US 3401704 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 17, 1968 J. JULLlEN-DAVIN COIN MAGAZINE FOR SLOT MACHINES DESIGNED TO RETURN CHANGE Filed April 14, 1967 NTDK 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 l N VE TEEN Tm :s/vlhvw Sept. 17, 1968 J. JULLlEN-DAVIN 3,401,704
COIN MAGAZINE FOR SLOT MACHINES DESIGNED TO RETURN CHANGE Filed April 14, 1967 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 U ras mz /sr Fig.2
ATTOQ'RNEY p 7, 1968 'J'. JULLIEN*DAVIN 7 3,401,704
COIN MAGAZINE FOR SLOT MACHINES DESIGNED -TO RETURN CHANGE' Filed April 14, 1967 s Sheets-Sheet 5 NVE To R T Tuulw P Aw'v'o ENE y United States Patent 3,401,704 COIN MAGAZINE FOR SLOT MACHINES DESIGNED TO RETURN CHANGE Jean Jullien-Davin, Valence, France, assignor to Crouzet, Paris, France, a French company Filed Apr. 14, 1967, Ser. No. 630,918 Claims priority, application France, Apr. 27, 1966, 720 12 Claims. (Cl. 133-5) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A coin magazine for a slot machine which is designed to return change by extraction from a stacked-coin reserve contained in the magazine and normally maintained with coins introduced by users of the slot machine. Coins supplied to the magazine by means of a guide duct are stacked automatically and solely under the action of gravity. To this end, the magazine is of generally tubular shape, is inclined to the horizontal and has two coplanar surfaces disposed longitudinally of the magazine on each side of its vertical plane of symmetry so as to permit the sliding motion of coins in a flat position thereon. Said two coplanar surfaces are separated from each other by a longitudinal opening which is delimited by two planes located parallel to the plane of symmetry and which serves to direct excess coins for separate collection as and when the magazine is completely filled. The flat endwall of the magazine is also inclined to the horizontal in the direction opposite to the magazine casing in order that any coin which is stored in the magazine should be parallel to the aforesaid end-wall and intersected by the plane which contains the coplanar surfaces referred to.
As is generally known, there are already in existence certain types of slot machine which are designed to return change while at the same time delivering the merchandise which is retailed by the machine.
In slot machines of this type, the change to be returned is arranged by category of coins in different magazines from which the change can be extracted both easily and automatically. Magazines of the most simple design are those in which a stock of coins to be returned is introduced by hand when recharging the apparatus into a vertical magazine of cylindrical shape in which the coins are stacked.
In some of the more highly improved slot machines, the initial stock of coins to be returned is completed and maintained with coins tendered by successive customers. The design and construction of the coin magazines employed in slot machines of the type last mentioned gives rise to awkward problems. Contrary to what may be supposed, it does not suflice to drop coins into a cylindrical tube in order that they should fall spontaneously into the requisite position in uniform stacks and thus permit of automatic extraction for the purpose of returning change. Moreover, the fact that a magazine containing a given category of coins may be full-since no magazine can be of unlimited capacity-must not prevent the subsequent collection of coins of that category. Finally, the customer must be made aware of the need to tender the exact amount if and when the stock of coins contained in the magazine falls below the number of coins of the category considered which should be returned as change.
The present invention is directed to a coin magazine which provides a simple solution to the different problems outlined above.
The coin magazine in accordance with the invention is characterized in that, in order to cause inserted coins to fall into position automatically under the action of gravity, the casing of the magazine has a special profile characterized by two parallel flat portions which define a suitably inclined plane on which the coins are slidably conveyed in a flat position on one of their faces until they encounter the flat end-wall of the magazine or the surface of the preceding coin and thus come into position flatwise one after the other, the end-wall of the magazine being also inclined at a suitable angle with respect to the horizontal so that, when a coin is in position, the aforesaid inclined plane intersects the coin along a chord in such a manner that the following coin cannot at any moment remain engaged with the edge of the coin which is already in position.
The coin magazine in accordance with the invention is further characterized in that it comprises guiding means for bringing the coins up to the magazine and overflow means whereby coins which are in excess of the maximum capacity of the magazine can be collected directly, all of the aforesaid means being adapted to operate solely under the action of gravity and consisting of a suitably inclined passageway of rectangular cross-section down which the coins are intended to slide on one face. The overflow means consist solely of an interruption over a predetermined distance in the bottom wall of the aforesaid rectangular coin-admission passageway, that portion of the passageway which is located upstream of the opening thus formed being inclined with respect to the portion of said passageway which is located downstream of said opening so as to make a small angle of elevation therewith, so that the parabolic path which is tangent to the upstream inclined plane and which is followed by a coin when it is no longer supported arrives slightly above the downstream inclined plane; thus, the coins naturally pass over the opening and penetrate into the magazine until the moment when this latter is full. Thereupon, one or a number of coins remain in the downstream portion of the admission passageway and a last coin comes more or less level with the edge of the opening and thus constitutes a stop for the following coin which will consequently be arrested in its free travel at the level of the opening, and will simply drop through said opening either into a cashbox which is located beneath or onto any inclined plane which leads to the cash-box.
The coin magazine in accordance with the invention is additionally characterized in that it comprises warning means for informing the user that the stock of coins is insuflicient to return the requisite change and for inviting the customer to tender the exact amount. These warning means consist of a contact device or equivalent system comprising a photodiode and a light bulb which, when the stock is insufiicient, illuminates a translucent screen on which appears the legend Please tender the exact change.
The number of coin magazines according to the invention which are provided in an automatic slot machine corresponds to the number of categories of coins which are to be returned as change. If, for example, the slot machine accepts coins in currency denomination of 5 units, 1 unit, 0.50 unit, 0.20 unit and 0.10 unit, this latter being considered as the smallest denomination employed as legal tender, it is clear that the maximum sum which can be returned as change is:
It is immediately apparent that, in order to be able to return any sum comprised between 0.10 unit and 4.90 units, the stock of coins must contain at least:
4 coins in the l-unit magazine;
1 coin in the 0.50-unit magazine;
2 coins in the 0.20-unit magazine;
1 coin in the 0.10-unit magazine.
All of the contact devices (or equivalent systems) which have been referred to above and which, in each magazine, are placed at a level corresponding to the mini mum requisite individual stock are connected in parallel so as to control the above-mentioned warning means.
The coin magazine in accordance with the invention is further characterized in that it comprises extracting means for withdrawing one by one the coins which are intended to be given as changed to the users of a slot machine, these means consisting of a slot of suflicient width which is level with the end-wall of the magazine and a flat ejector which is either of the rotary or sliding type and the thickness of which is smaller than that of the coins contained in the magazine, said ejector being so designed and arranged that the coin which rests directly on the end-Wall of the magazine can be caused to slide and thus withdrawn through the aforesaid slot so that it falls either into a trough placed directly beneath or onto any inclined plane which leads to said trough.
In a preferred embodiment, the extractor device consists of :a fiat slide-plate which is actuated alternately in one direction by electromagnetic means and in the other direction by elastic restoring means such as a spring, for example. A system of this kind can be designed to effect the extraction during the initial stage in which the electromagnetic means are energized. Thus, the reception of an extraction order and its execution can be almost exactly simultaneous. However, such simultaneous action may prove a hinderance in some types of slot machine in which the magazine is mounted, in which case it is preferable to arrange the system so that the initial stage (displacement of the slide-plate in one direction by the electromagnetic means) constitutes a virtual recording of the extraction order whilst the second stage (displacement of the slide-plate in the other direction under the action of elastic restoring means) constitutes the execution of the extraction order; chronological spacing of the two operations is therefore ensured.
The requisite range of travel of the extractor slideplate is in :principle equal to the diameter of the coin, this result being difficult to achieve with electromagnetic means. The difficulty can be circumvented by providing the slide-plate and the end-wall of the magazine with a suitable contour on the coin-discharge side, thereby mak ing it possible to restore the requisite travel to a value which is smaller than the radius of the coin.
Finally, the coin magazine in accordance with the invention is also characterized in that it comprises motiondetection means for ensuring that the order to return a coin has in fact been carried out and for transmitting this information to an automatic accounting system in order to permit the following operation to take place. Said detection means consist in known manner of a contact or of equivalent means (diode associated with a lamp, inductive or capacitive detector, etc.).
The above features as well as other properties and advantages of the invention will become more readily apparent from the following detailed description of one embodiment of the novel coin magazine which is given solely by Way of example and not in any limiting sense, reference being bad to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic presentation of the complete device which is shown in cross-section along the lines I--I of FIGS. 2 and 3;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along the line IIII of FIG. 1 showing the profile of the magazine casing;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the line IIII1I of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 shows an alternative form of a portion of the assembly which is illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 shows an alternative form of the details shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along the line VIVI of FIG. 5; and finally,
FIG. 7 shows a preferred constructional detail.
In FIG. 1, which shows diagrammatically the complete coin magazine assembly, it is assumed that the frame of the apparatus comprises a vertical plate 1 on which the different elements are fixed (in the requisite relative positions) by any suitable attachment means such as right-angle brackets 2. The plate 1 is in turn secured by means of right-angle brackets against the front face 3 of the slot machine in which is provided an opening 3a for the purpose of gaining access to the slot-machine trough 4. The coin magazine proper consists of a sloping shell 5 which is closed at the lower end by a flat endplate 6.
The special shape of the shell 5 (as shown in FIG. 2) is such that the coins P P P P which are stacked one above the other are held in position by an oblique wall 5a, vertical walls 5b, 5c and two edges 5d, 5e which are defined in the oblique plane 57 by two portions of vertical walls 5g and 5h. The essential feature of this profile lies in the fact that the plane 5] intersects a coin which is already in position at any level along a chord or line 7. In order that the process of stacking or position-arrangement of successive coins may be readily understood, the coin P is shown on the one hand in a thin line at the moment when, after having passed down in sliding motion on one of its faces on the plane 5 said coin has just come into contact (at a point of the chord 7) with the upper surface of the preceding coin P which is already in position and, on the other hand in a broken line, in an intermediate position in which said coin P slides over the face of the coin P so as to arrive in a flat position in the stack.
It has been proved by practical experience that, in order to ensure effective operation, the shell 5 must be inclined to the horizontal at an angle which should be as close as possible to 30 and that the flat end-wall must in turn be inclined at an angle of 13 or very close thereto.
FIG. 1 additionally shows the guiding means employed for bringing the coins to the magazine 5 and for diverting them from the magazine when this latter is full. These means consist of a sloping passageway 8 of rectangular cross-section, the bottom wall 8a of said passageway (on which the coins arrive in sliding motion on one of their faces) being located substantially in the line of extension of the plane 5f of the magazine 5.
A portion of the bottom wall of the passageway 8 is open over a certain distance so as to form an overflow window 8b.
Upstream of the window 8b, a portion 8c of the bottom wall of the passageway 8 makes a small angle of elevation at with the downstream portion 8a, with the result that a coin which arrives at a certain velocity naturally follows a parabolic path at the level of the window 8b (as shown in a broken line) and thus travels slightly above the portion 8a.
The operation of the overflow device is as follows: when the magazine which has received a coin P is full, the following coin P is caused to remain partly on the wall 8a; the coins P and P which arrive subsequently are caused to remain inside the passageway 8 whilst the coin P comes more or less level with the edge of the window 8b. Any new coin which then arrives will come into abutting contact with the coin P will thus be arrested in its free motion and fall through the window 8b onto an inclined plane or ramp 9 which can be oriented in any manner and which will direct the excess coin to the cash-box. Along the window 8b, a portion 8b of the bottom wall can be retained if necessary in order to cause the coin to flip over towards the right if the sloping ramp 9 were placed in a direction other than that shown in FIG. 3.
FIG. 4 represents a variant of the overflow system, the operation of which is slightly different. In this alternative form, the top Wall of the passageway 8 is provided with a lip 8d which is located at a fairly low level in order to prevent any coin P from being immediately introduced fiatwise into the magazine; accordingly, the coins P and P would remain within the passageway 8; from this point, the operation is the same as in the previous embodiment.
FIGURES l and 2 also show by way of example means for indicating that the stock of coins contained in the magazine is insufiicient. I
At a predetermined level (coin P in FIG. 1), the wall of the magazine is pierced by two holes 10 in opposite relation; a lamp 11 is placed within a housing 12 and a photodiode 13 is placed on the other side of the coin magazine within a housing 14. When the coin P is not present and the stock consequently consists of less than six coins, the light rays from the lamp 11 pass through the holes 10 and impinge upon the photodiode 13 which thus becomes active and produces a signal. Provision can be made, for example, for a screen 15 which displays the legend Please tender the exact change and which is illuminated as soon as a warning has to be given to a user. The same screen is controlled indifferently by one or a number of photodiodes in parallel as designated by the reference numerals 131, 132, 133 corresponding to the magazines of the diiferent types of coins admitted by the slot machine. The signal produced by the photodiodes 13, 131, 132, 133 can also be utilized for the purpose of initiating the transfer of coins which have been discharged into a temporary stock 16 and for the purpose of delivering a warning to the automatic accounting system 17, with the result that, if the user does not tender the exact amount as instructed, the entire sum paid in is returned to him.
The minimum-stock device which is shown in FIG. 2 has a disadvantage in that it entails the need for a lamp 12 of fairly high power on account of the appreciable distance (at least the diameter of the coin) which exists between the lamp 12 and the photodiode 13. FIGURES 5 and 6 show an advantageous variant in which the magazine body (otherwise unmodified) is provided with two lugs 5g, 5h which serve as bearings for the pivot-pin 18 of a small swinging shutter 19 which, when it hangs in the normal position, namely in the absence of a coin P (position shown in full line) has an arm 19a which extends beyond the inclined plane 5 and which, in the presence of the coin P takes up the position shown in broken lines, namely in which another arm 1% masks a hole 10' and thus prevents the light emitted by a lamp 11' contained in a housing 12' from energizing a photodiode 13 contained in a housing 14'. The operation, starting from the photodiode 13', is the same as that which has been described in the case of the photodiode 13. It is apparent that, instead of a photodiode associated with a lamp, other types of detecting means may be contemplated such as inductive or capactive detectors, contact detectors and the like, without thereby departing from the scope of the invention.
FIG. 1 again shows diagrammatically the means em- .ployed for extracting the coins to be returned one by one. These means consist of a slot 20 of slightly greater width than the thickness of a coin, said slot being formed between the lateral faces of the magazine 5 and the flat end-wall 6. A flat extractor slide-plate 21 of slightly smaller thickness than a coin is adapted to rest on the flat end-wall 6 and can be displaced in one direction under the action of a stationary coil 23 and by means of a plunger core 22 to which said slide-plate is coupled and in the other direction under the action of a restoring spring 24.
The operation of the extracting system can readily be understood: when the coil 23 is energized, the core 22 pulls the extractor 21 towards the coil 23 over a distance which is greater than the diameter of a coin; the coin P drops onto the end-wall 6. When the coil 23 is no longer energized, the spring 24 returns the moving system 22- 24 to its initial position, with the result that the coin P is ejected.
One drawback of the above arrangement is that the slide 21 must be capable of carrying out a displacement at least equal to the diameter of the coin, which may prove fairly difficult to achieve simply with the electromagnetic means 22-23 referred to above. FIGURE 7 illustrates one advantageous solution which elfectively overcomes this disadvantage. The flat end-plate 6 and the ejector slide-plate 21 are cut out according to profiles 6a and 21a respectively, the radius of curvature of which is very slightly greater than the radius of the coin P In the rest position, the coin P is perfectly stable since its center is located inside the lifting surface which is delimited by the chord a, b and the are 0. But it can immediately be seen that it is merely necessary to effect the displacement of the slide-plate 21 towards the left over a distance d which is smaller than the radius of the coin, then to return said slide-plate towards the right over the same distance in order to extract the coin P There are also shown in FIG. 1 the means employed for the purpose of conveying the extracted coin from the magazine 5 towards the trough 4 and for the purpose of delivering during the passage of said coin a signal which indicates to the automatic accounting system that the order for returning the coin has in fact been executed, said means consisting of an inclined plane or ramp 25 and a motion detector of any suitable type (inductive, capacitive, photoelectric or the like) which is represented diagrammatically in this example by a photodiode 26 housed in a casing 27 and on which the light emitted from a lamp 28 housed in a casing 29 is intended to fall.
What I claim is:
1. A coin magazine for a slot machine which is designed to return change by extraction from a stacked-coin reserve contained in said magazine and normally maintained with coins introduced by users of said slot machine, wherein coins supplied to said magazine by means of a guide passage a-re stacked automatically and solely under the action of gravity by virtue of the fact that said magazine is of generally tubular shape, is inclined to the horizontal and has two coplanar surfaces disposed longitudinally of said magazine on each side of its vertical plane of symmetry so as to permit the sliding motion of coins in a fiat position thereon, said two coplanar surfaces being separated from each other by a longitudinal opening delimited by two planes located parallel to the plane of symmetry, the flat end-wall of said magazine being also inclined to the horizontal in the opposite direction with respect to the longitudinal direction of the magazine in order that any coin which is stored in said magazine should be parallel to the said end-wall and intersected by the plane which contains said coplanar surfaces.
2. A coin magazine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the angle of slope of the magazine is comprised between 25 and 35.
3. A coin magazine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the angle of slope of the end-wall of the magazine is comprised between 11 and 15 4. A coin magazine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the passageway which serves to guide and convey coins is sloping and has a rectangular cross-section which is slightly larger than that of each coin and is provided for the purpose of diverting coins when the magazine is full with switching means for excess coins consisting of an opening having dimensions which are greater than the size of a coin and formed in the bottom surface of the passageway, coin-collecting means disposed beneath said opening, that portion of said passageway which is located upstream of said opening having a smaller angle of slope than the downstream portion so as to permit coins traveling downwardly within said passageway to pass across said opening until the moment when the magazine is completely filled, whereupon one or a number of coins remaining within the downstream portion of the coin-admission passageway form level with the edge of said opening a stop for all the coins which follow and which will thus be arrested in their travel and discharged through said opening so as to fall into said coin-collecting means.
5. A coin magazine as claimed in claim 1, wherein said magazine additionally comprises, disposed above the magazine end-wall, means for detecting the presence of a minimum reserve of coins, and warning means connected to said detector means and adapted to inform users of the slot machine that said minimum reserve has been reached.
6. A coin magazine as claimed in claim 1, wherein said magazine further comprises a flat ejector slide-plate having a thickness which is smaller than that of a coin and adapted to slide over the end-wall of the magazine so that the coins contained therein may thus be extracted in unitary sequence through a slot formed in the magazine wall, and drive means for actuating said slide-plate so as to eject each coin which is intended to be returned to the user.
7. A coin magazine as claimed in claim '6, wherein the drive means consist of an electromagnet and a controlling spring which is adapted to produce action in opposition to said electromagnet.
8. A coin magazine as claimed in claim 6, wherein said magazine additionally comprises means for checking the delivery of returned coins, said means being disposed downstream of the discharge slot of the bottom portion of the magazine.
9. A coin magazine as claimed in claim 6, wherein the end-wall of the magazine is provided with a cut-out portion so designed that the lowermost coin is ejectably released therefrom in respect of a small range of travel of the ejector slide-plate.
10. A coin magazine as claimed in claim 5, wherein said magazine is provided with two apertures formed in oppositely-facing relation in the magazine wall and wherein the detector means consist of a photodiode disposed on one side of the magazine opposite to one of said apertures, and of a light source located opposite to that aperture which is remote from the photodiode aperture.
11. A coin magazine as claimed in claim 5, wherein the detector means consist of a light source, a photodiode adapted to receive a light beam derived from said source and, placed between said light source and said photodiode, a swinging shutter having two portions of which one portion is adapted to penetrate into the magazine and is operably dependent on the presence of coins whilst the other portion is adapted to obturate said light beam.
12. A coin magazine as claimed in claim 8, wherein the checking means comprise a passageway for the transfer of ejected coins and having two apertures in oppositely facing relation, a photodiode disposed on one side of said transfer passageway opposite to one of said apertures and a light source disposed opposite to the other aperture so as to transmit a light beam towards said photodiode.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,130,978 3/1915 Jackson 1331 2,571,576 10/1951 Hopkins et al 221-175 2,578,951 12/ 1951 Shaver 133-5 2,594,907 4/ 1952 Gassaway 1335 2,629,477 2/1953 May 133-4 2,857,920 10/1958 Buchholz et a1 1334 2,863,546 12/ 1958 Josefowicz 221-175 WALTER SOBIN, Primary Examiner.