US 3878827 A
A table tennis ball serving apparatus having a hopper which feeds tennis balls at any desired rate to a nozzle where the balls are deposited on a pad on the opposite side of which is a rotating wheel which engages the ball and ejects it with spin thereon in the same manner as an opponent returns a shot in table tennis. The rotating wheel is so mounted on the nozzle that all kinds of spin from full overspin to full underspin may be effected on the table tennis balls ejected by the apparatus.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Newgarden, Jr.
 Apr. 22, 1975 TABLE TENNIS BALL SERVING APPARATUS Joseph E. Newgarden, Jr., 10931 Griffing Blvd., Miami, Fla. 33161 Filed: on. 24, 191:
App]. No.: 409.282
US. Cl 124/1; 124/6; 124/51 R Int. Cl. F4lb 15/00 Field of Search 273/26 D, 29 A. 29 R. 30.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Watkins 124/6 Marty 124/6 Graves 124/41 R X Parsoncault 124/30 R 9/1968 Swartout i. 124/6 2/1974 NewgardenJr 124/1 Primary Examiner-Richard C. Pinkham Assistant Examiner-T. Brown Attorney. Agent, or Firm-Salvatore G. Militana [5 7] ABSTRACT A table tennis ball serving apparatus having a hopper which feeds tennis balls at any desired rate to a nozzle where the balls are deposited on a pad on the opposite side of which is a rotating wheel which engages the ball and ejects it with spin thereon in the same manner as an opponent returns a shot in table tennis. The rotating wheel is so mounted on the nozzle that all kinds of spin from full overspin to full underspin may be effected on the table tennis balls ejected by the apparatus.
3 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures 'RATENTEBAPRZZISTS 3,878,827 SHE! 1 UF 3 TABLE TENNIS BALL SERVING APPARA'ITS BACKGROlND OF THE INVENTION l. Field of the lnvcntion This invention relates to hall ejecting devices and is more particularly directed to a tahle tennis rohot whiclt is capahle of throwing halls at any desired rate and provide all types of spin to the halls heing served.
2. Description of the Prior Art The comentional tahle tennis rohot or hall serving devices are quite complicated and c\pensi\e in cost. They are normally provided with a pair of rotating wheels that engage and eject the halls. each wheel heing provided with a motor for rotating same. There is also a third motor that actuates a hall feeding device that delivers a tahle tennis hall to the rotating wheels. In addition thereto. these motors lime to he of \ariahlc speed type in order to permit variation in the rate of halls heing ejected and the speed at which the halls are ejected as well as the amount and kind of spin applied to the halls.
The present invention contemplates avoiding certain of the ahovc indicated structures that effect the high cost of the devices SlMMARY OF THE lNYFN'flON A principal ohject of the present invention is to provide a tahle tennis serving apparatus tltat is simple in construction. evtremely effecti\e in its function of serving halls having various spins and hcing serv ed at any desired rate,
Another ohject of the present invention is to provide a tahle tennis hall serving apparatus that utilizes only one wheel for ejecting the halls and a total of only two motors. one to operate the hall ejecting wheel and a second motor for feeding the halls to the wheel without any loss of the functions found necessary in tahle tennis hall serving devices.
A further ohject ofthe present invention is to provide a tahle tennis hall serving de\ ice with a nozzle through which the halls are fed and a rotatahly mounted collar thereon to which are attached a wheel and a pad in opposing and spaced relation for receiving the hals and ejecting them with any desired spin thereon.
A still further ohject of the present invention is to provide a tahle tennis hall serving device with a hopper in which a variahle speed hall feeding device is mounted with a constant speed motor actuating the hall feeding de\ ice.
With these and other ohjects in view. the invention will he hest understood from a consideration of the following detailed description taken in connection with the acompanying drawings forming a part of this specification. with the understanding. howcv er. that the invention is not confined to any strict conformity with the showing of the drawings hut may he changed or modified so long as such changes or modifications marl; no material departure from the salient features of the invention as expressed in the appended claims.
BRIEF DESCRlP'flON OF THE DRAWlNGS In the drawingsl FIG. I is a side ele\ational ievv of a tahle tennis hall ejecting device constructed in accordance with my invention.
FlG. 2 is a side elevational view,
FIG. 3 is a perspective view shown with the hopper cover shown removed.
FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view taken along the line 4-4 of FIG, 1.
FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view taken along the line S5 of FIG. 2.
H0. 6 is a cross sectional \iew taken along the line 6-6 of FIG. 4.
DESCRlP'llON OF THE PREFERRED EMBODlMENT Referring to the drawings wherein like numerals are used to designate similar parts throughout the several views. the numeral [0 refers to a tahle tennis rohot constructed in accordance with my invention for the pur pose of ejecting or serving a tahle tennis hall with vari ous spins thereon in the same manner as an opponent in tahle tennis hits and returns the paddled hall. The rohot ltl consists of a con\ etttional adjustahle clamp l for attaching the device 10 to the edge of the tahle on which the game is played and is provided ith a tuhular portion 12 for receiving a support memher l3 that supports the device Ill in an upright position The rohot It! may he adjusted to any desired height ahove the tahle hy a thumh holt l3 threadedly mounted in the tuhular portion 12 to frictionally engaging the support memher I4.
The rohot l0 itself is pivotally mounted on the support memher l4 for varying the \ertical angle of ejection of the tahle tennis halls ahove or helow the horizontal hy means of a pivot plate memher l5 pivotally mounted by a holt In to the support memher [4 at its lower end and secured at its upper end to a feeder tray -l'- hy holts 18. The pivot plate is provided with an arcuate slot I) through which a holt 17 extends. The holt I7 is threaded into the support rod l4 and tightened against the pivot plate to secure the rohot 10 at the desired angle at which the halls 21 are to he ejected,
'lhc feeder tray -'l'- consists of a hase plate 23 having an upright rim portion 24 forming a shallow container for the tahle tennis halls 21 with an opening 25 through which the halls 2t pass into and through a tuhular throat memher or noz/le 26 positioned on the rim 24 at an opening 25. An opening in the center of the base plate 23 receives a stem 27 extending upwardly of a disc 28 mounted helow the base plate 23. Secured to the upper portion of the stem 27 is a cylinder 29 having a plurality of vanes 30 extending radially therefrom to form a feeder rotor actuated by a motor 31. The motor 31 mounted on a bracket 32 and extending helow the hase plate 23 is provided with a shaft 33 that extends in parallel and spaced relation to the disc 28. The shaft 33 has a cross section that is cylindrical with a flat surface on a part thereof extending along the full length of the shaft 33 to compel a drive wheel 34 that is slidahly mounted thereon to rotate in unison with the motor shaft 33. Attached to the drive wheel 34 is a huh 35 having a peripheral slotted portion 36 at the center thereof, Extending along and resting on the slotted por tion 36 is an actuator rod 37. The rod 37 is supported at one end by a hracket 38 depending from the lower surface of the hase plate 23. The rod 37 extends through an enlarged opening 39 in the bracket 38. By swinging the free end of the actuator rod 37. the drive wheel 34 will slide along the motor shaft 33 to engage the disc 28 at different distances from its center of rotation so that the speed of the motor 3] which speed is constant can he varied h the rotational \elocit of the disc 28. As shown hv FIG. 5. the rotational velocity of the disc 28 is greater at the position of the drive wheel shown hv solid lines than the position of the dri\e wheel 34 shown h dotted lines.
Mounted on the nozzle 26 is a split collar-like clamp 40 that is adjustahh secured thereon h a holt 41. Extending forwardlv from one side of the clamp 40 is a motor support plate 42 on which is mounted a motor 43. The motor 43 is provided with a shaft 44 on which is mounted a disc or wheel 45. the wheel 45 hcing in coplanar relation with the asis ofthe nozzle 26 and in position so as to engage the upper surface ofthe tahle ten nis hall 2| as it leaves the nozzle 26. A pad 46 mounted directl helow the wheel 45 engages the lower surface of tlte tahle tennis hall 2| and is in coplanar relation with the axis of the nozzle 26 and the wheel 45. The pad 46 is mounted on a resilient support member 47 that extends from the lower portion of the collar 40. The position of the pad 46 ma v he adjusted in the path of the halls 2| h means of a holt 48 that is threadedlv recei\ed h a hore 49 in the support memhcr 47 and hears against the outer surface of the nozzle 26. B threading the adjusting holt 48 in the hore 49, the holt 48 will hear against the nozzle 2| and cause the support mcmher 47 and pad 46 to swing downwardly away from the wheel 45. Both the pad 46 and the outer rim of the wheel 45 are provided with an ahrasive material in order to grip the halls 2| as the leave the nozzle 26 to eject the halls 2| forcefully. An open recepacle 50 of appropriate size to hold a large numher of tahle tennis halls 2| is mounted in place over the feeder tra v -'fforming a hopper for the halls 2|.
In the normal use of my table tennis hall serving apparatus. the de\ice I0 is secured to the edge of the tahle tennis tahle h means of the clamp H. By use of the wing holt l3. the device It) may he adjusted to position the nozzle 26 at an desired height aho\e the tahle. Then the angle ofthe nozzle 26 with relation to the horizontal may he adjusted hv loosening the holt l7 and v pivoting the device It) about the pivot holt l6 and then tightening the holt I? to secure the device.
Now. the hopper 50 is filled with tahle tennis halls and motors 43 and 31 energized. Motor 3| will cause the rotation of the impeller 29. 30 which directs a hall 2| into and through the nozzle 26. The motor 43 causes the w heel 45 to rotate. which wheel engates the hall 21 that has left the nozzle 26 and is positioned hctween the pad 46 and the rotating wheel 45. The hall 2| so engaged is ejected forwardl ofthc device 10 with spin on the hall 21 imparted to it h the spinning wheel 45.
With the wheel 45 positioned ahove the pad 46. the spin imparted to the hall 21 heing ejected h v the rotating wheel 45 will he overspin. Now if the adjustahle holt 4| is loosened and the collar 40 rotated about the nozzle 26 to reverse the positions of the wheel 45 and the pad 46 so that the wheel 45 is now helow the pad.
the ejected hall 2| will ha\e underspin imparted thereto. An angle spin can also he imparted to the ejected halls 2| by rotating the collar 40 to place the wheel 45 at any position between its upper and lower positions. Also. the amount of spin imparted to a hall 2| may he controlled h v loosening or tightening the adjusting holt 48. The tighter the pad 46 engages a hall 21 passing between the pad 46 and rotating wheel 45, the greater the amount of spin is imparted to that ball as it is ejected therehv. If it is desired to var v the rate at which the tahle tennis halls 21 are being served by my apparatus 10. all that need he done is swing the free end of the control rod 37 to slide the drive wheel 34 along the surface of the disc 28. If one wishes to increase the rate at which the halls 2| are to be served the apparatus 10. the control rod 37 is swung to slide the drive wheel 34 towards the center of the disc 28 and vice versa if it is desired to slow down the rate at which halls 2| are served by the apparatus 10.
What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
A tahlc tennis hall serving apparatus comprising a hopper for containing table tennis halls. a nozzle mounted on said hopper. hall feeding means mounted in said hopper in prosimitv of the inner end of said nozzle for feeding halls to said nozzle. means operating said hall feeding means. a rotatahle collar mounted on said nozzle. locking means for said collar. a hall engaging wheel and pad mounted on said collar. said wheel and said pad positioned in coplanar relation with the avis of said nozzle and in opposing relationship. heing on each side of said nozzle at an outer end thereof for receiving and engaging halls passing through said nozdc. power means for rotating said wheel and means for adjusting the distance hetween said pad and said wheel.
2. The structure as recited h v claim I wherein said operating means for said ball feeding means comprise a rotatahle stem extending through a hottom wall of said hopper. a disc secured to said stem below said hottom wall. a motor mounted on said hopper in proximity of said disc. a motor shaft extending from said motor in suhstantiallv parallel and spaced relation with said disc. a drive wheel slidahlv and rotatahh mounted on said shaft. said wheel engaging said disc whereh v upon rotation of said motor shaft said disc is compelled to rotate and control means for sliding said wheel along said shaft for varying the speed of rotation of said ball feed ing means.
3. The structure as recited hv claim 2 wherein said control means comprises a hub mounted on said drive wheel and extending about said motor shaft. said huh having a peripheral groove and an elongated member hing in said groo\ e. said elongated member being secured at one end with its other end being free for swinging said huh and said drive wheel radiallv along said disc.