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Publication numberUS3380305 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 30, 1968
Filing dateJun 13, 1966
Priority dateJun 13, 1966
Publication numberUS 3380305 A, US 3380305A, US-A-3380305, US3380305 A, US3380305A
InventorsRalph Charell
Original AssigneeRalph Charell
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Baseball and baseball bat toy
US 3380305 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

R. CHARELL 3,380,305

BASEBALL AND BASEBALL BAT TOY 5 Sheets-Sheet l April 30, 1968 Filed June 13. 1966 April 30, 1968 R. CHARELL 3,380,305

BASEBALL AND BASEBALL BAT TOY Filed June 13. 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet fi A nLOM PONER C5 2g A HIGH raum C 4 aff VU INV ENT OR @Q40 Chanel! April 30, 1968 R. cHARl-:LL


Fal/ 9h Cha/e l BY @dxf/9L "rTuR/vms April so, 1968 R. CHARELL 3,380,305

BASEBALL AND BASEBALL BAT TOY Filed June 13. 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOR f Ralph Cha/fel( pri 30, 1968 R.CHARE1 L 3,380,305

BASEBALL AND BASEBALL BAT Toy Filed June 13, 1966 5 SheetS-Sheet 5 Wwf l HUN: INVENT OR W Fal/0h Cha/"ed I Vim I RESET BY 244 501 225 United States Patent O 3,380,305 BASEBALL AND BASEBALL BAT TOY Ralph Charell, 57 E. 88th St., New York, N.Y. 10028 Filed June 13, 1966, Ser. No. 557,199 2 Claims. (Cl. 73--379) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention concerns an appliance or device which can be installed in a bat, racquet, club, ball or other implement used in a game to measure and indicate the magnitude of striking force applied to the implement.

A principal object of the invention is to provide a device responsive to an impact applied in any direction in a field of 360 to measure the force of impact.

Another object is to provide a device of the character described including an omnidirectional, multicontact inertia switch for actuating indicating circuitry.

A further object is to provide an impact responsive device which can be installed in or on a game implement to measure quantitatively an applied force.

Another object is to provide an impact responsive device as last mentioned with means for connecting the same to external indicator means.

Still another object is to provide an apparatus including an impact responsive device and associated indicating means and circuitry all embodied in a compact selfcontained unit.

For further comprehension of the invention and of the objects and advantages thereof, reference will be had to the claims in which the various novel features of the invention are more particularly set forth.

In the accompanying drawings forming a material part of this disclosure:

FIGURE 1 is a side view of an impact responsive device embodying the invention shown installed in a bat, part of the bat being broken away, the device being connected to an associated indicating assembly shown in perspective.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged longitudinal central sectional view of the impact responsive device taken on line 2-2 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a diagram of an electric circuit including parts of the device and indicating assembly of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a side view, partially in section, of a striking ball apparatus embodying the invention.

FIG. 6 is a top view of part of the apparatus of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a side view of another device embodying the invention, shown installed in a bat, part of the bat being broken away.

FIG. 8 is an enlarged longitudinal central sectional view taken on line 8-8 of FIG. 7, through the device per se.

FIG. 9 is an end view of the device of FIGS. 7, 8.

FIG. 10 is a top view of a kickball embodying the invention.

FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional view taken on line 11-11 of FIG. 10.

FIG. 12 is a side view of a croquet mallet equipped with a device embodying the invention.

FIG. 13 is an oblique side view of another impact responsive device embodying the invention, shown mounted on a bat, part of which bat is broken away.

FIG. 14 is an enlarged longitudinal sectional view taken on line 14-14 of FIG. 13.

FIG. 15 is a top plan view taken on line 15-15 of FIG. 14.

FIG. 16 is a cross-sectional view taken on line 16--16 of FIG. 14.

FIG. 17 is a further enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken on line 17-17 of FIG. 16, and

FIG. 18 is a diagram of an electric circuit employed in the device of FIGS. 13-17.

Referring rst to FIG. 1, there is shown a game apparatus including an impact responsive device 1t) secured in an axial bore 12 extending inwardly from the outer end 14 of a bat 16. An electric cable 18 extends out of one end of the device 10 and through an axial passage 19 which is an extension of bore 12. The cable passes outwardly of the other end of the bat through handle 20 and terminates at a scoring or indicating device 25 embodied in a cabinet 26. This device has a plurality of indicating lamps 23 designated L14L8 respectively and arranged in a circle on the front panel 27 of the cabinet. Two control or operating buttons 28, 29 designated RE- SET and POWER are also provided at panel 27. On top of the cabinet is a louvered opening 31 for emitting the sound of an audible signaling device inside the cabinet. The cabinet is located some distance away from the bat in order to provide a player free use and movement of the bat. The device 25 provides visual and aural indications of acceleration -force applied to the bat in swinging at a ball and/or the striking force of the bat on impact with the ball.

The construction of device 10` is best shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 to which reference is now made. The device 10 comprises a hollow cylindrical plastic casing 30` closed at one end by wall 30" and open at the other end. The open end is closed by a cap 32 screwed on the right end of the casing as clearly shown in FIG. 2. Cable 18 extends through a central opening 33 in cap 32. This cable includes a plurality of insulated wires 34 connected to electric terminals 36 in the casing. A small chamber 39 is defined between a circular plate 38 and cap 32 inside of the tubular end 40 of casing 30. Plate 38 is seated in a recess 41 formed in the casing. Plate 38 has a threaded nipple 42 in which is screwed the threaded end 43 of a exible, spring metal rod 44. A locknut 45 is engaged on the threaded end of the rod and holds it securely to the nipple 42, so that the rod extends axially of cylindrical chamber 50 inside the casing. The rod is formed with a plurality of spaced, generally spherical beads Bl-BS. Bead B1 is formed on the free end of the rod.

A plurality of metal rings R1-R8 are partially embedded in the Wall of the casing and extend radially into the chamber 5t). The rings are spaced from each other axially of the casing and are all parallel to each other and perpendicular both to the axis of the casing and to the axis of rod 44. The rings are electrically isolated from each other because casing 30 is made of electrical insulative plastic material. Electrical conductors 52 are respectively connected to the several rings. These conductors extend through the body of casing 30 in the axial direction and terminate at different terminals 36. Wires 34 are connected to the terminals 36 respectively. yOne wire 34 is connected to a central terminal 36 attached directly to plate 38. The other terminals 35 are clear of plate 38 and surround this plate at the left end of chamber 39.

In use of the device, a player will hold bat 16 by its handle and will swing the bat at a thrown ball in the usual manner as in playing baseball. Initially as the player swings at the ball, the rod 44 will flex in one direc tion radially of the casing and the first bead B1 will contact ring R1 due to acceleration of the bat from a stationary position. Thereafter, when the bat strikes a ball thrown or held in the path of movement the bat, the force of deceleration of the bat will cause the rod 44 to ex in another radial direction so that one or more beads of the rod will contact their associated rings. The number ot rings which will be contacted by the beads will depend on the force of impact of the bat with the ball. For example beads B1-B3 are shown in dotted lines contacting rings R1-R3 respectively. If the force of impact is great enough all the beads will contact all of the rings respectively. This mode of operation of the device 10 is utilized in the scoring or indicating device 25. FIG. 4 to which reference is now made, shows the electric circuit C of the system, including parts of both devices 10 and 25, by which circuit the indicating functions of the system are performed.

In circuit C is shown schematically the electrically conductive rod 44 including spaced beads BI-BS normally spaced from electrically conductive rings R1-R8. Wires 34 are connected to the respective rings. Wire 34 is connected from rod 44 to one terminal 70 of a battery power supply 72 which will be mounted in cabinet 26 shown in FIG. 1 along with other parts of circuit C which will now be described. Circuit C includes a plurality of electromagnetic relays RL1-RLS. Each relay has a coil 74 which actuates two movable contacts C1, C2 to close with two fixed contacts C3, C4 respectively. One end of each coil is connected to one of wires 34 and to contact C3. The other end of each coil is connected to a movable contact C2 and to terminal 73 of the battery 72. The movable contact C1 of each relay is connected to one contact C5 of pushbutton switch 75 which is the RESET switch. This switch has operating arm or button 28. Switch contact C6 is connected to battery terminal 70. The xed contact C4 of each relay is connected to a different pole 76 of a multiple pole, double throw switch 80. This switch has operating arm or button 29. The switch has HIGH POWER and LOW POWER positions. In LOW POWER position, each pole 76 is closed with xed contact C7 of the switch which is connected to one terminal of one of lamps L1-L8. The other terminal of each lamp is connected to battery terminal 70. A bell or other electrically operable audible signal device 85 is connected across lamp L8. A buzzer 86 is connected across lamp L4.

Switch S0 has contacts CSa-CSh which are closed with poles 76 respectively in the HIGH POWER position of the switch. Only certain ones of these contacts are connected to selected ones of the lamps. In circuit C, contacts C8a, C8c, and C8g are open circuited. Contacts C8b, CSd, and C811 are connected respectively to lamps L1-L4 respectively. The lamps may be arranged to emit different colored light to facilitate their visual identification. Circuit C is shown in alert condition ready for operation, with switch 80 in HIGH POWER position, so that in effect lamps LS-LS are deactivated during operation of the system.

Suppose now that a player swings the bat 16. At rst, only bead B1 will contact ring R1 and relay RL1 will be activated. The contacts of this relay will close, but lamp L1 will not light because relay contact C8a is open circuited. Now toward the end of the swing of the bat, it strikes a ball. The impact will cause the rod 44 to swing laterally to the rings so that two or more of the beads contact the rings. If the force of impact is so hard that all the beads contact the rings, then in the arrangement of the circuit shown, all the relays will become energized. As the ball leaves the bat after impact, rod 44 will vibrate for a time and some beads may contact the rings repeately but they will have no further effect on the circuit because all the relays remain energized. This is because contacts C1 and C3 close holding circuits through the battery and relay coils to keep the relays energized. Only lamps L1L4 will light. Buzzer 86 will sound when lamp L4 lights. If the force of impact had been less only 4 lamps L1, or L1 and L2, or L1, L2, and L3 would have lighted. Then the buzzer 86 would not sound.

The switch may be thrown to LOW POWER position to obtain a showing of a greater range of impact forces, and ot" the force of swing of the bat even if no impact is made. In this switch position all the lamps are connected to the switch contacts C7 and poles 76. Now if bead B1 contacts ring R1, lamp L1 will light since the circuit is closed through contact C851. If the acceleration of the bat is not sucient to cause bead B1 to contact ring R1 then lamp L1 will not light. The flexibility of the rod 44 can be such that at maximum acceleration force with no subsequent impact of the bat on a ball, two or more lamps, L1-L4 for example, may light. Then if the bat strikes a ball one or more other lamps LS-LS will light depending on which beads BS-BS contact rings RS-RS. By this arrangement progressive indications lare obtained of both acceleration force and impact or deceleration force.

The apparatus described makes it possible to monitor and measure a batters striking power. Various scoring points or credits can be allowed for lighting the different lamps. After each swing of the bat, the numbers of lighted lamps will be noted. Then the batter or a scorekeeper will press button 28 momentarily. This will cause all lights to go out and stop the sounding of the buzzer and bell if any one or both are actuated. This occurs because opening the normally closed switch 28 opens the holding circuits C1, C3 of the relays to deactivate them. The circuit C then returns to alert position as shown in FIG. 4 ready for the next swing of the bat.

In FIGS` 5 and 6 is shown another application of the invention. The device 10 is installed in a ball 100 which is suspended by a flexible cord 102. The device 10 extends diametrally of the resilient ball and assumes an axially vertical position. Cable 18 extends upwardly through cord 102. Cord 102 is supported on a horizontal bracket arm 104 supported on a vertical wall 106. Clamps 108 hold the cord. Cable 18 extends out of the cord at its distal end and terminates at scoring device 25 mounted on wall 106. The ball 100 can be struck with a bat or club or even by hand. The force of impact will be indicated by lamps Ll-LS of the device and by the audible signals of the bell and buzzer. The game apparatus of FIGS. 5, 6 employ the same circuit C as shown in FIG. 4, no further description of its mode of operation being required, since this has been covered in detail above.

FIG. 7 shows a modification of the invention in which device 10a has a wholly self-contained system including indicating means. The device 10a is mounted in axial bore 12a of a bat 16a. The outer end 110 of the device is exposed at the open or left end of bore 12a. FIGS. 8 and 9 show details of construction of device 10a in which parts corresponding to those of devices 10 and 25 having identical structure and functions are identically nurnbered.

In device 10a ilexible rod 44 is mounted in nipple 42 of plate 38a which is secured in place at one end of cylindrical casing 30a by screw cap 32a. At the other end of the casing is a compartment in which is a box 12S containing batteries and other parts of circuit C shown in FIG. 4. Rings Rl-RS are connected via individual conductors 52 to the relays RL1-RL8 in circuit C. These relays are contained in box along with the batteries 72 and switches 75 and 80. Operating button 28 of switch 75 extends slidably through a hole 126 in a metal plate 128 held in the other end of the casing by a transparent plastic cap 130 held by screws 131 screwed on this end of the casing. Operating arm 29 of switch 80 extends through hole 127 in plate 128. The arm 29 terminates in a knurled knob 132 which facilitates turning the arm 29. Switch arms 28 and 29 are reached through a hole 133 in the end of cap 130. Lamps Ll-LS are screwed into plate 128 which is electrically connected in circuit with the batteries in the box 125 as shown in FIG.

4. Central terminals 134 of the lamps are in contact with circuit terminals 135. These terminals are connected to contacts C7 of switch 80 in circuit C; see FIG. 4. Conductors 52 extend longitudinally of the casing to terminals 36a connected in circuit with the relays of circuit C. Rod 44 is in an electric circuit including plate 38a, end cap 32a, a metal ring 136 abutting flange 137 of cap 321i, and an electrical conductive strip 34 seated in a longitudinal recess 142 in the casing. Strip 34" extends radially inward of the casing at its end 142, to the lcircuit box. Strip 34 performs the function of wire 34 1n circuit C to connect rod 44 to terminal 70 of batteries 72. Lamp designations L1-L8 are inscribed on the end face of cap 130. The lamps are visible through the transparent end of the cap 130. n

Device a and the indicating means operate 1n the same manner as described for device 10. The player looks at the lighted lamps in the end of the device in bat 16a to see his score after swinging the bat. He operates switches 75 and 80 at the bat instead of at the separate indicating device shown in FIG. l. If replacement of batteries or servicing of the circuit is required, the cap 130 can be removed by removing screws 131 which hold the cap on the casing. This provides access to lamps L1-L8 which can be removed and replaced without removing plate 128. The plate 128 can be removed along with the circuit box 125 after cap 130 is removed to provide access to the interior of the circuit box. Bell 85 and buzzer 86 can be provided in circuit box 125 or can be omitted from the circuit if desired. Device 10a has the advantage of being entirely self-contained and requiring no remote indicating device. Also, the external cable 18 of device 10 is omitted.

FIGS. 10 and 11 show device 10a installed in a bore 12b in kickball 150. The device extends diametrally of the ball with its indicating end at cap 130 facing upwardly. The device extends diametrally of the ball which may be placed on the ground G for kicking in adirection angularly to the axis of the device for producing an impact measuring indication.

FIG. 12 shows device 10 with `its cable 18, attached to the shaft 152 of a croquet mallet 153. When the head 154 of the mallet strikes a croquet ball, an impact indication will be obtained at remotely located indicating device 25, shown in FIG. 1. Alternatively, device 10a can be mounted on shaft 152 if a self-contained impact indicating system is desired.

The devices 10 and 10a can be installed in other game and athletic devices. They can be mounted in or on the handles of tennis racquets, on football tackling dummies, on.d golf clubs, squash racquets, etc. They can even be mounted on an arm of a player of handball, basketball, jai alai, lacrosse, baseball, etc. They can be mounted on the leg of a football player, or a player of soccer or rugby.

W-hat has been provided herein is an appliance of rather general application for use in the sport field whereever an impact occurs whose magnitude it is desired to measure.

In FIGS. 13-17 is shown another impact indicating device 10b removably mounted on a generally cylindrical bat 16b. The device 10b has a resilient lightweight rubber or plastic body 200 which is rather cylindrical in form. It has a central axial bore or cavity 202 extending inwardly from one end to engage the outer end of the bat leaving bat handle 203 projecting out of body 200. On the other end of the body 200 is removably mounted a cap 204. This cap is made of rubber or other exible material. The cap has an internal circumferential bead 206 which engages removably under and around a bead 208 formed at the top of body 200. In the top of body 200 is'- a cavity 210 in which is secured a circuit box 212 containing circuit components including batteries of the circuit of the device. The circuit is shown in FIG. 1S and is explained in detail below.

Mounted on top of the circuit box are four lamp holders 216 carrying removable lamps 217-220. The lamps project into bores 224 formed in cap 204. Resilient, transparent plastic 'lenses 226 which may be colored diffe-rently from each other are set in the outer ends of the bores 224. A switch 22S used for resetting purposes is mounted on the circuit box. The switch has an operating shaft or button 230 extending upwardly through a bore 232 in the cap. The outer end of button 230 is exposed in a cavity 234 where the button can be reached manually for operation.

Extending downwardly from the circuit box are three terminal blocks 236 each carrying five spring contacts 233; see FIGS. 14, 16 and 17. Each set of spring contactsprojects into lateral opening 239 formed in the tubular insulated casing 240 of an inertia switch. There are three such Iswitches 241, 242 and 243 provided as shown in FIG. 16. Inside each of the inertia switches is an axially movable massive plunger 244 having an electrically conductive cylindrical metal section 246 and an insulated cylindrical section 248 joined to it. The metal section is located at the innermost part of the casing near closed end 249. Each Casing is disposed radially of the body 200 and the three casings are disposed apart. The casing is closed by a plug or disk 250 which may be secured to the outer end of the casing 240. The disk 250 has a threaded hole 252. An adjustment screw 254 is rotatably engaged in hole 252. The head 255 of the screw is located in a cavity 256 extending inwardly from the outside of body 200. The head 255 of each screw can be reached manually for turning the screw.

A coil spring 266 in each casing 240 bears against the plunger 244 in a direction axially of the casing. The outer end of the spring is secured to a movable disk 262 which bears against the rounded end of screw 254, It will be apparent that when the screw is turned to advance inwardly of the casing the tension in the spring 266 will increase and more force will be required to displace the plunger 244 in the radially outward direction of the device.

One contact 238g of the five contacts 23S contacts the electrically conductive section 246. The other four contacts 238b-238e contact the insulated section 248. When the plunger 244 is moved axially to its fullest extent radially outward of the body 200 to compress fully spring 260, then all five contacts 238 will contact section 246. With lesser force applied, less than yfive contacts will contact section 246.

The top or outer end of the cap 204 is inscribed with a diamond pattern 270 simulating a baseball diamond best shown in FIGS. 13 and 15. Corners of the diamond have indicia 272 representing first, second and third bases, and home plate. If desired screws 274 may be provided, removably anchored in the top of the circuit box 212 to supplement of the hold of the cap through beads 206, 208 on the body 200. The lamps 217-220 are located under the lenses 226 which may have any colors; red, yellow and blue for first, second and third bases, and green for home plate.

FIG. 18 shows circuit C employed in the device 10b. This circuit in many respects is similar to circuit C of FIG. 4. It will be noted that reset switch 228 is a normally closed pushbutton switch which is connected in series with batteries 300. Terminal 301 of the batteries is connected via switch 228 to each of the three spring contacts 238e which normally contact movable conductive section 246. Terminal 201 is also connected to one terminal of each of lamps 217-220 and to fixed Contact 302 in each of four relays 310, 311, 312 and 313.

Each relay has two movable poles or contacts 301', 303 and two fixed contacts 302 and 304. The relay contacts are normally open. Contact 304 of each relay is connected to the other terminal of each lamp respectively. The positive terminal 214 of the batteries is connected to one end 305' of the coil 305 of each relay and to movable relay contact 303. Relay contact 301 of each relay is connected to the other end 305 of the relay coil and to each of the three contacts 23811 which is most closely spaced from the section 246 of each inertia switch 241, 242, 243 when the section 246 is fully retracted into casing 240.

Each of the three contacts 238C is connected the end 305 of the coil of relay 311. Each of the three contacts 238e' is connected to the end 305 of the coil of relay 312. Each of the three contacts 238e is connected to the end 305" of the coil of relay 313.

In operation of the device 10b including Circuit C', all lamps are initially extinguished because the relays are all de-energized. Suppose now that the bat 16h carrying device 10b is used to strike a pitched ball. lf the force of impact is great enough, the plunger 244 of at least one inertia switch will move axially outward in casing 24) so that section 246 contacts each of spring contacts 238. Then all relays will become energized through the conductive section 246 bridging contacts 238. Contacts 301', 302 will close with contacts 303, 304 of each relay and all the lamps will light. As the springs 269 in the inertia switches restore the displaced plungers to normal retracted positions, the circuit between contacts 238s and the other contacts 238b-238e will open, but the energized relays will remain energized due to the closure of contacts 301', 302 in a holding circuit. Thus, those lamps which light will remain lighted to indicate the batters score which may range from a one base hit to a home run. If only one of the contacts 238b were reached by any conductive section 246, then only relay 310 will become energized to light lamp 217 and indicate the batter reached first base. In any case, all the lighted lamps can be extinguished by actuating the reset switch 228. Momentary opening of this switch deactivates any energized lrelays and alerts the circuits C for the next play.

The adjustment screws 254 can be screwed outwardly to set the device for scoring hits with lesser applied force than when the screws are tumed inwardly. Thus, the screws 254 will be turned outwardly for use by children and will be turned inwardly for adult batters.

While I have illustrated and described the preferred embodiments of my invention, it is to be understood that I do not limit myself to the precise constructions herein disclosed and that various changes and modifications may be made within the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

l. A device mountable on a bat for indicating the magnitude of an impact, comprising a cylindrical body having an axial cavity at one end for receiving an engaging said bat, a cap at the other end of said body, lamps disposed in a diamond shaped pattern in said cap and ,exposed to the exterior of the cap, a plurality of generally cylindrical inertia switches disposed in circumferentially spaced radial array in said body, movable conductive elements in said switches, springs in the switches urging the conductive elements radially inward of said body, a plurality of spaced contacts at each switch for contact by a movable conductive element when the element is moved against spring tension upon application of striking force to said body in a direction radially there of, and electric circuitry connecting said lamps and respective spaced contacts of the switches for lighting a number of lamps depending on the magnitude of applied force.

2. A device as recited in claim 1, wherein said circuitry comprises relays in circuit with the lamps, said relays having holding means to keep lighted those lamps which light upon application of said striking force manually reset switch means carried by said body and connected in circuit with the relays to de-energize any relays which remain energized after said striking force is applied, and manually settable adjustment means for adjusting the tension in the springs, so that different predetermined magnitudes of applied striking forces will be required to light the lamps depending on the setting of the adjustment means.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3/ 1965 Blake 73-379

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US3516669 *Oct 27, 1967Jun 23, 1970Gray FesterBaseball bat
US3580575 *Sep 27, 1967May 25, 1971Autotelic Ind LtdGame device including selectively impact operable lights
US3677553 *Sep 14, 1970Jul 18, 1972Eric Desmond MoorePractice golf club
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US3870314 *Apr 8, 1974Mar 11, 1975Bertucci DominickGolf practice machine
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U.S. Classification73/379.4, 473/280, 473/224, 273/454
International ClassificationA63F9/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63F2250/10, A63F2250/1021, A63F9/0252
European ClassificationA63F9/02G