Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3194946 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 13, 1965
Filing dateJun 20, 1961
Priority dateJun 20, 1961
Publication numberUS 3194946 A, US 3194946A, US-A-3194946, US3194946 A, US3194946A
InventorsJacob Rabinow
Original AssigneeControl Data Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Postage meter set by cards
US 3194946 A
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 13, 1965 J. RABlNow POSTAGE METER SET BY CARDS 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed June 20, 1961 iNvENToR Jacob Rab/'now ATTORNEY S July 13, .1965 J. RABlNow POSTAGE METER SET BY CARDS Filed June 2o, 1961 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 CoM/E YORS uw M l l ggigg! INVENTOR Jacob Rab/now ATTORNEYS `uly 13, 1965 J. RABlNow 3,194,946

POSTAGE METER SET BY CARDS Fil-ed June 20. 1961 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR Jacob Rab/'now @wf Qygm ATTORNEYS United States Patent O 3,194,946 PSTAGE METER SET BY CARDS y .'Eaeoh Rabinow, Takoma Park, Md., assigner, by mesne This invention relates to card-controlled machines and particularly to a postage meter which is set by cards instead of the current practice of manually setting such meters.

Although the principles of my invention may be applied to various types of machines, my invention solves a special problem or at least `a hardship, presently endured by U.S. postal otiicials and their customers who use postage meters. I refer to the postage meter machines which customers have on their premises for applying postage stamps to letters or packages. Currently available machines have a section which is periodically removed from the machine and carried to a U.S. post office either by the customer or a postal oliicial. This section is heavy, and obviously, the postage meter is disabled during the period that .this section is removed from the machine. Some'- tirnes the whole meter, weighing some 8O pounds, may have to be carried to the post office. While at the post otiice, the customer purchases a quantity of postage, and a post olice official adjusts the section to correspond to the purchase value of the postage. Thereafter, the section of the machine is locked and must be returned to the postage meter at the customers premises. One of the features of such machines -is that a counter keeps track of the number and/ or value of postage remaining in the machine so that the customer knows when he should again have the section of the machine removed for a further purchase at the U.S. post office. This procedure is time consuming; disables the machine for a period of time; and in general is bothersome both for the customer and the U.S. post oihce.

An obg'ect of my invention is to greatly alleviate these difficulties by a system which enables the customer to purchase a voucher, preferably but not necessarily, in the form of a single card, a group or book of cards etc., from the U.S. post olce, and then insert one or more cards into the postage meter so that the cards set the meter in accordance with the purchase value of the cards. The purchase value is preferably indicated by code on or in the card. Consequently, it is unnecessary to ever disable the postage meter; to remove a section of the machine; and/or to require physical transportation of the section to and from the post ofiice.

I am aware of pri-or card-controlled machines. However, where the card is of considerable extrinsic value, security problems which do not ordinarily arise in other card-controlled machines, may arise. Therefore, my card has a machine-verification code and a dollar-value (or the equivalent) code. Thus, when a purchaser obtains the card from the post ofiice or its agent, the card will be of no value to anyone except the possessor of the machine with which verication section matches. Problems of counterfeiting are automatically overcome by records kept yat the post office, as for example, serial numbered stubs, and by the fact that the card is captured by the machine and can be removed only by the post ollce.

With regard to the machine-verication and dollarvalue codes of the card I have means for investigating these codes to ascertain (a) Vthat the card inserted in the machine has been purchased for that particular machine and (b) the value of the purchase. These functions may be accomplished purely mechanically or electro-mechanically. Since the electro-mechanical system is somewhat 3,194,945 Patented July 13, 1965 ice more complex than the simpler mechanical equivalent thereto, the following discussion is restricted to an electr-omechanical system, it being understood that corresponding purely mechanical functions may be achieved. For instance, where I shall describe a motor to operate friction wheels to propel the card, it is obvious that the card may be simply dropped by gravity into a slot or a hand crank could be substituted for the motor.

For a general understanding lof how a preferred embodiment of my invention operates, assume that a customer purchases a card having machine-verification code marks of one type or another and dollar-value code holes. The card is inserted into the machine and the machineverification code is examined. If the verification code does not coincide with the machine, the card simply passes into a receptacle of the machine causing no other function. Thus, the card is maintained in the machine so that when the machine is periodically inspected by the post office, the fact that an improper card was attempted to be used will be evident.

lf, upon investigation of the verification code by the machine, the card matches the machine, a second examination of the card takes place to ascertain the purchase value of the card. When this value has been determined by one of the features of my invention, there are a plurality of outputs which adjust the postage meter by an amount proportional to the purchase value .of the card. This adjustment is of the conventional counter of a postage meter, ie. the same counter which is ordinarily manually adjusted by a post oiiice oflicial when the usual postage meter is carried to the post oiiice for a postage purchase.

An object of my invention is to provide a card-controlled postage machine.

Accordingly, a more specific object is to provide a cardcontrolled device for a postage meter, which has means to investigate a lirst codeI on the card to verify the card with the machine.

Another object of the invention is to provide means which become activated upon card-machine verification, for investigating a second code on the card to provide Voutputs to a utilization device of the postage meter.

When the card is a punched card, both investigations described above will be by ascertainment of the positions of the apertures in the card. A feature of my invention is in the procedure for determining the relative locations of the apertures of one of the codes. For instance, the code in question may be the value determinate of the card. I use a plurality of probes which move along the surface of the card until they engage the apertures defining the value code. The amount of movement of each of the probes is transmitted to the counter of the postage meter, and this sets the postage meter counter in accordance with the purchase price of the card.

Other objects and features of importance will become apparent in following the description of the illustrated form of the invention which is given by way of example l only.

l3 3 of FIGURE l and showing a card as it passes into a slot to be interrogated by my device.

FIGURE 4 is a sectional view similar to FIGURE 3 but showing the card in place within the slot.

FIGURE is an enlarged sectional view taken on line 5-5 of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary sectional view showing one of the probes of my device and its operative connection with the postage meter adjusting means.

FIGURE 7 is a sectional view taken on line 7-7 of FIGURE 6 .and showing principally the means for coupling the probes with the conventional counter of the postage meter in order to operate the counter in proportion to the amount of mechanical :movement of the probes in interrogating the value-code of the card.

In the accompanying drawings I have illustrated a card 10 which has been detached from a stub I2, as a means of adjusting a postage meter. The card contains two areas or sections 14 and l5, with the section 14- being a card-machine verification .section and `the section lo containing a code corresponding to the purchase value of the card. The codes are established by the location of apertures, for instance, apertures 17, 18 and l@ in section 16 :and the apertures 2t? in section 14. The location of apertures I7, I8 Iand lli? respectively correspond to a purchase of $250 as is evident from the legend on the right side of section 16. In practice, the legend need not be .applied to the card, but the card would contain serial numbers that match the stub l2 and any other security identification markings thought to be desirable.

The card-machine verification section I4 serves two principle pur-poses It is a security measure for the customer since the cards which he purchases for his machine will not operate another machine and vice versa. Secondly, the card-machine verification section greatly discourages counterfeiting since a counterfeit card will suggest that the owner, custodian, etc., of the machine made the counterfeit (assuming that the machine is under the contr-ol of the customer only) and that no one else would have anything to gain by counterfeiting a card for a machine other than his own.

The only part of the postage meter which I have shown iin the accompanying drawings is counter 22 (FIGURE 7) with its shafts 24, 26 and 28 since this is the only part of the postage machine which must be in some way altered by the addition of my invention. Even here, the alter- :ation is minor in that I remove the knobs on the counter (which the post ofiice agent would turn to set the counter when a stamp-purchase is made) and replace them with gear-ing. Thus, instead of turning the shafts of the counter manually with knobs, my setting device mechanically turns the shafts, for instance, by appropriate gearing shown in FIGURE 7 and described later.

My card-operated device is preferably enclosed in a container, however, I have only shown fragments of the walls thereof di-agrammatically, for example, walls 32, 33 and 3d in FIGURES 2 and 5 respectively, as is necessary to support the various components of my device. Other walls, supporting brackets and the equivalent are merely indicated by conventional symbollic ground references in order to greatly simplify the drawings and permit the components and operating principle to be better shown.

A conveyor system 3S is shown on reduced scale at the top of FIGURE 2. The conveyor system is composed of `two conveyors 39 and 4@ with adjacent liights between which a card lt is adapted to be propelled. The conveyor system has an inlet 42 in registry with an inlet slot `formed in the wall of the container of my device, and the purpose of the conveyor system is to prevent tampering. Once a card is inserted i-n the conveyor system 38, it leaves the control of the user and is conveyed to the discharge end of the conveyor system. The conveyor systern may he manually operated, for instance by closing the switch 4d of electrical circuit 46 with which the motors (not shown) of the conveyor system are operatively connected. The conveyors can be automatically operated by having switch t4 closed by the card when it is initially inserted, in which case the circuit would conveyor system.

llhave a timer in it to assure that the circuit 45 remains closed until the card is discharged from the end of .the Of course, the conveyor system 38 could be manually operated for instance turning a crank connected with one of the shafts of the conveyor pulleys or rollers.

rlhe discharge end 4S of the conveyor system is registered with the inlet diroat 5l) of an open ended slot 53 which is formed of two walls 54 and 56 supported adjacent to each other. The slot is slightly wider than the card thickness. rIhere are means projecting into the slot 53 to propel the card positively into and through the open ended slot 53. These means may have a number of configur-ations, one of which is shown in FGURES l, 2 and 5. Specifically, l have shown two sets of friction wheels dit and 62 respectively, with all wheels of each set operating simultaneously, Here again, the simultaneous motion may be obtained in many ways, one of which is to use a pair of chains or belts 64 and 63 on two sprockets or pulleys 7i? which are attached to the same spindles 6l that support the friction wheels. Main drive pulleys l are attached to a single shaft 72, and this is rotated by motor '7d through a reducer 76.

The `first procedure of my device when .a card is inserted in slot `throat Si), is to examine the verification section llt to ascertain whether the card iti is the proper card for the device and hence, the proper postage meter with which it is used. Consequently, I have a switch 73 so mounted on wall S4, for example, that card l@ (FG- URES l and 2) upon entering the slot 58, closes switch 78. One terminal of the switch 78 is connected to a source S2 of `electrical potential, and the other terminal is connected to a relay 84 (FlGURE l) to close the relay. All relays shown in the drawings are conventional latching relays, The enti-re electrical system is shown as a DC. system to simplify the drawings, it being understood that an A.C. system is equivalent. When relay 8d is set by a signal over line 79 from switch 7 8, solenoid 88 (FIF- URE 2) which is energized over lin-e Sii from switch 78,

ecomes energized to project a stop 9d across the throat Si). rJhus, when one car-d is in slot 58, another card may not ent-er, and tampering is made more difficult.

Assume that a card l@ is just entering slot 5S and it closes switch '78 by engaging the switch arm. Friction wheel-s ed and 62 become operative as relay 3d operates motor 74 and the wheels propel the card downward into the slot 58. 'Ihe two sets of rollers 60 and 62 grip the card near its side edges with the card sliding along the surf-ace of wall 54. Apertures 2t) in sect-ion 1A. of the card are interrogated by a number or" switches 91, each having spring fingers 92 which function as one contact (FIGURES 3 and l). Stationary contacts 94 of switches till are secured to one wall, for instance wall 5ft of slot 53, and the movable contacts 92 are secured to the opposite wall and have parts which project through apertures Y96 in wal-l 56 and through slot 58. Thus, if there is no opening 2t? in the card lll at the position of a switch 91, that switch will remain open. Of course, a microswitch mounted on one wall, for instance wall 56, and having a switch arm projecting through opening would be equivalent to the switches 91.

The arrangement of switches 9T. (FIGURE 2) is peculiar to Ia particular machine, and openings 29 in a card for that machine are arranged to match the arrangement of switches. All of the switches 91 are connected in series by jumper wires 9S. The end of the serial line of switches 91 is connected to a source 192 of potential whereas the opposite end of the serial line of switches is connected by wire 104 with a normally open switch M6. The switch arm 168 thereof projects across slot 5S (FIG- URE 2) so that when the lower edge of the card reaches a predetermined position in the slot, switch 166 is closed.

f the apertures 2) match the pattern of interrogation switches $1, a circuit path will be completed to the source IiZ to conduct current over lines liti, M2 -to the release terminal of relay 84. Thus, the friction wheels 60 and '2 no longer propel the card but hold it in place within the slot 58. I-f any one of the verification swit-ches did not make contact i.e., if there were no aperture 20 at the proper place when switch 106 is closed, th-e card would continue on through the slot 53 until it reached the lowest switch 114 (FIGURE l). The switch operator thereof would be engaged by the lower edge of the card thereby closing switch 114 and connecting potential source 116 (by way of line 115) with another release terminal of relay S4. Accordingly, the card will have been propelled completely through slot 58 before motor 74 is de-energized, yand the card comes to rest in the container lof my device.

On the other hand, assume that the code information of section 14 of card 10 matched the verification switch arrangement in FIGURE 1. Switch 106 would then release relay 84 allowing the rollers to hold the card in place within the slot, and switch 114 would not yet be oper-ated. The conductor 110 from switch 106 is also connected to a relay 120 so that not only is relay 84 released when switches 91, 104 complete the verilication circuit, but alsoV relay 120 is set. The switch section (not shown) for relay 120 conducts current over line 122 to operate three push solenoids 124, 126 and 128 each of which has its held coil connected to ground. rIhe purpose of the solenoids (FIGURE is to swing three probes or mechanical members 130, 132 and 134 from their rest position (shown in FIGURE 5) toward the wall 56 of the slot 5S and thus against a face of card 10, against the yielding opposing force of solenoid-return springs 139. The mechanical connection between the solenoids may be made in a number of ways, one of which is to have the armature 136 (FIGURE 5) of typical push solenoid 128 bifurcated with the probe 134 passing between the sides thereof. A pair of transverse pins 138 in the sides of the bifurcated portion of the armature dene a passageway through which the probe 134 extends. Therefore, when the solenoids are energized, the card will have been in place in slot 5S, and the upper probe fingers 135 of each of the probes will bear against a surface of the card. A gear system to raise the probes (to be described later) partially shown in FIGURE 5, forms a fulcrurn about which each of the probes swing a small amount when one of the probe fingers detects a code opening 17, 18 or 19. Stops, guides, rollers 207 or the like (FIGURES 5 and 7) constrain the probes.

The probes 130, 132 and 134 have rack gear teeth along one edge in engagement with gears 200, 202 and 204 of the gear system (described later). Motor 136 (FIG- URES 1 and 7) operates the gear system to drive the probes upwardly, the individu-al probes stopping when they engage openings 17, 18 and 19 of the card 10. The means for achieving those functions are described below.

When the card value section 16 is being interrogated by the probes, if there is any opening, for instance opening 19 as shown in FIGURE 1, representing zero,, the probe associated with the column containing that opening will simply pass through the opening to engage a contact bar behind the opening. Such a contact bar 142 is shown in FIGURES 1 and 5. There are three such contact bars 142, 144, and 146, i.e. onefor each probe 134, 132 and 130. Each contact bar is connected with a source 150 of electrical potential, and the probes 130, 132 and 134 (having suitably conductive upper portions 131 etc. (FIG- URE 6) insulated from the previously mentioned gearing system), Aconnect the source 150 individually with relays 152, 154 and 156 Iover lines 158, 160 and 162. Source `164 of current is connected Vby wiring i166 with the switch sections Iof the three lrelays y152, 154 and 156 so that they are in .series to function as .a logical AND gate. In other words, when all relays 152, `154 and 156 are closed, current from source 164 may pass overline 166 through the switch sections of the relays and over line 170 to the set terminal of a time delay latching relay 172. The switch section (not shown) of this relay has an output wire 174 to which line 176 is connected to reset relays 154, 152 and 156. In addition, the signal on line 17 0 is conducted over line 180 to the release terminal of relay of 120. Thus, when all of the probes 132, 136 and 134 make contact with stationary contacts 142, 144 and 146, the probe operating motor 166 controlled by relay 12u no longer elevates the probes. The gearing for causing the probes to be moved is shown best in FIGURES 6 and 7 and will be described in detail later. At the present time, it is sufticient to note that when the motor 186 is energized the probes move upward seeking openings such as openings 17, 18 and 19. When the openings are found by the fingers 135 of the probes, they are pushed into the openings by solenoids 124, 126 and 123 and although the motor 136 continues operating the probes do not move vertically upward any farther due to slip clutches in the gearing that will be described later.

Returning to the electrical circuit, for the purpose of explanation, assume that motor 166 is a reversible motor. Line 174 from the time delay relay 172 is connected to a terminal of motor 186, for instance the terminal which will cause the motor to oper-ate clockwise thereby lowering the probes. The probes can be lowered easily because when relay 120 becomes released, the solenoids 124, 126 and 126 are also de-energized thereby allowing springs 139 to retract the solenoid armatures and thus remove the probe fingers 135 from the openings 17, 1? and 19 by simply swinging the probes a very short distance away from the face of the card i.e., to the left position as shown in FIGURE 5. Now, with the motor 126 ener- -gized to operate clockwise, the probes will be lowered through the gearings shown in FIGURES 6 and 7. Virtually simultaneously, relay 84 becomes again set by the signal on line 190 which is connected with the output wire 174 from time delay relay 172. The setting of relay 84 will cause the motor 74 to be operated and thereby move the card downwardly out of slot 53. When the card engages the operator of switch 114, there is an output signal on line 115 to release relay S4 thereby discontinuing the l the value section 16 of card 1@ also returns the probes.

The amount of adjustment of counter 22 is proportional to the amount of vertical upward movement of the three probes. Thus, motor 186 drives gears 260, 202 and 204 on its shaft 266 by way of slip clutches 216, 212 and 214. For instance, the slip clutches may be friction clutches of conventional design. It is now seen how the Vprobes 130, 132 and 134 are elevated until the fingers 135 of the probes engage one of the openings 17, 1S and 19 and the motor 186 can continue to operate without lifting the probes any farther. The clutches 216, 212, and 214 will then slip. Gears 260, 262, and 204 are engaged with gears 216, 21S and 224B which are mounted for free rotation on a spindle 222. Miter gearing 224, 226 and 223, or the equivalent, drivingly connects the three gears 216, 211i and 220 with the counter operating shafts 26, 26 and 24 by way of one-way clutches 232, 234 and 236 which are diagrammatically shown as friction clutches and ratchets. For example, typical slip clutch 232 couples the miter gear, which is free-turning on counter shaft 28, with a ratchet wheel 24?, the latter being ixed to the counter shaft 28. The ratchet pawl 242 is in contact with the ratchet wheel 240 allowing the ratchet wheel and counter shaft 26 to turn one direction. However, when the miter gear of gearing 224 endeavors to turn the shaft 28 of the counter in the opposite direction (when probe 134 is being lowered) the friction clutch 232 slips so that the probe 134 is lowered, but shaft 28 of the counter does not turn.

`Summarizing the operation, when a card 10 enters the slot SS, the rst control switch 7S energizes motor 74 so that the friction wheels 6@ and 62 move the card downward into the slot. If the verification code matches the aisee-ie arrangement of veritication switches (FIGURES 3 and 4) of the machine, when switch lltld is closed, the friction wheels du discontinue turning. lf the verification codes did not match, the switch 166 will not discontinue the rollers, and the card will simply pass through the slot 5S.

When lthe verifications codes match, control switch 106 causes the solenoids 128 to operate thereby tilting the three probes so that the lingers thereof 135 bear against a surface of the code card at the value section. Also, motor 1&6 is operated, causing probes to be elevated until they reach a code opening, i.e. openings 17, 1S and i9. lf the purchase value is less than a three digit figure, e.g. $50, the code openings i7, l and il@ would be at the zero, ive and zero stations respectively. In other Words, if one or more of the shafts of counter 22 should not be moved, the zero code hole is punched because the probe will then move directly into such a hole when the solenoids i are actuated. There will be no upward movement of the probes for a zero code hole.

The amount of upward movement of the probes is transmitted to the counter 22 in order to set it, after which the probes become lowered .to their rest position, and the now used card is discharged into my device.

It is understood that various changes, modifications, etc., may be made without departing from the protection of the following claims.


1. In combination with the -counters of a postage meter, a device to adjust said counters of the meter by a card having code information thereon, said device including means defining a card reading station, inlet means communicating with said station and having further means to convey the card to said station, a portion of the coded information bearing a verification relationship to the device, verifying means at said station adapted to investigate said por-tion of said code information, -a second part of said code information being a decimal code identifying the purchase value of .the card as it corresponds to the postage, means to interrogate said second part of the card and readout the decimal code information, said readout means including a plurality of mechanical members, means to substantially rectilinearly move said mechanical members from a rest position to positions corresponding to the positional information of said `second -section of said card, means responsive to the movement of said members to adjust the counters of the postage meter, means responsive to each member achieving its position corresponding to the portion of the decimal code associated therewith for providing an electrical signal, .and coincidence means for said signals to return said members to said rest position.

Z. ln a postage meter which has a plurality of counters adapted to be set in accordance with the purchase cost of postage, the improvement comprising -a device connected with the meter and responsive to the arrangement of code holes in a card for setting said counters so that the card can be purchased at one location and used at another and thereby making it unnecessary to carry a par-t of the postage meter to the postage purchasing location, said device including means dening a card passage, means to propel the card through said passage, means t0 stop the card at a predetermined part of said passage to enable the code to be read while the card is at rest, code reading means having a plurality of probes with contacts at the outer ends thereof, pressing means to move the probes in a manner that the contacts engage the surface of the card, driving means t-o move the probes in a manner that the contacts slide over the surface of the card, said probes continuing to move until the contacts .thereof engage said code holes, slip means drivingly connecting said probes to said counters thereby adjust-ing the counters until said contacts engage said code holes at which said driv-ing means continue to operate but said counters fail to further adjust due to said slip means, contact members for each probe contact, said contact members and probe contacts opposing each other across said passage so that contact-engagement is made 4through said code holes, coincidence means connected with said probes contacts `and said contact members to provide a coincidence signal when all 0f said lprobes contacts engage a code hole, means responsive to said coincidence signal for discontinuing said pressing means so that said probe contacts are withdrawn from said code holes, means responsive to said coincidence signal for discontinuing -said probe driving means to return said probes to a rest position, and means responsive to said coincidence -signal for continuing the movement of said card through said passage.

3. ln a postage meter having adjustable counters, a card controlled device to adjust said counters directly at said meter, the card for said device having code openings, said device including means to retain the card in a predetermined position, a plurality of probes to engage and scan the surface of said card while the card is in said position, means to constrain the motion of said probes, means for pressing the probes against the surface of the retained card during the scanning thereof so that when the data openings yare de-tected during the constrained movement of said probes parts of the probes enter said openings, electrical signal producing means operative to produce `a control signal when all of the probes have entered card-openings, means responsive to said control `signal for discontinuing said probes pressing means, and means drivingly connecting said probes .to said counters to adjust the counters in accordance with the scan motion distances traveled in one direction by said probes.

d, The subject matter of claim 3 and means also responsive to said control signal for returning said probes to a rest position.

5. In combination with counters of a postage meter, a card controlled device to adjust lsaid counters where the card contains data signifying the amount of adjustment of said counters, said cardl controlled device including card handling means, means to examine said card and read said data to adjust said counters in accordance therewith, said examining means includ-ing a plurality of probes, means for moving said probes over the surface of the card, means to provide an electrical signal in response to code data detection by said probes, means responsive to said electrical signal for disabling said probe moving means, and means including unidirectional motion transmitting means for coupling said probes to said counters.

6. improvements in the adjustment of postage meters of the type which require counters to be set upon the purchase of postage, said improvements enabling said ladjustments to be made in accordance with a record code so that the record can be purchased and brought to the postage meter, yand said improvements embodied in a device operative with the meter by connection with said counters, said device having a record handling structure which moves the record to a reading station where the record is temporarily retained for reading the code, `a plurality of mechanical probes to examine said record for the code, means for moving said probes across the record until each detects a portion of the code, means responsive to the amount of motion of each probe for adjusting the postage meter counters, and electrically operative coincidence means responsive -as a result of each probe detecting a portion of the code for returning said probes to a rest position.

j 7. In combination with the counters of .a postage meter, .a device to yadjust said counters in accordance with the code of a card which can be purchased at one place and used to adjust the postage meter at another place thereby eliminating the necessity of transporting the postage meter for adjustment of its counters, said device comprising la passageway for the card, means to propel the card through said passageway, sensing means escasas operative in said passageway to sense the card code and provide an electrical signal indicating that the code has been sensed, said sensing means including mechanical members, means for moving said members from a rest position to positions at which said members detect the code at which said electrical signal is given, mechanical drive means coupling said mechanical members to said counters thereby adjusting the counters of the postage meter as said members move, and means respon-sive to said signal for returning said mechanical members to a rest position.

8. The subject matter of claim 7 wherein the card has verification data, and said device has means responsive to said data to provide a verification signal, and

means responsive to said verification signal to enable said code sensing means.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,296,277 9/42 Gollwitzer 101-58 2,659,470 11/53 Du Pont 23S-61.11

2,983,443 5/61 Robinson et al. 23S-61.11

3,039,582 6/62 Simjian 194--4 10 3,132,241 5/ 64 Wolhe-imer.

MALCOLM A. MO'RRTSGN, Primary Examiner.

WALTER W. BURNS, J R., Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2296277 *Jul 28, 1938Sep 22, 1942Addressograph MultigraphPrinting machine
US2659470 *Apr 3, 1950Nov 17, 1953 Transportation fare apparatus
US2983443 *Jul 22, 1957May 9, 1961The ShawElapsed time computer
US3039582 *Apr 9, 1959Jun 19, 1962Universal Match CorpSubscriber controlled apparatus
US3132241 *Jul 18, 1960May 5, 1964IbmBadge-reading apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3356021 *Jan 14, 1966Dec 5, 1967 Tail marker
US3527406 *Aug 30, 1968Sep 8, 1970NorfinCard reader apparatus
US3731799 *Nov 11, 1971May 8, 1973Autelca AgAutomatic cashier for bank-notes
US4629871 *Dec 28, 1979Dec 16, 1986Pitney Bowes, Inc.Electronic postage meter system settable by means of a remotely generated input device
US4809185 *Sep 2, 1986Feb 28, 1989Pitney Bowes Inc.Secure metering device storage vault for a value printing system
US4901241 *Mar 23, 1988Feb 13, 1990Drexler Technology CorporationDebit card postage meter
US5340965 *Feb 25, 1992Aug 23, 1994Ascom Hasler Mailing Systems, Inc.Mechanical postage meter resetting device and method
US7693803Dec 30, 2005Apr 6, 2010Stamps.Com Inc.Hybrid postage printer systems and methods
DE3049012A1 *Dec 24, 1980Sep 17, 1981Pitney Bowes IncMittels einer fernerzeugten eingabevorrichtung einstellbare elektronische frankiermaschine
U.S. Classification235/428, 101/93, 101/91, 194/211
International ClassificationG07B17/00
Cooperative ClassificationG07B17/0008, G07B2017/00177, G07B2017/00935
European ClassificationG07B17/00D2