(Topic ID: 218233)

Comox Valley students bring an old Bingo pinball back to life...

By bleargh

11 months ago

Topic Stats

  • 13 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 11 months ago by SirScott
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


Linked Games

#1 11 months ago

A few years back, I came into a handful of Bingo pinball machines as part of a bulk buy. Although I was only looking for a pair of matching machines, the price was too good to pass up, and so I bought seven machines. Well, six-and-a-half; got six full machines, plus an extra "parts" body.

However, as many good plans go, time went by and those machines just collected dust in my basement.

Last December, though, during a parent/teacher interview, my son's teachers asked what I like to do for fun in my spare time. When they learned that I liked to restore old beat up pinball machines, they were not only surprised to hear it but also thought it would make a really cool class "reverse engineering project". Before I could say anything, my wife "volunteered" a pair of machines for the class.

We delivered two-and-a-half "Bally Big Time" machines to the class in January, and the students (Grade 6/7) have spent the last few months stripping the machines down, cleaning them up, and trying to get one machine up and running again.

Today, was our big "reveal" to their parents, teachers, and the local media.



I'd go in and help out every other week for an hour, mostly just pointing them in the right direction, and pointing out things to be careful of or to watch out for. As things progressed that became once a week, then twice a week, and then this last week I've had two full days out in their classroom helping get the last quirks sorted out.

Along with all of the hard work put in by the students, we were also thrilled to receive the help of Kevin Hull at "Hidden Treasures Restoration" up here in Royston, BC. While pinball isn't his thing (although they do a bunch of other restoration, not just automotive), he was generous enough to help us out with getting the playfields clearcoated so they'll be sure to stand the test of time a while longer.

By the time the students were all said and done, the machine was *fully* functional again, and everyone was excited to turn it on today and play a few rounds of Bingo.

Still lots going through my head from the excitement of the day, and all the little anecdotes and things that happened along the way, but I just had to stop in and share.

#2 11 months ago

Right under my nose and I didn’t realize it! Great to see young kids restoring classic games.

#3 11 months ago

Thank you for sharing, and sharing with the students! Sharing the joy of repair with children is something that I think will help them throughout their lives, not just with pinball.

Congratulations to you and all the students! Big Time has a lot of mechanical action - a great choice to restore.

#4 11 months ago
Quoted from bingopodcast:

Sharing the joy of repair with children is something that I think will help them throughout their lives, not just with pinball.


My most memorable moments from this whole process were those times that the students asked the good questions or had "lightbulb moments". Seeing their brains work through the process and figure out how it all worked was a real treat. Best of all, it was generally those lightbulb moments that helped us figure out what was wrong with one piece or another that was giving us trouble.

As the project progressed, it also became clear to the students that all of the "reverse engineering" and "problem solving" that they were doing was applicable to sooooo much more than just working on this one rebuild. That on it's own made the whole thing worthwhile.

#5 11 months ago

Now that is a great story, contribution is king. Congratulation to you, but more importantly to the kids that will remember you, the game, and the process for a lifetime.

#6 11 months ago

That game came out fabulous.
So wonderful to see a bunch of today's kids exposed to relays, steppers, search units, and the like. This type of technology, and pinball in general, is almost universally appealing; it's just a matter of actually exposing people to it, so that they can discover it for themselves.
Now the question is, who's going to bring that sweet game home?

#7 11 months ago

Aired on Edmonton CTVED. During the 6PM news today.

#8 11 months ago
Quoted from jrpinball:

Now the question is, who's going to bring that sweet game home?

I left that open for the class to decide.

I started off with six Bingo machines, and would love to have one functional/working machine for myself. Whether that ends up being that Big Time machine or whether it's one of the others, doesn't really matter to me. I've suggested to the class that for next year they can either finish off the second Big Time or whether I bring them a pair of Bally Broadway machines to work on (and they can start from scratch all over again).

I also told them that if we get more than one working, we can discuss other options like a class fundraiser, or leaving one with the guys at Hidden Treasures Restoration (who donated time/materials for clearcoating the playfields) (and who has a nice sized show-room out front).

#9 11 months ago
Quoted from Darcy:

Aired on Edmonton CTVED. During the 6PM news today.

Really? Aw, that's SWEET! Thanks for letting us know!

#10 11 months ago
Quoted from Darcy:

Aired on Edmonton CTVED. During the 6PM news today.

is there a link for viewing?

1 week later
#11 11 months ago
Quoted from Vic_Camp:

is there a link for viewing?

Original post at the top contains a link to the video that aired on CTV Vancouver Island, as well as the short vid posted by our local newspaper.

That said, though, if someone has a link to the video that aired in Edmonton, I'd be interested in seeing that one too.

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