US 2328667 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 7,1943. F. lG. NlcoLAUs BUMPER SWITCH FOR BALL ROLLING GAMES Filed May 14., 1941 ZZ- 13d J5 l Patented Sept. 7, 1943 UNITED BUMPER SW'ITCH FOR BALL-ROLLIN G GAMES Frank G. Nicolaus, Chicago, Ill., assignor to Raymond T. Moloney, Chicago, Ill.
Application May 14, 1941, Serial No. 393,394
(Cl. 20G- 52) 8 Claims.
This invention has as its principal object the provision of a novel bumper for use in connection with ball rolling games, and characterized principally by the fact that it comprises a standard adapted to be mounted on the ball rolling surface of such a game, the standard being provided with a resilient bumper band or element extending from one part thereof to another so as to be struck by a ball rolling on said surface, together with switch means disposed to be operated by the rebound band element when ythe latter is struck by a ball at any of a plurality of positions.
More particularly stated the invention resides in the provision of improvements in a bumper of the type in which there is included a standard adapted to be mounted on the ball rolling surface of a game of the class described, the standard having a substantially horizontally projected portion overlying the ball rolling surface and being provided further with rebound means including a resilient or flexible rebound element mounted on the standard so as to extend between the latter and the projected portion thereof, the rebound element having substantial portions out of Contact with any portion of the supporting structure so as to be free to move upon impact of a ball therewith. The particular improvements of the invention include a control switch having an operating portion arranged with respect to the freely movable portions of the rebound element so as to be operated by the latter upon impact of a ball therewith, the switch being adapted for connection in a control circuit to signal or otherwise designate such impact of the ball.
A further and more particular object of the invention is the provision of a bumper of the cla-ss described and including a support adapted to be mounted on a ball rolling surface, a continuous band of resilient material mounted on said support so as to lie in a plane approximately parallel with said surface and with opposite body portions thereof disposed in space relation tok Fig. 1 is a top plan view of the bumper;
Fig. 2 is a side elevation of the bumper with portions of the rebound element cut away to expose the switch means;
Fig. 3 is a bottom view of the bumper opposite to that seen in Fig. 1;
Fig. 4 is a vertical section through the main standard portion of the bumper as viewed in the direction of lines 4--4 of Fig. 2;
Fig. 5 is a vertical section through another portion of the bumper and the switch means, looking in the direction of lines 5 5 of Fig. 2;
Fig. 6 is another vertical section through the bumper structure and switch means looking in the direction of lines 6-6 of Fig. 2.
The invention is best described by referring to Fig. 2, wherein there is `shown a bumper consisting of a standard or supporting portion Il) having a ared base ll resting upon the ball rolling surface l2 of a game board.
Adjacent the tcp of the standard is an eXtension i3, which, in a preferred arrangement, extends approximately parallel with the surface I2, and overlies the latter at some desired height depending upon the diameter of playing piece or ball to be used in playing the game.
The bumper is preferably secured to the playboard by means of a single mounting screw I4 extending downwardly therethrough to engage the board itself or suitable retaining nut (not seen) or the like, the head Ida of the screw seating down into a portion of the crown of the post (see Fig. 4).
The arm or extension i3 is provided with several webs 13a, |313, |30 (Figs. 5 and 6 also) as both a decorative and reinforcing means; and the outer (right-hand) end of this arm as seen in Fig. 2, is provided with a charnfered seat I5 to receive part of a rebound element i8. The rebound element is preferably in the form of a continuous elastic or resilient band (see Fig. 1) of rubber of cylindrical cross section.
The standard or post portion ii! of the bumper is provided with a chamfered seat portion 9 at about the same level or elevation as the seat l5, but of wider diameter than the latter, so as to dispose the rebound element or band in a tapered contour (Fig. 1)-that is the opposite intermediate portions I6@ of the band are farthest apart adjacent the standard, and taper toward each other toward the outer or end seat portion l5.
By referring to Fig. 3. it will be apparent that the opposite intermediate reaches or portions |6a of the elastic rebound element are disposed in free spaced relation to the central web lilo,l kas well as webs I3b (Fig. 5 also), and this makes A possible free vibration of these intermediate portions in any direction.
An analogous bumper structure is shown in my copending application Serial No. 379,179.
The present bumper structure is preferably made from a plastic material molded in one piece, as to the post portion I0, the arm or extension I3, and the base and web portions.
A further feature of the present structure resides in the provision of a novel switch means to be actuated by the rebound element I6, said means comprising a pair of contact elements I1 and I8 (Fig. 3) in the preferred form of elongated pieces orblades of spring metal, each anchored at one end by means of a rivet I9 passing through oversized holes in each contact blade and through an insulated spacing washer 20 for each blade so as to prevent electrical contact between tiie same and the rivet.
Each blade has connected thereto a lead wire 2I or 2Ia passing into the standard or post and down through the latter for connection to some kind of a signal or control device in any of the well-known manners.
The free ends of the contact blades are provided with suitable contact points 22, which are normally out of engagement as a result of the normal bias of the spring blades Il and I8.
Adjacent the corresponding contact point 22 of each switch blade, there is provided a rebound eeinent engaging means in the preferred form of a hump or outward bend or projection Ila or Ia each disposed normally to engage one of the main opposite and freely movable side portions Ita of the rebound element as shown particularly in Figs. 3 and 6.
in order to provide clearance `for the contacts 22 to engage each other, the central web I3c is cut away or notched as at I3d (Figs. 2 and 3). Thus the main or central web I3c constitutes a mounting for the switch elements Il and IB, and an insulating separator therefor throughout most of the length thereof.
The operation of the device is such that if the ball B (Fig. l) strikes the main free portions Ia of the elastic rebound element or band IB almost anywhere along the length thereof, the band or element will flex or move suiciently to close contacts 22 as shown in dotted lines in Fig. l, thereby actuating the signal or other hit indicating or control means with which the bumper switch may be connected in the usual manner.
An example of a simple control circuit for a lamp is shown in Fig. 3, where the conductors 2|.-2la are seen to be connected in a series electric circuit witha battery Bat and a lamp L, suoli that when contacts 22 are closed, as by action of the ball striking the band I6, the lamp will be momentarily illuminated.
The novel construction makes possible a ccmpact, inexpensive, and highly efficient novelty bumper switch. Because the arm I3 extends in a radial sense, the device may be adjusted about the securing bolt or screw I4 as a cent-er. To hold the bumper in adjusted positions, small protrusions or teeth 25 (Figs. 2, 3, 4) are molded as a part of base Il, and bite into surface I2 when bolt or screw I4 is tightened.
The switch means is substantially shielded from view by the rebound element I6; yet the .latter is readily removable for access to the switch blades, the points 22, orthe connections 2l, for inspection, repair or adjustment.r
Rebound elements I6 of selected resiliency may be provided to give desired rebound effects as to sensitivities, etc.
Because of the elongated and tapering disposition of the main portions IBa of the rebound element, the ball B may rebound directly; it may glance olf at an angle, or it may tend to follow along the length of the element I6, depending upon the angle of attack, speed, slope of surface I2, if any, angular adjustment of the arm I3 relative to such slope, and the degree of resiliency of the element IB itself.
Thus a variety or rebound effects are possible. Moreover, the switch contacts 22 may close circuit only momentarily, or for longer periods.
making possible the use of a time element in the electrical control circuit.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to protect by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. A bumper for ball rolling games comprisingr in combination, a member adapted to be mounted adjacent a ball rolling surface, an elastic bumper band mounted on said member to project in spaced relation to, and in a plane above, said surface at a level to be engaged by a ball thereon, portions, at least, of said band being disposed to be free to move when engaged as aforesaid, and switch means disposed substantially in said plane for cooperation with movable portions of said band for actuation by movement of said movable portion responsive to engagement therewith of a ball as aforesaid, said switch means being adapted to control an instrumentality associated with the game.
2. A bumper for a game comprising, in combination, a member adapted to be mounted in a game playing field in which playing pieces move; bumper means supported by said member to project radially from said member in a plane above said field at a level to be engaged and moved by a playing piece of predetermined height, and switch means including an operating element positioned relative to said bumper means to be engaged and moved by said bumper means to actuate the switch means when the bumper means is engaged in a. certain manner and moved by a playing piece as aforesaid, said switch means being adapted to control an instrumentality asso` ciated with the game.
3. A device of the class described comprising a standard adapted to be mounted on a ball rolling surface and including a part projecting above said surface in approximately parallel spaced relation thereto, a resilient rebound member having support on said standard and projecting part so as to extend in a plane lying above and approximately parallel to said surface, and with portions. at least, disposed at a height to be struck by a ball on said surface, and switch means on said bumper and including actuatable parts cooperably situated with respect to said projecting parts arranged to be operated by said rebound member in response to resilient movements thereof upon engagement therewith of a ball moving on said surface, said switch means being adapted for connection in a circuit for controlling associated means.
4. In a bumper device of the class described including means projecting above and approximately parallel to a ball rolling surface and supporting a resilient rebound element in a plane at a. level above and approximately parallel to said surface to be struck by a ball thereon, that improvement within comprises: the provision of.
switch means on said bumper and including an operating element disposed for cooperation with said rebound element substantially in the plane of the latter to be operated thereby responsive to engagement of a ball with said element.
5. A device of the class described comprisiner a member adapted for mounting on a ball rolling surface and including a portion projecting into space over said surface in approximate parallelism therewith, an elastic band stretched between said member and projecting portion in a plane likewise in approximate parallelism with said surface at a level to be struck by a ball thereon, opposite portions of the band running adjacent said projection portion being free to move, and switch means including a pair of contact blades mounted on said projecting portion and each disposed to be engaged and moved in switching operation by a portion of one of said opposite movable portions, responsive to engagement of a ball therewith.
6. A ball bumper for games of the class described comprising in combination a member adapted for mounting on the ball-rolling surface of such a game, said member having an arm portion projecting into space to overlie portions of said surface, a pair of switch blades mounted on opposite side of said arm portion and normally sprung out of circuit-closing engagement, and combination switch-blade operating and bumper means supported by said member and arm portion and including elongated portions extending movably alongside each switch blade for movement to actuate the same in circuit-closing engagement with the companion blade by action of a ball bumping the corresponding elongated portion, said switch blades being adapted for connection to control an instrumentality associated with said game.
7. A bumper switch device characterized by the provision of a standard for mounting in a game utilizing playing pieces or the like adapted to approach the device from different directions, bumper means arranged on said standard to be struck by a playing piece or the like approaching from any direction, and switch means arranged for cooperation with said bumper means and constructed to be actuated by the latter when engaged by a ball approaching the same from certain directions only, said bumper means being effective as such upon engagement by a playing piece from any direction as aforesaid.
8. A bumper device comprising an upright standard, switch means mounted thereon to project in a radial sense therefrom, and bumper means arranged on the standard in circumambient relation to said switch means and having parts movable responsive to engagement 0f a. bumping agency therewith to actuate the switch means.
FRANK G. NICOLAUS.