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Publication numberUS3836148 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date17 Sep 1974
Filing date11 Jan 1974
Priority date11 Jan 1974
Publication numberUS 3836148 A, US 3836148A, US-A-3836148, US3836148 A, US3836148A
InventorsV Manning
Original AssigneeV Manning
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Rotatable dart board, magnetic darts and magnetic scoring switches
US 3836148 A
Abstract
An automatic scoring dartboard apparatus utilizing darts having magnets attached thereto for throwing at a dart board. The dart board is rotatably mounted to a frame and is driven by an electric motor rotating the dart board at a slow speed. A plurality of magnetic actuatable switches are located behind the rotating dart board in alignment with the scoring rings of the dart board so that the magnets and the darts will be rotated by one switch thereby actuating the switch which actuates the score in the visual display.
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United States Patent Manning Sept. 17, 1974 [54] ROTATABLE DART BOARD, MAGNETIC 3,463,491 8/1969 Shaw 273/52 3,508,752 4/1970 Lemon 273/102 R DARTS AND MAGNETIC SCORING SWITCHES Virgil B. Manning, 978 Virginia Ave., Rockledge, Fla. 32955 Filed: Jan. 11, 1974 Appl. No.: 432,544

Inventor:

2/1952 Metz 8/1969 Cornell 273/52 Primary Examiner-Anton O. Oechsle Assistant Examiner-Marvin Siskind Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Duckworth, Hobby & Allen [5 7] ABSTRACT An automatic scoring dartboard apparatus utilizing darts having magnets attached thereto for throwing at a dart board. The dart board is rotatably mounted to a frame and is driven by an electric motor rotating the dart board at a slow speed. A plurality of magnetic actuatable switches are located behind the rotating dart board in alignmentwith the scoring rings of the dart board so that the magnets and the darts will be rotated by one switch thereby actuating the switch which actuates the score in the visual display.

10 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PAIENTED v 3.836. 1 48 SHEET 1 BF 3 PLAYE R No.1. SCORE PLAYER NO.2 SCORE 22 21 23 15 @T a? NO. 1 BONUS ENDGAME M02 P TURN LAMP LAMP LAMP TURNLAMP P00522 FAIR C000 EXCELL.

ROTATABLE DART BOARD, MAGNETIC DARTS AND MAGNETIC SCORING SWITCHES BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a dart game and in particular to a dart board having automatic scoring of a dart game.

In the past a great many dart games as well as a great many other games have been provided which have automatic scoring techniques. One problem associated with many of the games, such as darts, is the high cost of an electronic circuit for automatic scoring which makes the circuit acceptable only to high volume commercial users. Simplified circuits which utilize mechanical techniques in combination with electronics are frequently unreliable and utilize special darts rather than the conventional pointed dart that is thrown into a cork dart board. The present invention advantageously provides a dart board made of cork or similar materials in which standard weighted darts are thrown and stick into the dart board in a conventional manner but then automatically scores for each player.

Several prior U.S. Pats. have provided for automatic scoring of dart games and these include U.S. Pat. No. 3,454,276 for Self Scoring Dart Game having impact actuated electrical switches which activate relays to total the score. The darts do not, however, stick to the board as in conventional dart games. U.S. Pat. No. 2,645,491 teaches a magnetic dart game having an energizable signal in which a magnet dart is thrown to engage a mechanical switch for actuating a light to indicate that the bullseye has been hit. The dart is held to the board by the permanent magnet attached to the dart. Other dart games include U.S. Pat. No. 2,523,773 which is a Dart Target with Indicator in which the dart is thrown against a protruding portion for actuating a switch; and U.S. Pat. No. 2,506,475 is a Renewable Dart Target mechanical means for indicating the accuracy of the various hits of the target. U.S. Pat. No. 2,165,147 teaches a skill dart game apparatus which has a rotary member carrying a plurality of plugs constituting targets for the darts and which provides for mechanical closing of an electrical circuit to register a score. U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,489,413 and 3,678,495 each provide target scoring and indicating systems. The present invention, on the other hand, provides a simplifled but accurate scoring system in which a conventional dart has a magnet attached therein for actuating magnetically actuatable reed switches in combination with an electrical circuit connecting the switches to a visual display for registering the score of one or more players and totalizing the score.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to an automatic scoring dart board game and apparatus having darts having permanent magnets attached therein. A rotatable dart board having scoring rings thereon is provided with an electric motor for rotating the dart board, and being mounted to a frame. A plurality of magnetic actuatable switches are located behind the dart board in a row, each switch being in juxtaposition to one scoring ring on the dart board target so that when a dart is imbedded in the dart board it will be rotated by the switch, will be actuated by the permanent magnet in the dart to register the score on the visual scoring indicator. Means are provided for adjusting magnetic switches to the sensitivity of the darts and the electronics provide for totalizing the score and switching from one player to the next.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Other objects, features and advantages of this invention will be apparent from a study of the written description and the drawings in which:

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a dart game in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of a portion of the dart board framework and related switches; and

FIG. 3 is a block diagram of an electronic scoring circuit for utilization with the dart games of FIGS. 1 and 2.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIG. 1, an automatic scoring dart board game is illustrated designed for one or two players in competition. The target area of the dart board may be a standard official size and accepts standard but specially made darts. It may be utilized in public amusement parks, or the like, in which case a coin actuated mechanism is provided but the game can also be utilized equally well in the home without the coin mechanism.

FIG. 1 illustrates the dart game 10 installed in a casing 11 having legs 12 and having a rotatable dart board 13 divided into target rings 14. Dart board 13 rotates when actuated and darts are thrown at the board in the conventional manner having points for protruding or sticking onto the board As the board rotates past a predetermined point, the score is automatically indicated on the score panels 15 and 19 which may have automatic scoring for one or two players. In addition, the casing may have play instructions 16 and if for commercial establishment, may have a coin insert 17 and coin drawer opening 18 for a standard commercially available coil mechanism. Also a storage tray is provided to stow the darts when not in use. The game may also be designed to have a plurality of lamps 20 to indicate POOR, FAIR, GOOD or EXCELLENT throws of the dart by each player and a lamp 21 to indicate the end of the game, and a lamp 22 to indicate a bonus for an exceptional throw of the dart. Lamp 23 and lamp number may also be provided for indicating which players turn is up. Thus, in a typical game, a player would insert a coin in the coin receptacle 17 which would light up the players turn indicating lamp 23 which lampe would alternate between players throwing of the darts telling each player it is his turn. As each dart is thrown, a 3- digit numeral incandescent lamp readouts l5 and 19 indicate each players score at that point an totale the score each time a dart is thrown into the target. The number of points allowed for each throw of the dart is determined according to the location of the dart in the target rings 14 of the dart board 13 according to which band 14 the dart lands in. The scoring system can also indicate in the lamps 20 whether the throw was POOR, FAIR, GOOD or EX- CELLENT. When a dart is thrown into the bullseye of the target the EXCELLENT lamp lights and also a bonus lamp 22 will come on, which allows the player another throw of the dart. A buzzer may be sounded each time a bullseye hit occurs and at the end of each game. In a typical game each player is allowed nine (9) throws of the dart with the exception of a bullseye hit. In case of a bullseye hit he is allowed his normal nine throws plus any bonus hits that he may have earned.

Turning to FIG. 2, the operation of the system may be more clearly seen in which a portion of the board 13 having the bands 14 is illustrated attached to a shaft 25 which rides on bushings 26 in a frame 27 and is driven by a motor 28. Electric motor 28 may be DC or AC operated, and rotates the shaft 25 in the bushings 26 of the frame to rotate the target 13. The target is illustrated as having a dart 30 which is a standard dart having a point 31 but having a permanent magnet 32 inserted therein. The framework 27 has a base portion 33 as well as two upright portions 35 and braces 34 between the upright portions 35. A bracket 36 is for supporting the motor 28. On the front portion of the upright frame member 35 is attached a pair of plates 37 and 38 by means of a pair of extended bolts 40. Front plate 37 extends straight down from the axis of the shaft 25 and has a plurality of magnetic reed switches 41 attached thereon between pairs of posts 42. These magnetic reed switches are actuated by a magnet coming into close juxtaposition therewith which draws the contacts of the magnetic switches together. Thus when the dart 30 is stuck in the standard dart board 13 which is being rotated by the motor 28, the dart will come near one of the switches 41 depending upon which ring 14 the dart is located in and the magnet 32 will actuate one reed switch 41. It is this switching signal from the reed switch 41 that performs the scoring for the dart game. To assure the accurate operation of the reed switches 41, adjustments to their sensitivity is provided by the plate 38 having a plurality of threaded openings 43 therein with threaded shafts 44 passing therethrough and having biasing magnets 45 attached to the end of each shaft 44. These biasing magnets can be threaded through the plate 38 and adjusted relative to the distance between the biasing magnet 45 and the reed switch 41 to vary the sensitivity of the reed switch 41 to the magnet 32 and a dart passing thereby. In addition, a plurality of magnetic shields 46 are provided between each of the biasing magnets 45 to prevent the biasing magnets from interfering with the operation of adjacent reed switches 41.

The display as illustrated in FIG. 2, is attached in the casing 11 with only the target 13 protruding as illustrated in FIG. 1 and is used for actuating the scoring through the use of the electronics in FIG. 3 which presents the score in the displays 15 and 19.

Turning now to FIG. 3, a functional block diagram is illustrated in which the plurality of magnetic switches 41 is illustrated with the switches being indicated from 1 through 7, with switches 1 and 2 being the POOR band, switches 3 and 4 being the FAIR band, switches and 6 being the GOOD band and switch 7 being the EXCELLENT and BULLS EYE band as indicated by the lamps 20 of FIG. 1. A functional block diagram is illustrated in this view in terms of two players in competition even though the game could be built to indicate only one player or several players. The game is started by pushing the START GAME switch 50, or in the case of a commercial unit, the switch would be activated by dropping a coin in the coin accepter 17 of FIG. 1 which would activate the switch 50 which produces a signal in a master reset line 51, and to the player turn flip circuit 52. It also resets the player turn decade counter 53 and resets all of the score displays by the signal from the reset line 51. Once the start game 50 switch is actuated, and before a dart is thrown into the dart board, the inverter circuit 54 along with the nor gate 55, nor gate 56 and nor gate 57 inputs a a logic to the nand gate 58, enabling a logic 0 at the output. The logic 0 from the nand gate 58 enables the stop motor circuit 60 to run the drive motor 61 and to revolve the dart board. The Flip Flop circuit No. 52 which is a logic I at the Q output establishing a logic I to the input of nand gate 62 and to lamp driver 63 causing the player No. 1 turn lamp to flash at 1 pulse per second clock rate. Player No. 1 is now reading on the lamps 23 of FIG. 1 an is indicated to throw his first dart into the target. After hitting the target the dart will revolve around with the dart board until it aligns with one of the magnetic reed switches 41 and depending upon the location of the dart will cause one of the switches 41 to close. For example, if the dart causes switch No. 5 to close then a logic I will be switched to nor gate input causing the output of nor gate 55 to switch to logic 0. This'logic O of gate 55 is applied to one of the inputs of nand gate 58 causing the output nand gate 58 to switch to a logic 1 enabling the stop motor circuit to stop the drive motor. The logic 1 output of nand gate 58 will also start the one-shot multivibrator 64 to develop an output pulse controlled by the RC time constant of the switches in resistor 65 by the magnetic reed switch 41 (No. 5) and the capacitor 66. The output pulse of the one-shot multivibrator 64 is applied to one of the inputs of nand gate 62 gating the 20 pulse per second clock into Player No. 1 score counting circuits 81 registering and accumulating player No. 1 score.

The output pulse of the one-shot multivibrator 64 enables nand gate to change states of Flip Flop circuit 52 to a logic 1 at the Q output inhibiting the Player 63 turn lamp and enabling lamp driver 71 to flash Player No. 2s turn lamp at l pps clock rate telling Player No. 2 that it is his turn to throw the dart. With the first players dart removed from the dart board, the drive motor 61 is enabled and starts running again. The second player takes his turn and his score is registered and accumulated in Player No. -2 score display 73 by way of nand gate 74. Player No. 2 output pulse of one-shot multivibrator causes the player turn Flip-Flop 52 to change states again to get set up for Player No. ls turn. The Player turn Flip-Flop 52 will alternate between player throws. After the second player scores and flipflop 52 changes states, the negative transition of the Q output causes the player turn decade counter 53 to register one round for the player, and after nine (9 rounds the output of the player turn counter 53 will execute a logic 1 to lamp driver 75 causing the End of Game lamp to flash at l pps clock rate signalling to the players that the game is over.

If during the course of the game a player should hit the Bulls eye of the target, magnetic reed switch 41 (No. 7) will close causing inverter 54 output to switch to logic 0. This logic 0 output of inverter 54 will not only score in the normal way but will inhibit nand gate 70 from changing states of flip-flop circuit 52 allowing the player another throw of the dart for his bonus. Logic 0 inverter 54 will also enable lamp driver 76 to flash the bonus and excellent lamps at l pps clock rate.

The score rating system works by having the switches 41 (1 through 7) closed by the darts. As an example, if switches No. l or 2 of reed switches 41, which are located at the outer edge of target, are closed by the dart the output of the nor gate will switch to a logic 0 enabling lamp driver No. 77 to flash the POOR lamp at l pps clock rate and similarly Gate 56 actuated by switches 41 (3 and 4) will enable lamp driver 78 to flash the FAIR lamp at a l pps clock rate.

It should be clear that the score display indicators and 19 are each driven by a plurality of decade counters 73 and 81 each consisting of three decade counters, one each for units, tens and hundreds and each driving a segment decoder driver 82 and 83 respectively to actuate the displays 15 and 19 and each reset by the master RESET signal from line 51 originating with the Start Game switch 50. It should also be realized that the elements in the block diagram are each standard commercially available integrated circuits and that the displays 15 and 19 and their driving units and decade counters are commercially available units. In addition, it is necessary to have the one pulse per second and 20 pulse per second clocks connected as indicated along with a 117 Volt AC, 10 Volt DC source and a 5 Volt DC source as indicated in the drawings.

Other modifications are contemplated as being within the scope of the invention. For instance, the point of the dart can be replaced with a circular flat piece of Velcro, making the dart a blunted projectile to prevent possible injury to the players and spectators. The dart board would of course have to be covered with a circular mating Velcro material with the scoring rings printed therein. The two Velcro members would engage when the dart is thrown against the target and would hold the magnet in the dart in position.

It should be clear however that other electronics can be utilized without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention, and that the present invention is not to be construed as limited to the particular forms disclosed herein since these are to be regarded as illustrative rather than restrictive.

I claim:

1. An automatic scoring dart board apparatus comprising in combination:

a. darts having magnets attached thereto;

b. a rotatable dart board having scoring rings thereon;

c. rotation actuation means operatively connected to said dart board for rotating said dart board when actuated;

d. a plurality of magnetic actuatable switches located in close juxtaposition to said dart board and being actuatable by said magnets attached to said darts when said darts are attached to said dart board, at least one switch aligned with each scoring ring on said target to indicate a score when actuated by said magnet in said dart rotating on said rotating dart board past said switch; and

e. score indication means operatively connected to said switch to visually indicate the score of at least one player, whereby a dart game may be scored automatically.

2. The dart board in accordance with claim 1 including a frame having said rotating actuating means attached thereto for supporting said actuating means and said dart board.

3. A dart board in accordance with claim 2 in which said magnetically operated switches are reed switches.

4. Dart board in accordance with claim 3 in which the sensitivity of said reed switches is adjusted by a plurality of permanent magnets, one said magnet located on the opposite side of each reed switch from said dart board.

5. Dart board in accordance with claim 4 in which said permanent magnets are attached to a threaded member which is threaded into a frame member whereby rotation of said magnets will move said magnets to vary the distance between said magnets and said reed switches for adjusting the sensitivity of said reed switches.

6. The apparatus in accordance with claim 5 in which said adjustable permanent magnets are separated by metal plates.

7. The apparatus in accordance with claim 6 in which said reed switches are located in a line one switch for each scoring ring.

8. The apparatus in accordance with claim 7 in which said actuation means is an electric motor having an elongated shaft attached to said dart board for rotating said dart board when said electric motor is actuated.

9. The apparatus in accordance with claim 3 in which said reed switches actuate lamps indicating the particular scoring ring hit by a dart.

10. The apparatus in accordance with claim 9 in which said reed switches are connected to a digital electronic scoring circuit having a readout display indicating the score of a player.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification273/368, 473/570, 273/DIG.300, 473/578, 273/371, 473/585
International ClassificationF41J3/00, F41J5/04
Cooperative ClassificationF41J3/0052, F41J5/04, Y10S273/30
European ClassificationF41J3/00D4H, F41J5/04