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Publication numberUS3215433 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 2, 1965
Filing dateJun 14, 1962
Priority dateJun 14, 1962
Publication numberUS 3215433 A, US 3215433A, US-A-3215433, US3215433 A, US3215433A
InventorsThomsen Elmer R
Original AssigneeThomsen Elmer R
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Control system for returning bowled balls to selected racks
US 3215433 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 2, 1965 E. R. THOMSEN CONTROL SYSTEM FOR RETURNING BOWLED BALLS TO SELECTED RACKS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 15 Hg 2 w LEAGUE 8 mm J w i fly F FH REGULAR INVENTOR. ELMER R THOMS'EN Nov. 2, 1965 R. THOMSEN CONTROL SYSTEM FOR RETURNING BOWLED BALLS TO SELECTED RACKS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 H 7 Filed June 14, 1962 l l INVENTOR.

W. ELMER R THOMSE/V BY %4- a4 Wu. W0 0 E o od/ m n u. 6 O 1H m WQQI/ M Mo m F u United States Patent 3,215,433 CONTROL SYSTEM FOR RETURNING BOWLED BALLS T0 SELECTED RACKS Elmer R. Thomsen, 11022 SE. Stephens St., Portland, Greg. Filed .luue 14, 1962, Ser. No. 202,444 1 Claim. (Cl. 273-49) This invention relates to a means for guiding rolled balls as in the game of bowling while they are being returned to the most advantageous position for subsequent rolling by the participating players and which is of a character as not to conflict in any way with sensing or any ancillary mechanism now used.

At the present time the bowling balls are so returned down a track or way primarily located intermediate alleys of a pair, that confusion exists at the playing end of the alleys because the individual or preferred balls of different bowlers are not separated, the bowler having to Walk onto or reach across the area of the adjoining alley to select or obtain his ball often necessitating definite searching for the individual or preferred balls, particularly when a number of bowlers are using each alley of a pair.

A particular object is to provide means to avoid or overcome the difiiculties mentioned through the provision of a mechanism which guides a returning ball to the terminal or rack nearest the player or preferred alley of an associated pair.

A second object is to provide such a mechanism as will direct a returning ball to approximately the same location from which it was taken initially by the bowler.

A third object is to provide a mechanism of the character stated, which is capable of directing a returning ball to a terminal or rack on either side of the path of its return regardless of the alley on which it was rolled.

A fourth object is to provide a director blade mechanism operative adjacent the play end of the alleys.

A fifth object is to provide mechanism wherein the setting of the director blade mechanism in operating position is under electrical control.

A sixth object is to provide such an apparatus wherein the parts will operative'ly occupy a set position, insuring the return of a ball to the pl-ayers position whether a strike, spare, or rolling of a ball twice takes place during a players turn.

Further, it is aimed to provide apparatus efiicient for use either in or out of league rolling and in the latter case for return of the ball to either the same or opposite alley on which it was rolled.

Various additional objects and advantages will, in part, be pointed out and otherwise become apparent from a consideration of the description following, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings illustrating embodiments, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a pair of bowling alleys carrying out my invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary plan view on an enlarged scale of the ball returning track employed in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged vertical cross-sectional view taken on the line 3-3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of the electrical circuit used for the parts employed;

FIG. 5 is an exploded perspective view of the pivot mounting employed for the director blade;

FIG. 6 is a plan view of a second construction of a pair of alleys; and

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary plan view taken on an enlarged scale of the novel track employed in FIG. 6.

Referring specifically to the drawings, wherein like reference characters designate like or corresponding parts throughout the different views, one example of bowling alley construction is suggested in FIG. 1, generally at 10,

3,215,433 Patented Nov. 2, 1965 the same having a pair of parallel alleys 11 and 11 between and parallel to which is a main ball-return track or way 12 common to them. At the end of the alleys 11 behind the usual players positions are racks in the form of lateral auxiliary tracks or terminals 13 and 13' of the main track 12, one for each alley and each closed at the outer end while at the pit or rear end 14 of the alleys behind the usual pin spots 16 are lateral auxiliary tracks 15 and 15' of said main track 12, one for each alley. Conventional pin setters are shown respectively at I" for left lane 11 and at P for right lane 11*.

In present operation, the rolled bowling balls 17, after reaching the pit 14 are lifted or returned manually or mechanically into auxiliary tracks 15 or 15' and from the same travel into and along the main track 12 and indiscriminately into one of the racks 13 and 13, the tracks being disposed at such an angle or pitch that the balls 17 will gravitate from auxiliary tracks 15 and 15' to home location in the racks 13 and 13. As is well known, this condition results in confusion and requires walking of a bowler onto or reaching over an opposite alley in retrieving his ball in order to again roll it; it being realized that most bowlers insist upon using the same or individual ball throughout the game.

According to the instant invention, means is provided whereby a ball 17 returning in the main track 12, will be diverted by a director blade 20 of suitable height pivoted at B on a vertical axis and located at the junction of the main track 12 and racks 13 and 13'.

The positioning of the director blade 20 as used in the example of FIG. 1, is best shown in the schematic electric diagram of FIG. 4. In such diagram, K-l, K-Z, K-3, and K-4 represent slow-to-release relays, such that once energized, they will remain in an operated position until the ball 17 has sufiicient time to return past blade 20 to its home location in rack 13 or 13'. K5 and K-6 are solenoids used to position the director blade 20, being constructed so that the first one to be energized will retain control of the director blade until deenergized even though the other solenoid may be energized prior to this time.

The circuitry through relays or electromagnets K1 and K-2 is controlled by pin setter P and the circuitry through relays or electromagnets K-3 and K4 is controlled from pin setter P.

Relays K-l and K-2 are controlled by and get an energizing signal from the pin setter P on lane 11 Relay K-1 will be energized after the first ball is rolled on lane 11*, providing at least one pin remains standing. Relay K-2 will be energized after the second ball is rolled on lane 11*, or after the first ball is rolled on that lane if all the pins are knocked down.

Relays K-3 and K-4 operate in the same manner as above except the pin setter P on lane 11 will be the control and energy source and the relays will be triggered by balls rolled on lane 11.

Solenoids K-5 and K-6 are used to position the director blade 20. The solenoids are energized by circuits controlled by said relays K1, K-Z, K-3 and K-4. In order to move the director blade in the full line and dotted line positions of FIG. 2, the solenoids are mechanically connected as by rod 38 to the director blade in such a manner that the blade moves toward the energized solenoid.

8-1 is a double pole double throw switch. It is manually set to league or regular play and sets up the electrical circuits to return the ball to the proper side of the ball return, 13 or 13'.

With the exception of the director blade and its mounting and direct blade and its mounting and direct control parts, all relays and switch S-1 may be mounted in any convenient location where interconnecting wires can be 3 Reverting to FIGURES l and 4 to explain the operation of non-league or regular open bowling and assuming the first ball is rolled on lane 11, if one or more pins remain standing, pin setter P will energize relay K-4,

closing its contacts. This will complete the circuit from I one side of the power source through line 29', the closed contacts of relay K-4, line 33', solenoid K-6, line 30 to the other side of the power source. Thus K-6 will be operated positioning the director blade to the right and causing the ball to be returned to rack 13. After the second ball is rolled on lane 11, the pin setter P will energize K3, closing its contacts. This completes a circuit from the power supply, line 29, through the closed contacts of K-3, line 33, switch S-l, line 34, solenoid K-6, line 30', to the other side of the power supply. Again solenoid K-6 will position the director blade to the right and the ball 17 will be returned to 13. In event this first ball had been a strike on lane 11, the pin setter P would have energized K-3 instead of K-4, and the same sequence of operation just described for K-3 would have occurred. As specified previously, K-3 and K4 are slow-to-release relays and will be adjusted to remain in an operated or closed position only long enough for the ball to return to its home position, then they will deenergize and open the circuit.

The action just traced for lane 11 also occurs when a ball is rolled on lane 11* except P instead of P is the controlling pin setter, K1 instead of K4, K-Z instead of K-3, K-S instead of K6 are the operating relays and solenoids. The ball will return to rack 13'.

Supposing that immediately after the ball was rolled on lane 11 a ball was also rolled on lane 11 since the ball was rolled on lane 11 first, relays K-3 or K-4 will operate and in turn energize solenoid K-6. Thus, the director blade 20 is set up to return the ball to the left lane 11. Now, before this ball can be returned to its home position, the ball on lane 11 will activate the pin setter P causing relays K-l or K-2 to operate, and energize solenoid K-S. However, solenoid K- cannot move the director blade until solenoid K-6 is de-energized, which will not take place until relay K-3 or K-4 has opened the circuit. Relays K-3 and K-4 are controlled so that they will release after the ball rolled on lane 11 has had sufficient time to return to its home position. Since the ball was rolled at a later time on lane 11, relays K-l or K-2 will still be operated and solenoid K-5 energized. Thus, when relay K-3 or K-4 is released and solenoid K-6 is deenergized, the director blade will be positioned to the left by relay K-S, and the ball rolled on lane 11 will be returned to the right rack 13'. It will be understood that there is no relation between the time the signal is generated by the pin setters and the time it takes a ball to be returned to the bowler. Also under the conditions of play, there will be no simultaneous bowling of the ball and hence no likelihood of conflict since one ball is rolled and returned on one lane before the next ball is rolled due to common courtesy practiced by all bowlers.

While non-league bowling has primarily been considered in the operation of the invention, it is exceptionally well adapted for use in league bowling. Refer to FIGS. 1 and 4. 8-1 will be in the League position. All relays and interconnecting lines remain the same. Placing 8-1 in the League position causes K-2 to control K-6 and K3 to control K-S. Thus, K-Z or K-3 will now cause the ball to be returned to the opposite side of the track from which it was first picked up.

Assuming a ball is first rolled on lane 11 and one or more pins remain standing, pin setter P will energize K-4 closing its contacts. This completes a path from supply, line 29, closed contacts of K-4, line 33, K-6, line "and back to the other side of the supply. This will energize K-6 and cause the director blade 20 to be positioned to the right and the ball would be returned to rack 13 (FIG. 1). When the second ball is rolled on lane 11, pin setter P will energize K3, closing its contacts. This sets up a circuit from the power supply to line 29,

closed contacts of K-3, line 33, switch S-l (League position) line 37, K-5, line 30' and back to the power supply, This will energize K-S and position the director blade to the left and the ball will be returned to the opposite side, rack 13. This being the side the league bowler will next bowl on. As above, assuming a strike had been made with the first ball rolled on lane 11, the pin setter P would have energized K-3, closing its contacts. This will complete the circuit from power source 35, line 29, closed contacts of K-S, line 33, S-1, line 37, K5, line 30' and back to the other side of the power source. K5 would be energized and position the director blade to the left, causing the ball to be returned to 13', the side from which the bowler will next bowl.

Operation of the relays for balls rolled on lane 11 will be the same as above except P will be the controlling pin setter, K1 instead of K-4, K-2 instead of K3 and K5 instead of K-6 will be the operating relays and solenoids. The ball will be returned to the same or opposite side as previously described.

The priority of director blade positioning described under regular play will be true for League play, that is, the lane that first controls the director blade will retain control until the ball is returned to the player end.

While the structures of all forms may be built with the director blade 20 rigidly fixed to its pivot, yet it is preferred to provide a construction wherein the director blade 20 is adjustable relatively to its pivot members so as to be optionally set in either the full line or the dotted line positions shown in the different forms. For example, the pivotal axis as shown in FIG. 5 is provided by a pin 41 which is rotatably mounted in any suitable manner on a base 42 adapted to be fastened or fixed to the alley structure. Such pin 41 has a square or other appropriately shaped heat 44 which detachably interfits with a corresponding square or other shaped opening 45 of the director blade 20. By reason of this separable interengagement at 44-45, the director blade may be arranged at either of the angles shown in the different views. Such blades may be fastened in the interengaged positions suggested by any suitable means such as a winged nut 47 which has a shank 48 for screwthreaded engagement in an opening 49 of the head 44.

The form of return way or track shown in FIGS. 1 to 3, is to be taken as one example only of the bowling alley construction in connection with which the instant invention may be practiced. Another suitable form of bowling alley construction is shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, differing from the first form only with respect to the arcuate home racks which replace the home racks at 13' and 13' and which are here designated 13 and 13 respectively, and located one on each side of the median line of the main track 12 and separated by a barrier 39 at their terminals. Since the construction of FIGURES 6 and 7 is the same as that of FIGS. 1 to 3 (aside from the specific racks 13 and 13 and the barrier 39), and uses the same electrical diagram of FIG. 4 the same reference numerals have been applied to the parts common to both forms and the description of the construction and operation used in connection with the first form equally applies to the common subject-matter of both forms.

Various changes may be resorted to provided they fall within the spirit and scope of the following claim.

What is claimed is:

In a bowling ball organization, a pair of alleys having a track therebetween provided with a pair of racks each associated with a respective alley at the player end and a pit to receive the bowled balls, a director to divert balls returned along said track into said racks selectively, said mechanism including a first pin spotter, first and second relay means controlled thereby, and a first solenoid means controlled by said first and second relay means, a second pin spotter, third and fourth relay means controlled thereby, and a second solenoid controlled by said third and fourth relay means, said pin spotters being ball-operated, said relay means being controlled from the pin spotters dependent on the presence or absence of pins in position, after the rolling of the first ball, said pin spotters energizing said first and third relay means, respectively, when the first ball in a frame does not result in a strike, said pin spotters energizing said second and fourth relay means respectively, when the first ball of a frame results in a strike, operation of said first and third relay means controlling said first and second solenoids, respectively, to operate the director to return the bowled ball to the rack associated with the alley from which the ball was bowled, operation of said second and fourth relay means, respectively, controlling said solenoid means to operate the director to return the ball to the rack associated with the alley adjacent to that from which the ball was bowled, said relay means being of the slowto-release type to insure retention of the director in each of its positions a suflicient length of time to allow the return of a bowled ball to the proper rack.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner.

5 DELBERT B. LOWE, Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2671549 *Jan 13, 1951Mar 9, 1954Jacques LubetkinRow forming device
US2788972 *Jun 20, 1955Apr 16, 1957Turner Martin FBall return terminal units
US2819786 *Oct 23, 1956Jan 14, 1958 Can divider mechanism
US2930475 *May 27, 1958Mar 29, 1960Fred MuhlenbruchConveyor system
US3099446 *Oct 13, 1959Jul 30, 1963Brunswick CorpControl system for bowling balls and the like
US3105684 *Jun 13, 1960Oct 1, 1963Setecka John CAutomatic apparatus for segregating returned bowling balls
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3339922 *Aug 25, 1964Sep 5, 1967Raphael W MillerBall separator for pocket billiards
US3501147 *Apr 10, 1964Mar 17, 1970Brunswick CorpBall return apparatus with selective direction of balls to accessible pick-up areas
US3753561 *Sep 29, 1971Aug 21, 1973Brunswick CorpCluster ball rack with ball director
US4540181 *Nov 5, 1984Sep 10, 1985Nelson Donald AGame ball return balancer
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/73, 193/31.00R, 193/39
International ClassificationA63D5/02, A63D5/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63D5/023
European ClassificationA63D5/02B