US 3065963 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 27, 1962 F. E. DEAN TIMING APPARATUS Filed Oct. 2:5. 1959 N; flu D INTENT AGENT United Sates The present invention relates generally to timing apparatus and 'moreparticularly, to apparatus for timing intervals such as that required for drawing and shooting a gun wherein accuracy to the nearest of a second must be obtained.
Various timing mechanisms having the mentioned degree of accuracy are known. For example, to time a gun drawing and shooting operation, the apparatus disclosed in my co-pendingapplication, Ser. No. 768,365, filed October 20, 1958, readilyachieves such accuracy. Other mechanisms for timing other specific activities or human responses, such as, for example, theresponse of an automobile driver to a signal light wherein the time interval between the visual signal and the application of an automobile brake must be measured, are also known. However, in all known instances of such presently available timing apparatus, the critical element is a complicated and expensive electric clock mechanism whose cost renderssuch timing apparatus economically prohibitive for many purposes.
Accordingly, it is a general object of the present invention to provide a timing apparatus having an accuracy to the nearest of a second, but constructed of relatively few mechanical parts of a simple and inexpensive nature.
More particularly, it is a feature of the invention to provide a'timing apparatus 'wherein the actual timing is correlated with the gravity-actuated movement of an object.
Yet more specifically, it is a'feature of the invention to utilize a pendulum as the gravity-actuated element of the timing apparatus, wherefore even though accuracy .to the nearest of a second is obtainable, yet timing over a relatively extended period,including several swings of the pendulum is 1 enabled.
Additionally, it is a featureof the invention to provide a timing apparatus which can be calibrated in order to compensate for any time delays resulting from the mechanical motion of the parts of the apparatus.
These and other objects and features of the invention fwill become more apparent from a perusal of the following description of the accompanying drawing wherein:
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a timing appa- -ratus embodying the present invention, and specifically designed for timing a gun'drawing and shooting operation.
FIG. 2'is a'central vertical sectional view taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1 illustrating additional mechanical details of the structure, and
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2, and illustrating an additional structural detail.
With reference to the drawings, the illustrated apparatus, which is used for timing a gun drawing and shooting operation, includes a wide metal standard which rises from its base 10a to a convenient height and mounts at its upper extremity a substantially horizontal rod 12 which rotatably supports a circular disk 14 at its center. Preferably, the mounting is made with low-friction bearings so that substantially no resistance to rotation of the disk 14 is experienced. Secured to and extending radially from one edge of the disk 14 at a predetermined position is a weight which accordingly forms a pendulum 16. When the disk 14 is held in the rotative disposition shown in FIG. 1, the pendulum 16 is in a raised position so that it has a predetermined amount of potential energy.
In order to hold the disk 14 in the illustrated position rotation.
which shall be hereinafter known as the starting position, a hole 18 is formed in the disk at a disposition directly above the horizontal axis of disk rotation, and
"a pin 20 is adapted for insertion into such hole 18 to releasably maintain the disk 14 and the pendulum 16 thereon in such starting position as illustrated most clearly in FIG. 2. Such pin 20 is mounted behind the disk 14 on a suitablebracket 22 for substantially horizontal sliding motion and is normally urged away from the hole 18 by a spring 25 which is positioned between the bracket 22 and a projection 26 on the pin. Against the force of such spring 25, the pin 20 may be pushed into the hole 18 and releasably held in such position by a trigger 28 that is mounted for movement into a lateral notch 30 in the side of the spin 20. In order to facilitate entry of the pin 20"into the hole 18, corresponding tapers are formed in the hole and at the end of the pin, as indicated at 18a and 28a in FIG. 2.
Obviously, the spring 25 will be compressed when the trigger 28 is within the notch 30 and the pin 20 accordingly is projecting into the hole 18, as'shown in FIG. 2,
but upon withdrawal of the trigger 28 by means of an attached ring 32 or other instrumentality, the pin 20 will, under the force of the compressed spring 25, immediately be withdrawn from the hole 18 wherefore the potential energy of the pendulum 16 is released, ancl'rotation of the disk 14 is thus instigated in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 1. The end of the released pin 20 remote from the disk 14 moves into contact with a bell 34 to provide an auditory signal indicating the start of the timing operation. When the pin 20'has moved into contact with the bell 34, the 'spring 25 is placed slightly 'under tension so as to immediately thereafter withdraw th'epin fromsuch bell contact.
The pin 20 rests quietly in an intermediate position midway between the disk 14 and the bell 34 but in contact with neither until subsequently reset, as will be described hereinafter.
The circular disk 14 has, in addition to the described hole, 18, a series of circumferentially-aligned holes 36 equally spaced from one another adjacent its periphery and a second pin 38 is arranged to enter one of these holes in response to appropriate actuation'to stop disk More particularly, this mentioned second pin 38 is mounted to project forwardly from an arm 40 that is pivotally suspended thereabove, as indicated at 42, and carries at its lower end a circular plate 44 in substantial alignment with a circular hole 46 in the upright standard 10. A spring 48 is supported in tension between the standard 10 and the arm 40 so as to urge the arm to the left, 'as viewed in FIG. 2, wherefore the second pin 38 can pass through an opening 50 in the standard 10 and enter one of the circumferentially aligned holes 36 in the disk 14 to thus block further rotative motion of the disk 14. As inthe case of the first pin 20, theend of this'second pin 38-is tapered and each of the holes 36 in the disk 14 is similarly tapered t'o facilitate entry of the pin thereinto. It will be observed by particular reference to FIG. 3 that the tapered holes 36 are immediately adjacent one another on the rear face of the disk 14 wherefore the described second pin 38 is constrained to enter either one hole or its neighbor.
The pin-supporting arm 40 is held to the right, as shown in FIG. 2, against the action of the tension spring 48 by positioning of a displaceable member in the form of an inflated balloon 52 between the circular plate 44 and the standard 10, such balloon being exposed through the circular opening 46 in the standard. When such balloon 52 is broken, the arm 40 can move under the action of the tension spring 48 to the left, as viewed in FIG. 2, wherefore the pin 38 can enter one of the holes in the disk and thus immediately stop its motion.
It will thus be seen that an accurately measured and reproduceable period of time will exist between withdrawal of the first pin 20 from the starting hole 18 in the disk 14 and the insertion of the second pin 38 in a predetermined one of the circumferentially-spaced holes 36 in the disk. For motion to each of the circumferentially-spaced holes 36, appropriate timed calibration can be made and the corresponding time-indicia can be placed on the face of the disk adjacent that hole, and if desired, an arrow indicia A can be placed on the standard to facilitate reading of the time period between the instigation of the rotative cycle of the disk and its completion. It will be particularly observed that the small time delay occasioned by motion of the various mechanical parts of the device will be taken into account and compensated for by such calibration. Thus, although the device is of a simple mechanical nature, accuracy to the nearest of a second is obtainable.
In operation for timing a gun drawing and shooting operation, the disk 14 is manually rotated to the starting position, as illustrated in FIG. 1, the first pin is inserted into the starting hole 18 and the trigger 28 is moved into the pin notch 30. Then, an inflated balloon 52 is placed between the standard 10 and the circular plate 44 whereupon the device is ready for actuation. Upon pulling of the string 32 to withdraw the trigger 28 from the notch in the pin 20, the compressed spring 25 immediately withdraws the pin 20 from the starting hole 18 and strikes the bell 34 which constitutes the signal for the instigation of the gun drawing and shooting operation. Simultaneously, the disk 14 with the pendulum 16 thereon starts to rotate in a clockwise direction,
as viewed in FIG. 1, and the gunman draws his pistol from his holster, aims the same and fires to fracture the inflated balloon 52. Since the balloon 52 is readily frangible, a blank cartridge creates enough force to break the balloon if the gunmans aim is accurate. Otherwise,
a second firing will be necessary. When the balloon 52 is broken, the arm swings forwardly about its pivot 42 under the action of the tension spring 48 to force the second pin 38 into one of the circumferentially-spaced holes 36 in the disk 14 to thus stop further disk rotation. The appropriate indicia on the disk 14 is then read to determine the time for the entire drawing and shooting operation.
In practice, the forward swing of the pendulum 16 is arranged to take suflicient time to enable all but the slowest gunman to break the balloon 52 and stop forward motion of the pendulum. However, in the event that the required time interval is longer, the pendulum 16 may swing fully in its clockwise direction and then start its return swing before the balloon 52 is broken. The holes 36 can again be provided with appropriate additional calibrated indicia to indicate the period of time between withdrawal of the first pin 20 and entry of the second 38 into the disk 14. More generally, it will be obvious that multiple swings of the pendulum 16 will enable equally accurate timing of gun drawing and shooting or other operations which require relatively extended periods of time.
Particularly for other application, the described appawithout departing from the spirit of the invention, and the foregoing description is therefore to be considered in an exemplary and not a limiting sense. For an indication of the actual scope of the invention, reference is made to the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A timing apparatus which comprises a circular disk mounted on a substantially horizontal axis for free rotation and having a plurality of circumferentially-aligned holes adjacent its periphery, a weight secured to the edge of said disk at a predetermined position on its circumference, a first pin arranged for movement into one of the holes in said disk to preclude rotative motion thereof, spring means connected to said pin to urge the same out of said hole, a movable trigger arranged to releasably engage said pin to preclude motion thereof out of said hole, a second pin spring-urged for movement toward said disk and adapted to enter one of said holes dependent upon the rotative disposition of said disk to stop its rotation upon such entry, and means for releasably holding said second pin against hole-entering movement including a member displaceable upon application of a predetermined external force.
2. A timing apparatus according to claim 1 which comprises a signal actuated by withdrawal of said first pin from the hole in said disk.
3. A timing apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said displaceable member is an inflated balloon.
4. A timing apparatus which comprises means including a pendulum supported for movement under gravitational actuation, means for releasably holding said movable means at a predetermined starting position whereat said movable means has potential energy, means for stopping gravity-actuated motion of said movable means in response to application of a predetermined external force, and means for indicating the time interval between release of said movable means for gravity-actuated movement and stopping thereof by said stopping means, said indicating means including a member having indicia thereon and forming part of said movable means.
5. A timing apparatus which comprises means including a pendulum supported for movement under gravitational actuation, means for releasably holding said movable means at a predetermined starting position whereat said movable means has potential energy, means for stopping gravity-actuated motion of said movable means in response to application of a predetermined external force, and means for indicating the time interval between release of said movable means for gravity-actuated movement and stcpping thereof by said stopping means, said movable means including a member having a plurality of holes of predetermined relationship therein, said holding means and said stopping means each including a pin arranged for removable insertion into one of said holes.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,834,597 Ylinen May 13, 1958