(Topic ID: 141408)

Bingo Row at York 2015

By bingopodcast

8 years ago

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    #1 8 years ago

    This is the thread to detail the bingo row at York 2015. This was a once-in-a-lifetime event that took months of planning.

    Collectors and enthusiasts from all over the Eastern United States got together and brought the machines.

    For me, it all started on Wednesday. I and a couple friends loaded my five machines in the Penske truck.


    Bounty, Night Club, Gay Time, Ticker Tape and Double-Up.

    I got my start Thursday at 5AM. I offered to go to a local collector's home and fix as many games as possible to bring to the show.

    I fixed a few games, and we ended up loading three additional games: Nashville, Miss Universe, and the crown jewel of this collection - an extremely low play Silver Sails.




    Then, it was time to move the games to the York fairgrounds and unload the bingos! Jeffrey Lawton was on hand with his excellent bingo cart, thankfully.



    A listener to the For Amusement Only Podcast's friend ended up bringing a Big Time! Which was awesome and unexpected!
    A Bikini and A Circus Queen also appeared that had been discussed as coming. My friend Steve Smith brought his beautifully restored Golden Gate, which was placed directly beside the Silver Sails.


    Thursday ended with a fun note in the hotel room:


    #2 8 years ago

    Day 2: Friday

    I woke up, went to Rutter's with Steve Smith and got a sandwich for breakfast + one for lunch. We went to the fairgrounds, and I began working on the machines and fixing minor issues.

    Hugh Kown had arrived the evening before. It was excellent to meet Hugh and shake his hand.

    I had an EM for sale as well, which decided to break a connection to the 25V line off the transformer. With the help of a listener, I found and fixed that, then started working as one of several bingo ambassadors. Here's the local collector Jim with Jeffrey Lawton.


    As part of my podcast, I was running a little contest - anyone that could make a four in a row on any of the machines would win one of the bingo pinball books, autographed by Jeffrey Lawton!

    We had 11 total winners on day 1!


    The Nashville ended up breaking down - it needed a full shop job and I just fixed some hacks (some relays were cut, etc) and got it playable. We were down to 11! The Big Time left with the owner at the end of the day as well, so we were down to 10!

    The good news is that I was able to do a quick and dirty set of fixes to the Bikini and get it playable (fixing coin switch wiring, a timer issue, a scoring issue and an odds issue). I refined this on Saturday and made it play a bit better, but it also needed a full shop job. Friday ended with fewer games, but with great progress to imparting the fun and skill involved in the bingos to a whole new set of people.

    #3 8 years ago

    Day 3:

    The day started off with a bang - remember, we were down two machines! Folks continued to pour in to play the bingos, and Vic Camp arrived, bringing his Coney Island!


    (Pictured here with the final contest winner while wearing a great shirt ).

    Vic's Coney Island was a great addition, and brought our numbers back up to 11.

    Partway through the day, another bingo arrived! A United Caravan that I made a deal on while preparing for the show.


    Here's Hugh, Steve and Jeffrey checking out the new game. Just like every other pinhead, bingo guys like to see a new game, too!


    Jeffrey also got a photo with the last winner.


    Steve in front of his game (also wearing a great shirt) - I cheated a little, this one is from Day 2.


    Me in front of part of the bingo row. Believe it or not, it was hard to get a photo due to the frequency of people playing. This was also Day 2.


    A new bingo player gets into the swing of things.



    Looking down Bingo Row.

    #4 8 years ago

    Very cool. I sure wish I could have made it to the show.
    You guys really put a lot of work into making this happen.

    I got a kick out of the comment, "fix as many games as we could", as if fixing a Bingo was as straightforward as a normal EM pinball machine.
    Chris Hibler - CARGPB #31
    http://www.PinWiki.com - The Place to go for Pinball Repair Info

    #5 8 years ago

    Now that is some serious dedication! Wow.

    #6 8 years ago

    At this point, the show started to slow (which is how I was able to take the above photo).

    But not before I had a friend take my favorite photo of the entire show:


    Left-Right: Jeffrey Lawton (Bingo book author and master technician), Jon Robinette (bingo collector), Hugh Kown (the Old Binger and master restoration and technical expert), Vic Camp (bingo player and collector), Steve Smith (bingo player and restorer), and myself (bingo neophyte).

    When the show closed, we formed a bingo pit crew (as Vic said) to load up the games - this was an overwhelming, awesome thing - all the folks pictured above, plus some of my buddies from around VA were on hand to help with the task of disassembly and loading the games.

    Jeffrey's son was a huge help on day 1 - we absolutely could not have unloaded the games without his help.

    A BIG thank you go out to all the collectors that made this first ever bingo row possible, as well as the folks that run the York show for allotting the space for these games. Thank you as well to the folks that were willing to give these games a shot and learn about the unique features and gameplay of these complex, amazing games.

    I think it was a smashing success, and was happy to be a part of it!

    If you came through and played, let me know! I was excited to meet so many folks there. A special thanks go out to all the listeners that came up and introduced themselves to me. It's always gratifying to know that people cared enough to listen and wanted to see these games for themselves. We had some beautiful games there this year - I hope everyone had as much fun as I did.

    #7 8 years ago

    Sure was awesome to see all those bingo machines lined up and working! I tried to explain how they worked to the wife but she was still jittery from all the coffee we drank on the ride there.

    #8 8 years ago

    ChrisHibler - I love the bingos, obviously, and I love to work on them. They are fairly straightforward once you've worked on a dozen or two . In fact, having seen pictures of the inside of a United game previously, I was excited to pick up the Caravan, thinking that it would have a different circuit design (similar to the ball bowlers) than the Bally games I was used to, but was disappointed to see the standard Bally circuits and playfield design replaced the unique United style used in previous games. I like a challenge. Oh, well. I had diagnosed all of the problems on that collectors' bingos remotely a month or two in advance of the show, and re-confirmed at the house. I retimed a magic screen unit while I was there, but the game had a burned screen lock coil, so didn't make it, unfortunately.

    That collector, Jim, also had a couple of Keeney 6 cards, which would have been cool to get to the show, but one had been on fire, and the other had been converted to Single Coin so that you could not win more than a single replay. Those games did not have lockbars, and the Keeney games had three buttons to control search and payout. Really cool cabinets (of course I didn't take a photo like a dummy), and very unique!

    #9 8 years ago

    Here's a photo of Pete and his son, who brought the Circus Queen after we loaded the game:


    Pete was a huge help with getting the United into the show, along with the seller.

    He always brings a nice selection of games to York, and very glad he brought a bingo this year.

    #10 8 years ago

    Great stuff, thanks for posting.

    I probably played about half of those on Saturday and was impressed with the selection as well as the condition of the machines. Well done, folks!

    #11 8 years ago

    Thanks Agent57! It was great to be able to share these unique games with the community. Jeffrey normally brings two to three games every year. We are already talking about next year...

    #12 8 years ago
    Quoted from bingopodcast:

    This is the thread to detail the bingo row at York 2015.

    I am so jealous right now. SOOO wish I could have attended. Great work orchestrating this.

    Quoted from bingopodcast:

    We are already talking about next year.

    Thank goodness! Because of your extensive coverage and the diversity of games I saw in several posts, my sights are already set on York 2016.

    #13 8 years ago

    I still have never learned how to play any of these things but it was amazing looking at the row of them from a distance. And hey, you caught my Mom and I setting up my pin in one of your pictures.

    Great to see, didn't know it was even planned as heavily as it was. Awesome job guys. Major contribution to the show I'm sure, seems like many maaaaaany people enjoyed playing all of these machines.

    #14 8 years ago

    Thanks Otaku, come see me next year and I'll show you how to play. These games are my favorite for a reason (they are really fun and challenging)!

    Ryan, ya better be there next year.

    #15 8 years ago

    I really wish I could have made it this year, but I was in charge of our 150 person office move which took most of the weekend and almost caused me a heart attack.

    I wanted to be there for both pins and Bingos.

    I was pretty good at Bingos in the early 80's and cleaned up at a few bars I frequented.

    I helped diagnose and repair a Bally last year and was amazed at the complexity.

    I also almost broke my back getting it into his basement so kudos to those who set up the row. I'd be happy to chip in some Aleve for you.

    I'm planning to pick up a bingo next time I see one just to round out my small contingent and it's good to know we have active members on here that can help me.


    #16 8 years ago

    Bert - the games are lots of fun to work on - some circuits require figuring out both what the circuit designer intended and what the technician who modified it intended, then going from there.

    The Bally manuals and schematics are incredibly good (for the most part), so I find them wonderful to work on.

    The trick to moving a bingo is to lift as little as possible... that said, I'd take some Aleve. We used a combination of two hydraulic lift carts to move the heads onto the cabinets with legs on. You can also do it with one, but it is a little more difficult.

    The cart used for the magic screens and mystic lines should be the heavier duty Harbor Freight cart - it comes up to the edge of a Penske truck. At home I have the wimpier cart which allows me to get in between the front legs of a woodrail bingo. This way you basically just have to shuffle the head back and forth to get it onto / off of the cab/cart.

    I've been deeply involved with smaller office moves and that were hard enough at 1/5 of the people, so I feel for you.

    When you get a bingo, let me know! I'm pretty active here and in the bingo community and am happy to help any time! I love seeing people get a bingo.

    If you haven't yet, check out my show at http://foramusementonly.libsyn.com - I interview bingo and EM folks and discuss various methods of cleaning and repairing or restoring your machines.

    #17 8 years ago


    This young man went down the row and played each game. There were several children that played the games with their parents looking on, which was cool to see.

    My own children really like the bingos, and their friends also enjoy them, so it is neat to see other kids enjoying them, too!

    #18 8 years ago

    It's tough to really nudge a big heavy bingo while standing on a plastic stool and weighing only 45 pounds...
    Chris Hibler - CARGPB #31
    http://www.PinWiki.com - The Place to go for Pinball Repair Info

    #19 8 years ago

    A bingo is easier than a horse race game - my daughters both manage to nudge a bingo pretty well (5 and 8).

    The ones with the hoppers installed aftermarket... not so much.

    #21 8 years ago


    This Night Club is one of my favorite games. I spent about a month getting it to live. Did a playfield swap, found a new glass, new side rails, etc. Winning on a line with quadruple odds feels good, especially with the faster control unit motor for speedy payoff.

    #22 8 years ago

    I pulled my Bally 1951 Coney Island three card bingo from my collection a few days before my planned Saturday trip to the BINGO ROW. It didn't need any work mechanically,because i play it regularly. I did cleaned and wax the cabinet and playfield. I also polished the balls and tested to make sure all worked correctly.

    Friday night i loaded the game in the rain with my son Michael and packed up what i needed for the next day. I put the cabinet in the back seat and the head in the trunk. The next day i got up at 5am and started on the road by 5:40am getting to the York show by 9am.

    After checking in at the desk, Jeffrey and Nick helped me get my Coney Island set up for all to enjoy at this spectacular Bingo Pinball event. As i walked through the show, i could not believe what i was seeing, when i came across those magnificent row of bingos standing so proud and beautiful.

    I have been to many pinball shows through the years and enjoyed them all, but this York show 2015 will be one that i will always remember and will stand out as one of the most important shows ever for me. The reason being is because of the love and passion i have for the bingo pinball machine.

    I want to thank all the bingo collectors for organizing this Bingo Row extravaganza and i was proud to be part of such an important moment in time for the bingo pinball machine. Hopefully this year York show BINGO ROW has caught the attention of other pinball collectors to wanting to add a bingo pinball to their collection and save these wonderful machines from being forgot about.

    YorkShow2015 111.JPGYorkShow2015 111.JPGYorkShow2015 047.JPGYorkShow2015 047.JPG
    YorkShow2015 048.JPGYorkShow2015 048.JPGYorkShow2015 044.JPGYorkShow2015 044.JPGYorkShow2015 061.JPGYorkShow2015 061.JPGYorkShow2015 062.JPGYorkShow2015 062.JPGYorkShow2015 103.JPGYorkShow2015 103.JPGYorkShow2015 104.JPGYorkShow2015 104.JPG

    #23 8 years ago

    Last night I was feeling up to fixing any issues that arose from moving the machines, and to begin on my tear-down of the Caravan.



    The shutter motor is arranged like a Gottlieb score motor - however, all the backbox components very closely resemble their Bally counterparts. I've got a couple of gummy motors to clean and a lamp issue on the third row of holes, then this one will be playing very well indeed.

    #24 8 years ago

    Now the real question is, will a bingo show up at Expo? Through the podcast(thouh I am pretty far behind) I have gotten the urge to play one.

    Maybe I will get that chance

    #25 8 years ago

    Thanks orangestorm87 - I hope you do. Let me know if you see any! I love all pinball, but there is absolutely nothing like the thrill of sinking that last ball you need to get a 5 in a row and hearing the sweet music of the replays racking up.

    Be sure to read the backglass and instruction card if you do see one at Expo. Red button starts all Bally/United bingos.

    #26 8 years ago


    Circus Queen: this game has one of my favorite art packages on any game. County Fair is the only Bally Bingo that comes to mind that has better art. Great magic screen gameplay with three in orange scores as green.

    This particular machine had black lacquer on the wood trim.

    #27 8 years ago

    This 1961 Bally Silver Sails that was at the York show was in truly "like new condition" with very low plays. I was amazed to see this bingo in all original condition, looking like it was just unboxed and played for a few months.

    I was glad i had a chance to play this bingo and don't think i'll ever play one in better original condition.Silver Sails is the same game as Golden Gate and both are one of the most collectable sought after bingos ever manufactured.

    Jim...thank you so much for bring this outstanding condition bingo pinball machine for all to see and play.

    YorkShow2015 040.JPGYorkShow2015 040.JPG YorkShow2015 042.JPGYorkShow2015 042.JPGYorkShow2015 105.JPGYorkShow2015 105.JPGYorkShow2015 106.JPGYorkShow2015 106.JPGYorkShow2015 107.JPGYorkShow2015 107.JPGYorkShow2015 108.JPGYorkShow2015 108.JPG

    #28 8 years ago

    Jim told me that once he got it back home he's been playing it quite a bit - hit it big a few times in a row - 899 credits!

    #29 8 years ago

    An amazing tribute and exhibition of Bingos! Wow!

    I've always been a bigger fan of Bingo history than the games themselves, but it's great to see such support for keeping this history alive. Nice work!

    #30 8 years ago

    Nick, It was a pleasure meeting you at York. Thank you for letting me play your games and explaining to me how they work.
    Thanks for the great pictures!

    #31 8 years ago

    York is now on my radar for 2016, so I hope the Bingo Row is an annual tradition. Heck, you guys should arrange something for Allentown...plenty of time to plan!


    #32 8 years ago

    Eric, absolutely! I hope you had fun.

    Rob, I'd love to organize a bingo row at every show! Logistically, though, I don't normally go to Allentown. I would definitely want to be there with games before asking someone else to bring them. I know York is crazy far away for some folks, and I am sorry for that.

    I've had an inside report that there are no bingos at Expo this year...

    #33 8 years ago


    As the second bingo that Bally produced, Vic's Coney Island was a rare treat. The fantastic water/theme park artwork and fast-paced three card gameplay are really great when coupled with the extra ball feature. I've done an episode about this machine discussing the difference in the internal components as compared to later models.

    As with most of the bingos, this game was played nonstop!

    Thank you Vic for coming out and sharing your passion and your game.

    It was so great to see you in person again. I highly admire your skill as a player and your enthusiasm as a bingo ambassador. I get the feeling that we'd be having lots of bingo nights if I lived closer!

    #34 8 years ago


    Steve Smith's fantastic restoration work on a Golden Gate. Steve is a woodworker and did a ton of work on this game.

    If you've listened to the podcast, before restoration, this was the game I burned the search index coil in right before my first trip to York...

    Seeing this beautiful game right next to the incredibly low-play Silver Sails was incredible! Both played and looked spectacular.

    If you notice on the magic screen area, Steve has added extra lamps to brighten up the bingo card. He has also added another lamp to the replay register.

    I want to thank Steve for getting me into bingo pinball, and for hauling his game at my insistence. At least I helped him load it! And I didn't burn his coil this time!

    #35 8 years ago

    Steve's Golden Gate was in phenomenal condition and his restoration work is right at the top with the best in the hobby. Here are a few more pictures of his pride and joy.

    YorkShow2015 041.JPGYorkShow2015 041.JPGYorkShow2015 052.JPGYorkShow2015 052.JPG
    YorkShow2015 047.JPGYorkShow2015 047.JPG

    Nick...thanks for the kind words.

    #36 8 years ago


    This topic is one of the best this year. If ever I missed an opportunity to see a special group of games this was it. Oh, and meeting the owners too of course.

    Is there any more info on the Bikini? If I get another bingo that is the one I want.


    #37 8 years ago

    Here's a couple of pictures of the Bikini on Bingo Row. I had one in my collection.


    #38 8 years ago

    Steve, thank you! It was truly a special event.

    Vic I'm glad you got some photos of the Bikini - I think I only had the one from setup.

    The Bikini as you can see, was in rough, but restorable condition. I was able to get it fully working and on free play during Friday. I don't think anyone brought this one home, though the current owner wanted it sold.

    Oddly enough, I'm working for a Bikini for a customer now...

    It is a very fun game and the futurity feature allows for much longer play sessions than most other screen games.

    #39 8 years ago


    The Bounty... One of the kings of the magic screen games. This game is from my collection, and performed well. It is the only game with the skill shot feature that allows for a win on your first shot via white button coin up.

    Very fun magic screen gameplay with improved replay circuit. I was initially not going to bring this game, but plans changed at the last minute. We had a very strong magic screen showing, which was excellent. Bounty was played a lot, but most magic screen players gravitated to the very beautiful golden gate and silver sails.

    An issue with the red letter award cropped up during the weekend which I have not yet addressed (high on my list).

    As with all the games in my collection, one of my very favorite games.

    #40 8 years ago

    The Bikini i had in my collection had a excellent condition playfield and NOS backglass. The cabinet needed work though. The mechanical condition was perfect. I bought the game from low key bingo and pinball collector that is on the top of the list as a master repair tech and restoration specialist.

    Go to link to read my rating and view pictures of the Bikini i had in my collection.


    #41 8 years ago


    Miss Universe - an interesting game.

    I don't think I played enough to get my feet under me. The game will spot up to four numbers, and has a moving lines feature to allow you to score in your highest odds value.

    Even with all that help, the game only has three balls - and the playfield only has 18 holes (the only with this layout), making it very difficult to put a winner together. I did manage to get a three in a row winner on the few games I played. The motor used is a high RPM, and the replays stack on very quickly.

    This particular model had multiple warnings that it was a three ball game, which I found amusing - it must have been a pretty confusing game for seasoned bingo players.

    I think it was an interesting experiment, certainly!

    #42 8 years ago

    I had two Miss Universe bingos that came in the Bill Doll from York PA package deal many years ago,but never had a chance to play either of them. I gave them both to a friend who helped with the package deal. The artwork,coloring and theme always attracted me to this bingo and thought the 18 holes were interesting. Not a big fan of the 3 ball game on a bingo pinball or flipper pinball either.

    I was glad to see one on Bingo Row and got a chance to play a few games on it. I like the size of the game and it has a good feel in my hands. I was able to make a few numbers i need for in line wins or what we players call hits. The playfield seemed a little strange to me because i only played 25 hole bingo on route back in the 1960's to the early 1990's,but i'm sure if i had the game for some years, i could incorporate my playing skills on the 18 hole bingo and hopefully beat it for some serious replays.

    The game play did feel much more open spaced,but i was off balance mentally and somewhat unsure when to apply my nudging skills too. Of course it was the playfield numbered hole layout design that made me feel that way,but like the play overall even though i wasn't use to the game.

    In the first two pictures you can view the side artwork...check out it out!

    YorkShow2015 054.JPGYorkShow2015 054.JPGYorkShow2015 063.JPGYorkShow2015 063.JPGYorkShow2015 055.JPGYorkShow2015 055.JPG

    #43 8 years ago

    Thanks Vic! I was hoping you'd chime in on Miss U. It looks like you could make some serious replays. The select a spot feature is pretty unique in the implementation, but it has to be to support the 3 ball play. If it comes again next year, I hope to put a few more games on it. I'd love to hit it for the 5-in-a-line odds, but I think it would be easiest to hit corners on this one.

    You have to be in absolutely top form to put together a good hit, though! A single ball in a hole you don't want and you basically lose your bet.

    #44 8 years ago

    I will say that I did find the playfield layout easier to nudge the ball to the ball return on Miss Universe than on normal 25 or even 20 hole bingos.

    #45 8 years ago

    Quite the interest in this bingo row, guess I will have to pick one up & see what all of the fuss is about.

    #46 8 years ago

    I've mostly been into vids since the late 90s, but am getting more into pins, especially early SS Bally.

    About 15yrs ago, I got a Carnival Queen bingo for dirt cheap. Reason was it was missing the backglass, the front wood trim on one side of the back box, and cabinet had sheet metal tacked around the sides to front of cabinet making it look like crap n

    I couldn't bear to get rid of it and by watching Ebay, I found an nos backglass a few years ago. I finally set it up this year with correct number of balls, and while it does stuff when I turn it on, it won't start a game. That's as far as I got and I do hope to diagnose it. I started cleaning the playfield and plan to touch it up and clearcoat it to preserve it. I think it's a heck of a mechanical curiosity.

    #47 8 years ago

    Go for it, dasvis! The games are super fun.

    Joey, Carnival Queen is a fun game (much better with a backglass). I'm happy to help if you'd like some advice, just PM me with your game's symptoms.

    #48 8 years ago

    Joey/dasvis and anyone else that has a bingo or is seriously thinking about adding one to their collection will get a head start on learning about them at the link below. This link is a must if you are a newcomer and getting into the bingo pinball machines.

    Many years ago read this article by Russ over and over again until I knew it like the back of my hand. It taught me a solid foundation to learning about how they work and what to look when problems are present.

    Go to link and study not just read.......but study and learn about this article by Russ Jensen "inside your bingo" to get yourself going in the right direction and when you do ask for help with your bingo, it will make for an easier time getting the game to work properly for sure. Go for it!


    #49 8 years ago

    Oh, I have been researching for the last couple of years...

    #50 8 years ago
    Quoted from Vic_Camp:

    Joey/dasvis and anyone else that has a bingo or is seriously thinking about adding one to their collection will get a head start on learning about them at the link below. This link is a must if you are a newcomer and getting into the bingo pinball machines.
    Many years ago read this article by Russ over and over again until I knew it like the back of my hand. It taught me a solid foundation to learning about how they work and what to look when problems are present.
    Go to link and study not just read.......but study and learn about this article by Russ Jensen "inside your bingo" to get yourself going in the right direction and when you do ask for help with your bingo, it will make for an easier time getting the game to work properly for sure. Go for it!

    I will study that. Thanks.

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