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Publication numberUS3610629 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 5, 1971
Filing dateJan 19, 1970
Priority dateJan 22, 1969
Publication numberUS 3610629 A, US 3610629A, US-A-3610629, US3610629 A, US3610629A
InventorsLeslie George Pecksen
Original AssigneeCoin Operated Games Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Coin-operated rotatable drum-type chance machine
US 3610629 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] lnventor 0 Leslie George Peclisen Miriield, England [21] AppL No. 3,802

[22] Filed Jan. 19, 1970 [45] Patented Oct. 5,1971

{73] Assignee Coin Operated Games Limited Leeds, Yorkshire, England [32] Priority Jan. 22, 1969 [3 3] Great Britain [54] COIN-OPERATED ROTATABLE DRUM-TYPE CHANCE MACHINE 6 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.

[52] U.S. Cl 273/143 R [51] lnt.Cl A631 1/18 [50] Field of Search 273/143 R,

143 A, 143 B, 143 C, 143 D, 143 E, 141 A, 142 B, 113, 1 ES, 138 R, 138A FOREIGN PATENTS Primary ExaminerAnton O. Oechsle Assistant Examiner-Arnold W. Kramer Attorney-Fred C. Philpitt ABSTRACT: In a coin-operated or coin-freed machine for gaming amusement or vending, but particularly of that kind known in the amusement trade as fruit machine, the drums carry actuator devices located in positions relative to location notches around the peripheries of location plates which are rotatable with the drums and are arrested by indexing members, carrying contact devices for contacting said actuator devices to produce a signal, for example to signal the value of payout won by a player, each contact operation taking place only after rotation of the drum concerned has been stopped. The actuator devices are removable studs inserted in holes radially aligned with the notches. The indexing members are pivoted to move at right angles to the planes of rotation 01 the location plates and engage the notches from the faces of said plate. Preferably said contact devices are microswitches whose actuating buttons contact said studs.

COIN-OPERATED ROTATABLE DRUM-TYPE CHANCE MACHINE This invention relates to coin-operated or coin-freed machines of the kindknown in the amusement trade as fruit machines" or of the kind used for amusement only.

In some machines of this kind (hereinafter tenned the type described") the drum or discs are set spinning by the pressing of a button and then stopped automatically in succession, each one being stopped by engagement of an indexing arm with one of a series of notches or recesses on a location plate attached to or forming part of each drum. The feature shown on each drum when it has been stopped is detected electrically and signalled to a unit which controls the payout mechanism.

In machines of the type described one simple method used for detecting and signalling the feature" shown on each stopped drum is by use of wiper contacts rotated with the drum and wiper blades on a relatively fixed support. However, this arrangement has the disadvantage of frictional contact between the contacts and blades whenever the drums are moving and one object of the present invention is to obviate or greatly reduce this contact during motion of the drums, thereby reducing wear and permitting long periods of troublefree operation of this part of the machine.

With this object in view, in a machine of the type described and according to the present invention, each drum or its location plate carries a series of contact or actuator studs or the like arranged to correspond to the symbols around the drum or disc periphery, and there are provided an indexing arm carrying microswitches or contact devices for contacting said actuator studs or the like to produce an electrical signal and means for producing relative movement between said arm and the drum to cause said contact operation to take place only after the drum has stopped.

Preferably said indexing arm is arranged to move in a plane at right angles to the plane in which the location plate rotates. Also the contact or contactor studs or the like may be mounted on the drum or location plates in such a way that they can readily be added, removed or adjusted to different positions for programming the machine.

In machines of the type described, it has been usual to mount the drums freely on a common drive shaft and to use friction clutches operated by urging the drums together axially, each of two drums acting against the next one. But since with this invention it is desirable to limit the axial movement (if any) of each drum to the very small amount required to engage or disengage its clutch, we provide each drum with its own clutch spring and abutment. This clutch could be a simple frictional device, which declutches by simply slipping.

In order that the present invention may be fully and clearly understood, the same will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings which illustrate by way of example, one construction of mechanism according to the invention only, so much of the machine being shown as is necessary to a proper understanding of the invention.

In such drawings:

FIG. 1 represents a front elevation of the drums on their shaft and of the location arms with their actuating means;

FIG. 2 is a face view of onequarter of a location plate; shown to an enlarged scale;

FIG. 3 is an edge view seen in the direction of arrow A in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a view of one of the location arms seen in the direction of arrow B in FIG. I, but to an enlarged scale; and

FIG. 5 is a partial longitudinal cross section through the drums showing how they are mounted on and clutched to their common drive shaft.

Referring to FIG. I of the drawings, there is shown a framework having side members I, 1, connected by a bottom member 2 and a top member 3. Between the side members 1, I, is supported a common drive shaft 4 driven by an electric motor in casing 5. On this shaft 4 are mounted three drums 6 bearing around their peripheries the fruits or other features characteristic of the machine but which are not illustrated. The means for mounting these drums on the shaft will be described later.

Each drum embodies a circular location plate 7, which as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, has a series of location notches in the form of slots 8 evenly spaced around its periphery. The leading edge of each slot has a rearwardly inclined or curved surface 9, and one only of these slots is shown in full in FIG. 3 for the sake of clarity. In radial alignment with each slot 8 is aseries of holes 10 which are arranged around concentric circles on the plate. These holes are adapted to receive plug-in actuator studs 11, which are located in appropriate holes by the machine operator to suit the type of game to be made availa ble on the machine. These studs can thus readily be added, removed or adjusted to different positions on the plate for programming the machine, for example changing the nature of the game and/or altering the system of payout values.

Cooperating with each plate 7 is an indexing arm 12 having one end pivoted at 13 on a bracket 14 secured on the bottom member 2, so that the arm moves in a plane at right angles to the plane in which the plate rotates and extends approximately diametrically across the plate, being shaped at 15 (see FIG. 4) to avoid fouling the shaft 4. The other end of each arm 12 is shaped with a fork 16 which is engaged in an annular groove in the plunger extension 17 of a solenoid 18 mounted on the top member 3. A compression coil spring 19 normally urges the arm 12 towards the plate 7 into the position shown in FIG. I, where a lug 20 on the arm enters the next slot 8 to arrive 0pposite to the lug. In FIG. 3 the arm I2 is indicated in the position to which it is withdrawn by actuation of its solenoid and it will be seen that, on deenergizing of the solenoid while the plate 7 is rotating in the direction of arrow C in FIG. 2, the lug will enter a slot 8 by riding down its lead-in surface 9 thereby ensuring that it enters the slot without fail.

Each arm 12 has a gap 21 in which is mounted a bank of microswitches 22. These are of the kind known as subminiature, each one having a very small actuating button adapted to be operated by pressure-contact with one of the studs 11. The number of switches 22 in the bank will equal the number of holes 10 in each radial row in the plate 7. For simplicity of drawing this number is shown as five, but in practice it may be any suitable number, for example 10 or more. When the lug 20 on an arm 12 locates in a slot 8, any stud 11 in radial align- I ment with that slot will be contacted by the button of the corresponding switch which will thereby be operated.

The wiring connections 23 for the switches 22 are carried down the arms 12 and away near the pivots 13 to join the unit which controls the payout mechanism. This unit is in the circuitry of the machine. This circuitry may be of orthodox type for such machines and does not need to be described here, since the novelty claimed for the present invention relates only to the construction arrangement and operation of the location plates, indexing arms and switch contact operating means.

As pointed out earlier in this specification, owing to the novel side location action of the arms 12 carrying the switches 22 only a small axial movement of each drum is permissible for clutching and declutching. Therefore the drums are mounted as shown in FIG. 5. Each drum boss 24 with its location plate 7 is freely rotatable upon the shaft 4 and carries a friction disc 25 against which a clutch pressure plate 26 is urged by a compression coil spring 27, the plate 26 being slidable along a spline groove 28 in the shaft so as to be rotated by the shaft. Spring 27 for the left-hand drum in the drawing bears against the side member I through a collar 29.

Each of the two other springs 27 bears against a circlip 30 which is engaged in an annular groove in shaft 4 to form an abutment, a loose washer 31 being inserted between each circlip and the adjacent drum boss. The right-hand drum in the drawing is spring-urged up to a collar 32 secured on the shaft.

By the above-described manner of mounting the drums and clutch assemblies on the common shaft 4, the axial movement (if any) of the drums during clutching and declutching (slipping) will be so very small as not to interfere with the correct functioning of the location arm and switches in their movement towards and away from the plate 7.

With the mechanism as above described and illustrated, when the player presses the start" button, the solenoids 18 are simultaneously energized to pull the arms 12 away from the plates 7 (to the right in FIG. 1), thereby disengaging each lug 20 from its respective plate and moving the switch buttons 22 clear of the studs 11. Then the drums are rotated by the shaft 4. When the usual timer mechanism in the circuitry operates, it deenergizes each solenoid in turn to allow the corresponding arm l2 to be pressed to the left by its spring 19 so that its lug 20 slips into the next approaching slot 8 and stops the drum, and at the same time any stud 11 in the radial line of that slot is contacted by and operates the corresponding button of the switch bank 22. Thus, there is no continuous wiping contact of the switch operating means, contact being made only as, or preferably just after, the drum has been stopped. This preferred slight delay can be achieved by arranging for the projection length of the lug and/or the location of the switch buttons in the arm 12 to be such that the arm has to move beyond the initial drum arresting position before the studs 11 and switch buttons 22 can make contact.

In previous machines of the type described it has been usual for the indexing arm to move in a plane parallel to the plane in which the plate rotates and to enter the notches in a substantially radial direction. We have found that by using our side location system for stopping the drums in conjunction with the lead-in surfaces on the slots 8, the drums are stopped with greater certainty and with less mechanical shock and less risk of the location arms jumping out of engagement with the slots, notches or recesses in the location plate. Also, the mounting of the switches on the indexing arms gives a very simple and compact construction which can enable the structure to be robust and stand extensive hard usage.

It is to be understood that the above-described structure and elements may be varied within the scope of the appended claims and all such useful variations are intended to be in' cluded within said scope. For example, the solenoids 18 might be replaced by cam-actuated members for operating the indexing arms 12, such cam actuation being well known in the art concerned; the indexing arms might be mounted for sliding or other movement instead of a pivoted one; and instead of microswitches being brought into contact with actuator studs, contact blades or like devices arranged in pairs on the arms and wired in the circuitry might be arranged to touch contact studs on the location plate to complete a circuit, but there would not be any wiping action when contact was made because the drum would have already been stopped.

A further possible variation would be to fix the positions of the indexing arms and to arrange to move each drum (or at least its location plate) towards its arm immediately the drum has been stopped thus actuating the detecting device." The necessary amount of movement of the drum or the plate would be extremely small (say 2 mm.) and could be produced by axial movement of the driving shaft itself with its complete drum assembly through a cam-operated device or a solenoid.

I claim:

l. A coin-operated chance machine having at least one axially mounted drum device arranged to be set spinning and then to be stopped automatically by engagement of an indexing member with one of a series of location notches which are provided around the periphery of said drum device and having sets of electrical contact devices associated in predetermined positions with respect to said location notches for detecting the position in which said drum device stops, a series of actuator devices mounted for rotation with said drum device and located in predetermined positions relative to certain of said location notches said indexing member carrying a series of contact devices for contacting some of said actuator devices to produce an electrical signal, and means for producing relative movement between said indexing member and said drum device to cause said contact operation to take place only after the rotation of said drum device has been stopped.

2. A coin-operated machine in accordance with claim I,

wherein said actuator devices are arranged on concentric circles around the axis of rotation of a location plate which 18 rotatable with said drum device and are arranged in radial alignment with some at least of said location notches, said actuator devices being arranged for easy movement to different positions on said location plate for programming the machine.

3. A coin-operated machine in accordance with claim 2 wherein said indexing member is movable relative to said drum device in a plane substantially at right angles to the plane of rotation of said drum device, and wherein said actuator devices are constituted by studs afiixed in holes in said location plate and said contact devices are constituted by the actuating buttons of a bank of microswitches on said indexing member which buttons are arranged to be aligned with any radial row of said stud holes which may be located opposite to them when said drum device is stopped.

4. A coin-operated machine in accordance with claim 1, wherein said indexing member is movable relative to said drum device in a plane substantially at right angles to the plane of rotation of said drum device in a plane substantially at right angles to the plane of rotation of said drum device.

5. A coin-operated machine in accordance with claim 4 wherein said location notches are situated around the periphery of one circular face of said drum device and each notch provides an opening disposed on said face for entry of an indexing lug on said location member, each said opening having a lead-in surface on its leading edge to guide said lug into said opening.

6. A coin-operated machine in accordance with claim 1 including a plurality of said drum devices each with its actuator devices, indexing member, and contact devices said drums all being mounted on a common rotatable drive shaft but each one being clutched thereto independently of the others, each said drum being free to rotate on said shaft but normally driven thereby through a spring-engaged friction clutch arranged to slip when the spinning of that drum is stopped by operation of its indexing member.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4071246 *Aug 18, 1976Jan 31, 1978Bally Manufacturing CorporationMagnetic reel reading device
US5102136 *Feb 4, 1991Apr 7, 1992Bally Manufacturing CorporationSlot machine reel mounting assembly
US5423540 *May 27, 1994Jun 13, 1995Bally Gaming International, Inc.Adjustable slot machine reel mounting assembly
US5462333 *Jan 31, 1992Oct 31, 1995Life Forece Associates, LpChild safety seat
US20150102559 *Apr 23, 2014Apr 16, 2015IgtReel basket encoder
U.S. Classification273/143.00R
International ClassificationG07F17/34
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/34
European ClassificationG07F17/34