Coin collector including clearance means
US 3048251 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug 7, 1962 c. s. BOWER 3,048,251
COIN COLLECTOR INCLUDING CLEARANCE MEANS Filed Jan. 21, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 7?) ISCAVE/YGEI? 000/? RELAY IN V EN TOR. C4 yoe: 5. Bows/ Aug. 7, 1962 c. s. BOWER 3,048,251
com COLLECTOR INCLUDING CLEARANCE MEANS Filed Jan. 21, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 TE) COIN Box IN V EN TOR. C; 706 S, Boa/6Q 3,648,251 Fatented Aug. 7, race fice Uited States Patent 3,048,251 CGIN QULEECTGR IINQLUDENG CLEARANCE MEANS Qlyde S. Bower, Yeaelon, Pan, assignor to Shoup Tail Collection Devices, lino, New York, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Jan. 21, 1959, Ser. No. 788,973 6 Claims. (Qt. 194-9) My invention relates generally to coin receiving devices and more particularly to a mechanism adapted to unsoramble, sort and count coins of different denominations and to clear the mechanism in the event of a coin block therein.
Conventional coin boxes make use of elaborate motor driven mechanisms to receive, sort and count the coins,
and while such mechanisms may be adequate when full payment is made by a single coin, their operation is erratic when several coins are deposited to complete the payment. For example, where the toll is fifty cents, the
which separates the coins without regard to their size and then discharges them individually into a sorter acting to segregate the coins according to their size.
The output of the tumbler is coupled to the coin sorter through a coin separating channel which includes interrupter tracks or baffles acting to slow down the descent of the coins. In practice it has been found that should a great number of large coins be thrown into the hopper a jam up may occur in the coin separating channel as a consequence of a block formed at the output end by a cluster of coins. As a result passage through the channel will be impeded and the continuing flow of coins will cause congestion in the channel and a backing-up of these coins into the tumbler.
In the event the installation is entirely unattended, there is no operator available to clear the device and the coin collector ceases to function properly.
In view of the foregoing, it is the chief object of this invention to provide means for automatically clearing the separating channel in the event of coin congestion therein.
More specifically it is an object of the invention to provide clearance means in the form of a scavenger door which is caused to open automatically to release coins from the separating channel in response to a signal indicative of coin congestion.
Also an object of the invention is to provide a coin collector which functions efliciently and reliably without attendants.
For a better understanding of the invention as well as other objects and further features thereof, reference is made to the following detailed description to be read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like components in the several views are identified by like reference numerals.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 shows a sectional view of the coin collecting box in accordance with the invention and including a clearance means in the coin separating channel.
FIG. 2 is a section taken along line 2.2 in FIG. 1.
Referring now to the figures of the drawing, the major components of one form of coin box in accordance with the invention are a coin inlet means or hopper lltl, a coin terminating in an exit opening 10c.
unscrambler 11, a coin separating channel 12, a coin sorting chamber 13, and chutes R4 for conveying sorted coins of different denominations to a common coin receptacle 15. The coin box is designed to receive coins of standard American currency, namely, pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and half dollars. The invention is of course not limited to American coins and may be used also for tokens or other forms of coin currency.
The coin channel 12 and sorting chamber 13 are inclined from the vertical so that the coins which are dropped therein tend to lean against the back walls or plates of the several components as they move by gravity through the various stages of the device.
Hopper 1th is dimensioned to accept a plurality of coins dropped simultaneously therein in payment of a required toll. For example, for a cent toll, the depositor may drop in seven dimes and a nickel, or three quarters, or a half dollar and twenty-five pennies, or any other combination of coins totalling the required amount. The hopper includes converging front and rear walls ltla and ltlb which are arranged to define a drop funnel The hopper is sufficiently commodious to catch coins which may be thrown therein from various angles and distances by drivers seated in a vehicle adjacent the coin box.
The unscrambler device 11 is constituted by a cylindrical drum 16 and a rotary tumbler tube 17 in end-to-end relation, the tumbler being securely mounted by means of two spiders l3 and I? on a shaft 20, the rear end of which extends through an axial bore in drum 16 and terminates in a wheel 21. A triangular funnel 22 is cut into drum 16 and is dimensioned to register with the exit opening in the hopper 10 such that coins fed into'the hopper are led into the interior of tumbler 17. It is to be understood that other means may be used to rotate the tumbler. For example, in place of spiders, a peripheral belt drive may be used.
Tumbler tube 17 is formed by a perforated metal sleeve to whose inner wall is secured four flat strips 23 which extend in a helical path from one end of the tube to the other. The forward end of the shaft 20 terminates in a gear 24 engaging a drive gear 25 which is keyed to the shaft of a motor 26 acting to rotate the tumbler.
The tumbler and drum combination are mounted askew so as to be inclined slightly from the horizontal. Consequently coins fed into the rear end of the tumbler can be advanced to the forward end thereof only by strips 23. If a coin is picked up at one end of a strip, as the strip is carried upwardly, the coin will then roll thereon in the forward direction and then discharge out of the tumbler.
Unless the coins lie in engagement with a strip edge they will not be advanced. Thus while several coins may be thrown simultaneously into the tumbler as it turns, it acts to unscramble the coins by advancing them individually along the strips, the strips acting in sequence to pick up coins and in sequence to discharge coins. Any water carrier into the tumbler by the coins will be drained through the pores therein. The tumbler acts to prevent jamming of the coin box by coins thrown indiscriminately into the hopper, this operation being carried out at high speed. In practice the tumbler may revolve at 34- revolutions per minute.
The coins discharged at the forward end of the tumbler 17 enter the separating channel 12 which is formed by a back plate 121') and a transparent front plate 12a which is disposed in parallel relation with the front plate and is sufiiciently spaced therefrom to pass coins of all standard denominations. The transparent front plate permits viewing of the coins within the channel.
Mounted within the channel are at least two interceptor baffles 27 and 2% which are downwardly inclined from the horizontal, the baffles acting as tracks on which the coins will roll edgewise in a downward direction. The tracks 27 and 28 are secured to opposing edges of back plate 126 of the channel.
In operation the coins entering the separation channel 12 strike the interceptor tracks 27 and 28 which act to slow up their descent, the coins being finally deposited onto the base track 29 from which they roll individually onto the runway track 30 in the sorting chamber 13. In addition to track 30, the runway is provided with a single guide wall 31 which is inclined from the vertical whereby the coins lean and slide facewise against the Wall as they roll edgewise down the runway.
Mounted on the guide wall 31 adjacent the upper end of the runway and projecting therefrom in the path of the oncoming coins is a deflector element 32 which is raised above the runway track to an extent permitting all coins but one-half dollar pieces to continue down the runway. The half dollar coins are intercepted by the deflector element 32 and deflected in the direction of a suitable mouthpiece 33 attached to the upper end of the first chute 14, such that the half dollar pieces are caused to enter the receptacle 34. No other coins are intercepted by deflector element 32.
Cut into the guide wall 31 are two longitudinally extending rectangular slots 35 and 36, the slots each being of about the same length in the direction of the runway but being of different widths.
The dimensions of the slots are such that slot 35 will accommodate only the smallest coins (i.e., dimes) and slot 36 is sufliciently wide to accommodate pennies. Thus, as the coins roll down the runway by gravity flow, at the same time leaning against the guide wall 31, the dimes and pennies will fall into their appropriate slots depending on size. The dimes first drop into slot 35 and the pennies, nickels and quarters continue their downward passage. The pennies fall away from the runway at slot 35 while the pennies, nickels and quarters continue their downward pas-sage until slot 36 is reached, at which point the pennies are diverted. The length of the slots is such that regardless of the velocity of the coins, when a break is reached in the guide wall the face of the inclined coins will no longer be supported and the coins will tip into the associated chute 14.
The details of the coin sorter is more fully disclosed in said copending application and forms no part of the present invention. All that need be understood for purposes of the present invention is that the coins flowing down the chutes 14 to the coin receptacle 34 are individually segregated and counted by photoelectric or other means 37, to provide counting pulses which are fed to an electronic counter 38 which totalizes the sorted coins, such that when a prescribed toll is reached or exceeded, a paid signal 50 is operated to indicate this fact to a payee. The individual coin counters may simply take the form of switches actuated by passage of a coin.
But should a car depart from the toll station without making proper payment, the lack of proper payment, as indicated in the output of the totalizer 38 coupled with the physical departure of the car, as indicated by the operation of a switching treadle 39 in the car lane or similar means for the purpose operates a violation signal device 40. A more detailed description of how a violation signal is set up is to be found in the Bower Patent No. 2,769,165, issued October 30, 1956.
Thus violation action will occur upon car departure when no coins are deposited or if an inadequate amount is deposited. It will also occur in the event of a coin lock or jam in the channel 12 since in this case no coins can be sorted or counted. The violation signal is used to clear the channel, thus being accomplished by applying the signal from device 40 to a solenoid 41 which is operatively coupled by a rod 43 to a scavenger or trap door 42. Door 42 is cut out of the back plate 12b in the coin separating channel 12 and is hinged thereto by 5. hinges 44. The door is normally held closed by spring means or other known expedients.
Thus as best seen in FIG. 1, when the solenoid 41 is energized in response to a violation signal, scavenger door 42 is pulled away momentarily from the inclined back plate 1212, thereby opening up the channel and cansing all coins therein to fall downwardly into a chute 45 feeding into the receptacle 34. The current applied to the solenoid 41 is in the form of pulse, so that the door opens and then shuts.
The scavenging operation will occur in the event of coin congestion, in which case no coins can enter the coin sorter 13 to be counted even though a proper deposit has been made. It will also occur in the absence of a congestion when no deposit or an improper deposit has been made. However, the fact that the scavenger door is actuated in the latter instance when clearance of the channel is not required does not in any way impair the operation of the system.
While there has been shown a preferred embodiment of the invention it is to be understood that many changes may be made therein without departing from the essential spirit of the invention as set forth in the annexed claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A coin collector comprising means to receive coins of different denomination, means to sort coins according to their size, means to totalize the amount of sorted coins, means coupled to said totalizing means to produce a signal actuated by the counting means if the coin amount totalized is less than a prescribed value, a channel coupling said receiving means to said sorting means, and means responsive to said signal to clear said channel of coins caught therein.
2. A coin collector comprising hopper means to receive coins of different denomination, a sorting device to segregate coins according to their size, counting means operatively coupled to said device to totalize the coins received therein, means coupled to said counting means to produce a signal actuatedby the counting means if the coin amount totalized is less than a prescribed value, a channel coupling said hopper means to said sorting device, and means responsive to said signal to clear said channel of coins caught therein.
3. A coin collector for use in conjunction with an automobile toll station comprising hopper means to receive coins of different denomination, a sorting chamber to segregate coins according to their size, electronic counting means coupled to said chamber to totalize the amount of incoming coins, means coupled to said counting means to produce a violation signal actuated by the departure of an automobile from said toll station if the coin amount falls below a prescribed value, a coin separating gravity flow channel coupling said hopper means to said sorting chamber, and means to clear said channel of coins caught therein in the event said violation signal means is actuated.
4. A coin collector as set forth in claim 3, wherein said channel is provided with interceptor tracks which act to slow down the descent of said coins.
5. A coin collector comprising a hopper to receive coins of different denomination, a sorting chamber to segregate coins according to their size, electronic counting means coupled to said chamber to totalize the amount of incoming coins, means coupled to said counting means to produce a violation signal actuated by the counting means if the coin amount totalized is less than a prescribed value, a gravity flow channel coupling said hopper to said sorting chamber, and means to clear said channel of coins caught therein in the event said violation signal means is operative, said last named including a normally closed scavenger door and means operated by said signal to release said door and thereby discharge the coins from said channel.
6. A coin collector comprising a hopper to receive coins of diiferent denomination, a sorting chamber to separate coins according to their size, counting means coupled to said chamber to totalize the amount of incoming coins, means coupled to said counting means to produce a violation signal actuated by the counting means if the coin amount totalized is less than a prescribed value, a gravity flow channel coupling said hopper means to said sorting chamber, said channel being constituted by front and back plates in parallel relation and inclined relative to the vertical plane, a normally closed scavenger door pivotally mounted in said back plate, and solenoid means operatively coupled to said door and responsive to said signal momentarily to open said door.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,262,425 Grunig Nov. 11, 1941 2,571,596 Meredith Oct. 16, 1951 2,594,422 Gordon Apr. 29, 1952 2,646,215 Stovall July 21, 1953 2,895,583 Lackey July 21, 1959