US 3799553 A
An amusement device for duplicating the random selection inherent in a game of chance and visually displaying the same. A capacitive timing circuit is charged by the momentary depression of a player actuated switch. The level of charge placed upon the capacitive timing circuit is randomly varied according to the random variation in the player actuation time which in turn is translated into a variable running time interval for a motor coupled to actuate interlocked switches to achieve a random display.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
"United States Patent [1911 Hurley 1111 3,799,553 Mar. 26, 1974 PLAYER ACTIVATED ELECTRICAL RANDOM SELECTION DEVICE  I Inventor: Frederick A. Hurley, 1204 Ali Baba Ave., Opa Locka, Fla. 33054 22 Filed: Aug. 4 ,1970v 211 Appl.No.: 60,8 90
 US. Cl 273/141 A, 273/138 A, 307/l41.4  Int. Cl. A63f 5/04  Field of Search 273/l 38 A; 141 A, 142 A,
273/142 B, 142 H, '142 HA, 144 B, 139, l E,
5 2; 40/130 R; 307/l4l.4
[ References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 7 3,357,703 12/1967 Hurley 273/138 A} 3,350,098 10/1967 Cromp et' al. 273/145 CA 2,782,406 2/1957 Krakora, Jr.;.1 273/52 UX 2,193,478 3/1940 Diebel 40/130 R 2,700,546 1/1955 Glassen, Jr 273/138 A x FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Primary Examiner-Anton O. Oechsle Assistant Examiner-Arnold W. Kramer Attorney, Agent, or FirmMorgan, Finnegan, Durham & Pine [571 ABSTRACT An amusement device for duplicating the random selection inherent in a game of chance and visually displaying the same. A capacitive timing circuit is charged by the momentary depression of a player actuated switch. The level of charge placed upon the capacitive timing circuit is randomly varied according to the random variation in the player actuation time which inturn is translated into a variable running time interval for a motor coupled to actuate interlocked switches to achieve a random'display.
6 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures jig Great Britain 273/138 A PAIENTEBHAR26 m4 3.799.553
SHEEI 1 [IF 2 IN VEN TOR. FREDERICK .4. HURLEY PAIENIEB mas I974 INVENTOR.
FREDERICK A. Hl/RLE Y Y SHEET E OF 2 ATTORNEY? PLAYER ACTIVATED ELECTRICAL RANDOM SELECTION DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention is directed to an apparatus which is capable of making a random selection and displaying the resultsof such selection. Although the invention has applications in a variety of games of chance, the invention will be-described within the context of a game of dice.
In using dice, a player rolls one or more dice onto a surface and observes them come to rest. Each surface of a die has the same mathematical probability of turning up as the surface facing the player and the numbers which can be obtained by rolling a pair of dice have a well known statistical distribution. A variety of games are based on the random selection achieved by rolling dice.
It is an object of this invention to provide an electrically operated display for duplicating the rolling of dice with the same degree of randomness that exists with actual dice.
Another object of this invention is to provide a random selection device that is truely random in its selection operation.
Another object of this invention is to provide a random selection device that provides a visual displayof its selection operation.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION The present invention is directed to a newand improved amusement device which electrically duplicates the randomness of selection inherent in the rolling of dice.
In accordance with the invention, a visual display is provided wherein there is depicted the various face outlines for each face ofa pair of dice. The outlines are capable of being illuminated so as to indicate the results of a simulated roll in response to a player switch actuation, the circuitry for the illumination of the dice outlines being such that the various outlines appear to randomly blink on and off for a short period of time ending with two of the face outlines remaining lit. A switching interlock arrangement is incorporated'within the display circuitry such that one andonly one die face of each die is illuminated at a time.
When a player actuates a momentary contact switch, the actuation time will be different for each successive actuation. This random variation in the player actuation time is used to achieve an ultimate random selection. The player actuated switch is coupled to control the charging time of a capacitor which in turn controls the running time interval of an incremental device which advances anumber of steps depending upon the capacitor discharge time. Since the player actuation time varies in a random fashion, the state of charge on the capacitor, the discharge time and the number of steps advanced will likewise vary in a random fashion. Variations in temperature, line voltage and other parameters also contribute to the randomness of the selection. The incremental device, such as a stepping switch or motor driven cam, is connected to control the visable display.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The manner in which the foregoing and other objects are achieved according to the invention is described in the following detailed specification which sets forth an illustrative embodiment. The specification includes the drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an amusement device embodying the present invention.
FIG. 2 is an electrical schematic of the circuitry utilized within the present invention.
FIG. 3 is a partial bottom view of the amusement device portrayed in FIG. 1 illustrating the motor driven cams and the related microswitches.
DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now more particularly to the embodiment of the invention shown in the accompanying drawings, the invention is illustrated in FIG. 1 in the form of a coffee table. The surface of the table is a sheet of translucent' material that has a permanent design placed on its backside by means of a suitable process such as silk screening. Twelve die face outlines are arranged around the edge of table 7, with two outlines 8 and 9 showing one dot, two outlines 10 and 11 showing two dots, two outlines 12 and 13 showing three dots, two outlines l4 and 15 showing four dots, two outlines l6 and 17 showing five dots and two outlines l8 and 19 showing six dots.
The cant of the faces as well as their numerical sequence can be varied so as not to have the faces appear in symmetrical or numerical order around the edge of the table. As represented in FIG. 1, the numerical sequence of the die face outlines going clockwise about the table is 1, 6, 4, 2, 5,1, 6, 3, 5, 4, 2, 3. As will be more fully discussedin the paragraphs to follow, the sequence of illumination of the die face outlines is selected to give the appearance that the lit outlines bounce around the table top so as to add an air of randomness to the resulting dice selection.
The push button of a player actuated switch 25 extends from the side of table 7 and activates the electrical circuitry housed within the table to simulate the roll of the dice.
In FIG. 2 there is illustrated the electrical schematic of the embodiment of the invention depicted in FIG. 1. Basically, FIG. 2 illustrates a random selection circuit 6 comprising a step down transfonner 21, a bridge rectifier 24, player actuating switch 25, capacitors 26 and 28, electromagiietic relay 27 and its related winding 31 and contacts 31a and 31b, diode 29 and resistor 30. The output' from random selection circuit 6 in turn regulates the energization of motors 32 and 39 which in turn cause the rotation of earns 33 and 40. Microswitches 34-38 and 41-45 are repeatedly sequentially actuated by rotating cams 33 and 40 respectively to cause related die face outlines 46-57 to become momentarily illuminated by means of light bulbs located within a compartmented structure beneath the translucent surface of the table. When the motors come to rest, each cam causes the light bulb associated with a particular die face outline to remain coupled to the source of power thus completing an electrical simulation of the rolling of a pair of dice.
As illustrated in FIG. 2, transformer 21, comprising primary winding 22 and secondary winding 23, has its primary winding 22 coupled via plug 20 to an external source of AC power, as for example, an ordinary 60 cycle, volt household line.
A bridge rectifier 24, having input terminals 24a and 24b and output terminals 240 and 24d, rectifies the AC power supplied by secondary winding 23.
Capacitors 26 and 28 and winding 31 of electromagnetic relay 27 are coupled in parallel across output terminals 24d and 240 of bridge rectifier 24. A resistor 30 is coupled in series with capacitor 28 and a diode 29 is coupled across the resistor and poled so as to provide a low impedance discharge pathfor capacitor 28.
Winding 31 is initially energized when player actuated switch 25 is closed. Thereafter, when player actuated switch 25 is opened, winding 31 remains energized as a result of the discharge current from capacitors 26 and 28.
In accordance with the invention, when player actuated switch 25 is actuated, capacitor 26 is charged to its rated value almost instantaneously since the resistance in the charging circuit of capacitor 26 is minimal. Capacitor 28 charges more slowly due to the presence of resistor 30 within its charging circuit. Resistor 30 is sufficiently large so that capacitor 28 only reaches a partial state of charge during the time player actuated switch 25 is closed. It can thus be seen that the current supplied during a cycle of operation from the fully charged capacitor 26 can be considered a constant that occurs in every cycle of operation and which provides a minimum running time for motors 32 and 39 thus to insure some degree of rotation of cams 33 and 40 for every player actuated cycle of operation no matter how briefly a player depresses player actuation switch 25. This is due to the fact that the electrical time constant associated with the capacitor 26 and its discharging circuit, which includes the resistance of the relay coil 31 controlling the motors 32 and 39, exceeds the electrical time constant associated with that same capacitor and the charging circuit. The quantity of current supplied by capacitor 28 during each cycle of operation, however, is directly related to the length of time player actuated switch 25 is closed and will vary from one cycle of operation to the next to thus provide a randomly varied running time interval applicable to motors 32 and 39.
As previously stated, during each cycle of operation, capacitor 26 is fully charged and capacitor 28 is only partially charged. As a result, the potential at junction A (FIG. 2) is initially higher than the potential at junction B. Unidirectional conducting diode 29 is therefore initially back-biased and capacitor 28 does not begin to discharge until the potential at junction A drops below the potential at junction B. Typical value for the components in the capacitive timing circuit are as follows:
capacitor 26 250 f capacitor 28 500 p.f
resistor 30 2,200 O The energization of winding 31 by the discharging of capacitors 26 and 28 causes contact 31a to open and 31b to be closed thus energizing motors 32 and 39. Motors 32 and 39 remain energized until capacitors 26 and 28 have substantially discharged whereupon contact 31b is opened and contact 31a is closed thus decoupling motors 32 and 39 from a source of power supplied via plug 20. Deenergization of motors 32 and 39 cause cams 33 and 40 to cease their rotation and to randomly set the switches such that a particular pair of die faces remain lit.
Reference is now made to FIG. 3 wherein there is illustrated rotary cams 33 and 40 and their related microswitches 34-38 and 41-45 respectively. The rotary cams 33 and 40 and microswitches 34-38 and 41-45 are interrelated such that one and only one die face is illuminated at any one time by a particular set of microswitches.
As illustrated in FIG. 3, cams 33 and 40 are rotated about axes 58 and 59 by motors 32 and 39 respectively. Microswitches 34-38 and 41-45 have actuators 62-71 that are radially positioned in 60 intervals about axes 58 and 59 respectively. Since only five microswitches are utilized to actuate six die faces, a rotational area exists through which earns 33 and 40 will rotate wherein no microswitch actuators are contacted.
Radially extended surfaces 60 and 61 of cams 33 and 40 each actuate microswitches 34-38 and 41-45 respectively with each surface forming an arc whose length defines an angle with the center of the cams which is slightly greater than 60. By being of such a length, surfaces 60 and 61 are assured of actuating at least one of the microswitches while rotating through the area wherein there is radially positioned the microswitch actuators.
The five microswitches 34-38 which control illumination of die face outlines 46-51 each include a movable contact, a normally closed stationary contact a and a normally open stationary contact b. The movable contact moves from the normal position to the alternate position when the switch is actuated by surface 60 of the associated cam. The normally closed contact sets are all connected in series with the light bulb for illuminating die face outline 50. The normally open stationary contacts b of switches 34-37 are connected to the bulbs for illuminating, respectively, die face outlines 46-49 and the normally open stationary contact of switch 38 is connected to the bulb for die face outline 51.
If cam 33 is in a position where none of the switches is activated, a circuit is completed through the normally closed contact sets of all five switches to illuminate die face outline 50. If one of the switches is activated the current is diverted to illuminate a different one of the die face outlines. When switch 38 is actuated the current is diverted to illuminate die face outline 51; when switch 37 is actuated the current is diverted to illuminate die face outline 49; when switch 36 is actuated the current is diverted to illuminate die face outline 48; when switch 35 is actuated the current is diverted to illuminate die face 47; and when switch 34 is actuated the current is diverted to illuminate die face 46.
With the interconnection of switches 34-38 one of the die faces is always illuminated. This is true even if none of the switches is actuated and, hence, it is not possible for the cam to come to rest at the end of a simulated roll of the dice and fail to illuminate one of the die faces.
The interconnection of switches 34-38 eliminates the possibility of a double display. For example, if two switches such as 36 and 37 are actuated at the same time, switch 36 would divert the current from the series string of normally closed contacts to illuminate die face outline 48 and therefore actuation of switch 37 has no effect.
The switch interconnection is used to advantage to eliminate the need for a highly precise alignment of the switches and cam surfaces as would otherwise be required to prevent a no image display or a double image display, The cam actuating surface 60 covers an arc area slightly greater than 60 to intentionally provide a slight overlap in the switch actuations to thereby allow for some misalignment of the switches. This arrangement eliminates the possibility of no switch being actuated as the cam moves between adjacent switches which would otherwise result in an improper illumina tion of die face 50. The slight overlap has no adverse effect since the switch interconnection precludes double image displays.
Switches 41-45 are similarly connected to illuminate die face outlines 52-57 and are actuated by the actuating surface 61 of cam 40. The switches are similarly interconnected to illuminate one and only one of the die face outlines at a time.
In actual operation, player actuated switch 25 is momentarily depressed. Current is thus permitted to flow from the output of bridge rectifier 24 to charge capacitors26 and 28. Capacitor 26 rapidly charges to its full value. Capacitor 28, however, due to the presence of resistor 30 within its charging circuit, is charged at a much slower rate and will be charged to a value dependent upon the length of time player actuated switch 25 is depressed.
Upon actuation of player actuated switch 25, coil 31 is also energized causing contact 31b to close thus energizing motors 32 and 39. Upon release of player actuated switch 25, winding 31 remains energized until capacitors 26 and 28 are substantially discharged. As stated previously, the total charge available for energizing winding 31 is dependent upon the length of time player actuated switch 25 is depressed and will vary from one cycle of operation to another thus varying the period of time during which motors 32 and 39 are energized.
While motors 32 and 39 are energized, cams 33 and 40 are caused to rotate. Rotation of cams 33 and 40 cause the selective switching of microswitches 34-38 and 41-45, each set of microswitches coupled to form an interlock among themselves such that one and only one switch at a time from each set is capable of supplying a current to related die faces 46-51 and 52-57.
When winding 31 is no longer energized by capacitors 26 and 28, contact 31b is opened and motors 32 and 39 are deenergized causing cams 33 and 40 to come to rest thus causing the microswitches to be randomly set such that one die face for each die is randomly selected to remain illuminated.
In accordance with the invention, randomness may be enhanced by having motors 32 and 39 rotate at different rates of rotation, as for example, 90 revolutions per minute and 101 revolutions per minute respectively.
The preceding description and accompanying drawings relate primarily to an electrically operated amusement device for simulating the rolling of dice. However, it should be understood that the present invention is not limited to such usage, but is equally applicable for use in any situation wherein a random selection circuit is desired. Thus, the invention in its broader aspects is not limited to the specific embodiments herein shown and described but departures may be made therefrom within the scope of the accompanying claims, without departing from the principles of the invention and without sacrificing its chief advantages.
1. A random selection circuit comprising:
a. a source of dc potential;
b. a switch adapted for momentary manual actuation;
0. means for advancing incrementally when electrically energized;
d. circuit means interconnecting said source, said switch and said advancing means; and
e. said circuit means comprising a combination charging and discharging circuit including a resistance in series with a capacitance and a unidirectional conducting means bypassing said resistance so that on manual actuation of said switch the advancing means is energized, the capacitance is charged from said source to a state dependent upon the duration of the manual actuation of said switch, and on deactuation of said switch the low impedance discharge path provided by said unidirectional conducting means between said capacitance and said advancing means keeps said advanc- Z ing means energized to advance incrementally until said capacitance is substantially discharged.
2. An electrical dice game for randomly selecting and displaying dice combinations comprising;
a. a display panel disposed for view by the players for displaying the individual faces of at least one die through selective illumination;
b. five pairs of stationary switch contacts each associated with a respective movable contact, said contacts being connected to said display panel to control illumination of selected ones of said individual faces, all of said contacts being interconnected so that any combination of closed contacts results in illumination of one and only one of said individual faces at a time;
0. player actuation means providing an electrical signal related to the random lengths of time of actuation by the players; and
d. random selection means responsive to said signal and connected to said plurality of switch contacts to select an individual die face at random upon each actuation of said player actuation means, said selection means being operated for each such actuation over a time interval unequal to the length of time of actuation by a player.
3. An electrical dice game according to claim 2, wherein said random selection means includes a cam and a motor energized by said electrical signal for driving said cam, said cam being mechanically coupled to said movable switch contacts.
4. An electrical dice game according to claim 3, further comprising:
a second and like-connected set of movable and stationary contacts associated with an illuminable display of the faces of a second die; and
a second motor and a cam driven thereby, said second motor being mechanically independent of the first motor and connected for simultaneous energization by said electrical signal.
5. A random selection circuit for electric games and the like, comprising:
a. a source of direct current potential;
b. player-operated manual actuation means for activating the selection circuit by the source for a random period of time;
. first and second charge accumulating means capable of being charged by said source and having significantly unequal charging time constants associated therewith so that the first charge accumulating means is partially charged and the second charge accumulating means is charged when the circuit is activated upon the normal actuation by 10 the player;
d. means for interconnecting said source and said first and second charging accumulating means upon manual actuation of the activating means thereby to charge the first accumulating means to a degree related to the duration of a normal actuation by the player and to charge the second accumulating means at least to said predetermined potential;
. electrically activable incrementing means providing an output function related to the game; and
. means providing a path through said incrementing means for the discharge in different times of each of said first and second charge accumulating means upon deactuation of the actuating means, the incrementing means being operative in response to such discharges to increment by a random amount.
6. A random selection circuit comprising:
a. a source of dc potential;
b. first and second charge accumulating means capable of being charged by said source;
c. manual actuation means for activating the selection circuit for a random period of time;
d. means interconnecting said source and said first and second charge accumulating means upon actuation of the activating means such that the first charge accumulating means is charged to a degree related to the duration of actuation and the second charge accumulating means also is charged;
e. incrementing means providing a path for the discharge of said first and second charge accumulating means upon deactuation of the activating means, and being operative in response to such discharge to increment by a random amount; and
unidirectional conducting means connected to be biased by the potential acquired by at least one of said charge accumulating means and providing a connection btween said first charge accumulating means and the discharge path when the second charge accumulating means has become at least partially discharged.