US 3251447 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
w. B. BROWN ETAL 3,251,447
VENDING MACHINE CONTROL CIRCUIT May 17, 1966 Filed Aug. 5, 1964 INVENTOR.
BROWN R EKLOF BY LELAND V. ROSKELLEY WARREN B. CHARLES ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,251,447 VENDING MACHINE CONTROL CIRCUIT Warren B. Brown and Charles P. Eklof, Salt Lake City,
and Leland V. Roskelley, Ogden, Utah, assignors to Ice All-O-Matic Manufacturing, Inc., Salt Lake City,
Utah, a corporation of Utah Filed Aug. 3, 1964, Ser. No. 386,923 4 Claims. (Cl. 194-2) This invention relates to control circuits for vending machines and is particularly concerned with the control circuits of vending machines used to dispense a predetermined amount of ice upon the insertion of a set amount of money.
It has been a major failing of ice vending machines known heretofore that they irretrievably accept the coins placed therein and then fail to deliver ice, or deliver an inadequate measure of ice.
Other difiiculties frequently encountered with previously known ice-vending machines have been that,'if the customer inadvertently closes the dispenser door before removing the ice for which he has paid, the door will not reopen and the customer will be cheated; or, if the door is in some manner held open, the machine will continue to dispense ice without additional payment therefor and the owner of the machine will be cheated. This is because the determination of whether or not there is ice available to dispense is made in an ice storage area, and not in an ice delivery area that has received ice from the storage area.
It is a principal object of the present invention to provide a control circuit for an ice-vending machine that will make a final determination as to whether the customers money is to be returned to him or is to be irretrievably deposited within the machine, only after the ice in full predetermined volume has been moved to a delivery area or after the machine has completed its delivery cycle and no ice, or an inadequate measure of ice, has been moved to the delivery area.
Other objects are to provide a control circuit that will positively stop ice feed whenever the delivery door is open and that will allow the door to close and be reopened so long as the ice is not removed from the delivery area.
An outstanding feature of the present invention is the positioning of a switch-actuating, pressure-responsive plate in the discharge chute (or delivery area) of the ice dispenser, where it senses the presence or absence of a full measure of ice and controls opening of the dispenser door. This plate also controls return and irretrievable deposit of a customers money in accordance with the sensed condition.
Additional switches, arranged to be responsive to the ending of a discharge cycle and the position of the dispenser door, prevent more than one charge of ice being dispensed for each set amount of money placed in the machine and insure that the dispenser door will be locked only after the ice has been removed from the discharge chute and the door has been closed.
There is shown in the accompanying drawing a specificembodiment of the invention representing what is presently regarded as the best mode of carrying out the generic concepts in actual practice. From the detailed 'descrip-tion of this presently preferred form of the invention, other more specific objects and features will become apparent.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a schematic illustration of the control circuit of the invention and of an ice-vending machine having control switches positioned thereon, the connections between the mechanical components of the machine and the a control circuit being represented by dotted lines;
cycle has been completed.
3,251,447 Patented May 17, 1966 FIG. 2, a horizontal section taken on line 22 of FIG. 1, showing a preferred door lock arrangement for the machine and rotated counterclockwise for convenience of illustration; and
FIG. 3, a fragmentary horizontal section taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 1, showing a preferred form of pressureactuated switch, which includes a pressure-responsive, actuator plate positioned in a discharge chute of the machine. v
Referring now to the drawing:
The control circuit constituting the present invention is shown generally at 10, FIG. 1, cooperating with a typical ice-vending machine 11, illustrated fragmentarily in central vertical section.
As illustrated, the ice-vending machine includes an insulated housing 12 for ice-cubes, and a dispensing cup 13 rotatable within the housing over a dispensing chute 14. Dispensing cup 13 is fixed to and rotated by a shaft 15, which also carries one or more stirrers 16 that prevent the ice cubes from freezing together as a solid mass.
:During a dispensing cycle, motor 17 drives shaft 15 through gear box 18 and rotates the dispensing cup and stirrer through a complete revolution. Thus, ice in cup 13 is moved beneath plate 19 and is dropped through 'chute114. This cup 13 is then moved out from beneath plate 19, where it is filled with ice cubes and so becomes ready for anothercycle of operation.
The dispenser is provided with the usual coin accumulator assembly including a coin acceptor and rejector mechanism (not shown), such as that manufactured by National Rejectors, Inc., 5100 San FranciscoAvenue, St. Louis, Missouri, and identified as Series 10-01. This accumulator assembly is readily connected to a multiple plug unit, i.e. a Jones plug 20, to be regulated by the control circuit of the invention in a manner to be explained.
After a customer has paid for the ice to be dispensed, he removes it from the machine through end of chute 14.
' The construction thus far described is a usual dispenser arrangement and forms no part of the present invention, except insofar as the mechanical components actuate or are actuated by'the control circuit to be described.
As illustrated, the ice-vending machine and the control circuit therefor are in their normal rest positions prior to initiation of a dispensing cycle. At this time, the only completed circuit is from line L1 through line 22, through switch blade 23 of a switch 24 that is normally in the illustrated position whenever door 21 is closed, through contact 25, line 26, switch blade 27, and contact 28 of vend relay 29, and, finally, through line 30 and terminal 31 of the Jones plug 20, which is connected to the usual coin acceptor electromagnet (not shown) of the accumulator assembly. The coin accumulator assembly is of standard construction and operates, upon insertion of a coin, to reject slugs and bent coins, to accept good coins, and to actuate a stepper component to the assembly that stops only when the correct number of coins have been inserted.
When the correct amount of money has been inserted the stepper stops and a circuit is completed from line L1 through terminals 32 and 33 of the Jones plug, through line 34 and vend relay coil 35, to move switch blades 27 and 37 into engagement with contacts 38 and 39, respectively, thereby breaking the circuit to terminal 31 so that no additional money will be accepted by the machine. Thus, once a dispensing cycle has been initiated by the depositing of the correct amount of money, the machine will not accept additional money until the Movement of the vend relay switch blade 27 into engagement with contact 38 starts the dispensing cycle by establishing a complete initial drive circuit for energizing motor 17 through lines L1 and 22, switch blade 23, cona door 21 at the' 3 tact 25, line 26, switch blade 27, contact 38, and lines 40, 41, and L2.
At the same time, a holding circuit that will allow continued operation of motor 17 even after the circuit through terminals 32 and 33 of the Jones plug is broken due to operation of the stepper component, is completed for the vend relay coil through lines L1, 42, and 43, switch blade 44 of end-of-cycle switch 45, through contact 46 against which switch blade 44 is normally biased, line 47, switch blade 37 and its contact 39, and through coil 35 to line L2.
In accordance with the present invention, when cup 13 passes over chute 14 and the ice carried thereby is dropped, the falling ice contacts a pressure-responsive actuator plate 48, FIGS. 1 and 3, to pivot the plate about its hinge 49. A roller 53, carried by throw 51 of switch 52, is held against the rolls on plate 48, so that pivoting of the plate toward switch 52 moves throw 51 until the switch blade 53 carried thereby is moved into engagement with contact 54. A circuit is thus completed from line L1, through line 55, switch blade 53, contact 54, lines 56 and 57, and coil 58 of cash selector relay 59 to line L2. This moves switch blade 60 into engagement with contact 61 and also moves switch blade 62 from its normal biased position, engaging contact 63, into engagement with contact 64 for a purpose to be explained.
The circuit remains in the actuated state thus far described until the dispensing cycle is completed, until shaft has made a full revolution, and until cam followers 65 and 66 of the end of cycle switches 45 and 67 are respectively contacted by cams 68 and 69 carried by th shaft.
Movement of cam follower 65 onto cam 68 moves switch blade 44 from contact 46 to contact 70, thereby interrupting the holding circuit previously established for vend relay 29. This deenergizes coil and opens contact 38 to break that circuit path to motor 17. The motor continues to run until carn follower 65 is moved otf cam 68, since a secondary drive circuit is established from line L1 through lines 42 and 43, switch blade 44, contact 70, line 41 and the motor, to line L2.
Deenergizing coil 35 also moves switch blade 27 back into engagement with contact 28, thereby reestablishing the circuit, including terminal 31, and energizing the coin acceptor electromagnet.
Slightly thereafter, movement of cam follower 66 onto cam 69 moves switch blade 71 into engagement with contact 72 and completes a circuit from line L1 throungh line 42, switch blade 71, contact 72, line 73, switch blade 62, Contact 64, lines 74 and 75, switch blade 60, contact 61 and line 76 to I ones plug terminal 77. This energizes a solenoid to irretrievably deposit the money. It also energizes a money counter and a stepper reset electromagnet. These are all components of the standard accumulator assembly previously mentioned. Together with the previously described energization of the coin acceptor electromagnet, this places the machine in condition to again receive money for initiating a new dispensing cycle.
Simultaneously with the previously described operations, initiated by the end-of-cycle switches and 67 moving onto their cams 68 and 69, a circuit is completed through line 74, and through contact 78 and switch blade 79 of shunt relay 80, to energize solenoid 81. Energizing of solenoid 81 moves switch blade 79 from contact 78 to contact 82, but switch blade 79 does not break away from contact 78 until it has engaged contact 82. If the dispenser is working normally, a full measure of ice will have been dropped into chute 14 and the pressure of the ice on pressure plate 48 will hold switch blade 53 in engagement with contact 54. This completes the circuit from line L1 through line 55, switch blade 53, contact 54, line 56, contact 82, switch blade 79, and solenoid 81, to line L2, to energize the solenoid and hold switch blade 79 against contact 82. Another circuit is established through line 83 and coil 84 to line L2 for energizing solenoid coil 84 and retracting a rod 85 which normally holds door 21 in locked position.
The coaction of solenoid coil 84, rod 85, and door 21 is best seen in FIGS. 1 and 2. Door 21 is pivotally mounted at 86 to the lower end of chute 14 and is biased by weight 87 into closing engagement with the end of the chute. Rod 85 is positioned behind a flange 88 depending from weight 87, and is normally biased by springs 89, which are connected between the dispenser frame and the rod into blocking position, so that the door cannot open. Whenever solenoid coil 84 is energized, however, rod 85 is retracted to afford unobstructed pivoting of the door. The bevelled and cut-away tip 90 of rod 85 allows the rod to move into locking position, even if door switch 24 has not allowed the door to completely close. This eliminates the need for precisely positioning the switch.
Rod 85 is held in its retracted position until the ice is removed from the machine and switch blade 53 is moved away from contact 54. In addition, since opening of the dispenser door moves switch blade 23 of door switch 24 into engagement with contact 91 and completes a circuit from line L1 through line 22, switch blade 23, contact 91, line 92, and solenoid coil 84, to energize the coil, the rod 85 is held retracted not only until the ice is removed but until the door has been shut, so as to break the engagement of switch blade 23 and contact 91 as well. This arrangement not only insures the doors remaining unlocked until the customer has removed his ice, but also insures its being locked as soon as the ice is removed and the door shut.
Once cams 68 and 69 on shaft 15 have moved beyond cam followers 65 and 66, switch blades 44 and 71 are biased to their normal positions against contact 46 and away from contact 72, respectively, and the circuit is in the rest position, ready for another cycle of operation.
In order to insure continued drive of motor 17 until all other switching actions of the cycle are completed, cam 68 is constructed to engage cam follower 65 and hold it thereon longer than cam follower 66 stays on cam 69.
If, after the proper amount of money has been inserted in the accumulator assembly, the machine should fail to deliver ice to chute 14, or if an insuflicient amount of ice is delivered, switch 52 will not be actuated to complete the circuit to solenoid 58 of relay 59, and switch blades 60 and 62 will not be moved.
Motor 17 is driven through the completed initial and secondary drive circuits previously described, and, as end-of-cycle switch 67 is actuated by cam 69 to move switch blade 71 into engagement with contact 72, a circuit is completed from line L1 through line 42, switch blade 71, contact 72, line 73, switch blade 62, contact 63, and line 90, to terminal 91 of Jones plug 20. This energizes the coin-return mechanism of the accumulator assembly, to return the customers money, and actuates the stepper reset mechanism to reset the accumulator assembly so that it will again receive coins. So long as door 21 is not open to break the circuit to the coin acceptor electromagnet, the rejector mechanism of the coin accumulator assembly will accept proper coins but will reject slugs.
After cams 68 and 69 have again moved beyond cam followers 65 and 66, the circuit is restored to its rest position, ready for another cycle of operation.
While, for purposes of illustration, a specific coin accumulator assembly has been disclosed herein, others could be employed.
Whereas there is here illustrated and specifically described a certain preferred construction of apparatus which is presently regarded as the best mode of carrying out the invention, it should be understood that various changes may be made and other constructions adopted without departing from the inventive subject matter particularly pointed out and claimed herebelow.
1. Control means for a coin operated vending machine having a delivery area for receiving material dispensed from said vending machine, a dispensing door adapted to close an outlet from said delivery area, and electrically actuated lock means adapted to hold said door in closed position, said control means comprising pressure-actuated means in said delivery area responsive to pressure of a predetermined volume of dispensed material therein to unlock said lock means so said door can be opened; switch means positioned to be actuated upon opening of said door; and means responsive to actuation of said switch means for holding said lock means in unlocked position until the predetermined volume of dispensed 3. Control means for a coin operated vending machine having a material storage area, a delivery area separate from said storage area, means for cyclically dispensing material from the storage area to the delivery area, an outlet opening from said delivery area, a door adapted to close the opening, electrically responsive means for locking said door in its position closing the opening, and means for accumulating coins placed therein and for rejecting them or for irretrievably accepting and retaining them in the dispensor, said control means comprising sensing means in said delivery area, responsive to pressure of a predetermined volume of dispensed material therein to actuate said electrically responsive door-locking means to permit the door to be opened; door switch means positioned to be actuated upon opening of said door; end-of-cycle switch means positioned to be actuated upon completion of a dispensing cycle for feeding material from the storage area to the delivery area; and circuit means including said door switch, said end-of-cycle switch means, and said sensing means whereby said means for locking said door is actuated to permit said door to be opened upon actuation of both said end-of-cycle switch means and said sensing means.
4. Control means for a coin operated vending machine according to claim 3, wherein the means for locking the door is so constructed and arranged as to hold the door closed only after the sensing means in the delivery area is de-actuated and the door switch is actuated.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,949,993 8/1960 Adler 22112 X 2,969,650 1/1961 Eschen'burg et al.
3,119,518 1/1964 Esehenburg et al. 221-96 3,179,224 4/1964 Haupt et al. 1942 RAPHAEL M. LUPO, Primary Examiner.
STANLEY H. TOLLBERG, Examiner.