REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
This application is a continuation of PCT Application Serial No. PCT/DE00/01039 filed Mar. 31, 2000 which was published in the German language on Nov. 2, 2000 the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference.
BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The invention relates to a device for accommodating discoid information carriers, of hinge-opening conformation, provided with a support element for the information carrier and comprising at least one arrest key to fix the information carrier at least transverse to a flat plane, in which the arrest key is provided with an entry incline to deflect an arrest part of the arrest key transverse to the flat plane upon depression of the information carrier.
Such a package is disclosed for example in EP-OS 0,671,743. Here the arrest key is arranged in a corner area of the package and simultaneously arrests both the discoid information carrier and an upper portion of the hinge-opening package relative to a lower portion. By depression of the arrest key in an arrest position, the discoid information carrier, configured as a “compact disk,” is fixed relative to a central holding element protruding through a central hole in the compact disk.
Other possibilities for arranging arrest keys in the area of packages for discoid information carriers are described in EP-OS 0,855,716. That publication in particular has disclosed holding discoid information carriers in such manner as to avoid central holding elements protruding through the central hole of a compact disk.
International Patent Application WO 93/01,598 describes a package unit for compact disks in which use is made of an arrest key protruding through the central hole of the compact disk. Upon pressure on the key, levers are simultaneously swung, being arranged in a vicinity of the central hole. In this way, synchronously with pressure on the arrest key, the compact disk is lifted against the pressure acting on the arrest key.
International Patent Application WO 96/14,636 describes another package for compact disks, having a centrally arranged arrest key. In addition to the arrest key, spring links are arranged that act with spring tension on the compact disk along an inner edge encircling the central hole. After depression of the arrest key, and a resulting unlocking, the spring links lead to a lifting of the compact disk.
The packages known in the prior art for discoid information carriers fail to satisfy all the requirements applicable to user-friendly handling. Specifically, a user still finds it a less than optimum solution when an operation of taking the information carrier out of the package is performed.
The object of the invention, then, is to design a device of the kind mentioned introductorily in such manner as to improve user convenience.
This object is accomplished, according to the invention, in that the information carrier is supported at least locally along its outer edge, and in that, in the area of the outer edge, the information carrier is acted upon by the arrest key, in that at least one spring element acts upon the information carrier in the area of its edge with a force transverse to the plate plane, in that the spring element is arranged in the area of the arrest key, in that the arrest key in arresting position arrests both the information carrier and the tense spring element, and in that the spring element is so arranged that a spring tension is preassigned by positioning of the information carrier in an arrest position.
Another object of the present invention is to facilitate direct manual access to the information carrier.
This object is accomplished, according to the invention, in that the information carrier is supported at least locally along its outer edge and in that, along the outer edge of the information carrier, at least two arrest keys are arranged substantially diametrally relative to each other, relative to a center of the information carrier.
A compact embodiment is favored in that the spring element is arranged between two side struts of the arrest key.
An enhanced stability by spatial distribution of areas of introduction of force into the support element may be achieved by arranging at least one spring element laterally alongside the arrest key.
A typical embodiment is characterized in that the support element is arranged in the area of a cassette comprising a top part, a bottom part and a spine joining the top part to the bottom part.
A high-load-capacity and at the same time economically producible connection of the several components is provided in that the spine is connected to the top part and the bottom part by way of film articulations.
Economical manufacture is also favored in that the spring element is made in one piece with the support element.
Consideration has also been given to making the arrest key in one piece with the support element.
For improved positioning of the information carrier, it is possible for a central bracket of the support element to extend through a central hole in the information carrier.
An avoidance of deflections of the information carrier can be achieved in that the central bracket is at least locally surrounded by a flange to support the information carrier.
An ergonomically especially advantageous embodiment is provided in that the arrest key is swingable horizontally about an axis of rotation, arranged substantially parallel to a plate plane of the information carrier.
An advantageous introduction of forces into the support element on removal of the information carrier can be achieved in that the arrest key is vertically swingable about an axis of rotation arranged substantially parallel to a plate plane of the information carrier.
Swingable arrest keys can be provided in that a rotary articulation of the arrest key is arranged between a pressure area provided for manual actuation and a holding projection to act upon the information carrier.
To make possible a manual contact with the information carrier during performance of a swing of the arrest key, it is proposed that the rotary articulation be arranged in an area of the arrest key away from the holding projection.
A removal of the information carrier on performance of a rotary motion is achieved in that two arrest keys are swung in the same direction relative to a midpoint of the information carrier upon manual actuation.
A removal of the information carrier from the cassette upon performance of a thrusting motion is achieved in that two arrest keys are swung in opposed directions relative to a center of the information carrier upon manual actuation.
A modified holding of the information carrier may be arrived at in that the information carrier is acted upon by a groove in the area of the arrest key.
For simultaneous action upon the information carrier by clamping forces perpendicular to the plate plane and within the plate plane, it is proposed that the information carrier be acted upon in the area of the holding projection by an inclined flank running at an angle to a plate plane of the information carrier.
An additional clamping of the information carrier may also be produced in that the groove comprises side walls extending at an angle to each other.