US3753561A - Cluster ball rack with ball director - Google Patents

Cluster ball rack with ball director Download PDF

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Publication number
US3753561A
US3753561A US3753561DA US3753561A US 3753561 A US3753561 A US 3753561A US 3753561D A US3753561D A US 3753561DA US 3753561 A US3753561 A US 3753561A
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Prior art keywords
ball
track
rack
vane
cluster
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Expired - Lifetime
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R Szymanski
P Murphy
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Brunswick Corp
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Brunswick Corp
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63DBOWLING-ALLEYS; BOWLING GAMES; BOCCIA; BOWLS; BAGATELLE; BILLIARDS
    • A63D5/00Accessories for bowling-alleys or table alleys
    • A63D5/02Apparatus for trapping or lifting the balls; Separate devices for returning the balls
    • A63D5/023Separate devices for returning the balls

Abstract

The invention is a cluster-type bowling ball return rack having a bowler identification panel mounted in an elevated position above the center island thereof, and a ball directing vane directing returning balls to the side of the cluster rack corresponding to the lane upon which the ball was bowled. A control mechanism for the vane includes timer and operating circuits employing RS flip-flop memory latches in conjunction with programmed unijunction transistors to swing the vane against spring pressure.

Description

United States Patent [191 Szymanski et al.

CLUSTER BALL RACK WITH BALL DIRECTOR inventors: Richard Szymanski; Patrick J.

Murphy, both of Muskegon, Mich.

The Brunswick Corporation, Skokie, Ill.

Filed: Sept. 29, 1971 Appl. No.: 184,669

Assignee:

US. Cl. 273/49 Int. Cl A63d 5/02 Field of Search 273/49, 54 R, 54 C References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 7/1963 Stegman et al. 273/49 12/1969 Hoffman et al Aug. 21, 1973 3,215,433 11/1965 Thomsen 273/49 3,339,922 9/i967 Miller 7/1966 Vander Meer 273/54 R Primary Examiner-Anton O. Oechsle Attomey-Donald S. Olexa et al.

[5 7] ABSTRACT The invention is a cluster-type bowling ball return rack having a bowler identification panel mounted in an elevated position above the center island thereof, and a ball directing vane directing returning balls to the side of the cluster rack corresponding to the lane upon which the ball was bowled. A control mechanism for the vane includes timer and operating circuits employing RS flip-flop memory latches in conjunction with programmed unijunction transistors to swing the vane against spring pressure.

4 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures CON 7204 C4 D 1 CLUSTER BALL RACK WITH BALL DIRECTOR BACKGROUND The invention is in the field of equipment for returning a bowling ball from the pit end of a bowling lane to the bowler at the approach end of the lane, and positioning it for pick up by the bowler. More specifically the invention is an electro-mechanical device for directing a returning bowling ball to a selected side of a cluster-type ball return rack having a bowler identification panel for an electronic scoring device mounted in the center thereof.

With the advent of electronic computer devices which automatically keep the bowlers score, such as that described in U. S. Pat. application Ser. No. 196,039 of E. E. Reynolds, filed May 16, 1962, a device by which the bowler identify himself to the computer scorer was required. Such a device is the subject of U. S. Pat. No. 3,480,276 and referred to generally as a bowler identification panel.

In order that this identification panel be most readily accessible to bowlers where cluster-type ball return racks are employed, it was determined that the panel should be placed upon an elevated pedestal mounted in the center of the tear drop-shaped ball track characteristic of a cluster return.

One problem arising from this placement of the identification panel is that it is most difficult for a bowler standing on one side of the cluster rack to reach across the elevated identification panel and retrieve his ball from the other side of the rack. The invention solves this problem with a novel electro-mechanical device which directs a returning ball to the side of the cluster rack adjacent the lane upon which the ball was bowled. While a ball directing system is described in U. S. Pat. No. 3,099,446 to R. V. Stegman et al., the instant invention represents a novel solution to a new problem and through its simplicity and economy represents a substantial advance in the art of ball handling.

It is an objective of the invention to provide a combination of a cluster-type ball return rack with a bowler identification panel mounted in the center thereof in an elevated position for the convenience of the bowlers.

Another object of the invention is to provide means for directing a returning bowling ball to the side of a cluster rack and identification panel adjacent the lane upon which it was bowled.

It is a further objective of the invention to provide a ball director actuating means responsive only to balls returning from a selected one of a pair of lanes serviced by the cluster rack.

SUMMARY Basically the invention includes means for electrically sensing when a bail departs the pit area of a selected one of a pair of adjacent bowling lanes served by a single cluster ball rack, means for timing the travel of the ball from the pit area to and through a ball lift at the approach end of the land, and means for positioning a ball directing vane on the cluster rack adjoining the ball lift for a discrete period of time, coinciding with he exit of the ball from the ball lift, so as to direct a ball detected by the aforesaid sensing means to a selected side of the cluster rack. A first time delay circuit measures the time from departure of the ball from the pit area until it is delivered to the cluster rack by the ball lift, and then activates a second circuit which actuates the vane positioning means for an interval of time sufficient only to result in the direction of the detected ball to the selected side of the cluster rack.

A primary advantage of the invention is the provision of a bowler identification panel in a position most convenient to the bowler and most conducive to inducing the bowler to identify himself to the electronic scoring device, which he must do before his score can be recorded.

Another advantage of the invention is its simplicity in solving the problem of selectively directing a returning ball with a minimum of equipment and consequently at a substantial savings in cost. These savings are achieved principally by confining ball detection to a single lane of a pair, and by limiting active ball control to balls returning from that lane. A further advantage is achieved through the reliability of the solid state circuitry employed, and the mechanical features of the ball directing vane.

Other objectives, advantages and various further features of novelty and invention will be pointed out or will occur to those skilled in the art from a reading of the following specification in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top view of a cluster ball rack with an identification panel and ball director of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a side elevation of a cluster ball rack of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of a bowling ball detection and direction system of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a partially cut away side view of a portion of a return rack of the invention illustrating the installation of a ball directing vane of the invention.

FIG. 5 is a schematic of the control and timing mechanism of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT:

Referring to FIG. 1, a ball lift 1 discharges a returning bowling ball 2 onto the neck portion 3 of a modified tear drop-shaped track a of a cluster bowling ball return rack 5. A ball directing vane or flipper 6 is positioned at the junction of the neck 3 with the left and right sides of the tear drop track 1. The vane 6 is pivotally mounted so that it may be swung left and right about a vertical axis to connect the neck track section 3 with either the left H0 or right 11 side of the cluster track 4. With the free end 12 of the vane 6 positioned to the left as viewed from above, the ball track 4 will be completed to the right side 11 of the cluster rack 5; similarly, with the free end 7 of the vane 6 positioned to the right, the ball track a will be completed to the left side 10 of the rack 5.

The vane 6 is spring loaded to the right so that absent any control action all returning balls would be directed to the left side 10 of the rack 5.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, the bowler identification panel 12 is mounted upon a pedestal 13 extending upwardly from the island area of the cluster rack surrounded by the ball track 4. The pedestal 13 fairs into the rack structure and extends upwardly about two feet from the track level tapering toward the top to the size of the bowler identification panel 12 mounted therein. The entire structure may be made of fiberglass by means well known to the art. It is apparent from the figures that it is difficult for a bowler to reach across the rack because of the presence of the pedestal 13.

Referring now to the schematic illustration of FIG. 3, a ball 2 being returned by the pinsetter mechanism from the right lane will physically trip a switch 16 suitably positioned on a branch 17 of track leading from the right lane onto the main return track 18. Tripping of the switch 16 triggers an electronic timer described below. The ball 2 continues through a ball accelerator 19, down the track 18 at a precisely known speed, up through the ball lift 20 and is discharged onto the neck 3 of the ball rack 5. At the moment that the ball 2 exits from the ball lift 20, the free end 7 of the vane 6 is swung to the left for a period of 1.2 seconds, completing the track to the right side 11 of the rack just long enough to allow the ball 2, alone, returning from the right lane, to proceed to the right side 11 of the rack 5. Because the vane 6 is held to the left for such a short period, a ball from the left lane returning just ahead of or just behind the ball 2 will be deflected left.

FIG. 4 illustrates the mechanical features of the ball directing mechanism. The vane 6 is rigidly attached to a pin 22 which rides within and is maintained in the vertical position by a journal 23 mounted beneath the top 24 of the rack 5. Attached to the lower end of the pin 22 is a horizontal lever arm 26- which extends to the right of the longitudinal axis of the vane 6 as viewed from above.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 4, the lever arm 26 is attached to the actuating rod 28 of a solenoid 29. The solenoid 29 is securely affixed beneath the top 24 of the rack 5 in the area of the neck 3 of the ball track 4. A compression spring 30 acting between the solenoid 29 and a bushing 31 attached to the lever arm 26 repulses the lever arm 26 from the solenoid 29 applying clockwise torque to the pin 22 urging the vane 6 to the right. Actuation of the solenoid 29 by the control circuit draws the lever arm 26 toward the solenoid 29 against the action of the spring 30, rotating pin 22 counterclockwise andmoving the vane 6 to its left. Deactivation of the solenoid 29 permits the spring 30 to rotate pin 22 clockwise returning the vane 6 to its right or rest position.

Referring to FIG. 5 the control card for the ball directing vane 6 includes two memory latches (RS flipflops) 32 and 33, and two associated time delay circuits 34 and 35, respectively. A solid state amplifier 36 drives the vane actuating solenoid 29.

A cycle of operation begins when a ball exits from the right lane and actuates the ball detection switch 16. The closing of switch 16 sets the first flip-flop 32 and initiates the first RC time delay circuit 34 Rl-Cl which times the travel of the ball from the pit up to the vane 6. As the time of travel of the ball varies from four to twelve seconds depending upon the type of installation (5.23 seconds for a Brunswich A-2 subway return), the resistor R1 is variable to permit adjustment of the time delay circuit to a particular system.

When the capacitor C1 fills, a small spill-over current will flow into the anode of a programmed unijunction transistor 40, triggering it. The resulting current flow sets a second flip-flop 33 which simultaneously initiates the second RC timer circuit 35 R2-C2 and causes the power amplifier 36 to supply current to the vane control solenoid 29. At the expiration of approximately 1.3 seconds C2 is sufficiently full to trigger a second programmed unijunction transistor 41 shutting off power to the solenoid 29 and resetting the second flipflop 33. During the l.3 seconds that power was sup plied to the solenoid 29, the ball directing vane 6 was deflected to the left just long enough to permit the returning ball 2 to exit to the right side of the cluster rack 5.

The programmed unijunction transistors are particularly suited to time delay circuits of the type just described as it is possible to achieve a relatively precise time delay using off-the-shelf parts without selection or adjustment. This accuracy results from the trigger reference point being a percentage of circuit voltage which may be set in the usual manner by low cost programming resistors with accuracy of :5 percent. The capacitor C1 and C2 are the greatest variables, but with their $10 percent tantulum commercial tolerance a timer with better :20 percent tolerance is still achieved with a simple assembly of non-specialized parts.

While the principles of the invention have been described in connection with the above specific apparatus, it is to be clearly understood that this description is made only by way of example and not as a limitation to the scope of the invention.

We claim:

1. A cluster type bowling ball return rack comprising a supporting body,

a ball strage track mounted upon said supporting body,

said track substantially surrounding an island portion of said body, and connecting to a ball return track,

pedestal means extending upwardly from the island portion of said body for supporting a bowler identification panel,

a bowler identification panel mounted upon said pedestal means, and

means for directing a bowling ball entering said ball storage track to a preselected side of said pedestal including a ball detection switch activated by a ball returned from a pinsetter mechanism;

a first RS flip-flop memory latch settable by the detection switch;

a first RC time delay circuit energized by the first flip-flop memory latch and having a time delay approximately equal to the time required for the ball to travel from the switch to the pedestal means;

a first programmed unijunction transistor triggered by the first RC time delay circuit and connected to reset the first flip-flop memory latch;

a second RS flip-flop memory latch settable by the first programmed unijunction transistor;

a second RC time delay circuit energized by the second flip-flop memory latch;

a second programmed unijunction transistor triggered by the second RC time delay circuit and connected to reset the second flip-flop memory latch;

an amplifier driven by the second programmed unijunction transistor;

a solenoid driven by the amplifier; and

a ball diverter vane in the ball storage track linked to the solenoid and movable to deflect a returning ball to a selected branch of the ball storage track.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein said ball track includes a Y-shaped junction where the two sides of said ball storage track join, and

wherein said ball deflecting means comprises a vane pivotally mounted at said junction and capable of storage track.

4. The device of claim 3 wherein said pivoting means comprises means for biasing said length of rail to complete said return track to one side of said ball storage track, and

means for pivoting said length of rail against the force of said biasing means to complete said return track to the other side of said ball storage track.

* ll 1' 4K

Claims (4)

1. A cluster type bowling ball return rack comprising a supporting body, a ball strage track mounted upon said supporting body, said track substantially surrounding an island portion of said body, and connecting to a ball return track, pedestal means extending upwardly from the island portion of said body for supporting a bowler identification panel, a bowler identification panel mounted upon said pedestal means, and means for directing a bowling ball entering said ball storage track to a preselected side of said pedestal including a ball detection switch activated by a ball returned from a pinsetter mechanism; a first RS flip-flop memory latch settable by the detection switch; a first RC time delay circuit energized by the first flip-flop memory latch and having a time delay approximately equal to the time required for the ball to travel from the switch to the pedestal means; a first programmed unijunction transistor triggered by the first RC time delay circuit and connected to reset the first flipflop memory latch; a second RS flip-flop memory latch settable by the first programmed unijunction transistor; a second RC time delay circuit energized by the second flip-flop memory latch; a second programmed unijunction transistor triggered by the second RC time delay circuit and connected to reset the second flip-flop memory latch; an amplifier driven by the second programmed unijunction transistor; a solenoid driven by the amplifier; and a ball diverter vane in the ball storage track linked to the solenoid and movable to deflect a returning ball to a selected branch of the ball storage track.
2. The device of claim 1 wherein said ball track includes a Y-shaped junction where the two sides of said ball storage track join, and wherein said ball deflecting means comprises a vane pivotally mounted at said junction and capable of completing said track exclusively to either branch of said Y-shaped junction.
3. The device of claim 1 wherein said ball return and ball storage track comprises two substantially parallel rails, and said ball directing means comprises a movable length of such rail, means for pivotally mounting said length of rail substantially at the throat of said Y-shaped section, and means for pivoting said length of rail to complete the ball return track selectively to either side of the ball storage track.
4. The device of claim 3 wherein said pivoting means comprises means for biasing said length of rail to complete said return track to one side of said ball storage track, and means for pivoting said length of rail against the force of said biasing means to complete said return track to the other side of said ball storage track.
US3753561A 1971-09-29 1971-09-29 Cluster ball rack with ball director Expired - Lifetime US3753561A (en)

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JP (1) JPS4842835A (en)
CA (1) CA964684A (en)
DE (1) DE2245158A1 (en)
FR (1) FR2250285A5 (en)
GB (1) GB1359774A (en)

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JPH02300374A (en) * 1988-12-19 1990-12-12 Kanebo Ltd Production of rayon crepe or yoryu georgette crepe woven fabric

Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3099446A (en) * 1959-10-13 1963-07-30 Brunswick Corp Control system for bowling balls and the like
US3215433A (en) * 1962-06-14 1965-11-02 Elmer R Thomsen Control system for returning bowled balls to selected racks
US3260349A (en) * 1965-10-04 1966-07-12 Rapids Standard Co Inc Coded carrier conveyor system
US3339922A (en) * 1964-08-25 1967-09-05 Raphael W Miller Ball separator for pocket billiards
US3484107A (en) * 1965-10-20 1969-12-16 Brunswick Corp Multiple alley bowling game scoring system including lane sequencer

Family Cites Families (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3436078A (en) * 1966-11-25 1969-04-01 Ralph Grimes Rack for bowling balls and the like

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3099446A (en) * 1959-10-13 1963-07-30 Brunswick Corp Control system for bowling balls and the like
US3215433A (en) * 1962-06-14 1965-11-02 Elmer R Thomsen Control system for returning bowled balls to selected racks
US3339922A (en) * 1964-08-25 1967-09-05 Raphael W Miller Ball separator for pocket billiards
US3260349A (en) * 1965-10-04 1966-07-12 Rapids Standard Co Inc Coded carrier conveyor system
US3484107A (en) * 1965-10-20 1969-12-16 Brunswick Corp Multiple alley bowling game scoring system including lane sequencer

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GB1359774A (en) 1974-07-10 application
JPS4842835A (en) 1973-06-21 application
FR2250285A5 (en) 1975-05-30 application
CA964684A1 (en) grant
CA964684A (en) 1975-03-18 grant
DE2245158A1 (en) 1973-04-26 application

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