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The clock

The finished clock: The artwork is fitted into a wooden frame with rear controls.

What it does

The clock is simple in function. While the clock is running one switch sets the hours, one sets the minutes and resets the seconds to zero.

Night mode

To preserve display life there is an option to switch the display off at night. The on time and the off time can be adjusted to suit the user. By default it goes off at 10pm and on again at 8am. The LED on the board continues to blink to reassure you that the clock is actually working.

Snooze feature

While the clock is in sleep mode, pressing either switch will wake the clock up for one minute to display the time, after which it will go dark again. The adjustment function is locked out for five seconds to prevent the time being adjusted rather than waking the clock up.

Scrolling modes

The clock now has a variety of scrolling and animation modes which may be selected according to personal preference by holding either switch down while you plug the clock in.

Laying it flat

The disadvantage with the Bally display assemblies is that they are rather deep because the PCB is at right angles to the display envelope at the back. This inevitably leads to a rather chunky box if the unit is not modified in any way. If the Bally display is to be kept untouched there is little that can be done about this. My boards per se do not add anything to the depth of the box.

It is just possible to unscrew the plastic mount for the display, snip the plastic and bend the display so it lies flat with the circuit board, without unsoldering anything.

However, I had such a quantity of these units that in testing them all I found I had some good displays with bad boards and I also had some good PCBs with broken or out-gassed displays. It seemed logical to unite the two and I was no longer restrained by the need to keep the display at 90º to the board. The result is a much flatter box overall and a larger area for surrounding artwork.

I decided to have a small quantity of professional PCBs manufactured. These are designed to fit either directly over the display pins, onto which they can be soldered, or the board can sit alongside the existing pin locations and bridged across with wire. They could also be attached to a suitable plug connector with no soldering to the original display.

In the picture below I chose to remove the pins to reduce the depth of the assembly and secured the display to the PCB.

Commissions

For those who are prepared to pay for the time for me to devise suitable artwork and to build the case, I can be commissioned to produce something specially for you. Typically the cost will be around £200, depending on the complexity of the design. Remember, you will be paying for my time, getting a unique design and obtaining a fully working pinball clock.

Some designs produced to date:

Need a display? Complete displays on PCBs for sale

I also have a limited number of spare working displays, which are of course used. All the displays I supply will be fully tested and the 1/4w 100k resistors replaced with 1/2w versions, as overheating of these resistors is a big cause of failure. Displays will not display signs of wear when lit, but may exhibit some very slight silvering on the glass when off.

I will not supply any displays with obvious burns or distortion of the segments. All PCB boards are cleaned.

Displays will be supplied on a first come, first served basis, with the best displays going to the first who order. I can supply a lit photograph of the actual display you will receive, upon request. Those that have bought already have been very happy and some have reordered, so I am confident that you will be happy too.


Good, but used 6 digit display and PCB board , 6 digit display

Most displays are the later Bally part: AS2518-21
I also have some earlier Bally part: AS2518-15
Please state if you have a preference.

Good, but used, 6 digit display: £30

   

Payment through the cart will give you a link to my Paypal account. I am not a business, it’s just a small hobby, so I regret that I cannot offer credit card payments.

Schematics for Bally display boards

6 digit Bally PCB schematic PDF
7 digit Bally PCB schematic PDF

7 comments on “Pinball display clock – version 2
  1. Dave Ferro says:

    I also have a number of these 6 digit Bally displays, and I’d like to make a clock out of one. Would you please send me the PCB layout and a parts list for the board you made?
    Thanks in advance,
    Dave Ferro

  2. Angie says:

    Do you have any clocks for sale/ are you still making the pinball clocks??

    • clock-it says:

      Yes I am still making pinball clocks and have 8 working modules all built and tested for the flat square design. I can complete to order. The cost for a finished clock is £120 plus shipping.

      • Angie says:

        Please can you email me pics of the ones you have done and ready if any, and let me know approximate shipping to the United States, Florida. looking to receive one in the next couple of weeks if possible. Thanks!!

  3. Rick Schieve says:

    I’m currently building a wall display using the head of a Space Invaders pinball game. I’d really like for one of the display areas to function as a wall clock. If possible I’d like to use the spare PinScore 6-digit LED replacement display I already have. If possible I’d like to purchase the circuitry you use to drive yours. I assume the addressing circuitry is the same and the PinScore display would just not use the high voltage inputs just like when you install them in a real game. Can I purchase one of your driver boards and the info on how to connect it? If so please let me know how much.

    Thanks for your time. Rick

    • clockit says:

      Funnily enough Rick, I have a Vector backbox which I am intending to do something with in due course. As I am sure you know this has the same set of rotating lamps in between two layers of glass. It doesn’t have the infinity effect of the Space Invaders, which is also a machine I have owned, so I know it well. I was going to have a clock in one display position but could not decide what to do in the other four displays.

      I have tested my driver board briefly at a pinball show, with a Pinled brand LED display, but as I recall it did display a little ghosting. This is something that I should be able to fix in software, but I don’t have a pinscore display to test it on. In theory it should work just fine and simply ignore the high-voltage supply. I don’t have any spare boards right now, but I intend to revisit this display driver in due course, with battery backed up time settings. I still have 60 or so Bally boards, all working, which need a good home!

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