US 3342492 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
p 1967 T. BARRETT 3,342,492
WATER GUN TARGET WITH DISPLACEABLE ELEMENT Filed Nov. 30, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 I I I (Zr IN VEN TOR.
T. BARRETT 3,342,492
WATER GUN TARGET WITH DISPLACEABLE ELEMENT 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Sept. 19, 1967 Filed NOV. 30, 1964 I Z i 37 4 7 7a raw/1w; 4/
k 757ZFM/M44 YE /247 4/ INVENTOR 7/70/1145 dmeirr BY United States Patent 3,342,492 WATER GUN TARGET WITH DISPLACEABLE ELEMENT Thomas Barrett, Jersey City, N.J., assignor to International Exhibits, Inc., Asbury Park, N.J., a corporation of New Jersey Filed Nov. 30, 1964, Ser. No. 414,737 Claims. (Cl. 273-102.1)
This invention relates to an amusement system and more particularly to a game in which water guns may be competitively operated with the result of a winning player.
It has been found that a successful amusement system in which many people can play requires that the players pit their skill one against the other. Of primary importance is that at the climax of each game there be an interesting twist or something particularly diflicult to do in order to win. However, the game cannot be diflicult so that those Watching the game are discouraged to try their hand at it.
Prior amusement devices have been comprised of a water gun for each player with which the player directs a stream of water into an opening near the top of a vertical target tube so that water enters into the top of the tube. A ball float has been'disposed within the tube and as the water fills the tube the ball floats higher and higher. When the ball reaches the level of the target opening the player has been required to direct the stream of water under the ball so that the ball is thrown upwardly a suflicient distance to pass through and out of the tubes open upper end. While such prior systems provided amusement, further improvements and advancements in structure and operation were found necessary to provide the fullest excitement and competitive fervor among the players and onlookers.
In addition there has been desired an electrical control circuit for the amusement system which provides a game resetting operation as well as counters for the number of games and the number of water guns played.
Therefore an object of the present invention is a water gun amusement system having target... tube assemblies which provide particularly at the climax of the game considerable excitement because of the controlled effort required by the players.
' Another object of the present invention is a target tube in which the player must direct a stream of water into one opening in an attempt to push the float out of the tube.
In accordance with the present invention there is provided a target tube which is tilted away from the player at a substantial angle with the vertical and having disposed therein a ball float. A shaped water intake opening faces the players stream of water which leads the water into a reservoir and then under the pressure of the Water stream to the bottom of the target tube. As the water fills the tube the ball floats until it reaches an upper opening or window in the tube higher than the intake opening. The player must then direct the stream of water through the opening in an attempt to push the ball out through the opening. However, at the same time water is flowing out of the tube through the intake opening and through seep holes provided in the tube so that unless the ball is rapidly ejected the tube must be refilled by again directing the water stream into the water intake opening. It is this back and forth action of the water stream by the playerattempting to eject the ball which provides the excitement for both the players as well as the onlookers and results in a high pitch of competitive fervor.
Further in accordance with the invention there is provided a control circuit for the amusement system in which for each water gun there is provided control means having a switch and only those switches are actuated which have players. With its switch actuated the associated control circuit is energized. At the beginning of the game an attendant actuates a start switch and water under pressure is supplied to those guns having energized control means. At the termination of the game when a player has suc ceeded in ejecting the ball out of his tube, the attendant actuates a stop switch which initiates the operation of a wiper system which begins counting the number of energized control means and the total number of games played. In addition drain valves are actuated for each of the tubes to drain oil water from the tubes. In this manner a tally is kept of the operation of the amusement system and a new game may be initiated.
For a more detailed disclosure of the invention and for other objects and advantages thereof, reference is to be had to the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a pictorial view of a water gun system embodying the present invention;
FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate in detail and cut-away the target tube shown in FIG. 1; and
FIGS. 4 and 5 schematically illustrate a control system for the game system of FIG. 1.
Referring now to FIG. 1 there is illustrated a plurality of tube assemblies 10, each secured at its bottom by screws to a separate horizontal support member 11 connected at its ends to vertical member 11a. The players stand in front of a table 14 having disposed on its upper side a plurality of water guns 15, each corresponding to a different target tube 10. Water under pressure is supplied to each of the guns 15 by way of a flexible conduit 16, only one of which has been illustrated. Accordingly the player aims his water gun at a water intake opening 20 of a corresponding target tube assembly 10, shown in more detail in FIGS. 2 and 3.
Specifically the water intake 20 is funnel-shaped and has its larger end opening facing the player and its smaller end opening 20a connected to an opening in the side of a rectangular shaped reservoir 21. In this manner the stream of water from the players water gun .is effectively collected within the funnel-shaped water intake 20 and directed into reservoir 21. Itwill be recognized that if the water stream strikes a side of the intake 20 a lesser proportion of water flows into the reservoir than if the water stream is accurately aimed directly through the narrow end opening 20a of the intake 20. The water that is not collected within reservoir 21 falls to the bottom of tube assembly 10 and into a basin-shaped water collecting housing 11b and then into a tank 110.
Water under pressure from the water stream is collected in reservoir 21 and then flows, under pressure, out of an opening in the bottom of the reservoir through a conduit 23 and into an opening near the bottom of the target tube 25. It will be recognized that the water stream carries air with it into reservoir 21 which, as understood, collects in the space above opening 21a. If such space were not provided the foaming of the air with the water from the stream would greatly decrease the amount of water that could be collected. For this purpose other means such as aerators may be provided to prevent foaming.
Target tube 25 is preferably foamed of a transparent or translucent plastic which is of sufficient diameter to have disposed there in a ball float 26 which may be approximately the size of a Ping-pong ball. The bottom of tube 25 is open and its outer circumference is securely bonded, as for example, by cement to a plastic washershaped base 25a. The plane of the base 25a and the longitudinal axis of the tube 25 define an angle which is selected to be a predetermined value for purposes later to I be described. The base 25:; includes openings to permit screws to fasten the base securely to horizontal member 11 in a position so that the top of tube 25 is tilted away from its respective player.
The upper portion of tube 25 is formed of a tube section 30 having a substantially greater diameter than the lower part of the tube. An end cap 25d is snugly received within the tu-bes uppermost end. Window-shaped openings 30a and 30b are formed in the upper part 30 of the tube with window 30a facing the player while window 30b is formed on the side of tube 25 remote from the player. A bottom 30d of window 30b is defined with tube 25 which is preferably slightly below the level of a bottom of window 30a. However the latter window bottom has its major portion further heightened by a lip 300.
A washer-shaped insert 27 is secured within tube 25, a short distance from the tube bottom and slightly below the level of the tube 25 opening formed with conduit 23. A center opening of insert 27 receives a drain conduit 28 having a solenoid actuated valve 30 inserted therein. With solenoid valve 30 not energized the valve is in its closed position so that the water being conducted under pressure by way of conduit 23 into tube 25 begins to fill that tube causing ball 26 to float. A seep hole or opening 250 is formed in the wall of the tube below window 30b so that when the water level reaches opening 250 water will constantly flow through the opening.
While it would appear that the water level in tube 25 could get substantially no higher than the highest level of water in reservoir 21 the actual result is otherwise. In accordance with the invention the tube water level rises to the level of 30:1 as a result of fluid pressure caused by the water stream directed into reservoir 21. It will be understood that with water collected in reservoir 21, the force of the water stream from the players gun striking the collected water imparts a fluid pressure suflicient to raise water in the tube to window 30b.
When the water level reaches the level of the window bottom 30d it flows out of window 30b and thus can get no higher than that level. With the water at this level, the center of the floating ball 26 may preferably be slightly above lip 26 with the ball tending to touch that lip. In order to push the ball 26 out through window 30b to win, the player must quickly direct the stream of water from intake 20 to pass through window 300: and at the ball. The difiiculty in ejecting the ball is dependent on factors such as the angle of the longitudinal axis of tube 25 with the horizontal plane and the size of lip 30c. Such factors may be varied to increase to a reasonable limit the skill required in directing the water stream to pushing the ball 26 through window 30b. It may here be observed that the diameter of upper tube section 30 permits windows 30a and 30b to define openings larger than the outer diameter of the lower section of tube 25. With these substantially large openings skill is required to direct the water stream at ball 26 within the openings. If the openings were of smaller magnitude they would tend to channel the water stream at ball 26, substantially decreasing the difficulty of ejecting the ball. It is also to be noted that the foregoing tube angle is effective to maintain ball 26 within the tube and the ball will only be ejected upon a substantial pushing force from a players water stream.
However, as soon a the water stream is no longer being forced into reservoir 21, the head of water in tube 25 forces water from reservoir 21, out of intake 20 and through its intake exit opening 20b. In addition it will be remembered that water is now continuously flowing out of seep hole openings 25c. Accordingly unless the player is able by means of the stream of water to rapidly push or eject the ball through the window 3017, the tube water level will have lowered so that enough of the ball 26 is below lip 30c to make it substantially inaccessible as a target to the water stream.
Thus the water stream must again be directed into intake 20 to refill tube 25 so that the water level is raised to its maximum level or until ball 26 presents a sufficient target above lip 300. At that time the player or competitor has another opportunity to win by pushing ball 26 out of tube window 30b. It will now be seen that by requiring the players to aim their water streams back and forth between intake 20 and window 30a a high regree of excitement results from both the players and the onlookers. Thus in accordance with the invention there is provided a competitive game in which at the climax the players must exhibit an extra amount of controlled effort in order to win.
It is to be noted that intake 20 may preferably be disposed adjacent the center of that portion of the tube which is filled with water. Further intake 20 is secured to a decorative housing 22 shaped preferably in the form of a fish and which may be molded of plastic and illuminated by an incandescent lamp. Housing 22 surrounds and engages the tube 25 and provides an outer housing for reservoir 21. In this manner the intake opening 20 appears fancifully as the mouth of a fish and lends an aquatic interest to the water gun amusement system of the present invention.
A control system, as illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5, is provided to automatically actuate the solenoid valves 30 and to fully control the starting, stopping and counting of games and guns played. Specifically at the end of a game a timer motor 35 is energized in a manner later to be described so that an A.C. source is applied by way of a movable arm 35a, fixed contact 35b to one side of each of the solenoid valves 30, the other side of which is connected to A.C. source ground. Hereinafter the A.C. source will be considered to have a first or ungrounded side referred to as A.C. and a grounded side referred to as A.C. ground and shown as ground.
There is illustrated in FIG. 5 identical gun control circuits 36 and 36a each corresponding to a different water gun 15, FIG. 1. It will be understood that a different gun control circuit will be required for each of the guns 15 and that while only two are illustrated many more may be provided and only the single circuit 36 need be described in detail.
Adjacent each of the guns 15 and secured to the table 14, FIG. 1, there is provided a gun switch 37 and a gun lamp 39. Accordingly for each gun 15 having a player the attendant actuates a corresponding momentary actuatable gun switch 37. As a result a circuit is completed from the A.C. source, shown in FIG. 4, through a normally closed relay arm 40a, contact 401), terminal 41, conductor 42, switch 37, conductor 43, gun relay coil 450 to A.C. ground. In this manner normally open rel-ay 45 is energized so that arm 45a engages fixed contact 45b to shunt switch 37 thus to hold relay 45 in its actuated position. With gun relay coil 45c maintained energized a gun lamp 39 and a gun solenoid valve 46, each connected across coil 450 are also energized. Lamp 39 indicates the presence of a player and gun solenoid valve 46 is inserted in a flexible conduit 16 of the corresponding gun 15 to allow water under pressure to be applied thereto. In this manner when the attendant momentarily closes switch 37 the gun relay 45 is held actuated maintaining energized gun lamp 39 and gun solenoid valve 46.
After all of the players are in position and the necessary gun switches 37, 37a, etc. have been actuated the attendant is ready to start the game by actuating a momentary switch 50. With start switch 50 actuated a circuit is completed for current flow by way of the A.C. source, arm 35a, fixed contact 350, conductor 51, arm 54a normally closed to fixed contact 54b, conductor 56, actuated switch 50, a conductor 57 and then through a start relay 60 to A.C. ground. In this way upon actuation of the start switch 50 with the timer motor 35 in its normal position and with the coil of stop relay 54 in its normally deenergized state, the coil of start relay 60 is energized and arm 60a engages fixed contact 60b and arm 60c engages fixed contact 60d. With arm 60a engaging arm 6012, start switch 50 is shunted so that the coil of start relay 60 is maintained energized to hold that relay actuated after start switch 50 is released. With arm 60c engaging contact 60d a circuit may be traced from the A.C. source through a pump 62 through contact 60d, arm 600 to A.C. ground. In this manner upon actuation of start relay 60 the pump 62 is energized to apply water under pressure, from a city water main for example, to conduits 16. Only those guns having actuated gun solenoid valves 46 will receive that water under pressure.
After one of the competitors has won the game by pushing his ball out of the tube through opening 301;, the attendant pushes a momentary stop switch 70. With switch 70 actuated a circuit is completed from the A.C. source, arm 40a, contact 40b, terminal 41, conductor 72, the coil of stop relay 54, switch 70, arm 60c engaging contact 60d and then to A.C. ground. In this way relay 54 is energized and arm 54c engages fixed contact 54d; arm 54e engages fixed cont-act 54 and arm 54a is shifted from fixed contact 54b to engage fixed contact 54g. With grounded arm 54c engaging contact 54d, the stop switch 70 is shunted to A.C. ground to maintain the coil of relay 54 energized after momentary switch 70 is released. With arm 54a engaging contact 54g a circuit may now be traced by way of the A.C. source, arm 35a, contact 35c, arm 54a, contact 54g, conductor 74 to one input of the timer motor 35, the other input of which is grounded. In this manner timer motor 35 is energized to actuate arm 35a to engagecontact 35b.
The shaft of motor 35 carries an over center cam so that when motor 35 is initially energized a switch (not shown) is actuated to maintain the motor energized from the A.C. source for a time duration determined by the arc of the cam. During this time arm 35a engages contact 35b to connect the A.C. source to each of the target drain valve solenoids 30. In this way at the end of a game the drain valve solenoids .30 are energized for a period of time, preferably fifteen seconds to release the water fromeach of the tubes 25 through conduit 28 into a main drain conduit 80. I
It will also .be seen that with arm 54a shifted from contact 54b, the energization circuit for start relay 60 is opened thereby to shift arms 60a and 600 to their normally open position.
With arm 54:: engaging contact 54 a motor starting circuit may be traced from the A.C. source through that arm and contact, conductor 81, conductor 82 to one input terminal of an A.C. motor 84, the other input terminal of which is grounded. In this manner A.C. motor 84 is energized to turn a wiper arm 85, secured to its shaft, in a clockwise direction away from its null position in which it engages contact 86. Arm 85 is in a null position at contact 86 since in that position a circuit may be traced by way of the A.C. source, a coil of relay 88, contact 86, arm 85, ring 89 to ground. Thus relay 88 is energized shifting normally closed arm 88b away from engagement with contact 88a. In this manner an energizing circuit for motor 84 is open when rotatable arm 85 is in its null position. However upon actuation of arm 54 the arm 85 is taken off of its null position and is caused to rotate. Arm 85 may be constructed or insulated so that the end of the longer arm portion 85a thereof engages contacts 86, 90- 9012, etc. but does not engage rings 89 or 93 while the shorter arm portion 85b thereof does engage rings 89 and 93.
As it rotates, arm 85 first engages contact 90 which is connected by way of conductor 91 to the upper side of gun relay 45c. Accordingly if gun control circuit 36 is energized to indicate that its corresponding switch 37 has been actuated and its gun 15 is in operation, an energizing current flows from conductor 91, contact 90, arm 85, conductive ring 93 to an input terminal of a gun counter 94 thereby energizing that counter to indicate a single count.
In sequence wiper arm 85 then engages contact 90a and if gun control circuit 36a has been actuated the gun counter then is caused to make another count. If that control circuit has not been actuated then the counter does not count. In sequence arm then engages the remaining contacts b-90e which may be connected to corresponding gun control circuits. In this manner the gun counter makes a count of all of the switches 37 that have been actuated indicating the total number of guns that have been played.
Arm 85 engages contact 95 then to complete an energizing circuit from game counter 95a which may be traced by way of the A.C. source, counter 95a, contact 95, arm 85, ring 89 to ground. In this manner a total count of the number of games played is made. From contact 95 arm 85 then engages reset contact 96 to provide an energization circuit for the coil of relay 40, With relay 40 energized, arm 40a disengages contact 40b opening the circuits for terminal 41 to reset all of the gun relays 45, 45a, etc. and the stop relay 54. This occurs for the reason that the energization of relay 45, for example, is provided from terminal 41 and upon momentary opening of that circuit the holding arm 45a is released. In similar manner the stop relay 54 is momentarily deenergized and the holding movable arm 54c is released. Accordingly, control circuits 36, 36a, etc. as well as stop relay 54 are deactuated or reset.
Completing its revolution, arm 85 engages contact 86 and previously described relay 88 is energized to open energization circuit for motor 84 thereby stopping the motor 84 in its null position.
The foregoing revolution of wiper arm 85 may have a total time duration of approximately 2.4 seconds. On the other hand, a fifteen second time duration of the timer motor 35 is preferably necessary to allow tubes 25 to drain. At the termination of that, arm 35a engages contact 35c and the start switch 50 may again be actuated to begin the playing ofa new game. Now that the principles of the invention have been explained it will be understood that many modifications may be made in accordance with the present invention. For example, gun relay 45 may be replaced by a dual coil latching relay which is initially actuated upon energization of a first of its coils when its corresponding gun switch 37 is momentarily actuated. That relay is latched in position and held even though there is a failure of power to that relay for natural or deliberate causes. The relay becomes unlatched only when its second coil is energized upon application of a reset signal, when wiper arm 85 engages contact 96. Thus the energization or actuation of that relay and actuation of its corresponding switch will be counted at the termination of the game by gun counter 94 which cannot be prevented in case of power failure. It will also be understood that the slant of tube 25 as well as the height of windows 30a and 30b and lip 30:: may be adjusted to provide a proper balance between them for ease and dificulty in ejecting float 26. Further upon portion 30 and windows 30a and 30b formed therein may be changed in shape and diflerent size windows formed to achieve the present channeling of the water stream.
What is claimed is:
1. A competitive water game system including at least one water gun comprising,
at least one target tube,
a ball float floatingly mounted in said tube,
the lower end of said tube forming a discharge opening,
said tube having a closed upper end and at least one opening formed adjacent the upper end of said tube, and a water intake disposed exterior to said tube and at a lower elevation than said opening adjacent the upper end of said tube, fluid connection means in addition to said target tube for conducting fluid between said water intake and an additional opening in said tube formed substantially below said opening formed adjacent said upper end, and
said water gun having water under pressure supplied thereto which a player may control to direct a water stream into said water intake to fill said tube until said ball presents a target in said opening whereby when said water stream is directed at said ball water then flows out of said water intake lowering the water level thereby requiring said player to aim said water stream back and forth between said water intake and said opening until said ball is ejected from said tube.
2. A water gun system having a plurality of water gun means for a plurality of players comprising,
a plurality of target tubes each having its upper end tilted away from a corresponding player,
each tube having a ball floatingly mounted therein,
water outlet means connected to the bottom of each of said tubes,
each of said tubes having adjacent its upper end an opening facing its corresponding player and an opening opposite thereto, water intake means for each target tube having, exterior to said tube, a fluid connection to an additional opening in said tube substantially below said openings adjacent said tube upper end, and
said water gun means adapted to be equally spaced from a corresponding Water intake means for supplying under a players control a water stream thereto whereby in each tube water first fills the tube to the level of an upper opening at which time the water stream may then be directed at the ball through said openings.
3. The water gun system of claim 2 in which said water intake means of each tube is disposed exterior to its tube and substantially below the level of said opening, adjacent the middle of said tube whereby the fluid pressure of a water stream directed into said water intake means causes the tubes water level to rise to the level of said openings.
4. The water gun system of claim 2 in which the upper portion of each of said tubes has a substantially greater diameter than the lower portion, said tube upper portion having said openings formed therein of size suflicient to prevent a water stream from being channeled at said ball and substantially decreasing the difliculty of said game.
5. The watergun system of claim 2 in which each fluid connection means includes a reservoir disposed adjacent a respective water intake means to collect said water from said water stream and to provide space for air to collect which has mixed with the water stream and in which there is provided for each of said tubes a separate housing having said reservoir disposed therein and being secured to the exterior of said tube.
6. The water gun system of claim 2 in which there is provided separate gun control means for each of said water gun means including a switch when actuated energizes its respective gun control means and means including stop means adapted to be manually actuated upon the winning of one of the players for counting the number of said energized gun control means and thereafter for resetting all of said gun control means to their initial de energizing conditions.
7. The water gun system of claim 2 in which there is provided separate gun control means for each of said water gun means including a switch which, when actuated, energizes its respective gun control means to permit water under pressure to be applied to an associated water gun, and means for counting, at the termination of a game, the number of energized gun control means.
8. A water gun system for the playing of a game by a player who directs a stream of water from a water gun comprising, v
at least one target tube,
water intake means disposed exterior to said tube,
a float disposed within said tube,
water discharge means for said tube,
said tube having adjacent its upper end an opening facing said player and an opening opposite therefrom through which openings a water stream may be projected to push said float out of said opposite opening, a fluid connection separate from said target tube between said water intake means and an additional opening in said target tube substantially below said openings adjacent said tube upper end, and
said water gun for said player spaced from said water intake means having a source of water under pressure for supplying a stream of water under the control of said player to said water intake means whereby water fills said tube until said float presents a suflicient target in said upper opening for said water stream.
9. The water gun system of claim 8 in which said Water intake means is disposed below the level of said upper openings whereby when said player directs said water stream at said float water flows out of said water intake means lowering the water level in said tube thereby causing said float to be substantially inaccessible as a target.
10. The water gun system of claim 8 in which there is provided a reservoir connected between said water intake means and said fluid connection to collect said water from said water stream and to provide space for air which has mixed with the water stream, in which there is provided a decorative housing having said reservoir disposed therein and being secured to the exterior of said target tube and in which a lip is formed on the lower side of said opening facing said player.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,435,045 11/1922 Behr 273-86 X 2,555,405 6/1951 Funk. 2,759,731 8/1956 Quinn 273-10l ANTON O. OECHSLE, Primary Examiner.
RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Examiner.
M. R. PAGE, Assistant Examiner.