US 3817235 A
In practice apparatus for shooting hockey pucks the puck rides on the lower of two continuously rotating coaxial disks, whose speeds are controlled, and which are held spaced apart by a spring. Rotation of the puck with the lower disk is restrained by a spring closed gate. When the disks are pressed together they grip the puck there-between, accelerate it, during which time the puck is deflected away from the drip of the disks and impelled through an exit chute which is angularly adjusted to direct the puck.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Blake June 18, 1 974 HOCKEY PUCK PROJECTOR 1,357,028 10/1920 Case 124/6  Inventor: kzggg 335? Blake West Primary ExaminerRichard C. Pinkham Assistant Examiner-William R. Browne  Assignee: Hockey-Mate International, Inc., Attorney, Agent, or Firm-James H. Grover Arlington, Mass. 22 Filed: June 4, 1973  ABSTRACT In practice apparatus for shooting hockey pucks the  A 366350 puck rides on the lower of two continuously rotating coaxial disks, whose speeds are controlled, and which  US. Cl 124/6, 124/42, 124/30 R are held spaced apart by a spring. Rotation of the  Int. Cl. F4lb 3/04 puck with the lower disk is restrained by a spring  Field of Search 124/6, 7, 8, 43, 4, 42, closed gate. When the disks are pressed together they 124/1; 273/26 R, 26 D grip the puck there-between, accelerate it, during 1 which time the puck is deflected away from the drip of  References Cited the disks and impelled through an exit chute which is UNITED STATES PATENTS 10/1920 Parsons l24/6 I angularly adjusted to direct the puck.
12 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJHIHBHH 3817235 sum 2 or 2 FIG. 4
HOCKEY Puck PROJECTOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Various machines have been described for launching game balls, clay pigeons and the like which involve a throwing arm for accelerating an object from rest to a high speed. While baseballs attain speeds over 60 miles per hour, they and clay pigeons are launched at rela tively long intervals which allow ample time for resetting the throwing arm. To simulate realistic hockey play on net a puck must not only be shot at high speeds, over I miles an hour in major league hockey, but the shots must be repeated rapidly, at to second intervals. It is difficult to reset rapidly a throwing arm which can throw a 5% ounch hockey puck at hundred mile speeds without the use of heavy and expensive parts. Apparatus for throwing relatively light and fragile clay pigeons at much lower speeds is not suitable for shooting hockey pucks.
Therefore the objectsof the present invention are to provide a durable machine which will accelerate a rapid series of hockey pucks at very high speeds and variable angles for training of hockey goal tenders, forwards and defense men, which is easily moved about a hockey rink, is sturdy and compact in structure, and reliable in use.
STATEMENT OF INVENTION DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a front elevation of a hockey puck impelling machine;
FIG. 2 is a side elevation of a portion of the machine of FIG. 1; 7
FIG. 3 is a plan view shown partly in section of the machine; and
FIG. 4 is a section on line 4-4 of FIG. 3.
DESCRIPTION As shown in FIG. 1 the hockey pick impelling machine comprises a base plate 1 attached to a dolly frame 2 having two wheels 3. Depending from the frame 1 are triangularly located three legs 4, the foremost of which has a spike 6 for anchoring the machine pivotally on ice. Mounted on the base plate is a gasoline motor 7, which may be replaced with a battery operated electric motor. In either case the motor has a speed control throttle-8 and a drive shaft 9. On the drive shaft 9 is a pulley 11 connected by a belt 12 to a pulley 13 of the main shaft of the novel puck impelling mechanism 14 of the present invention. The pulley ratio is selected to provide main shaft speeds of 2,000 to 3,000 rpm. as is explained more fully hereinafter.
The impelling mechanism housing 14 has a puck entry slot 16 and a puck exit chute 17 shown horizontal but adjustable in elevation by a control rod 18 whose lower end is pivoted to the chute at 19, and whose upper end 21 is adjustably engaged in a positioning plate 22. The plate 22 is supported by a standard 23 mounted on the base plate 1, and has a number of sock ets 24 in which the rod end 21 is held to support the chute 17 at a selected angle.
Atop the impeller housing is a trigger mechanism 26 described more fully in connection with FIG. 4.
In FIGS. 3 and 4 the impeller mechanism within the housing 14 includes a main shaft, 27 carrying the pulley 13 the shaft 27 being journaled in a lower bearing 28. Keyed to the shaft 27 is a lower impeller disk 29 which rotates with the shaft with slight clearance from a circular wall 31 of the housing 14. Above the lower disk is a splined shaft 32 integral with the main shaft 27, the splined shaft 32 receiving a collar 33 on its splines while allowing the collar to slide up and down. Secured to the collar 33 is an upper impeller disk 34 which rotates continuously with the main shaft and lower disk 29. A coiled spring 36 compressed between the collar 33 and lower disk 29 normally holds the disks vertically spaced by a distance greater than standard puck thickness.
As shown in FIG. 3, when a puck P is inserted through the entrance slot 16 it falls and rides a static air film with little friction on the lower disk 29 disposed between a barrier plate 37 and a gate arm 38. The gate arm is pivoted at 40 and releasably detained against the edge of the puck by a spring 39 connected between the arm and barrier plate. The closed position of the gate is adjusted by a screw stop 41 to allow space for the puck to drop.
In operation the puck is accelerated from its detained position P by the trigger mechanism 26 which comprises a lever arm 42 pivoted at 43 and urged upward by a spring 44. At the free end of the trigger lever is a cam follower roller 46 engaging a cam 47 rotating on a bracket 48 secured to the top wall 49 of the housing 14. Rotating a hand crank 51 on the cam 47 causes the cam to depress the lever 42.whose center portion carries a bearing 52 resting on the collar 33 of the upper disk 34. The upper disk 34 is thereby forced down toward the lower disk 29 until it frictionally clamps the puck P in the grip of the rotating disks 29 and 34. The puck is then accelerated at a rate dependent on the clamping pressure, the diameter of the disks, and their speed of rotation. In any case the acceleration is gradual and lacking in recoil because of the relatively high mass of the disks with respect to the puck. There is no impact on the puck nor any sharp edge engaging it although it is immediately clamped to the outermost edge i of the disks having the highest linear velocity.
As the puck is accelerated from its rest position P it overcomes the spring tension on the gate 38 and swings the gate to the phantom position 38* when the puck in position P* clears the gate and allows it to return to closed position.
After leaving the gate the puck is fully accelerated in about three quarters of a revolution. When it comes to the back side 37* of the barrier plate 37 the puck is de flected by the back side 37* of the plate from its circular path to a tangential path through a rectangularly tubular exit 56 from the housing. The barrier plate is of thickness somewhat less than that of a standard puck and is cantilever supported by screws .53 through a bracket 54 on the base plate 1 Beyond the exit is the chute 17 which is continuous with the exit and pivoted thereto at 57 for angular adjustment in a vertical plane according to the setting of the control rod 18 identified at the beginning of this description.
In practice it has been found that the impeller disks will accelerate a standard puck to a velocity of between and 120 mph. With 18 inch disks a motor speed of approximately 2,400 r.p.m. produces a speed of approximately 50 mph, appropriate for high school level hockey practice. With a 24 inch disk diameter the puck velocity exceeds 100 mph. depending on the setting of the motor throttle. Owing to the formation of a static air film between the puck and lower disk 29 the lower plate may have a relatively high coefficient of surface friction without drawing the puck through the gate 38. Also the light spring grip of the gate 38 tends to catch the puck on its first bounce off the lower disk after insertion, cooperating with the static air film to hold the puck slightly above the lower disk. The upper disk may haveany desired coefficient of surface friction below that resulting in instantaneous positive gripping of the puck. The clamping surface of both disks may be rubber coated to provide the desired coefficient of friction and reduce wearing of the puck.
It should be understood that the present disclosure is for the purpose of illustration only and that this invention includes all modifications and equivalents which fall within the scope of the appended claims.
1. Hockey puck shooting apparatus comprising:
upper and lower spaced apart coxial disks;
means for rotating the disks, which are substantially parallel to each other, in unison;
means for moving one of the disks away from or toward the other disk from a puck non-engaging position to a puck frictionally gripping position;
a circumferential wall around the space between the disks;
means for removing a puckfrom the grip of the disks during rotation of said disks so that the puck may be projected in simulated live hockey.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1 further including a spring means for urging the disks to retracted position.
3. Apparatus according to claim 2, further including a common rotatable shaft, the upper and lower disks being mounted on said shaft, the upper disk being axially slidable on the shaft.
4. Apparatus according to claim 1, further including a common rotatable shaft, the upper and lower disks being mounted on said shaft the upper disk being axially slidable on the shaft.
5. Apparatus according to claim 1 further including gate means yieldingly holding a puck from moving during rotation of the lower disk.
6. Apparatus according to claim 5 further including a fixed barrier opposite the gate means which cooperates with said gate means to reduce frictional contact of a puck with the lower disk.
7. Apparatus according to claim 6 wherein the barrier includes a portion for deflecting an accelerated puck away from the grip of the disks toward the puck exit while the disks are being rotated.
8. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein a barrier which is disposed between the disks to deflect an'acceL erated puck from the grip of the rotating disks.
9. Apparatus according to claim l further including puck guide means outside the exit, the guide means being adjustable to select the direction of a projected puck.
10. Apparatus according to claim 9 wherein the guidemeans comprises a chute pivoted relatively to the puck exit for angular adjustment.
11. Apparatus according to claim 9 in combination with means for holding the chute in an adjusted position.
12. Apparatus for projecting a hockey puck comprising:
a mobile frame;
a motor on the frame with a speed control;
upper and lower rotatable disks mounted coaxially on the frame and having a driving connection to the motor;
spring means normally holding the disks in a retracted position axially spaced apart a distance greater than the thickness of a puck;
trigger means for moving the rotatable disks from retracted position to a closer position for gripping a puck positioned in the space therebetween and for rotationally accelerating the so that a puck may be rotatably accelerated;
gate means for releasably restraining a puck from moving with the lower disk when the disks are in retracted position;
means cooperating with the gate means to reduce frictional contact of a puck with the lower disk by supporting a puck;
barrier means disposed between the disks for deflecting an accelerated puck from the grip of the disks to a linear path;
a housing for the disks including a circumferential wall around the space for the puck for holding an accelerated puck between the disks, the housing including an entrance to the lower disk between the barrier and gate means and an exit in the deflected path of the puck; and
adjustable guide means beyond the exit for directing an accelerated puck on a selected angular course,
at a speed controlled by the motors speed control.