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Publication numberUS3678251 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 18, 1972
Filing dateMar 4, 1971
Priority dateMar 4, 1971
Publication numberUS 3678251 A, US 3678251A, US-A-3678251, US3678251 A, US3678251A
InventorsFrank H Delpino
Original AssigneeFrank H Delpino
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Analog entry data card for game scoring, or the like, and method of using the same
US 3678251 A
Abstract
A data-entry card includes a resistive circuit divider formed thereon in conductive ink, or the like, and also includes several conductive tap connections to the resistive divider circuit which can be selected and completed by manually underlining with ordinary pencil the data entry printed on the card. A card-receiving device including comparator circuits may be used to determine signal levels and hence representative data being entered by way of underlined entries on the data card.
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United States Patent Delpino 1451 July 18, 1972 [54] ANALOG ENTRY DATA CARD FOR GAME SCORING, OR THE LIKE, AND METHOD OF USING THE SAME 2,353,061 4/1944 Oldenboom ..235/6l.l2C

Primary Examiner--Maynard R. Wilbur Assistant Examiner-William W. Cochran [72] Inventor: Frank H. Delpino, I 1020 Stelling Road, A110 ysmith Cupertino, Calif. 95014 [57] ABSTRACT [22] Filed: March 4, 1971 A dataentry card includes a resistive circuit divider formed [21] P 120,984 thereon in conductive ink, or the like, and also includes several conductive tap connections to the resistive divider cir- [52] Us. CL n 235 /61 1 l A, 235/61 12 C cuit which can be selected and completed by manually under- 51 1111. C1 ..G06k 7/06, 606k 19/00 lining with Ordinary P the entry P on the card- [58] Field of Search ..235/61.12; 317/101 A; 338/77, A card-receiving device mcludms comparator clrcuits y be 33 307 30 used to determine signal levels and hence representative data being entered by way of underlined entries on the data card. [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 5 Chins, 6 Drawing figures 2,629,166 2/1953 Marsten ..338/307 L as NAL 50 U R C E. 1 1

COMPARATOR COMPARISON INPUT SIGNAL PAIENIEI] JULI 8 I972 SIGNAL SOURCE SIGNAL SOURCE SHEET 1 OF 4 SIGNAL SOURCE SIGNAL SOURCE SIGNAL SOURCE gi ure IB COMPARATOR COMPARISON INPUT SIGNAL iure IA -OUTPUT 00 0| O2 03 O4 05 O6 O7 O8 0910 II 12 OO JL {B M l I l I I l 8 J '13 I6 C I III IIIII III IIJ IO "I5 i ure IC INVENTOR.

FRANK H. DELPINO ATTORNEY PATENTED JUL 1 8 1912.,

SHEET 2 BF 4 INVENTOR.

D. L? M. H. K a A R F ijure 2 ATTORNEY ANALOG ENTRY DATA CARD FOR GAME SCORING, OR THE LIKE, AND METHOD OF USING THE SAME BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In circumstances requiring accurate manipulation or evaluation of data, it is common to use digital-type data systems such as punched cards, punched paper tape, and the like. However, numerous circumstances involving manipulation or evaluation of data only require fair approximations or low accuracies where the complexity and concomitant expense of a digital data system cannot be justified. Typical of such circumstances are irrigation systems under control of low precision programmers, point scoring in contract bridge, relative humidity control in certain drying operations, gross inventory determinations and the like. In these and other similar circumstances it is usually desirable to make simple data entries manually and to have such entries automatically analyzed only within certain limits of accuracy and then acted upon accordingly. Thus, irrigation may be controlled conveniently in response to manual entry of start/stop times or a drying operation may be controlled in response to manual selection of given limits of relative humidity and temperature. Also, lowvoltage central units may control the various time-temperature and lighting requirements in modern residential installations in response to simple manual data entries. In each circumstance, digital-type data entry and control with associated accuracy and expense may neither be useful nor desirable where wide tolerances are possible. Similarly, scoring in the game of contract bridge may only require a simple manually completed score card which may be automatically evaluated for prompt scoring without requiring elaborate and expensive digital computation of scores and results.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, the present invention provides an analog-type data system which is fairly accurate but which is extremely low in cost and simple to use. The data-entry card of the present invention includes a suitable nonconductive backing material such as paper or plastic upon which is printed some selectable data limits, legends, or the like and also some analog circuitry including a resistive signal divider. In the preferred embodiment of the present data-entry card, a plurality of manuallycompletable taps to the signal divider are provided on the card which can be completed simply by manually underlining or otherwise marking with an ordinary lead" pencil the corresponding data limit or legend that is desired to be entered.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1(a) is a pictorial diagram of the data-entry card in its simplest form for delivering an output indicative of data entries between zero and nine.

FIG. 1(b) is a pictorial diagram of the data-entry card configured to provide outputs indicative of four decades of data entries.

FIG. 1(c) is a pictorial diagram of the data-entry card configured for programmer use over a 12 hour period.

FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram showing the data-entry card configured to provide all included data entries necessary to score a duplicate bridge game; namely, 2.2 decades of score data plus two discrete entries (N-S plus, E-W plus) and a number entry from one to sixteen to identify the E-W pair.

FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram showing data-entry cards of FIG. 1(a) includes in game scoring apparatus for duplicate bridge. 7

FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram showing circuitry for converting multiple decades into a single signal suitable for use in processing apparatus as shown in FIG. 3.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to FIG. 1(a), there is shown a nonconductive card 1 having a signal divider formed thereon in resistive ink between contact pads 2 and 3. By underlining one of the numbers with a conducting pencil a signal is delivered to the common buss conductor 5 which will be indicative of the number underlined. An electronic detecting and decoding unit such as a comparator 11 may be connected to pad 4 and may have very high input impedance compared with the impedance of the pencil line to prevent excessive loading of the signal divider I0 and possible distortion of the output signal. The comparator ll of common design may produce an output only in response to the signals applied thereto from the common buss conductor 5 and from, say, a temperature sensor, or the like, attaining a predetermined relationship to each other. In this way, a simple control function may be readily achieved inexpensively and with a typical degree of accuracy of a few percent.

FIG. l(b) shows a typical configuration for obtaining 4 decades of output. The addition of a center-tap contact pad 6 when desired allows decoding equipment to correct for irregularities in the printed resistive ink pattern for improving the accuracy of data entries. The embodiment of FIG. 1(0) also uses a center tap contact pad 7 to improve accuracy in a pattern of resistive ink as shown which is arranged to provide a signal at point 13 and a signal at point 15 from the signal divider 10. A pencil-line entry 12 from point A to point B completes the circuit from the ink-line conductor at point 13 to the output contact pad 8 through intermediate isolated inkline conductors 18. Similarly, the pencil-line entry 14 from point C to point D completes the circuit from the ink-line conductor at point 15 to the output contact pad 9. The pencil-line entry 16 from point 13 to point 15 is thus only useful at its ends where it connects the signal divider l0 and the output lines through the intermediate isolated ink-line conductors 18. However, it is shown as one complete line because it may conveniently represent the on time of operation of machinery or equipment being programmed while the upper two pencilline entries 12 and 14 may represent the off times, or vice versa. Note that although the pencil-line entry 16 from point 13 to point 15 represents a parallel resistance shunting a seg ment of the signal divider 10, the value of this resistance is typically very large compared with the resistance of the signal divider 10 so that the error generated is negligible. The output signals thus provided at pads 8 and 9 may be compared by suitable decoding equipment with a reference signal which increases as a function of time over, say, the 12 hour period represented by the programming card of FIG. 1(0). When the output signal at pad 8 is equal to such a time-varying reference signal, the equipment may start, and when the output signal at pad 9 equals the time-varying reference signal, the equipment may stop. A wide variety of on-off functions may thus be controlled with the arrangement of FIG. 1(c) with the added advantage of presenting a visual picture of the on-off cycle which does not require translation of numbers into ratios of on-off times and which permits easy comparison of on" times between different cards.

In the illustrated embodiment of FIG. 2, there is shown a data-entry card 22 which, like the cards of FIGS. 1(a), (b) and (c), may be formed of paper or plastic or other suitable nonconductive sheet-like material and which is ideally suited for scoring a duplicate bridge game. Near the lower edge 24 of the card, a plurality of contact pads 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 26, 27 and 28 are printed in resistive ink in spaced relationship to serve as the contact electrodes of the card. A continuous line 29 connecting a pair of pads 17, 23 is also printed on the card in resistive ink to serve as a resistive signal divider 29 between the contact pads 17 and 23. Additional continuous circuit lines 31 of resistive ink may also be included between other contact pads 26, 17 where desired. Circuit contacts to the resistive signal divider 29 or 31 spaced along its length are provided by printing in resistive ink the broken underscoring lines 32, 33, 35, 37, etc. beneath printed data legends. Groups of the underscoring lines may be arranged on common buss conductors 39, 41, 43 in accordance with the logical arrangement of data legends so that only one such common buss conductor connected to a contact pad need be sensed to determine which I data legend of a group was underlined. For convenience, the

common buss conductors, contact pads, underscoring lines, resistive signal divider lines and data legends may all be printed in the same imprinting operation using a conventional resistive ink or paint such as one containing carbon black, aluminum, silver, or platinum particles in a volatile liquid binder. This yields a data card which includes a resistive divider that can be kept fairly easily within close tolerances of over-all resistance and lineal resistance variations.

Data entries on a card according to the present invention are made simply by manually entering a pencil line under or between the selected data legend using an ordinary pencil having graphite lead" or with any other suitable implement which is capable of making an electrically conductive mark. Such a conductive mark manually made under a data legend has the effect of completing the electrical circuit between the common buss conductor 39, 40, 41, 43 and the resistive signal divider 29 at a location therealong which is spaced from the contact pads 23 and 17, 26 and 17. Since the electrical resistance per unit length along the resistive divider 29 may be made fairly constant, the total resistance with respect to one contact pad varies as a function of the location along the resistive divider at which the tap is completed Thus, by arranging the data legends and their associated pencil-line entry sites lineally along the length of the resistive divider line 29, underscoring the selected data legend completes the tap connection to the resistive divider at a corresponding location along its length. Tap connections thus made to the resistive divider line 29, 31 upon marking the appropriate data legend are at corresponding percentages of the total resistance of the divider which thereby provide corresponding signal levels at the common buss conductor, as later described. Simple alternative entries may also be made in this manner by providing regions 45, 47 of interdigital patterns at spaced locations along the resistive divider line 29 so that any mark such as an X or a number, or the like, will connect the resistive divider at a corresponding location along its length to the associated common buss conductor 49.

In practice, the resistance of the divider line 29 may be selected to be about 30,000 ohms over a length of about seven inches as a convenient value for generating signals to apply to the inputs of operational amplifiers in associated processing equipment. Differences in resistance between cards is immaterial since the output is generated as a function of the percentage of the divider that is tapped off. Thus, the output is:

dl @J. E J" rdl where r is the resistivity of the line in ohms/foot, I is the length of the line in feet, 0, t, 1, integration limits are ground, tap, and length of line, E is output voltage, and E, is input voltage (excitation). From the above equation, it is clear that the output is independent of r providing r is substantially constant for a particular card. The constancy of r is primarily effected by the thickness of the printed resistive line. One thousandth of an inch is a reasonable thickness and this dimension may be readily attained using conventional silk-screen printing processes. Irregularities in the resistivity of the line which persist over relatively small distances, such as 0.1 inch or less, will have negligible effect on the operation of the divider within the tolerances required for decoding decades of data entries.

In operation, a card 22 may be inserted into a conventional edge-receiving circuit card connector 50 which is connected to suitable circuitry as shown in FIG. 2 for energizing the resistive divider lines 29, 31 and for receiving the common buss conductors 39, 40, 41, 43 etc. A source 51 of DC. signal (or A.C. signal if isolating diodes 66 are not used) may be applied to the divider lines 29, 31 through the contact established with contact pads 17, 26 and 23 in order to establish an operating signal drop per unit length along the divider lines 29 and 31. In this way, taps completed by underlining data entries along the divider lines provide representative data signals on the common buss conductors 39, 40, 41, 43 etc. In a typical application, these data-entry signals thus provided on the common buss conductors are applied to high impedance circuits of suitable form so that the signal divider line 29, 31 is not loaded down appreciably and so that the resistance of the underlining pencil mark (typically about 1,000 ohms) is small compared with the input impedance of the associated electronic processing circuitry. One such high impedance circuit may be a signal level decoder or detector 57 which produces one or more outputs 59 in response to the level of signal applied thereto from a common buss conductor. Similarly, the associated external circuitry may include conventional comparators 53 which have high input impedance and which produce an output 55 in response to the signals applied thereto from several buss conductors 63 and the signals 61 applied thereto from a multiplexed sequence of similar signals attaining a predetermined relationship to each other. In this way, a simple game scoring function may readily be achieved inexpensively and with a degree of accuracy that depends only on the permissible degree of data card complexity.

For duplicate bridge scoring, a plurality of data entry cards of the type shown in FIG. 2 are assembled in groups in accordance with the arrangement of players in a match point duplicate bridge game, as shown in FIG. 3. The match-point score in duplicate bridge is equal to the number of teams (playing the same hands of cards) that obtain poorer scores, plus one half the number of teams playing the same hands that obtain the same score. Duplicate bridge and the scoring requirements are more fully described in the literature (see, for example, U. S. Pat. No. 3,044,693 issued on July 17, 1962, to Frederick H. Flam). Thus, it is crucial that each contestant by able to furnish the required information about the results of the hand of cards he plays so that the results of his play may be compared with the results of the same hands of cards played by other contestants. In scoring the hands thus played, each player simply makes entries on a card as shown in FIG. 2, for example, as follows:

The N-S (North-South) team No. 4 took an auction at four hearts (CONTRACT entry 4H) that was bid by North (BY entry N) and made five tricks over book (MADE entry 5). In this way, they earned 650 points as follows: the contracted TRICK SCORE is (for four hearts at thirty points each), plus the EXTRA TRICKS score of 30 (for one over contract), plus the PART SCORE, GAME and DOUBLED BONUS for the game of 500. The net score of 650 points is entered in the interdigital region 45 for NS+ (which identifies the field, N-S or E-W, to be credited), and in the columns by underlining 42 the numbers 600 and 50." Also, the opposite team against whom the points are listed may be identified by underlining 30, say, number 7 in the left-most column of the card of FIG. 2. These cards, thus marked by each player, are inserted into card connectors in the apparatus of FIG. 3 for comparison by boards and pairs played. The cards of each N-S team numbered l-k contain underlined number entries which thus represent various taps along the lengths of divider lines 29 and these tap entries are brought out along one or more common buss conductors 39, 40, 41, 43 etc. For each such buss conductor for each card to be received by the apparatus of FIG. 3 (from contact pads 19, 21, 28 etc. of FIG. 2) there is a diode 66 connected between the card connector and the associated common buss connector output line 68, 70, 72, 74 etc. Similarly, all the ground connections 60 for each card (say, from contact pads 23 and 26 of FIG. 2) are brought out for common ground reference so that signal from source 51 selectively applied through excitation switch 64 to the boards number 1, 2 n of each N-S team may simultaneously establish divider output signals from the common buss conductors for each of the underlined entries.

Referring now to FIG. 3, there is shown the partial schematic diagram of a system for scoring duplicate bridge using score cards as shown in FIG. 2. Block diagrams are shown for only one piece of information from the data cards in the interest of clarity, but it should be understood that a minimum of four signals are needed to score the N-S teams and five signals (the same four signals plus the E-W pair number) to score the E-W teams. The resistive signal dividers 29 on all scorecards representing a given board are excited simultaneously by the board excitation selector 64 and the signals delivered on the output lines 68, 70, 72, 74, etc., are supplied to the reference selector and comparison selector switches 75 and 76, respectively. The reference selector switch 75 chooses the particular N-S team being scored at the moment and supplies that signal to the comparator 80 via the reference input. The comparison selector 76 switches each of the other signals sequentially to the comparison input of the comparator 80. As each signal is switched into the comparator 80, the comparator makes the decision as to whether the reference is equal to, less than or greater than, the comparison signal. Some latitude may be allowed in the "equality of signals applied to the inputs of the comparator to compensate for the degrees of nonuniformity of the data cards produced by conventional processes. If the two signals are substantially equal, an output appears at the one half count" output line 88. If the reference is larger, an output appears at the full count" output line 89. If the reference is smaller, no signal appears at either output.

The timing logic 77 allows the transients associated with switching signals to the reference and comparison inputs of comparator 80 to die out and then opens a pair of gates 81 to permit the counter 90 to add the count, which may be either one half or one count. Note that the one half counts are channeled through a flip-flop 82 which converts two one-half counts into a full count for the counter 90. The display 83 shows the total count including any remainder one half counts via a separate line 84. Upon completion of the sequence for board No.1, the board excitation switch 64 energizes all the No.2 boards, and repeats the above procedure. The circuit uses a positive D.C. source 51 to excite the scorecards so that an inexpensive circuit employing diodes 66 at the output of each scorecard may be used to isolate all unenergized cards from those cards being scored. Note that an essential factor in the scoring logic is contained in the position of each scorecard in the racking or grouping configuration. Thus, all N-S No.1 boards are racked in numerical sequence in rack No.1, N-S No.2 boards are racked in sequence in rack No.2, and so on. A single excitation line must energize only a single board number and a single output line must carry the signal from a single N-S team number. Since the switching sequence is set up for the N-S team numbers the E-W scoring will have some differences. The E-W team numbers will be in one of several difficult to predict sequences scattered among the orderly N4 numbers. A feasible but inconvenient solution to scoring the E-W teams would be to rearrange all cards according to E-W numbers instead of N-S numbers, and score as before. However, the loss of time involved in such a procedure would negate much of the advantage of automatic scoring.

Information regarding the E-W pair number can be readily derived from a separate signal divider printed on the same card and the reference selector can be designed to search laterally (between the different racks) until it locates the desired E-W pair number. Also, for E-W scoring, the logic is set up to give a full count when the reference input signal is less than (instead of greater than) the comparison input signal. This is because a full count for N-S is equivalent to a zero" for E-W, and vice versa. Half counts remain the same, since each side gets a half point for a tied score.

In computing the match-point score for board No.1, the excitation switch 64 applies DC signal from source 51 to all 01 boards in the several groups or racks of cards via the common excitation line. The scorecards generate four pieces of scoring data and one piece of opposing team data, as described previously. For clarity, FIG. 3 has been simplified to show only the circuitry for processing one of such pieces of data. The output data lines 68, 70, 72, 74, etc. are brought into the reference and comparison selectors 75, 76 where switching logic selects the team to be scored (as commanded by the operator) and routes the corresponding signal to the REFerence input of the comparator 80. While the signal for the team to be scored, for example team No.1, is maintained at the reference input of comparator 80, the signals for each of the other teams are sequentially routed to the COMParison input of the comparator 80. In this way team No.1 has its results on board No.1 compared with board No.1 results of all the other teams. The comparator delivers a full count each time the REF input signal is larger and a half count each time the input signals are substantially the same. A standard counter 86 totals the count and the results are displayed. Half counts are routed through a flip-flop to divide by two and the full counts so obtained are added in through summing junction 85. Odd half counts are displayed through line 84 in one bit binary form.

When board No.1 is completed, board No.2 is matchpointed by switching the excitation to the No.2 line and repeating the comparison sequence, maintaining the signal of the team to be scored at the REF comparator input. The match points for board No.2 are added to those obtained for board No.1 and so on, until all boards have been matchpointed, the total match point being the team's final score. Less expensive models of the scorer thus require each score to be recorded by the operator before going on to the next team. Alternatively, the results may be automatically recorded or a separate counter may be provided for each team in order to display all results simultaneously.

E-W scoring is modified from the above because the scorecards have been chosen to be arranged according to the N-S team number. The equivalent E-W numbers are therefore distributed throughout the racks according to an orderly but variable sequence depending upon the number of tables being played and the number of hands per table. For example, with two hands per table, E-W team No.1 will play the following schedule:

Board No. Against N-S Team No.

9, 10 ll, l2 l3, l4 l5, l6 l7, l8 19, 20 21, 22 23, 24 25, 26

This means that in scoring E-W team No.1, the reference input signal to the comparator 80 will be the signal received from rack No.1 for boards 1 and 2 and will be the signal received from rack No.8 for boards 3 and 4, and then from rack No.2 for boards 5, 6, etc. With other numbers of tables in play and with different numbers of boards per table, the obvious resulting sequences are different so a hard wired" sequence is not convenient. In accordance with the preferred embodiment, the data output generated by underlining the E-W team number (30 in FIG. 2) is used to locate the desired scorecard through conventional switch selection. Note that a plus score for the N-S team is a minus score for the opposing E-W team, so that the scoring logic simply reverses the data line and scores as previously described for N-S.

Referring now to FIG. 4, there is shown a schematic diagram of a simple circuit for converting multiple inputs, such as those derived from the decades of data on a card as shown in FIG. 2 into a single input suitable for processing with a system such as FIG. 3. Each input from the 1,0005, s, 10s and plus/minus data selections is fed into an operational amplifier 91, 92, 93, 94 to perform impedance matching as required and to amplify the input signals to the desired level. The Zener diodes 101, 102, 103, 104 at the output of each operational amplifier are chosen to present a high impedance in the off" condition. A Zener diode will be off when the corresponding amplifier has input signals applied thereto that are approximately equal. If an amplifier has input signals applied thereto which are not equal, the corresponding Zener diode will be in the on or conducting state and that particular amplifier will effectively control the signal at the circuit node containing that diode, irrespective of the conditions existing at other nodes in the circuit. The output amplifier 95 then will receive an input that is determined by the right-most Zener diode which is in the conducting state. For example, if the REF input is +420 and the COMP input is 530, the plus/minus amplifier 91 has different inputs and will amplify that difference sufiiciently to open the corresponding Zener diode l] and thereby control the input to amplifier 95 for generating the final output. Amplifier 92 (1,000s) with equal inputs will have a nonconducting Zener diode and will be effectively out of the circuit. Amplifiers 93 and 94 will have outputs but the isolating resistors 97, 98 prevent any effect other than a slight loading on amplifier 91. If the REF and COMP inputs are both plus (+420 and +530) then the Zener diode 101 associated with plus/minus amplifier 91 will be nonconducting and priority is passed to amplifier 92 which represents the thousands digit. Since the inputs to this amplifier are both zero, priority is passed to the hundreds amplifier where the 420 is sensed to be smaller than the 530. Note that the significant characteristic is simply the polarity of the output signal, not its amplitude. The output of any of the amplifiers will be plus, zero, or minus depending upon the relative amplitudes of signals applied to the two inputs thereof. In the system of FIG. 3, which is arranged for duplicate bridge scoring using scorecards such as shown in FIG. 2, at least four scoring signal conductors 100 plus one signal conductor for data about the opposing team are available from each N-S group or rack i.e. a complete set of boards racked according to N-S number). The Reference and Comparator selectors 75 and 76, respectively, will thus have four sections, one section for each of the four scoring signals coming from the racks. Four outputs are thus provided by the selectors representing 1,000; 100; and 10. These four outputs become the inputs to the multiple-decade comparator of FIG. 4 for use in place of the comparator 80 shown in FIG. 3.

Therefore, the data-entry card and sensing apparatus according to the present invention provide convenient, legible data entry for simple function control as well as for complex data comparisons such as in scoring for the game of duplicate bridge.

I claim:

1. Data handling apparatus comprising:

a data-entry unit having a manually markable, electrically nonconductive surface and having preformed thereon an electrical resistance element disposed in a signal pattern between first and second electrical contacts;

a plurality of selectable signal taps on said non-conductive surface, each including one portion of signal conductor connected to the electrical resistance element at varying locations along the length thereof between contacts, and including another portion of signal conductor spaced on said nonconductive surface from said one portion for providing manually connectable, electrically separate portions of signal conductor in spaced proximity, said electrical resistance element forming a complete circuit between said first and second electrical contacts capable of conducting current therebetween independently of manual connection of any one of said signal taps along said electrical resistance element;

a selectable data entry associated with each of said plurality of selectable signal taps; and

a third electrical contact and a common buss conductor connected thereto and to the plurality of said other portions of selectable signal taps for providing an electrical circuit at said third electrical contact which is representative of the location along the electrical resistance element between said first and second electrical contacts at which a selectable signal tap is manually marked by electrically conductive means from said one portion to said other portion of the selectable signal tap.

2. Data handling apparatus as in claim 1 comprising:

a source of electrical signal;

means connected to said source and to said first and second contacts for applying electrical signal to said electrical resistance element for conducting current therethrough independently of manual connection of any one of said signal taps along said electrical signal element; and

means connected to an electrical contact of said electrical resistance element and to said third electrical contact for sensing the magnitude of signal appearing therebetween in response to the marking with electrically conductive means of a selected one of said signal taps from said one portion thereof to said other portion thereof.

3. Data handling apparatus comprising:

a data-entry unit having a manually markable. electrically nonconductive surface and having preformed thereon an electrical resistance element disposed in a signal pattern between first and second electrical contacts;

a plurality of selectable signal taps on said non-conductive surface, each including one portion of signal conductor connected to the electrical resistance element at varying locations along the length thereof between contacts, and including another portion of signal conductor spaced on said nonconductive surface from said one portion for providing manually connectable, electrically separate portions of signal conductor in spaced proximity, said electrical resistance element forming a complete circuit between said first and second electrical contacts capable of conducting current therebetween independently of manual connection of any one of said signal taps along said electrical resistance element;

a selectable data entry associated with each of said plurality of selectable signal taps;

a third electrical contact and a common buss conductor connected thereto and to the plurality of said other portions of selectable signal taps for providing an electrical circuit at said third electrical contact which is representative of the location along the electrical resistance element between said first and second electrical contacts at which a selectable signal tap is manually marked by electrically conductive means from said one portion to said other portion of the selectable signal tap;

a plurality of said data-entry units arranged in at least a pair of groups, each group including consecutively numbered data-entry units;

first means connected to the first and second electrical contacts of correspondingly numbered data-entry units of said groups for selectively applying electrical signal thereto to energize the electrical resistance elements of correspondingly numbered data-entry units in said groups;

second means connected to the third electrical contacts of each of the data-entry units in each group;

comparator means having a pair of inputs and an output for producing a first output condition in response to signals of unequal value applied to the inputs thereof and for producing a second output condition in response to signals of substantially equal value applied to the inputs thereof;

switching means connected to said second means of each group for selectively applying to one input of said comparator means the signal appearing on the third electrical contact of the data-entry unit in one group which is energized and for selectively applying to the other input of said comparator means the signal appearing on the third electrical contact of the correspondingly-numbered dataentry unit in another group which is energized; and

output means connected to the output of said comparator for producing an output indication of the number of first and second output conditions produced by said comparator means in response to actuation of said switching means to compare the output signal on the third electrical contact of a data-entry unit in one group with the output signals on the third electrical contacts of data-entry units in other groups.

4. Data handling apparatus as in claim 3 wherein: said output means produces an output indication representative of the accumulation of (a) one count for each said first output condition produced by said comparator means and (b) one-half count for each said second output condition produced by said comparator means during ac-

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3934120 *Jul 18, 1973Jan 20, 1976Nikolay MaymarevDevice for electroconductive connection and reading
US3934122 *Aug 15, 1974Jan 20, 1976Riccitelli James AElectronic security card and system for authenticating card ownership
US3935431 *Dec 16, 1974Jan 27, 1976The Grey Lab. EstablishmentApparatus for the storage and reading of data combined from binary numbers
US4044229 *Jan 14, 1976Aug 23, 1977Nikolay SamreusDevice for electroconductive connection and reading
US4087679 *Jan 19, 1976May 2, 1978Samreus NikolayProgrammable timing device for indicating appointments
US4313087 *Feb 7, 1980Jan 26, 1982Weitzen Edward HApparatus for detecting electrically conductive coatings on documents
US7584889 *Feb 28, 2007Sep 8, 2009Pitney Bowes Inc.Method for a user to answer questions or queries using electrical contacts
US7997497Jan 6, 2006Aug 16, 2011Novalia LimitedGame card without semiconductor chip
EP0133955A1 *Jul 25, 1984Mar 13, 1985Siemens AktiengesellschaftTest structure for identifying semiconductor chips, and process for their identification
WO2006072806A1Jan 6, 2006Jul 13, 2006Nicholas Jim StoneGame card without semiconductor chip
Classifications
U.S. Classification235/441, 235/492
International ClassificationG06K7/06, G06K19/067, G07F7/10
Cooperative ClassificationG06Q20/347, G06K19/067, G07F7/10, G06K7/065, G07F7/1058
European ClassificationG06Q20/347, G07F7/10P6, G06K7/06B, G06K19/067, G07F7/10