US 3331153 A
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JAMES F. WOODS BY ATTORNEY F gr #2 F Patented July 18, 1967 3,331,153 REVERSING TOY MONORAIL VEHICLE .lames Frank Woods, Santa Monica, Calif., assignor, by mesne assignments, to American Machine & Foundry Company, New York, N.Y., a corporation of New Jerse y Filed Nov. 5, 1964, Ser. No. 409,161
3 Claims. (Cl. 46-244) This invention relates to toys, and more particularly to a model vehicle resembling an overhead monorail car. The full-size overhead type of monorail railway is common in various parts of the world. The monorail cars typically have bogies which ride on a fixed overhead rail supported by spaced pylons. An authentic scale model of such a monorail would include many pylons, individually anchored in place, and some form of rail supported thereon in a closed loop. Therefore, a true model monorail connot be produced at low cost and marketed at popular prices, nor can it be simply set up, operated and dismantled.
It is the principal object of this invention to provide a toy which is in the nature of a monorail system, but which is greatly simplified mainly in arrangement of the track means upon which the monorail car is supported and rides. It is a further object to provide a toy of this type having pronounced play appeal for children.
Briefly, in accordance with this invention a monorail car is driven by a battery-driven reversible motor and is suspended from a string, or the like, with reversal of the motor being effected automatically as the car reaches opposite ends of the string. This reversal is controlled by a switching means in the battery drive circuit, and switch-actuating members which engage fixed abutments at the string ends to initiate the switching action.
Further objects, advantages and details of this invention will become evident from the following description, which is to be read with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a complete toy monorail system constructed in accordance with this invention;
FIG. 2 is a side view of the internal operating mechanism, shown with one-half of the car body shell removed;
FIG. 3 is a side View of the monorail car;
FIG. 4 is a plan view of the monorail car;
FIG. 5 is an end view of the monorail car; and
FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram of the battery powered drive system.
Referring to FIG. 1, although the overall system will be described hereafter in greater detail, it comprises generally a scale model car 2 having bogie assemblies 4 and 6 by means of which it is supported for rolling movement along a string, wire, rope or cable element 8. The element 8 is connected tautly between two stationary members, one of which is indicated at 10. As described more fully hereafter, this connection is effected by a terminal assembly generally indicated at 12. The monorail car is propelled by a battery-powered direct current motor which is reversible in response to reciprocation of an activator rod by displacement of its projecting ends 14 and 16. In operation, when either of the projecting actuator rod ends 14 and 16 engages one of the terminal units when travelling in one direction, this engagement displaces the activator rod to effect, in turn, the reversal of the motor to cause travel in the opposite direction.
Proceeding to a more detailed description, with reference to FIG. 2 in particular, the body of the car 2 is comprised of two shell half sections designated 2a and 2b. These sections can be cheaply mass produced by conventional casting in metal or plastic, or by a conventional metal stamping operation. The body sections 2a and 2b are held in assembled relation by means of screws 18 which are threaded into lugs 20 molded in the section 2a. Small studs 19 formed at spaced points about the edge of section 2a are received in mating holes formed in the abutting edge of section 2b to facilitate and maintain proper alignment between the sections. Atop the section 2a, the framework of the bogie assembly is formed by an integrally molded beam 22. In this frame an axle 24 has an end 26 journalled in a bearing formed by a cutout 28 in the outer side 30, and its other end is journalled in the other side 32. A ring gear 34 is formed on one end of the axle 24. Intermediate its length, the axle 24 has a frictional driving surface 36 provided by a rubber ring or the like, and an enlarged flange 38. The bogie assembly 6 is similarly formed within a framework 23, in which an axle 25 having a pair of spaced flanges 27 is journalled.
The monorail car is propelled by a small reversable direct current motor 40. This motor is snapped into and held in place by two sets of yokes 42 and 44 which are integrally molded Within the body section 2a. The drive shaft of motor 40 carries a pinion 46 which meshes with the ring gear 34. A pair of ordinary size D batteries 48 is held between a pair of electrical contact clips 50 and 52 secured, respectively, in mounting lugs 54 and 56 formed in the body section 2a. The batteries 48 are connected in series with the motor 40 through a switch 58, this switch being operable to reverse the polarity and thereby efiect rotation in either direction. The switch 58 includes a contact base plate 60 which is secured by rods 62 projecting from within section 2a. On its outer face, the base plate 60 (which is formed of an electrically insulative material) carries four electrical contacts 66, 68, 72 and 74. The diagonally opposite contacts 66 and 68 are spanned by a connector plate 60 (FIG. 2), and contacts 72 and 74 similarly are diagonally crossed by a connector plate 76 (not visible in FIG. 2). The switch actuator rod as a whole is designated at 78 and extends the full length of the monorail car, being guided through openings 80 at the ends thereof. Rod 78 has an extension 82 carrying two brush contacts 84 and 86 which are engageable with the pairs of fixed contacts 66, 72 and 74, 68, respectively.
Referring to both FIGS. 2 and 6, brush contacts 84 and 86 are connected to motor 41') through wires 88 and 90, respectively. Contacts 66 and 68 are connected to one pole of the batteries through Wire 92, and contacts '72 and 74 are connected to the opposite pole through wire 9 If rod 78 is moved to the right relative to the car (as viewed in FIG. 2) to bring the brush contacts 84 and 86 into contact with contacts 68 and 72, the polarity of current which is applied to motor 40 will be such as to drive the car toward the right; if rod 78 is moved to the left to bring brush contacts 84 and 86 into contact with contacts 66 and 74 the polarity will be the reverse, and the monorail car will be driven toward the left.
Referring to FIG. 1, the terminal assembly 12 includes an abutment or striking plate in the form of a disc 96, positioned in the path of movement of the bar end 14. A hook member 98 is secured by a snap fit in a collar 1130 in the disc 96. Member 98 has an array of holes 108 therein, and the element 8 (a string, wire, cable or rope) passes through a hole in disc 96 and through the holes 108, thence around a fixed object such as a member 10, as a loop 104 slipped over hook 102 and tied at the end as indicated at 106. It will be understood that the terminal assembly 12 at only one end of the element 8 is shown, because the terminal assembly preferably provided at the opposite end is identical thereto.
By way of summary of operation, referring to FIG. 1, when the monorail car 2 is travelling toward the left its switch actuator rod end 14 will eventually encounter disc 96, which action will displace the rod 78 relatively backwardly to reverse the switch 58. This reversal will involve the movement of brush contacts 84 and 86 into contact with contacts 68 and 72, and the motor 444) will reverse. The car eventually will engage another disc, similar to disc 96, at the opposite end of the element 8, and will thereupon be reversed to travel backwardly again toward the left.
As will be evident from the above description, the element 8 supplies a need for a cheap, simple form of track" on which a simulated scale model version of a monorail car can run, and which can be readily set up and taken down. The complete construction of the car itself, including the switch actuator bar and motor ararngement, is relatively simple and can be cheaply produced. In general, the overall objects of this invention have been attained for the above described construction.
It will be understood that various departures from the specifically disclosed embodiment of the invention can be effected without departing from the scope thereof as defined by the following claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A toy vehicle comprising: a cab, at least one upwardly extending member from said cab and adapted to frictionally engage an elongate element forming a track for the vehicle, and propel said cab therealong, drive means mounted within the cab and coupled to the upwardly extending member said drive means including: a power supply, a reversible motor connected to said power supply, and means connecting said motor to the upwardly extending member, switch means having a plurality of forward and reverse contacts connected in series between the power supply and the motor, and a pair of slida'ble elements each protruding from one end of the cab to engage a stop at the ends of the track, said elements having a pair of contacts mounted thereto to engage a corresponding pair of switch contacts and operate the motor to drive the vehicle ina direction corresponding to the particular switch contacts,
the upwardly extending .member comprising support means, an axle having a frictional driving surface mounted on said support means and a ring gear rotatably mounted on one end of the axle and engaging the drive means, and i the drive means including a shaft connected to the motor and a pinion gear mounted on one end of the shaft to engage the ring gear.
2. A toy vehicle in accordance with claim 1 further including:
a second member extending upwardly from the cab and adapted to engage a track and guide said cab there- References, Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,179,913 11/1939 Bess 104151 2,481,686 9/ 1949 Roggenstein 46-243 2,961,797 10/ 1960 Bonnano 46-244 3,000,138 9/ 1961 Tagliaferri 46-244 RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primaly Examiner.
R. F. CUTTING, Assistant Examiner.