United States Patent [i9] [ii] Patent Number: 5,246,232
Eccher et al.  Date of Patent: Sep. 21, 1993
 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR
DETERMINING PARAMETERS OF THE
MOTION OF AN OBJECT
 Inventors: Daniel J. Eccher, Loveland; James P.
Thome, Fort Collins, both of Colo.
 Assignee: Colorado Time Systems, Loveland, Colo.
 Appl. No.: 823,849
 Filed: Jan. 22, 1992
 Int. CI.' A63B 69/36
 U.S. CI 273/184 R; 273/186.1;
273/183.1; 342/109; 342/118
 Field of Search 273/183 R, 184 R, 185 R,
273/186 R, 186 B, 186 C, 25,26 R, 29 R, 186.1, 183.1; 342/104, 107, 109, 118, 127, 134, 135
 References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
3,438.031 4/1969 Fathauer 343/8
3,508,440 4/1970 Murphy 73/379
3.938.809 2/1976 Gentiluomo 273/176
4.137,566 1/1979 Haas et al 273/183 B
4,276.548 6/1981 Lutz 343/7
4.545.576 10/1985 Harris 273/25
4.673,183 6/1987 Trahan 273/185 R
4,858,922 8/1989 Santavaci 273/26
5,082,263 1/1992 Berger 273/61 R
5.092.602 3/1992 Witler et al 273/184 R
"DistanceCaddy" advertising brochure distributed by Colorado Time Systems, Inc.
Primary Examiner—Jessica Harrison
Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Sheridan Ross & Mcintosh
The present invention provides a method and apparatus for determining a desired parameter of the motion of an object. In one embodiment, the device can be used to calculate the estimated carry distance of a golf shot. The golfer uses a keypad to enter the golf club being used and the units of measure desired for the output display. A Doppler radar system is employed to illuminate the golf ball immediately after it has been hit. A reflected return signal is detected and difference pulses are generated, having a frequency which is proportional to the velocity of the ball. The difference pulses are processed by a microprocessor to determine if the radar beam has "locked" onto the ball. If so, the microprocessor is used to calculate the carry distance by dividing a predetermined constant by the average period of the difference pulses. The carry distance can be displayed on the device itself or on a remote display, and/or can be stored in memory for later recall or transmission to an external computer. The microprocessor can also be programmed to calculate and display the ball's velocity. An acoustic trigger can be used to activate the radar circuitry only when the sound of a golf ball being struck by a golf club is detected.
38 Claims, 7 Drawing Sheets