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Title:
AUTOMATIC PINSETTER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2000/066233
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
In a bowling game, an apparatus to automatically retrieve knocked down tenpins from the skittle alley, after each ball strike aimed thereat. The apparatus includes a series of cables each connected to the head of a corresponding one of the tenpins. The cables are connected to a computer controlled cable pulling means comprising a pulley for each cable and a reversible motor driving the pulleys. Once at least one tenpin is struck by a ball, all tenpins are lifted by their cables through actuation of the cable pulling means. The cable pulling means is then reversed, which will enable the cables to yield to the weight bias of their pins and therefore allow all of the latter - but for the knocked down tenpin - to fall back to their upstanding position on the skittle alley. The knocked-down pin has been identified by optical sensors connected to the computer, and the computer will have actuated a cam-type cable lock to prevent release of the knocked down pin cable under the weight of this latter pin. Because this apparatus has less components than existing pinsetter, it is more compact and it requires less service maintenance.

Inventors:
Rochefort, Lucien (103 de l' Abbé Ruelland Beauport, Québec G1E 5L4, Québec G1E 5L4, CA)
Simard, Carol (264 St-Gustave, C.P. 829 Beaupré, Québec G0A 1C0, CA)
Guay, Viateur (4740, Villa St-Vincent Charlesbourg, Québec G1H 4B4, CA)
Application Number:
PCT/CA2000/000485
Publication Date:
November 09, 2000
Filing Date:
April 27, 2000
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MENDES INC. (2425 Watt Sainte-Foy, Québec G1P 3X2, CA)
Rochefort, Lucien (103 de l' Abbé Ruelland Beauport, Québec G1E 5L4, Québec G1E 5L4, CA)
Simard, Carol (264 St-Gustave, C.P. 829 Beaupré, Québec G0A 1C0, CA)
Guay, Viateur (4740, Villa St-Vincent Charlesbourg, Québec G1H 4B4, CA)
International Classes:
A63D5/08; (IPC1-7): A63D5/08
Foreign References:
US3458191A
DE2227988A1
CH382053A
DE4142808A1
US5167412A
US5167412A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Artola, Daniel (McCarthy Tétrault 1170 Peel Street Montréal, Québec H3B 4S8, CA)
Download PDF:
Claims:
The embodiments of the invention for which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed, are defined as follows:
1. An automatic, tethered pinsetter for a game of bowling in which a number of pins upstanding on a skittle alley flooring are targeted by a ball thrown thereat rollingly along a bowling alley, said pinsetter comprising: (a) a main fixed frame; (b) a number of flexible cables, each cable connected at one end to a corresponding one of said pins and at the other end to cable pulling means; (c) cable pulling means, to pull said tethered pins away from a first, skittle alley standing position, to a second, skittle alley clearing position; (d) resetting means, for returning at least some of said tethered pins from their second to their first position, upon deactivation of said cable pulling means; (e) cable lock means, deactivating said resetting means selectively only for those tethered pins which were knocked down by the ball throw and not those tethered pins which were still standing on the skittle alley flooring after the ball throw; power means, to operate said cable pulling means; (g) sensor means, to collect data as to which tethered pins were knocked down; and (h) computer means, to correlate said sensor means, power means, cable lock means and cable pulling means to enable said cable lock means to segregate those cables of knockeddown pins from those cables of the standing pins; where said cable pulling means comprise a reversible motor, a pulley for each cable said pulleys operatively connected to said motor in order to wind on or off said cables, limit sensors means to collect data as to the limit position of said tethered pins and operatively connected to said computer means for activating or deactivating said power means after correlating data processed by said computer means.
2. An automatic pinsetter for bowling in which the pins are suspended from cables wherein a cable puller means consists of a reversible motor, a pulley for each cable, said pulleys operatively connected to said motor in order to wind on or off said cables, limit sensors means to collect data as to the limit position of said tethered pins and operatively connected to said computer means for alternately activating or deactivating said motor after correlating data processed by said computer means.
3. A bowling alley pinsetter of the cable type comprising : (a) a cable for each pin and a pulling means for each cable operable to cause said pins to be moved between the alley surface and an elevated position removed from the alley surface.
4. (b) sensor means to distinguish between standing pins and fallen pins; (c) individual control means responsive to the sensor means for controlling the cables to prevent the return of fallen pins to the alley surface and allow return of the standing pins;.
5. A pinsetter as claimed in claim 3, wherein the control means include a cable locking means;.
6. A pinsetter as claimed in claim 3, wherein the pulling means comprise a reversible motor and a pulley for each cable, said pulleys operatively connected to said motor in order to wind on or off said cables;.
7. A pinsetter as claimed in claim 3, wherein the pulling means enable manual or automatic adjustment of the length of the cables;.
8. A pinsetter as claimed in claim 5, wherein the motor is a step motor;.
9. A pinsetter as claimed in claim 5, comprising a tensioning mean for each cable to assure efficient wind on or off of the cable on the pulley;.
10. A pinsetter as claimed in claim 5, wherein the pulley enables manual or automatic adjustment of the length of the cable;.
11. A pinsetter as claimed in claim 9, wherein the pulley comprises: (a) a hub attached to the driving shaft; (b) a cable wheel centre mounted on the hub; (c) a cable wheel rotably mounted on the cable wheel centre, having an external Ushape cross section where cable may be wound up; (d) a cable wheel lock mounted on the cable wheel centre and preventing free relative rotation of the cable wheel around the cable wheel centre;.
12. A pinsetter as claimed in claim 10, wherein the cable wheel lock may be deactivated manually or automatically in order to enable free relative rotation of the centre wheel around the cable wheel centre to adjust the length of the cable.
13. A pinsetter as claimed in claim 10, wherein the cable wheel centre is rotably mounted on the hub, the cable wheel centre rotating from a normal position to a deviated position, a spring maintaining the cable wheel centre in its normal position.
Description:
AUTOMATIC PINSETTER FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention is concerned with a pinsetter for use for bowling.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In the game of bowling, heavy spherical balls are rolled down a lawn or an indoor alley and targeted at a set of wooden clubs called pins, usually a triangularly positioned set of ten pins (called tenpins) standing upright on a skittle alley at the rear end of the bowling alley, in an attempt to knock them down. Experts are often able to strike all tenpins in a single ball shot, but laymen will usually be able to knock down only a fraction of the total number of pins. A player may, according to the bowling game rules, try at least a second time to knock down the pins that remain upstanding on the skittle alley. In order to ensure that the knocked down pins from the first ball shot do not interfere with those unstruck pins that remain upright on the skittle alley, it is necessary to remove the knocked down pins from the skittle alley area, after each ball throw.

Known systems for segregating the knocked down pins from the unstruck pins, consist of a large perforated partition, extending horizontally above the skittle alley and movable vertically thereabout through power means. After each ball throw, the partition is lowered, to engage and temporarily secure the heads of the pins that remain in upstanding position, and then lifted, bringing therewith the pins. The knocked down pins, which were not captured by the moving partition, will be then cleared from the skittle alley by a mechanical means, for example a horizontally sliding rake skimming the surface of the skittle alley toward a rear skittle pit, for discharge of the knocked down pin therein. The partition will then be lowered once again to release the remaining pins in their original upstanding position in triangular arrangement.

Another typical pinsetter is illustrated in U. S. Patent No. 5,167,412 ('Rochefort').

It comprises a series of cables each connected to the corresponding head of one of the tenpins. The cables are connected to a computer controlled slider, guidingly carried by a horizontal rail and power driven in reciprocating motion by an endless belt. When at least one tenpin is knocked down by a ball, all tenpins are lifted by their cables through actuation of the motor of the power driven endless belt. The slider then returns to its initial position, which enables the cables to yield to the weight bias of their pins and therefore allow all of the latter, but for the knocked-down tenpin, to fall back to their upstanding position on the skittle alley. The knocked-down pin has been identified by optical sensors connected to the computer, and the computer will have actuated a cam-type cable lock to prevent release of the knocked-down pin cable under the weight of this latter pin.

The Rochefort pinsetter is large and complex, and has certain shortcomings.

Principal shortcomings include the size and significant maintenance requirements because of the large number of components.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention seeks to alleviate at least some of the shortcomings of existing pinsetters.

Accordingly with the objects of the invention, there is disclosed an apparatus in a bowling game to automatically retrieve knocked down tenpins from the skittle alley, after each ball strike aimed thereat. The apparatus includes a series of cables each connected to the head of a corresponding one of the tenpins. The cables are connected to a computer controlled cable pulling means comprising a pulley for each cable and a reversible motor driving the pulleys. Once at least one tenpin is struck by a ball, all tenpins are lifted by their cables through actuation of the cable pulling means. The cable pulling means is then reversed and then returns to its initial position, which will enable the cables to yield to the

weight bias of their pins and therefore allow all of the latter-but for the knocked down tenpin-to fall back to their upstanding position on the skittle alley. The knocked-down pin has been identified by optical sensors connected to the computer, and the computer will have actuated a cam-type cable lock to prevent release of the knocked down pin cable under the weight of this latter pin.

More specifically, the invention consists of an automatic pinsetter for bowling in which the pins are suspended from cables wherein a cable puller means consists of a reversible motor, a pulley for each cable, said pulleys operatively connected to said motor in order to wind on or off said cables, limit sensors means to collect data as to the limit position of said tethered pins and operatively connected to said computer means for alternately actuating or deactivating said motor after correlating all data processed by said computer means.

More specifically, the invention consists of a pinsetter for a game of bowling in which a number of pins upstanding on a skittle alley flooring are targeted by a ball rolled thereat along a bowling alley, said pinsetter comprising: (a) a main fixed frame; (b) cable pulling means, to pull said cables and associated pins away from a first, skittle alley standing position, to a second skittle alley clearing position ; (c) a number of flexible cables, each cable connected at one end to a corresponding one of said pins and at the other end to said cable pulling means at an anchor member; (d) resetting means, for returning at least some of said pins from their second to their first position, upon deactivation of said cable pulling means; and

(e) cable lock means, deactivating said resetting means selectively only for those pins which were knocked down by the ball throw exclusively of those pins which were still standing on the skittle alley flooring after the ball throw.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Figure 1 is a side view of a skittle alley, showing the bowling pins in their operative upright positions and cable-connected to an automatic pinsetter apparatus according to the invention ; Figure 2 is an isometric view of the automatic pinsetter (shown without cables); Figure 2a is a top view of the automatic pinsetter; (shown without cables); Figure 2b is a front view of the automatic pinsetter; (shown without cables); Figure 3 is a sectional plan view taking along line 3-3 of figure 1; Figure 3a is a sectional plan view taking along line 3a-3a of figure 1; Figure 4 is an enlarged view of the area circumscribed by circle 4 in figure 3; Figure 5 is a sectional view of a pin in its lifted, skittle alley clearing position, taken along line 5-5 of figure 4; Figure 6 is a sectional plan view taking along line 6-6 of figure 2a; Figures 7 is an isometric view of the pulley; Figures 8 is an exploded view of the pulley; Figures 9 is an isometric view of the strike detection sensors; (shown without cables); Figure 10 is an enlarged view of the area circumscribed by circle 10 in figure 3a; Figure 11 is a sectional view taken along line 11-11 of figure 10, Figure 12 is a view of the cable lock means; Figure 12a is a view of the cable lock means showing the cable of a knocked down pin being locked in position by the plunger operated, friction lock pivotal wedge lever ;

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION Bowling game 20 illustrated in figure 1 conventionally includes a ground-supported elongated bowling alley 22 (the rear end thereof only being shown), a skittle alley 24 coextensive with and downwardlv offset from the rear end of the bowling alley 22, a skittle pit 26 downwardly offset and rearwardly depending from the skittle alley 24. and a ball dampening, forwardlv upwardly inclined wall 28, transversely closing the rear end of skittle pit 26. Pins 30 are to be positioned in spaced apart, upright positions on the skittle alley 24, in the known triangular arrangement. Pins 30 are usually elongated wooden clubs with a shaped contour. defining a large ovoidal base 32 (figure 5), a smaller ovoidal head 34, and a restricted neck 36 between the base and head. Base 32 defines a flat circular underface or seat 38, with a plane generally orthogonal to the lengthwise axis of club 30 for supporting same in stable upright position over the horizontal skittle alley flooring 24.

Head 34 defines a free end tip 34a, located within the lengthwise axis of club 30. Opposite upright partitions 40 are also usually mounted edgewisely of skittle alley 24 and skittle pit 26.

Bowling ball is thrown onto bowling alley 22 toward skittle alley 24, being targeted at pins 30 to try to knock them down in up to three attempts, i. e. to strike at least some of them directly, or indirectlv through struck leading pins reactively moving toward trailing pins, to make them fall from their upright positions (figures 1) to a position laying on their side. Pins 30 can then gather into pit 26.

According to the invention, means 44 are provided to automatically segregate each knocked down pin 30 within the skittle allev 24, from still upstanding pins, between two ball throws. Pin removing means 44 are fully effective whatever the location of the knocked down pin 30, that is, in the rear pit 26 or even on the skittle alley between still standing pins 30. Moreover, removal of the knocked down pins 30 by said pin removing means 44, after a ball throw, is specifically directed toward positively preventing accidentally knocking down still standing pins 30 during the knocked down pin removing

process.

Pin removing means 44 includes a number of flexible cables 46, one for each pin 30 on the skittle 24. Thus, in the game of ninepins, for example, nine cables 46 would be provided; in the game of tenpins, as suggested in figure 3, ten cables 46 would be provided.

Each cable 46 is anchored at the cable pulling means 50 (figure 2), detailed later.

As illustrated in figures 1, 3 and 3a, two large panels 52,54 are mounted horizontally above skittle alley 24. Upper panel 52 is anchored to skittle alley side walls 40 by upright posts 56, which stand out from the top edge section of walls 40, and cross- tubings 58, extending edgewisely of panel 52 thereunder and anchored to posts 56 by T- couplings 60. U-brackets 62 engaged by tubings 58 at selected intervals, anchor same to plate 52. Lower plate 54 is connected to upper plate 52 by vertical bolts 64. Each panel 52,54 includes a number of through-bores 66,68 respectively for through passage of a corresponding number of pin cables 46. Through bores 66,68 are destined to register with one another and with the relative positions of the pins in the underlying set of standing skittles 30, for upwardly guiding cables 46 vertically away from skittle alley flooring 24 during actuation of said cable pulling means 50.

As clearly shown in figures 5 and 11, polygonal aperture 68 is much larger than circular aperture 66, since the former is destined to be engaged by both a cable 46 and at least a portion of a lifted pin 30, while the latter is destined to be engaged solely by a cable 46. The area of large aperture 68 is further restricted by a few arcuate thin plates 70, anchored to plate 56 at the edge of aperture 68, by bolts 72. with the arcuate section thereof partially projecting at 70a within aperture 68, as suggested in figure 4. The overall dimensions of thin arcuate plates 70 are carefully studied so as to define a vertical planar circular having a section intermediate the diameter of ovoidal pin parts 32 and 34. That is to say, upon cables 46 being pulled upwardly by pulling means 50, tenpins 30 will be lifted so that their heads 34 and necks 36 all extended upwardly through corresponding,

registering apertures 68 of lower plate 54. exclusively of their larger bases 32 which will come to peripherally abut against arcuate plates 70. This latter lifted position of each pin 30 defines an upper limit position thereof. Hence. in their upper limit position, each pin 30 will become axially aligned and stabilized by plates 70 within bore 68, against swinging motions. Thereafter, upon release of the pulling means 50, the cables 46 may yield to the weight bias of their end pins 30, and those pins that will be allowed to fall by their own weight (as detailed later) toward the skittle alley flooring 24 will positively adopt an upstanding position onto the skittle alley 24 without any danger of knocking themselves down in the process of reaching ground.

Upper panel 52 carries on its top face a number of yoke members 74 anchored thereto, one for each aperture 66 and in register therewith. Each yoke member 74 defines two opposite, spaced side walls 76,78 transverse to plate 52 and parallel to the plane of cables 46. An idle pulley 80 is carried by an axle 82 interconnecting the yoke walls 76 and 78. Pulley 80 tangentially registers with bore 66, and is engaged at a right angle sector shape portion thereof by cable46, wherein the cable 46 is biased into a direction approximately parallel to the plane of panel 52. Yokes 74 are positioned to direct all cables 46 over upper panel 52, to converge toward a common end and area as suggested in figure 3a.

Preferably, U-shape cable tensioning rods 83,84 are anchored to the frame and extending transversely of cables 46 underneath thereof. Cables 46 engage the top edge of lower U-bar 84 and through the U of upper U-bar 83, to provide some measure of basic cable tensioning in order to deter intermingling of cables 46 and therefore possible loops and knots between cables.

The cable pulling means 50 illustrated in figure 2 and 2a is fixedly mounted to the rear end of the frame 86 and consists of a pulley 88 for each cable 46, all pulleys being coaxially fixed to the main shaft 90 rotatably mounted to the frame 86, driven by a driving

means 122.

The pulley 88 illustrated in figure 7 and 8 consist in a cable wheel 94, a cable wheel centre 96 and a hub 98. The cable wheel centre 96 and the cable wheel 94 are rotatably mounted on the hub 98 which is attached to the shaft 90. The cable wheel 94 can rotate counter clockwise from a normal position to a deviated position, the spring 100 maintaining the cable wheel in its normal position, in order to compensate for the variation of the length of the cables 46 stabilizing the pin 30 against the plates 70. The cable wheel has two set of teeth 102 and 104 provided for adjustment purposes and an external U-shape cross-section where the cable may be wind up. The first set of teeth 102 on the side of the pulley extend longitudinally and are used by the braking device 106 to immobilize the cable wheel 94. The cable wheel centre 96 is rotatably mounted within the cable wheel 94 and comprise a cable wheel lock 108 rotatably mounted on the external radius of the cable wheel centre 96 from a braking position to a deactivated position. The cable wheel lock 108 is maintained in its normal braking position by the spring 110. The cable wheel lock 108 has an arm 112 and a tooth 114 extending radially in its activated position that cooperate with the radially inwardly oriented teeth 104 of the cable wheel 94 in order to limit the relative rotation of the cable wheel 94 and the cable wheel centre 96. The cable wheel lock 108 can be deactivated by applying a sufficient clockwise torque directly to the cable wheel lock 108 or a sufficient torque to the cable wheel centre 96. When the cable wheel lock 108 is deactivated, the cable wheel 94 can freely rotate on the cable wheel centre 96 in order to adjust the length of the cable 46 properly. This enables a manual or automatic adjustment of the effective length of the cable 46.

The automatic adjustment requires the use of the braking device 106 illustrated in figures 6 and consisting of an elongated lever 116 pivotally mounted to the frame 86 at the peripherv of the cable wheel 94. When engaged, the lever 116 temporarily prevents the rotation of the cable wheel 94. Preferably, pivotal action of lever 116 is controlled by a plunger 118 mounted to an electromagnetic actuator 120, physically anchored to the frame 86 and operatively connected to plunger 118 and to CPU 144 through electric command

line 121, is destined to trigger the plunger 118 and will pivot lever 116 clockwise as viewed in figure 6. In the adjustment phase, the CPU 144 through electric command line 121 triggers the plunger 118 and will pivot lever 116 clockwise in order to immobilize to cable wheel 94. CPU 144 through electric command line 121 also actuate the motor 122 in order to have a counterclockwise torque that will deactivate cable wheel locker 108 and enable the free rotation of the cable wheel centre 96 within the cable wheel 94. This enables the cable pulling means 50 to automatically reduce the effective length of the cable 46.

A tensioning means illustrated in figure 6 maintains tension in the cable to assure proper wind-up and consist in cable tensioner arm 124 pivotably mounted on the cable tensioner shaft 126. The first extremity of the cable tensioner arm 124 is attached by the spring 130 to the spring support rod 132 secured to the frame 86 with the spring attachment plate 134. At the second extremity of the cable tensioner arm 124, the tensioner roller 135 is rotatably secured. The tensioner roller 135 cooperates with the U-shape section of the cable wheel 94 in order to assure efficient wind-up by maintaining sufficient radial compression on the wind-up cable 46 and, consequently, sufficient tension in the wind-up cable 46. The appropriate compression is being obtained by the spring 130 and is maintained even during the rotation of the pulleys.

The driving means is a motor 122 and preferably, a step motor. The motor 122 is controlled by the CPU 144. The motor, through the gear box 136, drives a timing means 137 and the pulleys 88. The timing means'primary function is to notify the CPU 144 of the limit positions: skittle alley position and skittle alley clearing position. Preferably, the timing system consists in a timing chain 138 synchronizing the timing plate 139 coaxially connected to the timing gear 140 rotatably mounted on the frame 86 with the timing sprocket 141 fixed to the main shaft 90. Two optical sensors 142 and 143 are fixedly secured to frame 86 with cross-sectionally L-shape brackets at the periphery of the timing plate 139 and connected to CPU 144 by an electric line 149. The sensors 142 and 143

detect the passage of transverse through-bore 147 in the timing plate 139 during its rotation. The motor 122 is activated to wind on the cable 46 on the pulley 88 in order to lift the pins 30. Accordingly, the timing plate 139 rotates as the pins 30 are lifted. The CPU 144 will deactivate the motor 122 when the bore 147 is detected by the lift position sensor 142. After the appropriate signal, the motor motion is reversed. The timing plate 139 rotates and the pulleys 88 wind off the cables in order to lower the pins to skittle alley standing position. Just before the pins reach their position, the bore 147 is detected by the down position sensors 143 and a signal is sent to CPU 144. The motor 122 is then slowed down by the CPU 144 and the pins are set down smoothly on the skittle alley.

The following cable segments are defined in relation to the structure of the automatic pin resetting machine (figure 6): (a) first cable segment, 46a, extending between the pin head socket 48 and the bore 66 of lower panel 54, the inclination of segment 46a being variable and extending between panels 52 and 54 remaining substantially vertical; (b) a second, forwardly upwardly inclined cable segment 46b, joining the upper rearward section of pulley 80 to the frontward half sector portion of pulley 92; (c) a third, substantially horizontal cable segment 46c, joining pulley 92 to the rearward and extending over the pulley 88 of the cable pulling means; First cable segment 46a is vertical, when pin 30 stands upright as part of the set of skittles arrangement on the skittle alley 24, but will become rearwardly downwardly inclined, when pin 30 is pushed rearwardly by the ball and will almost disappear when pin 30 is lifted to engage panel 54 (figure 5).

Cable locking means 142, detailed below, will advantageously be provided, to

temporarily lock the cable 46 of a knocked down pin 30 already engaged into the perforated panel 54 (figure 5), as to prevent that cable from yielding to the weight bias of that pin upon release of the cable pulling means 50. Locking means 142 is preferable mounted about cable segment 46c.

It is envisioned to provide an electronic control means, 144, for controlling operation of the automatic pin setting machine 20. Electronic control means 144 will include a central processing unit CPU, and: (a) a control panel 146, including a display, and operated by the bowling room manager; (b) a first motion sensor 148, mounted at the intersection of bowling lane 22 and skittle alley 24 and operatively connected by line 150 to control panel 146, and sensitive to a rolling ball; (c) lift and down position sensors 142 and 143, mounted to frame 86 operatively connected to control panel 146 by lines 149, and sensitive to the rotation of the timing plate; an electronic command line 160 operatively connected control panel 146 to drive the motor 129 ; (d) an electronic line 162, interconnecting CPU 146 to cable lock means 142.

Bowling alley sensor 148 detects balls rolling on alley 22. The bowling alley motion sensor 148 then sends a signal to a timer in the CPU 144: if within a set period of time, for example a few seconds and preferable 2.4 seconds, no pin 30 is struck (as per a pin strike detection means 234-238 connected to CPU 144 and detailed later), no signal is sent by the CPU 144. On the other hand, if one or more pin 30 is knocked down by a ball, a signal is sent by the CPU to the cable pulling means 50, which lifts all the pins 30.

If the bore 147 does not reach the lift position sensor 154 within a set time period, this may be indicative that some cables 46 have become entangled with one another. Once down position sensor 142 is reached, CPU 144 sends another signal to reverse the motion of the motor. Reciprocating motion of the motor, and thus of cables 46, continue until the cables 46 are released from one another, as evidenced by the fact that lift position sensor 143 is reached. Sensor 143 then sends a signal to a timer in CPU 144 which, after a set period of time, e. g. four seconds, will lower only those pins 30 that were not struck by the ball.

Bowling alley sensor 148 also counts the number of ball throws. After a predefined number of throws, usually three, have been registered, CPU 144 triggers the cable pulling means so as to pull up all pins that remain in standing position onto flooring 24, to engage perforated plate 52.

Cable locking means 142 is illustrated in figures 12-12a to consist of an anchor plate 164, one for each cable, and fixedly secured at flange 166 by bolts 168 to main frame 86. Two cross-sectionally L-shape, fore and aft brackets 170,172 are anchored by screws 174 to plate 164. Two hollow unthreaded bolt members 176,178 are coaxially fixedly mounted through the transverse leg 170a, 172a of brackets 170,172 respectively, for sliding through passage of a corresponding cable 46. A guiding roller 175 is preferably mounted rotatably to housing 164, with its rim 175a tangentially registering at its top section with the portion of cable 46d proximate collar 178 on the side thereof opposite collar 176. Roller 175 supports and guides cable 46 through channels 176 and 178, so as to prevent undesirable shearing action at the end edges of bushings 176,178 against cable 46. Preferably, plate 164 is vertical and legs 170a and 172a, vertical and orthogonal relative to plate 164. A large bracket 180 is further anchored by adjustable bolts 182 to main plate 164, above cable 46, proximate thereto, between smaller brackets 170,172. Cross- sectionally L-shape bracket 180 defines a transverse leg 180a. orthogonal to plate 164 and to the planes of bracket legs 170a, 172a, and parallel to the portion of cable segment 46d extending between sleeves 176 and 178. An elongated wedge lever 184 is pivotally

mounted at 186 to plate 164, in vertical register with large L-bracket 180 below cable 46d.

Wedge lever 184 is pivotally mounted at 186 to plate 164, in vertical register with large L-bracket 180 below cable 46d. Wedge lever 184 defines a free swinging end 184a destined to pivotally engage a cable section 46 (figure 12a) when extending transversely to L-bracket 180, and to frictionally forcibly releasably lockingly taking in sandwich that cable section 46d with bracket seat 180a to lock the cable against seat 180a wedgingly to temporarily prevent axial sliding motion of cable 46.

Preferably, pivotal action of wedge lever 184 is controlled by a plunger 188 reciprocatable about an axis substantially parallel to cable segment 46d. Plunger 188 is carried by a housing 190, anchored by bolts 192 to plate 164 in underlying register with bracket 170. A coil spring 194 interconnects the outer end of plunger 188 to an intermediate section 184b of elongated lever 184. An electromagnetic actuator 196, physically anchored to plunger housing 190 and operatively connected to plunger 188 and to CPU 144 through electric command line 162, is destined to trigger that retraction of plunger 188 will pivot lever 184 counterclockwise (sequence of figures 12-12a) and will thus bias wedge lever seat 184a to wedgingly lockingly frictionally engage cable 46d lockingly against wall 180a, in the direction of cable release upon a pin 30 having been struck by a ball. Upon a voltage being applied to selected electro-magnet within casings 190, after a signal from CPU 144 following lifting of all pins 30 to their top limit position of figure 5, the corresponding plungers 188 will be pulled to apply and sustain a pulling force about lever 184 to wedgingly lock the corresponding cable 46 between seats 184a and 180a. Voltage is applied only to those electromagnets 190 corresponding to each of the cables 46 at which ends a pin 30 has been struck and knocked down by a ball.

Preferably, a detection wheel 232 with an optical sensor 234 (figures 9) is mounted to each one of the ten front pulleys 92, one for each of the tenpins 30. Each sensor is connected to the CPU 144 by an electric line 236. Each detection wheel 232 is maintained in contact with the cable so that movement of the cable will inevitably result in a rotation

of the detection wheel 232. The peripheral section of each detection wheel 232 includes a plurality of transverse through-bores 238. Thus, rotation of a given detection wheel 232 indicating that the corresponding pin 30 at the end of the corresponding cable 46, has been struck by a ball, will be registered and put into the memory of CPU 144, as well as displayed onto a display window, through its line 236, for informative display to the players. Preferably, if detection wheel 232 rotates continuously sufficiently, the CPU 144 will register such rotation of the detection wheel 232 as an indication of the corresponding pin 30 having been knocked down on the skittle alley 24.

In operation: (a) all tenpins 30 stand upright on flooring 24.

(b) upon ball striking at least one pin 30, say pin 30-1, the corresponding cable 46-1 will be pulled, and the corresponding front pulley 92-1 will rotate. CPU 144 will thus identify which pins has been knocked down, through corresponding optical sensor 234-1 and line 236-1, by correlating the pulley to the corresponding pin. The slack loop 46'of that cable 46-1 will thus disappear.

(c) after a time lapse monitored by the timer 145 in CPU 144, the cable pulling means will be triggered through line 160 to bring cable 46-1 back first to its initial position by actuating the remaining nine cables 46 do not bulge, because they too have a rearward slack loop 46'. However, as soon as all cables 46 will be pulled therewith. That is to say, all tenpins 30 will be lifted to their plate engaging position shown in figure 5, well above flooring 24.

(d) upon timer coupled optical sensor 154 and associated chain drive motor coupled optical sensor having detected the lift position, a stop signal is sent by CPU 144 through line 160 to motor 122, to stop rotation. After a giving delay computed by CPU timer 145,

motor 122,210 is again triggered in reverse to its initial position. Indeed, CPU 144 will have directed plunger 188-1 of cable lock means 142-1 of the knocked down pin 30-1 to bias lever 184 to frictionally wedgingly anchor cable 46-1 of the knocked down pin 30-1 to bias lever 184 to frictionally wedgingly anchor cable 46-1 against seat 180-1, thus preventing that single knocked-down pin 3 0-1 from descending to the skittle alley flooring 24 by its own weight. Hence, that cable slack loop 46'will be more considerable than was the case initially, extending rearwardly beyond block 123 in register with aft sensor 154.

Pulley 104-1 will thus smoothly slide along the upper and lower runs of cable 46-1.

The present pinsetter can be used for a variety of bowling games, including duckpin, fivepin, hard duck and tenpin.




 
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