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Publication numberUS3432166 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 11, 1969
Filing dateFeb 1, 1965
Priority dateFeb 1, 1965
Also published asDE1478443A1, DE1953939U
Publication numberUS 3432166 A, US 3432166A, US-A-3432166, US3432166 A, US3432166A
InventorsGoldfarb Adolph E
Original AssigneeGoldfarb Adolph E
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Control means for toy electric racing cars
US 3432166 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sheet 1 of 4 A. E. GOLDFARB CONTROL MEANS FOR TOY ELECTRIC RACING CARS March 11, 1969 Filed Feb. 1, 1965 March 11, 1969 A. E. GOLDFARB 3,432,156

CONTROL MEANS FOR TOY ELECTRIC RACING CARS Filed Feb. 1, 1965 Sheet z INVENTOR. flax/w t, 6410x125 BY fi WM V r wilt ifs March 11, 1969 A. E. GOLDFARB 3,432,166

CONTROL MEANS FOR TOY ELECTRIC RACING CARS Filed Feb. 1, 1965 Sheet 3 of 4' INVENTOR. fl w/ 1 5 ga /2m;

March 11, 1969 A. E. GOLDFARB CONTROL MEANS FOR TOY ELECTRIC RACING CARS Sheet INVENTOR. Mam/av 2 awea BY @af v A/i/S Filed Feb. 1, 1965 United States Patent 3,432,166 CONTROL MEANS FOR TOY ELECTRIC RACING CARS Adolph E. Goldfarb, 7424 Varna St., North Hollywood, Calif. 91605 Filed Feb. 1, 1965, Ser. No. 429,301 U.S. Cl. 273-86 Int. Cl. A63f 9/14 19 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The system further includes which the cars can be placed. The controls include potentiometer-type speed controls for the cars. Further, mechanism is provided which is actuatable either by the speed controls or the steering wheels which after a variable number of actuations of either one of .these, or both, will bring about a substantial reduction in speed in an individual car indicating that it needs attention in the pit stop. This is a mechanically actuated device actuated in response to the accumulation of incremental movements of the speed control or steering wheel. This device may be automatically reset when the miniature car is placed in the pit stop.

The present invention relates to control means for toy or model electric racing cars and more particularly to simulated pit stop means for such cars.

A hobby which has gained popularity in recent years comprises racing model electric cars on a closed track which may be put together in sections in a manner similar to that used in model railroad building. The track may include two or three electrical conductors which supply electric current to the cars. Each car includes protuberance means which engages a slot in the track to maintain the car on its course. The speed of each car is controlled by a rheostat or potentiometer which is held in the hand of the operator of the car. The rheostat or potentiometer may be employed to slow the cars down on curves so that they will not jump the .track. In a three-'buss-bar system, two cars can be separately controlled by supplyin-g current to one through one outside conductor plus a center conductor and to the other through the other outside conductor and the center conductor.

While this method of racing toy cars is generally satisfactory, it does have certain disadvantages. One disadvantage resides in the fact that the racing of toy electric cars lacks the authenticity of a real race because the only control the operator has over the car is to either slow it down or speed it up with the rheostat. Another disadvantage resides in the fact that there is no particular feeling that the operator is operating the car because he does not steer it.

Yet another disadvantage resides in the fact that the simulation of a real auto race is minimized because the cars do not have to make pit stops for refueling and the like.

In view of the foregoing factors and conditions characteristic of toy rocing cars and mean-s for controlling same, it is the primary object of the present invention to provide a new and useful control means for toy electric racing cars not subject to the disadvantages enumerated a simulated pit stop in above and which includes pit stop means for simulating conditions experienced by real auto racers.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a new and useful control means for electric racing cars which employs means for automatically slowing the cars down to a crawl simulating a need for servicing after the elapse of an unpredictable amount of time, thereby requiring the cars to make a pit stop.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a new and useful pit stop for toy electric racing cars.

The present invention will be described for purposes of illustration, but not of limitation, as being used in conjunction with a three-conductor track.

According to the present invention, the outside conductors of a three-conductor track for toy .racing cars include insulated sections at each curve in the track. Each outside conductor on straightaway sections of the track is connected to a first or center electrical contact, each outside conductor on left-hand curves is connected to a second or left-hand electrical contact and each outside conductor on right-hand curves is connected to a third or righthand electrical contact. The center conductor is connected to a switch blade which, in turn, is engageable with any one of the contacts to complete a circuit through a rheostat or potentiometer. The switch blade is connected to a steering control means in such a manner that it is positionable on any one of the three contacts. Current can only be supplied to the straightaway sections of the track by positioning the steering wheel so that the blade engages the center contact. Current can only be supplied to the right-hand curves by positioning the steering wheel so that the blade engages the righthand contact and can only be supplied to the left-hand curves by positioning the steering wheel so that the blade engages the left-hand contact. Thus, the steering wheel must be positioned straight ahead while the car is on the straight-away, must be turned to the right to make the car negotiate a righthand turn and must be turned to the left to make the car negotiate :a left-hand turn, all as more particularly described and claimed in copending application Ser. No. 429,300, filed Feb. 1, 1965 by the applicant herein, now Patent No. 3,384,030.

The steering Wheel and the potentiometer are mounted in a control unit which may be held by the operator of each toy racing car. The operator of each car can control the speed of his car by operating the potentiometer with one hand while simultaneously operating the steering wheel with his other hand to assure a flow of current to the outside conductors on all sections of the track.

Either the potentiometer slide or the steering wheel or both may be caused to actuate a timing-gear means of the present invention each time they are manipulated by the operator. The timing-gear means is connected to the potentiometer in such a manner that the timing-gear means causes the full resistance of the potentiometer to be placed in series with the electrical power supply to the toy racing car so that it will slow down to a crawl after a predetermined number of manipulations of the potentiometer slide or the steering Wheel or both.

A pit stop is provided to which the crawling car may be required to progress under its own power. Once adjacent the pit stop area, the car may be lifted from the track and placed in the pit stop area. A protuberance, which normally engages the track to maintain the car in position thereon, engages a lever means provided in the pit stop to elevate a free end of the lever. The elevated end may then be caused to engage a reset mechanism provided in the control unit to reset the potentiometer slide means in such a manner that the potentiometer is again effective to control the speed of the car.

The present invention, both as to its organization and manner of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may be best understood by reference to the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which like reference characters, refer to like elements in the several views.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a diagrammatic view of a race course showing a pair of tracks and the electrical system supplying power thereto which may be used in conjunction with the pit stop and control means of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 "is an exploded perspective view showing a pit stop and control means of the present invention;

FIGURE 3 is a cross-sectional view, on an enlarged scale, taken along line 3-3 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 4 is an enlarged, longitudinal cross-sectional view of the control means shown in FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 5 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 55 of FIGURE 4;

FIGURE 6 is a view similar to FIGURE 5 showing the internal mechanism of the control means in another operative position;

FIGURE 7 is an exploded, partial perspective view of the control unit of FlIGURE 1; and

FIGURE 8 is 'an enlarged, partial cross-sectional view taken along line 88 of FIGURE 6.

Referring again to the drawings and particularly to FIGURE 1, a race course for toy electric racing cars, generally designated 10, includes a pair of tracks 12 and 14. The tracks 12 and 14 each include a straight-away section 16, a left-hand curved section 18 and a right-hand curved section 20. The sections 16, 18 and 20 are preferably joined together in a continuous, closed loop. The tracks 12 and 14 are each provided with first and second, outside electrical conductors 22 and 24 and center conductors 36 and 38, respectively. The conductors 36 and 38 are recessed into the surface 28 of the race course 10 to provide grooves 40 which are engageable by a protuberance means 41 provided on a toy racing car 42 (FIGURE 3) to maintain the car on the course 10.

The sections '18 and 20 of the track 12 and 14 may be connected to the straight-away section 16 by any suitable means, such as by conventional connecting male and female prongs, not shown, or by insulated pins 48 which connect the outside conductors together and electrical-conducting pins 50 which connect the center conductors together. Thus, as more particularly described in said copending application, the electrical fault exists between the portions of the conductors 22 and .24 mounted on the straightaway section 16 and those mounted on the curved sections 18 and 20 while, simultaneously, the center conductors 36 and 38 maintain electrical continuity throughout the sections 16, 18 and 20. The condctors 22 and 24 may be recessed from the connecting edges of one of the sections 16, 18 and 20, as shown at 226 and 246 in FIGURE 3 for the edge 18a of section 18, so that the connecting ends of the conductors 22 and 24 on one section will not contact the associated connecting ends of the conductors of the other section when they are connected together. Of course, it is apparent that when the tracks 16 and 18 are connected together in conventional manner, flat insulating strips may be placed between the male and female prongs of the conductors 22 and 24.

Electrical power may be supplied to the tracks 12 and 14- from any suitable power source, such as a dry-cell battery 52, which has a negative post 54 and a positive post '56. The negative post 54 is connected to the center electrical conductors 36 and 38 by a lead 5 8. The positive post 56 is connected by a lead 60 to the coil or resistor 68 of a first potentiometer or rheostat 62 and by a lead 64 to the resistor 118 of a second potentiometer or rheostat 66. The coil or resistor 68 of potentiometer 62 is connected to an electrical contact 218 which is engageable by a leaf spring 216, in a manner to be hereinafter described, to complete a circuit- !9 a lead 70 through a contact 70a for connecting the full resistance of the resistor 68 to the pole or blade 72 of a 3-position switch 74. The spring 216 is also engageable with a contact 222 which is connected to the Wiper 61 of potentiometer 62. When so engaged, the spring completes a circuit to the lead 70 for connecting selected amounts of resistance of the resistor 68 to switch 74. The switch 74 includes a right-hand contact 76 which is connected by a lead 78 to the outside electrical conductors 24 on the right-hand curved portion 20 of the tracks 12 and 14. The switch 74 also includes a middle contact 80 which is connected by a lead 82 to the outside conductors 24 on the straightaway section 16 of the tracks 12 and 14. In addition, the switch 74 includes a left-hand contact 84 which is connected by a lead 86 to the outside conductors 24 on the left-hand curved portion 18 of the tracks 12 and 14. Thus, the switch 74 may be used to complete a circuit to the outside conductors 24 on the straight-away section 16, the left-hand curved section 18 or the right-hand curved section 20 of the tracks 12 and 14, depending on which of the contacts 80, 84 or 76 the blade 72 engages. The blade 72 is attached to a steering wheel 88 through a steering shaft 89 which may be rotated to a mid-position so that the blade 72 engages contact 80 to complete a circuit to the straight-away section 16 of the tracks 12 and 14. In addition, the steering wheel 88 may be turned to the right, as viewed in FIGURE 1, until the blade 72 engages the contact 76 to complete a circuit to the right-hand curve 20 of the tracks 12 and 14. Also, the steering wheel 88 may be turned to the left until the blade 72 engages the contact 84 whereupon a circuit is completed to the left-hand curve 18 of the tracks 12 and 14.

The conductors 36 and 24 on track 12 and the conductors 38 and 24 on track 14, when energized, supply electrical power to an electric racing car 42 through a first electrical collector 92 affixed to the cars front axle-carrying yoke 96 adjacent its right front rwheen 98 and through a second electrical collector 100 which is aifixed to the car 42 at the approximate center of the yoke 96. The collector 92 will engage the conductor 24 and the collector 100 will engage the conductor 38 when the car 42 is travelling on track 14 in the direction of arrow 176. Alternatively, the collector 92 will engage conductor 24 and the collector 100 will engage the conductor 36 when car 42 is run on track 12, as more fully described in said copending application. Thus, the car 42 can be run on the track 12 or the track 14 at the will of the operator who controls the operation of the car with the switch 74 and the rheostat 62. A second car (not shown) can also be run on the tracks 12 and 14 without interference by the operator of the car 42. This is accomplished by running the second car with power supplied through conductors 2:2 and 36 on track 12 and the conductors 22 and 38 on track 14. Although the conductors 36 and 38 are common to both cars, the conductors 22 are controlled independently of the conductors 24 through the rheostat 66 and a second three-position switch 104 having contacts 106, 108 and 110. These contacts are connected through electrical leads 112, 114 and 116 to the conductors 22 on the right-hand curve 20, the straight-away section 16 and the left-hand curved section 18, respectively. The coil or resistor 118 of the potentiometer or rhcost at 66 is connected to a contact 21 8a which is engageable by a leaf spring 216a to complete a circuit to a blade 122 on switch 104 through lead 120. The spring 216a is also engageable with a contact 222a which is connected to the wiper 65 of rheostat 66. This also completes a circuit to blade 122 through lead 120.

The cars may be switched from track 14 to the track- 12 by a switch 172 having leads 22a, 38a and 42a connecting the conductors 22, 38 and 24 on track 14 to the conductors 22, 36 and 24, respectively, on the track 12.

The rheostats 62 and 66 and the steering wheels 88 and 124 together with the switches 74 and 104 may be mounted in a suitable control device, such as the control unit 126 shown in FIGURES 2-8 for the rheostat 62 and the switch 74.

The control unit 126 includes a housing 128 having a top wall 130, a side wall 132 and a bottom wall 134. The steering shaft 89 is rotatably mounted in the bottom wall 134 and the blade 72 is aflixed to the shaft 89 and extends over the contacts 76, 80 and 84 which are mounted in a cavity 134a provided in the bottom wall 134 (FIGURE The coil 68 of the potentiometer 62 is mounted in the housing 128 and may be connected to the blade 72 by the lead 70 through spring 216 as shown diagrammatically in FIGURE 1. The Wiper 61 of potentiometer 62 is afiixed to a post 138 which extends upwardly in the housing 128 through an elongated slot 140 provided in the top wall 130. A finger engaging sadle 142 is afiixed to the upper end of the post 138 and carries a suitable pointer 144 which may be aligned with indicia 146 provided on the top wall 130 to indicate to the operator of the control device 126 the relative position of the wiper 61 on the coil 68 and thereby give an indication of the speed of the car 42 when spring 216 is engaging contact 222.

The collectors 92 and 100 on the car 42 supply power to an electric motor, not shown, through leads 164 and 166, respectively. The yoke 96 is pivotally connected to the car 42 by a suitable pivot pin (not shown). The car 42 may be controlled on track 12 or track 14 with the control unit 126 by manipulating the wiper 61 and the steering wheel 88. As will be apparent to those skilled in the art, maximum speed can be attained by sliding the wiper 61 to a position where a minimum amount of resistance is included in the circuit from the battery 52 to the conductors 24. As the car 42 approaches a left-hand turn 18, assuming that the car is travelling in the direction of arrow 176 shown in FIGURE 1, the operator of the car 42 must turn the steering wheel 88 to the left causing th blade 72 to engage the contact 84 to complete a circuit to the lefthand curve 18 in order to energize the conductor 24 on the down streamside of the fault produced by pin 48. The operator of the car 42 can simultaneously control its speed by manipulating the slider 61 on the control unit 126 so that the car 42 will take the curve 18 at an optimum speed.

Racing the car 42 may be given authenticity by simulating conditions of a real race. This is accomplished in part by providing a steering control means in the manner more fully described and claimed in said copending application and by providing a simulated pit stop means of the present invention.

The simulated pit stop, indicated generally at 150 may be located adjacent the tracks 12 and 14, as indicated diagrammatically in FIGURE 1. The pit stop 150' includes a housing assembly 152 having a bottom wall 154, end walls 156, a front wall 158, a rear wall 160, and a top wall 162. Thet top wall 162 is provided with four suitable spaced elongated slots or openings 164 adapted to receive the wheels 98 of the car 42, as shown in FIGURES 2 and 3, when the car is tobe serviced. The top wall 162 also includes an elongated slot 166 adapted to receive the protuberance 41 provided on the yoke 96 of the car 42. A lever 168 is pivotally mounted in the housing 152 on a pin 170 and includes a first end 171 having an upstanding projection 173 which is positioned subja-cent the elongated slot 166 in such a position that the upstanding projection 173 is engaged by the protuberance 41 on the car 42 when it is in position on the top wall 162. The lever 168 also includes an end 174 having a flat extension 175 which is elevated to the position shown in solid lines in FIGURE 3 when the protuberance 41 engages the end 171 of the lever 168.

The top wall 162 is also provided with a suitable recess, indicated generally at 178 which simulates the electronic analysis control panel found in a real pit stop. A channel shaped member 180 is mounted in the recess 178 to provide a housing for the end 174 of the lever 168. The channel shaped member 180 includes an open end 182 which is engageable by an open-ended projection 184 provided on the control unit 126. When the car 42 is in position on the pit stop shown in FIGURES 2 and 3, so that the lever is elevated as aforesaid, the end 184 of the control unit 126 may be inserted into the open end 182 whereupon the extension 175 on the lever 168 will engage a reset mechanism 186 which is mounted in the control unit 126. The reset mechanism 186 includes a plate 188 having a first section 190 slidably mounted in the unit 126 at a first elevation and a second section 192 slidably mounted in the unit 126 at a lower elevation. The two sections 190 and 192 are joined together by a vertical transition section 194. The first or upper section 190 includes an end 196 having a rectangular projection 198 extending into the open-ended projection 184. This projection 198 is engageable by the extension 175 on the lever 168 to move the plate 188 to the left, as viewed in FIGURE 4, against the tension of a spring 200 having one end 202 connected to plate 188 and another end 204 connected to the housing 128.

The reset mechanism 186 also includes a trigger or latch member 206 which is pivotally mounted on a screw 208 in the housing 128 and which includes a first lug 210 engageable with the vertical section 194 to retain the plate 188 in its retracted position. In this position, a protuberance or cam 212 (FIGURE 8) provided on the end 214 of the second or lower section 192 engages the end 215 of the leaf spring 216 forcing the end 215 into engagement with the contact 222 to complete a circuit to switch 74 through contact 70a, lead 70 and the Wiper or slide 61, which is connected to the contact 222 by a lead 224. The potentiometer 62 is then effective in controlling the speed of car 42.

When the latch mechanism 186 is released, the spring 200 draws the plate 188 to the right, as viewed in FIG- URE 6, to the posit-ion shown therein where cam 212 engages the end 225 of the leaf spring 216 forcing it into engagement with the contact 218 to complete a circuit from coil 68 directly to lead 70 through spring 216. This places the full amount of resistance of the coil 68 in a series circuit to the car 42 causing it to slow down to a very slow speed and signalling the operator of the car to pull it into the pit stop 150 for repairs or servicing. The potentiometer 62 can only become effective again in permitting the car to speed up by repositioning the plate 188 so that the leaf spring 216 again engages the contact 222 thereby placing the Wiper 61 back in the circuit to car 42. The circuit to the car can be completely interrupted by moving the wiper 61 to an insulated portion 68a of the coil 68.

The plate 188 moves to the right only after the latch mechanism 206 is released from engagement with the section 194. The latch mechanism 206 is released to the position shown in FIGURE 6 by a cam 226 provided on a ratchet wheel 228. The ratchet wheel 228 is rotatably mounted in the housing 128 by a screw 230fand includes teeth 232 which are engageable by a first dog 234 which is connected to the slider 61 by a bracket 236 carried by the post 138. Thus, each time the operator of the car 42 actuates his rheostat 62 by moving the finger engaging saddle or knob 142 to the left, as viewed in FIGURE 7, the dog 234 engages one of the teeth 232 on the ratchet wheel 228 causing it to rotate one increment in a counter clockwise direction, as viewed in FIGURE 6.

When the knob 142 is next slid to the right, as viewed in FIGURE 4, the dog 234 will slide over the next trailing tooth 232 so that the dog will be in a position to again rotate the wheel 228 counter clockwise when the knob 142 is again moved to the left to slow the car 42 down. Upon the completion of one rotation of wheel 288, the cam 226 engages a lug or cam 242 provided on the latch mechanism 206 causing the latch mechanism 206 to swing about its pivot 208 in such a manner that the lug 210 becomes disengaged from the vertical section 194 of the plate 188, thereby releasing it so that will slide to the right, as viewed in FIGURE 6, under the influence of the spring 200 to thereby release the leaf spring 216 opening the circuit at the contact 222. This places the full resistance of coil 68 into the circuit causing the car 42 to slow down to a crawl. The operator of the car must then wait until it proceeds at a slow pace, due to the full resistance, to the pit stop 150. The operator may then lift the car from the track and place it in position on the pit stop 150 to actuate the lever 168 after which the end 184 of unit 126 is inserted into the opening 182 sufficiently that an O-ring 184a on end 184 engages the member 180 so that the extension 175 on the lever 168 engages the plate 188 causing it to slide to the left, as viewed in FIGURE 3. If the latch mechanism 206 is still in its FIGURE 6 position at the time the plate 188 is slid to the left, the lug 210 will not re-engage the vertical section 194 to retain the plate 188 in its reset position. However, the natural impulse for the operator of the car 42 is to actuate the knob 142 after the car slows down in an effort to cause it to speed up. This actuation will cause the wheel 228 to advance one more notch taking the cam 226 out of engagement with the lug 242 to release the latch mechanism 206 so that it will be swung to re-engage section 194 by a spring 224 which encompasses screw 208, as shown in FIGURE 4.

It is recognized that the operator of car 42 may try to eliminate a pit stop by permitting his car to continue at a medium, uniform speed making it necessary to move knob 142. Thus, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the wheel 228 preferably should be actuated by means, such as the steering wheel 88, which the operator of car 42 is forced to manipulate to keep the car running. However, it is recognized that some racing systems may not employ steering control means. It is in these systems that the means hereinbefore described for actuating the wheel 228 through knob 142 finds special application. This means either may be eliminated when the wheel 228 is controlled through the steering mechanism or it may be used in conjunction therewith. The steering wheel 88 can be caused to actuate the wheel 228 each time the steering wheel is turned to negotiate a curve. This is accomplished through a linkage mechanism indicated generally at 246 in FIGURE 7. The linkage mechanism 246 includes a plate 248 having a depending dog 250 adapted to engage the teeth 232 on the gear 228. The plate 248 is pivotally mounted on a pin 252 in the housing 128 and includes a bifurcated end 254 having arms 256 and 258 which straddle the steering post 89. The plate 248 also includes an upstanding pin 260 which engages the top wall 130 to maintain the plate 248 seated within the housing 128. A triangular plate 262 is affixed to the steering post 89 for rotation therewith and engages the upper surface 264 of plate 248 to maintain its bifurcated end 254 in engagement with a lug 266 which is also affixed to steering post 89. When the steering wheel 88 is rotated counter-clockwise, as viewed in FIGURE 7, the lug 266 engages arm 258 to swing plate 248 about the pivot 260 in such a manner that the dog 250 will slide over a tooth 232 on the ratchet wheel 228 to a position where the ratchet wheel will be rotated one increment when the steering wheel 88 is next turned in a clockwise direction causing lug 266 to engage arm 256. Thus, the ratchet wheel advances cam 226 one increment toward lug 242 on latch mechanism 206 each time the wheel 88 is turned away from its middle position and then returned thereto. When the cam 226 engages the lug 242, the lug 210 releases plate 188 causing the full resistance of coil 68 to be placed in the circuit to car 42 in the manner hereinbefore described in con nection with the actuation of wheel 228 by dog 234. The operator of car 42 must then let it proceed at a crawl to pit stop 150 where the plate 188 may be reset, as hereinbefore described.

The operators of a plurality of cars can be given the same starting point for the cam 226 with respect to lug 242 before a race by requiring them to manipulate wheel 228 through knob 142 or steering wheel 88 sufiiciently to trip plate 188 and the move cam 226 one increment past lug 242. The plate 188 may then be reset in pit stop 150 and the race begun.

Also, the plate 188 can be maintained in its FIGURE 4 position regardless of the tripping thereof by a pin 268 which is reciprocally mounted in control unit 126 above an aperture 270 provided in plate 188. The pin 268 is normally biased out of engagement with the aperture 270 by a spring 272 which bears against the head 274 of pin 268 and the control unit 126. A stop member 276 prevents the pin 268 from becoming disengaged from the control unit 126 under the influence of spring 272. The pin 268 may be depressed to engage aperture 270 and prevent the plate 188 from moving to its FIGURE 6 position even though it may be tripped. Frictional engagement will maintain pin 268 in aperture 270.

While the particular control means for toy or model electrical racing cars herein shown and descn'bed in detail is fully capable of attaining the objects and providing the advantages hereinbefore stated, it is to be understood that it is merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiment of the invention and that no limitations are intended to the details of construction or design herein shown other than as defined in the appended claims. The blade 122 may be rotated into engagement with the contacts 106, 108 or 110 by a steering wheel 124 through a steering shaft 125.

I claim:

1. Control means for controlling the operation of a racing car on a track supplied with power through power supply means connected to said track, comprising: manually operable power control means connected to a power supply means for controlling the power supplied to said track; and accumulator means connected to said power control means for accumulating random manipulations of said power control means as discrete events, and means for actuating a portion of the power control means to supply a minimum amount of power to said track responsive to a predetermined accumulation of said discrete events by said accumulator means.

2. Control means for controlling the operation of an electric racing car on a track supplied with electrical power through electrical conductors connected to said track, comprising: a manually lmanipulable potentiometer means connected to a power supply means for controlling the amount of power supplied to said track; and accumulator means connected to said potentiometer means for accumulating rrandom manipulations of said potentiometer as discrete events, and means for actuating said potentiometer means to minimize the amount of electrical power supplied to said track after the accumulation of a predetermined number of said discrete events.

3. A control means as defined in claim 2 wherein said accumulator means is connected to said potentiometer means in such a manner that one increment in said predetermined number of events is caused to occur each time said potentiometer means is actuated by an operator of said control means.

4. A control means as defined in claim 2 wherein said means in such a manner that one increment in said predetermined number of events is caused to occur each time said steering control means is manipulated.

5. In a control unit for a toy electric racing car including potentiometer means for controlling the speed of said car, the said potentiometer means including a resistance coil and a slider engageable with said coil to vary the power supplied to said car, the combination, comprising:

actuatable means connected to said coil for placing a predetermined amount of resistance in a series circuit to said car when actuated; and

linkage means connecting said actuatable means to said slider for actuating said actuatable means after said slider has been manipulated a predetermined number of times to vary the power supplied to said car.

6. In a control means for a toy electric racing car, a potentiometer means having a resistance coil and a steering control means, in combination:

actuatable means connected to said coil for placing a predetermined amount of resistance in a series circuit to said car when actuated; and

linkage means connecting said steering control means to said actuatable means for actuating said actuatable means after said steering control means has been manipulated a predetermined number of times.

7. In combination with steering control means for controlling the operation of a toy racing car, a track supplied with power through .power supply means mounted on said track, said track having a plurality of sections, control means including first track energizing means connected to one of said sections for energizing the power supply means to said one section, second track energizing means connected to another of said sections for energizing the power supply means to said other section, and actuation means connected to said first and second means for manipulation to selectively actuate said track energizing means, means for minimizing the amount of power supplied to said track after said actuation means has been manipulated a predetermined number of times, comprising: linkage means connecting said power supply minimizing means to said actuation means.

8. Simulated pit stop means for a toy electric racing car, comprising tracks supplied with electric power through rheostat control means,

a simulated pit stop adjacent said tracks, said pit stop including lever means engageable by a car placed on said pit stop;

actuatable means connected to said rheostat control means for changing the power supplied to said tracks in such a manner that said car will not operate satisfactorily after said actuatable means has been actuated, said actuatable means including a reset mechanism engageable by said lever only when said car is in position on said pit stop to reset said actuatable means after it has been actuated, whereby said car can be again operated satisfactorily; and

means connected to said actuatable means for actuating it after the occurrence of a predetermined number of actuations of said actuable means.

9. A simulated pit stop means as defined in claim 8 wherein said means for actuating said actuatable means is controlled by a slider on said rheostat control means.

10. A simulated pit stop means as defined in claim 8 wherein, sad means for actuating said actuatable means is controlled by a steering control means.

11. A race course for a toy electric racing car, comprising:

a race track having electrical conductors mounted thereon for supplying power to said car;

a simulated pit stop adjacent said track, said pit stop including positionable means having a first predetermined position, said positionable means being moved to a second predetermined position when said car is placed on said pit stop;

a control unit connecting said conductors in a circuit with a power source, said control unit including power control means for controlling the amount of power supplied to said car;

actuatable means connected to said control unit for actuating it in such a manner that an unsatisfactory amount of power is supplied to said car;

means connected to said actuatable means for normally maintaining it in an inactive condition and for actuating it after the elapse of an unpredictable period of time; and

reset means connected to said actuatable means for resetting it to its inactive condition, said reset means being resettable by said positionable means only when it is in said second predetermined position.

12. In a race course for racing a toy electric car, said race course including a track carrying electrical conductors for supplying power to a car placed on said track and rheostat means connecting said conductors to a source of power, said rheostat means including a resistor engageable by a slider for varying the amount of power supplied to said car, the combination comprising:

simulated pit stop means mounted on said race course adjacent said track, said pit stop means including positionable means normally positioned in a first predetermined position, said positionable means being moved to a second predetermined position when said car is placed on said pit stop means;

actuatable means connected to said rheostat means for placing the full resistance thereof in series with said car when actuated;

control means connected to said actuatable means for actuating it when released;

latch means connected to said control means for normally maintaining it in an unreleased condition;

means connected to said latch means for releasing said control means upon the occurrence of a predetermined event; and

reset means connected to said control means for engagement with said positionable means to reset said control means after it has been released, said reset means being engageable with said positionable means nly when it is in said second predetermined position.

13. Control means for controlling the operation of a toy electric car upon a race track having electrical conductors mounted thereon for supplying electrical power to said car and circuit means connecting said conductors to a source of power, said control means comprising:

a simulated pit stop mounted adjacent said track, said pit stop having a lever pivotally mounted therein, said lever being normally maintained in a first predetermined position and being moved to a second predetermined position only when said car is in position on said pit stop;

a control unit connected to said circuit for controlling the operation of said car, said control unit including a housing;

a resistor mounted in said housing;

electrical leads connecting said resistor in series with said circuit;

a slider mounted in said housing in engagement with said resistor, said slider being connected in said circuit in such a manner that the amount of resistance placed in said circuit by said resistor can be varied;

switch means connected to said slider for taking it out of said circuit when actuated;

a plate slidably mounted in said housing, said plate including a cam engageable with said switch means to close it when said plate is slid to a first position and to open it when said plate is slid to a second position;

spring means connecting said plate to said housing for biasing said plate to said second position;

latch means mounted in said housing in engagement with said plate for normally maintaining it in said first position against the bias of said spring;

a ratchet wheel rotatably mounted in said housing adjacent said latch means for releasing said latch means from said plate each time said ratchet wheel completes a revolution; and

dog means connected to said slider, being engageable with said ratchet to complete one revolution after said slider has been manipulated a predetermined number of times, whereby said plate is released and drawn to said second position said plate being engageable by said lever only when it is in said second position to move said plate to its first position against the bias of said said dog means wheel to cause it spring into engagement with said latch means for closing said switch so that said slider is again placed in said circuit.

14. A device as defined in claim 13 wherein said dog means is connected to steering control means mounted in said housing.

15. A device as defined in claim 13 including steering wheel means rotatably mounted in said housing and linkage means connecting said steering wheel means to a second dog which is engageable with said ratchet wheel to rotate said ratchet wheel when said steering wheel means is manipulated.

16. Control means for controlling the operation of a vehicle supplied with power through power supply means operatively connected to a track means, comprising: manually operable power control means connected to power supply means for controlling the power supplied to said track means; and means connected to said power control means for actuating the power control means to supply a minimum amount of power to said track means after a predetermined number of operations of said manually operable means.

17. Control means for controlling the operation of an electric vehicle supplied with electric power through electrical conductors connected to a track means, comprising:

potentiometer means connected to power supply means for controlling the amount of power supplied to said track means; and

actuator means connected to said potentiometer means for actuating said potentiometer means to minmiize the amount of electrical power supplied to said track means after an unpredictable, series of actuations of said potentiometer means.

18. A control means as stated in claim 17 wherein said actuator means is connected to said potentiometer means in such a manner that an incremental actuation is caused each time said potentiometer means is actuated by an operator of said control means, the power being reduced as a result of accumulation of said incremental actuations.

19. A control means as stated in claim 17 wherein said actuator means is connected to a steering control means in such a manner that an incremental actuation is caused each time said steering control means is manipulated, the power being reduced as a result of the accumulation of said incremental actuations.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,358,604 9/ 1944 Stewart.

2,698,180 12/1954 Hersh.

2,750,191 6/ 1956 Denman.

3,115,724 12/1963 Clarke.

3,297,323 1/ 1967 Gibson.

FOREIGN PATENTS 1,139,234 1957 France.

ANTON O. OECHSLE, Primary Examiner.

M. R. PAGE, Assistant Examiner.

US. Cl. X.R. 104-60, 149

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2358604 *Apr 17, 1937Sep 19, 1944Stewart Andrew HRacing game
US2698180 *Aug 23, 1950Dec 28, 1954Hersh Joseph BRacing game
US2750191 *Mar 23, 1950Jun 12, 1956Herbert KuppinRacing car game
US3115724 *Apr 6, 1961Dec 31, 1963Clarke Robert EToy vehicle starter and timer
US3297323 *May 20, 1963Jan 10, 1967Gibson Jr John CRacing game
FR1139234A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3601400 *Mar 4, 1970Aug 24, 1971Boles Patrick WSteerable slot car means
US4247107 *Jan 19, 1979Jan 27, 1981California R & D CenterElectronically controlled roadrace system with sound generator
US4330127 *Mar 2, 1981May 18, 1982Brand Derek AToy racing car game accessory
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/63, 104/60, 104/300
International ClassificationA63H18/12, A63H18/02, A63H18/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H18/12, A63H18/023
European ClassificationA63H18/02C, A63H18/12