US 2671662 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 1954 R. D. CARPENTER ETAL 7 AUTO RACER GAME Filed July 18, 1949 5 Sheets-Sheet l Thomas M. Kelley Raymond D. Carpen rer INVENTORS MWWEMW:
March 1954 R. D. CARPENTER ETAL 2,671,662
AUTO RACER GAME Filed July 18, 1949 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Fig. 4.
Thomas M. Kelley JNVENTORS Raymond B. Carpenter BY Q...
5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Mar h 9, 1 5 R. D. CARPENTER ETAL AUTO RACER GAME Filed July 18, 1949 March 1954 R. D. CARPENTER ETAL 2,671,662
AUTO RACER GAME Filed July 18, 1949 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Fig. 8
I28 72 72 108; v f
Thomas M. Kelley Raymond 0. Car enrer mmv 0R8 Patented Mar. 9, 1 954 AUTO RACER GAME Raymond D. Carpenter and Thomas M. Kelley, Santa Cruz, Calif.
Application July 18, 1949, Serial No. 105,292
6 Claims. 1
This invention comprises novel and useful improvements in an auto racer game and more specifically pertains to an improved game apparatus including a race track board having a plurality of race tracks and miniature autos movable thereon together with a remote control board for electrically operating each of the miniature autos, the elements of skill and chance being coordinated in operating the control boards to enhance the interest and amusement afforded by the game.
The primary object of this invention is to provide an improved racer game having improved race track mechanism and improved racer control means therefor.
A further object of the invention is to provide a game apparatus in which the elements of skill and chance are both utilized to impart interest and excitement and enjoyment in the playing of the game.
An important feature of the invention resides in the provision of a race track board having a plurality of concentric race tracks thereon together with a miniature auto racer electrically operated and movable in each track, means being provided in the power circuit of each auto for regulating the speed thereof to compensate for the difference in length of the track, so that equal contests may be raced between contestants depending upon the elements of skill and luck in manipulating the control board.
A further feature of the invention resides in the provision of a race track board in accordance with the foregoing feature, wherein a pair of electrical conductors are embedded in the track for establishing a power circuit to each of the auto racers, and wherein there is provided a finishing switch in each track at any suitable point such as adjacent a finish line for a race, whereby the racer automatically trips its finish switch upon crossing the finishing line, and thereby deenergizes its control board and. power circuit.
A still further feature of the invention resides in the provision of a novel control board for controlling the power circuit of an associated auto racer upon the race track board, together with appropriate electrical connections whereby the control boards may be placed remote from the race track board.
A still further feature of the invention resides in the provision of a control board having an inclined playing surface, provided with a plurality of obstacles for causing the tortuous progress of a ball or other projectile over the surface of the board under the influence of gravity, various of said obstacles being provided with projectile operated switches for actuating signal lights, opening the power circuit of the associated racer, accelerating the speed of the racer for varying periods of time, and energizing the power and deenergizing the obstacle light or lights after the projectile has completed its travel of the playing board.
A further important feature of the invention resides in the provision of a novel and improved construction of accelerating switch which shall be operated by gravity under the influence of the weight of a projectile deposited upon an inclined trough thereon, whereby the duration of actuation of the switch will be proportionate to the length of time required for the projectile 'to traverse the inclined trough and bedischarged therefrom.
And a further important feature of the invention resides in the provision of an inter-relation between a coin controlled master switch for rendering each control board individually operable and the finish switch upon the race track board for rendering said control board inoperative.
These, together with various ancillary features and objects of the invention which will later become apparent as the following description proceeds, are attained by this device, a preferred embodiment of which has been illustrated by way of example only in the accompanying draw ings, wherein:
Figure 1 is a plan view, partly diagrammatic, illustrating a race track board together with a plurality of control boards associated therewith;
Figure 2 is a fragmentary diagrammatic view illustrating the wiring diagram of a control board and its associated race track upon the race track board;
Figure 3 is a vertical transverse sectional detail view taken substantially upon the plane of the section line 3-3 of Figure 2 and illustrating the construction of the gravity operated acceler ating switch together with certain associated structural features of the control board;
Figure 4 is a vertical transverse sectional view taken substantially upon the plane of the section line 44 of Figure 3 and illustrating certain features of construction of the gravity operated switch mechanism and associated structural features of the control board;
Figure 5 is a vertical sectional detail view taken substantially upon the plane of the section line 55 of Figure 3 and illustrating the construction of the projectile operated go switch of the control board;
Figure 6 is a fragmentary diagrammatic view illustrating the manner of electrically connecting the various race tracks of the race track board with control boards, the master switch of the apparatus, the finish switches of the race track board and the coin-operated switches of the control boards being indicated thereon;
Figure 7 is a side elevational view of one of the miniature auto racers which may be employed with the race track board of the invention;
Figure 8 is a vertical transverse sectional detail View taken substantially upon the plane of the section line 8-8 of Figure l and illustrating in front elevation one of the miniature auto racers together with the manner in which the same is connected with the conductors of the track and the manner in which it operates a finish switch;
Figure 9 is a wiring diagram of on of the con- L trol boards illustrating the lighting and power circuits thereof;
Figure is a horizontal sectional detail View taken substantially upon the plane of the section line l0lEl of Figure 3 and illustrating the arrangement of the switch elements upon the gravity operated switch; and
Figure 11 is a fragmentary diagrammatic View of an enlarged portion of the solenoid and switch assembly of Figure 9 but showing the position of the switches when the solenoid is energized.
Referring now more specifically to the accompanying drawings, wherein like numerals designate similar parts throughout the various views, it will be seen by reference to Figure 1 that the numeral l0 designates a race track board of any suitable character and having a surface thereon, while the numerals l2 indicate individual control boards which by appropriate wiring connections are associated with each of the plurality of race tracks [4 upon the playing surface.
It is to be here noted that the control boards may, if desired, be incorporated into a single apparatus with the playing board it, but it is preferred to position the same remotely from the playing surface board in the interest of convenience for a large number of contestants.
Secured upon the race track board iii are a plurality of tracks M which, in the interest of compactness, are disposed in a concentric manner, each of these tracks being in the form of a closed loop, and being preferably composed of channels or grooves in the surface of the race track boardv l8.
Indicated at iii are a plurality of miniature auto racers, one being provided for each of the tracks M; these racers being electrically operated in response to manipulation of the individual. control boards t2. Although the game has been shown as including auto racers, and an auto racing track, it is to be understood that any other counter be employed for simulating a race or other contest. In accordance with the principles of this invention, the counters are moved at varying speeds and for varying distances under the control of the individual control boards ii in accordance with skill and the effects of chance as set forth hereinafter.
As will be seen by reference to: Figures 7' and 8 in particular, each of the counters or auto racers I6: is: provided with a suitable electric motor is of any desired type which is mounted within the racer for operating the same, this motor driving a worm gear which, through a pinion 2L, opcrates the rear wheels 24' of the racer.
At the front end of the. racer, means is provided for engagement with the track It for guiding the racer, and also for obtaining power from the track.
For this purpose, the sides of the track are provided with spaced: electrical conductors 28- and 33 forming part of a power circuit for energizing and activating the-motors of the racers. Depending from the forward end of the racer is a block 32 which may be of annular shape in the form of a roller, and is preferably of insulating material, and is received within the channel 26 of the tracks It for guiding the racer along the track.
Likewise depending from the front portion of the racer, are a pair of brushes or plows 34 which are adapted to resiliently and electrically engage the respective conductors 28 and 3D, and by means of suitable conducting cables 36, establish a power circuit with the motors l8.
Indicated in Figure 2 at 38 is a line which may represent the finish line for the various race tracks It. At this finish line, there is preferably provided a finish switch for each of the tracks l4, this switch as shown in Figures 2 and 8 preferably consisting of a housing or container member 40 having a trigger or switch lever 42 extending thereabove. This housing is disposed in the bottom of the channel 26 of each of the race tracks, so that the lower end of the member 32 in passing over the switch may depress the lever 42, and by means of the switch leads 44 and 45, deenergize the control board of the associated track,
It will now be seen that in response to initiation of an electric power circuit for any of the race tracks M, the racer it will be moved thereon, the extent of this movement, its time duration and. its speed depending upon the strength and the duration of the power circuit established. It is thus contemplated, as set forth hereinafter, that each racer will, upon each play of the appropriate control. board, and depending upon the elements of skill and chance as set forth herein.- after, be advanced for a varying distance along its course or race track, until the same has reached the finish line, at which time the finish switch will be automatically actuated by the racer to thereby cut off all power to that control board and the race track associated therewith.
Each of the control boards l2, as will be seen by reference to Figure 1, includes an inclined playing surface 48 together with a ball propelling plunger 50 by means of which a ball or other projectile may be propelled upon the surface 48,
' and then under the influence of gravity may descend by various paths therealong and drop into a return trough 5-2 by means of which the ball is again delivered in front of the plunger of the projector 50 for its next actuation.
Obviously, the plunger may be of any desired construction, and that shown in Figure 2 is deemed to be satisfactory. This plunger may conveniently comprise an actuating rod 54 which is slidable in a guiding bore 56 of the control board l2 and having its inward end extending into position for encountering and actuating and propelling a spherical projectile 58 out upon the playing surface of the board, under the influence of a compression spring 50'. This plunger is in accordance with suitable well known designs of ball propelling mechanism for pin-ball machinesor the like, and further details as to its structure are therefore deemed to be unnecessary in connection with this apparatus.
As will be clearly apparent from Figures 3 and 4, the inclined playing surface 48 of the control board slopes towards its lower end and terminates in proximity to the projectile return trough 52 which is inclined downwardly to its discharge end adjacent the shelf 63 forming the end for receiving the projectile 58' and from whence the latter is discharged by the plunger 50 as above mentioned. This shelf 63 forms the end of a chute 64 which conveys the ball upwardly to the upper end of the inclined playing surface 48 in accordance with well known designs.
The playing surface is provided with a plurality of obstacles for compelling the projectile to traverse tortuous and varied paths in descending from the upper end to the return chute, and certain of these obstacles are provided with contact switches operated by contact of the projectile for energizing signal lights, retarding movement of the miniature racers by breaking their power circuits, and varying their speed as set forth hereinafter.
At the upper portion of the board is a suitable indicator light indicated at 66 which is illuminated as long as power is applied to the control board, and the latter is in condition for play.
At suitable points upon the playing surface of the board, are any suitable number of combined obstacles and contact switches 68, which upon engagement by the projectile illuminate corresponding lights and temporarily halt movement of the racer by breaking the power circuit thereof, this circuit remaining broken until the projectile subsequently traverses its path over the inclined surface, moves through the return trough and finally actuates the go switch 62 as set forth hereinafter.
Adjacent the lower end of the inclined surface of the control board are a plurality of bafiies or other obstructions Ml, see also Figures 3 and 4, which serve to direct the descending projectile to various portions of the return trough 52 which is positioned transversely and slopes transversely of the inclined playing surface.
Likewise adjacent the lower end of the board are any suitable number of indicator lights indicated at I2 which are adapted to be illuminated during the time that the projectile is in the return trough 52 and operating a gravity switch as set forth hereinafter.
The control board is provided with both lighting and power circuits under the control of a common switch, having a manual actuating member I4 which may be coin-controlled if desired, and by means of which the switch blade indicated generally at I6 is moved to its circuitclosing position for both the lighting and power circuits. An electric solenoid I8 is provided for actuating the control switch of the control board to its circuit open position in response to actuation of the finish switch 4!] of the corresponding track I l.
Power comes into the power circuit of the control board by means of the conductors 8i! and 82, the former going directly to the main control switch 16 of the board, while the latter goes directly by a conductor 8 to one of the track conductors 28 as through an insulating conduit 86.
Power for the lighting circuit of the board enters the same through the conductors 88 and 90, the former being controlled by the switch 16, while the latter is connected directly by the branch conduits 92, 9t and 96 with the light member 66, the projectile actuated switches 58, and a switch actuating solenoid indicated generally at 9B. The switch blade It connects the lighting conductor 88 with a conductor IEO which is, in turn, connected as by branch conductors I92, I04 and Iilii, and I08, with light 66, projectile actuated switches 68, lights 12, and a solenoid switch contact I Iii.
It will thus be seen that when the manual control switch it is closed, a lighting circuit will be established through the conductor 88, switch I6, conductor Hill, and branch conductor I02 to the light bulb 66 and from thence by conductors 92 to the lighting return conduit 9|], whereby the light 66 will be illuminated to indicate when the main control switch of the control board is closed and the control board has its circuits connected to the main current supply.
Current for the power circuit will flow into the control board over the conductor 80, through the switch blade I6, and by means of conductor II2 to a manually adjustable rheostat H4 by means of which the strength of current supplied to the individual tracks can be varied whereby the speed of the different cars may be adjusted to compensate for inequalities in the length of the tracks.
From this rheostat I I4, the power circuit flows by the conductor H6 to the stationary contact IIB. From thence, by means of a movable contact I20, the current is free to flow as set forth hereinafter by means of a conductor I22 through a fixed resistance I24 and then by means of a conductor I2! through the above mentioned insulating covering 36 to its connection with the track conductor 35. It will thus be seen that when the manual switch 76 is closed, and the movable contact l 26 is engaged with a fixed contact II8, that the power circuit is energized to cause movement of a car It which movement is at a uniform speed depending upon the setting of the rheostat I I4. By-passing the fixed resistance 524, is a shunt circuit controlled by a mercury switch I26 which is actuated by the trough 52 as set forth hereinafter. The previously mentioned projectile actuated go switch 62 is connected by means of a conductor I 28, and movable contact iSil with the switch element IIB of the switch assembly operated by the solenoid 98. and by means of conductors I32 and I43 with a solenoid coil I34 having a magnetizable core I36 therein, which solenoid core is connected with the branch ground conduit 96 of the lighting circuit.
The lighting circuit is further connected as by a branch conduit I38 and a mercury switch I50 carried by the switch member actuated by the trough 52, and by a conductor I42, with a branch conduit Hit connected with the signal lights I2.
As will now be seen, the signal lights F2 are actuated when the mercury switches I25 and I40 are tilted in response to actuation of the troughoperated switch. Likewise, upon actuation of this switch, the resistance I24 is cut out of the power circuit, whereby a stronger current will flow therethrough and whereby the car controlled by that circuit will be accelerated in its travel.
The switches H3 and I26 are normally closed and switches H6 and I35! are normally in their open or circuit-breaking positions. When, however, a projectile strikes one of the contact switches 53, lighting current is delivered from branch conduit I M and branch conduuit let, through the switches 58 and branch conduit 94, to a connecting conduit M5 which, in turn, is connected with a conduit Mt forming part of the solenoid coil I34. This current thus flows through the solenoid coil energizing and magnetizing the core I35, the current from the coil being returned by the conduit 96 to the lighting return conduit 90. This go switch 62 is normally closed as indicated in full lines in Figure 9, but is moved to switch open position by a projectile resting upon pin of switch 62. Actuation of the solenoid 98 draws the contacts I30 and III) to- 7 sein r and. br aks. cont c HB nd Hit hus op nin h p w r c c t nd ma i he solenoid circuit closed until the projectile rests in switch 62, thereby breaking the solenoid cirquit, and simultaneously closing the power circuit again.
Attention is next. directed to Figures 3 and 4 foran-understandingof the gravity operated'accelerating switch assembly. As shown in Figure 3-in particular, the inclined trough 52 is adjustably secured as by fastening bolts I58 at variousadjustable inclines to a supporting bracket I52. rigidly attached at its mid-point to a support bar I54. The latter is pivotally connected as at I56: and I58 to the outer extremities of; levers I60 and I62 which, in turn, are pivoted.- as at I64, and I66 to a supporting standard I68, to thus, form a parallel bar linkage, whereby the support I 54 and bracket I52 are mounted for vertical straight line movement. The outer extremityof' the lever IE2 is provided with a counter-balance I10 which is sufficient to balance the trough 52 and its supporting linkage, so that the trough will be maintained in its uppermost position, but upon the placing of a projectile thereon, will be gravity actuated to its lower position. When the projectile has rolled off the end of the inclined trough, the counter-balance Ill] will again restore the parts to the position shown in Figure 3. At its lower end, the rod I5 5 is engaged with a pivoting platform I12, fulcrumed or-journaled as at I15, and having secured thereto as shown in Figure 10, a pair of mercury switch elements I26 and I49, having conductors respectively connected in parallel with the resistance I24, and with the conductors I42 and 99.
It will thus be seen that when the weight actuated trough 52 is lowered, the two mercury switches are activated to cut out the resistance I24 from the power line, thereby accelerating the racers, and to activate the electric circuit through the lights [2, thereby actuating the latter as long as the trough 52 is depressed.
Indicated at I'M is a master control switch by means of which electric current from the conductors I16 and H8 is supplied to or cut offfrom all ofthe control boards of the entire game apparatus.
In summary, the operation of the apparatus is as follows. The master switch I'M is closed thereby connecting the main power leads I16 and Il'=8 with the apparatus. The manual or coinoperated switch It is then closed by means of the actuating rod M, whereby current is supplied from the main switch il to the power leads sll'and 52 and the lighting leads 8B and 90 of each control board, it being understood that each board is capable of independent operation once the main switch H4 has been closed.
With the closing of the manually operated switch 16', the control boards are now ready for use. At this time, the signal light 66 is on by means of the circuit through 88, i5, I09, I82, 66, 92 and 90', and remains on throughout the entire time that power is supplied to the board through the manual control switch it, to serve as a warnlng; that the board is in condition for play.
A projectile is now impelled uponthe playing surface of the control board I2 by means of the plunger and the same descends thev inclined surface. ofthe playing board and, eventually. is deposited in the trough 52-, and, from thence returnsto its starting position ready for thenext actuationby the plunger. If during this descent,- tlie n i ctil a s. i i e. nset th ebsiaele switches 68, the corresponding racer is, not. retarded in its speed oioperation, but will be ac-- celeratedby means of the operation by the projectile of the ball actuated mercury switch I28, through the circuit members 86, 16, H2, I, H6, H3, I22, I25, iZl'. However, if the projectile strikes one of the switches E8, the solenoid 38 is ncmentarily energized closing the switches H0 and i323 and lisewise opening the power circuit switches H3 and I20 as shown, in Figure 11. Thus, the corresponding racer I8 has been stopped momentarily until the projectile has again struck the go switch 52. If the projectile has struck a switch .3, its subsequent actuation f the trough 52 and of the accelerating'switch 52E: has no effect since the solenoid 98 has, been energized and broken the track. circuit until actuation of switch 62; again restores power to the track by switches H8 and E26. If obstacles 6.8 are skillfully avoided, the pro'ectile then fallsin .ie trough 52, the latter is depressed, thereby actuating the mercury switch I25: and M9, the former lay-passing the resistance and causing an increased current flow and a corresponding increase or acceleration of the racer. The. latter switch 24c operates the signal lights 12 which thus remain activated until the projectile has passed from the end or the trough. At this time, the trough returns to its original position, rcstcring the mercury switches to their inoperative position, and restoring the speed of. the car to its predetermined normal rate. Upon passing from the end of the trough, the projectile actuthe o switch which imparts no action upon solenoid in this instance, the solenoid not being previously energized.
The deenergizing of the solenoid 93 thus permits the individual solenoid switches to return to their inoperative position, whereupon the power circuit is restored until the same is again deenergized by a projectile striking one ofthe switches 62. Obviously, if the projectile is caused to enter the return trough 52 at its highest end, the same will be on the trough for the greatest length of time thereby depressing the trough actuating accelerating switch, and thus imparting acceleration to the racer for the longest possible period of time. Thus, the skill of the player will result in a maximum duration of the period of acceleration, while the element of chance will likewise determine the extent of time the trough is depressed and the accelerating switch is engaged.
As soon as one car has crossed its finish line, the finish switch will be operated whereupon the solenoid it will open the manual switch cutting off all flow of power to that control board, until such time as the control switch is again closed as by the manual or coin operation of the lever 14..
From the foregoing, the construction and operation of the device will be readily understood and further explanation is believed to be unnecessary.
However, since obvious modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the rt after a consideration of the foregoing specification and accompanying drawings, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction shown and described, but all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the appended; claims.
Having described the invention, whatis claimed as new is:
l. A racer game comprising a race track sur face having a plurality of juxtaposed tracks with any electrically operated counter movable-along each track, acontrolboard' for each counter; electrical means connecting each control board with its respective counter, each control board having an inclined playing surface with obstacles thereon, a pin ball, means for propelling said pin ball upon said playing surface, means for initiating continuous movement of a counter at a predetermined speed which is substantially constant for all counters, said last means being actuatable by placing a pin ball in predetermined position for movement by said propelling means, means for stopping movement of a counter actuatable by said pin ball upon contact of the latter with one of said obstacles until said pin ball again actuates said means for initiating motion.
2. The combination of claim 1 including means actuatable by a pin ball for increasing the speed of a counter, and means for varying the duration of operation of the last mentioned means.
3. A racer game comprising a race track surface having a plurality of juxtaposed tracks with an electrically operated counter movable along each track, a control board for each counter, electrical means connecting each control board with its respective counter, each control board having an inclined playing surface with obstacles thereon, a pin ball, means for propelling said pin ball upon said playing surface, means for initiating continuous movement of a counter at a predetenmined speed which is substantially constant for all counters, said last means being actuatable by placing a pin ball in predetermined position for movement by said propelling means, means for stopping movement of a counter actuatable by said pin ball upon contact of the latter with one of said obstacles until said pin ball again actuates said means for initiating motion, means actuata ble by said pin ball for varying the speed of a counter, said last means comprising a resistance in the circuit of the electrical means and a bypass circuit around said resistance, a switch controlling said by-pass circuit, an inclined gravity actuated trough operatively connected to said switch and operable by said pin ball, said trough being positioned to receive said pin ball from the lower end of said inclined surface, said trough discharging said pin ball by gravity to said motion initiating means, means for varying the duration of actuation of said speed varying means and of said motion stopping means.
4. The combination of claim 2 including means actuatable by said pin ball for varying the duration of the stoppage of the counter.
5. A racer game comprising a race track surface having a plurality of juxtaposed tracks with an electrically operated counter movable along each track, a control board for each counter, electrical means connecting each control board with its respective counter, each control board having an inclined playing surface with obstacles thereon, a pin ball, means for propelling said pin ball upon said playing surface, means for initiating continuous movement of a counter at a predetermined speed which is substantially constant for all counters, said last means being actuatable by placing a pin ball in predetermined position for movement by said propelling means, means for Iii stopping movement of a counter actuatable by said pin ball upon contact of the latter with one of said obstacles until said pin ball again actuates said means for initiating motion, means actuatable by said pin ball for varying the duration of the stoppage of the counter, said last means comprising an inclined trough discharging said pin ball from its lower end to said motion initiating means, means for directing said pin ball from said inclined surface onto said trough at longitudinally spaced portions thereof.
6. A racer game comprising a race track surface having a plurality of juxtaposed tracks with an electrically operated counter movable along each track, a control board for each counter, electrical means connecting each control board with its respective counter, each control board having an inclined playing surface with obstacles thereon, a pin ball, means for propelling said pin ball upon said playing surface, means for initiating continuous movement of a counter at a predetermined speed which is substantially constant for all counters, said last means being actuatable by placing a pin ball in predetermined position for movement by said propelling means, means for stopping movement of a counter actuatable by said pin call upon contact of the latter with one of said obstacles until said pin ball again actuates said means for initiating motion, means actuatable by said pin ball for varying the speed of a counter, said last means comprising a resistance in the circuit of the electrical means and a by-pass circuit around said resistance, a switch controlling said by-pass circuit, an inclined gravity actuated Z" trough operatively connected to said switch and operable by said pin ball, said trough being positioned to receive said pin ball from the lower end of said inclined surface, said trough discharging said pin ball by gravity to said motion initiating means, means for varying the duration of actuation of said speed varying means and of said motion stopping means.
RAYMOND D. CARPENTER. THOMAS M. KELLEY.
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