(Topic ID: 189563)

Quieting down a loud bell?


By SkyKing2301

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 34 posts
  • 16 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by SkyKing2301
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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    #1 2 years ago

    Has anyone ever taken any action to quiet down a scoring bell? I recently acquired a '69 Williams machine and the bell is painfully loud. I'm considering building some kind of box to put around it, but wanted to see if any of you had any ideas / prior solutions before I went down that road.

    #2 2 years ago

    Rubber piece attached to the clapper or the bell where clapper contacts?

    When people are over I try like hell to get a extra ball on Black Knight. If they don't know it's coming it scares the shit out of them.

    #3 2 years ago

    Tape?

    #4 2 years ago

    Throw an old t-shirt over the bell to muffle the sound. Easy fix when you want it loud again.

    #5 2 years ago

    I put a little tape on mine sometime to lessen the long shrill decay sound.

    #6 2 years ago

    I picked up a Hockey game that had some electrical tape around the bell, mellowed it out and gave it a different tone. Could always try a large rubber band or two.

    #7 2 years ago

    Keep in mind, I'm looking to essentially "lower the volume", not physically dampen the vibration of the bell. I still want a clean "ding" from the bell, not a dull "clunk".

    I'll try some of these suggestions to see if any of them help. In the meantime, keep the ideas coming!

    #8 2 years ago

    Depends on how the mechanism is made but maybe a rubber band around the clapper/solenoid assembly to make resistance on the movement. Nothing on the bell but make the clapper not hit as hard.

    #9 2 years ago
    Quoted from SkyKing2301:

    I still want a clean "ding" from the bell, not a dull "clunk".

    I've never done it but if this is the case, try putting the tape on the inside of the bell.

    #10 2 years ago

    Or use a foam earplug and put in the assembly kind of like the tilt mechanism trick.

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    #11 2 years ago

    Clever idea with the earplug, but this bell is not a clapper-type, it's a coil/striker type, seen here:

    20170522_090128 (resized).jpg

    I tried the electrical tape. One piece worked slightly, but two or more started dampening the bell so it didn't sound nice. So I decided to try my quick enclosure idea.

    I found a small box big enough to enclose the bell, and lined it with some scrap anti-fatigue mat foam. I cut a slit & opening for the wires, and temporarily positioned it in place with blue tape.

    20170522_100731 (resized).jpg

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    I closed the machine back up and found this did make a significant difference! I think it could be quieter still, but at least it's not ear-splitting anymore. I'll need to go back in and secure it better too.

    #12 2 years ago
    Quoted from SkyKing2301:

    Keep in mind, I'm looking to essentially "lower the volume", not physically dampen the vibration of the bell. I still want a clean "ding" from the bell, not a dull "clunk".

    Building a box around it will certainly change the tone.

    If you want the bell to be hit with less force, try putting a resistor in the circuit.

    #13 2 years ago
    Quoted from newmantjn:

    Building a box around it will certainly change the tone.
    If you want the bell to be hit with less force, try putting a resistor in the circuit.

    I don't agree with your first statement -- building a box around it can't change the tone, because the bell, striker, and wiring have not changed (as long as the box doesn't touch the bell itself. The only effect of the box is a reduction in the "amount" of sound that can escape, hence, a reduction in volume of the sound reaching the player. (This is confirmed, as I've built & tested the box method, see above.)

    Your second statement, however, is the best idea yet -- because if the bell isn't struck as hard, it won't be so loud. Any suggestions on resistor size? Where would you suggest I put it? Desolder a wire from one of the lugs, add a resistor to the end of the wire, and add another piece of wire from the other end of the resistor to the coil lug? It does matter which lug, right?

    #14 2 years ago
    Quoted from SkyKing2301:

    building a box around it can't change the tone, because the bell, striker, and wiring have not changed (as long as the box doesn't touch the bell itself. The only effect of the box is a reduction in the "amount" of sound that can escape, hence, a reduction in volume of the sound reaching the player.

    It doesn't change the tone of the bell inside the box, but it would act like a low pass filter and change the tone outside of the box. Sorta like when your wife is hollering at you for not doing something from behind a closed door in another room and all you hear is: wha, wha, wha.

    I don't have a great suggestion resistor size. If you put it across the lugs, bigger = louder. If you put it in series, bigger = softer. You could try - Just perusing a Ship Ahoy schematic, I see that they use a 75ohm resistor in series to step down to 6v for a light, if that helps any.

    #15 2 years ago

    All of my games have had electrical tape stuck to the bell where the plunger hits. I took it off of one, played a game and put it right back on. On my skyline which is the game getting the most play right now, I have the bells turned off. The clicking of the score reel is enough for me and I still get the free play knocker so I'm happy.

    #16 2 years ago
    Quoted from SkyKing2301:

    I don't agree with your first statement -- building a box around it can't change the tone, because the bell, striker, and wiring have not changed (as long as the box doesn't touch the bell itself. The only effect of the box is a reduction in the "amount" of sound that can escape, hence, a reduction in volume of the sound reaching the player. (This is confirmed, as I've built & tested the box method, see above.)

    So a loud car stereo driving down the road it its windows rolled up sounds *exactly* the same as the same car driving by with the windows rolled down, just quieter?

    You couldn't be more wrong here.

    BTW, my own method is to affix a piece of the magnetic tape used on golf clubs to the outside of the bell... makes it tolerable.

    #17 2 years ago
    Quoted from drsfmd:

    So a loud car stereo driving down the road it its windows rolled up sounds *exactly* the same as the same car driving by with the windows rolled down, just quieter?
    You couldn't be more wrong here.

    Fine, perhaps there is some subtle change in the tone due to a filtering effect caused by the box, but let's not get too carried away here -- in this simple case it's negligible and not discernible. Ultimately I just want a clean unclunky ding from a bell that's not ridiculously loud, and if a box can do it, great. If there's another solution, that's great too. I appreciate the magnetic strip idea, I'll try that if I can find a piece, and hope it doesn't "clunkify" my bell.

    #18 2 years ago

    Another idea - The force that the slug hits the bell with is very dependent on the initial location of the slug. Put something non-magnetic in the bottom of the coil sleeve to move the slug closer to the bell to begin with.

    Actually, after looking at you picture, just stack cardboard under the slug until you get the sound you want. Then make something more permanent if you fancy it.

    #19 2 years ago

    Operators quieted them down by simply unplugging the bells.

    #20 2 years ago
    Quoted from newmantjn:

    I don't have a great suggestion resistor size. If you put it across the lugs, bigger = louder. If you put it in series, bigger = softer. You could try - Just perusing a Ship Ahoy schematic, I see that they use a 75ohm resistor in series to step down to 6v for a light, if that helps any.

    Put in a variable resistor (potentiometer) in series. Then you can vary the strength of the coil to give the volume you want.

    #21 2 years ago
    Quoted from RonaldRayGun:

    Put in a variable resistor (potentiometer) in series. Then you can vary the strength of the coil to give the volume you want.

    It would need to be at least a 5 watt wirewound pot. Possibly even 10 watts and probably about 20 ohms - a pretty difficult device to find.

    #22 2 years ago
    Quoted from Homepin:

    It would need to be at least a 5 watt wirewound pot. Possibly even 10 watts and probably about 20 ohms - a pretty difficult device to find.

    How about a simple light dimmer?

    #23 2 years ago

    earplugs

    #24 2 years ago
    Quoted from newmantjn:

    Another idea - The force that the slug hits the bell with is very dependent on the initial location of the slug. Put something non-magnetic in the bottom of the coil sleeve to move the slug closer to the bell to begin with.

    This idea has merit too and is simple enough to try. I'll let you know how it goes when I have an opportunity to attempt it.

    Quoted from KenLayton:

    Operators quieted them down by simply unplugging the bells.

    I appreciate the attempt at covering all the bases, but I DO want the bell during play.

    #25 2 years ago

    Put a ball shooter rubber tip on the nylon tip of the bell plunger.

    #26 2 years ago
    Quoted from KenLayton:

    Put a ball shooter rubber tip on the nylon tip of the bell plunger.

    I did consider something like this, but was concerned about the plunger getting jammed up in the sleeve. Although if it were large enough and prevented it from dropping all the way back down, perhaps this would also work like newman's idea, to adjust the height of the plunger.

    #27 2 years ago
    Quoted from RonaldRayGun:

    How about a simple light dimmer?

    A light dimmer is for 120VAC, so no.

    The loudness of a bell is determined partly by composition and shape of the bell, and partly by weight and velocity of the hammer striking it. I'm no expert on bells, but based on this fact - perhaps attempting to alter the velocity of the hammer using a piece of foam rubber as a stop for the armature would be another way to lower volume without losing tone?

    #28 2 years ago
    Quoted from wayout440:

    perhaps attempting to alter the velocity of the hammer using a piece of foam rubber as a stop for the armature would be another way to lower volume without losing tone?

    Yes, this is similar to newman's suggestion. I do intend to try this, just need to find the opportunity / time.

    #29 2 years ago
    Quoted from wayout440:

    perhaps attempting to alter the velocity of the hammer using a piece of foam rubber as a stop for the armature would be another way to lower volume without losing tone?

    That was sort of my original suggestion, which I went back and edited. The way the bell etc is constructed, you can just pile cardboard underneath until you get the sound you want.

    As an aside, when I first saw this post, I did a bit of an eye roll, but I have come to really enjoy the back and forth and all the different ideas everyone had. It has been really fun!

    #30 2 years ago
    Quoted from newmantjn:

    That was sort of my original suggestion, which I went back and edited. The way the bell etc is constructed, you can just pile cardboard underneath until you get the sound you want.
    As an aside, when I first saw this post, I did a bit of an eye roll, but I have come to really enjoy the back and forth and all the different ideas everyone had. It has been really fun!

    In some cases there are precise answers in others there are suggestions. we

    #31 2 years ago
    Quoted from wayout440:

    In some cases there are precise answers in others there are suggestions. we

    I'm sorry, I wasn't clear, and I used the wrong nomenclature. I meant to say "thread". I thought; "How hard is it to make a bell less loud". Turns out that it is a much more interesting topic than I first thought. I've been surprised and entertained with all the new, interesting ideas on this thread.

    #32 2 years ago

    A piece of foam weatherstripping.
    Non-permanent, non-damaging, reversible, and durable.
    22973080_dcp_91495_pri_larg (resized).jpg

    Added over 3 years ago: A small piece of foam is placed on the bell or chime strike location, not the plunger itself. The sound is reduced by over 75%, but still can be heard faintly. There are different foam densities that can be tested to find the optimal choice.

    #33 2 years ago

    Inspired by this thread, I tried to quiet down my Touchdown main bell.

    A magnet stuck on the bell did not work, it fell off rapidly.

    A rubber band looped around made not much difference.

    A rubber grommet around the bottom stop so the striker had a shorter distance to go worked great! Very nice volume reduction.

    #34 2 years ago

    Finally had a few minutes to go try the shim-up-the-stop method, giving the striker shorter distance. This helped, but it was still louder than I was after. I put the padded box back on.

    Thanks for all the help and ideas, everyone! I think it'd be fun to try the resistor route someday, but that requires more free time...

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