US 2655315 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
E. PERSSON Oct. 13, 1953 OPERATIONAL LOCK MEANS FOR POSTAGE METERING DEVICES Filed Nov. 22, 1948 5 Sheets-Sheet l E. PERSSON Oct. 13, 1953 OPERATIONAL LOCK MEANS FOR POSTAGE METERING DEVICES 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Nov. 22, 1948 -IN\$NTOR 1. mm
ATTORNEY JET IHI.
M w a M w? M m Uizt. T3, T953 5', PERSSQN 2,655,315
OPERATIONAL LOCK MEANS FOR POSTAGE METERING DEVICES Filed Nov. 22, 1948 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR N M Cm ATTORNEY E. PERSSON Oct. 13;, 1953 OPERATIONAL LOCK MEANS FORYPOSTAGE METERING DEVICES Filed Nov. 22, 1948 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 ATTORNEY Oct. 13, 1953 E. PERSSON 2,655,315
' OPERATIONAL LOCK MEANS FOR POSTAGE METERING DEVICES Filed Nov. 22, 1948 Sheets-Sheet 5 Fig.
2 A c. I /95 193 U 167 H" IL INVENTOR W WM BY 7 Iv-t;
ATTORNEY Patented Oct. 13, 1953 OPERATIONAL LOCK MEANS FOR POSTAGE METERING DEVICES Ernest Persson, New York, N. Y., assignor to The International Postal Supply Company, Brooklyn, N. Y., a corporation of New York Application November 22, 1948, Serial N 0. 61,489
14 Claims. (01. 235-101) This invention relates to postage registering meters and more particularly to a locking mechanism therefor.
A feature of the invention is the provision of a locking mechanism for a postage meter which effectively prevents tampering therewith.
Another feature of the invention is the provision of a simplified driving mechanism for a postage meter included in a base or supporting structure to which a postage registering meter is detachably secured. Provision is made for preventing the operation of the meter by the driving mechanism except when the meter is properly positioned on the supporting structure. The latter is provided with a novel mechanism cooperating with a lock in the meter which is effective to operate the look only when the meter is properly positioned in its support.
Still another feature of the invention is the provision of an internal lock for a metering device to prevent tampering with the parts thereof, the lock being adapted to cooperate with a key member which is a part of a device for supporting and driving the meter.
Other objects will appear in the following description given with the aid of the accompanying drawing of which Fig. 1 is a front view of a postage meter together with the base or supporting structure therefor;
Fig. 2 is a side view of the meter and base;
Fig. 3 is a view partly in section taken from the rear of the machine showing the driving mechanism therefor;
Fig. 4 is a side view of the mechanism shown in Fig. 3;
Fig. 5 is an enlarged showing of a clutch in section;
Fig. 6 is a view showing details of the interior of the clutch of Fig. 5;
Fig. 7 is a view, partly in section showing details of the mechanism mounted on the base for locking and unlocking the meter in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention;
Fig. 8 is a detail of the locking mechanism;
Fig. 9 shows the internal locking mechanism for the meter as it appears in locked position, prior to the insertion of the key member;
Fig. 10 is a view similar to Fig. 9 except that the parts of the locking mechanism are shown as they appear when the meter is unlocked;
Fig. 11 is a plan view, partly in section, the section being taken through ll-H of Fig. 10, showing the key member positioned in the lock together with the levers operated thereby;
Fig. 12 is a plan view partly in section, the section being taken through i2-l2 of Fig. 10, showing the locking dog controlled by the key which releasably secures the main drive shaft within the meter, together with the key levers;
Fig. 13 is a perspective view of one type of a key bitt; and
Fig. 14. is a section taken through l4l4 of Fig. 7.
Referring to Figs. 1 to 5, the meter base or supporting structure comprises a base member it generally oblong in shape on which is mounted a closed hollow metal structure, having front and rear walls II and 12, side walls I3 and l4, 2. top plate It on which the meter rests, a vertical wall I! rising from the top plate l5 immediately to the rear of the meter forming an elevated portion of the hollow structure together with upwardly extending portions of side wall l3 and rear wall i2 and a further wall I8.
The driving mechanism for the meter comprises a motor secured to base It! having a shaft 2|, Fig. 4, which drives through a suitable safety clutch 22, a gear 23, which is one of a train of reduction gears supported by shafts which turn in suitable bearings in plate 24 and 25 mounted within the hollow base structure.
Gear 23 drives a gear 26 fixed to a shaft 21 supported by bearings in plates 24 and 25. A gear 28 fixed to shaft 2'! drives a gear 29 which turns on a bearing 30, Fig. 5, mounted on a shaft 3! which is free to turn in hearings in plates 24 and 25.
The driving member of a clutch 35, to be described, is secured by screws 36 to one face of gear 29. The driven member 31 of the clutch is secured to shaft 3! by a pin 33. The driving member for the meter which comprises a disc 40, Figs. 4 and 10, is fixed to shaft 3!, the disc being arranged to turn in an opening 4! in wall I! with the outer face thereof substantially flush with the outer surface of the wall while a ridge or key 42 formed across the diameter thereof projects beyond the surface of wall ii. The ridge is adapted to fit into a complementary recess in a corresponding member driven thereby in the meter, to be described.
Clutch 35 is of the cyclically operable or stopstart type which cooperates with a system of levers which when tripped releases the clutch permitting the engagement of the driving member with shaft 3! for one revolution whereupon the clutch is disengaged by the levers, thus stopping shaft 3|. When the levers are again tripped the clutch engages and turns shaft 3| through one more revolution.
In the embodiment of the invention shown, the trip levers are arranged to be rocked each time an envelope is fed into the machine to have a stamp imprinted thereon. Referring to Fig. l, a platform 45 is mounted on the front of the machine along which the envelopes to be stamped are slid, one after another, toward the right of the drawing. The envelopes pass between a constantly driven pressure roller or platen 55 mounted directly underneath the die or printing drum M, a portion of which is shown projecting below a housing 5'! therefor which isa part of the enclosure for the meter structure. The die 44 is normally stationary, and before theiivelope can be stamped, it is necessary to trip the clutch which will cause the die 45 to make a single rotation. The platen 45 which is constantly driven by means to be described is fixed to a short shaft 48 which turns in a bearing 43 in an arm 49 of a pivotally mounted ball crank. A spring 5| fastened to the arm 50 of the bell crank constantly urges the platen 56 into contact with the die and cooperates therewith when the die turn to feed the envelopes toward the right of the machine. When the die is in position of rest, the platen 56 turns clear of the die in a depressed portion of die surface where there is no indicia.
Before an envelope can be fed underneath the die, its forward edge engages a bar overlying platform 45 and continued movement of the envelope displaces the bar toward the platen. Bar 55 is attached to one arm of a lever 55 pivoted to an arm 57 mounted on a pivot 58 secured to the front wall ll. Bar 55 and the mechanism associated therewith, when actuated, trip the clutch. A spring 59 tends to turn lever 55 to maintain bar 55 elevated into the path of successive envelopes as they are fed into the machine. However, as the respective envelopes come into engagement with the bar and are pushed toward the die, arm 51 is caused to turn a limited distance on its pivot 58, and with this movement of the arm, the leading edges of the respective envelopes come into engagement with the rotating platen roller 45 and at the same time the clutch is released, as will be explained, thereby driving the printing die of the meter. The envelopes on passing between the die and platen depres bar 55 out of their path, turning the supporting lever 56 therefor about its pivot.
The displacement of bar 55 with the resulting oscillation of its supporting arm 51 by the successive envelopes is utilized to operate the lever arrangement which controls the cyclic operation of the clutch, as will now be described. A link 5|, connected by pivot 62 to arm 51, is attached by a pivot 63 to an arm 64 fastened to a rocking shaft 55. Therefore, the movement of arm 57, just described, causes shaft 65 to rock in a corresponding manner. Referring to Figs. 2, 3 and 4, it will be seen that shaft 55 extends back to the rear of the machine where a rear portion thereof is supported in a bearing in plate 25. A bell crank having arms ill and H is secured to shaft 65.
Bell-crank arm 70 and shaft 65 may be rocked only when a power switch knob 12 mounted on a shaft 13 extending through a bearing in wall [3 is positioned to supply power to the motor. A disc 14 formed with a notch 15 in the edge thereof i fastened to the inner end portion of shaft 13, the disc serving to block movement of bell crank arm 10 when the knob is in off position. As shown in Fig. 2, two spaced pins H and 18 are mounted on the surface of disc 15. Between these pins the operating arm 19 of a conventional electric toggle switch 33 is disposed. This switch controls the operating power for motor 25. It will be understood that if the knob I2 is turned in the appropriate direction the motor may be turned off or on. When the knob is in oh position, as shown in Fig. 3, the edge of the disc is in engagement with the under edge of bellcrank arm in preventing the rocking thereof together with shaft 65 and the parts on the front of the machine associated therewith. When the switch is in its onposition as shown in Fig. 2, fiotch 75 is positioned immediately under bellcrank arm 15 permitting the rocking of the bell crank together with shaft 65. One edge 75 of the notch i curved to. serve as a cam for dis placing arm 15 of the bell crank out of the notch should the arm be positioned in the notch at the instant the knobis turned off.
A lever having arms 36 and Bi, Figs. 3 and 4, is mounted on a pivot 82 attached to arm 83 of a lever pivoted on a short shaft 84 fixed to plate 25. The latter lever has two additional arms 85 and 55. Arm 85 is positioned in the path of a stop arm 87 of clutch 55 by a spring 58 attached to arm 55 of the lever which tends to turn the lever in a counter-clockwise direction. Shaft 5 has a second lever 65 pivotedthereon having an arm 89 carrying apin 95 against which one edge of the lever arm 81 rests. A spring 5i connected between the lever arms 83 and BI holds the latter lever arm in engagement with the pin. Lever 58 is provided with a second arm 92- at the end of which is mounted a roller 53 which rides on the surface of the driven member of cam 35 and is rocked by a cam 95 formed thereon immediately before the stop arm 8'! of the cam engages the end of lever arm 85 and is provided for the purpose of invariably tripping the lever arrangement to ensure that arm 86 will always be positioned in the path of the clutch stop arm 8-7 before the end of each cycle to stop the clutch irrespective of the angular position of the lever arm (I as will now be explained.
Assuming that the knob 12 is positioned as shown in Fig. 2 to turn the motor on, then the notch 75 in disc 75 attached to the knob will be positioned under the bell-crank arm it and shaft 65 is free to oscillate with the feeding of each envelope through the machine. Referring now to Fig. 3 and still assuming that the notch 15 is positioned under the bell-crank arm 75, which is contrary to the position in which disc 74 is shown therein, then each oscillation of shaft 55 displaces bell-crank arm '36 and ii in a counterclockwise direction from the position shown causing bell-crank arm H to engage the lever arm 85 tending to turn this lever 82. Since the arm 8i of this lever is held from rotation by pin in lever arm 89, lever 85-85- 86 is turned against the tension of spring 58 in a clockwise direction by bell-crank arm H moving the end of lever arm 85 out of the path of the stop arm Bl of clutch 35, whereupon the clutch engages and the driven member turns through one cycle. Normally, before the end of the cycle, shaft 55 and the bell-crank arms H and 12 have been restored to their normal position of rest shown in Fig. 3 and spring 88 has restored lever arm 85 into the path of the clutch stop arm 87 whereupon the stop arm disengages the clutch until the lever mechanism is subsequently actuated.
Should shaft 65 be held in its actuated position for a period longer than the operating cycle of the machine such as might occur when an unusually long envelope or other article i being stamped, cam 34 engages roller 93 on the lever arm 92 and rocks the lever on shaft 84 in a clockwise direction against the tension of spring 9I. Pin 90 mounted in the opposite arm 80 of this lever then turns lever 80BI about its pivot 82 in a clockwise direction disengaging the arm 80 thereof from the bell-crank arm H whereupon spring 88 rotates lever 83-85-46 on shaft 84 in a counter-clockwise direction positioning the arm 86 thereof in the path of the clutch stop arm 81 before the end of the cycle. The clutch will not release again until shaft 65 i restored to its normal position and subsequently tripped.
A preferred form of clutch is shown in Figs. 5 and 6 in which a ring I secured concentrically to the face of gear 29 by screws 36 forms the driving member of the clutch. The driven member 31 is secured, as already mentioned, by pin 38 to shaft 3I. A hexagonal member IOI formed integrally with the driven member projects into ring I00, the corners of the hexagonal member being spaced from the inner surface of the ring. Adjacent ring I00, the driven member is turned down to form a section I03 of smaller diameter than the interior of ring I00, and on this reduced section, a ring I04 to which stop arm 81 is fixed, is free to turn through a small relative angular distance. A sleeve I05 formed integrally with ring I04 projects into the central bore of driving ring I00, the sleeve being free to move between the apices of the hexagonal member and the inner surface of the driving ring I00. Sleeve I05 is formed with six regularly spaced slots in the edge thereof, the slots being shown in the drawing as overlying, approximately, the central portions of the respective flat surfaces of the hexagonal member IOI. A roller I06 is disposed in each of the slots in sleeve I05, the diameter of the rollers being a trifle less than the maximum distance from any of the fiat surfaces of the hexagonal member to the inner wall of driving ring I00 which permits limited movement of ring I04-I05 with respect to the reduced portion I03 of the driven member on which the ring turns. A spring I01 attached to ring I04 and the driven member tends to turn the ring on its support in the same direction as gear 29 on which the driving ring I00 is mounted,
as indicated by the arrow in Fig. 6. This relative movement of ring I04 is prevented when the lever arm 86 is engaged by stop arm 81, when the rollers I06 are held positioned approximately over the mid sections of the flat portions of the hexagonal member IOI, leaving the driving ring I00 free to turn while the hexagonal member remains stationary. However, when the stop lever arrangement is tripped, lever arm 86 becomes disengaged from stop arm 8! and spring I01 snaps ring I04 and sleeve I05 in a clockwise direction, and due to the motion of driving ring I00, the rollers I06 jam between the surfaces of the hexagonal member and the inner surface of the ring thereby causing the driven member 31 of the clutch and shaft 3I to turn therewith. The clutch disclosed readily engages and disengages, and due to its design can handle considerable loads over long periods without apparent wear.
The invention contemplates a novel and effective mechanism for locking a meter to prevent tampering therewith, which can be released only when the meter is placed in normal position for use, on a suitable base provided with a device for operating the particular locking mechanism.
The locking mechanism in the meter will perhaps be best understood if a novel key arrangement mounted in the base or support for the meter is first described.
The key mechanism shown in Fig. 7 includes a manually rotatable handle I I0 secured to a shaft III supported for rotation in a bearing H2 in plate 24 disposed at the rear of the base. Shaft III is fixed to a sleeve or tubular member II3 having a central bore II4. A shoulder II5 formed on the sleeve abuts plates 25 while a part II6 of smaller outside diameter extends through a bearing in plate 25 and projects a short distance beyond the left hand surface of plate 25. With this arrangement the tubular member II3 may be rotated by the handle but is restrained from any axial movement by the plates 24 and 2 5.
A block II! is secured between plates 24 and 25 by screws II 8 and H3 directly above sleeve II3. This block has a longitudinal slot I20 formed in its under surface parallel with the axis of the sleeve I I 3.
A key member I25, Fig. 13, having a cylindrical stem portion I26 which fits into the bore of sleeve H3, is axially and rotatably movable therein. Sleeve II3 has a curved cam slot I21 cut therein which communicates with a circular guideway I28 formed by a casing I20 which is fixed to plate 25 coaxially with respect to sleeve II3.
A pin I30 fixed to the cylindrical stem I26 of the key projects through the cam slot I21 into the slot I20 in block Ill. When the handle H0 is turned in the direction indicated by the arrow, the rotary movement of the cam slot I27 will force the pin I30 to travel along slot I20 toward the left of the drawing thereby causing the key to move in an axial direction until the pin reaches the circular guide I28 and comes into engagement with the surface of plate 25 which prevents further axial movement of the key but permits the key to rotate about its axis with continued movement of handle IIO. The axial movement causes the key to be inserted a predetermined distance into the meter lock, to be described, to be suitably aligned with the lock mechanism therein while the subsequent rotation of the key is used to operate a portion of the locking mechanism.
A cam I34 fixed to the left-hand portion of sleeve II3 engages a follower I35 which comprises a bar, Figs. 7 and 8, guided by shoulder screws I36 extending through slots I3! formed in the bar, the screws being attached to plate 25.
Cam it l depresses bar a predetermined distance after the handle s turned through a predetermined angular distance and this movement of the bar is communicated to an arm I38, Fig. 8., fixed to a shaft 530 which is supported by brackets I00 fixed to the underside of plate I5 on which the meter rests.
The ends of a pair of spaced arms MI and M2 secured to shaft I38 are elevated by the rotation of shaft I30 when the handle its is turned in a direction to unlock the meter and these arms elevate pins I43 and M lagainst the pressure of respective compression springs i 25 and 506 a predetermined distance. In the present embodiment of the invention, pin I03 serves as a lead pin to make certain the meter is properly positioned on the base and to secure it if thus positioned. Pin
7 i 44 cooperates with the key-'per'se in releasing the locking mechanism of the meter by elevating a plunger 22%.- The pins M3 andv use are shown in Fig. 7 as they are: positioned before the key is turned to unlock the meter.
The locking mechanism for the meter is enclosed in a casing Hit fastened to the timer sur--- face of the rear wall it?! of the meter casing which arrangement prevents tampering with. the locking mechanism. 7
9 shows parts of the lock as they appear when the meter is'locked. An opening I52 to receive key member 25 is formed in the rear wall lei or the meter casing and communicates with the interior of the lock casinglSfi. A curved shield i53 mounted in. the lockcasing in register with the openin i252 serves to partially close on the lock mechanism from the opening.- A lead pin Hi l attached to the outer wall of casing I50 projects coaxially' along the opening toward the rear well 255 of the meter casing and: provides a guide and support for the key member it'd when inserted into the lock, and also serves to obstruct the opening to interfere with the insertion of lock-picking instruments.-
Referring to Fig. 13, the key comprises a shank its which is secured to the cylindrical stem 626. Shank its has a central bore adapted to fit over guide pin 5513 when the key is inserted into the lock. Near the end of shank 268 a key hitt i6! is formed which is shown to comprise four spaced lever operating members i622, 433, it and 555 which may vary in height and shape as desired. Assuming that the meter is properly positioned on the base plate it, then when the handle H6 is arned for the purpose of unlocking the meter, the initial part of the angular movement of the handles inserts the key in an axial direction into the lock to bring the members 952, m3, led and H25 into alignment with corresponding ones of a series of levers, and the subsequent rotary motion imparted to the key by handle 6- causes the operation of these levers.
Referring to Figs. 9 and 10, the member $65 of the key bitt cooperates with a lever 56! pivoted on a pin 58 and provided with flat spring its which tends to turn the lever in a clockwise direction so as to maintain a projecting nose fill formed on the lever into the path of the key bitt member #65. Referring to Fig. 12, lever i6? has an arm ill extending at right angles therefrom which arm is positioned alongside a series of levers H3, its and its to prevent the movement thereof until lever it? is first rotated in a counter-clockwise direction by the engagement of the member tell of the key bitt with the nose 2'59 of the lever itl. V
Levers 23, lid, We are pivoted on a shaft 576 attached to the wall of the lock casing and each lever is provided with a hat spring Ill which tends to turn the lever in a counter-clockwise direction to bring the noses I18 of the respective levers into the rotary path of the corresponding members E33 and 56 of the key bitt Isl. Each lever I13, Elli, its has a projecting stop portion ltd formed on its rear edge which abuts the turned over arm Ill of lever it? when the meter is locked. The lower ends of levers I13, I74, 515 indicated respectively by reference characters I82, 583, and 4st, Fig. 12, are identical and formed with a generally oblong contour.
The noses i'l-Q of the levers vary in shape and in height according to the complementary porticns of the key bitt which are designed to turn the levers respectively to bring the end portions I82, I83 and: Hit thereof into alignment with each other at which position the end portions of the levers cooperate with another mechanism controlled by the cam actuated pin I44 which is movable in a vertical direction through the base plate l5 which supports the meter as will now be described.
Referring to Figs. 3 and 4- the key or ridge member 52 formed across the face of disc 40 driven by shaft 3i fits into acomplementary slot H85, Fig. 1.1, in a disc 4% positioned in an opening in the meter casing and secured to the main driving shaft l8? within the meter, whereby the meter mechanism is driven by the shaft (it. A ratchet wheel it? is fixed to shaft 13? and provided. with a pawl 389 for preventing the turning of the meter shaft it? in the wrong direction.
A lockable member which conveniently may be a hub or disc H99 fixed toshaft I87 has a single slot l-Si cut in its periphery. A locking dog cooperating therewith, shown as alever 552. having arms 5% and its is supported on a shaft l95 mounted within the lock casing 255. The arm l e-3 of. the lever projects beyond the lock casing and a nose I95 formed on the arm is adapted to enter the notch wt and thus prevent rotation of the hub sec and. the meter shaft isl, as well as any of the meter mechanism connected therewith. A spring its attached to the arm I94 of the lever tends to hold the nose $95 thereof in contact with the wheel 99. The arm a l of the lever is sufficiently wide to extend under each of the key lever ends H32, H83 and E84. Adjacent the key lever ends, the lever arm has a transverse channel it? formed on the upper surface thereof between upwardly projecting ribs see and i539. Channel it? is wide enough to receive the ends 522, 8'3 and ills of the key levers.
When the meter is looked as shown in Fig. 9, the lever ends i82, I83 and its are positioned directly over the rib 99 formed at the end of the lever arm. i9 3 and block the lever against any movement which would tend to disengage the opposite end of the lever from the notch l9! in hub 599 which locks the main shaft of the m ter against rotation.
When the key is turned in the lock, the lever ends are brought into alignment over the channel l9! in arm I534. The lever I95, however, remains immovable, until continued rotation of the key brings cam 135 into engagement with bar list depressing the same which turns shaft I39 and moves pin Hie upward beyond the upper surface of base plate l5 on which the meter rests into a tube 280 mounted in the meter casing. A plunger it! is supported inv tube 2% directly below arm 994. As plunger its is elevated it comes into engagement with the plunger 2G! which is moved thereby into engagement with the underside of arm 59d of the dog and turns the same in a counterclockwise direction against the tension of spring we until the lever ends H32, I83, 134 enter the channel 91, at which time, the lever 192 will be rotated sufficiently for the nose I95 thereon to clear 7 slot l9i in hub sec and thus unlockv the meter.
arc-shaped lever engaging surfaces of the key are effective on the levers while the key is being turned through approximately 90 degrees.
Referring to Figs. 2 and 4., platen 46 is driven whenever the motor is turned on by a universal joint 69 coupled with shaft 2! driven by the reduction gearing, which universal joint is coupled by shaft 61 and a second universal joint 68 to the platen shaft 48. The two universal joints are provided to permit limited shifting of shaft "48 since the bearing therefor is supported by the arm 49 of a pivoted bell crank.
Referring to Fig. '7, the base ZIil of the meter casing is provided with flanges 2 I I and 2 I 2 which extend outwardly from opposite sides thereof. These flanges slip under guide strips 2I3 and 2M secured to the base at the front and rear respectively of the top plate I5 thereof when the casing is positioned thereon. When the casing is removed, the disc I85 is locked with the slot I85 therein disposed horizontally. Prior to placing the meter casing in the guideway, the handle 39, Fig. 4, is turned to rotate disc .0 so that the key 42 is turned in a horizontal direction to slip into the slot I85. The slot which does not extend entirely across I86 is slightly offset from one edge of the disc and key &2 is formed in a complementary manner so that there is only one position of disc 46 in which the axes of the disc 40 and the meter shaft I81 may coincide. If disc 40 is 180 degrees out of position, the meter casing will not slide all of the way into the guideway.
When the meter is positioned in the guideways on the base, the key handle H9 is turned and the key moves in an axial direction into the look. When the cam pin I31] which is fixed to the key abuts side plate 25, the axial movement of the key is interrupted and continued rotation of the key handle carries the pin around in the circular guideway I29 causing the key to turn in. the lock where it first turns lever I61 in a counter-clockwise direction to free the remaining levers which are subsequently displaced by the rotation of the key to bring the depending ends thereof in register over the channel I91 in the locking dog I92. With the continued rotation of the key handle, cam I34 which is fixed thereto, depresses bar 35 elevating plungers I43 and I44. Plunger I43 enters an opening in the base of the casing and locks the casing to the base, while plunger I44 elevates plunger 20I which engages and raises arm I 9 3 and disengages the locking dog I32 from the slot fill in the hub I99 thus releasing the main shaft 87 for rotation.
Assuming the motor has been turned on by switch knob 12, the cyclic operation of the device is thereafter controlled by the envelope-operated bar 55 movably positioned over feeding platform 45. the bar is displaced with each of the envelopes or other matter to be stamped, shaft 65 is rocked thereby actuating the lever mechanism to release the clutch and drive the register mechanism. After the clutch has been released, and before the end of the cycle, cam 9A which is fixed to the driven portion of the clutch, displaces the follower roller 93 and turns the lever arm 80 to disengage the same from lever arm II which causes lever arm 85 to snap into the path of the clutch stop arm 81 thereby disengaging the clutch and. arresting the operation of the register mechanism.
1. In a metering apparatus including a metering mechanism, an enclosing casing therefor, a
lock for the metering mechanism of the kind which locks on removal of the key secured inside of the casing, a keyhole for the look, a base for the casing, a key supporting and actuating device built into the base comprising a manually rotatable sleeve having a helical cam slot out therein, a key member having a shank portion disposed within the cam sleeve, means including a stationary guideway, a pin fixed to the key shank and extending through the cam slot into the guideway cooperating with the cam sleeve and. controlled by the rotation thereof for inserting the key member into the key hole and thereafter rotating the same to operate the lock.
2. In a metering apparatus including a metering mechanism, an enclosing casing for said mechanism, a locking mechanism for the metering mechanism having a key hole disposed in the casing, a base for supporting the casing, a rotatable sleeve formed with a helical cam slot built into the base, a key having a cylindrical stem portion supported Within the sleeve in register with the key hole when the casing is properly positioned on the base, a pin fixed to the stem portion extending through the cam slot, a manually operable member fixed to the sleeve for rotating the same, linear guiding means for the pin disposed adjacent and parallel to the axis of the sleeve, curved guiding means communicating with the linear guiding means whereby rotation of the sleeve in a predetermined direction from an initial position of rest imparts an axial movement to the key until the pin therereaches the end of the linear guiding means to insert the key into the locking mechanism, and thereafter continued rotation of the sleeve causes the pin to follow the curved guiding means which causes the key to turn about its axis to operate the locking mechanism.
3. In a device of the character described, a meter having a drive shaft, a disc having a slot formed therein fixed to the drive shaft, a movable locking dog cooperating with the slot, a spring biasing the dog in the direction of the disc tending to bring the dog into engagement with the slot thereby holding the shaft from rotation, a movable plunger for disengaging the dog from the slot, a key operated lock effective to lock on removal of the key therefrom, a plurality of key operated levers in the lock effective when locked to retain the dog positioned in the slot, a key for actuating the lock effective when turned therein to displace the levers clear of the dog and thereafter to actuate the plunger to disengage the dog from the slot in the disc thereby releasing the shaft for rotation and a bitt for the key having a plurality of lever operating mem= bers formed with relatively large arcuate, concentric lever engaging surfaces effective to hold the levers in a predetermined unlock position while the key is being turned a further angular distance to operate the dog disengaging plunger.
4. A locking device according to claim 3 in which the meter, the locking dog and the lock are enclosed in a casing provided with a key hole for the lock, and a base is provided for detachably supporting the meter, a manually rotatable key actuating member built into the base for sup" porting the key means in alignment with the key hole when the casing is in normal position on the base, and means responsive to the operation of the key actuating member for operating the lock and plunger in sequence.
5. A locking device according to claim 4 in which the meter, the locking dog and the lock 3 are enclosed in a casing formed with a plurality of walls, and in which the key hole is formed in one of the walls and an opening through which the plunger is operable is formed in another of the walls.
6. A locking device according to claim 5 in 'which the key actuating member comprises .a
plurality of cams, one cam being efiiective on the rotation of the actuating member first to insert and then rotate the key in the lock, and amechanism comprising lever means .controlled by a second cam for displacing "the plunger to disengage the dog from the slot in the disc.
7. A locking device according to claim 6 .in which the key actuating member comprises a rotatable handle, a sleevehaving a .spiral cam slot formed therein fixed to the handle, a cam fixed to the sleeve vfor operating the movable plunger; and in which the key comprises a cylindrical shank member supported within the sleeve for relative displacement :in translation and rotation, a pin fixed to the cylindricalshank member extending outwardly through the cam slot beyond the surface of the sleeve, and relatively stationary guiding means .for the pin external to the cam slot.
8. In a postage metering apparatus, a meter mechanism, an enclosing casing therefor, a base for supporting the casing, a locking mechanism for the meter enclosed in the casing having a keyhole therefor formed in the wall of the casing, a manually operable tubular key supporting and actuating member having a helical cam slot formed therein supported for rotation by the base in register with the keyhole when the meter casing is properly positioned on the base, a key having a stem extending into the bore of the actuating member, a pin fastened to the stem projecting outwardly through the helical cam slot, fixed linear guiding means for the outer end portion of the pin whereby the key is caused to move outward in an axial direction-during anini- .tial portion of arevolutionof the actuating member to insert the key into the lock, and curved guiding means for the pin communicating with the linear guiding means for the pin for turning the key in the lock during a further portion of the revolution of the actuating member.
'9. An apparatus according to claim 8, in
which the locking mechanism comprises a plun is turned and to hold the levers thus positioned 12 while the key 'isturned to effect subsequent unlocking operations.
10. An apparatus according to claim .9 in which the base includes a plurality .of side walls, bearing means in the side walls supporting the key actuating member for :rotary movement, :a cam secured to the actuating'member and a looking dog release member in the meter mechanism operated by the cam.
'11. An apparatus according to claim 10 in which the locking dog comprises alever, one arm of which is formed with a locking nose and the other with a transverse channel, the locking levers when :in looking position having their ends disposed over the lever alongside the channel to block displacement of the locking dog.
.12..An apparatus according to claim :11 in which initial rotation of the proper key in the lock positions the lever ends over the transverse channel.
.13. An apparatus according to claim 12 :in which the base or the meter is formed with a pair of bearing holes, and the upper side of the base whereby the meter rests is provided with corresponding bearing holes adapted to register therewith when the meter casing is :in operative position on the base, a rock shaft mounted .u-nderneath the base, a pair of arms secured to the shaft having end portions positioned under the holes and a movable pin in one of the bearing holes of the base adapted to be elevated by the actuation of the arm, and means operated by the pin when elevated for actuating the locking dog to release position.
14. An apparatus according to claim 13 in which anotherof the arms elevates another into the corresponding hole in the meter casing slightly in advance of that pin which actuates the locking dog to insure that the meter is in proper position and to secure it :insuch position.
References -..C2ited :in the file of this patent UNITED STATES 'PA'IENTS Number .Name Date 618,158 Wolf i. .Jan. 24, 1899 1,657,279 .Pitney Jan. 24, 1928 2,102,046 Tyler .-Dec.. 1%, 193! 2,104,668 Persson .Jan. 4, vi938 2,168,457 Strother Aug. .8, v1939 2,339,852 Hanson et a1. (Jan. 25, 1944 2,482,935 .Rast Sept. 27., 1949 2,521,749 Ryan et a1. Sept. .12, 1950 2,522,237 Ryan etal. .Sept. 12, 19.50