US 3207281 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
P 21, 1955 s. B. NORRIS, JR 3,207,281
LIQUID VENDING APPARATUS Filed July 22, 1965 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 1N VEN TOR.
Sm B. Narris, J1:
BY M QW p 1955 s. B. NORRIS, JR
LIQUID VENDING APPARATUS I5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed July 22 1963 INVENJTOR. Sam 15. Harris; Jr
(a Magda 4 T T GENE Y5 Sept. 21, 1965 s. B. NORRIS, JR
LIQUID VENDING APPARATUS 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed July 22, 1963 United States Patent 3,207,281 LIQUID VENDING APPARATUS Sam B. Norris, Jr., 1056 Humble Road, El Paso, Tex. Filed July 22, 1963, Ser. No. 296,775 14 Claims. (Cl. 194-13) This invention relates to coin-controlled liquid vending apparatus and, in particular, to vending apparatus for the bulk vending of water which preferably is of suflicient purity for drinking, cooking, automobile batteries and radiators and for many other purposes. The apparatus is especially useful in arid regions, as in the southwestern parts of the United States and other parts of the world Where water available, if at all, may contain a high mineral content or otherwise be unsuitable. It is adapted for either permanent or temporary installation along highways, in parking areas, parks, motel areas and other locations readily accessible to the automobile-traveling public. The reservoir of the apparatus is adapted to be filled from a tank truck or the like with distilled Water, spring water or any other water from a suitably-pure source. However, the apparatus may be used for vending various types of liquids including milk and other beverages.
An object of the invention is to provide a simple and attractive coin-actuated bulk liquid vending apparatus of the type described.
Another object of the invention is to provide a liquid bulk vending apparatus which can be stationed in outdoor areas and which is of such construction as to withstand high winds and other rugged atmospheric conditions.
A further object of the invention is to provide a bulk liquid vending apparatus which will supply fresh water in several selected quantities, depending upon the total value of coins deposited in the coin-actuated means.
Another object of the invention is to provide a liquid bulk vending apparatus which will be visible from far distances and which will operate automatically over a relatively long period of time.
Another object of the invention is to provide a bulk liquid vending apparatus which will vend selected different quantities of liquid from different dispensing stations and wherein safety features are provided to avoid mix-up of quantities of liquid dispensed at the respective stations.
Another object of the invention is to provide liquid bulk vending apparatus for dispensing a substantially constant flow-volume of liquid for a preset time interval corresponding to a total preset value of coins deposited, said flow-volume being substantially unaffected by the pressure-head of the reserve liquid supply.
Another object of the invention is to provide liquid bulk vending apparatus for dispensing a substantially constant volume of liquid for a predetermined time wherein safety features are provided to prevent accidental dumping of the reservoir of liquid in the event of failure of a timing operation.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention will be developed below in the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevation, partially in section, of liquid bulk vending apparatus illustrative of the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a top plan of the apparatus of FIG- URE 1;
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken on the line 33 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken on the line 4-4 of FIGURE 1; and
FIGURE 5 is a circuit diagram diagrammatically illustrating the electrical control features of the invention.
Referring now to the drawings and in particular of FIGURES 1-4 thereof, a representative apparatus of the invention is shown to comprise a concrete base 10 mounted on footings 12, which enclose a sump 14. The base 10 is provided with a drain 16, the surface of the base 10 being sloped towards said drain. Base 10 is further provided with a concrete apron 17 (FIGURE 2) which flares outwardly beneath dispensing stations described below.
Mounted upon the base 10 is a cylindrical housing 18 having double side walls 20 and 22 provided with thermal insulating material 24 therebetween. The metal side walls may be of steel of a suitable thickness to support a liquid reservoir tank 26 which is mounted thereon and secured thereto at its bottom as by means of Weld 28. The housing 18 is firmly bolted or otherwise secured to the concrete base 10 as by means of flange 30 and bolts 32. Additional support for the reservoir tank is provided by means of channel members 34 (FIG. 3) which also serve as spacer members for the double walls of the housing. A lockable access door 36 (FIG. 3) is provided in the rear of the housing.
The forward Wall of the housing is provided with a pair of dispensing stations 38 and 40. These dispensing stations, as aforementioned, are located above the apron 17 of the concrete base 10. As shown, dispensing station 38 is provided with a shelf 42 upon which a one gallon container may be placed so as to receive liquid from dispensing nozzle 44 which extends from within the housing. Dispensing station 40 is provided with a shelf 46 which is spaced at a greater distance from a corresponding dispensing nozzle 48 which also extends through the housing 18. This shelf Will accommodate a five gallon container.
A pair of coin boxes 50 and 52 are located adjacent the respective dispensing stations 38 and 40. In the device as illustrated, dispensing station 38 is adapted to dispense one gallon of liquid in response to the depositing of a certain coin value in the coin box 50, e.g., tweny-five cents. Dispensing station 40 is designed to dispense a greater quantity of liquid, e.g., five gallons upon the depositing of a certain greater coin value in coin box 52, as for example, fifty cents. These operations will be discussed in greater detail in connection with the circuit diagram of FIGURE 5 illustrating the vending control features. The shelves 42 and 46 are provided with screens 54 and 56, respectively (FIG. 3), which permit any overflow liquid to collect at the bottom of the shelf where it is drained off through conduits 58 and 60 which connect with the drain 16.
The reservoir tank 26, while circular in horizontal crosssecti-on, is shown to have outwardly flaring vertical walls which terminate in a scalloped top edge 62. This provides an attractive appearance for the tank and housing which, from a distance looks like an oversized drinking glass. To provide for sturdy construction of the tank 26, a hollow central support member 64 extends from the bottom Wall 66 of the tank vertically upward through the center of the tank and through top wall 68. The top and bottom Walls 66 and 68 are secured to the central support 64, preferably by welding. The bottom, of course, must provide a fluid seal to prevent leakage of liquid from the tank. Braces 70 are provided from the bottom of the support member 64 to the inner side wall 22 of the housing. Again, welded construction may be used.
The top of the support member 64 is provided with a plate 72 to which is bolted or otherwise secured a control box 74 for an electric motor-driven, internally-lighted revolving display sign 76. The electric motor and gearing for revolving the sign is contained in the box 74 (as diagrammatically illustrated) and the electrical lighting fixtures for the sign are diagrammatically illustrated at 78. Conveniently, the electrical conduit 79 (FIG. 4) for serving the sign motor and lighting fixtures pass through the hollow support 64 to an electrical service box 80 (FIG. 3) located within the housing near access door 36. Electrical service for all of the equipment in the apparatus is supplied from the service box 80. The sign 76 is designed to rotate at all times and will be lighted at night. The circuit to the lighting fixtures 78 may include a time clock (not shown) for turning the lights on at dusk and off at dawn. The same time clock will also activate flood lights 81 which will light the vending area at night. It will be understood that details of construction of the revolving sign form no part of the present invention, but that the mounting of the sign is such as to provide an integral structure with the tank and housing of the vending apparatus. The resulting rigid unitary structure will resist high winds often encountered in desert and plains areas. Thus, the top and bottom walls of the tank keep the sign support 64 from swaying while the tank itself is given a more solid structure by reason of the central support 64 and braces 70.
One form of the device as illustrated has a housing 18 of approximately 5 feet diameter having walls of /13 inch steel and a height of 6 feet 6 inches, upon which is mounted a tank of approximately 1,480 gallons capacity tapering from 5 feet diameter at the bottom to 7 feet diameter at the top with a height of 7 feet. The oval sign 76 above the tank is approximately 4 feet by 6 feet, overall height of the entire device being some 17 /2 feet. The design is such that an apparatus of this size will be able to withstand winds of 100 miles per hour.
As shown in FIGURE 2, the top wall 68 of the tank is provided with a covered manhole 82 below which is a metal ladder 83 whereby a service man may gain access to the bottom interior of the tank if necessary. The tank is vented to the atmosphere by means of an opening (not shown) associated with the manhole cover. The tank 26 is provided with a fill pipe 84 which extends from a valved terminal 86 within the housing 18 through the tank bottom at 88 terminating near the top interior portion of the tank in a downwardly-directed, U-fitting 96.
The dispensing system includes a discharge conduit 92 capped by a strainer 94 whereupon liquid can be withdrawn from a position adjacent the bottom of the tank through manually-operated valve 96, pump 97, provided with an electrical motor 98, filter 9 constant flow regulator 100, T 102 and branch conduits 104 and 106. The branch conduits 104 and 106 are provided with solenoid valves 108 and 110, respectively and serve dispensing stations 38 and 40, respectively. The pump 97 is preferably of a type capable of operating under a constant relatively high back pressure, e.g., 30 p.s.-i. and constant flow regulator 100 in this instance, can be a restrictive orifice which will maintain such back pressure on the pump. The pump will, therefore, deliver a constant volume of liquid regardless of the pressure-head of liquid in the tank. The same amount of liquid will, therefore, be dispensed over a given time cycle when the tank is full or is nearly empty. Alternatively, constant flow regulator 100 may be a pressure-responsive valve which will open to a greater extent when delivery pressure decreases, thereby maintaining constant delivery volume. Regulating valves of this type are well known in the art and require no further description.
The dispensing nozzle 48 for dispensing station 40 is attached to the end of a retractible hose 112 retained on reel 114 so that the hose and nozzle 48' can be pulled out for a substantial length to fill large containers which need not be removed from the automobile or other conveyance of a customer. The construction of retractible hose and reel devices is Well known and need not be further described.
Within the insulated housing 18 and mounted on the inner wall 22 thereon are a pair of infrared heating lamps 116 and 118 directed so as to cover the various conduits constituting the plumbing of the apparatus. These heating lamps are thermostatically controlled as will be described later in connection with the circuit diagram.
They are designed to come on when the temperature of the housing falls below 40 F. and furnish sufficient heat to prevent freezing of the various pipes and control features. The reservoir tank 26 is also provided with a heating unit 120 which may be a Cal-rod heater with a built-in thermostat set to come on at a temperature of approximately 40 F.
It will be understood that the bulk vending apparatus may be utilized with one dispensing station or with a plurality of dispensing stations. Further, the reservoir tank 26 may contain a single compartment or may be divided into plural compartments. One such compartment, for example, might contain distilled water for use in steam irons, batteries and for other purposes where completely demineralized water is desired, Whereas the other compartment might be filled with spring water for drinking purposes. Where dual tank compartments are employed each compartment may be provided with single dispensing means for dispensing one quantity of liquid or with plural dispensing means for dispensing different quantities of the same liquid.
Referring now to FIG. 5, it will be seen that the electrical components for the dispensing operation associated with dispensing nozzle 44, which, for convenience, will be referred to as the one gallon operation, are shown to the left of the drawing and that those electrical components associated with the dispensing nozzle 48, which, for convenience, will be referred to as the five gallon operation, are shown to the right of the drawing. The components for the one gallon operation comprise a coin mechanism A, a vend relay B, a pump relay C, and a timer D. The components for the five gallon operation similarly comprise a coin mechanism E, a vend relay F, a pump relay G, and a timer H. A single empty and delivery limit time delay relay I serves both systems.
The structure of the individual components is conventional and forms no part of the present invention. However, these components, as will be seen from the description herein, are combined in a novel and advantageous manner.
To prevent errors in delivered quantities of the one and five gallon systems, a normally closed contact on the vend relay is connected in each vend circuit in such a manner that when a fill cycle (one or five gallon) is in progress, the other (one or five gallon) vend circuit is inoperative (coins are rejected) until the fill cycle in progress is complete. In other words, the system is interlocked to prevent simultaneous one and five gallon deliveries.
The system is such, that by simple timer adjustment, and coin machine adjustment, any quantity can be delivered to either vend circuit within the price limitations of the coin machine. That is, 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, etc. gallons could be delivered to either side of the machine. If timing range of seconds is not sufiicient, timers with different time ranges are available and may be interchanged simply by unplugging the unit and placing a timer with sufficient time range in its place.
Two pump relays are provided which are energized by the respective vend circuits. Relay contacts on both relays are connected in parallel so that energizing either relay will start the delivery pump. This eliminates the need for more than one pump.
Empty and delivery limit lockout contacts are connected to a common time delay relay to lockout both vend circuits in the event of abnormally long delivery cycles or on low level of tank. The time delay feature prevents an erratic empty signal (bounce) when the tank level approaches the set point of the level switch. Level must remain constantly low for the duration of the time delay setting of the relay (e.g., approximately two minutes). By using a pressure switch of appropriate range, low level can be adjusted to any desired tank level for machine lockout.
For convenience, the letter identification A through J will be used in conjuction with the reference numerals shown on the particular electrical components in FIG. 5. For example, when referring to an element of the one gallon coin mechanism, the number of the component will be preceded by the letter A.
The one gallon coin mechanism has coin switches A1 which are actuated by Sgt, and coins, a stepping motor A2, stepping switch A3, stepper relay coil A4, stepper vend switch A5, reset switch A6, escrow cash box relay A7, stepper reset coil A8, coin return relay coil A9, hold switch A10, cancel switch A11, escrow coin return relay coil A12, coin box heater A13 and empty light A14. Similarly, five gallon coin mechanism E is provided with elements E1 through E14. The coin mechanism A is adjusted to actuate upon a total deposit of 25 in coins and the coin mechanism E is adjusted to actuate upon a total deposit of 50 in coins. Such coin mechanisms may be obtained from National Rejectors, Inc., or other commercial sources.
The one gallon vend relay B includes a relay coil B1 and switches B2 and B3 actuated thereby. Five gallon vend relay F identically contains relay coil F1 and switches F2 and F3.
One gallon pump relay C is provided with relay coil C1 and switches C2 and C3. Five gallon pump relay G identically is provided with relay coil G1 and switches G2 and G3.
One gallon timer D is provided with a clutch coil D1 and associated switches D2 and D3 and with a timer motor D4 and associated switches D5 and D6 which are actuated at the end of the time cycle for which the motor is set. Likewise, five gallon timer H is provided with elements H1 through H6. The timer motors are preset to that the one gallon timer D provides a time cycle which will permit one gallon of liquid to be dispensed at the constant flow rate of the pump 100, and the five gallon timer H will provide a longer time cycle which will permit five gallons of liquid to be dispensed at the pump flow rate.
The empty and delivery limit time delay relay J is provided with a noramlly energized coil J1 and with switches J2 and J3. This relay is such that when the coil J1 is deenergized, the switches J 2 and J3 will activate after a preset time interval from the position shown in solid lines to the position shown in dashed lines. Time delay relays of this type with an adjustable range of 0-15 minutes are commercially available and are suitable for the purposes of the invention. The preset time in the present instance will be in slight excess of the time limit of the five gallon timer H. If the time for the five gallon delivery is 1 /2 minutes, the timer I may, for example, be set to actuate at the end of two minutes.
The control features will be further described by reference to a typical operation.
Operation of one gallon circuit When sufficient coins have been placed in the coin mechanism the motor A2 will be energized to actuate stepping switch A3, thereby energizing stepper relay coil A4. This causes the stepper vend switch A5 to actuate to connect line 210 from one power supply line 212 to line 214. Line 214 is connected to one terminal, the vend relay coil B1 and the other relay coil terminal is connected through line 216 to power line 218 completing the circuit and thus actuating the vend relay switches B2 and B3 to the broken line position. Line 214 is also connected to one of the contacts of switch B3 and is thus now connected by switch B3 to line 220 since vend relay B is energized. Line 220 is connected to a contact of one gallon timer switch D6 and through this switch to line 222. Line 222 is also connected to one gallon timer switch D2 which will be discussed later in the sequence. Line 222 also connects to a terminal of five gallon vend relay switch F2 which is connected to line 224 (when no delivery is being made in the five gallon circuit). Line 224 is connected through closed switch J2 and lines 226 and 228 to power line 212. It is assumed at this time that the empty and delivery limit relay J is energized as shown with the switches J2 and J3 in the solid line position. The empty and delivery limit circuit will be discussed later in the sequence.
Vend relay B is now energized through the above alternate circuit, that is, from line 218, through line 216, relay coil B1, line 214, switch B3, line 220, switch D6, line 222, switch F2, line 224, switch 12, line 226 and 228 to line 212, and remains energized throughout the vend cycle. Switch B2 completes a circuit from line 224 through line 230, stepper reset relay coil A8 and line 232 which relay in turn resets the stepper vend switch A5 to the original position shown in solid lines. Line 230 is connected to line 234 through reset switch A6 and energizes the escrow cash box solenoid A7. This causes the vend price to be deposited into the coin box. Coils A7 and A8 are energized throughout the vend cycle and the stepper vend switch A5 must reset before delivery is initiated. Line 214 is connected to line 236 when A5 recloses to the original position. This energizes timer clutch terminal coil D1 and through line 238 contact D5, line 240 and line 242, the timer motor D4 is energized. With the timer clutch and motor energized, the timer D begins its cycle. The switches D2 and D3 on the timer associated with clutch coil D1 actuate instantly while the switches D5 and D6 associated with the motor D1 do not actuate until the preset time setting of the timer has elapsed. Line 222 connected to switch D2 is now connected to line 244 energizing the delivery solenoid coil 108a, thus actuating the valve 108 to the open position. Switch D2 through line 246 also energizes the pump relay coil C1 which in turn, actuates its switches C1 and C2, respectively, thus connecting line 228 to line 248 which energizes the pump motor 98. Water from reservoir tank 26 is now pumped from water line 92 to line 104 and through open valve 108 to nozzle 44 at the position for one gallon deliveries.
The function of the timer clutch switch D2 is discussed later in connection with the empty and delivery limit circuit. Upon completion of the delivery time interval of timer D, contact D5 actuates and deenergizes the timer motor D4. Switch D6 actuates to its open position thus disconnecting line 220 from line 222 which deenergizes line 214 connected to vend relay coil B1, thus deenergizing vend relay B. Line 236 is also deenergized as it is connected to line 214 through the stepper vend switch A5. This deenergizes the timer clutch coil D1, thus deenergizing the timer clutch. Release of the timer clutch causes the timer to reset to its preset position and causes all timer switches to revert to their position as shown before energized. The delivery solenoid 168a and pump Relay C are deenergized when switch D2 opens. Line 230 is disconnected from line 224 when the vend relay B is deenergized and thus deenergizes the stepper reset coil A8 and the escrow cash box solenoid A7. When pump relay coil C1 is deenergized, pump relay switches C2 and C3 return to the original solid line position, respectively, thus disconnecting line 228 from line 248 and thus deenergizing the pump motor.
The coin return solenoid A9 is normally energized except during deliveries of either the one or five gallon circuits and if the machine is empty or has timer trouble. It must be energize before coins will be accepted to the coin mechanism. Otherwise, they are returned. Solenoid A9 is first energized through line 250, through the coin switches A1 and line 252, to vend relay switch B3 which is connected to line 220 which is originally energized as apparent from previous discussion. When energized, the coin return solenoid A9 is also connected to line 254 through its own holding switch A10 which is actuated to contact line 254 as shown. When vend relay B is energized during a delivery, switch B3 causes the solenoid A9 to be deenergized so that coins deposited during a delivery cycle are returned. Line 254 connects to line 252 Five gallon circuit When sufiicient coins have been placed in the coin mechanism E, the stepper vend switch E will actuate. This will connect line 212 through line 310 to line 314. Line 314 is connected to the vend relay coil F1 and line 218 is connected through line 316 to the other side of coil F1 completing the circuit and thus actuating the vend relay F. Line 314 is also connected to switch F3 and is thus connected to line 320 since vend relay F is energized. Line 320 is connected to five gallon timer switch H6 and through this switch to line 322 which is also connected to five gallon timer switch H2 which will be discussed later in the sequence. Line 322 also connects to one gallon vend relay switch B2 which is connected to line 224 (when no delivery is being made in the one gallon circuit). Line 224- is connected through normally closed switch J2 and line 228 to line 212. It is assumed at this time that the empty and delivery limit relay J is energized as shown with the switches J2 and J3 in the solid line position. The empty and delivery limit circuit will be discussed later in the sequence.
Vend relay F is now energized through the abovediscussed alternate circuit through switch F3 and remains energized throughout the vend cycle. Switch F2 is actuated, preventing operation of the one gallon vend circuit and connecting line 330 to line 224 thus energizing stepper reset coil E8 in the five gallon coin mechanism which, in turn, resets the stepper vend switch E5 to the original position as shown in solid lines. Line 330 is connected to line 334 through reset switch E6 and energizes the escrow cash box solenoid E7. This causes the vend price to be deposited into the coin box. Relay coils E8 and E7 are energized throughout the vend cycle and the stepper vend switch E5 must be reset before delivery is initiated. Line 314 is connected to line 336 when E5 recloses to original position. This energizes timer clutch coil H1 through line 342. The timer motor is energized through line 340 and switch H5. With the timer clutch coil H1 and motor H4 energized, the timer begins its cycle. The switches H2 and 1-13 on the timer associated with clutch coil actuate instantly while the switches H5 and H6 associated with the motor do not actuate until the preset time setting of the timer has elapsed. Line 322 connected to switch H2 is now connected to line 344. Line 344 energizes the delivery solenoid coil 110a thus actuating the valve 110 to the open position. Switch H2 through line 346 also energizes the pump relay coil G1 which in turn, actuates its switches G2 and G3, respectively, thus connecting line 328 to line 336 which energizes the pump motor 98. Water from reservoir 26 is now pumped from water line 92 to line 106 and through open valve 110 to nozzle 48 at the position for five gallon deliveries. The function of the timer switch H3 is discussed later in the empty and delivery limit circuit. Upon completion of the delivery time interval, switch H5 actuates and deenergizes the timer motor H4. Switch H6 actuates to the open position thus disconnecting line 320 from line 322 which deenergizes line 314 connected to relay coil F1, thus deenergizing vend relay F. Line 336 is also deenergized as it is connected to line 314 through the stepper vend switch E5. This deenergizes the timer clutch coil H1 thus deenergizing the timer clutch. Release of the timer clutch causes the timer to reset to its preset position and causes all timer switches to revert to their original position as shown before energized. The delivery solenoid coil 110a and pump relay coil G1 are deenergized when switch H2 opens. Line 330 is disconnected from line 224 when the vend relay F is deenergized and thus deenergizes the stepper reset coil E8 and the escrow cash box solenoid E7. When pump relay G is deenergized above, pump relay switches G1 and G2 return to original positions, respectively thus disconnecting line 328 from line 336 and thus deenergizing the pump motor 102.
As explained in connection with the one gallon opera tion, the coin return solenoid E9 is normally energized except during deliveries of either the one or live gallon circuits or if the machine is empty or has timer trouble. It must be energized before coins will be accepted to the coin mechanism. Solenoid E9 is first energized through line 350 through the coin switches E1 to line 352. Line 352 connects through vend relay switch F3 to line 320 which is energized as explained by previous discussion. When energized, the coin return solenoid is also connected to line 354 through its own holding switch E10 which is actuated to closed position as shown. Line 354 connects to line 352 through the cancel switch E11. When either cancel switch E11 or vend relay switch F3 is actuated, coins are returned. This completes the discussion of the five gallon vend cycle.
Entry and delivery limit circuit The empty and deliver limit circuit must be complete before deliveries can be initiated. If the circuit is not complete, coins will be rejected and the empty lights A14 and E14 will be illuminated. Power supply line 218 is connected to the empty and delivery limit relay coil J1 through line 266. Power supply line 212 is connected to an empty pressure responsive switch 262 having a water connection 264 terminating in the reservoir tank 26 at low Water level. If sufficient level of water is in water reservoir tank 26, the empty responsive switch 232 will be closed, as shown, by the pressure applied to it through water line 264. The pressure switch 262 can be adjusted to actuate at any desired reservoir water level. Line 212 is connected to line 266 through the closed pressure switch 262. Line 266 connects to the five gallon timer switch H3 and through switch H3, to line 268 which, in turn, is connected to one gallon timer switch D3. Line 270 connects the other side of switch D3 to coil terminal J1 thus completing the circuit to the empty and delivery limit time delay relay coil J1. Each time a delivery is initiated, switch D3 (1 Gal.) or switch H3 (5 Gal.) actuates to the open position thus deenergizing coil J1. Contacts J 2 and J 3 do not actuate instantly when coil J1 is deenergized because of the time delay feature built into the relay. The timing adjustment on relay J is set to exceed the normal maximum delivery time set on timers D and H. This feature of the circuit is provided to prevent excessive water losses in the event of a timer component failure. Line 212 is connected to switch J1 and switch J2. When the tank 26 is empty or when trouble occurs in a timer the empty relay coil J1 is deenergized and after the preset time delay, switch J2 actuates to the open position and switch J3 actuates to connect line 212 to line 272 which, in turn, connects to empty lights A14 and E14 on the one and five gallon coin mechanisms. This illuminates the empty lights. When switch J2 is open, line 224 is deenergized, preventing either Vending operations from taking place. Refer to the one and five gallon vend cycles for the continuation of this circuit.
The heater 120 for the reservoir tank is connected to lines 212, 218 through lines 274 and 276. The heat lamps 116 and 118 are likewise, connected to lines 212, 218 through lines 278 and 289. Thermostat 282 controls the operation of these lamps. As aforementioned, the unit 120 has a built-in thermostat (not shown). It will be understood that service box contains the necessary fuses, circuit breakers, etc. to comply with electrical coils.
The invention is not intended to be limited to the specific embodiments herein illustrated and described. Many modifications will occur to those skilled in the art. For example, the novel tank and housing structure may be used with other dispensing means and vending circuitry. The novel vending circuitry and dispensing means may be connected to a liquid supply from sources other than the reservoir tank shown, e.g., from a well or from a pipe line from a remote source. The overall combination as shown and described, as well as the subcombinations are all regarded as part of the invention.
The following claims are intended to cover all changes and modifications which do not depart from the true spirit and scope of the invention.
1. A liquid vending apparatus, comprising: a housing having a pair of dispensing stations; means for connecting said stations to a source of liquid, said means including a conduit having an electric motor-driven pump therein and a pair of branch conduits connected thereto, one branch conduit serving one dispensing station and the other conduit serving the other of said dispensing stations; a" solenoid valve in each of said branch conduits; a coincontrolled circuit means for actuating said solenoid valves for different preset time intervals in response to different total coin values deposited, and for simultaneously actuating said pump for a corresponding time interval.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said conduit includes regulating means for providing substantially constant volume liquid delivery from said pump.
3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said regulating means includes a restrictive orifice in said conduit on the delivery side of said pump and wherein said pump maintains a relatively high delivery pressure.
4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein each solenoid valve has associated control elements forming part of said coin-controlled circuit means comprising: a coin mechanism actuated by the depositing of a certain coin value, a vend relay responsive to actuation of said coin mechanism, and a timer responsive to said vend relay to begin a time cycle, said circuit means includes a pump circuit having a pump relay, and said timer upon actuation closes a circuit to its associated solenoid valve and to said pump relay for a preset time interval whereby said valve opens and the pump operates to dispense liquid for said preset time.
5. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein each vend relay has a normally-closed switch through which the circuit for the other vending operation must be completed whereby when one vend relay is actuated to open said normallyclosed switch the other vending circuit is inoperable and only that dispensing operation associated with the actuated vend relay is carried out.
6. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein the coin-controlled circuit means includes a normally energized time-delay relay set for a time period slightly longer than the maximum preset time period of the timers for either dispensing operation, and wherein the timers for each vending operation include a normally-closed switch in the circuit energizing the coil of the time-delay relay, whereby upon actuation of either timer for a vending operation the energizing coil of the time delay relay is deenergized and the coin-controlled circuit means is rendered inoperative if the timers exceed their preset time periods.
7. The apparatus of claim 6 wherein the circuit for the energizing coil of the time-delay relay includes a pressure-responsive switch operable to open at a preset low liquid supply pressure whereby the time-delay relay renders said coin-controlled circuit means inoperable upon continued low pressure after the preset time delay.
8. A liquid vending apparatus, comprising: a housing having an access door therein, a reservoir tank mounted on said housing and supported thereby, dispensing means including a pair of discharge conduits connecting said reservoir to dispensing stations on the exterior of said housing, a solenoid valve in each of said discharge conduits, a pair of coin-receiving means each including a switch actuated by receipt of a predetermined amount of coins and one of said coin-receiving means being adjusted to actuate its respective switch upon receipt of a different total coin value than the other of said coin-receiving means, circuit means for said solenoid valves, said circuit means including said coin-operated switches, first timing means in said circuit means responsive to coin-actuation of one of said coin-operated switches to cause one of said solenoid valves to open for a preset time interval and second timing means in said circuit means responsive to coin actuation of the other of said coin-operated switches to cause the other of said solenoid valves to open for a different preset time interval.
9. The vending apparatus of claim 8 wherein means are included to prevent operation of one of said timing means while the other of said timing means is in operation.
10. Water vending apparatus, comprising: a concrete base having a drain therein and an apron extending therefrom; a closed cylindrical housing secured to said base, said housing having at least one dispensing station accessible from said apron and having a lockable access door for service entrance; a reservoir tank for containing a substantial supply of water mounted on top of said housing and secured thereto; a fill pipe line extending from a connecting terminal within the housing at a position near said access door through the bottom of the tank; a hollow central support member extending vertically from the bottom wall of said tank through the top wall of said tank, said top and bottom walls being secured to said support member; means bracing the bottom of said support member to the walls of said housing; a motor-driven, electrically-lighted revolving display sign mounted upon said hollow central support member above said tank; conduit means within said housing connecting said reservoir tank to said dispensing station; a solenoid valve in said conduit means; a coin box associated with said dispensing station; coin-controlled circuit means for actuating said solenoid valve for a preset time interval in response to the depositing of a certain coin value in said coin box; and conduit means connecting said dispensing station to said drain.
11. A liquid vending apparatus for the bulk vending of liquids, comprising: a closed housing having at least one dispensing station on an exterior wall thereof; a reservoir tank for containing a supply of liquid to be dispensed mounted on top of said housing, the walls of said housing being constructed and arranged to form a sturdy base for said reservoir; a fill pipe line extending from a connecting terminal within the housing and into said tank through the bottom thereof; conduit means within said housing connecting the bottom of said tank with said dispensing station; a solenoid valve in said conduit means; a coin box associated with said dispensing station; coin-controlled circuit means for actuating said solenoid valve for a preset time interval in response to the depositing of a certain coin value in said coin box; said housing being substantially cylindrical and said tank being circular in cross-section, and a hollow central support member extending vertically from the bottom wall through the top wall of said tank, said top and bottom walls being secured to said support member, and means bracing the bottom of said central support member to the walls of said housing.
12. The apparatus of claim 11 wherein an electric motor-driven display sign is mounted upon said hollow central support member above said tank and wherein electrical connections for said motor-driven sign extend through said support member to a service terminal in said housing.
13. A liquid vending apparatus for the bulk vending of water, comprising: a closed housing having at least one dispensing station on an exterior wall thereof; a reservoir tank for containing a supply of water to be dispensed mounted on top of said housing, the walls of said housing being constructed and arranged to form a sturdy base for said reservoir; a fill pipe line extending from a connecting terminal within the housing and into said tank through the bottom thereof; conduit means within said housing connecting the bottom of said tank with said dispensing station; a solenoid valve in said conduit means; a coin box associated with said dispensing station; coin-controlled heating means within the housing and in the a preset time interval in response to the depositing of a certain coin value in said coin box; said housing being provided with insulated walls and thermostatically contnolled heating means within the housing and in the reservoir tank to prevent the water from freezing.
14. A liquid vending apparatus for the bulk vending of liquids, comprising: a closed housing having at last one dispensing station on an exterior wall thereof; a reservoir tank for containing a supply of liquid to be dispensed mounted on top of said housing, the walls of said housing being constructed and arranged to form a sturdy base for said reservoir; a fill pipe line extending from a connecting 15 driven pump in said conduit means, said circuit means including common timing means for said solenoid valve and pump motor for energizing said pump motor for a References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 434,395 8/90 Little 19413 1,930,048 10/33 Harding et a1. 40- 77 X 1,982,535 11/34 Patterson 19413 2,000,556 5/35 Brady 19413 2,162,625 6/39 Lowe 2222 2,967,644 1/61 Barber et a1. 19413 SAMUEL F. COLEMAN, Primary Examiner.
LOUIS I. DEMBO, Examiner.