US 3371761 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 5, 1968 RYQ HIRANO 3,371,761
APPARATUS FOR DISCRIMINATING HARD COINS Filed May 4. 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR. RYO H I RHN O HTTORNEYS March 5, 1968 RYO HIRANO 3,
APPARATUS FOR DISCRIMINATING HARD COINS Filed May 4, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. 7 12m HI Rmvo ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,371,761 APPARATUS FOR DISCRIMINATENG HARD COINS Ryo Hirano, 849 Tsu, Kanagawa, Kamakura, Japan Filed May 4, 1966, Ser. No. 547,540 1 Claim. (Cl. 194-16) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A T-shaped lever for mechanically amplifying a slight difference in the diameters of different sized coins is used to discriminate continuously and at high speed between a large number of coins. Phototransistors are used in the same number as the kinds of coins to be discriminated and corresponding apertures are formed in the lever. Only when one of these apertures conforms with a light transmitting aperture in a fixed plate and light sensing aperture in a rotatable plate is one of these phototransistors energized and which corresponds to the coin being discriminated.
The present invention relates to an apparatus for discriminating hard coins, especially the kind of hard coins upon the basis of the slight difference in the size of the diameter of hard coin to be discriminated, and more particularly, to an apparatus for discriminating hard coins in a passenger fare-collecting machine for charged roads and other machines used for counting charges by hard coins.
In the conventional machines or apparatuses of this kind, various kinds of domestic hard coins in the denominations, such as of 100 yen, 50 yen, 1O yen, and 1 yen are thrown in a mixed state into a receiving vessel. These coins thus thrown in are piled up in various manners in the vessel, with the result that the mechanism for discriminating the coins becomes not smoothly operable. Because the power source for generating signals at the time of discrimination of hard coins is compelled to temporarily stop in the course of the discrimination for each kind of coin, a considerable delay has taken place in the time required for discrimination, and as a result thereof, even excellent conventional apparatuses or machines could not carry out the discrimination of coins over 420 pieces per minute.
In order to overcome the disadvantages as above described according to this invention various coins thrown in a vessel in a disorderly manner are efficiently arranged so as to deliver said coins one after another continuously; the discrimination of the kind of hard coins is made easy and sure by heightening the operational magnifying ratio in response to the slight difference in the diameter of the hard coins; and the discriminating power is effectively promoted by means of electric circuits having phototransistors as a source for generating electric signals at the time of discrimination.
It is an object of the present invention to provide an apparatus which is capable of discriminating various kinds of hard coins in response to the slight difference in the diameters of coins readily and accurately in high per formance.
Another object of the present invention is to make the counting of passenger fares to be carried out most rapidly.
Other objects, features and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description of the invention.
For attaining the above-mentioned objects, the apparatus for discriminating coins of the present invention is so constructed that the said apparatus comprises, in combination, a base plate disposed at a desired inclination angle on a setting plane; a fixed plate secured to the upper surface of said base plate and having a light transmitting 3,371,761 Patented Mar. 5, 1968 aperture and an opening for a feeler respectively formed in the upper part of said fixed plate; a rotatable plate for discriminating coins supported in spaced relation to the said fixed plate so as to be rotated always by a drive shaft during the operation of the apparatus and having a number of semi-circular recesses for accommodating or receiving the hard coins to be fitted therein on its outer periphery at predetermined intervals and light-sensing apertures respectively formed in the said plate on the center line of each recess and located inwardly of said each recesses; a feeler for discriminating the diameters of the coins protruded from the base of a sector gear pivoted at a peripheral position underneath said fixed plate on a radial line passing through the upper surface of said light transmission aperture, said feeler being exposed above the surface of the fixed plate through the said opening and turned inwardly so as to take a horizontal state; a semibowl-shaped vessel secured to a wall plate, which is located in such a manner that the rotation of the rotatable plate will not be interferred with, and having a coin dropping hole at its bottom; a circular wall curved in the circular form in cross section and covering substantially the whole periphery of the rotatable plate from the bottom part of said vessel and having an openable cover at its lower part; a light-receiving and sensing means comprising a light source disposed underneath the said light transmission aperture and always lit, said light aperture and phototransistors arranged above the lightsensing aperture conforming or aligning with the aforesaid light transmitting aperture; a mechanism for enlarging signals for discriminating the coins, having a T-shaped lever operatable in association with said sector gear, a discriminating hole being formed in the upper leg portion of said lever; a light-receiving and coin-discriminating means having a light-receiver for causing any one of a plurality of phototransistors operatable in response to the kind of coin to receive the light selectively and another light source, both of which being arranged to receive the said discriminating hole on the upper leg portion of said T-shaped lever therebetween; and a counting circuit connected from a pickup circuit for discriminating coins of the said light-receiving and coin-discriminating means.
For a'better understanding of the invention and to show how the same may be carried out into effect, reference will now be made, by way of example, to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a cross sectional side view taken on the line II of FIG. 2 of a passenger fare collecting machine embodying the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a top plan view, seen from the direction of the arrow in FIG. 1, of the said passenger fare collecting machine, with an electromagnet and levers connected to an openable cover removed for the sake of clarity.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmental cross sectional view taken on the line IIIIII of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a fragmental plan view of a rotatable plate for discriminating coins, in which a dot and dash line indicates the rotated position.
FIG. 5 is an elevational side view of a mechanism for enlarging signals for discriminating coins.
FIG. 6 is an elevational side view of a light-receiving and coin-discriminating device.
FIG. 7 is a partial view, partly in section, of a coinreceiving means after counting has been accomplished, and e FIG. 8 is a circuit diagram of the light-receiving and coin-discriminating device shown in FIG. 6.
Referring now to the drawings, in the drawings, 1 denotes a plane surface or floor on which a passenger fare collecting machine for charged roads is seated. 2 is a base plate supported by a support 3, which is disposed so as to make an inclination angle 0, for instance, 30 to 70 (40 is shown in the drawing), for a rotatable plate 10 for discriminating coins. 4 denotes a fixed plate secured onto the base plate 2, a light projection or transmission aperture 5 and an opening 5 for a feeler being formed in the upper part of said fixed plate 4. A sector gear 6 is pivoted at 7 at a peripheral position underneath said fixed plate 4 on the radial line passing through the upper surface of the light aperture 5 and is attracted outwardly by a spring 8. A feeler 9 for discriminating coins protruding from the base of the sector gear extends through the opening 5 in the fixed plate and is turned inwardly so as to take a horizontal position. 10 is a rotatable plate for discriminating coins superposed above the upper surface of the fixed plate 4 in spaced relation there to and rotated by a central driving shaft 11. On the outer periphery of said rotatable plate 10 there are provided with a number of semicircular recesses 13 for receiving or accommodating hard coins at predetermined intervals and at the central position of the bottom of each recess 13 is respectively formed with a pointed projection 14. Also on the rotatable plate 10 there are provided a number of light-sensing apertures 15 which respectively lie on the center line of said recesses and are located at the inside of each recess. The aforesaid light transmitting aperture corresponds to the said light-sensing apertures 15. A light source 16 disposed underneath said light transmission aperture 5 is always lit during the operation of the apparatus. Above the light-sensing apertures 15 of the rotatable plate 10 and situated at a position corresponding to the light aperture 5 there is provided a light-receiving and sensing means 18 having one phototrausistor 17 and connected to the counting circuit 37 described later.
19 is a wall plate which is located in such a manner that the rotation of the rotatable plate 10 will not be interfered with. On one side of the wall plate there is provided a semibowl-shaped coin vessel 20 havin a coin dropping hole 21 at the bottom thereof. 22 is a circular wall curved in the circular form in cross section and arranged to cover substantially the whole periphery of the rotatable plate 10 from the bottom part of the said coin vessel 20. The circular wall 22 is provided with an openable cover 23 at its lower part by which small stones and other foreign materials mixed with the thrown coins can be removed. The openable cover 23 is capable of being opened or closed by an electromagnet 24 which is energized, for instance, after counting of passenger fares has been accomplished.
As shown in FIG. 5, the operative mechanism for enlarging electric signals for discriminating coins comprises the feeler 9 carried by the aforesaid sector gear 6 in engagement with the pinion 25 and is supported on a fixed plate 4a (shown by a broken line in FIG. 1). A T-shaped lever 26 having an upper leg portion in the arcuate form is fixedly connected to the axis of the said pinion 25. There is formed at a predetermined position a discriminating hole 28 on the upper leg portion 27 of the said lever 26.
The light-receiving and coin-discriminating means for discriminating the kind of a coin is shown in FIG. 6. A further light of source 29 always lighted during the operation, is provided above the discriminating hole 28 on the above-mentioned upper leg portion 27 of the T-shaped lever 26 while a light receiver 30 is provided underneath the said leg portion. In this light receiver 30, there are arranged a number of phototransistors, for example, five transistors 31 to 35 as shown in the drawing in row in such a manner that these phototransistors respectively are interrupted from light by partition walls so as to receive light from the light source 29 through the aforesaid discriminating hole 28 at the time of coin discrimination in response to the size of the diameters of the coins, as for instance, of 50 yen, 10 yen, 100 yen, 5 yen, and 1 yen in Japanese currency. A signal current of the operated transistor flows to the counting circuit 37 from the pickup circuit for discrimination 36. On the other hand, the
input circuit 38 of this circuit 36 is connected to the pickup circuit 39 leading to the light-receiving and sensing means. This pickup circuit for discrimination 36 is shown in FIG. 8.
A device for receiving hard coins after the counting of fares has been made is shown in FIG. 7. As shown in FIG. 1, the fixed plate 4 is provided with a discharge outlet 40 in the forward direction from the position of coin discrimination A. This discharge outlet 40 communicates with a discharge cylinder 41 disposed therebeneath. At the front end of the inclined duct 42 of the discharge cylinder 41, there is provided an openable cover 44 adapted to open or close by an electromagnet 43 which is operative in response to the signal indicating the shortage of coins for the payment of fares. Also an openable cover 46 is provided at the lower part inwardly of the said openable cover 44 so as to open or close by the electromagnet 45 which is operated by signal indicating the throwing of the fixed amount of coins. At the lower part of the openable covers 44 and 46, there are provided coin receivers 47 and 48 respectively.
As shown in FIG. 1, 49 is an annular elevation of the chevron-shape in cross section provided at the center of the upper surface of the rotatable plate 10, the said elevation 49 being provided for the purpose of preventing the rise of coins by contact when the coins piled up after falling from the coin dropping hole 21 of the coin throwing vessel 20 come upwardly as the rotatable plate rotates. 50 is an impeding member attached to the outer end of the said fixed plate 4 in spaced relation to the upper surface of the rotatable plate 10 secured onto said fixed plate at the free end of the circular wall 22 and directed to the center of the rotatable plate 10. Further, this impeding member serves to check the coins and prevents two or more coins from coming to the position of coin discrimination A of the feeler 9 when the coins come up in contact with the surface of the rotatable plate 10. Thus, the coins which have risen up without fitting into the circular recess 13 of the rotatable plate 10 fall down to the lower part of the circular wall 22 due to the impeding member 50, and these fallen down coins continuously gather at the bottom part of the rotatable plate 10 and always tend to fit into the circular recess 13 and only coins fitted into the circular recesses 13 are always delivered upwardly to the position of coin discrimination A, thereby ensuring correct counting of all the coins or complete calculation of the coins collected.
Operation of the apparatus according to the present invention will now be illustrated. Firstly, the mixed hard coins of various kinds as passenger fares are thrown into the coin vessel 20. The thrown coins will then drop down from the coin dropping hole 21, guided along the circular wall 22 curved in the circular form and are piled up at the lower part of the rotatable plate 10. Large foreign materials such as stones thrown in mixture together with the coins are taken away by opening the openable cover 23. Since the rotatable plate 10 is in rotation at all times throughout the operation of the apparatus, the coins which have piled up in a disorderly way at the lower part of the vessel are fitted one after another into the circular recesses 13 on the outer periphery of the rotatable plate 10 and delivered upwardly to the position for coin discrimination A while passing under the impeding member 50. Any useless coins for discrimination, for example, coins coming up casually on the upper surface of the rotatable plate 10 will impinge against the said impeding member 50 and drop quickly by reaction so that exact operation will be effected. As described above, only coins staying in the circular recess 13 will pass under said impeding member 50 and reach the position for coin discrimination. These coins, when a guide roller 9 is provided at the feeler 9 according to necessity (as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3) can be guided by this roller 9 and the inner end of the coin 12 mounts on the top of the pointed projection 14 provided on the central position of the recess bottom as the rotatable plate 10 rotates,
and the outer end of the coin 12 comes in contact with the tip portion of the feeler 9 which has inwardly been directed through force of the spring 8. This state corresponds to the size of the diameter of the coin to be discriminated and, at this position, the aforesaid lightsensing aperture 15 of the rotatable plate conforms with the light hole 5 of the fixed plate 4 so that, on one hand, the light beams for the light source 16 are projected on the phototransistor 17 through the said light hole 5 and the light-sensing aperture 15. Accordingly, an electric current flows to the light-receiving and sensing means 18 by reduction of resistance due to receiving of light by the phototransistor 17 and a voltage is impressed from an output circuit 39 on a pickup circuit 36 for discrimination through the input circuit 38-. On the other hand, the feeler 9 in contact with the coin 12 shifts inwardly and outwardly in response to the change in the size of the diameter of coin and the sector gear 6 is rotated in conjunction with this shifting thereby the T-shaped lever 26 is rotated through the pinion 25-. The radius of rotation of the T-shaped lever 26 will take a preferred length by providing adequate ratio of meshing with the abovementioned gear whereby even a slight shifting .of the feeler 9 Will be enlarged in scale at the upper leg portion 27 of the said T-shaped lever and even a slight difference in the size of the diameter of the coin based on the kind of the coin will affect the shifting of the feeler on the said upper leg portion 27. Thus, according to the kind of the coin 12 to be discriminated, the discrimination hole 28 of the upper leg portion 27 will shift in such a manner that it conforms with any one of the phototransistors 3-1 to 35. Accordingly, the light from the light source 29 is projected on any one of the phototransistors 31 to 35 which is in conformity with the discriminating hole 28.
Now, when a certain coin 12 which has been fitted into the recess 13, for example, a 10 yen coin arrives at the central position for coin discrimination by rotation of the rotatable plate 10 and pushes up the feeler 9 in contact therewith, the light projected from the light source 16 through the light hole 5 operates the phototransistor 17 while a voltage amplified through the lightreceiving and sensing means 18 is applied to any one of the transistors 31 to 35 of the light receiver 30 through the circuit 39 from the said sensing means 18. On the other hand, in the mechanism for enlarging signal for coin discrimination which enables to project the light from the light source 29 in proportion to the size of the diameter of coin 12 as shown in FIG. 5, the light is projected on the phototransistor corresponding to, for instance, 10 yen coin by oscillation of the T-shaped lever 26 before said phototransistor 17 receives the light and, when a signal of the phototransistor 17 arrives, the phototransistor 32 responds rapidly to said signal and gives the signal of this kind to the counting circuit 37. However, by successive rotation, the T-shaped lever 26 returns to the original position by the spring 8 and simultaneously each of the light sources 29 and 16 is interrupted from coming light by oscillation of the upper leg portion 27 of the T-shaped lever 26 and the rotation of the rotatable plate 10.
In this manner, the thrown coin is precisely fitted into the recess 13 of the rotatable plate 10, so long as said coin stays within the circular wall 22 and the discrimination of coins 12 is repeated by giving signals intermittently to the counting circuit 37. Further, when a coin different from the above-mentioned 10 yen coin, for example, 100 yen coin will contact with the feeler 9, then the phototransistor 33 corresponding to the same is given to the counting circuit. Thus, signals corresponding to the kind of coin are intermittently given to the counting circuit for each discrimination whereby total sum of coins is calculated. After counting has been accomplished, the signals indicating either complete or short payment of fares are transmitted to the indicator 51 and the desired places.
The coins after having been discriminated fall from the discharge outlet 40 of the fixed plate 4 and stay in an inclined duct 42 of a discharge cylinder 41. When signals indicating complete payment of fixed fares are transmitted from thecounting circuit 37, the openable cover 46 is opened by an electromagnet 45 and the coins in the value of fixed fares are received in the vessel 48. Also when signals indicate the shortage of coins, the openable cover 44 is opened by the electromagnet 43 and the coins are discharged into the vessel 47.
By transmitting signals from the counting circuit 37 to the indicator 51, it is also possible to indicate the admission or refusal of passage of passengers. For instance, the admission of passage can be indicated with blue signals and the refusal with red signals thereby making them easily observed with passengers eyes. In case red signals indicating the shortage of fares are observed, the coins in shortage are discharged into the vessel 47 from the discharge cylinder 41 through the openable cover 44 and in correlation therewith more coins are required to be thrown to make up for the shortage in the amount of fares, and after coins of the fixed amount has been thrown, the blue signal appears on the indicator to show that the permission of passage has been obtained. Thus, collection of passenger fares is capable of being effectively carried out for the charged roads.
Since the apparatus according to the present invention is constructed as described above, firstly, coins in mixture are thrown into the coin throwing vessel and these various kinds of coins, though dropped down in a disorderly way to the lower part of the rotatable plate 10 from the coin dropping hole 21, are guided along the inner surface of the circular wall 22 on one hand and since the rotatable plate 10 has an inclination angle 9 so as to permit these coins to lie readily on the rotatable plate 10 on the other hand, these coins are prevented from being erected side by side or in parallel, so that each coin can be fitted into each circular recess 13 on the periphery of the rotatable plate 10 one after another; secondly, when each coin 12 arrives at the position for coin discrimination A by rotation of the rotatable plate 10, the coin 12 is held at a position of the diameter of the coin by contact of the pointed projection 14 of the circular recess 13 and the feeler 9, and said diameter can be enlarged by the mechanism for enlarging signals so that the discrimination of the kind of the coin can be made most precisely even when the difference of the size of the diameter of the coin is slight; and thirdly, it is possible to make the discrimination and the counting of the coin rapidly by continuous operation of fitting a coin into each circular recess 13 of the rotatable plate 10 and by means of the generating source of signals of the phototransistors, and further to indicate the admission of passage or refusal with the signals of the counting circuit as the source of generating signals and to heighten the function of the apparatus for a passenger fare collecting machine.
What I claim is:
1. An apparatus for discriminating hard coins having a construction for measuring directly and reading the kind of a hard coin continuously, which comprises, in combination, a rotatable plate for moving coins mounted above the upper surface of an inclined fixed plate secured to a base plate, said rotatable plate being formed on its outer periphery with a number of semi-cicular recesses for receiving coins and being provided with a number of light sensing apertures which respectively lie on the center line of each recess and are disposed inwardly of the inside of each recess; a light source disposed underneath the said light-sensing apertures; a light-transmitting aperture formed in the fixed plate; light-receiving and sensing means which is actuated through the said light-sensing apertures and light-transmitting aperture by way of light from the light source in the course of rotation of the rotatable plate; a pointed projection at the central position of each recess bottom; a feeler, engageable with a coin in contact with said pointed projection of the recess, for coin discrimination protruded from the base of a sector gear meshing with a pinion to which a T- shaped lever having a discriminating hole on its upper leg portion is fixedly connected; a plurality of phototransistors each being arranged in a light receiver so as to operate in response to the kind of coin; whereby from said contact of the said pointed projection of the circular recess and the feeler with a coin, the shifting condition of the coin is enlarged and detected by conformity of the discriminating hole on the upper leg portion of said T-shaped lever with any one of the transistors through cooperation of the sector gear and the pinion, the diameter of the coin being measured by a synchronizing operation of the electric signal generated in the said light-receiving and sensing means and the electric signal obtained by the said mechanism for enlarging signal for coin discrimination.
References 'Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,310,833 7/1919 Johnson 1338 X 1,850,148 3/1932 Brandt 1333 1,902,328 3/1933 Howenstine 133-8 1,939,513 12/1933 Moser 19416 2,348,936 5/1944 Sprenger 133-3 2,594,422 4/1952 Gordon.
2,805,746 9/1957 Grant 19416 2,955,605 10/1960 Antonoff 1338 3,045,864 7/1962 Hurst et al 133-8 X 3,141,538 7/1964 Goodman 19416 X SAMUEL F. COLEMAN, Primary Examiner.