Sunday, September 11, 2016

New Arrival: Bally Hokus Pokus pinball machine with Laniel Canada ML 1600 Synchroson soundboard

I picked up this Hokus Pokus pinball machine.

A fairly mediocre offering from Bally in 1975. Lame gameplay. Art that looks like it was drawn by a 3rd grader. Making the A-B-C-D is so easy, sometimes you don't even have to use the flippers to get it.

I acquired it for all the wrong reasons. I likes the writing (graffiti) on the head, it has a Laniel Canada ML 1600 Synchroson soundboard "upgrade" and the game was in home use since 1981.

I traded some work and a bit of Geld to a local pinball reseller who recently received it as a trade-in and didn't want anything to do with it.

Being a total EM Bally pinball nut, I had to get this.

Bally Hokus Pokus

Manon and Marc got a Hokus Pokus for X-mas 1981

High Scores

In the late 70's, when the first Solid State hit the Arcades, EM games quickly became obsolete. To try keep the EM's on the road a bit longer to collect a few more quarters, distributors were offering conversion sound boards for EM games. As far as I know, there was only Pintone and here in Canada; the Synchroson ML 1600 by Laniel Canada that were offered.

The Synchroson boards have the serial number written by hand with a felt tip pen. The board shown below is #19. I sorta collect these oddball boards, I have also #9, 12 and 13. I don't know how many boards Laniel Canada sold. So far, I haven't seen a board with a number above 20.

They have a prototype look and feel to them. The traces are very fragile and they sound like rubbish. They have very little value (5 to 20 bucks). Most collectors take them out of their games to replace them with proper chimes.

The board is powered by the 6V lamp circuit. It has 6 inputs, more like triggers, for sound effects. These inputs were hard wired, usually in a very crude way by the operator, to various coils in the game. Each input has two wires that go to both tabs of a relay coil. The sound effect goes as long as the coil is energised, so the operator had to use G relay coils that are briefly energised.

Here is a link to the Montreal Pinball Website that also has a small article on the ML 1600: Bells & Whistles

Laniel Canada Synchroson ML 1600 Board #19

More to come on the actual repairs on the Hokus Pokus.


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