Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3710080 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 9, 1973
Filing dateJul 20, 1970
Priority dateJul 20, 1970
Publication numberUS 3710080 A, US 3710080A, US-A-3710080, US3710080 A, US3710080A
InventorsC Ellis
Original AssigneeBrunswick Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bowling game counter
US 3710080 A
An apparatus for counting and indicating the number of bowling games played in a bowling establishment having a plurality of lanes, each equipped with an automatic pinsetter. A count by eleven feedback counter provides a single output signal in response to 11 frame input signals each of which may be taken from the various automatic pinsetters each time a frame is played on any one of the lanes to convert frame signals to game signals. The output signal from the counter is then fed to a totalizer indicator which indicates the number of output pulses received as indicative of the number of games played in the bowling establishment.
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[ 1 Jan.9, 1973 [54] BOWLING GAME COUNTER [76] lnventor: Claude E. Ellis, c/o Brunswick Corporation, 525 West Laketon Avenue, Muskegon, Mich. 49443 [22] Filed: July 20, 1970 [21] Appl. No.: 56,612

[52] US. Cl ..235/92 GA, 235/92 R, 273/54 C, 340/323 [51] Int. Cl. ..A63d 5/04 [58] Field of Search ..235/92 GA, 92 PE, 92 ST; 273/54 C, 54 R; 340/323 POWER Primary Examiner-Maynard R. Wilbur Assistant Examiner loseph M. Thesz, Jr. Attorney-Donald S. Olexa, Jerome M. Teplitz, John G. l-leimovics, William G. Lawler, Jr. and Hofgren, Wegner, Allen, Stellman and McCord [57] ABSTRACT An apparatus for counting and indicating the number of bowling games played in a bowling establishment having a plurality of lanes, each equipped with an automatic pinsetter. A count by eleven feedback counter provides a single output signal in response to l 1 frame input signals each of which may be taken from the various automatic pinsetters each time a frame is played on any one of the lanes to convert frame signals to game signals. The output signal from the counter is then fed to a totalizer indicator which indicates the number of output pulses received as indicative of the number of games played in the bowling establishment.

1 Claim, 1 Drawing Figure MECIIIINICHL 14 Rear/WW6,

| suwzraww PFcT/FY/N 4P SHAPING l SHOPTFN/A/G I 10 BOWLING GAME COUNTER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Many modern bowling lane establishments are in constant operation, 24 hours of every day. As these establishments usually have a great many bowling lanes, often 50 or more, each generally is equipped with an automatic pinsetter. The pinsetters automatically clear the lanes of bowling pins which have been knocked down after the first ball of each frame and set pins after each frame. It is usually very difficult for the proprietor of a modern bowling lane establishment to determine accurately the actual use his lanes receive. Even if each pinsetter is provided with an individual counter for recording the number of frames or games bowled, a substantial amount of time is required in reading each of the many counters in totaling the sum of all the counters. Obviously, an accurate up to the minute count cannot be made of the actual number of frames played on all the lanes when relying on individual counters at each pinsetter because of the time involved in making the count.

It has therefore been proposed to use a single counter indicator that would indicate the number of games played in the entire establishment. The particular approach taken fed frame signals from each pinsetter to corresponding ten position stepping switches each of which was arranged to generate one output signal each time ten frame signals had been received from an associated pinsetter. The output signals from each of the stepping switches were then fed to a single mechanical counter-indicator which accumulated the number of pulses received from each stepping switch and indicated the number of the same as indicative of the number of games played in the entire establishment based on the assumption that l0 frames on each lane constituted one game.

This approach, while successful, has not been totally satisfactory due to the cost of the equipment. Specifically, the cost of providing a stepping switch for each lane is prohibitive. Furthermore, because the approach is principally an electromechanical one, reliability is not as high as desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is the principal object of the invention to provide a new and improved counting and indicating device for use in counting and indicating the number of games played in bowling establishments having a plurality of lanes, each equipped with an automatic pinsetter. More specifically, it is an object of the invention to provide such a counter-indicator that eliminates many of the components heretofore believed necessary and which has improved reliability over the systems heretofore employed for the purpose.

The exemplary embodiment of the invention achieves the foregoing object through a principally electronic structure based about a single, four bit binary feedback, count by eleven counter which is adapted to provide a single game output pulse each time 11 frame pulses are received by the same. The game output pulse is fed to a one shot for shaping purposes and to provide a pulse having sufficient duration to drive a conventional mechanical counter indicator which indicates the number of games played in the establishment. lnterposed between the one shot and the mechanical counter indicator is a driving network.

rectifying, shaping and shortening network. The input to each network is connected to a corresponding automatic pinsetter to receive an alternating current frame signal of relatively long duration therefrom.

In operation, the alternating current signal from the I automatic pinsetter is converted to a direct current signal of significantly shorter duration so as to effectively preclude frame signals from two or more lanes from reaching the feedback counter simultaneously. On the assumption that an average bowling game consists of 11 frames, the feedback counter will accumulate ll pulses from one or more of the shaping and shortening networks and issue the aforementioned game output signal each such time eleven frame signals are received.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following specification taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The FIGURE is a schematic view of one form of bowling game counter-indicating apparatus made according to the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT An exemplary embodiment of a bowling game counter-indicator system made according to the invention is seen in the FIGURE and includes a binary counter, generally designated 10, formed of four bits 1 2, 14, 16 and 18. Each of the bits 12-18 is formed ofa conventional JK flip-flop and the bits are interconnected as shown with feedback being provided by the output ofa NAND gate 20.

As will be seen, the counter 10 converts frame impulses to game impulses for totalizing and indicating. More specifically,.the counter 10 is adapted to issue a game output signal on line 22 whenever it has received a predetermined number of frame input signals which correspond to the number of frames in a game.

In an average bowling game, there are approximately l0.6 frames per game. The fractional frame in excess of 10 is due to the rolling of one or more bonus balls following a mark in the 10 frame according to conventional rules of scoring of a bowling game promulgated by the American Bowling Congress. That is, if a bowler achieves a spare in the tenth frame, he is entitled to roll one bonus ball which, if a strike, will be an additional frame. In such a case, the bowler will have actually bowled 11 frames. If the bowler does not achieve a strike on a single bonus ball following a spare, it will still be indicated by a pinsetter to be a frame inasmuch as the pinsetter will have to be manually cycled to spot a new set of pins for the next bowler.

Ifa bowler were to roll a strike in the tenth frame, he is entitled to roll two bonus balls. If a strikeis obtained on the first bonus ball, the bowler will effectively bowl two additional frames whereas ifa strike is not obtained on the first ball, the bowler will bowl but a single additional frame. In any event, it is believed apparent from the foregoing how an average bowling game consists of more than 10 frames.

Returning to the counter 10, the feedback from the NAND gate 20 is arranged so that the counter is a count by elevencounter. That is, each time eleven input pulses are received, a single output pulse will be generated. A count by eleven counter is chosen as the integer l 1 most 'nearly approximates the average number'of frames in abowling game. However, if desired, a standard binary coded decimal four bit feedback counter .could be employed, in which case, it would be assumed that there are ten frames to an average bowling game. I

Each of the bits 12-18 includes an output lead to a corresponding driving transistor 24 which is operative to drive an associated lamp 26 when the corresponding bit in the counter 10 is set. The lamps 26 provide means for monitoring both the state and the'performance of the counter. v

Input frame signals 'to the counter 10 are received from a driver 28 which is connected to apply a pulse to the first bit 12 of the counter 10 whenever a pulse appears on a line 30. The line 30 is the output of an OR gate formed by a plurality of diodes 32, .one for each' operation, determines that a frame has been played on that lane. The switch 36 may be of the type described in US. Pat. No. 2,949,300 to Huck et al. and specifically, the switch referred to therein as element 619.

Each time aframe is played and the automatic pinsetter 34 determines the same, the switch 36 is momentarily closed (mechanically speaking) to issue the frame signal. Electronically speaking, the signal issued is of relatively long duration, normally having a duration ofabout 3 seconds.

Since the counter 10 must be operated on direct current, and since in a large bowling establishment, there is a possibility that two or more of the pinsetters 34 will issue a frame. signal substantially simultaneously, in order to provide an accurate indication and avoid coincidence of frame pulses applied to the driver'28,a pulse rectifying, shaping and shortening circuit, generally designated, is interposed between each diode 32 and the corresponding switch 36 in the corresponding automatic pinsetter 34.

. In particular, there is provided a diode 42 which serves as a half wave rectifier and which applies the positive half of the alternating current signal received plied across a resistor 50 and drives a transistor 52 having its collector connected to a diode 32 into saturation to ultimately provide a pulse to the counter 10. Of

course, as the capacitor 48 discharges, ultimately the transistor 52 will turn off. Generally, it is desirable to select the capacitor 48 and resistor 50 to drive the matic pinsetter 34 has caused the switch 36 to open thereby eliminating any signal at the gate of the silicon controlled rectifier 44, the capacitor 48 will begin to charge through the resistor 54. Because the resistor 54 is also in circuit with the silicon controlled rectifier 44, its resistance is chosen to be extremely large so that the charging current is less than the -minimum current required to keep the silicon controlled rectifier in its conducting state.

Typical values for the resistors 50 and 54may be ohms and .20 megohms respectively. The capacitor 48 may have a capacitance of 0.1 microfarads.

Each time atransistor 52 is driven into saturation, the'transistor 28 is cut off to apply a positive pulse to the input of the counter 10. As mentioned previously, after eleven pulses are received, a game output signal will be issued on the line 22. Thissignal will, in conjunction with the NAND gate 20,'reset the counter for subsequent pulses. In addition, the signal is fed to a one-shot 56 to momentarily drive the same into its unstable state.. When the one-shot 56 is tripped, a transistor 58, which serves as an amplifier is turned off and in turn, turns on a transistor 60, provided for impedance matching purposes, which is connectedto an electromechanical counter-indicator 62. The-conduc- 5 tion of the transistor 60 will therefore provide a driving pulse to the mechanical counter-indicator 62. When the one-shot 56 returns to its stable state, transistor 58 turns on and 60 will return to a nonconducting state.

The period of the one-shot 56 is generally selected to have a proper width sufficient to drive the mechanical counter-indicator 62. Normally, a period of about 60 milliseconds will be sufficient.

Also provided between the lines to the mechanical counter-indicator 62,is a shunting diode 64 to protect the circuit from the large electromotive force produced when the magnetic field in the counter collapses.

From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that the invention provides a' new and improved bowling game counter indicator and is significantly improved over those heretofore employed for the purpose. In particular, one single counter such as the counter 10 may service an entire establishment in contrast to the mul titude of stepping switches previously employed. Furthermore, with the exception of the automatic pinsetter switch 36 and the mechanical counter indicator 62, the same is entirely electronic in nature and therefore considerably more reliable than-prior art systems.

I claim:

1. An apparatus for counting and indicating the number of bowling games played in a bowling establishment having a plurality of lanes each including an automatic pinsetter having means for generating an alternating current frame signal eachv time a frame in a bowling game is played on the corresponding lane, said counting and indicating apparatus comprising:

a. a plurality of rectifiers, one for each pinsetter, and

adapted to receive the alternating current frame signal therefrom and convert the same to a direct current signal;

a plurality of pulse shortening and shaping Circuits, one for each lane and connected to receive the direct current signal from the rectifier and shape the same and convert-the same to a signal of relatively short duration;

' an OR gate having its inputs connected to each of said pulse shortening and shaping circuits and adapted to issue an output signal whenever a signal is received on any one ofits inputs;

. a four bit, binary feedback counter connected to receive the output signals from said OR gate and for issuing a .single game output-signal after a predetermined number of signals have been received from said'OR gate;

. a one-shot connected to said counter to receive said game output signal, said oneshot, in response to the receipt of said output game signal providing an output signal of sufficient duration to drive a mechanical counter-indicator; l

f. a driver connected to the output of said one-shot;

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2555405 *Feb 16, 1946Jun 5, 1951Cook Electric CoTotalizing system for plural toll stations
US3179790 *Jul 5, 1961Apr 20, 1965Brunswick CorpFrame totalizer
US3268710 *Aug 27, 1962Aug 23, 1966Cutler Hammer IncCounter totalizer for randomly occurring signals from a plurality of sources
US3281855 *Feb 27, 1964Oct 25, 1966Richard E CherinApparatus for monitoring the operation of a machine
US3448459 *Feb 2, 1967Jun 3, 1969Billiard Controls IncBilliard play tally system
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4133042 *Dec 19, 1977Jan 2, 1979Wallace Ben WAutomatic pinsetter controller system
US4136870 *Feb 18, 1977Jan 30, 1979Vernon KinserScore keeping methods
U.S. Classification377/5, 473/65, 340/323.00R, 473/54
International ClassificationA63D5/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63D5/04
European ClassificationA63D5/04