US 3362350 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 9, v J R -r ET AL I RACING TOY Filed April 5, 1965 IN VEN TORS.
JOHN -R. ao/v/vErr BY R/CHARD 5. znsrerrm ATTORNEYS I United States Patent ()fifice 3,362,3Sh Patented Jan. 9, 1968 3,362,350 RACING TOY John R. Bonnett, Girard, and Richard E. Rastetter, Erie, Pa, assignors to Louis Marx & Co., Inc., New York, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Apr. 5, 1965, Ser. No. 445,519 3 Claims. (Cl. 104149) ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE A vehicle system in a racing toy which is provided with a slotted trackway and conductors including a turn-around for reversing the direction of a toy vehicle guided by a trackway slot and powered by the conductors. Power is provided by a power supply connected at one point to each of the conductors and the toy vehicle is rectified so as to run in a single direction, regardless of the direction in which it is traveling on the trackway.
This invention relates generally to a racing toy and more particularly to a toy racing game or arrangement generally known as slot racing wherein an electrified track layout is provided for the travel of miniature racing cars therealong, the racing cars being guided by means of slots in the tracks, the cars being remote controlled.
The instant invention is more specifically concerned with drag racing wherein two or more cars traveling on parallel tracks compete against one another. Each electrified track usually has a long straight section with a turnaround at each end so that the car can traverse a track any desired number of times. Since, in accordance with the invention, a car will, at different times, be traveling along a single track in a direction opposite to a previous direction of travel, means are provided in the miniature racing car to assure that the car travels in the forward direction at all times regardless of the type or polarity of electrical potential applied to the track.
Drag strip slot racing incorporating a turnaround at the end of the straightaway has generally required three parallel conductive rails for each drag strip, with two such strips being required for competition between two cars. A D.C. potential would be applied across the three rails with the central rail being of one polarity and the outer rails being of the same polarity opposite to the polarity of the central rail. The D.C. motor of the car would have the potential applied thereacross by pickup shoes on the car contacting, at any one time, the central and one outer rail. The outer rails would be joined or continuous through the turnaround thus maintaining the polarity applied to the motor as the car travels forwardly in both directions along the drag strip. As will be readily understood, it was necessary to maintain the polarity on the motor since a reverse of the polarity would cause reversal of the motor causing the car to back up. As can be readily seen, the requirement for three rails thereby necessitating two slots for each track increased the requisite size and cost of a drag strip layout.
Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide a drag strip layout wherein each straight track section is provided with only two rails and a single slot with the ends of each track having a continuous turnaround.
Another object of the invention is to provide a speedway drag strip layout which can be powered by the application of either a D.C. or AC. potential across the rails of each track.
A further object of the invention is to provide a motordriven miniature racing car suitable for drag racing which will travel only in the forward direction regardless of whether an AC. or D.C. potential is applied thereacross and irrespective of the polarity of such DC. potential.
Still other objects and advantages of the invention will in part be obvious and will in part be apparent from the specification.
Generally speaking, in accordance with the invention, the drag strip layout generally includes two parallel tracks, each track having a long straight section and a turnaround at each end. The straight section consists of a pair of spaced conductive rails with a slot therebetween for guiding of the speedway car, with the rails continuing through the turnaround but being insulated at reentry in order to prevent a shorting of the rails. The miniature speedway car is of any known type driven by a D.C. motor connected to shoes on the car which pick up current from the track rails. The D.C. motor is bridged by suitable rectifier circuitry to maintain the polarity of the motor for forward driving of the car regardless of the instantaneous polarity of the pickup shoes.
The invention accordingly comprises the features of construction, combination of elements, and arrangement of parts which will be exemplified in the construction hereinafter set forth, and the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims.
For a fuller understanding of the invention, reference is had to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is a partial plan view of a two-track drag strip speedway layout with the power and control circuitry being shown schematically;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged view of the trackway of FIG. 1 showing only the rails and slot for each track with the circuit connections for the rails;
FIG. 3 is a schematic view of the electrical pickup and drive circuitry of the miniature auto; and
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a typical miniature auto.
Referring now to the drawing, the drag strip speedway indicated generally at 11 generally comprises a central base section 12 and turnaround base sections 13 at opposite ends of the central section. Base sections 12 are usually fabricated in short length with the operator assembling as many lengths as desired in order to develop the speedway straight. Assembled to each end of the central base section is a turnaround base section 13, one of which is shown in FIG. 1. Of course, it should be understood that the central section need not necessarily be a straight although this would most commonly be used to simulate drag racing. Central base sections 12 will generally be provided with a pair of parallel tracks, the first track being indicated as 21 and the second track being indicated as 22. Since each track is identical, only one of such tracks need be described. The track consists of a pair of spaced rails 23 and 24 embedded in base sections 12. When base 12 is composed of a plurality of assembled sections, means are provided for electrically interconnecting the rails of each section. For the purposes of this discussion, each of rails 23 and 24 will be deemed to be continuous. Centrally of rails 23 and 24, base 12 is provided with a slot 25 for guiding of the raceway auto as is well known in the art.
Each track on turnaround base section 13 also includes short sections of rails 23 and 24 and slot 25, with slot 25 continuing to form a turnaround loop consisting of a straight section 26, a curved section 27 and a straight section 28 which reenters slot 25 at reentrant portion 29. The reentrant portion is substantially tangential to slot 25.
R-ail 24 extends along a smooth tangential curve 31, a straight section 32, a curved section 33 and a straight section 34, following the curve of the slot while being spaced therefrom by a uniform distance with straight section 34 terminating in alignment with rail 23. In order to prevent the shorting of rails 23 and 24, straight section 34 terminates at a point 35 spaced from the termination assasso 3 point 36 of the straight portion of rail 23. Points 35 and 36 are most conveniently located on opposite sides of straight section 28 of the slot.
Rail 23 branches out along a smooth tangential curve 41 to a straight section 42, a curved section 43 and a straight section 44, said sections also following the configuration of the slot and spaced at a uniform distance therefrom. Straight section 44 terminates in alignment with rail 24 at a point 45 spaced from rail 24 to prevent a shorting of rail 23 with rail 24.
While all portions of the rails generally extend a slight amount above the upper surface of the respective bases for contact with the shoes of the miniature racing car, straight section 32, for a short distance, is depressed below the surface to a depth at least as great as the depth of the slot in order that that portion of the rail does not block the slot.
The distance between points 35 and 36 and point 45 and rail 24- is preferably greater than the length of the contact shoes in order to prevent the shoes from shorting the rails as it crosses the gaps in contact with the raiis.
The electrical circuitry of the tracks is best seen in FIGS. 1 and 2. A power supply 51 may be in the form of a transformer adapted to be connected to building current or may take the form of a storage battery. Power supplies in common usage for racing games generally consist of a transformer with a 28 volt AC. or DC output. A common line 53 is connected from one output terminal of the power supply to rails 24 of the first and second tracks. A line 54 is connected from the other power supply terminal through a first track controlling rheostat 61 to rail 24 of first track 21. A line 55 is connected from said other terminal of the power supply through a second track controlling rheostat $2 to rail 24 of second track 22. The rheostats may be of any standard construction for individual control by the operator of the potential applied across the track through the circuit in which the respective rheostat is serially connected.
The miniature racing car may be of any standard construction such as that shown in FIG. 4. Miniature motors for driving such racing cars are usually of the permanent magnet DC. type and, while not so limited, may be of the construction shown in US. Patent 3,095,515, issued June 25, 1963 to N. L. Case. A racing car ill having a motor 67, driven rear wheels 72 and front wheels 73, is provided with a guide finger 74 adapted to engage with slot 2 for guiding the car during its travel along a track. .Resiliently mounted to the bottom of the car is a first .shoe 63 and a second shoe or adapted to mechanically and electrically engage a pair of spaced rails. By way of example, FIG. 3 schematically shows the first shoe 63 in vcontact with rail 23 and second shoe 64- in contact with rail 24. A full Wave bridge as including four rectifiers d6 .is connected between shoes 63 and 6d and bridges the vehicle drive motor 67 in order to constantly maintain the polarity of the potential applied across the motor. In .other words, because of the oppositely connected unidirectional conductivity of rectifiers 66 in the bridge arrangement, point A of the motor connection will always be maintainedat a positive potential with respect to point .B. This is true whether an A.C. potential is applied across rails 23 and 24 or a DC. potential applied across said rails with either rail 23 or rail 24 being positive with respect to the other rail.
The operation of the racing toy may now be described. A miniature car '71 is placed, for example, on first track 21 of the drag strip speedway with guide finger 75 in engagement with slot 25. With the car heading toward turnaround 13, first shoe 63 would be in contact with rail 23 and second shoe 64 in contact with rail 24. By manual control of rheostat oi, the speed of motor 257 and thus the speed of travel of the car would be controlled. As the car approaches the turnaround, the travel of the car is maintained in a straight line path by cooperation of the guide finger '74 with straight slot section 26. Note that as the car passes through the track reentry portion, shoes 63 and 64 leave rails 23 and 24 and make contact with rail straight sections 34 and 4-4 respectively. Rail 34- is an electrical continuation of rail 24 while rail 44 is an electrical continuation of rail 23 and thus the connections of the shoes to the rails are reversed as soon as the car passes the turnaround reentrant portion. However, be cause of the full wave rectification of the motor as described in connection with FIG. 3, the motor continues to drive in the forward direction and the guide finger in cooperation with the slot guides the car around the curve and into the reentrant portion 29 whereupon the car continues its travel along the central section of the drag strip speedway in a direction opposite to its original direction.
It will be understood that a turnaround portion identical to that described, except for the omission of the circuit connections 53, 54 and 55, is provided at the opposite end of the speedway. Thus, an individually controlled car will continuously travel along a speedway track first in one direction, through a turnaround, and in the opposite direction, as long as the operator supplies current to the rails through a rheostat control.
It will thus be seen that the objects set forth above, among those made apparent from the preceding description, are efficiently attained and, since certain changes may be made in the above construction without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above descripton or shown in the accompanying drawing shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
What is claimed is:
1. A vehicle system comprising a trackway base, a vehicle positioned on said base, said vehicle having a guide finger extending therefrom, a pair of spaced shoes, a drive motor, means cooperating between said drive motor and said base for propelling said vehicle along said base, and a full Wave rectifier bridge electrically connecting said motor to said shoes, said trackway base including a pair of spaced conductive rails mounted to said base and adapted for engagement by said vehicle shoes, a slot in said base intermediate said rails, said slot cooperatively receiving said vehicle guide finger, said slot having a main portion and at least one turnaround portion, said turnaround portion extending from said main portion along an arcuate path and reentering the main portion substantially tangentially thereto, said conductive rails following the contour of said main and turnaround slot portion and being uniformly spaced therefrom, whereby said rails form a substantially continuous trackway for application of an electrical potential to said vehicle during its travel along the traolcway toward, through and from the turnaround, and a controlled power supply connected at one point to each of said rails.
2. A vehicle system comprising a trackway base, a vehicle positioned on said base, said vehicle having a guide finger extending therefrom, a pair of spaced shoes, a drive motor, means cooperating between said drive motor and said base for propelling said vehicle along said 'base, and a full wave rectifier electrically connecting said motor to said shoes, said trackway base including a pair of spaced conductive rails mounted to said base, and adapted for engagement by said vehicle shoes, a slot in saidbase intermediate said rails, said slot cooperatively rece ving said vehicle guide finger, said slot having a main portion and at least one turnaround portion, said turnaround portion extending from said main portion along an arcuate path and reentering said main porton substan tially tangentially thereto, said conductive rails following the contour of said main and turnaround slot portions and being uniformly spaced therefrom, each of said rails being discontinuous for a preselected length through the turnaround portion, whereby said rails form a substantially continuous trackway of changing polarity for application of an electrical potential to said vehicle during its travel along the trackway toward, through and from References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Lidsky 104-148 Rosenthal 238-10 Short et a1. 104-148 Brundage 104-149 6 6/1962 Paluka 191-2 4/1965 Case et a1. 104-149 9/1965 Frisbie et a1. 238-10 11/ 1965 Albertson et a1 246-255 1/1966 Robinette et a1. 238-10 FOREIGN PATENTS 7/1935 France.
5/ 1954 France.
5/ 1959 France.
ARTHUR L. LA POINT, Primary Examiner.
S. T. KRAWCZEWICZ, Assistant Examiner.