US 3838858 A
This publicity or game apparatus adapted to illuminate a series of tell-tales on surface portions of a screen, said combination being constantly randomly modified at a very fast rate during the periods of operation of the apparatus which are released for example by the insertion of a suitable card between a light source and photoresistor, whereby the final combination of illuminated tell-tales obtained when the apparatus becomes inoperative after a time delay constitutes an unforeseeable result, the apparatus including if desired a loudspeaker responsive to a relaxation oscillator having its output frequency switched at the rate of one of the series of tell-tales of the apparatus through a power amplifier.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Tummescheit i 1 RANDOM-LIGHTING PUBLICITY OR GAME APPARATUS  Inventor: I-Ienner Tummescheit, Hamburg,
Germany  Assignee: Interbeg AG, Luxembourg,
Luxembourg  7 Filed: Apr. 11, 1972  Appl. No.: 242,991
1 1 Oct. 1, 1974 Primary Examiner-Anton O. Oechsle Assistant ExaminerArnold W. Kramer [5 7 ABSTRACT This publicity or game apparatus adapted to illuminate a series of tell-tales on surface portions of a screen, said combination being constantly randomly modified at a very fast rate during the periods of operation of the apparatus which are released for example by the insertion of a suitable card between a light source and photoresistor, whereby the final combination of illuminated tell-tales obtained when the: apparatus becomes inoperative after a time delay constitutes an unforeseeable result, the apparatus including if desired a loudspeaker responsive to a relaxation oscillator having its output frequency switched at the rate of one of the series of tell-tales of the apparatus through a power amplifier.
3 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENIEnncn I974 11838.858 I snemor PATENTEU 1974 3,838,858
sum NF 2 fin Fig.5
RANDOM-LIGHTING PUBLICITY OR GAME APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates in general to publicity or game apparatus of the type adapted to light up a random combination of lamps. More particularly, this invention relates to an apparatus of the type hereinabove referred to, adapted to light up a random combination of lamps which is constantly modified at a very high rate during a period of operation started for example by the insertion of a card into the apparatus, whereby the final combination obtained when the apparatus is stopped constitutes an unforeseeable result of chance, somewhat as in a lottery.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The apparatus according to this invention is characterised essentially in that it comprises a generally boxshaped body having one face consisting of a screen divided into several series of tell-tales or signal lamps of which only one lights up at a time in each series during the operation of the apparatus, so as to provide a variable combination of data, the tell-tales of each series being adapted to be lighted up at randomunder the control of electronic means during the period of operation of the apparatus which is started for example by introducing a suitable card into the body of the apparatus.
This random control of the lamps in each series is obtained by using a noise source of erratic frequency, consisting of a Zener diode in the emitter-base circuit of a transistor connected to a monostable multivibrator in order to deliver constant-width pulses to a divider, then fed to a decoder controlling the switching of the power stage causing the lighting of the bulbs corresponding to the tell-tales or lamps of the energized series.
The period of operation producing a sequence of changes in the switching on of the tell-tales is advantageously started by introducing a card intersecting a light beam illuminating a photoresistor in a control circuit of a delay-action relay, whereby this relay will close the circuits controlling the series of lamps and reopen these circuits after a time period determined by the time constant of the relay, this time period being for example of the order of l to seconds. When the random control circuit is stopped or re-opened, in each series one lamp remains lighted and the combination of lamps thus obtained is a random combination, i.e., obtained by chance.
A loudspeaker controlled by a relaxation oscillator having its output frequency adapted to be switched at the rate of a series of lamps may be associated with the above-described apparatus, this control circuit comprising preferably a power stage.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the apparatus as seen from the front side;
FIG. 2 is a side-elevational view of the apparatus;
FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating diagrammatically the signal lamp control circuit, and
FIG. 4 is the diagram of a loudspeaker control circuit associated with the apparatus.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In the exemplary form of embodiment illustrated in the drawing the apparatus according to this invention comprises a body 1 having for example substantially the shape of a sphere from which one cap portion has been removed, adapted to be supported by the floor or by a base member 2, said body 1 having therefore a flat face constituting a circular screen 3 divided into three concentric annular portions 4, 5 and 6 each divided in turn by radii spaced 60 apart into six circular or annular sectors constituting tell-tales or lamps consisting of translucent portions of materials having different colours. Each tell-tale or lamp (of which 18 are provided in this specific form of embodiment) is illuminated by a bulb denoted 7, 8 and 9 respectively in FIG. 3 in the case of the three annular portions 4, 5 and 6, respectively.
In each one of the three series of bulbs 7, 8 and 9 only one bulb is lighted at a time, so that at any time a combination of three illuminated tell-tales pertaining to the three annular portions4, 5 and 6 is obtained. In the typ ical example shown herein, which comprises three annular portions each divided into six tell-tales, the number of combinations thus obtainable is 6 216.
The body 1 has formed therein, in its upper portion and behind the screen 3, a slot 10 adapted to receive a card 11 (FIG. 3) for producing a sequence of switching actions leading to a novel combination of tell-tales at the end of this sequence, i.e., when the apparatus re sumes its inoperative condition while displaying a fixed combination of tell-tales at the end of the switching sequence.
When the card 11 is introduced into the slot 10, it blocks the light beam emitted from a light source 12 illuminating a photoresistor 13 associated with a control circuit 14 of a time-lag relay 15. This relay 15 will thus close the three circuits controlling the bulbs 7, 8 and 9 via the movable contacts l6, l7 and 18 which are reopened at the end of the operative period of this relay.
Each circuit controlling a series of bulbs 7, 8, 9 comprises a noise generator 19 of which the output signal constitutes the random function of the system. This signal is shaped in a circuit 20 comprising a monostable multivibrator and delivering constant-width pulses fed to a divider 21 for controlling one of the six circuits connected to the decoders-22 each comprising a power stage adapted to light up one bulb at a time in each series 7, 8 and 9.
During the operative period of relay 15 the switchings take place at a very high rate, thus constantly modifying the combination of illuminated tell-tales, so that in each one of the three annular portions 4, 5, 6 the light appears as jumping continuously from one sector to another, with a continuous change in colour if the tell-tales have different colours as assumed hereinabove. When the relay 15 resumes its inoperative condition the switchings cease and the apparatus displays a fixed combination, obtained at random, of three stationary illuminated tell-tales.
It is obvious that the distribution and the number of the tell-tales in each series (i.e., in each annular portion in the example illustrated) as well as the number of series of such tell-tales could be changed without departing from the scope of the invention.
F IG. 4 illustrates diagrammatically an ancillary sound circuit comprising a relaxation oscillator 23 having an output frequency switched at the rate of one row of bulbs by the six inputs 24. This ancillary circuit is connected to a loudspeaker 25 via a power amplifier 26, whereby the sequence of switchings of the tell-tales will be attended by the emission of sounds, for example in a musical form.
This apparatus may be used for any desired publicity purpose, on account of its attractive character and of the surprising effects that can be obtained therewith. Moreover, since it produces a final result obtained only by chance, it can be used for example for the selective allocation of bonuses or premiums of any desired nature according to the combination displayed after 21 period of operation.
On the other hand, in comparison with all known lottery and chance apparatus, the apparatus of this invention is attended by considerable advantages deriving from its fully automatic and very fast operation, while remaining particularly attractive.
It is clear that the tell-tales, in lieu of displaying simple coloured lights may display figures, characters, symbols or any desired inscriptions.
Furthermore, the sequences of switchings could be released through means other than the insertion of a card, as will readily occur to those conversant with the art.
What I claim is:
l. Publicity or game apparatus, of the type adapted to display random combinations of illuminated telltales on a screen at the end of a relatively short operating time, which comprises essentially a body formed with a screen divided into a plurality of translucent surface portions each constituting a tell-tale, said tell-tales being grouped into separate series, light sources disposed under said screen in said body and corresponding each to one of said tell-tales, circuit means comprising another light source and a photoresistor, control means adapted to be inserted between said other light source and said photoresistor for blocking the light beam emitted by the former towards the latter, a relay control circuit responsive to said photoresistor when said photoresistor is blocked by said control means. a time-lag relay actuated by said last-named circuit and comprising a plurality of front contacts each associated with one of a plurality of assemblies each comprising a noise generator connected to pulse shaping means adapted to shape the pulses delivered by said generator, whereby said front contact can connect its respective pulse shaping means with a separate divider associated with a corresponding decoder upon actuation of said relay, each decoder controlling the lighting of the respective light sources associated with a given series of tell-tales, said time-lag relay at the end of its timing interval deactivating said front contacts whereby the last illuminated tell-tale in each series remains illuminated.
2. Publicity or game apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein the switching sequence applied to said telltales are controlled by introducing said control means comprising a suitable card into a slot formed in the body of the apparatus so as to block the light beam emitted by said other light source towards said photoresistor.
3. Publicity or game apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein the switching sequence applied to said tell-.
tales are controlled by inserting said control means consisting of a suitable card into a slot formed in the body of the apparatus so as to block the light beam emitted by said other light source towards said photoresistor, the apparatus further comprising a loudspeaker responsive through a power stage to a relaxation oscillator having its output frequency switched by the lighting of the bulbs of one series of tell-tales.