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Publication numberUS2007669 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 9, 1935
Filing dateApr 30, 1931
Priority dateApr 30, 1931
Publication numberUS 2007669 A, US 2007669A, US-A-2007669, US2007669 A, US2007669A
InventorsPaul Yates
Original AssigneePaul Yates
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Meter reading apparatus
US 2007669 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 9, 1935. YATES 2,U7,69

METER READING APPARATUS Filed April 50, 1951 EXChOnge Patented July 9, 1935 UNITED sm'rus PATENT OFFICE 1 Claim.

., This invention relates to the reading of meters, and, consists in means which permit a dial, or a plurality of dials, to be read at a point remote from its location. In my application for Letters 5 Patent Serial No. 416,373, filed Dec. 26, 1929, now Patent 1,897,657 issued February 14, 1933, I have described how the reading of a gas meter, a water meter, an electrical meter or the like, may be made over an electrical communication system, such, for example, as the Bell 'I'elephone System. The'objects of the present invention are in general the same as those stated in the above noted application. A further object, is, however, in mind; it is to provide means for controlling at the central reading station the operation of the remotely situated meter-reading instrumentalities. These and other objects will be amplified and more fully explained. in th following specification.

In the accompanying drawing there isshown a diagram, and in such diagram there are indicatedanumbered dial and its pointer or hand, a telephone system; and means associated with the telephone system and the dial for indicating, at a distance from the dial, the position of the pointer. In my co-pending application I have taught that the reading of a meter may be effected through the function of an electrical, sound-pro-' ducing mechanism. The sounds which signify the reading of the meter or dial may be audible words or merely sound signals. These-meterreading sounds are generated or reproduced at the receiving or reading station by the reaction of electrical impulses upon a diaphragm. Electrical impulses, are also necessary to effect the reading of a dial in accordance with the present invention, but it is the magnitude or character .the impulses themselves upon a recording device or a visual'indicator, which afiords significance. In other words, I combine with a meter dial, means for creating electrical impulses upon a communication circuit. The electrical impulses which are .50 created are of a regulated character, and may with a suitable instrument'be distinguished one from the other. With each position which the dial pointer may take, impulse-creating means are coordinated, and such impulse-creating -means are adapted to effect the creation of a distinctive electrical impulse (or impulses) in accordance with the position of the dial pointer.

, Referring to the drawing an embodiment of the invention will be described. The dial l'has'ten contact pieces 2, there being one contact piece for each of the ten positions which the pointer 3, may take. The contact pieces are electrically insulated one from the other, and are each con- V nected in numerical sequence to a contact 4 of the series of aligned contacts which are secured to a support 5 of insulating material. Upon a threaded shaft 6 is a carriage l; a motor 8 is geared to effect the rotation of the shaft 6, and according as the shaft rotates, the carriage 1 travels thereon. A brush 9 is borne by the carriage 7, and, as the carriage travels, the brush 9 progressively makes and breaks contact with the several contacts 4. The pointer 3 is electrically connected by a wire In to the one wire (I I) of the subscribers telephone line, and, as will presently be described, during operation of the meter-reading device the brush 9 is connected by a wire l2 to the other wire (l3) of the telephone line.

To the end that the apparatus may be clearly understood, the process of reading the meter dial I in the remotely located power companys office A will be outlined. The attendant, either by mechanical or manual switching in the telephone exchange, obtains telephone connection with the subscribers telephone, the particular dial that. the

attendant wishes to read being connected to the lines of such subscribers telephone. Such connection being made, it is'then necessary to energize the motor 8, and to move the brush 9' over the series of contacts 4. Advantageously, means are provided to disconnect the subscribers telephone while the reading is going on, and, obviously, it is of advantage to effect such control in the power companys office A. To this end the wires I3, l3, l3" of the telephone companys line are interconnected, as indicated at M. (Such interconnecting of telephone wires is common practice where a telegraph system is operated over telephone lines, and it is expedient only when the telephone system is inductively coupled through the telephone exchange.) To these directly interconnected lines l3, l3, l3" one termi-- nal of a high frequency alternator I5 is connected, the frequency and general characteristics of the alternator being such'that no cross-talking or any other objectionable eifectis produced to interfere with the normal operation of the telephone system. The other terminal of the alternator is connected to a grounded switch l6. At the subscribers end of the telephone line two relays I1 and I 8 each have one terminal connected by a wire 20 to the line l3, l3, and the other terminal leading to the ground. These relays are such in structure as to be sensitive to the effect of the current of the alternator, normal operating currents and electrical impulses of the telephone circuit do not disturb the relays from their normal, illustrated position, that is, the position which renders the meter-reading instrumentalities inactive, and maintains the telephone circuit in condition for normal operation. To obtain a reading the attendant closes the switch IS. The closing of switch l6 causes the relay IT to function and to open the line 3, and to complete connections between the wire l3 and the wire l2. Simultaneously, relay l8 functions'to close connections from a suitable source (IQ) of energy to the motor 8. The source IQ of energy is represented in the drawing as a battery, but of course suitable connections may be made to an electric power line instead of a battery for the energization of the motor. The position of rest of the carriage I, that is, the location of the carriage before the start of a reading, is at the left-hand end of the shaft 6, where the brush 9 is in engagement with the contact I00, which contact will be later described. So, when the switch I6 is closed the motor 8 is caused to revolve, moving the carriage in a left-to-rig'ht direction and causing the brush 3 to contact successively each member 4. Until the brush 9 engages that particular member 4 which is connected by its associated wire 2| to that contact piece 2 with which the pointer 3 is in engagement, the telephone circuit will remain incomplete and no effect will be had. When, however, the brush 9 strikes the contact 4 which is coordinated with the position of the dial pointer, a circuit is closed across the subscribers telephonelines. That is to say, when the'brush 9 strikes the contact 4 which it is shown to be contacting in the drawing, a circuit is established through its associated wire 2|, contact 2, and

pointer 3, whence through the conductor |0 to the one telephone line I; and the circuitis completed by means of the wire l2 interconnecting the brush 9 and the other telephone line l3, this being done, of course, throughthe relay IT.

The closing of a circuit, such as a telephone circuit, causes an electric impulse to travel over the telephone wires. The character of the impulse, which the closing of a circuit through one pointer position creates, may be and is distinct from the impulse created by the closing of the telephone circuit through any other pointer position. Conveniently,aresistance (R0,R1,R2 is included in each line 2|, the electrical value of the resistances in the lines being graduated in correspondenceto the position of their associated dial contacts 2, as shown in the drawing. Hence, the closing of the circuit through the pointer 3,

when it reads zero, will create a minimum impulse in the circuit. This is so because R0 is of greatest resistance relative to the other resistances (R1, R2 The impulse created by closing the circuit when the dial reads 1 is greater than thefzero impulse;'the impulse of dial reading 2 is greater than that 01' dial reading 1, etc. In the reading room of the power company, light signals, relays, photo-electric cells, recording devices, galvanometers, or other of such well known devices may be hooked-up with the telephone lines according to engineering practice, and caused to operate in correspondence with the magnitude of an electric impulse. So, the reading of the meter dial may be signified. I have shown diagrammatically a galvanometer B as the signaling device. The switch b, manifestly, is swung from its horizontal position to a vertical position to bring the galvanometer into proper electrical relation. The impulse created by the brush engaging the contact 4, which is associated with the dial numeral 2, is efiective to move the galvanometer pointer to the numeral 2 on its scale, thus signifying the reading of the meter dial In like manner the closing of a circuit through any of the possible positions of pointer 3 is eiTective to create an electrical impulse which will deflect the galvanometer B in accordance with the reading of the dial. The galvanometer indicating hand may include a mirror, and a beam of light may be deflected by the mirror to magnify the effective movement of the galvanometers indicator. Such an adaptation of a mirror has been practiced for years and no illustration is deemed necessary.

If the meter has a plurality of dials, manifestly, a sufficient number of contact pieces 4 may be organized on a support 5 and so connected to the several dials consecutively that each position of each dial pointer can be ascertained over a telephone system (see application Serial No. 581,134, filed December 15, 1931'), now Patent 1,955,043 issued April 1'7, 1934. To compensate for the resistances and impedances, etc. of the telephone system, each meter reading device is when installed balanced with the galvanometer by means of an adjustable resistance RR.

When the carriage I has continued in its leftto-right direction until the brush 9 has contacted all the pieces 4, a reversing switch 50 is operated to effect the reverse rotation of the motor and the return of the carriage to starting position at the left-hand end of the shaft 6. The reversing switch may be in structure a well-known star switch. Conveniently a lever 5| is pivotally secured at 52 to a fixed support (not shown), and the lower end of this lever is pivotally secured in an obvious manner to the throwing arm of the reversing switch. The upper end of the lever 5| is pivotally connected at 53 to a trip-rod 54, and when the carriage contacts the last of the contact pieces 4, it strikes the protuberance 55 on the trip-rod, rotates the lever 5| clockwise, and springs the switch 50 to its alternate position. Then, the motor is reversed and the carriage returns to starting position.

Means are provided to notify the meter reader in oiiice A when the carriage has reached startingv position. Such means include a buzzer or automatic make-and-break device which is connected in an electrical sense to the wire "I and the contact I00. When the carriage approaches its starting position, the brush 9 makes contact with the contact piece I00, and completes a circuit through the buzzer 60 to the telephone lines H and I3. In the oilice A there is a loud speaker S, and the operation of the buzzer causes the indicator S to sound out the fact that the carriage has reached, or practically has reached its starting position. The meter reader then opens switch I5 which causes the relays l1 and I8 to return to their illustrated position, leaving the telephone circuit in normal condition. A transmitter I20 may be included in the line |2 to enhance the desired transmission of electrical impulses.

There is a protuberance 56 on the left-hand end of the trip-rod 54, and if the key is opened before the carriage 1 has during its return movement struck the protuberance 56, the carriage will continue its right-to-left (return) movement when the key I6 is depressed for another reading. That is to say, the carriage will continue its return motion until the projection 58 is struck and the trip-rod is shifted to throw the lever 5| and the reversing switch to such position that the motor 8 is caused to effect the movement of the carriage in a left-to-right direction on .the shaft 6, as first explained. Thus it will be seen that one person can obtain and control the reading of meter dials at a station far remote from the meters.

I claim as my invention:

In a telephone system including a telephone at a meter-reading station, a remotely-located subscribers telephone, and a telephone switching exchange connected by telephone lines to each of said telephones, said telephone exchange including means for coupling said telephone lines, the combination of ameter including a metering instrumentality movable progressively from one metering position to another, a series of incomplete circuits having terminal contacts correlated with the metering positions of said instrumentality, means for establishing electrical communication between said incomplete circuits and the subscribers telephone line, means for closing said incomplete circuits, which means include an electrical brush, brush-moving mechanism for sweeping said brush with automatically-progressive movement over said contacts and restoring it to its initial position, thereby creating at least one signalling impulse in said telephone system, a receiver responsive to electric impulses, means for electrically coupling said receiver to the telephone line of said meter-reading station, control means electrically coupled to the telephone line of said meter-reading station, said control means including an electric instrumentality for producing electric oscillations in said telephone system without the normal operating frequencies of the system and distinct from the impulses in response to which said receiver operates, and means organized with said subscribers telephone line and responsive to said electric oscillations for effecting the energizing of said circuit-closing means for the series of incomplete circuits.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2419487 *Feb 2, 1944Apr 22, 1947Kenyon Instr Co IncRemote-control metering system
US2870258 *Dec 5, 1956Jan 20, 1959Cooper Curtis MAutomatic meter reading system
US3027551 *Aug 6, 1958Mar 27, 1962Laurin Gerard FMeter reading attachment
US3091663 *Dec 20, 1960May 28, 1963Bell Telephone Labor IncCoin box telemetering arrangement
US3205308 *Aug 23, 1960Sep 7, 1965Union Carbide CorpTelephonic equipment monitoring system
US3508003 *Jul 28, 1966Apr 21, 1970Air ReductionTelemetering system with conventional telephone communication channel using time spaced information pulses
US3778795 *Mar 13, 1972Dec 11, 1973CampmanRemotely controlled automatic utility meter reader
US3989898 *Dec 19, 1974Nov 2, 1976Dugan Thomas JRemote monitor signalling system
US4720851 *Jul 25, 1985Jan 19, 1988Lectrolarm Custom Systems, Inc.Meter reader
US4856054 *Jan 11, 1988Aug 8, 1989Lectrolarm Custom Systems, Inc.Meter reader
U.S. Classification379/106.3
International ClassificationH04M11/00
Cooperative ClassificationH04M11/002
European ClassificationH04M11/00A