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Publication numberUS3463491 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 26, 1969
Filing dateJan 26, 1966
Priority dateJan 26, 1966
Publication numberUS 3463491 A, US 3463491A, US-A-3463491, US3463491 A, US3463491A
InventorsAlbert E Shaw
Original AssigneeAlbert E Shaw
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pin detection system with radially symmetrical pattern of magnetic reed switches
US 3463491 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 26, 1969 A. E. SHAW 3,463,491

PIN DETECTION SYSTEM WITH RADIA L SYMMETRICAL PATTERN OF MAGNETIC REED TCHES Filed Jan. 26, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet l VENTOR. ALBERT 5HAW Aug. 26, 1969 PIN DETECTION SYSTEM MAG Filed Jan. 26, 1966 A. E. SHAW 3,463,491 WITH RADIALLY SYMMETRICAL PATTERN OF REED SWITCHES NETIC 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent 3,463,491 PIN DETECTION SYSTEM WITH RADIALLY SYMMETRICAL PATTERN OF MAGNETIC REED SWITCHES Albert E. Shaw, 5646 Kimbark Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60645 Filed Jan. 26, 1966, Ser. No. 523,094 Int. Cl. A63d /06 U.S. Cl. 273-52 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Apparatus for detecting and indicating the presence of a standing bowling pin in the proximity of its spot position is described which includes a plurality of parallel connected, magnetically operated reed switches below the surface of the bowling alley. A magnet is so positioned in the bowling pin that it actuates at least one of the switches whenever the pin is standing in a predetermined area around the spot position. The switches are arranged in a radially symmetrical pattern and spaced so that under such condition at least one is closed and an indicator is thereby activated.

This invention relates generally to a bowling apparatus and relates more particularly to an apparatus for detecting the presence of a standing bowling pin and for providing an indication corresponding to the position thereof upon the pinspot area of a bowling alley.

Bowling pins conventionally are spotted upon the alley in a triangular pattern. As the ball strikes the pins they may be knocked down or merely grazed causing them to remain standing yet to be moved from their original spot positions. Generally, an automatic pin setter lifts from the alley the pins which remain standing, sweeps the fallen pins therefrom, and resets the pins back upon the alley. Since the pins are usually located at the remote end of the alley, it is desirable to provide a means for automatically detecting the pins which remain standing and for providing a visible indication thereof to the scorer, bowler and spectators. Such a means should indicate a spotted standing pin and also indicate any standing pins which may have been moved off spot yet are within a predetermined area surrounding the pin spot.

Various systems have been devised for providing such an indication; such systems are frequently quite compli cated and often have required modification to the pins which have altered their weight and balance to such an extent that they do not conform to bowling standards. Further, some prior systems have required modification to the pin setting machines thereby complicating the operation of such machines. Often, such prior devices have operated satisfactorily only when the pins were standing upon their spot positions and have proved unreliable when the pins have been moved by a grazing ball.

A main object of this invention is to provide a detection system for providing an indication of the pinspot area which is occupied by a bowling pin. A still further object is to provide a new and improved apparatus for providing an indication of a standing pin when same is standing spotted or within a predetermined pinspot area upon a bowling alley surface. A still further object is to provide a pin detecting apparatus including magnetically operated switches which are disposed below and adjacent the alley surface and rendered operable by magnetic means imbedded within the bowling pin bases.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent through reference to the following description and accompanying drawings which show an illustrative embodiment of this invention, in which:

3,463,491 Patented Aug. 26, 1969 ice FIGURE 1 is a vertical sectional view of a bowling alley and pin incorporating certain features of this invention;

FIGURE 2 is a sectional view taken along the line 2-2 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a sectional view of the bowling pin taken along the line 33 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 4 is a vertical sectional view of a bowling alley and pin incorporating certain features of an alternate embodiment of this invention;

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

FIGURE 6 is a sectional view taken along the line 66 of FIGURE 4; and

FIGURE 7 is an electrical schematic diagram of the alternate embodiment illustrated in FIGURE 4.

Referring to the embodiment illustrated in FIGURES 1 through 3 inclusive, the apparatus 11 includes a plurality of parallel connected, magnetically operated reed switches 13 imbedded within a bowling alley 15. The switches 13 are located slightly beneath the surface of the alley 15 and arranged to cover an area slightly greater than the spot position of a standard bowling pin. As previously mentioned, the reed switches 13 are connected in parallel, and the terminals thereof connected to an indicating means 17. A disc 21 of magnetized material is imbedded within the base of a bowling pin 19 so that when the bowling pin is positioned upon the surface of the alley 15, the magnetic fiield produced by the disc 21 will cause one or more of the reed switches 13 to close thereby actuating the indicating means 17. When the pin is knocked over, the magnetic field of the disc is displaced sufficiently from the reed switches 13 to cause the switches to open thereby deactuating the indicating means 17. Thus, an apparatus has been provided which will render an indication corresponding to the standing position of the pin 19 upon a pinspot area of the alley 15.

Since each of the bowling pins is provided with a similar apparatus, for purposes of explanation only one bowling pin and its associated circuitry will be expained in detail. More particularly, the apparatus 11 illustrated in FIG- URES 1 to 3 includes a plurality of the switches 13 connected in parallel, as hereinafter explained. Each switch 13 consists of a pair of parallel, magnetic, overlapping, cantilever reeds supported and sealed within a glass tube filled with dry inert gas. In the demagnetized position, the reeds are spaced preventing the flow of electrical current therethrough. When subjected to a magnetic field having a component along the longitudinal axis of the switch, the reeds are caused to contact thereby completing connection therethrough. Such switches are commercially available. The switches are wired in parallel and terminating conductor leads 22 are connected to the indicating means 17.

The reed switches 13 are encapsulated in an insert 23' of clear plastic or other nonmagnetic encapsulant fashioned in the form of a disc which, in the illustrated embodiment, is maintained within a recess 25 provided in the lower surface of the alley 15. Alternatively, the insert 23 may be set within a recess cut into the upper surface of the alley and the surface of the insert 23 leveled with the alley.

The insert 23 is preferably glued or otherwise secured within the recess 25. So that the field created by the magnetized disc 21 in the bowling pin 19 will not be materially reduced, it is preferable that the portion of the alley separating the insert from the base of the pin 19 be kept to a minimum. However, a sufficient thckness should remain to allow refinishing of the alley when desired.

As illustrated in the embodiment of FIGURES 1 and 2, the switches 13 are disposed within the plastic insert 23 in a plane parallel to the surface of the alley 15. The longitudinal axes of the switches are positioned along respective radii of a common circle and alternate switches are staggered radially from adjacent switches forming a symmetrical pattern as illustrated in FIGURE 2. For a particular length of reed switch, the staggering and equal spacing of the switches 13 and their particular location permits the required area to be covered with a minimum number of switches without the occurrence of dead spots. In the normal alley the required area is a circular area about the pin spot having a radius of about 2 /2 inches. Any greater area would cause interference between adjacent pin spot areas.

The conductors 22 are connected to the secondary of a step-down transformer 29 forming part of the indicating means 17. A pilot lamp 31 or other indicating means is connected in series with the secondary of the transformer 29 so that the lamp will be caused to light when one of the switches 13 is closed. The primary of the transformer is connected to a 110-volt AC power source. It is preferable that the switches 13 break alternating rather than direct current since the transfer of metallic particles across the reed contacts and resulting contact pitting is thereby minimized.

The bowling pin 19 of FIGURE 1 is of standard wood construction, and includes a conventional nylon reinforcing ring 33 which is imbedded in the base of the pin. Serving to selectively actuate the magnetic reed switches 13 is the magnetized disc 21 which is imbedded in the base of the pin 19 with the axis thereof coaxial with the axis of the pin so that the magnetic field has a large horizontal component in the region of the reed switches. The disc is magnetized so that the magnetic poles are at the plane surfaces thereof. It is desirable that the magnetic material of the disc provide a relatively strong field and further that the magnetism of the material be relatively unalfected by physical abuse. A particular magnetic material which is suitable in this application is produced by rubber bonded mechanically oriented, magnetic barium ferrite (BaFe O particles. Such a material is manufactured by the Leyman Corporation under the trade name Plastiform l. Plastiform 1 has a very high coercive force and in this application has been found to maintain its magnetization indefinitely in normal use. Further, its magnetic energy product compares favorably with other magnetic materials.

An embodiment in accordance with the foregoing embodiment is constructed of sixteen (16) magnetic reed switches about 4 inch in diameter by inch in length. The switches are oriented in the arrangement illustrated in FIGURE 2 having a maximum distance across opposite remote switch ends of about 3 /2 inches and a minimum distance across opposite remote switch ends of about 2% inches. The switches are disposed about inch below the surface of the alley. A disc of Plastiform 1 having a diameter of approximately 78 inch and a thickness of approximately inch is used. With such an arrangement it is found that the center of the pin can be moved from its spot position within a circular area having a radius of about 2 /2 inches without extinguishing the indicator lamp. Such latitude is particularly desirable in that it allows the lamp to remain lit even though the pin has been moved olf spot by a grazing ball or a falling adjacent pin. Further, the staggered positioning of the switches 13 and their equal symmetrical spacing assures that at least one switch will be actuated so long as the magnetized disc 21 is within the area covered by the switching insert 23 thereby eliminating dead spots.

Referring to FIGURE 1, when the pin is standing upon the spot, the poles of the magnet designated north (N) and south (S) will produce a magnetic field a component of which is parallel to the longitudinal axis of one or more of the reed switches 13. This parallel component of the magnetic field causes the switches through which it passes to close thereby applying power to the pilot lamp 31. It should be noted that the pin 19 may be moved off spot, as would be the case if the pin is nudged by the ball or a companion pin, while still passing a portion of the magnetic field through one of the reed switches 13. Should the pin 19 become knocked over by the ball, the magnetized disc 21 will be raised above the surface of the alley and the magnetic field displaced from the reed switches thereby causing the lamp 31 to extinguish.

The alternate embodiment illustrated in FIGURES 4, 5, 6 and 7 will now be considered in detail. As in the previously described embodiment, switches 35 which are similar to switches 13 are encapsulated in plastic or other nonmagnetic material and fashioned in the form of an insert 37 which is maintained within a recess 39 provided in the lower surface of the alley. However, as in the previous embodiment, the insert 37 may alternatively be set into a recess in the upper surface of the alley and finished level therewith. The reed switches 35 are arranged so that their longitudinal axes are normal to the alley surface.

As illustrated in FIGURE 5, the switches are spatially positioned equally about two concentric circles and are connected in parallel to an indicating means 41 including a transformer 43 and lamp 44. Thus, when one or more of the switches 35 are closed the indicator lamp 44 corresponding to that pin spot will be caused to light.

Bowling pin 46 illustrated in FIGURE 4 is of standard wood construction and provided with a conventional nylon reinforcing ring 45 imbedded within the base of the pin 46. Positioned within the reinforcing ring and coaixal therewith is an annulus 47 of magnetized material having its poles, designated north (N) and south (S), at its cylindrical surfaces. An annulus of Plastiform 1 previously described, is particularly suitable for this application. The form of the magnetized material illustrated is particularly adapted for actuating the reed switches, since a magnet of such shape produces a particularly strong field component along the switch reeds when oriented with their longitudinal axes normal to the alley surface.

An embodiment in accordance with the foregoing is constructed using switches similar to those used in the previous embodiment and arranged as illustrated in FIG- URE 5. The switches are spatially positioned about an outer circle having a diameter of approximately 4 inches and an inner circle having a diameter of approximately 1% inches. The upper ends of the switches are disposed about /1 inch below the surface of the alley. An annulus of Plastiform 1 having an outside diameter of 1% inches, a thickness of approximately inch and a height of /8 inch is used. With such an arrangement it is found that the center of the pin can be moved from its spot position within a circular area having a radius of about 2 /2 inches without extinguishing the indicator lamp.

The apparatus of FIGURE 4 operates in much the same manner as the previously described embodiment. When the pin 46 is spotted or generally within the area covered by the switches 35, the component of the magnetic field which is along the longitudinal axis of one or more of the switches will cause such switches to close thereby completing the circuit and applying a voltage across the lamp 44. So long as the pin remains standing within the general area of the reed switches the lamp will remain lit; however, when the pin is knocked over, the magnetic field of the annulus 47 is displaced from the switches 35 causing them to open and break the circuit to the signal lamp 44.

Thus, the two illustrated embodiments provide a pin indicating system which is relatively easy to install and which will not interfere with the balance and construction of the pins nor with the automtaic pin spotting machine. F-urther, the construction illustrated is particularly durable and is not subject to false operation as a result of normal bowling disturbances.

Although but two specific embodiments of this invention have been hereinafter shown and described, it will be understood that details of the construction shown may be altered without departing from the spirit of this invention as defined by the following claims.

I claim:

1. For use with a bowling alley, an apparatus for detecting the presence of a standing bowling pin upon said alley surface within a predetermined area surrounding the spot position of said pin comprising a plurality of magnetically operated, parallel connected reed switches disposed adjacent the surface of said alley within said predetermined area, said reed switches being disposed in a radially symmetrical pattern about the center of said spot position and at a plurality of distances from said spot position and being positioned with their longitudinal axes generally parallel to the surface of said alley and parallel to radii of a circle having its center at the center of the spot position, a magnet imbedded in the base of said pin providing a magnetic field having a component along the axis of at least one of said reed switches when said pin is standing within said predetermined area sufficient to actuate said one of said reed switches, and an indicating means connected across said parallel connected switches so that when said pin is standing within said predetermined area said magnet will actuate at least one of said reed switches thereby activating said indicating means.

2. An apparatus in accordance wtih claim 1 wherein said magnet is in the form of a disc generally parallel to the base of said pin with its magnetic poles at its plane surfaces.

3. For use with a bowling alley, an apparatus for detecting the presence of a bowling pin upon said alley surface comprising a plurality of magnetically operated, parallel connected reed switches disposed adjacent the surface of said alley in proximity with the spot position of said pin in a plane generally parallel to the surface of said alley, with their longitudinal axes along respective radial lines of a common circle, said switches being equally spaced and forming a symmetrical pattern about the center of the circle to eliminate detection dead spots, the total number of said switches being an even integer and alternate switches being radially staggered in relation to the center of said common circle, a magnetized material imbedded in the base of said pin providing a suflicient magnetic field having a component parallel to the axes of said reed switches to actuate at least one of said reed switches and an indicating means connected across said parallel connected switches so that when said pin is standing in proximity to its spot position said magnetic material will actuate at least one of said reed switches thereby activating said indicating means.

4. An apparatus in accordance with claim 3 wherein said magnetized material is in the form of a disc imbedded within the base of said pin, the plane surfaces of said disc forming the poles of the magnet so as to provide a magnetic field a portion of which is along the axis of at least one of said switches when said pin is standing within a predetermined area about its spot position.

5. For use with a bowling alley, an apparatus for detecting the presence of a bowling pin upon said alley surface comprising a plurality of magnetically operated, parallel connected reed switches disposed adjacent the surface of said alley in proximity with the spot position of said pin having their longitudinal axes generally normal to the surface of said alley, and being spatially positioned on the circumferences of a plurality of concentric circles and forming a symmetrical pattern about the center of said circles to eliminate detection dead spots, a magnetized material in the form of an annulus with its major axis generally normal to the base of said pin imbedded in the base of said pin, the cylindrical surfaces of said annulus forming the poles of a magnet to provide a s'ufiicient magnetic field having a component parallel to the axis of at least one of said reed switches when said pin is standing within a predetermined area in proximity to its spot position to actuate at least one of said reed switches and an indicating means connected across said parallel connected switches so that when said pin is standing in said predetermined area said magnetic material will actuate at least one of said reed switches thereby activating said indicating means.

6. For use with a bowling alley, an apparatus for detecting the presence of a standing bowling pin upon said alley surface within a predetermined area surrounding the spot position of said pin comprising a plurality of magnetically operated, parallel connected reed switches disposed adjacent the surface of said alley within said predetermined area, said reed switches being disposed in a radially symmetrical pattern about the center of said spot position and at a plurality of distances from said spot position, a magnet in the form of an annulus, the cylindrical surfaces of said annulus forming the poles of the magnet, imbedded in the base of said pin providing a magnetic field having a component along the axis of at least one of said reed switches when said pin is standing within said predetermined area suflicient to actuate said one of said reed switches, and an indicating means connected across said parallel connected switches so that when said pin is standing within said predetermined area said magnet will actuate at least one of said reed switches thereby activating said indicating means.

7. An apparatus in accordance with claim 6 wherein said switches are spatially positioned on the circumferences of a plurality of concentric circles to eliminate detection dead spots.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,585,153 2/1952 Metz.

2,999,914 9/1961 Stanaway 35-206 3,039,771 6/1962 Bablouzian et al.

3,117,785 1/1964 Colton et al. 273-52 3,162,738 12/1964 Abramson et al. 335206 3,164,383 1/1965- Roop et al. 273-52 3,191,935 6/1965 Uecker 273-52 3,223,414 12/ 1965 Uecker 273-52 3,247,502 4/1966 Eberts 335206 X ANTON O. OECHSLE, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3836148 *Jan 11, 1974Sep 17, 1974V ManningRotatable dart board, magnetic darts and magnetic scoring switches
US3945139 *Jul 24, 1975Mar 23, 1976Miller Robert AAdvertising device
US4319109 *Dec 28, 1979Mar 9, 1982General Electric CompanyCentered utensil sensor for induction surface units
US4422328 *Oct 13, 1981Dec 27, 1983Sierra MiscoLiquid level sensor
US4447691 *Jul 30, 1980May 8, 1984Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, LimitedCircuit for detecting a utensil load placed asymmetrically relative to an induction heating coil
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US7498538Jul 20, 2007Mar 3, 2009Judco Manufacturing, Inc.Sliding contact switch
US7504919Feb 10, 2006Mar 17, 2009Judco Manufacturing, Inc.Water resistant switch assembly
US7880107Oct 12, 2007Feb 1, 2011Judco Manufacturing, Inc.Momentary push button switch
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/69, 335/152, 340/686.1, 335/206
International ClassificationA63D5/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63D5/04
European ClassificationA63D5/04