US 3451369 A
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June 24, 1969 LEVE ET AL VENDING MACHINE ALARM Sheet I of 2 Filed May 18, 1967 June 24, 1969 LEVE ETAL 3,451,369
VENDING MACHINE ALARM Filed May 18, 1967 Sheet 2 012 75 FIG.2. 3. 65 67" 69 H5:9 1 5! I n a k /79 9| I L J Q' lol 7| 83 55 United States Patent- 3,451,369 VENDING MACHINE ALARM Norman I. Leve, St. Louis, and Leonard E. Raiflie, Creve Coeur, Mo., assignors to Consolidated Alarm Systems, Inc., St. Louis, Mo., a corporation of Missouri Filed May 18, 1967, Ser. No. 639,506 Int. Cl. G08b 13/08, 13/00 U.S. Cl. 11686 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention pertains to alarm systems, and particularly to a burglar or break-in alarm for vending and similar types of machines.
Vending machines are typically constituted by a cabinet having a door hingedly mounted on the front thereof for access to the interior of the cabinet. The door normally contains a coin acceptor, a plurality of product display stations, and a lock mechanism for securing the door in a closed position. A serious problem encountered in the operation of such machines is that they are usually located in an unattended area for at least a portion of the day and, hence, are frequently burglarized. In the vast majority of cases, such burglaries are accomplished by merely inserting a crowbar or screw-driver between the door and the side edge of the cabinet and prying the door open until the lock mechanism snaps.
Although various types of burgular alarms have been devised for use in vending machines, none have proven entirely satisfactory under all conditions of use and for all purposes. One of such alarms is a battery operated system comprising a bell or the like powered by an internal dry cell battery. An electrical switch is provided in the vending machine door for actuating the alarm when the door is opened. This type of alarm is expensive and time consuming to operate in that it requires frequent testing and replacement of batteries, and will not operate at all of the machine is burglarized when the batteries are discharged. Another type of alarm commonly used in vending machines also utilizes an electrically operated bell. This type of alarm, however, is operated from the power supply of the vending machine, the latter being connected to an electrical wall outlet adjacent the machine. Alarms of this type, therefore, may 'be rendered inoperative by merely disconnecting the vendor's line cord from the wall outlet prior to burglarizing the machine, and have the additional disadvantage of necessitating their placement adjacent such outlets. Still a third type of prior art vending machine alarm consists of a combination of the above two in that it utilizes a rechargeable battery for powering the alarm bell. This type of alarm overcomes some of the disadavntages noted above, but their initial expense is prohibitively large and they require placement adjacent an electrical outlet. Although other types of self-contained alarm systems have been develope, none have found Widespread use due to their high cost, complicated actuating mechanism, and dii'ficult installation requirements.
3,451,369 Patented June 24, 1969 SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present alarm system for vending machines having a cabinet and an operable door is comprised of a gas operated signalling device having a container of compressed gas interconnected thereto. A valve is interposed between the signalling device and the container of gas and an actuating means for the valve is provided, the actuating means including a spring biased movable arm having latch means operatively connected thereto for restraining the arm in a first position against the bias of the spring. In addition, means are provided for interconnecting the movable arm and the valve and for releasing the latch in response to unauthorized opening of the door. Thus, the present invention attains the object of providing a vending machine alarm which is dependent neither upon internal batteries nor power from an electrical outlet, which is self-contained having an infinite shelf and operating life, which is operated by an effective yet compact actuator, and which is characterized by simplicity of construction, high reliability, low cost and ease of installation. Other objects and features will be in part apparent and in part pointed out hereinafter.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a vending machine showing a typical installation of the present alarm system;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the alarm actuating mechanism;
FIG. 3 is a side elevation of the alarm actuating mechanism in an off position;
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 but showing the alarm in an on position; and
FIG. 5 is a partial side elevation of the door interlock mechanism.
Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views of the drawmgs.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings, and particularly to FIG. 1, a conventional vending machine is indicated at reference numeral 1. The vending machine 1 is comprised of a generally rectangular cabinet 3 having a pair of side walls 5 and 7, a top wall 9, a bottom wall 11 and a back wall 13. A door 15 is pivotlly mounted by means of a pair of hinges 1 7 to the front margin of the side wall 7, the door having a window 19, a plurality of article selector knobs 21, and an article receiving slot 23 therein. A conventional lock 25 is mounted in the door 15 for securing the latter in a closed position by means of engagement with a latch plate 27 mounted on the right side wall 5 of the cabinet 3.
The present alarm system, indicated generally by reference numeral 29, is comprised of a compressed gas operated signalling device 31, hereinafter referred to as air horn, powered by a container of compressed gas 33. Interposed between the air horn 31 and the container of gas 33 is an on-oif valve 35 and an actuating mechanism 37. A flexible conduit assembly 28 having an outer sheath 39 and an inner control cable 41 is connected at one end to the actuating mechanism 37 and at the other end to an alarm interlock latch 43, the latter being pivotally connected at 45 to a plate 47 secured "to the wall 5 of the vending machine cabinet. An alarm lock 49 is mounted in the door 15 of the vending machine for engagement with the latch arm 43, as will be more fully set forth hereinafter.
As best illustrated in FIGS. 2-4, the alarm actuating mechanism 37 includes an L-shaped bracket 51 mounted directly on the air horn 31 by a threaded fastener 53. A double coil spring 55 is secured at its center 57 to the mounting bracket 51 by means of a bolt 59 and nut 61. A shaft 63, mounted within the convolutions of the spring 55, pivotally carries a U-shaped arm 65, the latter comprising a pair of leg portions 67 and a cross-bar portion 71, the ends 69 of the legs being looped around the respective ends of the shaft 63 and the center of the crossbar being formed in a loop 73. The legs 67 of the U-shaped arm 65 are notched inwardly at 75 for receiving the ends 77 of the spring 55, thus biasing the entire U-shaped arm 65 for rotation about the shaft 63 in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 3.
A latch plate 79 is mounted at the center of shaft 63 between the coils of spring 55, the plate being provided with a window opening 81. One end of a hooked latch arm 83 is releasably engageable with the window 81 and the other end of the latch arm is pivotally mounted on the L bracket 51 by means of a loop 85 passing through an aperture (not shown) in the upstanding leg thereof. An articulated linkage consisting of a first link 87 pivotally mounted to the U-shaped arm 65 at loop 73 and a second link 89 pivotally mounted to a valve handle 91 is provided for operating the valve handle upon actuation of the trip mechanism in the manner to be set forth hereinafter.
The valve 35 of the air horn 31 is disposed within a valve fitting 93 having a first threaded shank 95 securing it to the air horn 31 and a second threaded shank 97 securing it to the container of pressurized gas 33 (see FIG. 1). The valve handle 91 is operable from the off position illustrated in FIG. 3 wherein the valve 35 blocks communication between the gas container 33 and the air horn 31 to the on position illustrated in FIG. 4 wherein the valve establishes communication therebetween. The valve handle 91 is interconnected to an internal valving mechanism (which may be of the type illustrated in US. Patent Re. 24,730) by a linkage 98 (see FIG. 3) and is provided with a raised shoulder 99 which abuts a surface 101 on the fitting 93. When the handle 91 is rotated from the FIG. 3 to the FIG. 4 position, the shoulder 99 engages surface 101 and causes the linkage 98 to move upwardly in the fitting 93, thereby opening the valve.
As set forth above, one end of the inner cable 41 of conduit assembly 38 is connected to the lock plate 43. As illustrated in FIGS. 2-4, the other end of cable 41 is connected to the latch arm 83. The outer sheath 39 of the conduit assembly 38 is fixed against movement to the side wall of the cabinet 3 by one or more sheet metal clips 103. Although any suitable method of attachment may be utilized for mounting the alarm 29 in the vending machine cabinet 3, it is preferred that a flanged arcuate bracket 105 be utilized, the latter being secured to the cabinet side wall 5 by several strips of double-backed industrial mounting tape.
When the alarm 29 is suitably installed within the vending machine 1, it is prepared for operation in the following manner. With the valve handle 93 in the FIG. 3 off position, a container of pressurized gas 33 is threaded on the shank 97 of the fitting 93. The container of gas 33 may consist, for example, of a standard can of compressed Freon, a fluorochloromethane or fluoro chloroethane sold by the E. I. du Pont De Nemours and Company. Coaxially mounted within the shank 97 of the fitting 93 is a pointed tubuar member (not shown) for piercing an outlet seal on the can of Freon as the latter is threaded on the shank. The valve actuator 37 is manipulated to its FIGS. 2 and 3 position by rotating the U-shaped arm 65 counterclockwise against the bias of spring 55. The latch arm 83 is then pivoted over the top of the cross-bar 71 and the hooked end is engaged with the window 81 of the latch plate 79. The door of the vending machine 1 is then closed and locked in the usual manner by means of lock and lock plate 27, and the alarm lock 49 is rotated 180 behind the alarm interlock plate 43 to the position illustrated in FIG. 5. Thus, any unauthorized opening of the vending machine door 15, unaccompanied by operation of the alarm lock 49 to rotate the lock blade from behind the plate 43, causes the plate 43 to pivot outwardly about hinge 45 and pulls the inner cable 41 through its fixed outer sheath 39. Movement of the cable 41 pulls the hooked end of latch arm 83 out of the window 81 in latch plate 79 and releases the U-shaped arm 65 for rotation about the shaft 63 under the influence of spring 55. As the arm 65 rotates clockwise from the FIG. 3 to the FIG. 4 position, the links 87 and 89 rotate the valve arm 91 from its off to its on position. Rotation of arm 91 causes the raised shoulder 99 to abut the surface 101 of the fitting 93, thereby moving linkage 98 upwardly through the fitting and opening the valve 35 to sound the horn 31. It should be noted that the articulated links 87 and 89 are of sufficient length to permit the U-shaped arm 65 to initially rotate about the shaft 63 before the links 87 and 89 become rigid and rotate the valve handle 91. This enables the U-shaped arm 65 to build-up momentum before meeting the resistance of handle 91 and insures operation of the valve. To reload and reset the alarm, the container 33 is merely unscrewed from the shank 97 and a new container is substituted therefor. The alarm interlock mechanism may then be set in the manner described above.
The present invention thus provides an extremely effective burglar alarm for vending and other coin-controlled dispensing machines. Although the terms vending and dispensing machines have been used throughout the specification and claims, it should be understood that the alarm may have applications other than for machines of these types. For example, the alarm may be utilized in coin-controlled pin games, change making machines, etc.
The air horn produces a signal in excess of decibels for a duration of from five to eight minutes, depending upon the size of the container of Freon. Since the entire actuating mechaism is mounted directly on the back of the air horn itself, the alarm assemblage is extremely compact and requires very little space in the inside of the vending machine cabinet. Additionally, since the alarm requires neither internal dry cell batteries nor power from an electrical outlet, it may lie dormant in a vending machine for an indefinite period of time until actuated by an unauthorized opening of the door. It should also be noted that vending machines incorporating the present alarm system may be located as desired without consideration being given to their proximity to electrical wall outlets, and that the alarm, once activated, cannot be deactivated by merely closing the vending machine door.
In view of the above, it will be seen that the several objects of the invention are achieved and other advantageous results attained.
As various changes could be made in the above constructions without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
What is claimed is:
1. An alarm system for vending machines having a cabinet and an openable door, said alarm comprising a gas operated signalling device, a container of compressed gas interconnected to said signallnig device for operation thereof, valve means interposed between said signalling device and said container for controlling the flow of gas thereto, and actuating means for operating said valve, said actuating means comprising a spring biased movable arm, latch means operatively connected to said arm for restraining the latter in a first position against the bias of the spring, means interconnecting the movable arm and valve, and means for releasing said latch means in response to unauthorized opening of said door, whereby release of said latch releases the arm for movement under the influence of the spring to a second position, thereby actuating the valve through the interconnecting means to sound the alarm.
2. An alarm system as set forth in claim 1 wherein said actuating means is mounted directly on said signalling device.
3. An alarm system as set forth in claim 1 wherein said movable arm comprises a U-shaped arm pivotally mounted at the ends of its leg portions.
4. An alarm system as set forth in claim 3 wherein said latch means comprises a latch plate having a window therein, and a latch arm releasably engageable with said window, said latch arm overlying said U-shaped pivotal arm when in said first position.
5. An alarm system as set forth in claim 4 wherein said latch arm is pivotally mounted at its end opposite the window engaging end, and said means for releasing said latch comprises a cable, one end of which is connected to said latch arm and the other end of which is connected to the openable door, and further comprising interlock means in the door for selectively disconnecting said cable therefrom.
6. An alarm system as set forth in claim 1 wherein said means interconnecting the movable arm and the valve comprises a linkage of sufficient length to permit movement of said arm to a position intermediate said first and second positions prior to initiating actuation of said valve.
7. An alarm system as set forth in claim 6 wherein said linkage comprises a pair of articulated links, one of which is connected to the cross-bar of said U-shaped arm and the other of which is connected to said valve.
8. An alarm system as set forth in claim 7 wherein said movable arm comprises a U-shaped arm mounted for pivotal movement, and said latch means comprises a latch plate having a window therein and a latch arm fixed at one end and engageable with said window at the other end, said latch arm overlying the cross-bar of said U-shaped arm when in said first position.
9. An alarm system as set forth in claim 8 wherein said actuating means is mounted directly on said signalling device.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,701,494 2/1929 Budean 11686 2,051,276 8/1936 Sharp 742 2,167,964 8/1939 Weld et al.
2,190,545 2/ 1940 Lambert 742 2,218,606 10/1940 Foster 742 2,240,192 4/ 1941 Meyer 74--2 2,404,311 7/ 1946 Plank 74--2 2,580,511 1/1952 Branchu 742 2,882,853 4/1959 Reeves 116112 3,185,127 5/1965 Chedister 11686 3,325,800 6/1967 Messick.
FOREIGN PATENTS 528,745 6/ 1955 Italy.
LOUIS J. CAPOZI, Primary Examiner.