US 2954232 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 27, 1960 Filed Oct. 17, 1957 W. F. AUER GAME APPARATUS 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Sept. 27, 1960 w. F. AUER 2,954,232
GAME APPARATUS Filed Oct. 17, 1957 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 W. F. AUER GAME APPARATUS Sept. 27, 1960 Filed 001;. 17/195? 4 Sheats-Sheet 3 INVENTOR. Zd%
ffozff/t p 1960 w. AUER 2,954,232
cm APPARATUS Filed Oct. 17, 1957 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 i w M4 5 291 INVENTOR.
9%MKZQA United States Patent 2,954,232 GAME APPARATUS William F. Auer, Des Plaines, Ill., assignor to John T. Clark, St. Charles Township, Ill.
Filed Oct. 17,1957, Ser. No. 690,651
16 Claims. (Cl. 273-185) This invention relates to a game apparatus and more particularly to an apparatus for indicating the distance through which an object would travel if free. In particular, the invention is concerned with an apparatus utilizing golf balls for determining the effectiveness of driving a golf ball from a tee. While the invention may have other applications such as for example in tennis and baseball, it will be described in connection with golf. The quality of a drive off a tee is determined not only by the nature of the impact of the club head on the golf ball but also by the direction of the force acting upon the golf ball. In other Words, after a ball has been started in a drive, the velocity of the ball at the start as well as the direction of the ball are both of the utmost importance. Obviously a ball travelling at high velocity when leaving the tee will not necessarily travel far if the direction is wrong.
In addition to the above, the spin on the ball created by a hook or slice will also have a tendency to impair the effectiveness of a drive.
Attempts have been made to provide game apparatus for indicating the distance and direction of a golf ball as a result of a drive from a tee. Such attempts have generally had indifferent results for a number of reasons. For one thing, such attempts have utilized conventional microphones available for use in various types of audio frequency systems. Such microphones as a rule are quite delicate and can not withstand the rough conditions and environment characteristics of games generally. Many prior attempts have utilized the quantitative output of such microphones in connection with their operation. Further disadvantages of such prior attempts have resulted from the complexity of the entire apparatus, the sensitivity of such apparatus to weather and climatic changes and the requirement for frequent and expert servicing.
In accordance with the present invention, a relatively simple, rugged and foolproof system is provided. While a system embodying the present invention utilizes transducers, no quantitative values of the transducer output is relied upon. Consequently transducers of rugged construction capable of withstanding abuse and weather conditions may be utilized.
Furthermore a system embodying the present invention utilizes circuits which are simple and free from service troubles and which will have minimum tendency to get out of order. A further desirable characteristic of a system embodying the present invention resides in the fact that with the exception of some resistors, no precision in any components is required and furthermore little stability in characteristics of components is required. This is important in permitting apparatus to be constructed of commercially available parts and no testing or checking of performance characteristics will be required.
Fundamentally most, if not all, game apparatus of the type considered involve the measurement of time intervals of the order of a fraction of a second. It is clear that 2,954,232 Patented Sept. 27, 1960 if the velocity of the golf ball between two points is measured then only one parameter governing the distance that a ball will travel will be determined. As has been pointed out before, the direction is important insofar as it affects distance. Previous attempts to provide game apparatus of this type have usually involved complicated means for determining the direction.
The apparatus embodying the present invention determines the final distance that a ball may travel as a function of both the velocity and direction, this determination being effected by purely mechanical means of extreme simplicity.
In accordance with the present invention means are provided for measuring an interval of time which begins with the time of impact of the club head upon the ball and ends when a shock wave affects a transducer in a target area. The new system embodying the present invention provides for automatic reset after a period of time in the event that the period is started but is not terminated by impact of the golf ball on any target area.
In addition, a system embodying the present invention registers the existence of a hook or slice as a direct function of the path taken by the club head. It is of course well known that a hook or slice is caused by the club head moving in a path which is not perpendicular to the path taken by the ball at the beginning of its journey. As is true generally, a game apparatus embodying the present invention will require the ball to travel from the tee toward a target area which may be located from the tee a distance of the order of about 15 feet, this being greater or less in practice as requirements dictate.
A system embodying the present invention provides means for readily accommodating dilferent distances between the tee and the target area. In accordance with the present invention, the target area is provided with a relatively heavy flexible sheet capable of being snapped or whipped such as for example a heavy sheet of canvas or fabric or the like. The requirement for whipping the material derives from the necessity for transmitting a shock wave along the surface of the target material without excessive dissipation or damping. Thus in the case of a target material like canvas, it is possible to back the canvas with a rubber pad to provide some damping. However it is essential that the target material be capable of transmitting a shock wave created by the impact of a golf ball at the edge of the material to a region which may be considered as the bulls-eye.
Assuming that the center of the target material is the bulls-eye regionthis need not necessarily be the casethen a transducer for converting mechanical energy to electrical energy is provided. As has been previously pointed out, the output of the transducer need have no particular value above a certain minimum so that the faithfulness of transducer action is unimportant. The polarity of the output however is important.
The target material constituting a general target area may extend for as much as 4 or 5 feet from the bulls-eye region of the target. Thus in terms of angle of trajectory of a golf ball from the tee, the target material may cover a substantial range of drives from a low grounder to a high ball, and to the right or left of the theoretical path of a perfect drive.
It will be clear that there are two time intervals which are important in the operation of a game embodying the present invention. One time interval is the flight time and begins with the ball leaving the tee and ends with the ball striking the target material at some place. The other time intervals is the shock wave time and begins with the ball striking the target material and ends with the transducer being actuated by the shock Wave. If a ball strikes the target material above or below the bulls-eye region, then the time taken for a shock Wave to travel from the top or bottom of the target material to the target proper will tend to cutdown the yardage of the game. This of course is in accordance with actual conditions on a golf course.
A ball striking the target material to the right or left of the target proper or bulls-eye will also create a shock wave which will take time to arrive at the transducer located at the target proper. This added time will correspond to reduced yardage and this reduced yardage will correspond to the reduced yardage of a drive which has been hooked or sliced.
The time interval measuring portion of the system embodying the present invention has certain desirable advantages in regard to simplicity and operation which may render it advantageous for use in other systems.
In order that the invention may be fully understood, it will now be disclosed in connection with drawings showing an exemplary embodiment thereof. Variations may be made without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
Referring now to the drawings,
Figure 1 is a front view of a game apparatus embodying the present invention installed ready for use.
Figure 2 is a section along line 22 of Figure 1.
Figure 3 is a transverse section of the target proper, this view showing a section of the transducer.
Figure 4 is a detail taken along line 4-4 of Figure 3.
Figure 5 is an enlarged sectional detail of the transducer and tee in the game apparatus.
Figure 6 is a detail of the driving area with the tee and hook and slice members.
Figures 7 and 7a when disposed in side by side position show the electrical system of the apparatus embodying the present invention.
Figure 8 is a side elevation of a modified form of target.
The game embodying the present invention has driving mat or area 10 and target area 11. Driving area 10 includes tee 12 and hook and slice fingers 14 and 15 respectively. The tee and hook and slice members are connected by cable generally indicated by 18 to the system proper generally indicated by 20. The target area 11 includes target or bulls-eye 22, this region having a suitable transducer or transducers connected by cable 23 to apparatus 2%. Suitable netting 25 supported by pipes 26 and 27 may be provided for confining the game region and preventing a golf ball from going outside of a desired space.
Target area 11 may be rectangular or circular or elliptical and may have a wide range of dimensions. Thus a target region about 6 feet square may be satisfactory. The manner in which the target region is supported is not important, it being understood that the target region consists of a flexible heavy material in the nature of a drape or pad. Carried by target material 11 is target proper 22 which is disposed at a suitable portion of the target region corresponding to the height at which a perfectly driven golf ball will strike. It is understood that when target area 11 is adjusted forwardly or rearwardly of a suitable optimum distance such as for example 15 feet, then member 11 may be dropped or elevated a suitable distance to be in the trajectory of a perfectly driven golf ball.
Referring to Figures 1 to 4 inclusive, target 22 preferably consists of foam rubber 38 having a suitable thickness and suitable shape. In practice, member 3% may be of fairly stiff rubber having a thickness of the order of about an inch. The shape or member 34) is here illustrated as being circular. It may however be elliptical and should be large enough so that a strong support on target material 11 is provided.
An important feature of the present invention resides in the type of transducer used, this making it possible to provide easy replacement for expendable parts of the entire game apparatus. Preferably the four transducers used in the system, these being at the tee, at the target, and in front of the tee for hook and slice, are all similar.
For convenience, the transducer illustrated in Figure 5 will be described, this being essentially the same as the transducer illustrated in Figures 3 and 4 with the exception that the rubber part in Figures 3 and 4 are mounted somewhat differently. Referring therefore to Figure 5, the transducer comprises ferro-magnetic dished member 33 having annular rim or flange 34 and bottom part 35. Dished member 33 is provided with permanent magnet 36 extending upwardly from bottom 35 and suitably attached thereto as by solder. Permanent magnet 36 is preferably of Alnico V or any other permanent magnet material which can withstand some rough usage.
Resting on flange 34 is face plate 38 of ferromagnetic material. Face plate 38 is apertured at 39 to clear the pole face of magnet 36 to provide an annular air gap. If desired, permanent magnet 36 may have a suitable pole piece attached thereto. The construction so far described is generally similar to a dynamic loundspeaker.
Operating in the air gap between the face plate and the permanent magnet is armature 40 consisting of a circular plate of ferro-magnetic material carried by pin or block 41. The armature and block may be molded in a flexible rubber tee 43 having suitable shape and provided with mounting flange 44. Disposed around permanent magnet 36 is Winding 45 having leads 46 extending through a suitable aperture in dished member 33. It will be understood that winding 45 may be of the high impedance type with a large number of turns of fine wire or may be of the low impedance type with a comparatively small number of turns of wire. To insure electrical stability and satisfactory operation, under all kinds of conditions, it is preferred to utilize high impedance type transducers.
Inasmuch as the electrical load on each transducer is small in terms of current, Winding 45 may have comparatively few turns of wire which may be as fine as desired for ease in fabrication. It will be clear that any movement of armature 49 in the air gap will result in a change in the reluctance of the magnetic circuit and thus will result in a change in the number of lines of force linking winding 45.
Supporting portion 41 associated with armature 40 is provided purely for mechanical reasons to insure firm adherence of the rubber and metal. No great accuracy in positioning the armature as part of the transducer structure is required. The same is true of the transducer generally indicated at 47 on target material 11. In this particular case, instead of tee 43, rubber disc member 30 is provided.
In the case of the tee transducer, this may be disposed below a suitable aperture in driving mat 16. Driving that it? may be either of rubber or of solid material such as wood. The entire assembly of tee and transducer may be readily removed in case the tee is broken or cut and a new tee assembly disposed in position.
In the case of transducer 47, the transducer may be rigidly attached to sheet 11 constituting the target region generally by any suitable means such as for example by bolts 48 passing through material 11 and engaging a clamping ring 59. Rubber member 30 may be cemented on material 11 or if desired, attaching bolts may be molded Within rubber 35) to pass through suitable holes in sheet 11 and to be engaged by washers and nuts.
Driving mat 10 is also provided with book and slice members 14 and 15 each of which has a transducer associated therewith. Members 14 may consist of a finger of rubber or the like extending upwardly from conical member 55 resembling tee 43. The remainder of the transducer below conical portion 50 may be exactly like the transducer illustrated in Figure 5. The entire transducer assembly is disposed in slot 51 of mat 10, this slot permitting adjustment of the transducer assembly to- Ward or from the center line from tee 43.
5 Finger for'slice is similarly provided on flexible support 52 and has its own transducer, this assembly beingadjustable in slot 54. In the case of a left handed golfer, it is understood that finger 14 will register a slice and finger 15 will register a hook. The adjustment of the two fingers will be determined by the individual player requirements.
Referring now to Figures 7and 7a, the electrical portion of the system forming the present invention isshown. Beginning with the tee transducer, leads 46 are connected across resistor L One terminal of resistor 60 is connected to control grid 61 of a grid controlled thyratron G1. The polarity is such that a positive pulse will be impressed on the control grid. Thyratron Glhas cathode 62 energized by a heater not shown. Cathode 62 is connected to the positive terminal of bias battery 63, the negative terminal of which is connected to the remaining terminal of resistor 60.
It is well known that thyratrons may be made to fire when a positive potential of suitable value appears on the control grid. In order to impart stability to the thyratron, it is preferred to provide one or more dry cells or batteries such as is illustrated in 63 to insure a fixed bias potential. Cathode 62 is also connected to screen grid 65. Thyratron G1 has anode 66 which is connected by wire 67 to junction point 68. Cathode 62 of G1 is also connected by wire 69 to wire 70 which is connected to groundthrough resistors 71, 72 and 73.
Transducer 47 at the target has leads 75 which are connected across resistors 76 with due regard for proper polarity. Resistor 76 is connected between grid bias battery 77 and control grid 78 on thyratron G2. Thyratron G2 has its cathode 79 and screen grid 80 connected to ground. Thyratron G2 has anode 81 connected to junction point 82. From junction point 82, a wire goes to the winding of relay R1 and thence continues to junction 83 between resistors 71 and 72.
Leads 85 from the hook transducer are connected across resistor 86 which is associated with thyratron G3. Thyratron G3 has its cathode and grid connected as illustrated with the grid biased as shown by a battery as in G1 and G2. G3 has anode 87 connected through the winding of relay R2 and limiting resistor 89 to wire 70. Leads 90 from the slice transducer are similarly connected to thyratron G4. Thyratron G4 has anode connected through the winding of relay R3 and limiting resistor 97 to wire 70. Both transducers for hook and slice are connected to provide positive pulses on the thyratron control grids.
' Returning to thyratron G2, anode 81 is also connected through junction point 82 and resistor 100 to control grid 101 of vacuum tube V1. Vacuum tube V1 has cathode 102, energized by a suitable heater, not shown, connected by wire 103 to wiper 104 of resistor 105. Resistor 105 is connected to junction joint 106 which in turn is connected to one terminal of capacitor 107, the
' other terminal of which is connected to the positive terminal of battery or direct current source 108. The positive terminal of battery 108 is connected to anode 109 of vacuum tube V1. I
Junction 106 is also connected to junction point 112 which in turn is connected to anode 113 of vacuum tube V2. Vacuum tube V2 has cathode 114 connected to the negative terminal of battery 108. The negative terminal of battery 108 is connected by wire 115 to junction point 116 between resistors 7 2 and 73.
Anodej113 of vacuum tube V2 is also connected through resistor 120 to control grid 121 of thyratron G5. G5 has its anode 122 connected by Wire 123 to one terminal of the winding of relay R4 and the other terminal is to junction 68. Thyratron G5 also has its cathode 125 and screen grid connected to one side of a pair of normally open contacts 1R1, these forming "part of relay R1. Connected across contacts 1R1 are normally closed contacts 1R5 of relay R5 to be described later. The other contact of each of the relay contact pairs 1R1 and IRS are connected by wire 126 to wiper 127 of potentiometer 128. Wiper 127 forms part of a motor driven assembly to be described.
Resistor 128 has terminal 129 connected through variable resistor 130 to wire 131 going to junction point 132. Between junction point 132 and 68 are connected normally closed contacts 1R4 of relay R4. Tapped resistor .128 has terminal 134 connected by wire 135 to one terminal of grounded variable resistor 136.
Junction 132 is connected to positive terminal 138 of a power supply whose negative terminal is grounded. The power supply potentialis regulated by gas tube 139 for maintaining a substantially constant output potential. The power supply itself consists of transformer 140 having primary 141 and high potential secondary 142. Secondary 142 has its center grounded and has its end terminals connected to the anodes of full wave rectifier 1*43. Rectifier 143 has its cathode energized by transformer secondary 144. The cathode of the rectifier is also connected through filter inductance 145 and the variable resistor 146 to output terminal 138. Filter capac itors147 and 148 are connected from the two terminals of resistor 146 to ground.
Transformer 140 is also provided with secondary 150 for supplying the heaters (not shown) of the various vacuum and gas tubes. Transformer 140 has its primary 141 connected by wires 151 through a switch and fuse to plug 152 for connection to a standard power receptacle for alternating current. Across wires 151 branch wires 153 are provided going to primary 154 of transformer 155. Transformer 155 has secondary 156 connected between ground and junction point 157. From junction point 157, a connection goes right to the movable contact of three contacts 2R5 of relay R5. 7
The normally closed stationary contact of 2R5 is connected through play lamp 160 to ground. The normally open stationary contact of 2R5 is connected to one of a pair of normally open relay contacts 2R1 of relay R1 and is also connected to terminal 161 of motor 162, the other terminal of which is connected to junction point 163. Junction 163 is connected to ground through a pair of normally closed relay contacts 1R6 of relay R6 to be described.
Referring back to power leads 153, there is also connected across the same :a charging circuit comprising rectitier 165 and capacitor 166. One terminal of rectifier 165, in this instance the positive terminal, is connected to a stationary contact of relay contacts 3R1. The movable contact of relay contact 3R1 is connected to one terminal of capacitor 166. The movable contact of 3R1 is normally closed against a stationary contact which is connected to one terminal of relay winding R6, the other terminal of this relay winding being connected to what would here be the negative terminal of capacitor 166. Thus in the condition of relay R1 as illustrated, capacitor 166 nor mally tends to discharge through the winding of relay R6. The polarity of the rectifier is not important.
Referring back to junction 157, this junction is connected to the remaining contact of 2R1. Junction 157 is also connected to one contact each of a pair of normally open relay contacts 4R1 and 2R6. The remaining contacts of these two pair of relay contacts 4R1 and 2R6 are connected by wire 170 to junction point 171.
From junction point 171, one connection by way of serves to drive wiper 127 of potentiometer 128 and also to drive the wipers of homing and scoring switch sections. Referring to junction 157, this is connected to one terminal or" the winding of relay R5, the other terminal of which is connected to homing contact 180. Homing contact 180 extends for almost 360 and is provided with gap 181. Cooperating with contact 180 is grounded wiper 182. Once wiper 182 engages contact 180, motor 162 can complete an operating cycle until wiper 182 reaches gap 181 to home the entire system. Instead of having a wiper cooperating with an arcuate contact, it. is possible to have a cam cooperate with a pair of switch contacts for closing or opening the same as required.
Wiper 182 is connected by ground wire 184 to wiper 185 of switch section generally indicated by 186. Switch-section 186 has a number of contacts 188 joined to common wire 189 and connected to junction point 163. The number and angular spacing between contacts 188 is the same as the number and angular spacing of the contacts on a switch section to be described for score indication.
Ground wire 184 goes to wiper 191 of switch section indicated by 192. Switch section 192 has a number of separate contacts connected as illustrated to switch on successive lights or indicators numbered from 10 to 90 inclusive. As illustrated here, switch section 192 is normally on a dead contact and may be rotated clockwise to wipe over 32. separate contacts. This number is arbitrary and may be increased or decreased depending upon the maximum yardage or score to be displayed and also depending upon the scoring units. In the game apparatus herein disclosed, it may be convenient to show the distance at 10 yard intervals up to a maximum of 320 yards.
In practice, the first few contacts corresponding to say 30 yards may be dead and the minimum scoring may be set 'to any desired value such as for example, 40 or 50 yards if desired. Switch section 192 has three groups of contacts connected to lamps indicating 10 to 90 yards, with dead positions for 100, 200 and 3 yards respectively. The yardage for units of 100 yards will be indicated by switch section 194 provided with wiper 195 also grounded by wire 184. Switch section 194 has three arcuate contacts 196, 197 and 198 connected respectively to lamps for indicating 100, 200 and 300 yards. The angular orientation of arcuate contacts 196, 1.97 and 198 is such that wipers 191 and 195 rotating together with both cooperate to indicate the complete yardage scored in units of 10 yards.
The angular orientation of contacts 188 of switch section 186 with reference to the contacts in switch section 192 is such as to insure that motor 162 will always finally stop so that wiper 191 will rest upon a contact and not be between contacts. This electrical indexing is to compensate for motor overrun. As here shown, there are 32 contacts in section 192. These contacts are equally spaced and would have an angle between them of about 11. Each contact 188 may su'btend an angle of about /2 and have an angular separation of about 5 /2 Motor 162 may be cut off just ahead of a contact in section 192. By suitable design of the angular extent of the contacts in section 192, it is possible to have wiper 185 on some contact 188 in case wiper 191 is stopped between contacts. Thus motor 162 will be energized long enough to get wiper 135 off a contact while moving wiper 191 on to some contact. The margin for error will be about one half of a scoring unit-five yards in this instance.
Switch sections 180, 186, 192 and 194 are normally used in various types of games. Other types of scoring systems may be used. All the scoring lamps from to 90 inclusive and from 100 to 300 inclusive are connected to a common return 200 going to junction 171. It is understood that wipers 127, 182, 185, 191 and 195 are driven from the same motor through suitable gearing.
The operation of the system is as follows. Assuming that plug 152 is connected to a source of alternating current and that the switch is closed, the various tubes will be energized and the power supply will provide rectified potential for the various tube anodes. Transformer will be energized but the only load on secondary 156 will be play light and any additional lights which might be required for illumination. Wiper 182 in the position as shown will prevent current from going through the winding of relay R5.
Capacitor 107 will not have any charge therein. Initially therefore junction point 106 will be positive thus impressing a positive potential upon anode 113 of vacuum tube V2. The control grid and anode of this tube will be at the same potential initially so that space current will flow through tube V2. This will result in capacitor 107 charging. Capacitor 107 preferably has substantial capacitance such as for example about 10 mi. The time constant of this charging circuit is preferably of the order of a fraction of a second so that the capacitor will charge quickly in comparison to the time taken by a person in setting a ball on the tee. If desired a resistor may be connected between anode 113 and junction 106 to limit the charging current. However the plate resistance of V2 is quite high. V2 may be any one of a number of different types of tubes, such as for example, /2 of a 6SL7. A tube having a high mu is preferred.
It is essential that the potential developed across source 108 shall be less than the potential across regulator tube 139. When capacitor 107 first begins to charge, junction 106 is positive. This means that control grid 121 of G5 would also become momentarily positive to ground. The negative terminal of battery 108 is effectively at ground potential, since resistor 73 carries no current at this time. Wiper 127 on resistor 123 impresses a high positive potential on cathode 125 so that G5 remains cut oif.
As capacitor 107 charges, the potential of junction 106 drops with reference to the positive terminal of battery 108. Thus the eifective anode to cathode potential across tube V2 becomes smaller and smaller until finally capacitor 107 becomes fully charged. The potential of junction point 106 will never be exactly equal to the potential of the negative terminal of battery 108 so that in theory tube V2 may have some space current through the same at all times. The amount of space current in general will be determined by the leakage characteristics of capacitor 107.
Since no current flows through resistor 73, the potential of control grid 117 is essentially equal to the potential of cathode 114. Thus during the time that capacitor 107 is charging, tube V2 acts substantially as a diode with the potential across the tube dropping as the potential across the capacitor increases.
At first, anode 109 will be almost at the same potential as cathode 102. As capacitor 107 charges, the cathode to anode potential is increased. Tube V1 tends however to cut itself off due to the drop through resistor 105 and tube V2 and prevent discharge of capacitor 107. The various gas tubes G1 to G4 inclusive are all at cutoff due to the battery bias of the control grids.
If a ball is hit from the tee, an electric pulse is created in leads 46 and supplied to the cathode and control grid of G1. The transducer for the tee and in fact all the transducers must be connected so that a pulse generated during transducer operation will have the required pol-arity. H the polarity is wrong, the leads can be reversed. In this particular case, a positive pulse must be impressed upon oontrol grid 61 of G1 and this pulse should be great enough to overcome the negative bias of battery 63. Assuming that such a pulse is provided when the ball is struck, G1 fires. Space current is provided from positive terminal 138 to junction 132, closed relay contacts 1R4, junction 68, wire 67 to G1 anode 66. The current through G1 goes by way of wires 69' and 70 and passes through resistors 71, 72, and 73 to ground. This current passing through these three resistors will produce voltage drops and will result in the potential of junction point 116 being positive wtih respect to ground. This will result in control grid 117 of tube V2 being negative to cathode 114 and cut V2 E. This opens the charging circuit for capacitor 107.
The potential of junction point 83 also rises causing the potential of grid 101 to become positive with respect to cathode 102 and tube V1 conducts. Capacitor 107 begins to discharge through tube V1 at a rate determined principally by the value of resistor 105 and plate resistance of V1. If the ball misses the target or if the movement of the tee was accidental and nothing further happens, capacitor 107 will discharge substantially causing the potential of junction point 106 to rise. As capacitor 107 discharges, the potential of junction 106 and control grid 121 of G rises toward the positive potential of battery 108. The rise in potential above ground due to-the drop across resistor 73 raises the potentials of both terminals of battery 108 above ground. The resultant potential of control grid 121 of G5 is the sum of the potentials due to the drop across resistor 73 and the discharge of capacitor 107. By comparison, the potential of G5 cathode 125 remains fixed with respect to ground. G5 fires when the potential of grid 121 is at a proper value. This will be determined by the potential of cathode 125 which is determined by the position of wiper 127.
Space current through G5 energizes relay R4 to open contacts 1R4 and open the anode circuits for both G1 and G5. When this occurs, capacitor 107 begins to charge and the immediate drop in potential of point 106 is sufiicient to keep tube G5 from firing again. It should be noted that the potential of G5 cathode 125 will rise sharply due to the IR drop through resistors 128 and 136. When tube G5 is cut-off, the potential of cathode 125 is determined by the drop through the resistor network and this may be set so G5 fires only when capacitor 107 is fully discharged, assuming wiper 127 is in the position shown.
.If the ball strikes the target-the flight time of the ball should of course be less than the time constant for discharging capacitor 107then a pulse is generated by the target transducer and conducted along leads 75 and causes tube G2 to fire. The space current for tube G2 issupplied through tube G1. As soon as tube G2 fires, the potential of junction 82 drops practically to ground, droppingthe potential of the control grid of tube V1 practically to ground, below the potential of cathode 162 and also cutting oit tube V1.
While capacitor 107 is discharging during the operating cycle, the potential of junction 106 and cathode 102 is rising. But when tube V1 is cut-off, and tube V2- is still cut-off, the potential of junction point 106 is stabilized. The value of this stabilized potential is a function of the flight time of the ball plus the travel time of the shock wave between the point of impact of the ball on the target material and the target transducer. The potential of junction point 106 is applied to control grid 121 of tube G5. When G2 fires, relay R1 is energized. This closes contacts 2R1 and starts motor 162 operating. As soon as wiper 182 engages contact 180, relay R5 is locked in for the rest of the operating cycle.
A through connection from cathode 125 of tube G5 to wiper 127 is maintained from the first tee impulse because of contacts 1R1 being closed. Motor 162 drives wiper 127 over the various contact points of resistor 23. If desired, an electromagnetic brake may be provided for the motor, the brake being on when the motor is off. Resistor 128 and Wiper 127 both function as a potentiometer. The wiper may therefore play over a con tinuous resistor instead of a tapped resistor. It is clear that as wiper 127 turns clockwise from the position shown, the potential of Wiper 127 will ,become less positive. This means therefore that the potential of cathode 125 of G5 is dropping with respect to the potential of control 10 grid 121. The potential of control grid 121 is stabilized as pointed out before. Thus as the potential of cathode 125 drops, or as the grid potential rises with respect to the cathode, a point is reached at which tube G5 fires. When this occurs, relay R4 is energized. This opens contacts 1R4 and cuts off space current for tubes G1, G2 and G5.
When tube G2 stops firing, tube G5 also stops, relay R1 is released and, as explained in the following paragraph, opens the motor circuit at contacts 1R6. If wiper is between contacts, then wiper 191 will be on a contact and motor 162 will remain dead. If wiper 185 is on a contact 188, then grounded wiper 185 by-passes contacts 1R6 which are now open. The motor circuit remains closed until wiper 185 is clear of a contact.
Contacts 3R1, which had been operated by the target transducer pulse and had established a charging circuit for capacitor 166 and rectifier 165, now reverts to normal so that capacitor 166 .is isolated from its charging circuit. Charged capacitor 166, which in practice has substantial capacitance in the microfarad range, discharges through relay R6. This opens the motor circuit at contacts 1R6. Contacts 2R6 cuit from junction 157 to The target transducer pulse had resulted earlier in why R1 closing contacts 4R1 system had been energized target area.
As wipers 191 and are turned by the motor, scoring lights are flashed and when motor 162 stops, due to G5 firing, the final score is indicated by wipers 191 and 195 in the position corresponding to the stopping position of the motor. After a short period of time, say fiveseconds, capacitor 166 will be discharged, thus deenergizing relay R6. Junction 171 is now isolated from unction 157 and the scoring lights are extinguished. When R6 releases, contacts 1R6 in the motor circuit close again and motor 162 starts again. The motor runs until wiper 182 encounters gap 181, opening the circuit for relay R5. When relay R5 opens, contacts 2R5 open the power circuit for the motor. While the motor is homing the scoring system and Wiper 127, relay contacts 1R5 isolate the G5 cathode and prevent G5 from firing.
In the. event that the player operates the hook or slice transducer, one of'the normally cut-off thyratrons G3 or G4 will fire. This can only occur when G1 has fired so that space current through G1 will supply space current through either the hook or slice thyratrons. When one of these thyratrons fires, relay R2 or R3 will be closed and will serve to close the corresponding relay contacts 1R2 or 1R3 for energizing the proper indicator.
The hook and slice lamps Will go on only if relay R1 or R6 or both are energized. Relay R1 is energized after the target has been hit and tube G2 fires. Thus when motor 162 begins to turn the wipers then hook or slice indicators may flash. The indicators will go out when G3 or G4 are cut off by R4 being energized.
The portion of the system associated with the winding of relay R6 (rectifier 165 and capacitor 166) constitutes a simple delay relay control. Instead of the means illustrated, other delay means such as thermostatic may be used for insuring that relay R6 is energized for a desired period of time after G2 has been cut-oil.
It is also possible to eliminate the bias batteries for the various thyratrons and, instead, connect suitable resistor networks energized from the main power supply for providing the desired bias to keep the thyratrons normally cut otf. Similarly battery 108 may be replaced by a resistor network energized from the main power supply. However it is essential that the grid circuits of the thyratrons and source 108 be isolated from each other to insure proper operation. The use of batteries provides excellent operation and simplifies the circuits.
so that the score indicating: just after the ball struck the:
are closed to complete a cir-- junction 171. Junction 171. provldes current for the lamps for indicating scoring- 11 As an example, a satisfactory system may be constructed by using the following components.
Resistor 71 10,000 ohms. Resistor 72 20,000 ohms. Resistor 73 12,000 ohms. Resistors 97, 89, each 39,000 ohms. Resistor 100 9,200 ohms. Resistor 104 50,000 ohms. Resistor 12-0 47,000 ohms. Resistor 130 4,000 ohms. Resistor 128 7,000 ohms. Resistor 136 2,100 ohms. Grid Resistors for Gl-GS, each 470,000 ohms. Relay winding R1 10,000 ohms. Relay windings R2, R3, each 15,000 ohms. Relay winding R4 20,000 ohms. Cathode resistor for G2, G3 10,000 ohms. Tubes G1 to G5, each Type 2050. Tubes V1, V2 =6SL7.
Bias batteries for G1 to G4, each 3 volts. Battery 108 67 /2 volts. Tube 139 Type VR-ISO. Potential at 138 Plus 150 volts. Capacitor 107 mf. Capacitor 166 70 mf. Rectifier 165 200 milliamperes. Relay winding R6 10,000 ohms.
The game apparatus may be calibrated in a number of ways. A consistent golfer may drive a ball from tee 43 through a pair of crossed fine wires at a target region, the ball otherwise being free to go on a full size driving range. The resulting drive may be measured on the ground, assuming the target wires have been at the proper height for a perfect drive. This will give the flight time of the ball. Next, the same golfer will duplicate his drive, both in direction and distance, and hit target region 30 of the target area. In both of the above drives, the time measuring part of the new system will be used. Instead of showing the score in yards however, wiper 127 will indicate the voltage by having a voltmeter connected between wiper 127 and ground. Any differences in voltage between two equal drives will be due to the time taken by the shock wave travelling through part 30 of the target and reaching the transducer. In fact, fine target wires may be placed over target region 30 to check that the drives are similar. Thus the drive distance will be obtained for a ball striking the target region 30'. A generally linear relation between ball flight time and distance of a drive will be presumed. Thus if a ball takes twice the time to travel from the tee to the target area, then it will be assumed that the ball will travel only half the distance with reference to a predetermined flight time. This linear relation may be altered by operating capacitor 107 upon the curved part of a discharge curve. In general, however, the linear relation is quite accurate after taking account of Wind.
For calibrating high or low balls, the same general procedure may be followed as for the perfect drives. Thus fine wires on a driving range may be used for obtaining the flight time of the ball in relation to the distance along the ground of the drive. Then a heavy canvas cloth may be hung and used in connection with the present invention. It will be found that the shock wave travels along the canvas and strikes the target transducer to give the effect of cutting down distance. The same is true when hitting right or left of target region 30. The differences in speed of travel of the shock wave through different drapes may be considered as indicating differences in a golf course due to trees and the like.
Instead of relying upon a golfer for driving during calibration, a machine may be used for propelling the balls at predetermined distance and direction. Thus in United States Patent No. 2,314,063, issued March 16, 1943, there is disclosed a mechanical golf ball driver.
Once a system has been calibrated it is possibleto compensate for changing tee to target distances by varying resistor or moving the wiper on this resistor. A calibration test on this will be required. This may be accomplished by adjusting the wiper or resistor 130 so that the final score for a drive is generally changed in inverse proportion to the tee to target distance. For example, if the tee to target distance had been 15 feet when the system had been calibrated, and if the drape is moved back 5 feet the tee to target distance will now be 20 feet. If a ball is driven and the scoring system shows a yard drive then the potential on the potentiometer system for wiper 127 must be adjusted to show This may be accomplished by opening the motor circuit manually when relay R6 is energized to prevent motor 162 from homing the system. A voltage reading is taken between wiper 127 and ground. Wiper 127 will have been turned clockwise from the position shown in the drawing. Motor 162 is now turned slowly till the score changes from 150 yards to 200 yards. A second voltage reading on wiper 127 is now taken. Then potentiometer 130 is adjusted (in this case the wiper would be moved down) or resistor 136 or both would be adjusted to make the voltage reading of wiper 127 the same as when first taken.
It is clear from. the above that the score or yardage may be indicated by a voltmeter connected between wiper 127 and ground or suitable point in the system. The meter could be connected through contacts controlled by relay R6 and the meter could be calibrated to read in yards. In such case switch sections 186, 192 and 194 could be eliminated.
Whether the score indicating system as illustrated is used or a different system used or even where the score indicating system as illustrated is omitted, it is possible to provide a fast acting clutch at the motor drive near wiper 127. The clutch could be of the electromagnetic type and controlled exactly like the motor. Then overrun would be reduced and the sensitivity of the system be increased.
Referring now to Figure 8, a modified target construction is illustrated. In this form, target member 210 has a target or bulls-eye region 211 substantially at the center thereof. Target member 210 may be circular or any other shape and carries, preferably at the center thereof, transducer 212. The dimensions of target member 210 may be such that any ball striking this target member may be considered as being hit in a proper direction.
Target member 210 is supported on target member 214 which has peripheral portion 215 which extends beyond the edge of target member 210. The mounting of target member 210 on target member 214 may be accomplished in any desired fashion, such as for example by spring members 216 suitably attached by bolts 217. Target member 214 is disposed rearwardly of target member 210 with reference to the direction of ball travel. The distance separating the two target members may be small, of the order from 6" to possibly a foot or more. Target member 214 carries transducer 218 at the center thereof.
Target member 214 in turn is supported by target member 220 having peripheral portion 221 extending beyond the edges of target member 214. Target member 220 carries transducer 223 substantially at the center thereof. The mounting of target member 214 on target member 220 will also result in peripheral portion 221 being disposed reaiwardly of the other target members.
The various transducers are connected in parallel. If the golf ball is going in a direction corresponding to a fair or poor drive then the ball may strike peripheral portion 215 or 221. The extra distance traversed by the ball inreaching one of these peripheral portions requires times 150 yards or 200 yards more time and thus shows up as a reduced distance for the drive. This is in addition to the increased time that the shock wave takes in travelling toward the particular transducer involved. Inasmuch as the first transducer pulse is elfective for triggering thyratron G2, it makes no difference that the other transducer in the modified target may generate pulses.
It is possible to mount the various target members in non-parallel relation so that the top of target member 214 for example may be tilted toward target member 210 while the bottom portion of target member 214 may be separated from target member 210 as shown. A tilted disposition of target member 214 with reference to target member 210 will show as a diiferent length of drive if the ball hits the top of target member 214 instead of the bottom. Thus various kinds of driving hazards may be introduced.
What is claimed is:
1. In a game apparatus or the like, a station from where a ball is started on a trajectory toward a target region, means responsive only to the physical impact of a club on said ball for initiating a time computing cycle when said ball is started, a flexible target of sheet material having an extended area for receiving the ball, said area being suficiently large so that diiferent regions of ball impact may correspond to large differences in the direction of ball travel, means for supporting said target in a generally vertical plane, circuit control means mounted to subtend one relatively small area upon said target, said circuit control means being responsive only to the mechanical movement of the target incident to a shock wave created by impact of a ball upon any part of the target and traveling from the region of impact to the circuit control means, the velocity of the shock wave along the target material constituting a parameter involved in the determination of the distance to be computed, means responsive to an electric current from said circuit control means for terminating said time computing cycle and means for translating said computed time into a distance corresponding to the free travel ofsaid ball in the absence of any target.
2. In a game apparatus or the like, a station from where a ball is started on a trajectory toward a target region, means responsive only to the physical impact of a club on said ball for initiating'a time computing cycle when said ball is started, a flexible target of sheet material having an extended area for receiving the ball, said area being sufiiciently large so that-different regions of ball impact may-correspond to large dififerences in thedirection of ball travel, means for supporting said target in a generally vertical plane, transducer means mounted to subtend one relatively small area upon said target, said transducer means being responsive only to the mechanical movement of the target incident to a shock wave created by impact of a ball upon any part of the target and traveling from the region of impact to the transducer, the velocity of the shock wave along the target material constituting a parameter involved in the determination of the distance to be computed, means responsive to an electric pulse from said transducer means for terminating said time computing cycle and means for translating said computed time into a distance corresponding to the free travel of said ball in the absence of any target.
3. In a golf game apparatus or the like, a tee from where a ball is started on a trajectory toward a target region, means responsive only to the physical impact of a club on said ball for initiating a time computing cycle when saidball is hit by a club head, a flexible target of sheet material having an extended area for receiving the ball, said area being sufficiently large so that diflerent regions of ball impact may correspond to large differences in the direction of ball travel, means for supporting said target in a generally vertical plane, circuit control means mounted uponsaid target, said circuit control means being located at one part of said target only and being responsive only to the mechanical movement of the target incident to a shock wave created by impact of a ball upon any part of the target and traveling from the region of impact to the circuit control means, the velocity of the shock wave along the target material constituting a parameter involved in the determination of the distance to be computed, means responsive to an electric pulse from said circuit control means for terminating said time computing cycle, means for translating said computed time into a distance corresponding to the free travel of said ball in the absence of any target, two additional circuit control means including upwardly projecting fingers adapted to be hit by the club head disposed forwardly of said tee and laterally in both directions of the normal path of a club head, and means responsive to said additional circuit control means for indicating a hook or slice respectively when said club head takes an abnormal path for hooking or slicing respectively.
4. The construction according to claim 3 wherein said two additional circuit control means disposed forwardly of said tee are transducers, said transducers being similar and including a permanent magnet and ferro-magnetic structure cooperating with said permanent magnet for defining an air gap and having an armature disposed in said air gap and having means supporting said armature for permitting said armature to move in said air gap.
5. The construction according to claim 3 wherein said means for initiating a time computing cycle includes a condenser charge and discharge system, said means for terminating said time computing cycle including means for terminating the discharge of a condenser at the end of the period of time to be computed, and wherein the translating means includes means for determining the change in potential across the capacitor terminals due to the discharge thereof.
6. The construction according to claim 3 wherein said means for initiating a time computing cycle includes a condenser charge and discharge system, said means for terminating said time computing cycle including means for terminating the discharge of a condenser at the end of the period of time to be computed, and wherein the translating means includes means for determining the change in potential across the capacitor terminals due to the discharge thereof and wherein said potential determining means includes electromagnetically actuated potentiometer means and a thyratronnormally biased to cut-off, means for impressing the diiference in potential existing across the capacitor between the control grid of said thyratron and ground and means for impressing a potential derived from said potentiometer means upon the cathode of said thyratron to cause said thyratron to fire when the potentiometer potential balances the potential derived from the capacitor.
7. A system for measuring a golf drive, said system comprising two vacuum tubes each having at least a cathode, control grid and anode, one tube having a capacitor connected between the tube anode and a first junction point, a connection between the tube cathode and junction point, a metallic connection between said junction point and second tube anode, a direct current source having its negative terminal connected to the second tube cathode and having its positive terminal connected to the first tube anode, a resistance network connecting the first tube control grid to the second tube cathode and the second tube cathode to the second tube control grid, a second direct current source, means for setting the potential of said second tube grid to be equal to the negative terminal of the second direct current source, a first thyratron, means for connecting the first junction point to the thyratron control grid, a second resistance network including the resistance portion of a potentiometer connected across said second direct current source, a connection between the thyratron anode and positive terminal of said second current source, a connection between the thyratron cath ode and the movable contact of said potentiometer, a
second thyratron having its anode connected to the positive terminal of said second current source, a connection between said second thyratron cathode and first tube control grid,a third thyratron having its anode connected to the first tube control grid and having its cathode connected to the negative terminal of the second current source, means for normally biasing each thyratron below cut-off, a first means for impressing a positive pulse on the control grid of the second thyratron, a second means for impressing a positive pulse on the control grid of the third thyratron, said first and second means being located at a tee and target region respectively and acting successively to fire said thyratrons with the time between said successive actions to be measured, said capacitor being charged by the first current source through said second tube prior to the operation of said first means for impressing a pulse and discharging through said first tube after the operation of said first means for impressing a pulse, said first means causing said second thyratron to fire, said second means for impressing a pulse firing said third thyratron and cut ting off both vacuum tubes to stabilize the capacitor potential at a value which is a function of the time between said successive pulses, means for varying said potentiometer enough to cause said first thyratron to fire, means controlled by the firing of said first thyratron for cutting off space current to all thyratrons whereby said thyratrons revert to their normal cut-oif condition and means for translating said potentiometer variation intoa corresponding time interval indicating yardage corresponding to said time interval consisting of the time of travel of a golf ball from tee to target plus the time taken by the shock wave from the region of impact of the ball on said target to a predetermined target region, said first means for impressing a positive pulse being mechanically connected to the golf ball when said ball is at rest on a tee.
8. The system according to claim 7 wherein the anode circuit of the first thyratron has the winding of a relay connected therein and means controlled by said relay for cutting ofi space current for all thyratrons upon the firing of said first thyratron.
9. The systemaccording to claim 7 wherein an electric motor is provided for operating the movablecontact on said potentiometer, means controlled by the current passing through said third thyratron for energizing said motor and means operative after a predetermined time delay for re-energizing said motor after said thyratrons have cut-oil to home the potentiometer movable contact.
10. A system for measuring a golf drive, said system comprising two vacuum tubes each having at least a cathode, control grid and anode, one tube having a capacitor connected between the tube anode and a first junction point, a resistor connected between the tube cathode and junction point, a metallic connection between said junction point and second tube anode, a direct current source having its negative terminal connected to the second tube cathode and having its positive terminal connected to the first tube anode, a resistance network connecting the first tube control grid to the second tube cathode and the second tube cathode to the second tube control grid, a second direct current source, means for setting the potential of said second tube grid to be equal to the negative terminal of the second direct current source, a first thyratron, means for connecting the first junction point to the thyratron control grid, a second resistance network including the resistance element of a potentiometer connected across said second direct current source, a connection between the thyratron anode and positive terminal of said second current source, a connection between the thyratron cathode and the movable contact of said potentiometer, a second thyratron having its anode connected to the positive terminal of said second current source, a connection between said second thyratron cathode and first tube control grid, a third thyratron having its anode connected to the first tube control grid and having its cathode connected to the negative terminal of the second current source, a fourth and fifth thyratron, means including isolating resistors for connecting the anodes of said fourth and fifth thyratrons to the anode of the third thyratron, means for connecting the cathodes of the fourth and fifth thyratrons to the ngative terminal of the second current source, means for normally biasing all the thyratrons to cut-off, a first means at a tee position for impressing a positive pulse on the control grid of the second thyratron when :a ball is hit, a second means for impressing a positive pulse on the control grid of the third thyratron when a predetermined target area receives the shock of impact of the golf ball upon a target, said first and second means acting successively to fire said thyratrons with the time between said successive actions to be measured, said capacitor being charged by the first current source through said second tube prior to the operation of said first means for impressing a pulse and discharging through said first tube after the operation of said first means for impressing a pulse, said first means causing said second thyratron to fire, said second means for impressing a pulse firing said third thyratron and cutting off both vacuum tubes to stabilize the capacitor potential at a value which is a function of the time between said successive pulses, means for varying said potentiometer enough to cause said first thyratron to fire, a circuit control means for the control grid of each of the fourth and fifth thyratrons for impressing a positive pulse, said circuit control means being adapted to be positioned forwardly of the tee and laterally of the normal club head path and being adapted to operated selectively by the club head during a hook or slice, said fourth and fifth thyratrons being adapted to be fired by a pulse from one or the other of the circuit control means, means controlled by the firing of said first thyratron for cutting oif space current to all thyratrons whereby said thyratrons revert to their normal cut-ofi condition, means for translating said potentiometer variation into a corresponding time interval indication, and means controlled by the firing of the fourth and fifth thyratrons for respectively indicating a hook or slice.
l1. The system according to claim 10, wherein each thyratron has connected to the control grid thereof an electro-rnagnetic type transducer to provide appositive pulse when the transducer is energized.
12. The system according to claim '10 wherein scoring means simultaneously energized by the potentiometer varying means is provided for indicating yardage, homing means for the potentiometer movable contact and scoring means and delayed acting means for energizing the means to home the potentiometer movable contact and scoring means to a normal home position.
13. The system according to claim 10 wherein the target comprises a plurality of members, means disposing said members successively along the trajectory of a ball after leaving the tee, said target members being successively larger with increasing distance from the tee, circut control means carried by each target member, said circuit control means being connected in parallel, said cycle terminating means being responsive to the first circuit control means operation.
14. The construction according to claim 10 wherein the first and second means for impressing a positive pulse on the contnol grids of the second and third thyratrons and wherein said hook and slice circuit control means each comprise permanent magnet type of transducer adapted to generate a potential of the proper plurality when mechanical energy is applied to each transducer.
15. The system according to claim '10 wherein said second means for impressing a positive pulse on the control grid of the third thyratron comprises a plurality of transducers, means for connecting said transducers in parallel and means for mounting said transducers on target members disposed one behind the other in line from a tee, said successive target members being larger so that an accurately driven ball will hit the first target member and wherein increasing departures of the ball trajectory from accuracy will result in the ball hitting the projecting portion of a particular target member whereby a positive pulse will be generated by one transducer when the target member carrying said transducer is hit and the time interval to be measured consisting of the flight time of the ball from the tee to the particular target member hit by the ball plus the time of travel of the shock wave to the particular transducer.
16. In a golf game apparatus or the like, a tee from where a ball is started on a trajectory toward a target region, means responsive only to the physical impact of a club on said ball for initiating a time-computing cycle when said ball is hit by a club head, a flexible target of sheet material having an extended area for receiving the ball, said area being sufliciently large so that diiferent regions of ball impact may correspond to large difiereneces in the direction of ball travel, means for supporting said target in a generally verticalplane, circuit control means mounted upon said target to subtend one limited area thereof, said circuit control means being responsive only to the mechanical movement of the target incident to a shock wave created by impact of a ball upon any part of the target and traveling from the region of impact to the circuit control means, the velocity of the shock wave along the target material constituting a parameter involved in the determination of the distance to be computed, means responsive to an electric pulse from said circuit control means for terminating said time-computing cycle, means for translating said computed time into a distance corresponding to the free travel of said ball in the absence of any target, two additional circuit control means disposed forwardly of said tee and laterally in both directions of the normal path of a club head, and means responsive to said additional circuit control means for indicating a hook or slice respectively when said club head takes an abnormal path for hooking or slicing respectively.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,581,738 Williams Jan. 8, 1952 2,587,775 Sheldon Mar. 4, 1952v 2,626,312 Clark Jan. 20, 1953 2,783,999 Simjian Mar. 5, :1957 2,784,000 Sirnjian Mar. 5, 1957 2,784,001 Simjian Mar. 5, 1957 2,795,273 Putnam June 11, 1957 2,825,569 Alvarez Mar. 4, 1958