Adjusting the Reflex Unit Wipers - by Robert Medl

This is a general procedure for adjusting the reflex unit wipers in a Bally bingo machine. There's other possible things you can do to the unit that won't be covered here, including:

  1. changing the ratchets (gears) to alter the step-up/step-down ratio
  2. misadjusting the stepping pawls so they can't move the ratchets - this leaves the wipers where you put them and disables reflex action
  3. inserting bolts though the unit frame to reduce the range the wipers can move
Reset the reflex unit wipers
reflex unit step-down
reflex unit - screwdriver points to step-down ratchet
manually resetting the reflex unit
manually resetting the reflex unit

Completely reset/loosen the reflex unit by winding the front ratchet clockwise until it stops. This will set the wipers are far counter-clockwise as the gearbox will allow.

Compare your wipers to the diagram
reflex unit
reflex unit wipers on Cypress Gardens
manually resetting the reflex unit
Cypress Gardens reflex unit diagram

Compare the position of the fingers to the diagram in the game listings on the web site. There is no reflex unit diagram in the manual. If they do not match up, then you'll want to adjust them so that they do.

In this case, the reflex unit in the Cypress Gardens is off by four positions. Surely, a previous operator did this to increase his profits.

If a diagram is not available on the web site, see if one for a similar machine is. Otherwise:

  1. The 3-rivet spans on the discs of many machines makes the reset position pretty clear. In the picture at right, there are 4 such 3-rivet spans, and each of the single wipers need to positioned on the first / left-most rivet of the wiper's nearest 3-rivet span -- 4 positions over as you rotate the wipers counterclockwise.
  2. TAKE PHOTOS! Please take photos and use the comments/questions link at the bottom of the page to arrange to email them in. What we need to see to make a diagram is:
    • picture of the wiper side of the unit (ideally with wipers at reset position) and wires/lugs game visible for color ID
    • picture of the reflex contact plate with the wipers removed and lugs still visible
    • picture of the back/wiring side of the contact plate

    On many machines, the trip bank is in the way for a good picture, so it's best to unscrew the entire reflex unit from the back door (four screws) so it can be flipped around for a straight picture. Twisting the wires that much won't hurt anything.

    The list above goes from easy to a bit more effort. The main problem with getting the contact plate off is often the set screws in the shaft adapter poke out too far and the contact plate can't be removed without removing the adapter. If you have to reposition the adapter to fix the reset wiper position, taking off the adapter and contact plate is trivial. If you don't have to reposition the adapter, then it's a couple extra minutes of work to remove/reinstall the pieces.

Remove the wipers
reflex unit
remove wiper screw
reflex unit
wipers can come off
reflex unit
remove wipers

Remove the screw with a 5/16" wrench. Some games will use a nut instead which may be a different size. The wiper hub will usually pop out a little bit due to the tension on the fingers.

Notice the hub hole is rectangular, so the wipers can be mounted in two orientations. This is true of all the stepper units, and you do not want to install them 180 degrees off or very interesting things could happen!

Not really an issue in this case due to the rivets, but some reflex units have rivets in all the holes, used or not, so pay attention to the wiper orientation.

Loosen/remove the shaft adapter
reflex unit
contact plate screws may be in the way
reflex unit
so take a couple of them out

Remove the screws holding the disc to the unit; this is to provide access to the set screws on the shaft. Sometimes it's not needed, but it's easy... and if there's no unit diagram on the site...ummm...please do it?!

reflex unit
more tools!
reflex unit
set screw 1
reflex unit
set screw 2

Get your 5/64" allen wrench and loosen the set screws so that you can rotate the shaft adapter on the shaft. You should now be able to spin the adapter. If you can only move it partway and not far enough for your needs, loosen the set screws more.

Optional step if a diagram is needed to be made
reflex unit
unscrew unit from back door
reflex unit
picture of the rivet side with wipers off (oops)
reflex unit
take a picture of the wiring side

These pictures come from different games.

In the first picture we see the screw-in-the-hole method of preventing the wipers from fully resetting ... then there's the broken off wire strand on the lower left wire - at least it can't touch anything else.

On many games, the trip relay bank is in the way of taking good pictures and fiddling around with the unit. The reflex unit is screwed to the back door with four screws, and it only takes a few seconds to remove them so you can spin the unit around for easy access.

A picture of the contact plate without the wipers is needed. When the wipers are installed, it's hard to say if there's rivets under the fingers in places. When you're done, a picture with the wipers installed at the reset position is also needed.

The picture above with the rectangular contact plate is from Magic Ring. Since the contact plate is fully populated with rivets, the useful thing is really the wire colors. The picture shows the wipers sitting on the plate - you don't want that for the picture of the rivet side.

Above is a so-so picture of the wiring side of a different reflex disc. It would be a lot better if the whitish stuff was cleaned off so the rivets and wiring can be seen clearly. The goo is usually solder flux, and will come off with a little alcohol and a brush. Being able to see the wires attached to the solder lugs is also nice!

If the contact plate has a lot of wires or they criss-cross so much that it's hard to follow them, try and move them around a little while taking more pictures so the connections can be traced. Usually the reflex units are pretty simple and this isn't necessary.

If you want to diagram the unit yourself, print out a template and go for it. It's easier on contact plates that have all the rivets installed to be able to look at both sides of the contact plate and use an ohmeter if necessary to make sure you've got the rivet positions right. If you do make the diagram, send it in along with pictures. It's good to have multiple people check it.

When done, put the contact plate back on and fasten it with the one screw that isn't in the way of the shaft adapter set screws.

Setting the adapter shaft position
loosely installed adapter shaft
reflex unit
wiper alignment
reflex unit
snug into position

You should now be able to rotate the shaft adapter on the shaft.

Place the wiper fingers on the shaft and rotate so that they match the diagram or line up in the obvious place if there is no diagram.

Holding the wiper fingers in place and pushed all the way down towards the contact plate, tighten an accessible set screw. The pointed set screws digs a divot into the shaft. If you tighten and the wipers want to spin to allow the set screw to go into the old divot, you can rotate the adapter shaft 180 degrees and you should have fresh metal for at least one set screw to jamb into.

Tighten and check the adapter shaft position
reflex unit
remove wipers again
reflex unit
tighten set screws
reflex unit
double check alignment

Remove the wipers for easy access to the set screws.

Tighten the second set screw and check the first.

Place the wipers on the shaft and check your work. The wipers don't have to be perfectly centered on the rivets. If they are a little too far counter-clockwise, the game with stay liberal for a few more credits. Just make sure they don't touch a rivet that they shouldn't (not an issue with this game).

Remove the wipers again.

Clean and lube
reflex unit
remove wipers again
reflex unit
tighten set screws

This is the green scrub pad method of cleaning the rivets and plate.

Clean the wiper contacts too.

reflex unit
gel lube - a modern option
reflex unit
special application tool

Lube-gel is the Radio Shack version of a Super Lube product, and is a teflon-based dielectric grease. 'course, Radio Shack doesn't exist anymore, so you'll need to use the Super Lube synthetic grease with PTFE/teflon. The 3oz tube is enough.

Dialectric greases are insulators, but it works because the pressure of the wiper fingers is enough to push through the thin grease layer and make a don't spread it on thickly.

In theory, the grease could irritate skin - but I come from the generation that used gasoline to wash the grease off their hands ...