(Topic ID: 280692)

Williams Hi-Hand 1957 Bingo Poker Theme

By undrdog

11 months ago

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  • 30 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 11 months ago by MrBally
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    #1 11 months ago

    I just got three Hi-Hands. The plan is to get one working table from the three.

    I'm starting this thread as a place to ask questions, and to document my work on them, unless someone tells me that the machine is so basic there's no real need for it. (MODs: If this would be better posted elsewhere, just let me know.)

    The three back glasses are different, although two may have been the same color originally and one faded. One machine has brown trim and the head is brown. I don't know if that was original.

    Starting Questions:

    The plastics are in pieces. The larger pieces break almost as soon as I touch them.
    I'm afraid to move anything until I get the plastics organized / put back together.

    Is there a recommended fixative or glue or tape that I can apply to the back side of the pieces to strengthen and reassemble them?

    Anyone know what the brass piece in the picture goes to? There is a "1" stamped on it.

    Hi-Hand is not in the Pinside database. If a MOD wants to add it, I can update with info as I learn it.

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    #2 11 months ago

    looks similar to a bally Joker Wild.

    there's very little inside the cabinet? Game play is reset machine, shoot 5 balls, see what poker hand you have, no replays awarded?

    what does it say on the cards?

    wrt the plastics, if they are really fragile you'll probably need to make new ones. Scan, touch up, print and stick to the bottom of cut polycarbonate sheet would work. They are simple enough you may be able to make masks and pint directly onto plastic.

    there's people who make repro plastics using screening, but that would be pretty costly.

    #3 11 months ago
    Quoted from baldtwit:

    what does it say on the cards?

    The cards just rank the hands. They don’t mention what the payoffs are. But, I haven’t opened the machine with the cards yet. Maybe there is more info on the reverse.

    The project is now up to $310. Bought the 3 machines, tipped the seller's delivery crew so they could grab some beers on a Friday evening, bought a $18 drill bit, and $70 at the locksmiths for picking 3 back box locks and two inexpensive new locks.

    Next up is dealing with the plastics and finding fuses.

    I’m posting pics here that I’ve posted elsewhere, so they are lo in one place.

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    #4 11 months ago

    A few more relays than I would have expected!

    I'm surprised that there's a tilt relay - obviously to prevent cheating for places that paid off in goods or money.

    Shutter motor resets game, start relay forces release of various relays.

    When start relay is engaged, shutter motor will switch to open, dump all the balls, then remain open. When ball hits gate, the gate relay swaps state and will engage the shutter motor again to close the shutter. Switch on the motor will disengage the gate relay.

    Lock relay turns the lamps on and allows coils to get voltage. Not sure if tilt will disengage lock on this game.

    Game has (like many others) a built in low line voltage fuse holder. That is supposed to be empty unless you have less than 110V coming from the wall.

    Single counter makes sense, maybe second counter could be used to track number of tilts... or games have been modified to track payouts, but that would require ample additional hardware.

    Relocating the counter to the door makes good business sense (who wants to crack open the back of a game when doing collections?), so I can understand why the operator would relocate that, haha!

    This could be designed quite a bit cheaper, but it would be less reliable. I haven't tried to look up pricing information, but I wonder what this cost new? Perhaps this was a low-cost alternative to bingos of the day (as they were much more expensive than flipper games).

    #5 11 months ago
    Quoted from bingopodcast:

    Game has (like many others) a built in low line voltage fuse holder. That is supposed to be empty unless you have less than 110V coming from the wall

    Thank you. Good info.

    #6 11 months ago

    just in case it's not clear, the fuse goes in either the "normal" clips or the "low" clips, not both at the same time

    it's just a cheap way to pick one of two taps off the transformer. Many games used a plug connection instead.

    two of the fuses are 10A, can't see what the left one is in pic ... you just get standard 10A, 250V AGC fuses from wherever ya like - hardware store, car parts place, online.

    just a buzzkill suggestion ... I'd get the thing running and play with it a bit before dealing with the plastics or other time-consuming cosmetics - make sure it's something you want to keep.

    #7 11 months ago
    Quoted from baldtwit:

    ... I'd get the thing running and play with it a bit before dealing with the plastics or other time-consuming cosmetics - make sure it's something you want to keep.

    You are right, of course.

    I'm afraid to get into the machine much w/o a plan for the plastics. They are extremely brittle. I keep meaning to call Upkick Pinball, but I just haven't had time. Guess I should just put them in numbered baggies.

    I expect to be totally bored by the machine. Without the gambling aspect, there isn't much to it besides the historical aspect. I am still a beginner working on EMs, so its a project for me.

    Should I pick the best of three transformers or just go with the one in the head I plan to keep? If it works, it works, right? One looks definitely worse than the others, the paper is all spread out.

    Of the three machines, two have serial numbers. Still haven't decided which cabinet, which head, and which playfield to go with. I don't suppose there is any value to any of them to ruin by mixing up the parts. Or is there? Best as I can tell, the machine is very rare, but not sought after.

    #8 11 months ago

    The machines have tax stickers from 1975 and 1980. Who would still have these in route in the mid-70s & 80s? Who would be playing them?

    #9 11 months ago
    Quoted from undrdog:

    Should I pick the best of three transformers or just go with the one in the head I plan to keep?

    If you plan on trashing the others, sure, but I think just leaving that alone is probably fine. As you say, if it works, it works.

    Quoted from undrdog:

    I don't suppose there is any value to any of them to ruin by mixing up the parts. Or is there? Best as I can tell, the machine is very rare, but not sought after.

    I prefer matching serial numbers (except when mixing them up tells a story). In some jurisdictions, for the bingos, games would have to be assembled with different serials to get around local laws about having new machines.

    Quoted from undrdog:

    The machines have tax stickers from 1975 and 1980. Who would still have these in route in the mid-70s & 80s? Who would be playing them?

    Keep in mind that though there isn't a "built in" gambling aspect to this game, unlike the bingos, there's still a way to gamble on them. Someone was probably paying off on good hands in some way, which would keep the interest up in the player base. They could pay in free drinks for a straight or pack of cigarettes for a joker or something like that. Also keep in mind that bingo production was still ongoing in the states in '80, and planned into '81. There are still places with EM bingos on route out there.

    #10 11 months ago

    Today I'm trying to salvage the plastics. The plastic is brown and extremely brittle. The pieces are warped and bent from heat. I think the games were stored by a window for a long time. The art work has lifted off of the plastic itself and will just flake away.

    Something interesting... some of the rubbers have melted! Besides being dry, discolored and stiff, the material has actually melted.

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    #11 11 months ago

    Metal Plastics ?
    One of the machines has stainless "plastics" at the lower playfield. On two of them, the metal is green.

    If anyone knows what the story is on the metal guards, please comment.

    The backglasses and heads are different on all three, so that follows.

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    #12 11 months ago

    191 versions? I don't see that. 189 was the Williams model number for the game.

    the flyer shows plastics all the way around. The game pics people posted show metal covers on the bottom rebounds like you have. Whether there's metal under any of the side plastics who knows.

    long narrow plastics with lamps underneath aren't going to survive. Those plastics would sag eventually under their own weight, and add the heat from the lamps and you'll get burnt, brittle, warped, blistered pieces over time.

    if you have enough metal pieces to go all the way around, I'd use those - cut down and drilled as needed. If you want plastics on top, those designs are trivial. Scan the best pieces you have and you can make new ones using a graphics program like gimp/photoshop/inkscape.

    how you make the plastics is your choice ... google for how the pinball guys do it. Given the simple design, I'd be inclined to try using a vinyl cutter to make masks then painting onto the back side of polycarbonate directly. Yellow first, green on top of the yellow, cut out shapes, done. 'course, I have a vinyl cutter

    the more usual way was to color print onto something and stick the something to the bottom of polycarbonate using like spray adhesive. What the "something" is depends on whether light needed to shine through ... if it did you'd care about translucency/paper grain.

    #13 11 months ago
    Quoted from baldtwit:

    191 versions? I don't see that.

    My bad. I misread something from Arcade Museums. It said Williams released 191 machines under “this trade name” during a certain time period. They meant the name Williams, not under the name Hi-Hand.

    #14 11 months ago

    There are metal guides under the plastic in some places .

    Are the metal pieces after market? Were they an option at purchase?

    #15 11 months ago

    This is the original backglass of the Hi Hand and Coos can make it for you.

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    #16 11 months ago

    I have it in three different colors. One is in pretty decent condition.

    #17 11 months ago

    Two machines have a broken outhole coil. The third only had a label. Only one had the part that goes on the coil, found inside the cabinet (see pics).

    Cleaned out the cabinet that I'll be using for the restoration. Vaccumed up the rodent bedding & wiped down the inside with a damp cloth. Now it smells like mouse piss. Trust it'll dry.

    Inside one of the machines was a flat, misshapen piece of old white rubber. Looks like it might fit on the end of the ball lifter. Did the ball lifters have a rubber mitt on the end so as not to scratch the balls?

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    #18 11 months ago

    Status Report:

    The contacts are all cleaned, new fuses installed. New lamps installed in the head.

    The motor closes the board that keeps the balls from falling through. The backglass GI lights light.

    The lock relay works. Nothing on the playfield is working. Balls in holes do not light up cards on the back glass. No GI on the playfield (although I haven't changed those bulbs yet).

    Gate mechanism isn't doing anything.

    Will check the relays under the PF later, when I have time.

    #19 11 months ago

    When the ball passes under the gate, it will change the state of a switch underneath. That switch's only job is to tell the shutter motor to shut. So that sounds like it's working fine?

    I would guess that one of the contacts on the shutter motor or tilt relay controls the lamps to the cards. Look at those carefully (I'd start with tilt).

    #20 11 months ago

    if ya get stuck, post more pics of the schematic.

    #21 11 months ago

    Thanks to you both. The ball gate didn’t get tested— I was just dropping balls in holes. I’ll check it out.

    I may have caused the problem myself— the tilt relay switch was bent to be always closed. I “fixed" it, but I’ll take another look.

    #22 11 months ago

    It is the lock relay. Shutting it with a sliver of wood fixed the problem.

    I can use a coil (or a whole relay) from either of the other two machines that I have. Can I use my multimeter to test the other two coils and see if one is good before taking it all apart? How would I test that?

    And now, this report just in from the Something Strange Department... I went back to the machine to verify something and now keeping the lock relay shut doesn't fix anything. Bad solder?


    #23 11 months ago

    the lock relay powers on the first cycle after you turn the game on and keeps itself powered.

    turn on the game and manually close the lock relay and see what happens.

    you can test a coil with the ohmeter function as long as the coil lugs aren't connected to each other in a roundabout path thru other devices. Either disconnect a wire from a lug or use the schematic to make sure all other circuit paths are open so only the coil itself is being measured between the two coil lugs.

    compare value to any other coil with the same part number of look up resistance via google. You just need a close value, not an exact one.

    on many games when the lock relay is unpowered a bunch of the game is unpowered....look for lock relay switches on the schem to see.

    #24 11 months ago

    Good news to report.

    The lock relay was fine. It just wasn't getting power from somewhere else, maybe the tilt switch.

    Someone had told me that you don't clean the contacts on EMs with alcohol. So, I was using that little file stick from PBR along with 1000 grit sand paper. I'd cleaned all the switches on the machine that way. But, since the coil on the lock relay was reading the same as the coils on my other two machines, it had to be that the lock relay just wasn't getting power. Also, the relay lighting up the playfield only intermittently meant it had to be the switches. So, I went back to cleaning with a business card dipped in alcohol. That fixed everything.

    One lamp socket in the head had to be replaced and one playfield hole switch wasn't working. Crimping the contact down with a small pliers fixed it right up.

    Besides tuning the playfield lamps and shopping the playfield, all that's left to do are the mechanicals. Need new plunger springs, etc. And replace the plastics with something.

    Even the coin mech works. Would rather not drill a hole in the cabinet for a free play button. I'm going to wire in a momentary button switch and hang it in the coin return.

    #25 11 months ago
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    #26 11 months ago
    Quoted from undrdog:

    Someone had told me that you don't clean the contacts on EMs with alcohol.

    You can, as long as you're not doing it while the game is on, and you allow time for the alcohol to evaporate. The higher concentration of alcohol the shorter time this takes.

    Flextones from PBR will do the trick, but remember that they are like emory boards and you have to blow the dust/dirt off the contact. I use an ignition file (judiciously) and ensure I lightly pull across contacts that don't need to be reshaped. Occasionally you'll have a very worn/pitted contact.

    Within relays, the screws holding the switch stacks down can loosen over time, the springs on the back can lose their sproing, and the contact itself can sometimes work loose on the switch. In that instance, you can squeeze the contact point with a pair of pliers to get to to attach a bit more firmly. Peening the contact with a hammer works better, generally speaking, but not always an option.

    #27 11 months ago

    Removed and cataloged everything from the playfield.

    Cannot find new wood screws for the posts in the correct sizes at any website that sells fasteners. Was hoping to get shiny new screws.

    Have approx 50 little plastic posts to clean and polish. Oy! Hopefully Lowe’s will have a polishing wheel for my bench grinder. Or is this the part where I breakdown and get a tumbler? Seems like a big expense for one machine.

    Cleaned the playfield with naphtha and soft rags. Will wax after lunch.

    None of the three heads have a cushioning between the glass and the frame. Think I’ll get some thin foam with adhesive backing to keep it from rattling.

    #28 11 months ago

    Before & after 2 coats Mother's wax.

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    #29 11 months ago

    That was a lot of posts to polish!

    #30 11 months ago

    The brass piece looks like a "Ward" Tumbler from a lock that has a sliding dead bolt. Basically the way Jail Locks were constructed before about 1970. This one is smaller as the jail lock ones are almost the size of a US Dollar Bill.

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