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Publication numberUS3815912 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date11 Jun 1974
Filing date21 Dec 1971
Priority date3 Jun 1969
Publication numberUS 3815912 A, US 3815912A, US-A-3815912, US3815912 A, US3815912A
InventorsLaughton C, Wichinsky M
Original AssigneeLaughton C, Wichinsky M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Race game with preference for random winner related to randomly selected odds
US 3815912 A
Abstract
This invention provides a race game apparatus in which racing figures are caused to move along a track from a starting point to a finishing point. In the preferred arrangement the racing figures are model horses ridden by model jockeys and for the start of the race the horses and jockeys are arranged within a replica of a normal starting gate. The apparatus includes an electric motor which is arranged to move the racing figures at random along the track, controlled by an electromechanical mixer device which operates after the end of the race to randomly preselect the winner of the next race. The mixer includes means for assigning odds to each of the horses, and for then preselecting the winner, the selection being influenced by the assigned odds. The mixer includes means for assuring that the random assignment of odds and winner selection occurs after each race, and a unique magnetic clutch for controlling the movement of the rotating elements of the mixer.
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United States Patent [191 Wichinsky et al.

[451 June 11, 1974 I 1 RACE GAME WITH PREFERENCE FOR RANDOM WINNER RELATED TO RANDOMLY SELECTED ODDS [76] Inventors: Michael Wichinsky, 2611 S.

Hlghland Ave., Las Vegas, Nev. 89102; Charles Laughton, 2450 E. 61st S. No., Tulsa, Okla. 74130 221 Filed: Dec.2l, 1971 21 Appl. No.: 210,477

Related US. Application Data [63] Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 829,984, June 3.

1969, abandoned.

[52] US. Cl. 273/86 F [51] Int. Cl. A63f 9/14 [58] Field of Search 273/86 F, 86 G, 86 H, 86 B [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,133,165 10/1938 Eisenberg et a1 273/86 F 3,297,323 l/1967 Gibson 273/86 H 3,709,493 l/1973 Lally 273/86 F FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,193,947 6/1970 Great Britain 273/86 F 1,018,766 2/1966 Great Britain 273/86 F 1,056,341 l/1967 Great Britain 273/86 F Primary Examiner-Anton O. Oechsle Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Schuyler, Birch, Swindler, McKie & Beckett [57] ABSTRACT This invention provides a race game apparatus in which racing figures are caused to move along a track from a starting point to a finishing point. In the preferred arrangement the racing figures are model horses ridden by model jockeys and for the start of the race the horses and jockeys are arranged within a replica of a normal starting gate. The apparatus includes an electric motor which is arranged to move the racing figures at random along the track, controlled by an electromechanical mixer device which operates after the end of the race to randomly preselect the winner of the next race. The mixer includes means for assigning odds to each of the horses, and for then preselecting the winner, the selection being influenced by the assigned odds. The mixer includes means for assuring that the random assignment of odds and winner selection occurs after each race, and a unique magnetic clutch for controlling the movement of the rotating elements of the mixer.

10 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures llOOB 3 RACE SELECTIONS ODDS FOR ONE PATENTEDJUN 1 1 I974 FIG. '4

SHEETS!!! 4 9 TRACK COILS P 0003 DRUM 0 SWITCHES X-TRACK PROGRAM H F3 E. A

$H E!- 30: 30. DEE o m5 PATENTEDJUH H I974 3.815912 SHEET 4 BF 4 RELAY MIXER PART 11 MIXER FIG 5 PliRT I D 301 o o 0 v J 44 v o v w- G 12 I28 P08. 0 v. VARIATOR OROTARY Q M i BI-DIR. 0 o 0 052 (ID TIMER MOTOR DRIVE g MAGNETIC QL CLUTCH as K} J- A w I- 72 gPULSE STOP RELAY 70 gRELAY 54 56 SWITCH ARM 32 V swncn PLATE 3| V///// q //////1 FIELD COIL 62 g 1 PM. ARMATURE s4 6 N LEATHER CLUTCH PA!) 66 8 PULLYTO DRIVE MOTOR s5 CLUTCH SPRING PRESSURE COLLAR RACE GAME WITH PREFERENCE FOR RANDOM WINNER RELATED TO RANDOMLY SELECTED ODDS CROSS REFERENCE TO A RELATED APPLICATION:

This application is a continuation in part of U.S. application Ser. No. 829,984 of Michael Wishinsky, et al., filed June 3, 1969, and now abandoned.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION:

Race games are known in which model horses are caused to move along a track from a starting position to a winning position. But in such games it is usual to have manually operable means or the like by means of which the horses are caused to move from the start to the finish or the figures may simply be moved along the track in accordance with the throw of a die or something of that kind.

Among known prior art patents describing mechanical race games, Carter G. B. U.S. Pat. No. 1,018,766 includes means for preselecting the winner of the next race immediately after the preceding one by a system which considers the odds on each race figure. But the odds are preset into the mechanism by contacts wired to each figure, and cannot be changed from race to race. Catlow G. B. U.S. Pat. No. 1,056,341 and Panlos U.S. Pat. No. 2,879,998 describe race games including means for causing the horses to intermittently advance, but they have no means for preselecting the winner. Eisenberg U.S. Pat. No. 2,133,165 teaches a race game having an odds selection drum, but no means for preselecting a winner. Tratsch U.S. Pat. No. 2,406,48] teaches a gear pulley mechanism which is usable to drive race game figures but lacks means for affecting the outcome of the race as done in applicants device wherein the preselected winner is accelerated continuously away from the rest of the field to cross the finish line first.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to race game apparatus of the kind in which figures such as model horses race along a track from a starting position to a winning position.

According to the present invention race game apparatus of the kind referred to is provided with an electric motor to move the figures along the track and has means operable after the end of a race to select the winner of the next race so that the winner of each race is predetermined at the start of the race. Instead of moving smoothly along the track the figures may be moved in a step-by-step manner so that first one figure and then another takes the lead. As the figures reach the closing stages of the race means may be provided to condition the preselected winner for continuous movement instead of step-by-step movement so that the preselected winner is moved to the front and reaches the winning position first.

In a preferred arrangement the odds against each figure winning are displayed on an indicator board or the like and after a race is completed means is provided to change the odds against the various horses. When the odds for a particular race have been selected and this is preferably effected at random and automatically, associated electrical mechanism may be operated so as to LII predetermine the winner of the race. The arrangement is such that the predetermination is effected automatically and at random in the sense that any one of the figures may be selected but the arrangement is such that a figure at odds of say 2 to 1 has an appropriately greater chance of being selected than a figure at say 50 to I.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS:

In order that the invention may be more clearly understood and readily carried into effect reference is now directed to the accompanying drawings given by way of example in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the form of race game apparatus embodying the present invention and using horses as the figures.

FIG. 2 is a detail view showing the means by which the horses are moved along the track.

FIG. 3 is a block circuit diagram of the electronic apparatus controlling the race game invention.

FIGS. 4 and 5 are detailed circuit diagram of the electronic apparatus.

FIG. 6 is an exploded view of a clutch usable in the race game control apparatus.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring first to FIG. 1 the game apparatus comprises a casing 1 provided with a race track 2 including nine horses 3 adapted to race along the track from a start position 4 to a finish position 5. The apparatus also includes an indicator board 6 with a horizontal row of numbers 1 to 9 corresponding to the number of horses in the race so that horse No. 1 corresponds to No. 1 on the indicator and so on. Below each horse number on the indicator is a second row of numbers giving the odds against that particular horse winning the race, some of the horses being at low odds e.g. 3 1, 4 l, and so on and the others being at longer odds, e.g. 50 l and l. The numbers giving the odds are on an elongated drum that is rotatable so that the odds against the various horses can be changed. An electric track motor D is provided to propel the horses along the track, the arrangement being such that the motor drives a shaft through reduction gearing. As shown in FIG. 2, nine driving pulleys 7 are mounted on the shaft, one for each horse and a cable is passed around each pulley and is connected to a carrier 8 disposed below the track. In turn each carrier 8 is connected to a further cable which is extended around a pulley 9 at the winning end of the track, the arrangement being such that when the driving pulleys 7 are rotated in one direction the cables move the carrier 8 towards the winning end of the track and when the driving pulleys are rotated in the opposite direction the carriers 8 are moved towards the start. The track has nine longitudinal slots 10 and a horse 11 is mounted on each carrier 8 so as to project through its associated slot whereby as the carriers 8 are moved along underneath the track the horses appear to be moving along the track.

Referring now more particularly to FIGS. 3 through 6 and to the operation of the apparatus let it be assumed that a race has just been completed and that all the horses are near to the winning end of the track. In order to return the horses to the start a return switch B must be closed momentarily which has the effect of energizing return relays C which are latched in their operated position, supply voltage being supplied through return switches each of which must be in the closed circuit position. The operation of the return relays C, of which there are nine, one for each horse, firstly operates the electric motor D so that it rotates in a direction to return the horses to the start position. In addition the return relays C energize variable time pulse relay E which in turn randomly positions a mixer Part II in a brief instant. Relay E is energized for a random duration of time depending on the charge accumulated on its energizing capacitor 10. Capacitor is charged by a variable resistor 12 whose value is varied by a randomly non-directional motor I4, thereby varying the charging current to capacitor 10. A rotary switch F, integral with mixer Part II is wired to a position switch and motor G so as to operate an odds selection drum H to its new position. Mixer Part II is a transposition relay having nine positions; its movement results in the assignment of the nine possible sets of odds to the nine horses; the drum is rotated to display the odds as assigned to a player of the game.

As shown in FIG. 5, Rotary Mixer Part I is a 128 position odds mixer rotary switch. The nine possible odds to be applied one to each of the nine horses are generated by wiring together a representative number of positions on the switch. Thus 37 points are wired together to represent odds of three-to-one, 27 points for the odds of four-to-one and so on to two points for the odds of 50, and one point for the odds of 100. Nine outlet leads are provided, one connected to the 37 contact points wired together to represent 3-to-l odds, another connected to the 27 contact points representing 4-to-l odds, and so on. The nine outputs are led to mixer part II which is utilized to randomly assign odds to each of the race figures before each race. In this example, as nine race figures are being used, mixer part II and odds selection drum H each contain 9 contacts. Each of the contacts on part II are associated with one of the racing figures, and by rotation thereof one set of odds is assigned to each of the nine horses. The odds selection drum is caused by switch F and motor G to move correspondingly.

When the odds selection drum has come to rest in its new position it will indicate the odds against each of the horses and at the same time or shortly thereafter the winner of the next race will be predetermined. The winner may be any of the horses but it will be understood that the arrangement is such that there is a greater chance of the horses at low odds being selected than the horses at high odds.

The winner is determined in a manner which is best explained with reference to FIG. 5. The mixer part I comprises a rotary switch 30 whose switch plate 31 has 128 contacts thereon. A rotating switch arm or wiper 32 is connected to a continuously rotating motor 34 through a special magnetic clutch and brake arrangement 36, explained more fully below. The wiper 32 is connected to a high voltage input through a random switch 40 continuously made and broken by a cam 42. This switch serves to establish a first condition precedent to the selection of a winner. The second condition, which must be fulfilled simultaneously, is the contacting of one contact by wiper 32. When these two conditions occur simultaneously, motion of the wiper ends, the winner being determined.

The nine outputs of the rotary switch of mixer part I, which are also connected to transposition relay mixer part II are coupled through diodes D44-D52 to a stop relay 54. It should be noted here that high and low AC. is supplied to terminals I and II at all times, to supply timer motor voltage and operating voltage to the cam operated switch 40 which when closed energizes relay 54 to stop the rotary relay on its nearest live point, provided low AC. is being provided to terminal III. Terminals I, II, and III in FIGS. 4 and 5 are common. The drive motor 34 is directly connected to terminal I and Ill and is energized by the closure of a relay 58 (FIG. 4) which connects live low A.C. terminal II with terminal III as soon as one of the finish light switches is closed indicating the end of a race. The motor continues to rotate until the switches A release the relays C, indicating that the horses are at the start.

The drive motor 34 cooperates with a pulse time delay relay 70, stop relay 54 and a special magnetic clutch 36 and switch 40 to advance the wiper 32 randomly at the end of each race and to bring it to rest against a contact representing another winner.

The special magnetic clutch shown in FIG. 6 is of a design which brakes when its coil is energized. The clutch couples the switch arm 32 which is turning over switch plate 30 to rotating drive motor 34 through drive pulley 60. The clutch includes an armature 64 oriented to brake immediately when positive voltage is applied to the field coil 62 and to release or push away when negative voltage is applied. Thus when field coil 62 is energized, the movement of the permanent magnet armature 64 which is directly coupled to shaft 65 presses clutch pad 66 against pulley 68, stopping rotation of shaft 65 and consequently of arm 32.

The necessary electrical signals to initiate this quick positive braking action are provided by the cam switch 40 and stop relay 54. After the drive motor 34 starts turning at the end of a race, stop relay 54 is energized when the closing of switch 40 coincides with wiper arm 32 contacting one of the 128 contacts on plate 30, immediately energizing coil 62 of clutch 36, stopping movement of wiper arm 32 against that contact. It might happen that switch 40 is closed when drive motor 34 is energized by relay 58. This would result in immediate braking by clutch 36, and no movement of arm 32. Therefore, pulse relay 70 is provided to insure that some motion of the arm 32 always occurs following each race. Condenser 72 is provided in series with pulse time delay relay and effectively between terminals I and III. At the races end, this condenser energizes relay 70 interrupting the circuit from mixer part I to relay 54 and preventing actuation thereof while the drive motor 34 moves wiper arm 32. When the capacitor 72 is discharged the switch controlled by relay 70 closes and the circuit to relay 54 is again completed so that the mixer switch arm may be stopped at the appropriate position.

Shortly after the above sequence of events has taken place the horses will complete their movement back to the starting position in readiness for the start of a race.

' The supply voltage to the return relays C is interrupted when the horses have reached the starting position by the return switches A releasing the relays C the contacts of which return to the up position. When the relays C are in this position supply voltage for a start switch I is supplied by closure of track finish switches J through the up position of return relays C. Mometary closure of start switch I energizes start relays K which energize the track Motor D in its forward condition and track programme switches X. The track programme switches X energize track coils P at various intervals to release a clutch system or holding device associated with each horse so that the horses will be propelled forward intermittently and selectively in the sense that not all horses will be moved at the same time.

The clutch system for intermittently driving the horses forward comprises a copper or like finger pressed against each driving pulley 7 so as to restrain the pulleys against movement, any rotation of the shaft being effected relatively to the pulleys. When the track coil P associated with horse 1 is energized the finger on the pulley 7 of horse 1 is magnetically withdrawn so that the pulley 7 is allowed to turn for a few seconds or fractions of a second and horse 1 is moved a certain distance along the track. Then the track coil of horse 1 is de-energized, the finger returns to the restraining position and horse 1 remains stationary for a period. Following this the track coil P of another horse is energized and so on. Naturally if desired several track coils can be energized at the same time.

in order to permit the magnetic withdrawal of the fingers from the pulleys each finger has at its end an attachment of magnetic material and if desired each pulley may have ratchet type notches into which the associated fiiiger may drop so as to positively prevent rotation of the pulley until the finger is withdrawn. The horses are now moving forward along the track towards the winning post with each horse moving in fits and starts and with the lead probably changing as the horses move along. The horses are propelled by the described spring clutch system being released at intervals as var ied by the rotary programming switch X at the %s position of the track.

It should be noted that the track program switches which control track drive coils P to drive the horses intermittently are not interconnected with the odds selection means. They are individually operated by known means such as discharging capacitors to operate in an intermittent manner. However, the track program switch of the winning horse is operated continuously during the home stretch.

When the horses reach what may be called the home stretch, that is when about 1 of the distance of the race has been covered, one of the horses will trip a home stretch switch M, which may be a microswitch, which energizes a home stretch relay N. Thus, a circuit is completed through one home stretch switch M, home stretch relay N, the odds mixer (part I) and the transposition rotary mixer (part II). Thus operating voltage is supplied through the mixer system to the correct one of a series of track relays O i.e. the track relay 0 of the winning horse.

The energized track relay 0 then supplies electrical energy to the corresponding track coil P of which there are nine, one for each horse. This track coil then permanently releases its magnetic clutch until the end of the race so that the predetermined winner is permitted to glide home in one sustained movement as the winner. The winning horse as it reaches the winning post activates the track finish switch 1 which opens the supply voltage to start relays K and also energizes a light Q to illuminate the number of the winning horse.

What we claim is:

1. A race game apparatus comprising a plurality of tracks arranged together between a starting line and finish line to form a race course, each of said tracks having associated therewith a racing figure movable on said tracks between said starting line and said finish line,

drive means for moving said racing figures between said starting line and said finish line, said drive means being operatively engageable with each of said racing figures,

a selectively engageable coupling means associated with each said racing figure for connecting said racing figure to said drive means,

means for intermittently engaging and disengaging each said coupling means to cause each of said racing figures to move in a step-by-step manner between said starting line and said finish line,

odds selection means for randomly selecting and assigning odds to win to each of said racing figures before each race, winner selection means for randomly preselecting the winner of each race, said winner selection means being operatively interconnected with said odds se lection means in such a manner as to give preference in selecting said winner to those of said racing figures having the lowest preselected odds to win assigned by said odds selection means, said winner selection means comprising a rotary switch having at least one output for assignment to each one of said racing figures by said odds selection means and a wiper arm adapted to be sequentially associated with said outputs, a randomly operated switch means for establishing a first initial condition precedent to the selection of a winner, and a relay device responsive to the random opera tion of said randomly operated switch means and the coincident association of any one of said outputs of said rotary switch with said wiper arm to fix said one output as being connected to the winning racing figure, and

means for continuously engaging said coupling means of said winner at a predetermined point in said race, whereby said winner then advances continuously to said finish line.

2. A race game apparatus according to claim 1 further comprising a home stretch switch mounted on said tracks a predetermined distance from said finish line, said home stretch switch operating said means for continuously engaging said coupling means of said preselected winner.

3. A race game according to claim 1 further comprising return means to return said racing figures to said starting position when said winner has reached said finish position.

4. A race game according to claim 3 wherein said odds selection means is actuated by actuation of said return means.

5. A race game apparatus as claimed in claim 4 wherein said rotary switch includes a plurality of contacts, each of said contacts being assignable to one of said outputs to represent the chance of said one racing figure being selected as the winner,

said wiper arm being driven across said plurality of contacts by a motor, and

a second relay device responsive to one of said racing figures crossing said finish line to energize said motor, whereby said wiper arm is driven across said contacts by said motor until said coincident contacting of any one of said contacts and operation of said randomly operated switch means occurs to thereby actuate said first recited relay device.

6. A race game apparatus as claimed in claim further including a clutch interposed between said motor and said wiper arm and responsive to a signal from said first relay device to brake movement of said arm.

7. A race game apparatus as claimed in claim 6 wherein said clutch comprises a shaft drivingly coupled to said wiper arm, a field coil selectively electrically connected through said first relay to sources of positive and negative voltage and a permanenet magnetic armature mechanically coupled to saiddrive shaft and oriented relative to said field coil to brake said shaft when positive voltage is applied to said field coil through said relay and to release said shaft to be rotated by said motor when negative voltage is applied to said field coil through said relay.

9. A race game apparatus as claimed in claim 1 further comprising a pulse time delay relay electrically connected to said winner selection means and energized coincidentally therewith to prevent coincident operation of said randomly operated switch means and said first relay device simultaneously with the energization of said winner selection means.

10. A race game apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein said rotary switch includes a plurality of contacts, each of said contacts being assignable to one of said outputs to represent a chance of said one racing figure being selected as the winner,

said wiper arm being driven across said plurality of contacts by a motor, and

a second relay device responsive to one of said racing figures crossing said finish line to energize said motor, whereby said wiper arm is driven across said contacts by said motor until said coincident contacting of any one of said contacts and operation of said randomly operated switch means occurs to thereby actuate said first recited relay device.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4090713 *21 Apr 197723 May 1978Decesare Dominic VHarness horse racing electric system
US4527798 *23 Feb 19819 Jul 1985Video Turf IncorporatedRandom number generating techniques and gaming equipment employing such techniques
US4676506 *5 Dec 198530 Jun 1987Ainsworth Nominees Pty, LimitedOdds indicator for poker machines
US5398938 *12 Nov 199321 Mar 1995Money; Henty V.Game apparatus
US5443261 *25 Feb 199422 Aug 1995C. J. Associates, Ltd.Arcade type of toy having climbing objects
US5800263 *21 Feb 19961 Sep 1998Konami Co., Ltd.Game machine
US5954584 *27 Feb 199721 Sep 1999Sega Enterprises, Ltd.Movable object position detecting apparatus
US6872140 *1 Apr 200229 Mar 2005Konami CorporationRacing game machine
US757218530 Sep 200511 Aug 2009Atlantic City Coin & Slot Service Company, Inc.Gaming device with animated figure and movable object display
WO1988009691A1 *1 Jun 198815 Dec 1988Sportrak International Pty LtdGame apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/68, 463/58, 463/60
International ClassificationA63F9/14
Cooperative ClassificationA63F9/143
European ClassificationA63F9/14E