(Topic ID: 221428)

Skee Ball "Winner" light/marquee

By smohr

3 years ago

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  • 39 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by Pinball_Physics
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders


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    #1 3 years 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.


    skeeball_winner (resized).jpg
    #2 3 years ago

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

    20170428_183518 (resized).jpg
    #3 3 years ago

    that would be great - thank you

    #4 3 years ago

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

    #5 3 years ago

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

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    #6 3 years ago

    Ansolutely perfect. Great. Thank you very much


    1 week later
    #7 3 years 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 3 years ago

    Update #2 - making progress.

    sb_winner_stencil_1 (resized).jpgsb_winner_stencil_2 (resized).jpgsb_winner_stencil_test1 (resized).jpgsb_winner_stencil_test2 (resized).jpg
    #9 3 years ago

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

    20180815_131741 (resized).jpg20180815_131750 (resized).jpg
    #10 3 years 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 3 years 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 3 years 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 3 years 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 3 years 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 3 years 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 3 years 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..

    IMG_1330 (resized).JPG
    #17 3 years ago

    Seems like we think alike Mopar ... This is the reason I always thought the ticket dispenser and winner lights were added later:
    Skee Ball Score Reel (resized).jpg
    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 3 years 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 3 years 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 3 years 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 3 years 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 3 years 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 3 years 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 3 years 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 3 years 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.

    1 year later
    #26 2 years ago

    Do any of you have a manual for these old Skee Balls? I'm having fits trying to make adjustments on the vertical rod to get everything to reset properly.

    #27 2 years ago
    Quoted from Pinball_Physics:

    I'm having fits trying to make adjustments on the vertical rod to get everything to reset properly.

    What's it doing, not totally resetting back to zero?
    Do the balls release okay when starting a fresh game?
    Do the pockets score the correct amount?

    #28 2 years ago

    The problem I am having is getting the collars on the vertical rod adjusted so that three things happen.

    First of all, the pull on the game start handle needs to be able to reset the score reel. The upper collar needs to be set high enough on the thin sliding vertical rod to get the spring tension needed to pull the inner sliding rod down to reset the reel.

    Second, after pulling the ball release handle by the player it should go back fully to its initial position.

    Third, the vertical rod must raise back up enough so that the arm that catches and moves the reel during reset returns back to the point that it can catch and reset the reel again in a new game.

    I can only get two of these requirements to work on a reset. Changing the collar position to increase or decrease the spring tension will correct one fault but then another issue fails.

    If you have a manual is there anything in it about adjusting these collars?

    Also how would you adjust the closing force of the hydraulic door closer to increase the closing force of the piston?

    #29 2 years ago

    By the way it also resets to 10 every time.

    #30 2 years ago

    Okay, are you referring to the spring underneath where the balls rest?
    That spring is only for the ball release. I have a couple of these, but it's
    been a while I went through them. That's the only spring I can recall.
    At the end of the cable in the head, there's a threaded adjust to tightened or
    loosen the cable. At rest, the cable should have play, but not a lot.
    I take it you're talking about the vertical rod under the pockets. That rod is
    only for the scoring. Not resetting. The score resetting is all in the cable adjustment,
    but the spring under where the balls sit doesn't have anything to do with the flipping
    numbers to reset..
    The machine resetting to 10 is not a problem to adjust, but the first thing is to get
    the numbers to reset properly..

    #31 2 years ago

    The problem centers on the two collars on the thin, vertical rod and spring in the back of the game as shown in the pictures.

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    #32 2 years ago

    Oh yes. Forgot about that spring. I'll see about moving mine out and taking
    a look. Did you mention your pull handle doesn't return back after pulling?

    #33 2 years ago

    The farther that spring is stretched, the slower the handle returns. If it's
    stretched too much, it won't return. Here's where mine is positioned..

    IMG_0169 (resized).JPG
    #34 2 years ago

    If anyone is interested, I do have some documentation that may be useful.

    Maintenance Instructions - Parts and Prints_Page_02 (resized).jpgMaintenance Instructions - Parts and Prints_Page_03 (resized).jpgMaintenance Instructions - Parts and Prints_Page_04 (resized).jpgMaintenance Instructions - Parts and Prints_Page_05 (resized).jpgMaintenance Instructions - Parts and Prints_Page_06 (resized).jpgMaintenance Instructions - Parts and Prints_Page_07 (resized).jpgMaintenance Instructions - Parts and Prints_Page_08 (resized).jpgMaintenance Instructions - Parts and Prints_Page_09 (resized).jpgMaintenance Instructions - Parts and Prints_Page_10 (resized).jpgMaintenance Instructions - Parts and Prints_Page_11 (resized).jpgMaintenance Instructions - Parts and Prints_Page_12 (resized).jpgMaintenance Instructions - Parts and Prints_Page_13 (resized).jpgMaintenance Instructions - Parts and Prints_Page_14 (resized).jpgMaintenance Instructions - Parts and Prints_Page_15 (resized).jpgMechanical Skee Ball Diagrams_Page_1 (resized).jpgMechanical Skee Ball Diagrams_Page_2 (resized).jpgMechanical Skee Ball Diagrams_Page_3 (resized).jpg
    #35 2 years ago
    Quoted from smohr:

    If anyone is interested, I do have some documentation that may be useful.

    Wow, excellent. Thank you.

    Does anyone have a picture of the date stamp location? Apparently it's inside the back somewhere but I haven't been able to find it.



    #36 2 years ago

    Well, I gave up trying to get the two collars adjusted to get everything to work properly. I've spent probably 4-5 hours trying to get adjustments right. I ended up adding enough spring force to the original spring to get the score rolodex to reset when the player's handle is pulled. But to do that the trip rod couldn't return high enough to engage the reset cam on the score unit. So I added a spring to counter that so it could return as it should as shown in the picture. Works perfectly now.

    spring (resized).jpeg
    #37 2 years ago
    Quoted from MarkG:

    Does anyone have a picture of the date stamp location? Apparently it's inside the back somewhere but I haven't been able to find it.

    I understood the date stamp is inside the backdoor on a white label.
    It'll be the model. Mine's written Model 70, meaning it was produced
    in 1970..

    #38 2 years ago
    Quoted from Pinball_Physics:

    I ended up adding enough spring force to the original spring to get the score rolodex to reset when the player's handle is pulled.

    I don't understand why you had that problem. Maybe something slightly wedged.
    I went through maybe 7 or 8 of them and never had that type of problem, but glad
    you got it working properly..

    #39 2 years ago

    Yeah, the problem just kind of happened out of nowhere. The odd thing is, with this extra spring installed it now resets to zero like it should.


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