US 3724854 A
An amusement device including an enclosed housing having viewing windows at each end, a simulated lunar surface extending longitudinally between the ends of the housing and operator-controlled movable objects in the shape of extraterrestrial vehicles for directing and responding to laser beams such that a laser beam duel may be simulated. A dramatic effect is introduced by causing the laser beam to sweep outwardly across the lunar surface to simulate the firing of the laser gun.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 Brooks et al.
[ 51 Apr. 3, 1973  LIGHT RESPONSIVE AND DIRECTING EXTRATERRESTRIAL VEHICLES [7 5] Inventors: Howard A. Brooks, Ann Arbor; Vernon J. Burzan, Dexter, both of Mich.
[731 Assignee: Leisure-Tron Corporation, Ann Arbor, Mich.
 Filed: July 6, 1970  Appl. No.: 52,531
 US. Cl. ..273/l01.l, 272/14, 240/6.41, 7 250/215, 46/244 C  Int. Cl. ..A63f 9/00  Field of Search ..273/l B, 101.1; 240/6.4l; 250/215; 35/25; 46/244 C  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,294,401 12/1966 Nicholas ..273/l0l.1
3,573,868 4/1971 Giannetti ..273/l01.1 2,562,648 7/1951 Sparrow.... ....273/l0l.l 3,150,461 9/1964 Grist ....273/101.1 2,404,653 7/1946 Plebanek ..273/l01.1
Primary Examiner-Richard C. Pinkham Assistant Examiner-Marvin Siskind Attorney-Barnard, McGlynn & Reising  ABSTRACT An amusement device including an enclosed housing having viewing windows at each end, a simulated lunar surface extending longitudinally between the ends of the housing and operator-controlled movable objects in the shape of extraterrestrial vehicles for directing and responding to laser beams such that a laser beam duel may be simulated. A dramatic effect is introduced by causing the laser beam to sweep outwardly across the lunar surface to simulate the firing of the laser gun.
35 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAPR 3 I975 sum 1 OF 5 I N VENTORS Howard A 52 0045,
Vernon Jazzrzazz PATENTEUAPR 3 I975 SHEET 2 [1F 5 I N VEN TORS l /oward A raos, l ezzzon Jarzazz AT TO R N EY o oo o 000 oooool? RED 104 STEPPER GREEN STEPPER 256 INVENTORS Z58 H0 Ward 4, rooks, 60 l'zzzozz Jaarzan a a %fi%/m/f ATTORNEYS PATEHTEU APR 3 1975 LIGHT RESPONSIVE AND DIREC'IING EXTRATERRESTRIAL VEHICLES This invention relates to amusement devices of the type wherein a light beam may be selectively directed toward a light responsive target by an operator.
Light gun amusement devices in general are wellknown, the most common type employing a simulated rifle or pistol which can be operated to direct a beam of white light at one or more light responsive targets. The interception of the beam by the target is typically indicated by incrementing a scoreboard which is electrically connected to the light responsive target by suitable means such as a relay. Such a game has its appeal but is decidedly lacking in realism as the light beam which is directed by the rifle or pistol is normally invisible to the operator and thus there is no real sensation or shooting. Moreover, such arrangements do not readily lend themselves to a simulated duel or fight involving two active opponents but are more in the nature of uni-directional target shooting, notwithstanding the fact that the target may be movable and/or responsive to being hit.
The present invention affords an improvement in the excitement and realism of light gun amusement devices by the addition of dramatic effects including the sweeping of a beam across a surface such that the operator may observe the simulated path of travel of his shots". In general, this is accomplished in a combination including a light beam directing means, a light beam responsive means which is spaced from the light beam directing means, a surface which is disposed between the light directing and light responding means, and means responsive to operator control for selectively causing the beam to be rotated about a transverse horizontal axis to cause the beam to appear to sweep longitudinally outwardly across the surface on its way to the light responsive means.
The light beam sweeping function of the present invention adds functional advantages as well as dramatic appeal to light beam shooting devices, especially those in which the gun is not hand-held, in that it permits both light directing means and light responsive means, hereinafter referred to as gun and target, respectively, to be fixed in azimuth and altitude relative to the intermediate surface and moved laterally under operator control by way of motors or thelike. By to cause it to sweep outwardly and upwardly, the beam describes a vertical line at the target end of the assembly which simply sweeps across the light responsive target. This eliminates the need for precise altitude or height adjustment in-the gun and target and thus insures easier maintenance and assembly.
In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention, an amusement device having a space age theme is provided including a housing or cabinet having longitudinally opposite viewing windows and control panels for opposing players, each player being further provided with a laterally movable body in the shape of an extraterrestrial vehicle which functions as both a gun and a target. The gun on each end of the assembly is provided with a selectively operable beam rotating arrangement such that each player may simulate the firing of a light gun preferably having a laser source simply by operating a switch which rotates the beam outwardly toward the opponents target. The two gun-target bodies are independently laterally movable and thus each operator is provided with independent control over both the firing and position of his own gun. The hits are registered on a scoreboard which is visible to the opposing players. In addition, the game may be played by a single player by placing one target under automatic control.
These and other features and advantages of the invention will be best understood and appreciated by reading the following specification which describes a specific and illustrative embodiment of the invention. This specification is to be taken in connection with the accompanying drawings of which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an illustrative embodiment of the invention with parts broken away to reveal some internal components;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the playing surface in the device of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of additional components in the device of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an end view of a preferred scoreboard for use in the device of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a side view with parts broken away of a secondary target used in the device of FIG. 1;
FIG. 6 is a front view of a vehicle position control assembly from the device of FIG. 1;
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of a gun-target vehicle from the assembly of FIG. 6; and,
FIGS. 8 and 8a constitute an electrical circuit diagram for the device of FIG. 1.
Referring now to FIGS. 1 through 3, there is shown an amusement device 10 in the form of a generally rectangular but distinctive housing 12 having longitudinally opposite viewing windows 14 and l6and control panels 18 beneath and adjacent the windows. Housing 12 is in the form of a cabinet of a widthto permit passage through standard doorways and resting on removable steel legs 20. Housing 12 may be made of painted particle board or other suitable material. A coin-operating switch mechanism 21 is provided on the side of the housing 12 to energize the game apparatus to be described herein.
Housing 12 is provided internally with a first horizontal deck 22 which supports a number of game components hereinafter described and a lower horizontal deck 24 which supports the internal operating or control components also hereinafter described. A panel 25 is provided at each end of the housing 12 to afford access to the components on the deck 24. The viewing windows 14 and 16 are preferably made of Plexiglass, Lucite, or the like and are angled slightly inwardly toward the bottom to eliminate glare and reflection problems from overhead lights. v
Disposed within the upper portion of housing 12 just above deck 22 and viewable through the windows 14 and 16 are bodies 26 and 28 in the shape of extraterrestrial vehicles or flying saucers, each of which is capable of operating both as a light beam directing device or gun" and a light beam responsive device or target. Bodies 26 and 28 are longitudinally spaced from one another across a surface 30 which may be cast from plastic material so as to exhibit a rough surface character having a number of craters and rock-like irregularities 31. Surface 30 thus resembles a portion of the surface of the moon in accordance with the space age theme set by the shape of the bodies 26and 28.
Moreover, the irregular surface 30 enhances the beam sweeping action hereinafter described. The interior walls of housing 12 .may be painted with celestial designs in luminescent paint to be illuminated by black lights 152.
Bodies 26 and 28 are substantially identical, although they may be painted with different colors of ultraviolet light sensitive irridescent paint to distinguish them. In the following description, it is assumed that bodies 26 and 28 are green and red in color, respectively. Each is provided with a forwardly opening slot 32 from which a light beam may be directed toward the opposing body. The light beam directing apparatus within each of the bodies 26 and 28 includes control means to cause a light beam to be rotated about a transverse axis thereby to cause the beam to sweep longitudinally outwardly across the simulated lunar surface 30 onits way to the opposing body. Inaddition, each of the bodies is provided with a light beam responsive device 34 which looks toward the opposing body such that interception of the beam from one body by the light beam responsive device 34 of the opposite body produces an electrical signal which increments the proper line in a scoreboard 38 which is disposed within the housing 12 between the longitudinally opposite ends thereof. The light responsive device 34 is preferably a light activated silicon controlled switch or a photodiode.
In addition to target bodies 26 and 28, secondary targets 80 and 82 of a stationary type are disposed in the field defined by surface 30. Each secondary target is equipped with a light-responsive cell, the cell in target 80 being disposed toward body 28 and the cell in target 82 being disposed toward body 26. Accordingly, target 82 is red and target 80 green.
Referring nowvto FIG. 3, the interior components of the device which are disposed on the lower deck 24 are disclosed in greater detail. These components are shown to comprise a main electronics chassis 40 ineluding a power supply 41 which is connected to a low power continuous wave dual exit laser 42. Laser 42 is preferably a gas fired laser with an output on the order of approxim ately1.7 milliwatts'. A suitable laser may be purchased from Metrologic Instruments Incorporated of Bellmawr, New Jersey. Laser 42, being a dual exit device, produces visible red, highly collimated beams 44 and 46in longitudinally opposite directions relative to the housing 12. Beam 44 is directed to a first mirror which is fixed in a corner of housing 12. Mirror 48 turns beam 44 through a right angle and directs it along a path 50 which extends transversely of the housing 12. Path 50 intercepts a second mirror 52 which is transversely displaceable along with body 26 by means to be described wherein the beam is turned through a second right angle thus to be directed along a vertical path 54. Path 54 intercepts a mirror 56 which is also carried by the body 26 and which is pivotal about a transverse axis by means to be described. The beam 44 being reflected from mirror 56is directed longitudinally in the general direction of the opposite body 28. The mirror 56 normally assumes a small angle relative to thevertical path 54 but is rotatable in a counterclockwise direction as shown in FIG. 3 to cause the path of beam 44 as it departs from mirror 56 to be swept upwardly and outwardly across the surface 30 on its way to the opposite body 28. r
In a similar fashion, the beam 46 is directed toward a mirror 60 which is fixed relative to housing 12. Mirror 60 rotates the beam through a fixed right angle thus to be directed along a transverse path 62 toward a transversely displaceable mirror 64. Mirror 64 directs the beam upwardly along a vertical path 66 to a third and pivotal mirror 68 which is mounted on the body 28 for lateral displacement therewith by means to be described. Beam 46 is ultimately directed longitudinally outwardly toward the opposite body 26, the pivoting of mirror 68 causing the beam to be swept upwardly and outwardly across the simulated lunar surface 30 as will subsequently be more fully described.
Referring again to FIG. 3, the power supply 41 is shown to be connected to the scoreboard 38 for incrementing the counts maintained along the upper and lower lines thereof. Power supply 41 is also connected to an amplifier circuit 72 which drives a loud speaker 74 in response to various game activities to be described to produce suitable sound effects. For example, amplifier 72 responds to the incidence of the laser beam from body 26 upon the light responsive device 34 of body 28 to produce a sound simulating an explosion. In addition, power supply 41 is connected to small, reversible motors 76 and 78 having vertically oriented output shafts for causing transverse displacement of the bodies 26 and 28 relative to the surface 30 and in opposite directions depending upon which of direction control'buttons 58 and on the control panel 18 is depressed by the operator.
Referring now to FIG. 6, the lateral displacement control mechanism of the body 26 is shown and is to be taken as representative of the control mechanism for body 28 as well. The control mechanism comprises motor 76 and a reduction gear set 84 connected to the output shaft thereof. A pulley 86 is mounted on the end of the reduction gear set 84. A second pulley 88 is disposed transversely opposite the pulley 86 and supported by one of two L-shaped support rails 90. A cable 92 iscontinuously strung between and around the pulleys 86 and 88 and there is interconnected between the two ends thereof by means of a nylon or suitable plastic slide block 94. Slide block 94 is provided with parallel slots on opposite faces to permit it to be mounted between the longitudinally spaced edges of slide rail 90 as best shown in FIG. 7. Accordingly, rotation of motor 76 and reduction gear set 84 causes travel of the cable 92 and corresponding transverse displacement of the slide block 94 relative to the rails 90. A tension control spring is disposed between the endof the cable 92 and the block 94 to maintain the proper tension on the cable 92.
Disposed vertically through and supported by the slide block 94 is an upstanding hollow tubular member 102 having an octal plug 104 with upstanding electrical connector pins 105 on the upper end thereof. On the lower end of hollow tubular member 102 is fastened a bracket 106 which carries the mirror 52 in the proper alignment to reflect the incoming laser beam 44 from the transverse path 50 of FIG. 3 to the vertical path 54 which extends upwardly through the hollow tubular member 102 and the octal plug 104.
As will be best illustrated with reference to FIG. 8, depression of push button 58 on the control panel 18 energizes motor 76 to rotate in one direction thus transversely displacing the slide block 94 and the tubular member 102 in one direction relative to the housing 12. Depression of pushbutton 70 energizes motor 76 for rotation in the opposite direction thus causing slide block 94 to be transversely displaced in the opposite direction. Again it is emphasized that the structural ar- FIG. 6.
Referring now specifically to FIG. 7, body 26, which is' representative of both bodies 26 and 28, is shown to be fabricated of plastic or other suitable material so as to form a hollow shell 110 having the slot 32 formed in the front thereof and a small aperture immediately above the slot 32 for the location of the light responsive silicon cell 34. Disposed within the shell 110 is an octal socket 112' for receiving the pins 105 of the octal plug 104. Octal socket 112 is provided with a vertically extending central aperture 114 through which the laser beam path portion 54 extends. Mounted within the shell 110 is an upstanding support arm 116 which includes a pivot 118 for pivotally supporting an arm 120 which carries on the underside thereof the pivotal mirror 56. Arm 120 is bent through a nearly reverse turn so as to include arearwardly extending portion 124 which lies in magnetic proximity to a solenoid 122. The solenoid 122 is selectively energizable by the power supply 41 in response to the depression of push button 36 on the control panel 18 of FIG. 1. The mass of mirror 56 is such as to normally bias the pivot arm .120 and the mirror'56 to a substantially counterclockwise position wherein the laser beam traveling vertically along path 54 is reflected downwardly to a point immediately adjacent, and within the vertical projection of the body 26. However, when solenoid 122 is energized by depression of push button 36, the rearwardlyextending portion 124 of pivot arm 120 is drawn toward the solenoid 122 thus to rotate the mirror 56 and the pivot arm 120 in a clockwise .direction as seen in FIG. 7. This pivotal motion causes the beam which is reflected by ,movable mirror 56 to rotate about a transverseaxis which is parallel to light beam path 50 thus to cause the outgoing beam to be directed upwardly and outwardly 4 I The operation of target 80 is such that should body 26 score a hit on the target in body 28 as represented by the light responsive device 34, the incandescent bulb 130 in the target 80 is lighted and a circuit is closed in series with the light responsive switch 128.
Body 26 may then, within a brief predetermined period of time, be maneuvered into position in front of the target 80 and one or more shots directed toward the light responsive switch 128. If the beam from the gun in body 26 intercepts the light responsive switch 128, and additional score may be tallied by the operator of body 26. The switch 128 and the bulb 130 are normally inactive and are rendered active only in response to the scoring of a hit by the gun in body 26 on the target of body 28. The secondary targets 80' and 82 may of course take other forms or be eliminated for the sake of simplicity.
Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4, the scoreboard 38 is shown in greater detail to include a pair of panels 130 and 132 which are longitudinally spaced by means of a U-shaped spacer bar and lamp support member 134. Panel 130, for example, is provided with thefirst line of transversely spaced apertures 136 for indicating to the operator of body 126 his score and a second line of apertures 138 for indicating the score of the opponent. Panel 132 is provided with a similar but vertically inverted' set of apertures; that is, the legend above the upper line of aperture 140 indicates the operators score and the legend beneath the lower line of apertures 142 indicates the opponents score. A plurality of transversely spaced incandescent bulbs 144 are disposed in the lower portion of the support 134 and a second plurality of transversely spaced bulbs 146 are disposed in the upper leg of the support bar 134. The lamps 144 and 146 are lighted in sequence by means of a stepper arrangement which is disposed in .the main electronics chassis 40 as will be made apparent upon reference to FIGS. 8 and 8a. V The structural arrangement which is described above with reference to FIGS. 1 through 7 is organized and controlled by means of suitable electrical circuitry such that a simulated space duel between the extraterrestrial bodies 26 and 28 maybe carried out by one o r'tw o players. FIGS. 8 and 8a disclose i'n-detail a specific arrangement of circuitry for one game plan, it beirig un-, derstood that other circuit designs to organize the structural components into other game plans may'also be employed. v
Referring specifically to FIGS. 8 and 8a, the operating elements of the amusement device 10 are powered in FIG. 7 relative to the body 26 is also to be taken as representative of the structure of the red body 28 ineluding not only the body but the internal means for tronic control chassis 40 andpower supply 41-.
from an ordinary volt AC outlet by means of a standard grounded plug 150. Whenthe plug 150-is placed in a wall outlet the 'AC power is applied directly across black lights 152 which are disposed in the cabinet 12 at opposite upper end locationsas shown in FIG. 1. Accordingly, lights 152 are constantlylighted to display the interior and playingfield of the device 10. The 110 volt AC power'is also applied to the transformer 154, the secondary of which is provided with a center tap and lead 156 which applies l2 voltAC power to a plurality of lamps 158, 160, 162, 164, 166, and 168 of which lights 158, 160, and 162 arelocated on one of the control panels 18 and the other lights '164, 166, and 168 are similarly located on the opposite control panel. The lamps are preferably of the flasher type so as to serve as attention-attracting devices as well as to indicate various facts to the player or players of the game. For example, light 160 as found on the control panel 18 may be provided with an overlay having a legend indicating that a real laser is employed in the game. As another example, lights 162 and 168 may be energized through normally closed relay contacts 169 and 171 which are opened by further procedures to be described to indicate that the game just played is over. The l2-volt AC power is also applied by way of lead 170 to be scoreboard 38 to maintain the score which was achieved by the last player or players.
To start the game a coin is placed in the coinoperated switch device 21 to close a switch 172 applying 24 volt AC power to scoreboard reset coils 174 and 176 to reset scoreboard stepper switches to the zero score position for each side of the scoreboard 38. Closure of switch 172 also applies the 24-volt AC power through a half-wave rectifying diode 180 to a timer cir.- cuit 178 which controls the length of time during which the player or players will be permitted to operate the game. Timer circuit 178 includes a main power relay 182 which is connected in series with transistor 184 to control the closing and opening of various contacts throughout the circuit of FIG. 8 as willbe presently described. Timer circuit 178 further include a manually movable potentiometer 186 to vary the biasv on a FET transistor l88to vary the gain duration between 2 and minutes, for example.
Energization of relay coil 182 closes a first contact set 190 applying 110 volts AC to the laser 42 as well as to the shaded pole motors 76 and 78 which control the lateral movement of the vehicles 26 and 28. A pulse is also applied .to the game counter 192 to maintain a running count on the number of times the game is played during any period selected by the operator or owner thereof. Energization of relay coil 182 also opens the normally closed contacts 169 and 171 to extinguish the game-over lights 162 and 168.
Energization of relay coil 182 also closes contacts 194 applying current through normally closed contacts 196 to flashing lamps 127a which are disposed in the red vehicle 28 and through normally closed contacts 198 vto flashing lamps 127b which are located in the green vehicle 26 as bestshown in FIG. 7.
Energization of relay coil 182 closes normally open contacts200 applying the 24-volt AC power through a half-wave rectifying diode 202 to a lead 204 which is connected through normally closed-relay contacts 206 to theplateelectrode of the light-responsive device 340 in the red vehicle 28. Lead 204 is also connected through a set of normally closed contacts 208 to charge a timing capacitor 210 which serves a timing function in connection with the light-responsive device 34a as will be subsequently described. DC power is also applied by way of lead 204 through another set of normally closed contacts 212 to chargea timing capacitor 214 which operates in connection with light-responsive device 128a which is disposed in the green, secondary target 80, asshown in FIGS. 1 and 5. Both of the light-.
responsive devices 34a and 128a are preferably lightactivated silicon control switches of a type well known and commercially available. Power is also supplied by way of lead 204 to normally closed contacts 216 and 218 to charge a timing capacitor 220 for purposes to be described. Power is also supplied through contacts 222 and 224 to a further timing capacitor 226 for purposes which will also be described hereinafter. Finally, power is applied through normally closed contacts 228 and 230 to charge a capacitor 232 for purposes which will also be described hereinafter. This establishes. the operability of the red vehicle 28 and the associated components.
To establish the operability of the green vehicle 26, power is applied by way of lead 204 to virtually identical circuitry as shown in FIG. 8a. This circuitry includes normally closed contacts 234 which apply power to one end of the light-responsive device 34b which is disposed in the green vehicle 26. Power is also applied by way of normally closed contacts 236 to a timing capacitor 238 which operates in conjunction with the device 34b as will be subsequently described. Power is also applied through normally-closed contacts 240 to a timing capacitor 242 which operates in conjunction with the light-responsive device l28b disposed in the red secondary target 82 found in the assembly of FIGS. 1 and 3. Power is also applied by way of normally closed contacts 244 and 246 to a timing capacitor 248 and by way of normally closed contacts 250 and 252 to a timing capacitor 254.
Finally, the twelve-volt AC is applied through normally closed contacts 256 and 258 to a laser ready light 260a which is disposed on the control panel 18 to indicate that the laser 42 is ready for firing. Similarly, power is applied through normally closed contacts 262 and 264 to a lamp260b which is disposed on the opposite control panel 18 to also indicate that the laser is ready. Since a double-ended laser 42 is employed, it is possible to energize both lights 260a and 2601) simultaneously; however, these lights are to be individually deenergizable for purposes to be described hereinafter. The game is now ready to play.
Assuming a single player wishes to operate the device 10, this single player refrains from operating the push button 36. The circuitry of FIG. 8 operates the red extraterrestrial vehicle 28 in an automatic fashion causing it to move laterally in a generally cyclical pattern and to issue laser beam shots which are directed toward the opposing vehicle 26. To control the cyclical lateral movement, DC power is applied past filter capacitor 266 and through normally closed contacts 268 and 270 to a conductor 272 which innerconnects all three contacts of the shaded pole motor 78 which controls the lateral movement of the red vehicle 28. The L terminal is shorted to the ,C terminal through normally closed contacts 274 and 276 and a left limit switch 278 to form a shorted loop. This causes the motor 78 to turn in one direction to move the red vehicle 28 laterally across the surface 30. Reaching a left limit, switch 278 is thrown to apply current through closed contacts 268 and through a right-hand limit switch 280 to a relay coil 282. Relay coil 282 causes contacts 270 to open and contacts 284 and 286 to close. This procedure opens the loop between the L and C terminalsand closes the loop between the C and R terminals causing the motor 78 to begin to rotate in the opposite direction, thus,
moving the vehicle 28 back across the surface 30 in the opposite lateral direction. Movement in this direction continues until right limit switch 280 is opened and left limit switch 278 is closed, thus, reversing the procedure in a continuous fashion.
To control the automatic firing of the red vehicle laser beam, timing capacitor 232 charges up to a voltage in excess of that required to trip relay 290, thus, closing contacts 292 to direct a pulse of current through coil 294 which forms part of the red vehicle solenoid 122 in the arrangement shown in FIG. 7. The pulse of current through coil 294 operates the solenoid corresponding to 122 to tilt the mirror 68 in the red body 28, thus, producing the laser shot which emanates from the slot 34 in the front of the skirt of body 28. Energization of relay 290 also closes contact 296 applying a pulse to the shot oscillator 298. This produces a pulse to the amplifier 72 which activates loud speaker 74 to produce an audio effect to simulate the firing of the laser gun. Energization of relay 290 causes normally closed contacts 230 to open, thus, terminating the laser shot quickly and establishing a short duration firing time for the laser gun in the vehicle 28. Energization of relay 290 also closes contacts 302 to light the lamp 304 which is located on the opposite control panel 18 to advise the opposing player that he is under attack.
The operator of green vehicle 26 has complete control over the lateral displacement of that vehicle relative to the surface 30 as well as over the firing of the laser gun from his vehicle. The lateral movement is controlled by the operation of push buttons 58 and 70. The push buttons 58 and 70 may be alternately and individually operated to produce a short between the center and either the left and right contacts shown in the circuit of FIG. 8; it being noted thatthe center contact is connected to the motor 76 througha set of normally-closed contacts 306 for purposes to be described hereinafter. This type of directional control of shaded pole motor is completely conventional and no details of the actual motor circuitry are shown since they will be obvious to one of ordinary skill in the art.-
The firing of the laser gun from the vehicle 26is controlled as follows: the operator depresses push button 308 which is found on the control panel 18 to apply power to a relay 310 through normally closed contacts 250 and 252. Energization of relay 310 immediately opens contact 252 but capacitor 254 continues to discharge current through relay 310 establishing the total period of laser gun operation which can be brought into effect by a single depression of push button 308. Once this period has expired, push button 308 must be released and depressed again in order to reinstitute the firing sequence. Energization of relay 310 closes contacts 312, thus, applying DC power through normally closed contacts 314 and 316 to a relay coil 318 as well as to a timing capacitor 320. Energization of relay 318 immediately opens contacts 316, thus, momentarily deenergizing relay 318 but closes contacts 322 to send a pulse of current through the solenoid coil 324 which controls the solenoid 122 in the green vehicle 26. Thus, one or more shots are fired from the green vehicle 26 for each depression of button 308 depending upon the values of the capacitors 320 and 254.
To introduce the sound effects, energization of relay 318 closes contacts 326 to apply power to the audio shot oscillator 328. This shot oscillator applies a signal to the audio amplifier 72 300 which again energizes loud speaker 74 to simulate the laser firing noise effect. At the same time energization of relay 318 causes closure of contacts 330 in series with the attack warning lamp 332 which is found on the opposing players control panel and is the counterpart of the attack warning lamp 304 illustrated in FIG. 1.
Assuming the operator of the green vehicle 26 scores a direct hit on the light sensitive device 34a on the red vehicle 28 in the assembly of FIG. 1 the circuit of FIG. 8 causes certain actions to take place. First, the incidence of the laser beam from the vehicle 26 on the light-responsive device 34a in the red vehicle 28 closes a circuit through a relay 334, thus, closing contact 336 and permitting the capacitor 210 to discharge into the relay 334 to establish a timing function. During the time relay 334 is energized, contacts 208 are opened so that no more current in permitted to flow into the capacitor 210. Energization of relay 334 also closes contacts 338 through a second relay coil 340 which in turn closes contacts 342 and opens contacts 216 permitting capacitor 220 to discharge through the relay 340 to establish a timing function. During the time relay 340 is energized, contacts 274 and 275 are opened thus disabling both the automatic and manual control over the motor 78 which controls the red vehicle 28. Contacts 196 are opened to extinguish the lights 127a in the red vehicle 28 giving it the appearance of a total shutdown. Contacts 344 are closed to light lamp 346 which is found on the control panel 18 adjacent the green vehicle 26 to indicate that the red vehicle 28 has been shutdown. Closure of contacts 344 also energizes lamp 130b which is found in the secondary target 82 in a fashion which is indicated in FIG. 5 with reference to the other secondary target 80. This indicates that the red bonus target 82 is active and that the operator of the green vehicle 26 may tally additional points by attempting to fire upon the bonus target 82.
Energization of relay 340 opens contacts 256 to extinguish the laser ready lamp 260a and opens contacts 222 and 348 such that the red laser gun can no longer be fired. The energization of relay 334 closes contacts 350 to advance the green scoreboard portion 130 by supplying a pulse of current to green scoreboard stepper switch 352.
While the secondary target 82 is available, the operator of the green vehicle 26 may operate his laser and lateral vehicle controls as usual. Assuming a hit is made on the light-responsive device 128a in the secondary target 82, a current pulse is supplied to the relay. 353, the previous energization of relay 340 having been effective to close contacts 354. Energization of relay 353 closes contacts 356 discharging capacitor 214 through the relay 353 to establish a timing function. Energization of relay 353 also opens contacts 218 to stop the discharge of capacitor 220 through the relay 340. Energization of relay 353 closes contacts 356 in series with the green scoreboard step switch 352 to again advance the score by sequentially lighting the lamps either 144 or 146 as the case may be; Once the secondary score period is timed out, the automatic control of red body 28 is resumed. It will be noted that-body 28 changes direction upon resumption of movement.
An additional interesting and realistic sound effect is introduced by way of a relay 360 and the devices which are controlled thereby to simulate the noise of an explosion in the event a hit is scored upon either the opposite vehicle 28 or the secondary target 82. Energization of relays 334 and 352 cause closure of contacts 362 and 364, respectively, to energize the relay 360. Energization of relay 360 closes contact 366 causing current to flow through a high-watt explosion lamp 368 which may be located within the cabinet 12 to produce an especially bright signal. Closure of contacts 366 also supplies a pulse of current to a solenoid. 370 which operates a mechanical hammer 372 to agitate an extension spring 374 which is disposed within the cabinet 12 in slight tension. Disposed in physical proximity to the spring 374 is a crystal transducer or pickup 376 which is wired into a preamplifier 378 which in turn is, connected to the audio amplifier 72'. Accordingly, closure of the contact 366 causes the hammer 372 to strike the spring 374 and produce a motion thereof, this motion causing an audio signal to be picked up by transducer 376 and applied through the preamplifier 378 to the audio amplifier 72. An extremely realistic explosion noise can be generated in this fashion.
Assuming two players wish to operate the device 10, it would be necessary for either playerto push the button 36 to energize relay 380 and close holding contacts 382. Energization of relay 380 causes contact 276 in the red vehicle automatic motor control circuit to be opened, thus, disabling the automatic control scheme previously described and returning control over the lateral motion of thebody 28 to the pushbuttons 384 and 386 which are the counterparts of the pushbuttons 58 and 70 on theopposite control panel 18. Relay 380 closes contacts 385 to enable the circuit to the C terminal as shown. In addition, energization. of relay 380 opens contacts 228 todisable the automaticfiring control circuit and return control of the firing of the laser from vehicle 28 to the operator by way of push button 309 which is the counterpart of push button 308.'The operation and sequence of events in the game with two players is identical with that previously described with reference-to the one player game, it being understood that each player may control the lateral motion and firing of his particular vehicle. It is further to be understood that the sequence of events which occurs when the green vehicle 26 scores a-hit on the red vehicle 28 is followed identically when the red vehicle 28 scores a hit on the green vehicle 26. The red vehicle 28- then has an-opportunity to tally additional scoring on the secondary target 80 as was previously described with reference to the vehicle 26.
Byway of additional detail and to complete the description of the circuit of FIG. 8,.the light-responsive device 34b on the green vehicle 26 controls the energization of a relay 390 which in turn controls the condition of contacts 392 and 394. contacts 394 in turn control the energization of relay 396 which controls the condition of contacts 397, 398, 399, 244, 250, 314, 198, and 262. Relay 310 also controls the condition of contacts 400 in the explosion generating circuitry previously described and contacts 402 in the scoreboard control circuit which in turn control the energization of the red scoreboard step switch 404.
The light responsive device 128b in the secondary target 80 controls relay 406 which in turn controls contacts 408, 246, 410, and 412. Contacts 398 light lamps 413 and 415 which are opposite panel counterparts to lamps 130b and 346, respectively.
The operator control laser firing button for the red vehicle 28 is identified as 308b in the diagram of FIG. 8 t
and it is shown how depression of this push button controls the relay 310b. Relay 3l0b in turn controls relay contacts 412 which along with normally closed conget. Nearly all functions and game conditions are in-' dicated to the players by way of lamps. Lighting and sound effects heighten the excitement of the game. The beam sweep effect allows the laser to be operatedcontinuously rather than intermittently and permits the players to evaluate their firing positions relative to the targets more easily.
It is to be understood that the specific apparatus and circuit details which are disclosedherein describe an illustrative embodiment to the invention and are not to be construed in a limiting sense.
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
1. In an amusement device; light beam directing means including a light beam source and a pivotal mirror, light beam responsive means longitudinally spaced from the light directing means, a surface-disposed between the light directing. means andlight responsive means, and control means for selectively causing the beam from said directing means to be rotated about a transverse axis to cause the beam to sweep longitumeans, a pivot arm mounted on the first support means for rotation about a transverse axis, said mirror being mounted on the arm, means biasing the arm to afirst position wherein the beam from the source is reflected to a point immediately adjacent the mirror, said control means including selectively operable means for rotating thearm and mirror about said transverse axis to rotate the reflected beam from theso'urce upwardly to cause the outward sweep. g
2. Apparatus as defined in claim lwherein the surface is of a rough character to cause the beam to sweep irregularly. w
3. Apparatus as defined in claim. 1 including means for moving the light responsive means. 4
4. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 including means for moving the light directing means.
5. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 including means for selectively moving the light directing means in opposite directions along a transverse axis.
6. Apparatus as definedin claim 1 including means for selectively moving the light responsive means in opposite directions along a transverse axis.
7. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein the light beam source is a low-power continuous wave laser.
8. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein the control means includes a solenoid in magnetic proximity to the pivot arm, and means for selectively energizing the solenoid.
' 9. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 including a housing, means supporting the light beam directing means on the housing for displacement along a transverse axis relative thereto, and a reversible motor on the housing and operatively connected to the light beam directing means to selectively displace said directing means in opposite directions relative to the housing.
10. Apparatus as defined in claim 9 wherein the light beam source is disposed on the housing, and reflector means for directing a beam from the source to the beam directing means along a path which lies partly along said transverse axis such that displacement of the beam directing means affects the length of the path but maintains the angular relationship between the beam and said surface.
11. Apparatus as defined in claim 10 wherein the source is disposed on the housing below the surface and oriented longitudinally with respect thereto, said reflector means including a first fixed mirror for turning the beam to the transverse axis, and a second mirror displaceable along the transverse axis with the beam directing means for turning the beam to a vertical axis which intercepts the pivotal mirror.
12. Apparatus as defined in claim 11 wherein the means supporting the beam directing means includes an upstanding hollow tubular member, the light beam path extending through said member.
13. Apparatus as defined in claim 12 wherein said hollow member includes a plurality of electrical connectors disposed around the upper end thereof, the beam directing means being removably disposed on said connectors.
14. Apparatus as defined in claim 13 wherein the the beam intercepts said light beam responsive means.
21. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 including a scoreboard operatively connected to the light responsive means for indicating the number of times the beam intercepts the light responsive means.
22. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 including sound generating means for simulating an explosion noise in response to the interception of the beam with the light responsive means.
beam directing means includes a body in the shape of an extraterrestrial vehicle.
15. Apparatus as defined in claim 14 wherein said surface includes craters and other irregularities to simulate a lunar surface.
16. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein the light responsive means includes a photocell vfor generating an electrical signal when intercepted by said beam.
17. Apparatus as defined in claim 16 including a housing, means supporting the light responsive means on the housing for displacement along a transverse axis relative thereto, and a reversible motor on the housing operatively connected to the light responsive means to selectively displace the light responsive means in opposite directions along said transverse axis.
18. Apparatus as defined in claim 17 wherein the means supporting the light responsive means is an upstanding hollow tubular member, a plurality of electrical connectors on the upper endof the member, the light responsive means being disposed on said connectors.
.19. Apparatus as defined in claim 18 wherein the light responsive means has a body in the shape of an extraterrestrial vehicle.
20. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 including a secondary target disposed between the light directing and light responsive means, and circuit means for rendering the secondary target light senstive only after 23. Amusement apparatus comprising a housing, first and second bodies carrying first and second light beam directing means, respectively, and disposed at longitudinally opposite ends of the housing, each of said bodies also including light beam responsive means, a surface disposed between the bodies, and first and second control means for selectively causing the beams from the first and second beam directing means,
respectively, to be rotated about respective transverse axes to cause the beams to sweep longitudinally outwardly across said surface, each of the first and second control means including a pivotal mirror, the apparatus further including a dual exit light beam source on the housing, and reflector means for directing the dual exit output of said source to the pivotal mirrors.
24. Apparatus as defined in claim 23 including first and second selectively operated motor means for independently displacing the first and second bodies, respectively, transverselyrelative to the housing.
25. Apparatus as defined in claim 24 including first and second manually operable means for operating the first and second motor means, respectively.
26. Apparatus as defined in claim 25 including automatic means for operating one of the motor means, and selector means for rendering operative either i the manually operable or automatic means.
27. Apparatus as defined in claim 23 wherein the source is a dual exit continuous wave laser.
28. Apparatus as defined in claim 23 wherein each of the bodies is shaped like an extraterrestrial vehicle.
29. Apparatus as defined in claim 23 wherein the surface is a plastic casting simulating a lunar surface area.
30. Apparatus as defined in claim 23 including coinoperated means for rendering the control means operative.
31. Apparatus as defined in claim 23 including automatic control means for periodically rotating the beam from one of the bodies.
32. Apparatus as defined in claim 31 including selector means for disabling the automatic means.
33. Apparatus as defined in claim 24 including means responsive to the incidence of a light beam on a light responsive means to temporarily disable the motor means of the body in which the light responsive means is disposed.
34. Apparatus as defined in claim 33 including means for simulating an explosion sound in response to said incidence.
35. Apparatus as defined in claim 34 wherein the means for simulating comprises a tension spring, a.