US 3018868 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
8 6 8 8 1 0 3 N I G I N n m F n w C OM N E o m TG F Nm AME V W B R m R mm m m M m M Jan. 30, 1962 APPARATUS Filed Feb. 24, 1958 40MFD f 5 Wm? i i m vi W m J a Z 4 United States Patent 3,018,868 MEANS FOR BREAKING A JAM F COINS IN MglOR-DRIVEN, FARE-COLLECTING APPARA- T Walter Antonolf, Coventry, R.I., assignor, by mesne assignments, to Universal Controls, Inc., New York, N .Y., a corporation of Maryland Filed Feb. 24, 1958, Ser. No. 716,940 6 Claims. (Cl. 194-9) This invention pertains to power-driven, fare-collecting and registering apparatus of that type which is designed to receive and to register a fare (whether it consist of a single coin or of a plurality of coins of the same or different denominations) and which comprises a movable gauging finger and an intermittently turning rotor having peripheral pockets, each designed to receive one coin and to bring it into a position in which it dwells while being gauged; wherein the gauging finger and rotor are driven, in properly timed relation, by parts carried by a main shaft which make one revolution during each registering cycle; and, wherein the circuit of an electric motor which drives the main shaft is closed in response to the arrival of a coin at the entrance to a pocket of the rotor, the invention relating especially to improved means for con trolling the starting of the motor.
Apparatus of the above type is widely used for collecting fares in buses of public transportation systems; at the collection booths of toll roads; and, in fact, in many situations where a fare, fee or price is to be received and counted, the co-pending application for Letters Patent of the United States, Serial No. 216,703, filed by Harry B. Miller, on March 21, 1951, now issued as Patent No. 2,848,158, dated August 19, 1958, fully disclosing such apparatus. In apparatus such as that which is specifically disclosed in the aforesaid co-pending application, the motor is automatically started in response to the arrival of a coin at a predetermined position by the contact of the coin with a movable button, located in position to be contacted by the coin as the latter is about to enter the receiving pocket of the rotor. The term receiving pocket is herein employed to designate the pocket which next precedes the pocket which is dwelling at the gauging position. Motion of the button by the coin actuates con nections such as to bring about the starting of the motor. Because it is not uncommon for coins, in moving toward the rotor, to form a bridge between opposite sides of the chamber through which they are passing (so that no coin reaches the starter button), it has been common to provide coin-agitating means in said chamber, for instance to make one wall of said chamber movable, as by pivoting it at its upper end, and to rock said Wall back and forth during each cycle of the machine, thereby to break or prevent formation of such a jam. Such a movable wall or its functional equivalent is here referred to for convenience as an agitating element. However, it is obvious that this movable agitating element is only moved and thus is only effective while the motor is in operation.
Under ordinary conditions, apparatus such as above described performs its intended functions, and the motor starts in response to the contact of each successive coin with the starter button, even though coins be deposited at a rate as high as three hundred per minute. (It will be understood that after each successive coin has been gauged and registered, the motor circuit automatically is broken.)
However, such proper functioning depends upon certain factors, for instance the deposit of coins which are reasonably clean, the maintenance of dry surfaces (within the apparatus) for contact with the coins, and other conditions such as to insure the requisite speed of travel 3,018,868 Patented Jan. 30, 1962 of the coins toward the rotor, such travel being solely in response to gravity.
Thus, if a coin on its way toward the rotor be fouled with grease, sticky candy or chewing gum or if the wall of the chamber through which the coin must pass be wet, the coin may adhere to the surface down which it is ex: pected to slide so as to slow it or completely stop it. Under such circumstances, the particular coin may not only itself stop, but it may hold up following coins to form a bridge. Thus, no coin will approach the rotor closely enough to contact the starter button and the motor does not start. When this takes place, the fare collecting apparatus is out of commission and can only be put back into use by someone authorized to take it apart. In the meantime, fares must be taken by hand, which may mean substantial loss to the transportation company.
The present invention has for an object the provision of means operative automatically to start the coin-agitating means under circumstances such as above suggested, thereby so loosening the stuck coins and/or breaking a bridge of coins.
A further object is to provide means operative to start the motor in response to the arrival of a coin at a predetermined point, remote from the coin-receiving pocket of the rotor.
A further object is to provide means which is responsive to the presence of a coin which is about to enter the rotor pocket and also to a coin or coins standing as a barrier to the approach of other coins toward the rotor, thereby to start the motor and the agitating member.
A further object is to provide means which is more sensitive than a mechanically acting contact but-ton, for starting the motor in response to the presence of a coin in a predetermined position.
A further object is to provide a motor-starting circuit comprising a plurality of photo-cells so relatively located as to be responsive to the presence of a coin at any of a plurality of predetermined positions, one of which is at the entrance to the coin-receiving pocket of the rotor, thereby to insure starting of the motor even though a coin or coins fail to approach the rotor at the expected speed.
Other and further objects and advantages of the invention will be pointed out in the following more detailed description and by reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary front elevationof coin-collecting and registering apparatus embodying the present invention, the front panel of the machine being removed to show the interior parts; i
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary rear view of a door, forming a portion of the support down which the coins slide in approaching the rotor, showing the photo-cell support according to the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a section, to larger scale on the line 3-3 of FIG. 2 and showing the light sources which cooperate with the photo-cells; and,
FIG. 4 is a wiring diagram illustrative of one desirable means for automatically controlling the motor circuit.
Since the apparatus herein chosen for illustration is in general like that more fully described in the above-noted Patent No. 2,848,158, it is believed sufiicient to describe herein only those parts which are concerned particularly with the present improvement, with passing reference to some of the adjuctive features to provide basis for describing the improvements and the improved function.
It will be understood that the apparatus will have a suitable hopper (not shown) for the reception of coins, which may be of different denominations (the term coin as herein employed being intended not only to designate money but also tokens such as are commonly employed in transportation systems for paying fares), the hopper being provided with a suitable delivery slot at its lower part through which coins may drop and eventually rest on edge against the inclined track 69 while they lean backwardly against a forwardly and downwardly inclined support 59. The coins roll downwardly along this track by the action of gravity and are thus separated one from another and eventually dropped from the lower end of this track 69 onto a second track comprising a substantially straight portion 71 which is inclined to the horizontal in the opposite direction to track 69, thus tending to reverse the rotation of the coins in passing from one track to the other. Desirably, the track 71 has an arcuate upper portion 72 which is concave toward the right. Coins delivered from the lower end of the stationary track 71 drop onto the upwardly convex curved surface 75 of a guide 73, which is pivotally mounted on a stud 74, and which is normally held in coin-guiding position against a suitable stop by a spring. The coins which roll from the track 71 onto the curved edge 75 of the guide are assorted as to thickness by means of a transversely extending, inclined bar 79 spaced forwardly from the rear wall 59 to form a slot of a width just sufiicient to permit a coin of normal thickness to pass through between the bar and the wall 59, but to prevent passage of bent coins or coins of abnormal thickness. In the inclined rear wall 59, there is an opening which is normally closed by a door 83 which may be opened, when desired, to discharge slugs or bent coins which have accumulated on the bar 79 into a suitable receptacle (not shown) at the rear of the wall 59. Coins of the proper thickness pass down below the bar 79 into a coin-receiving chamber 81 within which there is arranged an oscillatory coin agitator 112 having a concave, coin-engaging edge 113. This coin agitator is normally held against a stop 120 by a spring in the position shown in FIG. 1, but is oscillated in a clockwise direction about its pivotal support 116 once during each cycle of operation of the machine by rnotor-actuated means. The apparatus comprises a main shaft (not shown) whose axis is horizontal and which is arranged to turn in suitable bearings carried by the frame. On this main shaft, therepare suitable devices (one of them being a cam for breaking the motor circuit) for actuating the various operative elements of the machine, including the coin agitator, above referred to, and the rotor and gauging finger hereafter to be described.
Each of the contituent coins of a fare is guided by the finger 112 from chamber 81 into one of the pockets of a rotor 129. This rotor is a thin disc, parallel to and overlying the rear wall or plate 59, and has a plurality of equally spaced, peripherally open pockets 130, these pockets being separated by radial arms 130. Each of these pockets is of a width, circumferentially of the rotor, at least as great as the diameter of the largest coin which is to be registered by the machine, and each pocket has a bottom wall of convex arcuate curvature concentric with the axis of the rotor. As here illustrated, the rotor has twelve pockets and is turned by means, including a Geneva motion, $4 of a revolution during each complete rotation of the main shaft.
A gauging finger 212, having an arcuate coin-engaging lower edge 213, is fixed to an arm (not shown) projecting forwardly through an opening in the rear wall 59, the gauging finger being urged downwardly by a strong spring (not shown) to contact the edge of a coin dwelling in the upper or gauging pocket 130 of the rotor, but is normally held up in inoperative position by a cam, not shown, on the main shaft.
The starting of a cycle of operation of the machine is brought about automatically, as disclosed in the aforementioned copending application, in response to the deposit of a coin. For this purpose, as shown in the aforesaid application, the door 83 is provided with an opening at a point located immediately behind the coinreceiving pocket of the rotor, that is to say, the pocket which next precedes the uppermost or coin-gauging pocket 130*. To the rear of the door 83, there is fixed a block B (FIGS. 2 and 3) of insulating material in which there is mounted a photo-electric cell 182. Forwardly of the door 83, a suitable support S of insulating material carries an exciter lamp 184, so arranged that light from the lamp passes through the opening 186 in the door and impinges upon the photo-electric cell 182. This cell is an element of an electrical circuit illustrated diagrammatically in FIG. 4 of the drawing, the circuit being supplied with alternating current from a suitable source and including a transformer A which reduces the current to 12 volts between the leads N and N So long as the cell receives normal illumination from the lamp, the circuit is such that no actuating current passes through the coils of the relay R, but when, by the passage of a coin across the window 186, the illumination of the photo-cell 182 is decreased, sufiicient current flows through the coils of the relay R to close the switch S which, in turn, supplies cur rent to the relay R thereby closing the main switch S and so starting the motor. The rotor 129 thus starts to turn and carries the coin, which has entered the receiving pocket 130 up to the gauging position, that is to say, the position of the pocket 130 in FIG. 1. The relay R may be a holding relay operative to keep the motor circuit closed (independently of the photo-cell) or, as in the device of the aforesaid Miller application, a cam on the main shaft may actuate a switch as soon as the main shaft starts to turn so as to hold the motor circuit closed until it is opened by a cam on the main shaft, as above described, whereupon the rotor stops and remains in this position until another coin, in entering the receiving pocket of the rotor, cuts off light from the photo-cell 182, whereupon the above cycle is repeated.
So long as coins are free to enter the receiving pocket of the rotor from the chamber 8-1, the machine continues to operate cycle-by-cycle as above described, it being noted that during each cycle the agitator finger 112 is swung upwardly in a clockwise direction and then per mitted to return to the position shown in FIG. 1. In so doing, this finger tends to lift any coins which are in contact with its surface 113 and thus to push them over into a position where they may drop freely into the receiving pocket 130 of the rotor.
However, as above described, a coin, even though it may have been properly positioned by the operation of the finger 112, may fail to drop into the receiving pocket of the rotor, for example, because the surface of the coin is sticky or because the wall 59 on which it rests is wet, and thus, although a coin is present in the chamber 81 and should move downwardly and, by cutting olf light from the photo-cell 182 should start the motor, this action does not occur and the machine is stalled. Since the agitating arm 112 is driven by the motor and is normally stationary and in the position shown in FIG. 1, this arm is now ineffective to dislodge a coin located in the position indicated at C, for example, it being noted that when a coin is lodged in this position, it blocks the downward passage of other coins with the resultant formation of a bridge between the lower end of the guide 73 and the surface 113 of the agitator 112. Since the bus driver, or other person in charge of the collection of fares, is not permitted to remove the front panel of the machine so as to gain access to the lodged coin, the machine remains out of commission until a properly authorized person is available to remove parts such that he may reach the lodged coin.
In order to prevent such disabling of the apparatus by the improper lodging of a coin in the upper part of the chamber 81, the present invention provides means antomatically operative to start the motor under such circumstances and thus to actuate the agitator 112. This is usually sufficient to break a bridge of coins in the chamber 81, or to dislodge an individual coin which has stuck on its way down toward the receiving pocket of the rotor. To this end, the present invention provides windows W and W in the door 83, in addition to the window 186, and corresponding photo-cells P and P mounted in the block B directly behind the respective windows W and W It also provides additional exciter lamps L and L mounted on the support S at the front of the door 83. It will be understood that all of the exciter lamps 184, L and L are continuously supplied with current from a suitable source, for example alternating current at 112 1 volts, and that the photo-electric cells P and P which are here shown as connected in series in the controlling circuit, operate through appropriate connections to close the motor circuit whenever the light impinging on either of these cells is reduced by the passage of a coin across one of the Windows W or W or by the closure of such Window by a coin which has come to rest in front of the window. Thus, if a coin becomes lodged at the point indicated at C in FIG. 1, the immediate result of such an occurrence is that a succeeding coin, moving down through the slot behind the bar 79, will bridge between the coin C and the inner edge 113 of the agitator arm 112, coming to rest in some such position as is indicated at C and thus blocking one or the other of the windows W or W This immediately results in the starting of the motor, and the upward motion of the arm 112, which has the effect of moving the coin from the position C in an upward direction, and by pressure of this coin against a coin at the position C, dislodging the latter so that one or the other of these coins is then free to move down into the receiving pocket of the rotor where it closes the window 186 and thus assures the resumption of normal operation of the apparatus.
The controlling circuit, whereby the above operations are brought about, is illustrated diagrammatically in FIG. 4. It appears unnecessary to describe this circuit in detail, it being noted, as above, that the current from the supply is reduced in voltage by the transformer A and changed to direct current by the rectifier, and that desirably a filter X is interposed between the rectifier and the photo-cell circuit. The photo-cells P and P are in series, as above referred to, and in series with an amplifier such as the transistor T, while the photo-cell 182 is in series with an amplifier such as the transistor T. Current variation in the circuit of either of the photocells P and P in response to the reduction of light passing through either of the Windows W or W actuates the relay R to close switch S and thus closes the circuit of relay R to close the main switch S and start the motor. In the same way, under normal conditions of operation, the orderly advance of coins toward pocket 130 varies the current in the circut of the photo-cell 182 and such variations, amplified by the transistor T, causes relay R to close switch S thereby actuating the relay R to close the motor switch S It is, of course, to be understood that equivalent circuitry may be employed in the attainment of the desired results, and further, that in substitution for the photo-electric detectors here disclosed, mechanical switch-closing means, such as disclosed in the above Miller patent, No. 2,810,465, may be employed. With reference to the circuit here illustrated, it may be noted that useful values of the various elements employed are indicated on the diagrammatic view.
While a desirable embodiment of the invention has herein been disclosed by way of example, it is to be understood that the invention is broadly inclusive of any and all modifications falling within the scope of the appended claims.
1. In an apparatus of the class described which comprises an intermittently movable coin-transfer device having coin-receiving pockets, a motor for driving the cointransfer device, a motor-starting switch in the motor circuit, means responsive to the presence of a deposited coin, disposed within said pocket of the coin-transfer device for closing said starting switch and thereby starting the motor, and means automatically operative to stop the motor when the coin-transfer device has moved a distance of one pocket, the apparatus also having a chamber through which the coins pass on their way to the coinreceiving pocket of the coin-transfer device, and coinagitating means within said chamber normally driven by the motor to agitate coins within said chamber to facilitate their free movement toward the pocket in the coin-transfer device; the combination with the motor, of auxiliary means for closing the motor circuit, said auxiliary circuitclosing means comprising a detector which is responsive to the presence of coins lodged in said chamber on their way to the transfer device and before reaching the coinreceiving pocket of the coin-transfer device, and means actuated by said detector for closing the motor circuit thereby to start the motor.
2. In a motor-driven, fare-collecting and registering apparatus of the kind wherein guide means defines a path along which deposited coins move downwardly by gravity action and wherein a movable gauging finger is moved in a path substantially radial with respect to an intermittently rotating rotor, the rotor having peripherally-open, coin-holding pockets and wherein the rotor and gauging finger are actuated in timed relation such that the rotor always stops, after turning through an angle equal to that subtended by the centers of adjacent pockets, with one of its pockets in position to present a coin held therein in the field of action of the gauging finger, and with another pocket in coin-receiving position, the apparatus having a chamber through which coins pass on their way to enter the receiving pocket of the rotor, and an electric motor which provides the power for actuating the gauging finger and rotor, and wherein the motor circuit is automatically broken at the completion of each gauging operation, means operative in response to the entry of a coin into the receiving pocket of the rotor to close the motor circuit and start the motor, and motor-driven, coin-agitating means normally operative to "agitate coins within said chamber to facilitate their free movement toward the receiving pocket of the rotor, the combination with said rotor and coin-agitating means, of a detector device which is sensitively responsive to the presence of a deposited coin which has lodged within said chamber before reaching the rotor pocket and while it is within the eid of operation of the coin-agitating means and which, by its reponse, closes the motor circuit to start the motor and the coin-agitating means into operation.
3. Apparatus according to claim 2, further characterized in that the detector device comprises a photoelectric cell and a cooperating light source, the photoelectric cell being so located that a coin so lodged within the chamber before reaching a rotor pocket changes the intensity of the illumination of the cell.
4. In a motor-driven, fare-collection and registering apparatus of the kind wherein a movable gauging finger and an intermittently turning rotor having peripherallyopen, coin-holding pockets are actuated in timed relation such that the rotor always stops with one of its pockets in a position to hold a coin in the field of action of the gauging finger and with the next successive pocket in coin-receiving position and which has a chamber through which the coins pass on their way to enter the receiving pocket of the rotor, and wherein an electric motor provides the power for actuating the gauging finger and rotor, and wherein the motor circuit is automatically broken at the completion of each gauging operation, and primary circuit-closing means operative, in response to the entry of a coin into the receiving pocket of the rotor for closing the motor circuit, thereby starting the motor and rotor and thus moving the coin within the receiving pocket of the rotor out of operative relation to the circuit-closing means, in combination, means automatically operable to break a bridge of coins subsisting in said chamber while the motor circuit is broken, said means including a device which circuit is broken, the means for breaking a bridge of coins comprising a motor-driven vibratory member which is operative, only while the motor is running, to stir up coins located in said chamber, and means including a device which is sensitively responsive to the presence of a coin lodged in said chamber, at a point within the field of action of said vibratory member but where it does not affect the aforesaid circuitclosing means and which, by its response, starts the motor.
5. In motor-driven, fare-collecting and rigistering apparatus of the kind wherein a movable gauging finger and an intermittently rotating rotor, having coin-holding pockets, are actuated in timed relation such that the rotor always stops with one of its pockets in position to present a coin held therein in the field of action of the gauging finger and the next successive pocket in coin-receiving position; wherein the coins, on their way to the receiving pocket of the rotor, pass through a chamber having therein an oscillatory, coin-agitating arm; wherein an electric motor provides the power for actuating the gauging finger, the rotor and the coin-agitating arm; primary motor-starting means which is responsive to the presence of a coin properly positioned within the receiving pocket of the rotor and which, by such response, starts the motor, and wherein the motor stops automatically at the end of each gauging operation, the combination, with the coin-agitating arm, of auxiliary motor-starting means operative to start the motor and coin-agitating arm into operation in response to the presence of a coin lodged within said chamber at a point within the field of action of said coin-agitating arm but such that its presence does not cause the aforesaid primary motor-starting means to function, said auxiliary motor-starting means comprising a detector device which sensitively responsive to the presence of a coin so lodged in said chamber, and a switch in the motor circuit which is closed by such response of the detector device.
6. In motor-driven, fare collecting and registering apparatus of the kind wherein a movable gauging finger and an intermittently rotating rotor, having peripherally spaced, coin-holding pockets, are actuated in timed relation such that the rotor always stops with one of its pockets in position to present a coin held therein in the field of action of the gauging finger and with another pocket in coin-receiving position; wherein the coins, on their way to be received in a pocket of the rotor, pass through a chamber having therein a movable coin-agitating element; wherein an electric motor provides the power for actuating the gauging finger, primary motorstarting means which is responsive to the presence of a coin properly positioned within the receiving pocket of the rotor and which, by such response, closes the motor circuit and starts the motor and wherein the motor stops automatically at the end of each gauging operation, the combination therewith, of means automatically operative to dislodge a coin whose normal downward motion within said chamber has been accidentally terminated while within the field of action of the coin-agitating element and before entering the receiving pocket of the rotor, the means for dislodging such a coin comprising a relay for closing a switch, thereby to start the motor and coin-agitating element, and a secondary detector device which responds to the presence of a coin so lodged and thereby energizes the relay.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 799,996 MacCordy Sept. 19, 1905 975,202 Batdorf Nov. 8, 1910 1,497,576 Molins June 10, 1924 2,028,787 Lane Jan. 28, 1936 2,848,158 Miller Aug. 19, 1958 FOREIGN PATENTS 610,240 Great Britain Oct. 13, 1948