US 3913922 A
Apparatus employing the value, such as resistance, of an electrical component to indicate by translating apparatus which symbol is displayed on a stationary reel of a slot machine, and effecting this by no more than two leads. This is achieved by mounting a number of resistors on a plate rotated with the reel and connecting across a pair of stationary wipers the resistor of appropriate value when the reel stops spinning.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Richards et al.
Oct. 21, 1975 POSITION SENSING DEVICE FOR A ROTATABLE GAME REEL Inventors: Basil James Richards, Double Bay;
Roger Anthony Adams, West Ryde, both of Australia Assignee: New Century Novelty Company PTY. Ltd., Rushcutters Bay, Australia Filed: July 2, 1973 Appl. No.: 375,863
Foreign Application Priority Data July 5, 1972 Australia 9579/72 US. Cl 2.73/143 R Int. Cl. A63F 5/04 Field of Search 273/143 R, 143 A, 143 B, 273/143 C, 143 D, 143 E, 138 A, 138 R, 273/139, 141 A, 1 E; 235/61 PG, 61 PH, 235/61PJ, 61 PS, 61 PD; 340/162, 177 VA, 340/188 R, 188 CH, 201 R, 201 P, 373;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,302,333 11/1942 Linke 273/138 A UX 2,689,082 9/1954 Kolisch 235/61 PS FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 41,594 2/1971 Australia 273/138 A 1,233,081 5/1971 United Kingdom 273/143 R Primary ExaminerRichard C. Pinkham Assistant ExaminerAmold W. Kramer Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Waters, Schwartz & Nissen  ABSTRACT Apparatus employing the value, such as resistance, of an electrical component to indicate by translating apparatus which symbol is displayed on a stationary reel of a slot machine, and effecting this by no more than two leads. This is achieved by mounting a number of resistors on a plate rotated with the reel and connecting across a pair of stationary wipers the resistor of appropriate value when the'reel stops spinning.
2 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures US. Patent Oct. 21, 1975 Sheet10f3 3,913,922
U.S. Patent Oct. 21, 1975 Sheet 2 of3 3,913,922
U.S. Patent 0a. 21, 1975 Sheet 3 of3 3,913,922
POSITION SENSING DEVICE FOR A ROTATABLE GAME REEL This invention relates to apparatus for deriving information relating to the rest position of a movable member which is capable of coming to rest in any one of a plurality of positions. The rotatable reel of a fruit, poker or slot machine is a typical example of such a movable member with the said apparatus serving to sense the character displayed by the machine each time the reel becomes stationary.
So-called three-reel machines are invariably constructed whereby a perforated indexing plate is secured to and rotatable with each reel, and indexing fingers are arranged to be inserted through two or three of the perforations when in register. The degree of insertion of the indexing fingers serves to control automatic payout equipment commensurate with the value of the bonus assigned to the particular winning combination at that time displayed by the machine. Where a machine is provided with four or more reels, however, this form of sensing becomes complicated and other means are usually employed. In some instances these means include photo-optical apparatus and multi-track concentric electrical wiping apparatus from which a large number of electrical leads extend to electrical translating equipment. Therefore, the necessary cableform and general electrical wiring in machines incorporating three, four or more rotatable reels is complex and additionally increases maintenance difficulties.
It is a principal object of this invention to provide a means for simplifying, and economizing on, the electrical wiring between the reel position-sensing apparatus and the translating equipment in these and similar types of machines.
In one general form of the invention there is provided sensing apparatus for signalling by an electrical connection to electrical translating equipment an indication of the rest position of a movable member capable of coming to rest in any one of a plurality of positions, said sensing apparatus comprising a terminal-carrying mounting element movable with the member, electrical components carried by said mounting element and secured to terminals thereon at least some of which components are of different values, and means contacting terminals on said mounting element when the movable member is at rest and connecting with said electrical connection to connect across an input to said translat-.
ing equipment at least one of said electrical components the value of which is representative of the rest position of said movable member.
The invention will be better understood from the following description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 shows a three-reel slot machine in front elevation;
FIG. 2 illustrates an exploded perspective of one of the display reel units incorporated in the machine of FIG. 1, and
FIG. 3 is a further exploded perspective of the display reel unit of FIG. 2 from a viewing position behind the mounting panel thereof.
According to a preferred embodiment and as shown by FIG. 1 the invention is applied to a multi-reel fruit, or poker, machine 4 each reel 5 of which is permitted in each operation to spin freely and ultimately to stop at any one of a number of rest positions in each of which a characteristic symbol 6 on the reel periphery 5A is revealed through a display window 7. In most cases a duplication of at least some symbols 6 occurs around the reel periphery 5A and for automatic functioning of the machine apparatus must be provided to identify the displayed symbol 6 on the reel 5, i.e. the angular position of the reel 5, so that computation of the displayed combination simultaneously on all reels 5 may be made to instigate an automatic bonus payout if appropriate. In the machine 4 incorporating this invention, the identifying apparatus includes electrical translating equipment which receives by cableform 8A an input from sensing apparatus 9 whereby it is automatically conditioned to provide the required identification. The translating apparatus 8 may take any suitable form which will compare, or otherwise respond to, the value of an electrical component connected to its input to'provide a signal indicative of the displayed symbol 6.
Withreference to FIGS. 2 and 3 is will be seen that the sensing apparatus 9 consists of a mounting disc 10 of electrically insulating material provided with screws 11 for fixture to a side of its respective reel 5, for rotation therewith, on which a concentric circle of electrical terminals 12, each provided withcontact faces 13, is mounted. The said contact faces 13 are presented on a face 10A of the disc 10 remote from the associated reel 5. A continuous concentric conductor to form a common electrical circuit may be provided with a contacting face on said remote face 10A of the disc and be spaced from the terminals 12. It is preferred, however, that instead of the continuous conductor another circle 14 of contacts 14A be provided each paired with a corresponding one of the terminal contacts 13. Individual electrical components 15 are connected between the common circuit of contacts 14A are respective ones of i the terminals 12. In one form these components 15 are resistors but they may be any other electrical component or combination of components. Preferably, the symbols 6 on the periphery of the reel 5 are identified by the value of the electrical component or components 15 between each respepctive terminal 12 and the common circuit of contacts 14A.
A pair of spring-loaded contacting wiper arms 16 at a stationary position are provided each for engagement with either the common circuit conductors 14A or the circle of terminals contacts 13. These wipers 16 need not continually wipe their respective contacting surfaces during operation of the machine 4, but may be displaced so as to make contact when the associated reel 5 on the machine 4 has come to rest. The position of the wipers 16 with respect to the terminal contact 13 and 14A is so arranged that the value of the component or components 15 effectively connected across the wipers 16 in any rest position of the reel 5 will cause the translating equipment 8 connected to the wipers 16 to respond for identification of the symbol 6 displayed by the machine 4 in that rest position. It will be appreciated, therefore, that merely two electrical leads 17 and 18 will be necessary for interconnection of the sensing apparatus 9 to the translating equipment 8 and these are shown connected to appropriate terminals 19 and 20 on a connector plug 21 to facilitate ready insertion and resplacement of a display reel unit.
As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the reels 5 of the machine 4 of FIG. 1 may be of a modular form. That is, each reel 5 is mounted on an individual mounting panel 22 and driven by spring bolt 23 from an individual electric motor 24, the power for which is connected via the connector plug 21 through a pair of leads 25. In order to provide for conventional facilities with rotatable reels for these machines 4, a solenoid 26 is also wired to the connector plug 21 and a pivoted bellcrank lever 27 rotatable at one end 28 by the plunger of the solenoid 26 has an abutment 29 at its opposite end normally urged by a bias spring 30 into engagement with notches 31 in the periphery of the mounting disc 9 to act as a conventional brake on the reel 5. Energization of the solenoid 26 disengages the brake. A microswitch 32 operable by the abutment 29 on the bellcrank 27 when the brake is applied is also wired to the connector plug 21.
The assembled components and the mounting panel 22 form a dislay reel unit 33 which may be slid into position in the machine 4. Due to the simplicity of the wiring from the sensing apparatus 9 an 8-pin connector plug 21 will suffice. Whether a plug-in reel unit 33 is emloyed or alternately a conventiona multi-reel spindle assembly, the electrical wiring and cableforms are quite simple. It will be noted from the wiring on the face 35 of, the mounting disc 9 that a single resistor, or other electrical component or circuit, is provided for each different display symbol 6 and all repeated positions of that symbol 6 correspond to contacts 13 on the mounting disc 9 which are wired in common by straps 34 to the appropriate resistor.
Whereas a preferred embodiment has been described in theforegoing it is to be understood that other forms are possible within the scope of this invention. For example, as an alternative to the above embodiment the electrical components may be replaced by a rheostat provided with a plurality of tappings each being connected to a respective terminal 12 while one part of the rheostat is connected to the common circuit contacts 14A. Furthermore, only a single wiper 16 will be required, i.e. that associated with the terminal contacts 13, if the common circuit is provided by other means such as by grounding one side of the electrical components 15 to the shaft 36 upon which the reel 5 rotates. Also it is feasible to reverse the position of the wipers 16 and the contact-carrying disc 9 so that the disc 9 remains stationary while the wipers 16 rotate with the reel 5. Axial displacement of the disc 9 may then be employed for contact with the wipers 16.
1. In a rotatable reel gaming machine including a plurality of reels each carrying for individual display on its periphery a series of symbols some of which are repeated in the series, electrical translating equipment for said reels and a pair of electrical leads connecting each said reel to respective inputs of said translating equipment, sensing apparatus breach of said reels comprising an electrically insulating index disc fixed to said reel, pairs of electrical terminals, each of said pairs being disposed in different ones of two concentric circles of terminals on said index disc, electrical resistors on said index disc and connected between respective pairs of said terminals whereby each different symbol on said reel is assigned a different value of electrical resistance, means for indexing each reel, and a pair of contactors for each of said reels with each contactor of a pair connected with a respective one of said leads of said pairs of electrical leads and with said pair of contactors in contact with a pair of said electrical terminals when the respective one of said reels is indexed by said indexing means so as to connect to said electrical translating equipment a resistance value indicative of the symbol displayed by said indexed reel.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1 in which the pairs of electrical terminals corresponding to at least some of said repeated symbols are interconnected through a common electrical resistor corresponding to said repeated symbols.