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Publication numberUS3460662 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 12, 1969
Filing dateJul 5, 1967
Priority dateJul 6, 1966
Publication numberUS 3460662 A, US 3460662A, US-A-3460662, US3460662 A, US3460662A
InventorsKinoshita Yoshio
Original AssigneeKokuei Kikai Seisakusho Kk
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Coin-operated locking mechanism
US 3460662 A
Images(5)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

g 12, '1969 Yosr-no KINOSHITA 3,460,662

COIN OPERATED LOCKING MECHANISM Filed July 5, 1967 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTQR. joshlo k mt H1 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 5 I q E 3 M 0. Q mw M E (F [I L l I m 1, n T 9 6 F, Lee H! L m YQSHIO KINOSHITA COIN OPERATED LOCKING MECHANISM Aug. 12, 1969 Fiied July 5,

,1969 vosmo KINOSHITA 3,460,662

com OPERATED LOCKING MECHANISM Filed July 5,1967

FIG. 4

5 Sheets-Sheet 3 owkgwli Aug. 12, 1969 YOSHIO KINOSHITA COIN OPERATED LOCKING MECHANISM 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed July 5, 1967 FIG. 6(0) FIG. 6(b) FIG. 6(0) INVE TOR. Josk'm kwo skflo.

BY AQM Aug. 12, 1969 YOSHIO KINOSHITA COIN OPERATED LOCKING MECHANISM 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed July 5, 1967 FIG. 7

INVENTOR. Ios km Kw osk'fta m 1AM suLQL Patented Aug. 12, 1969 3,460,662 COIN-OPERATED LOCKING MECHANISM Yoshio Kinoshita, Himeji-shi, Japan, assignor to Kabushiki Kaisha Kokuei Kikai Seisakusho, Himeji-shi, Hyogo-ken, Japan Filed July 5, 1967, Ser. No. 651,164 Claims priority, application Japan, July 6, 1966, 41/ 14,346 Int. Cl. G07f 17/12, /00, 3/02 US. Cl. 19451 5 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to locking devices of the coinoperated type such as coin locks in public coin lockers or rental lockers which can be locked and unlocked by a key upon the insertion of a coin.

Coin-operated devices such as coin lockers are often rented with the rental charges being based on the time of use in terms of specified time units such as one day or one hour. Heretofore, whenever these time units are exceeded, it has been necessary for an attendant to record the excess time and to collect the corresponding additional rental charge.

Furthermore, in the case of most coin-operated devices of the above stated character known heretofore, when the user inserts a coin and turns a key to lock the device and then, for some reason or necessity, turns the key back to its original angular position, the inserted coin drops irretrievably into a general collector in the interior of the device, even when the key has not been extracted from the key slot. Consequently, the usefulness of the first inserted coin is lost to the user, and unless another coin is inserted, the device cannot be locked.

An object of the present invention is therefore to provide a coin-operated locking mechanism in which, at each successive instance of the elapse of the specified time unit, the cumulative number of exceeded time units is indicated, and which cannot be unlocked unless one or more coins of specified character and of a number corresponding to the indicated number is additionally inserted.

Another object of the invention is to provide a mechanism of the above stated character in which, when a specified coin has been inserted for the initial locking, it is first retained in an eifective state (herein referred to as a checked state) at a first check point whereby a lock latch can be locked or unlocked repeatedly by turning the key as long as the key is not extracted from its key slot, and when the lock latch is finally locked, and the key is extracted, the coin is released from the checked state to drop to a second check point.

A further object of the invention is to provide a locking mechanism of the above stated character in which discriminating devices are provided to verify the correct character of each coin inserted for initial locking and the correct character of the one or more coins corresponding to the above mentioned cumulative number of exceeded time units inserted for unlocking.

Other objects of the invention will become apparent as the disclosure proceeds.

Briefly summarized, the present invention resides in a coin operated locking mechanism for rental lockers and the like in which a latch, which can normally be moved to lock and unlock by the rotation of a key inserted in a lock coupled to the latch is subject to the control of its movements by first and second means, with the first means operating in conjunction with an inserted coin of specified character to permit the latch to lock, and the second means preventing the latch thus locked from unlocking at any instant after the elapse of a prespecified time period during which the latch is thus locked and permitting the latch to unlock in response to the insertion of one or more additional coins of specified number and specified character.

The nature, details, and utility of the invention will be more clearly apparent from the following detailed description with respect to a preferred embodiment of the invention when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like parts are designated by like reference numerals and characters.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view, with certain parts broken away, showing the essential parts of an example of a locking mechanism embodying the invention;

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view, as viewed by the user, showing the lock mechanism of the invention;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view, with certain parts removed, showing the left side (as viewed in FIG. 2) or the side toward which the latch moves for locking of the lock mechanism shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a rear elevational view of the lock mechanism shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary front elevational view showing the lock latch and neighboring parts of the lock mechanism;

FIGS. 6(a), 6(b) and 6(0) are partial front elevational views showing the coin counting and discriminating section of the lock mechanism in different operational states; and

FIG. 7 is a perspective view, with parts broken away, showing an example of the lock mechanism of the invention as installed in a coin locker of multiple compartment type.

Throughout the following disclosure, unless otherwise specified, spatial directions conform to those set forth in the above brief description of the drawings, with the front side of the mechanism being that side thereof facing the user, and the left and right sides of the mechanism being respectively the left and right sides of the user facing the mechanism.

Furthermore, since the lock and the latch coupled thereto are respectively locked and latched simultaneously by a key, as described fully hereinafter, the term locking or locked is used herein to describe the operations or states of both the lock and the latch.

Referring to the drawings, the principal operational parts of the lock mechanism embodying the invention as shown are mounted directly on the front or rear sides of a chassis frame 1 or on members fixedly or rotatably 3 mounted on the chassis frame 1. The chassis frame 1 is a metal die-casting of a form having an L-shaped cross section with a base plate extending vertically and left to right and a flange 4 directed toward the front along the entire left edge of the base plate.

On the front surface of the chassis frame 1, over a spacer 2, there is fixed a discrimination plate 3, and a vertical coin passageway is thereby formed between the chassis frame 1 and the discrimination plate 3, with the flange 4 forming a side guide along one side of this passageway. This coin passageway is provided with a first check point at which there is provided a horizontal movable check stud 5, which can be moved sideways towards the flange 4 to restrict the lateral gap therebetween and across the passageway to a dimension less than the diameter of a coin of correct denomination inserted from the upper part of the passageway.

The check stud 5 is fixed at its rear root end to the lower distal end of a pendant arm 7 disposed on the rear side of the frame 1 and pivoted at its upper end on a pivot pin 6, which is fixed to a side swingable bracket 9. The bracket 9 is hinged at its front edge part about a vertical shaft 8 supported on the frame 1 on the rear surface and is constantly under a torque imparted by a torque spring 10 and urging the bracket 9 to swing toward the coin passageway.

The check stud 5 projects toward the front from the pendant arm 7 through coaxial through-holes 11, 11a and 11b formed respectively in the swingable bracket 9, frame 1, and discrimination plate 3. A cutout recess 12 is formed on the side of the check stud 5 opposite the side facing the coin passageway, with the recess 12 being slightly away from the free end of the check stud 5, which free end in the axially retracted state contacts the edge of the through-hole 11b and is thereby prevented from moving sideways away from the flange 4, thus restricting the above mentioned gap. When the check stud 5 is advanced axially in the coin passageway as described hereinafter, the check stud, which is pushed toward the right, i.e., away from the flange 4, by the weight of a coin which has been inserted and checked by and between the check stud 5 and flange 4, is moved away from the flange 4 since the cut-out recess 12 engages with the peripheral edge of the through holes 11a and 11b whereby the gap between the flange 4 and the check stud 5 is enlarged to a dimension wider than the diameter of the coin, which thereupon drops.

When a coin of the correct denomination is in the check position between the check stud 5 and the flange 4, the coin is in the aforementioned checked state. A check notch 14 is formed in the upper edge 13 of the discrimination plate 3 so that a part of the upper rim of the coin in this checked state will protrude above and beyond the upper edge 13 at the check notch 14. The purpose and function of this feature is described hereinafter.

A lock latch 15 having the form of two-arm lever is rotatably supported at its middle part on the front side of the frame 1. A discrimination pawl 17 is pivoted at one end on a stud 16 fixed to the rear side of the latch 15 at an upper right corner thereof. The free end of the pawl 17 is directed toward the coin passageway between the frame 1 and the latch 15, and, when the latch 15 is turned in the locking direction (counterclockwise as viewed in FIGS. 2 and 5), the free end of the pawl 17 slides leftward along the above mentioned upper edge 13 of the discrimination plate 3.

A plate 19 is fixed over a spacer 18 to the frame 1 in a position to face the upper part of the coin passageway and thereby form a coin guide path between the frame 1 and plate 19 communicating with the inlet of the coin passageway. A chute plate 20 curved toward the front is pivotally supported at its lower edge on the flange 4 and a bracket 21 above the plate 19 and can thereby be rocked forward and rearward. A lever bar 22 is fixed to the rear side of the chute plate 20 at a laterally offset part thereof and projects rearward through an aperture in the frame 1. A coil spring 23 is anchored at its ends to the lever bar 22 and frame 1 to exert an elastic force urging the chute plate 20 forward to its first position for receiving a coin.

A vertically sliding plate 27 having a cut-out 26 for causing the upper edge of the chute plate 20 to protrude forward and having slots 28 is slidably supported on threaded studs 24 fixed to the frame 1 and engaged with the slots 28. A stud 29 for engaging the upper edge of the latch 15 is provided on the sliding plate 27. Spacer cylinders 30 are fitted around the threaded studs 24 to hold the sliding plate 27 at a fixed distance from the frame 1. The sliding plate 27 is provided with a shutter plate 31 fixed thereto and projecting forward for contacting and separating from the upper edge 25 of the chute plate 20.

A fixed chute 32 for forming a coin path to a point below the aforementioned coin passageway is disposed with its upper part in front of and slightly below the chute plate 20 and with its lower end contiguously aligned with a diagonally inclined guide flange 33 formed 'on the discrimination plate 3. Thus, a coin inserted into the coin slot 75 from the outside drops into the coin passageway between plate 3 and frame 1 when the chute plate 20 is tilted toward the front and drops into the fixed chute 32 to bypass the first check point when the chute plate 20 is tilted rearward as described hereinafter.

The aforementioned latch 15 has a lower arm provided at its lower end with a forwardly directed lug 34 and a pin 35 fixed thereto. The pin 35 is engaged slidably in and passed through an arcuate slot 36 in the frame 1 and, fitted in a hole at the proximal end of a second discriminating pawl 37, rotatably supports the pawl 37 between the lug 34 and the frame 1. The free end of the pawl is caused by the unlocking rotation (clockwise as viewed in FIGS. 1 and 5) of the latch 15 to slide along the upper edge 39 of a counting and discrimination plate 38 toward the left.

The counting and discrimination plate 38 faces the region vertically below the aforementioned coin passageway and is fixed to the frame 1 over spacers, whereby a coin counting passageway is formed between the frame 1 and plate 38. Coaxially opposed through-holes 40, 40a, and 40b are formed in vertical alignment at specific intervals in the frame 1 and plate 38 forming the coin counting passageway.

A swinging bracket 42 for counting control having through-holes 41, 41a, and 41b in positions respectively corresponding to the through-holes 40, 40a, and 40b is hinged at its left edge on the aforementioned vertical shaft 8 and is constantly urged toward the frame 1 by a (3011 torque spring 43 disposed about the shaft 8. The swinging bracket 42 pivotally supports pendant arms 45, 45a, and 45b at their upper ends in respective vertically aligned positions such that check studs 44, 44a, and 441) respectively fixed to their free ends and projecting perpendicularly therefrom pass through the holes 40, 40a, and 40b and the holes 41, 41a, and 41b, respectively.

On the rear side of the frame 1, there is provided a vertically movable actuating plate 48 having guide slots 47 and 47 slidably engaged with guide studs 46 fixed to and projecting from the rear surface of the frame 1. The upper part of the actuating plate 48 lies in a plane spaced apart from the rear surface of the frame 1 to clear the swinging bracket 9 and related parts and has an upper edge for abutting against the rear end of the lever bar 22 to actuate the same as described hereinafter. The actuating plate 48 is offset or joggled at its middle part s that its lower part lies in a plane between the rear surface of the frame 1 and the front surface of the swin ing bracket 42.

A projecting lower lug 50 is formed on the inner (or left) edge of the lower part of the actuating plate 48 in a position such that, when the actuating plate 48 is in its highest position, the crown of the lower lug 50 i engaged with the right side of the above mentioned check stud 44, which is thereby held in a position whereby the gap between the left side of the check stud 44 and the flange 4 of the frame 1 is less than the diameter of a coin of proper denomination. Thus, a second check point is established between the check stud 44 and the flange 4 in the upper part of the aforementioned coin counting passageway.

A check notch 52 is formed in the upper edge 39 0f the counting and discrimination plate 38 so that, when a coin is held at the above described check point, an upper part of its rim projects above and beyond the upper edge 39 at the check notch 52. As mentioned hereinbefore, the second discrimination pawl 37 slides along the upper edge 39 and is pivoted on the pin 35 projecting rearward from the lower end of the latch 15.

The extreme rear end of the pin 35 abuts slidably against the front surface of the swinging bracket 42 at its upper part, which is provided at its right side with a curved surface 53 curved toward the rear. Thus, the pin 35 abuts against and slides along the flat part of the upper part of the swinging bracket 42 during most of the locking rotation of the latch 15 but runs Onto and then off the curved surface 53 at the end of the locking rotation, whereby the swinging bracket, urged by the spring 43, is permitted to swing to a position closer toward the frame 1.

The inner edge of the lower part of the actuating plate 48 is further provided with notches 54, 54a, and 54b formed therein and adapted to engage with the free end of a pawl 55 which is pivoted at its other end on the lowermost part of the swinging bracket 42 and pulled toward the right for engagement with any of the notches 54, 54a, and 54b by a coil tension spring 56.

An upper lug 57 is further formed on the inner edge f the actuating plate 48 above the lower lug 50 at a position such that, when the actuating plate 48 is lowered to a position at which the pawl 55 i engaged with the lowermost notch 54b as indicated in FIG. 6(a), the crown of the upper lug 57 is engaged with the right side of the check stud 44 to cause a coin to be checked between the check stud 44 and flange 4, and an upper part of the rim of the coin thus checked projects above the upper edge 39 of the plate 38 and overlaps the check notch 52 as described hereinbefore.

When the actuating plate 48 is further lowered to a position at which the pawl 55 engages with the middle notch 54a of the actuating plate 48, as indicated in FIG. 6(1)), the crown of the lower lug 50 engages with the middle check stud 44a to establish a third check point in the same manner as described hereinabove by constricting the gap between the check stud 44a and flange 4 to a dimension less than the diameter of the proper coin. The notch 54a is so positioned on the actuating plate 48 that, when a coin of proper diameter is held at the third check point by the check stud 44a, and a second coin of proper diameter is resting edge-to-edge thereon, the upper part of the rim of the second coin projects above the upper edge 39 of the plate 38 and overlaps the notch 52.

In a similar manner, when the actuating plate 48 is further lowered to a position at which the pawl 55 engages with the upper notch 54- of the actuating plate 48, as indicated in FIG. 6(c), the crown of the lower lug 50 engages with the lower check stud 44b to establish a fourth check point by constricting the gap between the check stud 44b and flange 4 to a dimension less than the diameter of the proper coin. The notch is so positioned on the actuating plate 48 that, when a coin is held at the fourth check point by the check stud 44b, and second and third coins are stacked edge-to-edge thereon, all three coins being of proper diameter, the upper part of the rim of the uppermost coin projects above the upper edge 39 o fthe plate 38 and overlaps the notch 52.

A coil tension spring 58 is stretched between a middle part of the frame 1 at its rear side and a long screw 59 fixed to the lowermost part of the actuating plate 48 to exert a force constantly on the actuating plate 48 urging it to move upward. The long screw 59, together with another screw, secures an indicator scale plate 60 to the actuating plate 48 in a parallel relationship thereto. The scale plate 60 is offset to the front of the mechanism and displays numerals such as 0, 1, 2, and 3 thereon and indicating numbers of time units of use to be visible singly through a transparent window plate 60a. These numerals are so positioned on the scale plate 60 that they are thus displayed when the actuating plate 48 is in its highest position and in its positions of engagement of the pawl 55 with the notches 54, 54a, and 54b respectively.

An S-shaped toggle spring 61 is connected between the lower end of the latch 15 and the counting and discrimination plate 38 to provide a snap action of the latch 15 into the locked and unlocked positions across an intermediate dead-center position.

The actuating plate 48 is adapted to be lowered successively through specified distances by means such as a lever actuated by key operation.

A lock bracket 63 is fixed to the flange 4 of the frame 1 in front of the pivotal part of the latch 15 and has a slot 62 for receiving and supporting a cylinder lock assembly 70 horizontally and coaxially with the pivotal axis of the latch 15. When the lock assembly 70 is thus supported, a rotational lug (not shown) extending toward the rear is engaged with an engagement slot '64 formed in a pivot hub 71 provided on the latch 15 coaxially with the pivotal axis thereof. A push rod 65 slidably fitted in a through-hole through the centerline of the pivot hub 71 is pushed toward the rear by the tip of a key (not shown) inserted fully into the key slot 70b of the lock assembly 70, whereby the rear end of the push rod 65 a buts and presses against a surface 66 formed integrally with the swinging bracket 9, counter to the force of spring 10, which urges the swinging bracket 9 and, therefore, the push rod 65 toward the key slot 70b.

FIG. 7 illustrates one example of a structure in which the locking mechanism of the invention may be used. The example shown is a multiple compartment locker com prising a cabinet housing a number of compartments each having a door 83 provided with a slot 84 for locking engagement by the free end 15a of the latch 15 of a corresponding locking mechanism (not shown) installed in the jamb of the doorway. The cabinet 80 is provided at its corner of the doorway jambs with a vertical mounting structure 85 extending from the top to the bottom of the cabinet and constituting the jambs of the doorways.

One locking mechanism of the invention is installed in this mounting structure at a position corresponding to each doorway and then covered by a front cover panel 77. Each cover panel 77 is provided with a coin insertion slot 75, a through-hole 81 for receiving and exposing the outer end of the corresponding cylinder lock 70, and a window 76 for displaying an indication on the scale plate 60.

The locking mechanism of the above described organization according to the invention operates in the following manner. It will be assumed that the lock mechanism is installed in the door jamb of a compartment in a locker as shown in FIG. 7.

After one or more articles have been placed in the storage compartment of the locker, the door thereof is closed, and a proper coin is inserted into the outer coin slot 75, whereupon the coin is guided into the gap between the shutter plate 31 and upper edge 25 of chute plate 20 which is in its forwardly tilted position, since the actuating plate 48 is initially at its uppermost position. Accordingly, the coin drops under the force of gravity into the coin passageway between the frame 1 and discrimination plate 3.

At this time, since the key is in the state of full insertion in the key slot 70b of the lock assembly 70, which is of the known type wherein the key can be extracted only at the time of locking, the push rod 65 is pressed toward the rear, counter to the elastic force of spring 10. Accordingly, the cut-out recess 12 formed on the check stud of the pendant arm 7 pivoted on swinging bracket 9 is held out of the positions of through-holes 11a and 11b, and the peripheral surface of the free end of the check stud 5 is engaged with the edges of through-holes 11a and 11b, whereby the gap between the flange 4 and check stud 5 in the coin passageway is less than the diameter of the proper coin. Consequently, the inserted coin is in a checked state at the first check point between the flange 4 and check stud 5. The upper part of the rim of the coin (C thus checked protrudes somewhat above the upper edge 13 of the discrimination plate 3 and overlaps the check notch 14.

Next, the key is turned toward the lock position (counterclockwise as view in FIGS. 2 and 5), whereby the latch 15 is caused by the rotational lug of the lock assembly 70 to rotate counterclockwise about its pivotal axis. This to tation of the latch 15 causes stud 16 and pin 35 to move respectively to the left and to the right (as viewed in FIGS. 2 and 5). Consequently, the discrimination pawl 17 pivoted by stud 16 slides along the upper edge 13 of the discrimination plate 3.

When the coin C checked in the first check point of the coin passageway is a proper coin, the free end of the pawl 17 contacts the upper part of the rim of coin C protruding slightly above the upper edge 13 of the plate 3. The geometric relationships of these parts are so designed that the point of the contact of pawl 17 and the upper rim of coin C is above the straight line joining the centers of coin C and stud 16. Accordingly, the free end of the pawl 17 slides along the rim of coin C as pawl 17 pivots about the stud 16, and thereby rides over notch 14 in the upper edge 13, in which it would catch it a proper coin were not in the checked position, and the latch is permitted to rotate through its full rotation until its locking end 15:: is in locking engagement with the slot 84 of the closed door 83 of the locker.

Thus, the latch 15 is operated into the locking position as the presence and correct diameter of coin C are detected and verified.

Furthermore, in the case when the coin held at the first check point is an improper coin having a diameter greater than that of a proper coin, the free end of the pawl 17 contacts the rim of the coin which is protruding further than the normal distance above the upper edge 13 of plate 3. In this case, the resulting force acting on the pawl 17 acts in a direction through the center of stud 16 or a point therebelow, whereby pawl 17 jams against the rim of the coin and cannot move further to the left, and further rotation of the latch 15 is prevented.

On the other, in the case when the coin held in the first check point is an improper coin of a diameter less than that of a proper coin, the free end of the pawl 17 is not affected by the rim of the coin and is caught in notch 14 in the upper edge 13 of the plate 3, whereby, pawl 17 cannot move further, and further rotation of latch 15 is prevented.

In the manner, the latch 15 is permited to rotate fully into the locking position only when a coin C of proper diameter is inserted.

When the key is extracted from the lock assembly 70 after latch 15 has been placed in locking position, push rod 65, which has been pushed and held in its rear position up to this time, is released, whereby the swinging bracket 9 is caused by spring to swing closer toward the coin passageway, and check stud 5 of the pendant arm 7 advances through-holes 11a and 11b toward the coin passageway. Accordingly, the cut-out recess 12 in the check stud 5 confronts the peripheral edges of holes 11a and 11b, whereby the check stud 5 is pressed toward the right by the weight of coin C and, being supported on the freely swinging pendant arm 7, is permitted by the engagement of the cut-out recess 12 with the edges of holes 11a and 11b to be pushed aside by coin C which thereby drops under the force of gravity.

Coin C thus drops into the counting passageway below the coin passageway and is checked at the second check point between the flange 4 and check stud 44 since, at this time, check stud 44 is engaged with the crown of lower lug 5% of the actuating plate 48, whereby the gap between the check stud 44 and flange 4 is less than the diameter of coin C At the same time, since the upper edge of the latch descends with the locking rotation of latch 15, the stud 29 of the vertically sliding plate 27 also descends, whereby sliding plate 27 descends under guidance by the engagement of the threaded studs 24 and slots 28. Consequently, the shutter plate 31 of sliding plate 27 descends until it contacts the upper edge 25 of the chute plate to shut the entrance to the coin passageway, whereby a coin cannot be inserted into the coin insertion slot 75 until the subsequent locker opening operation.

When the key is reinserted into the key slot 7011, before the expiration of one unit time of use, and turned toward the unlocking direction (clockwise as viewed in FIGS. 2 and 5), the latch 15 rotates in the same direction about its pivotal axis, whereby stud 16 and pin 35 move respectively to the right and to the left. Accordingly, the discrimination pawl 37 pivoted on pin 35 slides toward the coin counting passageway along the upper edge 39 of the discrimination plate 38.

Since, at this time, the first inserted coin C is held in a checked state at the second check point between the flange 4 and check stud 44, the free end of pawl 37 rides over the upper rim of coin C protruding slightly above the upper edge 39 of plate 38, similarly as in the case of the pawl 17. Accordingly, the latch 15 is permitted to rotate fully into its unlocked position. (The key cannot then be extracted.)

As the latch 15 is thus rotated, the rear end of the pin 35 slides onto curved surface 53 of the swinging bracket 42 and then the fiat front side thereof to press against swinging bracket 42 counter to the force of spring 43 and cause the bracket 42 to swing away from the coin counting passageway. Consequently, the check stud 44 on the swinging bracket 42 retracts out of the coin counting passageway. As a result, coin C is released and, dropping through the coin counting passageway, is collected in a collector communicating therewith.

At the same time, as the latch 15 moves through its return rotation as described above, stud 29 of the vertically sliding plate 27 engaged with the upper edge of latch 15 is raised, whereby sliding plate 27 rises, and its shutter plate 31 rises and separates from the upper edge of the chute plate 20. As a result, the coin passageway is opened and placed in a state wherein a coin can be introduced thereinto through the coin slot 75.

When, during the use of the locker, the unit time of use expires, the actuating plate 43 is lowered manually or by a suitable mechanism through a distance corresponding to a further one unit time of use. At this time, the pin fixed to lug 34 at the lower end of latch 15, which is in its locking state, is in its righthand position, and its rear end is disengaged from and clear of the curved surface 53 of swinging bracket 42. Accordingly, the swinging bracket 42 is permitted to be pressed by the force of the spring 43 into a position closest to the frame 1, in which position the bracket 42 is substantially parallel to frame 1.

As the actuating plate 48 is lowered as described above, the pawl 55 is caused by the elastic force of spring 56 to engage with notch 5412 near the lower end of actuating plate 48 as indicated in FIG. 6(a).

When the latch 15 is not in its locking position, since lug 34 at its lower end is in its left-hand position as shown in FIG. 5, the swinging bracket 42 is pressed by the rear end of pin 35 and is in a slightly separated state relative to frame 1, and in which state, pawl 55 pivotally supported at the lower end of swinging bracket 42 lies in a plane ottset from the plane of actuating plate 48. Consequently, when the actuating plate 48 is lowered, pawl 55 cannot engage with notch 54b in the edge of actuating plate 48, which is thereby not caught and is returned to its uppermost position by spring 58.

Thus, the lowered position of the actuating plate 48 is retained only when the lock mechanism is in the locked state, and actuating plate 48, when lowered with the lock mechanism in the unlocked state, is returned to its upper position.

During the lowering of the actuating plate 48, when the recess between the upper and lower lugs 57 and 50 arrives opposite the position of check stud 44, the check stud 44 is forced by the weight of coin C previously checked at the second check point between check stud 44 and flange 4, to enter the recess between the lugs 57 and 50, with the check stud 44 being free to undergo this movement because of the freely swinging nature of pendant arm 45 on which it is supported. Consequently, the gap between the check stud 44 and flange 4 widens, and coin C drops through the coin counting passageway into the coin collector (not shown).

As the actuating plate 48 is lowered further, the crown of upper lug 57 on actuating plate 48 confronts the check stud 44. At the same time, the lowering of actuating plate 48 permits the lever bar 22 of the chute plate to be tilted downward by the force of spring 23, whereby the chute plate 20 tilts toward the rear, and the upper edge 25 of the chute plate 20 raises shutter 31 in a state of engagement therewith to raise vertically sliding plate 27. When the sliding plate 27 is thus raised, coin insertion slot 75 communicates through the fixed chute 32, with the coin pasageway between guide flange 33 and frame 1 below the position of the first check point.

Furthermore, the lowering of the actuating plate 48 causes the unit time indication by the scale plate 60 to change as viewed through observation window 76 in front cover panel 77. For example, indication O on the scale plate 60 for the initial unit time period of use is changed to indication 1, which indicates that the initial unit time period of use has expired and that an additional coin must be inserted. An indication of 2 indicates that two additional coins are required.

When the number of coins corresponding to the unit time indicated by the scale plate 60 is inserted through the coin insertion slot 75, each coin drops through fixed chute 32 to the coin counting passageway and is first checked at the second check point in the coin counting passageway between check stud 44 and flange 4. At this time, as mentioned above, the check stud 44 is engaged with the crown of upper lug 57 of actuating plate 48, whereby the gap between check stud 44 and flange 4 is narrower than the diameter of the coin. The coin thus checked is in a position whereby the upper part of its rim is protruding slightly above the upper edge 39 of the counting and discrimination plate 38 as shown in FIG. 6(a).

Then, when the key is inserted into key slot 70b and turned in the unlocking direction, the latch 15 isrotated in the unlocking direction, whereby the pin fixed to lug 34 at the lower end of latch 15 moves toward the left along the arcuate slot 36, and the discrimination pawl 37 pivoted on pin 35 slides leftward along the upper edge 39 of plate 38. When the coin checked at the second check point is of a proper diameter, the free end of pawl 37 contacts the upper part of the rim of the coin protruding slightly above the upper edge 39 of plate 38 and, pivoting about pin 35, rides over the coin rim, similarly as in the aforedescribed discrimination operation. Accordingly, the latch 15 is permitted to retract fully to its unlocking position.

In the case when the checked coin is of a diameter differing from that of the proper coin, the free end of pawl 37 abuts or is jammed against the rim of the coin or is caught in the notch 52 in the upper edge 39 of plate 38 as described hereinbefore with respect to the operation of the pawl 17. Consequently, the pawl 37 cannot move further, and the rotation of latch 15 toward the unlocking position is stopped. Thus, the latch 15 is permitted to rotate fully to the unlocking position only when a coin of proper diameter has been inserted.

Full unlocking rotation of the latch 15 causes the rear end of the pin 35 to engage with curved surface 53 of the swinging bracket 42 and subsequently the flat part thereof, whereby the swinging bracket 42 is forced to swing progressively rearward, counter to the force of spring 43. Check stud 44 of the swinging bracket 42 is thereby retracted out of the coin counting passageway, and the coin drops through the coin counting passageway into the coin collector.

Furthermore, the rearward swinging movement of the swinging bracket 42 causes pawl 55 pivoted at the lower end thereof and previously engaged with notch 54b to disengage therefrom, whereby the actuating plate 48 is caused by spring 58 to return upward. This upward return of the actuating plate 48 causes its upper edge to raise lever bar 22 of chute plate 20 against the force of spring 23 to cause the chute plate 20 to tilt forward. Consequently, the upper edge 25 of the chute plate 20 disengages from shutter plate 31.

Furthermore, similarly as described hereinbefore, the

unlocking rotation of latch 15 causes stud 29 of the vertically sliding plate 27 to be raised, whereby a gap is formed between shutter plate 31 of the sliding plate 27 and the upper edge 25 of chute plate 20, and coin insertion slot communicates with the upper coin passageway.

When, during the consecutive use of the locker, two units of time of use expire, the actuating plate 48 is lowered further from its position corresponding to indication l to the succeeding position corresponding to indication 2 on the scale plate 60, whereupon the pawl 55 engages with notch 54a of the actuating plate 48. When actuating plate 48 is thus lowered, its lower lug 50 is positioned opposite the check stud 44a.

Then, when the locker is to be opened, two coins corresponding to the above mentioned indication 2 on the scale plate 6 are inserted into the coin insertion slot 75, whereupon the coins drop into the coin counting passageway. The leading coin is checked at the third check point between the check stud 44a and flange 4 in the coin counting passageway, and the following coin comes to rest on the leading coin in edge-to-edge parallel relationship thereto.

At this time, the check stud 44a is engaged with the crown of the lower lug 50 of the actuating plate 48, and the gap between the check stud 44a and flange 4 is less than the diameter of the coin, whereby the lower coin is in checked position between the check stud 44a and flange 4. The upper part of the rim of the upper coin should then be protruding slightly above the upper edge 39 of the counting and discrimination plate 38.

Then, as the latch 15 is rotated with the key toward the unlocking direction, the pawl 37 is caused to slide along the upper edge 39 of plate 38, and, when the sum of the diameters of the two coins checked in the counting passageway is equal to twice the diameter of the proper coin, the free end of pawl 37 rides over the rim of the upper coin. Accordingly, the latch 15 is not stopped but is permitted to rotate fully to its unlocking position.

In the case when the sum of the diameters of the two coins is not equal to twice the diameter of the proper coin, the movement of the pawl 37 is blocked, and latch 15 is prevented from unlocking fully.

Thus, when two coins of proper diameter are inserted, the lock mechanism can be unlocked, and the two coins are dropped into the coin collector as described hereinabove. At the same time, the actuating plate 48 is raised to its original position.

When, during consecutive use of the locker, 3 units of time of use expire, the actuating plate 48 is lowered still further until pawl 55 engages with notch 54 of the actuating plate 48, at which position of the actuating plate 48, the scale plate 60 displays indication 3 through window 76. Then, when three coins corresponding to this indication are inserted through coin insertion slot '75, these three coins are arrested in the counting passageway in vertical edge-to-edge alignment with the leading or lowermost coin being checked by the check stud 44b and flange 4. When the pawl 55 is thus engaged with notch 54 of the actuating plate 48, the crown of the lower lug 50 of actuating plate 48 is engaged with check stud 44b, whereby the lowermost coin is checked as mentioned above, and the upper part of the rim of the uppermost coin should be protruding slightly above the upper edge of the plate 38.

Then, when latch 15 is rotated by the key toward the unlocking position, the sum of the diameters of the three coins is discriminated by the pawl 37, and full unlocking movement is permitted only when this sum is equal to three times the diameter of the proper coin.

When three proper coins are inserted in this manner, the lock mechanism can be unlocked, and, at the same time, the operations as described hereinbefore of collecting the coins, returning of the actuating plate 48, and indicating of by the scale plate 60 are accomplished.

By the organization as described above of the locking mechanism according to the invention, there are afforded the following features. When a user inserts a coin into the mechanism and, after locking the mechanism by means of the key, extracts the key, the push rod 65 is retracted forward by the force of the spring 10 of swing bracket 9, whereby the cut-out recess 12 of the check stud S confronts the edges of through-holes 11a and 11b, and the check stud 5 which has been stopped by the edges of these through-holes and is mounted on a swinging pendant arm 7 is permitted to move to one side of the coin passageway under a force due to the weight of the coin which has been checked by the check stud 5 and flange 4, with the coin thereby being released. Accordingly, when the user, for some reason, turns the key from the locking position to the unlocking position before he has extracted the key from its key slot, the coin is retained in the checked state at the first check point, whereby this coin is in effect for locking until the key is extracted. Therefore, there is no possibility of the coin being collected and lost to the user by an erroneous operation on his part.

Another feature of the present invention is the provision of further coin check points and further coin operated parts whereby additional charges for overtime use can be collected without the presence of an attendant.

A further feature of the invention is the provision of a lock mechanism which can be operated in locking action only by the insertion of a coin of proper diameter and in unlocking action only by the insertion of one or more coins of proper diameter and of a number corresponding to overtime use in the event of overtime use.

What I claim is:

1. A coin operated locking mechanism comprising, in combination: a cylinder lock having a rotating means operable by a key; a rotative latch for locking and unlocking operations coaxially coupled to said rotative means and rotated thereby into locking and unlocking positions; first checking means for stopping and holding an inserted coin at a position constituting a first check point; first discriminating means driven by initial locking rotation of the latch to verify the diameter of the coin thus held and permit full locking rotation of the latch only when said diameter is correct; actuating means permitted to operate, by the extraction of the key from the lock after locking, to cause the first checking means to release the coin and to permit the same to drop; second locking means to stop and hold the coin thus released; second discriminating means driven by initial unlocking rotation of the latch to determine the position of the coin received and held by the second checking means, to verify the diameter of the coin and to permit full unlocking rotation of the latch only when said diameter is correct; further checking means to stop and hold a plurality of coins in substantially vertical, edgeto-edge alignment with the uppermost coin in position for verification of the diameter thereof by the second discriminating means; control means, operable only when the latch is locked, to control the holding and releasing operations of the second and further checking means in accordance with the time period of use of the lock mechanism in the locked state, said time period being determined in terms of prespecified time units; guide means driven by the control means to guide the inserted coins selectively to the first checking means and to the second and further checking means in accordance with the direction of the latch rotation to be permitted; and indicating means to indicate the applicable time period at the instant of unlocking and, therefore, the number of coins to be inserted.

2. The coin operated locking mechanism as claimed in claim 1 in which the second discriminating means comprises a plurality of check studs freely advanceable into and retractable out of a coin passageway and a movable actuating plate for engaging with said check studs, with the counting and discrimination of coins being accomplished by selective engagement of said actuating plate and said coin check studs.

3. The locking mechanism as claimed in claim 1 in which each of the first and second discriminating means comprises:

a coin passageway; a coin discrimination plate disposed in parallel to the coin passageway and having a notch on its upper edge; and a discriminating pawl pivotally supported on the latch and caused by rotation of the latch to slide along the upper edge of the discrimination plate, with the rotation of the latch being controlled by the angle of the discriminating pawl determined by the contact between the discriminating pawl and a coin held by the corresponding checking means.

4. The locking mechanism as claimed in claim 1, in which the first checking means to stop and hold an inserted coin in a coin passageway comprises, in combination: a rigid frame structure having a through-hole formed therein; a check stud projecting through the through-hole into the coin passageway and having a cut-out recess at one part thereof; a swinging bracket hinged for freely approaching and drawing away from the coin passageway; a pendant arm pivotally supported on the swinging bracket and supporting the check stud projecting therefrom; an actuating member advancing only when the key is inserted and having an end in contact with the swinging bracket; and a spring for exerting a force on the swinging bracket to maintain said contact between said end of the actuating member and the swinging bracket, a part of the check stud other than said recess contacting the edge of said through-hole, thereby to cause the check stud to hold a coin in the coin passageway when the key is in inserted state, and said recess engaging with the edge of said through-hole thereby to cause the check stud to retract from the coin passageway to release said coin when the key is extracted.

5. The locking mechanism as claimed in claim 1 in which the guide means comprises: a coin insertion slot; a first coin passageway for guiding a coin inserted through said slot to and past the first checking means; a second coin passageway contiguously communicating at its inlet end with the downstream outlet end of the first coin passageway for guiding at least one coin to and past the second and further checking means; a chute extending from the coin insertion slot to the inlet end of the second coin passageway; and switching-closing means driven by References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 4/1954 Garver 19454 Maurer 194-51 Smith 194-54 Stackhouse 194--92 Stackhouse 194-92 X WALTER SOBIN, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2675107 *May 12, 1948Apr 13, 1954Guardian Lockers IncCoin-operated lock assembly for tiered boxes
US2684144 *Nov 8, 1950Jul 20, 1954American Locker CoCoin controlled lock mechanism
US2805747 *Aug 8, 1952Sep 10, 1957Maurer Edward CSelf-service laundry and dry cleaning system
US2861667 *Aug 16, 1955Nov 25, 1958Austin Smith JosephCoin and key operated lock
US3037605 *May 11, 1959Jun 5, 1962American Locker CoCoin controlled checking cabinets
US3050169 *Feb 18, 1960Aug 21, 1962American Locker CoChecking locker
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3659692 *Mar 30, 1970May 2, 1972Schlossfabrik SchulteschlagbauCoin lock having disc to indicate readiness of lock
US3773158 *Aug 2, 1971Nov 20, 1973Kokusan Kinzoku Kogyo KkCoin locker
US3792764 *Sep 15, 1972Feb 19, 1974Glory Kogyo KkDevice for automatic closure of coin slot of rental locker
US3841458 *Feb 23, 1973Oct 15, 1974Glory Kogyo KkRental locker system
US3917046 *Dec 5, 1973Nov 4, 1975Glory Kogyo KkRental locker system
US4072223 *Oct 26, 1976Feb 7, 1978Glory Kogyo Kabushiki KaishaControl system of coin-operated locker
US4384641 *Jul 29, 1981May 24, 1983American Locker Security Systems, Inc.Coin lock with custodian access
Classifications
U.S. Classification194/232, 194/277
International ClassificationG07F17/00, G07F17/14
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/14
European ClassificationG07F17/14