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Патент USA US2098648

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Nov.'9, 1937.
2,098,648
B. E. MILLS
BALL CONTROL MECHANISM FOR PINBALL GAMES
Filed Dec. 24, 1934
2 Sheets-Sheet l
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Nov, 9, 1937.
2,098,648
B. E, MILLS
BALL CONTROL MECHANISM FOR PINBALL GAMES
Filed Dec. 24, 1934
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2 Sheets-Sheet 2
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Patented Nov. 9, 193.7
2,098,648
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE
2,098,648
BALL CONTROL MECHANISM FOR PINBALL
GAMES
Bert E. Mills, Oak Park, 111., assignor to Mills
Novelty Company,‘ Chicago, 111., a corporation
of Illinois
Application December 24, 1934, Serial No. [758,910
9 Claims. (Cl. 273—118)
numeral 5 designates the base of a pin table
This invention relates to pin ball game appara
tus and particularly to a novel form of control
mechanism which is adapted to regulate the
movement of the balls in a desired manner.
5
frame upon which the apparatus is supported,
and the numeral 6 designates a panel or frame
, piece which is supported immediately below the
One of the important objects of the invention playing board (not shown). A ball guide chute
'l is supported on frame member 6 in position to
is to provide in a game apparatus of the char
acter referred to an electrically operated ball receive balls after they have fallen through var
control mechanism consisting of a series of cir-' ious openings in the playing board in well-known
V cuit closing members arranged in spaced relation
10 along a downwardly inclined guide chute which
manner, said chute being inclined downwardly
is positioned to receive a ball rolling from the
chute from the trough 8 positioned at the upper
end thereof, will roll downwardly along the chute
by gravity action, the ball ultimately reaching a
playing board, and in combination therewith,
means for momentarily arresting movement of
the ball down the chute after the ball has en
15 gaged one of said members and before engage
ment thereof with the next succeeding member,
whereby to effect successive actuations of the
several circuit closing members in a predeter
2O
mined time relation regardless of the speed at
which the actuating ball enters the upper end of
the guide chute.
'
Another object of the invention is to provide in
combination with a control mechanism of the
type speci?ed, a ball runway having a series of
movable stop members whichare arranged to be
2
operated by the control mechanism to effect step
by-step advance movement of a ball along the
runway through a series of score-indicating po
sitions.
Other objects and advantages of the invention
3O
will be apparent from the following detailed de
scription, taken in connection with the accom
panying drawings wherein I have shown the pre
ferred form in which I have thus far contem
35 plated applying the principles of the invention.
Referring to the drawings:
Fig. 1 is a plan view of the improved control
mechanism, the view also showing a fragmentary
as shown in Fig. 2 so that a ball entering the 10
curved portion 9 from which it is directed by an
intermediate guide trough or channel (not
shown) to a channel ll formed in a receptacle l2
which is suitably supported in the table frame.
It will be noted from Fig. 2 that channel I l
is inclined downwardly so that a ball entering
the upper end thereof will roll to the left, view
ing Fig. 2, emerging into a transverse runway
I 3, the latter being also inclined downwardly so
that a ball M which has just entered the upper
end thereof from channel II will roll along the
runway, ultimately emerging from the lower end 25
thereof, from which point it is conducted to the
projecting mechanism (not shown), to be again
projected over the playing board. To indicate
the score made on a particular play, means is
provided for allowing a ball I 4 which has entered 30
the upper end of runway l3 to advance along
said runway through a series of score indicating
positions, it being understood that said runway
I3 is exposed to the view of the operator through
a transparent panel which covers the top of the 35
playing table. To permit this advance of a ball
along runway l3 there is provided a series of stop
arms l5, I6, I‘! and I8, consisting of metal rods
portion of a ball runway and a ball stop mecha- I which are adjustably secured at one end by set
40 nism which is operated by the control mecha
nism;
Fig. 2 is a broken vertical section through the
mechanism, the section being taken on line 2--7.
of Fig. 1; and
Fig. 3 is a detail section through the ball actu
45
ated control switch taken on line 3—3 of Fig. 2.
The improved control mechanism can be used
in various types of pin ball games and I have,
screws Hi to a rock shaft 2|, the free ends of said 40
arms being bent downwardly as indicated at 22
(Fig. 2), the downwardly bent portions being
normally held in position to prevent a ball from
rolling along runway l3 as clearly shown in Fig. v2.
Rock shaft 2| is journalled at its opposite ends 45
in bearings 23, which are ?xedly secured to the
wall portions of receptacle I2..
In accordance with my invention a control
therefore, illustrated in the drawings only such
mechanism is provided for turning shaft 2| to
5 O portions of a ball game apparatus as are neces
sary to give an understanding of one manner in
and back to ball obstructing position, thereby
which the mechanism may be used in apparatus
of this general type. In the particular embodi
ment shown the ball game apparatus is designed
55 to simulate the playing of a baseball game, The
effect movement of stop arms l5.—l8 away from 50
allowing a ball M which has entered the upper
end of runway l3 to advance along the latter by
step movements between stop arms l5-—l8. This
control mechanism is arranged to be operated by 55
'2
2,098,648
the rolling of a ball along guide chute '| and,
on ball runway l3.
as will more fully hereinafter appear, the mech
anism is so designed that it will control the
speed of movement of a ball along chute 1 in
such a way as to effect movement of stop arms
|5--|8 away from and back to obstructing posi
tuating ball has rolled over ?ange 52, strip 4| is
returned by contact arm 34 to open circuit posi
tion, thereby de-energizing solenoid 24 and allow
ing stop members |5-—|8 to be returned to ball
obstructing position by spring 29. This momen
tion during the interval required for a ball
to roll along runway |3 a distance suf?cient to
clear one of the stop arms |5--|8.
tary energizing of solenoid 24 is repeated in turn
by contact of the ball with ?anges 53 and 54. It
will be obvious that the movement of the actuat
Shaft 2| is turned to raise arms |5-|8 from
obstructing position by a solenoid 24, the armature
25 of which connects through a rod .25 with a
crank arm 21, the latter being secured by a set
screw 28 to shaft 2 |. A coil spring 29, connected.
at one end to set-screw 28, and at the other end to
a ?xed point on the frame, urges shaft 2| in a
counter-clockwise direction, viewing Fig. 2, to
hold arms |5—|8 in the ball obstructing position.
When solenoid 24 is energized th'e armature 25 is
20 pulled downwardly to produce a clockwise turning
of shaft 2 I, viewing Fig. 2, this movement serving
to raise arms |5-|8 su?iciently to allow the ball
l4 to roll under arm I5. When the solenoid is
de-energized spring 29 returns arms |5--|8 to
However, as soon as the ac
ing ball down guide chute 1 will gradually become H)
accelerated, with the result that contacts 53 and
54 might in certain cases be engaged by the ball
in such rapid succession that stop members |5—| 8
would not have an opportunity to return to ob
structing position between the successive ener
gizations of solenoid 24. Frequently a ball might
enter guide chute '| with considerable speed, in
which case the aforementioned result would al
most inevitably follow. In other cases, a ball
might enter chute '| at a comparatively slow speed 20
so that the ball stop members might be returned
to obstructing position after the ?rst energization,
but possibly would not have time to return to that
position between the second and third energiza
25 obstructing position. It will be apparent that if tions.
In accordance with my invention, I avoid the
it is desired to advance ball l4 along runway l3 by
step movements between arms |5—|8, it will be difficulty encountered due to the accelerated
necessary to (accomplish repeated momentary ‘ movement of the ball down guide chute l by pro
energizations of solenoid 24. This is the function viding means for temporarily arresting move
30 “which is accomplished by my improved control ment of the ball along said chute between the 30
successive contacts of the ball with ?anges 52, 53
mechanism.
and 55. In the embodiment shown the means
The control circuit provided for effecting re
peated momentary energizations of solenoid 24, provided for this purpose consists of a V-shaped
through the movement of a ball downwardly de?ector strip 55 which is positioned in guide
chute ‘I immediately below and adjacent ?ange
along guide chute 1, includes a switch 3|, (Fig. 3)
52. A second de?ector strip 5? of like form is
consisting of contacts Hand 33 supported on con
tact arms 34 and 35, respectively. These contact
placed in channel I immediately below and ad
arms are secured to frame piece 6 by screws 36,
jacent ?ange 53. The top or apex portions of
these strips 53 and 5? project into channel I suf
a strip of insulating material 31 being interposed
4.0 to insulate the arms from one another. A wire 38
connects contact arm 34 with solenoid 24, and
a second wire 39 connects arm 35 with the other
side of the line through a source of power (not
shown). Contact arm 34 is formed of resilient
45 sheetmetal and normally assumes the open cir
cuit position shown in Fig. 3. -A switch closing
member consisting of a metal strip 4| is pivotally
supported between a pair of brackets 42 and 43
which are supported on frame piece 6, the oppo
50 site ends of said strip 4| being turned downwardly
as indicated at 45 and 46, said down-turned por
tions being pivotally connected with brackets 42
‘and 43, respectively, by shoulder screws 41.
As best shown in Fig. 1, strip 4| is positioned im
55 mediately below and slightly to one side of guide
chute '|, the lower .end thereof resting immedi
ately above contact arm 34, being insulated from
the latter by a tab of insulating material 43. The
edge of strip 4| lying adjacent chute ‘I is pro~
60 vided with three laterally projecting arms, 49, 50
iand5l, which project below chute 1, the free ends
thereof being provided with upwardly turned
?anges, .52, 53 and 54, respectively, which are
received in slots 55 formed in the bottom wall of
65 chute '|. As shown in Figs. 2 and 3, these ?anges
normally project slightly above the bottom wall
of guide chute 1, being held in this position
through the resiliency of spring contact arm 34.
.It will be apparent that a ball rolling from trough
70 .8 into the upper end of guide chute 1 will ?rst
strike ?ange 52, the impact causing strip 4| to
pivot in a clockwise direction, viewing Fig. 3,
thereby closing switch 3| and energizing solenoid
24. This in turn results in movement of ball stop
75 members |5--|8 away from obstructing position
?ciently so that a ball rolling over ?ange 52 for 40
example, will strike strip 56 and will be momen
tarily stopped in its downward roll along chute
'5, said strip 56 causing the ball to roll laterally
in channel 7 until it clears the tip portion of
strip 56, after which it proceeds to roll downward 45
ly into engagement with ?ange 53.
After con
tacting ?ange 53, the ball strikes de?ector strip
'51, being again momentarily brought to rest and
de?ected laterally until it clears the tip portion
of said strip 5?, after which it moves into en
gagement with ?ange 54. The side of chute l is
bulged or ?ared outwardly opposite de?ector
strips 56 and 5?, as indicated at 49, to provide
space for the ball to roll around said strips and
thence back to the center of the chute.
Through the provision of strips 58 and 51', a
ball rolling down channel ‘i is thus momentarily
brought to rest after it has engaged one of the
switch closing ?anges and before it moves into
engagement with the next succeeding ?ange. 00
The arrangement thus provides means whereby
the solenoid 24 will remain energized upon each
closing of switch 3| for an interval of time suiii~
cient to permit a ball M to clear one of the stop
members on runway | 3. Similarly, a ball 58
which has preceded the ball l4 into runway l3,
will likewise be advanced one step along said run
way, and a third ball 59, which rests against the
lowermost stop member l8, will be released from
that position by the same operation which ad
vances balls l4 and 58 one step along runway l3.
By the use of strips 56 and 5'! in the manner
shown, I am thus able to obtain step-by-step ad»
vance of balls along runway | 3 through the actu~
ating force of a single ball rolling along guide 75
y3
‘2,098,648
chute ‘I, the operation being such‘ that regardless ball-actuated stop. member control elements
of the speed at which a ball may enter chute ‘I,
spaced along said chute, and means for regulat
this step movement of the balls will be accurately
ing the roll of a ball along the chute to effect
actuation of said control elements in a prede
termined time relation regardless of the speed at
which the ball enters the upper end of the. guide
chute.
3. In a pin ball vgame,.the combination with a
maintained each time a ball traverses guide
chute ‘I.
‘
In the embodiment shown guide chute ‘l is pro
vided with two additional delivery runways, GI
and 62, the runway 6| being positioned to direct
a ball into chute ‘I so that it will contact only
10 ?anges 53 and 54, to produce two energizations of
solenoid 24, and the runway 62 being positioned
to deliver a ball into chute ‘I so that it will con
tact only ?ange 54, to produce a single energiza
tion of a solenoid 24. A ball entering guide chute
15 I from delivery runway or trough 8, as explained,
playing board, of a downwardly inclined guide
chute positioned to receive balls rolling from the 10
board, a downwardly inclined ball runway, a se
ries of ' movable stop members spaced along said
runway in the path of movement of a ball there
on, and means operated by movement of a ball
along said guide chute for repeatedly moving 15
will effect three energizations of solenoid 24,
thereby advancing ball l4 along runway 13 three
steps. This would correspond in a baseball
said stop members in unison away from and back
to obstructing position on the runway, said
means being operative on each cycle of move
game, for example, to a three-base hit.
ment to hold said members in the non-obstruct
Simi
20 larly, a ball delivered from runway 6| would
correspond to a two-base hit, and a ball entering
from runway 62 would represent a one-base hit.
It will be understood that there may be con
siderable variation in the particular manner in
25 which the control mechanism is used, depending
upon the particular type of game involved. In
the embodiment shown, as previously explained,
balls which .have passed along guide chute 1 are
directed through channel H to the upper end of
30 runway l3 so that the same ball-s which are pro
jected over the board serve as counter or tally
balls after they have reached runway I3.‘ In
some cases, however, it may be preferred to em
ploy an independent set of tally balls for move
35 ment along runway l3 which are maintained
entirely separate from the balls which are pro
jected over the board and which roll along guide
chute 1 to operate the timing mechanism.
The foregoing detailed description has been for,
ing position for an interval of time su?lcient to '20
permit a ball to move from one stop member to
the next succeeding stop member, whereby to
e?ect step-by-step advance of a ball along said
runway between the stop members in timed se
quence with the movement of the actuating ball
along said guide chute.
.
,
4. In a game apparatus involving the use of a
ball or balls, a guide chute adapted to receive a
played ball and to have the same, roll there'
through by gravity, a runway adapted to con
tain’ a counter or scoring member, said runway
being so constructed that said counter or scoring
member is movable therein by gravity when un
obstructed, a movable stop device normally'ob
structing movement of said member, means oper
ated by a ball traveling in said chute for con
trolling the mcvement of said device to- and from
obstructing position to effect step-by-step ad
vance of said member, said means including a
40 clearness of understanding only, and no unneces
sary limitations should be understood therefrom,
but the appended claims should be construed as
broadly as permissible in view of the prior art.
What I regard as new and desire to secure by
Letters Patent is:
1. In a pin ball game the combination with a
ing the roll of a ball along the chute to effect ac
tuation of said device at predetermined inter
playing board, of a downwardly inclined guide
chute positioned to receive balls rolling from
the board, a downwardly inclined ball runway, a
series of movable stop members spaced along said
played ball and to have the same roll there
runway in the path of movement of a ball there
on, and electrically operated means for moving
said members away from and back to ball ob
structing position on the runway, said means in
cluding an energizing circuit having a plurality
of switch arms spaced along said guide chute in
position to be successively actuated by a ball ad
vancing thereon, and means for retarding ad
vance of the actuating ball along said chute after
making contact with one of said arms and before
contacting the next succeeding arm, whereby to
allow time for return of said stop members to
ball obstructing position between successive clos
ings of the energizing circuit.
2. In a pin ball game, the combination with a
playing board, of a downwardly inclined guide
chute arranged to receive balls rolling from the
board, a downwardly inclined ball runway, a se
ries of stop members spaced along said runway in
70 the line of movement of a ball thereon, and
plurality of ball-operated actuating elements 40
spaced along said chute, and means for regulat
vals regardless of the speed of the ball at the
time it enters the chute.
5. In a game apparatus involving the use of a
ball or balls, a guide chute adapted to receive a
through by gravity, a runway adapted to contain
a counter or scoring member, said runway being 50
so constructed that said counter or scoring mem
ber is movable therein by gravity when unob
structed, a movable stop device normally obstruct
ing movement of said member, means operated by
a ball traveling in said chute for controlling the
movement of said device to and from obstructing
position to e?ect step-by-step advance of said
member, said means including a plurality of ball
cperated actuating elements spaced along said
chute, and means for regulating the roll of a ball 60
along the chute to e?ect actuation of said device
at predetermined intervals regardless of the
speed of the ball at the time it enters the chute,
said last-mentioned ‘ means comprising a plu
rality of ball-retarding devices projecting into the 65
chute and located, respectively, adjacent said ac
tuating elements.
6. In a game apparatus involving the use of a
ball or balls, a. guide chute adapted to receive a
played ball and to have the same roll there 70
means operated by passage of a ball along said
chute for moving said members away from and
throughby gravity, a runway adapted to contain
a counter or scoring member, said runway being
back to obstructing position, whereby to effect
so constructed that said counter or scoring mem
step-by-step movement of a ball between said
75 stop members, said means including a series of
35
ber is movable therein by gravity when unob
structed, a movable stop device normally ob 75
"2,098,648
:structing movement of said member, means oper
ated by aball traveling in said chute for control
ling the movement of said device to and from ob
structing position to' effect step-by-step advance
of said member, said means including a plurality
of ball-operated actuating elements spaced along
said chute, and means for regulating the roll of
a ball along the chute to- effect actuation of said
device at predetermined intervals regardless of
10 the speed of the ball at the time it enters the
chute, saidwlast-mentioned means comprising a
plurality of ball-retarding devices projecting into
the chute and located, respectively, adjacent said
actuating elements, and the chute being enlarged
laterally from said ball-retarding devices to per
mit the ball to pass in a circuitous, path around
a the latter.
- 7. In a pin ball game, the combination with a
playing board, of a downwardly inclined guide
‘chute arranged to receive balls rolling from the
board, a downwardly inclined ball runway, form
ing a continuation of said chute, a series of stop
members spaced along said runway in the line
of movement of ,a ball thereon, and means oper
ated‘ by passage of a ball along said chute for
moving said members away from and back to
obstructing position, whereby to effect step-by
step movement of a ball between said stop: mem
bers, said means including a series of ball-actu
ated stop member control elementsspaced along
said chute, and means for regulating the roll of
a ball along the chute to effect actuation of said
control elements in a predetermined time rela
tion regardless of the speed at which the ball
enters the upper end of the guide chute.
8. In a pin ball game, the combination with a
playing board, of a downwardly inclined guide
chute arranged to receive balls rolling from the
board, a downwardly inclined ball runway, ar
ranged to receive balls from said chute, a series
of stop‘ members spaced along said runway in
the line ofmovement of a ball thereon, and means
operated by passage of, a ball along said chute 10
for moving said members away from and back
to obstructing position, whereby to effect step-by
step movement of a ball between said stop mem
bers, said means including a series of ball-actu
ated stop member control elements spaced along
said chute, and means for regulating the roll of
a ball along the chute to e?ect actuation of said
control elements in a predetermined time rela
tion regardless of the speed at which the ball
enters the upper end of the guide chute.
9. In a pin ball game, the combination with a
playing board, of a downwardly inclined guide
chute arranged to receive balls rolling from the
board, a downwardly inclined ball runway, ex
tending at right angles to said chute and com
municating with the lower end thereof to receive
balls therefrom, a series of stop members spaced
along said runway in the line of movement of a
ball thereon, and means operated by passage or”
a ball along said chute for moving said members 30
away from and back to obstructing position,
whereby to effect step-by-step movement of a ball
between said stop members.
'
BERT E. MILLS.
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