US 3458097 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 29, 1969 H. PALTER 3,458,097
9 v KEYBOARD COUNTER FOR STAMP DISPENSER Filed Aug. 25. 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 PfWOA/ y 1969 H PALTER 3,458,097
KEYBOARD COUNTER FOR STAMP DISPENSER Filed Aug. 25, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent 3,458,097 KEYBOARD COUNTER FOR STAMP DISPENSER Herman Palter, Cleveland, Ohio (1571 E. 361st St., Eastlake, Ohio 44095) Filed Aug. 25, 1967, Ser. No. 663,304 Int. Cl. B65h 17/26 U.S. Cl. 226-435 11 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE and terminate dispensing when the proper number of I stamps are dispensed. The cancelling assembly for the second group is rendered inoperative so long as a key in the third group is actuated. Therefore, the second and third groups of keys can be operated to dispense all combinations of numbers of stamps up to the maximum number of stamps which can be dispensed by the machine.
Background of invention This invention relates generally to dispensing devices and is particularly suitable for use in a dispensing device of the type disclosed in my copending application Ser. No. 526,502, filed Feb. 10, 1966. The present invention is directed to a keyboard counter for such devices while the pending application is directed to the mechanism for storing and feeding strip material such as trading stamps or the like.
Prior art In the past dispensing devices for trading stamps or the like have generally been arranged to automatically dispense limited numbers of stamps of a given denomination. For example, such machines are sometimes provided with a first supply of stamps having a ten-cent denomination and a second supply of stamps having a one-dollar denomination. Such machines can usually be operated to automatically dispense only nine ten-cent denomination stamps and ten or less one-dollar denomination stamps. Therefore, such machines cannot automatically dispense larger amounts of stamps well in excess of ten dollars. Some other machines have been proposed to dispense larger amounts, but such machines generally require a third supply of stamps of higher denominations such as ten-dollar stamps.
Summary of invention The present invention is directed to a keyboard counter which is operable to automatically dispense trading stamps or the like in relatively large amounts without requiring the use of supplies of higher denomination stamps. For example, the disclosed embodiment is op- 3,458,097 Patented July 29, 1969 erable to automatically dispense up to nine stamps of a ten-cent denomination and up to forty-nine stamps of a one-dollar denomination. Therefore, the device is automatically operable to dispense stamps in any amount up to $49.90.
The keyboard is arranged with three groups of keys. The first group includes nine keys to selectively dispense ten-cent denomination stamps in amounts from one to nine. The second group also includes nine keys to selectively dispense from one to nine one-dollar stamp units The third group has four keys selectively operable to dispense from ten to forty one-dollar stamp units.
Each group of keys has a cancelling mechanism which automatically functions to terminate dispensing operations when the number of stamps dispensed corresponds to the depressed key within the particular group. However, the second and third groups are interconnected so that the dispensing assembly associated with the second group of keys is actuated when a key of the third group is depressed and continues to dispense until an amount of stamps corresponding to the depressed key of the third group has been dispensed.
The interconnection is also arranged so that the cancelling mechanism of the second group is rendered inoperative until after the cancelling mechanism of the third group has functioned. Therefore, the illustrated embodiment of this invention provides two groups of keys, one of which is interconnected to the other so that trading stamps or the like can be dispensed in any amount of units from one to forty-nine even though the two groups only include thirteen keys.
It should be understood that a keyboard counter incorporating this invention in its broader aspects finds utility in other types of dispensers or devices wherein counting is required. It should also be understood that the illustrated embodiment of this invention is only given by way of example of one form of this invention.
Objects of invention It is an important object of this invention to provide a novel and improved keyboard counter which is operable to control the dispensing of material such as trading stamps or the like.
It is another important object of this invention to provide a novel and improved keyboard counter having two or more groups of keys which are interconnected so that operation of either group of keys actuates and controls a single dispensing mechanism.
It is another important object of this invention to provide a novel and improved keyboard counter according to the last preceding object wherein each group of keys is provided with a cancelling mechanism and two groups are interconnected so the cancelling mechanism of one group is rendered inoperative while the other group is controlling the operation of the device.
Further objects and advantages will appear from the following description and drawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a trading stamp dispensing device incorporating this invention;
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of the keyboard side of a counter with certain parts removed for purposes of illustration;
FIGURE 3 is a bottom perspective view of a keyboard counter illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 2; and,
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary section illustrating the structure and operation of the cancelling bar assembly for the middle group of keys.
FIGURE 1 illustrates a trading stamp dispensing machine of the type illustrated in my copending application cited above and which incorporates a counter keyboard in accordance with this invention. This particular embodiment of this invention is provided with a housing which is adapted to rest on a horizontally extending bottom section 11 or be mounted in any convenient location by means of a suitable bracket. An inclined keyboard panel 12 is provided with a plurality of keys or buttons 13 which are selectively depressed to determine the number of stamps to be dispensed. The stamps emerge at the front of the machine at 15.
The keys 13 are arranged in three groups 16, 17, and 1 8. The first group 16 provides nine keys arranged in two rows with five keys in the right-hand row as viewed in FIGURES 1 and 2 and four keys arranged in the left row. The group of keys 17 also includes nine keys arranged in two rows in a manner similar to the group 16. The third group 18 provides four keys arranged in a single row.
In the illustrated embodiment there are two strips of trading stamps. The first strip is provided with ten-cent denomination stamps located in a magazine within the housing 10. The second strip is located in a separate magazine and may provide one-dollar denomination stamps or multiple rows of stamps, dispensable in onedollar denominations or groups. Reference should be made to my copending application for a detailed description of the arrangement of the magazines and the power feed for selectively dispensing stamps from each strip.
The control for dispensing the ten-cent denomination stamps is provided by the group of keys 16 while the two groups of keys 17 and 18 control the dispensing of the larger denomination stamps. The keyboard counter is arranged so that any number of stamps may be dispensed in amounts having values of 10 to $49.90. For example, if eight ten-cent stamps are to be dispensed, the eighty button in the group 16 is depressed after which the key 19 is depressed. The key 19 is arranged to commence the dispensing operation by starting the electric motor (not shown) which powers the device. After eight ten-cent stamps are dispensed, the machine automatically stops its dispensing operation.
When dispensing of dollar-unit stamps is required, the appropriate keys in the groups of keys 17 and 18 are depressed. For example, as illustrated in FIGURE 2, the twodollar key is depressed in the group 17 when two stamps of the dollar denomination are to be dispensed. Here again the dispensing operation is initiated by depressing the key 19, and after two one-dollar denomination stamps or groups of stamps are dispensed, the machine automatically terminates its operation.
When the amount of stamps required to be dispensed exceeds nine dollars, one of the keys in the group 18 is depressed so that multiples of ten stamps can be dispensed. For example, if twenty one-dollar denomination Y stamps are to be dispensed, the key designated 20 in the third group 18 is depressed after which the key 19 is depressed to initiate the dispensing operation. When twenty one-dollar denomination stamps have been dispensed, the machine automatically stops. Various combinations can be selected by depressing one key in the group 18 and one key in the group 17 so that all combinations of one-dollar denomination stamps between one and forty-nine can be dispensed by the device.
In the illustrated machine a pair of windows 21 and 22 are provided in the housing 10 behind which are mounted counters which record the total number of stamps of each type which have been dispensed by the machine.
Each of the keys 13 are arranged to latch in the actuated position until the cancelling mechanism releases the keys. Referring to FIGURE 2, each of the keys 13 is provided with a stem 23 which projects downwardly through the keyboard panel 12 and is provided with an end positioned within an associated slot 24 in the frame portion 10a. The stem 23 is provided with a lateral notch 26 which is proportioned to latch over the edge of the slot 24 when the key is depressed to hold the key in the depressed or actuated position. A spring 27 is connected to the stem 23 to bias the key toward the notch latched position. The action of the spring 27 serves to snap the stem into the latched or actuated position until a cancelling mechanism overcomes the spring and permits release of the actuated key. The spring then moves the key to the released position. Each of the keys is provided with a srtucture similar to the key 48 of the group 18 illustrated in FIGURE 2 so that each of the keys may be depressed and latched in the actuated p0sition.
A metering wheel or gear 31 meshes with the dispensing drive for the one-dollar denomination stamps. A similar metering wheel (not illustrated) is provided for the ten-cent denomination stamps. These metering wheels or gears rotate through a predetermined angle each time one stamp unit is dispensed from the associated strip of stamps. Reference may be made to my copending application cited above for a detailed description of one dispensing drive. The metering wheel is designated 52 in the copending application. For purposes of this application, it should be understood that the metering wheel 31 rotates through a predetermined angle each time a unit of material, or a stamp, is dispensed.
A cancelling assembly is provided for each group of keys which is driven by an associated metering Wheel 31 to release or cancel an actuated key in the associated group to terminate dispensing operations when the proper number of stamps have been dispensed.
Referring now to FIGURES 2 and 3, the cancelling assembly 32 for the third group of keys 18 includes a cam 33 journaled on a shaft 34 for rotation about the axis of the shaft 34. A cancel bar 36 is provided with a pair of slots 37 through each of which projects a guide pin 38 and 38a so that the cancelled bar is slidable axially along the underside of the portion 10a of the frame in which the slots 24 are formed. A spring 39 is connected between one end of the cancel bar 36 and the pin 38a to resiliently urge the cancel bar 36 to the left as illustrated in FIGURE 3.
Mounted on the end of the cancel bar 36 is a cam follower 41 which engages the cam 33. When the cam 33 rotates in an anticlockwise direction from a starting position illustrated in FIGURES 2 and 3, the cam follower 41 rolls along a peripheral camming surface 42 and causes the cancelling bar 36 to move axially against the action of the spring 39 a distance which is determined by the amount of rotation of the cam 33. The cam surface 42 is preferably formed with a constant lift so that the cancelling bar 36 is moved a predetermined distance each time the cam rotates through a predetermined angle.
The cancelling bar 36 is formed with a series of lateral surfaces 43 through 46. These surfaces are proportioned so that the surface 43 engages the end 47 of the key 48, when the key 48 is depressed or actuated, after the cam has rotated in an anticlockwise direction through a first predetermined angle. Consequently rotation of the cam 33 through this first predetermined angle causes the lower end of the key 48 to be moved against the action of the spring 27 until its notch 26 is released from the edge of the slot 24 so that the key is returned to its deactuated or normal position by the spring 27. Similarly, the lateral surface 44 is proportioned to engage and release the key 49 after the cam has rotated through an angle equal to twice the predetermined angle. Thus twice as much rotation of the cam 33 is required to cancel the key 49 as is required to cancel the key 48. The surface 45 is located so that it engages to release and cancel the key 51 when the cam is rotated through an angle equal to three times the predetermined angle. Therefore, three times as much rotation of the cam 33 is required to cancel the key 51 as is required to cancel the key 48. Finally the surface 46 is arranged so that it cancels and releases the key 52 when the cam is rotated through an angle equal to four times the amount of rotation required to cancel the key 48.
The cam 33 is provided with a gear section 53 which is adjacent to an idler gear 54 on the shaft 34. A drive gear 56 is adapted to mesh with both the gears 53 and 54 and cause them to corotate when one of the keys in the group of keys 18 is depressed. One end of the gear 56 is journaled on a drive carriage 57 and the other end is jonrnaled on the frame 18 in a position so that one end of the gear '56 is maintained at all times in engagement with the idler gear 54. The other end carried by the drive carriage 57 is movable thereby from a meshing position to a released position as illustrated in FIGURE 2.
The drive carriage 57 is journaled by spaced pivots 58 (only one of which is illustrated in FIGURE 2) for rotation relative to the frame along an axis which extends parallel to the group of keys 18. The stem 23 of each key is provided with a lateral projection 59 which extends over the drive carriage 57 and operates to rotate the drive carriage 57 downwardly as viewed in FIGURE 2 when any of the keys of the group 18 are depressed. Consequently when any key in the group 18 is actuated, the gear 56 is rotated down into engagement With the gear portion 53 and provides a driving connection between the gear portion 53 and the idler gear 54.
Referring to FIGURE 3, a counter-type gear drive is provided between the idler gear 54 and a second cam 61 associated with a cancelling mechanism for the middle group of keys 17. This drive includes a gear member 62 journaled in the frame 10 and provides a gear portion 63 which meshes with the idler gear 54. The other end of the gear member 62 engages a single gear tooth 64 each time the cam 61 rotates through one complete revolution. The various elements are proportioned so that the cam 33 is rotated through a predetermined angle equal to the angle necessary to cancel the first key 48 each time the cam 61 rotates through one revolution. The cam 61 is also provided with a gear portion 66 positioned adjacent to an idler gear 67 and connected to rotate therewith when a gear 68 similar to the gear 58 meshes at both ends as illustrated in FIGURE 2. Here again the gear 68 is mounted on an associated drive carriage 69 similar to the drive carriage 57. The metering gear 31 meshes with the idler gear 67 so when the gear 68 is in the drive position the cam 61 is rotated in response to the rotation of the metering gear 31 and through an angle which bears a direct relationship to the amount of rotation of the metering wheel 31.
Each of the keys in the group 17 is provided with a lateral projection similar to the projection 59 so actuation of any of the keys in this group functions to rotate the drive carriage 69 to the actuated position so that a driving connection is provided between the metering wheel and the cam 61 whenever any of the keys in th group 17 is actuated.
The cam 33 can only be powered through the cam 61 so a mechanism is provided for also engaging the drive gear 68 whenever any of the keys in the group 18 are actuated. This mechanism is illustrated in FIGURE 3 and includes a slide bar 71 longitudinally slidable in the frame 10. The slide bar 71 is provided with a notch 72 which receives a projecting arm 73 on the drive carriage 57. The various elements are proportioned so that when the drive carriage 57 is rotated by depressing any of the keys in the group 18 the slide bar 71 moves to the left as illustrated in FIGURE 3. I
A projection 74 on the slide bar 71 engages an arm 76 on the drive carriage 69 when the slide bar moves to the left and causes the drive carriage 69 to be rotated to the gear drive engaging position. Consequently actuation of any of the keys in the group 18 serves to rotate both of the drive carriages 57 and 69 to cause driving engagement of both of the gears 56 and 58. However, when one of the keys in the group 17 is depressed, only the drive carriage 69 is moved to the driving position and the gear 56 remains in the disengaged position illustrated in FIGURE 2.
The cancelling assembly 77 associated with the center group of keys 17 includes the cam 61 and a cancel bar 78 which is again provided with slots so that it is slidably mounted on the frame and is resiliently urged by a spring 79 in a direction toward the cam 61. The cam 61 is provided with the same peripheral shape as the cam 33 and includes a camming surface 42 and a straight section 40 joining the ends of the surface 42. Here again a cam follower (not illustrated) similar to the cam 41 is provided to engage the camming surface 42 of the cam 61. The cancel bar 78 in this instance, however, does not directly provide for the cancelling of the keys in the group 17 since a mechanism is provided to render the cancelling assembly 77 inoperative Whenever one of the keys in the group 18 is actuated.
In this cancelling assembly 77 a cancelling member 81 is pivoted on the cancelling bar 78 for movement between an operative position illustrated in FIGURE 3 and in full line in FIGURE 4 and an inoperative position illustrated in phantom in FIGURE 4. A spring 82 is connected between the cancel bar 78 and the member 81 to normally maintain the member 81 in the operative position. When the member 81 is in the operative position, lateral surfaces 83 are in position to engage the ends 47 of latched or actuated keys in the group of keys 17. The various lateral surfaces 83 are again located so that they engage and delatch or cancel the associated keys when the cam 61 has rotated through the angle corresponding to the dispensing of the selected number of stamps. For example, the first key 84 is cancelled when the cam 61 has rotated through a predetermined angle selected to be the angle of rotation occurring when one stamp is dispensed. Similarly the second key 86 is cancelled when the cam 61 is rotated through twice the angle required to cancel the key 84 which is the angle of rotation of the cam 61 occurring when two stam s are dispensed. In the same manner each of the keys is cancelled after an appropriate amount of rotation of the cam 61 so that the ninth key 87 is cancelled when nine stamps have been dispensed.
The cancelling member 81 is rotated to the inoperative phantom position of FIGURE 4 whenever one of the keys in the third group 18 is actuated. In this phantom position the cancelling member 81 is clear of the ends 47 of the keys in the group 17 so rotation of the cam 61 does not function to cause cancelling of the keys in the second group 17 so long as a key in the third group 18 is actuated.
The movement of the cancelling member 81 to the inoperative position is accomplished by movement of the slide bar 71. When the slide bar 71 is moved by actuation of one of the keys in the group 18 in a manner described above, a projection 88 on the slide bar 71 engages an arm 89 on the cancelling member 81 and rotates the cancelling member to the inoperative position.
It should be understood that a separate metering wheel 31 and a separate cancelling mechanism is provided for the group of keys 16. This cancelling mechanism includes a cam releasably driven by the associated metering gear and a cancel bar substantially similar to the bar 36 operative to release the keys when the proper number of stamps have been dispensed.
Insofar as the operation of the groups of keys 17 and 18 are concerned, there are two basic modes of operation. When one of the keys of the group 17 is actuated, the drive carriage 69 is rotated to engage the drive gear 68 and the cam 61 rotates in timed relation to the rotation of the metering gear 31. When this occurs, actuation of the key 19 commences its dispensing operation which continues until the actuated key in the second group 17 is cancelled. A control mechanism in the circuit of the motor for driving the dispenser (not illustrated) permits operation of the motor only so long as one of the keys is actuated.
A clutching mechanism illustrated in my copending application cited above operates to declutch and terminate dispensing of a particular denomination of stamps when the associated keys are released. This mechanism includes an actuating arm 91 pivoted at 92 on the frame and provided with a lateral projection 93 which engages the underside of the drive carriage 69 so that it is moved to an operative position when the drive carriage 69 is actuated. Carried by the other end of the arm 91 is a clutching projection illustrated and described in detail in my copending application. The arm 91 is the member designated as 53 in my copending application.
As soon as the depressed key in the group 17 is cancelled, the drive carriage 69 returns to its normal release position and the cam 61 is disconnected from the idler gear 67. The cam is then free to rotate and the action of the spring 79 through the cam follower causes the cam to rotate to its start position (illustrated in FIGURES 2 and 3) at which time the follower engages the low point on the cam.
If one of the keys in the group 18 is actuated, the drive carriage 57 causes the gear 66 to mesh with the gear portion 53 and the same movement through the action of the slide 'bar 71 causes engagement of the gear 68. If none of the keys in the second group 17 are actuated, dispensing continues until the actuated key in the group 18 is cancelled. This allows the two drive carraiges 57 and 69 to return to their disengaged position and dispensing is terminated. Here again as soon as the drive carriage disengages the associated gears 56 and 68, the action of the springs 39 and 71 causes the cam followers to move the associated cams to their start position so that the cycle can be initiated for subsequent dispensing.
If two keys are depressed, one in the group 17 and one in the group 18, the two drive gears 56 and 68 are engaged. However, the cancelling member 61 is moved by the slide bar 71 to its inoperative position so the cancelling mechanism 77 associated with the group of keys 17 is rendered inoperative so long as one of the keys of the group 18 is actuated. When a number of stamps corresponding to the actuated key in the group 18 has been dispensed, the cancelling mechanism 32 releases the actuated key in the group 18. Since a key is still actuated in the group 17 at this time, the dispensing operation continues. However, the cancelling mechanism 77 is rendered operative by the release of the key in the group 18 so it functions to cancel a key in the group 18 when an additional number of stamps corresponding to the number of stamps required to cancel a key in the group 17 has been dispensed to terminate further dispensing operations. In this way dispensing of any desired number of stamps from one to forty-nine is accomplished by the desired combinations of keys in the groups 17 and 18.
The drive between the cam 61 and the idler gear 54 is preferably arranged so that the cam 33 is turned while the cam follower of the cancelling mechanism engages the straight portion 40 of the cam 61. With this arrangement the spring 79 applies a torque to the cam 61 which supplies some of the power required to rotate the cam 33. This tends to eliminate pulsing loads on the drive and eliminates any tendency for the drive to stall.
It should be understood that still greater numbers of stamps could be dispensed if additional keys were provided in the group 18. For example, if nine keys were provided in the group 18, ninety-nine stamps could be dispensed.
Although a preferred embodiment of this invention is illustrated, it is to be understood that various modifications and rearrangements of parts may be resorted to Without departing from the scope of the invention disclosed and claimed herein.
1. A keyboard counter for controlling the operation of a dispenser of material comprising a frame, a metering wheel on said frame adapted to rotate through a predetermined angle each time a unit amount of material is dispensed, a first group of keys including a predetermined number of keys each actuatable to selectively produce dispensing of one to said predetermined number of units, a first cancelling assembly operable in response to rota tion of said metering wheel to cancel an actuated key when said metering wheel has rotated through a number of predetermined angles corresponding to the actuated key, a second group of keys actuatable to selectively produce dispensing of multiple groups of units, a second cancelling assembly operable in response to rotation of said metering wheel to cancel an actuated key in said second group when said metering wheel rotates through a number of predetermined angles corresponding to the actuated key of said second group, and means interconnecting said cancelling assemblies rendering one assembly inoperative until the other assembly has operated.
2. A keyboard counter as set forth in claim 1 wherein there are nine keys in said first group which are operable to produce dispensing of from one to nine units, and the keys in said second group are operable to produce dispensing of groups of multiples of ten units.
3. A keyboard counter as set forth in claim 1 wherein said means interconnecting said cancelling assemblies render said first cancelling assembly inoperative until said second cancelling assembly has operated.
4. A keyboard counter as set forth in claim 1 wherein the material dispensed is strip material which is divided into units.
5. A keyboard counter as set forth in claim 1 wherein each cancelling assembly includes a cam rotatable in response to rotation of said metering wheel, and a cancelling bar operable to progressively cancel actuated keys, said bar being provided with a cam follower engaging said cam and operable to move said bar a distance which is a direct function of the amount of rotation of said cam.
6. A keyboard counter as set forth in claim 5 wherein said cancelling bar for said first cancelling assembly includes a member mounted for movement between a normal operative position in which it is operable in response to rotation of its associated cam to cancel actuated keys in said first group of keys, and an inoperative position in which it cannot cancel such keys, and means are provided to shift said member to said inoperative position so long as a key in said second group of keys is actuated.
7. A keyboard counter as set forth in claim 5 wherein a releasable drive connects said cams for rotation and response to rotation of said metering wheel when an associated key is actuated and disconnects said cams when the actuated key is cancelled, and means are provided to return said cams to a predetermined starting position when said releasable drive disconnects.
8. A keyboard counter as set forth in claim 7 wherein said releasable drive is operable to drive said cam of said second cancelling assembly in response to rotation of said cam in said first cancelling assembly.
9. A keyboard counter as set forth in claim 8 wherein actuation of a key in said second group of keys operates to engage the releasabl drive to operate the cams of both said cancelling assemblies.
10. A keyboard counter as set forth in claim 9 wherein actuation of one of the keys in said first group of keys operates said releasable drive to connect only the cam of said first cancelling assembly for rotation in response to rotation of said metering wheel.
11. A keyboard counter as set forth in claim 1 wherein said keyboard counter is adapted to control the dispensing of two separate strips of material with said first 9 10 and second groups of keys and their associated cancelling 3,125,269 3/ 1964 McGraw et a1. 226-110 assemblies controlling the dispensing of one Strip, and a 3,212,692 10/ 1965 Arp 226123 third group of keys and an associated third cancelling 3,246,821 4/1966 Chenoweth et a1. 226-135 assembly being provided to control the dispensing of the 3,289,929 12/ 1966 Hecker et al 235-7 other strip. 5 3,396,886 8/ 1968 Walker 22511 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,691,524 10/1954 Hummel 226132 3,006,538 10/1961 Deutsch 235-2 10 22s 11;235 101 STEPHEN I. TOMS-KY, Primary Examiner