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Publication numberUS3778057 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 11, 1973
Filing dateOct 20, 1972
Priority dateOct 20, 1972
Publication numberUS 3778057 A, US 3778057A, US-A-3778057, US3778057 A, US3778057A
InventorsJ Leidl
Original AssigneeJ Leidl
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tethered bowling pin apparatus with felled pin sensors controlling operation thereof
US 3778057 A
Abstract
Apparatus for automatically resetting tethered bowling pins including a tether tension responsive device, a lift mechanism for raising and resetting the pins, a clutch assembly asociated with each tether, and a device for controlling the clutch assemblies. The tension responsive device includes a pawl associated with each tether in such manner as to be disengaged therefrom in response to the tension in the tether which results from the felling of the associated pin. Upon the sensing of any felled pin, the lift mechanism is operated to raise all of the pins to a standby position. After the pins have been raised to their standby position, those tethers associated with felled pins are braked by their respective clutch assemblies, and the remaining pins are reset by the lift mechanism. In the event that all the pins are felled by a ball, the operation as described above is repeated with the exception that after all of the tethers have been braked by the clutch assemblies, the latter are restored to neutral positions by the clutch assembly control device to thereby allow all the pins to be reset.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Leidl 1 Dec. 11, 1973 TETIIERED BOWLING PIN APPARATUS WITH FELLED PIN SENSORS CONTROLLING OPERATION THEREOF [76] Inventor: Jacob John Leidl, 69 Cherrystone Dr., Willowdale, Ontario, Canada [22] Filed: Oct. 20, 1972 211 Appl. No.: 299,262

Primary Examiner-Ant0n O. Oechsle Att0rneyLeon Arthurs [57] ABSTRACT Apparatus for automatically resetting tethered bowling pins including a tether tension responsive device, a lift mechanism for raising and resetting the pins, a clutch assembly asociated with each tether, and a device for controlling the clutch assemblies. The tension responsive device includes a pawl associated with each tether in such manner as to be disengaged therefrom in response to the tension in the tether which results from the felling of the associated pin. Upon the sensing of any felled pin, the lift mechanism is operated to raise all of the pins to a standby position. After the pins have been raised to their standby position, those tethers associated with felled pins are braked by their respective clutch assemblies, and the remaining pins are reset by the lift mechanism. In the event that all the pins are felled by a ball, the operation as described above is repeated with the exception that after all of the tethers have been braked by the clutch assemblies, the latter are restored to neutral positions by the clutch assembly control device to thereby allow all the pins to be reset.

23 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures PATENTEU DEB] I I975 SHEET 1 (IF 5 a 4 DY 7 v f w D H A Q TETI-IERED BOWLING PIN APPARATUS WITH FELLED PIN SENSORS CONTROLLING OPERATION THEREOF This invention relates to apparatus for automatically resetting bowling pins on a bowling lane following the delivery of a bowling ball by a player.

The invention, as embodied herein, visualizes resetting apparatus which serves to remove toppled or felled bowling pins from the bowling lane to standby positions remote from the field of play, until completion of the frame, the unfelled pins being also removed and subsequently reset on their respective stations on the bowling lane in readiness for the delivery of another bowl by the player. In the event ofa strike on the first bowl delivery, however, the felled pins will be automatically reset for the next frame."

More particularly, the resetting apparatus is intended for use with bowling pins having flexible tethers by which they are raised to standby positions aforesaid and thereafter selectively lowered and reset on their respective stations on the bowling lane as described.

With regard to pin removal, it will be understood that the resetting apparatus" visualized herein is automated to include means accompanying each tether for sensing felling of its associated pin. That is to say, when the pins are struck by the bowling ball they are toppled or felled onto the bowling lane with concomitant stress or tensioning of the tethers attached thereto; the sensing means aforesaid being responsive to such tensioning. In the wake of this reaction, mechanism is actuated by the sensing means to initiate a chain of events wherein all of the pins, felled and unfelled, are elevated by their tethers to said standby positions, the unfelled pins being then lowered and reset on their respective stations while the toppled pin or pins, as the case may be, remain behind in standby position; the invention being principally concerned with the latter function of the resetting apparatus. The invention also visualizes means for automatically resetting the felled pins when the full complement has been felled.

Specifically, the invention embodied herein distinguishes markedly from the prior art by the fact that the toppled pins, once they have assumed their standby positions, are retained therein by a simple wedging grip on their tethers. More expicitly, the resetting apparatus" includes means for grasping and pinching the tethers of the toppled pins when they are in standby position to thereafter inhibit resetting of the toppled pins on their respective stations until completion of the frame.

A broad object of this invention is to provide resetting apparatus for tethered bowling pins of the character described in which pins that have been toppled in play are automatically retrieved and held in a standby position, remote from the field of play, until completion of the frame.

Another object of the present invention is to provide "resetting apparatus for tethered bowling pins which includes means for sensing felling of one or more pins and mechanism actuable thereafter by said sensing means to retrieve and hold the felled pins in standby positions by a simple wedging grip on their tethers.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide resetting apparatus" for tethered bowling pins which includes means for automatically resetting the felled pins when the full complement has been felled.

The various objects of this invention are achieved essentially by providing apparatus for resetting bowling pins on one end of a bowling lane having a target area with a group of stations for a complement of said bowling pins at said end comprising: a pin receiver disposed and aligned above each said pin station providing a standby position for the pin normally set on said station; an individual flexible tether for raising and lowering each said pin relative to its said station trained through its respective receiver; mechanism actuable as and when a pin has been felled in play to raise all of said pins by their respective tethers and thereafter to reset tht unfelled pins on their respective stations with the felled pins being raised to and retained in standby position; clutch assemblies respectively movable between a neutral position and a braking position in which the tether of each felled pin is restrained against movement when the latter is in its standby position inhibiting resetting of said pin on its station; means for selectively moving the respective clutch assemblies from braking position to neutral position permitting resetting of the felled pins on their respective stations by said mechanism; and tension responsive means associated with each tether for sensing the felling of its respective pin and for procuring consequent actuation of the mechanism aforesaid, and movement of its clutch assembly towards its braking position aforesaid.

Other objects of this invention more or less broad than the foregoing will be apparent from the following description of the elements, parts and principles constituting the invention and given herein solely by way of example and with reference to the accompanying drawings of a preferred embodiment of the invention, wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts of the invention, and wherein FIG. Us a perspective view of the resetting apparatus supported over one end of a conventional bowling lane;

FIG. 2 is an elevational view taken along line ll ll of FIG. 1 showing two positions of a bowling pin;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of various constituent parts of the resetting apparatus and their association with a single bowling pin;

FIG. 4 is an elevational view of various cooperating parts of the resetting apparatus taken along line IV IV of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is an elevational view of various cooperating parts of the resettingapparatus taken along line V V of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is an elevational view of various cooperating parts of the resetting apparatus taken along line V'I VI of FIG. 3;

FIG. 7 is an elevational view of the clutch assembly in isolation;

FIG. 8 is an elevational view of the detent linkage in isolation;

FIG. 9 is an elevational view of the pawl in its tension responsive position engaging a tether;

FIG. 10 is an elevational view of the pawl disengaged from a tether; and

FIG. 11 is an elevationalview of the resetting apparatus being mounted for movement between a play position and an access position.

The preferred embodiment of the present invention is illustrated generally in FIG. 1 wherein the resetting apparatus A is depicted as being supported over one end of a conventional bowling lane B which includes a target area C on which a group of bowling pins 2 are positioned in familiar triangular pattern; the object being, of course, to topple or fell the pins with a bowling ball delivered by a player at the opposite end H of the bowling lane B.

Although the pin group depicted in FIG. 1 of the drawing is constituted by five pins, it should be understood that this is not to be construed as a limitation.

As hereinbefore mentioned, each said bowling pin 2 is provided with a flexible tether 4 attached to its apex 6 by which it is elevatable to a standby position above said target area C as illustrated by the dotted line position of a said bowling pin 2 in FIG. 2.

In practice it will be appreciated that once one or more of said pins 2 are toppled or felled, after being struck by a bowl, they must necessarily be removed from said bowling lane B in order to avoid interfering with the delivery of the next succeeding bowl. As a result, the invention contemplates retrieving the felled pins by their tethers and storing them in the aforementioned standby position remote from said target area C until completion of the frame." In the retrieval process, however, the invention further contemplates that the entire complement of pins, both felled and unfelled, will be preliminarily moved towards standby position in which the felled pins alone are retained pending further developments in play, the theretofore unfelled pins in the frame of note being thereafter restored or reset to stand alone on said target area C awaiting the next bowl delivery. To this end, the resetting apparatus serves to raise all of said pins 2 simultaneously i.e., both felled and unfelled pins to said standby position, whereby the unfelled pins are subsequently lowered and reset on said bowling lane B with the felled pins remaining behind in said standby position. In the former case, the unfelled pins are lowered vertically to their play spots or stations denoted by an X on said bowling lane B as in FIG. I; it being understood that said pin stations X are in vertical registration with the respective standby positions there'above enabling said pins 2 to attain play position immediately upon being lowered onto said bowling lane B.

Standby accommodation for said pins 2 is provided in this example by a deck 8 supported over said target area C; said deck 8 being apertured as at 10 to provide receivers for the respective pins 2. Each said pin receiver 10 has a diameter which is slightly smaller than the widest diameter of a pin 2 creating an impasse and preventing said pin 2 from passing completely therethrough; it being understood, of course, that pin 2 may penetrate receiver 10 until the impasse is reached.

As will be understood, each tether 4 extends upwardly from its associated pin 2 to be trained through a said receiver 10 thereby enabling said pin 2 to be raised by its tether 4 into said receiver 10. It will also be understood that the parts are respectively shaped and proportioned so that pin 2 will seat in receiver 10 when the said impasse is attained at which time the pin 2 is said to be disposed in its standby position in vertical registration with its station X on target area C.

To ensure subsequent accurate lowering of pin 2 onto target area C, its tether 4 may also be guided by a guide 12 provided on a guide plate 16; said guide plate 16 being spaced above and over said deck 8.

Thus, when a pin 2 is lowered from its standby position, the guiding of its tether 4 by guide 12 ensures accurate lowering and resetting thereof on its station X on target area C.

FIG. 1 illustrates the manner in which said tethers 4 extend from their respective guides 12 to the lifting mechanism M to be described. Essentially, said tethers 4 are trained over pulleys 18 provided on said guide plate 16 in alignment with said guides 12, and in the area of the lifting mechanism per se said tethers 4 are trained over pulleys 20; an exception being, in this embodiment, the tether of the leading pin. That is to say, since the leading pin is positioned directly below the lifting mechanism, its tether need only extend upwardly to it thereby obviating intervening pulleys.

Turning now to that portion of the resetting apparatus visualized by this embodiment for retrieving the felled pins and resetting the unfelled pins, FIG. 1 illustrates lifting mechanism M actuable as and when a pin 2 has been felled to raise all of said pins 2 by their tethers 4 to their standby positions and thereafter to reset the unfelled pins on their respective stations X; the felled pins being disposed and retained in their standby positions aforesaid.

In particular, it will be observed from FIGS. 3 5 that in this embodiment each tether 4 is associated with said mechanism M by being trained over a sheave 22 and a counter 24 (whose function will be more particularly described), as well as being engaged by a drawbar 26 to be described; the tether 4 being secured by its free end to the resetting apparatus at 27, for example.

Said drawbar 26 forms part of the lifting mechanism M and is movable in one direction to pull tethers 4 for raising all pins 2 towards standby position as illustrated in FIG. 11; being therewith also moveable in an opposite direction to release tethers 4 permitting resetting of at least one of the pins 2 as shown by the solid lines in FIG. 2.

In order to effect movement of said drawbar 26, it is mounted by its opposite ends to a pair of synchronized fluid motors 28- 28 of the conventional piston and cylinder type at 30 and 32 respectively, as shown in FIG. 3 said motors 28-28 including ports 34 and 36 for passage of a pressurized fluid e.g., compressed air from a supply tank through intervening conduits (not shown).

Thus, upon actuation of said mechanism M said fluid motors 28--28 will be energized to initially move said drawbar 26 rearwardly in this example from the forward location shown by solid lines in FIG. 4 to the rearward or pin raising location shown by dotted lines in the same view in which all pins 2 are raised to standby position. In its movement toward the latter location said drawbar 26 encounters and operates a control 38 as best shown in FIG. 5 to reverse the movement of the drawbar 26 procuring resetting of at least one of the pins in the manner heretofore described.

With regard to pin retention in standby position, the invention visualizes a clutch assembly D shown in isolation in FIG. 7 associated with each tether 4 as shown in FIG. 3, and mounted as at 40 for pivotal movement between a neutral position D' of FIG. 4 and a braking position D" in the same view in which the tether 4 of a felled pin is restrained against movement when the latter is in its standby position, thus inhibiting resetting of the pin on its station X.

In particular, each said clutch assembly D is biased for movement towards its braking position D" (by gravity in this instance) and includes a friction element 42 wedgingly engageable with the tether 4 when the clutch assembly D is in braking position D" to inhibit resetting of the pin when felled. In this embodiment, said friction element 42 is disposed to releasably wedge the tether 4 against said counter 24 when the clutch assembly D is in its braking position D".

In addition, the invention visualizes means for selectively moving said clutch assemblies D from braking position D" to neutral position D' permitting resetting of the felled pins on their respective stations by said mechanism M; said moving means including a lever 44 extending below and transversely of said clutch assemblies D as shown in FIG. 3; said lever 44 in turn being attached by one of its ends to a crank 46 mounted for pivotal movement at 48. Thus, upon pivotal movement of said crank 46 in one direction, said clutch assemblies D will be engaged by lever 44 and moved to neutral position D as will be hereinafter better understood.

In the neutral position D' of FIG. 5 each said clutch assembly D is shown to be releasably engaged at its end 50 by detent linkage E, shown in isolation in FIG. 8, which serves to maintain said clutch assembly D in its neutral position D unless and until the associated pin 2 has been felled.

Said detent linkage E includes a hook 52 constituting the specific clutch assembly engaging element and an arm 54, each pivotally mounted at 56. Said arm 54 in turn is biased by a spring 58 for pivotal movement as shown by the dotted lines in FIG. 8 and includes a lug 60 which serves to engage said hook 52 during pivotal movement to cause it to pivot likewise with consequent release of said clutch assembly D. Positioned between said hook 52 and arm 54 is spring 62 for permitting said hook 52 to be resiliently movable and angularly oriented relative to said arm 54 for engagement with said clutch assembly D. Thus it will be understood that said detent linkage E is biased to release said clutch assembly D as and when a pin has been felled.

With regard to pin felling the invention visualizes tension responsive means T engaging each tether 4 as shown in FIGS. 5 and 9 for sensing the felling of its respective pin 2 and for procuring consequent actuation of said lifting mechanism M and movement of the respective clutch assemblies D towards braking position D".

More. particularly, said tension responsive means T is constituted in this embodiment by a pawl 65, which, in its tension responsive position of FIGS. 5 and 9, is disposed to releasably and resiliently engage and press the tether 4 against said sheave 22. That is to say, said pawl 64 is pivotally mounted to said arm 54 as at 66; hence, by virtue of the bias imparted to arm 54 as aforesaid, it will be understood that said pawl 64 will, as a result, be resiliently engaged with tether 4.

Because of its pivotal attachment to said arm 54, however, it will be further understood that said pawl 64 is equally capable of being disengaged from tether 4. Such disengagement as visualized herein is effected when tether 4 is tensed or stretched is response to felling of the associated pin 2.

In this event, the tether 4 slides past said sheave 22 to dislodge said pawl 64 from pressing engagement with it in an understood manner as shown, for example, by the dotted lines in FIG. 9, at which time said pawl 64 is said to have sensed the felling of the associated pin.

As a result, said detent linkage E then pivots to release said clutch assembly D for movement towards its braking position D" as hereinbefore described.

Thus, it will be appreciated that said pawl 64 withdrawably maintains said detent linkage E in releasable engagement with said clutch assembly D.

Having regard to the foregoing, the invention further visualizes means operable by said detent linkage E when it moves to release said clutch assembly D for procuring actuation of said mechanism M.

To this end, said actuating means is constituted in this preferred embodiment, by a substantially horizontally disposed rectangular hoop 68 pivotally mounted intermediate its opposed rails 70 and 72 at 74 and 76; said rail 70 being positioned below said arm 54 to be moved thereby and having an extension 78 for purposes which will become evident. Opposite rail 72 on the other hand is positioned to selectively engage a valve stem 80 for opening its valve 82, said valve 82 when opened, serving to procure energization of fluid motors 28-28 as aforesaid.

Accordingly, it will be understood that when said detent linkage E pivots to release said clutch assembly D as aforesaid, it will also engage said rail 70 imparting pivotal movement to said hoop 68 with resultant opening of said valve 82 through the engagement of its stem 80 by said rail 72 and, of course, consequent actuation of said mechanism M. Hence, said mechanism M is actuated automatically only after a pin 2 has been felled and sensed by said tension responsive means T or pawl 64.

Upon actuation of said mechanism M it will be appreciated that when said tethers 4 are being pulled and released bysaid drawbar 26 as aforesaid, it is desirable if not necessary, that the tethers 4 be freely movable over said sheaves 22.

As a result, the invention visualizes means cooperable with said drawbar 26 for temporarily disengaging the tension responsive means T or pawls 64 from their respective tethers 4 while the tethers are being drawn and released as aforesaid and for thereafter reengaging the tension responsive means T with the tethers 4 of the reset pins. In this embodiment, such means includes said rail 70. That is to say, it is contemplated that said rail 70 be movable not only by said detent linkage E as hereinbefore described, but also against it at a later period to lift'all of said pawls 64 from pressing engagement with their respective tethers as shown in FIG. 10.

To this end, said rail extension 78 is disposed to be engageable and disengageable by a cam 84 as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. Normally said cam 84 is biased out of engagement with said rail extention 78 as a result of said drawbar 26 in its forward location, pressing against an intervening staff 86 connected to said cam 84 as best shown in FIG. 4. As will be appreciated, such disengagement enables said rail 70 to be initially freely movable in a downward direction by said detent linkage E as and when a pin has been felled to actuate said mechanism M as aforesaid.

However, it will be recalled that upon actuation of said mechanism M said drawbar 26 moves rearwardly towards its rearward or pin raising location. In this event said drawbar 26 is then disjoined from said staff 86 with consequent biasing of said cam 84 into engagement with said rail extension 78 to move said rail 70 in an upward direction against each of the detent linkages E to lift all of the pawls 64 from pressing engagement with their respective tethers as shown in FIG. 10, said pawls 64 being reengaged with their tethers when said drawbar 26 returns once again to its forward location.

It bears mentioning, of course, that when the pawls 64 are engaged with the tethers there is relatively little, if any, slack in the tethers between the pawls 64 and the set pins. Conversely, there is preferably considerable slack in the tethers between the pawls 64 and the drawbar 26 for obvious reasons.

Inasmuch as it is desirable that said tethers 4 be freely movable while being pulled as aforesaid, it will be appreciated that, ideally, said clutch assemblies D should not attain their braking positions D" until the felled pins are disposed in standby position.

Accordingly, the invention further visualizes a stop S disposed to prevent movement of the clutch assemblies D to braking position D" pending raising of the felled pins to standby position; means being provided for thereafter withdrawing said stop S to permit movement of the clutch assemblies D to braking position D". In this embodiment said stop S includes a rod 88 normally positioned to temporarily intercept and restrain said clutch assemblies D from moving to braking position D" as shown by the intermediate dotted line position D"' in FIGS. 4 and said rod 88 being operable by said drawbar 26 to release said clutch assemblies D to permit them to move to braking position D".

More explicitly, said rod 88 is mounted as shown in FIG. 3 by its opposite ends to a pair of standards 90 and 92, each being pivotally mounted at 94 and 96, respectively. Said standard 90, in turn, is connected to one end of a stave 98 at 100 with the opposite end of the stave 98 having an upright 102 rigidly attached thereto; said upright 102 being of sufficient height to be engaged and displaced by said drawbar 26 near its said rearward location as shown by the dotted line position in FIG. 4. In being displaced, said upright 102 will, of course, cause pivotal movement of said standards 90 and 92 and consequent withdrawal of said rod 88 from restrainment of said clutch assemblies D enabling them to move to braking position D"; said rod 88 thereafter reattaining its intercepting position upon reverse movement of said drawbar 26 from its rearward location.

With more particular regard now to the operation of said clutch moving means, the invention further visualizes a clutch sensor operable when all of said clutch assemblies D are disposed in braking position D" for procuring actuation of said clutch moving means in timed relation to said mechanism to restore all of said clutch assemblies D to their neutral positions D.

In particular, said clutch sensor includes in this embodiment a U-bar 104 mounted for pivotal movement at 106 and 108; said U-bar 104 being disposed above said clutch assemblies D to be normally supported thereby against pivotal movement when said clutch assemblies D are in neutral position D, as shown in FIG. 4; it being understood that one such clutch assembly D is sufficient to support said U-bar 104.

A lug 110 forms part of said U-bar 104 and is normally positioned to selectively engage a valve stem 112 for opening its valve 114 as shown in FIG. 3; said valve 114, when opened, serving to procure actuation of said clutch moving means.

It will be understood, of course, that the engagement of said valve stem 112 by said lug 110 is only effected when all ofsaid clutch assemblies D are in braking position D". That is to say, when all of said clutch assemblies D are in braking position D said U-bar 104 is no longer supported against pivotal movement; hence, it will pivot to the dotted line position as shown, for example, in FIG. 4 with consequent closing of said valve 114 by said lug and actuation of said clutch moving means.

More particularly, it will be observed from FIGS. 3 and 6 that a clutch actuation control is also provided in addition to said clutch sensor for procuring actuation of said clutch moving means as aforesaid; said clutch actuation control being constituted in this embodiment by a fluid motor 116 of the conventional piston and cylinder type having ports 118 and 120 for passage of pressurized fluid e.g., compressed air; the energization of said motor 116 being controlled by said clutch sensor through an intervening connection e.g., a conduit (not shown) to said valve 114.

It will be recalled, said clutch moving means includes a pivotally mounted crank 46 which, when pivoted, causes the associated lever 44 to engage and restore all of said clutch assemblies D to neutral position D.

Accordingly, it is the function of the clutch actuation control to enable pivoting of said crank 46.

To this end, a rod 122 is disposed between said crank 46 and said fluid motor 116 joining them as best shown in FIG. 6; said rod 122 being connected by one of its ends to said crank 46 at 124, and by its opposite end to said motor 116; the connection at said motor 116 being a telescopic one in which rod 122 is inserted through an eyelet 126 provided on the motor piston. Said rod 122 in turn includes an upright 128 rigidly attached thereto in the vicinity of the rearward location of said drawbar 26; said upright 128 having a terminal end 130 normally disposed below and out of the path of movement of said drawbar 26.

Accordingly, it will be understood that upon the selective energization of said fluid motor 116 said upright 128 will be elevated to enter into the path of said drawbar 26 to be engaged and moved thereby to the dotted line position as shown for example in FIG. 6.

In the result, said crank 46 will pivot to the dotted line position also shown in FIG. 6 with consequent restoration of said clutch assemblies D to their neutral position D i.e., reengagement with said detent linkage E by said lever 44.

Thereafter, said clutch actuation control procures movement of said lever 44 to its original position.

With regard now to the operation of the resetting apparatus it is assumed that less than the entire complement of pins 2 have been initially felled by a bowl delivered by a player.

In the wake of this reaction, a pawl 64 is dislodged from engagement with its associated tether 4 with consequent actuation of said mechanism M as aforesaid and release of said clutch assembly D for movement towards braking position D"; said clutch assembly D being however, temporarily restrained by rod 88 pending raising of the felled pins to standby position.

In the meantime, said drawbar 26 moves to pull tethers 4 for raising all pins towards standby position while all of said pawls 64 are temporarily disengaged from their respective tethers as aforesaid.

In approaching its rearward location, said drawbar 26 engages and displaces said upright 102 to release said clutch assembly D for movement to braking position D and operates said control 38 which reverses the movement of said drawbar 26 to reset at least one of the unfelled pins when said drawbar 26 reattains its forward location. In the latter location, said pawls 64 are then reengaged with their tethers.

As a result, the unfelled pins are reset on their respective stations on the bowling lane in readiness for the delivery of the next succeeding bowl by the player whereupon it is now assumed all of the remaining pins have been felled by the bowl.

In this event, said mechanism M is actuated as aforesaid as well as said clutch actuation control for procuring actuation of said clutch moving means.

That is to say, since all of said clutch assemblies D have now been released for movement towards braking position D", it will be appreciated that said clutch sensor or U-bar 104 is no longer supported by one or more of said clutch assemblies D; hence, it pivots to open said valve 114 with consequent energization of fluid motor 116 with resultant raising of said upright 128 into the path of said drawbar 26.

In the meantime, said drawbar 26 moves to pull tethers 4 for raising all pins towards standby position as aforesaid, and once again engages upright 102 to withdraw said stop or rod 88 enabling unrestrained movement of said clutch assemblies D to braking position D".

ln addition thereto, said drawbar 26 also engages said upright 128 to procure actuation of said clutch moving means to restore all of said clutch assemblies to neutral positions D.

More explicitly, all of said clutch assemblies D will be moved by said lever 44 from braking position D" past said withdrawn rod 88 to neutral position D and their reengagement with the detent linkages E to free the tethers and allow resetting of the full complement of bowling pins on their stations. Thereafter, said drawbar 26 again operates said control 38 and subsequently moves to reset all of said pins 2 on their stations X with said clutch moving means being deactivated.

In summary, the present invention visualizes resetting apparatus" which is fairlycompact in size with its constituent parts being preferably assembled into a single unit. In providing such a construction, the resetting apparatus may be mounted for movement between a play position as shown by the solid lines in FIG. l1, and an access position shown by the dotted lines in the same view in which the various parts are readily accessible for maintenance purposes, for example, More particularly, the invention visualizes said deck 8 as being supported by a frame 132 and hinged thereto as at 134 in FIG. 11 for movement between a horizontal play position and a raised access position as aforesaid; said deck 8 providing support for said mechanism M, clutch assemblies D, clutch moving means and sensing means.

I claim:

1. Apparatus for resetting bowling pins on one end of a bowling lane having a target area with a group of stations for a complement of said bowling pins at said end comprising:

a pin receiver disposed and aligned above each said pin st'ation providing a standby position for the pin normally set on said station;

an individual flexible tether for raising and lowering said pin relative to its said station extending through its respective receiver;

LII

LII

mechanism actuable as and when a pin has been felled in play to raise all of said pins by their respective tethers and thereafter to reset the unfelled pins on their respective stations with the felled pins being disposed and retained in standby position;

clutch assemblies respectively movable between a neutral position and a braking position in which the tether of each felled pin is restrained against movement when the latter is in its standby position inhibiting resetting of said pin on its station;

means disengageably engageable with said clutch assemblies for selectively moving them from braking position to neutral position permitting resetting of the felled pins on their respective stations by said mechanism; and

tension responsive means engaging each tether for sensing the felling of its respective pin and for procuring consequent actuation of the mechanism aforesaid and movement of the respective clutch assemblies towards braking position;

said clutch moving means effecting movement of said clutch assemblies as aforesaid independently of said tension responsive means.

2. Apparatus for resetting bowling pins as defined in claim 1 wherein:

said clutch assemblies are biased for movement towards braking position, and

detent linkage releasably engaging each said clutch assembly to maintain it in its neutral position aforesaid, said detent linkage being operable by said tension responsive means when it senses tension to release the said clutch assembly for movement towards braking position.

3. Apparatus for resetting bowling pins as defined in claim 2, wherein:

said detent linkage is biasedvto release said clutch assembly;

said tension responsive means withdrawably maintaining said detent linkage in releasable engagement with said clutch assembly and being movable by tension on the tether to procure release of said clutch assembly by said detent linkage for movement towards braking position.

4. Apparatus for resetting bowling pins as defined in claim 3 including:

means operable by said detent linkage when it moves to release said clutch assembly for procuring actuation of said mechanism.

5. Apparatus for resetting bowling pins as defined in claim 2 including:

a friction element forming part of each said clutch assembly wedgingly engageable with the tether when the clutch assembly is in braking position to inhibit resetting of a felled pin.

6. Apparatus for resetting bowling pins as defined in claim 5 wherein:

said clutch assembly is mounted for pivotal movement between its said neutral and braking positions.

'7. Apparatus for resetting bowling pins as defined in claim 5 wherein:

the tether is trained between said friction element and a counter; said friction element being disposed to releasably wedge said tether against said counter when the clutch assembly is in its braking position.

8. Apparatus for resetting bowling pins as defined in claim 2, including:

a lever forming part of said clutch moving means and operable in timed relation to said mechanism to procure movement of the respective clutch assemblies from their braking positions to their neutral positions and their reengagement with the detent linkage to free the tethers and allow resetting of the full complement of bowling pins on their said stations.

9. Apparatus for resetting bowling pins as defined in" claim 1 including:

a drawbar forming part of said mechanism engaging all of said tethers, said drawbar being movable in one direction to pull the tethers to raise all pins towards standby position, and in an opposite direction to release the tethers permitting resetting of at least one of the pins, and

means cooperable with said drawbar for temporarily disengaging the tension responsive means from their respective tethers while they are being drawn and released as aforesaid, and for thereafter reengaging the tension responsive means with the tethers of the reset pins.

10. Apparatus for resetting bowling pins as defined in claim 9 including:

a stop disposed to prevent movement of the clutch assemblies to braking position pending raising of the pins to standby position.

11. Apparatus for resetting bowling pins as defined in claim 10 including:

means operable by said drawbar for withdrawing said stop to permit movement of the clutch assemblies to braking position.

12. Apparatus for resetting bowling pins as defined in claim 10 wherein:

said stop includes a rod normally positioned to temporarily intercept and restrain said clutch assemblies from moving towards braking position as aforesaid, said rod being operable by said drawbar to release said clutch assemblies to permit them to move to braking position.

13. Apparatus for resetting bowling pins as defined in claim 9, including:

a control operable by the drawbar when it is moving in a pin raising direction to reverse the movement of the drawbar procuring resetting of at least one of the pins as aforesaid.

14. Apparatus for resetting bowling pins as defined in claim 1 including:

a pawl constituting said tension responsive means,

the tether being trained between the pawl and a sheave and the pawl in its tension responsive position being disposed to releasably and resiliently engage and press the tether against said sheave.

15. Apparatus for resetting bowling pins as defined in claim 1, including:

a clutch sensor operable when all of said clutch assemblies are disposed in braking position for procuring actuation of said clutch moving means in timed relation to said mechanism to restore all of said clutch assemblies to their neutral position.

16. Apparatus for resetting bowling pins as defined in claim including:

a clutch actuation control and a connection between said clutch control and said clutch sensor for procuring actuation of said clutch moving means as aforesaid when all of said clutch assemblies are disposed in braking position.

17. Apparatus for resetting bowling pins as defined in claim 16 including:

detent linkage releasably engaging each said clutch assembly to maintain it in its neutral position as aforesaid, said detent linkage being operable by said tension responsive means when it senses tension to release the said clutch assembly for movement towards braking position, and

a lever forming part of said clutch moving means and operable to procure movement of the respective clutch assemblies from their braking positions to their neutral positions and their reengagement with the detent linkage to free the tethers and allow resetting of the full complement of bowling pins on their said stations.

18'. Apparatus for resetting bowling pins as defined in claim 17 including:

a drawbar forming part of said mechanism engaging all of said tethers, said drawbar being movable in one direction to pull the tethers to raise all pins towards standby position, and in an opposite direction to release the tethers permitting resetting of at least one of the pins, and

means cooperable with said drawbar for temporarily disengaging the tension responsive means from their respective tethers while they are being drawn and released as aforesaid, and for thereafter reengaging the tension responsive means with the tethers of the reset pins.

19. Apparatus for resetting bowling pins as defined in claim 18 including:

a stop disposed to prevent movement of the clutch assemblies to braking position pending raising of the pins to standby position, said stop including a rod normally positioned to temporarily intercept and restrain said clutch assemblies from moving towards braking position as aforesaid, said rod being operable by said drawbar to release said clutch assemblies to permit them to move to braking position. I

20. Apparatus for resetting bowling pins as defined in claim 19 including:

a friction element forming part of each said clutch assembly wedgingly engageable with the tether when the clutch assembly is in braking position to inhibit resetting of a felled pin;

the tether being trained between said friction element and a counter; said friction element being disposed to releasably wedge said tether against said counter when the clutch assembly is in its braking position.

21. Apparatus for resetting bowling pins as defined in claim 20 including:

a pawl constituting said tension responsive means;

the tether being trained between the pawl and a sheave and the pawl, in its tension responsive position, being disposed to releasably and resiliently engage and press the tether against said sheave.

22. Apparatus for resetting bowling pins as defined in claim 1, including:

a deck providing said pin receiver and supporting said mechanism, clutch assemblies, clutch moving means and sensing means;

said deck being movable between a horizontal play position and a raised access position.

23. Apparatus for resetting bowling pins as defined in claim 22, including:

a frame providing support for said deck, and

hinging securing said deck to said frame for movement as aforesaid.

# k a a

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2361482 *Sep 14, 1943Oct 31, 1944Joseph E LaferriereGame apparatus having pieces setting-up means
US3073596 *Nov 10, 1960Jan 15, 1963Eyrco IncPinspotting apparatus
US3458191 *Mar 18, 1968Jul 29, 1969Nat Bowling CorpTethered pin status sensing arrangement
CH179135A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5167412 *Sep 18, 1991Dec 1, 1992Lucien RochefortFor a game of bowling
US7591732Jun 17, 2004Sep 22, 2009Speigl Bowling Systems, Inc.Hydraulic drive pin setter for bowling alley with hydraulic linkage ball lift
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/81
International ClassificationA63D5/08, A63D5/06
Cooperative ClassificationA63D5/08, A63D2005/083
European ClassificationA63D5/08