US 3412395 A
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United States Patent O 3,412,395 CURRENT ACTUATED SWITCH FOR CASH REGISTER Ralph E. Kiene, Jr., 3004 W. 71st, Prairie Village, Kans. 66208 Filed Jan. 14, 1966, Ser. No. 520,557 7 Claims. (Cl. 340-421) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This application relates to the operation of a display device connected to a cash register. The display device is connected to a supply source through relay contacts, The relay is operated in response to current being supplied to the motor of the cash register.
This invention relates to the control of illuminated advertising signs and/ or alarms, and refers more particularly to current operated switching units for use with such signs or alarms in conjunction with electric cash registers.
There has long been a demand on the part of sellers of goods to retail stores, bars, and restaurants for some etiective means by which an illuminated or audible display device could be connected with and ashed on by each operation of the conventional electric cash register. In addition, the owners or operators of such establishments have, on many occasions, expressed need for a simple device which could service and operate a remotely located visual or audible device in response to operation of the cash register. Various types of display signs and/ or alarms have been suggested; however, all known designs, which include tiashing lights, buzzers, horns, bells and pop-up signs, etc., call for mechanical or electrical linkages integral with the cash registers themselves. For example, some systems include a special operating key, as a part of a conventional cash register keyboard, for either energizing or deenergizing an electrical circuit prior to opening the cash register drawer. `Other arrangements employ pressure sensitive switches o-r pre-conditioned switches which are either opened or closed according to the relative physical position of the drawer of the cash register, In every instance, some modification or pre-arrangement of electrical or mechanical components, integrally associated with the cash register, must be made before the device can be utilized.
A principal object of this invention is to provide an unique means for external connection with an electric cash register and capable of automatically displaying an advertising sign, plurality of signs, or to sound an alarm, at a predetermined point in the operational routine of the cash register.
Another object of the invention is to provide a rugged, inexpensive, compact, current-actuated switching unit whose operation is automatically initiated from the current drawn by an electric cash register motor. It is an important feature of the invention that the switching unit shall be utilized for energizing display or alarm equipment and that said unit requires absolutely no modification of either the electrical or mechanical components of the existing cash register in order that it may be optimally utilized therewith.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved means, having a minimum of moving parts, for initiating the remote energization of display equipment in accordance with the on condition of an electric cash register motor and for maintaining the energized state of said display equipment for a pre-set and variable time period after said motor is oti. Accordingly, the displayed equipment may be regularly energized over a prolonged period of time and will require a minimal amount of adjustment, supervision and replacement parts.
A still further object of my invention is to provide a switching unit, of the character described, which includes a means for connecting electrically operated display equipment to a conventional power supply and maintaining the connection for a selected time interval, thereby eliminating any need for independent power sources or equipment.
Other and further objects of the invention, together with the features of novelty appurtenant thereto, will appear in the course of the following description.
In the accompanying drawing, which forms a part of the specification and is to be read in conjunction therewith, and in which like reference numerals indicate like parts in the various views;
FIG. l is a perspective view illustrating the switch unit as housed and showing the associated equipment utilized therewith; and
FIG. 2 is an electrical schematic diagram of a typical unit embodying the invention.
Referring now to the drawing, the electrical circuitry and general manner of operation of the unit incorporating the features of the invention will be described in connection with the schematic diagram constituting FIG. 2. In this figure, reference numerals 10 and 11 represent a pair of conductors which we will assume are plugged into or otherwise connected to a conventional volt, 60-cycle AC basic supply source. Conductor 10 is connected from the supply source through resistance R, fuse F, to one side of an intermittent motor load, generally represented by the numeral 12, It is contemplated that this intermittent motor load be the type that is generally associated with an electrically operated cash register. In other words, load 12 will not be across conductors 10 and 11 until the operator of the cash register activates the appropriate switch or key making the momentary across-the-line connection. The usual on time for the conventional cash register electric motor is approximately one second. The opposite side of intermittent motor load 12 is connected by conductor 11 and back to the basic supply source. When load 12 is not assuming the across-the-line characteristic, conductors 10 and 11 are open circuited unless a subsequent load has been appropriately applied thereto.
A direct current operated sensitive type relay 13 is connected across resistance R through a conventional toggle switch 14 and rectifier 15. Relay 13 is shunted by the parallel resistancecapacitance combination shown by the variable resistor `16 and capacitor C. Normally open relay contact 17 is closed by the energization of relay 13.
The conductors 18 and 19 are connected across the basic supply source conductors 10 and 11, respectively. These conductors, 18 and 19, connect the power source to the display equipment when normally open contact 17 in conductor 18 is in the closed position due to the energization of relay 13.
The portion of FIG. 2 shown within broken line 20, and hereinafter referred to as the switching unit, is housed within the casing generally shown at numeral 21 in FIG. 1. The main body of housing 21 comprises a shell 22, preferably of drawn aluminum, having five enclosed sides. Plate 23 forms the sixth side and is removably affixed 4to shell 22 by a conventional screw 24 in order to give access to the switching unit mounted therein. The on-off toggle switch 14 extends through the top of shell 22 and provides a means for either connecting or disconnecting current operated relay 13 located within. The fuse F is likewise located on the top exterior of shell 22. A knurled knob 16a extends from one end portion of shell 22 and provides a means for setting the resistance of variable resistance 16. A conventional socket 25 is snugly fitted into an aperture in the top of shell 22 allowing the display equipment, diagrammatically represented by the electrically illuminated sign 26 and a typical two-pronged plug 26a, to be connected thereto by inserting the plug in Ithe socket. This plug-in attachment results in sign 26 being connected, by conductors 18 and 19, through normally open contact 17 to the power source represented by conductors 10 and 11. It should be understood that sign 26 could take on many other forms, either visual or audible, and the only requirement is that it be electrically operated.
Socket 27 is similarly al'lixed in shell 22 so that its receptacle portions extend outwardly of the end opposite knurled knob 16a. Socket or outlet 27 provides the means for connecting 'the cash register cord 27a thereto and thusly the intermittent load 12 to the primary source represented by conductors 10 and 11. As seen in FIG. 2, this plug-in attachment, diagrammatically made between fuse F and .load 12, connects the intermittent motor load through the switching unit 20 to the source.
In readying the sign for operation, the power line 10, 11 is plugged into an appropriate convenience outlet (not shown) or other available source of power, the cash register cord is plugged into socket 27 and the sign cord into socket 25. Toggle switch 14 is shifted to the ON position, if not already there. Since the relay contact 17 is normally open, and since the cash register is normally quiescent, no current ordinarily will flow into the line to the display equipment.
Any time thereafter that the cash register is operated, motor load 12 is applied to lines 10, 11 and current flows therethrough, although for only a very short period, normally in the nature of a second. With motor load 12 across lines 10 and 11, current is owing from line 10 through the load to line .11. The current flow in line 10 through `resistance R develops a voltage across resistance R. This voltage is rectied by rectier 15 and results in suicient DC current ow through the current operated relay 13 that normally open contact 17 is now pulled in or closed. The closing of contact 17 immediately energizes the display equipment.
As mentioned above, load 12 is only momentarily connected across lines 10 and 11 and therefore it is .desirable to provide some means for holding contact 17 closed in order to maintain the energized state of the display equipment for an interval longer than the one second ON time of load 12. The discharge of capacitor C supplies current to relay 13 so that the display equipment may remain ON even though the motor load has subsequently been open-Circuited. The rectied current flowing through diode ,16 charges capacitor C to a potential equal to voltage developed across resistor R. When load 12 is no longer across the line, the voltage across resistor R drops, causing the capacitor to discharge and the current through relay 13 to decay at an exponential rate. The rate of decay is controlled -by the variable resistance 16 so that the time interval between start of decay and the eventual opening of contact 17 may be increased or decreased depending upon the resistive value set in the variable resistor.
After the pre-set time interval has lapsed, contact 17 returns to its normally open position and the display equipment is accordingly disconnected. This procedure is repeated as often as dictated by the condition of load 12. Modifications are possible, such as having parallel connected display devices and/or switching units with the time intervals staggered to allow sequential deenergization of a plurality of display devices.
While the invention has been explained in conjunction with a display sign, it will be evident that an electrically energizable alarm or other appliance can be just as well connected with the switching unit in place of the sign. Moreover, either the sign or alarm can be stationed at a location qui-te remote from the cash register, making it possible to visually or audibly determine the fact of operation of the cash register from any desired vantage point, concealed or unconcealed.
From the foregoing, it will be seen thatthis invention is one well adapted to attain all o f the ends and objects hereinbefore set forth together with other advantages which are obvious and which are inherent to the apparatus.
It will be understood that certain features and sub combinations are of utility and may `be employed without reference to other features and su'bcombinations. This is contemplated by and is within the scope of the claims.
Inasmuch as various possible embodiments of the invention may be made without departing from the scope thereof, it is to be understood that all matter herein set forth or shown in the accompanying drawings is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
Having thus described my invention, I claim:
1. In combination in an electrically operated switching system,
a cash register having 'an electric motor of the type that is intermittently and momentarily connected across an electrical power source,
[an electrically operated normally deenergized display circuit,
means including a current responsive means for connecting said circuit to said power source, said means being operated in response to said motor being connected across said power source,
said connecting means thereby causing the energization of said display circuit, and
means for maintaining the energization of said circuit for `a pre-set period after said motor has been disconnected from said power source.
2. The invention in claim 1 wherein said connecting means includes a current actuated relay having a normally open contact in said circuit, said relay being connected between said source and said electrical -motor through a -rectier, said rectifier operable to supply sufiicient current to said relay upon the connection of said motor with said power source to close said normally open contacts thereby connecting said display circuit to said power source.
3. The invention in claim 2 wherein said relay is shunted by -a capacitor and a variable resistor, said capacitor operable to be charged by the current ow from said rectifier upon said con-nection of said motor with said power source and to discharge through said relay when said motor is disconnected from said power source, said capacitor `discharge thereby -maintaining said normally yopen contacts closed for a pre-set time period, said variable lresistor operable to control the rate of decay of said capacitor thereby causing said pre-set time period to be variable.
4. A current operated switching unit for use with electric cash register motors, said motors being of the type that are intermittently and momentarily switched from 'an OFF to an ON condition as a normal operating function of the electric cash register controlling said motor, said unit comprising Ian electrical connector for connecting said unit with a source of electrical power,
an electrically operated normally deenergized display circuit,
means including a current responsive means for connecting said circuit to said power source said means being operated in response to said motor being switched to said 4momentary ON condition Iand thereby energizing said display circuit, and
means for maintaining the energization of said circuit for a pre-set period after said motor has been switched to the OFF condition.
5. The invention in claim -4 wherein said connecting means includes a current-actuated relay having a normally open contact in said circuit, said relay being connected between said source and said motor through a rectifier, said rectifier operable to supply suflicient rectified current to said relay upon switching said motor to the ON condition to closevsaid normally open cont-acts, thereby connecting said display circuit `to said power source.
6. The invention in claim 4 wherein said relay is shunted by a capacitor land a variable resistor, said capacitor operable to be charged bythe current ow from said rectifier upon said switching of said motor to the ON condi-tion and to discharge through said rel-ay when said motor is switched to the OFF condition, said `capacitor discharge thereby maintaining said normally open contacts closed for a pre-set ytime period, said Variable resistor operable to control the rate of decay of said capacitor thereby causing said pre-set time period to be variable.
6 7. The invention in claim 4 wherein said unit is mounted within a unitary housing, said housing being structurally independent of said cash register.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,068,360 1/1937 Van Deventer et al. 40-319 2,912,685 11/1959 Thomas 340-377 3,067,411 12/1962 Dhimos 317-141 X EUGENE G. BOTZ, Prm'aly Examiner.