US 3484586 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec? 16, 1969 H. R. D. WILSON ET AL 3 8 'AUTO'M'AT'I-C 'SYSTEM FOR OPERATING PARKING LOTS AND THE LIKE 8 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 25, 1963 N 3 MI 6 mm w Eu n OMS A T.o d ma J vR- N C T mm n R H 7 Dec.16,-19 69 H; R. 0'. WILSON ET AL 3,484,585
AUTOMATIC SYSTEM FOR OPERATING PARKING LOTS AND THE LIKE Filed March 25 1963 8 Sheets-Sheet 2 022' U CAR OPERATED m TREADLE 2a R24 a 44 U 312222 13 6 R22 P, fl EO Elj o c R23 KL] AZ-R239 -R24 W111 HCF'P Re F31 Mg m R75 F3 Mag izzab P JP Rib I r" cfi I R4 54 I TICKET PRESENCE l SIGNALING DEVICE 49 INVENTORS HERBERT R. D. WmsoM By oam (I. Moseuzv W MAJ, i mmam H; R. 0. w-rLsoN ETAL;
AuT'oM Tic SYSTEM FOR OPERATING PARKING LOTS'AND THE LIKE Filed March 25 1 1-963 8 Sheets-Sheet S INVENTORS HERBERT RD. WILSON Roam C. MOSELEY Dec. 16, 1969 H. R D. WILSON ET AL 3,484,586
AUTOMATIC SYSTEM FOR OPERATING PARKING LOTS AND THE LIKE Filed March 25, .1963 '8 Sheets-Sheet 4 jfog V F3: 402-v .;fi 21k 23 E1 R40 R39 3: R5265 205 Ej TIC/KET 206 35 A RELEASEL ALARM T 205 BUZZER f BU TON R30 g3 ---u1 Ag COIN COLLECTFON AND COUNTING MECHANISM I F |7| Com AUD)T q '54 A NAL 5 153412 I If F :21
1 m col r'qs 204 MECHANISM 167 R33- INVENTORS Hmwzm RD. WILSON F. BY Roam C. MasELEY Dec. 16, 1969 3,484,586
AUTOMATIC SYSTEM FOR OPERATING PARKING LOTSAND THE LIKE H. R. 0. WILSON ET AL Filed March 25.
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AUTOMATIC SYSTEM FOR OPERATING PARKING LOTS AND THE LIKE Filed March 25, 1963 a Sheets-Sheet 7 2 CARVOPERATED TREADLE 37 R52. f AT EXIT,
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Dec. 16 1969' 3,484,586
AUTOMATIC SYSTEM FOR OPERATING PARKING LOTS AND THE LIKE H; R. n. w LsoN ET AL 8 Sheets-Sheet 8 Filed March 25, 1963 MANUAL POSITION ADJUSTER N m L W W W T Rm E O United States Patent Int. Cl. G06k US. Cl. 235-616 The present invention relates to parking lots for vehicles and more particularly to an automatic system for operating such parking lots.
At the present time in parking lots which collect variable charges in accordance with the length of time patrons use the lots, at least one attendant is required to collect the fare and control operation of an exit. The only lots in which the attendant has been eliminated are those wherein the charge is not varied or a coded-card, key, token or the like is used. The requirement of an attendant presents operating difiiculties along with the expense of a salary. The attendants must be supervised and trusted. Also to operate the lots on a full time basis, it is necessary to hire attendants for night hours, week-ends and holidays. The latter, of course, increases expenses even more.
It is a general aim of the present invention to provide a parking lot operating system which does not require an attendant to compute and collect a toll to control egress of vehicles from the lot and which protects the cash proceeds at all times from pilferage. While not so limited in its application, the invention will find especially advantageous use in a parking lot operating system which has an entrance station for dispensing a coded-card and initiating opening of an entrance gate and an exit station for receiving the card, sensing an elapsed time, computing a toll at a predetermined time rate, collecting the correct toll and initiating opening of the gate in response to the collection.
A related object of the invention is to provide a parking lot operating system which is versatile in that both customers with fixed coded information, for example, keys, coded-cards, tokens and the like are handled along with cash customers.
It is a detailed object of the present invention to provide a parking lot operating system which is fool-proof in that both the entrance and exit gates cycle once for each vehicle so that two vehicles can not enter on one ticket or exit on one payment. Yet, on the contrary it is an object of the present invention to provide gate control circuits which operate the gates safely in that they sense when cars are following closely one behind another and do not allow a gate to complete a cycle if this would damage a car as long as the correct sequence of actions are performed.
Similarly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a ticket release at the exit gate to allow a customer to remove his ticket should be find that he does not have sufficient change to efiectuate opening of the exit gate.
It is a correlative object of the present invention to provide a running account of payments made by customers. Moreover, it is an object to provide a coin rejection mechanism which will not accept a customers payment unless the toll computation is complete and rejects coins after the toll due is collected. It is an allied object of the present invention to provide a cash auditing circuit which can sense a difference between the toll due and the toll collected to operate a change-maker, returning the excess to the customer. It is a detailed object in accordance with the foregoing to provide a fool-proof circuit responding with uniform regularity to collection of cash to assure the customer correct credit for his deposit.
2 Claims It is an ancillary object of the present invention to provide an overall account of the recipts from a specific lot between collection periods. Connectively, it is an object of the present invention to provide a totalizer which does not release cash receipts to a collector until a printout of the cash has been made thereby maintaining a complete check on the honesty of persons handling cash in the system.
It is an overall object of the present invention to provide a fully automated parking lot operating system which is economical to install and maintain and is foolproof in operation yet versatile in that standard parking lot components such as gates, ticket dispensers, cash collectors, change-makers and the like can be easily adapted for use in the present system.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent upon reading the following detailed description and upon reference to the drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective of a parking lot showing the overall arrangement of the entrance and exit stations embodying the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a schematic of a control circuit for a ticket puncher-dispenser;
FIG. 3 is a schematic of a control circuit for operating the entrance gate;
FIG. 4 is a schematic of a control circuit for coordinating operations at the exit station;
FIG. 5 is a schematic of an elapsed time converting circuit in a card reader;
FIG. 6 is a schematic of a toll computing circuit for calculating and indicating a toll due;
FIG. 7 is a schematic of a control circuit for operating the exit gate;
FIG. 8 is a schematic of a lot counter circuit;
FIG. 9 is a perspective of a cash print-out device; and
FIG. 10 is a schematic of a circuit for operating the print-out device of FIG. 9.
While the invention will be described in connection with a preferred embodiment, 'it will be understood that we do not intend to limit the invention to such an embodiment, but on the contrary, we intend to cover all alternatives, modifications and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
GENERAL ORGANIZATION The apparatus here illustrated by way of example is intended to automate the operation of a parking lot, an exemplary lot 10 being shown in FIG. 1, thereby dispensing with the use of lot attendants and allowing a vehicle driver to perform the operational actions necessary 'for a vehicle to enter or leave the lot. In general, the apparatus includes an entrance station 11 and an exit station 12, gates 13, 14, respectively at each of the stations and gate controls 15, 16 for operating the respective gates.
When a car or vehicle 17 arrives at the entrance, the driver intiates lifting of gate 13 by either effecting operation of a coder, in the present instance a ticket or card puncher-dispenser 18, (see FIG. 2) suitably housed in an enclosure 18a, or by presenting a properly coded instrument, for example a key 19, to a read-out device such as a key opera ed switch 20 (see FIG. 2) suitably housed in a box 20a. The card puncher-dispenser 18 is not explained in particular though it will be mentioned again subsequently because the details are not a part of the present invention. For the present, it will suflice to explain that upon actuation of a treadle 21, the puncher-dispenser 18 is energized and it punches a pair of openings 24, 25 in a card or ticket 26 (see FIG. 5) indicating in code by position of opening 24 the tenths of an hour and by the position of opening 25 the hour of the day on the card. For this purpose, there is a clock in the puncher-dispenser 18. Clearly, other means than the treadle 21 can be used to effect operation of the puncher-dispenser, for example, a photoelectric tube, a magnetic sensor or a push button operated by the driver. It is also understood that the time information can be coded in other ways not specifically explained, to note a few examples, printing by embossing or indenting the cards and printing with magnetic, photosensitive, radioactive or like materials.
The gate control includes a gate motor 28 operated by either the ticket puncher-dispenser 18 or the key switch 20 for lifting gate 13 so that the vehicle can enter the lot. After a vehicle has entered the lot, the gate is returned to the normally closed position. To this end, the gate control assembly 15 includes a vehicle sensor, in the present instance a treadle 29, which upon actuation effects energization of motor 28 to operate gate 13 downwardly closing the entrance. The driver then selects his parking stall.
In order to leave the lot, the driver can initiate lifting of the exit gate 14 by either one of two ways. First, he can present the coded-card 26 to a card reader 30 (see FIG. 5) suitably supported in an enclosure 30a which senses the elapsed time and operates a toll computing circuit 31, (FIG. 6) thereby effecting computation of the toll due. The toll is displayed to the driver by suitable means, in the present instance on a sign 32. The driver then places the correct toll in a collector-counter 34. When the correct toll is received, the gate control 16 is energized. Another way the driver can initiate lifting of the exit gate is to insert the key 19 into a key-operated switch 35 (see FIG. 4) suitably housed in an enclosure 35a.
For lifting gate 14 the exit gate control 16 includes a gate motor 36 (see FIG. 7) energized either when the collector-counter 34 receives the correct toll or when the key switch 35 is closed thereby allowing the driver to leave the parking lot. To close the gate after the vehicle 17 has left the lot, the assembly 16 includes a suitable vehicle sensor, in the present instance a treadle 37, to effectuate operation of the gate motor 36 in the opposite direction closing the exit gate 14.
ENTRANCE STATION Referring more particularly to FIGS. 2 and 3, the entrance station 11 includes a vehicle and driver actuated first control circuit 38 for controlling energization of the ticket puncher-dispenser 18 and a second control circuit 39 for controlling energization of the gate operating motor 28. These exemplary electrical circuits are energized by a common D-C source, a pair of terminals 40, 41 for identifying the positive and negative source polarities, respectively, are shown.
Turning first to FIG. 2, the ticket uncher-dispenser control circuit 38 is adapted to code-punch and dispense the ticket 26 in response to actuation of treadle 21 unless the key switch 20 is first operated. The treadle is positioned so that the key switch can be operated before the car actuates the treadle. As shown in FIG. 2 the switch contacts are in their normal or rest position. Upon actuation the contacts are moved to the opposite position as shown in the drawings. This system of showing switch contacts is used throughout the schematic diagrams (FIGS. 2-10).
Explaining first the control circuit 38 and its operation for a cash customer as contrasted to a key carrying customer, as the vehicle 17 approaches the entrance station 11 the front wheels 42 will actuate the treadle 21, thereby closing contacts 44 and completing a circuit through relay R1 between source terminals 40, 41. Accordingly, relay R1 is energized and contacts Rla, Rlb are actuated.
Actuation of contacts Rla is ineffectual, however, actuation of contacts Rlb starts a sequence of relay operations in circuit 38 which effects punching and partial dispensing of the ticket 26. Explaining the sequence, closing of contacts Rlb completes a circuit between source terminals 48, 41 through relay R2. Upon energization of relay R2 contacts Rla are closed thereby effecting energizing of relay R3 and, for the moment, locking-in relay R2. It is necessary to lock-in relay R2 through contacts R2a because as the front wheels 42 leave treadle 21 releasing it, relay R1 is de-energized and contacts Rlb return to the normally open position. Because relay R3 is mechanically connected with the card punching structure (not shown) within the ticket puncher-dispenser 18, punching of the coded-time information on card 26 is effectuated. Relay contacts R3a are not closed, however, until the end of the card punching stroke whereupon the contacts R3a close and complete an energization circuit through relay R4. Relay R4 actuates contacts R4a, R4b. Movement of contacts R4a from their normal position de-energizes relay R3 thereby returning the card punch mechanism to its rest position. Movement of contacts R4b completes a circuit for energizing a ticket dispensing motor 45. Energization of the latter rotates a shaft 46 which operates ticket discharging mechanism (not shown) within dispenser 18 via a gear train 48.
To signal to the driver that the ticket 26 is ready to be removed from the puncher-dispenser, switch contacts 49 are actuated (mechanism not shown) as the ticket 26 protrudes through a slot 50. Movement of switch contacts 49 completes a circuit through a ticket presence signaling device 51, for example, a buzzer or a light. To limit the discharge movement of the ticket 26, an eccentric or cam operated switch 52 having contacts 54 is provided on shaft 46. As the shaft rotates the contacts 54 are actuated to break the energizing circuit for motor 45, thus stopping shaft rotation and accordingly limiting discharge travel of ticket 26.
The driver having been signaled that the ticket is to be removed, pulls on the ticket thereby causing contacts 49 to return to their normal position. In their normal position the contacts complete through already actuated contacts 54 an energization circuit for relay R5. Energization of the latter has two effects. First, in circuit 38 a second sequence of relay operations is initiated to return circuit 38 to the ready state to be actuated by another vehicle. Secondly, relay R5 initiates operation of the gate control circuit 39.
Explaining first the sequence of relay operations returning circuit 38 to the ready state, energization of relay R5 closes contacts R5a to complete an energizing circuit for relay R6 thereby actuating contacts R6a, R612 and opens contacts R5b to de-energize relays R2 and R4 returning the respective contacts of these relays R2a and R411, R4b to their rest positions. The closing of contacts R6a locks-in relay R6 to maintain contacts R61) in the actuated position. Relay R7 is not energized at this time because contacts R15 are open, the car front wheels 42 having passed over and released treadle 21. When they return to their normal or rest position contacts R4b complete a circuit through the actuated cam switch contacts 54 and energize motor 45. The motor rotates in the same direction as the first time it was energized until cam switch contacts 54 return to their rest position whereupon the motor is ,de-energized.
As the vehicle is driven toward the lot entrance, a pair of rear wheels 56 of the auto 17 press treadle 21 to energized relay R1. This actuates contacts Rla and Rlb. Actuation of contacts R1a is ineffective, however, closing of contacts Rlb completes a circuit for relay R7 through actuated contacts R6b. Contacts R7a, R71), R70, R7d associated with relay R7 are actuated. Upon closing of contacts R7a, relay R7 is locked-in. The closing of contacts R7b is ineffective. The opening contacts R7c de-energizes relay R6 which returns contacts R6a, R6b to their respective rest positions. Relays R2 and R3 are not energized when the contacts R612 return to their normal position because contacts R7d have been opened.
As the rear wheels 56 release treadle 21, the relay R1 is de-energized and contacts Rla and Rlb are returned to their normal position. The circuit 38 is now ready for the next vehicle.
Turning to the gate control circuit 39 which controls movement of entrance gate 13, energization of relay R5 closes contacts R5c to initiate operation of circuit 39. In the preferred embodiment the withdrawal of ticket 26 has effectuated closing of contacts RSb. It is, however, within the knowledge of those skilled in the art to use other means for coupling the circuit 38 with the gate control circuit 39 so as to open the gate 13 for an entering customer at the correct time. For example, it could be provided that after a ticket is dispensed a push button would become operative so the customer could initiate operation of gate control circuit 39.
Following through the sequence of relay operations occurring in circuit 39 for effectuating gate movement, closing of contacts R511 energizes relay R which actuates associated contacts R10a, R10b. The closing of contacts R10a has no effect. Actuation of contacts R1011, however, completes a circuit through relay R11 thereby actuating contacts Rlla, Rllb. The closing of contacts R11a locksin relay R11 thereby maintaining contacts R11b in closed position.
For accomplishing gate 13 movement in both up and down directions, the gate control motor 28 is provided with a pair of windings 58, 59 respectively, each winding upon energization effectuating motor rotation in one of the respectively opposite directions. The motor rotates a shaft 60 which carries the gate 13 and a switch arm 61. The latter actuates respective limit switch contacts LSU and LSD for de-energizing :motor 28 when the gate has reached respective upper and lower limit positions. Closing of contacts R11b completes a circuit through limit switch contacts LSU and winding 58 of motor 28. Accordingly, the shaft 60 is rotated carrying gate 13 in an upward direction. As the gate begins to move upward, the arm 61 is moved so as to close the limit switch contacts LSD. Motor 28 will continue to move gate 13 upward until arm 61 opens contacts LSU thereby de-energizing winding 58 to stop motor rotation.
At this point the gate is raised so that vehicle 17 can pass thereunder. To initiate another series of circuit operations to both return gate control circuit 39 to the rest position and also to return entrance gate 13 to the down or closed position, the car sensor or treadle 29 and its associated contacts 62 are provided. The pressing of treadle 29 by front wheels 42 closes contacts 62 thereby completing a circuit through relay R12. The energization of relay R12 actuates contacts R1211, R1211. The actuation of contacts R12a completes a circuit through relay R13 because limit switch contacts LSD are closed when the gate 13 is in the up position. The closing of contacts R12b is ineffectual. Upon energization of relay R13 contacts R130, R13b are actuated. The closing of contacts R13a locks-in relay R13 thereby maintaining contacts R13b closed.
By this time the front wheels 42 of the car have passed over treadle 29 and contacts 62 are again opened de-energizing relay R12. Accordingly, the associated contacts R12a, R12b return to their normal or rest positions. Because contacts R13b are closed when contacts R1211 return to their rest position, a circuit is completed through relay R14 energizing the latter thereby actuating contacts R1411, R14b. Relay R14 is locked in the energized state when contacts R14a are closed. The closing of contacts R14b is ineffectual because at this time the contacts R10a are open, having been opened when relay R10 was de-energized with the return of relay R5 and contacts R5a to the rest position. Relay R5 was, of course, deenergized when uncher-dispenser control circuit 38 was returned to its ready state.
The relay R12 is energized for a second time when the rear wheels 56 of the car press treadle 29 for the second time. Contacts R12a, R12b are thereby actuated. Movement of contacts R12a is ineffectual as both relays R13 and R14 are locked in the energized state through respective closed contacts R1311, R14a. The closing of contacts R12b, however, completes a circuit through closed contacts R14c thereby energizing relay R15. The energization of relay R15 actuates contacts R15a, R15b, R15c, R15d. The closing of contacts R1511 locks relay R15 in the energized state as long as contacts R12b remain in the closed condition thereby maintaining contacts R15b, R15c, R15d actuated.
The opening of contacts R15b de-energizes relays R13 and R14 thereby returning the contacts R13a, R13b and R1411, R14b, R14c respectively to their rest positions. Relay R15 and its contacts are constructed so that contacts R15a are closed before contacts R1511 are opened, thus when contacts R14c are opened, relay R15 is already locked-in. The closing of contacts R completes a circuit through relay R16 because the down limit switch contacts LSD are closed. Actuation of contacts R15d is ineffective because contacts R10a are in their normally open position. Energization of relay R16 actuates contacts R16a, R16b, R160. The closing of contacts R16a locks-in relay R16 as long as the contacts LSD are closed thus maintaining contacts R16 open and contacts R166 closed. Opening of contacts R1611 de-energizes relay R11 thus opening its associated contacts including R11b. The opening of the latter contacts breaks the circuit so that the motor winding 58 cannot be energized when contacts LSU are closed.
Downward movement of gate 13 is accomplished when contacts R are closed completing a circuit through winding 59 thereby effecting motor 38 rotation turning shaft 60 counterclockwise. When gate 13 reaches the down limit position arm 61 actuates contacts LSD to deenergize relay R16. As a result, the contacts R16a, R1611, R160 are returned to their normal positions. In the normal position contacts R160 are opened and winding 59 is de-energized stopping motor rotation.
Upon the rear wheels 56 releasing treadle 29 and opening contacts 62, the relay R12 is de-energized returning contacts R1211, R1211 to their normal positions. The gate control circuit 39 is now ready to operate gate 13 through another cycle.
It is one of the features of the present invention that the gate 13 will not be moved downward if a second car follows closely behind a first car until the last following car has entered the lot. For purposes of explaining the structure in gate control circuit 39 for effectuating this operation, it is assumed that a first vehicle 17 has entered the lot and its front wheels 42 have passed over the treadle 29. At this point with the treadle 29 having been passed over by the front wheels 42, the relays R11, R13 and R14 are energized. The sequence of operations effectuating energization of these relays is explained at pages 10-12 supra. According, the contacts R11a, R11b; R1311, R13b; R14a, R14b, R14c, respectively are in the actuated state. Before the rear wheels 56 have pressed the treadle to initiate downward movement of the gate 13, a second car has arrived and the driver extracts a ticket 26 from the puncher-dispenser 18, in the present instance energizing relay R10 in the gate control circuit 39. Ordinarily, energization of relay R10 and actuation of contacts R10a, R10b would initiate a sequence of relay operations in circuit 39 to lift gate 13. The gate 13, however, is already up, under these circumstances the preferred embodiment of circuit 39 operates to maintain gate 13 in the raised position.
Explaining the preferred structure for achieving this feature of the present invention, actuation of contacts R10a completes a circuit through actuated contacts R14b and normally positioned contacts R15d to lock relay R10 in the energized state. Actuation of contacts R10b is ineffectual at this point, however, these contacts are maintained in the actuated position because relay R10 is locked-in.
At this time the first car has moved forward so that its rear wheels 56 press down treadle 29 closing contacts 62 thereby energizing the relay R12 and actuating contacts R12a, R121). The actuation of contacts R12a is ineffectual. The closing of contacts R121), however, completes a circuit through contacts R140 to energize relay R15. Energization of relay R15 actuates contacts R15a, R151), RlSc, RlSd. The closing of contacts R15a locks the relay R15 in the energized state. The opening of contacts R1511 de-energizes relays R13, R14 and returns their associated contacts to their respective rest positions. The closing of contacts R15c is ineffectual because contacts Rb are in the actuated position therefore maintaining an open circuit. The actuation of contacts Rd locks-in relay R10 through a by-pass circuit around contacts R1412. Because contacts R15d are of the make-before-break type so that relay R10 is maintained in the energized state even with the contact movement.
As the rear wheels 56 of the first car 17 releases the treadle 29, the contacts 62 open and relay R12 is deenergized returning contacts R12a, R121) to their rest positions. Movement of contacts R12a is ineffectual as contacts R15b are open. However, when contacts R12b return to their normal open position, relay R15 is deenergized and contacts R15a, R15b, R150, R15d return to their normal positions. The circuit 39 is now prepared for contacts 62 to be closed by the front wheels of the second auto pressing treadle 29 to effectuate circuit operation to bring gate 13 down.
It is a feature of the present invention that along with cash customers, vehicle drivers with keys may also be received. As described earlier, the ticket puncher-dispenser control circuit 38 will operate to dispense a ticket unless the key switch is actuated to make the circuit inoperative. This, of course, is desirable in order not to unnecessarily dispense tickets to key customers.
Turning to the ticket puncher-dispenser control circuit 38, when the switch 20 is operated by key 19, a circuit is completed between terminals 40, 41 to energize relay R21. The energization of relay R21 initiates a sequence of relay operations to disable the circuit 38 so that the puncher-dispenser 18 does not expel a ticket when the treadle 21 is actuated by the car wheels. Explaining, energization of relay R21 actuates contacts R21a. The closing of contacts R21a completes a circuit to energize relay R22. The energization of R22 actuates contacts R2211, R22b. The closing of contacts R22a locks-in relay R22 so that the key switch 20 can be opened and the key removed momentarily after actuation. The movement of contacts R22b is ineffective at this point.
Because the key switch 20 is positioned so that a driver inserts key 19 in the switch 20 before the car wheels operate treadle 21, it is not until this point that car treadle 21 is operated and relay R1 is energized. Ordina ily, the energization of relay R1 would initiate operation of circuit 38 to effect dispensing of ticket 26. However, because the key switch 20 has been operated first, in the present instance energization of relay R1 is ineffective. Following through the sequence of relay operations, energization of relay R1 actuates contacts Rla, Rlb. The actuation of contacts Rla completes a circuit to energize relay R23 (R21a-R1aR23-R7c41). Energization of relay R23 actuates contacts R23a to lock relay R23 in the energized state. The closing of contacts Rlb is ineffective because the contacts R22b are maintained in their actuated position since relay R22 is locked-in.
When the car front wheels leave treadle 21, relay R1 is de-energized and contacts Rla, Rlb are returned to their rest position. At this point contacts R23b are closed. Thus, when the contacts Rla return to their normal position an energizing circuit is completed for relay R24 (40-R22a-R1a-R23b-R24-R7c-41). Energization of relay R24 actuates contacts R2451, R241). .The closing of contacts R24a locks-in relay R24.
The closing of contacts R24!) is not effective until the rear wheels of the car actuate treadle 21 to close contacts 42 and energizes relay R1 again. Energization of relay R1 actuates contacts Rla, Rlb. The movement of contacts Rla is ineffectual. However, with the contacts R24b closed and the contacts R22b in actuated position, the closing of contacts Rlb completes an energizing circuit for relay R7. Energization of the latter actuates contacts R7a, R7b, R7c, R7d. The closing of contacts R7a and opening of contacts R7d is ineffective. The closing of contacts R7b locksin relay R7 as long as contacts R22b remain in their actuated position. The opening of contacts R70 de-energizes the relays R22, R23, R24. The tie-energization of the latter relays re urns their respective contacts to their normal or rest positions. Because contacts R22b are returned to their rest position, the relay R7 will no longer be locked-in through contacts R717. The relay R7 remains energized, however, because the contacts R22b are of the make-before-break type. Relay R7 remains energized as long as the contacts Rlb are closed as a result of the rear wheels pressing treadle 21 to effectuate energization of relay R1. When the rear wheels pass over the treadle 21 so as to de-energize relay R1, the contacts Rlb return to their normal open position and the relay R7 is de-energized. The circuit 38 is now in the ready state.
Turning to the operation of gate control circuit 39 for a key customer, the same sequence of relay operations that occur when the contacts RSc are closed by withdrawal of a ticket from the ticket puncher-dispenser 18 also take place when key switch '20 is operated. This sequence of relay operations has already been explained. As is noted in FIG. 3, the key operated switch 20 is in parallel with the contacts R50. Accordingly, it is clear that the closing of switch 20 will complete a circuit to energize relay R10 and thus initiate operation of circuit 39 in the same manner as did the closing of contacts RSc- EXIT STATION As shown in FIG. 1, the exit station 12 is provided to control egress from the parking lot 10. The gate 14 must be opened before a vehicle can leave the lot. The circuits for effectuating operation of the exit gate are shown in FIGS. 47.
In accordance with an important aspect of the present invention the exit gate 14 is automatically opened in response to the vehicle driver depositing a toll due determined by a computer as a function of elapsed time represented as an electrical analog by a converter coupled to a read-out device sensing coded-time information on the card 26 and to an exit station clock synchronized with the clock in the puncher-dispcnser 18. In the present instance to initiate operation of the exit gate 14 at the correct moment, the exit station 12 includes a first control circuit (FIG. 4) for coordinating operation of the following: an elapsed time converting circuit 101 (FIG. 5), a toll computing circuit 31 (FIG. 6) and a gate control circuit 102 (FIG. 7). These circuits are energized by the common D-C source already identified by positive and negative terminals 40, 41 respectively. To initiate operation of the exemplary control circuit 100, the time-coded card 26 is presented to the card reader 30 (FIGS. 4, 5). The card is slid along a base plate 104 until a ticket sensor 105 has a plunger 105a forced upwardly to close contacts 106 and thereby complete a circuit to energize relays R30, R31, R32 in circuit 100. Plunger 105 is constructed of suitable electrically insulative material at the lower end so that electrical contact is made with base plate 104. Relay R30 operates a ticket clamp arm 107 which holds the ticket in position for the readout operation. The function of relay R32 and its associated contacts will be explained subsequently. First, the elapsed time circuit 101 is explained.
For sensing the coded-time information on card 26 and providing part of the information necessary for circuit 101 to represent an elapsed time as an electrical analog, the relay R31 effectuates movement of a carrier (not shown) to bring down two sets of read-out fingers (LOH through 0.9H and 1H through 24H, respectively (see FIG. 5). As shown in the schematic of the exemplary embodiment, the read-out fingers are positioned at spaced intervals in concentric circles 108a, 10812 to sense respectively hour and twenty-four hour information. The inside circle of fingers 108a senses the last tenth of an hour and the outside circle of fingers 10812 senses the last hour. In the present instance the coded-time information was punched on the card by the puncher-dispenser 18 at the entrance station.
For converting the coded-card information to an electrical analog the elapsed time circuit 101 includes an impedance circuit, in the present instance a set of resistances 109 comprised of subsets 110, 111, 112 and a coupling resistance 113, the impedance of subsets 110, 111, 112 being varied with elapsed time. In the exemplary embodiment, the impedance is increased as the elapsed time increases.
Describing the circuit, resistance set 109 is connected between a terminal 114 and the negative terminal 41 of the D-C source while the variable portion of the latter resistance 109, subsets 110, 111, 112 are connected between terminal 114 and a terminal 115. The coded-time information on the card 26 is represented by openings 24, 25 in the card which are positioned so that the tenth of an hour finger 08H and the twenty-four-hour finger 1H make contact with base plate 104. Thus, the card of the exemplary embodiment was punched at 1.8 hours after the selected reference time for the system. The structure for sensing the tenth-of-an-hour information includes the resistance subset 110, of which three exemplary resistances 110a, 11Gb and 110i are shown between terminals 118, 119, whose impedance depends upon which of the fingers 001-1 through 0.9H makes contact with base plate 104. The fingers are connected to a set of resistance terminals, exemplary ones 121a, 1211) and 121k being shown, by a set of conductors, only exemplary ones 120a, 1201), 1200, 120i and 120 being shown.
In the present instance the impedance of subset 110 is varied inversely with the tenth-of-an-hour sensed. In other words, as the tenth-ofan-hour sensed increases, the impedance is decreased. Explaining, the coded-card 26 has an opening 24 through which the tenth-of-an-hour finger 0.8I-I can make direct contact with base plate 104. Because the base plate 104 is connected to terminal 119, all the resistances in subset 110 between terminal 121a and terminal 119 are shorted. Accordingly, only resistance 110a remains effective. Should the tenth-of-an-hour sensed be 0.7H, in other words decrease, the impedance would be increased because then resistances 110a, 11% would be effective. This can be seen from the circuit in FIG. 5.
To sense the coded twenty-four-hour information on card 26, the impedance in the resistance subset 111 is varied between terminals 115 and 119, exemplary resistances 111zz111,g, and 11122 being shown. To this end as in the structure for sensing the tenth-of-amhour information, individual fingers in ring 112 are connected to a set of terminals, exemplary ones 122a-122g and 122v being shown, which are positioned to equally divide the impedance of subset 111. Connecting the set of terminals to the fingers is a set of conductors, exemplary ones 124a- 124g and 124v being shown. Only a portion of the twentyfour-hour fingers are shown.
In the present instance the impedance of subset 111 is varied inversely with the hour sensed. In other words, as the hour sensed increases, the effective impedance decreases. Explaining, the coded-card 26 has an opening 25 through which a finger 1H makes contact with base plate 104. As has been described, base plate 104 is connected to terminal 119. Thus, resistance 111a is shorted by conductor 124a. As the sensed hour increases, the number of resistances shorted increases thereby decreasing the efiective impedance of subset 111. In other words, if the card was coded with opening 25 beneath finger 2H resistances 111a, 111b would both be shorted.
To provide an impedance analog of the elapsed time, it is necessary to adjust the impedance of circuit 109 to reflect the time when the card is presented. To this end, a one-hour clock having a wiper arm 126 and a twenty-four-hour clock 128 having a wiper arm 129 are provided. These are the exit station clocks which are synchronized with the clock in the puncher-dispenser 18.
The one-hour clock is connected to resistance subset 112, exemplary resistances 112a, 112b, 112e, 112k and 112i being shown, and the twenty-four-hour clock 128 is connected to resistance subset 111 already described. Turning to the one-hour clock, it has wiper contacts 0.0HC through 0.9HC connected to a set of terminals on subset 112, exemplary ones 130a, 130b, 1300, 130g, 130h being shown. Connection is accomplished by a set of conductors, only exemplary ones 131a, 131b, 131e, 131d, 1311', 1311' being shown. To effectuate shorting of resistances in subset 112 by wiper arm 126, the latter is connected to base plate 104 by a conductor 126a and conductors 131 1201'. In the present instance the wiper arm shorts one less resistance as it steps once for each tenth-of-an hour passage in time. In other words, the impedance is varied inversely with passage of time. Explaining, with wiper arm at contacts 0.2HC seven resistances between terminals 130]) and 118 in subset 112 are shorted. If the wiper arm should move to contact 0.7HC only two resistances 112k and 112i would be shorted.
Turning to the twenty-four-hour clock 128, it has wiper contacts 1HC through 24HC connected to the set of terminals 122a, 122b, etc. in resistance subset 111 explained earlier as connected to sensing fingers in ring 1081). Connection is completed through a set of conductors, exemplary ones 132a-132h, 132w, 132x being shown. To effectuate shorting of resistances in subset 111 the wiper arms 129 is connected to the terminal 115 through a conductor 129a and conductor 132y.
Explaining operation of the twenty-four-hour clock 128 for efiectuating impedance variation, the Wiper arm 129 shorts resistances in subset 111 between the lower terminal 115 and one of the set of terminals 122a-122v respectively connected to the individual wiper contact engaging wiper arm 129. In the exemplary embodiment the wiper arm 129 is engaging wiper contact 4HC thereby shorting resistances between terminals 115 and 133d. As time passes, less resistances are shorted. In other words, an inverse relationship is present between passage of time and the impedance of resistance 109 as adjusted by clock 128.
The foregoing has been a description of the individual effects of impedance adjustment by the two sets of sensing fingers and the one-hour and twenty-four-hour clocks. Viewing the resistance set 109 as a whole, it is first noted that the preferred embodiment is limited to operation during a twenty-four-hour period. It, however, is Within the teachings of the present invention to provide an additional ring of sensing fingers, for example, with thirty fingers, and provide coded information on card 26 so that the device is operative for periods of thirty days. The read-out time as represented by wiper arm 129 of clock 128 will always be later than the hour information indicated on card 26. In the exemplary structure the read-out time is 4.2 and the card punch time is 1.8, or a difference between the hour digits of 3. Accordingly, there are three resistances 111b, 1110, 111d effective in subset 111 to indicate a difference of three hours between the hour digits. However, the actual time difference is less than three hours, indeed, it is 2.4 hours. Explaining the operation of the tenths-of-an-hour resistances in subsets 110, 112, it is first noted that they individually possess one-tenth the impedance of resistances in subset 111. Secondly, the circuit is constructed to provide an impedance of .9 impedance units even if there is no elapsed time in other words, the card time and the exit clock time are the same. This allows the impedance in subset 111 to be representative of the difference between the hour digits. Thus, as the resistance of sets 110, 112 is varied inversely with time by the tenth-of-an-hour fingers and by the one-hour clock respectively, the difference between the time on the card 26 and the time at the clock 125 is always added to the basic .9 resistance units. In the present instance, the fingers present .2 units of resistance and the clock presents .2 units of resistance. Accordingly, the total resistance in subsets 110, 112 is .4 units. The latter added to 3 units in subset 111 gives a total impedance between terminals 114, 115 in set 109 of 3.4 units. To convert the latter to elapsed time, it is only necessary to subtract the .9 units giving an elapsed time of 2.4 hours.
For calculating the toll charge due and indicating it to the vehicle driver, the toll computing circuit 31 in cludes a toll selector, in the present instance a stepping switch S811: and the toll or charge indicator 32. In the preferred embodiment stepping switch SSlc includes wiper contacts 140a-140i and a wiper arm 141. To energize the charge indicator 32, the calculating and indicating circuit is connected across source terminals 40, 41. Following through the circuit, the wiper arm 141 is directly connected to positive terminal 40 by conductor 142, the wiper contacts are connected to the toll indicator 32 through a terminal bank 145. The toll indicator is connected to negative terminal 41 via conductor 144. To control energizing of the charge indicator at the correct time, the normally open contacts R331) are positioned in conductor line 144.
Turning to the terminal bank 145 and its toll calculating and indicating structure, it includes a first set of terminals 1460-1465; which are individually connected by conductors 148a-148g to respective wiper contacts 140!)- 140i. Wiper contact 140a is not connected as it is a rest position for wiper arm 141. The terminal bank 145 includes a second set of terminals 149a-149k. The latter are connected by conductors 147a147k, respectively to individual charge indicators through 55- in 59? increments, these individual charge indicators being a part of toll indicator 32. To calculate and indicate preselected charges in response to actuation of wiper arm 141, connection is made in bank 145 between the termi nals 146a-146g connected to wiper contacts of stepping switch 851a and selected ones of the charge indicator terminals. In the present instance, the terminals 146a- 146g are split into three groups and connected by leads 150a, 150b, 1504:, respectively to respective terminals 149d(20), 149 (30q9), 149h(40).
To calculate the toll due for the elapsed time sensed as electrically represented by the impedance of resistance set 109, a stepping switch relay SS1 (control circuit 100) is intermittently energized and switches SS1!) and 8810 are stepped in unison until the signal across resistance 113 reaches a predetermined level to effect energization of relay R33 to terminate further energization of relay SS1. Explaining the circuit in detail, as already described inserting card 26 closes contacts 106 to energize relay R32 thereby actuating contacts R32a. Closing of contacts R32a. Closing of contacts R32a completes a circuit through coupling diode 156 to energize the stepping switch relay SS1. Each time relay SS1 is energized, stepping switches 5510 (FIG. 4), SS1]; (FIG. 5) and SSlc (FIG. 6) are stepped once and at the end of each step, contacts SSld are actuated. Actuation of the latter breaks the energizaiton circuit for relay SS1 thereby returning the relay to its rest position. The relay SS1 i then again energized because the contacts SSld also return to their rest position, thus the switches are stepped once more.
Explaining the calculation of toll charges, it will be remembered that as the switch S810 is stepped, its wiper arm 141 is engaging wiper contacts connected to selected toll charge indicators. In the exemplary embodiment the contacts are connected in predetermined groupings to charge indicators 301,? and 40g", respectively. As the wiper arm rotates further, it moves from engagement with contacts at the lower charge to contacts at the higher charge. By terminating the stepping of switch $510 a toll is selected with the wiper arm 141 stopped in an electrical connection with one of the charge indicators. An indication is made to the driver by energizing the selected charge indicator. In the illustrative embodiment the 30 charge indicator is lit by closing contacts R33c at the correct time.
For terminating stepping of switch SS1c when it has selected the correct toll, the stepping switch SSlb mechanically coupled to switch SS1c taps incrementally increasing levels of electrical energy and applies the energy to impedance 109 to trigger operation of an amplifier 158 thereby etfectuating energization of relay R33 which as has been explained, acts to de-energize relay SS1 and stop further stepping. The stepping switch SS1!) includes a set of wiper contacts 15111-15111 and a wiper arm 152. The stepping switch SSlb is adapted to tap increasing portions of the signal between source terminals 40, 41 and apply the tapped signal to impedance 109. To this end the contacts 15111-15171 are individually connected by conductors 154a-154g respectively to taps along a resistance 155 connected between terminals 40, 51.
As is clear from the foregoing, as the elapsed time increases and the electrical analog, impedance 109, becomes larger, switch SS1!) must tap a greater portion of the signal between termials 40, 41 to provide the necessary signal for amplifier 153. The stepping switch SS1a will accordingly, step further for increasing computations of elapsed time. Since switches 881a, S5112 are mechanically coupled, the switch SS1!) will thereby select increasing levels of electrical energy for increases in elapsed time. In the exemplary structure, each step of switch SS1]; except for the last one corresponds to an increase in elapsed time of /2 hour. The last step corresponds to an elapsed time of 3 hours because the voltage tapped by stepping switch SSlb and applied to resistance 109 is six times that tapped across each of the other resistances. In the preferred embodiment, terminals 146a and 1461) are connected together and to the 20 indicator by lead 150a thus for an elapsed time of 1 hour or less, the toll would be calculated as 20. By the same type connections for the terminals 1460-1465 an elapsed time of between 1 hour and 2 hours carries a toll of 30 and an elapsed time of between 2 hours and 6 hours carries a toll of 40. As can be appreciated by those skilled in the art, adjustment can be easily made of the toll charge per period of elapsed time by selecting the terminal connections for leads 150a, 150b, 150C in terminal bank 145. Also, by adjusting the energy levels tapped per incremental step and selecting the operational characteristics for the amplifier 158, adjustment can be made of the range of elapsed time for which the device is operative. In the present instance it is, of course, limited to an elapsed time of six hours.
Turning to transistor amplifier 158, it includes a pair of NPN transistors T1, T2 having respective emitter, base and collector terminals 6 6 b b and c 0 The emitters e e are coupled together in a common emitter circuit and connected through a resistance to the source negative terminal 41. For maintaining the transistor T2 normally conductive, the collector c is coupled through a resistance 161 to a positive termial 162 of voltage divider network 164. The base [9 is maintained positive by a voltage divider network 165 connected between terminals 41, 162. The network 165 includes Zener diodes Z1, Z2 connected in series between the source negative terminals 41 and the transistor base [2 A resistance 165 connects the base b to terminal 162. The Zener diodes maintain a positive potential on base b so that transistor T2 conducts. Accordingly, a voltage drop will exist across emitter resistance 160 of the polarity shown in FIG. 5. The voltage drop across resistance 160 maintains the emitter e of transistor T1 positive. Thus, until the signal at the base b reaches a positive level making base b more positive than emitter e the transistor T1 remains 13 non-conductive. The collector is positively biased by a connection through relay R33 to positive terminal 162.
To sense the signal level across the resistance 113, the base b of transistor T1 is connected to terminal 115. Accordingly, the transistor T1 will become conductive when the level across the resistance 113 is such as to drive the base b more positive than the emitter e Of course, when transistor T1 conducts, relay R33 is energized actuating contacts R3311, R33b, R33c. The closing of contacts R33a short Zener diode Z1 leaving only Z2 connected between base b and source negative terminal 41 which maintains base 12 more negative than emitter e to bias transistor T2 to non-conduction.
Summarizing, each step which switch SSla take's except for the last taps a sufiicient level of electrical energy to trigger operation of amplifier 158 if the effective imped ance increase in the combined subsets 110, 111, 112 is .5 units or less. That many units increase corresponds to an elapsed time increase of .5 hours. Thus, since stepping switch SSlb steps along with switch SSla, terminals 146a-146g of the bank 145 each represent /2 hour intervals in elapsed time. The last step of switch SSla, however, taps sufficient electrical energy so that the impedance in resistance 109 can be increased by 3 units or the equivalent of an elapsed time of 3 hours. As can be appreciated by those skilled in the art, the circuit constants of amplifier 158 can be selected to change the elapsed time interval from /2 hour per step and 3 hours for the last step of switches SSla, SSlb to another desired interval, for example 1 hour per step and 6 hours for the last step.
Merely by way of example, circuit values are set forth for operation of the elapsed time converting circuit as explained above, that is for an elapsed time equivalent of .5 hours for each step taken by switches SSlb except for the last step which has an elapsed time equivalent of 3 hours. The D-C voltage between terminals 40, 41 is equal to 36 v.; the resistance 155 includes 48 ohms between terminals 41 and 154a, ohms for each resistance between terminals 154a and 154 60 ohms between terminals 154 and 154g and 22 ohms between terminals 154g and 40; the resistance 109 includes subset 110 with each resistance equal to 100 ohms, subset 111 with each resistance equal to 1000 ohms, subset 112 with each resistance equal to 100 ohms and resistance 113 equal to 1000' ohms; in amplifier circuit 158 the base of transistor T2 is maintained at a positive 4 v. and resistance 160 equals 470 ohms, re'sistance 161 equals 470 ohms, voltage divider circuit 164 includes a 200 ohm resistance between terminals 40 and 162 and a 180 ohm resistance between terminals 162 and 41, resistance 166 equals 1000 ohms. For these circuit values the impedance of resistance 109 represents elapsed time in the following relationship: Elapsed Time (hours)=t l +0.9) 1000-H000 ohms where t is the time when ticket 26 is coded and t is the time when the ticket 26 is read-out in hours.
Returning to the energization of the relay R33 following triggering of the amplifier 158, as explained contacts R33a, R3311, R331: are actuated. The closing of contacts R33a by-passes Zener diode Z1 to maintain transistor T2 non-conductive. The closing of contacts R3311 completes a circuit to light up the 30 sign in toll indicator 32. The system is now ready for the driver to deposit the toll.
As another feature of the present invention, cash will not be received by cash collector 34 until the toll due has been computed. To this end, contacts R330 are opened after the toll has been computed to de-energize a coin rejection mechanism 167.
For effectuating operation of exit gate 14 when the cash collected equals the tool due, a relay R36 in control circuit 100 is energized when a comparator, in the present instance stepping switch SS2b coupled to terminal bank 145 in the toll computing circuit 31, responds to reception of the toll due to the collector-counter 34. In
the preferred embodiment collector-counter 34 is adapted only to receive coins, however a currency or a combination coin and currency collecting and counting mechanism can be used, it being important that the collector provide an output signal proportional to the cash collected. In the present instance the collector-counter (FIG. 4) cycles operation of a set of switch contacts 171 once for each nickel of cash collected. Thus, if a quarter were collected, the contacts 171 would be closed and opened five times. Each time the contacts 171 are closed, an energizing circuit is completed between source terminals 40, 41 for stepping switch relay SS2. Following through the energiz ing circuit in FIG. 4, it includes terminal 40, contacts 171, a coupling diode 172, normally closed contacts R35b, relay SS2, contacts 882a and terminal 41.
For comparing the cash collected to the toll due and then eifect-uating energization of relay R36 when the correct amount is received, the stepping switch 88% in toll computing circuit 31 includes wiper contacts 174b-174l, engaged by a wiper arm 175 with each contact being individually connected to a respective one of the terminals 149a-149k. Wiper contact 174a is not connected as it is a rest position for wiper arm 175. In the preferred embodiment conductors 176a-176k provide the electrical connection between the wiper contacts and the terminals.
Explaining the one-step movement of stepping switch SS2b, for each nickel of cash collected contacts 171 are closed and relay SS2 is energized causing switches SS2a (FIG. 4) and 8521? (FIG. 6) to be stepped once. At the end of each step a pair of contacts SSZc are actuated. Actuation of the latter breaks the energization circuit so that when contacts 171 are closed again upon reception of another nickel of cash at collector-counter 34 another step can be etr'ectuated of switches 851a, 5811?.
As another feature of the present invention a controller circuit is provided so that the relay SS2 functions only once each time that the contacts 171 are actuated upon reception of a nickel of value independently of the length of time contacts 171 are closed. To this end, a pair of relays R34, R35 and their associated contacts R34a and R35a, R35b respectively are provided.
Explaining the operation and construction of the controller circuit, if the contacts 171 open too soon, in other words before the relay SS2 has gone through a full stroke of operation, the stepping switch wiper arm 175 would not move a full step. Accordingly, it is necessary to energize stepping switch relay SS2 for the proper length of time. Thus, to lock the stepping switch relay SS2 in the energized state until it has completed a cycle of operation, the relay R34 is energized at the same time relay SS2 is energized. Accordingly, contacts R34a are closed to complete a circuit locking the stepping switch relay S52 and relay R34 in the energized state until the stepping switch relay SS2 at the end of its stroke operates the contacts SS2 to de-energize both relays SS2 and R34.
On the other hand, if the contacts 171 are held closed for too long, the stepping switch relay SS2 will take more than one step for a nickel of collection. Accordingly, it is necessary to break the energizing circuit for relay SS2 if the contacts 171 are closed when the stepping switch relay SS2 has completed its stroke of operation. To this end an energizing circuit is provided for a relay R35 through a coupling diode 179 if the contacts 171 are closed when relay SS2 has finished its stroke. Energization of relay R35 actuates contacts R35a, R35b. Actuation of contacts R35a locks the relay R35 in the energized state as long as the contacts 171 remain closed. The actuation of contacts R35b opens the circuit to the stepping switch relay SS2 by way of contacts 171. Accordingly, the stepping switch relay SS2 can not continue to cycle and step the wiper arm 175. Relay R35 is de-energized when contacts 171 are opened and the contacts R35a, R35]; are thereby returned to their rest positions and relay SS2 is ready to be energized on the next closing of contacts 171.
To maintain an audit of the cash received at the exit station 12, in the exemplary embodiment a coin audit 130 is provided. The coin audit is coupled to contacts 171 of the coin collector-counter through a diode 181. Accordingly, device 180 will have an output signal each time a cash value of five cents is received.
To provide an accurate count of the tolls collected a second coin audit 182 is also coupled to collector-counter operate-d contacts 171. However, as will be explained subsequently, audit device 132 is disabled upon the full toll being collected to provide an exact count of the tolls received in a cash vault (not shown).
In the exemplary embodiment if the correct toll of cents is deposited in the collector-counter 34, stepping switch SS2b is stepped until its wiper arm 175 engages contact 1'74-g. An energizing circuit for relay R36 is thereby completed through the bank 145 because wiper arm 175 is connected by conductor 175a to a terminal 178 at one end of relay R36 as shown in FIGS. 4 and 6 il-R36, 179175a-175-174g-176f1S0b-14-6d148d 14tie1411424t1). Energization of relay R36 and actuation of a set of associated contacts as noted below initiates the following simultaneous occurrences at the exit station: (1) opening of exit gate 14contacts R360; (2) rejection of any additional cash deposited in collector-counter 34 and disabling exact toll audit device 182 from further operation once the toll due is collected contacts R3612, R360; (3) returning of the stepping switches 8810, 851b, S810 and SSZa, SS2!) to their respective rest positionscontacts R3661; (4) de-energization of relays R30, R31, R32 to thereby raise the readout fingers and release the ticket clamp and bring down and operate a roller 184 to eject the used tickets into a bin (not shown)contacts R366.
Turning to FIG. 7 and operation of the exit gate control circuit 102 as a result of actuation of contacts R36a, except for minor differences which will be pointed out below, the exit gate control circuit 102 operates in exactly the same manner as the entrance gate control circuit 39 shown in FIG. 3. To eliminate repetition of relay operations already explained in the description of entrance gate control circuit 39, yet provide easy reference to the earlier description for detailed understanding of the exit gate control circuit 192, the relays and associated contacts in FIG. 7 have been provided with reference characters corresponding to those for the circuit 39. In the circuit of FIG. 7 instead of having relays R10, R11, R12, etc. and respective associated contacts R100, Rlla, R1211, etc. as is the case in FIG. 3, the relays are identified as R50, R51, R52, etc. and respective associated contacts are Ra, R5111, R52a, etc. The exit gate motor 36 and associated assembly in FIG. 7 are identified by the same reference characters as identify corresponding structures in FIG. 3 except that a prefix X is provided before the respective reference characters.
Emphasizing the differences in circuit 102, the ticket puncher-dispenser operated contacts RSc are replaced by the contact R36a which initiates operation of gate control circuit 102. When contacts R36a are closed an energization circuit for relay R50 is completed (corresponds to energization of relay R10 in circuit 39). A sequence of relay operations follow which results in the lifting of exit gate 14.
For returning the gate to the closed position, a car sensing device, in the present instance a treadle 35, is operated by car front and rear wheels 42, 56 respectively, to actuate closing of contacts 185 thereby effecting energization of relay R52. A sequence of relay operations follow in gate control circuit 102, the same as result when relay R12 in circuit 39 is energized, to close the exit gate 14.
It is also a feature of the exit gate control circuit 102 that if an exiting car is too closely followed by a second car making payment to the collector-counter 34 of the correct toll, the gate 14 will not be operated through a full cycle. Instead, the gate 14 will be maintained in It the raised or open position until the second car has left the lot. Then, as was explained relative to the entrance gate, the exit gate 14 will be operated restricting the egress of vehicles from the lot 10. However, a vehicle not making payment will be blocked passage.
Turning to another result of energization of relay R36, contacts R365, R36c are actuated to effect operation of coin rejection mechanism 167 and disable the total cash audit 182, respectively. As has been expiained, the coin rejection mechanism is maintained in a position to reject any coins deposited in the coin collector-counter if either of the contacts R330, or R361) are closed. Beboth contacts are open when the computation of the toll is completed, at that time relay R33 has been energized to open-contacts R330, the coins deposited by the vehicle driver will be collected. However, when the full toll is collected and relay R36 is energized, contacts R36!) are closed and the coin rejection mechanism 167 is energized to assure that additional coins are not received.
To provide an accurate audit of the tolls which are collected and due, the exact toll coin audit 182 is disabled by the opening of contacts R360 so that if any additional cash is collected the exact toll coin audit will not indicate it. This could happen if a driver owed a toll of 30 cents and deposited a 50 cent piece. The incremental coin audit will indicate that more than the required toll was paid so that a count is maintained of the total cash collected at the exit station 12.
It is another feature of the present invention that a customer will be returned change if he has paid in excess of the toll due. To this end, the different signals from the respective coin. audits 18d and 18.2 can be utilized to energize a change-maker so that the customer is returned change. Such change-makers are commercially available and need not be described in detail.
An additional result of energization of relay R36 is that the stepping switches S5111, S811), S510 and $821!, 58% are returned to their respective rest positions. This results from closing of contacts R36d. Turning to FIG. 4, it is there shown that stepping switches 351a and SSZa are provided with Wiper contacts commonly connected to a terminal 186. The wiper contacts of S5141 are engaged by wiper arm 186 and the wiper contacts of SS2a are engaged by wiper arm 187. For providing an energizing circuit for relays SS1 and SS2 respectively, wiper arm 186 is coupled to relay SS1 by a conductor 189 and a diode 190, While wiper arm 187 is coupled to relay SS2 by a conductor 191 and a diode 192. Accordingly, an energizing circuit is completed for the respective relays SSl, SS2 between source terminals 4-0, 41 when the contacts R36d are closed. Energization of the relays effects stepping of the switches SS1, SS2 respectively as has been explained earlier. The relays will continue to be energized and will step around until the wiper arms 186, 187 are brought to a rest position engaged with wiper contacts 194, respectively. As described earlier the respective stepping switches S310, S511], 5810 are mechanically coupled together as are stepping switches $820, 88% so that return of 581a and $5241 to their rest postions also returns all the other stepping switches to their rest positions. Return of the stepping switch $810, of course, removes the voltage across impedance 109 bringing the emplifier biasing signal across resistance 113 to zero and thus, triggering amplifier 158 to de-energize relay R33. To maintain the contacts R36d closed for the length of time necessary to return the wiper arms 186 187 to their respective rest positions, a pair of diodes 196, 197 couple relay R36 into the circuit of stepping switches 881a, 852a and lock the relay in the energized state for the requisite period of time.
The final result of energizing relay R36 is the ejection of the ticket 26 following closing of contacts R362. Turning to FIG. 4, when contacts R360 are closed a circuit is completed to energize relays R37, R38. Relay R37 is. mechanically coupled to the ticket eject roller 184 to lower the latter upon relay energization and return th roller to the raised position upon relay de-energization. Thus, the roller 184 is lowered to engage ticket 26. At the same time the roller 184 is coupled through a gear train 198 to a motor 199. Actuation of contacts R38a opens the circuit through relays R30, R31, R32 and de-energizes the latter, unclamping the ticket and raising the read-out fingers. Actuation of contacts R38b, R380 completes an energizing circuit through the motor 199. The motor rotates a shaft 200 to effectuate clockwise rotation of roller 184 to eject the used ticket 26 into a bin (not shown).
Explaining the operation of motor 199, mounted on the end of motor shaft 200 is an eccentric 201 for actuating switch contacts 202. As exemplarily shown, eccentric 201 has a recess 203 to receive a switch plunger 204 and effect actuation of contacts 202. The closing of contacts R38b completes a circuit through switch contacts 202 to lock-in relays R37, R38. The contacts R360 have by this time returned to their normally open position after having energized relays R37, R38. The motor 199 is energized when contacts R38c are actuated to complete a circuit to positive source terminal 40 via contacts R380, 202. The motor rotates until th plunger 204 drops into the recess 203 whereupon the contacts 202 are transferred and the motor is de-energized. The transfer of contacts 192 also de-energizes relays R37, R38. The de-energization of relay R37 returns the roller 184 to the raised position. The de-energization of relay R38 returns contacts R38a, R38b, R380 to their rest positions. Actuation of contacts R38a, R38b is ineffectual, however, return of contacts R380 to their normal position completes a circuit through contacts 202 to again energize motor 199. The motor rotates until the plunger 204 is again actuated and contacts 202 are transferred breaking the energization circuit for motor 199 and placing the eccentric switch 201 in its ready position.
It is a feature of the present invention that the ticket 26 may be withdrawn and the system left fully operative for the next patron if a customer presents his ticket to the ticket reader 30 and after having the toll computed discovers he does not have sufiicient cash to operate the exit gate. In the present instance pressing of a ticket release button 205 initiates a sequence of relay operations unclamping ticket 26 and returning the structure of th exit station to is ready position so that another cusomer may present his ticket and proceed out of the lot.
Explaining the sequence of operations, actuation of the ticket release button 205 closes contacts 206 to complete an energizing circuit for relay R39 thereby actuating contacts R39a, R391), R390, R39d in FIG. 4 and R39e in FIG. 7. The closing of contacts R39a completes a circuit to energize relay R36. When relay R36 is energized stepping switches SSla, 851b, 5810 and SS2a, SS2b are returned to their rest position as has already been explained. To prevent the eject roller 184 from operating when contacts R360 are closed, the contacts R391) open to break the energization circuit for motor 199. The opening of contacts R39c de-energizes the relays R30, R31, R32 releasing the clamp arm 107 and raising the sensing fingers 108a, 108b. The opening of contacts R390 in the exit gate control circuit 102 of FIG. 7 prevents the exit gate 14 from operating when contacts R36a close. As will b explained subsequently, opening of contacts R39d prevents the Lot Full device from being actuated indicating falsely that a vehicle has left the lot. The customer may now remove his ticket and hunt for the necessary cash or the proper change.
To assure that the releas button 205 is not unnecessarily actuated, for example by children, a buzzer relay 208 is provided and is energized to give an alarm signal when the button 205 is pressed.
An already emphasized feature of the present parking lot operating system is that it can handle customers on a variable charge basis or on a coded instrument basis to effectuate operation of the exit gate 14. Explaining the structure at the exit station responsive to the key 19 to operate gate 14, the control circuit is provided with the. key operated switch 35. The key switch is positioned in a housing 35a so that the vehicle driver can conveniently insert the key into switch 35 as he approaches the exit gate. Closing of the contacts (not shown) in switch 35 completes an energization circuit for relay R40. Energization of relay R40 actuates relay R40a locking the relay R40 in the energized state as long as the contacts R520 remain in their normally closed position. Accordingly, key 19 can be removed from the switch and the vehicle driver can await a sequence of relay operations to lift the exit gate. The exit gate 14 is lifted when relay R36 is connected across source terminals 40, 41 by operation of key switch 35 coupled to the relay by a diode 210 (40-R40a-R52c 210R3641). The operation of gate control circuit 102 (FIG. 7) in response to energization of relay R36 and actuation of contacts R36a has been explained. Accordingly, gate 14 is lifted. The relay R40 is de-energized and the contacts R40a are returned to their rest position when contacts R520 are opened (FIG. 4). This occurs when the front wheels 42 of the car press treadle 37 thereby actuating contacts and energizing relay R52 (FIG. 7). At the same time, the energization of relay R52 initiates a sequence of relay operations in the circuit 102 already explained, to close the exit gate 14 as the vehicle leaves the lot.
Another feature of the present invention is that a continual count is maintained of the vehicles entering and leaving the lot so that when the capacity of the lot has been reached the system will provide a responsive indication. In the present instance a Lot Full sign 211 (see.FIG. 1) is energized instructing a vehicle driver approaching the entrance station 11 that the lot capacity has been reached.
Turning to FIG. 8 where the structure for operation of the Lot Full sign is best shown, vehicles entering the lot are counted by a stepping switch SS3a operated by relay SS3 which is coupled into the puncher-dispenser control circuit 38 (FIG. 2) through a terminal 212. A.
coupling diode 214 in FIG. 2 completes the electrical circuit so that the relay SS3 is energized once for each entering car. For energization of relay SS3 upon closing of contacts R2b, the contacts RM and R517 must be in their rest positions. This occurs only once in circuit 38 for either a cash or a key customer entering the lot. Accordingly, a wiper arm 215 of stepping switch 883:: is stepped once for each entering vehicle.
For counting the vehicles leaving the lot, a stepping switch 854a and its actuating relay SS4 are coupled into the exit station coordinating control circuit 100 (FIG. 4) through terminal 216. To connect the exit station to the entrance station a conduit 217 can be sunk beneath the lot surface (see FIG. 1). As has been explained, contacts R39d are opened when the ticket release button 205 is actuated to assure that the relay SS4 is not actuated giving a false indication of a car leaving the lot if the customer desires to remove his ticket after a toll has been computed. Each time that a car leaves the lot, a wiper arm 218 of stepping switch SS4a is advanced one step. A relay R60 will be energized when the respective wiper arms 215 and 218 are coupled together by one of the leads 219, an energizing circuit is thereby completed between source terminals 40, 41. Energization of relay R41 actuates contacts R41a to complete the circuit for the Lot Full sign 211 and indicate that the lot capacity has been achieved.
For setting the Lot Full indicator the wiper arm 218 is manually adjusted to an advance position a predetermined steps ahead of the clockwise rotating wiper arm 215 of stepping switch 553m. The difference is steps in the vehicle capacity of the lot. The wiper arms 215, 218 rotate in clockwise directions as cars respectively enter 19 and leave the lots. Thus, until the Wiper arm 215 has caught up with Wiper arm 128, the Lot Full sign will not be operated.
It is an additional feature of the present invention that a totalizer and print-out circuit is provided which prints a tally of the total cash collected in the machine and stamps the figure on a ticket. In the present instance a print-out assembly 220 and a control circuit 221 are provided to achieve this end. The assembly 220 includes a frame 222 movable in an up and down direction, a set of print Wheels 224, 225, 226, 227 and a ratchet assembly 228 for actuating the print wheels. The print Wheels 224, 225, 226, 227 are geared (not shown) to respectively represent units, tenths, hundredths and thousandths. A representative set of numbers are shown on wheel 227. For actuating the print wheels, the ratchet assembly 228 includes a solenoid 180a which is a part of the coin audit 180 and is energized each time that a nickel is collected. As the relay 180a is energized it acts on a pawl 229 to turn ratchet wheel 230. When the relay 180a is deenergized the pawl 229 returns to its rest position catching another tooth on the ratchet Wheel 230 while a detent 231 retains the wheel 230 in its stepped position.
To maintain a check upon the honesty of persons periodically collecting the total cash at the exit station, the person is required to insert a ticket 232 into the printout assembly 220 which will print the total receipts on the ticket. When the ticket is inserted a sensor 234 having contacts 235 is actuated. Turning to FIG. 10, actuation of contacts 235 completes an energization circuit for relay 236 through the normal position of contacts R42a and 240. The energization of relay 236 pulls the frame 221 of the print-out assembly down. This prints the total receipts in the cash vault on the ticket 232. Also movement of frame 221 actuates switch 241 and its contacts 240. Upon transfer of contacts 240, the relay 236 is de-energized and the frame 221 is returned to its raised position by the action of a spring 242. The transfer of contacts 240 completes an energization circuit for relay R42 which effectuates transfer of contacts R4212. The latter locks the relay R42 in the energized state until the ticket 232 is removed and contacts 235 are opened. It is within the teachings of the present invention to couple the operation of the print-out assembly 220 with the lock means on the cash vault (not shown) to require a printout before the lock can be operated. This would provide additional security in handling the cash in the system.
It will be appreciated from the foregoing that the present invention provides a novel parking lot operating system particularly suitable for lots wherein drivers park vehicles themselves. The system eliminates the necessity of an attendant at the exit and collects a variable charge while maintaining full security over the collected proceeds. Though in the exemplary form the toll collectorcounter operates on coins, a unit responsive to currency can also be used. Also though the exemplary structure is described as energized by a D-C source other electrical energizing sources can be used including an AC source.
It will be recognized as an advantage of the present invention that available parking lot components can be incorporated into the system as exemplarily described, to fully automate a lot at an economical cost. Furthermore, the system provides the versatility of an attendant controlled lot including charging a variable toll depending on the length of time the lot is used, however, it does not have the disadvantages of requiring the lot attendant to 20 be trustedwith the cash as well as requiring a daily accounting of the proceeds.
We claim as our invention:
1. For automatically operating an exit gate in a vehicle parking lot in response to reception of a toll computed as a function of elapsed time between when a card is coded at an entrance station by a clock operated coder and when it is presented for reading at an exit station, the combination comprising, an exit gate operated by a gate control circuit, a read-out device at the exit station for sensing the coded-time information printed on said card by said printer at the entrance station, an exit station clock synchronized with said entrance station clock, an adjustable impedance coupled to said read-out device and to said exit station clock for representing variations in an elapsed time between when said card Was printed at the entrance station and a later time when said card is presented for read-out at the exit station, said impedance increasing proportionally with said elapsed time, a source of incrementally increasing voltage coupled to energize said impedance, a computer responsive to said impedance variations for computing a toll due, said computer increasing said toll due to preselected steps as said impedance represents a longer elapsed time, display means for indicating said toll to the vehicle driver, and a cash collecting mechanism responsive to said computer for initiating operation of said gate control circuit to open said exit gate allowing the vehicle to leave the lot.
2. For automatically operaing an exit gate in a vehicle parking lot in response to reception of a toll computed as a function of elapsed time between when a card is coded at an entrance station by a clock operated coder and when it is presented for reading at an exit station, the combination comprising, an exit gate operated by a gate control circuit, a read-out device at the exit station for sensing the coded-time information printed on said card by said printer at the entrance station, an exit station clock synchronized with the entrance station clock, an adjustable impedance coupled to said read-out device and to said exit station clock for representing as an electrical analog variations in an elapsed time between when said card was printed at the entrance station and a later time when said card is presented for read-out at the exit station, a computer responsive to said impedance variations for computing a toll due, said computer increasing said toll due in preselected steps as said impedance represents a longer elapsed time, display means for indicating said toll to the vehicle driver, a cash collecting mechanism for initiating operation of a comparator to sense when the cash collected is equal to the toll due, said comparator initiating operation of said exit gate control circuit when said cash collected and said toll due are equal to effect lifting of said exit gate, and sensing means responsive to the vehicle leaving the lot for actuating operation of said exit gate control circuit to close said gate.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3/1963 Hilliker 23591.1 9/1963 Schwartz.