1937 Bally Crossline

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macR

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May 23, 2022, 9:03:52 PMMay 23
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Anyone know what specific size/type of pinball this game requires? The playability of this one is very determined by the ball and the ‘bounce’ factor. The side bounce rails are aged and we’ve tried to restore the rubberiness of them to little effect. I wonder too if there’s a nominal replacement so that correct size/type pinball does its bounce properly. It’s fully functional otherwise, and I’d like to have it completely playable.
https://quarterbyte.blogspot.com/2011/04/
Any information you could provide would be sincerely appreciated.

Thanks!

John Robertson

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May 24, 2022, 1:39:53 AMMay 24
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Early EM pinball games used glass marbles, not steel balls - these balls
would fit with only a bit of spare space in the holes in the playfield.

I'd try them first if you can't get any better info.

John :-#)#

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Dave Hollister

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May 25, 2022, 8:56:11 AMMay 25
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Neat game. Check the tray where the balls sit after they drain for some indication of the correct size. Likely a standard 1-1/16 or 1-1/8 chrome steel ball would work. Had a 1937 Bally Mercury which came with 1-1/8" balls (similar style cabinet and head, operating on two old radio vacuum tubes, and high voltage). New rubber weather stripping can restore some bounce to old games. See what you can find, and perhaps save the original material somewhere in the cabinet. Dave H.

Kerry Imming

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May 26, 2022, 7:39:36 AMMay 26
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The Pinball Resource shows sizes available from 3/4" up.
http://pbresource.com/Balls.html

In my old games there are ball trails on the metal arc. Measuring that
gives 1/2 the diameter of the ball. Height of bumpers is also a clue.

That said, rejuvenating 85 year old rubber sounds like a challenge.

I'm curious as to how the "Radio Ray" worked. In your picture it looks
like mirrors so I'm guessing it's a single light beam following the
criss-cross lines? CDS photoresistors may have existed that long ago,
but I have no idea how that would have triggered a score given that
there were no transistors.

- Kerry

John Robertson

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May 26, 2022, 1:37:32 PMMay 26
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I was wrong about using glass marbles, that is pretty obvious! As Kerry
says, measure from the middle of the track at the top of the playfield
to the upper rail and you will have the radius of the ball.
As for how it worked, a tube amplifier much like used in the Seeburg
Ray-O-Lite games would be my guess. Much like the photo-tubes used in
film projectors of the day for the 'Talkies'. The ball would have to
block the light for X seconds for the timer to do a score increment, so
it would have to travel in line with the tracks to block the light long
enough for the timer to run out. which wouldn't happen if the ball
merely passed through the light beam as it bounced around.

If you can find a solid rubber O-Ring that is the correct length and
diameter, then slit it in half (a jig with a razor blade in the middle
works fine) and secure each side to the walls of the game's playfield. I
do that with regular rubber rings when restoring 30s games that had 1/2
round rubber mupers on the sides - most have used large white rubber
pinball rings cut to size.

macR

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May 28, 2022, 9:46:00 PMMay 28
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Gentlemen, all, thank you! I greatly appreciate this insightful information you’ve provided. John, thank you again for all your help on this (real pinballers) newsgroup. A great friend is helping restore this game fully and he’s 70 miles away with it currently in his shop. Naphtha product in multiple applications to the side rubber is arduous and not really working —taking those suggestions about replacement and still searching for a similarly-profiled replacement. We tried the 25mm glass marbles first and they seemed way too light for the needed bounce. By the way, this prompted an order from moonmarble.com for some needed replacements for other pre-war pins in collection, a great source with many colors. We do have tells by the field wear and the rubber heights -the ideal size showing to be 1 1/8”. This agrees with the Bally Mercury, which was very telling being the same Model # 159. Thanks, Dave. Machines that were made within May/June of 1937 share the inventions of a new patent by Charles Breitenstein: a “…circular platform adapted to be yieldingly supported at the level of the playing surface so that a relatively heavy ball rolling onto the platform will weight it down sufficiently to cause momentary closing of an electric switch in a circuit including means to operate some desired auxiliary device, such as a score counter.” (Pinball 1, pp 181). AHA! “relatively heavy ball” .. a 1 1/16 weighing 75g and a 1 1/8 weighing 95g. Similar back box and vacuum tubes too I’m sure -what is that potentiometer for?! The Mercury looks very cool with that stainless steel field. This Crosssline has delicate (despite the wire protectors) mirrors, that keep that very finicky beam crossing the field back to the collector (finicky like your garage door beam). The circuit is normally closed as long as the beam is seen in photocell; the ball breaks the plane causing the circuit to be tagged as open, triggering the score wheel to advance 1x. I’ll post detailed addendum pictures and working video to that same blog post when we get it nominal soon! Yeah, dated cool like a MM, but novelty fun like a Hyperball -bet the operators were constantly readjusting the mirrors for coin! Working game reminds me of some black/white Hollywood premier with spotlights. Good stuff!

Kerry Imming

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Jun 1, 2022, 9:26:36 AMJun 1
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On 5/28/2022 8:45 PM, macR wrote:
> Gentlemen, all, thank you! I greatly appreciate this insightful information you’ve provided. John, thank you again for all your help on this (real pinballers) newsgroup. A great friend is helping restore this game fully and he’s 70 miles away with it currently in his shop. Naphtha product in multiple applications to the side rubber is arduous and not really working —taking those suggestions about replacement and still searching for a similarly-profiled replacement. We tried the 25mm glass marbles first and they seemed way too light for the needed bounce. By the way, this prompted an order from moonmarble.com for some needed replacements for other pre-war pins in collection, a great source with many colors. We do have tells by the field wear and the rubber heights -the ideal size showing to be 1 1/8”. This agrees with the Bally Mercury, which was very telling being the same Model # 159. Thanks, Dave. Machines that were made within May/June of 1937 share the inventions of a new patent by Charles Breitenstein: a “…circular platform adapted to be yieldingly supported at the level of the playing surface so that a relatively heavy ball rolling onto the platform will weight it down sufficiently to cause momentary closing of an electric switch in a circuit including means to operate some desired auxiliary device, such as a score counter.” (Pinball 1, pp 181). AHA! “relatively heavy ball” .. a 1 1/16 weighing 75g and a 1 1/8 weighing 95g. Similar back box and vacuum tubes too I’m sure -what is that potentiometer for?! The Mercury looks very cool with that stainless steel field. This Crosssline has delicate (despite the wire protectors) mirrors, that keep that very finicky beam crossing the field back to the collector (finicky like your garage door beam). The circuit is normally closed as long as the beam is seen in photocell; the ball breaks the plane causing the circuit to be tagged as open, triggering the score wheel to advance 1x. I’ll post detailed addendum pictures and working video to that same blog post when we get it nominal soon! Yeah, dated cool like a MM, but novelty fun like a Hyperball -bet the operators were constantly readjusting the mirrors for coin! Working game reminds me of some black/white Hollywood premier with spotlights. Good stuff!

Thank you for the information on the photoelectric circuit. That had to
be new technology at the time and it's interesting how game designers
found ways to use it. If you find any more information on the tube
circuit I would be interested (just curiosity).

Getting a photoelectric circuit to respond fast enough with false
triggers must have been a challenge.

As for the bumpers, have you looked into the various rubber rejuvinator
products that are available for office machines?

- Kerry
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