Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Red Rollover Lit!

For over thirty years I secretly yearned to own one of these great pieces of electro-mechanical wizardry and now I'm priviliged to have four of them!

If you want to recapture a piece of your past then as a starter I can recommend these two great websites

The first, http://www.ballybingo.co.uk/index1.html will provide information about what's happening in the UK with links to other sites and a very informative forum.

The second, http://bingo.cdyn.com/ is a 'must' for anyone who has or is thinking of getting a Bally Bingo machine as it carries a HUGE amount of information relating to the upkeep and maintenance of these machines including schematics and manuals.

Two great machines together

I thought it would be nice to show the Key West and County Fair together in the games room. I think they look pretty nifty together and you can see for yourself the great restoration work done by my pals the Bingobeast and the Bingo Wizard.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

And introducing......

Ed (The Bingo Wizard) on the left and Frans (The Bingobeast) on the right with one beautifully and faithfully restored County Fair. I kow that they've restored lots of different machines but I have it on good authority that they put a little bit of their souls into each one...!
So it now goes on 'test', which is an obvious euphemism for ('we're going to play on it for a couple of weeks!).
I think they've earnt that privilige.
Two great guys.

In all its glory!

I don't think words are needed.......

Finished (2)

Note the proper (original) and restored legs

Finished (1)

It finally all comes together

Magic screen-in situ

Check it out - how great does it all look now!

Head - back door

Again, it's the attention to detail. Check this out, every solder has been replaced and re-soldered, wiring looms bundled up and tagged and new (easily read) labels

Magic Screen

Like everything else, looking sparkling and clean and for those who like the detail - look at the repainted white backboard

Wiper motor

Unsurprisingly, looking not just clean but very near brand new...

More evidence....!

Amazing attention to detail!

So it's true...!

Now I remember seeing a post by Hugh at Oldbinger and it's obvious that he and Ed work to the same high specifications - 'strip everything out and clean it thoroughly'


Good picure of the shutter and shutter motor

Cabinet interior

Looking exceptionally clean and tidy

Head (back door)

Once again, it all looks too darn complicated!

Head - let's begin at the beginning

It suddenly struck me that it's going to look awfully crowded when it's put back together

The head - where to begin?

I think this is a great photo - I don't know if it's typical of the electro-mechanical challenges (I suspect this isn't amongst the worst) but to a novice like me it looks fairly daunting

It's not just about artwork.....

At this point Ed knows that there's going to be some challenges for him resolve...

Head and cabinet reunited (2)

From another angle and looking so GOooood!

Head and cabinet reunited

Doesn't that look fantastic (note temporary legs)

Head - artwork

I think you'll agree, this looks really great.

Cabinet - artwork

Now it's beginning to look like something special!

Cabinet - artwork

Now beginning to look like something special!

Cabinet - artwork

Now beginning to look like something special!

Artwork - first stages

Cabinet and head painted in their primary colours and the cabinet being set up for stencil templates

First stage(s)

Shows the cabinet and door rubbed down ready for base and primer coats to be followed by the head (note the cardboard box which contains some of Ed's upcoming challenges!)

County Fair - a suitable case for treatment

This was the machine that Frans and Ed decided would be most suitable for restoring (actually it doens't look too bad)

Sunday, 20 April 2008

My County Fair (well you can't just have one machine can you?)

After taking delivery of my Key West I spoke to Frans and Ed and since January 2008 they've been restoring and refurbishing a County Fair for me.

I hope you enjoy the following pictures of another amazing journey which brings back to life another fabulous bingo machine.....my County Fair!

Me and my machine (Frans and Ed in the background)

This was a candid photo taken of me when I first saw the Key West - This was the realisation of of a 40 year dream and I suddenly found myself very emotional, so much so that I could hardly bring myself to lay a hand on it!

From left to right Frans (The Bingobeast), me, Ed (The Bingo Wizard).

The finished article ready for testing and troubleshooting

Shh! Ed working.

The challenge begins....

Inside the machine and so the 'fun' begins....

OK, this is Ed - the so aptly named 'Bingo Wizard'. Ed takes delivery of the machine when the artwork has been finished.

Ed spends hundreds of hours refurbishing, renewing and replacing most of the elector-mechanical parts and wiring not to mention troubleshooting and testing. (but he still retains a great sense of humour!)

And now 'after'........

This is a 'before' picture showing the playfield in fairly poor condition

This shows the cabinet after similar stencil templateshad been applied to pick out the other shapes and colours - beginning to look really good!

Green coat applied

Green stencil template.

Yellow applied and stencil removed.

Yellow stencil overlay.

Cabinet (and cabinet door) and head after application of base coat.

Front of cabinet showing the primer coat.

OK, here are the two main component parts - the head and the cabinet. They've been rubbed down preparatory to the artwork and graphics being applied.

It's all in the eye of the beholder...

This is my beautifully and lovingly restored Key West
(c. 1956)

This and the other pictures provide an insight into the the remarkable skills of my two Dutch friends Frans Pilger and Ed Rezel who are based in Holland. Producing work of this quality will go a long way to ensuring these machines are never forgotten.

Remarkably, this is a 'not for profit' venture, Frans and Ed are only interest in recouping their expenses. Obviously if they were to price machines according to the time it takes to restore (several months) , their expertise (unquestionably two of the best in the business) and the love they cherish on the whole project, the machines would only be in the hands of rich collectors. From personal experience I can tell you this isn't the case.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Red Rollover Lit?

So, what the hell does that mean?

Well, it could just as easily be 'Yellow Rollover Lit' but either would be likely to mean something significant to a generation of people who played on Bally bingo machines in the 1950's, 60's and 70's.

I've set this blog up so that I can remember the distant days of my youth, to try and recapture some of it and (hopefully) to share my experiences with others who might want to do the same by responding.

As I become slightly more acomplished, I'll add some detail about the journey that got me here together with photographs of my machines which were lovingly restored by two great guys in Holland Frans (The Bingobeast) and Ed (The Bingo Wizard). I'll also take the opportunity acknowledge the ongoing contributions being made by Chris Dade (BallyBingo) and Chris Howard (Bingo machine mechanical genius).

Please feel free to respond,

JLT 4 Bally Bingo