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Publication numberUS3404889 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 8, 1968
Filing dateSep 25, 1964
Priority dateSep 25, 1964
Publication numberUS 3404889 A, US 3404889A, US-A-3404889, US3404889 A, US3404889A
InventorsIii Charles Warner
Original AssigneeCharles Warner
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrical game apparatus having multiple circuit paths to be selectively completed and interrupted by opposing players
US 3404889 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 8, 1968 WARNER 404,889

ELECTRICAL GAME APPARA HAVING MUL LE RCUIT PATHS TO BE INTERRUPTED B PPOSING PLAYERS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 SELECTIVE-LY COMPLETED AND Filed Sept. 25, 1964 FIG- 1 INVENTOR. '00 X CHARLES WARNER 111 Attorney 1968 c. WARNER III 3, ,8

ELECTRICAL GAME APPARATUS HAVING MULTIPLE CIRCUIT PATHS TO BE SELECTIVELY COMPLETED AND INTERRUPTED BY OPPOSING PLAYERS Filed Sept. 25, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 I09 I33 37 0 I04 d in I38 fiQ/i los I35 H6 L CH4 E? I F l 6.5 |3

INVENTOR. CHARLES WARNER III orney United States PatentO r 3,404,889 j ELECRICAL GAME APPARATUS HAVING MUL- TIPLE CIRCUIT PATHS'TO BE SELECTIVELY COMPLETED AND INTERRUPTED BY OPPOS- ING PLAYERS Charles Warner HI, 4780' San Feliciano,

Woodland Hills, Calif. 91364 Filed Sept. 25, 1964, Ser. No. 399,184 6 Claims. (Cl; 273130)' ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Electrical game'apparatus having two playing areas concealed from one another. Corresponding grid networks are associated with each of the playing areas, each network having a multiplicity of circuit junctions, each junction being provided with a switch. These are selectively operated by either player for Opening or closing the circuit paths through one of his junctions. This switching operation at the same time performs the same function at the corresponding junction on the opponents playing area, the opponent however not knowing which switch was thrown; The circuit connections ,are such that if corresponding switches are in the same position, the corresponding junctions are open, whereas if the switches are differently positioned, the junctions are closed. Test means are provided to each player for testing circuit paths for continuity.

This invention relates to amusement devices and more particularly an electrical game device wherein two opposing players attempt to complete respective paths between respective end points, the winning player being the one who first completes his path. 1

In a preferred embodiment, the game is characterized by two playing boards, each of which is obscured from the opponents view. The players face each other and play on respective ones of the two boards. The players take alternate moves in which they attempt to complete a path from one side of their-board to the other. One player makes his moves in a generally vertical direction while the other player makes his moves in a generally horizontal direction. Electrical interconnecting means are provided between the two boards whereby each player may deduce or discover his opponents moves or strategy.

The game provides excitement through its uncertainty and suspense yet a definite skill may be acquired through playing of the game. The novelty in the invention resides in arrangement of the elements forming the structure of the game apparatus and in the operation thereof. One skill employed in the game involves advantageous use of knowledge gained about the opponents position by means of electrical probes. Complementing skills of the game is frustration arising out of inherent uncertainties of the game and resulting miscalculations.

Each board is provided with a plurality of two-position switches physically arranged at the junctions of a network pattern of paths extending across the board. These paths are also provided with receptacles adapted to receive test probes. Each player is provided with a pair of test probes which may be inserted into the path receptacles to determine the status of the associated circuit path. The switches are used to complete electrical circuit paths across the board. Initially, all of the switches are in a given position. Each player, in turn, reverses a selected switch in order to extend an electrical circuit path through the respective junction or to breakhis opponents circuit path. The condition of the opponents circuit paths may be ascertained by means of the test probes and an associated test light. The first player to complete a circuit path across the board wins. Detailed playing rules and a description of the apparatus of the game is provided hereinafter. v

The principal object of the invention is toprovide a novel game apparatus which blends the elements of skill and luck in an entertaining manner.

Another object of the invention is to provide a novel electrical game embracing the elements of uncertainty and observation as factors in winning the game. I 7.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a novel game and playing apparatus therefor which employs electrical circuit paths established by the successive moves of the two opposing players.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a novel game employing aplaying board concealed from ones opponent and adapted to the reception of various opsta'cle combinations to be overcome in the process of p ay. Yet another object of the invention is to provide a novel game and apparatus therefor embodying'electrical means indicating the progress of play in the game.

It is yet another object of the invention to provide a novel and improved game incorporating a combination of apparatus for incorporating the various aforementioned features of the game into a compact, utilitarian, intriguing, and saleable structure.

The features of this invention which are believed to be novel are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The present invention itself, both as to its organiza: tion and manner of operation, together with further ob jects and advantages thereof may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters refer to similar parts and in which:

FIGURE 1 is a plan view of a preferred embodiment of the game apparatus of the invention employing two horizontally disposed playing boards.

FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of the apparatus of FIGURE 1. g v v FIGURE 3 is a schematic wiring diagram of a first type of board switching circuit. 7

FIGURE 4 is a schematic wiring diagram of a second type of board switching circuit.

circuit.

Looking now at FIGURE 1 there is shown a preferred construction of the invention comprising first and second playing boards 100 and 101, respectively, supported on a common base member 102 and separated by an upwardly extending wall member 103. This arrangement permits opposing players to be seated in front of their respective playing boards so as to face each other in full view, yet the opponents playing board is obscured from view by wall member 103. Boards 100 and 101 each contain a grid of crossed conductor paths represented on the sur face of the board by means of painted stripes 141, 142 or other suitable marking means. These path markings correspond to conductors between various points on the board (e.g., 56 or 18n). Corresponding points on each of the two boards are permanently interconnected. The first player, designated as I, attempts to complete a horizontal path across his playing board 100. For example, such a path may be completed through the following points: r252627-22-17-18n. Player II attempts to complete a vertical path. For example, such a path may extend through the following points: c 510-15- 2025 31v.

Thus, the objective of player I is to establish a circuit path from any one of the terminals g, n, or u on the right- 100 to the other, the opponent, player II, will attempt to establish a path between any one of the terminals a, b, or c at the top of board 101, to any one of the terminals v, w, or x at the bottom of the board. The establishment of a circuit path from one boundary of either playing board (100 or 101) to the other is effected by an appropriate setting of the switches located at the various path junctions. It should be understood that the assignment of horizontal paths to one player and vertical paths to the other is a matter of choice and may be alternated between games, it not being necessary that vertical paths be played from a particular playing board since the construction of the game is entirely symmetrical.

Looking at board 100, the switches in the uppermost horizontal row are identified from left-to-right as A, B and C, respectively. The next lower row contains four switches identified as D, E, F and G, respectively. The succeeding rows of switches are labeled with the letters H through X. The switches on board 101 are similarly identified but are arranged in a mirror-image sequence (e.g., the uppermost horizontal row switches is identified as C, B, A, from left-to-right. There are 24 switches on each board, arranged in alternating horizontal rows of three switches and four switches. Each switch controls the electrical circuit path through its respective path junction. As was noted hereinabove, the available paths are marked on the surface of the board (e.g., 141, 142).

Initially, all of the switches are set in their up position so that all junctions are electrically isolated. Changing the initial setting of any one of these switches to the "down position will complete an electrical circuit along all paths passing through the junction at which the switch is located. For example, in FIGURE 1, switch C at the top of board 101 is in the down position, and the paths c 5, c-6, -6 are completed on both boards 100 and 101. If now, switch C on board 100 is also set at the down position, the electrical paths c-5, c-6, and 5-6 will be opened. Thus, the interconnecting electrical circuits are such that if corresponding switches on the two boards are both up or both down, the respective paths are opened. If two corresponding switches are in opposite positions, (i.e., one up and one down), the respective paths are completed.

Placed on each path is a test receptacle. For example, the path between switches A and D includes test receptacle 1, and the path between switches A and E includes board, and they are identified with the numbers 1 test receptacle 2. There are 36 test receptacles on each 'through 36.

There are also 12 terminals on each board each of which is located at the end of a corresponding circuit path. These twelve terminals are labeled a-d, g, k, n, r and u-x. A winning vertical play is made by completing a path from either a, b, or c to either v, w, or x; a winning horizontal play is made by completing a path from either d, k, or r to either g, n, or a. In order to determine whether a closed electrical path exists between two receptacles (including end terminals as receptacles) player I inserts test probes 104 and 105 into the two receptacles. Player I then depresses test button 109 and test lamp 108 lights if a closed electrical path exists and does not light if there is no such electrical path. For example, in FIGURE 1, with test probes 104 and 105 inserted in terminal c and receptacle 5, respectively, test lamp 108 will light since switch 0 on board 101 completes the path.

Each test probe comprises an insulated handle supporting a conductor tip and a connecting flexible lead wire. Probes 104 and 105 are connected to leads 106 and 107, respectively. Similarly, test probes 111 and 112 are connected to flexible leads 113-and 114, respectively. Whenever probe 104 completes an electrical circuit to probe 105, upon depressing test button 109 test light 108 will be lighted. Similarly, connecting probe 111 to probe 112 and depressing test button 115 will result in test light 116 being lighted. It should be noted that test button 109 does not appear in FIGURE 1 but may be seen in FIGURE 2. Details of the test circuit will be given hereinafter in connection with the description of FIGURE 5. However, one additional feature of the test circuit should be understood at this time. Each time that either test button (109 or is depressed, it will cause a buzzer to sound, thus informing the opposing player that a test is being made. The reason for this will become apparent from the description of a typical game which follows.

As an example of the operation of the game, an exemplary game will now be described. Initially all switches are in their up positions. The players alternate in taking turns. Each turn consists of three steps. The first step consists of using the test probes to make one testing move, the object of which is to gain information about the opponents position.

The second step consists of one switching move, the object of which is to complete a path through any selected junction or to open a previously completed path through a selected junction.

The third step consists of a test for win move, the object of which is to determine if a circuit path has been completed across the board.

The testing move and the test for win move are each made by connecting the test probes (104 and 105, or 111 and 112) between the points to be tested and thereafter depressing the test button (109 or 115). The switching move is made by selecting one only of the switches and reversing its position. The play proceeds as outlined below: with player II taking the first turn.

Player II (vertical) Player I (horizontal) Test Switch" Win Test Switch Win Turn E The test and win" steps of each turn are optional; the switching" part is mandatory.

16-17 Q The test is unsuccessful since switch M has not been placed in the down position. Turn2. 23-29 B Player 11 finds that switch Q has been switched by player 1. He is allowed to note his lucky discovery, e.g., with a suitable marker placed on his switch Q or by means of a notation on paper. Player I cannot see Player IIs light.

21-22 M It is not necessary to operate the switch that is tested.

Turn 3... 16-17 X It is not necessary to operate adjacent switches.

1 34 B Player I negates player IIs switch B move, i.c., both switches B in the down" position is equivalent to both switches in the ori ina u osition. Turn 4. 18-24 T b-x g p p Player II tries for a win from b to xunsuccessfully.

2-3 I d-u A better move would have been to reverse switch D which player II cannot use. That is, player 11 now does not have to reverse switch I in forming his path from b to x, but of course he does not know that player I has thrown I. Turn 5. 1 x-lG I b-x Player II makes a long test" move throughfour switches, successfully. The test for win is unsuccessful since cur rent will not flow through either the I or B junction.

Player II (vertical) Player I (horizontal) Test switch wi Te t Switch Wi 24-2 H d-Il Player I now knows that the path from 2-24 is open, Turn 6... 16-10 I bx Player II finds that switch I has been reversed by his opponent as well as himself from the testing move. He reverses switch I for the second time so that current can now flow through I. Nevertheless, the b-x win" tesftuis still unsuccess 1 13 K 1H1 Player I gambles that player II has thrown switch U. Turn 7 2 b-3 B b-x And player II wins.

I Light. 2 N light.

The circuit construction of the apparatus will now be described. With reference to FIGURE 3 there is shown a switch arrangement of the type used to interconnect a four-way junction. Switches 117 and 118 each comprise a triple-pole double-throw switch. Switch 117 corresponds to switch E of board 100 and switch 118 corresponds to switch E of board 101. It should be noted that similarly labeled test receptacles on the two boards (100 and 101) are connected directly to each other. Switch arms 119 and 120 connect directly to test receptacle 2 on each board. Switch arm 121 connects to test receptacle 8 on both boards. The fixed contacts of switches 117 and 118 are interconnected as shown in FIGURE 3. These switches are shown in FIGURE 3 in their up position; thus, test receptacles 2, 3, -8 and 9 are not connected to each other. Setting either switch to its down position interconnects test receptacles 2, 3, 8 and 9. However, if both switches 117 and 118 are in their down position, test receptacles 2, 3, '8 and 9 are not connected to each other through junction E. It will be appreciated that the test receptacles may be interconnected via rather indirect paths, e.g., test receptacles 21 and 22 will be interconnected 1f switches L, I, and M are in their down positions.

Switches E, F, H-I, L, M, O-Q, S and T are of the type shown in FIGURE 3 and are similarly wired.

There is shown in FIGURE 4 a switch arrangement of the type used to interconnect three-Way junctions. Switch 122 corresponds to switch D on board 100 and switch 123 corresponds to switch D on board 101. Each of these switches comprises a double-pole double-throw switch. Switch arms 124 and 125 connect to terminal d on both boards; switch arm 126 connects to test receptacle 1 on both boards; switch arm '127 connects to test receptacle 7 on both boards. The fixed contacts on switches 122 and and 123 are interconnected as shown in FIGURE 4. These switches are shown in their up position; thus, there are no interconnections between terminal d and test receptacles 1 and 7.

Switches A-D, G, K, N, R, and U-X are of the type shown in FIGURE 4 and are similarly wired.

Referring now to FIGURE there is shown a schematic wiring diagram of the test circuit. The test circuit comprises a transformer 128, the primary winding 129 of which is connected to the nearest convenience outlet by any suitable means such as plug 130. The secondary winding 131 of transformer 128 provides a low voltage which may, for example, be of the order of six volts for operating the test lights and test buzzer as will appear hereinafter. Terminal 132 of the transformer secondary 131 is supplied in common to the switch arms 133-136 of players test buttons 109 and 115, respectively. Each test button comprises a double-pole single-throw spring-return switch. Fixed contact '137 of test button 109 is connected to test light 108 which in turn is connected to test probe 104 via lead 106. Fixed contact 138 of test button 109 is connected to buzzer 139 which is returned to the opposite terminal 140 of the transformer secondary 131. As can be seen, the circuit completed through contact 138 of test button 109 will cause the buzzer 139 to be sounded. The purpose of buzzer 139 is to inform the opposing player that a test or test to win move is being made, thus precluding clandestinely made test moves. In order to complete the circuit to lamp 108, a path must be completed through test probe 104 to test probe 105. The circuit to test lamp 116 via test button 115, lead 113, and test probe 111 is essentially the same as that described above for the test circuit of probe 104.

While an electrical game as described above, embodying a pair of generally horizontally disposed game boards with an upwardly extending wall therebetween, may be conveniently played by opponents in any position as long as the board of each player is concealed from the other, the construction of the invention may be modified. The embodiment of the invention shown is an attractive and rugged structural unit which effectively conceals each players game board from the view of the opponent.

While the invention has been described as embodied in a specific form and as operating in a specific manner for purposes of illustration, it should be understood that the invention is not limited thereto, since various modifications will suggest themselves to those skilled in the art, without departing from the spirit of the invention, the scope of which is set forth in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. Electrical game apparatus comprising:

a pair of playing boards each of which comprises a grid network of conductors including a plurality of circuit junctions which may be selectively opened or closed;

a plurality of test receptacles each of which is connected to said network at a point interposed between a pair of said junctions;

a plurality of multipole switches for selectively interconnecting said receptacles by closing corresponding ones of said junctions;

a pair of circuit continuity test means each of which is adapted to be connected to a selected pair of said test receptacles on a corresponding one of said playing boards in order to determine whether all junctions between said receptacles have been closed by said switches; and

circuit means connecting each test receptacle on one of said playing boards with a corresponding test receptacle on the other of said playing boards.

2. An electrical game board for use in game apparatus,

comprising:

first and second sets of terminals;

a grid network of separate electrical conductors connecting said terminal sets and defining a plurality of circuit junctions each containing the ends of a number of said electrical conductors and adapted to be opened and closed to selectively electrically isolate and connect the conductor ends at the respective junction in such manner as to permit selective completion of a number of different electrical circuit paths between the terminals of said terminal sets;

a plurality of circuit path test receptacles each of which is connected to one of said electrical conductors be tween the junction ends thereof;

a plurality of switches for selectively opening and closing said junctions, respectively, and thereby selectively electrically isolating and connecting said test receptacles;

connecting means connected to said switches and adapted to receive a number of additional conductors sufiicient to provide connections to a second game board such that the opening or closing of one of said circuit junctions on one game board is accompanied by an opening or closing of a corresponding circuit junction on the other game board; and

test means adapted to be connected between a selected pair of said path test receptacles to indicate the open or closed condition of the junctions therebetween. 3. An electrical game board as defined in claim 2 wherein:

said test means comprises a pair of test probes adapted to be connected to a selected pair of said path test receptacles, and indicator means connected between said probes for indicating a completed circuit path across said probes.

4. Electrical game apparatus comprising:

first and second playing boards;

first and second sets of terminals associated with each board;

first and second grid networks of separate conductors associated with said boards, respectively, and each of said grid networks connecting the two sets of terminals on its associated board;

a plurality of circuit junctions in each network each containing the ends of a number of conductors of the respective network and adapted to be opened and closed to selectively electrically isolate and connect the conductor ends at the respective junction in such manner as to permit selective completion of a number of different electrical paths between the terminals of the corresponding terminal sets;

the circuit junctions of said networks being arranged in pairs of corresponding junctions, whereby each junction of each network has a corresponding junction in the other network;

switch means associated with said circuit junctions, respectively, for opening and closing said circuit junctions in such manner that each switch means is selectively operable to open and close the associated junction of its respective network and the corresponding junction of the other network;

first and second sets of test receptacles, each set of receptacles being connected to a corresponding one of said networks at points interposed between said circuit junctions thereof; and

first and second continuity test means each of which is associated with a corresponding one of said playing boards, and each of which is adapted to be connected to a selected pair of test receptacles in order to determine whether or not all of said junctions between said selected pair of test receptacles have been closed by said switch means.

5. Electrical game apparatus according to claim 4 wherein:

wherein each of said continuity test means comprises:

a pair of test probes including flexible leads;

a source of operating potential connected to one of said leads; and

an indicating lamp connected to the other of said leads and to said source of operating potential, whereby said lamp will be energized upon completing a circuit connection between said pair of probes.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,244,015 6/1941 MacKinnon 273-134 2,442,014 5/ 1948 Myers.

2,512,820 6/1950 Bader 273 2,760,619 8/1956 Peak 273-135 X FOREIGN PATENTS 1,195,760 5/ 1959 France. 1,286,779 1/ 1962 France.

430,533 6/ 1926 Germany.

DELBERT B. LOWE, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
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US2244015 *Aug 3, 1940Jun 3, 1941Mackinnon Robert RGame
US2442014 *Jan 6, 1947May 25, 1948David T MyersElectrical game board
US2512820 *Sep 25, 1946Jun 27, 1950David J JonesElectrical game board for salvo games
US2760619 *Dec 22, 1949Aug 28, 1956John L PeakAmusement device
DE430533C *May 19, 1925Jun 18, 1926Hans GuentherElektro-Gesellschaftsspiel
FR1195760A * Title not available
FR1286779A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3563552 *Nov 26, 1968Feb 16, 1971David KorffLogic game
US3690665 *Feb 8, 1971Sep 12, 1972Becker NormanBoard game apparatus
US3779553 *Mar 2, 1972Dec 18, 1973M SecterCompetitive game apparatus including groups of electric switches
US3851875 *Jan 6, 1972Dec 3, 1974Marvin Glass & AssociatesElectrical game apparatus using a human body as part of the circuit
US3887189 *Jun 8, 1973Jun 3, 1975Dawes MiltonWord board game
US4032931 *Dec 22, 1975Jun 28, 1977Haker Floyd HMoney transfer device keyboard terminal
US4182514 *May 31, 1977Jan 8, 1980Donni MagidPre-programmable obstacle positioning electronic game
US4185832 *Aug 2, 1978Jan 29, 1980Traficante Michael GPosition matching board game apparatus
US4280704 *Dec 26, 1979Jul 28, 1981Massimei Gerald GMethod for playing a military warfare board game
US5297800 *May 18, 1993Mar 29, 1994Delaney Gordon JUltra-enigma code game
US5314192 *Jul 23, 1993May 24, 1994Broudy Ronald ASoft and flexible toy and game system
US6997802 *Sep 25, 2002Feb 14, 2006Atronic International GmbhGaming device with randomly determined game field
US20030064766 *Sep 25, 2002Apr 3, 2003Atronic International GmbhGaming device with randomly determined game field
EP0109778A1 *Oct 25, 1983May 30, 1984Iain SinclairPuzzle/game
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/237, 273/265, 273/238, 273/275
International ClassificationA63F3/00, A63F3/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63F3/00643
European ClassificationA63F3/00E