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Publication numberUS2811583 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 29, 1957
Filing dateSep 12, 1952
Priority dateSep 12, 1952
Publication numberUS 2811583 A, US 2811583A, US-A-2811583, US2811583 A, US2811583A
InventorsArthur T Sigo, Ross L Timms
Original AssigneeServ Kraft Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Remotely controlled vending apparatus
US 2811583 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

R. L. 'rlMMs ET AL 2,811,583

REMOTELY CONTROLLED vlamnmc';- APPARATUS 6 Sheets-Sheet 1 Oct. 29, 1957 Filed Sept. 12, 1952 iff@ www

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Oct. 29, 1957 R. l.. 'nMMs ETAL REMOTELY coNTRoLLED VEND'ING APPARATUS 6 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Sept. l2, 1952 Oct. 29, 1957 R. 1 TIMMS ETAL. 2,811,583

REMOTELY CONTROLLED VENDING APPARATUS Filed Sept. l2, 1952 6 Sheets-Sheet 3 n- L .-e w

F/ Za INVENTORS.'

RNEYS Oct. 29, 1957 R. 1 TIMMs ETAL 2,831,583

` REMOTELY coNTRoLLED VENDING APPARATUS Filed sept. 12, 1952 e sheets-sheet 4 70a 706 7de Q 4 INVENToRs:

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ATTORNEYS:

Oct. 29, 1957 R. L. TiMMs ETAL REMOTELY coNTRoLLED VENDING APPARATUS Fild sept. 12. 1952 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 www @Nm Oct. 29, 1957 R. l.. 'rxMMs ETAL REMOTELY CONTROLLED VENDING APPARATUS 6 Sheets-Sheet 6 Filed Sept. 12. 195? Unite Stat Patent h p 2,811,583 Patented Oct. Z9, 1957 REMorELYCoNTRoLLEi) VENDING APPARATUS Ross L. Timms, Akron, Ohio, and Arthur T. Sigo, Chicago, Ill.; said lSigo assigner, byfmesne assignments, to Serv-Kraft, Inc., New York, N. Y., a corporation of New York Application September 12, 1952, Serial No. 309,164

8 Claims. (Cl. 179-2) This invention relates to machines for vending articles, services and the like -and more particularly to a vending machine controllable .from v`a position remote fromthe dispensing operation. In yprior Patent 2,557,161, issued June 19, 1951, ythere is shown an apparatus for dispensing .articles and services from a plurality, of lockers under the control of a remote central station. The present invention is related to, and may .be said to be an improvement, in certain aspects, over said patent.

It is accordingly an object of the present invention to provide :an 'apparatus of an improved type for dispensing a plurality of articles or services under thecontrol of `a remotely positioned operator. Another object of the present invention-isthat of increasing-the flexibility of such a vending apparatus for example by-providing change making apparatus. Itis an additional object of the present invention to provide apparatus for indicating at the remotely positionedfoperators station, the amount of money ypaid 4by the customer at the dispensing point. It is a further object of the present invention to provide apparatus for controlling the dispensing of articles and the like at a remote location which requires but a single pairof wires interconnecting the two locations. It is a still further object to provide a vending apparatus which is of improved and simplified construction with greater reliability and tlexibility than heretofore available and which is easy to manufacture. These and other and further objects will be in part apparent and in part pointed out as the specification proceeds.

In the drawings:

Figure 1 is a somewhat diagrammatic view of an illustrative embodiment of the present invention, showing 4a group of lockers and the remote central control equipment for said lockers;

Figures 2a and 2b are the schematic diagram of 'the central control station apparatus 14;

Figures 3a and 3b and 4 are the schematic diagram of the apparatus of control panel 12 associated with each locker location.

In Figure 1 there is shown a group 10 of twenty-four lockers with a single operating panel 12 mounted at one end thereof. a remote central control station apparatus 14, which is adapted to operate this and other units, such as similar locker groups, gasoline dispensing stations, laundry units and the klike under the control of one or more operators. The central control station apparatus 14 has a power pack 16 provided therefor, which' furnishes the necessary control voltages for 'the various circuits in the system. Illustratively, this may be a conventional rectifier system for converting 110 volts A. 3C. to 48 volts D. C. A similar power pack is provided in the yoperating panel12.

Also connected to the locker operating .panel 12 is a telephone switchboard 18 which may be ofthe conventional automatic ringing type, and which maybe placed adjacent to the central control station apparatus toindicate when the telephone 20 at Ythe operating -panel has been removed fromits hook. In this manner, thel opera- Electrically connected to this panel 12 is -the locker door in question. --havinggiven his name and address and a description of tor at the central control station may talk to the customer at the locker panel, and at the same time, connect the central control station apparatus 14 to the particular locker location concerned, and control the operation thereof as desired.

Positioned ,at the operating panel .of the locker group in `addition to the telephone 2i), is a light 22 to indicate by its'illuminatio'n when the apparatus lis in condition for operation and use bythe customer, a money receiving device 24 having a money returning lever 2,6 for freeing coins jammedin the receiving device, and a money return chute 28 kforrreceiving change and any money returned by the operator, the chute being arranged to permit the customer to reach in and withdraw his money. In addition, there may be provided a shelf or compartment 30 to receive any bundles the customer may havein order to freehis hands for operation of the machine.

The centralcontrol station apparatus 14 includes selec- Ator switches 32 by which the centraloperator selects the Cparticular locker group that is being'used at the given time, aconventional telephone type dial 34 uniformly arranged to actuate contacts for generating spaced D. C. pulsesto control the various functions of the apparatus, ,a panel 3 6 containing a series .of numbers having lights associated therewith for indicating the amount of `money deposited at thelocker group by the customer, .and a ,switch operating lever 3S for conditioning the ,central control -station apparatus citherto operate .the lockers, or to indicate theamount of money deposited by the customer.

Illustratively, kthis invention is shown .and described as embodied in apparatus for .vending dry cleaning service, but it Ashould be understood that the-invention is equally well adapted for dispensing any of a number ofvother vgoods or services.

Briefly speaking, in order to operate the apparatus, a customer desiring dry cleaning service, removes the phone 20 from its hook which results in illumination of the light .on fthel switchboard 18 corresponding to the local vending station. The operator then plugs in on that Vline in the .usualmanner and asks-the customer whatservice is desired. .If the customer wishes to leave an article such as a suit to be cleaned, the operator will actuate the selector switch-32 corresponding to this vending station, and on the dial 34, dial the number of an empty locker to open The customer then, after the goods to the operator, inserts his goods inthe Vopened locker .and closes the door, which automatically relocks.

0n returning'for the goods, the customer 'again lifts the telephone at the locker, identifies himself, Land asks for Vhis goods. The operator ywill then again connect the central control station apparatus tothe Vparticular vending vstation through the selector switch 32, set `the switch operating lever 38 to the `collect position, inform the `customer `of the cost of the services rendered, and ask the customer to insert the required amount of money into the receiving device 24. As the money is inserted by the customer, the `amount of money inserted is indicated on the light panel 36 at the central controlstation. When the :customerhas deposited at least the amount of money requested, the operator will return'any change due the customer by dialing a code number with the dial 34, and then will open the locker which contains thecustomers goods by dialing the appropriate number. 'The customer may then reach in and remove his goods, ywhich will have been cleaned and pressed in the interim.

The circuits for accomplishing the above operations are shown in Figures 2 through 4 and will be described substantially in this order. At the outset it should be noted .that the relay contacts are shown in the deenergized position, that the symbols Skand SO stand for slow release and slow operating, respectively,.and

that the openarrow heads indicate normally open contacts while solid arrow heads indicate normallyclosed contacts.`

Reference will first be made to Figures 2a and 2b which show the circuit of the central control station 14. The operator having been `apprised that a customer at, for instance, `station number four desires to have a suit cleaned, actuates push button 40 of the selector switch 32, which connects the central control station across a pair of wires leading to locker station number four. This is accomplished through the actuation of a stepping ratchet relay I (Figure 2a) having four banks of contacts I-A to I-D in the following manner: The selector switch 32 comprises a series of push button switches, such as 40, having a pair of normally closed contacts 40a and a pair of normally open contacts 40b. One of each of the normally closed pairs of contacts such as 40a is connected to one contact of each of the pairs of contacts 42a and 42b of the three-position collect-dial switch 42 which is actuated by the operating lever 38 (Figure 1). The other contacts of the pairs of contacts 42a and 42b are connected to the positive terminal of a source of D. C. voltage and the switch 42 is so arranged that in either its collect or its dial position, one of the pairs of contacts 42a or 42b is closed. The other contacts of the pairs of normally open contacts 40a are respectively connected through a cable 39 to the corresponding fixed contacts in bank I-B of ratchet relay I (Figure 2a). The armature or wiper arm for this bank of the ratchet relay I is connected through the normally closed contacts 44a of the ratchet relay to one terminal of the actuating solenoid 44 of the ratchet relay. This terminal of the relay solenoid 44 is thus connected to the positive terminal of the voltage source when the collect-dial switch 42 is actuated, while its other terminal is connected directly to the negative `terminal of the source so that the solenoid 44 is energized.

The energization of the solenoid opens its normally closed contacts 44a and deenergizes solenoid 44. The solenoid is thus alternately energized and de-energized to cause the ratchet relay to step from one position to the next. The ratchet relay will step sequentially through its various positions until it reaches its fourth position, at which point the operation of therelay stops because the actuation of the push button 40 has opened the normally closed contacts 40a in the circuit from the voltage source to the solenoid 44 through the fourth contact in the bank I-B of ratchet relay I.

The respective pairs of contacts in banksI-C and I-D of ratchet relay I are connected to a plurality of pairs of wires, each leading to one of the different locker stations. Thus when the relay I is stepped to its fourth position, it connects the control mechanism of the central control station apparatus 14 across the line 45 (Figure 2b) leading to the fourth locker location, as will be described in more detail herein.

The ratchet relay bank I-A andthe normally open contacts such as 40b on the selector switch 32 are provided to actuate conventional busy lamps on the telephone switchboard unit 18 in accordance with the location being worked by the operator all in a well known manner.

Since at this stage the operator merely wants to open a locker to receive the goods of the customer, the threeposition switch 42 is positioned in the dial position. This causes the ratchet relay I to step to the fourth position, as described above, which connects the winding of relay 50 (Figure 2a) through leads 41 and l43, contacts 34a of 4the dialmechanism 34 (Figure 2b), contacts 42e` and 42d of the three-position switch 42, wires 35 and 37 and the normally closed contacts 48a and 48b of relay 48 (Figure 2a) across the line 45 leading to locker location four.

The positioning of switch 42 either in the dial or collect position energizes relay 57 (Figure 2a), one terminal of the winding of which is connected directly to the negative terminal of the voltage source, by connecting the other side to the positive terminal-of the voltage source through lead 47 and contacts 42a or 4211 of switch 42. The energization of relay 57 opens its normally closed contacts and breaks the circuit from a ready light 102 (Figure 2b) through lead 49 to ground, extinguishing the ready light to indicate that the apparatus is in condition for the particular operation selected. Relay 57 is of the slow release type and is adjusted so that the ready light 102 will not be reilluminated upon the return of switch 42 to the neutral position from either the dial or collect position until the apparatus has cleared itself from the previous operating condition, the illumination of the ready light thus indicating to the operator when it is proper to proceed with the next step in the sequence of operations.

The winding of relay 50, when connected across the lline leading to the locker location in questionI as above described, is connected in series with the winding of an associated relay 58 (see Figure 3b). This circuit may be traced from the postive terminal of power supply at relay 58 through one winding of relay 58, lead 55, contact 86-21 of plug 86, through mating contact 86-21 of plug 86', through one side of the line 45 (Figure 4) connecting the central control station to the locker location `through the contacts at position four of the bank I-D of relay I (Figure 2a) through the relay 50 described above, back through the contacts at position four of Bank L-C, and line 45, to contacts 86--20 and 8620 of plugs 86 and 86', through contacts 62a of relay 62 to the other winding of relay 58 and through said winding to the negative terminal of the power supply.

The energization of the circuit just described also energizes relay 88 (Figure 3a) and relay 72 (Figure 3b) to complete the conditioning of the locker station for the receipt of a coded series of locker door opening pulses from the central control station. This is accomplished by the closing of contacts 58b upon the energization of relay 58 which applies a positive voltage through lead 59 to one terminal of the winding of relay 88, the other ter- `minal being connected to the negative power source.

fof relay 66 to one terminal of the winding of relay 72,

the other terminal of which is connected to the negative terminal of the voltage supply.

Relay 50, in addition to completing the circuit through relay 58, energizes dial light (Figure 2b) through lead 51 and contacts 50a to indicate to the operator of kthe central control station that the apparatus is ready for dialing.

The operator now dials a number, for instance 24, on the `dial mechanism 34, in the usual manner. This opens the contacts 34a at spaced intervals in accordance with the number dialed in the well known manner. The opening ofcontacts 34a breaks the circuit between relays 50 and 58, described above, which interruption `is utilized to actuate` stepping ratchet relays V and VI, Figure 3a.

The deenergization of relay 58 causes the operating coil of ratchet relay V to be energized and to step the ratchet relay V one space. As relay 58 is deenergized, its contacts 58a connect the positive terminal of the voltage source to one terminal of the actuating solenoid for the ratchet relay V (Figure 3a) through the normally closed contacts 60a of relay 60, Figure 3b (which is maintained in the energized position by a slow release characteristic), lead 63, contacts 88b of relay 88 through lead 65, contacts 64C of relay 64, the winding of relay 90, and lead 67 to one side of the actuating solenoid 104 of ratchet relay V, the other side of which is connected toA the negative terminal `of the voltage source. This fcauses the ratchet relay V to step to its irst position where `it will remain until relay 58 is again deenergized. When ,the number `24 is dailed, as above mentioned, the dialing of the first digit 2 would cause two pulses to be transmitted to the actuating coil 104 to step the ratchet relay V to its second position. As may be seen in Figure 4,

asturies thexed contact at seco/nd position of bank V-D of ratchet relay V is connected to the wiper arm for bank VI-,E of ratchet relay VI.

The energization of relay 90 energizes relay 64, which hasa holding circuit which may be traced from the positive terminal of the voltage source at relay 88" (Figure 3a) through contacts 88d, lead 61, and contacts 64a., of relay 64, and the winding of relay 64 to the negative voltage source. Moreover, relay 90 isy of the slow release type so thatr it is not deenergzed between individual pulses in a number group and consequently an energizing circuit for coil 104 is provided through contacts 90e and 64b rather than through contacts 64C, as described.

Thus after the rst number group of pulses is received, relay 90 is deenergized and, since relay 64` remains energized, relay 90 is not re-energized by the next group of pulses and ratchet relay V is not actuated by groups of pulses subsequent to the first. A

The next set ofV pulses from the central control station, for example, those for the second digit 4, of the locker number 24, energizes the actuating solenoid 108 of ratchet relay Vl to step ratchet relay Vl to the fourth position to complete thecirouit for opening the door of locker 24. The rst pulse of the second group, as previously described, will deenergize relay 58 and connect the positive terminal of the voltage source through contacts 58a of relay 58, contacts 60a of relay 60, lead 63, contacts 88b of relay 88 (which is still energized), lead 65, contacts 64b of relay 64 (now energized), contacts 90b of relay 90 (now deenergized)V through the winding of relay 66 through contacts 74a of relay 74 through lead 7S and thus to one terminal of the actuating solenoid' 108, the other side of which is connected to the negative terminal of the voltage source. The ratchet relay VI is thus stepped one position for each pulse of this group until it rests at position 4, completing the circuit to the latch operating solenoid at locker 24. The locker door solenoid circuit may be traced from the positive voltage source at relay 70 (Figure 3a) through contacts 70e of relay 70 (now energized), lead 73 to contact 86-4 of the plug 86 and the corresponding contact 86-4 of the mating plug 86' (Figure 4) through contacts 110`a of leaf spring switch 110, through the mating contacts 86-5 and 86-5 of plugs 86 and 86 respectively, through lead 77 and the wiper arm of bank VI-F, now positioned at the fourth position of ratchet relay VI, through. the xed contact in this fourth position, through thesolenoid 112 `and the wiper arm of bank VI-E of ratchet relay VI now at its fourth position through the wiper arm of bank V-D now at the second position of ratchet relay V, through lead 79, contacts 72b of relay 72 (now energized), contacts 68e of relay 68 (now energized). and resistor 106 to the negative terminal of the voltage supply. The energization of the latch operating solenoid 11 will' unlatch the door of locker 24 and allow it to be opened, either manually or by a suitable spring. For details of a suitable solenoid operated latch 112, reference is hereby made to copending application S. N. 309,166, iiled September 12, 1952, now Patent No. 2,754,144.

In addition to the opening of the locker door, the positioning of ratchet relays V and VI at any given locker number energizes the collect solenoid 114:1 (Figure 4) of the coin hopper 114 to actuate the door 114b thereof and cause any coins that may have been deposited therein to drop into a collecting tray within the apparatus, this being particularly applicable where the customer is picking up goods and has paid for services rendered thereon. This circuit may be traced from the negative terminal of the voltage source, through the collect solenoid 114a, contacts 86-6 and 86-6 of the plugs 86 and 86 respectively, through lead 81, the iixed contact at second position of bank V-B of ratchet relay V and the Wiper arm therefor, through contacts 70b of relay 70 (now energized) to the positive terminal of the. voltage source.

T he control circuit for relay VI', in additionto stepping 6 it to the fourth position as described above, conditions the latch operatingA circuit which will be tracedbelow. Thus a pulse from the secondv group, in energizing relay 66, energizes relay 68 by' connecting the positive terminal of the voltage source through contacts 88d of relay 8Sy (still energized) lead 61` and contacts 66e to one terminal of the winding' of relay 68', the other terminal of which is connected' to the. negative terminal ofthe voltage source;

The energization of relay 68 is maintained through its holdingA contacts 68a as long as relayv 88 is energized, and also provides. an energization circuit for relay 70 (Figure 3a). This' circuit may' be tracedV from the winding of' relay 70 through lead 71:, contacts 68h of relay 68, an'd contacts 66a of relay 66 when the latter relay is deenergized.

In addition, relay 72, the winding of which has one terminal connectedV to the negative terminal of the voltage source, is energized through contacts 6617 of relay 66 (when deenergized'), lead 61v and contacts 88d of relay 88 (stilll energized).

There are thus provided circuits by which the operator may' open an appropriate locker door to permit the customer to place the goods therein'. The locker door may then besluit either'm'anually by` thecustomer or by a selfclosing spring. arrangement, such as shown in the above copending application, S. N. 309,166.

Upon the return of the customer to pick up thej goods l'efti for cleaning, the operator, after properly identifying the customer, actuates the push button 40 corresponding to the, appropriate locker station, for example, station number four, as referred to above. The operator then positions the three-position switch 42v (Figure 2b) in the collect position, which causes the ratchet relay I (Figure 2a) to step to the fourth position in a manner similar to that described above in connection with the dial position, except that the positive voltage source is applied through contacts 4250i switch 42 instead of through contacts 42a. Also, inthe collect position, instead' of connecting the winding of relay Sll'across the line 45 leading to the particular locker station, the Winding of relay 46V is connected across this line through leads 91 and 92, contacts maand 421 of switch 42, leads 35' and 37, contacts 48a and 48h of relay 48' and the fourth contacts in banks l-C and I-D of ratchet relay I. As before, the ready light 102 is extinguished by relay 57 and the collect light 116, one side of which is connected to the negative terminal of the voltage source, is energized through lead 117, contacts 521) of relay 52 to the positive terminal of the voltage source. Also the zero lights of the tens and hundreds digits of the numbers on light panel 36 are lighted by the positioning of switch 42 in the collect position by a circuit which may be traced from the positive voltage source terminal at relay 52, through contacts 5211, through the wiper arms of relay banks Il B and IIl-B, through the respective' lights, through resistor 131Mo the negative terminal of the power supply. Similarly, the units zero light is illuminated through a circuit from relay 52 through contacts 52b, through contacts 54d, through lead 119 through the light and through resistor to the negative terminal of the voltage source.

This, then, completes a circuit with relay 53 as described above, which conditions the apparatus for the recording of the amount of money deposited by the customer at the lockerlocation, on light panel 36 at the central control station apparatus 14.

Referring now to Figure 4, as a coin, for example, a tive-cent piece or nickel is dropped into the coin receiving device 24, it passes through a slug rejector (not shown) of any standard type and, if genuine, is accepted and passed to switch 118, the actuation of which applies a positive voltage from the power supply through switch 118,` contact 86-14 of plug 86', contact 86-14 of plug 86, through lead 83 and the wiper arm of bank IV-A of ratchet relay IV (now in its Zero position, as shown),

7 through contacts 76a `of relay 76 to the actuating solenoid 120 of ratchet relay IV, the other side of which is connected to the negative terminal of the voltage source. Ratchet relay IV is thus energized and stepped to its first position. The energizing of solenoid 120 energizes relay 78 (Figure 3b) one terminal of which is connected to the negative terminal of the voltage source, by connecting its other terminal to the positive terminal of the voltage source through lead 87, contacts 120a rof relay 120 (in the energized position) through bank IV-A to bank IV-D of ratchet relay IV. The energization of relay 7S closes its contact 78d which energizeslrelay 76 (Figure 3a) and opens its contacts 76a to deenergize solenoid 120, allowing the ratchet mechanism to reset. Relay 76 is of the slow operating type and relay 78 is of the slow release type, so that they allow suiiicient time for the ratchet relay IVto move to its iirst position before opening of the contacts 76a. The solenoid 120 in turn deenergizes the relay 78 which, after an appropriate delay, opens its contacts 78a. This deeuergizes relay 76, and in turn allows its contacts 76a to close. The closing of contacts 76a, with the ratchet relay IV in its tirst position, closes an energizing circuit through solenoid 120 of ratchet relay IV which may be traced from the positive terminal of the voltage source at bank IV-D through bank IV-A, the wiper arm for bank IV-A, and contacts 76a of relay 76 to the solenoid 120, causing the sequence of operation of relays 76 and 78 to be repeated. This entire cycle of operation is then repeated until the ratchet relay W is stepped eleven complete steps, at which position bank IVA is not connected to the positive terminal of the voltage source and relay IV` is ready for a complete new sequence of operation. It may be noted that two complete cyclesof operation are obtained for each revolution of the ratchet relay IV as well as with certain others of the ratchet relays as will be described.

The ratchet relay IV is stepped through this elevenstep cycle of operation for each coin deposited, regardless of the denomination. The denomination of the particular coin deposited is indicated by a number of pulses transmitted from the locker station to the central control station. These pulses are generated by energization of relay 62 under control of the wiper arm of bank IV-C as it passes through its cycle of operation. The circuit for the nickel may be traced from the positive voltage supply at relay 62 through one winding of relay 62, and lead 63, to the wiper arm of bank IV-C in the third position of relay IV through lead 65 to the other Winding of relay 62, which in turn is connected to the negative terminal of the voltage source. ratchet relay IV steps through one cycle of operation relay 62 is energized at least once. The energization of relay 62 opens its contacts 62a, which breaks the circuit by which relays 58 and 46 are energized, thus transmitting a pulse from the locker location to the central control station.

In a somewhat similar manner dimes and quarters deposited in the coin receiving device 24 cause the relay 62 to be energized two and five times respectively. Deposit of a dime connects the positive terminal of the voltage source through the dime switch 122, contact 86-14 of plug 86', contact 86-16 of plug 16 to one terminal of relay 80, the other terminal of which is connected to the negative terminal of voltage source. This energizes relay 8l) and closes its contacts 80h to apply a positive voltage to the ratchet relay coil 120 through lead 83 in a manner similar to that described above. The energization of relay 80 also closes its contacts 80C to provide an additional circuit for energizing relay 62 through the first position of bank IV-C of ratchet relay 1V. This circuit may be traced from the positive terminal of the voltage source at relay 62 through one Winding of relay 62 and lead 63, to the Wiper arm of bank IV-C of ratchet relay IV (now in its first position), through lead 67, contacts 80e of relay 80 to one terminal Thus, every time the of the other winding of the relay 62 the other terminal of which is connected to the negative terminal of the voltage source.

Similarly, the deposit of a quarter connects the positive terminal of the voltage source throughthe quarter switch 124, through contact 86-15 of plug 86', contact 86-15 of plug 86 to one terminal of `the winding of the relay 82, the other terminal of which is connected to the negative terminal of the voltage source. This energizes relay 82 and, through its contacts 82b and lead 83, connects the positive terminal of the voltage source to the solenoid 120 in a manner similar to that described above. Relay 82 closes contacts 82C -and 82d, whichprovide three additional pulses for energizing relay 62.

This circuit may be traced from the positive terminal of the voltage source at relay 62 through one winding thereof, through lead 63, the wiper arm of bank IV-C of ratchet relay IV, in positions 5, 7 and 9 of ratchet relay lV through lead 69, contacts 82d and 82C of relay 82 to the other winding of relay 62 and hence to the negative terminal of the voltage source.

The relays and 82 are provided with holding cir cuits so that once they are energized they are held energized until the ratchet relay IV completes the last step of its cycle, at which time the holding circuits are broken. These circuits may be traced from the positive terminal of the voltage source at relay 84 through contacts 84a of relay 84 to contacts 80a and 82a of relays 80 and 82, respectively. When these two relays are in the actuated position, positive terminal of the voltage source is thus connected to the respective relays to maintain their energization. At position ten of bank IVe-B there is provided a connection to the positive voltage terminal on bank IV-D through bank IV-A. This in turn is connected through the wiper arm of bank IVB through lead 89 to one terminal of relay 84, the other terminal of which is connected to the negative terminal of the voltage source. This energizes relay 84, opening its contacts 84a, and breaking the holding circuit for relays 80 and 82, deenergizing them and opening their respective contacts 80a and 82a.

As described above, when relay 62 is energized, relays 46 and 58 are deenergized. The deenergization of relay 46 initiates a cycle of operation which actuates the numeral indicating circuit of light panel 36, as will now be described with reference to Figure 2a.

The first pulse received at the central control station, whether the single pulse generated by a nickel or the first pulse from a series generated by a quarter or a dime, as described above, deenergizes relay 46 which breaks its contacts 46h and closes its contacts 46a momentarily to connect the positive terminal of the voltage source to one terminal of the windings of relays 54 and 56 through contacts 52C of relay 52 (which are closed despite the de-energization of relay 46 by virtue of the slow release characteristic of relay 52), contact 54b and lead 128 to one terminal of one of the windings of relay 54, the other terminal of which is connected to the negative terminal of the voltage source and also through lead 126 to one terminal of one of the windings or relay 56, the other ter minal of which is connected to the negative terminal of the voltage source. Simultaneously, connection is also made through contacts 52C and contacts 56a to one terminal of the other winding of relay 56, the other terminal of which is connected to the negative terminal of the voltage supply.

It should be noted at this point that relays S4 and 56 are of the so-called differential type, i. e. they comprise two windings of equal inductance connected in opposing relationship, so that when both windings are energized the relay contacts remain in or return to the normal deenergized position. Relay 54k is thus immediately ener gized and relay 56 unaffected by the pulses.' Relay 54, however, is maintained in energized condition through a `holding circuit which may be traced from lead 128 through contacts 54a, and contacts SZb of'relay 52:(still energized) to the positive terminal of the voltage source. This also acts after the passing. of thev pulses, as an energizing and holding circuit for relay 56 through thelead 126 described above. The energization of relay 54 opens its contacts 54d, which extinguishes the zero units lightwhich was originally lighted along with the zero light of the tens and hundreds digits upon the positioning of the apparatus in the collect position as described above. At the same time the energization of relay 54 closes contacts 54e which illuminates the five units digit light through a circuit which. may be traced from the ground connection at relay 52 throughcontacts 52h, contacts 54e of relay 54, lead 53,' through the tive units digit light, and the resistance 13) to the negative terminal of the voltage source. The numeral is thus lighted on the light panel 36 to indicate that five cents has been deposited in the coin receiving mechanism 24 at the locker location in question.

Since the pulse transmitted to the centralv control station is of short duration, the relay 46 isdeenergized only momentarily to initiate the above described operation vand then returned to the normally energized position. As noted above, the relay 52, dueto its slow release characteristic, does not deenergize during the pulse Vinterval but rather remains in the energized position. Thus at the end of the first pulse, the relays 46, 52, 54, 56 and 57 are energized.

The next pulse, whether it be generated by a second nickel or by the first of a series of pulses generated by a dime or quarter, again deenergizes the relay 46 to initiate the next step in the cycle of operation of the coin recording and counting mechanism. This pulse connects. the positive terminal of the voltage at relay 46 through contacts 46a, contacts 52e of relay 52 (still energized), contacts 56b of relay 56 (still energized) through lead 132 to one terminal of the winding of relay 54, the other terminal of which is connected to the negative terminal of the voltage source. The energization of the second winding ofv the differential relay 54, the first winding of which is still energized', in effect deenergizes the relay 54 so that its contacts return to the normally de-energized position. This breaks the holding circuits for relays 54 and 56 causing them to return to their deenergized position.

The condenser 134 and series resistance 136,. however, form a time delay circuit with the energized winding of relay 56 which delays the deenergization thereof a suicient length of time to allow the coil 140 of ratchet relay III to step the ratchet relay one position. The actuating circuitl for ratchet relay III may be traced from the negative terminal of the voltage source at coil 140, through coil 140, contacts 56C of relay 56 (still energized) and through the contacts 54e` of relay 54 (now deenergized) to the positive terminal of the Voltage source. Condenser 164 and series resistor 162 are similarly provided to insure the proper operation of ratchet relay coil 140.

The stepping of the ratchet relay III to its first position lights the numeral one of the tens series of lights by a circuit which may be traced from the positive terminal of the voltage source at relay 52 (now energized) through contacts 52h, the wiper arm of bank. III-B of ratchet relay III and the fixed contact at its first position, through the number one light of the tens digit series on panel 36, and through resistor 130 to the negative terminal ofl the voltage source. The deenergization of relay S4 also extinguishes the five units digit light and illuminates the zero units digit light as previous.y .described. The lights thus illuminated indicate the total which has been deposited at the locker location, i. e. ten cents.

They next pulse, whether generated by a nickel or from the series generated by a dirne or quarter, will actuate the relays 54l and 56 in the same manner as did the first,`

to indicate anr added. increment of 5 cents -on the light panel 36. The fourth pulse will then deenergize relays 54 and 56 and actuate the stepping ratchet relay to its second position which would then cause a total of 20 cents to` be shown on the light panel 36. This sequence is continued until a total of cents as indicated on the light panel 36, at which point the next pulse will actuate the stepping ratchet relay II to cause a total of $1.00 to be indicated. The solenoid 142 for the ratchet relay II is energized through a circuit which may be traced from the negative terminal of the voltage source at solenoid 142, through solenoid 142, contacts 140b of solenoid 140, as" it is energized by the twentieth pulse through the wiper arm of bank III-B of ratchet relay III, now positioned at the ninth position, through contacts 52h of relay 52 (still energized) to the positive terminal of thevoltage source. The coil 142 is in effect energized simultaneously with the coil 140 once per cycle of ten steps of the ratchet relay III. This moves the ratchetrelay II to its first position which illuminates the numeral one of the hundreds digit series of lights on panel 36. This illuminating circuit may be traced from the positive terminal'. of the voltage source at relay 52 (now energized) through contacts 52b, the wiper arm of bank II-B- of ratchet relay II, and the iixed contact at the first position of ratchet relay II to the light one of the hundreds digit series and through the resistor to theA negative terminal of the voltage source.

This entire cycle is repeated for each dollar of money deposited until a maximum of $9.95 is indicated on the light panel 36, following which the deposit of additional money will start the complete cycle again.

When the proper amount of money for the services rendered has been deposited and indicated to the operator on light panel 36, the operator returns the three-way switch 42 to its central position which causes the apparatus to clear itself by deenergizing relay 46, Figure 2a', and relay 58, Figure 3b, and thereby causes the various circuits to return to a starting position. The deenergization of relay 46 opens its contacts 46h, deenergizing relay 52 after a short delay and in turn deenergizing relays 54 and' 56 if they are energized and causing the ratchet relays II and III to step to the zero position of their next complete cycle of operation, i. e. move their wiper arms linto contact with the first contacts in either the upper or lower group of the relay contacts. This circuit maybe traced from the positive terminal of the voltage source 'at relay 52 (now deenergized) through contacts 52a, the wiper arm of bank III-A of ratchet relay III, through `the fixed contact at any one of positions one through nine in either the upper or lower group of contacts of ratchet relay III, through contacts a, solenoid 140 to the negative terminal of the voltage source. This actuates solenoid 140, which advances ratchet relay III one step and opens contacts 140a to permit the resetting of the ratchet mechanism and coil 140. This operation is then repeated to step the ratchet relay III to its next zero position.

When the ratchet relay III reaches its next zero position the ratchet relay II is stepped to its next zero position througha circuit which may be traced from the positive terminal of the voltage source at relay 52 (now delenergized) through, contacts 52a to the wiper arm of bank IIL-A, through the contact at the zero position of bank III-A, through the leads 144 and/or 146 to the xed contacts in bank II-A of ratchet relay II, through the wiper arm of bank II-A, contacts 142g and through the solenoid 142 to the negative terminal of the voltage source. Since the fixed contacts at all of the positions of bank II-A of ratchet relay II, except its zero positions, are tied together, ratchet relay II will now step sequentially to its next zero position.

The apparatus is thusv cleared, the lights on light panel 36 extinguishedand the ready light 102 illuminated t0 11 indicate to the operator that the apparatus is now ready for further operation.

.The operator may now open the door of the locker containing the customers goods by dialing the code number in the same manner as described in connection with the opening of a locker door for the customer to place her goods therein.

If on the other hand, the customer did not have the proper change but deposited an excessive amount of money, this fact would be indicated to the operator on the light panel 36 and the operator would note the amount of change to be returned to the customer. The operator may then return the necessary change to the customer by positioning the three-way switch 42 in the dial position and dialing a code number which actuates a coin dispensing mechanism at the locker location in question.

In this case, the central control station apparatus is conditioned exactly the same as in the dialing operation previously described. However, the operator instead of dialing the locker number, dials the code number 01 which actuates the nickel slicer solenoid 148, Figure 4. For details of a change dispensing mechanism for use in a machine such as the present, reference is hereby made to the copending application, S. N. 309,683, tiled September l5, 1952, now Patent No. 2,782,791.

The operation of the nickel slicer is accomplished in a manner quite similar to the manner of the actuation of a door latch but only the ratchet relay V is utilized. When the operator dials zero on the dial mechanism 34, ratchet relay V is stepped to its second zero position in the manner previously described.

The ratchet relay V, when in this second zero position, actuates an interlocking circuit that prevents the operation of ratchet relay VI upon the receipt of further pulses generated by the dialing of the code number Ol. This circuit may be traced from the negative terminal of the voltage source at one terminal of the winding of relay 74, through this winding through the fixed contact at the second zero position of ratchet relay V and the wiper arm of bank VfC, through lead 94, through contacts 72a of relay 72 (which is energized, as described above) to the positive terminal of the voltage source. This energizes relay 74, which has a holding circuit for maintaining it in the energized position; this holding circuit may be traced from the relay 74 (now energized) through contacts 74C, lead 61 to contacts 88a of relay 88 (now energized) and thence to the positive terminal of the voltage source. Relay 74 is thus maintained in an energized position as long as relay 88 is also maintained in an energized position. The energization of relay 74 opens its contacts 74a, which are connected in series in the energizing circuit for the lactuating solenoid 108 for ratchet relay VI. Thus ratchet relay Vl may not be energized by subsequent pulses from the central control station.

The pulse transmitted to the ratchet relay V by the dialing of the numeral l of the code number l steps ratchet relay V one position to its first position of its second cycle. Relay 74,`in addition to preventing the operation of ratchet relay VI upon the receipt of the single pulse generated by dialing the numeral 1 of the code number 01, conditions the ratchet relay V for actuation by this pulse. This pulse results in energization of relay 58,- as described above, which connects the positive terminal of the voltage source associated therewith through contacts 58a, contacts 60a of relay 60 (now deenergized), lead 63, contacts 88b of relay 88 (now energized), lead 65,l contacts 64b of relay 64 (now energized), contacts 90b of relay 90 (now deenergized), through the Winding of relay 66, contacts 74b of relay 74 (now energized) and lead 67 to one terminal of the solenoid 104 of ratchet relay V, the other terminal of which is Vconnected to the negative terminal of the voltage source.

This completes an energizing circuit to the nickel dis-f pensing solenoid 148, Figure 4, which may be traced from the positive terminal of the voltage source associated with relay 72 (now energized) through contacts 72a and lead 94, through the wiper arm for bank VC of ratchet relay V and the fixed contact at the first position of the second cycle of ratchet relay V, through lead 95, contact 86-3 of plug 86 and contact 86-3 of plug 86 to one terminal of the solenoid 148, the other terminal of which is connected to the negative terminal of the voltage source. The nickel dispenser is thus energized to dispense a nickel therefrom into the coin receiving chute Z8, for example in the manner shown and described in the above-identified copending application, to return tive cents in change to the customer. After dialing of the code numbers 0l, and thereby delivering one nickel, the operator may dial the number l a maximum of three additional times, similarly ejecting a nickel each time, allowing a maximum of twenty cents change to be delivered to the customer. It should be noted that this is sufiicient change for the largest denomination of coil which the illustrated embodiment of the apparatus will handle. If a machine capable of handling larger coins is desired, the apparatus could readily be adapted to give any desired amount of change.

Another feature of the present invention is that all coins deposited by the customer may he returned at any time prior to the opening of the locker door. Thus if a customer should find after depositing a portion of the price that he had insufficient change, the central operator could return the money already deposited, allowing the customer to leave the machine and get proper change without danger of loss of his money and without preventing the use of the machine by others. This may be accomplished by the central operator actuating the threeway switch to the dial position and dialing the code number 08. As with the change-making pulses, the pulses generated by dialing the 0 of the code number move the ratchet relay V to its second zero position which inactivates ratchet relay VI and conditions ratchet relay V for further operation. Ratchet relay V upon receipt of the pulses generated by dialing of the numeral 8, is stepped to the eighth position of its second cycle. This completes a circuit to the coin return solenoid 152 which may be traced from the positive terminal of the voltage source associated with relay 72 (now energized) through contacts 72a and lead 94, through the wiper arm of bank V-C and the fixed contact at the eighth position thereof, through lead 96, contact 86-1 of plug 86, contact 86-1 of plug 86', to one terminal of the coin hopper return solenoid 114C, the other terminal of which is connected to the negative terminal of the voltage source. This actuates the coin hopper door 114d to allow any money therein to drop into the coin return chute 28, from which the customer may retrieve the coins, as described in detail in the above-mentioned copending application.

As shown in Figures 3a through 4, there is provided a counter device 154 (Figure 3a) for indicating the number of times the apparatus is used. The counter 154 is energized through a circuit which may be traced from the positive terminal of the voltage source associated with relay 70 (now energized) through contacts 70e, lead 73, contact 86-4 of plug 86 and contact 86-4 of plug 86', through leaf spring switch contacts 110a and b, contact 86--8 and contact 86'-8 and lead 97 to one terminal of the counter 154, the other terminal of which is connected to the negative terminal of the voltage source.

Similarly, there is provided at the central control station apparatus 14 (Figure 2a) a counter 156 for registering the dollar volume recorded on the light panel 36. The actuating circuit for this counter may be traced from the positive terminal of the voltage source as- 2,s11,5es

sociated with solenoid 142 of ratchet relay II through contacts 142!) (when in the energized position) to one terminal of the counter device 156, the other terminal of which is connected to the negative terminal of the voltage source.

To insure that when the apparatus is not in proper operation a customer will not lose coins in the slug rejector and counting mechanism, there is provided an A. C. coin rejector relay 153 (see Figure 4). When this relay 158 is not energized, it disables the slug rejector so that any coins deposited therein pass therethrough and into the coin return chute 24. As may be seen from Figure 4 relay 15S is connected directly to the A. C. power supply so that upon a power failure the relay will be deenergized and the slug rejector disabled.

Also connected across the power supply in conventional manner is a iluorescent lamp 160, starter 166 and ballast 168 therefor, for illuminating operating panel 12.

As an aid to better understanding of the invention, the operation of the apparatus may be summarized as follows: A customer approaches a vending station, for example, number four, and removes the telephone 2t) (Figure l) from its hook which actuates a light at the central control station telephone switch board 13. The operator may then inquire from the customer what is desired. If, for example, the customer wishes to leave a suit for cleaning, the operator will press push button 40 (Figure 2b) and throw three-way switch 42 to the dial position. This results in stepping the ratchet relay I (Figure 2a) to its fourth position to connect the central control station apparatus across the line 45 leading to locker location 4. The operator then dials the number of an empty locker, for example, locker number 24, which steps ratchet relay V (Figure 3a) to its second position and ratchet relay Vl to its fourth position to actuate the latch operating solenoid associated with the door of locker 24, and release the latch to allow the door to open.

Upon the return of the customer to pick up the goods, the operator, after properly identifying the customer, actuates push button 4 and positions switch 42 in its collect position to connect the central control station across line 45, substantially as above. The operator will then inform the customer of the cost of the service rendered and instruct the customer to deposit Vthe appropriate amount of money in coin receiving slot 24. The customer may then deposit any combination of nickels, dimes or quarters which equal or exceed the cost of services. The coins rst'pass into a slug rejector which, after accepting them, separates them according to denomination and discharges them so as to actuate one of the pulse control switches 11S, 122 and 124 (Figure 4) according to their denomination. These switches actuate relays 76 and 7S which control ratchet relay IV which in turn actautes relay 62 to transmit back to the central `control station a number of pulses according to the total value of the coins deposited. These pulses actuate ratchet relays II rand Ill (Figure 2a) and cause the illumination of appropriate lights on light panel 36 (Figure 1) to indicate the sum deposited. The actuation of relay 62 energizes relays 53 and 46, which latter initiates the recording operation at the central control station. When relay 46 is deenergized, relays 54 and 56 are momentarily energized, which extinguishes the units digit and illuminates the units 5 digit light. The next pulse which deenergizes relay 46 will again momentarily energize relays 54 and 56 as well as relay 150 to step ratchet relay III one position. Succeeding pulses will repeat this cycle until ratchet relay VI has stepped to indicate a total of $.95, at which point the next pulse will actuate both ratchet relays III and II to indicate a total of $1.00. This complete cycle is then repeated as necessary until a maximum of $9.95 is indicated.

The operator may then note the amount of change, if any, necessary and move the switch 42 to its neutral position until ready light 102 is illuminated. The waiting period is provided to insure that the appartus is cleared of one sequence of operation before a second sequence is attempted. The operator uponr they illumination of ready light 102, may position switch 42 in the dial position and dial the code number 0l. This steps ratchet relay V to the zero position of its second cycle, at which posi'- tion the ratchet relay VI is disabled for operation upon the next succeeding pulse and ratchet relay V is conditioned for operation upon the next succeeding pulse, unlike their previous operation for opening the locker door. The pulse for the numeral 1 moves ratchet relay V to the first position of its second cycle which completes a circuit to the nickel Slicer, causing it to eject one nickel into the coin return chute. This may be repeated until a maximum of $.20 has been returned to the customer. The operator may then return the switch 42 toits neutral position and, after ready light 102 goes on, position switch 42 in the dial position and dial the number of the locker containing the goods of the customer as described above.

lf, for some reason, it is desired to return all of the money deposited by the customer, this may be done at any time prior to the opening of the locker door by positioning the switch 42 in the dial position and dialing the code number 08. As with the code number 0l, the pulses generated by dialing` 0 position ratchet relay V in the zero position of its second cycle, which conditions it for further operation and disables ratchet relay Vi as described above. The pulses from the numeral 8 then step ratchet relay V to the eighth position of its cycle which completes a circuit to the return solenoid 114e of the coin hopper 114 and causes any coins therein to fall into the coin return chute.

It is thus, readily apparent that there is shown an extremelyflexible, useful device for performing a vending operation in accordance with the foregoing objects.

While there is given above a certain specific example of this invention and its applicationV in practical use, it should be understood that this is not intended to be exhaustive or to be limiting ofthe invetnion. On the contrary, this illustration and the explanation herein are given in order to acquaint others skilled in the art with this invention and the principles thereof andv a suitable manner of its application in practical use, so that others skilled in the art may be enabled to modify the invention and t-o adapt and apply it in numerous forms, each as may be best suited to the requirements' of a particular use.

What is claimed is:

1. Ay vending machine of the type adapted to dispense a plurality of articles, services, and the like under the control of an operator positioned remotely therefrom comprising in combination a central control station; a plurality of groups of lockers located remotely from said central control station, each of said groups containing a plurality of individual lockers having doors; latching means for each of said doors; irst selector means at said central control station to selectively connect it to one of said groups; second selector means at said central control station to select an individual locker in the selected group, said second selector means including pulse generating means at said central control station, and pulse responsive switch means at said locker group to connect a power source to a selected locker door latching means in accordance with the number of pulses received to unlock said locker; money receiving means located at each of said groups of lockers, said money receiving means including means for determining the genuineness and denomination of the money inserted therein, means for generating pulses in accordance with the denomination of the inserted. money; pulse responsive indicating means at said central control station for directly indicating the exact amount of money inserted in said money receiving means; a supply yof coins located at each group of lockers; dispensing means associated with each said coin supply; and pulse generating means at said central control station for generating pulses to operate said dispensing means and to control the collection of return of the money inserted in said money receiving means.

2. A remotely controlled vending machine for dispensing articles, services and the like comprising a plurality of groups of lockers, each of said groups comprising a plurality of lockers each having a door and latching means therefor, a central control station remotely positioned from said lockers, means at said control station for actuating said latching means, a change dispensing meehanism associated with said lockers, money receiving and identifying means associated with said lockers including means for generating pulse signals in accordance with the denomination of the money deposited, indicating means at said control station for receiving said signals and directly indicating the exact amount of money deposited, and control means located at said control station for atcuating said change dispensing mechanism.

3. A remotely controlled vending machine for dispensing articles, services and the like which comprises in combination a plurality of lockers having doors, electrically operated latching means for said doors, a coin receiving mechanism adjacent said lockers including pulse generating means for receiving and identifying coins and generating pulses in accordance with the denomination of the coins received, a coin dispensing mechanism adjacent said coin receiving mechanism, a remotely located central control station, telephone means interconnecting said control station and said lockers, pulse generating control means at said central control station to actuate said latching means and said coin dispensing means in accordance with a pre-set code of pulses; and numeral indicating means at said central control panel responsive to said coin receiving mechanism pulse generating means to directly indicate the exact amount of money deposited.

4. A remotely controlled vending machine for dispensing articles, services, and the like comprising a plurality of groups of lockers; a plurality of individual lockers in each group; a door and a solenoid operated latch for each of said individual lockers; acoin register with each of said locker groups, including a slug rejector for determining the genuineness of the coins inserted and for separating them according to denomination; a solenoid actuated coin hopper for holding the coins deposited pending acceptance or return thereof; pulse generating means including a stepping switch having contacts adapted to be closed selectively according to the` denomination of the coins deposited to create electrical pulses; a pair of pulse actuated stepping switches associated with each locker group for selectively energizing the solenoids of said latches to open said doors as desired; a coin dispenser including a stack of coins and a solenoid operated ram means for discharging said coins one at a time; and a single central control station for said groups of lockers, said central control station including a selector switch for selectively connecting said central control station to a given group of lockers, pulse generating means including a dial and a switch controlled thereby, means for connecting said pulse generating means to said pair of stepping switches to actuate said solenoid operated ram means depending upon the particular code of pulses dialed, a plurality of numerals and switch means for illuminating selected ones thereof in accordance with the pulses generated by the coins deposited in said coin register.

5. A vending machine of the type adapted to be remotely controlled over telephone lines or the like comprising a plurality of lockers having doors and latching means therefor, money receiving means associated with said lockers, a remotely positioned central control station, money indicating means positioned at said central control station, a single pair of wires joining said lockers and said control station, pulse generating means associated with said money receiving means and with said control station, pulse responsive means associated with said lockers and said control station for actuating said latching means and money indicating means respectively, selector switch means at said central control station for interconnecting said central control station and said lockers so that the actuation of the pulse generating means at one end of said pair of wires will energize the pulse responsive means vat the other end, whereby said locker doors may be opened from said central control station and the exact amount of money deposited at said lockers may be directly indicated at said central control station.

6. A vending machine for dispensing a plurality of articles, services, and the like which comprises in combination a plurality of groups of lockers, a plurality of individual lockers in each of said groups of lockers having doors and latching means therefor, money receiving and identifying means positioned with each of said locker groups, a central control station for said groups of lockers, pulse generating means at said central control station, pulse responsive switching .means at said groups of lockers for selectively connecting said pulse generating means to said latching means, pulse generating means associated with said money receiving means, a single money indicating mechanism positioned at said central control station and including a plurality of numerals for indicating the total amount of money inserted in said money receiving means, a plurality of relays for controlling the illumination of said numerals and switch means at said central control station for connecting said money receiver pulse generating means to such numeral control relays for selective illumination of said numerals to directly indicate at said central control station the exact amount of money inserted at the lockers.

7. A vending machine for dispensing articles, seryices and the like under the control of a remote operator comprising a plurality of lockers having doors and solenoid operated latches therefor, a remotely positioned central control station having a dial-controlled switch for creating varying numbers of electrical pulses as desired, at least one pulse responsive stepping switch at said lockers for selecting the locker desired in accordance with the number of pulses received from said dial-controlled switch, a coin receiving slug rejector adjacent said lockers for identifying and separating the coins according to denomination, switch means including a separate switch arranged to be actuated by the deposit of each of the denominations of coins to be handled by said machine, a stepping switch arranged to cooperate with said switch means to generate a series of electrical pulses of a number dependent upon the denomination of the coins deposited, at least one pulse responsive stepping switch at said central control station for actuation by said pulses to successive positions in accordance with the cumulative amounts of money deposited, and a plurality of numerals sequentially arranged at said central control station and effectively connected to the last mentioned stepping switch for illumination of said numerals to indicate said cumulative amount of money.

8. A vending machine of the type adapted to dispense a plurality of articles, services and the like under the control of an operator positioned remotely therefrom, comprising a plurality of groups of lockers located remotely from said central control station, each of said groups including a plurality of individual lockers having doors; solenoid operated latching means therefor; a coin returning mechanism; a coin dispensing mechanism, a plurality of selector switches located at said central control station to selectively connect it to one of said groups; a three-position operating switch adapted to condition said central control station for transmission or reception of electrical pulses; a telephone-type dial located at said central control station to generate a series of pulses and relay means actuated by said three-position switch to transmit pulses to the selected locker group; a plurality of stepping ratchet relays positioned at the selected locker group and adapted to receive the pulses from said telephone dial and to step to positions respectively corresponding to the several numbers dialed on said dial to com piet/C 17 a circuit to the solenoid of the corresponding latching means; relay means to adapt one of said stepping ratchet relays to control the operation of said coin dispensing mechanism and said coin returning mechanism; a coin receiving mechanism located at each of said locker groups including a slug rejector adapted -to separate at least nickels, dimes and quarters deposited therein according to their denomination; a switch for each of said denominations adapted to be energized by coins of said denomination only, and adapted to actuate a pulse generating mechanisrn at said locker group including a stepping ratchet relay to generate and transmit pulses, in accordance with the denomination of the coins deposited therein, to said .central control station; pulse responsive means at said central control station including a plurality of lights adapted to illuminate a corresponding number of numerals and a pair of stepping ratchet relays adapted to control the operation of said lights, whereby the amount of money deposited at the locker group is indicated at the central control station.

References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,163,515 Drew et al. Dec. 7, 1915 1,227,403 Drew et al May 22, 1917 2,000,804 Wehren May 7, 1935 2,323,255 Gutherland June 29, 1943 2,354,896 Weiler Aug. 1, 1944 2,557,161 Timms et al June 19, 1951 2,663,398 Skillman Dec. 22, 1953

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3648241 *Mar 20, 1969Mar 7, 1972Elecompack Co LtdStationary stack assembly with remotely controlled access
US3780907 *Oct 3, 1969Dec 25, 1973Parke Davis & CoSystem for remote control of package-dispensing station
US4616111 *Mar 30, 1984Oct 7, 1986Tulio VasquezRemote controlled key dispensing apparatus
US5557721 *Aug 18, 1993Sep 17, 1996Environmental Products CorporationMethod and apparatus for display screens and coupons
Classifications
U.S. Classification379/93.12, 194/353, 379/102.1
International ClassificationG07F5/18
Cooperative ClassificationG07F5/18, G07F11/002
European ClassificationG07F11/00B, G07F5/18