2005 Design Plus Pro Striker Bowling Alley

Description: Pro Striker, Design Plus, 2005, six players, new ball bowler run by Pneumatics, 650 pounds. Available in 11, 15 or 19 foot lengths, uses two 4" balls, and has a large 64x132 pixel dot matrix display and ticket dispensor. The CPU board uses a Z80 microprocessor and TIP122 transistors to drive pneumatic solenoids for the pins, and has a 1 farad memory back up cap (instead of a battery). The dot matrix display has cute animation graphics that play during the game. Also the electronic sound is very clear and the game's speech is easy to understand. There is an air compressor (with a cooling radiator) to pneumatically lift, lower and hold the pins. Optics sense when the ball is in the pit and ready to be lifted up pneumatically and returned to the player. Also comes in a Cosmic Pro Striker version. Interestingly the audits and diagnostics can not be accessed when the game is set to free-play (software error).

Much like Bowlarama, the pins are on cables, and have magnets in the bottom to sense when a pin is hit. After the first shot in a frame, the pneumatics lifts up all the pins. Pins which were hit are locked (held) above the alley using pneumatics to keep the pin(s) above the alley. Then the un-hit pins are lowered back onto the alley for the second shot in the frame. At the end of the second shot (or a strike), the pins are all raised and then lowered to reset them.

For the most part the system works well. But personally, I would MUCH rather have the 'old school' 1957 to 1973 sixteen foot big ball EM ball bowler (especially at the $6000+ retail price tag for the Pro Striker!) The EM style Chicago Coin and United ball bowlers are more challanging to play, have more personality, and generally feel more like real bowling. The Pro Striker I played was the 11 foot version (too short), and it was not hard to bowl a perfect or near perfect game. The pins are located very close together, making shots pretty easy. I also noticed ball jams in the pit were fairly common (giving the player a "see the attendant" error before the game would proceed, though often the second ball could be thrown to dislodge the jammed ball in the pit).

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