(Topic ID: 160894)

Working on a 1947 Ballyhoo

By Toyguy

3 years ago

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  • 20 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by jodini
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    #1 3 years ago

    I got the old, crumbled power cord replaced today and the cabinet all cleaned out and ready to go. I'm now starting on the backbox and have this mess to deal with:


    Some of the pins have enough wire that I can splice in a section. Several, however, have little or nothing left. What's the best way to deal with this? There's no simple way to get it out of the machine for bench work. All the other plugs and connections in the game look really good for its age - just this one with a lot of issues. I've half-considered cutting the whole plug out to work on it, then splicing it back in. I suppose I could also put in a modern Molex.

    #2 3 years ago

    It's hard to tell from the picture, but this looks like the type of Jones plug with hollow pins. If so, you can re-solder each wire by heating the outside of a pin with a solder iron until the solder is molten, and then pushing the wire down into the pin. This will often eject the old (broken) bit of wire from the front end of the pin, but it doesn't matter if the old broken wire stays inside the pin. You may also want to add some fresh solder to the inside of the pin when re-soldering. Of course you want to avoid getting any solder on the outside surface of any pin.

    Also FYI, the entire backbox insert (the plywood rectangle that all the parts are mounted on) should be removable without too much effort. Just speaking from my own experience, the 10 minutes or so you spend removing/replacing the insert are definitely worth it. It's much easier to do this much re-soldering at a workbench, rather than while the insert is in the machine.

    - TimMe

    #3 3 years ago

    OK, thanks. I'll look into how much effort is involved in removing the mechanism board. That would make life simpler. I plugged her in today and made a quick test. The Hold relay locks in but nothing else happens. It releases when the clock timer runs down so that's all good. Getting this plug fixed has to be next I think.

    #4 3 years ago

    If anyone has one of these, or knows someone who does, I could really use a photo of what the coin slide looks like on the end that activates things. Mine is missing a piece, I believe, as it does not reach the timer bar when pushed in. Maybe even a shot from a similar aged machine?

    #5 3 years ago

    Didn't get to the Jones Plug today but did a little testing anyway. When the timer bar is manually activated, the game seems to be alive. Hitting the bumper skirts causes the score units to operate. Dropping a ball in the kickout hole at the top results in the ball being kicked around the playfield. The Free Ball hole at the bottom also seems to work fine. I can't see any results as I have no lighting of any kind yet, but at least feature-wise it seems to be mostly there.

    With the playfield down, looking in through the coin door opening, I can see that the ball trap plate is moved out of the way when the timer bar is pushed forward, so it looks like game startup is completely mechanical and there's no ball counting of any kind. If there's a ball in the trough, you can play it.

    A couple questions for anyone in the know...

    1. There is a coil with a switch in the circuit to it on the coin door. I see nothing that would activate the switch, and it is not a tilt switch. The coil moves a plate which blocks an arm on the underside of the coin slide and prevents the slide from moving in. Anyone know what purpose this serves and what would control the switch?

    2. Anyone heard of, or done business with, a company called Crow River Trading? They advertise coin slides and coin slide repair services. Mine seems to be broken as it will slide in with no coin at all and acts like the whole slide could be pulled right out if I weren't careful. I think it needs some attention or replacement.



    #6 3 years ago

    Good people at Crow River. I bought stuff from them years ago.

    #7 3 years ago

    Coin door coil is activated by the credit unit. When coil pulls in, it holds the lever on the coin slide up - allowing the slide to push in without a coin.

    #8 3 years ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    Good people at Crow River. I bought stuff from them years ago.

    Crow River is top notch! I bought a brand new 5 cent coin chute from them a year ago for a Swanee pinball and it fit & worked perfectly.

    I have some friends who restore gumball machines and buy from Crow River all the time.

    #9 3 years ago

    Excellent - glad to know they're good folks as they have the type coin slide I need.

    Now for the questions of the day

    Exhibit 1:


    What would I normally be expecting to see here? Even when pushed in all the way, the coin slide won't reach the timer bar. From the 2 screw holes on the slide, I'd guess there's a missing piece of metalwork here. Would it have been as simple as an L-shaped piece screwed to the slide and resting just shy of the timer bar? The ball tray does not seem to have any provision for a dashpot as on some other photos I have seen. Maybe it was attached in some other way?

    Exhibit 2:


    Here's the switch associated with the coil on the coin door. Thanks for confirming that the coil moves the hook shaped arm on the bottom of the slide. That makes sense when you want to play off credits. I can't see what the switch is for though. There is nothing anywhere close to it, unless again something should be attached to the coin slide itself. Anyone have any idea on this?

    Finally, anyone have any idea what sort of bulb would have been used for the credit projection unit? Mine works, but I'm reluctant to pull it out without having a spare to see what number it is

    Thanks a lot!

    #10 3 years ago

    From what I can tell, you are missing at least one or two important pieces, including an arm that is used to actuate the switch stack mounted to the back side of the door. Here is a pic of a coin slide from a late 1940s Gottlieb machine, but I would think your game should be very similar:


    In the pic, the slide has been pushed in part way. As you can see there is a large metal piece that has an arm that operates the switches. There are a few reasons for those switches. The main reason is to turn off the power to the free-play coil so that the coil is only energized when you start to push in the slide. Another common usage is to disable the knock-off button under the cabinet on those games that have a knock-off feature.

    You also seem to be missing most of the "back end" of your slide - note how much longer the GTB slide is than yours. This would explain why your slide isn't contacting the shutter under the PF.

    The projection bulbs from this era of game were usually #1129. This is a six-volt lamp pulling a whopping 2.5 amps. It's really too bright to look at when lit.

    - TimMe

    #11 3 years ago

    Thanks TimMe. That Gottlieb piece looks exactly like what I thought I might need. I'll have to try and fab one up.

    I solved an issue tonight where the 1,000s unit was scoring double. In looking at it, I realized the issue was that the unit was double stepping, grabbing 2 ratchet teeth instead of just one. While digging into it, I got to thinking maybe the coil stop or plunger was badly mushroomed and allowing too much travel. I was on the right track, it was just worse than I thought. There was no coil stop at all; the plunger was just slamming into the coil stop bracket. I had one of the replaceable coil stops, so I put that in and that took care of the problem.

    I'm having a couple intermittent issues that are next on the list. Scoring does not always reset properly and the Hold Relay does not always get de-powered by the clock timer. I'm guessing it's the switch labeled Clock Score Reset Switch and the one called Holding Relay Reset Switch. At least, that's where I plan to start.


    #12 3 years ago

    OK, time for another round of "Educate Me!"

    Two topics tonight. First, did they ever actually make a stepper this way?


    All of the fingers are bent in this fashion. They do have holes for rivets in them but are bent pretty much right at that point. Could the factory have done this, or is this just a lazy "repair"? The rivets are wearing pretty heavily this way. I'm thinking about cutting those ends off and soldering on some switch blade ends instead. I don't know if I could straighten them accurately enough to just put contacts on them.

    Second question... Was it common on these old flipperless machines for the low part of the score not to reset? Between the schematic and the 1000s unit itself, I see no way for the 1000 unit ever to get reset. The 10,000 unit does get reset as do the Hundred Thousand scores. Here's a photo of the 1000 unit:


    As you can see, only an Advance coil and one switch to carry over when it goes from 9,000 to zero. No way to reset it and no way for it to know it's at zero other than completing the circuit to the 10K unit.

    Here's a snip of the schematic around that unit. No sign of any reset method.


    I see no way for it to reset, and mine does not, but it sure seems odd to be giving away points on this type of machine. Am I missing something here?

    #13 3 years ago

    As for the wipers on the stepper unit, I've never seen them like that, but I suppose it might be factory. I think you need to replace the existing wipers and use wipers that have contact points on them, regardless of whether the current setup is factory or not. The grooves cut into the rivets look pretty nasty in the pic, and are likely to cause trouble for making good contact.

    As for the 1K reset, it's normal for that stepper to be continuous (forward stepping only). In this era of game, the score reset usually worked as follows. The 10K unit reset to a "-1" position, and in this position it activated a circuit that would repeatedly step the 1K score stepper forward until that caused a carry on the 10K unit. As soon as the 10K unit stepped up from -1 to zero, the 1K stepping circuit would be de-activated, and that would leave both score steppers sitting at zero.

    - TimMe.

    #14 3 years ago

    Aha! That makes sense. I will have to take a look at my 10K unit. Perhaps its bakelite disc is off by a rivet so it resets to 0, not -1.

    Thanks a lot for that!

    Yeah, I am not sure what to do with that stepper. I think I'll try to score a parts stepper at Pintastic and try soldering the ends onto these fingers. The odds of finding another bakelite disc are small, I expect.

    #15 3 years ago

    So I did look at this tonight and it doesn't seem to matter. I offset the disc by one rivet in the reset direction but no change in behavior. The 1000s unit does not get driven to zero and, of course, the first pass to 10K no longer lights the score lamp as the unit is 1 rivet off zero.

    Since other Bally schematics are online at IPDB, I'm going to post the full one here as I see no other way to get advice on the machine.


    I've got, as best as I can tell right now, 2 possible issues: The 1000s unit does not get reset to zero on game start (maybe it isn't supposed to) and the clock device does not kick off the Hold Relay (maybe it isn't supposed to).

    I am having a devil of a time following this schematic so if anyone has any insights on these 2 things, I'd certainly appreciate it. I've also asked in my thread over in the EM Hangout section if anyone knows anybody who has a working example who might be able to tell me what the proper behavior is.

    Some possibly important data points: the Hold Relay has a small trip coil associated with it that fires a plunger that breaks the switch connection that holds the main relay in. This works fine with the Tilt switches so the little coil is good. I don't see how the Clock Switch has anything to do with this coil though, and thus I don't see how it could disengage the Hold Relay.

    On game start, the score motor does not run. I am not sure if it should.

    On game start, the Hold relay does pull in on the very first game after plugging the machine in and cycling the timer bar. On the schematic, this is the Holding Relay Reset switch and it closes when the timer bar is pushed forward by the coin slide and opens again as the coin slide is retracted.

    The Score Reset Switch also cycles with the timer bar and resets the 10K Unit.

    Thanks for any advice or suggestions. I'm at my wit's end.


    #16 3 years ago

    Finally made some progress tonight. While fooling around with some other jobs, I ended up winding the Credit Unit down to zero. When the clock timer ran down, off went the game. Some experimentation proved it out - if there are credits on the game, it will not shut itself off until they are removed. In hindsight, this makes sense for a payout-type game. YAY! One issue resolved.

    After messing with the 10K unit, and moving its bakelite disc one rivet in both directions to no effect, I've convinced myself that it was never intended to reset the 1K unit. Until I can actually prove it otherwise, I am going to disregard it. At this point then, all of its play issues are resolved.

    The only things remaining to do are to finish re-rubbering the bumper bodies and plunger tip, fabricate a bracket for the coin slide so it will activate the timer, trim a little metal off the coin box door latch, figure out why I can't get the burnt out 50K bulb out of its socket and get some new brass screws and shoulder washers for the playfield retention and backbox mech panel retention.

    Here's a quick shot of the beast all put back together, with bumper caps in the correct places and new score and instruction cards.


    #17 3 years ago

    Here's a quick video of my first actual game. With the camera in hand I wasn't trying too hard. I still have to work out the fit of the coin slide and fine-tune the aim on the kickout holes so they more-reliably pass the ball but I'm happy with the progress. Hope the link works

    #18 3 years ago

    That's one pretty game! The artwork is so nice, it's too bad those flippers on the bottom were added and cover up those pretty ladies!

    #19 3 years ago

    Those actually are not flippers, just static posts that look like flippers. As best I can tell, they seem to be original.

    #20 3 years ago

    Yep...you're right. They are original, but that so odd looking to me. If you are going to have those down there, they shouldn't cover up the artwork.

    Anyway, looking forward to your process!

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