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Publication numberUS2825565 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 4, 1958
Filing dateSep 17, 1956
Priority dateSep 17, 1956
Publication numberUS 2825565 A, US 2825565A, US-A-2825565, US2825565 A, US2825565A
InventorsDonald E Hooker
Original AssigneeRaymond T Moloney
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Color-selective ball game register
US 2825565 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 4, 1958 D. E. HOOKER COLOR-SELECTIVE BALL GAME REGISTER 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Sept. 17. 1956 INVENTOR.

D E. H 0 0 K ER DUN March 4, 1958 D, E, HOOKER 2,825,565

COLOR-SELECTIVE BALL GAME REGISTER Filed Sept. 17, 1956 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 4 INVENTOR.

DONALD E.H0wR BY COLOR-SELEC FIVE BALL "GAME REGISTER Donald E. Hooken Wilmette llL, assignor to Raymond T. Moloney, Chicago, 111.

Application September 17, 1956, Serial No. 610,174 4 Claims. (31. 273-125 This invention pertains to score control mechanism for use with various types of ball-rolling games, the'p'rincipal object being the provision of photoelectric apparatus operating in accordance with the color of aball to' determine whether a score is to be made or to alter the value of a score.

It is a more particular object to provide score control means useful in conjunction with a pool or billiard type of game in which a ball is directed into certain pockets, and the score registered depends upon the color of the scoring ball with respect to the particular pocket it enters.

V A further object is the provision of photoelectric color sensing means and a ball runway of special construction having a curve with a side opening therealong and means for directing a beam of light at the open portion of said curve, and further means at another open portion of said curve for picking up light reflected from a spherical surface, such as that of a billiard ball, as the same negotiates the curve.

Additional aspects of novelty and utility relate to details of the construction and operation of the preferred embodiment disclosed hereinafter in view of the annexed drawings in which:

Fig. 1 is a' top-plan schematic view of a portion of a ball-rolling table and coacting photoelectric and ball runway means and circuit connections for controlling score registering means;

Fig. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view of the interior of a game table with the upper ball-rolling surface removed to disclose the novel ball runway means and photoelectric sensing means.

Referring to Fig. 1, a preferred embodiment of the novel score control means is tuilized in conjunction with a modified pool game in which each player is allotted a set of two balls, one set being white and the other red, for example; and in a coin-controlled variety of the game, each set of two balls is automatically released upon deposit of a coin into a delivery pocket for the White balls and another pocket 12 for the red balls, s'u'ch delivery being efiected by energization of ball-release el ectromagnets 14R and 14W for the red and white balls respectively, such energization attracting the appertaining armatures 15 to Withdraw the same from blocking relation to the arms 16 of a corresponding rocker wheel 17R or 17W normally gravitated into lowered blocking position in a special ball guide or runway R or 20W.

The ball-blocking rocker wheels 17 are sufliciently light in weight to be raised by a ball to permit the latter to gravitate back to the appertaining return pocket; however, if the corresponding blocking armature 15 is not attracted and withdrawn from the path of the appertaining arm 16, thenthe wheel cannot be raised and the ball: will be held against return to play.

, Energization of the ball release electromagnets is automatically effected by master control means 18 not detailed and forming no part of the claimed invention.

States Patent 5 2,825,565 Patented Mar. 4,v 1958 i The players retrieve their respective sets ofcolored balls from the return pockets at' the front of the cabinet and place them upon the table 25, and by use of cues-they seek, among other objectives, to lodge balls of appro priate color, in one of the outpockets 21R or 21W, the former being above one end of the runway 20R and the latter above one end of the other runway 29W so that the pocketed ballsdrop into a correspoding runway and gravitate therealong in the general: direction of the appertaining return exit, being blocked nevertheless by the corresponding rocker wheel 17R or 17W'until the latter is released as aforesaid;

Not only are therespective runways inclined toward their return exits or pockets, but each has a marked inflection or curve about midway along its course, as at 30, there being a lowered side rail means- 31 providing a side exposure at this position in each runway to remove obstruction to the projection and reflection of light therein relative to the upper surfaces of a ball rounding the curve at this point. (See Fig. 2' also.)

A light source in the form of a lamp 35 is positioned at the exposed curve in eachrunway, together with lens means 36 for concentrating a maximum amount of the light on the surface of a ball entering and rounding the curve. I

Close to each lamp and facing the ball approach is a corresponding photosensitive cell 38 provided with a collecting lens means 39 for directing an optimum amount of the light which will be reflected from said ball rounding the curve and especially illuminated by the corresponding lamp 35, the placement of the light source and the corresponding photosensitive cell being at such an angle with respect to each other and the diameter of the ball and the proximity and radius of curvature of the curve negotiated thereby to afford an optimum sensing operation of the photosensitive means in the average time required for the ball to alter its direction of travel in rounding the curve, whereby reliable operation of the photoelectric sensing means is achieved without resort to expensive apparatus and critical adjustments.

Referring still to Fig. 1, when a white ball negotiates any curve 30, sufiicient light of proper color content is reflected onto the photocell 38 to actuate the appertaining amplifier means 40 and thereby actuate the corresponding relay 42R or 42W with score-control results now to be described.

v Mounted on the side of each runway 20R, 29W (see Fig. 2, lower right) is a ball-operated feeler or runway switch 45R or 45W, and each such switch has a long wire operating lever or feeler 46 projecting into the appertaining runway to be engaged and pivoted by a ball approaching the inflection or curve 30 to close the associated runway switch; and this triggers a cycling or timing circuit inthe score control apparatus to set up a scoring circuit and award a score the value of which will depend upon the color of the ball responsible for the triggering of the cycle.

When the game is first conditioned for a round of play by operation of the master game control means 18, one of the results is the energization of the ball-release coils 14R, 14W, so that the two sets of balls are released into the delivery pockets 10 and 12 to be retrieved by the player and placed either one at a time or all together on the table 25, depending on the rules for a particular game involved.

In some forms of the game, for example, the release coils 14R and 14W remain energized a predetermined time so that the balls continue to return to'play until a certain score is reached, whereupon the blocking means 17R, 17W automatically becomes eflective until a new round of play is initiated.

Another result of initiating a round of'play byaetionof the master control means 18' is that of starting "a cycling 'motor 48 to drive a shaft w on-which are two sets of ipulsing cams '55, 56 and- 57158, which are frictionally jcoupled to thel drive shaft by conventional slip-clutch ineansknown' in the art, and operatingin such manner 'that'if one pulse disc 55 or 57 ineither. set is restrained against rotation, the companion pulse disc. islikewise, re-

strained; and when the restrained disc is freed, both discs in the appertaining set will be rotated by the shaft 49.

The pulse cams or discs 55, 57 are each normally rewhite pocket 21W, his score will be multiplied "The same diiferential scoring applies'to' the opposingplayers 'white ball, as will presently be made to appear; 1 "i The means for effecting differential scoring according assuming, with reference to Fig. l, thatia-ldarkjred ball B has been played into the score Pocket'ZL IR and-has rolled down the runway 20R and operated the cor respondingfeelerswitch lever 46 to close switch 45K just into .the exposed area at 3.1 and be illuminated byf the corresponding light means 35-36, j j Q The reflected lightredirected by lens means 39'upon the V a to the color of the scoring ball will now be described by photosensitive means 38 is inadequate to actuate'the corresponding amplifier 40; and thereforethe correspending photo relay 42R remains unopera ted and in normal condition. j

a 'When this ball actuated the feeler switch ASR- an operating circuit was thereby closed via conductor 69 to'eliltchrelease coil 53R, withdrawing brake plunger 52R momentarily to allow the'pulse discs 55 and 56' tofrotate for one'cycleg m -'Since the photo relay 42 R is'notaflected by this scoring, the first or low-score pulsing camis witchol will beefiective (when closed by the single cam lob 65 A) to energize the scoreregister step coil 65 oncewia conductor 62, normally'closed tcontacts 6 on photo relay 42R, and'conductor 64, thereby stepping the score register dial 66on'ce. t {:ff

But let it be assumedthat, insteadofa redjf or'd ark ball B having been scored in pocket 21R, a white-ball has scored and actuated the runway scoreswitchr-45R fand released the score cam discs 55oand 56,;as before and 'now stands in the place of ball B at thefturn m me guideway; in such case, sufficient lightor' light of appropriate 'color quality, will now affect the phofocell imeans 38 to actuate the photo relay 42R, thereby breaking the; normal-s'ingle-score-pulse circuit at relay contaicts 63- to Elisable the single-pulsefiedf cam switch 61-, and 'closing the multipule-pulse-score contacts 67 on the relayt'to actuate the opposing or white score registerineans.

The aforesaid scoring operation of the opposing 'or white score register means is efiiected by closure ofcam switch 70 a plural number of times by the several lobes 56A on the cam disc 56, therebytransmittingjseveral score pulses via conductor 71,: said relay contacts 67', conductor 72to jwhite register'icoil 75 so that the white? score register dial 76 ,wilLbe advanced several steps "i r Thus, the player who lodges his ball 'ofa particular color a before entering the inflected region or 'turn to move opposing color (red inthe said lastexample) will 'be re- 7 having a high blue content}; a

' white pocket 21Wis identical the controlling colors of the balls reversed. j

V For instance, if a white ball scores in pocket 21W, the photo relay 42W, will pullinto break its normal score contacts 80 and close contacts 81, thereby connecting the score register'coil'75. via conductor 72, said contacts 81, conductor 82 to the lowescore cam switch 83 which will be closed only once by cam lobe 57A.Y

a plurality of times by action of lobes 58A in closing cam switch 85 severaltimes and energization of said'coil via 7 conductor 86, normal relaytcontactsfio, and conductor,

64 to the red dial coil 65.

It will be understood that the showing in Fig. 1 1s mainly symbolic; thattheuse of positiveand negative-battery symbolsis a mere convenience to simplify, wiring, and is a not limiting; andtthatithefnumben of hall'sto, bejeniployed 7 may bellvaried as 'wellas-thefsco'r'e ivalues awarded by the scoring 'o'fidifile'rent colotsjifi the-severalpockets;

One structural emboditnentlof the runway and, photo- 1 t electric sensing means 'is shown in Fig. 2,-wherein lik e' reference characterstidentify'the similarlyidentified parts described in .view of Fig.-1;y

' ,In particular, the twotphotoelectrie cells 38,-a siwell as the;appertainingamplifierand relay components 40, 42R,

, 42W, arelcompactl-y contained'in a housing41 havingopjpositely pitched .end walls 41X eaeh supporting one of the pick-up lenses 39attheproper angle relative tothe icon- "frontingjc'urvelportion 130n ofthe runw yim ns Thi housingtalso' servs-tosupportjbdth light sonrces-35 and partly supports I the. corresponding prejecting-lens means 36in conjunction with uprights 137,, which in, turn serve tosupportthe-housingll in'elevafted condition relative toexpo'sed inflectionarea opposite the loweredjside railportions 31." p In one successfulwembodiment of thejscore control means described one set of .balls ,twtasjof substantially I white color, and. the darker opposingsetwasgofredrcolor,

and thecolor sensing was achieved by employing photoelectric cellsfhaving an inherent sensitivity to the color blue, by reason'of which thetphoto relays would be pulsed by passage of a whitetball, but notjby a red .ball since the latter would absorb sutficient blue, energyto prevent 7 effective excitation-of the particular blue-sensitive photocell involved, whereastthe whitenb alls would reflect light Filters may be employed before 3S'td achieye color selective excitation with tphotocellslwhich are sensitive to several color'smr photocells, sensitive 'toparticular colors other: than blueinay be employed with likeleffect in procuringdiffe'rential operation'of, the score circuits as a function of ithedifferent colors of the'balls, and itfis therefor' not'intended 'thatlthe' description of "redand (white in the last example) in' the score *pocket 'o f lthe V trol means 7 sired.

white balls shall be limiting asthe'photo sensitivetcon 7 I claim:

1. In a ball rolling'game; means for guiding balls for travelalong apredeterrninedpath from a point of scoring to a certain destination; means along said path'forjdirecting a beam of light onto the balls as each pa'ssesfa certain location; photoelectric means positioned adjacent i said location to receive reflected lightfrom a passing ball;

a score controlcircuit connected for-{actuation by said A photoelectric means; ball' -actuated; switch, means located along said'path; and electrically controlled score register a means connected for joint control by said control circuit and 'said switch means to effect registration of afirstnomi' B was described, the scoredial-66 was pulsed only once.

The operation of the score'c ontrql pir'euit for the nal'score value when said switch meansis actuated with V out accompanyingactuationof said photoelectric means and to etfect'registrationfof adifierentscore value when to that just described withmay ,be made; selective to tothercolor's if de said switch means and said photoelectric means are actuated both by one and the same ball.

2. In a game employing playing pieces moved to score objectives; electrically actuated score register means; playing pieces difiering in light-reflective properties; switch means including photoelectric means positioned relative to each of not less than two of said objectives and respectively connected in a control circuit with said score regis ter means for diflerential operation, firstly to actuate the register whenever one of said playing pieces moves to scoring relation with one of said objectives to register a predetermined nominal score, and secondly with said photoelectric means actuated responsive to light of a certain characteristic reflected from a said playing piece in conjunction with scoring action thereof in efiecting the nominal scoring operation of the register as aforesaid, to fur ther actuate said circuit and cause said register to indicate a score difierent from said nominal score.

3. In a ball-rolling game employing balls of differing light-reflective properties and scoring objectives to which said balls are directed and from which scoring balls are redirected for further play, control means including, namely an electrically controlled score signalling means; guide means for balls redirected as aforesaid, means for directing light onto a ball guided by said guide means; scorecontrol means positioned relative to said guide means in cluding a first switch means actuated by a mass property of a ball guided thereby, and a further switch means which is operatively controlled by certain light-reflective properties of said ball; together with circuit means including operative connections with said first and further switch means to actuate the signalling means either under joint control of the switch means or under several control of one of the same, depending upon the light-refiective properties of the particular ball involved; and means comprised with said circuit for modifying the signalling, operation of said signal means dependently upon whether such operation is effected by a joint or several actuation of the switch means as aforesaid.

4. In a ball game employing balls having differing light-reflective properties, and ball-scoring objectives to which said balls are to be directed; score control means comprising, runway means for receiving balls attaining at least certain ones of said objectives; runway switch means actuated by a ball in said runway means; a photosensitive switch means to be controlled by light of a certain character reflected from said last-mentioned ball; means for directing light upon said ball; an electrically-controlled scoring device connected in operating circuit having first and second operating conditions to produce different scoring results; said runway switch means and said photosensitive switch means being connected with said circuit to produce the first or second operating conditions dependently upon whether both or only one of the said switch means is actuated by one and the same ball.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,722,751 Jones July 30, 1929 2,162,529 Dawson et al. June 13, 1939 2,531,236 Snell et al. Nov. 21, 1950 2,657,799 Johnson et al. Nov. 3, 1953

Patent Citations
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US1722751 *Nov 19, 1927Jul 30, 1929Bell Telephone Labor IncOptical inspection system
US2162529 *Mar 12, 1936Jun 13, 1939Westinghouse Electric & Mfg CoPhotosensitive apparatus
US2531236 *Sep 22, 1944Nov 21, 1950SnellToken-actuated mechanism
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US3044778 *Apr 9, 1958Jul 17, 1962Joseph E BeckCoin-operated game
US3910580 *Jul 30, 1974Oct 7, 1975Xaver LeonhartTable ball game with moveable circular bumper portions
US3985355 *Apr 21, 1975Oct 12, 1976Donald ShoemakerGame
US4116435 *Mar 18, 1977Sep 26, 1978Randy D. SinesAutomatic cue ball separating device for billiard tables
US4355802 *Mar 17, 1981Oct 26, 1982Montana Billiard SupplyBilliard table
US4516770 *Dec 23, 1982May 14, 1985Development Finance Corporation Of New ZealandBall identification for a table ball game
US4533141 *Dec 10, 1982Aug 6, 1985Digital Products CorporationGaming apparatus with color sensitive detector
US4569522 *Dec 10, 1982Feb 11, 1986Digital Products CorporationGaming device using visible randomization
US5439224 *Oct 13, 1993Aug 8, 1995Bertoncino; JamesDriving range with automated scoring system
US5704612 *Nov 9, 1994Jan 6, 1998Rlt Acquisition, Inc.Arcade game with color sensing apparatus
US6244970 *Jun 17, 1999Jun 12, 2001Diamond Billiard Products, Inc.Optical sensors for cue ball detection
US6569028Jan 28, 2000May 27, 2003Glowrange, L.L.C.Golf driving range
EP0112686A2 *Dec 14, 1983Jul 4, 1984Development Finance Corporation Of New ZealandTable ball games
WO1984002281A1 *Dec 9, 1983Jun 21, 1984Digital Products CorpRacing betting game
WO2007105761A1 *Mar 14, 2007Sep 20, 2007Mj Sport Co LtdBoard game device and board game system
U.S. Classification273/125.00A, 473/53, 473/23
International ClassificationA63F9/00, A63F9/06, A63D15/20, B07C5/342
Cooperative ClassificationA63D15/20, A63F9/0604, A63F2009/2445, B07C5/342, A63F7/3065
European ClassificationA63F7/30G5, A63D15/20, B07C5/342