US 3472513 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 14, 1969 R. E. BIZQUARD COMBINED BALL OBSTACLE AND PROJECTOR FOR A GAME TABLE Filed Jan. 4, 1967 -Q: CHM i" IDA EDT.
INVENTOR. RENE BIZD-UHRD United States Patent 3,472,513 COMBINED BALL OBSTACLE AND PROJECTOR FOR A GAME TABLE Rene E. Bizouard, Nice, France, assignor to Socit Anonyme Etablissements Rally, Nice, France Filed Jan. 4, 1967, Ser. No. 607,230 I Claims priority, application France, Feb. 11, 1966,
7,741, Patent 1,472,272
Int. Cl. A63b 71/00 US. Cl. 273129 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An obstacle member for electric billiard tables constituted by a flexible vertical rod the upper end of which carries an obstacle a head adapted to be hit by the ball whereupon the rod is caused to rock laterally so as to close a switch in a circuit feeding an electromagnet through which the rod extends with a clearance. A magnetizable armature rigid with said rod is thus urged against the electromagnet core so as to return into its normal position corresponding to a return of the head of the rod also into its normal position and to a consequent thrust of said head urging the ball energetically away.
Certain electric or electronic billiards include reactive obstacles projecting above the table, such as the so-called bangs, flippers, automatics, ejectors and the like which, when subjected to the impact of a ball, return it violently back and at the same time actuate an acoustic or optic signal.
The present invention has for its object an arrangement of this type which is remarkable not only through its simplicity of execution but also through the fact that it can operate uniformly whatever may be the direction of impact of the ball. Furthermore, it may instantaneously meet the requirements of diiferent games or rules leading the different shapes to be given to the obstacles, say a rectilinear or circular shape.
According to the invention, the head of the obstacleforming means is carried by a vertical rod extending through a large port formed in the table, while it is axially held underneath said table in a fitting by an intermediate member which allows it to move so as to assume a slope in any direction whatever; said sloping movement provides furthermore for the closing of a circuit energiz ing an electromagnetic winding attracting a collar of mild steel formed on said vertical rod, so as to urge it flatwise against a horizontal abutment surface formed on the fitting, whereby the head of the obstacle is returned into its normal inoperative or neutral position. The closing of the circuit actuates simultaneously a signal by closing a switch or else through a magnetic action or by inducing a current or by any other means.
The accompanying drawings illustrate by way of example a preferred embodiment of the invention. In said drawings:
FIGS. 1 and 2 are elevational views at 90 from each other of an obstacle member and of its fitting, the rod of the obstacle member being shown in its normal vertical position;
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 1 showing the position of said obstacle member and fitting when hit by a ball;
FIG. 4 is an axial sectional view on a larger scale showing the detail of the connection between the rod and its fitting.
Underneath the billiard table T is secured the fitting S made of steel sheet and of which the coaxial cylindrical walls 1 and 2 house between them an electromagnetic winding 3 and enclose a core 4 of iron or mild steel. Said ice core, which is of a tubular shape, is secured inside the fitting S by the setting of its terminal edges and it shows in its lower end 4a a port 4b through which is introduced the frusto-conical enlargement 5a of the axial rod 5 which, after passing through the billiard table T carries at its upper end a circular bell-shaped member or obstacle head 6 made for instance of plastic material. Said bell-shaped member forming the actual obstacle to be hit by the balls may obviously be given any desired shape. Underneath its enlarged section 5a the rod 5 carries a mild steel disc 7 which under normal conditions is urged by a blade 9 against the lower horizontal surface 8 of the fitting i.e. in a position for which said disc engages the core 4 or lies at a very short distance from the latter; the blade 9 fitted in an insulating support 10 urges upwardly the lower end of the rod 5 which is thus held in a vertical position under the action of an incurved spring 11 engaging on the other hand a second blade 9a carrying a contact-piece.
The inner diameter of the tubular core is substantially larger than the diameter of the rod 5, so that the latter is free to assume a slope in any direction whatever the enlarged section 5a of the rod rocking freely in the opening 4b formed in the bottom 4a of the core 4. The blade 9a forms with the contact-piece 12 also carried by the support 10 a switch inserted in the circuit energizing the electromagnetic winding 3. When the end of the blade 9 is lowered by the rod 5 upon shifting thereof, it causes the blade 9a to pass under the action of the spring 11 from its lower position illustrated in FIG. 1 to the upper position for which the contact-piece on said blade 9a engages the stationary contact-piece 12.
It will be readily understood that when a ball such as that shown at B in FIG. 3 impinges against the obstacle head 6, the rod 5 assumes a sloping or displaced position in a corresponding direction and pivots round a point 13 of the edge of the disc whereby the lower end of the rod 5 is caused to sink and closes the switch 9a, 12. At the same time, the electromagnetic winding 3 is energized thereby and the core 4 draws the disc towards it so that said disc returns the rod 5 upwardly into its vertical inoperative position. This is performed in a substantially instantaneous manner so that as soon as the ball has caused the rod 5 to rock through a certain angle, the obstacle head returns it energetically back as provided by the force exerted on it by the electromagnet. A screw 14 screwed into a block 15 rigid with the disc 7 passes through a slot in a blade 16 secured to the fitting, so as to prevent the rod 5 from rotating round its axis, which is necessary whenever the head carried by the upper end of the rod 5 is given an elongated shape.
Of course, the embodiment illustrating the arrangement of the electromagnet, the connection between its armature and the rod carrying the obstacle and the pivotal connection between the rod and the fitting engaged by it and in particular the structure of the switch in the electromagnet energizing circuit may vary to a large extent without widening the scope of the invention as defined in the accompanying claims.
What I claim is:
1. An obstacle device comprising an electromagnet mounted underneath a game table and having a hollow core arranged about a vertical axis, a vertically arranged rod member having its upper end located above the game table and extending downwardly through the game table and electromagnet for exciting said electromagnet when said rod is displaced from the vertical whereby as said rod is tilted from the vertical said disk mounted on said rod is spaced in part from the bottom of said core and as said switch means excites said electromagnet said core is energized and returns said rod to the vertical position 3 by attracting said disk into bearing contact with the bottom of said core.
2. An obstacle device, as set forth in claim 1, wherein said switch means comprises a movable contact in engagement with the lower end of said rod, whereby said movable contact is displaced and closes said switch means for exciting said electromagnet whenever said obstacle member is displaced in any direction due to being struck by an object on the game table and said disk tilts with said rod about a point on its periphery in contact with the bottom of said core.
3. An obstacle device, as set forth in claim 1, wherein said core has a downwardly diverging frusto-conical opening located at its lower end about its vertical axis, and said rod having a downwardly diverging frusto-conically shaped section arranged to register with the frusto-conical opening in said core and arranged to disengage therefrom when said rod is tilted from its vertical position in response to a displacement of said obstacle member at the upper end of said rod.
4. An obstacle device, as set forth in claim 2, wherein spring means are disposed in operative engagement with said movable contact means for holding said rod in the vertical position within said core.
5. An obstacle device, as set forth in claim 1, wherein a fitting is attached to the underside of the game table, said fitting supporting said core in its vertically arranged position, a block rigidly attached to said rod below said disk, a stationary plate secured to said fitting and located outwardly from said block on said rod, said plate having a slot therein, and a screw member in threaded engagement within said block and extending therefrom and being secured within the slot in said plate for holding said rod and said obstacle member thereon in a predetermined position.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,163,122 6/1938 Hooker ZOO-61.11 X 2,219,898 10/ 1940 Hooker 273129 2,501,021 3/1950 Benak 273127 2,727,743 12/1955 Von Stoeser 273-129 X 3,180,646 4/1965 Zale et a1. 20061.11 X
ANTON O, OECHSLE, Primary Examiner THOMAS ZACK, Assistant Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R. 200-6l.11; 273-127