US 3333667 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1967 R. w. NORDIN FLEXIBLE WIRE GUIDE CABLE Filed Dec. 9, 1965 INVENTOR ROBERT W. NORDIN H ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,333,667 FLEXIBLE WIRE GUIDE CABLE Robert W. Nordin, Skokie, 111., assiguor to Teletype Corporation, Skokie, IIL, a corporation of Delaware Filed Dec. 9, 1965, Ser. No. 512,720 Claims. (Cl. 1971) This invention relates to wire guide cables and more particularly to a wire guide cable for use in a dot matrix printer.
Teleprinters and printing devices serving as the output of data-processing apparatus frequency employ dot matrix printers in which the characters to be printed are formed, not by type pallets, but by composing each character from a plurality of dots. Such printers utilize a group of wires, the terminal or printing ends of which are arranged in a matrix, and the wires are selectively driven against an inked ribbon to form the characters. The actuating mechanisms for the wires are of necessity relatively bulky or massive and consequently must be located at a point remote from the printing area.
When the use of one matrix and its associated actuating mechanism for each character space across a page to be printed is economically sound, the guiding of the print wires presents no problem. However, when it is not economical to use a large number of matrices and one or two matrices are provided in the printer for movement across a line to be printed, a flexible cable of print wires must be used and this presents difliculty in the guiding of the wires.
It is an object of the operational reliability matrices.
Another object of the invention is to provide a flexible cable of print wires for a dot matrix printer.
A further object of this invention is to provide a novel mechanism for longitudinally guiding movable wires.
In accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention a cable is provided for use in a printer in which a matrix is moved across the length of a line to be printed on a page of paper. The cable is comprised of a plurality of wires, portions of which are slidably guided adjacent their printing ends in a die block that controls the location of individual wires of the matrix at the printing area. The ends of the print wires remote from the printing ends are fanned out for attachment to actuating members arranged radially in a suitable housing. Intermediate their ends the print wires are held in spaced relation, one to another, by guide disks each of which has a guiding aperture for each print wire; The guide disks are held in spaced relation by relatively large guide Wires which extend along the length of the cable and which have closely and tightly coiled on them spacing springs that receive lugs extending from the disks between their convolutions.
A more complete understanding of the invention may be had by reference to the following detailed description when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a side viewof a dot matrix printer employing a wire guide cable constructed in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention in which certain parts have been broken away more clearly to illustrate certain features of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a partial sectional view of the magnet housing structure of the dot matrix printer taken along the line 22 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged perspective view of a portion of the cable guide employed in conjunction with the dot matrix printer shown in FIG. 1 in which certain of the parts have been omitted more clearly to illustrate certain features of the invention; and
present invention to improve the of printers having traveling dot FIG. 4 is a front view of one of the guide disks employed in the dot matrix printer shown in FIG. 1.
Referring now to the drawing wherein like reference numerals designate like parts throughout the several views with particular reference being had to FIG. 1, there is shown a dot matrix printer which is comprised generally of a magnet housing structure 10, a cable guide structure 11 and a, carriage structure 12. The magnet housing structure 10 is supported on a portion 15 of the frame of the printer and is connected thereto by a plurality of supporting posts 16 which may be fastened to the frame 15 by any suitable means, such as by the use of threaded fasteners. Attached to the ends of the posts 16 remote from the frame 15 are an armature supporting ring 17 and a cover member 18, both of which are attached to the posts 16 by threaded fasteners 19.
As is best shown in FIG. 2 there is formed in the armature support ring 17 a plurality of rectangular slots 20 having side walls 21. Mounted in each of the slots 20 in engagement with the side walls 21 is an armature 25. The armatures 25 are secured in the slots 20 by the housing member 18 which is urged into engagement with the armatures 25 by the threaded fasteners 19. All of the armatures 25 extend radially inwardly with respect to the armature support ring 17 to a position wherein they underlie a plurality of electromagnets 26 which are attached to the housing member 18 by means of threaded fasteners 27. The armatures 25 are held in a spaced relationship with respect to the pole faces of the magnets 26 by a plurality of tension screws 28, one of which is individual to each of the armatures 25.
The armatures 25 extend radially inwardly with respect to the armature support ring 17 past the magnets 26 to a central position at which a plurality of print wires 35 are attached to the armatures 25 for movement longitudinally under control of the magnets 26. As is shown in FIG. 2 the print wires 35 are preferably attached to reduced end portions 36 of the armatures 25 by being wrapped tightly therearound. It should be noted, however, that the Wires 35 may be attached by any other suitable means.
The print wires 35 extend from the armatures 25 to the carriage mechanism 12 'wherein they are positioned to print a character. A platen 40 is provided for supporting a paper web 41 in a printing position. Between the web 41 and the carriage 12 there is positioned an inking ribbon 42 which serves to provide ink for printing on the paper web 41 and which may be supported in any suitable manner. In operation, the armatures 25 are normally pulled into engagement with the pole faces of the electromagnets 26 by means of the coils of the magnets being energized. When it is desired to print a character, selected ones of the coils of the magnets 26 are deenergized there by allowing their respective armatures 25 to move to the left (FIG. 1) toward their released position thereby driving the print wires 35 which are attached to the armatures which have been released longitudinally to the left and into engagement with the inking ribbon 42 and the paper web 41. This causes printing of a character in a pattern determined by which of the magnets 26 have been deenergized.
The carriage member 12 is comprised of a frame member 45 upon which is mounted a guide block member 46. The guide block member 46 serves as the final guide for the print wires 35 and also serves to confine the wires 35 in a proper matrix relationship so that the selective deenergization of predetermined ones of the magnets 26 will cause a character of a predetermined configuration to be printed. At the right end of the carriage 45 (FIG. 1) there is provided a support member 47 to which is attached the cable guide 11. At the bottom of the frame 45 there is provided a support mechanism for the frame consisting of a pair of rollers 48 which are attached to the frame 45 and which are mounted in engagement with a portion 49 of the frame of the printer so as to allow the carriage 12 to be moved axially along the platen 40 to eifect character spacing for the copy which is printed on the web 41. Also attached to the frame 45 is a cable gripping structure 50 which grips a cable 51. The cable 51 is moved by any suitable spacing means so as to advance the carriage mechanism 12 along the frame portion 49 to effect character spacing.
Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4 the details of the cable guide structure 11 which serves to guide the print wires 35 from the magnet housing structure to the carriage structure 12 is shown. The cable guide 11 is comprised of a plurality of guide disks 60. Each of the guide disks 60 has formed through it a plurality of apertures 61, each for receiving and guiding an individual one of the print wires 35.
7 a plurality of supporting lugs 62 each of which is comprised of a pair of radially extending arms 63 and a slot 64 formed therebetween in the guide disk 60. The function of the lugs 62 is to support the guide disks on a plurality of guide wires 65 which are attached at one of their ends to the support member 47 and which are attached near their other end to a cable guide supporting bracket 66 which is attached to the armature support ring 17 of the magnet housing structure 10 by means of threaded fasteners 67. The guide wires 65 are of considerably larger diameter than the print wires 35 and are used to support the guide disks 60 and the print wires 35 while being flexible enough to permit movement of the carriage 12 with respect to the platen 40, the frame portions 49 and 15 and the magnet housing structure 10.
The guide disks 60 are spaced uniformly along the length of the guide wires 65 at intervals suitable to provide adequate support and guidance for the print wires 35. The guide disks 60 are maintained in their respective positions by locating springs 70, one of which is mounted on each of the guide wires 65. The locating springs 70 secure the guide disks 60 with respect to each other and with respect to the frame portion 15 of the printer by gripping the lugs 62 of the guide disks 60 between adjacent ones of the coils of the springs. In the preferred embodiment, the locating springs 70 extend substantially the entire length of the guide wires 65. However, if desired the locating springs 70 need not be comprised of a single spring but may be a plurality of springs located adjacent each other along the length of the guide Wires 65.
It has been found that the thickness of the guide disks 60 when measured axially along the guide wires 65 should be approximately equal to the diameter of the print wires 35. Such a thickness provides adequate support and guidance in the print wires 35 while assuring that no matter how the support cable 11 is flexed or twisted the print wires 35 cannot possibly become bound against the side walls of the guide apertures 61.
In the structure shown in the drawing the guide disks 60 are separated into three distinct groups. The first of these is comprised of the guide disks 60 mounted on the guide wires 65 between the armatures and the frame 15 of the printer. The guide disks 60 in this group are of increasingly larger diameter and the guide apertures 61 of the guide disks 60 of this group are located with respect to each other at increasing distances so as to fan the guide wires out to positions where they may be attached to the armatures 25. Similarly, the guide disks 60 in the group of guide disks nearest the support 47 are of increasingly smaller diameter and the distances between the guide apertures 61 of adjacent guide disks 60 of this group are decreased so as to compact the print wires 35 so that they may be guided through the guide block 46 suitably to form a proper printing matrix. Between these two groups lies a group of guide disks 60 which comprise the majority of the guide disks 60 in the cable guide 11 in which the guide disks are of equal size and in which the distance between the guiding apertures 61 is constant. In this group of guide disks the path of travel of the print wires 35 is substantially parallel. It should be realized, however, that the number of disks in one of the groups is not necessarily equal to the number shown in the drawing but is to be varied in order to fan out and to constrict the print wires 35 suitably in accordance with the dot matrix printer used in an individual case.
Although a particular embodiment of the invention is shown in the drawings and described in the foregoing specification it will be understood that the invention is not limited to that specific embodiment, but is capable of modification and rearrangement, and substitution of parts and elements without departing from the scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A cable for a dot matrix printer comprising:
a plurality of longitudinally reciprocatible, flexible print wires;
a plurality of guide disks, each disk having a guide aperture individual to each print wire for receiving and guiding the print wires;
a plurality of flexible guide wires of substantially heavier gauge than the print wires; and
cooperating meansonsaid disks and guide wires for holding said disks in spaced positions along the length of the guide wires.
2. The cable guide according to claim 1 wherein the cooperating means includes:
lugs formed on the periphery of the guide disks for engagement with the guide wires to support the guide disks; and
a spacing spring mounted on each of the guide wires and extending substantially its entire length for gripping the lugs on the spacer disks to fix the location of the disks with respect to each other along the length of the guide wires.
3. The cable guide according to claim 2 wherein the guide disks have a thickness substantially equal to the diameter of the print wires so that the print wires cannot bind against the sides of the guide apertures.
4. A dot matrix printer including:
a plurality of electromagnets secured to the frame;
a carriage mounted for movement with respect to the frame to effect character spacing for the printing;
a plurality of print wires mounted for selective movement by the electromagnets through the carriage to effect printing;
a plurality of two ended flexible guide wires each attached at one of their ends to the frame adjacent the electromagnets and each attached at the other of their ends to the carriage; and
a plurality of guide disks supported by the guide wires and positioned at spaced intervals along the length of the guide wires for guiding the print wires from the electromagnets to the carriage, said disks shifting relative to each other during movement of the carriage.
5. The combination according to claim 4 also including means mounted on the guide wires for securing each of the guide disks in a predetermined position axially along the guide wires with respect to the frame.
6. The combination defined in claim 5 wherein:
each of the guide disks has a plurality of guide wire engaging lugs spaced about its periphery, and
the means for securing each of the guide disks in a predetermined position is a plurality of coil springs one mounted on each of the guide wires and extending substantially the entire length thereof which secure the guide disks by gripping the lugs on the guide disks between adjacent coils of the springs.
7. The combination according to claim 4 wherein the guide disks have a plurality of apertures each for receiving and guiding one of the print wires and wherein each of the guide disks has a thickness measured axially along the guide Wires substantially equal to the diameter of the print Wires so that the print Wires cannot bind against the sides of the apertures.
8. The combination according to claim 7 wherein the guide disks are divided into three groups:
the apertures of individual guide disks in the first group being spaced with respect to each other at constant intervals in a predetermined pattern;
the apertures of individual guide disks in the second group being spaced with respect to each other at increasing intervals with respect to the predetermined pattern thereby fanning the print Wires out for engagement with the electromagnets; and
the apertures of individual glide disks in the third group being spaced with respect to each other at decreasing intervals with respect to the predetermined pattern thereby compacting the print Wires.
for engagement with the carriage. 9. A mechanism for guiding a longitudinally movable, flexible wire along a path including:
a plurality of guide disks spaced at intervals in which the distance between the disks is greater than the 6 thickness of the disks along the path over which the wire is to be guided for supporting and guiding the wire; and
a flexible guide wire extending substantially the entire length of the path for supporting the guide disks, said disks shifting relative to each other during transverse displacement of one end of the movable wire with respect to the other end.
10. The mechanism according to claim 9 wherein the thickness of the guide disks measured axially along the wire being guided is substantially equal to the diameter of the wire being guided.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,129,065 9/1938 Loop 197-1 2,720,164 10/1955 Braun et a] 197-1 X 2,857,032 10/1958 Johnson et al. 197-1 2,911,085 11/1959 Leathers 197-1 3,108,673 10/1963 Green 1971 3,236,351 2/1966 Fitch et a1 197-1 ROBERT E. PULFREY, Primary Examiner. E. S. BURR, Assistant Examiner.