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United States Patent [w]
Krutsch et al.
 METHOD OF REPLACING A PLAYFIELD OF A PINBALL MACHINE
 Inventors: John R. Krutsch, Lake Villa; James M. L. Shird, Oak Park, both of 111.; Thomas W. Uban, Valparaiso, Ind.
 Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc., Chicago, 111.
[ * ] Notice: This patent is subject to a terminal disclaimer.
 Appl. No.: 09/232,248  Filed: Jan. 14, 1999
 Int. CI. A63D 3/00
 U.S. CI 273/118 A; 273/118 R
 Field of Search 273/118 R, 118 A,
273/120 A, 121 A, 122 A, 123 A, 124 A,
 References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
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ics Games, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, Feb. 1996.
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"Prior Art Wiring Arrangement for a Pinballl Machine," Williams Electronics Games, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 5 sheets (text and photographs).
"JAMMA Standards for Video Game Machine PC Board and Edge Connector," Japan Amusement Machinery Manufacturers Association, pp. 1-7, Feb. 7, 1994.
Primary Examiner—Jessica J. Harrison
Assistant Examiner—Julie Kasick
Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Jenkens & Gilchrist
A pinball machine has been designed with several novel mechanical and electrical features such that it is easily retrofittable or convertible between a first pinball game and a second pinball game. The pinball machine includes a playfield mounted to a cabinet. Unlike previous pinball machines, electrical wires and their associated "playfieldside" connectors extending from input/output elements mounted to the playfield are limited in movement to a region generally beneath and in close proximity to the playfield. This allows the playfield to be more easily handled than prior playfields, which had long dangling electrical wires and connectors which could be easily tripped over or severed. Additionally, the plurality of playfield-side connectors are configured for easy installation and integration with corresponding "cabinet-side" connectors. The cabinet-side connectors are electrically connected to a driver electronics board mounted within the cabinet and carry all input/output functions of the driver electronics board.
11 Claims, 18 Drawing Sheets
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