US 3675927 A
A two-player pinball machine intended for simultaneous play by a player at each end and in which the play field has means for tilting first in one direction and then in the other to place the players alternately in offensive and defensive roles, triggered by passage of the ball into the offensive player's out-hole. Scoring targets are provided on the play field with the prime goal being the goal at the opposite out-hole. Sets of flippers, controlled from the respectively opposite ends of the machine, are provided for the offensive player to drive the ball to the scoring targets and for concurrent use by the defensive player to thwart the offensive player, particularly by driving the ball through the out-hole of the latter, to achieve tilting of the play field so as to take over the offensive role. A single ball, which need not leave the surface of the play table, sufficies for both players. A control arrangement is provided for the targets in which a portion of the targets are activated in a commutated sequence and in which the status of commutation is preserved, and the sequence is reversed, incident to reversal of the tilt of the table. A tilting mechanism is used which is disengageable for easy access to the underside of the table for servicing purposes. The accumulated score of each player is indicated by a single set of drums viewable through oppositely facing panels extending bridgingly over the center of the machine.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ July 11, 1972 United States Patent Gottlieb et al.
[ TWO-PLAYER PINBALL MACHINE Primary ExaminerRichard C. Pinkham  Inventors: Alvin J. Gottlieb; Wayne E. Neyens, Assistant Examiner Theamce Brown Attorney-Wolfe, Hubbard, Leydig, Voit & Osann, Ltd.
[ 57] ABSTRACT both of Elmhurst; Robert T. Smith, Berwyn; Roman F. Garbark, Westchester, all of lll.
UNITED STATES PATENTS cies for both players. A control arrangement is provided for the targets in which a portion of the targets are activated in a commutated sequence and in which the status of commutation is preserved, and the sequence is reversed, incident to reversal of the tilt of the table. A tilting mechanism is used which is dism 0 M D FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS engageable for easy access to the underside of the table for servicing purposes. The accumulated score of each player is 374,474 0/1923 Germany.... .......................273/l 36 F i di d b a i l et of drums viewable through oppositely 518,760 0/1939 facing panels extendin center of the machine.
g bridgingly over the Great Britain 22 Claims, 25 Drawing Figures PKTENTEDJUL 11 I972 3. 675.927
sum 10 [1F 12 fid- TWO-PLAYER PINBALL MACHINE Pinball machines intended for amusement purposes have generally been single player machines in which each person takes a turn and in which the only uniting interest is the relative final score. Machines intended for use by two players are known, as indicated by the Di Motta U.S. Pat. No. 3,452,987, but in the arrangement shown in that patent the players simply take turns playing on a play field which closely resembles a conventional play field, and the opposite party is relegated to a passive role in which he is powerless to strike or otherwise affect the play of the ball.
It is an object of the invention to provide a pinball machine which permits active competitive play of the ball by two players using a play field which tilts alternately in thedirection of one of the players or the other thereby to establish offensive and defensive roles and in which both of the players concurrently operate sets of flippers acting upon a single ball. It is another object of the invention to provide a pin ball machine in which the play field is tilted in its opposite directions upon passage of the ball into the offensive players out-hole, either by action of gravity or as a result of driving of the ball into the out-hole by the defensive player. Thus it is an object to provide a game in which the offensive and defensive roles of the players continually switch back and forth and in which the defensive player, by skillful flipper manipulation can take over and maintain an offensive position for accumulation of score.
It is a related object to provide a pinball machine in which out-holes are provided at each end of the play field, with both out-hole positions being active during the play of the game, the near out-hole being utilized to trigger the tilting of the table and the remote out-hole being used as a high-scoring target, and with the functions being reversed automatically when the play field is tilted.
It is another object of the invention to provide a two-player pinball machine in which certain of the targets are selectively activated and in which the status of activation is preserved during the tilting movement of the table so that a newly offensive player is presented with an array of scoring targets which depends upon the achievement, during his turn, of the formerly offensive player. More specifically it is an object of the present invention to provide, in a two-player pinball machine, a series of scoring targets which are active in a commutated sequence for achievement of a high score at the end of the commutation cycle and in which the status of commutation is preserved and the sequence of commutation is reversed in cident to reversing the tilt of the table so that the newly offensive player is presented with scoring opportunities which are inversely related to the achievement of the formerly offensive player. Thus it is an object of the invention to provide a twoplayer pinball machine in which the scoring possibilities on the playfield are not the same in each player's offensive turn but are constantly varied.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide a two-player pinball machine in which the ball, after passing into the out-hole, is restored to play by the resultant reverse tilting of the table so that there is no necessity for the manually-operated spring plungers usually employed to put a ball into play. Thus it is an object of the invention to provide a two-player pinball machine in which the usual construction of out-hole is replaced by a receptacle which is on substantially the same level as the play field and from which the ball is free to roll back onto the play field when the direction of tilt is reversed. However, for restoring the ball to the play field as promptly as possible, a power operated ejector is preferably used, synchronized with the tilting movement.
It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a two-player pinball machine which is easily serviced and in which elements in the frame, and which are secured to the underside of the play field table, are rendered easily accessible at either end of the machine. It is a more specific object to provide a two player pinball machine having novel means for tilting the table about a horizontal transverse axis but in which the table itself may be separated from the tilting means and propped at either end at a relatively steep angle to permit access, for service purposes, at each end of the frame.
It is an object of the invention in one of its aspects to provide means for continuously displaying the score of both players to the players at the opposite ends of the machine. More specifically it is an object to provide a score displaying arrangement which includes panels spaced back to back bridgingly mounted on the machine and with a single set of stepped drums for each player displaying the same score in oppositely facing directions.
It is an object of the invention in one of its aspects to provide a two-player machine having novel provision for singleplayer operation.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent upon reading the attached detailed description and upon reference to the drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a two-player pinball machine constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the play field shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a plan view showing the tilting means and with the play table indicated by the dot-dash outline;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary elevation showing the table tilting linkage and driving motor;
FIG. 4a is a fragmentary perspective showing the coupling between the motor and pitman;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary vertical section looking along the line 55 in FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is an elevational view, with the frame in vertical section, showing the two ways in which the play table may be elevated for access to the mechanism;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary perspective showing a typical flipper and actuating solenoid;
FIG. 8 is an elevation of pop" bumper looking along the line 8-8 in FIG. 2;
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary plan view showing a typical power actuated bumper;
FIG. 9a is a fragmentary section looking along the line 9a 9a in FIG. 9;
FIG. 9b is a fragmentary section looking along the line 9b- 9b in FIG. 9;
FIG. 10 is a section taken through one of the roll-over switches and looking along the line 10-10 in FIG. 2;
FIG. 11 is a fragmentary vertical section taken through the out-hole region at one end of the machine looking along line 11-11 in FIG. 2;
FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the bail which operates the goal switch;
FIGS. 13a, 13b, and 13c taken together comprise a schematic diagram of the electrical circuit employed in the present invention.
FIG. 14 is a fragmentary vertical section through a roll-over button taken along line 14-14 in FIG. 2;
FIG. 15 is a diagram, partly in perspective, showing the electromechanical arrangement employed for activating the roll-over buttons and for scoring and illuminating the same;
FIG. 16 is a fragmentary elevation of the bridge at the center of the machine used for displaying the score with panel removed;
FIG. 17 is a fragmentary horizontal section looking along the line 17-17 in FIG. 16;
FIG. 18 is a perspective view of one of the drums employed in the scoring device;
FIG. 19 is a fragmentary section taken through one of the drum assemblies looking along the line l919 in FIG. 17;
FIG. 20 is a diagram showing a modification permitting play by a single player when a second player is not available.
GENERAL ORGANIZATION Turning now to the drawings, there is disclosed in FIGS. 1 and 2 a pinball machine 20 constructed in accordance with the invention having a box-like frame or housing with ends 21, 22 and sides 23, 24. Mounted within the housing is a playfield, or table, 30 upon which the game is played which is recessed into the frame and which has corresponding ends 31, 32 and sides 33, 34. The frame is supported at convenient playing height upon legs 35.
In arching position over the central portion of the frame is a bridge 40 having vertical supporting members 41, 42 and score display panels 43, 44, to which more detailed reference will be made at a later point.
In accordance with the present invention the table is not only tiltable alternately in opposite directions for play by two players but separate out-holes are provided at the ends and separate sets of flippers are provided which are concurrently operated by the offensive" player at one end to achieve a score and by the defensive" player at the other end to thwart the offensive player and to drive the ball into the out-hole of the offensive player thereby to reverse the tilt of the table and interchange the offensive and defensive roles of the players. Further in accordance with the invention, a single ball is used and the out-hole receptacles are so constructed that the ball remains on the play field table at all times, being restored to the center of the play field incident to tilting of the table in the reverse direction. Thus, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, where the player positions have been indicated at A and B respectively, separate out-holes, goals, and flippers are provided for each of the players as indicated by use of the subscripts a and b, respectively. At the first end of the machine there is a raised plateau 50a defining a receptacle or out-hole 51a which is substantially at the level of the play field. Left of the center-line is a left-hand set of flippers 52a, 53a operated by a flipper control button 540. To the right of the center-line is a right-hand set of flippers 55a, 56a controlled by a right-hand button 570. The primary goal of the player at the A" end of the machine is to manipulate the flippers so as to drive the ball into a goal 580 at the opposite end of the machine. Entry of the ball into the goal is, as will be discussed, a high-scoring achievement.
Similarly at the opposite or 8" end of the machine a plateau 50b defines an out-hole receptacle 51b. To the left of the center-line, as viewed from 8" end, are flippers 52b, 5312 under the control of a left-hand control button 54b. To the right of the center-line are a set of flippers 55b, 56b under the control of a right-hand button 57b. The goal for the player at the B end is indicated at 58b.
Flanking the flippers 52a, 55a are bumper assemblies 61a, 62a (See also FIG. 9) of generally parallelogram shape. Corresponding bumper assemblies 61b, 62b are provided adjacent the flippers 52b, 55b at the opposite end. In addition to the goals 58a, 58b, other scoring targets provided on the play field include "pop bumpers 71-74 (FIG. 8) which are per se known in the art as well as island" bumpers 81-84 which are arranged along both of the lateral edges of the machine. The bumpers 81 and 84 are spaced from the edge to provide channels having roll-over switches 85, 86 (FIG. Additional roll-over switches 87, 88 flank the bumper assemblies 61a, 62a and 61b, 62b respectively.
With regard to scoring elements thus far described, the aim of the offensive player, in whose favor the play field is tilted, is to manipulate the flippers under his control so as to propel a ball through the goal at the opposite end or into contact with the bumpers and roll-over switches to accumulate a maximum score prior to the balls passing into the out-hole at the near end. The purpose of the defensive player is to operate his own flippers concurrently, either to thwart scoring by the offensive player or to drive the ball into the offensive player's out-hole to cause the play field to tilt in the opposite direction, thereby ending the turn" of the latter player. Arranged along the center-line of the machine are a series of roll-over buttons 91, 96 (FIG. 14) which have a high score potential and which will be discussed at a later point. Prior to a discussion of the nature of the electrical circuitry required to bring about the mode of play, reference may be made to the mounting of the play field table for alternate tilting toward the respective ends of the machine.
TABLE MOUNTING Thus turning to FIGS. 3-6 a cross-shaft 100 extends trans versely between the sides 23, 24 of the frame. Centered along the lateral edges of the table are small L-shaped brackets 101,
102 having downturned portions which engage the ends of the shaft for rocking support. For positively rocking the table in one direction or the other a teeter-totter member 105 is provided mounted on the shaft at 106 and having pads 107, 108 which engage the underside of the table at regions spaced in opposite directions from the shaft. For oscillating the member 105 a gear type motor 110 (FIG. 4a) is provided having a shaft 111 which carries a crank 112 which is pivoted at 113 to a slide 114 on a link or pitman 115, the slide being clampable at a predetermined position by a clamping screw 116. The link 1 15 has a pivot connection 117, at its upper end, to the end of the member 105. For causing the crank 112 to come to rest in either its straight up or straight down position, a sensing cam is secured to the shaft 111 with cooperating detector or limit switches 121, 122. The circuit for energizing the motor will be discussed in due course.
In accordance with one of the mechanical aspects of the present invention the table 30 is secured to the shaft 100, upon which it rocks, by means of a disengageable connection, and means are provided at the ends of the table so that when it is disengaged from the shaft it may be tilted upwardly about each of its ends at a steep angle for access to the elements on the underside of the table and other components which are mounted within the frame. Thus the brackets 101, 102 on the table and which were previously mentioned, are simply notched on the underside and are held down in firm engagement with the shaft by means of rockable hooks which engage respective locking pins, or stubs, mounted upon the brackets. Thus referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, a hook lever 131 is provided adjacent the bracket 102 having a hook 132 which may be rocked into and out of engagement with a pin 133 riveted to the bracket. A spring 134 at the lower end of the lever 131 maintains the hook normally engaged so that the table is firmly seated upon the teeter-totter member 105. A corresponding hook structure is utilized at the opposite end of the shaft 100. For simultaneously releasing the hooks at both ends of the shaft, a V-shaped linkage or yoke 135 is provided which is pinned to the lower ends of the levers and pinned, at the junction 136, to a manual throw-over lever 137 which is anchored to a supporting bracket 138. A closure member 139 uncovers an opening at one end of the frame which provides access to the throw-over or locking lever 137. Further security is provided by a glass top (not shown).
Thus when the locking lever 137 is moved to its vertical position and the cover 139 is locked in place, the machine is secure and the table cannot be raised. However when service is necessary the glass top is removed, the closure 139 is opened, and the lever 137 is thrown to its horizontal position. This rocks the hooks out of engagement, permitting the table to be lifted at one end while pivoting about the other. For achieving the pivoting movement at the ends of the table obstruction or shoulder is provided inside each end of the frame. Such obstruction is in the form of a transversely extending member 141 having a hook-shaped cross-section which is engaged by an inverted hook-shaped member 142 on the table.
A similar hook-shaped member 143 is provided at the opposite end engaged by an inverted hooked member 144. Interengagement of the hooks provides support continuously along the lower" edge of the table thereby steadying the table against vibration during play. In order to prop the table up for service, a prop 145 is provided which is swingable about the shaft 100 and which engages supports 146 or 147 secured to the underside of the table, depending upon which way the table is raised.
By adjustment of the slide 114 on the link 115 and by adjusting the location of the hooks at each end of the board the desired angle of the table during play, preferably 3 k", the throw of the crank is then adjusted to minimize impact at the hooks.
SCORING TARGETS AND OUT-HOLE CONSTRUCTION Returning attention to the play field it will be understood that many of the mechanisms and scoring targets are similar to those employed in a conventional single-ended or singleplayer machine. For example the mechanism for operating the flippers 52a, 530 from the switch 540 is per se the same as that previously used, employing a spring-returned solenoid which is mechanically coupled to the flipper as shown in FIG. 7. Similarly a typical pop bumper 71, shown in elevation in FIG. 8, includes a contact ring 71a, controlling contact 71b, and an impulsing ring 710 which is, upon closure of the contact, downwardly impulsed by a solenoid 71d having a set of normally closed contacts 7 1e. The remaining bumpers 72-74 will be understood to be of the same construction and to be equipped with the same switch contacts and solenoid bearing corresponding reference numerals where applicable.
For the purpose of insuring a complete power stroke when the contact ring 71a on bumper 71 is contacted by the ball, an inter locked relay RC having contacts RC1, RC2, and RC3, is interposed in the circuit as shown in FIG. 13a. Contacts RC1 are normally open contacts which are included in a relay sealing circuit. Contacts RC2 and RC3 are energizing contacts connected in series with the solenoids 71d, 72d of the pop" bumpers 71, 72. For breaking the sealing circuit at the end of the power stroke normally closed contacts 7le, 722 are connected in series with contacts RC1.
It will be apparent, then, that when the ring 710 is encountered by the ball, closure of contacts 71b causes closure of relay RC which is then firmly seated by closure of the sealing contacts RC1. This produces simultaneous energization of the solenoids 71d, 72d causing the impulsing ring 710 (FIG. 8) to be drawn sharply downward thereby causing the ball to be impulsed away from the bumper. The contacts 7le are so arranged as to be broken toward the end of the power stroke of the solenoid 71d, and when the contacts 7le open, breaking the sealing circuit, the relay RC drops out, thereby to de-energize the solenoid. A similar operating sequence occurs when the pop" bumper 72 is engaged by the ball. It will be noted that the electrically associated pop bumpers are diagonally arranged on the playfield thereby to insure response upon ricocheting of the ball between two powered bumpers.
Other ones of the bumpers on the playfield are powered in a similar fashion. For example taking the bumper 61a adjacent the flipper 52a, shown in FIG. 9, it includes a resilient cord 151 of rubber or the like behind which is a switch blade 152 connected to a switch 153 (FIG. 9a). The switch controls a solenoid 154 (see FIG. 9b) which actuates an impulsing lever 155 behind the cord 151. Thus when the ball strikes the cord closing the switch, the solenoid is energized to produce a powered rebound. A similar construction is employed at 62a and at 61b, 62b, and for the bumper islands 81-84 inclusive.
As to the construction of the roll-over switches 85-88, reference is made to FIG. 10 where a typical switch is seen to be made up of a roll-over member 156 biased upwardly by blade 157 and depressable by a ball to close contacts 158.
In order to understand the construction of the out-hole receptacle and goal switch reference is made to FIGS. 11 and 12. While the term out-hole has been used to denote the receptacle into which the ball is received following play on the field, it is one of the features of the present invention that the surface of the out-hole receptacle is substantially at the same level as the playfield. Formed in the surface within the outhole receptacle is a shallow tapering groove 161b, which guides the ball into contact with the projecting tip of an outhole switch 160b. Such switch senses the arrival of the ball regardless of whether the ball comes down the center of the playfield or down one of the side alley ways indicated at 162. While it is one of the features of the construction that the ball is discharged with the assistance of gravity when the table tilts in the opposite direction, it is preferred to assist gravity, and speed up the game, by forcibly ejecting the ball from the outhole position. This is accomplished by a solenoid 163b having a bell crank l64b which includes a vertical portion 165b, the latter projecting upwardly through an opening l66b in the table behind the switch l60b. As will be discussed, the solenoid l63b is energized at approximately the same time that the table is being tilted in the opposite direction so that the ball is on the playfield during the tilting movement. The groove 161 and ejecting assembly are preferably rotated through a small angle on the order of 5' so that the ball is ejected, not down the center line of the table but along line 167k at such an angle that it will pass into range of the flippers.
The goal 58a, shown in FIGS. 11 and 12, is positioned just ahead of the out-hole and has a goal switch 1700 connected by a spring 1710 to a pendulously mounted arm 172a. Mounted on one side of the arm 172a is a switch operator in the form of a bail 175a having trunnions 173a. Thus when the playfield is tilted in favor of player A (to the left as viewed in FIGS. 1 and 2) the skillful striking of the ball by one of the A" flippers will cause the ball to be directed toward the goal 580 at the defensive players position. As the ball rolls between the defensive flippers 52b, 55b, it rocks the bail 175a upwardly, as shown, so that it engages the arm 172a, tensioning the spring 1710 to make contact at switch 170a which, as will be seen, is recorded as a high-scoring event. Since the bail operates the arm 172a in only one direction, the ball may brush by the bail when moving out of the out-hole without hindrance. Structure corresponding to that shown in FIGS. 11 and 12 is provided at the opposite end of the playfield for controlling an out-hole switch 160a and a goal switch 17012.
In the above paragraphs mention has been made of the various components on the playfield. As in the case of a conventional pinball machine, scoring results from the making of contact at the various scoring targets which award score in proportion to the amount of skill involved. In a practical machine of present design the pop" bumpers have a score of 10, as do the bumper assemblies 61a-62b at the ends of the field, representative scores being encircled in FIG. 2. A score of 10 is also achieved by the roll-over switches -88 along the sides of the playfield. The bumper switches in the islands 81-84, upon each striking, provide a score of 1. The goal switches at each end of the table may provide a score of 500 or a score of 1,000. While a score of 500 is preferred for a practical machine, the attached circuitry and description have, for the sake of simplicity, assumed a score of 1,000, since such score may be registered by a single step of advancement of the third order drum in the scoring or tallying assembly to be described. The roll-over buttons 91-96 also have a high-scoring potential but discussion of this will be reserved to a later point. In the discussion which follows it will be understood that all of the switches on the playfield scoring a count of one" are connected in parallel and are designated in the drawing, FIG. 13b, for convenience, as the units" switch US. It will further be assumed that all of the switches achieving a count of 10 are connected in parallel and thus appear in the circuit diagram as the tens switch TS. The target switches providing a count of (where used) have been indicated in the diagram as the hundreds" switch H8. The switches providing a count of 1,000 include the goal switches 1700, b which energize a thousands scoring line 200. The operation of the specific means for tallying the score in response to actuation of the switches may be reserved until a later point.
SIMPLIFIED CIRCUIT DIAGRAM The invention may be understood by reference to the simplified circuit diagram shown in connected FIGS. 13a, 13b, and 13c. It is convenient to supply the circuit from the I15 volt commercial AC source via lines 201, 202. A transformer 203 steps the control voltage down to approximately 24 volts AC. for the supplying of main busses 205, 206. A second transformer 207 (FIG. 13a) serves to step the voltage down to 6 volts AC. for lamp busses 208, 209.
Turning to FIG. 130, a ratcheted player unit assembly is used for triggering the tilting of the table and performing the switching functions which are required to reverse the offensive and defensive roles of the players. Such assembly includes a player unit ratchet wheel 210 having positions defined by teeth 211-217 and an output shaft 218. For the purpose of advancing the player unit ratchet wheel 210 a solenoid 220 is used having a ratchet or pawl 221 and a return spring 222. The parts are so arranged that when the solenoid is pulsed the ratchet takes a tooth", at the same time elongating the spring 222 and, at the end of the stroke, opening an associated normally closed contact PUl. When the solenoid is de-energized, contraction of the spring advances the wheel 210 one tooth distance. The seven teeth define three turns for each player plus an off position.
Coupled to shaft 218 of the ratchet wheel 210 is a player unit cam 230 having positions 231-237 and a cam follower 238. The cam 230 has three lobes or plateaus 231, 233, 235 with valleys 232, 234, 236 between them. The cam follower 238, among other things, controls table motor switches 239a and 23%. Also coupled to the shaft is a player unit disk 240 having a notch 241 and a follower 242. The ratchet wheel, player unit cam 230, and the player unit disk 240 are all shown in the seventh or game-over" position.
While the cam is stepped forwardly one step stroke of the solenoid, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that the ratchet teeth may be multiplied by any suitable multiple so that a series of small ratchet teeth are traversed for each cam step by vibration of the ratchet, with means for stopping the action at the end of each series.
The player unit disk 240 serves to control a game-over switch 245 which is in series with a gameover relay RQ having normally closed contacts RQI which feed current to a switched bus 246 and normally closed contacts RQ2 which are in series with the play table motor 110.
Operation of the circuit is initiated by a start push button PB, which may, for convenience and simplicity, be mechanically coupled to contacts R01.
Responsive to closure of the active one of the out-hole switches 160a and 160b, is a changeover" relay R having sealing contacts R01, contacts R02 in series with the ball return or ejector solenoids 163a, 16312, and contacts R03 arranged in series with the player unit solenoid 220.
A transfer switch 260 (FIG. 13b) having contacts 261, 262, and which is connected to the cam follower 238 on the player unit cam 230, serves to alternately energize busses 246a and 246b during operation of the machine by players A and B respectively.
In the initial" conditions shown in the circuit (FIG. 13c), the status of the significant elements is as follows: Voltage exists on the lines 201, 202. The player unit ratchet wheel is in its seventh" or game-over position in which the player unit cam 230 and player unit disk 240 are positioned as shown. Under such conditions the switch 245 controlled by the latter is closed so that the game-over" relay R0 is energized. The contacts R01 and R02 which are normally closed, are, therefore, both in the open condition, but contacts R03 (FIG. 13a) are closed so that the game-over" lights are turned on. It is assumed that, player B having been the last to play, the table is tilted toward player B and that the ball occupies the out-hole position at the Bend of the machine, thereby closing outhole contacts 1601:.
Operation of the machine is initiated by putting a coin into the machine and pressing the push button PB associated with the contact R01. This completes a circuit from the bus 206 to the switched bus 246, energizing the latter. Since, at the beginning of the game, the ball occupies the B" out-hole position closing contacts 160b, voltage on bus 246 is applied to the changeover relay R0. This closes contacts R01, R02 and R03.
Closure of contacts R01 serves, temporarily, to seal in the relay R0. Closure of contacts R02 energizes the ball ejecting solenoids 163a, 163b so that solenoid 16317 ejects the ball out onto the play field. This opens the out-hole contacts 160b, but this does not make any difference since the sealing contacts R01 maintain the relay closed.
Closure of contacts R03 applies voltage to the solenoid 220 so that the ratchet 221 takes a tooth". Upon completion of the solenoid stroke the contacts PUl open, breaking the sealing circuit to relay R0, permitting the relay to drop out and thereby permitting the contacts R03 thereon to open, cutting ofi further flow of current to the player unit solenoid. Deenergization of the solenoid permits the spring 222 to contract to apply an advancing, or power, stroke to the ratchet wheel 210 thereby advancing the shaft 218 through one step. This rotates the player unit disk 240 so that the follower 242 rides up out of the notch 241 to open the switch 245, thereby to deenergize the relay RQ which permits the relay armature to move into a position in which the normally closed contacts R01 and R02 are closed. The push button may then be released and contacts R01 will remain closed, with the contacts RQ2 serving to set up a circuit to the play table motor 1 10.
Rotation of the ratchet wheel shaft 218 through one step also rotates the player unit cam 230 causing the cam follower 238 to ride upwardly onto the first plateau 231. This causes motor switch 23% to open and switch 239a to close, completing a circuit to the motor through the limit switch 121. The cam follower 238 also throws the transfer switch 260 to energize line 2460 which causes score to accrue to player A and which selectively energizes player A's goal and out-hole switches.
As the motor rotates, and the table begins to tilt, the ball out on the play field, previously ejected by solenoid 1631; along the angled path 167b, may be manipulated by operation of the flippers even before the table completes its movement.
At the completion of the tilting movement, the crank 112 has been moved from straight up to straight down position and the cam associated therewith has been moved to the point of drop off of the limit switch 121 thereby de-energizing the drive motor 110. At the completion of the drive stroke the transversely extending hook members 141, 142 (FIG. 6) at player A's end of the table come together along their entire length to brace and steady the table for play until the next reversal of the direction of tilt.
During the course of play, the main aim of the offensive player is to drive the ball, by manipulation of the flipper buttons 54a, 57a into the goal at the opposite end of the machine. Where A is the first offensive player his aim, then, is to drive the ball through goal 58a at the 8" end of the machine to close contacts 170a (FIG. 13b) thereby to apply a pulse of voltage to the 1000's scoring line 200 to cause the 1,000drum to advance one unit. The scoring drums and their associated circuitry will be discussed in detail in a following paragraph. The aim of player A is, further to engage the ball with the scoring targets including the bumpers, pop bumpers and roll over contacts, during his turn, so as to accumulate a score which is as high as possible. As will be noted in FIG. 13b, the solenoids which operate the scoring drums for players A and B are connected respectively to the voltage supply lines 246a and 246b. During player A's turn as offensive player, the transfer switch 260 energizes only the line 2460 so that only As scoring drums respond to closure of the scoring switches, for example, US and TS operated by the scoring targets. Similarly, since only As goal switch 58a and As out-hole switch a are connected to an energized line (246a), only these switches, and not B's corresponding switches, are capable of responding to the ball.
During the time that player A is the offensive player, player B may concurrently operate the B" flippers by manipulating the buttons 54b and 57b for two separate purposes. One purpose is to thwart player As manipulation of the ball, either to prevent As making a goal or to prevent, insofar as possible, the ball from striking a scoring target. For example, when the ball is in the region of the goal it can often be driven away from the goal position by the flippers which are spaced closely on opposite sides of the goal entryway. Any scoring contact with a target which may be made by player B simply adds to As score. The second and even more important maneuver is for B, by manipulation of his flippers, to drive the .ball down the center of the table and into player As out-hole. This closes out-hole contacts 160a to reverse the roles of the players so that B becomes the offensive player and A is relegated to defensive position. The out-hole contacts 160a will also be closed in the event that player A, by reason of lack of skill, allows the ball to gravitate into his out-hole, either along the center line of the table or via the side alleyways 162. In either event, closure of the contacts 160a brings about the following sequence of events:
Referring to the schematic diagram, closure of contacts 160a at player As out-hole applies voltage to the change over relay R which seals itself in by reason of closure of contacts R01. Closure of contacts R02 impulses the ejecting solenoids so that the solenoid 163a ejects the ball back out onto the play field. Meanwhile closure of contacts R03 applies voltage to the player unit solenoid 220 causing the rachet 221 to take a tooth. At the end of the rachet stroke the contacts PUl open, thereby de-energizing the solenoid 220 and allowing the spring 222 to contract to apply a power stroke to the rachet wheel.
Advancement of rachet wheel causes the cam follower 238 on the player unit cam 230 to drop off of the plateau 231 into the valley 232 which reverses the setting of the switches 2390, 239b, causing contact to be made at switch 2391;, thereby to complete his circuit through the (then closed) limit switch 122 to the motor 110 to cause the table to be tilted in the direction of player B.
At the same time, dropping of cam follower 238 causes the transfer switch 260 to switch to its op osite condition, thereby opening contacts 261 to de-energize the line 246a and closing contacts 262 to energize the alternate supply line 2445b. This energizes player B's goal and out-hole switches and goal light and causes any subsequent scoring at a target to be tallied on player Bs scoring drums. Thus if player B, now offensive, is able to drive the ball through the goal 58b at As end of the playfield, a pulse of voltage is applied to the 1,000s relay RP, via line 200, adding the sum of 1,000 to Bs score. Conversely, if layer A, acting defensively, drives the ball into player Bs out-hole, closure of the contacts 160]; energizes the relay R0. This closes contacts R02 to impulse the ball return solenoids so that the ball is restored to the play field without delay and, at the same time, closes contacts R03 to impulse the player unit solenoid 230 thereby to advance the ratchet wheel 210 and cause the cam follower 238 to ascend the next plateau 233 on the player unit cam 230. This closes motor switch 239a which completes a circuit to the motor through limit switch 121 to cause the table to tilt back toward player A to reverse the roles of the players. Also, movement of the cam follower 238 reverses the condition of the transfer switch 260 so that line 246a is energized. This re-energizes player A's goal and out-hole switches and insures that closure of the contacts at the scoring targets results in registering of score on player As scoring drums.
Subsequent triggerings of the changeover relay RO by the out-hole contacts produces successive advancement of the ratchet wheel 210 and successive steps of movement of the player unit cam 230 until each player has had a total of three turns as offensive player. When, at the completion of player Bs third turn, the ball rolls into his out-hole to close out-hole switch contacts 160b, the final energization of the changeover relay RO produces a final step of movement of the player unit disk 240 so that the cam follower 242 thereon drops into the notch 241 to close the associated contacts 245, thereby energizing the game-over" relay RQ. This opens the normally closed contacts ROI, thus de-energizing the switched bus 246 which prevents any further score from being accrued by either of the two playersv Moreover opening of contacts RQ2 isolates the play table motor 110 so that no further tilting of the table may occur and the table occupies a final position in which it remains tilted toward player Bs end of the machine. The ball gravitates into player Bs out-hole where it remains, contacts RQ3 turn on the game over" lights LG, one at each end of the table.
For the purpose of enabling the players to keep track of the "turns which they have had, turn lights are provided which are energized by a commutating switch which is coupled to the player unit shaft 218. Thus referring to FIG. 13a commutating switch 270 is employed having contacts connected in series with lamps LA1LA3 at player A's end of the machine and lamps LB1-LB3 at player B's end of the machine, the lamps being connected to alternate switch contacts. In addition, a seventh or off position is provided so that all of the lamps are off between games. The contacts and off position are equally distributed about an arc of 360. When a game is started, accompanied by a first step of movement of the player unit cam 230, lamp LA! is turned on and the lamps are thereafter operated in sequence to signal the offensive turns of the players.
In order to highlight the goal for each of the players a goal light transfer switch 280 is provided connected to cam follower 238 of the cam 230 and having contacts 281, 282 which are respectively connected to goal lights GLA and GLB which illuminate flush lighted areas adjacent the goals at the ends of the machine. The highlighting of the target goal facilitates taking aim upon the goal under conditions of fast play.
It will be seen, then, that the player unit ratchet wheel 210 and the solenoid which drives it can be considered as a simple form of stepping motor for stepping the player unit cam for reciprocation of the player unit cam follower between alternate positions for alternate tilting of the table and for alternate, and corresponding, activation of the A and 8" lines, 2460 and 24Gb which selectively activate the A" and 8" goal switches out-hole switches, and scoring devices.
SEQUENTIAL ACTIVATION OF SCORING TARGETS In accordance with one of the aspects of the present invention a series of scoring targets are provided on the play field which are sequentially activated, and means are provided for preserving the status of the activated targets during the tilting movement of the table so that the newly offensive player is presented with an array of scoring targets which depends upon the achievement of the formerly offensive player. More specifically in accordance with the invention, a series of scoring targets are provided in the form of roll-over" buttons arranged in a row, each button, upon contact with the ball, serving to activate the next button in the series to enable the player to achieve a high score when the final button in the series is activated during the offensive turn of the player. Still further in accordance with the invention means are provided for maintaining the activated status of a button during the tilting of the table while reversing the direction of the sequence. Thus failure of one player to progress beyond a low point in the sequence presents an unusual scoring opportunity to the opposite player when his ofiensive turn comes upon tilting of the table.
Thus, referring to FIG. 2, the series of roll-over buttons, indicated at 91-96, are arranged longitudinally along the centerline of the table. Each button has an associated normally open contact, the contacts being indicated at 301-306 respectively (see FIG. 13a). The buttons occupy a normal position in which they extend just slightly above the surface 30 of the play field, with the weight of the ball being effective to despress the button for the making of momentary contact. Conveniently each button may have a shank or plunger 307 (FIG. 14) a stop 308 at the end thereof, and a transparent or translucent support 309 of disk profile. If desired the button may be made of star" shape with pointed portions of the support 309 being extended inwardly, in register, between the points of the star.
For the purpose of automatic commutation of the buttons so that the striking of one button is effective to activate the next button in the series, a two-way stepping switch is provided as shown diagrammatically in FIG. 15 and in schematic form in FIG. 13a. The stepping switch indicated at 310 has a shaft 311 and a wiper 320 which cooperates with contacts 321-326 which are respectively connected in series with the roll-over button contacts 301-306. For the purpose of stepping the shaft forwardly" during A's turn as an offensive player, a ratchet wheel 330 is provided having a rachet 331, a solenoid 332, and a spring 333. Associated with the solenoid is a pair of normally open contacts 334. For rotating the shaft 311 step by step in the reverse" direction during player Bs turn, a rachet wheel 340 is provided having a ratchet or pawl 341, a solenoid 342, and a spring 343. Coupled to the solenoid 342 is a pair of normally open contacts 344. For determining whether the A" solenoid 332 or B solenoid 342 is operated a sequence reversing switch 350 is provided which is coupled to the cam follower 238 on the player unit cam 230 and which has alternately closed contacts 351, 352. Thus during player A's turn the contacts 352 are open and the contacts 351 are closed so that only solenoid 332 may be actuated.
In operation, therefore, assuming that contact 321 is engaged by the wiper 320, the roll-over button 91 is the activated roll-over button. Thus when the ball encounters the roll-over button 91, closing the contacts 301 thereon, a circuit is made through commutator contact 321 and wiper 320, via contacts 351 to the A" solenoid 332 causing forward stepping of the shaft 311. When this occurs the wiper 320 is moved into engagement with the second contact 322 of the commutator so that the roll-over button 92 becomes the activated one. In this way one of the roll-over buttons after the other may be engaged by the ball during the turn of the player A until the roll-over button 96 becomes the activated one. As previously stated, when this final button of the series is activated and subsequently'engaged by the ball, this is considered a high-scoring achievement and means are provided for adding a high score increment.
For the purpose of energizing the 1,000s relay RP(F1G. 13b) when the sixth contact is achieved during player A's turn, a commutating type scoring switch is provided having a wiper 360 coupled to the shaft 311 and having contacts 361-366, the contact 366 being connected to the scoring line 200 via normally open contacts 334 associated with the A" solenoid 332.
The operation of the scoring switch will be clear upon considering what occurs when the commutator wiper 320 is in engagement with the commutator contact 326, making the rollover button 96 the activated one of the buttons. Under such circumstances the wiper 360 of the scoring switch is in engagement with the commutated scoring contact 366. However no voltage is, under such circumstances, applied to the scoring line 200 leading to the relay RP since contacts 334 are, at that time, open. However when the ball engages the roll-over button 96, closing contacts 306, a circuit is made via contact 326 through the wiper 320 and thence through contacts 351 of the switch 350 causing voltage to be applied to the A" solenoid 332. Sucking in of the solenoid causes closure of contacts 334. This completes the circuit from the bus 246 through contact 366 and wiper 360 so that voltage from the bus is applied to scoring line 200 causing energization of the relay RP so that player A is credited with an increment of score of 1,000. When the ball rolls clear of the roll-over button 96, the A" solenoid 332 is de-energized causing the spring 333 to retract the ratchet 331 with a power stroke. This not only opens contacts 334 but serves to advance the shaft 311 and the wipers 320, 360 thereon, one step. This brings the wiper 320 into contact with the first commutation contact 321, thus again making the roll-over button 91 the active one. Contact between the wiper 360 and the contact 361 of the scoring switch is ineffective since, at that time, contacts 344, associated with the B" solenoid 342, are open.
In accordance with one of the features of the present invention, means are provided for selectively illuminating the rollover buttons in order to denote which of the buttons is currently activated. To accomplish this, each of the roll-over buttons has a light for illuminating it from the bottom and the lights are connected to the individual contacts of a light commutating switch powered from the ratchet shaft 311. Accordingly. Accordingly, referring to FIGS. 13a and 15, a commutating switch is provided having a wiper 370 and contacts 371-376 which are individually connected to lamps indicated at ROL1-ROL6 respectively. Thus illumination of lamp ROLl associated with the first roll-over button 91 indicates that contact exists between wiper 320 and the first contact 321 of the button commutating switch, making roll-over button 91 active. When the roll-over button 91 is struck by the ball, completing contact to the A" solenoid 332, the ratchet wheel 330 is stepped causing advancement of the wiper 320 into contact with the second commutator contact 322, thereby activating the roll-over button 92, accompanied by advancement of the wiper 370 into engagement with the contact 372 to light lamp ROL2. This clearly indicates that it is the second rollover button which is new active.
In the above discussion it has been assumed that it is player As offensive turn and that contacts 351 of the sequencereversing switch 350 are closed, thereby to selectively activate the A" solenoid 332. However when it becomes Bs offensive turn the sequence-reversing switch 350 is thrown into its opposite position by the cam follower 238, closing contacts 352 so that the B" solenoid 342 becomes active. Since the ratchet teeth of ratchet wheel 340 are faced in the opposite direction, actuation of the solenoid has the effect of rotating the shaft 311 in the counterclockwise or subtract direction. This causes the roll-over buttons to be activated in the reverse sequence. In other words, hen it is player B's turn the sequence of the roll-over buttons is from player Bs position to the opposite end of the board, and roll-over button 91, at the end of the series, thus becomes the high-scoring button.
For scoring completion of the sequence by player B, the commutator contact 361 is connected to the 1,0005 scoring line 200 via the normally open contacts 344 associated with the 8" solenoid 342.
In understanding how the device works on behalf of player B, it will be assumed that player B has, in succession, hit rollover buttons 96 through 92 so that the wiper 320 of the commutator switch occupies contact 321 and so that the wiper 370 of the light commutator switch occupies contact 37] thereby illuminating the roll-over button 91 to indicate that it is new active. When the roll-over button 91 is engaged by the ball, completing a circuit through contacts 321 and contacts 352 to the B" solenoid 342, the solenoid takes a tooth" on the wheel 340, closing the contacts 344. This completes a circuit through the wiper 360 and contact 361 on the scoring switch to apply a pulse of voltage to the scoring line 200 so that an increment of score of 1,000 is credited to player Bs account. As the ball clears the roll-over button 91, the solenoid 342 is de-energized permitting the spring 343, upon contraction, to rotate the shaft 311 one step in the counterclockwise direction while simultaneously opening the contacts 344 to remove voltage from the scoring line. Such subtracting movement of the wiper 320 and wiper 370 serves to activate the roll-over button 96 and the light ROL6 which illuminates it, thus putting player B back to the beginning of a roll-over button sequence.
It should be particularly noted that when an offensive players turn expires by reason of the fact that the ball passes into his out-hole, causing reversal of the tilt of the board, the activated roll-over button remains the same, but the sequence is automatically reversed. The activated button remains the same by reason of the fact that there is no movement of the shaft 311 incident to tilting of the board and thus the wipers of the commutator switches remain in position and the same button remains activated and lighted. However the sequence is reversed by reason of the shifting of the sequence-reversing switch 350 to its opposite condition by cam follower 238 between the turns of the players and as their ofiensive and defensive roles are reversed. Thus an inept player may present his opponent with a high-scoring opportunity thereby adding to the excitement of the game. For example, let us suppose that as player A begins a first game with the roll-over button 91 activated and lit, he immediately permits the ball to roll into his out-hole. This causes the table to tilt in favor of player B, with the roll-over button 91 remaining activated and lit. Such button is the high-scoring button for player B and thus it is possible for player B to direct his attention to hitting the roll-over button 91 which will give him an incremental score of 1,000 without the necessity for traversing the series of buttons. The level one ofiensive player has achieved in the set of commutated roll-over buttons 91-96 is not cancelled when his turn is over, but the commutating progress or level of commutation of the player is preserved to form a challenge to the newly offensive player when it is his turn.
In a more elaborate circuit diagram than that as shown, means well within the skill of the art may be provided for automatically restoring the commutating shaft 311 to the reference position shown in FIG. 15 at the start of a game. In the relatively simplified version set forth herein there are two choices. The players can start a game with a roll-over button activated as a result of the play of the previous game. Altematively, the terminal of one of the two solenoids 332, 342 which is not connected to the bus 205 may be brought out, via a pushbutton, to the constantly energized bus 206. Successively pressing the pushbutton will then be effective to rotate the shaft 311 around to the point where the first roll-over button is illuminated by lamp ROLl which indicates that the commutator switch contact is properly engaged by the commutating wiper. Such operation is permissible since the roll-over lamps are on a separate and constantly energized circuit.
It has been assumed for the sake of simplicity that the purpose of traversing the sequence of roll-over buttons is to achieve a score by engaging the final button in the series. However, if desired, means may be provided for producing a score whenever one of the activated buttons 92-95is engaged by the ball regardless of its position in the series. For example it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that the scoring commutator switch may be so constructed that when the wiper 360 thereon strikes one of the contacts 362-265, momentary rather than sustained contact will be made. Thus upon connecting the contacts 362-365 to the scoring line which feeds the 100s relay RL, each time an activated button is struck by the ball, in other words, each time that the shaft 311 of the ratchet advances in one direction or the other to make contact with one of the contacts 362-365, an incremental score of 100 will be added to the score of the offensive player.
While it is preferred, for the sake of simplicity, to provide mechanical means for the making of only momentary contact as the wiper arm 360 is stepped over the contacts 362-365 inclusive, it will be understood that such momentary contact may also be achieved by any desired design of electrical momentary contact device MC included in the line which leads to the relay RL. Such a device may for example be responsive to the leading edge of the voltage wave, say, by using a derivative stage, to produce only a pulse voltage on the line of relay RL while being non-responsive to the succeeding steady state voltage condition.
Also for the sake of simplicity a simple type of commutating arrangement has been disclosed employing a wiper 360 which is capable of progressing beyond a single commutation cycle. Thus, employing the arrangement shown in FIG. 15, after the entire progression of roll-over buttons 91-96 has been completed, the button 91 is reactivated, and it is possible for player A to progress through the series again during his turn of play. However it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that such continuous cycling of the commutation switch is simply one of the options. In a practical case the three wipers 320, 360 and 370, rigidly secured together, may be provided with a stop to prevent clockwise rotation of the wipers beyond the final" contact 366 during player As turn. This would have the effect of limiting the player to a single cycle of commutation. To permit player A to have an additional increment of score upon re-engagement of the roll-over button 96, which remains illuminated, a slip clutch may be interposed between the ratchet drive shaft 311 and the wipers which it drives. Similarly, a stop may be used to prevent counter clockwise rotation of the wiper 360 beyond the position of the contact 361 for player B.
SCORING DRUM CIRCUITRY AND CONSTRUCTION In the above discussion it has been assumed that making of contact at the scoring switches US, TS, HS, or applying voltage to the scoring line 200, combined with the selective energization of the voltage lines 2460, 246b, has been effective to produce tallying of the score on the scoring drums. Attention may next be directed to the drum drive and to an improvement in the scoring indication which results in the score for each of the players being readable from the opposite ends of the machine while using only a single set of drums for each of the players. In the discussion which follows reference will not only be made to FIG. 13!: which shows the schematic circuit diagram of the scoring drum driving arrangement but also to the FIGS. 16-19 which show the scoring assembly and the structure of individual scoring units. Focussing attention first upon player A's units" drum 4001:, it is powered by a solenoid 4010 which drives a pawl or ratchet 4020 having a return spring 4030. Coupled to the solenoid 401a are normally open contacts 404a and normally closed contacts 405a. On the drum 400a is a cam projection 4060 which operates an output switch 407a. The units drum of player B, indicated at 400b, has corresponding parts which have been given corresponding reference numerals with addition of subscript b. For controlling the units drums a relay RN is employed having normally open contacts RN 1-RN4 inclusive connected as shown. A similar pattern of numerals has been employed for the l0 s" drums indicated at 410a, 4101) respectively, the l00s" drums 420a, 42% and the 1,0005 drums 430a, 430b, the latter being under the control of relays RM, RL, and RP, respectively.
In operation when a typical contact US on a scoring target closes for a count of one, the relay RN is energized and seals itself in for a short space of time via contacts RN4 and normally closed interlocking contacts 405a, 405b. Contacts RN] and RNZ are fed from the supply lines 246a, 2461) which are energized depending on whether player A or player B is in the offensive role. Assuming that it is player A who is offensive when the solenoid 4010 is energized, this causes the ratchet 4020 to take a tooth and is accompanied by opening of the normally closed contacts 405a. The latter breaks the holding circuit so that relay RN drops out, opening contacts RNl and de-energizing the solenoid so that the spring 403a is effective to cause the units drum 400a to advance one step.
Similarly, when the scoring contact TS closes for a score of 10, the relay RM is energized, momentarily sealing itself in via contacts RM4 and, by closure of contacts RMl, energizing the solenoid 411a, causing the solenoid to take a tooth and opening the interlocked contacts 415a which permits the relay RM to drop out. The resulting opening of contacts RM de-energizes the solenoid so that the spring associated therewith can advance the l0s drum by one step. The same pattern then occurs in the case of the s" drums 420a, 420b and 1000' drums 430a, 430b. In each instance momentary engagement of a scoring contact is sufficient to cause energization of a relay which then acts to advance one of the associated drums one step, the particular drum depending upon whether it is player A or player B who is in offensive status, in other words, depending upon whether line 246:: or 246b is energized.
Means are, as is conventional, provided for spilling over into the next higher order whenever the number in a given order exceeds 9, and incident to its turning over to the tenth, or 0, position. Let it be assumed, for; .example, that the units drum 400a is in the ninth position with the cam projection 4060 about to engage the switch 4070. Under such circumstances energization of the relay RN, for addition of a unit to