The Magic Ring came from the USA
Because we wanted something different than restoring a Magic Squares or OK machine, it was time to choose a fairly rare 20 holes bingo. The London, Venice and Big Wheel had already gone through our hands, but a Magic Ring in 1968 was already some time in storage in his turn to wait.
Actually we thought the restoration work on this case would be limited because the
bingo was imported from the USA. Through my visits to the States I noticed that
there found boxes were of much better quality than the boxes we had found in
Western Europe. And seeing the pictures of the Magic Ring, the restoration it would
be very easy.
How different it was, when we opened the back door and we inspected the interior
of the cabinet. Fortunately, the electronic detection module , which registers the
winning combinations, was present and the machine seemed complete.
But the bingo appeared in various places to have sustained major fire damage.
That fire damage to wiring and coils was only partially resolved and in a rather
rough way, but when we dismantled the machine, there was more burned
wiring, which had to be renewed.
Apparently, at an earlier stage the A, B, C, D, E unit once already was on fire
because that unit was also in a rough way repaired.
As I prefer the original colours and wires, I renewed them without hasitation
It was obvious the previous owner could not solve the problems and had the Magic Ring on E-bay for sale.
One of the most common trouble spot is the Spotting Index Relay and of
course this was also the case here. The wiring of these was repaired,
but they had not bothered to use the original wiring or the original colors.
The wiring of the Spotting Disc itself had been damaged and it took quite some
effort to bring them back in his original state.
Worse was also on the back of the Whiteboard fire had destroyed several parts.
The coil of the Magic Ring Cam Index was completely charred and the
fire had damaged other wiring in the heat
That the relay coil of the Tilt and a lot of wiring on the back door was melted by fire, was just a minor thing. But also the wiring of the front, buttons, and a large portion of the cable assembly of the cabinet had to be renewed because they were eaten by fire, and this was much more work.
Besides repairing the fire damage of the Magic Ring Index and the Delection
Feature Unit which is situated in the neighbourhood, it was also important
to find the cause of the fire in the Magic Ring Index Cam and Magic Index. After
some puzzling we discovered that a sticking Magic Ring Index relay should have
been the cause. Like the Ball-Lift Start relay sometimes want to stick, so the relay remains energized and thus no balls to the playing field will be lifted, so this relay remained closed. That meant that the Magic Ring Cam index was withdrawn and the engine continued to run. After a few minutes this Index Cam Solenoid will be so hot that it will glow and burn.
Of course there were the usual wear parts should be replaced. The remains of
the mixer unit Latch, one of the coils was broken, the two plungers were
completely worn out and thus the axle was worn, showed that this bingo had a
hard life behind him.
When I was doing the mixer unit, I noticed that the fixed and moving parts of
this unit were not properly adjusted and the Spotting Index could not be used.
The entire shaft of the mixer unit was fitted together in a wrong way, because
some of the pads were not properly restored . Someone in the USA tried to
work on the Mixer Unit and had apparently been dropped all parts on the floor.
The result was that some parts of the mixers were pitted and had to be completely
Because this is one of the first units with (a primitive) type of electronics, I also
encountered several problems in this area. There are more than 60 diodes at
various locations in the wiring hidden and as many lights (there are about 100
lights on 20 volts DC) did not burn, it was sometimes a puzzle to find the (see the
arrow) corresponding broken diode . Normally only the lamps of the card
are fed by 20 volts, but in the Magic Ring lights of the scores burn all at 20 volts.
Because in 1968 Bally was not very involved in the assembly of wooden parts,
I now had the problem that I couldn’t remove almost any light without a
problem. After many fruitless attempts, I dismantled a part of the whiteboard
and Coos made a new part for it.
This part is easy to remove, thus renewing a score indicator is very simple.
After the restoration there were still two failures in the Magic Ring. The first, non-flashing "Press Buttons Now" if it should do, did not make me worry. Since the lights were blinking when third ball was shot and even it was after shooting the fifth ball. I will assume that the problem just was in the tuning of a switch. The other problem bore me more worries. Every time the fourth ball was shot, the Feature Selection Unit did one or two steps. It appeared that the two failures were closely interconnected. Bally sometimes made an error in the writing of a manual or schematics, we all know, but Bally apparently made mistakes in the production of a machine and that this error has never been removed, I have not seen before. It appeared that in 1968 someone did solder two wires in the Feature Selection
and has mixed the positions of these two wires. Good to see was that the original
soldering was still intact. Thus, the red / black wire flashing control was changed to
a black wire, which controls a single step of the unit. Since that single step is also
created in another way, it was not noticed, but that the non-flashing was never
resolved, does not look very professional.
As usual we had started the restoration by disassembling the cabinet and playfield.
Everything was badly rusted and the burnt wiring did not look promising.
The front of the cabinet was in poor condition and the corner joints had
to be re-glued.
Also the side of the head had a lot to endure and was apparently used by
knives to throw, because there were numerous points of impact of knives,
which have to be eliminated .
I thought at first that the original color of the Magic Ring had been a kind of blue,
but after removing the sidepanels it showed that it should be a deep purple color .
Again, the originality of Bally for the artwork 1968 was sad, except for the outlines
of a ring on the side of the head, the spraying of the artwork of the cabinet was
not very difficult.
With a new chrome shooter and side panels, but also with new buttons made
by Coos and an original mirror-edged backglass there is now a new Magic Ring.
A few times I felt that I was glad that this was not my first restoration project. Because if I had to start such a bingo, I do not know if I would finish it successfully. Perhaps someone in the USA also thought this, when much of the wiring was burned. On E-bay it was not mentioned and the looks of the cabinet was most reasonable. Sometimes you cant ‘judge a picture and you really have to know from who or what you buy!
Curious to more pictures of the restoration, CLICK HERE