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Publication numberUS3461796 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 19, 1969
Filing dateNov 20, 1967
Priority dateNov 20, 1967
Also published asDE1810089A1
Publication numberUS 3461796 A, US 3461796A, US-A-3461796, US3461796 A, US3461796A
InventorsRoss A Belson, John F Zettler
Original AssigneeHoneywell Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
High-speed printer with shared control circuit
US 3461796 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

llg- 19, 1969 R A. aELsoN ETAL. f 3,461,796

HIGH-SPEED PRINTER WITH SHARED CONTROL CIRCUIT Filed Nov. 2o, 1967 4 sheets-sheet 1 LX c-l 6'3 V6@ c-GB C1312 PR-l) PR'2)\\ PR.

\`\\ f Nx f SP-l SPL.

INVENTORS ATTORNEY Aug. 19, '1969 Filed um.l 2o, 1967 R A. BELsoN ETAL HIGIFSPEED PRINTER WITH SHARED CONTROL CIRCUIT 4 Sheds-Sheet 2 Flc-12A s.R.|| {sul-:Ism:

"All 4 1 I B2 'lf l l i l JI '9"' l 1 il s fp`-3 i Il fpl Il fp-) PTP-A" F I G. 2C

INVENTORS ROSS A. BELSON BYJOHN F. ZETTLER ATTORNEY Aug. 19, 1969 3,461,796v

HIGH-SPEED PRINTER WITH SHARED CONTROL CIRCUIT Filed NGV, 20, 1957 R A. BELSON ETAL 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Iobzsw ma mow l Aug. 19, 1969 n A. BELL-50N ETAL HIGwsVEED PRINTER IWITH SHARED CONTROL CIRCUlT Filed Nov. 20, 1967 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTORS.

ROSS A. BELSON JOHN ZETTLER BY F.

, Y ATTORNEY United States Patent O 3,461,796 HIGH-SPEED PRINTER WITH SHARED CONTROL CIRCUIT Ross A. lielson and .lohn F. Zettler, Natick, Mass., aS-

signors to Honeywell Inc., Minneapolis, Minn., a corporation of Delaware Filed Nov. 20, 1967, Ser. No. 684,571

Int. Cl. 341i 1/28 US. Cl. 101-93 11 Claims ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE A high-speed printer control System for a continuouslyrotating type-roll and an associated array of aligned print hammers adapted to be driven to selectively impact intermediate media against the roll, the driver electronics characterized -as being shared in the sense of each electronic driver control unit being coupled in common to drive a set of hammer solenoids associated with a set of printcolumns, each driver being associated with a respective set of columns; and the font arrangement or the type-roll being characterized in being offset-in-groups, or shared, across each character-row so as to present font at each column in a given set at prescribed staggered (character-scan) times to accommodate this driver sharing.

INVENTION FEATURES High-speed printers of various types are well-known. in the art, such as those shown and described in U.S, Patent No. 3,240,920 to Charles I. Barbagallo et al., issued Mar. 15, 1966. As workers in the art well know, in such printers a separate hammer is provided for each character position (print column) along a printing line and a rotating type-roll is adapted, typically, to sweep rows of like characters past each of these columns in parallel, the hammers typically being solenoid-energized to impact an intermediate form against a selected passing type face under control of an associated (solenoid) driver unit. With such complex, multi-part electro-mechanical devices, involving a great number of parts subject to problems of high wear, fussy adjustments, etc., it is obviously quite attractive to effect any structural simplification possible. To this end, workers in the art have long attempted to simplify the number and structure of each hammer means such as by oscillating hammer heads back and forth between alternate columns (related arrangements indicated, for instance, in U.S. 3,332,343 to Sims and Re. 26,240 to Wasserman). Quite evidently, any saving in hammer construction can -be multiplied a great number of times (typically about 132 times, this being the typical number of print columns). The present invention is directed toward such an attractive economy, but involves a simplitication and sharing of the electronics associated with driving hammer solenoids, rather than attempting to share mechanical elements by reciprocating them back and forth etc. Workers in the art will recognize that electronic sharing is inherently more attractive than mechanical sharing, since the latter typically involves a slow cumbersome oscillation of mechanical parts with the attendant wear, risk of positioning alignment errors, etc.-none of these being characteristic of electronic sharing. More particularly, one invention embodiment, described below, involves a time-shared hammer-driver feature, especially adaptable for low speed printing.

The time-sharing of driver electronics is particularly advantageous when the type-font is offset-in-groups so that during any line-scan-time (time interval during which two successive lines of font register at a particular col- 3,461,796 Patented Aug. 19, 1969 ice umn), different sub-sets of font are staggeringly registered at the printing line. In this way, a particular driver unit may be enabled (for each character-roW)-first for an initial column (in its associated set), then, slightly thereafter, for a second column; next for a third column, and so forth. A particular example of such a time-sharing font arrangement is indicated for type-roll PR in FIG- URE 1 where the font is offset into two zones (i.e. roll PR half-twisted) in a shared-font array corresponding to a halved driver-sharing hammer control arrangement; and also by print roll PR in FIGURE 2A where the font is offset alternatingly by-twos (in sixty-six sets of paired driver sharing hammers, for 132 columns).

lt is thus a primary object of the present invention to provide improved printing apparatus exhibiting the aforedescribed and related features and advantages and alleviating the aforedescribed shortcomings. Another object is to provide an improved high-speed printer employing shared driver electronics for sets of print-hammers.

A further object is to provide such a printer wherein the type-roll includes a shared font arrangement having different offset groups of font corresponding to the sharing hammer positions. The foregoing related objects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following, more particular description of preferred embodiments of the invention as illustrated in the accompanying drawings wherein like reference numerals denote like elements, these drawings comprising:

FIGURE l, a schematic, fragmentary exemplary representation of one embodiment including a type-roll with a halved type shared-font arrangement, also indicating in schematic fashion a few exemplary hammers and associated electronic driver units coupled thereto in sharinghammer fashion;

FIGURE 2A is a modification of the showing in FIG- URE 1 indicating an alternate font arrangement and associated hammer-sharing arrangement, FIGURES 2B and 2C indicating, schematically driver control electronics associated with this arrangement; while FIGURE 2D indicates a representative timing diagram for this electronics; and

FIGURES 3A, 3B represent more detailed showing of driver control logic and electronics of the type indicated in FIGURES 2A, 2B while FIGURE 3C represents a timing chart illustrating typical operations of elements in FIGURES 3A and 3B.

SHARED DRIVERS According to one feature of the invention and as indicated in the embodiments of FIGURES 1 and 2A, a driving control arrangement is taught wherein hammer driver circuits are shared (time-shared). In this connection, FIGURE l shows a novel half-twisted type roll PR' adapted to optimize such sharing according to a particular related offset font arrangement. Type roll PR comprises a conventional type roll (used commonly in high speed line printers); modified somewhat to so arrange this offset font to correspond to the shareddriver circuit arrangement by a half-twisting of roll PR (see below). In this arrangement, the printing solenoid array S1 through S132 comprises a set of 132 conventional solenoid-hammer-slug units (eg. as described in U.S. Patent 3,285,165 to Richter), but is divided into two groups: namely, a first solenoid group S-1 through S'-66, corresponding to print hammers H1 through H66 (dening print positions 1 through 66, along columns C1 through C-66 corresponding to a first font set on PR', as indicated on the first half-roll PR'-1); and a second solenoid group, SL67 through S-132, co1'- responding to hammers H-67 -H-132 (and defining at print positions 67 through 132, along columns C-67 through C-l32; these corresponding to a second font set on a second half roll PR-2 offset or type roll, halftwisted, with respect to the font-rows on PR-1 according to the invention).

Although the showing is very schematic and fragmentary (for clarity), it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that using a normal (full) complement of 132 hammers, (H-1 through H-132) with associated solenoids (S-1 through S-132), only one-half the usual number of driver circuits HD is here provided or required, since according to one feature of the invention each circuit HD is arranged to energize a respective pair of sharing solenoids (such as S-1 and S-6'T connected to time-share driver HD-1, doing so at alternate halves of each characterscan period). To implement this sharing, a common power supply PS is arranged so as to alternately energize, first one solenoid group and then the other, i.e. SL67 through S-132, alternating (switching via silicon controlled rectifiers SCR-1, SCR-2) in synchronism with the registration (along print-line P-P) of alternate, offset character-row halves (PR1, PR-2) with each solenoid group, successively. Thus, power would first be applied along a first power buss B-1 in synchronism with the registration of a first half-row of font (e.g. font row D D on the second half-roll PR-2, associated with hammers H-67-H-132). Similarly, buss B-2 will come on and B-1 go off during a succeeding halfcycle of (of power-application) in synchronism with the registering of the next half-row (eg. row D D, on the first half-roll, PR1, associated with hammers Hl-HGG and being offset from the first half-row). A savings in components will be recognized as derived from such an offset by twos type font arrangement, together with the associated by-twos driver sharing (particularized below). Of course, other analogous offsetting/ sharing arrangements may be substituted (e.g. by-threes) where printer economics and performance specifications permit (e.g. a longer scan time is required for each movement in sharing, e.g. from by-twos to by-threes, and this will reduce the maximum type roll speed permissible and the maximum printing speed).

Although the type font may be otherwise sharinglyarranged to be swept past the print line in (two) successive, offset waves (staggered half-rows at different times during passage of a single character-row or scan); in this case, type roll PR will be understood as comprising a pair of half-twisted sharing portions, PR-1 and PR2, with the font rows in PR-1 effectively twisted about 1/2 a character height (SP-1) so that, for each character-row, one half-row follows the other in sweeping past PP (for eX- ample, sector SP-1 will register at P-P just after its counterpart, SP-1'). The twist-spacing that effects this may be set according to the prescribed type roll speed. Typically, font-heights SP4, SP-1 would each be about 100 mils, while the inter-row gaps SP-Z, SP2 (on each half-roll) are about 50 mils. To illustrate a typical, conservative application of the invention, one may assume the following characteristics, using elements (eg. type-roll size, hammer units) that are otherwise standard:

character set: 63, print-positions: 132;

drum speed: 300 r.p.m.;

printing speed (56 contiguous characters): at 3D0-400 lines/ min.; assuming spacing of lines/ in. horizontally and 6-8 lines/in. vertically. v

Of course, staggered type-font arrangements are not new, broadly speaking; for instance, being taught in U.S. 2,111,121 to Mills (e.g. FIGURE and associated description). However, these old arrangements are typically required to be staggered between rows (i.e. checkerboard array of font rows for antighosting purposes or to accommodate various mechanical hammer sharing arrangements such as multi-column spanning hammers such checker-board font requiring an undesirable oversized print roll; e.g. see U.S. #Re 26,240' to Wasserman). By contrast, the non-mechanical, electronic sharing of the in- Cil vention accommodates a more compact staggered font array, offset within a row (height) and requiring neither an oversized print roll, nor mechanical changes such as alteration in the usual (full) hammer slug array, multislug actuator means, etc.

The operation of such a shared-driver arrangement will, in general be understood as follows. When a particular half-row of font (e.g. row E E of PR2) is aligned at the print line P-P (c g. confronting hammers H-67 through H-132) and the associated power buss (B-2) is switched ON (by Power Supply Stage P described below) any selected ones of solenoids (S-67 through S-132) may be fired by conventional logic so as to activate an associated one of the shared drivers HD-1 through HD-66 to print this up-coming character at that print position (i.e. here an E at any of columns C-67 through `C-132). Similarly when the corresponding halfrow offset on the other half type roll PR (i.e. row E E of PR-1) next becomes print-registered (for hammers H1 through H-66-during approximately the time for the surface of PR to be swept through the offset distance SP-2), power supply P being controlled in synchronism with the rotation of PR' then disables buss B-Z and enables buss Bwl (ON) so that then any selected ones of solenoids S-1 through S-66 may be fired by associated shared drivers HD-1 through HD-66 (to likewise print an E). Thus, for a given line of print, if an E is to be printed at column `#l and #67 (by solenoids S-1 and S-67), then driver HD-l `would first be activated during the time the power buss B-l went high so as to fire hammer H-1 and, shortly thereafter, would again be activated during the time B-1 goes high so as to fire hammer H-67. The synchronization of busses B-2, B-2 with PR motion 'may be effected conventionally (cf. control lines PR-P). (Note that in some cases switching the buss may effect firing, rather than firing afterward, as here.)

However, those in the art will see that an array of type font may be otherwise arranged to be swept past the printlocus. P-P in successive half-waves (each font-row passing at two successive font-times, rather than simultaneously--or even three or more waves). For example, one could employ a conventional roll (not half-twisted as PR) and fire the first group of solenoids (S-1 through S-66) during a given revolution, next forming the other group (S67 through S-132) during the next revolution, the while synchronizing the power to busses B-1 and B-2, accordingly (though this would be rather slow). Other arrangements will occur to those skilled in the art for so sweeping successive sub-sets of font past corresponding sets of synchronously-energized hammer units, according to principles of the invention. Of course, there may be more than two hammer groups sharing select/ driver circuits; subdividing each font-row further (e.g. into three sub-sets) within the limitation of how much the printing rate may be slowed down. For instance, each driver circuit HD may be connected in common with four (rather than two) solenoids; each of the four solenoid groups being enabled by a respective power buss and at a respective font sub-cycle time (e.g. being activated during one of four successive type roll revolutions if the resultant slow-down of print-speed can be tolerated). The logic signals to the hammer drivers would, of course, be synchronized accordingly. Similarly, where each solenoid (and, conventionally, an associated actuator, adapted to strike an independently mounted print-slug to effect printing) is shown operatively associated with a single respective hammer unit (print-column), such may be adapted to so operate a number of hammer units (e.g. as taught in co-pending application S.N. 695,186, to R. Belson and C. Bickoff, filed Jan. 2, 1968). Such a mechanical sharing of actuators by hammer units, of course, will be understood as slowing maximum printing speed somewhat.

Those skilled in the art will also appreciate that power supply P is advantageously arranged here, although other equivalent arrangements may -be used. That is, a common power source 4`-IVS is schematically indicated as applied at an input terminal and may comprise a lll-volt, 10 amp. source having a rating of about 400` watts and sufficient capacitive storage (e.g. large bank of condensers) to provide the brief, high-current pulses required. Power is selectively applied to one of buss lines B-I, B-2 (alternatively, in synchronism with type roll rotation) via associated solid state switch means, namely SCR-1, SCR-2 respectively. Each switch (a silicon controlled rectifier or the like) is energized `from an associated transformer (T-1, T-Z respectively) which is conventionally activated, in turn, by an associated switching pulse (source not shown) P-l, P-Z, understood as being applied (along PR-P) from a source synchronous with the rotation of PR'. Thus, pulse P-ll will enable SCR-1 to apply power (-i-VS) along buss B-1 when its associated half-rows of font (on associated half-roll PR-1) is print-registere While, correspondingly, pulse P-2 will control SCR-2 to apply power along buss B2 when its associated half-rows (on half-roll PR-2) are print-registered. It will be understood that such switching of SCR-1 and SCR-2 is effected conventionally and that they may likewise be switched-off conventionally (preferably, driver circuits HD interrupt the current flow and, shortly thereafter, an auxiliary hold-current circuit is de-energized to reduce bus current exactly to zero).

FIGURE 2A shows an alternate embodiment for sharing hammer driver electronics (coupling solenoids and drivers) in a similar manner though somewhat modified; while FIGURE 2B representationally indicates hammerselect/driving logic associated with this embodiment. As with FIGURE 1, this embodiment is shown very schematically and will be understood as the same in construction and operation except as below mentioned. It will be understood that, here, an array of hammer-energizing solenoids S1 through S-132 (only a representative few shown one for each of 132 print-columns C-l to C132) are provided together with associated hammer driver circuits (HD-1, HD-Z etc. through EID-129, iiD-130; only outputs indicated here; details in FIGURES 2B, 2C); circuits HD being each adapted to energize a respective pair of solenoids at alternate times, each from one of two respective buss lines B-1, B-Z (in the manner aforedescribed with respect to FIGURE l). Here, a logical print-command tcp at a given print position is combined with a corresponding print-timing pulse pip at a respective gate portion of the driver (e.g. see FIGURES 2C, 2D Where command pulse tcp-1 at gate G-l and pip-a timing pulse cause the generation of fire pulse fp-l from driver HD-1, timed to print an A at solenoid S-l, column C-1). Such driver circuits may be understood as represented by HD-l which is indicated in FIGURE 2C as having a two-legged gate G1, adapted to enable a following power ampliiication stage A1, for providing a properly-timed, amplified fire pulse fp-1. Such a driver would typically generate an output fp-1 of about 4 amps in response to a logical command pulse tcp-1 of about l ma. As with FIGURE 1, buss lines B-1, B-Z are understood to be alternately energized with associated driving pulses B1, B2. Drivers HD will be understood as being each coupled to apply such output pulses fp in parallel to a pair of associated solenoid coils S' (coils S', through S132 understood as respectively part of hammer solenoid assemblies S-l through S-132 of FIGURE 2A). Thus, driver HD-l applies such fire-pulses fp to associated coils S1, S3 (these being alternately enabled via busses B1, B2 for pulses frz-1, fp-3, respectively); while HD-Z similarly controls coils S'2, S3, etc.

According to a related feature of the invention, such shared driver arrangements may be controlled from a pair of hit storage means, each coupled to half of the drivers from respective cell locations thereof and being adapted to apply a plurality of different sharemode-synchronized hit signals to each respective driver at different times, corresponding to the aforementioned font-waves. That is, as represented in the embodiment of FIGURE 2B a pair of (odd, even) storage registers, OBR, EBR are provided, each having a number of (bit-position) storage cell-sets, one set for each respective (odd, even printing hammer) driver HD, the total number of cells corresponding to the number of printsolenoids, the cell-sets being organized to reflect the aforedescribed driver-sharing arrangement. Thus, for example, odd register OBR has 66 cell locations (for hit signals corresponding to columns C-1, C-S C-131) paired so that cells #1 and #3 may control driver HD-l, cells #5 and #7 control HD-S, and so on, as particularized below. When registers OBR, EBR are coupled to be filled from input terminal IN, each register will be understood as accepting a train of 66 hit-bits tcp in order successively and as conventionally controlled to then step these bits to respective cell-locations (eg. hit signal tcp-1 for Sl in cell #1) prior to initiating printing of a given print-line. Thus, each such hit-bit tcp for a respective print (solenoid) position will be understood as adapted to enable that associated driver (eg. HD-1) as aforementioned. It will be understood that odd register OBR is intended to be filled by an appropriate (conventional) distributor stage IS with odd hit-signals (tcp-1, tcp 3 etc. through tcp-131) corresponding to (print, no-print commands--e.g binary ones or zeros) for successive odd print positions (corresponding to solenoids Sl, S'3 etc. through Slal). Similarly, distributor IS is arranged to fill even register EBR with the even hit signals (e.g. alternately with OBR for serial, ordered input); namely those corresponding to hit pulses for even solenoids S'2 through S122. It will now -be appreciated that, according to this feature of the invention, successive register storage cell locations in registers OBR and EBR are arranged to each control a respective hammer driver circuit HD (eg. OBR cell #l connected to control HD-l; cell #5 to HD-S, etc.). It is also assumed that, as before-indicated, the output from each hammer driver HD is to be shared by a pair of adjacent solenoids, for instance, driver I-ID-l being shared by solenoids S1, S3 etc. Thus, it is intended that HD-l, for instance, first operate (print or notprint in first sub-cycle time-when B1 high) responsive to the hit bit contents of register cell #1; and then slightly later operate responsive to the contents of cell #3 (in synchronism with B2 at the second sub-cycle time). Further, it will be understood that each sharing of solenoids (e.g. S', and S3) is connected to a different power buss (such as B-l, B-Z, respectively). Finally, it will be understood that, in synchronisrn with the shift from one power buss to the other, a step pulse sb will be applied to each register to shift the contents (left) by one cell position, a function which is conventional in the art and readily attained (for instance, -by applying pulse sb to be applied with B2 when B-2 goes on).

Print roll PR in FIGURE 2A will be understood as having a shared arrangement of font (in the manner of PR', but modied) and generally adapted to sweep sub-rows of font past the print-line in staggered waves, although other arrangements may be substituted. The operation of this arrangement may be better understood by consideration of the indicated oiTset-by-two font arrangement in conjunction with the exemplary operations described for the associated timing chart in FIGURE 2D, below. According to this offset-by-twos font arrange ment (shown fragmentarily), each particular (row of) font is print-registered in pairs of columns, i.e. in a skipping-by-twos mode. Thus, for the A font, a first row a'-a' on PR will print-register font (at plane P-P) for columns C-S, C-4, C-7, IC--8 etc. (and associated solenoids S-3, S-4, S-7, S-8 etc.), this time corresponding to print-A time (sub-cycle) for these columns. Shortly thereafter, when PR has rotated sufficient to print-register the second related offset row a-a, print- A time for the other columns (C-1, C-Z etc.) will occur. Similarly, two offset print-times (print-B, etc.) will 7 occur and (registers OBR, EBR -being refilled foreach such print-time) alternate columns likewise successively enabled for printing. Workers in the art will `recognize the advantageous unique cooperation of such an offsetfont type roll PR with the driver sharing feature of the invention. However, for purposes of summary and further clarification, a typical operational sequence of this embodiment will now be described briefly in conjunction with the timing chart of FIGURE 2D.

Of course it will be understood that in this chart 2D, axis TR is intended to represent the passage (with time understood along abscissa) of successive normal and offset character font rows as indicated by normal character A (registered along a-a) and offset character A (indicated as A' registering along offset font row aa); plus normal character B (row b-b), etc. (Roll PR must be assumed rotating opposite to the arrow-indication in FIGURE 2A.) Axis LR is intended to represent the loading function whereby distributor IS (FIGURE 2B), upon the approach of a particular font row, such as (a-a) accesses a single-character Buffer Memory m which has (previously, as known in the art) stored a serial array of hit bits (B) corresponding to the up-coming character, to be supplied in order as aforeindicated alternately to registers OBR, EBR until every cell-position has a corresponding hit or no-hit signal (tcp) stored therein. Thus, during indicated period dr-A 132 hit signals are transferred (from a Buffer Register or the like) to the Driver-control registers OBR, EBR.

As before indicated, signal pip indicates, in synchronism with the rotation of roll PR and font-row printregistration, firing times when the solenoids may be energized so that their hammers will strike a particular halfrow when it is registered at the locus P-P. Thus, signal pip-A indicates the time for solenoid activating which is to print along row a-a), this being conventional in the art. Axes B1, B2 represent the time-occurrence of power (actuation) pulses along busses B-l, B-2 respectively: Fire pulse )fp-1 will be understood as indicating the enabling output from driver HD-l, synchronous with pip-A and tcp-1 (FIGURE 2C) to enable solenoids S1, S3. Since buss-signal B1 is also high (and B2 is not), solenoid S1 fires printingly (and S3 does not). (fp-1 will be understood as indicating the ring of HD-l `from a hit-bit in cell #1 and understood as owing through S1, though, of course, it will als-o be applied to companion solenoid Sa-likewise for all other fp signals).

A typical operational sequence might be as follows. It will be apparent that as half-row a--a (normal character A) approaches the print-locus P-P, a loading pulse Lr-A will cause the loading of hit bits (corresponding to this character A) in registers OBR, EBR. Synchronous with this normal power pulse B1 will go high, Now, it will be apparent that when firing pulse pip-A is applied to gate G1 (in driver circuit HD-1), a firepulse fp-1 will issue (to lfire solenoid S-1 and launch hammer H1) to print an A at print-position #l (column C-l). This must occur within the span of B1. Thereafter, a shift one bit pulse sb1 will `be applied to registers OBR, EBR to conventionally move the contents of each up one (to the left by one position), thus shifting the rest of the logical hit pulses into coupling-relation with their associated (shared) drivers HD. For instance. such shifting will move tcp-3 (for position 3) from cell #3 to cell #1 (the memory location formerly occupied by tcp-1) so as to be coupled to driver HD-l, the other associated power pulse B2 coming high in synchronism with this. Thus, if an A is also to be printed at position #3 (column C-3) driver HD-1 will issue a firing command fp-3 (to coil Sg) in response to the timing pulse ptp-A (cf. FIGURE 2D also) so that hammer H3 will print during the passage of offset half-row a-a. Printing of A at other print positions will loccur in parallel during their respective sub-cycle and printing of the other characters will be likewise performed, i.e. by half-rows during staggered half-cycles. The duration of pulses Would be typically as follows: Lr about 0.1 rns. (millisecond); sb about 1.0 microsecond: fp about 1.3 ms. Where FIGURE 2B indicates in a rather general way suitable means for implementing thedescribed embodiment, simplifying certain features for clarity and to best illustrate the novel features 3B indicates this in greater detail for a suitable implementation of these features, while FIGURE 3A indicates (schematically and fragmentarily) an associated energizing circuit for a representative driver stage HD-l. The timing diagram of FIGURE 3C will indicate to those skilled in the art the typical operative states of the elements in FIGURE 2 as particularized in FIGURES 3A, 3B (in the manner of FIGURE 2D) and yincluding actual representative time values.

In summary, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the invention aforedescribed has taught an improved system for controlling high-speed printer arrangements by the sharing of driver or like print-activating, circuitry. That is, embodiments have been taught illustrating how a plurality of adjacent print-positions may share a common hammer-controlling driver circuit and a staggered energizing -arrangement (with one line, in common, to corresponding, commonly-registered positions) with a corresponding shared-font arrangement and, preferably, also share associated print-signal storage registers controlling thedriver circuits.

While in accordance with the provisions of the statutes, there have been illustrated and described the best forms of the invention known, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that changes may ybe made in the apparatus described without departing from the spirit of the invention as set forth in the appended claims and, in

some cases, certain features of the invention may be used to advantage, or substituted for, without a corresponding change or substitution in other features.

Having now described the invention, what is claimed as new and novel and intended to lbe secured by Letters Patent is:

What is claimed is:

1. In a high-speed printer for printing upon a web positioned along a print line,

type carrier means having at least a rst and a second column of spaced type faces arranged thereon in staggered offset form, the type faces of said first column being offset from corresponding type faces of said lsecond column by less than one line space,

means for continuously moving said carrier means past said print line,

printing hammer means including a plurality of printing heads positioned in proximity to said print line, a rst printing head being provided -for said first column and a second printing head being provided for said second column, and

a shared control circuit means for sequentially operating in one cycle, the printing head for said rst column and the printing head for said second column.

2, A high-speed printer for printing upon a web positioned along a print line including,v

continuously movable type roll means having columns of spaced type front members arranged thereon in staggered offset form, the font members of each column being offset from corresponding font members of associated columns by less than one line space,

a plurality of N hammer means arranged in like sets of S hammer means in a set and positioned in proximity to said print line, a hammer means being provided for each said column,

a plurality of N/S driver means, each said driver means being connected in common to all the hammer means of a corresponding set to sequentially operate the hammer means of said set,

a plurality of S power switch means, each said switch means being commonly connected to one hammer means from each set for selective energization thereof, and

timing means generating drive signals for controlling the selective energization and sequential operation of said hammer means in response to periods of registration of said font members at the print line.

3. The combination as recited in claim 2 wherein are also included memory means comprising N/S storage cells, associated sets of S cells thereof being coupled to each said driver means in common for applying said drive signals for energization thereof at a respective one of said periods.

4. The combination as recited in claim 3 wherein said memory means comprises register means including shift control means for selective coupling of said signals in each set of said cells into controlling relation with its associated driver means at said periods in synchronism with the passage of corresponding portions of said font mem bers so that each of said cells associated with a respective drive means is successively coupled thereto; and wherein are provided S power buss means; each being coupled in common to a given hammer means in each set for conjunctive energization thereof at said associated operating period; each said buss means also being coupled to said timing means for energization thereof at said respective operating time in synchronism with the registration of corresponding columns of said font.

5. The combination as recited in claim 4 wherein one of said cells in each set is directly coupled to the associated driver means and wherein each said register comprises a shift-register adapted to step signals S times in font-member synchronism so as to successively shift drive signals into said directly-coupled cell at respective operating periods.

`6. The combination as recited in claim 3 wherein is also provided a staggered energizing arrangement including S energizing conductors, each being coupled in common to corresponding, commonly-registering hammer means in said sets for simultaneous enabling thereof at their associated registration period.

7. The combination as recited in claim 6 wherein S=2; and wherein there are two hammer solenoids in each set.

8. The combination as recited in claim 7 wherein the hammer solenoids are alternately staggered into an Even and an Odd group thereof; and wherein said memory means comprises a pair of Even and Odd shift registers, respective cells of each being coupled to respective solenoids in an associated Even and Odd solenoid group; each register being operatively coupled to be filled by print-signal supply means.

9. The combination as recited in claim 8 wherein said font is olset skipping-by-twos so that every other print column ,across the print-line has its pair of solenoids coupled in common to a respective driver means whereby an 11p/down hammer interlacing pattern is accommodated.

10. The combination as recited in claim 9 wherein said energizing conductors comprise an odd power-bus operatively associated with said odd register, an even powerbus operatively associated with said even register; and wherein are included font-synchronized shift control means for alternately energizing said busses.

11. The combination as recited in claim 10 wherein are provided font-synchronizing timing pulse means connected to each said driver means; and wherein said shift register means include distributor means for lling each register with N hit signals, one for each solenoid, corresponding to a prescribed character printing at a prescribed column, said distributor filling being controlled by said pulse means to correspond with registration of a new associated character-row; and wherein a solid-state three-element switch is provided to energize each said power-bus in synchronism with passage of each said font members.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Re. 26,240 7/ 1967 Wasserman 101-93 2,111,121 3/1938 Mills lOl-96 3,097,307 7/1963 Bonn 317-123 X 3,128,693 4/ 1964 Thiemann 101-93 3,215,985 11/1965 Marsh 340-1725 3,240,920 3/1966 Babbagallo et al. 101-93 X 3,243,665 3/1966 Payer et al 317-1485 X 3,247,788 4/1966 Wilkins et al. lOl-93 3,332,343 7/1967 Sims 101-93 3,366,045 1/1968 Canarutto 101-93 WILLIAM B. PENN, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3628050 *Feb 17, 1969Dec 14, 1971Scm CorpRecorder control circuit
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Classifications
U.S. Classification101/93.29, 327/403, 101/93.9, 361/152, 327/461
International ClassificationG06K15/06
Cooperative ClassificationG06K15/06
European ClassificationG06K15/06