REDONDO BEACH -- Wedges/Ledges of California wants to take cranes where no crane has gone before -- and with solar-power. The concept may be considered as a move toward "green" technology or as liberation from electrical sockets. Either way, the company hopes that adding a solar panel and battery power supply, starting with its diminutive 1 Shot skill crane, will prove to be a profitable innovation.
According to company officials, the solar-powered option on the three machines in the Shot 1 series enables operators to place cranes in locations and high-traffic areas within them that previously were unavailable to coin-op. These include miniature golf courses, highway rest stops, water parks, flea markets and other outdoor venues where convenient electrical hookups are not available. One application that's enjoying success with the idea is a mobile food truck operator who sets up the petite unit outside his parked vehicle to entertain people waiting for their orders. Gift certificates for free food are among the prizes.
photos | PLACES IN THE SUN: New version of 1 Shot crane from Wedges/Ledges features top-mounted 12V. photoelectric panel and internal battery to power the game without an AC power source.
Of course, the solar-powered devices are also well suited to more traditional locations, explained Wedges/Ledges' Stuart Renner. These include exterior sites adjacent to coffee shops, bowling alleys and similar establishments. The 1 Shot lineup presently includes pirate, golf and space alien themes, all implemented in compact 12" x 12" x 52" cabinets that weigh less than 100 lbs.
"The timing seemed right for an amusement game that is solar powered," said Renner. "And since our 1 Shots don't consume a lot of electricity, it was the logical point with which to start."
The main reason the solar option is possible on the 1 Shot: it possesses low power consumption requirements for its LED lights and low-current drawing motor. The solar models incorporate all the features found in the standard plug-in version.
The top-mounted solar panel measures 12" x 19" and generates approximately 12V. at up to 7W. That's enough to charge the 12V.DC battery, Renner explained. Fully charged, the battery can supply enough juice for several hundred plays. As backup, the game also includes a conventional plug-in charger.
Wedges/Ledges naturally expects its cranes to be especially appealing in states with abundant sunshine. The company also predicts that its solar-powered units will find favor with bulk vending operators in locations where traditional cranes are not a practical option.
Wedges/Ledges of California Inc. is headquartered in Redondo Beach. The company can be reached at (310) 374-9982.