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Publication numberUS3751847 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 14, 1973
Filing dateFeb 16, 1971
Priority dateJul 7, 1970
Publication numberUS 3751847 A, US 3751847A, US-A-3751847, US3751847 A, US3751847A
InventorsNeuhierl H
Original AssigneeNeuhierl H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Components for toy vehicle tracks
US 3751847 A
Abstract
A braking device component for a toy racing track comprises a track section having a structural element adapted to be pivoted into the "path of travel" of a vehicle in the section. A flat covering is on the track section and the structural element may be a flap which in a recess formed in the track and which, on actuation of a manual control, is adapted to be raised upwardly towards the flat covering above the flap, or alternatively the covering is pivotally mounted and is adapted to be lowered obliquely downwardly towards a solid track surface which is not formed with a recess. A brake control mechanism is accommodated in a housing attached to the side of the track selection.
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atent 1 Neuhierl COMPONENTS FOR TOY VEHICLE TRACKS Inventor: Herman Neuhierl, Waldstr. 36, 8510 Furth/Bayem, Germany Filed: Feb. 16, 1971 App]. No.: 115,430

Foreign Application Priority Data July 7, 1970 Germany P 20 33 598.5 Oct. 21, 1970 Germany P 20 51 625.0 Dec. 22, 1970 Germany P 20 63 300.5

US. Cl. 46/1 K, 46/202 Int. Cl A63h 33/00 Field of Search 46/1 K, 12, 40, 202,

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1/1940 Muller 46/202 Primary Examiner-Antonio F. Guida Assistant Examiner-J. Q. Lever Attorney-Waters, Roditi & Schwartz [5 7] ABSTRACT A braking device component for a toy racing track comprises a track section having a structural element adapted to be pivoted into the path of travel of a vehicle in the section. A flat covering is on the track section and the structural element may be a flap which in a recess formed in the track and which, on actuation of a manual control, is adapted to be raised upwardly towards the flat covering above the flap, or alternatively the covering is pivotally mounted and is adapted to be lowered obliquely downwardly towards a solid track surface which is not formed with a recess. A brake control mechanism is accommodated in a housing attached to the side of the track selection.

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COMPONENTS FOR TOY VEHICLE TRACKS BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION:

The invention relates to components of tracks fortravel of toy vehicles powered by motors, manually, by the force of gravity or other means, the tracks being preferably of U-shaped cross-section. The vehicle may be a passenger vehicle or a truck, but it may also have a shell mounted on the chassis of a different appearance, for example an aircraft, a rocket, a space capsule, a motorcyclist, etc.

It is an object of the invention to provide accessory components for such tracks, and, in this way, to make them still more attractive to the person playing with them.

For this purpose there is contemplated a braking device by which the travelling vehicle may be braked, so that the vehicle is able to travel safely along slower track sections following the braking device. In this connection, an important factor is that the braking effect.

must be capable of being regulated as sensitively and gently as possible.

Braking devices for track toys are known. Thus, it is known to provide, in the case of one track section along which the vehicles travel and which has lateral walls at its longitudinal sides, a brake arm in one of the lateral walls which is pivotal about a vertical pivot and is adapted to be pivoted, by a pneumatic actuating device, into the path of travel of the vehicles in the track sections, for the purpose of exerting a braking effect, whereupon it then returns into the starting position.

However, it has been found that such braking does not always operate entirely satisfactorily. The vehicle approaching at high speed is not always entirely satisfactorily braked, but sometimes emerges obliquely out of the brake section and performs centrifugal movements. This frequently results in the vehicle flying out of the track and thereby interrupting the playing procedure.

It is an object of the invention to provide a braking device which does not have the above discussed disadvantages and which makes possible extremely rapid reaction of the player and also sensitive adjustment.

in every case, it is ensured that the vehicle travels through a closed space and emerges out of the space associated with the braking effect in a stable condition. The braking effect may, according to the invention, be initiated on the vehicle from above or from below.

On braking from below, a track face is raised a greater or lesser degree, so that the upper surface of the vehicle rubs against an upper covering. The covering consists of resilient and preferably transparent plastic material which facilitates operation and permits satisfactory observance of the playing procedure. Since the track face itself is manufactured from a resilient, preferably plastic material, the braking effort is efiected continuously. In this connection, it is possible to raise the track face over its full width, i.e., as far as the lateral guide faces, so that the wheels of the toy vehicle travel on the raised face. Of course, the face to be raised may also be narrower, so that the wheels of the vehicle overhang the raised face and continue to travel on the original face or are raised only slightly therefrom.

The lifting of the drive wheels becomes extremely significant since the drive wheels will be freely movable upon braking the vehicle. If, therefore, the vehicle is retained in the braking device, then the vehicle wheels may run freely. This is especially advantageous in the case of an electric motor having a battery or a charge able cell. The current consumption of a d.c. motor having a permanent magnet is, as is known, extremely high when blocking is effected. If, however, no load is taken off, then what is available is'merely a low no-load current. In addi-tion to low current consumption and longer service life of the vehicle, there are however also still further advantages. It is dangerous for a small d.c. current motor, such as is used in ve-hicles in the present case, to be suddenly blocked since, due to the high current flow the coil may fuse or the commutator may be damaged. Precisely in the case of high-efficiency electric motors, such as are necessary for the achievement of high velocities is the danger of fusing especially great.

In the case of braking from above, a pivotal flap is disposed over the track surface and is pivoted downwardly to contact the vehicle. It is expedient to manufacture the flap from a'transparent material.

For braking vehicles having an upwardly projecting superstructure, for example police cars'having aerials, fire engines carrying ladders, etc., the invention contemplates manufacturer of the upper covering from resilient material lined, for example, with a foamed plastic.

Furthermore, it is possible to effect the braking action via a roller mounted for pivotal movement about a horizontal pivot above the track. ln one embodiment, the roller is pivotal and carries a ring of-foamed plastic material. The roller may be braked from the exterior in various ways. If, for example, the braking is effected by friction, then a lever presses with regulable intensity against the pivot on which the roller is pivotally mounted. However, it is also possible to displace the roller towards the track face in varying amounts to produce a regulable braking effort. The braking of the roller may be effected as already described. For example, there is disposed on the roller pivot a spiral spring having a washer, adapted to brake in the manner of a friction clutch. By diminishing and increasing the spacing, the spiral spring is compressed to a greater or lesser degree and the braking force is varied.

Furthermore, there may be attached rigidly on the housing a bowed spring against which the roller pivot is pressed, so that due to the movement of the pivot the application pressure against the bowed spring may be simultaneously varied. In every case, adjustability of the braking force is assured. The control of the corresponding device may be effected directly by hand via a Bowden cable, a mechanical device, an electro-motor device, a rotating shaft, an electric motor or in any other suitable manner. Especially advantageous is the use of a Bowden cable with a handle.

Hence the solution of the problem consists, in the case of braking devices having a section of track provided with a braking element adapted to be pivoted into the path of travel" of the vehicle, in that the braking element is a flap which is located in a recess of the track and which, on actuation of the braking device, is adapted to be lifted obliquely upwardly in the direction towards a fixed, horizontal flat covering above the flap, or in that, vice versa, the covering is mounted to be pivotal and is adapted to be lowered obliquely downwardly in the direction towards a track without a recess.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWING FIG. I is a diagrammatic perspective view of an embodiment of the braking device according to the invention,

FIG. Ia diagrammatically illustrates a control member for the braking device,

FIG. 2 is a partial section through the device according to FIG. 1, showing a braking flap in the braking position,

FIG. 3 is a partial section through a housing having a mechanism disposed therein for operating the flap,

FIG. 4 is a partial section through a housing having a variant mechanism,

FIG. 5 is a partial section according to FIG. 4 but with the braking flap in the braking position,

FIG. 6 is a partial section through the braking device, with the braking flap accupying almost the entire track,

FIG. 7 is a partial section as in FIG. 6, but with a narrow braking flap,

FIG. 8 is a diagrammatic perspective view of a further embodiment of a braking device according to the invention, having a braking flap arranged above the track,

FIG. 9 is an elevational view of the mechanism for operating the flap according to FIG. 8,

FIG. I0 is an elevational view ofa variant of the braking device,

FIG. I1 is a plan view of the braking device according to FIG. 10,

FIG. I2 is an elevational view of a further variant of the braking device,

FIG. 13 is a plan view of the braking device according to FIG. 12,

FIG. 14 is a diagrammatic perspective view of a braking device similar to the one shown in FIG. 8, but having braking lugs depending from the covering,

FIG. 15 is a front elevational view showing the covering with the braking lugs,

FIG. 16 is an elevational view of another embodiment of a braking device with the operating mechanism illustrated therein,

FIG. 17 is a diagrammatic perspective view of the device according to FIG. 16 and,

FIGS. 18 and 19 are partial sectional views through a braking device having braking lugs.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION FIG. I shows an accessory for a track for toy vehicles in the form of a track section containing a braking device.

The accessory has a track face I and a guide face 2 at each of its sides. The track includes shaped parts at its ends for connecting track lengths together but these are well known and not shown. A portion of the track face I is provided with a recess 3 in which is a flap 4 mounted on a pivot 5, at the right-hand end of the track face (FIG. 2). Arranged above the track face 1 is a covering 6 made from a resilient and transparent plastic material. The covering 6 is spaced above the track face a distance which depends on the height of the vehicles to be used and is expediently only slightly greater than each height. Attached on one side of the track face is a housing 7 containing a mechanism for adjusting the pivotal position of the flap 4. In the embodiment illustrated, this is effected via a Bowden cable 8 having a wire core 9, with the aid of a triggering control device 10. FIGS. 1 and 2 show the flap 4 in the raised position in which it serves to exert a braking force on a vehicle entering the track section from the right and travelling in the direction of the arrow.

As best seen in FIG. 2, the upper edge of the vehicle slides along the covering 6, the latter thereby flexing somewhat upwardly due to its resilience.

FIG. 3 shows an embodiment for actuation of the flap 4 in the recess in the track face I. The mechanism is disposed in the housing 7 and comprises a tapered or wedge slide 11 which is displaced towards the right, against the action of a tension spring 12, by the core of the Bowden cable 8, thereby raising a wedge 13 on a lever 15 pivotally mounted at 14. The lever 15 is rigid with the flap 4 so that said flap is thus also lifted into its braking position by actuating the Bowden cable. The lever 15 may also be the flap 4 itself disposed partly in the housing 7. The lever 15 is provided with a projection 16 which is engaged by a tension spring 17 acting on the lever to urge the flap 4 to a position in which the flap is flush with the track face 1.

Another embodiment of a mechanism for actuation of the flap 4 is illustrated in FIG. 4. Herein a lever 18 is pivotally mounted at 19 in the housing 7, and the lever 18 is lifted upwardly by the wire core of the Bowden cable 8 to contact the arm 20 ofa two-armed lever 23 pivotably mounted at 21 and biased in counter clockwise direction by a tension spring 22. The flap 4 (shown in the braking position in FIG. 5) is rigidly connected, either directly or indirectly, with the lever 23.

FIG. 6 shows a section through the braking device according to the invention, wherein the raised flap 4 occupies almost the full width of the track face 1, i.e., extends almost as far as the lateral guide faces 2 thereof, so that the wheels of the vehicle travel on the raised flap 4. In this position, the vehicle roof rubs along the covering 6 which may also in this case be resilient so that it readily flexes upwardly, as already explained with reference to FIG. 2. As this takes place, the vehicle wheels are locked, this being desirable when using spring-drive mechanisms for propelling the vehicle. In this way, the spring-drive mechanism is braked and is not able to run down freely until the brake has been relased.

Of course, the flap 4 as seen in FIG. 7 may also be narrower, so that the vehicle wheels continue to rotate. This is especially advantageous for vehicles driven by an electric motor having a battery or a chargeable cell.

FIG. 8 shows a variant of the braking device and in contradistinction to the braking device according to FIG. I, wherein the liftable flap is arranged in a recess formed in the track fact to produce the braking efiect, the braking function is achieved in the braking device according to FIG. 8 by a flap 24 which is located above the track face and is adapted to be pivoted into the path of travel of the vehicles. For this purpose, the pivot 25 of the flap is mounted in a support 26 secured to one guide face 2 and in the lateral wall of the housing 7. The pivot 25 then extends into the housing 7 for engagement by the actuating mechanism disposed therein for actuation of the flap 24 by means of the Bowden cable 8 and the triggering device 10.

The actuating mechanism is shown in FIG. 9. The wire core 9 of the Bowden cable 8 is connected with the right arm of a lever 27 pivotally mounted at 28. The left arm of lever 27 presses, when a pull is exerted on the wire core, against a second lever 30 which is pivotably mounted at 29, and is biased in counterclockwise direction by a tension spring 31, a braking flap 24 is integrally formed with lever 30. The flap travels into the position shown in broken lines to exert a braking action on the vehicle in the track section. As may furthermore be seen in FIG. 9, the flap flexes somewhat, due to its resilience, on a vehicle travelling therebeneath in the direction of the arrow, whereby a gentle braking effect is achieved.

In the embodiment described hereinabove, the flap 24 is preferably manufactured from a transparent plastic material and is as wide as the track face 1. The flap may of course also be narrower.

FIGS. and 11 show a slightly modified form of the braking device wherein substantially the same actuating mechanism in FIGS. 8 and 9 is utilized. Thus, those elements of the actuating mechanism which are common to both devices have been given the same reference numerals. The only difference is that, in the braking device according to FIGS. 10 and 11, braking is effected by a roller 32 provided with a ring 33 made of foam rubber. The roller 32 is mounted on a shaft 34 which can pivot in the housing 7. Braking is effected via a lever 35, in consequence of the latter being pressed more or less intensely against the pivot 34.

In the embodiment according to FIGS. 12 and 13, the roller 32, with the surrounding foam rubber ring 33, is itself pivotal by being mounted on a shaft 37 on a lever 36 which is pivoted at 29 and is subjected to upward pull by tension spring 31. On exerting a pull on the lever 27 by means of the wire core 9 of the Bowden cable 8, the lever 27 depresses the lever 36 and therewith presses the foam rubber ring 33 of the roller 32 more or less intensely against a vehicle travelling in the direction of the arrow.

In the housing 7 there may selectively be provided a bowed spring 38 acting on the pivot 37 on which the roller 32 is mounted. In this way, a frictional force increasing with lowering of the pivot 37 is produced.

A further feature of the invention is shown in FIG. 14 wherein there are provlded, on the pivotal flap 24 arranged above the track I, lugs 24a made of resilient material, which enter into the path of travel of the vehicle on the track and, when the flap is tilted downwardly in the direction of the arrow, the lugs brush over the advancing vehicle. In this way an especially gentle braking effect is achieved. FIG. shows the flap 24, with the lugs 24a secured thereto in raised, inoperative position.

FIG. 16 shows another embodiment of the invention wherein a track portion 39 is disposed in a recess in the track face I. Secured to the ends of the track portion 39, which is made from resilient plastic material, are extension members 40 which engage under the track ends and are supported by transverse pivots 40a. A lever 41 is pivotably mounted at 42 under the track portion 39 and a free end of lever 41 is connected with the wire core 43 of Bowden cable 8. The lever 41 is pulled downwardly by a tension spring 44. Near the pivot 43, the lever has a nose-shaped, obliquely upwardly directed projection 45 which, on actuation of the Bowden cable, upwardly flexes the normally rectilinear track portion 39, thereby bringing the vehicle into abutment with fixed covering 6. A braking effect is thereby produced to brake the vehicle to a greater or lesser extent depending on the pressure exerted in the Bowden cable. After releasing the Bowden cable, the

6 tension spring 44 pulls the lever 41 back into the starting position and the track portion 39 extends into its straight position due to its resilience.

FIG. 17 shows the braking device, with the curved track portion 39 in the braking position.

It is possible to provide lugs 240 which can enter into the path of travel of the vehicle on the track section also in the case of a braking device wherein a flap located in the track may be pivoted obliquely upwardly, as already described with reference to FIGS. 1 and 6. Referring to FIGS. 18 and 19, which correspond to FIG. 6, such lugs 240 are provided in oblique arrange ment at the upper longitudinal sides of the covering 6. The length of the lugs is so selected that the vehicle brushes against the lugs in the raised position, i.e., in the braking position. The resistance afforded by the lugs during this procedure brakes the vehicle to a greater or lesser degree. This depends on the height of the vehicle, on the number of lugs and on the resilience thereof. The lugs, which are arranged in rows, may of course also extend parallel to the direction of travel or transversely thereto.

What is claimed is: v

l. A component for a toy racing track comprising a track section having opposite open-ends and a track surface on which the vehicle travels, one of said openends being an inlet end for entry of a vehicle into said section, the other of the open-ends being an outlet end through which the vehicle exits after traversing the section, a covering above the track surface, facing said track surface, and externally actuable means for selectively producing a pressing force between a vehicle advancing through said track section and at least one of said surfaces to develop a braking effort on the vehicle to reduce the speed thereof as it exits from the outlet end.

' 2. A component as claimed in claim 1 wherein said covering is fixed and said means for producing a pressing force on said vehicle comprises means to raise said vehicle above the track surface into frictional contact with said surface of the covering.

3. A component as claimed in claim 2 wherein said means to raise said vehicle comprises a pivotal flap initially disposed in a recess in said track section and flush with the track surface, and means to pivot the flap into the path of travel of the vehicle in said section.

4. A component as claimed in claim 1 wherein said covering is pivotably supported and said means for producing a pressing force on the vehicle comprises means for pivotably lowering the covering into the path of travel of the vehicle in said track section.

5. A component as claimed in claim 1 wherein said covering is transparent and resilient.

6. A component as claimed in claim 1 wherein said track section has lateral sides and comprising a housing externally secured on the track section at one of the ateral sides thereof, said means for producing the pressing force comprising an actuating mechanism disposed in said housing.

7. A component as claimed in claim 6 wherein said covering is fixed and said means for producing a pressing force on said vehicle further comprises-means to raise said vehicle above the track surface into frictional contact with said surface of the covering, the latter said means comprising a pivotal flap initially disposed in a recess in said track section and flush with the track surface, said actuating mechanism being coupled to said flap to pivot the same into the path of travel of the vehicle in said section.

8. A component as claimed in claim 7 wherein said actuating mechanism comprises a displaceable tapered slide, a wedge member coupled rigidly with said flap and facing said slide to produce pivotal movement of the flap upon displacement of the slide, manually operated means for displacing said slide, and spring means resisting pivotal movement of said flap from its initial position.

9. A component as claimed in claim 7 wherein said actuating mechanism comprises a pivotal lever integral with said flap, spring means acting on said lever to urge the flap to its initial position, a second pivotal lever engaged with the first lever, and manually operated means coupled to the second lever for pivoting the same and the first lever and flap therewith against the opposition of said spring means.

10. A component as claimed in claim 7 wherein said flap extends substantially the distance between said lateral sides.

11. A component as claimed in claim 7 wherein said flap has a width narrower than the transverse spacing of the wheels of the vehicle so as to lift the vehicle with the wheels hanging free.

12. A component as claimed in claim 4 wherein said covering has opposite ends and is pivotably supported at the end proximate the location of the entry of the vehicle into the track section.

13. A component as claimed in claim 12 wherein said track section has lateral sides and comprising a housing externally secured on the track section at one of the lateral sides thereof, said means for producing the pressing force comprising an actuating mechanism disposed in said housing, a support on the other of the lateral sides of the track section, and a pivot shaft for said covcring mounted in said support and said housing and projecting into the housing for operative engagement with said actuating mechanism.

14. A component as claimed in claim 13 wherein said actuating mechanism comprises a pivotal lever in said housing, manually operated means coupled to said pivotal lever to pivot the same, a further lever to urge the covering to an initial inoperative position raised above the path of travel of the vehicle, the first said lever engaging said further lever to displace the same against the opposition of said spring means when the manually operated means is actuated.

15. A component as claimed in claim 1 wherein said track section has lateral sides and comprising a housing externally secured on the track section at one of the lateral sides thereof, said means for producing the pressing force comprising an actuating mechanism disposed in said housing, including a first pivotal lever in said housing, manually operable means coupled to said first pivotal lever to pivot the same, a second pivotal lever in said housing engaged with the first lever to follow pivotal movement thereof, spring means acting on the second lever to urge the same to an initial position, an arm integral with said second lever, a pivot supported in said housing for displacement, said arm bearing on said pivot to displace the same in accordance with the pivotal movement of said second lever, a roller on said pivot, and a foam plastic ring on said roller for contacting the vehicle to apply braking force thereto.

16. A component as claimed in claim 1 wherein said track section has lateral sides and comprising a housing externally secured on the track section at one of the lateral sides thereof, said means for producing the pressing force comprising an actuating mechanism disposed in said housing, including a first pivotal lever in said housing, manually operable means coupled to said first pivotal lever to pivot the same, a second pivotal lever in said housing engaged with the first lever to follow pivotal movement thereof, spring means acting on the second lever to urge the same to an initial position, a pivot supported on said second lever for movement therewith, a roller on said pivot, and a foam plastic ring on said roller for contacting the vehicle to apply braking force thereto.

17. A component as claimed in claim 16 comprising a bowed spring in said housing acting on said pivot to resist displacement thereof towards the vehicle and produce a friction force on said pivot which increases with displacement of the pivot towards said vehicle.

18. A component as claimed in claim 1 comprising resilient lugs engageable with said vehicle to produce said braking effort.

19. A component as claimed in claim 18 wherein said resilient lugs depend from said surface of the covering for brushing against the top of the vehicle when braking effort is developed.

20. A component as claimed in claim I wherein said track section includes a resilient track length disposed in a recess provided in said track surface, said means for producing a pressing force comprises a pivotal lever, manually operated means for pivoting said lever, said lever including a nose portion engaged with said track length to deform the same and press the vehicle on the track section against the covering.

21. A component as claimed in claim 20 comprising depending resilient lugs on said covering for exerting braking effort on said vehicle when the vehicle is pressed thereagainst.

i i fi

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Classifications
U.S. Classification446/429
International ClassificationA63H18/00, A63H18/14
Cooperative ClassificationA63H18/14
European ClassificationA63H18/14