(Topic ID: 221428)

Skee Ball "Winner" light/marquee

By smohr

9 months ago

Topic Stats

  • 25 posts
  • 4 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 months ago by smohr
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    #1 9 months ago

    I have a mechanical skee ball machine and thought it would be a nice touch to add the "Winner" light/marquee atop the rolodex tin/cover, like you see in some older arcade photos. I cant seem to locate one so if anyone out there has one they could measure and possibly add pics that would be great, I will try to make one.


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    #2 9 months ago

    I have the top part. Looks like the same skeeball. I can post some pics and measurements later. Mine doesnt work though.

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    #3 9 months ago

    that would be great - thank you

    #4 9 months ago

    Im not good with editing pics, but ill try to label dimensions

    #5 9 months ago

    Hope this helps. Let me know of any others you need

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    #6 9 months ago

    Ansolutely perfect. Great. Thank you very much


    1 week later
    #7 8 months ago

    I started on the metal fabrication. I think it's at good starting point. It's a slow process since I have my right arm in a sling with a broken collar bone but managing to get stuff done... I'll keep posting as I go.... (yes that's a shuffle alley puck on top keeping it in place as I take pics)



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    1 week later
    #8 8 months ago

    Update #2 - making progress.

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    #9 8 months ago

    It's alive... need to do some cosmetic stuff and then tackle the electrical, but this is what it will look like

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    #10 8 months ago

    Looks good. Do you have a way to drive it?

    Originally I believe that these Skee Ball machines were entirely mechanical. The only electrical feature was a bulb in the head to illuminate the score. The Winner light I'm familiar with looks like a kit that was added later. It required some pins and switches to be added to the scoring mechanism and box of relays and such to turn on the Winner light once the score reached an award level. I imagine that later games might have come with this installed. Does your game have any of that extra, electrical stuff?


    #11 8 months ago

    Restoring quite a few of the mechanical Skee Balls, one other electrical device is
    the ticket dispenser which triggers off of the flipping number score wheel that has
    small metal pegs which help drive the wheel. Longer pegs can be put in desired positions
    which triggers a micro-switch that activates the ticket dispenser and also the winner
    light. I believe another relay box was later added for the Winner light..
    Things are shaping up quite nicely Steve. Good job.. (T)

    #12 8 months ago

    @mopar (or anyone else), I always assumed that the ticket dispenser with its metal pegs was also a later development/enhancement/addition to the basic game. Do you think ticket dispensers were always available on the mechanical model?

    #13 8 months ago

    Thanks guys... Yes, this is totally mechanical and after I completed the restoration I then added the light for the score. No other electronics were in it when I got it. My thought was exactly a micro switch being triggered by the flipping number score reel. Something like how a score motor cam works on an EM pin but longer pins, I'll give that some serious thought. When I complete that, I'll post again...


    #14 8 months ago

    Steve, what's the bottom front of your machine look like. I'm pretty sure that
    the 50s machines had the ticket dispensers. Inside the back door, there should
    be a two digit number that refers to the year of your machine..
    The first mechanical Skee Ball was built in 1909, and physically it did have some
    differences, but mechanically, it was primarily the same until the last one built in
    1974. So at the beginning, it had no ticket dispenser, but I'm pretty sure by the
    50s, it was added.

    #15 8 months ago

    No back door, I need to build one, I guess I'll put a "Restored" date there. But the front of the machine only has a coin box on the right side, the left side is nothing. see pic

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    #16 8 months ago

    It wouldn't surprise me if your machine was ordered not to have a dispenser..
    Might your scoring mech have numbers on one side. These numbers are where
    the longer pegs whould be placed for a ticket to dispense at that score. You can
    see the switch stem that the peg momentarily strikes to trigger the dispenser.
    It's not seen in the pic, but there's another switch that breaks that circuit at reset
    so when the pegs travels through the dispensing switch, it's not dispensing out tickets..

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    #17 8 months ago

    Seems like we think alike mopar ... This is the reason I always thought the ticket dispenser and winner lights were added later:
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    The base of the scoring unit is a solid cast piece of metal with sturdy gears, levers and such. The bracket over the top that hods the switches is much cheaper bent sheet metal with zip ties holding the wire in place. Also the plate on the left side with the pegs is in two pieces and bolted on to the main plate that holds all of the scoring flaps. Maybe they came from the factory this way but the switches and pegs seem like an afterthought.

    #18 8 months ago

    No Numbers on the side of my score reel. My plate is 2 pieces but no numbers. Thanks for the pic of the micro switch setup, the gets me thinking and my wheels churning

    #19 8 months ago

    Yea, the second plate holds in the pins. That's how the shorter pins can be replaced with
    the longer ones, and vice-versa. I still believe the dispenser was in use when your machine
    was manufacture..
    I also think that perhaps there were additives, but at a certain year, it was pretty much standard
    at factory unless ordered special. For sure the early 60s, but I'm thinking in the 50s the dispenser
    was in use. I had maybe a dozen of the mechanical Skee Balls, and all had ticket dispensers, but
    all may have been from the 60s and 70s. I'm not sure if I had any from the 50s. I learned about
    the year being in the back door after many were gone. Only now have two. 1966 and 1970.
    I do have 3 extra front 10' alleys. Maybe someday I'll stumble across some 4 ft. back portions..

    #20 8 months ago

    Question about the numbered plates in the pic that MarkG posted... the outer plate is a 2 piece setup with the numbers label. Just like my outer plate but with holes for the longer pins. Now, am I seeing it correctly that the inner plate also has a label on it and if so why. Also another question, how do those longer pins stay in place and not work themselves out since there is no 90 degree bend like the shorter pins

    #21 8 months ago

    I had forgot, but the inner plate does have the numbers on also..
    As you'll see in the pics, the outer plate holds the small rods going through
    the flip numbers in position. The plates are in 2 sets so they can easily be
    removed. Once removed, the rods can be slid out. I pulled one of the longer
    rods slightly out in one of the pics..
    And since the camera was out, I took a pic of my next project which I just
    began on this past Monday. It's a "Pull-a-Way Merry-go-Round by Game Time
    from the 30s/40s. It'll be going down below at the pond with the other vintage
    playground equipment the I refurbished..
    Sorry for throwing that in here, but it has been a great Summertime hobby for me..

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    #22 8 months ago

    Thanks for that info and pics, that was helpful. And WOW nice setup at the pond, just awesome, love the old playground pieces.

    1 week later
    #23 7 months ago

    Ok, I think Im done. I have it set to light up at 250 and higher. After making a mounting bracket for the micro switch, I tried a handful of different micro switches but each one I tried was too stiff and the score reel was unable to trip it "on". So I made my own switch from extra leaf switch parts I had from my EM pins. The switch also has a piece of fish paper that will insolate the contact of the metal hanger pin and the switch when completing the circuit. I also needed to replace the shorter hanger pins with the longer straight hanger pins from 250 to 450, this would keep the circuit completed. the circuit opens when score reset to zero.

    note- If somebody has the exact micro switch part number that is used, I can try and locate one and see how that works

    Again, Thank You, everyone for your help,


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    #24 7 months ago

    Good job Steve, I think I see what you have done. The longer pins actually keep the contacts closed, so you'll
    need pins from 250 to 450, so you need like 21 longer pins, right?
    Is the micro switch that activates at reset on there, or no micro switches came with the machine..

    #25 7 months ago

    Thanks. Yes, 21 pins to keep the contact closed. No micro switch came with the game. I was able to get the straight pins and the end plate with the numbered paper label on it from a guy in Yonkers.

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