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Publication numberUS3163326 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 29, 1964
Filing dateSep 26, 1963
Priority dateSep 26, 1963
Publication numberUS 3163326 A, US 3163326A, US-A-3163326, US3163326 A, US3163326A
InventorsEugene R Sabin, William J Van Wye
Original AssigneeVendo Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Push button apparatus for operating article release mechanism of vending machine
US 3163326 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

R. SABIN ETAL Dec. 29, 1964 E.

PUSH BUTTON APPARATUS FOR OPERATING ARTICLE RELEASE MECHANISM OF VENDING MACHINE Filed Sept. 26, 1963 5 Sheets-Sheet l zo L 2&3 TMylw 2373 in 230 20274 wm 2M ww- 242 T f i 14dlf- 22`- f2-f 222 220;., i

Zw @t w wv.. 2

"-f d 274 22a- 2141 2443?@ f- 22d w 1 222/ in 236 222 2/5 2/2- 2M 224 Mn. .jl |h.- 262 w 2562,55 2&0 'f w la! 2l i l "Il" INVENTORS.

Dec. 29, 1964 E. R. sABlN ETAL 3,163,326

PUsH BUTTON APPARATUS PoR OPERATING ARTICLE RELEASE: MEcHANIsM oP VENDING MACHINE Filed Sept. 26, 1963 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS. [age/7e R. Sab/n BY Will/'am J. l/an Wye Dec. 29, 1964 Filed Sept. 26, 1965 R. sABlN ET AL 3,163,326

E. PUSH BUTTON APPARATUS FOR OPERATING ARTICLE RELEASE MECHANISM OF VENDING MACHINE 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 BY Wi /am J. Van Wye United States Patent O 3,163,326 PUSH BUTTGN APPARATUS FR OPERATWG ARTICLE RELEASE MECHANESM @il VENDlNG MACE-EGE Eugene R. Sabin, Mission, and William l'. Van Wye, Overland Parli, Kans., assignors to The Vendo Company, Kansas City, Mo., a corporation of Missouri Filed Sept. 26, 1963, Ser. No. 311,725 19 Claims. (Cl. 221-9(l) This invention relates to vending machines, and more particularly, to improved, manually operable structure Vfor effecting dispensing of a product from a vending machine.

Vending machines which utilize multiple vertically disposed assemblies having successively releasable product supports operable by a manually actuated control member are well lcnown and have met with widespread commercial success because of a high degree of reliability and the avoidance of costly electrical controls. However, the construction of these machines normally requires the customer to pull outwardly with considerable force on a selector mechanism in order to operate the machine, and it has long been recognized that machines of this general type would have more customer appeal if lthe customer could actuate the device by a relatively short inward pushing motion which is characteristic of push-button controlled, electrically-operated machines. Also, it appeared desirable, if possible, to raise the level ofV the display area and manual controls from positions adjacent the lower ends of the product support assemblies to respectively more convenient viewing and operating heights. lt will be appreciated that mechanical control of vending machines poses many problems as compared to electrical control. For example, an electrical switch, in general, functions equally well in any location, while any change in the position of mechanical controls may require ingenious design to achieve appropriate linkage of the control buttons to the mechanism to be operated. It will also be understood that the problem of disabling a mechanical selector, when the same is associated with an assembly from which the products have been sold out, is of course, comparatively complicated as opposed to circuit disablement of the selector switch in an electrically-operated machine. Nonetheless, in spite of some apparent advantages of electrical control, there is considerable incentive to overcome problems or" mechanical control because of the usual very appreciable cost advantage to be realized in a mechanical system.

One of the paramount problems encountered in early attempts to design a mechanical push-type control was a high susceptibility to fraudulent operation by force. That is, the product support assemblies were found to have an inherent vulnerability to fraudulent repetitions release ofV products for the price of a single product. Direct mechanical linkage between the push buttons and the productrelease mechanism permitted the transmission of suliicient impact from forcible blows on a push button to cause successive release of product supports in the associated support assembly. This was possible despite the utilization of complex locking mechanisms designed .to physically preclude normal operation of more than one product support release during each vend cycle.

Accordingly, it is an important object of the present invention to provide manual selector mechanism for actuating the dispensing structure of a vending machinewhich is not, under any circumstances, responsive to wrongful attempts to operate the same by force.

Specifically, it is the primary object of the instant invention to provide push-operated mechanical control structure which is not susceptible to fraudulent operation :fromV impact forces imposed on the push button controls by those who would obtain products from the machine Without proper money deposit.

It is a further important object to provide the pushoperated controls at a convenient height for the average customer.

lt is also an object to accomplish release of the individual product supports for vending with a minimum of inward movement of the push buttons in order to approach, from the customers viewpoint, the ease of operation associated with an electrical push button machine.

Another important object of the present invention is the achievement of a simple, inexpensive and foolproof lockout of any push-button control corresponding to a sold-out selection. This isV necessary topreclude inadvertent loss of deposit should a customer attempt to operate a sold-out support assembly.

Finally, it is a second object with respect to the instant invention to provide unique mechanical control elements cooperable with electromechanical pricing and changemaking components to permit the vending of products at various and diderent prices.

In the drawings:

FGURE l is a front elevational View on a reduced scale relative to the other figures of a vending machine embodying the principles of the present invention;

FlG. 2 is a fragmentary, cross-sectional view of the machine taken approximately on line 2.*-2 of FlG. vl, parts being broken away to reveal details of construction;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary, horizontal, cross-sectional view through the machine looking down on the push button selector assembly embodying the principles of'this invention, parts being broken away to reveal details of construction and one of the selector devices being shown in its fully extended position;

FG. 4 is a fragmentary, front elevationalview of the assembly of FIG. 3, parts being broken away to reveal details of construction;

FIG.'5 is a fragmentary, top plan View of the productsupport assemblies and operating structure;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary, end elevational view of the assembly of FIG. 4 showing the positions of the cornponents of the locking mechanism when one selector device has been moved through its extreme operated position and has been slightly retracted toward its normal unoperated position;

FIG.. 7 is a fragmentary, detailed, cross-sectional view taken on line 7 7 of FlG. 2; and l FIG. 8 is a View similar to FIG. 6 but showing the positions of the components of the locking mechanism with the selector devices in their unoperated positions.

Briefl this invention comprises apparatus for manualV vided with multiple side-by-side, vertical series of assemblies, 'each having a plurality of successively releasable product supports operable by a control member. A push button selector device is provided for each product-support assembly; Each push button is secured to a plunger which is, in turn, secured to a slide assembly for shifting of the latter as the push button is moved. A common bar assembly is disposed toy be operably engaged by a com-` ponent of the respective slide assemblies for rotating the common bar assembly when any of the slide assemblies is shifted by its respective push button. Lock mechanism operably coupled with the common bar assembly mechanically obstructs rotation of lthe latter and hence, movement of the slide assemblies, until proper coinage has been deposited in the vending machine. Captive link mechanism permits the operation of but one slide assembly at a time after release of the locking mechanism.

A crank operated by the shifting ofV a respective slide assembly is provided for each support assembly and is mechanically coupled with a second crank disposed to engage shiftable operating structure for the control member of a corresponding support assembly. The operating structure includes a slide disposed for engagement by the second crank for shifting the latter to rotate the control member tlnough a portion of its path vof travel, a latch to hold the slide and control member in its partially operated position until the second crank is returned to a predetermined position, and a sensing element operably coupled with the latch and in engagement with the second crank during a portion of the path of travel of the latter, for releasing the slide and control member to vend aproduct when the second crank reaches said predetermined position.

The sensing element is biased to bridge a normal separation of the crank and the reciprocable slide per se, of the operating structure. Also, the sensing element freely telescopes within the slide under the force applied by the crank upon operation of the associated push button until the crank is in direct contact with the slide. Further movement of the push button causes the slide to rotate the control member through an arc which is prerequisite to ultimate release of a product support when the control member is returned to its normal position. However, the latching of the slide mentioned earlier, prevents immediate response of the control member as pressure is removed from the push button. The control member is not released to vend a product until the crank is again separated from direct contact with the slide. That is, the sensing element must re-extend itself from the end of the slide in order to trip the slide latch. The push-button selector has become re-lo'cked at this juncture and cannot be operated again without additional deposit. The postponement of vend release of product supports until the respective crank and slide are physically separated prevents the transmission of impact to the control member at a vulnerable position of the operating structures to permit fraudulent release of additional products.

The vending machine broadly designated 10, comprises a cabinet 12 and a door broadly designated 14. Door 14 includes an upper display chamber 16 ideally having a glass panel 18 in the front thereof to permit the visual displaying of the articles to be vended from machine 19 within chamber 16. A generally hollow, front panel section 20 of door 14 is located immediately below chamber 16 and includes an open front channel 22 formed from an upper, generally horizontally disposed plate 24 and a lower plate 26 parallel with plate 24. The plates 24 and 26 extend substantially across vending machine 10 and receive therein a series of side-by-side push buttons 28. A wall 30l denes the rear of chamber 16 and separates the latter from a rear compartment 32 which houses components of the operating mechanism for machine 10. Door 14 is separated from the interior of cabinet 12by a generally vertically extending wall 34 having a horizontally extending section 36, and a diagonally, upwardly extending section 3S integral with section 36, as shown in FIG. 2.

Cabinet 12 houses therein a group of product-support assemblies broadly designated 48. It will be understood that the assemblies 40 are disposed in side-by-side relationship within cabinet 12 and there is one assembly 4t) for each push button 28 wherein each of the assemblies 40 is operable by its'corresponding push button 28 as will 'be hereinafter further explained.

Each assembly 40 includes a series of successively releasable, vertically spaced shelves 42 normally extending generally horizontally for supporting thereon a product to 'be vended by machine 10 and shiftable'from the generally horizontal position thereof'to a vertical position Vas shown in FIG. 2 and designated by the numeral 42a to effect release of theproduct upon proper actuation of the control mechanism for machine as will be hereinafter explained. The shifting of the respective shelves 42 from 'their horizontal to their verticallpositions is effected by the rotation of `a single control vmember 44 for each assembly 40. This is accomplished through release mechanism broadly designated 46 in FIG. 2. The construction of the yassemblies 40 is well known in the art, forms no part of the instant invention per se, and will not, therefore, be herein described in detail. Reference may be had to United States Letters Patent No. 2,324,040, issued July 13, 1943, and entitled Vending Machine for a full and complete description of the construction and operation of the assemblies 40.

A horizontally disposed, transversely U-shaped support channel 48 is secured to the rear wall 50 of panel section 20 and mounts thereon selector mechanism broadly designated 52 for operating the assemblies 40. The selector mechanism 52 includes a selector slide assembly broadly Vdesignated 54 for each assembly 44) and each slide assembly 54 is operable through a coupling rassembly broadly designated 56, to actuate operating structure broadly designated 58 to effect operation of the control member 44 for a corresponding assembly 40 to thereby cause the release of a product from the assembly 40 upon proper operation of the vending machine 10. It -will be understood that there is a coupling assembly 56 and operating structure 58 for each assembly 4t? and each coupling 56 is operably coupled with its corresponding slide assembly 54.

Each slide assembly 54 includes a plunger 60 secured to its respective push button 28 and extends through aligned apertures 62 and 64 in opposite legs of support channel 48 as may best be seen in HG. 2. A collar 66 rigidly secured on plunger holds one end of ya helical spring 68 disposed over plunger 60 and the other end of spring 68 rests against a plate 70 slidably mounted on plunger 60 and extending transversely between a pair of generally vertically disposed, parallel legs 72 depending from a horizontally disposed plate 74 slidably engaging the bottom surface of the bight section 76 of support channel 48. Each end of plate 74 is turned downwardly as shown best in FIGS. 2 and 4 to facilitate the shifting Vof plate 74 along the bottom surface of bight section 76. A slot 78 in bight section 76 extending transversely across the latter, slidably receives an upwardly extending neck section 80 rigidly carried by plate 74 to define a fore and aft path ofL travel for plate 74 as the latter is shifted when plunger 60 is pushed inwardly by depressing push button 28. A helical spring 82 around plunger 60 has one end thereof engaging plate 70 and the other end thereof engaging the innermost leg of channel 48 to normally bias the plunger 60 into the position shown in FIG. 2 wherein push button 28 extends outwardly from channel 22 and` secured to neck section 80. Plate 84 slides on the upper surface of bight section 76 of channel 48 to stabilize the slide lassembly 54. VThe leading end 86 of plate 84 is considerably narrower than the rear end thereof to present Ya pair of diagonally disposed shoulders 88 on either side of plate 84 as shown in dotted lines in FIG. 3, and the FIGS. 2 and 3 that each of the blocks 92 is providedl with inclined surfaces 96 and 98 on either side thereof proximal one end of a respective block 92 and of increased, vertical dimension proximal the other end thereof` to thereby present a pair of inclined shoulders 100 and 162 on opposite sides of each block 92 spaced rearwardly Y 'from surfaces 96 and 98.

` An extension is integral with the leading end of .each fblock 92 and extends forwardly therefrom to present a socket 106 which receives the rounded end 168 of an arm 110 of a crank 112 forming a part of a corresponding coupling assembly 56. Each socket 1% thereby operably couples an aligned crank 112 with a respective slide assembly 54 whereby crank 112 is rotated about a mounting bracket 114 rigidly secured to channel brace 116 ex'- tending transversely across door 14 and secured to wall 34 as the slide assembly 54 is shifted on support channel 48. Socket 106 is of substantial depth to permit end 103 to slide upwardly or downwardly therein to accommodate rotation of crank 112 as the slide assembly S4 is shifted from one end to the other end of its path of travel within the confines of slot 7S.

Pricing structure, broadly designated 118 for machine 1t?, includes a pair of horizontally disposed, transversely L-shaped bars 1213 and 132 mounted on channel 4S. A plurality of upright standards 122 carried by wail 43 each have a horizontal end section 124 serving as a mounting for a vertically extending pin 126 to which is secured a transversely U-shaped link 128 which is pivotal about each pin 126. One end of each link 128 is pivoted to bar 12d by a vertically extending pin 13G to permit lateral shifting of bar 120 to one side or the other, yet restricting the shifting motion of bar 120 to a rectilinear path of travel.

In a similar manner, the transversely L-shaped bar 132 l is pivotally coupled toa plurality of upright standards 134 secured to the opposite face of channel 43. The bar 132 is fastened to standards 134 by transversely U-shaped links 156 so that bar 132 also is maintained parallel with channel with channel 4S, but is free to shift from side to side along a substantially rectilinear path of travel parallel to and spaced from the path of travel of bar 12d as is apparent from FIG. 2.

Bar 126 is provided with a pair of longitudinally spaced apertures 13S and 144i adjacent each slide assembly 54, and an internally threaded hole 142 between each pair of apertures 138 and 149. In like manner, bar 132 has a pair of longitudinally spaced apertures 144 and 146 proxirnal each slide asssernbly 54 and has an internally threaded hole 148 therebetween.

Each of the apertures 133, 140, 144 or 146 may receive therein a vertically extending, cylindrical pin 152 as best shown in FIG. 4, and which is maintained in vertical disposition within a respective aperture by means of a iiat head 154 integral therewith and odset from pin 152 to overlie a corresponding, threaded hole 142 or 143. The head 154 is provided with a hole (not shown) alignable with a corresponding hole 142 or 148 to receiveftherethrough a stud 156 to secure the pin 152 in position. One pin 152 is disposed in a selected aperture 13S, 146, 144 or 146 for each slide assembly S4 for purposes to be made clear hereinafter. lt is to be noted however, that bar 132 is disposed at a lower elevation than bar 126` so that a pin positioned in an aperture 144 or 146 of bar 132 will terminate at a level below a pin disposed in either the aperture 138 or 14d of bar 126.

Also, each pair of alivned apertures 138 and 144 are positioned on one side of an imaginary center line passing operated positions resting against an upright pin 165 mounted on 'bracket 1655.v The outer-end of arm 162 remote from pin 165, is provided with a plate extension 17@ operable to actuate an electrical switch 172 when arm 162 is pivoted about post 166. 1n like manner, a plate extension 174 on the outer end of ar-rn 164 is disposed lto actuate an electrical switch 176- upon swinging move-` ment of arm 164. Arm 162 or arm 164 is swung about the axis of post 166 by pin 16d, depending upon which direction bar 12d is shifted.

In a similar manner, an outwardly extending arm 178 rigid to bar 132 is shifted with the latter and carries thereon a vertically extending pin 18? which operates-a pair of levers 182 and 184 similar to arms 162 and 164. The levers 182 and 184 operate a pair of electrical switches 186 and 188 responsive to the particular direction in whichA bar 132 is shifted.'V i

A downwardly extending frame member 190' is secured at one end to channel 4S'and journals therein a rotatable shaft 192 which extends the length of channel 48. The

' extending projections 198 on legs '72 of the slide plate '74 are received. Thus, when any of the slide assemblies 54 is advanced to .the rear of its path of travel in slot 78, the leading edges of the projections 198 engage bar 194 to rotate shaft 192 in a clockwise direction viewing FIG. 2. This rotation of shaft 192 brings plate 195 into position behind the trailing edges of projections 198 to hold slide assembly 54 against retrograde shifting movement until shaft 112 is permitted to rotate in the opposite direction as will be explained hereinafter. Conversely, bar 194- is in position adjacent the forward edges of projections 19S to prevent inward shifting of slide assembly 54 along its path of travel unless shaft 1,92 is free to rotate.

One leg 2d@ of each crank 112 is pivotally coupled with a connecting link 262 (FIG. 2) which is in turn pivotally coupled with a short leg 204 of a generally L-` shaped crank 266 which is rotatable on a bracket 268 secured to wall section 33. The long arm 21d of cach crank 266 has a roller 212 at the upper extremity thereof which is disposed to engage an element 214 extended in the path of travel of armV 2113 as crank 266 is rotated.

Each of the elements 21.4 is mounted on reciprocable structure in the nature or" an operating slide 216 by means of a pair of L-shaped brackets 218 carried by a respective product-receiving Vassembly and having upstanding legs 221i provided with apertures (not shown) which slidably receive element. 214 therein. The end 222 of each slide 215 adjacent a proximal roller 212 is bent upwardly to thereby present a relatively flat surface to be engaged by roller 212 for shifting slide 215 as crank 206 is pivoted relative to a corresponding bracket 2tlg. To this end,

through each slot 73, and the apertures 141i and 146 are positioned on the opposite sides of such imaginary center lines. These apertures are so disposed that a pin disposed in a respective aperture 13S is engaged by shoulder 162 of a slide assembly 54 when the latter is advanced in its path of travel within a slot 78. In like manner, a pin 152 in an aperture 144 is engaged by surface 98 of the corresponding slide assembly, a pin 152 in aperture 141BV f each support assembly 4t? is provided at the upper end thereof with a support plate 224 having guide brackets 226 thereon which slidably engage respective slides 215 and' restricts the latter to a fore and aft path of travel.

f The end 228 of each slide 216 which is remote from endA 222 thereof, is pivotally coupled to a crank 23) lwhich in turn is rigidly secured tov control member 44 for the corresponding support assembly 4t). Thus, the respectiver control member 44 is rotated upon shifting of the respec-V tive slide 216. l

spective support plate 224. VAn elongated slot 234 inthe upper edgeV of each slide'214 receives therein one leg '235 7e.. of a generally L-shaped latch Vmember broadly designated 238, and the other leg 240 thereof has a hook 242 thereon which is engageable in a notch 244 in one edge of a corresponding slide 216. Latch members 238 are pivotally mounted on vertical pins 237 extending upwardly from respective support plates 224.

A tension spring 246- is secured at one end thereof to leg 236 of each of the latch members 233 and the opposite ends thereof are secured to an upright leg 248 integral with each slide 216 to bias the latter in a direction toward the cranks 206. A downwardly extending bumper 250 integral with each slide 216, serves to stop the latter in the position thereof shown in FIG. 2. l

Springs 246 not only serve to bias each slide 216 toward respective cranks 206, but additionally, tend to rotate latch members 238 in a counterclockwise direction around pins 237 as viewed in FIG. 5, to urge each hook 242 into'an aligned notch 244 for holding slides 216 against further travel under the bias of springs 246 when the notches 244 are aligned with hooks 242.,

A shoulder 252 presented by slot 234 in each element 214 serves to engage leg 236 of latch members 238 to rotate the latter in a clockwise direction around pins 237 as viewed in FIG. 5. This releases eachL hook 242 when a respective element 214 is shifted outwardly a predetermined amount beyond end 222 of slide 216 by'spring 232.

Means for physically blocking the movement of the respective slide assemblies 54 when a corresponding support assembly 40 has been emptied of all of the products-contained therein, is best illustrated in FIG.y 2 and is broadly designated 254. The blocking means 254 for each assembly 40 includes a generally Z-shaped crank broadly designated 256, having a depending arm 258 normally in engagement with and resting upon the upper surface of the uppermost shelf 42 of each assembly 40. Each crank 256 is pivotally mounted on the framework of a respective assembly by screw means 260 and has a generally up-V wardly extending arm 262 pivotally coupled to a wire rod 264 extending forwardly through a bracket 266 and terminating in an irregularly-shaped end 268 which is bent to present a section of rod 264 in disposition to engage an upwardly extending lug 270 of an irregularly-shaped by a bracket blocking member 276 which inturn is pivotally carried by a bracket 280 rigidly secured to rear wall 34.

Each rod. 276 is urged downwardly to an extent to.

cause the outermost end of the 4blocking member 27S connected thereto, to be disposed in direct alignment with the inner` end of respective plunger by a spring 282 Y when the uppermost shelf 42 has been released. One end of each spring 282 is secured to a bracket 116, and the` other end is attached to a bent loop 284 in each rod 276. When the uppermost shelf 42 holds a respective crank 256 in the position thereof shown in FIG. 2, end 268v of each wire rod 264 engages lug 270 of crank 272 to prevent vthe latter from being swung around shaft\274 to thereby Y retain each blocking member-278 in position to permit each plunger 60 to be freely actuated. However, when a corresponding assembly 40 has been operated a suicient Y number of times to dispense the last product therefrom and causing the uppermost shelf 42 to be shifted from its generally horizontal toy its generally vertical position, crank 256 is no longer supported in the position shown in FIG. 2. Instead, crank 256 is permitted to rotateiin a clockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 2 which withdraws end 268v of rod 264 from its blocking position engaging lug 270. This, in turn, permitsV clockwise rotation of crank 272 about shaft 274 and allows rodV 276Y to be shifted under the influence of spring 282, Aand disposes member 278 in blocking position against the proximal end of plunger 60 so -that the corresponding push button 28 cannot be actuated.

Means for preventing the operation of more than one slide assembly S4 at a time is provided in the form of captive link structure broadly designated 286 and best shown in FIG. 3. The captive link structure includes a plurality of generally Y-shaped links 288 pivotally secured to the upper surface of bight section 76 ,of channel 48 by rivets 2% extending through holes (not shown) in the extreme end of each link 288.

A stud 292 for each link section 288 is rigidly secured to the upper surface of bight section 76 and is disposed within a respective notch 294 at the end of each link 288 remote from rivets 290. Thus, the studs 292 permit lim- Y plate 84 engage the arcuate shoulders 296 of the pair of links 288 on either side of a slide' assembly 54 when the latter is pushed forwardly by plunger 60 to thereby swing the links 288 relatively in opposite directions.

The size of the links 288 and the length of notches 294 therein is such that the links may be spread only to the extent to permit the advancement of but one slide assembly 54 at a time. Thus, when one of slide assemblies 54'is advanced, the links 288 on opposite sides thereof are 4forced apart by the plate 84 to permit advancement of the slide assembly 54. However, all of the play between the links 288 is thereby taken up by entry of the plate 84 between the proximal links 288. Thus, all of the remaining links 288 are forced tinto engagement with adjacent links to preclude the advancement of the plates 84 of other slide assemblies 54 until that slide assembly 54 which was initially moved inwardly, is withdrawn from between the proximal links 288. Accordingly, the structure 286 provides means for preventing the advancement of but one slide assembly 54 at a time.

A plurality of cams 298 are rigidly secured to bar 194 atvspaced intervalsk along the latter. posed to engage actuators 300 of a plurality of electrical switches 302 mounted by brackets 304 on the`door of machine 10. The cams 298 are located so that the switches 302 are operated Yin required sequence during rotation of shaft 192. The electrical circuitry for machine 10 forms no part of the instant invention per se and will not be explained in detail. It is sufficient to say that adequate switches 302 are provided to properly regulate the electrical componentsiof machine 10V to permit the use of electrical coin changing and totalizing equipment whichris well known in the art. Additionally, certain of the switches 302 cooperate with locking mechanism for machine l10 in a manner to be hereinafter described.

Referring to FIGS. 4, 6 and 8 of the'drawngs, shaft 192 has a lock wheel 306 onone end thereof rotatableV with shaft 192. A notch 308 in ,the outer margin of wheel 306 presents a shoulder 310 disposed to engage the end of a lever 312 to prevent clockwise rotation of wheel 306 as viewed in FIGS. 6 and 8 when -lever 312 is inl notch 308 and abutting shoulder 310.

A second notch 314 in the outer margin of wheel 306 'Y Cams 298 are dis-V mature 322 of a solenoid 324. Similarly, lever 318 is pivotally mounted on structure 326 secured to frame member 190 below wheel 306 with the lower end of lever 313 swingably connected to the horizontal armature 328 of a solenoid 33t).

A tension spring 332 secured at one end thereof to an outwardly extending pin 334 on wheel 306, and the other end of the same is connected to bracket 336 mounted on frame 190. Spring 332 normally biases wheel 366 .into the position thereof illustrated in FIG. 8. An anti-backup ratchet member 338 rigidly secured to shaft 192 and rotatable therewith, cooperates with a pawl 340 pivoted to frame member 19t) to permit the rotation of shaft 192 in but one direction until shaft 192 has been rotated a predetermined distance. When shaft 192 has rotated a sufficient amount to cause pawl 341i to clear ratchet member 338, shaft 192 may then be rotated only in the opposite direction. Accordingly, Vwhen rotation has started in the opposite direction, it must be continued through a predetermined angular path before the direction of rotation of shaft 192 may be reversed. A spring 342 biases pawl 340 toward a standby position for engagement with ratchet 338 as the latter is rotated by shaft 192.

Operation in describing the operation of machine 1t), it is important to note that all of the slide assemblies 54 are biased toward the end of their paths of travel within their respective slots 78 so that the push buttons 2S are extended and in a position to be operated by a customer. Assuming that there are products to be vended available in each of the assemblies 40, the blocking members 27S are all disposed in the positions thereof illustrated in FIG. 2 to permit the plnngers 66 to be advanced. Y

The rollers 212 of the respective crank 266 are located adjacent the ends of the elements 214. Assuming a push button 23 is pushed inwardly by a customer without the deposit of proper coinage in machine 1d, shaft 192 is rotated in a clockwise direction as shown in FIGS. 2, 6 and 8 by projections 198 which engage and rotate bar 194 and plate 196 as heretofore described. However, vthe clockwise rotation of shaft 192 terminates when lever 312 is engaged by the clockwise advancing shoulder 310 of notch 39S. This physically limits the extent of the advancement of the slide assembly S4 without the deposit of proper coinage in the machine. This limited advancement, however, is sufficient to cause either a surface 96 or a shoulder 11i@ to engage a downwardly eX- tending pin 152 in either the bar 124i or 132 as the case may be. Such engagement against a pin 152 aligned therewith, shifts the respective bar 120 or 132 in one direction or the other to cause a corresponding arm 162, 164, 182 or 134 to be swung. The swinging action of one of the arms operates a respective switch 172, 176, 186 or 133. If the coinage totalizing components (not shown) have totaled the deposit of a proper amount of coinage in machine 14), depending on the price which has been established in the machine for sale of the selected product, then operation of the corresponding switch 172, 176, 186 or 138 closes an electrical circuit to permit unlocking of the control structure of machine 16 as will be hereinafter more lfully explained.

However, assuming there has not been a deposit of sutiicient money in the machine to cause the switch arm of the totalizing equipment to move into engagement with a proper totalizer contact, the plunge-r 60 may not be further advanced. lt will be readily understood that only one pin 152 is provided for each push button 28 and corresponding slide assembly 54 so that `but oneswitch 172, 176, 186 or 18S is actuated during each test or vend cycle. Thus, the prices to be charged for the products to be vended from the respective assemblies 40 may be varied from selection to selection, depending on the loca! wheel 366. The switches controlled by bar and 132 are operably connected directly to an electrical circuit cooperating with the coinage totalizing components of the machine 1G for unlocking the machine only upon the deposit of coins ytotaling the price established for a selected product. The pricing forV the'products to be vended upon actuation of any given push button is, therefore, determined by thelocation of the corresponding pin 152 for each slide assembly 54 and may readily be altered as desired by simply shifting a respective pin 152 to another of the holes therefor in bars 12@ and 132.

lf the operation of an electrical switch 172, 176, or l13S caused by the initial, rather limited advancement of the slide assembly 54, does not result in the closing of an electrical circuit for unlocking the control mechanism for machine 10, it is apparent that the switch arm of totalizing equipment is not in a position thereof corresponding to deposit in machine 10 of coins totaling the particular price established for the product to be vended.

by the assembly 4t). Therefore, wheel 306 is prevented physically push the plunger 60 by push button 28 are resisted by lever 312 and by bar 194 whichris rigidly secured to shaft 192 `and physically abuts the legs 72 depending from slide plate 74. Plunger 64B may, of course, be advanced slightly through the yielding of spring 68 to prevent physical damage to machine 11B should a great amount of force be exerted on push button 2.8. However, slide plate 74 and, therefore, the slide assembly 54, is blocked from further advancement. Y

Assuming that the customer has deposited the proper amount of coinage into machine 10 to cause the components of the totalizing equipment within machine 10 to be operated for closing the electrical contacts thereof corresponding to the price established for the selected product, the initial shifting of the slide assembly 54 operates a corresponding switch 172, 176, 136 or 18S-to complete an electrical circuit for pulsing solenoid 324.v Lever'312 is thereby swung about the shaft of structure 326 for permitting continued clockwise rotation of wheel 326 as shown in FIG. 8. Such clockwise rotation is imparted to wheel 3% through shaft 192 which is caused to rotate by continued advancement of the slide assembly 54 where- Y in the legs 72 engage bar 194 to rotate the latter.

The resultant operation of the coupling assembly 56 rst telescopes element 214 hush with'the end of operating slide 216 land then shifts the operating slide 216 and element 214 to the right as viewed in FIG. 5 for imparting counterclockwise rotationto control member 44 of the corresponding assembly 41B. When notch 244 is shifted into .alignment with hook 242 of latch member 233, the slide 216 is latchedagainst retrograde movement. However, when the push button 2S is released to permit slide assembly S4 to return toward its initial locked position under the imiuence of springs 332 and S2, element 214 is thereby permitted Ito return toward its initial eX- tended position under the bias of spring 232. This causes shoulder 252 of slot 234 to engage arm 23e and swing latch member 238 through any arc to release hook 242 from slide 216 whereby the latter is returned to its normal position under the bias of spring 246. The consequent clockwise rotation of control member 44 during retrograde movement of slide 216, as Viewed in FIG. d, causes the lowerrnost of the horizontally disposed shelf structures 42 to be dropped to its vertical position, permitting the product thereon to be dropped through a vending chute for accessibility to the customer. The manner in which control member 44 effects successive release of the product shelves 42 is fully explained in the aforementioned U.S. Patent No. 2,324,040. l

When the slide assembly 54 reaches the innermost end of its path ,of travel, the assembly is held locked in its Vadvanced position by virtue of lever 318 entering notch Y 314v when wheel 396 had beenrotated to the positionV thereof shown in PEG. 6., The slide assembly 54 Vcannot l I return to its normal position to` thereby permit vending of the product until solenoid 3&0 is pulsed. Solenoid 330 is electrically coupled with appropriate contacts (not shown) on the coinage -totalizing equipment causing the coil of solenoid 330 to be energized only upon the return of the switch arm of the totalizer to its zero position.

Thus, the solenoid 330 together with its armature 32S, the lever 318 and the -wheel 306, provide structure for preventing the vending of a product until the totalizer has been reset. This prevents the actuation of the control components for machine prior to the clearing of the coinage deposit total from the totalizing equipment to thereby preclude the counting by such equipment of certain of the coins deposited for one operationvor vending cycle, toward the deposit of proper coinage for a subsequent vending cycle.

Further, the ratchet and pawl components 338 and 340 impose the requirement for'full stroke reciprocation of a slide assembly 54 necessary to proper operation of the support release mechanism and furthermore insure return of the slide assembly to the initial locked position at the conclusion of each cycle of operation. Thus it is impossible during a single cycle to successively reciprocate the slide assembly between critical positions whereby more than one product might be obtained.

Element 214 operates as sensing structure to insure that roller 212 has been Withdrawn at least a predetermined distance from the end 222 of slide 216 before the latter is released by latch 238 to permit the vending of a prod-V uct from the assembly 40. In effect it has been made impossible to transfer impacts on the respective selector button to the control member 44 at a time during the cycle when such forces might cause a repetitions release of products.

When the uppermost shelf 42 of an assembly 40 is released, crank 256 associated therewith is permitted to swing in a clockwise direction viewing FIG. 2 and as previously described, this allows blocking member 278 to move into the path of travel of Va respective rod 60. It is to be preferred that switch means be provided in association with the blocking members 278 for energizing a sold-out lamp on the front of door 14 when a customer pushes a selector button inwardly which engages a blocking member 278 and corresponding'to an assembly 40 which has been depleted of products.

Having thus described the invention, what isclaimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

` l. In a vending machine provided with a series of successively releasable product supports operable by a control member, the combination with said control member of:

manually operable, shiftable selector means;

locking mechanism for said selector means releasable only` after appropriate deposit for a product; slide means between said selector means and said control member reciprocable to operate the latter upon release of said mechanism and in response to actu- -ation of said selector means; and

latch means for engaging said slide means to prevent completion ofk reciprocation and hence delay of release of a product support until said selector means has been disengaged from the slide means to render the selector means ineffective for a successive normal operation without additional deposit and for prevent? ing transmission of impact force to the' control member whereby successive fraudulent operation of the latter isl precluded; Y t

2. The combination of claim 1 wherein is provided sensing vmeans associated with said latch means and op'- erable to release the latch meansonly aftervthere is a physical, separation between the selector` means and the slide means. Y

3. The combination Vof claim 2V wherein is providedY means biasing said sensing means in a direction to normally extend from that end ofthe yslide means opposite 12 to the end which is connectedV with the control member and wherein the sensing means is disposed to telescope iiush with the slide when subjected to pressure from the selector means'.

4. The combination of claim 3 wherein said sensing means shiftssubstantially into the extended position thereof before the sensing means unlatches the slide means. 5. The combination of claim 2 wherein is provided means operably associated with said selector means for requiring continued movement of the Iselector means away from engagement with the slide means until relooking of the selector means occurs.

6. In a vending machine provided with a series of successively releasable product supports operable by a control member, the combination with said control member of z manually operable, shiftable selector means; locking mechanism for said selector means releasable only after appropriate deposit for a product;

reciprocable structure for actuating the control member only after the structure has been shifted through a predetermined pattern of movement; coupling means operated by said selector means normally out of engagement with said structure and movable into operable engagement therewith for shifting the structure inv response to manual actuation of said selector means; and Y latch means operably associated with said structure for engaging the latter to prevent completion of reciprocation of the latter along said predetermined pattern of movement until said selector means has been disengaged from the structure to render the selector meansl ineffective for a successive normal operation without additional deposit and for preventing transmission of impact force to the control member whereby successive fraudulent operation of the latter is precluded.

7. The combination as set forth in claim 6, wherein said coupling means includes a swingable crank having a rst arm and a second arm, and means operably coupling said rst arm with the selector means, said second arm being normally disposed in spaced relationship from said structure swingable along a path of travel into engagement with the structure for shifting the latter when the selector means is shifted beyond apredetermined point along thev path of movement thereof.

8. The combination as set forth in claim 7, wherein said second arm is longerthant the first arm whereby the second arm is moved a greater distance than the selector means Ywhen the latter is shifted to thereby permit operation of the structure by a relatively short throw of the selector means.

9. The combination as set forth in claim 8, wherein the vending machine is provided with a frame the operating structure being spaced along the frame from said selector means and wherein is provided a second crank pivotally mounted on the frame and operably coupled with the selector means, and a link interconnecting said second crank with the first arm of saidrst crank for rotation of the. first crank responsive to rotation of the second crank by said selector assembly whereby the selector means may be located in convenient customeracce'ssible disposition.

10. The combination as set forth in claim 9, wherein said mechanism includes a shaft disposed to be operated by the selector means for rotation by the latter as the selector means is' shifted, control means operably associated thereof Vuntil after the shaft is released by the control means. Y

11. The combination as set forth in claim 10, wherein sald mechanism includes a wheel fixed to said shaft and f i3 having a pair of peripherally spaced notches in the outer margin thereof, a base adjacent said Wheel, a vfirst lever pivotally mounted on the base and disposed to engage one of said notches to prevent rotation of the wheel'in one direction when the first lever is in a predetermined position thereof, a second lever pivotally mounted on the base and disposed to engage the other of said notches to prevent rotation ofthe Wheel in the other direction when the second lever is in a predetermined position thereof, and means operably coupled with said levers for moving the latter into and out of said predetermined positions.

12. The combination as set forth in claim 6, wherein said structure includes `a slide coupled to said operating member for actuating the latter to release a product support assembly only when the slide is shifted in one direction, said coupling means being operably associated with said slide for shifting the latter in a direction opposite to said one direction in response to customer actuation of said selector means and for permitting shifting of the slide in said one direction only upon return of the selector means toward the initial disposition, said latch means being operable to preclude shifting of the slide in said one direction only after the coupling means has moved out of engagement with the slide.

13. The combination as set forth in claim 12, wherein said latch means for said slide includes hook means engageable with the slide after the latter has been shifted a predetermined distance in said opposite direction of movement thereof, and release means operably associated with said hook means and operated by said coupling means for releasing the slide for shifting in said one direction of movement thereof only after the coupling means has cleared the slide during shifting movement of the selector means toward the initial location thereof.

14. In a vending machine provided with a series of successively releasable product supports each operable only after a control member has been shifted in one direction and then in another direction, the combination with said control member of:

operating structure coupled with said` control member for shifting the latter in said one direction as the operating structure is shifted in a first direction and for moving the control member in said other direction as the structure is shifted in a second direction;

selector means actuable by a customer;

coupling means operated by the selector means and movable into and out of engagement with said structure for shifting the structure in said first direction in response to customer actuation of the selector means;

means connected to the structure for shifting the latter in said second direction of movement thereof during return of Ithe selector means toward the initial location thereof;

latch means releasably engageable with the operating structure for precluding return movement of the operating structure in said second direction after shifting thereof in said first direction until after release of said latch means; and

means operably associated with said latch means for releasing the latter from the operating structure only after the coupling means has moved out of engagement with said structure.

15. The combination as set forth in claim 14, wherein said operating 4structure includes a slide shiftable in said there being means coupled tothe latch'means for biasing the hook toward the slide and means joined to said hook and positioned to be operated by the element for shifting the hook out of the notch in the slide after the element 'has moved in said second direction a distance sufficient to cause the coupling means to clear the slide whereby the coupling means first engages the element upon initial shifting of the coupling means by Vcustomer actuation of said selector means followed by engagement of the coupling means with said slide for shifting the latter in said first direction, and assuring movement of the coupling means out of engagement with the slide during return motion thereof in said second direction before the. hook `is Vdisengaged from the slide to prevent actuation of the shoulder facing away from the operating member, said f latch means being'provided with a hook disposed tomove into the notch as the slide is shifted in said first direction,

product support assembly until the selectorV means commences return movement to the initial position thereof.

16. In la vending machine provided with a series of successively releasable product supports operable only after a control member has been shifted in one direction and then in another direction, the combination with said control member of: v

operating structure coupled with said control member for shifting the latter in said one direction as the operating structure is shifted in a iirst direction and for moving the control member in said other direction as the structure is shifted in a second direction; selector means actuatable by a customer; coupling means operated by the selector means and movable int-o and out of engagement with said structure for shifting the structure in said iirstdirection in response to customer iactuationpof the selector means; t means connected to the structure for shifting the latter in said second direction of movement thereof during return of the selector means toward the initial location thereof; latch means releasably engageable with the operating structure for precluding return movement of the operating structure in said second direction after shifting thereof in said first direction until after release of said latch means; and

means operably associated with said latch means forY releasing the latter from the operating structure only after said selector operated means moves out of engagement with the operating structure.

17. In a vending machine provided with a series of successively'releasable product supports operable by a control member, the combination with said control member of manually operable shiftable selector means; reciprocable slide means operably associated with said control member for operating the latter .after the slide t means has Ibeen shifted through a predetermined path, said slide means normally being out of engagement with the selector means and disposed to be shifted thereby only after the selector means has been shifted a predetermined distance; latch means positioned to engage said slide means and operable to prevent completion of reciprocation thereof rand hence delay release of a product support until after the selector means has been shifted through a path clearing the slide means whereby impactive operation `of che control member through the slide means,Y and the selector means lafter partial manual operation of the selector means is precluded. t

18. In .a vending machine provided with a series of successively releasable product support shelves operable control vlocking mechanismfor said selector means rele-asableV only after appropriate deposit for a product; reciprocable structure for actuating the control member only after the structure has'been shifted through a predetermined pattern of movement;

coupling means operated by said selector means normally tout of engagement with said structure and mov- 'able into operable engagement therewith for shifting -the structure in response to manual actuation of said selector means;

latch means operably associated with said structure for engaging the latter to prevent completion of reciprocation of the latter along said predetermined pattern of movement until said selector means has been disengaged from the structure to render the selector means ineffective for a ysuccessive normal operation without additional deposit and for preventing transmission of impact force to the control member whereby successive fraudulent operation of the latter is precluded; and

independent blocking means movable into the path of tnavelof each of the selector means to prevent customer actuation thereof after `the Ilast shelf of each series of support shelves has been released by the operating member therefor.

19. The combination as set forth in claim 18 wherein each of said selector means includes -a push button having a mod extension thereon and movable therewith, each of said blocking means including an element disposed to be engaged by a respective last shelf of each series thereof when said last shelves are in product supporting disposi- .tion and a blocking member located adjacent each of the rod extensions `and movable into lthe path of travel thereof, there being linkage means coupling each of the elements to 'a respective blocking member for maintaining each of the latter out of the path of travel of an aligned rod extension when the corresponding element engages said last shelf of a respective series thereof sensing disposition of said last shelf in a product supporting position and for movin-g =a respective blocking member into extension yrod blocking disposition when the l-ast shelf of a respective series is operated to move such shelf out of engagement with a corresponding shelf sensing element.

No references cited.

Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1 *None
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3393830 *Feb 6, 1967Jul 23, 1968Lektro Vend CorpSelector mechanism for merchandise vending machine
US5660304 *May 2, 1996Aug 26, 1997Idx, Inc.Vending apparatus and method having improved reliability
US6357622 *Aug 3, 1999Mar 19, 2002Leo F. AyotteAutomatic electronic drop-shelf coin operated mechanism
US7571835Dec 23, 2005Aug 11, 2009Smurfit-Stone Container Enterprises, Inc.Bag-in-box beverage container
Classifications
U.S. Classification221/90, 221/125, D20/4, 221/243
International ClassificationG07F5/18
Cooperative ClassificationG07F11/002, G07F5/18
European ClassificationG07F11/00B, G07F5/18
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 29, 1982ASAssignment
Owner name: BARCLAYSAMERICAN/BUSINESS CREDIT, INC., 180 GRAND
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:VENDO COMPANY THE;VFC ACCEPTANCE CORPORATIONON;VAN PAR VENDING EQUIPMENT SALES, LTD.,;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:003962/0922
Effective date: 19820301