US20070007723A1 - Gaming machine and coin selection device - Google Patents

Gaming machine and coin selection device Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070007723A1
US20070007723A1 US11341521 US34152106A US2007007723A1 US 20070007723 A1 US20070007723 A1 US 20070007723A1 US 11341521 US11341521 US 11341521 US 34152106 A US34152106 A US 34152106A US 2007007723 A1 US2007007723 A1 US 2007007723A1
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
coin
light
cpu
step
data
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US11341521
Inventor
Kazuo Okada
Jun Fujimoto
Kazuki Emori
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Universal Entertainment Corp
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Universal Entertainment Corp
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/3202Hardware aspects of a gaming system, e.g. components, construction, architecture thereof
    • G07F17/3216Construction aspects of a gaming system, e.g. housing, seats, ergonomic aspects

Abstract

A coin selection device includes a coin path portion and a photo sensor. The coin path portion is formed so as to allow a passage of a coin due to its own weight. The photo sensor includes a light emitting portion and a light receiving portion to detect a coin passing through the coin path portion. The light emitting portion emits light while modulating an oscillation of the light. The light receiving portion receives and demodulates the light emitted from the light emitting portion in sync with an emission of the light emitting portion. In this way, the coin selection device detects a coin passing through the coin path portion.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    This application is based upon the prior Japanese Application No. 2004-63172, filed on Mar. 5, 2004; No. 2004-184119 filed on Jun. 22, 2004; and No. 2005-55212 filed on Feb. 28, 2005, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0003]
    The present invention relates to a gaming machine and a coin selection device capable of detecting game mediums inserted into the machines.
  • [0004]
    2. Description of the Related Art
  • [0005]
    A conventional gaming machine is disclosed in Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. H08-24434. This gaming machine includes a coin selection device that is equipped with a plurality of sensors arranged in positions where a coin inserted into the gaming machine is to pass through. The respective sensors are formed to output detection signals on detection of the inserted coin. If respective output times of the detection signals satisfy with a predetermined condition, the coin selection device judges that the inserted coin is appropriate.
  • [0006]
    Each sensor comprises a light emitting unit and a light receiving unit. When light emitted from the light emitting unit is reflected by a coin and then received by the light receiving unit, the sensor outputs a detection signal. Then, the coin selection device determines whether output time of the detection signal is a predetermined time or not. If the output time of the detection signal coincides with a predetermined time, then the coin selection device determines that the inserted coin is appropriate.
  • [0007]
    However, since the coin selection device is constructed so as to judge whether an inserted coin is appropriate or not on the basis of receipt or non-receipt of light by the sensors, if a cheat inserts a light emitting element into a coin insertion slot and allows the light emitting element to turn on and off in the vicinity of the sensor in a specific cycle, then the coin selection device determines that an appropriate coin has been inserted. In this way, as the coin selection device can not recognize a game medium and its passing position precisely, it is impossible to prevent an occurrence of the above-mentioned cheating.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0008]
    An object of the present invention is to provide a gaming machine and a coin selection device capable of recognizing positional information of a gaming medium moving in the gaming machine precisely and controlling a game procedure based on the positional information on recognition.
  • [0009]
    In order to attain the above object, the present invention provides a coin selection device or a gaming machine, which includes a coin path portion and a photo sensor. The coin path portion is formed so as to allow a passage of a coin due to its own weight. The photo sensor includes a light emitting portion and a light receiving portion, detecting a coin passing through the coin path portion. The light emitting portion emits light while modulating an oscillation of the light. The light receiving portion receives and demodulates the light emitted from the light emitting portion in sync with an emission of the light emitting portion. In this way, the coin selection device or the gaming machine detects the coin passing through the coin path portion.
  • [0010]
    According to the present invention, it is possible to prevent a malfunction of the photo sensor, which might be caused by a player's false inserting of a light emitting element into the coin selection device or the gaming machine through a coin insertion slot.
  • [0011]
    In order to attain the above object, the present invention provides a coin selection device including a transmission unit, a receiving unit and a determining unit. The transmission unit transmits a detection signal having a frequency different from a frequency of a signal existing in the coin path portion, to the coin path portion. When a coin passes through the coin path portion, the receiving unit receives the detection signal reflected by the coin. In signals received by the receiving unit, only when signals' part having the same frequency as the frequency of the detection signal has amplitude larger than a predetermined reference value, the determining unit determines that the coin has passed through the coin path portion.
  • [0012]
    According to the present invention, comparing with the conventional method of detecting a passage of a coin by only receiving a light receiving signal, it is possible to detect positional information of a coin more precisely.
  • [0013]
    In order to attain the above object, the present invention provides a gaming machine including a reservoir unit, a guide unit, a signal transmission unit, a signal receiving unit, a transmission information generating unit and a guide determination unit. The reservoir unit reserves a coin. The guide unit guides the coin to the reservoir unit. The signal transmission unit transmits a signal to the coin guided by the guide unit. The signal receiving unit receives the signal transmitted from the signal transmission unit and subsequently reflected by the coin. The transmission information generating unit generates information included in the signal transmitted from the signal emitting unit. The guide determination unit determines whether the guide unit is guiding the coin or not, on the basis of the information generated by the transmission information generating unit and the signal received by the signal receiving unit.
  • [0014]
    According to the present invention, comparing with the conventional method of detecting a passage of a coin with the use of continuous light, it is possible to detect positional information of a coin more precisely.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0015]
    FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a slot machine in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0016]
    FIG. 2 is a front view of a coin selection device in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0017]
    FIG. 3 is a rear view of the coin selection device in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0018]
    FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the coin selection device in a state where a pusher plate is separated from a board.
  • [0019]
    FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the pusher plate in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0020]
    FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along a line VI-VI of FIG. 2.
  • [0021]
    FIG. 7 is a top view of a first projection member in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0022]
    FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken along a line A-A of FIG. 3 before a coin passes through the first projection member, in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0023]
    FIG. 9 is a sectional view taken along the line A-A of FIG. 3 when the coin begins to contact with the first projection member, in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0024]
    FIG. 10 is a sectional view taken along the line A-A of FIG. 3 when the coin passes through the first projection member, in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0025]
    FIG. 11 is a sectional view taken along the line A-A of FIG. 3, showing a coin acceptable state of a coin accepting mechanism in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0026]
    FIG. 12 is a sectional view taken along the line A-A of FIG. 3, showing a coin unacceptable state of the coin accepting mechanism in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0027]
    FIGS. 13A and 13B are views showing an inner structure of a photo sensor in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention and its modification.
  • [0028]
    FIG. 14 is a block diagram of the photo sensor in accordance with the modification of the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0029]
    FIG. 15 is a block diagram of a main control circuit in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0030]
    FIG. 16 is a block diagram of a sub-control circuit and the coin selection device in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0031]
    FIG. 17 is a first flowchart of a RESET-intervention process of the main control circuit in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0032]
    FIG. 18 is a second flow chart of the RESET-intervention process of the main control circuit in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0033]
    FIG. 19 is a third flow chart of the RESET-intervention process of the main control circuit in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0034]
    FIG. 20 is a flow chart of a period intervention process of the main control circuit in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0035]
    FIG. 21 is a flow chart of a coin insertion/start checking process of the main control circuit in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0036]
    FIGS. 22A and 22B are first explanatory views showing a state where a coin is passing in the coin selection device in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0037]
    FIGS. 23A and 23B are second explanatory views showing a state where the coin is passing in the coin selection device in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0038]
    FIGS. 24A and 24B are third explanatory views showing a state where the coin is passing in the coin selection device in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0039]
    FIGS. 25A and 25B are fourth explanatory views showing a state where the coin is passing in the coin selection device in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0040]
    FIGS. 26A and 26B are fifth explanatory views showing a state where the coin is passing in the coin selection device in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0041]
    FIG. 27 is a flow chart of a RESET-intervention process of the coin selection device in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0042]
    FIG. 28 is a flow chart of an initialization process of the coin selection device in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0043]
    FIG. 29 is a flow chart of a period intervention process of the coin selection device in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0044]
    FIG. 30 is a view showing a light emitting pattern in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0045]
    FIG. 31 is a flow chart of a selector-signal output process of the coin selection device in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0046]
    FIG. 32 is a first timing chart showing respective input/output states of a selector port, a light emitting element and a light receiving element in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0047]
    FIG. 33 is a flowchart of a light-receiving error detection process of the coin selection device in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0048]
    FIG. 34 is a second timing chart showing the input/output states of the selector port, the light emitting element and the light receiving element in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0049]
    FIG. 35 is a third timing chart showing the input/output states of the selector port, the light emitting element and the light receiving element in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0050]
    An embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to FIGS. 1 to 35 below. This embodiment will be described by citing the example of a slot machine as one gaming machine.
  • [0000]
    [Constitution of Slot Machine]
  • [0051]
    As shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 15 and 16, a slot machine 1 includes a coin insertion slot 2, a coin return button 3, a coin return 4, reels 5L, 5C and 5R, a start lever 6, stepping motors 6L, 6C and 6R, stop buttons 7L, 7C and 7R, a coin selection device 10, a main control circuit 100, a hopper 152, a coin detecting portion 152S, sub-control circuits 200 and 300, a liquid crystal display unit 400, LEDs 500, lamps 501, speakers 502 and a volume control circuit 503.
  • [0052]
    As shown in FIG. 1, three panel display windows are formed in a front face of a cabinet forming the whole slot machine 1. The reels 5L, 5C and 5R forming a reel unit are visible through these panel display windows. Further, over these panel display windows, there are inscribed three winning lines in a horizontal direction and two winning lines in oblique directions. In playing, the number of winning lines is determined in accordance with the number of game mediums (e.g. coins in this embodiment) inserted through the coin insertion slot 2 which is provided on a front face side of the slot machine 1. The stepping motors 6L, 6C and 6R rotate the reels 5L, 5C and 5R.
  • [0053]
    When a player inserts a coin (or coins) into the coin insertion slot 2 and further manipulates the start lever 6, the stepping motors 6L, 6C and 6R rotate the reels 5L, 5C and 5R. Continuously, when the player pushes the stop buttons 7L, 7C and 7R, the reels 5L, 5C and 5R stop. When the reels 5L, 5C and 5R stop, a winning mode is determined corresponding to a combination of respective symbols of the reels 5L, 5C and 5R, which are visible through the panel display windows. At the time of winning, the number of coins corresponding to the winning mode is paid out. If a coin lodges in the slot machine 1, the coin can be discharged by pushing the coin return button 3 adjacent to the coin insertion slot 2.
  • [0054]
    As shown in FIG. 2, the coin selection device 10 constitutes guide means for guiding a coin inserted from the coin insertion slot 2 for the hopper 152 with the use of a coin's own weight. The coin selection device 10 is arranged in the slot machine 1. The hopper 152 constitutes storage means for storing the coins inserted from the coin insertion slot 2. The hopper 152 is also arranged in the slot machine 1. If a combination of symbols forming an internal winning combination is aligned on an activated payline, then the hopper 152 pays out the number of coins corresponding to the payout. A coin detecting portion 152S is accompanied with the hopper 152 to detect the coins paid out.
  • [0055]
    The main control circuit 100 is arranged inside the slot machine 1. As shown in FIG. 15, the main control circuit 100 comprises a start switch 6S, a BET switch 11S, a C/P switch 14S, a microcomputer 130, a clock pulse generating circuit 134, a frequency dividing circuit 135, a random number generating circuit 136, a sampling circuit 137, a motor driving circuit 141, a reel position detecting circuit 142, a reel stop signal circuit 143, a hopper driving circuit 151, a payout complete signal generating circuit 153 and a sub-control circuit communication port 154.
  • [0056]
    When a player manipulates the start lever 6, the start switch 6S outputs a game start command signal for starting one game to the microcomputer 130.
  • [0057]
    The microcomputer 130 comprises a main CPU 131, a program ROM 132, a control RAM 133 and an I/O port 138. The main CPU 131 performs a RESET-intervention process or a period intervention process on the basis of a program stored in the program ROM 132 (see FIGS. 17 to 20). In detail, the main CPU 131 carries out a process to determine a predetermined combination as a winning combination, a process to determine a winning mode based on the so-determined winning combination, a processing to payout a predetermined gaming value to the player on the basis of the so-determined winning mode and so on. Additionally, the microcomputer 130 controls the stepping motors 6L, 6C, 6R and the hopper 152.
  • [0058]
    The program ROM 132 memorizes a program related to the operation of the main CPU 131. Additionally, the program ROM 132 memorizes a payout table and a probability sortition table etc. The control RAM 133 memorizes control data related to the operation of the main CPU 131 and includes a backup function.
  • [0059]
    The I/O port 138 is identical to an interface connected to the main CPU 131. The I/O port 138 receives respective input signals from the start switch 6S, the BET switch 11S, the C/P switch 14S, the reel position detecting circuit 142, the reel stop signal circuit 143 and the payout complete signal generating circuit 153 and outputs respective output signals to the stepping motors 6L, 6C, 6R, the hopper 152 and the sub-control circuits 200, 300.
  • [0060]
    The clock pulse generating circuit 134 and the frequency dividing circuit 135 generate clock pulses of reference. The random number generating circuit 136 generates random numbers within a predetermined range. The sampling circuit 137 samples one random number of the random numbers generated by the random number generating circuit 136. The motor driving circuit 141 drives the stepping motors 6L, 6C, 6R in accordance with an instruction from the microcomputer 130.
  • [0061]
    During rotations of the reels 5L, 5C, 5R, the reel position detecting circuit 142 detects symbols which have passed through a predetermined position (e.g. on the center line). In detail, the reel position detecting circuit 142 counts the number of drive pulses supplied to each of the stepping motors 6L, 6C, 6R and stores the so-counted numbers of drive pulses into the control RAM 133. Consequently, the reel position detecting circuit 142 detects symbols that have passed through a determined position, based on the numbers of drive pulses stored in the control RAM 133.
  • [0062]
    Additionally, when the reel position detecting circuit 142 receives an input signal, which has been generated from a photo sensor (not shown) for detecting a shield plate (not shown) provided with respect to each of the reels 5L, 5C and 5R, every one rotation of the reel, the reel position detecting circuit 142 resets the number of drive pulses stored in the control RAM 133. As the number of drive pulses stored in the control RAM 133 is reset every one rotation of each reel, even if a coordination between the numbers of drive pluses and the symbols passing through a predetermined position has a disagreement, it is cancelled with respect to each one rotation of each reel.
  • [0063]
    When a player manipulates the stop buttons 7L, 7C and 7R, the reel stop signal circuit 143 outputs stop command signals for stopping the reels 5L, 5C and 5R respectively corresponding to the stop buttons 7L, 7C and 7R, to the microcomputer 130.
  • [0064]
    The hopper driving circuit 151 drives the hopper 152 in compliance with an instruction of the microcomputer 130. When the number of coins detected by the coin detecting portion 152S runs up to the number of coins to be paid out (payout number), the complete signal generating circuit 153 outputs a signal representing that a payout of coins has been completed to the microcomputer 130. The sub-control circuit communication port 154 transmits a command outputted from the microcomputer 130 to the sub-control circuits 200, 300.
  • [0065]
    As shown in FIG. 16, the sub-control circuit 200 is an image control circuit arranged in the slot machine 1 and includes a serial port 201, an image control CPU 202, a program ROM 203, an image ROM 204, a work RAM 205, a calendar IC 206, an image control IC 207, a control RAM 208 and a video RAM 209.
  • [0066]
    The serial port 201 receives a command outputted from the main control circuit 100 (i.e. the microcomputer 130) via the sub-control circuit communication port 154 and outputs a command produced by the image control CPU 202 to a sound/lamp control circuit 300.
  • [0067]
    The image control CPU 202 memorizes the command received by the serial port 201, into a working area of the work RAM 205. Then, based on information (gaming states, winning combinations, etc.) memorized in the working area, the image control CPU 202 reads out character image data stored in the image ROM 204, gobbles down date/hour data from the calendar IC 206 and transmits these data to the image control IC 207.
  • [0068]
    Based on the information (identifiers, counter values, etc.) memorized in the working area, the image control CPU 202 further selects one image control program from the image control programs stored in the program ROM 203 and controls an image to be displayed on the liquid crystal display unit 400. In detail, the image control CPU 202 performs a process to determine an effect image on the basis of a winning combination determined by the main control circuit 100.
  • [0069]
    The program ROM 203 stores the image control programs for use in the image control CPU 202. The image ROM 204 stores image data and various tables for display on the liquid crystal display unit 400 in a predetermined address in a memory area. The work RAM 205 is identical to a work area related to the image control for use in the image control CPU 202. The calendar IC 206 is identical to an integrated circuit for managing the date/hour data. Note that the data stored in the work RAM 205 and the calendar IC 206 is identical to data subject to backup.
  • [0070]
    The image control IC 207 memorizes data (i.e. the character image data and the date/hour data) received from the image control CPU 202 in the control RAM 208 arranged in the image control IC 207 and generates image data (1 frame) to be displayed on the liquid crystal display unit 400 at every predetermined timing ( 1/30 sec.) on the basis of the so-memorized data. Then, the image control IC 207 stores the so-generated image data in two frame buffers built in the video RAM 209, alternately.
  • [0071]
    As shown in FIG. 16, the sub-control circuit 300 is identical to a sound/lamp control circuit equipped in the slot machine 1 and includes a serial port 301, a sound/lamp control CPU 302, a sound generator IC 303, a power amplifier 304, a work RAM 305, a program ROM 306 and a sound generator ROM 307.
  • [0072]
    The serial port 301 receives a command generated by the image control CPU 202 via the serial port 201.
  • [0073]
    The sound/lamp control CPU 302 controls respective lighting of the LEDs 500 and the lamps 501 and output sound of the speakers 502 on the basis of programs stored in the program ROM 306. In detail, the sound/lamp control CPU 302 memorizes a command received from the serial port 301 in the work RAM 305 and further controls the sound generator IC 303 based on the information on memory.
  • [0074]
    Corresponding to the control by the sound/lamp control CPU 302, the sound generator IC 303 reads out sound data memorized in the sound generator ROM307 and amplifies the readout sound data with the use of the power amplifier 304. Note that an amplification degree at the power amplifier 304 is determined corresponding to an input signal from the volume control circuit 503.
  • [0000]
    [Constitution of Coin Selection Device]
  • [0075]
    As shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 16, the coin selection device 10 comprises a board 11, a pusher plate 12, a guiding member 13, a coin path 14, a first projection member 15, a magnet 19, a path face 20, a shaft 22, a spring 24, light-transmission type photo sensors 26 and 27, bearings 28 and 29, a coin receiving mechanism 40, a vertical shaft 61, a spring 62, a light-transmission type photo sensor 63, bearings 67 and 68, a swing member 81, a transverse shaft 82, bearings 85 and 86, a coin supervisory control CPU 90, a first selector port 94 a and a second selector port 94 b.
  • [0076]
    On one surface of the rectangular board 11, the coin path 14 is defined by the pusher plate 12 and the guiding member 13. As shown in FIG. 4, the coin path 14 is formed by a vertical path 14 a and a slope path 14 b. Coins, which have been inserted into the coin path 14 through the coin insertion slot 2, are screened corresponding to diameters of the coins in the course of their moving in the coin path 14. If an inserted coin is identical to an appropriate coin, the coin is discharged from an outlet 32. An appropriate coin C is detected by the photo sensors 26, 27. On detection of the appropriate coin C, the photo sensors 26, 27 output detection signals to the main control circuit 100 of the slot machine 1 to allow a counter (not shown) in the slot machine 1 to count the number of appropriate coins C. If a non-magnetic coin is used as the appropriate coin C, then the coin selection device 10 detects the non-magnetic coin as an inappropriate coin.
  • [0077]
    As shown in FIG. 4, the pusher plate 12 is fitted to the board 11 so as to be rotatable about the shaft 22 detachable to the bearings 28, 29 of the board 11. By the spring 24, the pusher plate 12 is usually urged so that its part comes into contact with the board 11. As shown in FIG. 5, the pusher plate 12 is provided with an opening 12 a which is formed at a position corresponding to the slope path 14 b of the coin path 14 in case of fitting the pusher plate 12 to the board 11.
  • [0078]
    The first projection member 15 is provided on another surface 30 (see FIG. 3) of the board 11. The first projection member 15 is formed, on its one end, with two-forked portions. Projecting ends 16, 17 are formed on upper and lower tips of the two-forked portions of the first projection member 15, respectively. Projecting on the path surface 20 of the coin path 14 are the projecting ends 16, 17 that discharge an inappropriate coin having a smaller diameter than that of the appropriate coin C to near side. In order to facilitate discharging of the inappropriate coin, the projecting ends 16, 17 are respectively provided with hyperbolic slant faces 16 a, 17 a inclined in the moving direction of a coin.
  • [0079]
    As shown in FIG. 7, the first projection member 15 is rotatable with a focus on the vertical shaft 61 supported by the bearings 67, 68 on the board 11 and urged by the spring 62 so that the projecting ends 16, 17 project from the path surface 20. As shown in FIG. 8, the projecting end 16 projects from the path face 20 greatly in comparison with the projecting end 17, so that an inappropriate coin becomes easy to be discharged from the coin path 14.
  • [0080]
    Due to urging force of the spring 62, a coin having a diameter smaller than the diameter of the appropriate coin C is guided by the projecting ends 16, 17 of the first projection member 15 and discharged from the coin path 14. Note that the spring 62 is provided with an elastic force that is established in a manner that when an appropriate coin C passes through the coin path 14, the coin C can depress the projecting ends 16, 17 and retract them from the path face 20.
  • [0081]
    Next, a discharging mechanism against such a situation that the coin path 14 is blocked up by a coin or foreign substances will be described.
  • [0082]
    As shown in FIGS. 3 and 6, the coin return button 3 has a lower end arranged in the vicinity of the substantially-triangle swing member 81. The coin return button 3 is always urged by a spring or the like (not shown), upwardly.
  • [0083]
    When a player pushes the coin return button 3, the swing member 81 rotates with a focus on the transverse shaft 82 attached to the bearings 85, 86 integrated with the board 11. With the rotation of the swing member 81, its one end pushes up the pusher plate 12 in a direction to depart from the board 11. With this action, as the pusher plate 12 rotates about the shaft 22 apart from the board 11, an interval between the path face 20 of the board 11 and the opening 12 a of the pusher plate 12 is increased. Therefore, such blocked coin and substances are discharged from the coin path 14.
  • [0084]
    As shown in FIGS. 8 to 10, when the appropriate coin C passes through the coin path 14, the appropriate coin C pushes the projecting ends 16, 17 of the first projection member 15 and rotates it about the vertical shaft 61. Then, a rear end 66 of the first projection member 15 comes across between a light emitting part 64 and a light receiving part 65 of the photo sensor 63 (a first detector), interrupting a light path connecting the light emitting part 64 with the light receiving part 65. With this interruption of the light path, the photo sensor 63 outputs a detection signal to the main control circuit 100 of the slot machine 1. On receipt of the detection signal, the coin selection device 10 detects that an appropriate coin C has passed through the coin path 14.
  • [0085]
    If the coin path 14 is clogged by coins or subjected to cheat, a period when the rear end 66 is interrupting the light path gets longer. Therefore, the coin selection device 10 detects the presence of either coin's clogging or player's cheats by determining whether an output interval of the detection signal from the photo sensor 63 from its rise till decay is longer than a predetermined interval or not.
  • [0086]
    Assuming that an appropriate coin C is made of non-magnetic material, if a coin of magnetic material is inserted, the magnetic coin is trapped by the magnet 19 close to the projecting ends 16, 17 projecting from the path face 20, continuing to retract the projecting ends 16, 17 (see FIG. 2). Therefore, the coin selection device 10 detects the magnetic coin by determining whether the output interval of the detection signal from the photo sensor 63 from its rise till decay is longer than the predetermined interval or not.
  • [0087]
    As shown in FIG. 3, the coin receiving mechanism 40 is arranged on the other surface 30 of the board 11. The coin receiving mechanism 40 includes a solenoid 41, a supporting member 42, a rotating member 43, a movable guide plate 51, a shaft 55, bearings 58 and 59, a second projection member 71, a shaft 74 and bearings 78, 79.
  • [0088]
    The column-shaped solenoid 41 is provided on the other surface 30 of the board 11. The supporting member 42 is provided integrally with the board 11. With an excitation of the solenoid 41, the rotating member 43 is attracted by the solenoid 41 to rotate about the supporting member 42 as a fulcrum. When the rotating member 43 is attracted by the solenoid 41, the movable guide plate 51 rotates about the shaft 55 supported by the bearings 58, 59 formed integrally with the board 11 since one end 44 of the rotating member 43 pushes one end 52 of the movable guide plate 51. The rotation of the movable guide plate 51 causes a projecting part 53 of the movable guide plate 51 to be retracted from the path face 20 (see FIG. 2). Again, when the rotating member 43 is attracted by the solenoid 41, the second projection member 71 rotates about the shaft 74 supported by the bearings 78, 79 formed integrally with the board 11 due to weight of another end 73 of the second projection member 71 because another end 45 of the rotating member 43 does not push the second projection member 71. The rotation of the second projection member 71 causes its projecting part 72 to be retracted from the path face 20 (see FIG. 2).
  • [0089]
    By the main control circuit 100 of the slot machine 1, the movable guide plate 51 transfers between a coin acceptable state (see FIG. 11) and a coin unacceptable state (see FIG. 12) to vary a length of a guide end 54 of the movable guide plate 51 projecting to the coin path 14. In the coin acceptable state, the coin selection device 10 projects the guide end 54 to the coin path 14 to define a guide groove 80 for guiding a coin along the coin path 14 between the guide end 54 and the path face 20. In the coin unacceptable state, the coin selection device 10 retracts the guide end 54 from the coin path 14, so that the guide groove 80 is not defined. With establishment of the coin unacceptable state as above, it is possible to return an inserted coin in case that the gaming preparation of the slot machine 1 has not been completed yet or the slot machine 1 is not in an operating state.
  • [0090]
    In the coin acceptable state, the solenoid 41 is excited to attract the rotating member 43. Therefore, as the end 44 of the rotating member 43 presses the end 52 of the movable guide plate 51, it rotates about shaft 55 to retract the projecting part 53 from the path face 20 and project the guide end 54 to the coin path 14. While, as the other end 45 of the rotating member 43 does not press the second projecting member 71, the second projection member 71 rotates about the shaft 74 due to weight of the other end 73 to retract the projecting end 72 from the path face 20. In this state, when an appropriate coin C is inserted into the coin path 14, the appropriate coin C advances to the outlet 32 of the coin path 14 with a guidance of the guide groove 20 while pushing the projecting ends 16, 17 of the first projecting member 15.
  • [0091]
    In the coin acceptable state, if a coin having a smaller diameter than the diameter of the appropriate coin C is inserted, the coin comes into contact with the projecting ends 16, 17 of the first projecting member 15 to advance in a discharging direction (left side of FIG. 11) with no guidance of the guide groove 80, so that the coin is discharged from the coin return 4.
  • [0092]
    On the other hand, since the solenoid 41 is not excited in the coin unacceptable state, the rotating member 43 is not attracted by the solenoid 41. Therefore, as the end 44 of the rotating member 43 does not press the end 52 of the movable guide plate 51, it allows the projecting part 53 to project from the path face 20 and retracts the guide end 54 from the coin path 14. While, as the other end 45 of the rotating member 43 presses the second projecting member 71, the second projection member 71 allows the projecting end 72 to project from the path face 20. In this state, when a coin is inserted into the coin path 14, the coin advances in the discharging direction (left side of FIG. 12) with guidance of the projecting part 53 and the projecting end 72, so that the coin is discharged from the coin return 4. In order to prevent a coin from traveling toward the outlet 32, the projecting part 53 projects from the path face 20 perpendicularly. In order to urge a coin in the discharging direction, the projecting end 72 is provided with a circular slant surface 72 a inclined in the moving direction of the coin.
  • [0093]
    In the vicinity of the outlet 32 of the path face 20, the photo sensors 26, 27 as the second detectors are arranged so as to be close to each other along the moving direction of the coin. The photo sensor 26 is arranged on the side of the insertion slot (on the upstream side) in comparison with the photo sensor 27.
  • [0094]
    The photo sensors 26, 27 are arranged to count the number of coins passing through the coin selection device 10 and detect an abnormal action of a coin derived from the coin's clogging or player's cheats precisely. For instance, if predetermined conditions are realized, then an abnormal signal is outputted to the main control circuit 100 of the slot machine 1. The predetermined conditions areas follows: (1) situation that the photo sensor 27 is turned ON before ON of the photo sensor 26; (2) situation that the photo sensor 27 is not turned ON even after a predetermined period (e.g. 100 ms) has passed since ON of the photo sensor 26; (3) situation that the photo sensor 26 is not turned ON even after a predetermined period (e.g. 100 ms) has passed since ON of the photo sensor 27; and (4) situation that the photo sensor 27 is not turned OFF even after a predetermined period (e.g. 100 ms) has passed since ON of the photo sensor 26.
  • [0095]
    The photo sensor 26 comprises a first light emitting element 261 a and a first light receiving element 261 b. The photo sensor 27 comprises a second light emitting element 271 a and a second light receiving element 271 b. When the appropriate coin C does not pass on the right side of the first light emitting element 261 a (or the second light emitting element 271 a) and the first light receiving element 261 b (or the second light receiving element 271 b), light L emitted from the first light emitting element 261 a (or the second light emitting element 271 a) advances in a direction of a predetermined oblique angle to the path face 20 without being received by the first light receiving element 261 b (or the second light receiving element 271 b) (see FIG. 13A). While, when the appropriate coin C passes on the right side of the first light emitting element 261 a (or the second light emitting element 271 a) and the first light receiving element 261 b (or the second light receiving element 271 b), light L emitted from the first light emitting element 261 a (or the second light emitting element 271 a) is received by the first light receiving element 261 b (or the second light receiving element 271 b) on reflection of the appropriate coin C (see FIG. 13B). The first light emitting element 261 a and the second light emitting element 271 a emit light in correspondence with commands from a coin supervisory control CPU 90. The second light receiving element 261 b and the second light receiving element 271 b receive light in correspondence with commands from the coin supervisory control CPU 90.
  • [0096]
    As shown in FIG. 16, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 comprises a transmission data/reception data RAM 91, I/O ports 92 a, 92 b and serial interfaces 93 a, 93 b. The coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs a RESET intervention process (see FIG. 27), a period intervention process (see FIG. 29) and so on.
  • [0097]
    The transmission data/reception data RAM 91 includes a first transmission data RAM 91 a for memorizing first transmission data, a first reception data RAM 91 b for memorizing first reception data, a second transmission data RAM 91 c for memorizing second transmission data and a second reception data RAM 91 d for memorizing second reception data.
  • [0098]
    The I/O port 92 a and the serial interface 93 a relay transmission/reception of data between the transmission data/reception data RAM 91 and the first light emitting element 261 a (or the first light receiving element 261 b). Similarly, the I/O port 92 b and the serial interface 93 b relay transmission/reception of data between the transmission data/reception data RAM 91 and the second light emitting element 271 a (or the second light receiving element 271 b). Note that in a light-acceptance error detection process in the period intervention process of the coin selection device 10, respective switch positions are changed to points S1, S3 to use the I/O ports 92 a, 92 b (see steps 420, 423 of FIG. 33). Further, in the above period intervention process, when the data is memorized in the first reception data RAM 91 b and the second reception data RAM 91 d or when emitting light in a first light emitting pattern or a second light emitting pattern (see step S430 of FIG. 33), respective switch positions are changed to points S2, S4 to use the serial interfaces 93 a, 93 b.
  • [0099]
    The first selector port 94 a and the second selector port 94 b output selector signals from the coin supervisory control CPU 90 to the main control circuit 100.
  • [0000]
    [Operations of Slot Machine and Coin Selection Device]
  • [0100]
    As shown in FIG. 2, a coin inserted into the coin selection device 10 travels from an inlet 31 to the outlet 32 through the coin path 14.
  • [0101]
    In the coin acceptable state, as shown in FIG. 11, the guide groove 80 is defined between the guide end 54 of the movable guide plate 51 and the path face 20, while the projecting end 72 of the second projection member 71 and the projecting part 53 of the movable guide plate 51 are retracted from the path face 20. An inappropriate coin having a smaller diameter than the diameter of the appropriate coin C is guided by the projecting ends 16, 17 of the first projection member 15 projecting from the path face 20 by urging force of the spring 62 and subsequently discharged from the coin path 14. The appropriate coin C is guided by the guide groove 80 and retracts the projecting ends 16, 17 of the first projection member 15 from the path face 20 (see FIG. 10). Consequently, when an optic axis of the photo sensor 63 is interrupted by the rear end 66 of the first projection member 15, the photo sensor 63 outputs a detection signal to the main control circuit 100 of the slot machine 1. Further, when light emitted from the photo sensors 26, 27 is reflected by the appropriate coin C and received by the photo sensor 26, 27, they output detection signals to the main control circuit 100 of the slot machine 1.
  • [0102]
    On the other hand, in the coin unacceptable state, the guide groove 80 is not defined between the guide end 54 of the movable guide plate 51 and the path face 20, as shown in FIG. 12. Simultaneously, the projecting end 72 of the second projection member 71 and the projecting part 53 of the movable guide plate 51 project from the path face 20. Therefore, a coin is guided by the projecting end 72 and the projecting part 53 and discharged from the coin return 4 certainly.
  • [0103]
    The operations of the slot machine and the coin selection device will be described below, with reference to FIGS. 17 to 35, in detail.
  • [0104]
    First, referring to FIGS. 17 to 19, the RESET intervention process of the main control circuit 100 will be described. At step S1, the main CPU 131 initializes predetermined data (various flags, communication data, etc.).
  • [0105]
    At step S2, the main CPU 131 clears predetermined data memorized in the control RAM 133 at the end of the previous game. In detail, the main CPU 131 wipes out parameters used in the previous game from the control RAM 133 and writes parameters to be used in the next game in the control RAM 133, performing a nomination process of starting addresses of sequence programs of the next game and so on.
  • [0106]
    At step S3, the main CPU 131 performs a coin insert/start checking process (see FIG. 21). At step S4, the main CPU 131 samples random numbers to be used for a variety of determinations.
  • [0107]
    At step S5, the main CPU 131 performs a gaming status supervisory process. In detail, when the present gaming state is in a normal gaming state, the internal winning combination in the previous gaming was set to a regular bonus (RB) and when the winning combination in the previous gaming was not the regular bonus (RB), the main CPU 131 sets the regular bonus RB as an internal carryover combination and also sets the gaming state up as a Regular Bonus carryover state. The main CPU 131 also sets the gaming state up as the Regular Bonus carryover state when the gaming state is in a normal gaming state; the internal winning combination in the previous gaming was not the regular bonus (RB); and the internal carryover combination is set up. The main CPU 131 stays the present gaming state as the normal gaming state when the gaming state is in a normal gaming state; the internal winning combination in the previous gaming was not the regular bonus (RB); and the internal carryover combination is not set up. The main CPU 131 stays the gaming state as the present RB carryover state or a RB gaming state when the gaming state is either RB carryover state or RB gaming state. Note that the RB gaming state is set up at step S26 mentioned later.
  • [0108]
    At step S6, the main CPU 131 performs a probability sortition process. In detail, the main CPU 131 refers to a probability sortition table (not shown) corresponding to the gaming state and determines an internal winning combination based on the random number sampled at step S4.
  • [0109]
    At step S7, the main CPU 131 selects a winning combination for reel-stop. In detail, the main CPU 131 refers to a winning combination table for stop (not shown) and determines a winning combination for reel-stop corresponding to the internal winning combination determined at step S6 and the gaming state. Additionally, the main CPU 131 selects an activated payline lining a combination of symbols corresponding to the so-determined winning combination for reel-stop.
  • [0110]
    At step S8, the main CPU 131 performs a process of selecting a stop table. At step S9, the main CPU 131 transmits a start command to the sub-control circuits 200, 300. The start command contains information about the internal winning combination, the winning combination for reel-stop, the gaming state and so on.
  • [0111]
    At step S10, the main CPU 131 determines whether a shortest-gaming-time (e.g. 4.1 sec.) has passed since the beginning of the previous game. If the shortest-gaming-time has passed, the main CPU 131 performs a process of step S11. While, if the shortest-gaming-time has not passed yet, the main CPU 131 repeats the process of step S10.
  • [0112]
    At step S11, the main CPU 131 sets the shortest-gaming-time in a shortest-gaming-time counter. The shortest-gaming-time means a period required from the end of the previous game till a beginning of the present game. A subtraction of the period established in the shortest-gaming-time counter is carried out in the period intervention process at step S115 (see FIG. 20).
  • [0113]
    At step S12, the main CPU 131 sets a reel start requesting information to start respective rotations of the reels 5L, 5C, 5R. At step S13, the main CPU 131 sets a reel-stop permission command to permit respective stops of the reels 5L, 5C, 5R.
  • [0114]
    At step S14, the main CPU 131 determines whether a player has operated the stop buttons 7L, 7C, 7R or not. In detail, the main CPU 131 determines whether a signal input from the reel stop signal circuit 143 is activated or not. If the input from the reel stop signal circuit 143 is activated, the main CPU 131 performs a process of step S15. While, if the input is inactivated, the main CPU 131 repeats the process of step S14.
  • [0115]
    At step S15, the main CPU 131 performs a sliding-symbol-number deciding process. In detail, the main CPU 131 decides respective sliding-symbol-numbers based on respective stop operating positions and respective stop control positions of the stop table selected in the table-line selecting process of step S8.
  • [0116]
    At step S16, the main CPU 131 waits ready up until the reels 5L, 5C, 5R rotate by the sliding-symbol-numbers determined at step S15. Note that the process of rotating the reels is carried out in a reel control process of the period intervention process (see FIG. 20). At step S17, the main CPU 131 sets a reel stop command of stopping the rotations of the reels
  • [0117]
    At step S18, the main CPU 131 determines whether the reels 5L, 5C, 5R have stopped or not. If the reels 5L, 5C, 5R stops, then the main CPU 131 performs a process of step S19. If the reels 5L, 5C, 5R have not stopped yet, the main CPU 131 performs the process of step S14 again. At step S19, the main CPU 131 sets an all-reels stop command representing that the reels 5L, 5C, 5R have stopped.
  • [0118]
    At step S20, the main CPU 131 performs a winning retrieval. In the winning retrieval, the main CPU 131 specifies a winning combination based on a stop mode of symbols. In detail, the main CPU 131 specifies the winning combination on the ground of a code number of symbols lining along the center line and a winning determination table (not shown).
  • [0119]
    At step S21, the main CPU 131 determines whether the winning combination is normal or not. If the winning combination is not normal, the main CPU 131 performs a process of step S22. While, if the winning combination is normal, the main CPU 131 performs a process of step S23. In this determination of the winning combination, when the winning combination is included in either the internal winning combinations or the internal carryover combinations, the main CPU 131 determines that the winning combination is normal. For instance, on condition that the internal winning combination is a unit gaming (small combination of symbol “bells” or “watermelons”), if the winning combination is any one of the small combination of bells, the small combination of watermelons and losing, the main CPU 131 determines that the winning combination is normal. While, on condition that the internal winning combination is the small combination of bells and the internal carryover combination is the RB, if the winning combination is any one of the small combination of bells, the RB (regular bonus) and losing, the main CPU 131 determines that the winning combination is normal.
  • [0120]
    At step S22, the main CPU 131 displays an illegal error to stop the game. At step S23, the main CPU 131 sets a winning command for discriminating the winning combination.
  • [0121]
    At step S24, the main CPU 131 determines whether the winning combination is RB or not. If the winning combination is RB, the main CPU 131 performs a process of step S25. While, if the winning combination is not RB, the main CPU 131 performs a process of step S26. At step S25, the main CPU 131 clears up the internal carryover combination corresponding to RB as the winning combination.
  • [0122]
    At step S26, the main CPU 131 performs to either save coins or payout them corresponding to the winning combination and the gaming state. In case of the winning combination of RB, the main CPU 131 changes the gaming state to a RB gaming state. Further, in case of the winning combination of “replay”, the main CPU 131 stores information representing that the winning combination is “replay”. Based on the stored information, the main CPU 131 determines whether an automatic insertion of coins is to be carried out in case of starting the next game or not. Note that the main CPU 131 clears up the information representing that the winning combination is “replay” when performing the process of step S3.
  • [0123]
    At step S27, the main CPU 131 determines whether the gaming state is identical to the RB gaming state or not. In case of the RB gaming state, the main CPU 131 performs a process of step S28. If not the RB gaming state, the main CPU 131 performs the process of step S2 again. At step S28, the main CPU 131 performs to check the number of RB games. In this process, it is carried out to check, for example, the number of gaming times in the RB gaming state and the number of winning times in the RB gaming state.
  • [0124]
    At step S29, the main CPU 131 determines whether the PB gaming state has been finished or not. In detail, if a combination of “BAR-BAR-BAR” is displayed along the effective line, then the RB gaming state is started. Thereafter, the main CPU 131 determines whether the number of winning times of JAC game in the RB gaming state is “8” or whether the number of gaming times in the RB gaming state is “12” or not. When the RB gaming state is finished, the main CPU 131 performs a process of step S30. When the RB gaming state is not finished yet, the main CPU 131 performs the process of step S2 again.
  • [0125]
    At step S30, the main CPU 131 performs a process at the end of the RB gaming state. In detail, the main CPU 131 returns the gaming state to a normal gaming state after the RB gaming state is finished.
  • [0126]
    Next, the period intervention process intervening at regular intervals (1.1725 ms in this embodiment) in the main process of the slot machine 1 will be described. As shown in FIG. 20, at step S101, the main CPU 131 evacuates data memorized in a register.
  • [0127]
    At step S102, the main CPU 131 checks the input port. At step S103, the main CPU 131 adds “1” to a value of an intervention counter. The intervention counter is established in a working area of the control RAM 133 to count the number of times that the period intervention process is performed.
  • [0128]
    At step S104, the main CPU 131 determined whether the value of the intervention counter is an even number or not. If the value of the intervention counter is an even number, the main CPU 131 performs a process of step S111. If the value of the intervention counter is not an even number, the main CPU 131 performs a process of step S105. Note that if the determination of step 104 is NO, a reel control process is carried out at steps S106, S108 and S110. Thus, the reel control process is carried out not every 1.1725 ms but every 2.235 ms.
  • [0129]
    At step S105, the main CPU 131 sets information about the reel 5R in reel identification information provided in the control RAM 133. At step S106, the main CPU 131 performs a reel-stop process against the reel 5R. In detail, when the reel start requesting information at step 12 is set up, the main CPU 131 starts to rotate the reel 5R and gradually accelerates the rotation of the reel 5R up to a constant rotating speed. Additionally, when the stop button 7R is pushed, the main CPU 131 rotates the reel 5R by the number of sliding symbols determined at step S20 and brings the reel 5R to standstill, on determination of the presence of a request for reel stop.
  • [0130]
    At step S107, the main CPU 131 sets information about the reel 5C in the reel identification information. At step S108, the main CPU 131 performs a reel-stop process against the reel 5C. Since this process is similar to that at step S106, detailed descriptions are eliminated.
  • [0131]
    At step S109, the main CPU 131 sets information about the reel 5L in the reel identification information. At step S110, the main CPU 131 performs a reel-stop process against the reel 5L. Since this process is also similar to that at step S106, detailed descriptions are eliminated.
  • [0132]
    At step S111, the main CPU 131 performs to display a numeric value on a display portion (not shown) formed by a 7-segment LED. At step S112, the main CPU 131 controls a coin selector for screening a normal coin and an abnormal coin when a coin is inserted. At step S113, the main CPU 131 lights a display lamp (not shown) arranged on the front face of the cabinet. At step S114, the main CPU 131 transmits various commands to the sub-control circuits 200, 300.
  • [0133]
    At step S115, the main CPU 131 subtracts predetermined numbers from respective values of various counters. For instance, the main CPU 131 performs to subtract a predetermined number from the value of the shortest-gaming-time counter established at step S11. At step S116, the main CPU 131 restores the evacuated register.
  • [0134]
    Next, the coin insertion/start checking process at step S3 will be described in detail. As shown in FIG. 21, at step S201, the main CPU 131 determines whether the photo sensor 63 remains as being successively tuned on for a particular period (in this embodiment, 2 sec.) or not. If the photo sensor 63 remains as being successively tuned on for 2 seconds, the main CPU 131 performs a process of step S202. If the photo sensor 63 does not remain as being successively tuned on for 2 seconds, the main CPU 131 performs a process of step S204.
  • [0135]
    The photo sensor 63 is arranged on the upstream side of the photo sensors 26, 27 (closer to the insertion slot). When the appropriate coin C is inserted into the coin insertion slot 2, the appropriate coin C retracts the projecting ends 16, 17 from the path face 20 and passes through the photo sensors 26, 27. After the appropriate coin C has passed through the projecting ends 16, 17, they project from the path face 20 again. If the projecting ends 16, 17 do not project from the path face 20, then the photo sensor 63 is turned ON. While, if the projecting ends 16, 17 project from the path face 20, then the photo sensor 63 is turned OFF. Therefore, if a coin grows stagnant in the vicinity of the photo sensor 63, it is turned on more than 2 seconds in succession.
  • [0136]
    At step S202, the main CPU 131 sets up data for displaying errors in checking coin passing. Based on the set data for displaying errors in checking coin passing, at step S203, the main CPU 131 outputs a command of displaying the information about coin-clogging on the liquid crystal display unit 400 to the image control circuit 200. Further, the main CPU 131 stops the operation of the slot machine 1. Then, when an assistant of a game arcade opens a flapper of the slot machine 1, picks up a clogging coin and supplies the slot machine 1 with electric power again, the main CPU 131 releases the error state of the slot machine 1.
  • [0137]
    At step S204, the main CPU 131 sets up a coin passage information about the opposite state to the detection results of the photo sensors 26, 27 (i.e. a state representing the light receiving state in negative logic) to an initial state. The coin passage information is identical to information related to a first selector signal from the first selector port 94 a and a second selector signal from the second selector port 94 b. In the initial state, the main CPU 131 establishes the first selector signal and the second selector signal of “H” (high level) together and memorizes “H, H” as the coin passage information in the control RAM 133. Further, the main CPU 131 sets up “0” as an initial value to a coin passing timer.
  • [0138]
    At step S205, the main CPU 131 determines whether the coin passage information has changed or not. If the coin passage information has changed, then the main CPU 131 performs a process of step S206. If the coin passage information has not changed yet, then the main CPU 131 performs a process of step S210.
  • [0139]
    At step S206, the main CPU 131 renews the coin passage information. In order to renew the coin passage information, the main CPU 131 confirms the presence/absence of the selector signals from the first selector port 94 a and the second selector port 94 b. In detail, when the appropriate coin C has not passed through the photo sensors 26, 27, the detections by the photo sensors 26, 27 result in “OFF” since the light emitting patterns emitted from the photo sensors 26, 27 are not reflected toward the sensors 26, 27. In case of the detection results of “OFF”, the first selector port 94 a and the second selector port 94 b output “H” corresponding to “ON” as the first selector signal and the second selector signal to the main CPU 131. Therefore, the main CPU 131 establishes the first selector signal and the second selector signal of “H” together and memorizes “H, H” in the control RAM 133, as the coin passage information.
  • [0140]
    On the other hand, when the appropriate coin C is passing through the photo sensors 26, 27, the detections by the photo sensors 26, 27 result in “ON” since the light emitting patterns emitted from the photo sensors 26, 27 are reflected by the coin C and successively received by the sensors 26, 27. Then, if the receive data corresponding to the so-received light emitting pattern coincides with the transmission data corresponding to the so-emitted light emitting pattern, the first selector port 94 a and the second selector port 94 b output “L” corresponding to “OFF” as the first selector signal and the second selector signal to the main CPU 131. Therefore, the main CPU 131 establishes the first selector signal and the second selector signal of “L” together and memorizes “L, L” as the coin passage information.
  • [0141]
    The main CPU 131 determines as many as a predetermined number of times whether the receive data corresponding to the so-received light emitting pattern coincides with the transmission data corresponding to the so-emitted light emitting pattern or not. Only when it is determined all the predetermined number of times that the receive data and the transmission data coincide with each other, the first selector port 94 a and the second selector port 94 b output “H” (or “L”) corresponding to the opposite state to the detection result of the photo sensor 26 and/or the photo sensor 27 to the main CPU 131, as the first selector signal or the second selector signal.
  • [0142]
    As shown in FIGS. 22A and 22B, when the appropriate coin C is out of the detecting ranges of the photo sensors 26, 27, then the main CPU 131 does not change the coin passage information. With no change in the coin passage information, then, the main CPU 131 determines NO at step S205.
  • [0143]
    FIG. 23A shows a situation where the appropriate coin C is not positioned in the detecting range of the photo sensor 27 but in the detecting range of the photo sensor 26. Then, if it is determined as many as the predetermined number of times that the receive pattern corresponding to the so-received light emitting pattern coincides with the transmission data corresponding to the so-emitted light emitting pattern, the first selector signal in the form of “L” corresponding to the opposite state to the detection result of the photo sensor 26 is generated from the first selector port 94 a to the main CPU 131, while the second selector signal in the form of “H” corresponding to the opposite state to the detection result of the photo sensor 27 is generated from the second selector port 94 b to the main CPU 131. In this way, if the first selector signal changes from “H” to “L” with no change in the second selector signal of “H”, the main CPU 131 determines YES at step S205 and renews the coin passage information from “H, H” to “L, H” at step S206, as shown in FIG. 23B.
  • [0144]
    FIG. 24A shows a situation where the appropriate coin C is positioned in both detecting ranges of the photo sensor 26 and the photo sensor 27. Then, if it is determined as many as the predetermined number of times that the receive pattern corresponding to the so-received light emitting pattern coincides with the transmission data corresponding to the so-emitted light emitting pattern, the first selector signal in the form of “L” corresponding to the opposite state to the detection result of the photo sensor 26 is generated from the first selector port 94 a to the main CPU 131, while the second selector signal in the form of “L” corresponding to the opposite state to the detection result of the photo sensor 27 is generated from the second selector port 94 b to the main CPU 131. In this way, if the second selector signal changes from “H” to “L” with no change in the first selector signal of “L”, the main CPU 131 determines YES at step S205 and renews the coin passage information from “L, H” to “L, L” at step S206, as shown in FIG. 24B.
  • [0145]
    FIG. 25A shows a situation where the appropriate coin C is not positioned in the detecting range of the photo sensor 26 but in the detecting ranged of the photo sensor 27. Then, if it is determined as many as the predetermined number of times that the receive pattern corresponding to the so-received light emitting pattern coincides with the transmission data corresponding to the so-emitted light emitting pattern, the first selector signal in the form of “H” corresponding to the opposite state to the detection result of the photo sensor 26 is generated from the first selector port 94 a to the main CPU 131, while the second selector signal in the form of “L” corresponding to the opposite state to the detection result of the photo sensor 27 is generated from the second selector port 94 b to the main CPU 131. In this way, if the first selector signal changes from “L” to “H” with no change in the second selector signal of “L”, the main CPU 131 determines YES at step S205 and renews the coin passage information from “L, L” to “H, L” at step S206, as shown in FIG. 25B.
  • [0146]
    FIG. 26A shows a situation where the appropriate coin C is positioned out of both detecting ranges of the photo sensor 26 and the photo sensor 27. Then, if it is determined as many as the predetermined number of times that the receive pattern corresponding to the so-received light emitting pattern does not coincide with the transmission data corresponding to the so-emitted light emitting pattern, the first selector signal in the form of “H” corresponding to the opposite state to the detection result of the photo sensor 26 is generated from the first selector port 94 a to the main CPU 131, while the second selector signal in the form of “H” corresponding to the opposite state to the detection result of the photo sensor 27 is generated from the second selector port 94 b to the main CPU 131. In this way, if the second selector signal changes from “L” to “H” with no change in the first selector signal of “H”, the main CPU 131 determines YES at step S205 and renews the coin passage information from “H, L” to “H, H” at step S206, as shown in FIG. 26B.
  • [0147]
    In the coin passage information, as shown in FIG. 26B, when the information corresponding to the first selector signal is in a specific order (e.g. H→L→L→H→H in this embodiment) and the information corresponding to the second selector signal is in a specific order (e.g. H→H→L→L→H in this embodiment), then the main CPU 131 determines that the appropriate coin C has passed through the detecting ranges 26, 27.
  • [0148]
    At step S207, the main CPU 131 determines whether a change in the coin passage information is normal or not. In detail, if the information about the first selector signal changes as the order of H→L, H→L→L, H→L→L→H or H→L→L→→H and the information about the second selector signal changes as the order of H→H, H→H→L, H→H→L→L or H→H→L→L→H, then the main CPU 131 determines that the appropriate coin C is passing through the photo sensors 26, 27.
  • [0149]
    While, when the information about the first selector signal and the information about the second selector signal do not change in the above orders, the main CPU 131 determines that the appropriate coin C does not pass through the photo sensors 26, 27 normally. For instance, if the information about the first selector signal changes in the order of H→L→H and the information about the second selector signal changes in the order of H→H→H, it means that the appropriate coin C had been positioned in the detecting range of the photo sensor 26 and subsequently, the same coin C was returned to the upstream side (the side of the insertion slot). In the above way, the main CPU 131 determines that the appropriate coin C does not pass through the photo sensors 26, 27 normally.
  • [0150]
    When the coin passage information changes normally, the main CPU 131 performs a process of step S209. When the coin passage information changes abnormally, the main CPU 131 performs a process of step S208.
  • [0151]
    At step S208, the main CPU 131 sets up a backward-error display data for informing that the passage of a coin is not normal, performing an error handling. Consequently, the assistant of the game arcade can identify a cheat's behavior of positioning a string-attached coin in the vicinity of the photo sensor 26 or the photo sensor 27 and continuously pulling out the coin, quickly. When the assistant of the game arcade identifies a cause of error and further releases the error, the main CPU 131 sets up the coin passage to the initial state and further sets up “0” as the initial value to the coin passing timer.
  • [0152]
    At step S209, the main CPU 131 sets up an initial value (e.g. value corresponding to 100 ms in this embodiment) in the coin passing timer. The coin passing timer is established in a working area of the control RAM 208 to count a period when an appropriate coin C is positioned in the detecting range of the photo sensor 26 or the photo sensor 27. Note that if the value of the coin passing timer is more than “0”, then the main CPU 131 subtracts the value of the coin passing timer every 1.1725 ms at step S115 (see FIG. 20).
  • [0153]
    At step S210, the main CPU 131 determines whether or not the value of the coin passing timer is equal to “0”, whether or not the appropriate coin C has passed through the detecting ranges of the photo sensors 26, 27 (i.e. the state of FIG. 26B) or whether the coin passage information is in the initial state or not. If at least one of these judgmental standards is satisfied, then the main CPU 131 performs a process of step S211. While, if none of the judgmental standards is satisfied, then the main CPU 131 performs a process of step S205.
  • [0154]
    At step S211, the main CPU 131 determines whether the coin passage is changing from the initial state or not. In detail, the main CPU 131 determines whether the coin passage information of “H, H” has changed or not (see FIG. 22B). If the coin passage information has changed from the initial state, the main CPU131 performs a process of step S212. While, if the coin passage information has not changed from the initial state, the main CPU 131 performs a process of step S216.
  • [0155]
    At step S212, the main CPU 131 determines whether the appropriate coin C has passed through the photo sensors 26, 27 or not. If it is determined that the appropriate coin C has passed through the photo sensors 26, 27, the main CPU 131 performs a process of step S215. While, if the appropriate coin C has not passed through the photo sensors 26, 27, the main CPU 131 performs a process of step S213. In detail, if the information about the first selector signal changes as the order of H→L→L→H→H and the information about the second selector signal changes as the order of H→H→L→L→H, then the main CPU 131 determines that the appropriate coin C has passes through the photo sensors 26, 27 and performs the process of step 215. While, when the information about the first selector signal and the information about the second selector signal do not change in the above orders, the main CPU 131 determines that the appropriate coin C does not pass through the photo sensors 26, 27 and performs a process of step S213.
  • [0156]
    Here, if the coin passage information has changed, the main CPU 131 sets up an initial value in the coin passing timer at step S209. Thus, in the normal state, the value of the coin passing timer does not become “0” until the appropriate coin C passes through the photo sensors 26, 27. When the coin passage information is different from the information shown in FIG. 26B and the value of the coin passing timer is “0”, the main CPU 131 determines that the appropriate coin C clogs either or both of the detecting ranges of the photo sensors 26, 27 and performs a process of step S213. For instance, if the information about the first selector signal of “L” does not absolutely change in spite of a time passage of 100 ms after changing from “H” to “L”, the main CPU 131 determines that the detecting range of the photo sensor 26 is clogged with the appropriate coin C. On the other hand, when the coin passage information coincides with the information of FIG. 26B at step S212, the main CPU 131 determines that the appropriate coin C has passed through the photo sensors 26, 27 and successively performs a process of step S215.
  • [0157]
    At step S213, the main CPU 131 performs to output a command informing that either the detecting range of the photo sensor 26 or that of the photo sensor 27 is clogged with the appropriate coin C, to the image control circuit 200 and stops the operation of the slot machine 1. Then, when the assistant of the game arcade opens the flapper of the slot machine 1, picks up the clogging coin and releases the error-operation of the slot machine 1, the main CPU 131 releases the error state of the slot machine 1. Note that the main CPU 131 outputs, at step S213, the command informing that either the detecting range of the photo sensor 26 or that of the photo sensor 27 is clogged with the appropriate coin C, and at step S208, the command informing that the appropriate coin C is returned to the upstream (insertion slot) side of the sensors 26, 27 by a cheat.
  • [0158]
    Based on the releasing of error state, at step S214, the main CPU 131 sets up the coin passage information to the initial state and further zeros the value of the coin passing timer, as similar to step S204. At step S215, the main CPU 131 adds “1” to the number of inserted coins, sets up the coin passage information to the initial state and further zeros the value of the coin passing timer.
  • [0159]
    At step S216, the main CPU 131 determines whether the number of inserted coins is three or not. In case of three in the number of inserted coins, the main CPU 131 performs a process of step S217. If not three, then the main CPU 131 performs the process of step S1 again. When three coins are inserted into the slot machine 1, the main CPU 131 accepts a player's manipulation of the start lever 6. Note that the slot machine 1 of this embodiment is a “three-coin” slot machine requiring three coins for one bet. However, if the maximum number of coins for bet is altered as the gaming state, then it is necessary to change the number of coins used in the determination process of step S216.
  • [0160]
    At step S217, the main CPU 131 determines whether the start lever 6 has been manipulated by a player or not. If manipulated, then the main CPU 131 finishes the coin-inserting/start-checking process. While, if not manipulated, the main CPU 131 repeats the process of step S217.
  • [0161]
    Next, the RESET intervention process in the performance of the coin selection device 10 will be described.
  • [0162]
    As shown in FIG. 27, at step S301, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs an initialization process (see FIG. 28). At step S302, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 sets up the first transmission data in a given value existing within a range of 1˜126. For instance, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 memorizes, as the first transmission data, a value determined by random number selection etc. in the first transmission data RAM 91 a. The first transmission data includes a first light emitting pattern to be emitted from the first light emitting element 261 a. At step S303, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 sets up the second transmission data in a given value existing within a range of 1˜126. For instance, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 memorizes, as the second transmission data, a value determined by random number selection etc. in the second transmission data RAM 91 b. The second transmission data includes a second light emitting pattern to be emitted from the second light emitting element 271 a.
  • [0163]
    At step S304, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 renews the first transmission data to an optional value existing within the range of 1˜126. For instance, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 memorizes, as the first transmission data, a value determined by random number selection etc. in the first transmission data RAM 91 a. At step S305, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 renews the second transmission data to an optional value existing within the range of 1˜126. For instance, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 memorizes, as the second transmission data, a value determined by random number selection etc. in the second transmission data RAM 91 b.
  • [0164]
    Each of the first transmission data and the second transmission data is in the form of 7 bits (see D1 to D7 of FIG. 30), having 126 combinations excepting two combinations of “0 0 0 0 0 0 0” and “1 1 1 1 1 1 1”. The first light emitting pattern included in the first transmission data is emitted from the first light emitting element 261 a at step S430 of the later-mentioned period intervention process of the coin selection device 10 (see FIG. 29). Similarly, the second light emitting pattern included in the second transmission data is emitted from the second light emitting element 271 a at step S430.
  • [0165]
    Next, the initialization process at step S301 will be described in detail. As shown in FIG. 28, at step S301-1, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs a process of prohibiting an intervention (i.e. occurrence of the period intervention process). At step S301-2, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 allows the first selector port 94 a to output the first selector signal of “L” to the main CPU 131 and also allows the second selector port 94 b to output the second selector signal of “L” to the main CPU 131.
  • [0166]
    At step S301-3, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 sets up “0” to both of a first matching counter and a first mismatching counter. The first matching counter is established in a working area of the transmission data/receive data RAM 91 to count the number of times that the first transmission data including the first light emitting pattern emitted from the first light emitting element 261 a coincides with the first receive data including the first light receiving pattern received by the first light receiving element 261 b. The first mismatching counter is established in the working area of the transmission data/receive data RAM 91 to count the number of times that the first transmission data including the first light emitting pattern emitted from the first light emitting element 261 a does not coincide with the first receive data including the first light receiving pattern received by the first light receiving element 261 b.
  • [0167]
    At step S301-4, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 sets up “0” to both of a second matching counter and a second mismatching counter. The second matching counter is established in the working area of the transmission data/receive data RAM 91 to count the number of times that the second transmission data including the second light emitting pattern emitted from the second light emitting element 271 a coincides with the second receive data including the second light receiving pattern received by the second light receiving element 271 b. The second mismatching counter is established in the working area of the transmission data/receive data RAM 91 to count the number of times that the second transmission data including the second light emitting pattern emitted from the second light emitting element 271 a does not coincide with the second receive data including the first light receiving pattern received by the second light receiving element 271 b.
  • [0168]
    At step S301-5, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 sets up “0” to a first light-receiving error counter. The first light-receiving error counter is established in the working area of the transmission data/receive data RAM 91 to count the number of times that the first light receiving element 261 b gets into the light receiving state in succession with respect to each later-mentioned period intervention of the coin selection device 10 while turning off the first light emitting element 261 a (non-emission case). At step S301-6, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 sets up “0” to a second light-receiving error counter. The second light-receiving error counter is established in the working area of the transmission data/receive data RAM 91 to count the number of times that the second light receiving element 271 b gets into the light receiving state in succession with respect to each later-mentioned period intervention of the coin selection device 10 while turning off the second light emitting element 271 a (non-emission case). At step S301-7, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 permits the intervention (i.e. occurrence of the period intervention process).
  • [0169]
    Next, the period intervention process executed in the coin selection device 10 will be described. The period intervention process is carried out at regular intervals (e.g. every 1 ms) while interrupting the RESET intervention process.
  • [0170]
    As shown in FIG. 29, at step S401, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs to prohibit the first receive data and the second receive data from being memorized in the first receive data RAM 91 b and the second receive data RAM 91 d, respectively. At step S402, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 sets up “L” in the first light emitting pattern included in the first transmission data and also “L” in the second light emitting pattern included in the second transmission data. If the detecting of the first light receiving element 261 b or the second light receiving element 271 b results in “ON” in a light-receiving error detecting process at step S423 while the first light emitting pattern and the second light emitting pattern are being set to “L”, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 determines that the detecting result of the first light receiving element 261 b or the second light receiving element 271 b has an error. Consequently, the slot machine 1 is capable of recognizing a situation that a light emitting element entering from the outside is lighting in the vicinity of the photo sensor 26 or the photo sensor 27, instantly.
  • [0171]
    As shown in FIG. 30, it is found that the first light emitting pattern and the second light emitting pattern are set to “H” at the initial point of time (t=to). At time t2, it is executed to output the first transmission data and the second transmission data selected in the period intervention process (step S430). In FIG. 30, seven bits D1 to D7 established between t2 and t3 form a light emitting pattern. Alphabets “ST” designates a start bit of the light emitting pattern, while “SP” designates a stop bit of the same pattern. The first light emitting pattern and the second light emitting pattern are maintained at “H” until an occurrence of the next period intervention process and the beginning of step S402, so that the first light emitting element 261 a and the second light emitting element 271 a continue to light up.
  • [0172]
    At step S403, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs to renew the second transmission data to an optional value existing in the range from 1 to 126. Due to this renewal of the second transmission data only at step S403, the first transmission data and the second transmission data become hard to have the same value. As a result, the first light emitting pattern and second light emitting pattern become hard to have the same pattern, making it even harder for a cheat to identify a pattern identical to the first light emitting pattern and second light emitting pattern.
  • [0173]
    At step S404, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 selects the first receive data RAM 91 b memorizing the first receive data. Here, it is noted that the first receive data is memorized in the first receive data RAM 91 b on condition as follows: in a period from a permission of memorizing the first receive data at step S429 in the previous period intervention process up to a prohibition of memorizing the first receive data at step S401 in the present period intervention process, the serial interface 93 a detects a start bit signal through the first light receiving element 261 b and subsequently, the first receive data RAM 91 b stores 7-bit serial data received in succession to the above start bit.
  • [0174]
    At step S405, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 selects, as a storage area for comparison data to be employed at step S410 mentioned later, the first received at a RAM 91 a memorizing the first receive data in the previous period intervention process. As shown in FIG. 32, assuming that the present period intervention process occurs at time t3′, the first transmission data (comparison data) is formed by transmission data that was memorized in the first transmission data RAM 91 a at time t1′ identical to a point of time that the previous period intervention process occurred. Additionally, the first receive data is formed by receive data that was memorized in the first receive data RAM 91 b in a period from time t2′ in the previous period intervention process up to time t3′ in the present period intervention process. The first transmission data and the first receive data are used at step S410 mentioned later.
  • [0175]
    At step S406, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 selects the first matching counter as the matching counter. At step S407, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 selects the first mismatching counter as the mismatching counter. At step S408, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 selects the first selector port 94 a as the selector port. At step S409, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 selects “5” as an upper limit of the mismatching counter. At step S410, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs a selector signal output process (see FIG. 31).
  • [0176]
    Throughout the processes from step S404 up to step S410, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs a process to allow the first selector port 94 a to output the first selector signal, corresponding to the number of times that the first receive data containing the light receiving pattern received by the photo sensor 26 successively coincides with the first transmission data containing the light emitting pattern emitted from the photo sensor 26.
  • [0177]
    At step S411, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 selects the second receive data RAM 91 d memorizing the second receive data. Here, it is noted that the second receive data is memorized in the second receive data RAM 91 d on condition as follows: in a period from a permission of memorizing the second receive data at step S429 in the previous period intervention process up to a prohibition of memorizing the second receive data at step S401 in the present period intervention process, the serial interface 93 b detects a start bit signal through the second light receiving element 271 b and subsequently, the second receive data RAM 91 d stores 7-bit serial data received in succession to the above start bit.
  • [0178]
    At step S412, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 selects, as a storage area for comparison data to be employed at step S417 mentioned later, the second receive data RAM 91 c memorizing the second receive data in the previous period intervention process. At step S413, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 selects the second matching counter as the matching counter. At step S414, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 selects the second mismatching counter as the mismatching counter. At step S415, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 selects the second selector port 94 b as the selector port. At step S416, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 selects “7 as an upper limit of the mismatching counter. At step S417, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs a selector signal output process. The processes from step S411 to step S417 correspond to the processes from step S404 to step S410, respectively.
  • [0179]
    Throughout the processes from step S411 up to step S417, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs a process to allow the second selector port 94 b to output the second selector signal, corresponding to the number of times that the second receive data containing the light receiving pattern received by the photo sensor 27 successively coincides with the second transmission data containing the light emitting pattern emitted from the photo sensor 27.
  • [0180]
    At step S418, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 specifies the I/O port 92 a. As a result, the I/O port 92 a is brought into a receivable state of a light receiving signal from the first light receiving element 261 b. Consequently, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 does not receive a light emitting pattern as the serial signal but detects a light receiving state of the first light receiving element 261 b at a point of time of detecting an input from the first light receiving element 261 b through the I/O port 92 a. Note that the light receiving signal is not a light emitting pattern but a signal from a light emitting element inserted from the outside falsely.
  • [0181]
    At step S419, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 selects the first light-receiving error counter as the error counter. At step S420, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs a process of detecting a light receiving error (see FIG. 33).
  • [0182]
    At step S421, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 specifies the I/O port 92 b. As a result, the I/O port 92 b is brought into a receivable state of a light receiving signal from the second light receiving element 271 b. Consequently, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 does not receive a light emitting pattern as the serial signal but detects a light receiving state of the second light receiving element 271 b at a point of time of detecting an input from the second light receiving element 271 b through the I/O port 92 b. Note that the light receiving signal is not a light emitting pattern but a signal from a light emitting element inserted from the outside falsely.
  • [0183]
    At step S422, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 selects the second light-receiving error counter as the error counter. At step S423, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs a process of detecting a light receiving error.
  • [0184]
    At step S424, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 confirms whether the value of the first light-receiving error counter is more than “4”. If it is more than “4”, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs a process of step S426. While, if the value is not more than “4”, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs a process of step S425.
  • [0185]
    At step S425, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 confirms whether the value of the second light-receiving error counter is more than “4”. If it is more than “4”, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs a process of step S426. While, if the value is not more than “4”, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs a process of step S428. That is, when either or both of respective values of the first and second light-receiving error counters are more than a predetermined number of times (e.g. “4” in this embodiment), the coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs the process of step S426. While, if both values of the first and second light-receiving error counters are less than the predetermined number of times (e.g. “4” in this embodiment), the coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs a process of step S428.
  • [0186]
    At step S426, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 allows the first selector port 94 a to output the first selector signal of “L” to the main CPU 131. At step S427, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 allows the second selector port 94 b to output the second selector signal of “L” to the main CPU 131.
  • [0187]
    When the first and second selector signals of “L” are transmitted from the first and second selector ports 94 a, 94 b to the main CPU 131 at steps S426 and S427, then the main CPU 131 determines that the slot machine 1 is in the error state on condition that the input of the first and second selector signals of “L” continues for a predetermined period. With this determination, the main CPU 131 stops the operation of the slot machine 1 at steps S208 and S213. At this time, since the coin selection device 10 outputs signals of L-level as the first and second selector signals until the slot machine 1 is powered OFF, it is impossible to cancel the error.
  • [0188]
    At step S428, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 sets up the first light emitting pattern of “H” included in the first transmission data and the second light emitting pattern of “H” included in the second transmission data. In detail, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 establishes the first and second light emitting patterns of “H” at the point of time t1 (see FIG. 30). Here, it is noted that the photo sensors 26, 27 emit no light in a period between step S402 where the first and second light emitting patterns are set up as “L” and step S428 where the first and second light emitting patterns are setup as “H”. Nevertheless, if a light emitting element is inserted into the vicinities of the photo sensors 26, 27 through the coin insertion slot 2, the outputs of the photo sensors 26, 27 do change. Therefore, at steps S420 and S423, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 determines that an unfair light emitting element is inserted into the slot machine 1 by monitoring the detecting results of the photo sensors 26, 27.
  • [0189]
    At step S429, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 allows the first receive data RAM 91 b and the second receive data RAM 91 d to memorize the first receive data and the second receive data. In detail, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 allows the first receive data RAM 91 b to memorize the first light receiving data through the first light receiving element 261 b and the serial interface 93 a and allows the second receive data RAM 91 d to memorize the second light receiving data through the second light receiving element 271 b and the serial interface 93 b. On detection of the start bit signals (L-level signals), the serial interfaces 93 a, 93 b store sequential serial data as the first and second light receiving data in the first receive data RAM 91 b and the second receive data RAM 91 d, respectively.
  • [0190]
    In this embodiment, it takes about 80 μs to perform the processes from step S401 to step S429. Thus, the first receive data and the second receive data are respectively memorized in the first receive data RAM 91 b and the second receive data RAM 91 d from the moment (t=t2) a period of about 80 μs has passed since the start of the period intervention process (see FIG. 30). The first receive data on memory is referred at steps S404 and S410 in the next period intervention process, while the second receive data on memory is referred at steps S411 and S417 in the next period intervention process.
  • [0191]
    At step S430, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 allows the first light emitting element 261 a to emit light in the first light emitting pattern included in the first transmission data and also allows the second light emitting element 271 a to emit light in the second light emitting pattern included in the second transmission data. In detail, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 changes respective contacts of the switches to the positions S2, S4 to establish a connection between the serial interface 93 a and the first light emitting element 261 a and a connection between the serial interface 93 b and the second light emitting element 271 a. Thereafter, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 allows the first light emitting element 261 a to emit light in the first light emitting pattern included in the first transmission data and also allows the second light emitting element 271 a to emit light in the second light emitting pattern included in the second transmission data.
  • [0192]
    According to this embodiment, light in both the first light emitting pattern and the second light emitting pattern is emitted from the first light emitting element 261 a and the second light emitting element 271 a respectively, in between one point of time (t=t2) when a period of about 80 μs has passed since the starting of the period intervention process and another point of time when a period of 1 ms has passed since the starting of the period intervention process. In detail, for instance, if the value of the first transmission data is renewed to “100” at step S304 just before starting the period intervention process, a number “100” is stored in the first transmission data RAM 91 a in the period intervention process. Since this value represents “1 1 0 0 1 0 0” in 7-bit of the binary digit, the first light emitting element 261 a firstly outputs a L-level signal as the start bit signal. Next, based on the value (1 1 0 0 1 0 0) memorized in the first transmission data RAM 91 a, the element 261 a respectively outputs “L”, “L”, “H”, “L”, “L”, “H” and “H” as the signals D1, D2, D3, D4, D5, D6 and D7, in order. Finally, the element 261 a outputs a H-level signal as the stop bit signal. In this case, the first light emitting element 261 a turns on and off in the following limiting mode: OFF(start bit), OFF(D1), OFF(D2), ON(D3), OFF(D4), OFF(D5), ON(D6), ON(D7) and ON(stop bit), in order.
  • [0193]
    Additionally, if the value of the second transmission data is renewed to “50” at step S403 in the period intervention process, a number “50” is stored in the second transmission data RAM 91 c in the period intervention process. Since this value represents “0 1 1 0 0 1 0” in 7-bit of the binary digit, the second light emitting element 271 a firstly outputs a L-level signal as the start bit signal. Next, based on the value (0 1 1 0 0 1 0) memorized in the second transmission data RAM 91 c, the element 271 a respectively outputs “L”, “H”, “L”, “L”, “H”, “H” and “L” as the signals D1, D2, D3, D4, D5, D6 and D7, in order. Finally, the element 271 a outputs a H-level signal as the stop bit signal. In this case, the second light emitting element 271 a turns on and off in the following limiting mode: OFF(start bit), OFF(D1), ON(D2), OFF(D3), OFF(D4), ON(D5), ON(D6), OFF(D7) and ON(stop bit), in order.
  • [0194]
    Next, the selector signal output process at steps S410 and S417 will be described in detail. Note that in the following description, the first transmission data and the second transmission data will be referred to as “transmission data”, the first receive data and the second receive data referred to as “receive data”, the first matching counter and the second matching counter referred to as “matching counters” and the first mismatching counter and the second mismatching counter will be referred to as “mismatching counters”, respectively.
  • [0195]
    As shown in FIG. 31, at step S410-1, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 confirms whether the receive data has been memorized or not. In detail, if the present period intervention process occurs at time t3, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 determines whether there is memorized receive data including the light receiving pattern corresponding to the light emitting pattern emitted in a period from the occurrence of the previous period intervention process at time t1′ till the occurrence of the present period intervention process at time t3′ or not (see FIG. 32). If the receive data is now memorized, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs a process of step S410-2. While, if not memorized, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs a process of step S410-5.
  • [0196]
    At step S410-2, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 determines whether the transmission data (comparison data) memorized in the previous period intervention process coincides with the receive data memorized in the previous period intervention process or not. In case of coincidence, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs a process of step S410-3. While, in case of inconsonance, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs the process of step S410-5.
  • [0197]
    At step S410-3, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 adds “1” to the matching counter. At step S410-4, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 sets up “0”, to the mismatching counter. At step S410-5, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 adds “1” to the mismatching counter. At step S410-6, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 sets up “0” to the matching counter.
  • [0198]
    At step S410-7, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 determines whether the matching counter has a value more than a predetermined value (e.g. “5” in this embodiment) or not. If the value is more than the predetermined value, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs a process of step S410-8. While, if the value is not more than the predetermined value, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs a process of step S410-10.
  • [0199]
    At step S410-8, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 subtracts “1” from the value of the matching counter. Consequently, since the matching counter does not have a value more than the predetermined value plus one (i.e. “6” in this embodiment), the coin supervisory control CPU 90 does not impose a burden on a memory capacity of the transmission data/receiving data RAM 91. At step S410-9, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 outputs the selector signal of “L” to the main CPU 131.
  • [0200]
    At step S410-10, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 determines whether the mismatching counter has a value less than the upper limit selected at step S409 or S416 or not. If the value is less than the upper limit, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 finishes the selector signal output process. While, if the value is not less than the upper limit selected at step S409 or S416, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs the processes of steps S410-11. Here, by establishing the predetermined value for the value of the matching counter or the mismatching counter, it is possible to prevent the coin supervisory control CPU 90 from changing the first selector signal or the second selector signal to “L” or “H” due to noise signal from the outside. Therefore, the main CPU131 can grasp the passing state of a coin precisely.
  • [0201]
    At step S410-11, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 subtracts “1” from the value of the mismatching counter. Consequently, since the mismatching counter does not have a value more than the upper limit, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 does not impose a burden on a memory capacity of the transmission data/receiving data RAM 91. At step S410-12, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 outputs the selector signal of “L” to the main CPU 131.
  • [0202]
    As shown in FIG. 32, if the present period intervention process occurs at time t3′, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 adds “1” to the value of the matching counter since the transmission data memorized in the previous period intervention process coincides with the receive data memorized in the present period intervention process in the period from the occurrence of the previous period intervention process at time t1′ till the occurrence of the present period intervention process at time t3′. In the next period intervention process, if the transmission data memorized in the present period intervention process coincides with the receive data memorized in the next period intervention process, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 adds “1” to the value of the matching counter furthermore.
  • [0203]
    With respect to each occurrence of the period intervention process, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 determines whether the transmission data memorized in the previous period intervention process coincides with the receive data memorized in the present period intervention process or not, by a predetermined number of times (e.g. five times in this embodiment). In case of successive coincidence by the predetermined number of times, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 determines that an appropriate coin C is positioned within the detecting range of the photo sensor 26 and outputs the first selector signal of “L” through the first selector port 94 a at step S410-9 (see time t4′ of FIG. 32). Note that a condition that the coin supervisory control CPU 90 outputs the second selector signal of “L” through the second selector port 94 b at step S410-9 is similar to the above-mentioned condition.
  • [0204]
    If the present period intervention process occurs at time t7′, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 adds “1” to the value of the mismatching counter since the transmission data memorized in the previous period intervention process does not coincide with the receive data memorized in the present period intervention process in the period from the occurrence of the previous period intervention process at time t6′ till the occurrence of the present period intervention process at time t7′.
  • [0205]
    With respect to each occurrence of the period intervention process, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 determines whether the transmission data memorized in the previous period intervention process coincides with the receive data memorized in the present period intervention process or not, by a predetermined number of times (e.g. five times in this embodiment). In case of successive inconsonance by the predetermined number of times, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 determines that an appropriate coin C has passed through the photo sensor 26 and outputs the first selector signal of “H” through the first selector port 94 a at step S410-12 (see time t9′ of FIG. 32). Note that a condition that the coin supervisory control CPU 90 outputs the second selector signal of “H” through the second selector port 94 b at step S410-12 is similar to the above-mentioned condition.
  • [0206]
    When the value of the first mismatching counter reaches the upper limit (e.g. “5” in this embodiment), the coin supervisory control CPU 90 determines that an appropriate coin C has passed through the photo sensor 26. On the other hand, when the value of the second mismatching counter reaches the upper limit (e.g. “7” in this embodiment), the coin supervisory control CPU 90 determines that an appropriate coin C in the detecting range of the photo sensor C has passed through the photo sensor 27. The reason why the upper limit of the second mismatching counter is more than the upper limit of the first mismatching counter is as follows.
  • [0207]
    As the inserted coin accelerates from the inlet 31 of the coin path 14 toward the outlet 32 gradually, a speed of the coin traveling in the detecting range of the photo sensor 27 closer to the outlet 32 becomes larger than a speed of the coin traveling in the detecting range of the photo sensor 26 closer to the inlet 31. Accordingly, assuming that both of the upper limits of the first and second mismatching counters are together set to “5”, a period from a changing point of the first selector signal from “L” to “H” (time t9′ of FIG. 32) till a changing point of the second selector signal from “L” to “H” (time t10′ of FIG. 32) gets smaller than a period from a changing point of the first selector signal from “H” to “L” (time t4′ of FIG. 32) till a changing point of the second selector signal from “H” to “L” (time t5′ of FIG. 32). As a result, if the former period (referred to as “L-L time” below) from the changing point of the first selector signal from “L” to “H” (time t9′ of FIG. 32) till the changing point of the second selector signal from “L” to “H” (time t10′ of FIG. 32) becomes small remarkably, the main CPU 131 cannot detect variations of the first and second selector signals appropriately.
  • [0208]
    According to the embodiment, the main CPU 131 carries out the coin insertion/start checking process (FIG. 21) every 1.173 ms, while the coin supervisory control CPU 90 carries out the period intervention process (FIG. 29) every 1 ms. In the period intervention process, for instance, if the coin supervisory control CPU 90 outputs the first selector signals of “L”, “H” and “H” in order, to the main CPU 131 every 1 ms and further the second selector signals of “L”, “L” and “H” in order, to the main CPU 131 at the same timing, the main CPU 131 can identify respective first ones “L” and “L” of the first selector signals and the second selector signals. However, since the coin insertion/start checking process is carried out every 1.1735 ms, the main CPU 131 identifies respective third ones “H” and “H” of the first selector signals and the second selector signals without identifying respective second ones “H” and “L”. Thus, despite that the appropriate coin C has passed normally, the main CPU 131 erroneously determines that the passing state of the coin is abnormal at step S207 because of no identification of respective second ones “H” and “L” of the first selector signals and the second selector signals.
  • [0209]
    In order to solve this problem, according to the embodiment, the upper limit of the second mismatching counter is set larger than the upper limit of the first mismatching counter. That is, since the second mismatching counter has the upper limit set to “7” and the first mismatching counter has the upper limit set to “5”, a period of changing the second selector signal from “L” to “H” get longer than a period of changing the first selector signal from “L” to “H” by 2 ms. Therefore, the main CPU 131 can detect the appropriate coin C gradually accelerated in the detecting ranges of the photo sensors 26, 27, appropriately.
  • [0210]
    Note that the coin selection device 10 is generally constructed so that a speed of the coin on the side of the outlet 32 gets larger than a speed of the coin on the side of the inlet 31. In other words, the coin selection device 10 is formed so as to allow a coin to move from the inlet 31 toward the outlet 32 due to its weight. However, if the coin selection device 10 is constructed so that a speed of the coin on the side of the outlet 32 gets almost equal to a speed of the coin on the side of the inlet 31, the upper limit of the first mismatching counter may be set equally to the upper limit of the second mismatching counter. 2.
  • [0211]
    Finally, the light-receiving error detecting processes at steps S420 and S423 in the period intervention process will be described in detail.
  • [0212]
    As shown in FIG. 33, at step S420-1, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 sets up an initial value (e.g. 20 μs in the embodiment) to the light-receiving error timer. At step S420-2, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 determines whether a light emitting signal has been received through the I/O port specified at step S418 or S421 or not. In case of receiving the light emitting signal, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs a process of step S420-3. While, in case of receiving no light emitting signal, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs a process of step S420-4.
  • [0213]
    Note that the light emitting signal is not light emitted from the first light emitting element 261 a or the second light emitting element 271 a but light emitted from a light emitting element inserted from the outside of the slot machine 1 falsely.
  • [0214]
    As shown in FIG. 34, in the period intervention process, the first light emitting element 261 a and the second light emitting element 271 a are set to OFF for about 80 μm from step S402 till step S428 (t1″=t=t2″) while performing the light-receiving error detecting process. Therefore, at step S420-2, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 determines “NO” unless a light emitting element is inserted from the outside of the slot machine 1 falsely. Then, since the value of the error counter does not exceed the predetermined value (e.g. “4” in this embodiment), the coin supervisory control CPU 90 determines NO at steps S424 and S425. Therefore, the main CPU 131 determines that the detecting results of the photo sensors 26, 27 are normal.
  • [0215]
    On the other hand, if a light emitting element is inserted from the outside falsely in the period from step S402 up to step S428, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 judges “YES” at step S420-2. In this case, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 adds “1” to the value of the error counter whenever the period intervention process is carried out. When the value of the error counter exceeds “4”, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 determines “YES” at steps S424 and S425, so that the main CPU 131 determines that the detecting results of the photo sensors 26, 27 are not normal (occurrence of the light receiving error). On determination of the light receiving error, the main CPU 131 stops the operation of the slot machine 1. Thereafter, when the slot machine 1 is supplied with power again, the main CPU 131 releases the standstill of the slot machine 1. Further, when the value of the error counter gets larger the predetermined value, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 determines an occurrence of light receiving error. Therefore, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 does not determine an occurrence of light receiving error in response to a noise signal invading from the outside of the slot machine 1 in a moment.
  • [0216]
    At step 420-3, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 adds “1” to the value of the error counter. At step 420-4, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 renews a value of the receive error timer. At step 420-5, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 confirms whether the value of the receive error timer is “0” or not. In case of “0”, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs a process of step S420-6. If the value of the receive error timer is not “0”, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 performs a process of step S420-2. At step S420-6, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 sets up “0” in the error counter.
  • [0217]
    As shown in FIG. 35, if an appropriate coin C clogs in the detecting ranges of the photo sensors 26, 27, light in the first light emitting pattern and the second light emitting pattern emitted from the first light emitting element 261 a and the second light emitting element 271 a is reflected by the appropriate coin C and received by the first light emitting element 261 a and the second light emitting element 271 a continuously. In the situation, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 continues to add “1” to the value of the matching counter with respect to each period intervention process. When the value of the matching counter reaches the upper limit, the first selector signal and the second selector signal are maintained “L”. When the value of the first mismatching counter reaches the upper limit (e.g. “5” in this embodiment) at time t1″ after canceling the clogging of coin, the first selector signal is changed from “L” to “H”. Also, when the value of the second mismatching counter reaches the upper limit (e.g. “7′ in this embodiment), the second selector signal is changed from “L” to “H”. Consequently, the first and second selector signals are returned to the normal states respectively. Note that at steps S404 and S412 in the first period intervention process since the coin selection device 10 was supplied with power and the signal was impressed on the RESET terminal, the first receive data and the second receive data transmitted in the previous period intervention process are not already present. In this case, the first receive data and the second receive data are processed in the form of “0 0H”.
  • [0218]
    Advantageous features of the slot machine 1 and the coin selection device 10 of this embodiment will be described.
  • [0219]
    In the coin acceptable state, an appropriate coin C inserted into the slot machine 1 passes through the coin path 14 and moves into the slot machine 1 through the outlet 32. Then, detecting a situation that the appropriate coin C has passed through the path face 20, the photo sensors 26, 27 outputs a detection signal to the main control circuit 100. Therefore, if the coin is not abnormal, the slot machine 1 can detect the number of appropriate coins C passing through the coin selection device 10.
  • [0220]
    In the first projection member 15 and the second projection member 71, their projecting ends 16, 17 and 72 are respectively provided with the hyperbolic slant faces 16 a, 17 a and 72 a inclined to the coin moving direction, for facilitating discharging of inappropriate coins from the path face 20. Therefore, the slant faces 16 a, 17 a and 72 a allow the inappropriate coins to be discharged from the path face 20 in cooperation with respective urging force of the first projection member 15 and the second projection member 71.
  • [0221]
    The pusher plate 12 is usually pushed against the board 11 by the spring 14. When a player pushes the coin return button 3, the swing member 81 rotates about the transverse shaft 82, so that the one end of the member 81 presses up the pusher plate 12. Due to the push-up of the member 81, the pusher plate 12 rotates about the shaft 22, so that an interval between the pusher plate 12 and the board 11 (i.e. a gap in the thickness direction of a coin) gets larger. Therefore, even if the path face 20 is clogged with a coin, it can be discharged in the discharging direction with ease.
  • [0222]
    In case of the appropriate coin C made from a non-magnetic body, the arrangement of the magnet 19 in the path face 20 near the first projection member 15 allows an inappropriate coin (magnetic body) to be trapped by magnetic force of the magnet 19. Consequently, since there is produced a change in the output period of the detection signal from the photo sensor 63 by the first projection member 15, the coin selection device 10 can detect the inappropriate coin with ease.
  • [0223]
    The coin path 14 is formed so as to allow the appropriate coin C to pass due to its own weight. Thus, since the passing speed of the appropriate coin C does not grow late, it is possible to shorten a time period required for detecting a coin. As a result, the coin selection device 10 has a structure for preventing an engulfing of coins.
  • [0224]
    The coin path 14 is defined by the board 11, the pusher plate 12 and the guiding member 13. Additionally, since mechanical means (the first projection member 15, the movable guide plate 51, etc.) plays a role of screening coins, the coin selection device 10 can be manufactured at a low price in comparison with the conventional machine where electric means (magnetic sensors etc.) performs to screen coins. Further, since the coin selection device 10 is equipped with the second projecting member 71, it is possible to count the number of inserted appropriate coins C and also possible to discharge inappropriate coins, which wouldn't been discharged due to malfunction of the first projection member 15 etc., certainly.
  • [0225]
    If the leading end of the first projection member 15 is retracted from the coin path 14, then the coin selection device 10 can detect an abnormal state about an inserted coin owing to a change of the detection signal outputted from the photo sensor 63 that detects a movement of the first projection member 15. Accordingly, it is possible to prevent a player's cheat to insert a plate-shaped tool (cell) into the coin path 14.
  • [0226]
    Since the photo sensors 26, 27 are arranged in the vicinity of the outlet 32 of the coin path 14, the coin selection device 10 can detect an abnormal action of an inserted coin by the order of ON/OFF of the photo sensors 26, 27 and their variations per time. Accordingly, it is possible to prevent a player's cheat using a strung coin.
  • [0227]
    In the present invention, the gaming machine (e.g. the slot machine 1) includes a reservoir unit for reserving a game medium (e.g. the appropriate coins C), a guide unit for guiding the gaming medium to the reservoir unit, a signal transmission unit for emitting a signal to the gaming medium guided by the guide unit, a signal receiving unit for receiving the signal emitted from the signal transmission unit and subsequently reflected by the gaming medium guided by the guide unit, a transmission information generating unit for generating information (e.g. the first transmission data, the second transmission data) included in the signal transmitted from the signal emitting unit and a guide determination unit for determining whether the guide unit is guiding the gaming medium or not, based on the information generated by the transmission information generating unit and the signal received by the signal receiving unit. For example, the reservoir unit is formed by the hopper 152, a coin receiving portion arranged below the front face of the gaming machine of FIG. 1 to receive coins paid out from the hopper 152 etc. through the coin return 4, etc. The guide unit is formed by, for example, the coin path 14, the slope path 14 b, a passage between the hopper 152 and the coin return 4, and so on. The signal transmission unit is formed by, for example, the first light emitting element 261 a, the second light emitting element 271 a, the first transmission data RAM 91 a, the second transmission data RAM 91 c, the I/O ports 92 a, 92 b, the serial interfaces 93 a, 93 b and so on. The signal receiving unit is formed by, for example, the first light receiving element 261 b, the second light receiving element 271 b, the first receive data RAM 91 b, the second receive data RAM 91 d, the I/O ports 92 a, 92 b, the serial interfaces 93 a, 93 b and so on. The transmission information generating unit is formed by, for example, the processes at steps S302 to S305 in the RESET intervention process of FIG. 27, the process at step S403 in the period intervention process of FIG. 29 and so on. The guide determination unit is formed by, for example, the period intervention process of FIG. 29, the selector signal outputting process of FIG. 31, etc.
  • [0228]
    Therefore, comparing with the conventional determination method where a position of the gaming medium is grasped with the use of continuous light, it is possible to grasp the position of the gaming medium more certainly because the same position is grasped on the basis of the transmission signal and the receive signal. Consequently, it is possible to eliminate a player's inserting of fraudulent gaming mediums and machine's malfunctions, which are derived from the influence of circumferential disturbance light and artificial light, such as light change and diffuse reflection by outside natural light and dust, on the detection of the gaming medium, whereby the gaming machine can be provided with high reliability.
  • [0229]
    The gaming machine (e.g. the slot machine 1) of the present invention further includes a random-number data generating unit (e.g. steps S302 to S305 in the RESET intervention process of FIG. 27, step S403 in the period intervention process of FIG. 29) for generating random-number data (e.g. the first transmission data, the second receive data). The transmission information generating unit generates the above information in the form of a specific bit row (e.g. the first transmission data, the second transmission data) selected from a plurality of bit rows [e.g. 1 (0 0 0 0 0 0 1 B in binary notation)˜126 (1 1 1 1 1 1 0 B)], based on the random-number data generated by the random-number data generating unit. The above signal transmission unit is constructed so as to convert the specified bit row to pulse signals (e.g. D1 to D7 of FIG. 30) for transmission. If the above specified bit row is included in the bit rows obtained by converting the pulse signals received by the signal receiving unit, then the guide determination unit determines that the guide unit is guiding the gaming medium (e.g. a determination “YES” at step S410-2).
  • [0230]
    Therefore, due to the production of transmission information inside the gaming machine, it is possible to exclude negative impact of environmental or artificial light. Additionally, since the transmission information contains the information obtained on the basis of the random-number data produced by the random-number data generating unit, it is possible to prevent a machine's operation for detecting a position of the gaming medium from being grasped by a third person with evil intent and also possible to exclude a player's action to insert a false gaming medium.
  • [0231]
    The above signal transmission unit is constructed so as to generate the above information through the above transmission information generating unit on the basis of the random-number data produced by the random-number data generating unit, with respect to each transmitting of the signal (e.g. each period intervention process of FIG. 29 occurring in regular cycles). If it is successively determined as many as the predetermined number of times (e.g. by the matching counter) that the above specified bit row is included in the bit rows obtained by converting the received pulse signals since it was determined that the guide unit was not guiding the gaming medium, then the above guide determination unit determines that the guide unit is guiding the gaming medium. While, if it is successively determined as many as the predetermined number of times (e.g. by the mismatching counter) that the above specified bit row is not included in the bit rows obtained by converting the received pulse signals since it was determined that the guide unit was guiding the gaming medium, then the guide determination unit determines that the guide unit is not guiding the gaming medium.
  • [0232]
    Therefore, with the above determinations, it is possible to prevent malfunctions of the guide determination unit due to noise and also possible to improve the reliability of the gaming machine furthermore.
  • [0233]
    The above guide determination unit may be composed of a plurality of areas (e.g. the detecting range of the photo sensor 26, the detecting range of the photo sensor 27). In addition to the guide determination unit, the gaming machine includes a guide-finality determination unit (e.g. the coin insertion/start checking process of FIG. 21) that determines that the guide unit has completed to guide the gaming medium (e.g. determination “YES” at step S212) if the determination results of the respective guide determination units change in a specific order (e.g. the coin passage information shown in FIGS. 22 to 26). Therefore, the gaming machine can detect the positional information of an appropriate coin C precisely since the passing of the coin is detected in a plurality of areas.
  • [0234]
    Next, a modification of the present invention will be described. According to this modification, the transmission photo sensors 26, 27 are replaced by optical modulation photo sensors 26′, 27′. The photo sensor 26′ is identical to the photo sensor 27′ and therefore, only the photo sensor 26′ will be described representatively.
  • [0235]
    As shown in FIGS. 13A and 13B, the photo sensor 26′ comprises a light emitting portion 26a and a light receiving portion 26b. Both of the light emitting portion 26a and the light receiving portion 26b are arranged in the vicinity of the path face 20. When an appropriate coin C does not pass on the right side of the light emitting portion 26a and the light receiving portion 26b, light L emitted from the light emitting portion 26a advances in a direction of a predetermined oblique angle to the path face 20 without being received by the light receiving portion 26b (see FIG. 13A). While, when the appropriate coin C passes on the right side of the light emitting portion 26a and the light receiving portion 26b, the light L emitted from the light emitting portion 26a is received by the light receiving portion 26b on reflection of the appropriate coin C (see FIG. 13B).
  • [0236]
    As shown in FIG. 14, the light receiving portion 26a includes a first light emitting element 261 a and a signal generating circuit 262 a. The first light emitting element 261 a is connected to the signal generating circuit 262 a. In order to emit the light L, the light emitting element 261 a turns ON and OFF at a frequency corresponding to a light emitting pattern from the signal generating circuit 262 a. The signal generating circuit 262 a generates detection signals and modulation signals and further combines these signals with each other (i.e. modulation of the detection signals), producing the light emitting pattern. Note that, the detection signals are formed by infrared rays having a wave length from 0.72 μm up to 1.3 μm. Again the detection signals have a frequency different from a frequency of signals (e.g. visible light having a wave length from 0.4 μm up to 0.7 μm) existing in the coin path 14.
  • [0237]
    The light receiving portion 26b comprises a first light receiving element 261 b, an amplifying circuit 262 b and a demodulating circuit 263 b. The first light receiving element 261 b is connected to the amplifying circuit 262 b to receive the light L emitted from the light emitting element 261 a and reflected by the appropriate coin C. The amplifying circuit 262 b amplifies light receiving signals corresponding to the light L received by the first light receiving element 261 b. Note that besides the light L, the light receiving signals contain a signal (e.g. visible light ray) existing in the coin path 14, too.
  • [0238]
    The demodulating circuit 263 b is connected to the signal generating circuit 262 a, the amplifying circuit 262 b and a control circuit (not shown). The demodulating circuit 263 b receives the light receiving signals from the amplifying circuit 262 b and synchronized signals from the signal generating circuit 262 a. The synchronized signals have the same wave length and the same phase as the light emitting pattern. The signal generating circuit 262 a outputs the synchronized signals into the demodulating circuit 263 b in order to synchronize a light emitting timing of the first light emitting element 261 a and a light receiving timing of the first light receiving element 261 b. In receiving the synchronized signals from the signal generating circuit 262 a, the demodulating circuit 263 b samples the light receiving signals with the timing of according with turning-ON/OFF of the first light emitting element 261 a and corresponding to a frequency of the synchronized signals. With this sampling, the demodulating circuit 263 b removes amplified modulated signals from the light receiving signals. Namely, the demodulating circuit 263 b demodulates the light receiving signals.
  • [0239]
    Next, the demodulating circuit 263 b attenuates a part of the so-demodulated light receiving signals, which part has a different frequency from a frequency of the detection signals (e.g. part corresponding to the visible light ray). If a part of the attenuated light receiving signals, the part having the same frequency as the detection signals, has amplitude smaller than a predetermined reference value, then the demodulating circuit 263 b determines that the first light receiving element 261 b does not receive the detection signals and successively, the demodulating circuit 263 b outputs a signal representing that an appropriate coin C has not passed through the coin path 14, to the main control circuit 100. While, if the part of the attenuated light receiving signals, the part having the same frequency as the detection signals, has amplitude larger than the predetermined reference value, then the demodulating circuit 263 b determines that the first light receiving element 261 b has received the detection signals and successively, the demodulating circuit 263 b outputs a signal representing that the appropriate coin C has passed through the coin path 14, to the main control circuit 100.
  • [0240]
    Next, advantageous features of the above-mentioned modification will be described.
  • [0241]
    In the coin selection device 10, a light emitting portion 26a emits light while modulating an oscillation of the light, while a light receiving portion 26b receives and demodulates the light L emitted from the light emitting portion 26a, in sync with the light emission of the light emitting portion 26a, to detect an appropriate coin C passing through the coin path 14. Therefore, the slot machine 1 can prevent a player from inserting a light emitting element into the coin insertion slot 2 for purpose of causing a malfunction about the photo sensor 26′.
  • [0242]
    The demodulating circuit 263 b a determines that the appropriate coin C has passed through the coin path 14 only when a part of light receiving signals, which part has the same frequency as the detection signal, has amplitude larger than the predetermined reference value. Therefore, according to the detecting method in this modification, it is possible to detect a passage of a coin more precisely in comparison with the conventional method where the passage of the coin is detected by only receiving the light receiving signals.
  • [0243]
    The frequency of the detection signals is different from the frequency of signals (e.g. visible light ray) existing in the coin path 14. Therefore, the demodulating circuit 263 b can prevent the detection signals from being confuses with the signals existing in the coin path portion.
  • [0244]
    Note that there may be further provided a control circuit (not shown) that determines that the passage of the coin is in an abnormal state on condition that when the light receiving portion 26b of the photo sensor 26′ receives the light L emitted from the light emitting portion 26a, the receiving operation of the light receiving portion 26‘b’ is not synchronized with the emitting operation of the light emitting portion 26a. Additionally, there may be arranged a plurality of photo sensor 26′ along the passing direction of the appropriate coin C.
  • [0245]
    Next, another modification of the embodiment will be described.
  • [0246]
    The coin supervisory control CPU 90 may be provided with coin detecting means (see step S212 of FIG. 21) In operation, if an interval between the timing demodulated by the photo sensor 26 (for example, a time t4′ of FIG. 32 when the first selector signal changes from “H” to “L”) and the timing demodulated by the photo sensor 27 (for example, time t5′ of FIG. 32 when the second selector signal changes from “H” to “L”) is within a predetermined reference period (e.g. within 100 ms preset at step S209 of FIG. 21), the above coin detecting means detects a coin passing through the coin path 14. As the coin detecting means detects the passage of a coin directly, the slot machine 1 and the coin selection device 10 can avoid a distortion about the passage of the coin caused by a light emitting element inserted from the outside falsely.
  • [0247]
    Alternatively, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 may be provided with a coin determining portion (see steps S212 and S213 of FIG. 21) In operation, if an interval between the timing demodulated by the photo sensor 26 (for example, a time t4′ of FIG. 32 when the first selector signal changes from “H” to “L”) and the timing demodulated by the photo sensor 27 (for example, a time t5′ of FIG. 32 when the second selector signal changes from “H” to “L”) is not within a predetermined reference period (e.g. within 100 ms preset at step S209 of FIG. 21), the above coin determining portion determines that the passing state of a coin has an abnormality. As the coin determining portion determines whether the passing state of a coin has an abnormality or not, the slot machine 1 and the coin selection device 10 can discriminate a light emitting element inserted from the outside falsely, with precision.
  • [0248]
    Further, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 may comprise alight emitting portion for emitting a light emitting pattern while modulating an oscillation of light, a light receiving portion for receiving a light receiving pattern in sync with the light emission of the light emitting portion, a counting portion for counting up the number of times that the receive data included in the light receiving pattern received by the light receiving portion coincides with the transmission data included in the light emitting pattern emitted from the light emitting portion, every time when the light emitting pattern is emitted from the light emitting portion and a coin detecting portion that determines that an appropriate coin C has passed through the coin path 14 if the number of times of matching (the above coincidence) first reaches a first reference number (e.g. times t4′ and t5′ of FIG. 32 and steps S410-7 and S410-9 of FIG. 31) and thereafter, the number of times of mismatching (inconsistency) reaches a second reference number (e.g. times t9′ and t10′ of FIG. 32 and steps S410-10 and S410-12 of FIG. 31). Then, for example, the above counting portion is formed by steps S410-3 and S410-5 of FIG. 31. The first reference number corresponds to the upper limit of the first matching counter. The second reference number corresponds to the upper limit of the second matching counter. With the constitution mentioned above, when the matching/mismatching numbers of times between the transmission data and the receive data are more than predetermined values, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 determines that the appropriate coin C has passed through the coin path 14. Therefore, the slot machine 1 can exclude the possibility of a distortion that the appropriate coin C has passed through the coin path 14 due to noise signal (e.g. radiowave of mobile phone).
  • [0249]
    The coin supervisory control CPU 90 may be provided with a light emitting portion that allows the first light emitting element 261 a and the second light emitting element 271 a to stop their light-emitting at predetermined timings. Consequently, if the detecting results by the first light emitting element 261 a and the second light emitting element 271 a change despite that the light emitting portions do not emit light, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 determines that the passing state of the coin has an abnormality.
  • [0250]
    Alternatively, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 may comprises a light emitting portion that allows the first light emitting element 261 a and the second light emitting element 271 a to stop their light-emitting at predetermined timings, a counting portion for counting up the number of times that the detecting results of the first light emitting element 261 a and the second light emitting element 271 a change at the predetermined timings in case of no emission of the light emitting portion, and a coin determining portion that determines that the passing state of the coin is abnormal when the counted number of times reaches a predetermined value. Consequently, even if a light emitting element is inserted into the slot machine 1 from the outside when the light emitting portion does not emit light, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 can detect the falsely-inserted light emitting element with the detection of changes in the detecting results of the first light emitting element 261 a and the second light emitting element 271 a.
  • [0251]
    A coin inserted into the coin path 14 through the inlet 31 and subsequently discharged from the outlet 32 to the outside of the coin path 14 may be handled as the appropriate coin C.
  • [0252]
    If only memorizing the transmission data and the receive data, the transmission data/receive data RAM 91 may be replaced by resister, EEPROM or the like.
  • [0253]
    In place of the coin supervisory control CPU 90 consisting of RAM, I/O ports, serial interfaces and CPU, it may be replaced by a coin supervisory control circuit or a coin supervisory control microcomputer.
  • [0254]
    Without being limited to coins only, the gaming mediums may be formed by gaming balls, medals, tokens or the likes.
  • [0255]
    Without being limited to the photo sensors 26, 26′, 27 and 27′ only, the sensors for detecting the position of a gaming medium may be formed by sensors utilizing acoustic pressure wave, magnetic force, etc. so long as they can detect the position of the gaming medium.
  • [0256]
    In the above-mentioned embodiment, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 is constructed so as to determine that the appropriate coin C has passed through the coin path 14 on condition that it is determined as many as the predetermined number of times that the light receiving pattern coincides with the light emitting pattern. Without being limited to this, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 may be constructed so as to determine that the appropriate coin C has passed through the coin path 14 if it is determined at times more than the predetermined number of times in a predetermined period that a specified bit row is included in bit rows obtained by converting the received pulse signals. For instance, if it is determined at four or more times in five continuous determinations that the specified bit row is included in the bit rows obtained by converting the pulse signals, then the coin supervisory control CPU 90 determine that the appropriate coin C has passed through the coin path 14.
  • [0257]
    Additionally, in place of generating a random number, a plurality of bit rows may be previously stored in memory means, in a sequential order. Further, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 may select the bit value in accordance with the sequential order. For instance, a row of numerical values “1”, “5”, “10”, “3”, “1000”, . . . are previously stored in the memory means. Then, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 selects “1” at the first timing and further lights on a light emitting element in the lighting mode based on information obtained by converting numerical number “1” to binary digit. At the next timing, the coin supervisory control CPU 90 selects “5” and further lights on the light emitting element in the lighting mode based on information obtained by converting numerical number “5” to binary digit. Therefore, it is possible to prevent environmental disturbance light and artificial light from influencing on the machine's detecting operation of the gaming medium.
  • [0258]
    The foregoing descriptions are related to one embodiment and modifications of the present invention. However, the present invention is not limited to them and therefore, various changes and modifications may be made within the scope of claims.

Claims (9)

  1. 1. A coin selection device for a gaming machine screening an appropriate coin out of coins inserted into the gaming machine and discharging an inappropriate coin from the gaming machine, the coin selection device comprising:
    a coin path portion configured to allow a passage of the inserted coins due to their own weights; and
    a photo sensor configured to detect the coins passing through the coin path portion, the photo sensor having a light emitting portion and a light receiving portion,
    wherein
    the light emitting portion is formed so as to modulate an oscillation of light thereby emitting light, while the light receiving portion is formed so as to receive and demodulate the light emitted from the light emitting portion in sync with the light emitting portion's emitting light, whereby the photo sensor can detect the coins passing through the coin path portion.
  2. 2. A gaming machine for screening an appropriate coin out of coins inserted into the gaming machine and discharging an inappropriate coin from the gaming machine, comprising:
    a coin path portion configured to allow a passage of the inserted coins due to their own weights; and
    a photo sensor configured to detect the coins passing through the coin path portion, the photo sensor having a light emitting portion and a light receiving portion,
    wherein
    the light emitting portion is formed so as to modulate an oscillation of light thereby emitting light, while the light receiving portion is formed so as to receive and demodulate the light emitted from the light emitting portion in sync with the light emitting portion's emitting light, whereby the photo sensor can detect the coins passing through the coin path portion.
  3. 3. The coin selection device of claim 1, further comprising a coin determining portion configured to determine that an acceptance state of the coin is abnormal when light receiving of the light receiving portion is not synchronized with light emitting of the light emitting portion.
  4. 4. The gaming machine of claim 2, further comprising a coin determining portion configured to determine that an acceptance state of the coin is abnormal when light receiving of the light receiving portion is not synchronized with light emitting of the light emitting portion.
  5. 5. A coin selection device provided in a gaming machine configured to allow an insertion of a coin, the gaming machine having a coin path portion allowing a passage of the coin inserted into the gaming machine, the coin selection device comprising:
    a transmission unit configured to transmit a detection signal to the coin path portion, the detection signal having a frequency different from a frequency of a signal existing in the coin path portion;
    a receiving unit configured to receive the detection signal reflected by the coin when the coin passes through the coin path portion; and
    a determining unit configured to determine that the coin has passed through the coin path portion only when, in signals received by the receiving unit, signals' part having the same frequency as the frequency of the detection signal has amplitude larger than a predetermined reference value.
  6. 6. A gaming machine comprising:
    a reservoir unit configured to reserve a coin;
    a guide unit configured to guide the coin to the reservoir unit;
    a signal transmission unit configured to transmit a signal to the coin guided by the guide unit;
    a signal receiving unit configured to receive the signal transmitted from the signal transmission unit and subsequently reflected by the coin;
    a transmission information generating unit configured to generate information included in the signal transmitted from the signal emitting unit; and
    a guide determination unit configured to determine whether the guide unit is guiding the coin or not on the basis of the information generated by the transmission information generating unit and the signal received by the signal receiving unit.
  7. 7. The gaming machine of claim 6, further comprising a random-number data generating unit configured to generate random-number data,
    wherein
    the transmission information generating unit generates the information in the form of a specific bit row selected from a plurality of bit rows on the basis of the random-number data generated by the random-number data generating unit;
    the signal transmission unit converts the specified bit row to pulse signals and transmits the pulse signals; and
    the guide determination unit determines that the guide unit is guiding the coin when the specified bit row is included in the bit rows obtained by converting the pulse signals received by the signal receiving unit.
  8. 8. The gaming machine of claim 7, wherein
    the transmission information generating unit generates the information on the basis of the random-number data generated by the random-number data generating unit every time when the signal transmission unit transmits the signal;
    the guide determination unit determines that the guide unit is guiding the coin on condition that, after determining that the guide unit was not guiding the coin, it is successively determined as many as a predetermined number of times that the specified bit row is included in the bit rows obtained by converting the pulse signals; and
    the guide determination unit determines that the guide unit is not guiding the coin on condition that, after determining that the guide unit was guiding the coin, it is successively determined as many as the predetermined number of times that the specified bit row is not included in the bit rows obtained by converting the pulse signals.
  9. 9. The gaming machine of claim 6, wherein
    the guide unit is provided in one or plural areas of the gaming machine;
    each of the areas is provided with one or plural guide determination units; and
    the gaming machine further comprises a guide-finality determination unit configured to determine that the guide unit has completed to guide the coin on condition that determination results of the one or plural guide determination units change in a specific order.
US11341521 2005-02-28 2006-01-30 Gaming machine and coin selection device Abandoned US20070007723A1 (en)

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JP2005-055212 2005-02-28

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US20090176563A1 (en) * 2007-08-17 2009-07-09 Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Limited Method of gaming, game controller, and a gaming system
US20090191957A1 (en) * 2008-01-25 2009-07-30 Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Limited Method of Gaming, A Game Controller, And A Gaming System
EP2120218A1 (en) * 2008-05-12 2009-11-18 Massimo Cosi Device and method for counting and classifying coins

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US20090176563A1 (en) * 2007-08-17 2009-07-09 Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Limited Method of gaming, game controller, and a gaming system
US20090191957A1 (en) * 2008-01-25 2009-07-30 Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Limited Method of Gaming, A Game Controller, And A Gaming System
US8317593B2 (en) 2008-01-25 2012-11-27 Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Limited Method of gaming, a game controller, and a gaming system
EP2120218A1 (en) * 2008-05-12 2009-11-18 Massimo Cosi Device and method for counting and classifying coins

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Effective date: 20060830