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Publication numberUS3785650 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 15, 1974
Filing dateMay 15, 1972
Priority dateMay 15, 1972
Also published asDE2314009A1
Publication numberUS 3785650 A, US 3785650A, US-A-3785650, US3785650 A, US3785650A
InventorsR Halliburton
Original AssigneeAllied Leisure Ind Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Manually controlled electric pinball game
US 3785650 A
A typical electric scoring pinball game board resiliently secured within a cabinet and visible through a window as a reflected image in an upstanding mirror. Externally projecting handles move the board in strategic directions to control the path of the ball. One of several novel features includes a visible lateral trackway on which the ball is continuously reciprocated. Each handle contains a button for releasing the ball from the trackway at any desired lateral position during its reciprocation for descent onto the board for play. An elevator restores the ball on the trackway for reciprocation at the conclusion of each game.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[451 Jan. 15, 1974 MANUALLY CONTROLLED ELECTRIC PINBALL GAME [75] Inventor: Ronald D. Ilalliburton, Hollywood,


[73] Assignee: Allied Leisure Industries, Inc., Hialeah, Fla.

[22] Filed: May 15, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 253,289

{52] US. Cl 273/110, 273/122 A, 273/129 [51] Int. Cl. A631 7/16 [58] Field of Search 273/109, 110, 118 A,

273/119, 120 A, 121 A, 121 E, 122 A, 123 A, 125 A, l E, 118 R, 118 D; 46/43; 40/l06.25

2,200,190 5/1940 Plouvier 273/110 UX 2,226,885 12/1940 Williams et al. 273/121 A 2,300,328 10/1942 Wilsey 273/110 2,563,334 8/1951 Hotte 273/110 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 302,479 12/1928 Great Britain 273/1 10 1,123,730 6/1956 France 273/109 Primary Examiner-Richard C. Pinkham Assistant Examiner-Harry G. Strappello Attorney-Lloyd J. Andres [5 7 ABSTRACT A typical electric scoring pinball game board resiliently secured within a cabinet and visible through a window as a reflected image in an upstanding mirror. Externally projecting handles move the board in strategic directions to control the path of the ball. One of several novel features includes a visible lateral trackway on which the ball is continuously reciprocated. Each handle contains a button for releasing the ball from the trackway at any desired lateral position during its reciprocation for descent onto the board for play. An elevator restores the ball on the trackway for reciprocation at the conclusion of each game.

1 Claim, 13 Drawing Figures PATENTEUJAN 1 51914 3.185.650


PATENTEUJAR 1 W1 3. 785,650


MANUALLY CONTROLLED ELECTRIC PINBALL GAME This invention relates in general to novel adaptation of the well known pinball game including complete enclosure of a tilted pinball game board in a cabinet and external manual means for movement thereof for the guidance of the pinball into high scoring paths which greatly enhances the combined amusement and skill value of the game.

A principal object of the game is the optical effect of the upright mirror image view of the playing board and the novel visual effect of the movement of the pinball, which appears to defy gravity.

A further object of the invention is the provision of an attractive animation device consisting of a lateral trackway across the width of the playing board visible in the cabinet on which the pinball is continuously reciprocated from one side to the other until released by the operator at a strategic position to descend upon the playing board to roll in a path favorable for a high score.

Another object of the invention is the provision of a power driven elevator means for raising the pinball following its play on the playing board onto the trackway for continued reciprocation thereon as an attraction to players.

These and other objects and advantages in one embodiment of the invention are described and shown in the following specification and drawings, in which:

FIG. I is a front elevation of the game in reduced scale. 7

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary side elevation of the cabinet shown in FIG. 1 with a portion thereof broken away.

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary cross sectional plan view taken through section line 3-3, FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary cross sectional bottom plan view taken through section line 4-4, FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary cross sectional view taken through section line 5-5, FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary enlarged rear elevation taken through section line 6-6, FIG. 2, with portions thereof broken away.

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary enlarged cross sectional view taken through section line 7-7, FIG.

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary enlarged cross sectional view taken through section line 8-8, FIG. 3.

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary enlarged top plan view of the trackway and elevator assemblies shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 10 is a cross sectional end view taken through section line 10-10, FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 is the same as FIG. 10in changed position.

FIG. 12 is an enlarged cross sectional elevation taken through section line 12-12, FIG. 2.

FIG. 13 is a schematic electric circuit diagram of the control elements of the game.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a cabinet assembly 1 has suspended therein the main planar pinball board 2 of .a pinball game which is positioned horizontally from side to side and at a predetermined descending slope from front to back forming the play field. The board is equipped with the usual array of electric responsive bumpers 3 for electrically energizing a well known circuit means for operating a digital score counter which depends upon the number of impacts by the ball against the bumpers 3 in its path on the board. The board also includes impact obstructions to be avoided, if possible. As the ball reaches the lower portion of the board, a pair of right and left flippers 4 are adapted to be selectively rotated by electric solenoids with a pair of manually operated momentary switches for batting the ball upward on the board for further play, as illustrated in FIG. 3. When the ball finally descends into the end of play exit 6, it is conducted by a channel assembly 7 to an elevator assembly 8 driven by an electric motor 9 for replacing the ball on the trackway for reciprocation for the playing of a successive game.

A pair of ball control handles 10-10 project upward through clearance holes in horizontal shelf portion 12 of the cabinet assembly with each having a coaxial shaft connecting the board 2 through an elastomer bushing,

' to be hereinafter described. Each handle 10 also has a momentary electric push button switch 13 in the upper end thereof for the purpose of starting and playing the game.

An upstanding mirror 14 is supported in the cabinet at a predetermined angle with respect to the inner edge of the pinball board 2 over the full inside width of the cabinet, for forming a complete vertical image of the board 2 when viewed through a window 15 positioned across the front of the cabinet. A horizontal transparent member 16 is provided at the lower edge of cavities 17-17 formed by opaque upright walls 18-18 for view of a ball trackway.

When the game is coin operated, a coin entry 19 is provided in the compartment door 20 which is secured by a lock 21.

An electric digital counter connected in the pinball game circuit, not shown, is provided with a four-digit display 22 in the upper frontal portion of the cabinet for showing the progressive and total score of each game.

Referring to FIG. 3, a raised U shaped border rail 23 of uniform thickness surrounds three sides of the main board 2, as shown, which provides two obstructions 24-24 in the form of integral angular ball impact abutments. A pair of additional triangular obstructions 25-25 are secured to the mainboard 2, as shown, and are of the same thickness as the border rail 23.

The four scoring bumpers 3 of the pinball portion of the game are placed in a non-symmetrical strategic arrangement on the board 2, as shown. The main board is supported in the rear portion of the cabinet on brackets 26-26 which engages studs- 27 which are surrounded by elastomer bushings 28-28. The front end of the board is likewise supported by brackets 26 and studs 27 and bushings 28. Thus it is apparent that the mainboard is resiliently and movably mounted in the cabinet by virtue of the enlarged holes surrounding each stud 27 and subject to limited movement in any lateral direction.

Referring to FIG. 12, each handle 10 has a coaxial shaft 20 extending downward which engages an elastomer bushing 30 in an appropriate hole in each corner portion of the board 2 for manually moving the board to influence the direction of the path of travel of the ball on the board to obtain a high score. The dotted lines extending from the edges of board 2 in FIG. 12 illustrate the range of motion thereof in any lateral direction responsive to the two hand movement of handles 10- 10.

Referring to FIG. 3, left and right independent flippers 31-31 are positioned on the surface of the lower portion of the board and journalled for oscillatory movement from electric solenoids through the board to bat the descending ball upward on the board for extended play through a range shown by dotted lines. The exit 6 is positioned at the lower portion of the board to conduct the ball downward off of the play field.

FIG. 3 also shows a pair of parallel rods or rails 33-34 which provide a trackway for reciprocating ball 35 thereon, to be hereinafter described.

Referring to FIG. 4, each flipper 31 has a shaft 36 journalled for oscillation through the board and secured to a lever 37. The right and left levers are connected to the core of right and left solenoids 38, respectively.

Each of the four well known impact electric scoring bumpers 3 are secured by suitable spacer means, not shown, and retained by a washer 39 and a screw 40. The normally open electric impact responsive circuit in each bumper is connected by a suitable pair of conductors, as part of the well known circuit of a typical pin ball game, not shown.

The cross sectional views, FIGS. and 6, illustrate the angle of the board to provide the gravity descent of the ball 35 and also illustrates the path of the ball through exit 6 for gravitation in channel assembly 7 into the lower end portion of elevator assembly 8, as shown by arrows, to momentarily rest on a lower ledge 47 therein for central clearance between theprojections 44. The upper ledge 47a has a slight downward slope to provide a runway for the ball 35 to roll onto the trackway 33-34.

The elevator assembly 8 includes an endless chain 41, better shown in FIG. 6, driven by sprocket 42 on the shaft of an electric motor 9 and an upper sprocket 43 journalled on a fixed shaft. The chain includes four pairs of forked equi-spaced projections 44 extending outward therefrom for raising the ball from the lower ledge in vertical casing 45 for gravitation onto the downward sloping runway better shown in FIG. 9.

Referring to FIGS. 6 and 9, a left bracket 48 is secured to the front portion of board 2 and the outer end portion of the bracket supports the left end of rod or flex blade 68 into contact with blade 69 and energize solenoid 65 by circuit means to be hereinafter described, which will permit the bridge 64 to strike ball 35 with sufficient force to drive the ball to its initial position on the left end of the trackway, as indicated in FIGS. 7 and 9 for re-gravitation downward thereon.

A pair of normally open control switch blades 70 and 71 are secured to the under side of board 2 together with a pair of independently normally closed switch blades 72 and 73, operated by a pin 74 in solenoid core 66 for operations to be hereinafter described.

FIG. 7 illustrates the position of the switch blades when the solenoid 65 is energized.

FIGS. 9, l0 and 11 relate to the mechanism for releasing the reciprocating ball at a selected predetermined position during its lateral travel. FIG. 10 shows the ball release solenoid 52 secured to the underside of the board 2 and its core 75 pivotally secured to a link 76, with the upper portion thereof having a transverse open slot 77 which slot is engaged with rail 33. A coil spring 78 normally retains the core 75 and link 76 and rail 33 in their normal rest positions, as shown in FIG. 10. A pair of normally open switch blades 79-80 are operated by a pin 81 projecting from link 76, to be hereinafter described.

FIG. 11 is the same as FIG. 10 in changed position when the solenoid 52 is energized and the rail 33 moved to its downward position by virtue of levers 5050 which will move rail 33 a sufficient distance from rail 34 to release the ball to descend by gravity between the rails for beginning its downward rolling gravitation on the playing field of board 2.

FIG. 13 shows the schematic circuit for controlling the functions of a typical pinball game, which includes a digital scoring meter. A pair of mainconductors 82 and 83 are intended to be connected to a source of electric energy L, and L respectively. A master switch 84 may be the contacts of a starting relay 5, a coin operated switch, or a well known electric control for playing a predetermined number of successive games.

A safety relay 85 is provided with a single pole double throw switch 86 which is operated by switch means rail 33 by well known means. A second bracket 49 supports the right hand end of rail 33 parallel the front end of board 2 and a predetermined distance lower than the bracket 48. The left hand end of rail 34 is secured to a lever 50 which is pivotally secured to bracket 48 by shoulder rivet 51. A like lever 50 is secured to the right hand end of rail 34 and is pivoted to bracket 49 by a shoulder rivet 51. Thus both rails 33 and 34 are in parallel spaced relation with like downward slope to the right and spaced to provide a trackway for the ball 35 to straddle and descend by rolling by gravity to the right end of the trackway.

FIGS. 6, 7, and 8 indicate the mechanism for reciprocating the ball 35 on rails 33-34. A bell crank having an arm 61 extending upward through board 2 has a lower arm 62 pivotally secured to the underside of board 2 by a pin 63. The upper end of the arm 61 terminates in a bridge 64 for impact movement against the ball 35. A reciprocation solenoid 65 secured to the underside of board 2 has a core 66 which is pivotally connected to the arm 62 by a pin 67. A vertical switch blade 68 is secured in A normally open position with respect to a blade 69, secured to the board 2, as shown. It is apparent from FIG. 6 that when the ball 35 gravitates along the trackway it will momentarily strike and in the pinball circuit, not shown, for the purpose of protecting the game from improper or abusive operation by opening a main conductor 82, which results in return of all elements to their starting positions. The elevator motor 9 is connected to conductors 82 and 83, respectively, and is intended to operate the elevator assembly 8 continuously whenever switch 84 is closed.

The game is played by the manipulation of the two handles 10, shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, following the deposit of a coin or coins or other means for energizing the control circuit.

When the circuit of the game is energized, the elevator deposited ball 35 will be reciprocated back and forth along the trackway rails 33-34. The ball gravitates to the right end thereof whereupon it will momentarily close normally open momentary switch blades -71 and energize relay 87, which operates a pair of single pole double throw switches. One of the normally open switches is connected through normally closed single pole single throw switch blades 72-73 for momentary holding purposes to conductor 82 for maintaining the relay 87 energized when momentary switch blades 70-71 are open. The remaining switch of the relay is adapted to energize trackway solenoid 65, which will operate bell crank arm 61 and 62 and drive the ball to the left end of the trackway where it will again descend by gravity and be re-cycled until either one of the momentary switches 13 in the handles are depressed.

Then the core of the solenoid 65 approaches the end of the stroke, pin means will momentarily close switch blades 70-71 which will energize a relay 88 which is provided with three independent single pole double throw switches. Thus, when energized, the operation will close switches 89 and 90 and 91 and energize the ball release solenoid 52, which will close switch contacts 92-93-94, respectively. Thus the circuit provides for the selective release of the ball onto the play field by the manual closure of either of the momentary switches 13. Following the release of the ball, the relay 88 will assume its original position when the switches 89, 90 and 91 are in their normal upper idle position. Switch 91 will be connected to one terminal of the flipper solenoid 38R with the other terminal thereof connected to main conductor 83. Likewise switch 90 will connect to one terminal of the remaining flipper solenoid 38L and the remaining terminal thereof will also connect to the main conductor 83. A normally closed single pole single throw switch 95 is connected across a portion of each winding of each solenoid with each switch adapted to be opened by the core of the solenoid as it reaches a position near the end of its stroke, which will include additional winding and increased resistance, to prevent overheating when energized for long periods of time.

Referring to H6. 5, a normally open momentary switch 96 is secured on the under side of channel assembly 7 with the operating blade thereof extending through a suitable clearance aperture for operation by the passage of the ball thereover. The circuit of this switch is intended to be connected to the pinball game circuit for de-energizing all circuits at the end of each game or each predetermined number of games, by well known means, not shown.

In operation and under the assumption that the main control circuit is energized by the closure of switch 84 by coin or other means, then the ball 35 will be observed through the window reciprocating along the trackway and upon the manual depression of each handle button switch 13, the resulting action of solenoid 52 will permit the ball to descend onto the play field of the board 2 at the selected position for gravitation downward. Since the object of the pinball gameis for the ball to make multiple contacts with bumpers, the path of the ball can be changed during its descent by the judicious manipulation of the handles 10 capable of moving the board apredetermined distance in any lateral direction.

The circuit shown in FIG. 13 provides for the first use of the switch 13 for the ball release followed by the use of buttons for independently operating each of the left and right flippers by selectively energizing solenoids 38R and 38L for batting the ball upward for impact with bumpers 3 to raise the game score. This dual operation of the button switches 13 is made through the action of relay 88, previously described.

It is to be understood that certain modifications in construction are intended to come within the scope and teachings of the above specification.

Having described my invention, I claim:

1. In a manually controlled electric automatic scoring pinball game including a means forming a cabinet,

an electric automatic scoring pinball game assembly in said cabinet,

said game assembly including a play field board having a planar upper surface with a predetermined descending slope from front to rear and movably secured in said cabinet for predetermined maximum lateral movement in all directions,

a pinball of predetermined size and weight,

a parallel bar trackway means in said cabinet secured above and parallel the front edge of said board and sloping about a horizontal axis perpendicular to the edge of said board at a predetermined angle with respect to the surface of the board for gravitating a pinball over the length of the trackway means,

an electro-magnetic impact solenoid positioned on said board at the lower end of said trackway means with the movable element thereof in alignment with the path of travel of said pinball,

a normally open momentary impact switch for energizing said impact solenoid positioned on said board with the operating element thereof in the path of movement of said pinball at the lower end of its path of travel,

a source of electric energy,

circuit means connecting said source of energy and said impact switch and said impact solenoid,

one said bar in said trackway means pivoted by a lever means at each opposite end thereof for lateral movement to release said pinball from said trackway means at any position along its length during its gravitational travel,

- an electro-magnetic release solenoid operatively related to one of said lever means for moving said bar from its normal pinball conducting position to its pinball release position when energized,

a normally open momentary release switch manually operable from the outer side of said cabinet,

circuit means connecting said release switch to said release solenoid and said source of energy whereby a player may release said pinball from said trackway means to descend to a desired lateral position on the upper surface of said board.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3910580 *Jul 30, 1974Oct 7, 1975Xaver LeonhartTable ball game with moveable circular bumper portions
US3985360 *Sep 15, 1975Oct 12, 1976Marvin Glass & AssociatesGame apparatus
US4030555 *Mar 15, 1976Jun 21, 1977Boyce John GWiggle table electronic ball game device
US4431188 *May 18, 1981Feb 14, 1984Bally Manufacturing CorporationBall type game apparatus with laterally movable ball striking mechanism and control therefor
US4822045 *Aug 10, 1987Apr 18, 1989Shoemaker Stephen P JrRolling ball game
US5213325 *Jun 17, 1991May 25, 1993Alex MalavazosTiltable board and rolling ball game mechanism
U.S. Classification273/110, 273/129.00R, 273/122.00A
International ClassificationA63F7/26, A63D13/00, A63F7/02, A63F7/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63F2250/14, A63F7/2409, A63F7/027
European ClassificationA63F7/00