_ Bingo Pinball Tech stuff _

Created 12-05-2014 Last Update 7-08-2017


Well, at some point everyone has had a few questions on how the Bingos fire-up!



Newsgroups: rec.games.pinballFrom: "neilc" <neil...@comcast.net>Date: 25 Jan 2007 17:45:34 -0800Local: Thurs, Jan 25 2007 5:45 pmSubject: question for anyone with working Bally bingo Fun Way or Lotta Fun, Single Coin, or similarHi, I've posted about this game before looking for technical advice but it seems like no one is familiar with the problems I'm having. So this time I'm hoping that someone with a working game can tell me a few things about how the game operates when it's working properly, as this will help me with troubleshooting. Does the control unit motor turn continuously during gameplay? Does the game continuously search for winners during gameplay? Does the game award points during gameplay, or only after the fifth ball?If you shoot the first ball and do nothing else, how long will the game run before it ends the game? When you raise a ball to the playfield, or shoot a ball, do you hear the timer unit step up once at the same time? Or does the timer unit operation seem independent of the gameplay? Thank you very much in advance to anyone who can answer any or all of these questions.



Newsgroups: rec.games.pinballFrom: "Ben Myers" <benjm...@REMOVEmindspring.com>Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2007 08:38:52 GMTLocal: Fri, Jan 26 2007 12:38 amSubject: Re: question for anyone with working Bally bingo Fun Way or Lotta Fun, Single Coin, or similar Check the schematic for anything that would activate the timer unit reset coil. I suspect that the timer unit is supposed to get reset at some point during a game, possibly by an unnoticed switch on the ball lift mechanism. This would mean 24 seconds per ball instead of 24 seconds per game. In addition, the control unit could be restarted after all five balls are played by simply cycling the ball lift mechanism.



Newsgroups: rec.games.pinballFrom: "Vic Camp" <campga...@yahoo.com>Date: 26 Jan 2007 10:41:12 -0800Local: Fri, Jan 26 2007 10:41 amSubject: Re: question for anyone with working Bally bingo Fun Way or Lotta Fun, Single Coin, or similarNiel,I am not an expert on repairing bingo pinball machines but will try to help you with your questions. I have a 1961 "all original" Bally Lite a Line and it could work like your Lotta Fun or other six card bingos from that year too but not sure.Yes.... the Control Unit Motor does turn during gameplay.No......the Search Disc Unit does not continuously search for winners during game play. I think the game awards replays after the 4th or 5th ball is shot. I am not in front of my game so i will guess its after the 5th ball.If you shoot the first ball out and do nothing else, then the game will run continuously which is dangerous and bad for the control motor. When you first start the game and shot the ball through the top arch metal switch it steps the timer unit one step. The timer unit operates alot of important relays functions that control the gameplay. Make sure your top arch ball gate switch is working and contacts are clean on it. Niel i am a little rusty because i have not worked on my six card games in quite sometime which is a good thing.


Newsgroups: rec.games.pinballFrom: "Vic Camp" <campga...@yahoo.com>Date: 26 Jan 2007 18:52:53 -0800Local: Fri, Jan 26 2007 6:52 pmSubject: Re: question for anyone with working Bally bingo Fun Way or Lotta Fun, Single Coin, or similarNiel,Here is Bally's 1961 Lite a Line six card bingo component function operation.1) At the start of the game a player drops coins in to game.(control motor runs) 2) Control Motor runs continuously during entire game (until Timer Unit reaches final step and shuts off). 3) Player shoots ball through top arch ball gate switch.(Starts timer unit and closes shutter motor board). 4) Timer Unit continues to step up until it reaches the final step (which i 'm guessing is about 25 steps). 5)After 4th or 5th ball is shot player can press left side button located on front of lower cabinet which will start the search disc (which are located at the left end of the control unit). 6)Search disc continue to turn until winning number combination is found (then stops and will pay out). 7)Player can then again hit the left side button which will start the search disc turning again to search for more winning number combination. 8)Timer unit reaches last step and shuts off control motor. 9)Right side red button starts new game if player has replays on backglass replay counter.


Newsgroups: rec.games.pinballFrom: "Phil" <okora...@home.com>Date: 26 Jan 2007 19:52:05 -0800Local: Fri, Jan 26 2007 7:52 pmSubject: Re: question for anyone with working Bally bingo Fun Way or Lotta Fun, Single Coin, or similar I can see why Neil is having this trouble. He and I have communicated some off line and I am baffled at the problem as well. The Lotta Fun six card has a manual ball lift and no extra balls, which is similar to my six card Bright Lights (which was the very first Bally bingo game). The Bright Lights does not have a timer unit and the control unit motor runs continuously during the game. In fact, if you look at Ray Watt's web site, you will find that the players considered it a courtesy to tilt the machine upon leaving because it would search for winners incessantly and the search relays would tick maddeningly. Now, I have a Shoot-a-Line with essentially the same schematic characteristics as the Lotta Fun, from the same time period. The timer is an eight step unit and starts ticking at the closure of the shutter, when the first ball is shot and at each revolution of the control unit cams. I agree with Neil that this is an odd situation.Vic, you mention a button on the front of the cab to start the search unit. Neil has an added button on the front of his unit as well. Maybe that's it's purpose?Neil, if I were you and just wanted to have the game for home use, I would revert to the old Bright Lights method and just let the control unit motor run by disabling either the timer stepper of the open at top switch which shuts to CU motor. This solves your problem and for home use will not be a big deal. Remember, these machines were on constantly, sometimes 24 hours a day and the motors would wear. Home use, I don't see a problem.


Newsgroups: rec.games.pinballFrom: "Keinert" <kein...@sbceo.org>Date: 26 Jan 2007 21:37:09 -0800Local: Fri, Jan 26 2007 9:37 pmSubject: Re: question for anyone with working Bally bingo Fun Way or Lotta Fun, Single Coin, or similar I have a Bally Miami Beach and it DOES search for winners constantly (which is proper operation). The sound you hear while this happens is all those relays clicking. This is normal. Mine starts to pay on the third ball, through the last ball. This too is normal. It pays as soon as it finds a winner. It does not pay multiple times for the same number of balls in a row. If you don't touch the game for roughly 5 minutes (or so) it will time out and shut off. This again, is proper operation. Gameroom magazine sells a very good book, dedicated just to Bingo operation and repair.Hope this helps,


Newsgroups: rec.games.pinballFrom: "neilc" <neil...@comcast.net>Date: 27 Jan 2007 07:08:09 -0800Local: Sat, Jan 27 2007 7:08 amSubject: Re: question for anyone with working Bally bingo Fun Way or Lotta Fun, Single Coin, or similar First, Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this thread. It is an honor to be receiving advice from some of the most knowledgeable folks in the bingo field. Steve -- I have posted about this on bingo.cdyn.com and I have found the site to be quite helpful but it does not get as much traffic as rgp, and as such generates fewer responses. Ben -- Your suspicion is quite interesting. I hadn't considered that the timer could be a ball timeout instead of a game timeout, and it seems to me that your idea would make more sense anyway. But the schematic indicates that the timer unit is designed to only reset once per game -- it is wired together with a bunch of other stepper resets that all pulse momentarily upon closure of the shutter.Vic and Kevin -- The information that you provided has been quite helpful in understanding how the game should work. I am surprised that my game is apparently operating mostly as it's designed to. btw Kevin your orchestrion on your web site looks incredible. It sounds like the conclusion here is that this game was a crappy design to begin with. The operator modifications on mine were probably mostly improvements to the gameplay rather than legal or odds related hacks as I had previously assumed. My best option at this point appears to be keeping and/or restoring some of the modifications. Restoring the operation of the left button to match Vic's description is probably a good idea. It sounds like that button should reset the timer, and optionally release the search cam indexes or search enable relays if the game is configured to not constantly search for winners. My game has relays that appear to be a modification that are configured to disconnect all of the search cam slip ring wipers, but they are controlled with the control motor power supply, so the search system is always enabled during gameplay. It may be more logical for these relays to be controlled by the left button, but it seems like either configuration will have the same final outcome. Keeping the timer unit modified to make the game run longer is probably a good idea as well. It sounds like most games out there were either designed or modified to have a 20-25 step timer rather than an 8 step.My next goal is to reverse the 'single coin' operational modification back to a one card per coin/credit system. Is this a simple and common change or should I go back to studying the schematic to figure this one out? Also the scoring seems to be acting a bit funny; I'm going to have to take a closer look at when and why it adds to the score. The scoring problem that I have had is that if you have a decent game (I think two or three three-number lines or better causes it), the score cam pauses much more often and will rarely step up the timer, and in some cases has stopped stepping the timer altogether. Meanwhile the game continues to add to the score, apparently failing to differentiate between previously counted wins and new wins. This is a problem that I have yet to explore. I will probably have time to work on the game again tomorrow and I will post an update. Thanks again


Newsgroups: rec.games.pinballFrom: "Ben Myers" <benjm...@REMOVEmindspring.com>Date: Sun, 28 Jan 2007 22:45:55 GMTLocal: Sun, Jan 28 2007 2:45 pmSubject: Re: question for anyone with working Bally bingo Fun Way or Lotta Fun, Single Coin, or similar Regarding the scoring problem, it is almost certainly normal for the timer unit to stop indexing while replays are being awarded. Otherwise, the control unit might be stopped before the procedure is finished. With multiple winners, each winner is detected at a different point on the search disk. After each winner is detected and recorded, the search cam will stop at the next one automatically. The machine should also keep track of winners, so that they are not recorded a second time. If you are observing behavior other than this, please repost with the details.




Well one day Phil Hooper reaches out to correct one of my pages, sharing a few comments`


http://danny.cdyn.com/initialturnon.htm isn't completely accurate:

When you first plug in the machine and turn it on, it begins a start cycle.

assuming a start cycle means the start relay is powered, that doesn't happen until a coin or credit is played. 

If there are replays available on the replay meter, the machine will automatically start counting them off, then energize the motors. If not and you start feeding in coins, then the machine will start the operating sequencing and motors.

if there are credits on the replay register, the replay reset relay powers when the game is turned on because the anti-cheat relay is unpowered.  That causes the motors to power and a 16 pulse cam switch causes the replay register to decrement to zero.  Once the register is zero, the motors may turn off again...depends on the position of the timer unit.

when a coin/credit is played (credits added with a kumbbackey is the only standard way when a game resets replay register at power-on), then the timer unit is reset and the motors turn on.

Either way, the machine begins what is known as the start cycle where it closes the start relay and then resets and/or spins the timer cams and mixers, where the spotting wipers are all released. The timer cam rotation is periodically stopped by the drag arms, but eventually the timer cams rotate enough to allow the spotting wipers and mixers to lock in. While the spotting wipers are rotating, lights are flashing on the backglass. The position where the spotting wipers stop often determines what circuits will get 50V passed through to them on this spin cycle. Depending on a bunch of other factors - like the mixers and current positions of various steppers - the 50V works its way through and powers step-up coils or trip relay coils to award features or increase odds. The reflex unit is nudged another little bit toward it's reset position, thus increasing the chance of the 50V mentioned above making it through all the units to the coils.

yup!  Bally tended to call it the "spin cycle", but start cycle was probably used too.