This is one of several history only, non commercial, pages relating to the history of the automatic totalizator, its invention in 1913, the inventor George Julius and the Australian company he founded in 1917 which became a monopoly ( later an oligopoly ) in this field. This page contains a document written in 1930 regarding the operation of a Premier electro-mechanical totalizator.
|The Premier automatic totalizator operation 1930|
|Simplicity of Operation|
The machine has excited the wonder and admiration of every body who has watched it operate. It all seems so absurdly simple. As fast as money is poured through the windows for investment on various horses in a race just so fast each new amount is recorded in full view of everybody, on each horse, and at the same moment the grand total of the investments on the race is brought right up-to-date. Each separate operation is completed with the speed of thought. The clerk is pressing a tiny lever to release the ticket which acknowledges the transaction by the same simple act registers it. Nothing could be quicker or more simple. It is all so much easier for investors than rushing about among the excited crowd which gather around the book makers' stands. There is no bustle, no crowding, no argument, just a business transaction done without fuss or bother.
Is it any wonder then that the racing public appreciate the Premier totalizator and that it is constantly being installed in new centres?
|The Premier totalizator explained|
The totalizator records the total sales from instant to instant on each horse, and also at the same time, the grand total of the sales on all horses. Usually and preferably, it is installed to record the equivalent number of tickets of the lowest denominations; thus, if the machine is to be operated to record sales of, say, 10/-, 1 pound 5 pounds and 10 pounds, then each 10/- ticket sold adds one to the total recorded on the particular horse, and, at the same instant, one to the grand total. Similarly, each 1 pound ticket sold, automatically adds two to the horse counter and to the grand total, each 5 pound ticket adds 10 to the horse register and the grand total, and each 10 pound ticket adds 20.
The machine can be installed to record the sales of tickets of any value, but the lowest ticket of high value, such as the 5 pound ticket in the above example, should be 10 times, or a multiple of 10 times the unit ticket, that is, the ticket of lowest value; e.g., one 5 pound ticket equals ten 10/- tickets.
The recording mechanism can be constructed with four drums, to read up to a maximum of 9999 on each horse, five drums to, read 99,999, or more, to meet the requirements of the betting.
The whole machine is automatic in operation, being controlled entirely by the issue of tickets, there being no human element between the "issue" of the tickets and the "recording" of such "issue". Further, also, the machine is capable of instantly recording all sales on any horse, even if the whole of the selling windows or the ticket-issuing machines happen to issue tickets on the same horse at the same instant.
There is no time limitation in the operation of the ticket issuers, that is to say, a ticket can be issued from any ticket-issuing machine at any instant on any horse, and its sale recorded on the horse counter and on the grand total, quite irrespective of what may be happening on all other ticket-issuing machines.
In order that the various horse counters and the grand-total counter in the totalizator may be capable of quickly recording sales, no matter whether the majority of the sales are on one horse or divided amongst a number, each recording counter is equipped with a variable speed gear, controlled by a relay device, which automatically adjust itself to the speed of betting, thereby getting over the difficulty of sudden stopping or starting of the large counter wheels, and thus ensuring that each counter can meet the demands of the betting quietly, and without shock, within the limits of the speeds for which it has been designed and installed.
The smallest machines will allow of the recording of unit bets up to a rate of l000 a minute on any horse, and machines can be installed to allow of betting up to 200,000 a minute on any horse, or even more, should such be required.
A machine has been manufactured and shown in Sydney that records bets up to 250,000 per minute.
The mechanism is so arranged that unit tickets, that is, 10/- and 1 pound tickets, are recorded on the unit wheel of each counter, transferring to the 10s, 100s and 1000's drums, etc., in the ordinary way as required. The 5 pound tickets are registered direct on the 10s wheel of the counters, but such registration interferes in no way with the transmission of bets from the unit drum to the 10's drum, and so on.
Similarly, if the machine is equipped with a ticket-issuing machine for the sale of 50 Pound tickets, that is, of tickets equal to 100 unit tickets, the sale of such is recorded direct on the 100's drum of each counter, without in any way interfering with the correct registration of the 100s coming forward from the sale of tickets of lower denominations.
To allow of the gradual acceleration and retardation of the counter wheels to meet the demands of the betting, each counter is equipped with a storage or "balancer" arrangement which stores up the record of the issue of tickets to a pre-determined limit, thus allowing time for the counter to be accelerated up to the required speed, and thus also allowing the machine automatically to come quietly to rest when betting has stopped, the gear being so arranged that all bets so stored up in the balancer or storage gear are automatically recorded on the counter before it comes to rest.
Assuming that at the time betting ceases any counter was then running at its maximum speed, the time taken to record the whole of the bets then stored up in the mechanism, and to bring the counter to rest, does not exceed ten seconds. The machine may therefore, within the limits of practice, be considered as instantaneous in its action. The ten seconds margin only being required because it would be practically impossible to suddenly accelerate or suddenly stop the counters without excessive shock.
Each counter, as before stated, is capable of receiving impulses from any number of ticket-issuing or selling machines, and such selling machines may be arranged in any way so far as values are concerned, that is to say, there may be any required number of 10/- issuing machines, and, similarly, of 20/-, 5 pounds, 20 pounds, and so on.
Such selling windows may also be located anywhere, as required. They can be placed in the building which contains the totalizator, or may be a mile, or ten miles away. The only limitation to the location of issuers at a distance from the totalizator itself is the question of minimising the amount of electrical wire required. The normal voltage used in all these machines is 110 volts, direct current, and the wire used to connect the selling machines with the totalizator is 1/18, 600 Megohm grade insulated wire.
The group of horse counters and the grand-total counter, which together constitute the totalizator, are driven by one electrical motor, the size of such motor depending upon the size of the installation. This motor in a forty horse equipment is usually about 5-h.p. capacity, and, in a thirty horse equipment 4-h.p. capacity. In very large installations in which the adding machine, or totalizator proper, is located in a special room and not visible to the public, they being kept informed as to the betting by independent recorders at various points on the course, the totalizator would require a 2-h.p. motor and each complete registering equipment a 4-h.p. motor.
|Prevention of Breakdowns|
When this automatic gear comes into operation, it prevents the issue of tickets on that horse only, at all the selling windows, but in no way interferes with the selling and issuing of tickets on any other horse, unless it should have been the driving gear to the grand total which has failed, in which case the sale of tickets at every window on every horse is instantly and automatically stopped.
Whilst in the operation of the many machines of this type which are now in use, this automatic lock has never been called into use, yet it is considered essential to fit each equipment with this gear, so that if, through carelessness or malice or accident, there should be any interruption in the driving power to any counter, then there can be no further issue of tickets on that particular horse until the defect is remedied. Such defect, if it ever occurred, would almost certainly be the breaking of one of the driving belts, and the machine is so designed that any belt can be replaced in five seconds, there being a bell and indicator which at once draws the attention of the totalizator attendant to the fact that there is a stoppage on any particular horse counter.
Beyond the possibility of a failure to the driving belts, there is no, other possible cause of failure, except the complete cutting off of the electrical power supply. The machine is so arranged that such a failure instantly locks the ticket-issuing machine and prevents the further issue of tickets, and all the totalizators on this system which are now running are installed with a "Stand-by" power unit which is always running and which, within two seconds, can be thrown in circuit, thereby limiting the period of stoppage to a maximum period of two seconds, whilst also preventing the sale of tickets during that two seconds, and thereby ensuring the correctness of the records.
The spring gear which operates the electro-magnetic escapements which receive the electrical impulses from the various ticket-issuing machines is so designed as to be entirely out of reach of accidental damage, and the spring itself is arranged to run in an oil bath and to be so lightly loaded that there is no risk of breakage. Even if a break did occur the automatic lock, previously mentioned, would immediately come into operation and instantly stop the sale of tickets and registrations on the particular horse affected. It may be mentioned that in the many machines now operating of this type, there has never been any failure in this driving gear.
The electro-magnetic escapements above referred to, which record the impulses received from the selling machines, are connected to these selling machines by insulated wire, and there is a fuse in each circuit which prevents overloading of any of the electro-magnets.
The machines are so arranged, however, that should there be any interruption in the circuit between any particular issuer, or group of issuers, and any particular horse counter, whether such interruption is caused by the blowing of a fuse, or the breakage of a wire, or the failure of a connection, then such ticket issuer, or group of ticket issuers, are instantly and automatically locked against the sale of any more tickets on that particular horse, and remain so locked until the circuit is put right again.
It must be remembered, however, that as each ticket issuer is capable of issuing tickets upon each and every horse, the failure of a circuit from any issuer to any particular horse would not cause material inconvenience, as it would not in any way interfere with the sale of tickets on that particular horse from any of the other issuers.
The whole of the mechanism of the various horse counters and of the grand-total counter is carefully and strongly built, with ample provision for lubrication and for adjustment, and the parts have very ample strength for the work which they have to perform.
Each counter, with the whole of its mechanism is so designed that it can be attached, by two bolts only, to the front of the building through which the numbers are being exposed, and no elaborate framing of any sort is required.
One line of shaft between the two rows of counters constituting the totalizator serves to operate the whole of the counters and also the grand total, and such line of shaft is driven by one electrical motor of small power, there usually being a second stand-by motor coupled up ready should the first motor fail.
Each totalizator equipment is controlled by a switchboard adjacent to the machine this switchboard being equipped with the necessary controlling and protective devices, and also with automatic signals, etc., for the guidance of those running the machine as to when to re-set, etc.
Each horse counter is also equipped with a trip switch for cutting that horse out of operation in the event of it being scratched and the circuits are so arranged that when any horse is so cut out, all the ticket-issuing machines are thereby automatically locked against the sale of tickets on that horse, so that, even if such tickets are applied for, they cannot be issued.
The operation of each issuer is controlled by a single handle, which, when pressed into a particular hole in a quadrant plate bearing the "number" of the horse for which the ticket is required, thereby correctly places the type, prints and issues the ticket, and records its sale within the issuer itself, and transmits the necessary impulse to the totalizator.
A ticket printed on a J8 ( Animation above )
During the printing operation the handle is automatically locked so that it is impossible for the operator to interfere with the operation of the machine until the then-being-printed ticket is ejected. The type is inked automatically, and the inking process is so arranged that one selected "type" and that "type" only, is inked just prior to the paper passing over it, thus preventing any accumulation of ink on any type, and thereby keeping the whole of the type clean.
The printing gear is also arranged so that the movement of one small handle instantly changes the type which prints the race number on the ticket, so that after the machine has stopped the issue of tickets on one race, such type can be shifted and the paper changed ready for the issue of tickets on the next race, and this change of paper and change of type occupies a maximum of fifteen seconds. The changing of the paper also can be effected at any time during betting should the roll of paper become exhausted, or for any other reason, and such change can be made in five seconds.
The ticket issuers are designed to be power driven with a suitable small electric motor for driving a number of issuers, each issuer taking approximately 1/24th h.p. The machines are so arranged also that should any such motor fail, the machine can be operated by hand without causing any delay, and the issuers are designed so that the operators, that is, those issuing and selling tickets, cannot get access to the mechanism; but, when necessary, any one authorised to do so can completely and quickly expose the whole of the mechanism for lubrication, adjustment or repairs.
The machines are suitable for, operation by one operator who both operates the machine and issues the ticket to the purchaser, or they may be so installed that the machine itself is controlled by one operator, discharging tickets to two sellers, with a suitable deflector, so that the ticket may be delivered to either one of the sellers as required. This is possible because the speed at which the machine will print and issue tickets is considerably more than double the speed at which the public can be handled at any selling window.
|Size and Arrangement of Machines|
There is no practical limit to the size of the equipment, and machines can be supplied to sell tickets at 1000 selling windows, and to record such sales at speeds up to 250,000 unit bets per minute.
During the meeting two men are required on each totalizator and on each subsidiary recorder, and one mechanic also attends to approximately thirty issuing machines during the betting. Immediately after the close of the meeting the totalizators are wiped down and covered up; the type is removed from the issuing machines, and within an hour after the close of the meeting the whole equipment is cleaned and covered up and does not require further attention or opening up until the day before the next race meeting.
The staff employed in selling and paying operations and dividend calculation is smaller than that employed under "hand" Pari-Mutuel or totalizator system still existing on the Continent of Europe. The Premier totalizator being a hand saving device considerably reduces expenses on labour as well as the time used in all operations. Does this sound familiar?
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