How do score reels function? Pt. 2 in a series on score reels. As a continuous stepper with pictures instead of rivets!
What is a score reel? This and other questions will be answered. Score reels were first used in the 1950s, and continued to be used through most of the 1970s.
Early pinball machines from the 1930s, all the way through the 40s and into the 50s, used a method of keeping score that was unique to the era. "Lighted scoring" was a way for the game to show you your score and to keep track of your current score for the purpose of awarding replays. I describe how lighted scoring is controlled, and the similarity between it and its successor, the score reel.
Jim Willing from the Spooky Pinball Podcast's EM Dungeon segment (spookypinball.com/podcast) emails with a question on an odd back door switch on a bingo. I give him the wrong answer and he graciously provides the correct one.
To be fair, I was nowhere near a manual, schematic or bingo when he asked, but I tried!
...my hubris, in particular. I finally found and fixed the problem with my card #5 in Ticker Tape. It wasn't at all where I was looking, but I (re)learned a valuable lesson. I should actually read the manual/schematic if the game contains units I've never encountered.
Also, Australian listeners - a call to action! Please contact me about the bingo scene (if there was one) in Australia. I know absolutely nothing, and would love to be educated.
When you have a scoring problem in a bingo, testing can be a pain, if you don't know this simple trick. Dropping all the balls, and shooting a new winning combination, even with the glass off, takes forever. Pressing a couple of coil plungers and a relay plate are all that's needed to re-test.
The ball gate switch is a very important switch, indeed! It tells the bingo with a time tree that it should throw a trip relay based on the position of the timer unit. Without the trips tripping, the timer will no longer advance, and you will have crazy gameplay issues, including issues with registering replays, locking you out of various timetree-driven features, etc.
Bally and United were both manufacturing bingo pinballs in the 1950s. Since starting this show, I've been increasingly interested in the differences between the two manufacturer's machines. United's mechanics and circuits are engineered differently than the Bally ones, and I like 'em both!
Another deep tech episode - how to remove the unit (could be anything, score reel, search disc [I know, I know], bonus stepper) and safely reattach. Also a cautionary tale about fuse blocks!
Dennis Dodel is an influential bingo and flipper pinball collector that has many notable pinball credentials. He started the Pinball Trader newsletter, which became/inspired the Pingame Journal, and continues to contribute to various pinball publications. If you've ever been to ipdb.org, you've most likely seen a photo credited to Dennis.
Dennis answered my questions via email on 5/21/15.