How does an air hockey table work?

Table of Contents

An air hockey table works using a blower, an air compressor.

The game operates by blowing the puck across the surface of the table with compressed air. The puck is made of plastic and has an inbuilt magnet which causes it to levitate slightly off the playing area. This small magnetic field repels itself away from metal, so that means it can be repelled by certain metals near the puck’s path, causing braking or change of direction. The pucks are usually made out of PVC because they tend to weigh about an ounce (30 g), allowing them to travel at 7-8 mph (11-13 kph).

Air Hockey Tables use Stirling engine generators to collect for powering its blowers but still typically need to make sure that their blowers are switched off when not in use or else the generators slowly lose charge over time. Stirling engines only produce 10 watts of energy.

The air hockey table is made up of two smooth surfaced boards, usually made out of plastic laminate or phenolic resin, which are painted or printed with a graphic resembling ice. The actual function of this surface is to give the puck an undisturbed flow across it, limiting its motion due to friction, since the motion of the puck is partially generated by sliding against this surface. The pucks have low-friction coatings on their visible sides and are slightly roughened on their underside so they have just enough friction to slide upon being struck but not enough to cause much resistance.

The table is elevated slightly off the floor (usually on adjustable legs) and measures 8 feet (2.4 m) long, 5 ft (1.5 m) wide, and 2 1/2 ft (76 cm) high. A cutout in the end board permits pucks to enter the playing area; this cutout is covered with a net to keep the puck from exiting the table without being struck by a mallet. The mallets are usually made out of wood or plastic, have a handle 16 inches long, have circular heads 17 inches in diameter that are concave on one side, while flat on the other.

Do air hockey tables need to be plugged in?

It is possible for an air hockey table to be electrically powered, with the blowers being operated by variable-frequency drives. Most modern tables are plug in using a standard 3-prong power cord and switch on the underside of the end table. If you are looking at buying an older model that operates with a blower then it will need to supply its own electricity via either batteries or a wall mounted power supply. Many old designs used to use coin operated methods for powering their units but these have fallen out of fashion due to limited usage and slow turn around times.

A rapid development and advancement in technology has allowed many advances to take place within the industry such as: tables becoming more affordable, better quality playing surfaces, new table sizes, new designs and different types of pucks. The “Air Hockey World Championships” are held annually by the International Air-Hockey Federation (IAHF), comprising the men’s, women’s and doubles championship tournaments. There is also a world cup tournament where players compete for their countries team each year.

Who invented air hockey table

The air hockey table was invented in 1969 by an American Bob May at a trade show in Chicago after he saw a man demonstrating a coin operated amusement device that used air to levitate a puck on his table.

This machine use electromagnets to push the puck across its surface but it didn’t have any scoring methods so Bob May decided to come up with his own idea which would use compressed air instead of magnets as well as add a scoring system.

The first patent for an air hockey table was filed in 1970 by inventors George Hack and Payson E. Sheff, however it wasn’t until inventor Augusto R. Froehlich created a new scoring apparatus that a workable model was invented. In the early 1970s,

David Gottlieb’s “Supersonic” arcade game successfully utilized a similar blower design to create an effective player-playing experience with less noise while having accurate point-scoring and durable components that could stand up to constant use in an arcade environment.

The price of air hockey tables has gradually dropped over time allowing them to become more popular than ever before (read about 10 best rated air hockey tables). There are multiple models on the market which offer different features depending on your needs.

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Tony Fisher

Tony Fisher

I like to hit that puck! As hard as I can, and score a quick one. Here I'll share the best info on the best indoor game there is!

About Me

I like to hit that puck! As hard as I can, and score a quick one. Here I’ll share the best info on the best indoor game there is!

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