Sport: Bowling
New Bowling Pinsetter   (+2)  [vote for, against]
The pinsetter is outdated! Now, with pneumatic tubing and some other junk.

Reinvent the bowling pinsetter. Get rid of that cage on top of and destroying the beauty of any bowling alley around today. The new pinsetter is as follows.

The pins are collected behind the lane and drawn below to an opening. This opening is underneath the pin positions and leads to ten branched tubes each leading to a single pin position. Valves at each branching signal back to a small processor, which in turn signals for the valve's state (open or closed). A small pump sucks pins into the opening and one through each of the ten branches. Once a pin is sucked through a valve, the valve closes, so that no more pins can go through that particular branch. This ensures that the thing actually works, that one pin sucks into each branch.

Once sucked into the branch, the pin shoots out of the exit hole, located right at the pin position, where a covering slides over the hole and the pin rests on top of the slide, just right. There is a small EM coil just around the exit hole, under the lane, that is powered right at this moment, that helps stabalize the pin (it has magnets in its base).

So, collect, suck, shoot and hold each pin and there we have a very much smarter, cooler, indeed simpler, and less ugly pinsetter. Yes! This would make private bowling lanes more popular, because people like non-ugly things more than ugly things.
-- daseva, May 31 2005

(?) Ugly, no? http://www.unitedbo...res/pinsetter-1.jpg
[daseva, May 31 2005]

So the pins shoot up out of the floor? cool.
-- 5th Earth, May 31 2005

Yeah, I know! But, I don't quite know how to get the pins oriented correctly so that they're now standing on their heads. May have to borrow from the old design, cause those are oriented. Damn!
-- daseva, May 31 2005

So would the pins all sink into the floor between the first and second rolls? That could be sorta neat.
-- supercat, Jun 01 2005

Yeah, good point. Knocked over pins from the first roll will be attracted and sucked into their holes. Of course, the pins still standing will be held firm during the process.
-- daseva, Jun 01 2005

About 1 percent of the time, the pinsetter will actually knock down an off-center pin, which is exceptionally frustrating because pins keeled over by the pinsetter don't count in your score - you have to get a pin monkey to set it back up. Real mess.

By sucking pins into the floor, you get the added bonus of a chance to recenter them, making for an ideal spare opportunity.
-- shapu, Jun 01 2005

<< runs off to halfbake a new pinmonkey >>
-- daseva, Jun 01 2005

I'm not clear on how you will retrieve a pin which has fallen, but between two standing pins. As we all know, the existing system lifts the standing pins, and sweeps the remaining pins away.

Unless you remove all the pins every time, and replace the standing pins with a new set.

Also, I'm not clear on how the pin will rise through a hole in the floor and then remain balanced by EM while the trapdoor closes. Sounds a bit iffy (that's an advanced technical term)
-- Ling, Jun 01 2005

Needs lights and smoke for effect as the pins rise. Great opportunity for the occasional (whoops ... what is this?) giant plastic longneck bottle to pop to as the head pin.
-- reensure, Jun 01 2005

//About 1 percent of the time, the pinsetter will actually knock down an off-center pin, which is exceptionally frustrating because pins keeled over by the pinsetter don't count in your score - you have to get a pin monkey to set it back up. Real mess.//

I don't think it's one percent of the time, since I've bowled more than ten games and never had it happen to me or anyone I was playing with. It certainly can happen.

A bigger mess, though, is when a pin gets knocked sufficiently off-center that something gets mashed when the pinsetter comes down, causing a very loud bang and causing pins to start dribbling out of the pinsetter. I have seen that happen (not when I was playing) and it put the lane in question completely out of commission. The "holes" approach would avoid that risk, but it still wouldn't handle the situation correctly. Perhaps what's needed is a to have an upper unit with a fine grid of electromagnets that could come down and grab any standing pins wherever they happened to be and lift them up while the deadwood was swept.
-- supercat, Jun 01 2005

That is a good idea, [supercat], but I really wanted to avoid any overhanging machinery. It may be inevitable, however...
-- daseva, Jun 01 2005

I agree with [Ling]. In essence, only HALF of a pinsetter is described here, because half the job of a pinsetter is to set a fresh array of pins. But the other half of its job is to remove fallen pins, while not interfering with any still-standing pins. The various pinsetter designs that I'm familiar with have limits regarding how well they can deal with a pin that has been bumped off of its original spot (moved sideways without falling). If the limit is exceeded, the machine will either knock over the pin (so it has to be stood up again, as already mentioned in another anno), or the machine will stop in mid-cycle, and the pin monkey has to manually clear any fallen pins, and initiate a kind of "escape sequence" to get the machine back into readiness for the next ball.

[daseva], your Idea offers nothing to deal with that second Half of the things that a pinsetting machine is required to do.
-- Vernon, Aug 06 2007

Instead of having slidng covers over the holes, just have each hole be a cylinder with a piston. After the ball is rolled, all of the standing pins will sink back into their holes. It will still be necessary to do something about pins that were knocked off center, but the visual aesthetic of the clutter-free lane could be maintained.

Alternatively, if one doesn't like the appearance of pinsetters one could simply have them start up higher.
-- supercat, Aug 06 2007

random, halfbakery