Working on Big Time Bingo

By NoQuarters

1 year ago


  • 66 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by NoQuarters
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#1 1 year ago

I hadn't planned on it, but in a turn of events, not only did I wind up with my second bingo, Coney Island - I also wound up with this project game Big Time. I had figured I would maybe wind up with either the the Coney Island or the Big Time but certainly not both. Each from different sources. It's a long story, but in short odd timing and circumstances led to winding up with this third bingo - Big Time.

I picked this game up yesterday. It is missing the playfield glass and was very dirty. I put in well over an hour this morning just getting the playfield and cabinet a bit less dirty. The game is also missing one playfield light cover, bulbs, some of the balls and again no keys ! Does have a schematic and legs. Backglass is flaky in areas.

This project will probably sit while I tackle Coney Island next.... The work area is beyond full !

Here are a few pics in the meantime. The cabinet is leaning standing up to conserve some space, while the head assembly you will see, is positioned upside down on the floor for stability for now.

Placed a bit out of the way for the time being. I'll get to this one later...




#2 1 year ago

Here you go - turned for a better view...


#3 1 year ago

and again - turned so you don't have to turn your monitor upside down ...


#4 1 year ago

Here are shots of what it looked like set up before I went and picked it up.
Forgot I had these shots sent to me.

Maybe should have started with these - but here you go...


#5 1 year ago

Nice! I've got a spare lamp cover if you need one - it is not a top tier, NOS part - it's a spare grimy one that I replaced in another game. Needs a cleaning, but a heckuva lot better than nothing! Yours for free if you'd like. PM me and we'll go from there.

#6 1 year ago

Sure - that would be great. PM sent. I noticed on this game that the lamp covers are just kind of sitting in the holes where as on my other games they slip over a metal ring. I'm thinking the metal rings at the lamp holes are gone from this game ? ( I'll have to check my other games to see how they are ) Maybe I can make some hole ring/lamp retainers ?

#7 1 year ago

No, that is normal. Coney Island and Palm Springs used the older style that sits over the metal ring. I like the older style (which is a holdover from the one ball games), since it assures a snug fit and is harder to deform. Also, they could ensure a standardized fitting over metal vs. the routed hole, which does have a tiny bit of variance. The split in the front of the old style is also helpful when dealing with shrinkage from heat.

On Big Time, they had moved to the newer style (a few years prior). I think the newer style looks better, with the red tops - a little more eye-catching.

#8 1 year ago

Ok - good information on the new vs old lamp holders. The ones on this game were extremely loose - virtually falling off. A little silicone, tape, rubber or something to add a little bite for a better fit when the time comes to install them. ( A long ways off - it will be awhile until I get to Big Time - currently just getting my feet wet in Coney Island ! )

#9 1 year ago

Once you get all three up and running, I am very curious about your thoughts about gameplay between them and which you prefer, etc.

1 week later
#10 1 year ago

Took a little break from my other project ( Coney Island ) tonight and set the cabinet for Big Time up on 4 legs. Since I have to wait for help putting the head back on I explored the cabinet some. Lifted the playfield out. Discovered the ball return tray had no screws and was loose so lifted that off too and got a good look inside.






#11 1 year ago

Discovered one issue - ball lifter motor disc or cam has a piece missing. Is the motor maybe missing some gears or something too ???

This looks like a problem...


#12 1 year ago

A look under the playfield - shutter motor and lifter start relay.





#13 1 year ago

I did peak in the head and took some pictures though it's currently sitting on the floor upside down waiting for help to lift it and attach to the cabinet. You will get a kick out of what I found in the fuse block ! I'll share that one. I'll get better pictures in general and a better inspection when the head gets put back on.


#14 1 year ago

That's even better than a "1/4-20 No-Blow"

#15 1 year ago

Another couple shots of the lifter motor assembly - There has to be something missing here - I don't see how the motor would drive the cog or disc which has a piece missing from it to boot. Worried about this.



#16 1 year ago

The ball lift motor looks appropriate, I think? What do you see that's missing? There should be two cams (which I can see), switches (appear to be there), arm, and hey! It even has the cover for the switches. The motor is there (on the back side).

Glad those weak fuse clips had a screw wedged in there. Hopefully it'll accept a fuse without breaking a clip. Cab looks pretty good!

#17 1 year ago

Comparing it to my Coney Island - there are exposed visible gears that connect the cams to the motor. On Coney you turn it by hand and you can see the shaft of the motor turn along with the gears driving it .

Here the cams seem in no way, that I see, have any direct connection to that shaft running through that yellow magnet armature. You can spin that shaft independent of the cam and vice versa.

Also noted that the yellow magnet floats and has some lateral movement also if you push on the shaft.

I would think turning one or the other, the cams or the motor shaft (spindle through the yellow magnet winding ) the other member should turn.

There was tape on one of the cams with some broken pieces so I know the one cam is missing some portion shape wise also.

#18 1 year ago

The silver box is a gear box. There should be a gear train in there. I've read that sometimes the grease in there can solidify and lock it up. Does anything turn at all by hand? If not, you may need to rehab that gearbox by drilling out the rivets, re-lubricating and then screwing it back together.

That game is surprisingly clean!

#19 1 year ago

What toyguy said! It's normal for that kind of core to have some lateral movement. The silver thing is the gearbox.

#20 1 year ago

Ok - so no exposed gears for the lifter motor for this game. Maybe when power is applied that yellow magnet pulls in toward that silver portion and turns hidden gears inside the thin silver box ?

Right now things do turn by hand but independent of one another. That is what raised my doubts.
I can turn the cams of course, but I don't see the shaft protruding out from the yellow magnet spinning when I do that.

I can spin the end of that same shaft that goes through the yellow magnet located above the coil that is secured in the U shaped bracket - and that spins with virtually no resistance at all. I would have thought turning that shaft I would meet some resistance and/or see the cams above then turn.


#21 1 year ago

I pushed in the end of the shaft I marked "spins freely", It is hard to tell, but then, it seems there is resistance met if I lightly apply pressure to try and turn the cams. I am thinking perhaps when power is applied the yellow magnet pulls in and acts on the thin silver gear box and hidden gearing inside... Maybe things are ok. I'll find out when I eventually get the game set up all the way and power is applied to the ball lifter.

That small piece of the cam cog missing I am sure I can repair with an epoxy based filler.

#22 1 year ago
Quoted from NoQuarters:

I pushed in the end of the shaft I marked "spins freely", It is hard to tell, but then, it seems there is resistance met if I lightly apply pressure to try and turn the cams. I am thinking perhaps when power is applied the yellow magnet pulls in and acts on the thin silver gear box and hidden gearing inside... Maybe things are ok. I'll find out when I eventually get the game set up all the way and power is applied to the ball lifter.
That small piece of the cam cog missing I am sure I can repair with an epoxy based filler.

The ball lift is probably OK. Your correct that when powered the 'armature' pulls in magnetically and rotates the shaft. Power off it moves out disengaging with the gears and rotates freely.

Regarding the piece of Bakelite needing repair the trick is to get another piece of Bakelite filed to the shape you want and epoxy to the side of the worn area. Make it as large as you need to get a strong grip, it will not get in the way.

You can have a third switch on this arrangement activated by a metal rod sticking out of the Bakelite cam yours seem not to have it on your game.

#23 1 year ago

Ok - thanks for the confirmation SteveinTexas. Very good.

For now I'll go on the assumption the motor probably is indeed alright.... I'll find out for sure when the time comes.

#24 1 year ago

I once went looked at a Big Time because I always liked the moving lines features. Also the pink, yellow, black and red coloring throughout the game really pops. I didn't buy the game because it just needed to much work. My Gay Time has the moving lines which cured my need for a moving lines bingo. Nice Find! The game looks great.

#25 1 year ago
Quoted from NoQuarters:

I did peak in the head and took some pictures though it's currently sitting on the floor upside down waiting for help to lift it and attach to the cabinet. You will get a kick out of what I found in the fuse block ! I'll share that one. I'll get better pictures in general and a better inspection when the head gets put back on.

Got the head on late today. Didn't have much time to look in the head but I did remove the screw from the fuse block and checked the fuses. All the fuses in there were 20 amp and too big ! Replaced with appropriate sizes to match the calls on the tags. I also noticed a couple slip ring wires were not in the correct grooves and corrected those. That's all I had time for tonight.

I will do a better general inspection in the head next, checking steppers, discs etc. I can see a couple of the discs can use a cleaning. Will get a better look when I get some time. Quick see and corrected a couple things right off the bat.

#26 1 year ago

No more No Blow Screw in the fuse block !

All new appropriate amperage fuses per label calls.


#27 1 year ago

Got a little better look inside today. There were no keys for anything. The back of the head was open and was no problem, nor the front door as there was no playfield glass.The side winder locks for the side rails of the head were the only challenge. I got one nut off the inside of one lock and was able to get the lock out and remove the backglass. Pulled that lock apart and pulled the lock pins out. Screwdriver will suffice now in that lock. Backglass has flaking in the Super Card areas and edges of the glass. Took the backglass out so I could fold down whiteboard and get a better look at everything.


#28 1 year ago

Have some dirty discs and some sticky steppers. I am going to do some cleaning before I even plug this game in.




#29 1 year ago

a few more pics




#30 1 year ago

A couple shots of the mixer on the back door


#31 1 year ago

and a few more shots back door, spotting disc, etc


#32 1 year ago

A couple overall shots. Ready for some general cleaning on some of the discs and steppers.... I'll get at this as time permits.


#33 1 year ago

5 moving lines, two super cards, 10 & 25 number spot, 4 corners and 3 extra balls makes for a great player. You are going to enjoy that bingo once up and running. Looks clean inside too.

#34 1 year ago

Started doing just a little cleaning last night and further examination. I lifted the white board back into the raised position at one point to clean and also check a few bulbs. There is an assortment of bulbs in the odds area, some missing and bulbs mixed in include #57, #1892, #53. These all appear to be 14 volt bulbs that were found there - but doesn't the odds fall in with general illumination or not ? Could or should these be 6 volt variety such as a #47 etc ??

Supercards had #1458 bulbs which are 20 volt ( near equal is a 1464 at 22 volt more readily available ) 17 volt circuit I believe at the Supercards. Looks like several are probably burn't out.

Won't even venture yet into the bulbs behind the sliding panels behind the main bingo card. I won't worry about those lighting until I get that far. Won't mess with those if I don't have too.

(Again haven't plugged the game in yet. I want to make sure there are no stuck steppers or solenoid's first before I put some balls in etc and see what happens on the first power up.)

#35 1 year ago

I'd have to look at the schematic, but normally the odds are 6v circuits.

#36 1 year ago

I was thinking that - it sure is a mish mash of different bulbs and some missing, and I'm sure there are several burnt out by the looks of them. If they are supposed to be 6 volts I'd like to just put new ones in for that area. 14 volt would light up pretty dim I'd guess anyway if there supposed to 6 volt bulbs installed at the odds area.

#37 1 year ago

Looking at the fuses - three circuits set up for 6 volt. Pulled the bulbs from the odds area. before I pulled the bulbs I couldn't resist the temptation to try turning on the machine. Did so for about 10 minutes. Upper GI lights on the whiteboard are 6 volt , I'd assume the odds lights are 6 volt also.

While I didn't get any balls to lift, the shutter did open and close with each push of the red button on the coin door. Looks like there is a wire inside to bypass coins, just push the red button. Didn't get any odds to light while I still had the bulbs in that area. Pushing contacts closed in the playfield got various lights to light on the bingo card area and some of the super cards. Vertical lines appear to move up and down for the first four lines, but not line five. Ball #3 appears lit with no ball in the hole - tapped the switch and it appears that isn't stuck. When I shut the game off I noticed the start relay coil was hot.



#38 1 year ago

I would change out any original Bally made fuse holder for sure, those are garbage.

#39 1 year ago

When I changed out the fuses and discarded the screw that was in one spot I checked out this block and it seems to be in good condition. Tight fit and good continuity. ( much better than the one I changed out in my Coney Island ) Good point though - I think any Bally Bingo should get a close check of the fuse block and replace if any question at all. I don't think the fuses are an issue in this game. All new and proper size's put in etc as per earlier posted activity.

Always worth a recheck later though I suppose when I really get into trying to get this one going. Just has been a bit of time here and there, and I'm still working on cleaning and checking things operate freely before I get into any real effort to awaken this game and sort out it's issues.

#40 1 year ago

The start relay should not be engaged long enough to be very hot. You have something sticking in your startup sequence (probably odds?). The magic lines work off of a clever set of coils - if they don't move up and down, then either the wiper plate (under the knob on the footrail) has an issue, the jones plug has an issue, or one of the coils has an issue.

There's also the lines feature unit to contend with - if it doesn't 'think' that you have all five enabled, though the lamp could be showing, you won't be able to move it.

#41 1 year ago

Thanks Nick

I obviously have some further cleaning work to do. Your diagnosis on my limited preliminary start up will be kept in mind. Any idea why #3 ball would stay lit with nothing in it while the switch appears to be open ?

I was happy to see four of the five lines move. That was a good sign I thought. Good to see some things work before I get into the game to any degree.

I am going to assume the odds lights are indeed 6 volt and put some #47 or #44 lamps in, lower the whiteboard again and get back to cleaning and checking again as time permits.

#42 1 year ago

Double-checked schematic - yes, 6v. I know of no bingos that used 17V lamps for odds/features, but I know at least the Turf King one ball horse race game uses 17V lamps for features/odds.

Yeah, it is (four out of five lines moving)!

#3 ball lit is likely a jones plug issue (one portion touching a different circuit). Otherwise, you have a problem with that switch, but if you've removed one of the shutter boards, you'll see there's not much to foul up there.

I won't tell you the worst-case scenario... for now. There's a couple other possibilities, but definitely rule out jones plugs first.

#43 1 year ago

I hope #3 ball lit is a Jones plug issue - but I really cleaned up the Jones plugs when I set the game up and carefully seated them all. Maybe there is a wire issue under the shutter board for #3 closing the circuit. I didn't like it when I saw #3 lit without a ball or closing the switch. Worst case is finding a short I'll venture a guess - that wouldn't be fun.
It seemed to me also that when I closed some other ball switches to light up other lights that the #3 dimmed down some when depressing other ball switches if that's another clue.

#44 1 year ago

Big Time has five magic lines. I'd try cleaning the finger boards for the magic lines under the rails first, especially if you've already cleaned the Jones Plugs. I'll be asking you to do that anyway for your #5 line.

#45 1 year ago

I'll go over the finger boards under the rails next cleaning session. I had did just a quick wipe of those when I set up the game. Maybe #5 contacts under the rail is just dirty. I'll probably pull the playfield out again too just to recheck switches underneath anyhow. That will make cleaning the finger boards easy also. Getting busy with other stuff now but I'll dig in again when I get the chance.

#46 1 year ago

I got about 20 minutes of time this afternoon....

Cleaned contacts for #5 magic line. Looks good but still not moving. Just #4 line moved this time. 1,2,3,5 no movement.

Under playfield #3 wires, switch etc look good.

I noticed when I turned on power, #3 is not lit, BUT lights as soon as you push the red credit switch. Turn the power back off and #3 is off.
Results consistent with a few power on and offs and pushing the red button. Red button lighting up #3 ball on Bingo Board.

Shutter no longer moving with push of the red button either. Now stays in the open position.

1 week later
#47 1 year ago

Got busy with some other stuff, but will get back at this project in awhile ... (I picked up a Flipper game - Bally Boomerang, have been bringing that up to snuff along with non pinball activity keeping me busy - back to the Bingo's probably in another week )

1 week later
#48 1 year ago

I had a little time the last couple evenings to tinker a little with this game. #3 light no longer comes on when you start the game. It lights properly if the shutter is closed and you depress the switch in the appropriate hole. I also cleaned up the playfield, polished, waxed and put on new post rings.

I went through and changed out burnt lamps in the main card and super cards. All the score lights do work when depressing the switches for each of the individual playfield holes for both the main card and super cards.

5 lines all move now. I did get the odds to light and advance a step or two at one point.

The shutter opened and closed for me a couple times upon pushing the red button but now appears to want to stick open again.

Ball lift isn't lifting balls.

Start relay locks on and stays on as soon as you trip the power switch on at the side of the head.

#49 1 year ago

Stuck coin switch?

#50 1 year ago

Red credit button is apparently wired up for free play. I haven't even tried a coin in the machine. There is a wire nut on the mod that is on the backside of the coin door. I suppose I could undo the connection at the wire nut and see what happens. I hadn't noticed it at the beginning of the project, but I believe that start relay has activated and stuck on anytime I have powered the machine on.


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