US 2540063 A
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Jan. 30, 1951 J. A. VICTOREEN COIN DETECTING AND INDICATING APPARATUS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed D60- 12, 1945 Fig.2
INVENTOR. JOHNAJ/ICTOQEEN BY m5 ,4 vole/v5 Y Jan. 30, 1951 J. A. VICTOREEN 2,540,063
COIN DETECTING AND INDICATING APPARATUS Filed Dec. 12, 1945 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 I N VEN TOR. Jafi/v A. VICTOREEN HIS ATTORNEY Patented Jan. 30, 1951 w en COIN DETECTING AND INDICATING APPARATUS John A. Victoreen, Cleveland, Ohio, assignor to The Victoreen Instrument Company, Cleveland,
Application December 12, 1945, Serial No. 634,569
7 Claims. 1
This invention relates to indicating methods and circuits therefor and, more particularly, to an apparatus for detecting or counting articles, such as coins.
In this specification, the invention will be described particularly in connection with its use for indicating the value of coins which are used to control the action of a vending machine or coin controlled phonograph. It will be appreciated, however, that it is capable of a variety of uses other than that of indicating the value of coins, and that the description in connection therewith is merely exemplary of one manner of its employment and is not intended as a limitation thereof.
As is well known to those versed in the art, it is common to control a vending machine by inserting coins into slots provided therefor. Among the most common forms of coin control are those used to control automatic phonographs. Provision is ordinarly made whereb the number of records played is determined by the number and/or value of the coins used. Most commonly, the machines are constructed to take 5, 10 or 25 cent pieces which provide the vendee with one, two or five plays respectively.
The apparatus for the coin control usually includes a coin ejector which ejects spurious coins or slugs, and a counting mechanism which affords the vendee the proper number of plays for the coins selected. It is in connection with the last mentioned apparatus that the invention is particularly useful.
Heretoiore, the coins have been eiiective mainly by their weight or size to provide the desired operation. This entailed the use of somewhat complicated, expensive and delicate equipment which was subject to frequent adjustment in order to maintain proper operation. Improper operation either resulted in a loss of revenue when more plays were afforded than were called for, or caused the dissatisfaction of the customer when he did not receive the requisite number. The coins also had to be clean to operate the mechanism properly.
By my present invention, I am able to provide an apparatus wherein the mere passage of the coin in proximit thereto records the desired number of plays or the value of the coin. With the device of my invention, all moving parts other than the coin have been eliminated, thus simplifying the service problem as well as afiording a more accurate and longer operation thereof.
Briefly, my invention includes generating or providing a plurality of discrete potentials which are arranged to cooperate with each other to provide a total potential of zero. The coin or article to be counted is used to change at least one of the discrete potentials to provide an overall potential and when this condition arises, an indicator is provided to indicate it.
For a more complete understanding of my invention, reference is had to the following description which is illustrated by the accompanying drawings and forms a part of this specification.
In the drawings:
Fig. 1 is a circuit diagram of an electronic circuit useful in carrying out my invention.
Fig. 2 is a diagrammatic view showing the placement of the detector coils and the path of the coin in relation thereto.
Fig. 3 is an exploded view of one specific form of a coin chute useful in conjunction with my invention.
Fig. 4 is a top plan view of the coin chute assembly.
Referring now to the drawings, throughout which like parts have been designated by like reference characters, and more particularly to Fig. 1, which is a circuit diagram, illustrating a circuit embodying my invention. There is provided an oscillatory circuit which includes the vacuum tube V1, the anode circuit of which is supplied with a plurality of serially connected inductances iii, Ii, I2 and it. A capacitance i5 tunes the inductances to a predetermined resonance. An inductance 9 is provided in the grid circuit and is inductively coupled to one of the coils, such as it to provide an oscillatory circuit.
The inductance coils if to i3 inclusive constitute the primary of a plurality of transformers, the respective secondaries i8, i9, 23 and 2| of which are inductively coupled to the primaries. These secondaries are connected in series opposing relation to each other so that the energy picked up from the primaries is of opposite polarity, as indicated. Preferably, the coils are so matched and arranged in conjunction with the primaries that the signal pickup in each secondary is of the same value; then, since they are connected in opposing relation, the overall pickup or voltage developed across the entire series string of secondaries is zero. I have found in practice, however, that this balance is not very critical, and that some degree of unbalance which results in the showing of a potential across the string may be tolerated without undesirable effects.
The output from the inductors 58 to 2| inclusive is connected to he grid and cathode of the vacuum tube amplifier V2 which is resistance coupled to a third tube V3. The tube V3 is biased to cut off and, therefore, only draws current upon a signal of a predetermined value being applied thereto. One method of providing the bias for this tube is by connecting into the tank circuit (coils it to it and the condenser iii) of the oscillator. This coupling may be effected as shown by the lead 23 which connects into the plate circuit between the coils is and ii, and which connects to the anode of a diode tube Vi through a resistor R2, the cathode of that tube being connected to the cathode of the tube V3, a resistor R, and condenser C, are provided across the elements of the tube V4, the resistance being of suflicient value to provide the desired bias on the grid of the tube V3 which may be of the order of 20 volts.
A relay 25 is provided in the output circuit of the tube V3 adapted upon the passage of a predetermin d value of current therethrough to close the contacts 26.
As previously stated, the circuit including the tube V1 is an oscillatory circuit. The pickup coils I8 to 2!, therefore, have induced therein voltages due to their inductive coupling with the primaries. However, since their coils are so arranged that the voltages induced therein are of opposite polarity to each other and are of equal value, the voltage difference between the ends of the string which is ap lied to the grid and cathode of the tube V2 is either zero or of a very low value. In other words, the signals normally present in the coils balance out so that no signal is applied to the tube V2. If, however, anything is done to change the degree of coupling between any one of the primaries and secondaries, this change in coupling will result in either an increase or decrease in the pickup of that particular secondary increasing or decreasing the voltage developed therein. Then, providing no change has occurred in the other coils, this will change the balance from zero to some potential above zero resulting in a signal being applied to the tube V2 and amplified thereby. This causes the tube Veto draw current which operates the relay 25 closing the contacts 26.
The transfer of energy from the primaries to the secondaries may be affected in many ways. The coupling itself may be increased or decreased; this can be effected by passing of a metallic element near or between the coils. It could also be affected by changing the permeability, in which instance it could be effected by i passing a metallic element through any one of the primary or secondary coils. I prefer to affect the coupling by passing a metallic elem nt such as the coin between the coils, which provides a shielding effect between the coils and thus-a decrease in pickup voltage in that particular coil; this in turn causes an increase in voltage in the secondary string circuit. The bias afforded by the tube V4 is adjusted by selecting a proper resistance value of B so that a minimum of change in the output is required to permit operation of the relay 25. If desired, the relay 25 may also be adjustable so that it will operate only upon a predetermined value of current therethrough.
It will be seen that the operation of the apparatus is substantially independent of frequency, and that, therefore, any frequency for the oscillator may be selected as desired. Furthermore,
a change in frequency within rather wide limits g 4 may be tolerated without affecting its action. This permits the use of an economical circuit which need not be stabilized.
It will be apparent that the circuit can be made to function with only two sets of coils and that the number can be increased indefinitely so long as an equal number of balancing elements are added without affecting the operation.
The device is, therefore, adaptable to uses such as simple counting of articles or, as will hereinafter appear, for affording a multiple count from a single article.
Figs. 2 and 3 illustrate how my invention may be used in connection with a device such as a record player to provide a number of plays depending upon the value of the coin.
Fig. 2 is a diagrammatic view showing the disposition of the coils in the oscillator and pickup circuit, and the path of travel of the coins therethrough, to provide the desired operation.
Briefly, there are shown eight pickup coils which are the secondary coils and five tank coils which are the primary coils. A five cent piece is adapted to pass between one set of coils, thus upsetting the balance of the circuit only once during its passage. A ten cent piece will pass between two sets of coils thus upsetting the balance of the circuit twice during its passage. A twenty-five cent piece will pass between five sets of coils, thus upsetting the balance of the circuit five times during its passage.
In this Fig. 2 I have shown the disposition of the coils in the tank, pickup and grid circuit. The tank circuit coils, indicated at it, H, I 2, l3 and M, are disposed in series with each other. The pickup coils indicated at it to 22 inclusive are disposed in aligned and inductively coupled relation to the tank coils. The path of travel of the coins is indicated by the dot dash lines; A being the travel of a five cent piece, B the travel of a ten cent piece, and C the travel of a twentyfive cent piece. It will be noted that the pickup coils l6 and it are associated with tank coil ill and coils H and it with coil ll. This is merely a matter of convenience and is adapted only for a certain specific application. The coil 22' is added in the pickup circuit to provide an even number of pickup coils and thus effect the balancing previously described. The articles being counted do not pass between it and the tank coil. The oscillator grid coil 9 is shown coupled to the coil lit to provide the desired feed back.
If a five cent piece is passed between the coils H and Il as indicated, by the line A, the circuit will be unbalanced once to cause the relay 25 to close once. The relay contacts 25, of course, would control the action of some kind of an accumulator for the counts such as a stepping relay not shown.
The passage of a ten cent piece would be along the line B and would affect momentarily and consecutively the coupling between first the coils is and it, and second, the coils ii and H to cause two operations of the relay 25. The passage of twenty-five cents would be along the line C and momentarily and consecutively affect the coupling between. the coils lill8, ill9, iii-2E3, l32l and M-22 to cause the relay 25 to operate five times.
One manner of supporting the inductances, so that the operations described in connection with the diagram of 2 may be perform d, is illustrated in Fig. 3. This figure is a vi w showing a coin chute which may be fabricated in three parts. The center portion ib is shown in edge elevation and is flanked by the parts 4| and 42 which contain the coin passages and which are shown rotated 90 degrees in opposite directions from the center part. Fig. 4 shows a top plan view of the three parts assembled. The center portion houses the oscillator tank coils It to it inclusive. Generally, it comprises a flat rectangular slab of insulating material which is provided with the transverse apertures into which the coils are inserted. The holes containing the coils can be plugged if desired; preferably in practice I have found it desirable to provide a thin sheet of insulating material on either side which serves as a protector. The leads from the coils may be brought out in any convenient manner.
The part 42 is provided with a groove which, when the part is juxtaposed to the center part 49, provides a channel 44 of the proper width to receive a five cent piece. Adjacent the channel 44 is another channel designed to receive a ten cent piece. At the bottom of the channel 45 there is provided an opening in which the coil I6 is disposed, this coil being sunk in the wall. Below the channel is a laterally extending partition 46, the upper surface of which is slanting. The channels 44 and 45 then merge into a channel 41 at the bottom of which is another opening in which the coil ll is housed. Below the coil the channel extends to the left to provide a slanting wall 43 and then extends straight down and out the bottom.
If a five cent piece is dropped in the five cent channel 14, it drops down into the channel 47, hits the wall 48, pauses for a moment in front of the coil 5? and then rolls off and down out the bottom. The coil ll, as previously stated, is a pickup coil and is disposed opposite to and in inductive relation to the oscillator coil ii in the center section 40. Therefore, the coin pauses for a moment between these two coils providing a shielding effect which operates the relay as before described.
If a ten cent piece is inserted in the channel 45, it is stopped by the partition 45 between the coils i5 and 59, then rolls over and drops to the wall s8 where it again pauses before dropping into the straight channel. It thus momentarily shields first the coils liil0 and then l'lll, pausing a short time between each set of coils and thus causing the relay to operate twice.
The part 41 is designed to accept the 25 cent piece. In this instance, it enters the channel 50, is deflected by the partition 5!, rolls off it and drops between the coils |!3l8 being stopped by the partition 52 where it hesitates and then drops in a like manner between the coils l ll 9, l2-20, l3-2l and finally i4-22 after which it passes out the bottom.
It will be noted that the coin always pauses momentarily between the coils, the time of this pause can be predetermined by the slant given to the partition or walls against which the coin strikes.
It will, therefore, be seen that l, 2 or 5 counts can be had depending on the value of coin passing through the device, and that the counts are eifected without the utilization of any mechanical moving parts. It will be appreciated that there is nothing to wear out, and that, therefore, the device is capable of long life and accurate recording without the usual necessity for servicing required by other devices.
It will also be apparent that the same circuit may be used in a simpler form if desired for counting of simple metal objects by merely having these objects change the coupling between the coils.
It is also possible that the oscillator, which may be considered as a generator of alternating current, can be replaced by some other source of alternating current; for instance, it could be an oscillator used in conjunction with the record player its-lf. It should also be noted that the secondary or pickup circuit is untuned. This circuit could be tuned if desired, providing a higher differentiation of signals. I have found, however, that this circuit is amply effective for its purpose. The time of interruption of travel of the coin opposite to the coils, as previously stated, can be varied by changing the slantof the walls or abutments against which the coin strikes. The device is, however, to furnish the pulses by the coins without any interruption of the coin in its travel. In this case, the coin could drop straight down a straight chute. I also contemplate a serpentine chute which slows down the passage of the coin but does not interrupt its passage.
Having thus described my invention, I am aware that numerous and extensive departures may be made therefrom without departing from the spirit or scope of my invention.
'1. An apparatus of the class described, the combination of an oscillator having a plurality of inductances therein, a pickup circuit having .a plurality of inductances inductively coupled to said oscillator inductances, and means operated by the pickup of energy in said pickup circuit to indicate, a housing for housing said oscillator and pickup inductances and formed with channels extending between said inductances, said channels adapted to guide a metallic article between said oscillator and pickup inductances in shielding relation thereto and said indicator means being operated upon the passage of said article between the inductances.
2. An apparatus of the class described including a housing, a plurality of channels formed in said housing, pairs of inductances supported by the walls of said housing opposite to said channels, some of said inductances having an oscillatory signal generated therein and the others of-said inductances on opposite sides of said channels adapted to pick up said signals, said channels arranged to have a metallic article pass therethrough, which article during its passage shields some of said inductances from the others.
3. An apparatus of the class described including a housing, a plurality of channels formed in said housing, pairs of inductances supported by the walls of said housing opposite to said channels, some of said inductances having anoscillatory signal generated therein and the others of said inductances on opposite sides of said channels adapted to pick up said signals, said channels adapted to have a metallic article pass therethrough, which article during its passage shields some of said inductances from the others and means connected to said pickup inductances to indicate the passage of an article.
4. An apparatus of the class described including a housing, a plurality of channels formed in said housing, pairs of inductances supported by the walls of said housing opposite to said channels, some of said inductances having an oscillatory current passing therethrough and the others of said inductances on opposite side of said channels adapted to pick up said signals, said channels adapted to have a metallic article 7 pass therethrough which article during its passage partly shields some of said inductances from the others, and means to restrain the passage of said articles when the article passes between said inductances.
5. A coin operated apparatus including an oscillatory circuit, a plurality of pickup inductances inductively coupled to said circuit to pickup oscillatory energy therefrom, a coin chute including a passageway for the passage of a coin, means in said passageway to momentarily interrupt the passage of a coin therethrough, said pickup inductances being disposed adjacent said passageway at the point where the passage of the coin is interrupted said coin adapted to at least partially inductively shield said pickup inductances and change the degree of energy picked up thereby.
6. A coin operated apparatus including an oscillatory circuit, a plurality of pickup inductances inductively coupled to said circuit to pickup oscillatory energy therefrom, a coin chute including a passageway for the passage of a coin, means in said passageway to momentarily interrupt the passage of a coin therethrough, said pickup inductances being disposed adjacent said passageway at the point where the passage of the coin is interrupted, said coin adapted to inductively shield-said pickup inductances and change the degree of energy picked up thereby, said interrupting means for said coin including an inclined abutment, the angle of inclination of which determines the time of interruption of the passage of said coin.
7. A circuit of the class described comprising 58 an oscillator circuit including a vacuum tube and a tank circuit in the output thereof, said tank circuit including a plurality of inductance elements and a parallel capacitance, a pickup circuit comprising a plurality of inductance elements inductively coupled to said inductances in the tank circuit and disposed in the input circuit of, a vacuum tube amplifier, said inductance ole-3 ments being connected in series opposing relation. to provide substantially zero pickup and adapted REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this pal ent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,944,988 Lum Jan. 30, 1934 2,237,132 Christensen Apr. 1, 1941 2,265,124 Andres Dec. 9, 1941 2,337,132 Shaw Dec. 21, 1943 2,459,210 Ashcraft Jan. 18, 1949.