Bingo Pinballs

This page was created on 11-14-2014


Well we didn’t get to finish helping Gary, but Anthony wrote in on his CanCan, so now we get another crack at determining whether or not we can fix any of these old G.A.A. Bingos.


On Sunday, June 8, 2014 1:00 AM, Anthony Toscano <> wrote:


Hello Danny,
Keith N gave me your email and suggested that you are the "Man" when it comes to bingo pinballs. I have a 1990 French CanCan solid state that has lost its programming as the battery was removed when the machine was moved. I believe it was manufactured by GAA of Belgium or possibly Zaccarra of Italy.
I am in Australia and no one here has any idea as to how to go about reprogramming. I believe there's a special interface box that maybe required to reprogram the machine. Do you know anything about these or can you steer me in any positive direction? As a last resort, maybe I can send someone the entire main board complete with battery if that will work.
Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Kind Regards,


Well after Anthony’s mail above,, I asked for a set of pictures of the boards and he sent in a great set of photos and a video that gives us a pretty good view of what is happening with the bingo:



Following up on that, I asked a few questions and got back a few answers, I am still waiting to hear back from Anthony:



1) Please tell me what happens when you drop in a coin?

2) For your eeprom, have you replaced the battery yet?

3) Have you put a new battery in, plugged everything together, and tried to turn on your bingo? - Not very much - see video

4) If yes, what happens? (In detail please) - see video

5) Do you know anything about programming eeproms and other advanced ICs? - Not really but I am fairly technically minded.

6) Have you started reading through my "Solid State" pages yet on my website? - Send me the link please.

7) If not, please start.

8) Does your machine have any paperwork with it - manual, schematics - etc? No paperwork or manuals.

9) please look at the "home made bally programmer" pages in my "solid-state section" _ do you think you can build one of those?

10)   How many balls are in your bingo? There are 5 playfield balls and 4 extra balls so 9 in total.

11)   What is the diameter? They measure 28.5mm or 1.125 inches (I think that's 1 and an eighth)

12)   Are all of the balls together in the ball-channel?

13)   Does anything happen when you insert a coin - Does a ball doesn't lift up into the ball-shooter area? No

14)   Please trigger the coin mechanim with your finger, does anything happen? - I have tried the coin mechanism but nothing happens at all.

15)   What coin(s) are you using., i.e. U.S. nickels, Australia decimal coins - etc.?

16)   Does anything happen when you press any of the (orange, red, yellow) buttons on the front panel?

17)   On the handrail are the coin slots labeled, something like "1BF" - etc?

18)   At the end of the video there is some noise, like the playfield shutter is opening or closing, but the noise might also be the magic screen moving or a ball lifting _ what is it? - You are Right, it's the shutter motor activating.


Based upon his answers I wrote back the following email:


All of those lights flashing is what they call “attraction mode” and it is a good sign that your bingo has it _ It means that some of the programming is there _ some of the firmware - Great !


19) On the big circuit board there are 3 i.c. chips next to each other, two have tape on them, did you mark them?  Yeah, not sure about the tape, it was there when I got the machine.


Below them are 2 larger chips from NEC. These 5 chips are the programmable i.c.s.


20) are they soldered directly into the pcb circuit board or are they in sockets? They are sockets

21) Do you know what the tape is? - I think the tape was put there over the chips by someone else. There doesn't seem to be a reason as to why? I can see however in the middle of the chip is an electronic component like a diode or resistor or something similar.

22) What is the yellow paper under the tape?

23) Have you ever had the backbox (top cabinet) disconnected from the lower cabinet? - Apparently they were disconnected b4 I got it.




I do not think that the coin meter on the left (as shown above) will work, since it only has one wire connected to it _ Depending on which machine you have, they have to have 2-or-3 wires.




24)   In your video: Does the bottom number ever change from a 5?

25)   In your video: Other than when the “attraction mode is running” do the top numbers ever change from being all zeros?

26)   Do either of the counter rows ever do something like show an error code like E602?

27)   Please send me a few pictures of the backglass?

28)   Please make some of the pictures, the area over these two counters/readouts?


OK, I think we are going to have to make a few electronic measurements and perform a few experiments in order to determine how to proceed:


To start, I want to go ahead and concentrate on this circuit board:




I think P7 on this board maybe the connector used for the remote programming.


I think all of the diodes on this board form some sort of “shutdown/enable” circuit/matrix that shut off the eeproms when something is wrong.


29)   Do you own an electronic volt meter/multimeter? – Yes, I have a Fluke digital

30)   Do you know how to use it - to measure voltage? Yes, both ac & dc

31)   Do you know how to use it to measure resistance? Yes

32)   Do you know how a diode works? Yes


OK, please read through this next section on how to proceed and please answer the questions (above) that you have not yet answered:


So we need to look at diodes real quick and try to figure out how these are all connected, here are some notes and thoughts to help you look at this circuit board:



Didoes are used in many different ways, but they can be used as a switch and I think that is the purpose of them on your “interface board” – I think the board is set up so, if you pull any of the cathodes low – they in-turn pull their anode low and shut of the bingo

This is a very big guess – I could easily be wrong

Let’s say that there is a positive voltage on the cathode _ 5 volts, 10 volts – anything


When you do, it will pull the voltage on the anode low, toward ground – most diodes have a 0.7 volt drop across them, so if the cathode was originally at 5.0 volts, it would show 0.7 volts after the cathode was pull low………… if at 10.0 volts, it would show 0.7 volts after the cathode was pulled low – etc



The trick is going to be finding a ground we can use, that we can measure from


Look around your bingo cabinet – for a power supply?

Please email me some pictures

Please use your multi-meter to measure resistance between the screw and the black wire – are they shorted together – does it measure zero-ohms?

Ω = ohms

From the power supply – we need to also measure ohms to the screw and then to the black wire _ and see if they are shorted (do they measure zero ohms) ?

Once we have a ground – we can start measuring voltages on the anodes of the diodes

Every diode on the “interface board”


What do all of the anodes measure?




If I am correct, we will see most of them read high – read a volate greater than 0.7 VDC – measure something like 5.0 VDC

If I am correct there will only be “one” or “two” that measure low – that measure the 0.7 vdc

I think a low triggers a shutdown – triggers an alarm and prevents start up

once we find which nodes (which diodes) measure low, we can follow the wires back to the problem/source and make some more guesses as “to why your bingo will not turn on and play a game”

trace the “wire connected to the diode cathode  measuring low” _ trace it back to where it originates

I think the diodes sense all kinds of things:

1) Sense if the cabinet doors are open

2) Sense if the balls are present

3) Sense if the coin has been accepted

4) Sense if the power supply is good

5) Sense if the eprom has been erased – or if the battery is dead

6) Etc

I think the diodes form a “fault matrix” that checks the health of the system and decides if the “machine is ok” and if not, holds the machine off – something like this:

Diodes or groups of didoes connected up something like this?


image025           image026

Where the commons then control a shutdown at one of the control chips………

If all of the anodes are “high” (measuring greater than 1.0 vdc) then there is another reason the bingo isn’t starting up………

Again, it just a guess until we get a little more information.



_ Stay Tuned _