|Publication number||US3757759 A|
|Publication date||Sep 11, 1973|
|Filing date||Apr 7, 1972|
|Priority date||Apr 7, 1972|
|Also published as||CA962290A1|
|Publication number||US 3757759 A, US 3757759A, US-A-3757759, US3757759 A, US3757759A|
|Original Assignee||Haworth J|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (2), Referenced by (7), Classifications (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [1 1 Haworth 1 1 Sept. 11, 1973 AUTOMATICALLY VARIED OSCILLATION TYPE BALL PROJECTING DEVICE James G. Haworth, 100 Green Ln., Eugene, Oreg. 97402 221 Filed: Apr. 7, 1972 211 Appl. No.: 242,097
Primary ExaminerRichard C. Pinkham Assistant Examiner-William R. Browne Attorney-Carl Hoppe et al.
 ABSTRACT A generally improved oscillator for a ball throwing machine is provided wherein the ball throwing machine is mounted on a flat frame member and the drive mechanism o the ball throwing machine is used to actuate a cam, causing the frame member to oscillate. The frame is a rectangular vertically positioned plate extending substantially the length of one of the members forming a T-shaped base. The plate is pivotally mounted to the base through a stub shaft on the base member. The plate has a rotatable camming sprocket that engages a cam follower on the base member to cause oscillation of the plate with respect to the base. A ball magazine is mounted on top of the plate. The magazine feeds balls to a ball throwing arm. There is a spring on the base that biases the rotatable camming sprocket into engagement with a cam follower. The ball throwing machine is wheel mounted.
3 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PAIENIEDSEPI I ma sum 1 or 2 PATENTED i 3 sum 2 0F 3 FIE--5- FIE--5- AUTOMATICALLY VARIED OSCILLATION ,TYPE BALL PROJECTING DEVICE SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Machines for throwing tennis balls to a player for practice purposes have been known for a long time. Such machines ordinarily contain a motor and a mechanism for throwing the ball at a desired elevation and speed. However, to simulate actual play, it is desirable to provide some form of oscillator to provide balls coming from different directions since otherwise the practice becomes monotonous and of little value.
It has previously been suggested to provide an oscillating device on a split pole mounted ball throwing machine wherein the split pole, which supports the machine, also provides an oscillating axis. However, such machines have not been fully satisfactory since they lack the ruggedness necessary for sustained practice.
In accordance with the present invention, an improved form of oscillating device is provided wherein the ball throwing mechanism is mounted on a heavy framework and the framework is pivoted on a relatively large base. The base is ordinarily wheel mounted and is provided with a braking mechanism so that the device can be easily moved from place-to-place and locked in any desired position. Locking the device in the desired position is particularly desirable when the ball throwing machine is used in its oscillating mode.
In accordance with the present invention the oscillator is provided with an adjustment means whereby it is easy to vary the angle of oscillation from full oscillation to none.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS F IG. 1 is a top view of a machine embodying the present invention, illustrating the extreme angle of oscillation to which the device can be actuated.
FIG. 2 is a side view of a device embodying the invention with certain parts cut away to show the interior construction.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged plan view on the line 33 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a section on the line 4-4 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 5 is a section on the line 55 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 6 is a partial view, similar to FIG. 5, showing the operation of the cam.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings by reference characters, the ball throwing machine is carried on a T-shaped base member 7 having side wheels 9 and a single rear wheel 11. The rear wheel 11 is provided with a swivel 13 and also with a brake mechanism 15 so that the frame 7 can be locked in position when desired. This is particularly important when the oscillating feature of the device is used.
The ball throwing mechanism proper is mounted on a fiat frame member or plate 17 and this is provided with an elongated cylindrical bushing 19 which tits in a central slot 21 in frame 17. An upright post or stub shaft 23 is provided on frame 7 and bushing 19 is rotatably mounted thereon so that frame 17 can rotate with respect to the base member 7. Collars 25 and 27, which are locked on post 23, hold the parts in assembled relationship.
The ball throwing mechanism itself is known to those skilled in the art and therefore it will not be described in detail. Suffice it to say that it is provided with a motor 29, driving a sprocket 31 which actuates a throwing arm 33 which picks up the balls one at a time from a magazine 35 and propells the balls through a slot 37 on top of the throwing machine. Tension and angle can be regulated by means of knob 39.
Practice with such a machine as heretofore described becomes dull and of little value if all of the balls come from the same angle from the court. To add variety to the practice, an oscillating mechanism is provided which will now be described.
A sprocket 41 is provided on shaft 43 to which sprocket 31 is also attached so that the sprocket 41 is driven by the mechanism which throws the ball. This sprocket 41 drives a second sprocket 45 by means of a chain 47. The sprocket 45 is connected to a cam 49 having at least one lobe 51 thereon. A cam follower roller 53 is mounted for rotation on base member 7. A spring 55 normally biases the cam into contapt with the cam follower. Thus, as cam 49 rotates, frame; 17 will be caused to swing from sideto-side. An adjusting screw 57 is provided on base 7 and the screw can be brought into contact with the frame 17, holding the frame 17 outwardly in such a manner that cam 49 does not engage with the cam follower 53. Obviously in this position, the arm 17 will not oscillate and one can secure any degree of movement by turning the screw 57 up to the maximum provided by the cam. An adjustable stop 59 can also be provided on the opposite side of the pivot arm.
Various modifications can be made in the exact structure shown without departing from the spirit of this invention. For instance, by altering relative sizes of sprockets 31 and 41, one can secure any desired relationship between the throwing speed and the speed of oscillation. Also, a cam having a single lobe is shown but it is obvious that cams having different configurations could be used, including cams having a multiplicity of lobes.
1. An oscillating ball throwing machine comprising, a substantially T-shaped base member, said T-shaped base member includes a first elongate member and a second elongate member joined at one end thereof to the first elongate memberintermediate the ends of the first elongate member, wheel means on each of the extreme ends of the first and second elongate members for supporting the machine, an upstanding stub shaft on the second elongate member between the ends thereof, a substantially flat rectangular vertically positioned plate mounted on the base member, said plate extending substantially the full length of said second elongate member, a bushing on said plate received on said stub shaft for oscillation of said plate about said stub shaft, a ball throwing mechanism mounted on said plate, said ball throwing mechanism including a motor, means supported on said plate operatively connected with said motor for projecting a ball, said means including a ball throwing arm and a sprocket, a means supported on the plate for containing a supply of balls to be projected and for feeding balls to said throwing arm, cam follower means on said second elongate member, rotable camming means carried by said plate adjacent a lower edge portion thereof for engaging the cam follower means on the second elongate member for causing osspring means is operatively connected between the plate and the base member for biasing the rotatable camming means into operative engagement with the cam follower means.
3. The ball throwing machine of claim 2, wherein a braking mechanism for locking the machine in a desired position is operatively connected to one of said wheel means.
* i I I II
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
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|U.S. Classification||124/7, 124/82|