(Topic ID: 108014)

Bally Bongo EM GI question

By JustinAhrens

4 years ago

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  • 12 posts
  • 3 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by JustinAhrens
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#1 4 years ago

Hey Guys - I just picked up a 1964 Bally Bongo EM. It is in pretty good shape. I have read through the pinrepair guide, but I have some questions. Right now it plays ok. The two major issues are no GI lights at all, and the number matrix (like tic-tac-toe) does not function (no lights on play field or on backglass).

I have read that Bally machines startup with no GI lights until either the start button is pressed, or the left flipper is pressed. The left flipper thing seems to be for latter Bally machines though. While doing a visual inspection, I found this cut and taped wire near the left flipper button. It is wired into the original unmolested harness and goes to a plug connector that connects from the coin door. For the life of me, I do not see where this would have originally gone. The solder contacts on the left flipper look factory original. Any ideas?

I did find a blown 5amp 6V fuse. I replaced it with a correct one, but have noticed no changes after that.

I would appreciate any insight you guys can provide. If you can point me in the right direction, I would appreciate it. I have attached a photo of the cut wire in case that helps.

I would like to modify it so that the GI lights come on when I plug in the machine - if anyone knows how to do this on an older Bally, that would be great.


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#2 4 years ago

Well, I've made a little progress. I double checked and realized that the 6V fuse that I replaced earlier had blown again (not sure when). I replaced it, and now the 3x3 matrix is working - both on the playfield and on the back box. So my last major issue is no GI lights at all.

I also found the other end of the green wire. It runs through the connector and all the way to the back of the cabinet, right behind the transformer. It is not connected to anything there, but a small portion of it is stripped. Another strange thing is that there is a loop of it pulled out at the transformer. At first, I thought this might have been done by a previous owner, but the text and lettering on the wire is identical to other wires in the harness.

One thing I am confused about is that the inside of the coin door says "Line Voltage on this door". I don't see why there would be line voltage on the door. Perhaps this is what that wire was for - to bring line voltage to the door? Why would there be line voltage on the door.


#3 4 years ago

Generally, the hold or lock relay is responsible for turning on GI lights. I don't have a schematic, wish I did. Do you have one?

Check the hold relay and see if it is pulling in and all switches are making correctly.

The green wire sounds like a ground wire to me, given the color and where it is going.

I have a 1967 Bally Surfers. The GI comes on with the left flipper, so it's not just later Bally games.

As to why there is line voltage coming to the door, it might be that the start relay works off 115v instead of standard coil voltage. If so, that power is coming through the start button to the start relay when you push the start button. So in order to get that voltage to the start relay, it has to come through the front door, since the button is there.

#4 4 years ago

Thanks for the reply. So does your left flipper have three contacts? Mine only has two wires going to it, so I thought that meant it only operates the flipper, and not the GI lights. I'll double check the hold relay. Thanks again.

#5 4 years ago

Also, I did buy a schematic. Just waiting for it to come.

#6 4 years ago
Quoted from JustinAhrens:

Thanks for the reply. So does your left flipper have three contacts? Mine only has two wires going to it, so I thought that meant it only operates the flipper, and not the GI lights. I'll double check the hold relay. Thanks again.

It's been so long since I worked on the game, I truthfully don't remember. Contrary to what some of the Gottlieb fanboys on here will tell you, if you get a Bally or a Williams game dialed it, it tends to stay that way. I'll take a look but I seem to remember two switches on the left side. It would make sense, the circuit goes through there.

Turn the game on, and manually close the hold or lock relay and see if you get lights. It's pretty easy to find that relay if the label is gone. The wrapper for the coil will be a bit more brown than the others. It's a much higher resistance coil because it's on all the time, but even so, it will get warm.

#7 4 years ago

Here is the behavior I see:

Plug in the machine: nothing happens.
Press Left Flipper: nothing happens.
Press the start button: Everything except GI lights turn on and it resets the score wheels to zero. The game plays normally.

The labels are present, and there is a relay labeled Hold Volt.
When I try to manually engage the hold relay, I don't get anything at all. If I engage the anti cheat relay, I get a click, but nothing happens beyond that.

Your comment about the extra wire being a ground makes sense, since the ground side wire that runs from the plug connection to the fuse block is the exact same color and labeling. Perhaps it is supposed to ground the coin door?


#8 4 years ago

On second thought, it doesn't make sense for the ground wire to ground the coin door, because it is on a different harness than the coin door harness. Hopefully when the schematic arrives, I can figure it out.

#9 4 years ago

I don't know if this will help or not, but I took a look tonight at my Surfers. This game was made in 1967 so things are likely to be different but it might at least help you search around.

The GI lights are illuminated via the left flipper button, through the anti cheat relay. The switches in the anti cheat relay path are the front door anti cheat switch, the coin bounce switch, the left flipper button, and a score motor 1D switch. Those are all normally closed except for the flipper button switch. There are two switches on the left button, as I thought. Pushing the flipper button pulls in the anti cheat relay.

Once it is pulled in, it is held on via the above mentioned anti cheat and coin bounce switches, the "shut off" switch which is a switch that opens when you tap on the bottom of the game, so it should be normally closed, another normally closed bounce switch, and through its own switch on the anti cheat relay itself (lock in circuit). On this game, there are two 10 amp fuses in the lamp circuits.

It's not likely to be the same, but it gives you some idea of what turns on the GI lamps.

#10 4 years ago

Thanks for the detailed explanation. I've attached two photos of the left flipper. It only has two contacts, so I don't think it is in the circuit, but I'll look closely at all the items you mention. I got excited when you mentioned the coin door bounce switch. It is broken on mine, but the two leads are soldered together, so that is not the problem. Hopefully I get the schematic soon.

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#11 4 years ago

I,m not familiar with this title, however got to thinking whether the tilt (mercury switch) positioned near the flipper could be closed, causing the issue?

#12 4 years ago

Yeah, I thought about that also. One end if the switch was disconnected. I went ahead and jumped it to ground. I lifted the front, and sure enough when the mercury hits the contacts, the machine tilts. So it works properly when connected. Thanks for the suggestion though.

It is amazing how many tilt/bump switches this machine has!

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