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Publication numberUS3717345 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 20, 1973
Filing dateMar 15, 1971
Priority dateMar 15, 1971
Publication numberUS 3717345 A, US 3717345A, US-A-3717345, US3717345 A, US3717345A
InventorsBanville B
Original AssigneePrayfel Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Computerized race game
US 3717345 A
Abstract
A coin-operated race game adapted to be used by one or more players, each operating a set of cooperating handwheel and whipping lever; the progress of each player in the game is indicated by a series of lamps which become successively illuminated by a computer. A first and a second winner, a race time and a best race time and a free game features and displays are also provided and controlled by computers. The whipping levers are arranged to be advantageously operated along in whipping zones of the series of lamps and are penalizing, if operated outside of the whipping zones. A coin slot is provided for each set of handwheel and whipping lever and switches are provided to impose a maximum effective angular velocity limit to the handwheels, to select the types of race and to adjust the time performance required to win a free game.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 Banville Feb. 20, 1973 [54] COMPUTERIZED RACE GAME [75] Inventor: Bertrand Banville, Dorval, Quebec,

Primary Examiner-Anton O. Oechsle Attorney-Pierre Lesperance [57] ABSTRACT A coin-operated race game adapted to be used by one or more players, each operating a set of cooperating handwheel and whipping lever; the progress of each player in the game is indicated by a series of lamps which become successively illuminated by a computer. A first and a second winner, a race time and a best race time and a free game features and displays are also provided and controlled by computers. The

whipping levers are arranged to be advantageously operated along in whipping zones of the series of lamps and are penalizing, if operated outside of the whipping zones. A coin slot is provided for each set of handwheel and whipping lever and switches are provided to impose a maximum effective angular velocity limit to the handwheels, to select the types of race and to adjust the time performance required to win a free game.

12 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures BLOCK DIAGRAM COIN SLOTS A13 22 25 1 -u IV 7 2 CONTROL RACE ecsr RESULT 2 umr 253:8; rm: DISPLAY DISPLAY UNIT UNIT START aurmrvmALL CHANNELS -79 P21 '1 VE ocl Y BUFFERC 1 HANDWHEEL TRAN SDJCER 1 DISPLAY LAMP WINNER DRIVER UNIT-l DISPLAY uNIT 20 WHIP I WHIPLEVER mmsuucsa IFRWCMNNELQ UNIT-I I RoM CHANNEL-3 l r VELOCITY BUFFERCOUNTER J HANDWHEEL TRANSDUCER & 4 UNIT-4 DISPLAYLMAP DRIVER UNIT-4 20 Y WHIP LEVER TRANSDUCER UNIT-4 PATENTED FEBZO 75 SHEEY 10F 8 r: vN

:Dwwm hmmm INVENTOR Bertond BA N V/LLE AGENT PATENTIZIJ 3,717. 345

SHEET 0F 8 WHIP MOTION TRANSDUCER Imr Lg' B DECISION jR SETF CIRCUIT CLEAR WHIP 34 I LEVER SYNCHRO- LIGHT INPU T CHOPPER NIZER 35 CLOCK 2 FIGS BUFFER COUNTER 8. DISPLAY LAMP DRIVER RATEZEITARIIIZK 27 55 53 H I PING DECODER c|RcuTT ZONE v 5 aI 32 OETECTOR p RIV 49 4 47 48 4.4 51. HANDWHEEL 1 on? END MODULO N ,MOOULO 32 BUFFER COLNTER COUNTER coummaml A REwARO-- {\45 L50 --EXPERT PENALTY N VALUE --sEN|oR GENERATOR Mm INVENTOR F Bertrand BANV/LLE BY i W AGENT PAIENIEDFEBZO I915 3,717, 345

SHEET 8 OF 8 RACE TIME 8. BEST RESULT DISPLAY RACE TIME DISPLAY I: I MIN. sec. sec/5 W -75 DECODER & LAMP DRIVER enoor GA E SIGNAL I 73 TIMER COUNTER 5 Hz LA] GAME 77 78 on SIGNAL L I L 79 COMPARATOR A B [B] J RANSFER BUFFER STORAGE S'GNAL DECODER & LAMP DRIVER 17 BEST RESULT DISPLAY I I l I I I I l l I MIN. sac sec 5 N VE N TOR F I 8 Bertrand BANV/LLE BY I CU PATENTED FEB20 I975 3.717, 345

SHEET 8 OF 8 FIG. 72

' INVENTOR Bertrand BAN VILL E BY 31M) 6,, r 11M- 0 AGENT COMPUTERIZED RACE GAME This invention relates to a race game and, more particularly, to a manual skill race game using logical circuits.

It is a general object of the invention to provide a race game of the slot machine type adapted for use in public places, such as restaurants, pool rooms and the like.

It is another general object of the invention to provide an entertainment machine for a race game wherein the results entirely depend on the skill of the players and do not depend on luck.

It is another general object of the invention to provide a race game adapted to be enjoyed by one or simultaneously many players and arranged to test the skill thereof.

It is another general object of the invention to provide a race game wherein the players inputs thereto are transformed into pulse trains, such that all the internal operations of the race game are performed by digital computers.

It is another object of the invention to provide a race game with adjustment controls arranged to vary conditions of the race.

. It is a more specific object of the invention to provide a race game wherein each player has a set of manual actuators having distinct modes of movement to require skill from the player.

It is another object of the invention to provide counters having a variable modulo.

Various other objects and advantages of the inven tion will become apparent as the description proceeds with reference to the preferred embodiment illustrated, by way of example only, in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a simplified general block diagram of the logic circuits according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a flow diagram illustrating the interrelationship of the main states of the race game according to the invention;

FIG. 3 is a block diagram of a handwheel velocity transducer according to the invention;

FIG. 4 is a table giving velocity transducer cut-off characteristics;

FIG. 5 is a block diagram of a whip motion transducer according to the invention;

FIG. 6 is a block diagram of a buffer counter and display lamp driver according to the invention;

FIG. 7 is a block diagram of a first and second winner display unit according to the invention;

FIG. 8 is a block diagram of a race time and best result display according to the invention;

FIG. 9 is a block diagram of a free game circuit according to the invention;

FIG. 10 is a block diagram of a control unit according to the invention;

FIG. 1 1 is a perspective view of a race game machine according to the invention; and

FIG. 12 is a front view of a display panel according to the present invention.

Referring first to FIGS. 11 and 12, the race game is embodied into a machine having a cabinet 1 of the console type forming an upper display portion including a display window 2 through which can be seen an interior display panel 3. A start button 4 is mounted onto a shelf portion 5 of the console cabinet 1. For each player,

there is provided one set of manual actuators compris ing a handwheel 6 and a whipping lever 7. The handwheels 6 are rotatably mounted onto an upright surface of the cabinet 1, while the whipping levers 7 are pivoted onto the shelf portion 5.

It must be noted that each whipping lever 7 is located in limited spaced-apart relationship relative to the handwheel of the same set of manual actuators, such that the latter are both accessible at the same time by a single player such as to be simultaneously operated.

As can be seen in FIG. 11, four sets of manual actuators are provided. It therefore results, as will be 'understood later, that from one to four players can play at the same time. Without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, a difierent number of sets may be provided for as many players to play simultaneously. The race game machine and, more particularly, the display panel 3 thereof have been designed to simulate a horse race game, and for that reason the terms whip and whipping are used to identify the levers 7 and the function thereof. The same machine, without any modification other than changing the pictorial representation on the display panel 3, may be used to simulate other races such as automobiles, runners, or other racers; the'terms whip and whipping could then be replaced by acceleration and accelerating or sprint and sprinting or others as the case may be.

As can be seen in FIG. 12, the game has a race track layout 8 arranged into four parallel closed circuit paths. The race track 8 is made of a transparent or translucent surface and four series of display lamps, not shown, are mounted behind the transparent surface to indicate the progress of each of the four racers by the consecutive illumination of the display lamps. In the illustrated embodiment of the invention, 32 display lamps are mounted along the full length of each race trackand four turns around the race track are required to complete a race.

For convenience in generalizing the principle of the invention, we may say that each series of lamps has a whole number A of lamps or steps and that a player must travel a whole number of B times or turns along the race track to complete or finish a race. An illuminatable display window 9 is provided to indicate when the start push button 4 can be operated to start a game. Another display window 10 is provided to indicate when money can be deposited. Each of the four race paths of the race track 8 is provided with an illuminatable number display 11, which is arranged to be illuminated to identify the number of each race path which is enabled to participate in the race. Illuminatable GO indicators 12 are provided to give a G0 signal after the start push button 4 has been depressed to start the game. Two sets of four illuminatable windows 13 and 14 are provided to indicate which horse or racer finishes first and which finishes second. A free game indicating window 15 is provided to warn the players when they win a free game. Two time displays are provided: one 16 to indicate the time, hereinafter called the race time, taken by the first winner to arrive at the finishing line; and the other 17 to indicate the shortest time, hereafter called the best time result, which has been taken so far by a first winner to complete the race at the finishing line. As indicated, each time display 16 and 17 is arranged to show the minutes, the seconds in units and tenths, and the one-fifths of a second.

As will now be explained in detail with reference to FIGS. 1 to inclusive, the internal operations of the race game machine according to the invention-are entirely controlled by logic circuits. One computer or racing channel is provided for each of the four sets of handwheel 6 and whipping lever 7. In addition to the four racing channels, there are provided a number of control circuits identified by a control unit block 18 in FIG. 1 and itemized in FIG. 10.

Each computer or racing channel basically includes a handwheel velocity transducer unit 19, a whipping lever movement transducer unit 20 and a buffer counter and display lamps unit 21. The results or outputs of the four channels are fed to a first and second winners display unit 24, the output of which provides the stop signal to the race time display unit 22 and to a free game display circuit 23 forming part of the control unit 18. A best time result display unit 25 is coupled to the race time display unit 22, as shown in FIG. 8, to cooperate with the latter and display the best race time result obtained in all the games played, since the race game machine has the last time been effectively plugged to an electrical power supply circuit, such as a usual a.c. wall outlet.

In order to understand the function and operation of each block or unit 18 to 25 inclusive of the illustrated race game machine and, therefore, the underlying basic principle of the invention, the overall operation of the race game machine will first be defined with reference to FIG. 2. The circles in the latter Figure represent the five distinct states in which the race game machine can be. The first state is the power-off state which exists when the machine is unplugged or otherwise cut off from the electrical power supply thereof. In the poweroff state, the best race time display is cancelled. The rest state is then obtained when the machine is connected to an electrical power supply usually by plugging the same to an a.c. wall outlet. In the rest state, the machine is then ready to be operated by the insertion of a coin, but unable to be started by the actuation of the start push button 4. Upon insertion of a first coin into anyone of the four slots, not shown, the control unit 18 is activated by switching on a start circuit 26, which enables the start of a race game by actuation of the push button 4. A coin may then be deposited into each of the three other coin slots without changing the state of the machine; this is indicated by the curved arrow starting and ending at the DEPOSIT MONEY circle. After one to four, but at least one, coin slot has been fed the proper coinage, the actuation of the start push button 4 energizes the corresponding computer or racing channels and the display units 22; 23, 24, and 25. After the start push button has been operated once, any further operation thereof during the game-on state or during a race, is of no effect on the operation of the machine and so is the deposit of a coin. An unplugging of the machine or the inherent game ending features may interrupt a game. The above game ending features operate if a game lasts four minutes or when a first racer completes the race and wins the game. In both cases the raCe game machine automatically resets to the rest state, as indicated by the flow lines leading from the GAME ON circle to the REST circle. The free game circuit 23 is adjustable by actuation of a multi-position switch, not shown. The latter sets a time under which a free game is won if the first winner completes the race in a shorter race time thereof. In such case, the machine passes to a free game state, as indicated by the FREE GAME cir cle instead of the rest state. In the free game state, the deposit of a coin is neither required nor effective; four players are allowed to play the free game by merely actuating the start push button 4. The multi-position switch is preferably mounted onto the cabinet 1 in a spot which is accessible only to the controller of the machine, not to players. In the embodiment described, the multi-position switch for the free game time has been connected and arranged to set a free game time which is a multiple of 5-second periods up to a time limit of 4 minutes.

Each basic unit 18 to 25 inclusive of the invention and the interrelationship thereof will now be described in more details with reference to the FIGS. 3 to 10 inclusive.

A handwheel angular velocity transducer unit 19, illustrated in FIG. 3, includes a light chopper 27 connected to an associated handwheel 6, such that the rotation of the latter will produce an electrical pulse train. The-light chopper basically comprises an apertured disc and a lamp and a phototransistor mounted on opposite sides of the apertured disc in any well known manner in the art. A synchronizer 28 is connected to the light chopper 27 and arranged to receive the electrical pulse train produced by the latter and whose rate is proportional to the angular speed of rotation of the associated handwheel 6. A 60-Hertz clock pulse is fed by a line 29 from a clock, not shown, to the synchronizer 28 to produce a synchronized electrical pulse train which is then supplied to an AND gate 30 and to a modulo 8 counter 31. The angular velocity of the associated handwheel 6 is not allowed to exceed one of four possible predetermined angular velocities. A four-position rotary switch, not shown, is mounted onto the cabinet 1 and is accessible only to the controller of the machine, not to the players, to select anyone of the four predetermined allowable maximum angular velocities. The maximum allowed handwheel turns per second is given by the following formula Fmax lO/(T 2) and the frequency of the output pulses at the AND gate 30 is equal to 6 times the handwheel turns per second. A count T detector 32 is connected to the output of the modulo 8 counter 31 to detect if a count of T selected at 2, 3, 4 or 6 by the controller, has been attained between any two successive input pulses from the corresponding handwheel 6.

Each input pulse from the handwheel resets the modulo 8 counter to zero. The next pulse from the handwheel will be accepted only if the counter has reached the count of T. A feed back loop 33 is provided to prevent the counter from the to count up past T, what would produce ambiguous results.

FIG. 4 illustrates a family of curves giving the relationship between the output pulse rate at-the AND gate 30 and the handwheel angular velocity in turns per second.

A whipping lever movement transducer unit, illustrated in FIG. 5, includes a light chopper 34 which is suitably connected to an associated whipping lever 7 to transform the movement thereof into an electrical pulse train in much a similar manner as the light chopper 37 and as is well known in the art. A

synchronizer 35 is connected to the light chopper 34, is fed with a 60-l-lertz clock pulse and is arranged to produce a synchronized electrical pulse train, whose rate is indicative of the whipping speed. A modulo l6 counter 36 receives the synchronized electrical pulse train and counts 30-Hertz clock pulses to measure the whipping period T of the associated whipping lever. The whipping period of time T is given by the following formula (2X 2) 60 s T s (2X 1)/60 X and X are whole numbers set by the operator and can take any value from 8 to as long as X is smaller than X Three pairs of values of X and X can be selected corresponding to three types of games, namely: Expert, Senior and Junior, of varying difficulties as the names imply. A three-position rotary switch, not shown, is also mounted onto the cabinet 1 and is accessible to the players to allow the latter to select which type of game they want to play. To determine if the whip pulse duration falls within the prescribed period T, there are provided two detectors 38 and 39 identified by the blocks marked DETECT X and DETECT X respectively. The detector 37 identified by the block marked DE- TECT 15 is provided for stopping the counter 36 at count 15 to prevent ambiguous results. Large arrows 40 are used in FIG. 5 to indicate that three wires connect the modulus l6 counter 36 to each detector 37, 38, and 39. Obviously, the detectors 37, 38, and 39 will respectively detect the count 15, the count X and the count X produced by the modulo l6 counter 36.

As for the handwheel angular velocity transducer 19, the synchronized pulse signals are fed into the clear input of the modulo l6 counter to initiate the process of measurement of the period of the whipping movement. After the clearing of the counter 36, the 30- Hertz pulses are counted; if the next synchronized whipping pulse signal does not occur between an interval of time of 1 to 15 times 1/30 seconds, the counter 36 is then stopped automatically by the output of the detector 37 received by the AND gate 41. The counter remains at state 15 until the next synchronized clear pulse is fed thereto. If, on the other hand the synchronized whipping pulse comes when the counter 36 reaches between X and X the output latch flipflop, RS-FF, 42, is turned on by the decision circuit 43, which is controlled by the detectors 38 and 39. The output of the decision circuit 43 acts or clears the output latch flip-flop 42 which remains in the same state until the next event. A signal level of one at the output of the flip-flop 42 signifies that reward has been earned. It must be noted that the decision circuit 43 is operative or activated only when a whipping zone input is fed thereto as a result of the attainment of such zone along the associated race track patch as displayed on the display panel 3 and as sensed and measured by the associated buffer counter and display lamps driver unit. The next possible events are: another synchronized whipping pulse falling within X and X which maintains the signal level at one; a synchronized whipping pulse coming before X,, which clears the reward flipflop; the counter 36 reaching the count of X before a next synchronized whipping pulse has come, which also clears the reward flip-flop. When the output reward signal level is one, the constraint on the angular speed of rotation of the associated handwheel 6 is removed and the speed factor of the horse or other simulated racer is increased by an amount depending on the type of game. This is done by feeding the reward signal level of one to the inhibiting circuit of the handwheel velocity transducer unit 19 and to the buffer counter and display lamps driver unit 21 of the same racing channel.

A buffer counter and display lamps driver unit 21, illustrated in FIG. 6, includes a modulo N buffer counter 44 and a N-value generator 45 connected to the latter and arranged to vary the N-value thereof. The N-value generator 45 is subjected to the reward signal of level one, and to a penalty signal level, resulting from prem ature operation of the corresponding whipping lever 7; that is, operation of the latter when the racer has not reached a whipping zone. The N-value generator 45 is also subject to the type of race selected: Expert, Senior or Junior. The synchronized handwheel pulse is fed, as indicated, to a gate 46 and through the latter, to the modulo N buffer counter 44. The output of the latter is fed to a modulo 32 counter 47 and thereafter to a modulo 4 counter 48. It is readily obvious that the counters 47 and 48 are selected of modulo 32 and modulo 4, since there are respectively 32 display lamps in each series of lamps along the race track and the game is programmed such that four times or turns around the 32 display lamps must be performed to complete the race. Ifwe generalize, with a number A of display lamps and B times around the latter to complete a race, the counters 47 and 48 would then be of modulo A and modulo B respectively. When the last display lamp is illuminated at the end of the last turn around the series of lamps, and end-of-game signal is produced by an end-of-game circuit 49 which, through the feed back circuit 50, operates on the gate 46 to stop the counter 44. Before attaining the last step or display lamp, in this case the 128th step or the 32nd lamp after 4 turns, the output from the modulo 32 counter 47 is fed by a plurality of wires, indicated by the large arrow 51, into a decoder and lamps driver 52 which decodes from the 5 bit binary system to 32 units representing the 32 display lamps of the corresponding series of lamps. The output of the decoder 52 is then fed, as indicated by the wide arrow 52, to the 32 lamps, indicated by block 54, in consecutive order to simulate the progress of a particular racer during a game. A whipping zone detector circuit of appropriate design, indicated by the block 55, is connected to the decoder 52 to produce a signal when the whipping zones are reached. As mentioned before, the whipping zone signal is fed to the decision circuit 43 to activate the latter.

The buffer counter 44 is a variable modulo counter. If the modulo becomes small, the horse or other racer will go faster. The penalties as well as the rewards are given by changing the modulo value of that counter 44. As one goes from Junior to Expert, whipping becomes progressively more difficult; this is balanced by means of a corresponding progressive reduction of the modulo value of the buffer counter, resulting in a progressively higher horse or racer speed ratio. The three types of game therefore tend to be approximately of the same duration but of increasing difiiculty as one goes from Junior to Expert game.

The first and second winner display unit 24 according to the invention and illustrated in FIG. 7, includes the first winner display 56 and the second winner display 57, each comprising four lamps arranged in registry with the windows 13 and 14 respectively. To each lamp of the first winner display 56 there are consecutively connected in series a first inverter 58, a latch 59 and a second inverter 60. Each first inverter 58 has its input connected to the end of game circuit of the corresponding buffer counter and display lamps driver unit 21 to receive an end of game signal thereof upon completion of the race by that particular racer. To each lamp of the second winner display 57, there are consecutively connected in series an inhibit gate 61, a latch 62 and an inverter 63. Each inhibit gate 61 is also connected as the first inverter 58 to receive the last step, in this case, the 128th step signal from the corresponding buffer counter and display lamps driver unit 21. A transfer circuit comprising a pair of gates 64 and 65 in series is connected between the output of the latches 59 and to a transfer signal input to the latter by a lead 66. Similarly, a transfer signal circuit comprising a pair of gates 67 and 68 in series is connected between the output of the latches 62 and to a transfer signal input to the latter by a lead 69. It must be noted that the gate 64 has four input wires connected thereto, as shown by the numeral 4 on the gate symbol, and corresponding to the four channels of the machine. The gate 67 has five input wires connected thereto, as indicated by the numeral thereon; the first four wires correspond to the four channels while the fifth wires 70 feeds the output of the gate 65 to the gate 67. The output of the four latches 59 are fed to the inhibit gates 61 by a set of four wires indicated by the wide arrow 71. A reset pulse input wire 72 is connected to one input of each of the two gates 65 and 68.

In order to understand the operation of the winners display unit 24, first let us consider the situation when a reset pulse has been produced in the wire 72; the transfer signals to the circuits 59 and 62 are unconditionally activated and, since the horse or racer positions are returned to zero, in the rest state, and none is at the last or 128th step, all four logical one, are stored in both four latch-circuits. After the reset signal has returned to zero, the transfer signal to the four latches 59 remains activated but the signal in the wire 70 inhibits the transfer signal to the four latches 62 by its action the AND gate 67. As the first winner gets in, a zero produced by the corresponding inverter 58 is stored in the corresponding latch circuit 59 and immediately its transfer signal is de-activated and the inverter 60 causes the conversion of the zero into a logical one which illuminates the proper lamp in the first winner circuit 56. The de-activation of the transfer signal in the circuit 66 and, consequently, in the wire 70 activates and opens the AND gate 67 and activates the transfer signal in the wire 69 to the four latches 62. Simultaneously, the inhibit gate 61 which corresponds to the racing channel of the first winner, is closed and avoids registration thereof in the second winner display. As the second winner gets in, a zero appears in one of the three remaining lines at the input of the AND gate 67 and the transfer signal in the wire 69 is de-activated, storing these results into the latches 62. The second winner number is then permanently displayed through the appropriate window 14 by illumination of the corresponding lamp.

The race time and best result display units 22 and 25 according to the invention are combined into an operative assembly, as shown in FIG. 8, which comprises a time counter 73 which is fed by the AND gate 74, a 5- Hertz timing pulse, a game-on signal and an end of game signal, such that when a game is started by the push button 4, the game-on signal produced causes the timer counter 73 to start counting the time in one-fifth of seconds up to a maximum of 4 minutes. The elapsed time duration of the race is transmitted to a decoder and lamps driver circuit 75 to be decoded into minutes, tens of seconds, seconds, and one-fifth of seconds and to be so displayed by the race time display 16. When a first racer has completed the race, an end-of-game signal is produced and fed to an AND gate 74 to stop the time counter 73. A bufier storage circuit 76 is provided to store the new time performance when this new time is better, that is shorter, than the previously stored value. A comparator 77 is connected between the timer counter 73 and the bufier storage 76 to compare the new race time against the stored time. When the new race time is better than the then best time display, the output of the comparator coincides with the end-of-agame signal and produces a transfer signal output through the AND gate 78, causing the new race time to be stored in the bufier storage in replacement of the previous best game time. Because of the feed back loop between the buffer storage 76 and the comparator 77, the transfer signal is of very short duration. When the race game machine has just been plugged or brought to thepower-on state and no game has yet been played, the time of the first game is fed through the wires 79 to the bufi'er storage 76 where it is stored. The time which is stored in the bufier storage 76, either during the above-mentioned first game or the best race time transferred thereto, is decoded by a decoder and lamps driver circuit 80 and fed to a best time result display 17, similar to the game time display 16.

A free game circuit 23 according to the invention, as illustrated in FIG. 9, includes a race time counter 81 and a free game time setting switch 82, which is normally accessible to the controller of the machine only. The free game switch in the embodiment described sets the time in steps of 5 seconds up to a limit of 4 minutes. The set free game time is encoded into four binary coded decimals by an encoder 83. A comparator 84 is connected between the race time counter 81 and the encoder 83 and compares the two time inputs therefrom and feeds an output signal to the AND gate 85 when the race time is lower than the best game time. The end-of-game signal then coincides with the above output signal and the gate 85 transmits a signal to a set input of the free game flip-flop circuit 86 which produces a free game signal. Thefree game flip-flop 86 is returned to zero when the start button is pressed to start the race game.

Reference will now be made particularly to FIG. 10 to describe in further details the essential elements or circuits performing the control functions. The above essential elements or circuits have been grouped, for

the sake of clarity, into a so-called control unit block.

18, shown in FIG. 1, but as is well known in the computer art, various control circuits are usually scattered and even combined to one another.

All the operations which serve to energize and deenergize the start circuit 26, that is to cause the race game to pass from the rest state to the game-on state and vice versa, as defined with reference to FIG. 2, are indicated by input arrows associated to the start circuit 26 and the activating circuits represented by the block 87 in FIG. 10. In order to energize or activate the start circuit 26, the power-on or line-on state must be acquired by normally plugging the machine and a first coin must be inserted. When this has been done, a deposit money state is reached which allows the player or players to open one or more of the other three racing channels or to play with only one racing channel, that is a single player racing against the clock in an attempt to beat the displayed best race time result or to win a free game. As shown in block 87, each of the four coin slots controls a corresponding coin latch which is connected to the first coin circuit to activate the latter. The start switch operated by the start button 4 operates the start circuit 26 which produces a two-lamp countdown followed by a G lamp display. After a 3-second delay, the channels paid for become operative and the race can start. At the same time, the race time counters 73 and 81 start to count the time in response to a game-on signal. The free game state signal produced by the free game flip-flop 86 is fed directly to the start circuit 26 by-passing the rest state and to the coin latches to open the four racing channels. If a game lasts 4 minutes, or any other predetermined race time limit, this situation is detected and a reset pulse is produced, which returns the race game to the rest state. As a first winner is determined, an end-of-game signal is fed to the first coin circuit to reset the machine to the rest state.

The control circuit 18 further comprises a type of game circuit 88, a maximum angular velocity encoder 89 and a clock pulse generator 90. The three-position switch hereinbefore mentioned to select either an Expert, Senior or Junior type of game, is connected by three wires to the type of game circuit 88 which produces a type of game coded signal in one of three output wires. As mentioned earlier, the type of game signal produced is fed to the N-value generator 45 which reacts on the modulo N buffer counter 44 to correspondingly set the modulo value thereof. Simultaneously, the type of game signal is fed to the whipping movement transducer unit to select a corresponding set of detectors for X and X The type of game chosen is displayed by a corresponding lamp of a three-lamp display, not shown.

The maximum angular velocity encoder 89 is controlled by the afore-mentioned four-position rotary switch which, through one of four input wires, feeds a signal thereto. A corresponding maximum velocity code is then produced and fed to the count-T detector in FIG. 3 to set the T-value thereof.

1 claim:

1. In a computerized race game, a first racing channel comprising, in combination, a set of actuators including a first and second movable manual actuators, a velocity transducer means connected to said movable manual actuators and constructed and arranged to produce an output indicative of the velocities of movement of said movable manual actuators, a counter connected to said velocity transducer means and constructed and arranged to calculate cumulated travel produced by said first movable manual actuator, display means connected to said counter and constructed and arranged to be energized by the latter to indicate said cumulated travel, and indicating means constructed and arranged to indicate when a game has been terminated, said velocity transducer means is constructed and arranged such that said output is a pair of electrical pulse trains having rates proportional to said velocities of movement, and said counter is a digital counter and wherein said velocity transducer means includes a first velocity transducer unit connected to the maximum pulse rate limiter and arranged to remove the maximum limit imposed to the pulse rate therethrough.

2. A computerized race game as defined in claim 1, wherein said first movable manual actuator includes a rotatable handwheel and said second movable manual actuator includes a pivoted whipping lever mounted and arranged in limited spaced-apart relationship to be simultaneously operated by a single operator.

3. A computerized race game as defined in claim 2, further including a timer connected to receive a gameon signal and an end-of-game signal, a race time display connected to said timer to display the time of duration of a game, a computer storage unit arranged to store the best game time of any game played during the consecutive period the race game has been operatively plugged to a power supply circuit, a best game time display connected to said computer storage unit and arranged to display the stored best game time and a comparator circuit connected to said timer and tosaid computer storage unit and arranged to cause storage and display of any game time better than the actually stored and displayed best game time.

4. A computerized race game as defined in claim 2, further including a race time counter, a free game time adjustment switch, a comparator connected to said race time counter and to said free game time adjustment switch, an AND gate connected to the output of said comparator and arranged to receive an end-ofgame signal to produce a free game output signal when the race time is shorter than the selected free game time.

5. A computerized race game as defined in claim 2, wherein said first velocity transducer unit includes a light chopper connected to said handwheel and constructed and arranged to produce one of said electrical pulse trains, a synchronizer having a clock input thereto connected to said light chopper, an inhibitor gate and a modulo 8 counter connected to said synchronizer and arranged to receive a synchronized pulse train, a maximum velocity detector connected to said modulo 8 counter and to said inhibitor gate and arranged to supply an output pulse thereto when the angular velocity of said handwheel is within a predetermined maximum lirnit and a feed back circuit connecting said maximum velocity detector to said modulo 8 counter and arranged to stop the latter when the measured angular velocity is below a predetermined minimum limit.

6. A computerized race game as defined in claim 2, wherein said second velocity transducer unit includes a light chopper connected to said whipping lever and constructed and arranged to produce one of said electrical pulse trains, a synchronizer arranged to receive a clock input connected to said light chopper and arranged to supply a synchronized pulse train to a digital counter, a pair of whipping period detectors connected to said digital counter and arranged to respond to predetermined low and high limits of the whipping period, a decision circuit connected to said pair of whipping period detectors and to a flip-flop unit and arranged to produce a reward signal when the whipping period is within said predetermined low and high limits, and a high limit whipping period detector connected to said digital counter and to an AND gate and arranged to stop said digital counter when said predetermined high limit is exceeded.

7. A computerized race game as defined in claim 2, wherein said display means includes a plurality of display lamps serially arranged into a race track layout wherein the race consists in progressing A steps along the full length of the race track and in performing B times the travel along the race track, said counter includes a modulo N bufi'er counter, a N-value generator connected to said modulo N-bufi'er counter and arranged to vary the N-value thereof in response to a reward, penalty and type of game signal inputs to said N- value generator, a modulo A, and a modulo B counter and an end-of-game signal generator serially connected to the output of said modulo N-butfer counter, and AND gate having its output connected to the input of said modulo N-buffer counter, a feed back stop signal circuit joining the output of said end-of-game unit to an input of said AND gate and another input of the latter is connected to said first velocity transducer unit to supply the output of the latter to said AND gate, a decoder and lamps driver connected between the output of said modulo A counter and said plurality of display lamps to consecutively energize the latter upon progression of the race, and a whipping zone detector connected to said decoder and lamps driver and arranged to produce a signal indicating the starts and endings of zones of said race track in which said whipping lever may be operated.

8. A computerized race game as defined in claim 2, further including a second racing channel essentially similar to said first racing channel and a first winner display means connected to all of said channels and constructed and arranged to receive an end-of-race signal produced by one of said channels which first completes a predetermined race track travel and to identify said one channel.

9. A computerized race game as defined in claim 8, further including a second winner display means connected to said first winner display means and to all of said channels and constructed and arranged to receive an end-of-race signal produced by one of said channels which next completes a predetermined race track travel, and constructed and arranged to identify said next channel.

10. A computerized race game as defined in claim 9, wherein each of said first winner display means and of said second winner display means includes one lamp for each of said channels and connected and arranged to identify a corresponding channel, each lamp of said first winner display means is connected to the associated channel by a first inverter, a latch and a second inverter consecutively arranged in series, each lamp of said second winner display means is connected AND gate of the pair of AND gates of said transfer signal circuit of said second winner display means, and the output of the latch of said first winner display means is connected to the input of the corresponding inhibiting gate of said second winner display means and said reset signal input is arranged to be energized at the start of another game, whereby the first end-of-race signal will produce illumination of the lamp in the first winner display means which identifies the corresponding channel and the next end-of-race signal will produce illumination of the lamp in the second winner display means which identifies the corresponding channel which produced said next end-of-race signal.

11. A computerized race game comprising first and second similar racing channels each comprising, in combination, a set of actuators including a first and a second movable manual actuators, a velocity transducer means connected to said movable manual actuators and constructed and arranged to produce an output indicative of the velocities of movement of said movable manual actuators, a counter connected to said velocity transducer means and constructed and arranged to calculate cumulated travel produced by said first movable manual actuator, display means con-.

relationship with respect to the handwheel of the same.

set of manual actuators, whereby the latter are arranged to be simultaneously operable by a single operator, and a display panel is mounted onto said cabinet and supporting said display means and said indicating means in positions to be viewed by the operators of said racing channels, and further including a coin slot for each of said racing channels constructed and arranged to allow energization and operation of any racing channel upon insertion of the right coinage into the corresponding coin slot, a first multi-position switch mounted onto saidcabinet and connected to each of said racing channels to select a maximum angular velocity limit for said handwheels, a second multi-position switch mounted onto said cabinet, connected to the counter of each channel, and arranged to vary the type of race, and a starting switch mounted onto said cabinet, connected to a starting circuit and arranged to start the latter upon insertion of the right coinage into at least one coin slot.

12. A computerized race game as defined in claim 11, further including an illuminatable free-game display mounted onto said display panel, a race time

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Classifications
U.S. Classification463/6, 463/37
International ClassificationA63F3/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63F3/00643
European ClassificationA63F3/00E