171947 (resized).jpg

    Ahh! Much better.

    #21 3 years ago

    IMG_20171014_173324 (resized).jpg

    All clean.

    Remember those cabinet parts?

    IMG_20171014_182148 (resized).jpg

    IMG_20171014_184325 (resized).jpg

    Wax is good stuff.

    IMG_20171015_001112 (resized).jpg

    #22 3 years ago

    An example of a dirty bumper:

    IMG_20171015_014711 (resized).jpg


    IMG_20171015_011452 (resized).jpg

    So to clean these, again, I used an xacto and scraped away the goo. Polished and put a little bit of gojo hand cleaner on to bring out a shine.

    The interior socket, I used a socket cleaning stick and really scrubbed a lot.

    IMG_20171015_011438 (resized).jpg

    You may be asking, "Nick, why did you keep those sockets in the bumpers?" Well, good question. The reason is that these are the old style bumper sockets. So old that they just used plain ol nails as the posts on the socket, and the socket itself is flat. It is a major PITA to remove the nails and clean the socket as it is small and fragile. Glamour shot above is post stick usage/pre cleanup. It leaves little bits of flake inside.

    The sockets themselves were corroded and yellowed in every crevice. Yeesh.

    #23 3 years ago

    More bumper goodness:

    IMG_20171016_234019 (resized).jpg
    IMG_20171016_235000 (resized).jpg

    And one of the most stubborn sockets. Bulb envelope broke (most did), and lots of pliers, twisting, whispered swearing (I work on games after family is asleep, typically) were involved in getting this out.
    IMG_20171018_210853 (resized).jpg

    #24 3 years ago

    Tired of bumper pics yet?

    IMG_20171018_224839 (resized).jpg

    There are a lot on this game. You get the idea.

    Playfield parts!

    IMG_20171018_234951 (resized).jpg

    #25 3 years ago

    IMG_20171019_223819 (resized).jpg

    Cleaned, shined bumper caps (that one 4 was faded before I started!)

    IMG_20171019_131330 (resized).jpg

    Sanded/polished screws and posts.

    #26 3 years ago

    Shooter lane guide before/after.

    IMG_20171019_233416 (resized).jpg

    IMG_20171020_000330 (resized).jpg

    #27 3 years ago

    Wooden surround for the playfield - these typically clean up quite well, for those of you bingo-lovers out there.

    IMG_20171020_220808 (resized).jpg


    IMG_20171020_233335 (resized).jpg

    Instruction card was carefully removed, cleaned, and reattached. Wood surround was waxed as well (why not?).

    IMG_20171020_234247 (resized).jpg

    #28 3 years ago

    I came here to see "the fire" Looking good otherwise!

    #29 3 years ago

    Good things come to those who wait!

    IMG_20171021_002508 (resized).jpg

    Shooter rod polished. Some of the rust created large pits. Stopped sanding while there was still a rod to sand.

    IMG_20171021_005132 (resized).jpg

    Bell's looking a bit better now...

    IMG_20171021_230704 (resized).jpg

    Reassembled and started repopulating.

    IMG_20171021_231937 (resized).jpg

    Little more...

    IMG_20171021_233442 (resized).jpg


    IMG_20171022_005714 (resized).jpg

    #30 3 years ago

    IMG_20171022_005944 (resized).jpg

    Everything back in place... now for rubbers and springs:

    IMG_20171022_011351 (resized).jpg

    IMG_20171022_011354 (resized).jpg

    Oh yeah, the front of the cabinet!

    IMG_20171022_013921 (resized).jpg

    I suspect this photo was taken after polishing the cabinet, since the colors mostly match under the shooter housing.

    Edit: no, no it's not. It's filthy and was from before cleaning. I'm just blind. The left side of the cabinet shows the real story.

    #31 3 years ago

    IMG_20171022_113028 (resized).jpg

    Sanding begins.

    IMG_20171022_114943 (resized).jpg

    Cab work to do.

    IMG_20171022_130214 (resized).jpg

    Probably shouldn't have, but I polished the metal sides of the playfield. They are rough from handling, hammering, lifting playfield, etc. Looks better than it did before, I think, but of course not perfect.

    #32 3 years ago

    I was wrong earlier - here's the front before:

    IMG_20171022_132214 (resized).jpg

    And after...

    IMG_20171022_135347 (resized).jpg

    Looking a bit better now...

    IMG_20171022_144031 (resized).jpg

    IMG_20171102_205955_365 (resized).jpg

    Sandin some legs...

    #33 3 years ago

    IMG_20171104_122746 (resized).jpg

    Stained and lightly poly'd.

    IMG_20171104_142938 (resized).jpg

    Finish with 0000 steel wool for a soft feel. Then wax.

    #34 3 years ago

    Had to bust out the tap n' die set for the legs.

    IMG_20171104_151014 (resized).jpg

    IMG_20171104_150539 (resized).jpg

    Polishing the coin slide - love reading the patent numbers on them.

    IMG_20171104_161924_231 (resized).jpg

    Check out these trip relays! This one's for tilt. Whopping three trip relays in this game.

    IMG_20171107_065109 (resized).jpg

    #35 3 years ago

    Hey! Remember how I said that timer switch cut off 120V?

    IMG_20171119_155126_553 (resized).jpg

    Well, the electrolock also has 120V. I left the electrolock jumpered during troubleshooting for some stupid reason, and closed the game up for the night.

    Came back the next day and wanted to establish my baseline. "What's the burning smell?" *Fwooosh*

    IMG_20171119_155200_999 (resized).jpg

    Alas, poor jumper wire.

    That was a fun time.

    The only thing damaged was this (undersized) jumper wire. Thankfully.

    I'm going to chalk that up to a lack of sleep. It's been a rough couple of months.

    Thankfully, no permanent harm done. I should have thought about it and realized they were 120V wires on that electrolock. I should have also measured, or traced the wires. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Well, now I will remember that lesson forever!

    #36 3 years ago

    OK, let's look at this mess again.

    IMG_20171119_182952 (resized).jpg

    At this point, I had all the reset coils working, and some step up coils. Momentary relays were mostly working as well as trips. But I was unable to get stepups to work, and no lamps. Also, there's that one questionable loose wire.

    Well, time to get to work. With no schematic, I had to trace wires (that thing I mentioned I should've done earlier).

    I'm not a fan of this type of power distribution. The screw terminals are great when there's no rust.

    Also, they allow a technician shotgunning to put wires in incorrectly (not me!). *foreshadowing*

    #37 3 years ago

    Loaded some balls in the trough at some point in here...

    IMG_20171119_230930 (resized).jpg

    And began splitting apart the bundle to trace wires. My meter told me that I had 6V and could ignore the unpopulated lug on the transformer. My meter lied to me. I jumpered all over this game to get 6V to work - tested every socket manually against a 9V battery - everything worked out of the game, but nothing worked in the game.

    IMG_20171119_230939 (resized).jpg

    #38 3 years ago

    IMG_20171124_024206_407 (resized).jpg

    Someone had previously put the wrong wires on various bundles. This caused some trouble, but I was able to diagnose relatively easily. The nice thing about the power block is that you can easily see what goes where.

    Meanwhile, still no lamps, and I was starting to get concerned.

    I started to swap out the transformer with a spare just in case my meter was wrong. But it only constantly steers me wrong, what could be different about this time?

    #39 3 years ago

    IMG_20171124_233043_246 (resized).jpg

    More jumpering to diagnose bad coils! Turned out that the step up coils on both the scores and replay units were cooked.

    #40 3 years ago

    Let Ryan know the status, and he offered to get me a new meter. I told him it's a really personal choice, like buying someone underwear - I'll stop being cheap at some point, but the meter seems--- to be working.

    A few days later, I caved. The meter was steering me completely wrong. I asked him to send me a nice analog meter to replace my busted DMM.

    ... meter arrives...

    I unpack it, test the wires that said 6V - oh, 0V! That would explain it. Remember a long time ago, that loose wire on the playfield? Turns out that a shorted lamp socket had caused it to heat enough to desolder from the male side of the jones plug in the bottom of the cab. I had assumed that that was the case at one point, but dismissed it due to meter readings.

    The female side had vaporized, or was vacuumed with the mouse poo. Mice never lived in this machine, but they ran through it a lot. Quite a bit of poop, but no other real problems.

    Original transformer was not outputting a consistent 6V. It would fluctuate wildly (up to 30V!).

    Had that figured out in about 10 seconds with the new meter (thanks Ryan), but not before destroying a couple of bulbs from all the previous testing. Popped in a replacement transformer from a Williams game on High Tap (30V/6V). Fixed!

    #41 3 years ago

    IMG_20171219_211040 (resized).jpg

    Re-dressed wires that I split apart to trace. I re-lace the cables rather than zip tie.

    #42 3 years ago

    IMG_20171219_215827_401 (resized).jpg

    "Coil in a can". This is one of the shorted coils. Very difficult to remove from the machine, but I got it.

    IMG_20171219_222951_363 (resized).jpg

    Pried open the casing, then hammered out the coil.

    *poof* Big cloud of soot comes with. Probably not a good sign. Didn't mention how the game was overfused (30A) on the lamps/coils line. Wonder how it cooked?

    Called Steve Young - he did not have the specs for the coil. Well, might as well make my own.

    IMG_20171219_224229_173 (resized).jpg

    Time to get counting. I put a notebook beside me and counted each winding. Writing down the number every 50 or so turns so that I wouldn't confuse myself.

    IMG_20171219_230421_943 (resized).jpg

    Got it. Made just a little mess.

    #43 3 years ago

    IMG_20171223_020052_250 (1) (resized).jpg

    This one looks ok... hey! Notice what's different between the coils?

    The insulator plate is intact on this one! The other burned so badly it burned it up.

    This one measured about 3 Ohms, as did the burned one. It looked ok, but some of the wire coating had melted.

    Had to unwind/count/rewind this one as well.

    IMG_20171224_124112 (resized).jpg

    Christmas coils!

    IMG_20171229_224844_124 (resized).jpg

    Hey, look! Lamps!

    IMG_20171229_234659_203 (resized).jpg

    Had to do some fine-tuning of the mechanicals. Remember near the beginning when I said it was important that the units were horizontal? I guess gravity is more of a factor than I thought - the mechanicals needed slight tweaking - most especially this unit with the green coil.

    IMG_20180102_205501 (resized).jpg

    That's better.

    IMG_20180102_205614 (resized).jpg


    IMG_20180102_205800 (resized).jpg

    #44 3 years ago

    This is another unique aspect.

    Your goal is to advance one or more horses to the bottom of the backglass to catch the fox.

    On the right side is a 'selection' the number horse you are trying to advance right now.

    Every time you hit a yellow bumper, you change your selection.

    Once you get down to the bottom, those green light towers illuminate, and a replay is added if you drain without changing your selection to one that has not made it to the fox.

    After a typical game, I can get a horse to the third or fourth position. Very tough.

    The red bumper is actually key - aside from providing between 200 and 1000 points per hit, it will also advance your horses a random amount 1-2 or 3 positions!
    The only time I earned a special was with this feature. It handles this without a motor by stepping an underplayfield stepper. If it contacts a rivet, it will keep pulsing the score and horse coils until it steps off of a rivet. Pretty clever!

    Another oddity is the points system - you may notice that everything scores 200 points minimum - in fact the selection shows 00, 200, 400, 600, etc!

    Down at the bottom of the playfield are two diamond posts - each has a standup switch in front. If you hit the ball back and forth in there, you can get a good 1000 points before you drain. Don't do it if you have replays available, though!

    Here's a little video of the game in action.

    There's gonna be a little repeat of some of the stuff mentioned above. Sorry about that. This is much more documentation than I usually provide, but wanted to provide Ryan with a little record of this game.

    #46 3 years ago

    Beautiful! You never cease to amaze me Nick. Very inspirational.

    #47 3 years ago

    Thanks Dennis, just doing what we all love and trying to put some info out about these great older games.

    #48 3 years ago

    Wow Nick. What a great job. That is such a cool restoration. I learned a great deal from your descriptions and though processes. Back to Shoot-A-Line and my own mini-nightmare. Thanks again for the assistance and inspiration. Fun stuff !!!!!

    #49 3 years ago

    Thanks corkgiants! You've done wonders with that game so far. Hope we're playing it together soon.

    2 weeks later
    #50 3 years ago

    Magnificent restoration and well worth all the expertise that went into the game. Nice player.

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