Do you have a Ray-O-Lite game you want to repair but you cant fix it, cant find tubes, are missing an amp or a motor which is too expensive to buy or simply not available? I can help! I have developed a circuit board that completely replaces the Chicken Sam type Ray-O-Lite type amp. Read on to find out how it works.
BUY NOW: A limited number of these boards are still available through classicarcadegrafix.com Click HERE for details.
Example of what a Chicken Sam looks like. This is a conversion to The Bartender with an original bartender figure. No amp and no motor are present in the photo.
This is my cabinet to be restored. I will work on cosmetics later. Right now I just want to install this new Ray-Board.
Quick history lesson: Seeburg, the jukebox manufacturer, made a series of light gun games from 1930's(early) to 1949 called Ray-O-Lites. The first I know of was a duck game. They modified this and made a game called Chicken Sam. This was very popular and during WWII when game production was halted, many war theme conversion kits were made available to re-skin the game into a new version. These were also very popular. The game was later redesigned and turned into a Shoot the Chutes war theme(not a conversion), Shoot the Bear, and Coon Hunt. These games used tube amplifiers to keep score and track hits/misses. These are very rare games and prized by collectors. You can find these at Marvin3m.com/arcade with lots of pictures.
End of class.
Now in present day:
Unfortunately many collectors have an empty cabinet in their garage that they hope to someday find an amp for, or a motor, or a figure(another project).
Well it ain' t gonna happen. Parts for these games are very hard to find and pretty much everyone with a good amp or an amp that could be restored has either used it in a restoration or is holding onto it until they can use it. If you can find one that is complete, it will be Very expensive and you may be waiting years before it shows up. If it does appear on eBay, it is likely I or another collector will buy it too so you may not even get it then.
Now, that brings us to this current project. I was one of those collectors with an empty cabinet. It had an amplifier but it was a Shoot The Bear amp and not the original Chicken Sam amp. I had already restored two amps and I had little desire to rebuild another tube amp and try to make it work. Besides, I wanted to keep the amp as a spare for my other original Ray-O-Lite Shoot The Bear game.
Here I am, with a cabinet, a number of conversion kits, a gun and stand, but no motor, no working amp, and no hope of finding an original amp in the near future. Plus if I do find an amp, I still need a motor and then I have to restore it, make it all work... it could take years... no I don't think so. There was an easier way.
I decided to use modern electronics to build a new amp. Modern circuits make it possible to simulate these older games and to do it quickly and easily.
The Ray-Board circuit board on my work bench being tested
Now anyone can restore the Ray-O-Lite games that use a moving figure plus you can also use the same board to restore many other light or contact gun type games. If you are willing to face a challenge, you can build a Chicken Sam from scratch! Yes, that is absolutely possible and explained below.
Here is how it works
Simply install the new board and a DC motor in your cabinet.
Ok, maybe it is not that simple. This is not a plug and play project. You will need a basic understanding of electricity and some mechanical ability. If you can wire a jamma harness from scratch or repair a monitor, and you know an LED is polarized and you can build a bird house, then you should have the skills required.
What you need:
1 Ray-Board circuit board(taking pre-orders now at classicarcadegrafix.com only a limited number of these will be produced)
What you need from other places and estimated costs
Motor DC $45.00
Transformer 120vac/12vac 3amp minimum 10amp recommended 15.00
Misc Connectors 15.00
Chain(#35) and Sprockets(2) 45.00
This is an estimated 125.00 Cost in addition to the Ray-Board
not including wires, reset switch, gun lamp or laser or any other restoration parts if needed
The Ray-Board: Motor Control Circuit for a game
Here is a detailed description of how this board works.
This is a circuit to replace the old tube technology motor control unit in an antique arcade game(Chicken Sam Ray O Lite is the game type).
Circuit controls a DC motor that is high torque, and the board will count and score up to 20 'hits' on a light sensor, then stop and reset for the next game when a reset button is pushed(reset connected to coin slide switch).
Here is a more detailed description of how the game works.
User presses a reset/start button(which can be connected to the coin slide) and game starts by turning on a motor. The motor moves a figure in a circle and user is supposed to shoot at it with a gun that fires a light like a bright flashlight.
User has 20 shots(light flashes) We will use a high intensity led light that goes through lenses and not the original lamp. Figure contains a light sensor and must connect to ground on one leg. The other leg receives power and when the sensor receives light, its impedance drops(usually from 1Meg to hundreds of ohms but this will depend on the light sensor, sensors can be used in parallel)
User points light gun at target and pulls trigger, light illuminates for
approx 100ms from the gun and then turns off. The LED is 4.5 volts in the gun(this is important). User must release trigger switch to fire again. When user fires a light beam, the shot counter is decreased by one, user only has 20 shots. If a hit is detected at the light sensor, then the motor reverses direction(figure goes other direction), the score is increased by 1 and two different relays are triggered that fire solenoid coils(120vac). One is a bell signaling a hit. The other is triggered with every shot and is a shot sounder in the gun stand.
The user can continue until they fire all 20 shots. When the user fires all 20 shots, the motor stops and the light gun no longer fires light beams. When the reset button is pressed, the game restarts and user can again fire 20 light shots and the score starts over.
Score: The game has 21 lights numbered from 0 to 20. The score starts at zero
and as each score is made the next light is illuminated. Only one light at a time is illuminated. On game reset the score is set to zero. These are incandescent lamps(not led's). These lamps are all constantly powered and turned on by completing a ground connection
The score lights are 6.3v 150ma lamps (called #47) You can use #44 but it is not recommended and #44 can NOT be used if you have the 200 shot version of the board.
On the light sensor plug, Pins 2/4 are the connection pins. If you are wiring to a 923 or 928 tube keep in mind these are polarized and besides that, these original tubes will not work with this board. You will be replacing the tube sensor with modern photocell sensors which are not polarized.
Pins 1 and 4 are adjacent to each other with pin 4 being ground and pin 2(accross from 4) being the power input to the photo cell. The photo tube plug is actually wired so that both small and both large connectors are wired so you can connect one pin to a small and one to a large and your photocell will be connected. Note that the connector is cross wired when it reaches the plug that connects to the amp(not the same as the plug connecting to the photo cell). You should test these connections with a multimeter for continuity. The 3 pin and 4 pins are used at the amp interface connector while the 2 and 4 pins are used where the photo tube plugs in. So, you will need to connect connector pins 3 and 4 to the board input for the photosensor.
You can also trouble shoot connections by making sure the frame is ground(one connection side) and the rail is the positive side. Make sure the frame is isolated(which it is normally by wood) because it is dc ground.
When installing the light sensor, make sure you have continuity to the socket in the figure and make sure you have it wired correctly. I spent a long time tracking a problem only to finally realize I miswired my 4wire socket attached to my board which meant my photo sensor was not actually connected to the board. I rewired my socket and everything worked. Just goes to show that you cant blindly test continuity, you have to make sure everything goes where it is supposed to go, not that it just goes somewhere.
Note that DC coils(if used for the bell and sounder) must have a diode for 24vdc but we are NOT using DC, we are using 120vac in this example. These are the original coils which were 120vac. If you choose to power your coils with a 24vdc power supply instead, then you will need a
1N4004 diode across the connectors for each sounder coil, reverse biased to stop electrical ring. If you wire using the original coils in the game, which are 120v(115vac) then DO NOT use diodes.
I used original bell and sounder coils so I did not use diodes.This was the easiest method because all I had to do was wire up the original sounder and bell.
To power the board I used a 12vac transformer. You can use up to an 18vac transformer but not larger and not smaller than 12vac. Too little current will not drive the motor and too much will burn up the board.
You can find 120vac/12vac 3amp or higher transformers on eBay cheap.You need at least 1 amp for the lights and board and 2 amps for the motor so 3amp is the absolute minimum and I would not use anything smaller than 10 amp myself. I purchased a 10 amp 12vac transformer for my project. If you see a transformer rated in VA it is volt*amps so a 12vac output at 3 amps would be a 36va transformer. Make sure yours is higher than that. Here is an interesting supplier http://theelectrostore.com/
There are many standard pinball transformers that have 24vac and 12vac output. Make sure it has the desired amps rating before using a salvaged transformer.
Here is a robot supply site where you can find photocells, couplers and useful items. I did not use these but it is a good resource. http://www.robotstore.com/
For solenoids, these are powered independently of the board power supply. Take a 120vac lind and connect the tasty lead(white) to the coil, connect the black lead to the relay side, the other side of the relay to the coil. Then when the trigger on the gun is pulled, the relay closes for a fraction of a second, sending 120vac to the solenoid coil causing the bell to ring or the sounder to hit the gun stand.
Vibration dampeners on the oval track can be easily replaced using rubber grommets from any auto supply store. Take your originals to match the size. If you need other sizes try
For my motor I used a 122 RPM, 24VDC motor. Don't worry, the 24vdc works at 12vdc too and anything in between. http://www.superdroidrobots.com I used the
IG42 24VDC 075 RPM Gear Motor Item#: TD-016-075 Price/ea. $45.40 First but it was too slow so I switched to a 122 RPM version. the 122rpm at 12vdc goes at a normal rate. You can change out sprockets to alter the speed(smaller on game side) or you can up the voltage to 18vdc, or get a faster motor. Some of the original games could have the speed turned up to go really fast, I opted for a normal speed with my sprocket and motor/voltage setup.
My DC motor mounted with sprocket added
You can adjust the speed by changing out sprockets. If you buy a faster motor, it may go too fast. The gearing on this motor also gives it some amazing torque. Make sure your track is smooth and there are no hang ups before using this motor.
Quantity Part # Description Price Subtotal
1 11--384 C-35 Chain 10 Foot Roll $20.99 (You can get chain on ebay and the master links that you will need to splice the chain together, get extra chain and extra links, you may not cut the chain the right length on the first try. Cut the chain using a cutting wheel, it beats a hacksaw.)
1 AZ2133 "B" Type Sprocket for #35 Chain, 20 Tooth, 5/8" Bore $8.89
1 AZ2123K "B" Type Sprocket for #35 Chain, 9 Tooth, 5/8" Bore $8.19 (this turned out to be too small, the gear ratio was good for kicking up the speed but it tended to slip because it had so few teeth for the chain to grip onto so I went with two of the same size 20 tooth units and the faster 122rpm motor, also if it feels a little slow, you can use a higher voltage transformer like 18 vac)
I placed the small sprocket on the motor and the large sprocket on the pulley. This cut my motor speed in half which is perfect for the figure speed(later I went with a faster motor and the same sprockets on both). You can swap them if you want to double the speed or try different size sprockets to vary the speed(you may need to cut different chains and the above chain only has one master link so order extras if you plan to do play with the speed)
IMPORTANT: The motor must be firmly mounted and the panel must not move at all. The front piece which keeps the entire unit from sliding out also has a lip on the top that pulls it down firmly against the bottom of the cabinet when the screws are tightened. Without this bar my unit had about 1/8" or 1/16" of play which contributed to a chain slipping problem. The slide in unit must be firmly against the back so it does not move and held down tightly with the securing bar that keeps it from sliding out. The heavy brackets shown that hold the wood where the motor is mounted are important. Do not use thin metal brackets, use the thick ones that you cannot possibly bend. Make sure the bracket you use to hold the motor is also very sturdy. If you use weak brackets or your unit is not held firmly down, then the motor will rise up when the tension increases and the chain will slip, and that ain't pretty. Some brackets may seem strong because you cannot bend them, but when the motor is mounted, you will find the leverage it gives makes them flex. On my mounting bracket for the motor I also put a slot on the right side. I attached the right left side of the bracket that the motor is mounted to against the wood piece that is sticking up then ran a screw with a star type lock washer in the right side with the slot, adjusted the motor so the chain was tight, then screwed the final screw in tight. Finally once all was adjusted, I drilled another hole on the right side and added another screw to make extra certain it was not moving. If you can squeeze the chain center together with your fingers, then it is too loose and will slip. I did consider using a tension bar to keep the tension on the chain which I could have added to the upright motor mount and that would work but if you make the motor mount like I made mine, it is not necessary to have a tension bar to keep the chain tight. If you hook everything up and it goes BANG tic tic tic BANG tic tic, then the chain is slipping and you either have too long of a chain or the motor and mount is not firm and solid or your figure/pulley setup is binding.
The shaft for the pulley is 1/2" This is a little small for the 5/8" sprocket. I had to cut a piece of EMT conduit to act as a spacer. It fit perfectly after that. Use the large sprocket on the pulley drive and the small on the motor. This gives the leverage needed to turn the pulley smoothly.
The sprocket and spacer EMT sleeve, then the sprocket with the sleeve inserted
The motor shaft is too small at 1/4" to fit my sprocket(5/8") so I took a 1/4" drill depth gauge(one of thos rings that stops the drill at a specific point, like a metal collar), flattened one side and sanded it down some, then attached this between the sprocket and the shaft for a perfect fit between the sprocket and motor shaft.
Example of drill depth collars. I used a 1/4" version on the motor shaft. I bought an assortment at my local home supply store, they come in handy for fixes like this.
I used molex female pins to direct connect my wires to the score lamp plugs. I could not find female connectors that would fit these plugs. http://www.action-electronics.com/molex.htm This is what I ordered: PP-TH-P/F-100 $8.00 1 FEMALE Pins 100PK --For the light score connectors
Molex Connector to direct connect to score connector pins
For the larger connectors I used bullet crimp on plugs(like for the photocell socket inserts.
You can solder or use pins to connect to existing connectors, then use a 25pin D serial connector to connect/disconnect from the new amp. This allows you to keep the original connector without cutting it off while also allowing you to remove the amp by simply unplugging the 25pin connector. I did not bother with this. Once I have it wired up, I doubt I will ever take the amp out and if I do, I will just rewire each connector to the score lamps.
Cable to gun stand.
The gun stand cable normally contains 7 wires. You can re-use this original cable but there will be no illumination lamp in the gun stand cabinet. You can purchase a 10 conductor(or 12 if you want a status light running off the motor power and you are using a Shoot The bear stand) with smaller wires. The original specification required a certain length of cable with certain size wires. Our application is low voltage DC. If you have a cable with two large wires, use them for the sounder which needs more power.
The sounder should be 16 gauge minimum, the other wires can be 22 to 18 gauge or larger. If you use a 7 conductor cable you will need more wires than you have so you will have to combine some functions. The only possible wires to combine are the ground side of the reset switch and gun trigger. Do not try to combine any other wires. Run a wire from the gun switch trigger ground to the gun stand and use that for both the reset ground and trigger ground. If you have a cable with more conductors you do not have to combine these. If any of this is confusing, then just use a cable with 10 or 12 wires, enough to individually wire everything you need to wire up.
If you are using the green ready light in a shoot the bear game, you will need to run an extra wire to carry the appropriate voltage to your lamp. You can install an independent AC transformer(the kind that comes with any cellphone charger etc) to power that light and the light will stay on when the game is turned on. Connect the reset switch to the start button of shoot the bear or to the coin slide switch of any ray-o-lite without a start button and the game will always be ready in free play mode.
For Chicken sam, there is no reset switch like on STB or Coon Hunt, instead place a contact switch on the coin sliders so it is pressed when the slider is pushed in all the way. You can rig the slider to not require a coin by blocking the stop open so it slides in all the way everytime too. Then when you are ready to play, simply slide a slider in all the way and pull it back out. This will trigger a game reset. You could also just put a start button somewhere.
Shoot The Bear: I have not tried this circuit on a shoot the bear but it should work. It will not activate the growler but you may figure out a way to use the bell relay to trigger the growler instead of ringing a bell. You could get one of those Radio Shack project kits that records and plays back 10 seconds or 30 seconds of sound, record a growler sound and then just use the bell triger unit to activate a relay which in turn activates the sound circuit and plays the growling sound.
For my Chicken Sam project I used a new 8 conductor cable I picked up on eBay. It has a black sheath and the 8 conductors work out perfect for all of my connections except there was no power for the 120vac light bulb. I may wire my sounder to it so it flashes when the sounder hits but we will see. You can purchase a 10 conductor if you want to power your light too. I found an 8 conductor cable consisting of 22 ga and 18ga wires with a black pvc sheath on ebay which I used for the gun stand wire and the rifle wire both.
Cable to Gun
The original cables were 5 conductor to the gun from the stand. This works fine because you only need 4 conductors, two for the trigger and two for the lamp. As a bonus, there is no danger of electrocution like there was with the original guns using AC power. I used the same 8 conductor cable. It was smaller than the original cable because the wires are smaller so it fit into the gun with no problems and I simply did not use the extra wires.
Later chicken sam units used variable pitch pulleys on the non drive side which allowed a 48 inch belt to be used and remain tight. If you find your belt is slipping, use pinball rubber replacements on the non drive pulley to tighten up a lose belt. Just remove the pulley from the shaft and the top and bottom of the pulley will come apart, take out the old and usually rotten rubber center and replace with a pinball rubber band of the appropriate size, this will space the pulleys apart at just the right distance. The pulley inside is smaller than 3" so use 2.25" black rings on one side. Make sure your pully ring is even all around or small enough not to contact the belt, if it is uneven then it may cause your belt to bind or jump as the motor tries to pull over the hump.
Note #44 lamps work in chicken sam score lights but you should use #47. This is a common substitution in pinball games to reduce heat too. It is importantto use these because you do not want all lamps to draw more than 1 amp under any circumstance.
A small incandescent light(like the original gun lamp)cannot be used as the lamp in the gun because it reacts too slowly. You must use an ultra bright LED. If you need more voltage for a higher output LED(more than 4.5vdc), you can change the value of R14 from 50 ohms to a lower value or just short it. Shorting it will power up to 6.3v but you will not have any limit on current so it is best to keep the 50ohm resistor. The firmware expects light at the sensor within 10ms after the shot-trigger is registered so an incandescent lamp will likely be too slow. Besides, it will be difficult to find an incandescent lamp that will be bright enough and not burn up after a couple of shots. To detect a hit there must be light detected for consecutive 30ms immediately (10ms) after the trigger has been pulled. The shot lamp is on for 100ms
I purchased a flashlight from Sams Club with this high output LED. You can tell from the dome shape and the yellow interior it is not a standard cheap LED plus it is 4.5v. It was an Element Performance Lighting flashlight listed as 12x brighter than standard LED's. The package also said Light by Luxeon super bright 1.25 watt LED. There are a lot of people offering Luxeon lamps on eBay but it is hard to tell which are high output and which are not so you may be better off paying more at a retail store. I broke the bulb on an SC bayonet lamp(costing only pennies compared to $20 for the original ray o lite lamp) and soldered in this high output lamp. Then I used Epoxy to fill in the lamp and hold the LED in place. The Epoxy also acts as a heat sink. The light is only on for a short time but I did not want it to overheat from repeated firing. This is much brighter than the original bulb and it will never(almost never) burn out. The original bulbs were unreliable, expensive, and were constantly burning out because of the way they worked with a constant low voltage and sudden over-voltage surge to make them brigher than they were designed to be.
Update: It appears sams club has a new 3 watt version HERE If I were doing this project over, I would use one of these instead.
Lamp Substitution For Original Games
You can substitute this LED lamp in an original rifle even if you are not using the Ray-Board. It requires making a SC bayonette lamp with the LED installed, putting a voltage regulator in the gunstand between the rifle and the feed lines, and cutting the resistor that sends constant power to the gun lamp.
If you use a $15 voltage regulator in the gun stand to convert the ac voltage to 4.5vdc and cut the resistor that feeds constant voltage to the lamp during gameplay(it would make the led stay on all the time) you can use this high output, high reliability lamp instead of the expensive and burn-out prone original lamps..
You will have to assemble the kit and install it but it is not difficult.
It is necessary to cut a wire to R18. R18 is the resistor that feeds constant
current to the original lamp at 6v. This is the current that allowed the lamp to stay on dimly so it did not burn out when higher voltage hit it for the trigger pull. When the gun lamp is connected through a
voltage regulator, there is no current which results in the voltage drop
accross the resistor being zero. This means 12v AC is constantly applied which
will keep the lamp on all the time. Cut one wire to R18 to solve this problem
when using an LED light and voltage regulator circuit.
The same must be done for a chicken sam game when using an LED light.
NOTE: This is NOT for this current project. The Ray-Board already puts out the correct voltage. The above notes are for those of you with original working amplifiers who want to use this LED instead of the expensive and burn out prone original lamp. If you are installing the Ray-Board, ignore this insert!!!!
Here you see the high output LED on the right and a standard LED on the left. I used the standard LED for testing so I did not risk burning up my expensive and hard to build high output LED. Standard so called high output or ultra brights are not bright enough. You must use this special high output LED. I could only find it in an existing flashlight and had to de solder it from the flashlight. They cost about $15 for the full flashlight. I then used a cheap ultra bright led to make a lower powered flashlight so I did not have to throw it away.
The photo sensor can be tested with an ohmmeter. Shining a bright light on it should drop the resistance from infinity to hundreds of ohms(under 1k ohm for certain to register a hit).
The shoot the bear type score light clips are available from Antique Electronic Supply pn P-L101
they also have the jewel light covers used on the Shoot The bear/Coon gun stands. You can also find the male socket can covers part num P-OH-508 but they may also be on ebay cheaper. Antique Electronic Supply is
I mounted the motor using two heavy duty 90degree brackets. I wanted to make sure this high torque motor was firmly mounted. It is important that it is very firm, otherwise the high torque will cause the chain drive to slip. It takes a lot of force to turn the pulleys so use very heavy brackets here.
Here you see the heavy duty brackets used to mount the motor
I used regular joist plates from Home Depot to make my slides. This allows my mounting board with everything on it, to slide into the original location of the Ray-O-Lite amp. The original slides also hold it firmly in place as the motor torques.
If done correctly, this Ray-Board installation procedure is completely reversible and a game can be restored to original using an original amp and motor if one is obtained later.
The original bell and shot sounder in chicken sam used 115 vac(120vac)(Yes I am telling you this again because it is important) so you will need to run this through the relays to activate the coils. If you replace these coils with pinball coils, you may be able to use the 12vac from the transformer or if you use a rectifier and dc power, make sure you add a diode to both coils(reverse biased) to prevent damage.
The bell is connected to 5 and 6 but you may need to use a continuity tester to find which two pins have low resistance. The others are not connected. When you know which two to use, simply use the slip over connectors shown but make sure you also cover these with two layers of heat shrink tubing because(if you are using original chicken sam parts) this voltage will be 120vac.
For photoresistors I used two, one to face out each side of the figure. Place 2 photoresistors(I used radio shack 276-1657) in parallel with each facing out one side of the figure.
You will need to protect these from ambient light. If there is too much ambient light, try a black straw or paper cone. This will heavily limit the light coming in but will become suddenly bright on a direct hit.You can also use 4 photosensors by placing 2 on each side. This gives more surface area for your light to hit. I am thinking about changing mysetup to use 4.
Two photoresistors in parallel. I used a wire coupler and a bullet connector to stick in the large and small 2/4 holes of the original light sensor. Each photo sensor points out one side of the figure. These CDS Cells should be centered within the target area(shoulder lense). If they are nto centered then some shots will not register. The original game came with 10 or 5 w clear bulbs but I recommend using the smaller 2.5 or 5 watt appliance bulbs because they will not extend down below the window top and the lower light level makes shots register more accurately. A bright room can also cause shots not to register and sometimes shooting just as the figure goes around a corner can generate a false hit because the circuit senses a light change from the dark corner to the light reflecting off of the side artwork just as the trigger is pulled.
You do not have to use an original seeburg rifle. Use a toy, arisoft gun, metal bb gun, Buy a stock and use a steel conduit section for a barrel(or use one if you are missing the barrel to your original gun). Screw a small screw in the barrel and grind down to make a front and rear blade sights. If you use a laser sight as your light source, you can adjust it to point where the sights are aligned. If you do use a laser, get one that has adjustments for windage and elevation, some of the cheap ones on eBay do not have any adjustments.
My rifle was missing the trigger mechanism and was in rough shape. I sanded it and stripped the barrel, then repainted and stained them.
I bought a toy rifle with a metal trigger mechanism and connected a switch to it so the switch is triggered when the trigger is pulled.
I also had to fabricate a plate to mount it to the gun.
You can see the wiring that connects to the trigger and the lamp.
I had the original light lens and end of barrel lens so I could use my LED lamp trick. If you do not have these lenses or you are converting another rifle because you do not have a ray o lite rifle, then you cannot use the super ultra bright LED because you do not have the focusing lenses that make the quarter size light dot. You will need to use a laser instead. The laser will fire a bright and straight beam without needing lenses to focus it. A laser similar to the one shown can be easily mounted just behind the barrel breech and adjusted for accuracy. The laser also works on original Ray O Lite games because the tube sensor is senitive to red spectrum light.
There may be a way to use a rifle scope with a bright LED lamp. At the suggestion of another collector, I tried a .22 scope by shining a bright Luxeon flashlight in the view end. This does produce a very nice circle of light but it is quite large. The original Ray O Lite light was the size of a quarter at 25 feet. The .22 scope light was 4 inches at 20 feet. It makes hitting the target easy but still requires some aiming. I used the super ultra bright Luxeon lamp which produced impressive results when shined through the .22 scope. You have to adjust the light so it is perfectly centered. I did not go farther than this test because I already had a laser rifle on one game and original Ray O Lite rifles on two others so I did not need to use a scope. If I were doing another game and I did not have the original lenses, I might try this .22 scope trick.
Remember, if you wire up the LED backwards, it will flicker slightly but will not illuminate so just swap the leads if you see it flicker.
Score lights are reverse wired, 6.3v is connected to the ground(center top lead of the connector) and each lamp is grounded to turn it on. The 6.3v supply is the connection just above the Lamp Light connector.
You can use a continuity meter to identify light wiring too.
The output to the gun lamp is approx 4.5 volts which is too high for a regular LED, use only the recommended 4.5v high output LED or a 4.5V(4 battery) laser sight.Lasers are usually 4.5v which work fine with the 4.5v output of the lamp. Make sure when purchasing a laser sight that it is adjustable(windage and elevation). The cheapest laser sights are not adjustable.
When wiring your LED connector, place longer lead(positive side) on bottom(closest to the Lamp word) connection on the Ray-Board. If you connect it backwards, the led or laser will not come on. If you do this, then just swap the connections and it should work.
As an interesting side note, in later productions, Seeburg started using a heavy metal piece on the bottom of the figure holder which was found on serial number 7136 with a blue tag serial plate
and the lighter weight unit was on an earlier unit with a black serial number plate number 1031
Also, I noticed that the earlier version cabinet has a single lock in the center to hold the door closed. The later version has two locks, top and bottom, like on Shoot The Bear.
Here I am cleaning the oval track. Old tracks are covered in grease which becomes a thick paste over time. I like to use no-fume Easy Off and rubbing alcohol.
Someone fixed this unit with a long screw to prevent it from turning on reversal(it was for a Rifle Range with the bulls eye target). I think it looked cooler spinning so I backed the screw out so the target could rotate again.
I had problems with continuity to my sensor. The rollers originally used simply do not make good contact. I cut a brass plate and soldered a spring to it. I then put some grounding braid through it to rub against the center track. It now maintains very good contact.
Closeup of my installed spring with grounding braid. I had similar problems with a Shoot The Bear so I may go back and make this mod to it.
I experimented with a cheap laser pointer. It works but is difficult to adjust for accuracy and I think a quality laser sight is brighter. This is a 4.5v unit and can be directly connected to power by bypassing the switch and wiring ground to the case.
These are the connectors to the score lights in a Chicken Sam. I used a silver pen to label them.
Here is a close up of the 2nd connector. Use this to connect wires from the board to these connectors using the Molex pins.
Here is the first connector with the pins labeled. You can also use an ohmmeter by pulling out all the lights and testing for continuity. Remember that the lights are reverse wired. The pin goes to ground and the casing is always a hot 6.3v(which is wired to the ground pin on connector 2) The 6.3v connection is the last connection in the score line, which is the screw terminal just above the Lamp Out connector on the Ray-Board
This is one of the score connectors populated with all of the wires from the score screw terminals. If I find a female connector to match these I will move the connectors to it, or I could build one out of wood I guess.
Here the board with motor is installed. I just slid it in on the original rails. The chain must be tight so I cut it to length and slide the motor side sprocket on and off if I need to remove the Ray-Board assembly.
A wider view of the installed board and the chain going to the drive pulley.
Installed board with both score connectors wired up. Not so pretty but I just want it working for now.
Final motor installed and connected by a #35 chain to the sprocket on the track.
Final installed board and motor. I painted the motor with black hammertone spray paint and the mounting board with silver hammertone to make it look metallic. The black hammertone makes the motor look closer to the original. I will find or make a metal cage to cover the circuit board similar to the original boards so no one will even see the new board. MAKE SURE YOUR BACKGROUND IS FLAT. If your old cardboard is warped, the figure will hit it and eventually damage both the figure and the background. If your background is bulging or wavy, you will need to mount it to something thin and flat like the thin wood sheets for projects at the hardware store which are 1/8" thick or a flat piece of ductwork metal sheeting. It might pull to shape if you could glue it to a flat piece of heavy gray cardboard but I have not tried that.
Closer view of the final installed board. I used a wood block to hold it in place and hold it down tight against the cabinet.
I found a metal basket at Staples which covered the board easily. I will add some mounting angle brackets and use it to cover the board and wires.
You need to build a cabinet, build a track system and a figure holder, buy a BB or Air gun and rewire it to fire a light beam, put it all together. That is it. The Chicken Sam type game is quite simple. A figure moves around a track with a light sensor in it. You could rebuild the track in any number of ways with sprockets and chains or using the original system of a belt and pulleys. The original games used a track and a contact that connected the photosensor to the amp. Instead of making a track(which you can easily do) you could use one of those telephone cord untanglers. The type that rotate freely and maintain a telephone connection to prevent the cord from becomming wound up. Run the RayBoard light sensor connector to one of these and then run the other side to the sensor in the figure through the top of the track. You now have a simple RJ-11 disconnect and the cord will not tangle as the figure goes around the track plus you do not have to build a track system at all. This makes it easier to build your own track since you do not have to worry about the electrical connections. This will only work if you suspend the island artwork from the top of the cabinet so the cable does not wrap around the artwork(so this is not for original cabinets but just an idea for built-from-scratch cabinets).
How do you restore other games with the RayBoard?
This will take some ingenuity. The board is designed to fire 20 shots and register 20 progressive hits while reversing the motor on each hit(or 200 shots and a max score of 199 with special firmware). Any game that works in a similar manner could use this board. The gameplay may not be exactly the same but it would be playable. I have considered taking a stripped Dale Tommy Gun(cops and robbers) and using this board in it by placing light sensors on the popup characters, using the motor to drive a wheel with holes which allow light to pass for optocouplers which trigger solenoids on the figures and the same motor disk can control automatic shots(simply connect the trigger of the gun to the motor and the trigger switch that fires the light beam to the optocoupler so that as the disk on the motor rotates, the gun fires like a full auto light gun(not with each trigger pull). This would take some work but could be done and would be very reliable. I have also thought about using the board to fix a Chicago Coin Ray Gun, Wild West, or similar games. Other games can be restored but you may need to use a combination of original mechanics and the new board. You can wire multiple light sensors to the sensor input and any one of them will register a hit when shot with a light.
Update: The newest version of the board firmware is very intelligent in how it detects hits. Shorting the input may not work but you can run a bright led and a photo sensor off of their connectors and tape them together. This will result in a hit 100% of the time just like shorting the photocell input used to do.
I plan to use the 200 shot version myself to build a custom haunted house theme game eventually.
Alternate 200 Shot Version
Initially the circuit design was built to allow for only ONE lamp on
at any point in time. Now there are up to THREE lamps on during
operation in the 200 shot mode. Luckily, the circuit was over designed for the 6.3V power
supply, it can support up to 1 amps output power, that means 3 250mA
lamps plus the on-board relays. However, I would recommend to not
operate the regulator on the limit, and use the 150mA lamps instead(That is #47 pinball lamps).
If you use 250mA lamps, maybe let it run for a few minutes with 3
lamps on, then check the temperature on the LM2675 (8-pin IC in the
middle of the board).
If you use LEDs instead, please be aware that differently colored LEDs
have different forward voltages, so each LED needs it's own current
A special version of the board is available(by request only) that fires 200 shots and scores up to 199.
The score is not 20 sequential plus a zero position but instead it is split into 0-9 and 0-9 and the previous zero position is now a 1 in the hundreds position light. User can score up to 99 and then the 1's light comes on, and max score possible is 199
Using Ray-Board with a standard EM Gun Game
To use this Ray-Board with a contact fingerboard type gun game, place the photosensor and a lamp(an inexpensive white LED works for this) together to force a hit on every trigger pull. Then run the mechanical fingerboard of the existing rifle in between the LED power. This way, when the gun is fired, if it is on the target pad, there will be power sent to the lamp which is taped to the input photo sensor and it will register a hit. If the finger is not on a target area(not connecting with a brass contact), it will not trigger the LED and no hit will register.This wiring method means you can keep your original gun and you do not have to use photosensors on all of the targets or make your gun a light gun.
Non Gun Games
This system can be used with other games besides gun games. For example, use it with a Mighty Mike punching game. Simply place a regular white led and sensor together so they face each other, then put a motion sensor switch in the dummy with connected to the trigger switch. Every punch will register as a hit if the person hits hard enough to trigger the motion switch. The motor power supply may not be adequate(not more than a 3 amp motor should be used with the Ray-Board) to move a dummy but you can use the output to drive a pair of relays(forward and reverse) which in turn drives a larger AC motor. The other connections work the same way, just wire a bell to the hit sounder to hear a bell when he is hit.
This could be used for a wack-a-mole type game too(and the gaming world needs more of those for sure). Twenty hits or 200 hits and the game ends.
Note: if you want to stop a player at a score, use an AND gate to monitor the score lamps, and on both lit, turn off gun trigger and start a timer that cuts off power in 5 seconds.
Note: this could be used to fix other gun games like Chicago Coin Ray Gun, Bally Rapid Fire, and possibly Shoot the Chutes with some customization but I do not have any of these games to test with. I believe rapid fire moved back and forth so switches to reverse motor direction would need to be placed at the ends(??). Any game that has a target, uses a trigger to fire a light or close a connection to detect a hit with 20 shots and a score of 20 can be modified to use this board. Gameplay may not be the same but will still be fun.
The methods I have outlined can also be modified. For example, you can use a sight laser instead of the original lamp mechanism. Simply purchase an adjustable laser sight(around $30) and use that as your light source. Make sure it takes 3 batteries(4.5v) and it has the two adjustment screws so you can change it's alignment. Shine this down the barrel of your BB or Air gun and adjust the sights or the laser so it is accurate.
Two Player Version
A collector sent me some drawing ideas he had for a two player Chicken Sam. It occured to me that the Ray-Board could be used to make a 2 player version in one cabinet. Simply use two of the boards, one run to each gun, both sharing the common figure photocell(or add a 2nd figure either way). The board detects light when the trigger is pulled so one player would not score for another unless they both pulled the grigger within 100ms of each other. So, we have a chicken sam figure moving and two people shooting at it.
This board firmware is under development but will be available shortly. There is an additional $50 programming fee plus the two boards. Each player has 20 shots available to each player and the first player to score 10 hits is the winner and the game stops at that point. The score is displayed such that the current chicken sam score lights are assigned 1-10 for player 1 and lights for 11-20 are now used as 1-10 for player 2. When either player hits the target, the figure will reverse and a bell will sound. You can wire both bell relays to the same bell or install a 2nd bell so each player has a different bell sound. Each player can also be wired to a common solenoid or to different solenoids which produce different sounds. The Player 1 board controls the motor and scoring. Player 2 board is connected to the gun light, trigger, power in, and light sensor(shared with P1 so both are wired to the same sensor, watch the polarity).
I hope this helps with your restoration. The board may require some figuring out but if you know a little about wiring up video cabinets and you can read the schematics for chicken sam, it should not be too challenging.
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