Problems with the Gay Time
One of the first bingo’s in the collection was a Gayety. With the vertically Magic Lines and the unique Magic Pockets. With the Magic Pockets it is possible to move the ball from 1 to 7 on the playfield. The unit was controlled by a big system built underneath the playfield, with a couple of 110 volt solenoids, springs and levers. As the balls placed in the numbers 1 - 7 could not drop though the playfield, those balls have to move to the number 7 hole from which a solenoid pushed the ball onto the playfield again. The system was not troublesfree and after some time there was severe damage on the playfield. The successor of the Gayety was the Gay Time from 1955 and Bally tried to solve the problems with the unit by fitting small relays, but the biggest change was the extra hole made next to number 7. The balls are lifted in that hole so that there is no damage to the playfield anymore.
It took some time to find a Gay Time, but after I got the opportunity to explain something about Bally Bingo’s on national television, I was offered two Gay Times. As usual Ed did the biggest part of the technical restoration, but I did some investigation before he started.
One of the problems was the short in the 110 volt circuit and after some investigation I noticed the problem had to be in the cabinet. Normally the toggle switch and the wiring to the switch on the shutter motor is the only 110 volt part in the cabinet, but in the Gay Time the Magic Pocket unit is also energized by 110 volt. That worried me as the big solenoids are specially made by Bally and if one has been burnt it would be hard the get a new one.
Obviously the former owner had some troubles with the solenoid as one of the solenoids was new, but by putting 110 volt on this solenoid the fuse blew, so may be this coil caused the short. However I did not had to search very long. Watching the solenoid carefully I saw what they did long ago. Someone fitted the solenoid wrong, so that the two 110 connections were covered by the mountingplate . By turning the coil 90 degrees the problem was solved. After that the unit was dismantled, cleaned, polished and adjusted and works 100% again. See the film on Youtube for the action of the Magic Pockets.