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slotalot
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Re: Hoopers Automatics Skill Score pinball machine

Postby slotalot » Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:43 pm

Hello All :cool:
Sorry for the late appearance to the party, not been able to log onto the forum !PUZZLED!
So first a big Thank you to our Commander in chief Dave and his apprentice Jeremy for sorting out the glitch |/XX\|

Down to business :didact:

Hoopers Pinball Machine.

This machine when new never had mains power. The lower compartment on the head box (pic1) would have had a 12-volt battery. This would have made the machine portable and could be used anywhere. The transformer you can see was added later, and as far as I could tell, it had never been connected up.
The circuit for this machine is about as simple as they come: the large square coil to the right of the score mech adds the score, and the smaller round (black) coil resets the score on game start; the little round plug to the right connects the head box to the playfield; the item to the far left is the anti-tilt switch.

As to the playfield, (pic2)
On putting a coin in the machine, the coin slide engages with the steel bar that runs the full length of the playfield. This “mechanically” releases the balls into play. It also makes a leaf switch that resets the score pointer, and also energises the adjacent relay. This is the anti-tilt relay. The coin slide must be fully withdrawn before play can start. The steel bar is fitted with an adjustable damper to make it a smooth operation.

The playfield is made of stainless steel and grounded to the -ve of the 12 volt DC supply. The spring bumpers are wired in series to the +ve of the 12 volt DC supply. The black box to the right is a capacitor/spark suppressor. The metal ball makes the contact between the playfield and the spring bumpers.
On the machine that I restored, I used a 12 volt DC plug-in adaptor, rated at 2amps, because I didn’t want mains electricity inside the machine, because of all the “live” metal parts.

For the machine to work efficiently the ball, playfield and bumper springs must be kept clean and free of oil and grease. I found when striping and cleaning the machine the original paint colour was chocolate brown.

I hope this helps a little.

Stuart.

Good luck with the restoration. !!THUMBSX2!!
P2100068.JPG
old.-pin.jpg
under playfield.JPG
head box.jpg

geofflove
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Re: Hoopers Automatics Skill Score pinball machine

Postby geofflove » Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:17 pm

Thanks for taking the time to reply Stuart. Looks like you’ve done a great job with yours!

All this info is really helpful and will definitely help me make a speedier start in sorting it.

Out of interest how many balls did you get for one coin? You said they were all released at once. Did the plunger just use the ball queue up one at a time as you played till they were gone?

I’ll post some progress pics once I get going!

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slotalot
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Re: Hoopers Automatics Skill Score pinball machine

Postby slotalot » Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:12 pm

geofflove wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:17 pm


Out of interest how many balls did you get for one coin? You said they were all released at once. Did the plunger just use the ball queue up one at a time as you played till they were gone?

I don't have the machine anymore, but as far as I remember, and it was 10 years ago, there were 5 steel balls, cant remember the size but I don't think the size is critical |/XX\| once released the balls just roll in front of the plunger one at a time. :D

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Re: Hoopers Automatics Skill Score pinball machine

Postby badpenny » Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:24 pm

Thanks Stuart for rallying to the flag when needed.
I'll let you drift back to sleep beneath the halls of the gods set deep within the mountains of Olympia.

Should I need to awaken you again with the fiery horn of Shefras in order to clarify an issue, I'll send you an email first.
Regards
BP !!COOEE!!

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gameswat
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Re: Hoopers Automatics Skill Score pinball machine

Postby gameswat » Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:07 pm

Well sorry for casting aspersions your way BP! I'm amazed they tried to partly reinvent the already very reliable spring bumpers. I can only imagine it was a much cheaper way to produce the game by not having to draw and apply any kind of artwork!? Sadly makes for an extremely boring looking game. Even if they'd applied pre-existing water decals around the playfield like lightning bolts would have been a huge improvement. Considering the flashy graphics and much more complex gameplay of US made pins they were competing against these must've had a hard time on location.

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Re: Hoopers Automatics Skill Score pinball machine

Postby pennymachines » Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:37 pm

I'm not sure when these were made, but they look very '30s, in which case they may have been competing with fairly primitive, largely mechanical, American pinballs. Is that spring bumper diagram from a dated patent? Certainly Hoopers games are consistently conservative in design.

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Re: Hoopers Automatics Skill Score pinball machine

Postby badpenny » Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:57 pm

gameswat wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:07 pm
Well sorry for casting aspersions your way BP! I'm amazed they tried to partly reinvent the already very reliable spring bumpers. I can only imagine it was a much cheaper way to produce the game by not having to draw and apply any kind of artwork!? Sadly makes for an extremely boring looking game. Even if they'd applied pre-existing water decals around the playfield like lightning bolts would have been a huge improvement. Considering the flashy graphics and much more complex gameplay of US made pins they were competing against these must've had a hard time on location.
No probs my friend. It's all about learning at the end of the day.
I certainly agree it's the epitome of how not to entice slackening of purse strings, they'd obviously never considered self marketing as an essential part of design. I once had Hooper's vertical bagatelle machine, an engineering masterpiece with a scoring dial mechanism to wonder at. Yet it weighed a ton and made no attempt to suggest why you should play it. Totally lacking in suggestions like "Challenge your friends!!" or "Loser buys next round" It just sat there apologetically.

BP :cool:

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gameswat
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Re: Hoopers Automatics Skill Score pinball machine

Postby gameswat » Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:08 pm

pennymachines wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:37 pm
Is that spring bumper diagram from a dated patent?
This is Bally's Patent No. 2,109,678 ("CONTACT SWITCH FOR BALL ROLLING GAMES") application made on January 12, 1937. Though Bumper had already been placed on sale in Dec 1936. Bally certainly didn't steal the idea from Hooper.
bumper patent.jpg

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gameswat
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Re: Hoopers Automatics Skill Score pinball machine

Postby gameswat » Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:20 pm

pennymachines wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:37 pm
I'm not sure when these were made, but they look very '30s, in which case they may have been competing with fairly primitive, largely mechanical, American pinballs.
PM, the yanks were very quick to copy each other and then make improvements. I've owned some very clever pinballs from the 1930's as the pin industry boomed and hence was a very creative time period. This Confucius Say pinball by Rotor Table games of NY is one of my faves for many reasons. The table body itself dates 1935/36 but the playfield dates early 1937, only a few months after Bally introduced the new spring bumpers. Already there were added scoring features like a bonus system down the left side which advances balls. This game is unusual in that it was aimed at high end locations like restaurants and nightclubs etc that would not normally take a pinball. The playfield rotates around to any of up to 4 players seated around it, but the glass stays put! The table was designed to take a number of different playfields that just plug into it, predating cocktail video cabinets that did this by 45 years.
confucious say playfield_10_1.jpg
confucious say_9_1.jpg
rototable.jpg
Yes, that's me in the tux.....
rototable.jpg (23.04 KiB) Viewed 933 times

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Re: Hoopers Automatics Skill Score pinball machine

Postby pennymachines » Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:31 pm

gameswat wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:20 pm
the pin industry boomed and hence was a very creative time period.
Absolutely, by 1935 all-mechanical pins were looking 'old hat'.

Slotalot's Skill Score has the "Supplied by Hoopers' Automatics" badge on it. Assuming it has the Pentonville address, it was made after the outbreak of WW2 (when the company moved from their old premises in Islington). In that case, it really was already a bit of a dinosaur.

Image

Marketing didn't extend to giving it a unique name. "Skill Score" comes from the text and appears on one of their wall machines too.


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