US 3376039 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
A ril 2, 1968 R. 5. FENTON 3,376,039
PHOTOCELL TARGET WITH INDEXED TARGET DISK Filed Feb, 5, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR RUSSELL S. FENTON A ril 2, 1968 R. s. FENTON PHOTOCELLI TARGET WITH INDEXED TARGET DISK 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Feb. 5, 1965 INVENTOR Russsu. S. FENTON 4 woe 2,, 1W, 4/0414 (9% A YS.
United States Patent F 3,376,039 PHOTOCELL TARGET WITH INDEXED TARGET DISK Russell S. Fenton, 308 Eaton St., Northfield, Ill. 60093 Filed Feb. 5, 1965, Ser. No. 430,553 8 Claims. (Cl. 273-101.1)
ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A light beam actuated target having a target disk with a plurality of target sectors each with a hole therethro'ugh for alignment with a photocell. A drive mechanism for successively presenting the holes in the target disk to a photocell positioned behind the disk including a continuously running motor rotating a pinion, a rockable drive gear normally having a toothless gap adjacent the pinion, and a Geneva mechanism responsive to rotation of the drive gear through a revolution to index the target disk. To rock the drive gear into mesh with the pinion, a solenoid is energized in response to energization of the photocell and operates at trip pawl to force a pawl lever carried by the drive gear into the path of an arm carried on the shaft of the pinion. An elapsed time indicator is driven by the motor and a hit indicator is coupled to the Geneva mechanism and advanced to indicate another hit each time the photocell is energized.
The present invention relates to target apparatus and more particularly to a novel target for use with a light gun.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a target game of the type in which a succession of hunting scenes are presented to the marksman each having a bullseye and in which the striking of the bullseye by the light beam from the gun causes prompt shifting from one scene to the next. It is another object of the invention to provide a target game which has action and appeal for all ages, from a young child barely able to hold a gun to the most accomplished adult marksman.
It is, more specifically, an object of the present invention to provide a target game of the scene changing type in which the scene remains stationary until the bullseye is struck.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide a target game which responds quickly to a hit, causing almost instantaneous change of scene so that the bird or animal in the scene appears to drop to the ground realistically and so that a new challenge is provided with minimum time delay. Thus the user may have a quick and exciting succession of hits in about the time it takes to resight the gun and without a noticeable wait,
between shots. It is nonetheless an object of the present invention to provide a target game which requires a minimum of mechanical and electrical'power, which is simple and inexpensive to construct, and which is highly usage of children. Thus it is possible to employ an inexpensive spring-wound motor to serve both as a source of mechanical power and as a timing element.
It is one of the more detailed objects of the invention to provide a target game employing a photocell which iscapable of directly operating a solenoid to initiate opera-1 tion of an indexing or advancing mechanism without requiring transistors or other amplifying elements, in which the cell is capable of controlling the solenoid using relatively loW light level in the light beam but which is, nevertheless, insensitive to normal ambient room lighting.
It is a more detailed object of the invention to provide a target game in which novel means are provided for time indicator 31 and a hit 3376,03? Patented Apr. 2, 1958 timing the turn of each player and for tallying the number of hits during each "turn utilizing a constantly running spring-wound motor which, by reason of its vibratory action, conveys a sense of urgency and spirit of competition regardless of Whether the game is played by a group or a single individual.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent upon reading the attached detailed description and upon reference to the drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view showing a target apparatus constructed in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a face view of the target portion of the apparatus with the front plate broken away to reveal the target disk.
FIG. 3 is a vertical section taken along the line 3-3 in FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a rear view of the mechanism which drives the disk with the cover plate removed and with the drive gear in its initial position.
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary perspective view of the drive mechanism.
FIGS. 6a-6d are a series of stop-motion views showing a typical operating cycle, FIG. 6a showing the actuation of the solenoid pawl, FIG. 6b showing engagement of the pawl by the engaging arm on the drive pinion, FIG. 60 showing the resulting travel of the drive gear through the bell-ringing position, and FIG. 6d showing advancement of the Geneva gear, following which the drive gear again comes to rest in the position of FIG. 6a.
While the invention has been described in connection with a preferred embodiment, it will be understood by one skilled in the art that the invention is not limited to the particular embodiment shown but that I intend, on the contrary, to cover the various modified and equivalent constructions included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
Turning now to the drawings, a target game made in accordance with the present invention includes a target 20 formed of a boxlike frame or enclosure 21 having a hunting scene 22 on its face. The latter serves as. foreground for a portion of a target disk 25 viewed through a sector-shaped opening or window 26. The bullseye for the target, for the purpose of aiming, is a small opening 27 through which a light beam passes to actuate the device. Visible on the face of the device, and preferably located in the lower corners thereof are an elapsed indicator 32 which tallies the number of successful hits during the elapsed time interval.
For the purpose of directing an amiable light beam through the bullseye 27, a gun 40 is provided, preferably in the form of a simulated hunting rifle or shotgun having a trigger 41 and an integral light projector 42 capable of throwing a focused beam of light upon the target for a predetermined time interval each time the trigger 41 is pulled. The light beam may be precisely sighted upon the target by a front sight 43 and an optional rear sight 44, as in the case of a real gun. The gun may advantageously be constructed in the manner fully disclosed in my copending divisional application Ser. No.
639,818. filed May 19,
. ing accurate pre-focusing of the light beam on the bullseye, and a beam of longer duration, say up to two seconds permitting the beam to be guided to the bullseye by visual observation of the spot of light and without accurate use of the gun sights. This permits use of the gun in a sighted modemfor expert users, .a guided mode for younger children, or a combination of the two for those of intermediate ability.
Directing attention next to FIGS. 2-5 Which show the internal construction of the target 20, the housing 21 will be seen to have a disk compartment 50, enclosed by a rear wall 51, and a mechanism compartment 52 enclosed by a mechanism cover plate 53. The latter is mounted on a pair of rails 54, 55, preferably spaced a few inches apart, and provides support against rearward toppling when the target is set on a table or other supporting surface.
Turning next to the construction of the disk 25, the disk is divided into sectors, which may be five in number, indicated at 25a-25e, respectively, and each bearing the likeness of a rabbit, bird, or other game animal and each providing an opening or bullseye as indicated at 27a27e, respectively. The disk 25 is preferably formed of a thin molded piece of light-weight plastic with the animals depicted thereon formed in deep relief so that they look more life-like. The disk 25 is mounted upon a hub 61 having a spindle 61 which is journaled in alined openings formed in the parallel wall members 51, 53, respectively.
In accordance with the present invention a constantly running drive motor is provided, together with indexing mechanism triggered by a light responsive photocell, for advancing the tarket disk forwardly through one step of movement each time a hit is made. More specifically in accordance with the invention a photocell mounted behind the disk and in alinement with the bullseye openings therein is caused to actuate a solenoid which produces temporary coupling between the driving motor and the disk to index the disk forwardly and to bring the disk to a stop with a different target animal in view. Prior to discussing the driving and indexing mechanism, mention may be made of the photocell which produces the triggering action. This photocell, indicated at 70, is mounted at the inner end of a shielding tube 71 which, as shown, is at the same radius as the bullseye openings. Such photocell is preferably of the light-dependent type utilizing cadmium sulfide as the sensitive material and capable of undergoing a drastic reduction in resistance upon being struck by light. I prefer to use a model LDR- 03 cell manufactured by Ferroxcube Corporation of America having a quiescent resistance on the order of 10,000 ohms which falls within the range of 25l50 ohms at an illumination level of about fifty-foot candles, a level which is readily achieved at a remote focused spot of light produced by a conventional miniature lamp in the gun.
For the purpose of powering the drive mechanism either a spring-wound motor or a small geared down electric motor may be used. While a battery powered motor has the advantage of convenience, there area number of advantages in using a driving motor of the spring wound type. Thus referring to the drawings and particularly to FIG. 4, a spring wound drive motor which I employ, indicated at 80, includes a frame 81 and spring 82 wound by a key 83 having the usual non-retrograde ratchet 83a. Gears 84, 85 and 86, arranged in a train, drive an escapemen't mechanism 87 which is preferably of the star-wheel vibrating type. Power is taken from the motor output gear 88 which meshes with an output pinion 89. Where an electric motor is used in lieu of a springwound motor it may occupy the position indicated at 80a in the system (see FIG. with the shaft of the motor coupled to the output pinion 89. The electric motor 80a, where used, preferably includes at least one stage of step down gearing to decrease the speed and step up the torque, a matter well within the skill of the art.
Torque from the output pinion 89 is applied to a drive pinion 90 mounted on a common shaft 91. During driving of the disk, the pinion 90 meshes with a drive gear 95 having a central shaft 96 and carrying a drive pin 97. For the purpose of rapidly indexing the disk when the drive gear 95 undergoes a single revolution a Geneva gear 100 is mounted on the disk shaft 61 and provided with five lobes defining pin slots 100a-100e which are engaged in successive cycles by the drive pin. For the purpose of locking the Geneva gear and the target disk, stationary between cycles, a locking cylinder 101 is provided on the shaft of the drive gear engaging scallops 102 in the lobes of the Geneva gear and with the usual relief 103 opposite the drive pin 97. It will be apparent, then, that each time that the drive gear 95 undergoes a single revolution the target disk will be advanced relatively rapidly from one sector to the next.
In accordance with the present invention the drive gear 95 is provided with a gap or interruption so that it remains normally stationary even though the drive pinion is continually rotating. For the purpose of bringing the teeth on the drive gear into mesh with the teeth on the pinion, a trip pawl is provided on the gear cooperating with an arm on the shaft of the drive pinion together with a solenoid for causing the pawl to engage the arm when the solenoid is energized. Thus I provide a gap or interruption in the teeth of the gear 95 and, adjacent the gap, a pawl 111 having a face 112, the pawl being rockable about a pin 113. The pawl is normally biased into the retracted position by means of a spring 114 seating the pawl against a stop 115. The arm on the shaft of the drive pinion is preferably in the form of a two-lobed, cam-shaped member 116 having abutments 117, 118, respectively, for engaging the face 112 of the pawl. Prior to engagement of an abutment the pawl rides, in the ready position, on one of the smooth outer surfaces 119 leading to the abutments.
For the purpose of moving the pawl 111 from its retracted, inactive position to its engaging position, a solenoid 120 is provided having a plunger 121 and a winding which is connected in series with the photocell 70; current is provided by a battery 122. Coupled to the plunger 121 is a trip pawl control member in the form of a lever 1213 pivoted at 124 and connected at its left-hand end to the plunger 121. A coil spring 125 assists gravity in biasing the plunger 121 of the solenoid outwardly with respect to the coil. At its opposite or right-hand end, the lever 123 has a pawl-engaging tip 126 which is bent transversely so as to overlie the upper edge 127 of the pawl. As a result, when the solenoid is energized by making a direct hit, the pawl lever 12 3 moves the pawl 1'11 downwardly so that its face 112 is in the path of movement of one of the abutments 117, 118 on the shaft of the drive pinion so that the drive gear 95 is rocked through a small angle to the point where the teeth on the pinion and drive gear are in mesh, thereby to initiate a cycle of rotation of the gear 95.
Prior to describing a typical sequence, mention may be made of the bell-ringing mechanism which causes striking of a bell 130. The mechanism includes a rockable shaft 131 which extends through the supporting plate 53 and which carries a clapper 132. Projecting radially from the shaft 131 is an arm 133 which is arranged in the path of movement of the same drive pin 97 which actuates the Geneva gear. A spring 135 biases the shaft 131 and hence arm 133 into a position of readiness adjacent the stop 136. Thus as the drive pin 97 wipes upwardly against the arm 133 the spring 135 is stressed so that when the arm 133 slips clear of the pin the clapper will be released to strike the bell.
The operation of the mechanism will be made clear by considering the series of stop-motion views 6a-6d. FIG. 6a shows the condition with the drive gear 95 at rest but immediately following a hit resulting in operation of the solenoid and movement of the trip pawl 111 down into its active position so that the pawl rests upon one of the smooth surfaces 119 intermediate the rotating abutments 117, 118. An instant later the trip pawl 112 is engaged by one of the abutments, for example, the abutment 117 as shown in FIG. 6b causing the drive gear 95 to start to move in a counterclockwise direction (as viewed in FIGS. 4 and 5). In order to insure that the movement of the gear 95 is initiated promptly, a fly wheel 138 is preferably provided on the shaft 91 of the drive pinion 90.
Immediately after the gear 95 begins to move the drive pin 97 thereon is wiped against the bell arm 133 stressing the spring 135 for storage of the small amount of energy required to ring the bell. Ringing occurs when the pin 97 slips clear of the arm as shown in FIG. 60. The energy stored in the fly wheel 138 insures that sufficient energy is available in the gear 95 so that it may transverse the bell-ringing position without appreciable slow-down.
Upon continued travel of the driven gear 95, the drive pin 97 engages one of the teeth of the Geneva gear as shown in FIG. 6d, causing the latter to be advanced rapidly through one-fifth of a revolution, rotating the disk 25 through one-fifth of a revolution. This brings a different animal into view on the disk and the mechanism is restored to the condition shown in FIG. 6a. For the purpose of insuring that the drive gear 95 comes to a complete stop with the drive pinion 9t) centered in the gap 110, a stop pin 140 is provided on the gear 95 in a position to obstruct the. tip 126 of the solenoid lever when the latter returns to its normal released position. The fact that the tip 126 is laterally bent provides a relatively large obstructing area so that the stop pin 140 need not be accurately located on the drive gear. Because of the fact that light to the photocell is cut off as soon as the target disk begins to move, the solenoid, following a hit, is immediately deenergized, thereby insuring that the solenoid lever will occupy its obstructing position when a single revolution of the drive gear 95 is completed.
In a practical device having only a limited power windup motor, a gear ratio may be chosen permitting the drive gear 95 to make a complete revolution in a cycle having a duration on the order of one and one-half seconds. Because of the rapid response of the photocell and solenoid, operation of the trip pawl, and the ringing of the bell immediately thereafter, is completed in a short time interval on the order of 100 milliseconds. The complete change in scene, by reason of the Geneva mechanism, requires only an additional half second or so. The effect to the user is that immediately upon making a direct hit a bell rings and the quarry drops or falls to the ground thus achieving a high degree of realism. This leaves an interval of 900 milliseconds or so for the cycle to be completed. Since the fresh target area is stationary during this final period, the period may be utilized for resighting of the gun and the cycle will normally have been completed by the time that the user is again ready to pull the trigger.
To heighten the competitive aspects of the game, means are provided for indicating the elapsed time at the face of the target and for also tallying the number of successful bits which have been made during the turn of the player. Considering first the lapsed time indication, the indicator dial 31, which may be lithographed on the face of the target at the same time as the hunting scene depicted thereon, has a pointer 150 coupled to a pulley 151 about which is trained a loop of cord 152 driven by a pulley 153 there coupled to the drive train. Depending upon the speed ratio desired, any one of the gear shafts may be brought out of the motor for attachment of the pulley 153 but I prefer to use a separate drive pinion 155 for this purpose. The indicator 31 may be calibrated in arbitrary time units or in units of seconds. Preferably a drive motor is chosen which will operate for a little over a minute before running down, in which case the indicator may be conveniently calibrated to show the elapsed time in seconds.
For the purpose of tallying the hits, the indicator 32 may be provided with a pointer 160 having a drive pulley 161 and a loop of drive cord 162 powered by a pulley 163 mounted on a hub of the disk 25 (see FIG. 3). The indicator may be numbered to a total of ten hits and the diameters of the pulleys may be chosen to produce a substantially complete rotation of the pointer when this number of hits has been achieved.
It has been found that with children of all ages the game produces a high degree of excitement and urgency. The elapsed time indicator moves constantly even though the target may be stationary showing the user that the time is running out. Moreover, conventional escapementtype spring-wound motors create a certain amount of noise and vibration; this tends to be amplified by the paneled construction of the target frame or enclosure producing a throbbing sound which provides further indication of the passage of time. The individuals turn is over either when the noise of the motor ceases or whenever the elapsed time indicator reaches some arbitrary time limit and the tallied number of hits may be recorded. For team play the hits may be carried as a running total, and for individual play the game provides an opportunity for the user to play against himself in an attempt to improve his prior sharp-shooting record. When one persons turn has been completed the motor may be wound and the points 150, 160 reset, with the fingertip, to zero.
It is to be particularly noted that inthe present target game, while the motor runs continuously, the target disk itself remains stationary until an actual hit is made which permits the user to take all of the time he needs, within the time interval to which the gun is adjusted, to match the beam and the bullseye.
In the present construction the drive gear and drive pinion have meshing teeth but it will be understood that teeth are not essential for these two elements and that driving may take place frictionally between them. Moreover while a drive gear 95 has been disclosed having but a single gap or interruption, it will be apparent that a larger gear may be used having more than one gap and associated trip pawl and having a corresponding number of drive pins for operating the Geneva gear. Indeed, if desired, and if rapid motion of the target disk is not considered essential, the target diskmay be driven directly from the shaft 96 of the drive gear without departing from the invention. It may also be mentioned that while I prefer to use a solenoid because of the length of effective stroke which it provides, nevertheless in its broader aspects the invention is not limited thereto and the term solenoid shall be deemed to include other equivalent lealectromagnets having a lever or equivalent output mem- The operation of the target mechanism has been described in connection with a spring-wound drive motor and, as stated, there are certain advantages in the use of such a motor, primarily the greater sense of participation on the part of a child. It Will be appreciated that where an electric drive motor is used, as indicated at a in FIG. 5, One may choose between a motor operated from the A-C supply line, for example, a small shaded pole motor, or a D-C motor of the small Japanese type having permanent magnets to supply the field flux and capable of operating from the same battery 122 which furnishes power to actuate the photocell-solenoid circuit.
Regardless of which type of motor is used the output speed at shaft 91 should preferably be on the order of 300 rpm. andthe torque should be sufficient to drive the system without stalling. Where elapsed time indication is desired as, for example, on the elapsed time indicator 31, the speed at shaft 91 must be appropriately stepped down. This can be accomplished by retaining the gear train 84, 85, 88 shown in FIG. 5 while eliminating the other elements of the spring wound motor no longer required, chiefly, the spring 82 and escapement 87. The flywheel 138 is optional. Operation using an electric drive motor is the same as that described earlier with that reliance must be placed upon the elapsed time indicator 31 in order to determine the length of a turn.
I claim as my invention:
1. A target construction for use with a light gun comthe exception prising the combination of a rotatable target disk having a plurality of sectors each having a target hole at a predetermined radius, a photoelectric cell positioned behind the disk adjacent the path of movement of the holes, a spring-wound drive motor having a drive pinion, a drive gear coupled to the disk and arranged for meshing with the drive pinion but having a toothless sector normally adjacent the drive pinion, a trip pawl on the drive gear adjacent the toothless sector, an arm on the drive pinion rotatable therewith, said trip pawl being normally biased into a retracted position with respect to the path of movement of the arm, a solenoid connected to the photocell, said solenoid having a solenoid lever for engaging said trip pawl so that when the photocell is struck by a light beam from the gun the solenoid causes the trip pawl to be moved into the path of movement of the pinion arm for rocking of the drive gear into mesh with the pinion to produce a complete revolution of the gear, and a Geneva mechanism interposed between the drive gear and the disk so that the disk is indexed forwardly advancing a successive sector on the disk into position in front of the photocell.
2. In a target for use with a light gun, the combination of a rotatable target disk having a plurality of sectors each having a target hole, a photocell positioned behind the disk in position for alinement with the holes, a constantly running spring-wound motor having an escapement and having an output pinion, a drive gear cooperating with the output pinion and coupled by indexing means to the target disk, means including a solenoid connected to the photocell for causing meshing of the pinion and drive gear to bring about a step of indexing movement of the disk when the photocell is energized, and visual indicator means coupled to the disk for indicating the number of indexing movements of the target disk prior to the time that the motor runs out.
3. In a target for use with a light gun, the combination comprising a movable target member having a plurality of fields thereon each having a target hole, a photocell behind the target member registerable with said target holes, and a drive mechanism for the target member including a continuously running motor having a pinion, indexing means for rotating the member so that the holes are successively presented to the photocell, a drive gear for operating said indexing means, and means including an electromagnet coupled to the photocell to cause meshing of the drive gear and pinion for triggering the indexing means when the photocell is struck by a light beam penetrating the hole, said photocell being shielded from ambient light and spaced substantially behind the target member so as to be exclusively energizable by a horizontal beam of light from the gun.
4. A target for use with a light gun comprising the combination of a movable target member having a plurality of fields thereon each having a target hole, a photocell positioned behind the target member on a level with the holes, and a drive mechanism including a continuously running motor, indexing means for moving the target member so arranged that upon successive triggering thereof the holes are successively presented to the photocell, and means coupled to the motor and including an electromagnet connected to the photocell for triggering the indexing means when the photocell is struck by a light beam, said drive mechanism having means for defining a time interval during which the motor is operative.
5. The combination of claim 4 in which said drive mechanism comprises a spring-wound motor having an escapement and capable of running for a limited period of time together with means for tallying the steps of indexing movement of the target member occurring during said limited period.
6. In a target for use with a light gun, the combination of a movable target member having a plurality of fields each having a target hole, a photocell positioned behind the target member at the level of the target holes, a constantly running spring-wound drive motor having an escapement and constructed to have a limited run-out time interval, means including an indexing mechanism connected to the target member for bringing the holes successively into register with the photocell, and means including an electromagnet coupled to the photocell for temporarily connecting the drive motor to the indexing mechanism so that the target member is indexed forwardly one step each time that the photocell is struck by light.
7. In a target for use with a light gun, the combination comprising, a rotatable target disk having a plurality of sectors each having a target hole at a predetermined radius, a photoelectric cell positioned behind the disk adjacent the path of movement of the holes, a springwound drive motor having a drive pinion, a drive gear coupled to the disk and arranged for meshing with the drive pinion but having a toothless sector normally adjacent the drive pinion, a trip pawl on the drive gear adjacent the toothless sector, an arm on the drive pinion rotatable therewith, said trip pawl being normally biased into a retracted position with respect to the path of movement of the arm, a solenoid connected to the photocell, said solenoid having a biased control member movable from a retracted position to an active position for engaging said trip pawl so that when the photocell is struck by a light beam from the gun the trip pawl is moved into the path of movement of the pinion arm for rocking of the drive gear into mesh with the pinion to produce a complete revolution of the gear, said gear having a stop pin for engaging the control member when the latter has returned to its retracted position thereby to prevent overtravel of the gear beyond a single revolution.
8. In a target for use with a light gun a rotatable target disk, a disk having a plurality of illustrated sectors and with each sector having a target hole, a photocell positioned behind the disk and registerable with the target holes as the sectors are successively advanced, a constantly running spring-wound motor having an escapement and an output pinion, a drive gear cooperating with the output pinion, said drive gear having a toothless sector normally adjacent the drive pinion, an arm on the drive pinion, a trip pawl on the drive gear adjacent the toothless sector biased into a normally retracted position and movable into an active position in the path of movement of the arm, means including a solenoid connected to the photocell for moving the trip pawl to its active position when the photocell is struck by a beam of light, a Geneva mechanism interposed between the drive gear and the disk for indexing the latter, a bell having a spring-biased clapper adjacent the drive gear arranged for retraction and release by the latter so that the bell sounds promptly after the drive gear begins to move, and a flywheel coupled to the motor drive pinion for overcoming the inertia of the drive gear as well as the reaction force of the bell clapper.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,083,218 6/1937 Radtke et al 273101.1 2,131,791 10/1938 Carter 27310l.1 2,187,422 1/1940 Henry.
2,236,390 3/1941 Wood et al 273-l01.1
ANTON O. OECHSLE, Primary Examiner.
M. R. PAGE, Assistant Examiner.