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Патент USA US3083026

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March 26, 1963
Original Filed Jan. 4, 1954
'7 Sheets-Sheet 1
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March 26, 1963
Original Filed Jan. 4, 1954
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Original Filed Jan. 4, 1954
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BY Mahler 51100.12
March 26, 1963
Original Filed Jan. 4, 1954
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March 26, 1963
Original Filed Jan. 4, 1954
7 Sheets-Sheet 5
By Walter 5110101
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Margh 26, 1963
Original Filed Jan. 4, 1954
7 Sheets-Sheet 6
BYM/ai tar . .Bzlowz
March 26, 1963v
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Original Filed Jan. 4, 1954
7 Sheets-Sheet 7
FIG. 11;
Walter ?zlowz
United States Patent 0
Patented Mar. 26, 1953
pit for conveying balls and pins which have fallen 01'
been cleared into the pit rearwardly to an elevator de
vice. ‘Ihis conveyor device comprises two pairs of roll
Waiter Biiowz, Maiden, Mass, assignor to American
Machine & Foundry Company, New York, N.Y., a cor
poration of New .Iersey
Original application Ian. 4, 1954, Ser. No. 401,858, new
Patent No. 2,962,284, dated Nov. 29, 1960. Divided
and this application July 22, 1959, Ser. No. 835,810
3 Claims. (Cl. 273-43)
ers '2 and 3 keyed to the shafts 4 and 5. The shafts 4
and 5 are respectively journalled in the bearings 10 and
11 and 12 and 13 which in turn are ?xed to the frame
members 14. A fabric conveyor belt 6 is ?xed about
these rollers and rotates with them. On the inner laps
of this fabric belt 6 extending longitudinal of the belt
10 at its center is sewn or otherwise suitably secured a V
The present invention relates to a mechanism for set
ting pins in a bowling alley.
shaped belt 7. This belt extends around the pulley wheels
or sheaves 8 and ‘9 which are axially mounted on and
This application is a division of application Serial No.
keyed respectively to the shafts 4 and 5. The conveyor
401,858, ?led January 4, 1954, and now Patent No.
is continuously rotated with the upper side moving to
15 the rear of the pit through the sprocket 15 and driving
It is an object of this invention to provide an auto
chain 16. During this operation the belt 6 is held in po~
matic mechanism operated by a bowler for clearing bowl
sition by the V-shaped belt 7 and will not slip or ride
ing pins and balls from the alley into a pit, from which
from one end of the shafts towards the other as very
the pins are conveyed to a hopper device, which in turn
often happens in short conveyor belts. After the pins
automatically distributes them to individual compart 20 have fallen onto this belt 6 and have been carried rear
ments from which ten pins are simultaneously released
wardly, they are deposited in an elevator system (FIG
and conveyed to a frame or rack. This frame or rack,
URE 15) generally designated 17. This elevator device
which holds the pins in their proper relative positions, is
has a horizontal section 18, an inclined section 19 and
lowered to the level of the alley at which point the pins
a vertical section 20 formed by the opposite angle mem—
are released and are set in their proper positions.
bers 21 and 22 (FIGURE 5).
An object of this invention is to provide setting mecha
A pair of continuous conveyor chains 23 and 24 ex
nism for placing bowling pins in preselected position on
tend through the sections 18, 19 and 20 around three
a bowling alley upon the movement of a pin setting
pairs of sprockets 2S and 26 and 27’ on each of the side
frame from a dwell position above the alley to a lower
walls 21 and 22. These chains are guided respectively
most position adjacent thereto, and for releasing pins 30 by the channel members 29 and 30 with the sections of
during the return upward movement of the frame in the
each chain moving in opposite directions separated by the
event pins were not properly released from the frame at
partition 31.
its lowermost position.
The opposite chains 23 and 24 are joined together at
A still further object of this invention is to provide a
intervals somewhat longer than the length of a bowling
machine for setting bowling pins, which is less expensive 35 pin by a series of parallel bars 32 which are used to
and more e?icient in operation and construction than
other machines for similar purposes.
raise the balls or pins which fall onto the elevator. This
elevator device is open at is lower and inclined sections
These and other objects and advantages of the present
Y18 and ‘19 respectively so that pins and balls may readily
invention will be more clearly understood when consid
fall onto them from the conveyor belt, the end of which
ered in connection with the drawings in which:
40 is adjacent and at a slightly higher level than the sec
FIGURES l and 1A illustrate fragmentary side ele
tion 18. In the vertical section (FIGURES 1 and 15)
vations of continuous portions of the machine.
a plurality of cross members 33 secured across the face
FIGURE 2 illustrates a fragmentary side elevation of
of the elevator from one side wall 21 to the other 22 re
the other side of the machine as shown in FIGURE 1.
tain in position a plurality of vertical leaf springs 34
FIGURE 3 shows a side elevation of the sweep mecha~
which hold the upwardly moving pins and balls in posi
nism partially shown in FIGURE 1A.
tion. Two springs have been found to operate satisfac
FIGURE 4 illustrates a front fragmentary elevation
torily in this device. However, depending upon the
of the sweeping element shown in FIGURE 3.
height of vertical section 20, more springs may be pro
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary sectional top view taken
vided, if desired. In the vertical section 20, an opening
substantially along the line 5-5 of FIGURE 1 and
27 somewhat larger than the size of a ball is provided
between two adjacent leaf springs to allow the balls to
FIGURE 6 is a front elevation of the hopper element.
fall out of the elevator; but the pins, because of their
FIGURE 7 is a top plan view of the hopper element.
length, will continue in their upward movement in the
FIGURE 8 is a top fragmentary plan view of the rack
or frame.
To insure this proper operation, the lower spring ele
FIGURES 9 and 10 are fragmentary side elevations
ment should be bent slightly inwardly at its upper end
of portions of the frame or rack shown in FIGURE 8.
35 while the upper spring should be bent slightly out
FIGURE 11 is a fragmentary plan view of the con
wardly at its lower end as. A container 37 having an
veyor mechanism.
inclined bottom is secured to the inner face of the ele
FIGURE 12 is a fragmentary plan view of a solenoid 60 vator to receive the falling balls as they fall from the
operated clutch mechanism.
FIGURE 13 is a schematic diagram of the electrical
A tube 38 is provided at one side of this container to
convey the balls from the container to a return chute
FIGURE 14 is a schematic view of a detail of FIG
URE 13.
(not shown). The chains 23 and 24 are continuously ro
tated in synchronism through a drive chain 39 extending
around a sprocket wheel (not shown) which is med to
the shaft 28' on which is also ?xed the pair of sprocket
Wheels 27 '.
As the pins are carried upwards to the top of the ele
FIGURE 15 is an end partial sectional view of the ele
vator mechanism.
This machine is installed at the end of a bowling alley
with a portion of the machine in and over the pit and
over the end of the alley adjacent the pit. A continu 70 vator, they enter a hopper mechanism generally designated
41 (see FIGURES 6 and 7). This hopper comprises an
ed 1 (FIGURE 11) is positioned at the bottom of the
elongated container having rear and ‘front walls 42 and
ously operating conveyor mechanism, generally designat
by clamps or clips 79 in face to face relation to an end
section of the arm 76 which in turn is hinged at its other
end '77 to the common operating bar 71 through a joint
member 78. A projection 80 on the extended bar 75
and a projection 81 on the bar 76 have ?xed to them the
tween the rear and front walls 42 and 43 from a point
ends of a spring 82 which tensions the bars 75 and 76‘
adjacent the middle of the walls downwardly to a point’
to slide into a greater face to face relationship‘. The
substantially below the lower edge of the walls. The end
projection 89 acting with the end of the bar 76 holds the
of this hopper, at which point the pins from the vertical
spring under continuous tension and limits the relative
section 26 of the elevator enter, is provided with an open
ing 49 in an inclined bottom section 50, with the lowest 10 movement of the bars 75 and 76. In the operation of this
edge .of the bottom section on a level with the top of
hopper device, when a set of ten pins are being released,
the shaft 73 begins a single complete rotation. During the
the compartments 52. A spring member 51 secured to
the wall 42 extends over the opening 49 and a portion
?rst half of the rotation of the shaft, the lever arm 75 is
moved to the left, and as the spring 82 is su?iciently strong
of the inclined bottom 56', so that as the pins are con
43 respectively with a series of nine vertical compartment
walls ‘44 parallel with the end walls 47 and 48 forming
compartments ‘52 sul?ciently wide and long to receive
bowling pins. These compartment walls 44 extend be
veyed upwardly through the opening 49, the leaf spring
to move the bar 76 with the movement of the arm 75
under normal conditions the bar 76 will also move to the
51 will turn the pins on-their side and permit them to
roll down the inclined bottom ‘561 towards the compart
ments 52. Above the compartments v52 at either end of '
the hopper are positioned a pair of parallel shafts 53 and e
54 journalled at their ends in the bearing members 55 20
and 56 respectively ?xed on these walls 42 and 43.
left. The common operating bar 71 which is hinged to
the bar 76 will then also ‘be moved to the left rotating
each, of the cradles somewhat more than 180°. The lowest
pins in the compartments which are held in the cradle
are then released as the cradle rotates about them. Other
A pair of opposite sprockets 57 and 58 on shafts 53 and V V pins which may also be in the compartments remain in
54 respectively have ?xed about them the chains 59 and
the compartments. The shaft 73 as it completes the
second half of its rotation moves the shafts '75 and 76
At uniform intervals along these chains are ?xed a
series of ?ngers 61'. These ?ngers 61’ should bespaced 25 to the right which causes the operating arm 71 to move
apart a distance equal to one third the distance between
the parallel bars 32 and should have a height sufficient to
to the right and consequently the cradles v63 to rotate back
contact the bowling pins as they roll down the inclined
held in the compartments to {all .down towards the era
to their original position, permitting the pins which were
bottom 50 to carry them along until they fall into an
open compartment 52. These chains 59‘ and 66 are con
tinuously rotated with the lower half of the chain moving
away from the opening 49 in the hopper 41 by means of a
driving chain 61 which engages the sprocket wheel 62
on the shaft '53. The driving chain ‘61 is in turn driven
from a common operating source to be described.
If as occasionally may happen during the rotation of
the cradles a pin being delivered to a compartment be
comes jammed between the walls of the compartment and
the cradle as the cradle is rotating, the spring mechanism
joining the bars 75 and 76 together will prevent any over
35 loading or damage caused by this jamming. In this op
compartments 52' are ‘formed with a depth preferably
equal to the thickness of two bowling pins. The lower
end of each of these compartments is normally closed by
cradle elements 63. Each of these cradle elements has
a bottom ‘64 'of a section of a cylindrical shell of some
what less than 180° with end members 65 and 66 at either
end of the cylindrical section or bottom 64. Each of
these cradles is axially supported by shafts ‘67 and68‘
eration, if a pin becomes jammed during the rotation of
the shaft 73, the cradles 63 and operating arm 71 will
be restrained from their normal reciprocating motion.
The ‘bar 75 operated by the shaft 73 will, however, con
tinue to reciprocate in its normal fashion. As this bar 75
reciprocates and the bar 76 is restrained, the two bars
will slide apart against the tension of the spring 82. Upon
continued rotation of the shaft 73, the bar 75 will return
to its normal closed position releasing the additional ten
sion on the spring -82 and returning the shaft 76, the op
'erating arm 71 and the cradles to their original position.
In this return motion the pin which may have been jammed
at their ends lever arms 70 parallel with one another.
will be released with no damage to the machine. When
Each ‘of these parallel lever arms 70 is hinged at its upper
such a jamming occurs, however, there will normally be
end 72' to a common operating bar 71. This common 50 no delivery of pins from the hopper because the cradles
operating bar may be reciprocated to pivot the cradles 63
cannot rotate su?iciently to clear the lowermost pins.
in unison through an arc of somewhat ‘more than 180°.
This will not, however, aifect the subsequent operation of
The operation of conveyors 59 and 60 and ?ngers 61'
the machine.
is such that bowling pins are fed progressively into the’
This gear box 72 from which the operating ‘shaft 73
compartments 52. In the structure illustrated herein, the 55 extends is ?xed on a platform 83 which is secured to
pins are fed into the compartmentSZ nearest ‘bottom sec
the outer side of the ‘wall v43 of the hopper. This gear
tion 5!}. As soon as this compartment is ?lled, the next
box is driven from a shaft‘ 84 journalled in bearings 84'
two pins are moved over the top pin in the ?lled com
and 85’ on Wall sections 86’ and 87' respectively and
partment and delivered into the adjacent'un?lled com
having positioned on it a single revolution clutch mech
partment. This operation continues until all compart 60 anism 85 which is engaged for a single revolution of the
ments are ?lled. It will be seen that at all times there is
shaft ‘84 by activating the solenoid 86. The spring Y88’
i an ample supply of pins in compartments 52 awaiting de
and lever 89' normally tension the clutch mechanism 85
livery to the spotting rack 122. '
in an inoperative‘position. 7Operation of the solenoid 86
‘In the operation of this common operating bar 71, in
will be described later in connection with the electrical
.its proper sequence which will be described later, the 65 system.
ten lowest pins, one inr'each compartment, which are
A continually rotating power belt 87 fixed at one end
resting in the cradles 63 Will be turned out from the com
about the sprocket 88 on the shaft 84 ‘and at the other
partments as the cradle rotates, vbut other pins above in
end ?xed about the sprocket 89 on’ the shaft 90 supplies
any of the compartments will be held in the compartments
' a continuous source of power to the shaft 84 and is opera
by the cylindrical section 64 of the cradle. .
70 tively connected. to and rotates the shaft 84 upon opera
The common bar 71 is operatively connected to a gear
tion of the solenoid and clutch mechanism 85. The shaft
box 72 from which a rotatable shaft 73 projects. Fixed
99, whichis journalled in bearings 91 and 92 at outer
to the end of this rotatablesha-f-t is onerend of a lever
ends of the hopper below the compartments, is continu
arm 74 which hinged at its, other end an'elon'gated link
‘or arm 75. This extended lever bar 75 is slidably secured .75 ously rotated from the driving chain'93p?xed about the
extending ‘from the end members 65 and 66 respectively.
Shafts 67 are journalled in bearings 169‘ in the wall‘42, 45
while shafts 68 are journalled in the wall 43. The shafts
68, which extend beyond the wall 43, each have ?xed
sprocket 94 on the shaft 90. Beneath the compartments
bers 168, 169 and 172 with member 168 secured to bars
on this shaft ‘90 is a roller 95 which continuously rotates
158, 159 and 160, member 169 secured to bars 161, 162
in a direction which will carry pins falling :onto it towards
and 163 and also joined to cross member 168 by means
the frame or rack element 1122 to be described through
of bars 170 and 171, and with the cross member ‘172
chutes. Also fixed to the shaft 90 is a sprocket 96 on
secured to bars 164, r165, i166 and 167 and also connected
which is ?xed a chain 97. This chain which will be
to cross member 169 by bars 173 and 174. This network
more clearly seen in FIGURE 2 in turn rotates a shaft
is supported in a longitudinal slidable position relative to
98 through the sprocket wheel 99 in the same direction
the frame 122 by brackets ‘133, 173' and 174’. A spring
as the shaft 90‘. The shafts 100 and 101 are also driven
175 secured at one end 176 to the bar 158 and at the
in the same direction in a like manner through the chains
other end E177 to the rack 122 normally tensions the
102 and 103 through the sprocket wheels 104 and 105
tongues 157 of the bars 158—167 out of their respective
respectively. On the shafts ‘98, 1100 and 101 beneath the
openings at the bottom of each receptacle 1123'. In their
compartments are ?xed rollers 106 and 107 and 108 all
normal operation positions, the tongues 157 are held in
parallel to and operating in the same direction as the
the openings to prevent pins falling into the receptacles
roller 95. Each of the lower ends of the compartments 15 from passing through the openings by a latch arrange
is aligned with a single chute which leads to onev of ten
ment shown in FIGURE 9 in which a bar 178 is hinged
different positions on the frame or rack 122 in the proper
positions of a ten pin set-up. These chutes may be seen
in FIGURES 1 and 1A and are indicated in dotted out
line in FIGURE 5 as 109 to 118. The chutes which are
inclined downwardly from the hopper are {fixed at their
lower end to the platform 119 over openings l120 in the
at one end to a hinge element 179.
A downwardly ex
tending projection .180 from the element 178 contacts
the cross bar member 169 and holds the tongues 157 in
the openings of the receptacles against the tension of the
spring ‘175. When, in the proper sequence of operation
of this machine, the rack is lowered to the ?oor of the
bowling alley, the tongues 157 are retracted from the
and are moved by the rollers 95, 106, 107, 108 into the
openings permitting the pins to fall onto the ?oor in an
chutes corresponding with the compartments, they slide 25 upright position. In this operation, the bar .169 is re
down the chutes and are directed through the holes 120
leased from contact with the projection 1180 by raising
in the platform 119 into their proper position on the rack
the bar 178. This is accomplished by means of a lever
122. To insure the proper movement and direction, each
system illustrated in FIGURE 9. -In the hollow guide
of the chutes, particularly the longer ones, may be pro
shaft 125, is a concentric rod 181 having projecting arms
vided with a series of roller bearings 119’ ‘(FIGURE 41A). 30 182 and i183 passing through elongated slots 184 and 185
At the end of each of these open chutes, a band 121
respectively in the upper and lower ends of the shaft 125.
is provided to prevent the pins from shooting beyond the
The lower projecting arm 183 is hinged at its free end
open end of the chutes. Positioned beneath the platform
to the end of the bar 178. The upper projecting arm 182
L19 to receive the pins as they come off their respective
is positioned to come into contact with the adjustable
chutes and to lower them into position on the bowling
screw stop 186 positioned on the platform 119. Also
alley is the frame or rack 122 (see FIGURES 1A and
attached to the upper portion of the shaft 125 is one end
8). This rack is provided with ten steel rod receptacles
of an inverted L-shaped support 187 with a lever arm
123 each positioned to project through one of the open
188 pivotally supported at its other end. The lever arm
ings 120 in the platform 1'19 and shaped to receive within
‘188 has one end normally projecting under the project
it a pin as it falls from the chute. Each of these recep 4.0 ing arm 182 and the other end extending beyond the
tacles is formed of a series of bent rod loops 124 posi
?ange portion ‘189 of the upwardly extending ?xed ele
tioned to form substantially cylindrical holders designed
ment 190. When the rack is lowered, the inner rod 181
to hold the pins upright. A pair of vertical shafts 125
moves downwardly with the hollow shaft 125. As the
and 126 ?xed in the brackets 127 and 128 respectively at
rack nears its lowest position, the projecting arm 182
their lower end and extending through the platform 119
comes into contact with the stop 186 and thus prevents
and sleeves 129 on the platform act as guides for the
the rod 181 from continuing downward with the shaft
vertical movement of the frame or rack. This frame 122
125. Thus as the shaft .125 continues to move down
is supported and raised and lowered by three chains i130,
ward towards the ?oor, the lever arm 178 is raised and
131 and 132 ?xed respectively to the brackets 133, 134
thereby disengages the projection 180 and the bar 169.
and 135 which are in turn ?xed to the frame or rack 122.
When the bar 1169 and the projection 180 are disengaged,
These chains extend upwardly through openings in the
the spring 175 will pull the tongues 157 of the bars from
platform 119 over bearing rollers 136, 137 and 138 re
the opening at the bottom of their respective receptacle
platform. As pins drop from the bottom of the hopper
spectively and are secured at their other ends to wind
lasses 139, 140 and 141 (see FIGURE 5). The wind
allowing the pins to fall out.
In the event that the rack is prevented from moving
lasses 139, 140 and 141 are each ?xed to the shaft 142 55 all the way down to the floor by some obstruction on the
which is supported on the platform 11-9 by bearings 143
floor, the projection 180 and the bar 169‘ will not nor
and 144. This shaft is rotated for raising and lowering
mally be disengaged and, therefore, the rack 122 will be
the frame or rack 122 in a pre-selected sequence, to be
gin to return to its up position with the pins still held in
described, by means of a driving chain 145 which at one
their individual receptacles. These pins, however, will be
end extends over the sprocket wheel 146 ?xed to the shaft 60 released as the rack moves upwards when the end 192 of
142 md at the other end over the sprocket wheel 147
which is ?xed to the shaft 148. The shaft 148 in turn
is driven from a gear box 149, which in turn is driven
from the driving shaft 259 through the beveled gears
the lever 188 strikes the ?ange 1819. At this point, the
other end 193 of the lever 188 contacts the arm 1'82 and
raises the rod 181 relative to the shaft 125 as the rack is
moving upwardly. This upward movement of the rod
151’. Also attached to this shaft 142 is a Windlass 156 65 181 relative to the shaft 125 will then raise the lever 178
with one end of the chain 152 winding around it. This
and thus release bar 169. The tongues 157 will be pulled
chain 152 extends over a pair of pulleys 153 and 154
by the spring from the openings at the bottom of the
and under the sprocket wheel 155 with its other end ?xed
to the counterweight 191 (FIGURE l). The sprocket 155
receptacles in the manner previously described. Thus,
the pins will be released, preventing possible damage to
is mounted on the same shaft 259 as is one of the beveled 70 the mechanism by a jamming :of the pins in the chutes.
gears 151’.
It will be observed that since the lever 188 is attached
As will be seen in FIGURE 8, the bottom of each
receptacle 123 is open except for the projecting tongues
157 formed by the ends of the bars *158-167. These
bars 158—167 are connected in a network by cross mem
to support 187, it cannot operate to raise the release lever
178 on the downward movement of rack 122.
This is so
ibecause, during the downward movement of rack 1122
75 (from the position shown in FIG. 1A), the lever 188 will
wheel 225 which is mounted on the shaft 226.
operatively engaged with ?ange 189‘ so that it is pivoted
counterclockwise, bringing its end 193 into engagement
with projection 182 in order to raise lever 178.
Fixed to the rack 122 is a bracket 194 to which is sup
One leg 196 of this lever arm has ?xed to its end a roller
197 positioned between two upwardly extending studs 198
and 199 secured to bar 162. ' The outer leg 200‘ of the
lever 195 projects angularly upwardly and also has piv
oted at its end a roller 201.
This con
tinuously rotating shaft 226 is mounted in bearings 227
on the upper movement of the rack 122 that lever 188 is
ported and pivoted a lever arm 195 (see FIGURE 10).
other end of this chain 224 extends around the sprocket
strike the upper surface of flange 189 and pivot clock
wise, remaining in a substantially vertical position while
passing ?ange 189, so that its end 193 is lowermost and
out of engagement with the projection of 182. It is only
As the rack is moved up
wards, the roller 201 contacts the lower side :of the plate
119 or, if desired, an'extension from the plate, and as the
and 228. At one end 'of the shaft 226 is ?xed a sprocket
wheel 229 over which the chain 230 extends. The chain
230 in turn extends about and rotates the sprocket 231
?xed to the shaft 232. This shaft 232 is journalled in
bearings 233 and 234 and 235. Also ?xed to the shaft is
a beveled gear 236 within the casing 237. The beveled
gear 236 drives the beveled gear 238 which is ?xed to the
end of the shaft 239. The shaft 239‘ journalled in bear
ings 240 and 241 and 242 has ?xed to it a sprocket wheel
243 at its far end. The sprocket wheel 243 in turn drives
the chain 16 which, as previously mentioned, supplies
operative power to the conveyor belt system in the pit.
‘ Also ,?xed to the shaft 232 is the sprocket wheel 244
rack continues to move upwardly the roller 201 rolls
which drives the chain 39 which in turn supplies power to
the elevator mechanism in the manner previously de—
along the lower side of the platform 119 causing the roller
197 at the other end of the lever 195 to move the bar
162 in the direction of the arrow A. This movement of
the bar 162 will carry the entire network of bars in the
A slip clutch may be positioned on the shaft 232 to
prevent overloading. Also ?xed to the shaft 232 is a
sprocket 246 which’ drives the chain 61 for operation of
the hopper as previously described.
same direction, with the tongues 157 moving back into
Fixed to the shaft 226 is a beveled gear 247 which
the openings of the receptacles 123. The bar 169‘ will
also move forward until the projection 180, which has 25 drives the beveled gear 248 ?xed to the end of shaft 250
in the solenoid operated clutch box generally designated
been raised above the bar 169 and thereby released from
contact with it, is free to again drop behind the bar 169
251 (see FIGURES 5 and 12). On this shaft 250, which
and hold it against the tension of the spring 175, thus
is continuously rotated, is ?xed a sprocket wheel 252
holding the tongues 157 in the openings at the bottom of
(FIGURE 5) which drives the chain 93 which extends
each receptacle against the tension of the spring.
'30 atrits other end about the sprocket wheel 94 (FIGURE
2). This in turn continuously rotates the rollers 95, 106,
Illustrated in FIGURES 1A, 3, 4 and 5 is a sweep
107 and 108, in the manner previously described.
mechanism for clearing the alley of pins and balls before
the next set is put into position and also for protecting the
Clutch elements 266, 267,. 268 and 269 all journalled
on the shaft 250 operatively and respectively engage the
frame when it is lowered. As shown, a clearing bar 202
gears .254 and 255 and the sprockets 260 and 261 with
suf?ciently wide to extend over the alley is supported at
the continuously rotating shaft 250 when the two halves
either end by'brackets 2013 which are in turn hinged at
204 to the carrier arms 205. Inwardly extending bosses
of the respective clutches are thrown into engagement.
204' on each carrier arm contact the brackets 203 and
The driving section and driven section of these clutches
are engaged and disengaged by means of solenoids 270,
thereby limit the rotation of the clearing bar 202. At the
other end of the carrier arms 205 are ?xed rotatable bear
271, 272 and 273 which are ?xed to the top of the clutch
ing wheels 206 which are guided in channel members
207 and 208. These channel members ‘are in turn ?xed
to side supporting beams 209 and 210 which extend from
a point over the bowling alley pit to a point bey-ond'the
positions at which the pins will beset on the alley. The
forward ends of these channels are arcuately curved up
wardly and are secured to an extension'211 formed at the
forward end of each of the channels 208 and 210‘.
The carrier arm 205 is reciprocated along the channel
members 207 and 208 by a conveyor chain 212 which is 50
box with their armatures tensioned outwardly by springs
274, 275, 276 and 277 ("FIGURE 5) with the springs 274
and 276 ?xed at one end to the post 278 and springs 275
and 277 ?xed at one end to the post 279. The armature
of each of these solenoids carries a downwardly extend
ing arm (not shown) through a slot (not shown) in the
top of the clutch box with the end of the arm engaged in
a groove of one half of the clutch, whereby the clutches
are disengaged until their respective solenoids are acti
vated. Thus on engagement of the gear 254 with the
shaft 250 by operation of the solenoid 270, the shaft 258
This conveyor chain ex
tends around the sprockets 213 and 214 at either end of
will turn in one direction, and on engagement of the
sprocket wheel 260' by its solenoid 272, the shaft 258
the channels 207 and 208. One half of the conveyor
will turn in the opposite direction. Similarly, the shaft
chain 212 extends around the outside and bottom of the.
channel 208 and the other half of the chain 212 extends 55 v259 upon engagement of either the gear 255 with shaft
250 by action of solenoid 271 or sprocket wheel 261 by
around the outside of the channel 207. Idler sprockets
itssolenoid 273 clutch or sprocket wheel and chain mech
215 and 216 also engage the chain 212, with sprocket 216
anism will rotate in one direction or rthe other respectively.
being rotatably supported on one end of arm ‘217 which
The shaft 258 extends through one side of the solenoid
is pivoted at its other end to the extension 218 topermit
adjustment of the tension on the chain 212. When the 60 box 251 and is supported in the bearing 280 '(FIGURE
5) and has ?xed at its end thesprocket wheel 281. The
carrying arms 205 are moved along 'the channels 207 and
sprocket wheel 281 (see FIGURE 2) carries the chain
208, the sweep 202 moves down towards the surface of
282 which in turn rotates the sprocket wheel 283. This
the alley and carries pins or balls remaining in the alley
to the pit. On its return,v the'clearing bar stops just be- a’ sprocket wheel 283 is mounted on the end of the shaft 284
?xed to the carrier arm 205.
yond the frame, while the frame is being lowered and 65 shown in dotted outline in FIGURE 5, which also has
mounted on it the sprockets214 for driving the chains
212. The chains 212 in turn move the sweep mechanism
might be thrown down the alley at this time. This opera»
raised in order to protect the frame from balls which
previously described forward and back in a pro-selected
sequence which will later be described.
The shaft 259 extends through the other side of the
The motor 219 (see FIGURES 1, 2 and 5) acts as a’ 70
solenoid box 251 and has secured to it, the beveled gear
power source for the various operating elements hereto
tion will be further described'in connection with the elec
trical circuit.
fore described. , A continuously rotating shaft 220 from
the motor is connected to the. gear reduction box 221.
From this box, a shaft 222 rotates the sprocket wheel‘ 223
about which one end of the chain 224 extends. The
'7 151' and the sprocket wheel 155 for raising and lowering
the rack mechanism in a sequence to be described. The
reason for using both a counterweight system and a gear
system for raising and lowering the rack is that the
counterweight system reduces power requirement. The
gear system is also used to eliminate slippage when the
clutch in the clutch box is disengaged due to the uneven
balance between the counterweight and the rack as pins
are received or released.
vFIGURE 13 illustrates the electrical system which
controls the sequence of operation of this machine in
which the sweep ?rst moves down to the level of the alley '
and rearwardly clearing the pins and balls from the alley
through lines 293 and 1292, the contact 313, the line 314
land the 'lines 315 and 316. Solenoid 273, when acti
vated, engages the clutch 269 which raises the rack pre
viously lowered and at the same time solenoid 270 re
engages the sweep mechanism which had been stopped
just beyond the frame when it was being lowered and
continues the movement of this sweep back to its original
position. When the frame or rack reaches its up posi
tion, microswitch 3110 is opened and the solenoid 273 is
into the pit and then moves back towards its original 10 de-energized stopping the upward motion of this frame.
starting position stopping just beyond the position of the
When the sweep in its continued movement back to its
head pin. At this point, the rack element descends to the
original starting position hits the microswitch 317, the
bowling alley and releases the pins in their proper posi
tion. The rack then moves back up and when it reaches
its up position, the sweep continues back to its original
position. On return of the rack to its up position, a new
set of pins are released from the hopper which is being
continuously supplied with pins cleared from the pit. At
this point, the apparatus is ready for another complete
More speci?cally, when a bowler or operator closes the
switch 286, a circuit is completed through the lines 287,
288, the solenoid 290, the line 291, the switch 286, the
solenoid 290
the line 293,
the line 315,
the line 298,
is energized through the circuit,
the line 292, the switch 313, the
the line 318, the switch 317, the
the solenoid 290, the lines 288
line 314,
line 319,
and 287,
moving the rotary switch 294 to close the contact 321.
The solenoid 86 (see FIGURE 6) is then activated
through the circuit including the lines 293 and 292, the
contact 321, the line 322, the solenoid 86 and the line
287. This solenoid '86 engages a single revolution clutch
'85 as previously described which in turn causes a single
set of pins to drop from the hopper. iThe microswitch
contact 325, the lines 292 and 293. This circuit operates
323 is then momentarily closed, completing a circuit
the solenoid 290 ‘which will rotate the ratchet type six 25 through the lines 293 and 292, the contact 321, the line
position rotary switch 294 (diagrammatically shown in
\FIGURE 14) one-sixth of a rotation. On this rotation,
the rotary switch 294 closes the contact 295. A circuit
is then completed through the lines .293, 292 and 294, the
contact 295, the lines 296 and 289 through the solenoid
272 and the line 287.
This activates the solenoid 272
which in turn operates the clutch 268 in a manner as
previously set forth and causes the sweep mechanism to
move towards the pit. As this sweep is moving towards
the pit, it trips the microswitch 297 which in turn com
pletes a circuit through the lines 293, 292 and 294, the
contact 295, the line 296, the microswitch 297, the line
298, the solenoid 290 and the lines 288 and 287. This
activates the solenoid 290 to rotate the ratchet 294 to
its next position closing the contact 300.
When the contact 300 is closed, the circuit through the
solenoid 272 is opened and a circuit is completed through
the line 293, the line 292, the contact 300, the line 301,
the solenoid 270, the line 288 and the line 287, activating
the solenoid 270 which engages the clutch 266 reversing
the direction of the sweep. The microswitch 297 should
be located so that the sweep will be reversed at a point
322, the microswitch 323, the line 298, the solenoid 290,
and the lines 288 and 287, by the movement of lever 74
on shaft 73 as the latter rotates thus again activating the
solenoid 290 which rotates the rotary switch 294 back
to its original position closing the contact 325. The mi
croswitch 323 which is normally spring tensioned in an
open contact position is then disengaged and the ap~
paratus is ready for another complete cycle.
As illustrated in FIGURES 1, 2 and 7, a counterweight
326 is secured to an extension on one of the shafts 67 to
insure positive action in the closing of the cradle or
gate elements 63. As shown in FIGURE ‘1A, a stop 327
is secured to the top of the frame or rack 122 to limit
the upward motion of the frame 122 when the stop comes
into contact with the lower side of the platform 119.
As shown in FIGURE 8, a pair of rollers 328 having
their supports secured to the frame 122 may contact the
elements 173 and 174 for additional control of the opera—
tion of the bars 158 to 167.
Having now described my invention, I claim:
1. A bowling pin setting machine for setting bowling
pins in a pre-selected position on a bowling alley com
just over the edge of the pit.
prising, a frame having means for receiving a plurality
On the return of the sweep (diagrammatically shown in
FIGURE 13 at 302) the microswitch 303 is closed. This 50 of pins in an upright pre-selected spaced relation, means
for lowering and raising the frame to and from the level
completes a circuit with the current passing through the
of the alley, gate means for retaining said pins in said
line 391 to the line 304, the microswitch 303, the line 306,
frame, ?rst means normally operable upon the down
the line 298, the solenoid 290, the line 288 and the line
ward movement of said frame for releasing said gate
287, thus again activating the solenoid 290. The solenoid
290 then rotates the rotary switch 294 to its next position 55 means, and second means e?ectively located at a point
along the vertical path of travel of said frame above the
closing contact 307. A circuit is then completed through
effective position of said ?rst means operable only upon
the line 293, the contact 307, the line 309, the solenoid
27-1 and the line 287, thus activating the solenoid 271.
the upward movement of said frame for releasing said
The solenoid 271 engages the clutch '267 and thereby
gate means.
lowers the rack or frame 122. As the rack reaches the 60
2. In a bowling pin setting machine, means for setting
level of the alley, the pins are released in the manner
bowling pins in a pre-selected position on a bowling alley
previously described. At this time, the microswitches
comprising, a frame having a plurality of spaced recep
310 and 311 are closed by the downward movement of
tacles for receiving pins, said receptacles having bottom
the rack. When the microswitch 311 is closed, a circuit
elements adapted to be opened for releasing said pins in
is completed through the lines 287, 288, the solenoid 65 an upright position, means for lowering and raising the
290, the line 298 and the line 312, the microswitch 311,
frame to and from the level of the alley, ?rst means
the line 309, contact 307 and the line 293; thus activating
for normally opening said bottom elements when the
the solenoid 290 which in turn moves the rotary switch
294 to its next position closing contact 313. Due to the
frame is at a low position, and second means effectively
located along the vertical path of travel of said frame
closing of contact 313, the solenoid 273 is energized by 70 above the effective position of said ?rst means operable
the circuit through lines 293 and 292, the contact 313,
only upon the upward movement of said frame for open
the line 314, the microswitch 310, the solenoid 273 and
ing said bottom elements.
the line 287. The solenoid 270 is also activated by the
3. In a bowling pin setting machine, means for setting
closing of contact 313 which completes the circuit 75 bowling pins in a pre-selected position on a bowling alley
comprising, a'frame having a plurality of spaced recep-'
tacles for receiving pins with the bottom of said receptacles open, movable tongue elements normally project-
ing into said openings (for retaining pins in the receptacles,
means for lowering and raising the frame to and from
the alley, means including a spring and latch for retracting
means operable only upon the upward movement of said
frame for retracting said tongues.
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
' said tongues from the openings when the frame is in a
HedenSkwg ---------- -- Ian' 27’ 1925
low position, and second means including a’ latch‘e?ectively located at 'a point along the vertical path of travel
Gray e ------ u, ------- -- June 16’ 1925
Bentz ----- -~'- -------- -- Oct' 15’ 1935
of said frame above the effective position of said ?rst 1O
Frye -------- --'------ -- Feb- 22' 1955
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