US20140335759A1 - Slot car with spin-out recovery system - Google Patents

Slot car with spin-out recovery system Download PDF

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Publication number
US20140335759A1
US20140335759A1 US13/888,369 US201313888369A US2014335759A1 US 20140335759 A1 US20140335759 A1 US 20140335759A1 US 201313888369 A US201313888369 A US 201313888369A US 2014335759 A1 US2014335759 A1 US 2014335759A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
slot
slot car
guide
car
track
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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
US13/888,369
Inventor
Matthew Pyrdeck
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Matthew Pyrdeck
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Publication date
Application filed by Matthew Pyrdeck filed Critical Matthew Pyrdeck
Priority to US13/888,369 priority Critical patent/US20140335759A1/en
Publication of US20140335759A1 publication Critical patent/US20140335759A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63HTOYS, e.g. TOPS, DOLLS, HOOPS OR BUILDING BLOCKS
    • A63H18/00Highways or trackways for toys; Propulsion by special interaction between vehicle and track
    • A63H18/16Control of vehicle drives by interaction between vehicle and track; Control of track elements by vehicles
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63HTOYS, e.g. TOPS, DOLLS, HOOPS OR BUILDING BLOCKS
    • A63H18/00Highways or trackways for toys; Propulsion by special interaction between vehicle and track
    • A63H18/08Highways or trackways for toys; Propulsion by special interaction between vehicle and track with mechanical means for guiding or steering

Abstract

A slot car and track system that can simulate a slot car spin-out delay while avoiding the need to manually re-align the slot car on the track. The spin-out delay is created using a guide that extends from the slot car into the slot car track. The guide triggers electronics when the slot car chassis achieves a turning angle near that necessary to cause a spin-out. Once triggered, the electronics cease power to the slot car motor for a specified period of time. Once the time has elapsed, power is once again restored to the slot car motor. Because power to the slot car motor is ceased before the slot car spins-out or becomes detached from the track, manual re-alignment of the slot car on the track is unnecessary.

Description

  • CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This present application claims the benefit of Provisional Application No. 60/648,273 filed May 17, 2012.
  • FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
  • Not Applicable
  • SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM
  • Not Applicable
  • BACKGROUND
  • Slot car racing is a hobby using powered miniature automobiles guided by grooves or slots on a track. Competitive slot car racing occurs in a variety of settings, including casual congregations at home to advanced competitions where contestants compete with slot cars built for maximum performance. These advanced competitions resemble other competitive motor sports and include series of races culminating in a national championship.
  • Slot car racing includes a roadway having a network of continuous slotted tracks around which one or more slot cars race. The roadways are generally laid out in such a manner that at least two tracks are directly adjacent to one another to permit competition between several slot cars. Continuous electrical contact strips adjacent to each slotted track provided continuous electrical power to the slot cars and their electric drive motor.
  • An inherent problem with slot car racing is the manner in which the tracks are arranged to simulate actual road racing conditions. The tracks are laid out with numerous sharp curves that require a high degree of skill to negotiate at high speed. Since many slot cars are highly powered, it is common for a slot car entering a curve at high speed to spin-out of control. When a slot car spins out of control, it may disengage from the track, or in cases where only the rear end of the car swings out, it may lose contact with the electrical contact strips. In either case, the slot car loses power and the racing is temporarily interrupted while the participant manually realigns the slot car on the track.
  • Several attempts have been made to avoid or minimize the slot car racing interruptions caused by spin-outs. One attempt to address these problems is to reduce the available power to the slot car to more closely match its weight. However, in some instances, this has resulted in the slot car swinging broadside upon the application of additional power when entering a curve. Another approach to prevent loss of slot car control was to provide a differential front wheel drive slot car. Still, another approach was to automatically realign the slot car after a spin-out or other loss of power. However, these attempts result in overly complicated slot car and track arrangements.
  • For the foregoing reasons, there is a need for a slot car and track that can avoid racing interruption by managing spin-out and therefore provide for continuous slot car racing. The solution is found in the present invention that comprises a feature to lock the slot car into the track and a feature to simulate vehicle spin-out by causing the slot car to momentarily lose power when the slot car reaches its limit of traction.
  • SUMMARY
  • The present invention is directed to a system that satisfies this need for a slot car and track that can simulate a slot car spin-out delay while avoiding the need to manually re-align the slot car on the track. The system includes a slot car with chassis comprising a radius slot and guide that triggers a set of electronics to temporarily cease power to the slot car's motor. The radius slot and guide further prevents the car from separating from the track and limits lateral movement of the slot car so that manual re-alignment of the slot car on the track is no longer necessary.
  • In traditional slot car racing, the slot car is guided along a track having a slot while the operator adjusts power to the slot car's electric motor. The power is delivered to the motor through electrical contact strips in the track, alongside the track's slot. If the user applies too much power to the slot car when entering a turn in the track a “spin-out” can occur. A “spin-out” is when the rear of the slot car slides laterally to such a degree that the car is no longer in contact with the electrical contact strips in the track. In some instances, a “spin-out” causes the slot car to become completely disengaged from the track. In either instance, the slot car must be manually replaced on the track in a forward direction in order to resume racing.
  • The present invention, a slot car with chassis and front guide similar to those typically used for slot car racing, further comprises a secondary middle guide that is capable of lateral movement within chassis. Instead of separating from the track or shifting to such a degree as to need manual re-alignment on the track, the slot car will instead remain attached to the track and lose power for a set period of time, thus simulating the time lost during a spin-out.
  • DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 illustrates top plan view of a slot car on a track embodying features of the present invention for a slot car with spin-out recovery.
  • FIG. 2A illustrates a front view of a slot car chassis and front guide on a track embodying features of the present invention for a slot car with spin-out recovery system.
  • FIG. 2B illustrates a rear view of a slot car chassis and middle guide on a track embodying features of the present invention for a slot car with spin-out recovery system.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates top plan view of a slot car embodying features of the present invention for a slot car with spin-out recovery system, undergoing lateral movement on a track where the middle guide is engaging the micro-switch
  • DESCRIPTION
  • As shown in FIGS. 1-3, a slot car with spin-out recovery system comprises a slot car 100 with a front guide 110, secondary middle guide 120 within radius slot 103, micro-switches 108 attached to electronics 104 and a motor 106. The slot car 100 travels on, is guided by, and receives power from a slot car track 200, the track 200 having an top slot 202 and bottom slot 204 with electrical contact strips 206.
  • The slot car 100, as illustrated in FIG. 1, is typical of those commercially available, having a chassis 102 and an electric drive motor 106 to provide power to the rear wheels. The present invention further includes electronics 104, including at least one micro-switch 108, to cause the slot car 100 to lose power temporarily when the slot car 100 reaches the threshold of lateral traction on the track 200 as best illustrated in FIG. 3.
  • Referring to the front view of a slot car in FIG. 2A, the front guide 110 is shown. The slot car 100 is guided by and receives power from the track 200. Electricity is transferred from electrical contact strips 206 in the track 200 to the slot car electronics 104 via a front guide 110. The front guide 110 is a shaft that extends distally from the underside of the slot car 100 into the track 200. The front guide 110 is located near the slot car 100 front wheels along the chassis 102 centerline and is retained in the chassis 102 by a front guide clamping collar 114. The front guide 110 can be comprised of materials typically used for slot car construction, such as plastics or composite materials. The front guide 110 (shaft) extends through the track top slot 202 and terminates at a distal end within the track bottom slot 204.
  • The distal end of the front guide 110 (shaft) comprises a larger cross section than the shaft so that the slot car 110 can remain attached in the track 200 bottom slot 204. In a preferred embodiment, the front guide 110 is an inverse T-shape, with the distal end being rectangular in shape. The distal end further comprises electrical contacts 116 to transfer electricity from the electrical contact strip 206 to the slot car 100 electronics 104. Two electrical contacts 116 are affixed to the distal end of the front guide 110. Comprised of an electrically conductive material, such as metal, the contacts remain in contact with the electrical contact strip 206 within the track bottom slot 204. In a preferred embodiment, the electrical contact 116 lead wires enter the slot car chassis 102 through the front guide 110, where they attach to the slot car electronics 104 as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3.
  • Referring to the rear view of a slot car in FIG. 2B, the middle guide 120 is shown. The middle guide 120 triggers the slot car electronics 104 that cause momentary loss of power to the slot car motor 106. The middle guide 120 is a shaft that extends distally from the underside of the slot car 100 and is located along the centerline of the chassis 102 between the front and rear wheels. The middle guide 120 extends through the chassis 102 and is retained by the middle guide clamping collar 124. The radius slot 103 through the slot car chassis 102 allows the middle guide to move horizontally, towards the sides of the car, while remaining perpendicular to the chassis 102. The middle guide 120 terminates at a distal end wider than the shaft. Like the front guide 110, the wider distal end of the middle guide 120 retains the guide and slot car in the track.
  • Referring to the top view of a slot car turning in FIG. 3, the middle guide 120 will move to either end of the radius slot 103 when the slot car 100 has extended laterally movement, such as when negotiating a curve at high speed. When the middle guide 120 reaches the end of the radius slot 103, a micro-switch 108 is triggered, signaling the electronics 104 to cease power to the motor 106 for a set time period. This simulates a spin-out, or disengagement of the slot car 100 from the track in traditional slot car systems. Once power is restored to the motor 106, the slot car 100 can continue to be driven around the track 200. The loss of power is controlled by the electronics 104 within each slot car 100 and may last a few seconds. With the present invention, the user is not required to manually replace the slot car 100 back on the track 200 to resume a race, the slot car engagement with the track is not interrupted.
  • Referring to FIGS. 1-3, the slot car track 200 is the roadway that the slot cars 100 are driven on. The track 200 is commonly a continuous loop with various curves and turns throughout its course. The function of the track is to guide the slot cars 100 along the track curves and turns and to provide electricity to each slot car 100. A pin or guide extending from the slot car 100 causes the slot car to follow the track 200 while the participant regulates power to the slot car 200.
  • Referring to FIG. 2A-B, the slot car track 200 of the present invention is similar to those typically used in slot car systems, having a top slot 202 and electrical contact strip 206, but further comprising a bottom slot 204 immediately below the top slot 202. The front guide shaft 110 and middle guide shaft 120 extend through the top slot 202 into the wider bottom slot 204 where the larger distal ends of the front guide shaft 110 and middle guide shaft 120 make contact with the track.
  • All features disclosed in this specification, including any accompanying claim, abstract, and drawings, may be replaced by alternative features serving the same, equivalent or similar purpose, unless expressly stated otherwise. Thus, unless expressly stated otherwise, each feature disclosed is one example only of a generic series of equivalent or similar features.
  • Any element in a claim that does not explicitly state “means for” performing a specified function, or “step for” performing a specific function, is not to be interpreted as a “means” or “step” clause as specified in 35 U.S.C. §112, paragraph 6. In particular, the use of “step of” in the claims herein is not intended to invoke the provisions of 35 U.S.C. §112, paragraph 6.
  • Although preferred embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, various modifications and substitutions may be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, it is to be understood that the present invention has been described by way of illustration and not limitation.

Claims (13)

What is claimed:
1. A slot car with spin-out recovery system, the slot car comprising:
a) a slot car track having at least one slot;
b) a slot car chassis;
c) at least one drive motor; and
d) at least one guide extending distally from the chassis, the at least one guide attached to an electronic array that ceases power to the at least one drive motor for a set period of time if the at least one guide triggers at least one micro-switch when the slot car is at a predetermined degree of turn.
2. The slot car of claim 1, wherein the slot car track comprises at least one electrical contact strip.
3. The slot car of claim 1, wherein the slot car track comprises a top slot and a larger bottom slot directly below, and adjacent to, the top slot.
4. The slot car of claim 1, wherein the chassis comprises a radius slot perpendicular to a direction of travel.
5. The slot car of claim 4, wherein the at least one guide is retained in the radius slot through the slot car chassis such that the guide moves laterally within the chassis as the slot car turns.
6. The slot car of claim 1, wherein the at least one guide comprises a distal end with a larger diameter, the distal end with a larger diameter being retained in the slot car bottom track.
7. The slot car of claim 1, wherein the at least one guide comprises at least one electrical contact to transfer power from the slot car track electrical contact strip to the slot car.
8. The slot car of claim 2, wherein the slot car comprises a front guide and a middle guide, the front guide receives power from the electrical contact strip and the middle guide triggers momentary power loss to the slot car.
9. The slot car of claim 8, wherein the front guide has an inverse T-shape.
10. The slot car of claim 6, wherein the at least one guide is a front guide whose distal end further comprises at least two electrical contacts to transfer electricity from an electrical contact strip to slot car electronics.
11. The slot car of claim 8, wherein electrical contact lead wires enter the slot car chassis through the front guide 110, where they attach to slot car electronics.
12. The slot car of claim 8, wherein the middle guide extends through the slot car chassis and is retained by a clamping collar that allows the middle guide to move horizontally, towards sides of the slot car, while remaining perpendicular to the slot car chassis.
13. The slot car of claim 12, wherein when the middle guide moves to an end of a radius slot, a micro-switch is triggered, signaling slot car electronics to cease power to the at least one drive motor for a set time period.
US13/888,369 2013-05-07 2013-05-07 Slot car with spin-out recovery system Abandoned US20140335759A1 (en)

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Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20160129357A1 (en) * 2013-06-17 2016-05-12 Artin International Limited Toy Slot Car with Protective Cover for Conductive Elements

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US2235112A (en) * 1940-02-07 1941-03-18 Sidney S Pulaski Speed control for vehicles
US3304652A (en) * 1966-02-07 1967-02-21 Donofrio & Company Model slot type racing car with differential front wheel drive
US3376827A (en) * 1966-01-27 1968-04-09 John W. Slemmons Braking system for miniature vehicles
US3422770A (en) * 1964-10-19 1969-01-21 San Roy Dev Co Inc Autocourse raceway system
US3422694A (en) * 1966-10-24 1969-01-21 Donald C Lemke Self-actuating brake
US3453970A (en) * 1967-05-03 1969-07-08 Charles A Elwell Steerable toy vehicle
US3774340A (en) * 1972-06-19 1973-11-27 Marvin Glass & Associates System for operating miniature vehicles
US3797404A (en) * 1973-01-31 1974-03-19 Marvin Glass & Associates System for operating miniature vehicles
US3958361A (en) * 1971-03-22 1976-05-25 Ideal Toy Corporation Track segment with braking elements which retain vehicle vertically during braking
US4163555A (en) * 1978-01-23 1979-08-07 Sega Corporation Slot car game with spin-out recovery capability
US4795154A (en) * 1987-06-25 1989-01-03 Ideal Loisirs Continuous slot racing system
US5218909A (en) * 1992-04-21 1993-06-15 Ng Cody K M Slot track racing apparatus
US5311106A (en) * 1992-11-23 1994-05-10 Hazen Mark E Pulse width modulated electronic slot car controller
US5577155A (en) * 1993-12-03 1996-11-19 Buchbinder; Carl Rectifier based motor speed/brake control
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US20060276102A1 (en) * 2005-04-21 2006-12-07 Winfried Dieckmann Toy vehicle and track system
US7243053B1 (en) * 1999-10-22 2007-07-10 Shoot The Moon Products Ii, Llc Method and apparatus for virtual control of operational scale models
US7285035B1 (en) * 2003-01-31 2007-10-23 Tullis Barclay J Collision obstacles and sensors for determining the outcome of a race
US20090233521A1 (en) * 2006-05-17 2009-09-17 Stadlbauer Spiel- Und Freizeitartikel Gmbh Method for operating a digital control system for a plurality of objects to be controlled
WO2010052486A1 (en) * 2008-11-04 2010-05-14 Maxwell Leslie Cranfield Slot car
US20100173562A1 (en) * 2007-05-25 2010-07-08 Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. Traveling toy system
US8011995B1 (en) * 2005-09-12 2011-09-06 Todd William M Electromagnetic action toy system
US20130141583A1 (en) * 2010-08-12 2013-06-06 Amusys Amusement Systems Electronics Gmbh Device and method for detecting, monitoring and/or controlling racing vehicles
US20130143675A1 (en) * 2010-08-12 2013-06-06 Amusys Amusement Systems Electronics Gmbh Device for detecting, monitoring and/or controlling racing vehicles
US20130143631A1 (en) * 2010-08-12 2013-06-06 Amusys Amusement Systems Electronics Gmbh Method and device for controlling and/or monitoring racing vehicles on a racetrack

Patent Citations (28)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2235112A (en) * 1940-02-07 1941-03-18 Sidney S Pulaski Speed control for vehicles
US3422770A (en) * 1964-10-19 1969-01-21 San Roy Dev Co Inc Autocourse raceway system
US3376827A (en) * 1966-01-27 1968-04-09 John W. Slemmons Braking system for miniature vehicles
US3304652A (en) * 1966-02-07 1967-02-21 Donofrio & Company Model slot type racing car with differential front wheel drive
US3422694A (en) * 1966-10-24 1969-01-21 Donald C Lemke Self-actuating brake
US3453970A (en) * 1967-05-03 1969-07-08 Charles A Elwell Steerable toy vehicle
US3958361A (en) * 1971-03-22 1976-05-25 Ideal Toy Corporation Track segment with braking elements which retain vehicle vertically during braking
US3774340A (en) * 1972-06-19 1973-11-27 Marvin Glass & Associates System for operating miniature vehicles
US3797404A (en) * 1973-01-31 1974-03-19 Marvin Glass & Associates System for operating miniature vehicles
US4163555A (en) * 1978-01-23 1979-08-07 Sega Corporation Slot car game with spin-out recovery capability
US4795154A (en) * 1987-06-25 1989-01-03 Ideal Loisirs Continuous slot racing system
US5218909A (en) * 1992-04-21 1993-06-15 Ng Cody K M Slot track racing apparatus
US5311106A (en) * 1992-11-23 1994-05-10 Hazen Mark E Pulse width modulated electronic slot car controller
US5577155A (en) * 1993-12-03 1996-11-19 Buchbinder; Carl Rectifier based motor speed/brake control
US5928058A (en) * 1996-06-07 1999-07-27 Francis; Geoffrey V. Slot car and mechanism for guiding same
US7243053B1 (en) * 1999-10-22 2007-07-10 Shoot The Moon Products Ii, Llc Method and apparatus for virtual control of operational scale models
US20020094751A1 (en) * 2001-01-16 2002-07-18 Clark, Leonard R. Bodyslammers toy racing vehicles
US20020142702A1 (en) * 2001-03-28 2002-10-03 Da-Young Kim Safety device for toy car
US7285035B1 (en) * 2003-01-31 2007-10-23 Tullis Barclay J Collision obstacles and sensors for determining the outcome of a race
US20060141902A1 (en) * 2004-12-29 2006-06-29 Design Circle Inc. Toy track and toy vehicle
US20060276102A1 (en) * 2005-04-21 2006-12-07 Winfried Dieckmann Toy vehicle and track system
US8011995B1 (en) * 2005-09-12 2011-09-06 Todd William M Electromagnetic action toy system
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US20100173562A1 (en) * 2007-05-25 2010-07-08 Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. Traveling toy system
WO2010052486A1 (en) * 2008-11-04 2010-05-14 Maxwell Leslie Cranfield Slot car
US20130141583A1 (en) * 2010-08-12 2013-06-06 Amusys Amusement Systems Electronics Gmbh Device and method for detecting, monitoring and/or controlling racing vehicles
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US20130143631A1 (en) * 2010-08-12 2013-06-06 Amusys Amusement Systems Electronics Gmbh Method and device for controlling and/or monitoring racing vehicles on a racetrack

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20160129357A1 (en) * 2013-06-17 2016-05-12 Artin International Limited Toy Slot Car with Protective Cover for Conductive Elements
US9522339B2 (en) * 2013-06-17 2016-12-20 Artin International Limited Toy slot car with protective cover for conductive elements

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