US 3494454 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 10, 1970 L. A. CALGARO ET AL 3,494,454
COIN COLLECTION MECHANISM AND THEFT DETECTION SYSTEM PROVIDED THEREBY I Filed May 10} 1968 2 Sheets-$heet 1 E 26 In I 24/ I II 87 I 72 7 2:62, 82 M183 if g 78 8; 7. 32 1,
ll i j I. I i? Ill I! v l i i I ATTORNEYS Feb. 10, 1970 L. A. CALGARO ETAL 3,494,454
COIN COLLECTION MECHANISM AND THEFT DETECTION SYSTEM PROVIDED THEREBY 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 10, 1968- United States Patent 3,494,454 COIN COLLECTION MECHANISM AND THEFT DETECTION SYSTEM PROVIDED THEREBY Louis A. Calgaro and Clarence D. Fayling, Pittsburgh, Pa., and Phillip M. Ray, Dardanelle, Ark., assignors to Rockwell Manufacturing Company, Pittsburgh, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed May 10, 1968, Ser. No. 728,159 Int. Cl. G07f 9/08 US. Cl. 194-1 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Coin collection mechanism for vending machines including an attendant removable theftproof collection box having built-in latch release mechanism for use in a vending machine having a coin sensing mechanism actuated counter and a correlated coin chute including coin blocking means normally biased to latched chute closing posi-. tion and shiftable from chute closed position to chute open position upon coupling said coin collection box with the coin chute latching means for direct delivery of coins from the chute to the collection box. The attendant, at the time of removal of the collection box from the chute, enters the counter reading in his collection record book for later comparison with the total value of the coins retrieved from the collection box to assure an accounting by the attendant for every recorded payment registered by the counter.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Most vending machines today are provided with internally housed coin actuated mechanism capable of sensing an inserted coin to determine whether it is of predetermined purchasing value or in some cases of a value greater than purchasing value necessitating the return of change to the purchaser and then passing the sensed coin either to the coin return box, if not of proper value for a purchase, or past switch means for effecting operation of a counter and a dispensing of "the commodity or commodities stocked by the machine, if accepted, during its passage to a coin chute and collection box. The collected coins must from time-to-time be removed from the collection box, the change maker, if provided, must be replenished with coins of appropriate value, and the vendable commodity must be replenished. Since most vending machines today are installed on a lease basis by a regional area machine owner employing service men for stocking the machines and caring for the machines, often installed at points where continual observation is not possible, it is a desideratum to build the machines as nearly theftproof as possible, to employ bonded service men for servicing the machines, and to provide theftproof coin storage mechanism for the machines and theftproof collection mechanism and collection systems to mitigate against pilfering by the service men as well as by the purchasing public. The present invention fulfills this purpose by (1) installing a coin chute interiorly of the machine in juxtoposition to the discharge of the coin actuated sensing mechanism to receive accepted coins therefrom, (2) providing the chute with normally closed and latched blocking means accessible for opening only by specially built latch tripping and actuating means, (3) providing respective numbered theftproof coin collection boxes fitted with the specially built latch tripping and actuating means which the service man couples to the chute latching and blocking means of the respective machines upon servicing to condition the chute to normally effect direct transfer of the coins from the collection chute to the 3,494,454 Patented Feb. 10, 1970 coupled theftproof collection box, (4) requiring the service man to record the reading of the counter of the respective machines for later comparison with the aggregate sum retrieved from the coin collection boxes of the respective machines, the change supplied the attendant for replenishing the change makers, and the stock of the dispensed commodity supplied to the attendant for replenishing the machines.
The primary object of this invention is to provide removable theftproof vending machine coin collection boxes having latch tripping and actuating means thereon and coin chute closure means adapted for permanent attachment to the machine in surrounding relation to the discharge end of the coin chute retained in coin passing position only so long as the coin collection box is in place rendering it impossible to gain access to the chute to remove coins therefrom while the collection box is removed by the attendant for normal servicing of the machine.
A further important object of the present invention resides in providing vending machines having interiorly mounted coin handling mechanism and coin collection chute means with a housing fixedly secured to the machine in enclosing relation to the discharge end of the chute and mounting interiorly pivoted blocking means and latching means accessible for operation through specially constructed passage means by a collection box mounted latch tripping and actuating means matingly designed and correlated so that installation of the collection box into coin receiving position beneath the chute sequentially effects tripping of the latching means then shifting of the blocking means to chute open position permitting passage of coins into the collection box.
Another object of the present invention resides in providing a coin collection box with the latch tripping and actuating means of the previous object arranged around a coin entrance opening so that initial entry of the latch tripping and actuating means into the chute housing into coin receiving position beneath the discharge end of the coin chute unlatches the blocking means and final positioning of the latch tripping and actuating means to couple the collection box with the chute housing actuates the'closure means to move it from its normally biased chute closing position to its chute open position permitting coins to pass from the coin chute into the coin collection box.
A still further object of the present invention resides in providing vending machines fitted with chute closure means and coin collection boxes of the previous objects with a recording counter actuated by switch means responsive to accepted coins passing from the coin sensing means toward the coin collection box to be read and recorded by the attendant for use by the machine owner in effecting an accurate accounting between the recorded paid units (the total number of accepted coins counted) and the aggregate sum of the coins retrieved from the collection boxes plus the coins supplied the attendant for replenishing the change makers.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Further objects of the present invention will appear from a reading of the following description and appended claims in light of the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a fragmental exploded view of the interior of a conventional vending machine showing the conventional coin sensing mechanism, counter and coin chute with the blocking and latching mechanism of the present invention in surrounding relation to the discharge end of the coin collection chute and the coin collection box with its latch tripping and actuating means of the present invention installed in encircling relation to a coin entrance opeing provided in its upper end Wall;
FIGURE 2 is an end elevational view of the chute end encircling housing forming a part of the blocking and latching mechanism of the present invention as viewed from the right of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged side elevational view of the chute end encircling housing as seen in FIGURE 1 with the blocking means and latching means of the present invention shown in dotted lines;
FIGURE 4 is a transverse sectional view taken sub stantially on line 4-4 of FIGURE 3 looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIGURE 5 is a front elevational view of an enlarged scale of the upper end of the coin collection box of FIG- URE 1 showing the latch tripping and actuating means of the present invention as viewed from the left of FIG- URE 1;
FIGURE 6 is a side elevational view of the upper end of the coin collection box as viewed from the right of FIGURE 6;
FIGURE 7 is a side elevational view showing the cooperation of the latch tripping and actuating means of the present invention as seen in FIGURE 6 in its initial latch tripping association with the blocking means and latching means of FIGURE 3, the near housing sidewall being broken away to expose the lower end of the :oin collection chute, the upper portion of the blocking means, the near side latch and its tripping and actuating rneans in solid lines;
FIGURE 8 is a view similar to FIGURE 7 showing :he cooperation of the coin collection box and its latch :ripping and actuating means of the present invention in its final coupled position retaining the blocking means in :hute open position for passing coins directly to the coin :ollection box; and 7 FIGURE 9 is a perspective view of the blocking vane employed in the coin chute discharge end housing as sembly of the present invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT With continued reference to the drawings wherein like ."eference numerals are employed throughout to indicate he same parts, the present invention is illustrated as beng applied to the interior face of a wall portion 20 of a :oin vending machine 21, which may be of any convenional construction designed to dispense commodities of my desired character, adjacent an intersecting corner wall 22. In such machines, wall portion 20 is provided with 1 coin insertion slot (not shown) for passing inserted :oins into a coin sensing mechanism including a change naker and housed in a suitable housing 23 fixedly mounted on wall portion 20 behind the coin insertion slot 1nd a coin collection chute 24 fixedly secured to wall )ortion 20 in communicating relation to the main coin utlet 25 of the coin sensing mechainsm in housing 23. Referring for the moment to FIGURE 1 and in particuar to the coin outlet 25, it is customary to include in )utlet 25 or somewhere in the coin sensing mechanism tdjacent outlet 25, switch means of conventional strucure denoted by box section 26 in FIGURE 1 to be en ;aged and actuated by an accepted coin or, where the nachine is so designed, one of the accepted coins of a cries of multiple coins or lesser value aggregating the :stablished purchase value to activate the dispensing operttion of the machine. The present invention contemplates he use of this switch to also actuate counter 27 (FIG- IRES 1 and 3) of a conventional unit recording type lesigned to advance counter 27 one digit each time the loin responsive switch is actuated, an electrical cable onnection 28 being illustrated. In this way counter 27 vill record each paid unit rather than each dispensed lnit as has been customarily done in the past as a result of connecting the counter to be operated by passage of each unit of the dispensed commodity or the container for a dispensed drink, such as hot coffee, dispensed into an empty cup.
This difference in actuation of the counter is of critical importance in the use of the theftproof coin collection mechanism provided by this invention and hereinafter described since it furnishes the absent owner, who re quires his service men to record the counter reading of each machine on a report sheet to be turned in with his collections, with an accurate count of the units paid for from which the actual total of collections that should be turned in can be determined simply by multiplying the counted paid units by the unit value of the commodity being dispensed. Furthermore, since the change supplied the service man for refilling the change makers can be recorded at the start of a days run and as the modern day vending machine coin handling mechanism are de signed to reject and return inserted coins when the ma chine is devoid of the product being dispensed or not in working order, the service man can properly be held responsible for any difference and the oft proffered excuse that any difference is due to his manual actuation of the machine to supply customers claiming to have deposited their money and not received either a return of their money or a purchased commodity can be safetly disregarded since any monies supplied by the change makers as well as the value of the counted purchases must end up in the collection box. If per chance coins bypassed the coin actuated switch without actuating the counter, an unlikely happening, the difference would show as an overage in collected coins which the customer could be instructed by the service man to recover from the owner by a suitable request for a refund. It follows, therefore, that this counter arrangement together with the theftproof mechanism about to be described provides a vending machine collection system that protects the owner, the attendant, and the honest customer who may on rare occasions fail to receive that for which he in fact paid.
The mechanism provided by this invention for permanent installation in the vending machine comprises a chute discharge end housing assembly composed of a U-shaped body 31 composed of respective side plates 32 and 33 rigidly interconnected by a backwall 34 and outwardly from backwall 34 by a front closure wall 35. As best seen in FIGURE 7, the upper end of backwall 34 terminates below the upper ends of the main portion 36 of sidewalls 32 and 33 opposite the discharge end of chute 24 and its lower end 37 is inclined inwardly toward closure wall 35 to form a coin deflecting lip extending transversely between sidewalls 32 and 3-3 upwardly from their lower ends for a purpose to be hereinafter pointed out. Wall 35 includes an upper vertically directed section 38 merging at 39 into a horizontal section 41 (FIGURES 3, 4 and 7) of a width less than the spacing between sidewalls 32 and 33 and a lower vertical section 42 of sufficiently greater width to abuttingly engage its opposite edges with the inner faces of sidewalls 32 and 33. The opposite vetrical edges are notched inwardly at 43 (FIG- URE 2) beginning at a point spaced upwardly from the lower end 44 which is disposed opposite the inner tip of deflector lip 37 to provide respective oppositely inwardly directed L-shaped passages immediately adjacent the sidewalls 32 and 33. The opposite vertical edges of wall section 42 above and below L-shaped passages 43 are fixedly connected to sidewalls 32 and 33 by any suitable means, for example welding 45 (FIGURE 2). Sidewalls 32 and 33 at the front edge of main portion 36- are notched at 40 for a purpose to be hereinafter pointed out.
Sidewalls 32 and 33 approximately midway between backwall 34 and vertical wall section 42 upwardly from the plane of the lower ends of lip 37 and vertical wall section 42 are provided with aligned circular pivot openings 46 (FIGURES 2 and 4) to receive the laterally protruding stub pivots 47 integrally formed on the opposite edges of the planar mid section 48 of blocking vane 49 which, as best seen in FIGURES 4 and 9, is of a width to fit snugly but freely between the inner faces of sidewalls 32 and 33 with the rounded bottoms of the respective stub pivots 47 resting in pivot openings 46. The lateral edges of mid section 48 terminate at their upper ends in oppositely inwardly directed shoulders 51 delimited at their inner ends by a narrowed extension 52 of mid section 48 merging through curved section 53 into a clockwise directed blocking lip 54. At its lower end mid section 48 merges through a curving section 55 into a right angularly related abutment ledge 58 which terminates along its free edge in a dependent lip 59 (FIGURE 9). As best shown in FIGURES 3 and 7, blocking vane 49, due to the low positioning of stub pivots 47 along the lateral edges of mid section 48, is overweighted to the left of a vertical plane through its pivot axis P causing vane 49 to assume a normal counterclockwise biased position (FIGURES 3 and 7) with merging section 53 abuttign backwall 34 of U-shaped body 31, blocking lip 54 spanning and closing off the lower open end of chute 24 and ledge 58 and lip 59 disposed to the right of pivot axis P and cooperating with mid section 48 of blocking vane 49 to prevent entry upwardly into the housing space defined by sidewalls 32, 33 closure wall 35 and blocking vane 49. Vane 49 is normally latched in its normal biased position by a pair of latch levers 61 pivoted by pins 62 to the inner faces of walls 32 and 33 in the dihedral angle between wall sections 41 and 42 of closure wall 35 so as to swing counterclockwise around their respective pivot pins to engage their respective notched latching ends 63 with shoulders 51 of blocking vane 49 as best shown in FIGURES 3 and 8.
This normal latched biased position of vane 49 and latch levers 61 is maintained whenever the sealed theftproof coin collection box 71 with its interfitting latch tripping and support structure 72 is removed from the chute discharge end housing assembly just described by the banded service man to extract the collected coins therefrom by insertion of the lower end of collection box 71 into the coin collection head of a canister-like container like that disclosed in US. Letters Patent 3,321,129 issued May 23, 1967 to the assignee of the present application which preferably is either permanently installed in the service mans truck or a shoulder carried collection unit supplied by the owner of the vending machines. As clearly pointed out in the aforementioned patent, the closure door of collection box 71 is only unlocked when a key such as the built-in key 48 of the aforementioned patents canister is entered in the keyhole provided in nose portion 73 of coin collection box 71. It will be appreciated from what has been described up to this point and from a reading of Patent 3,321,129 that the service man does not have access to the interior of collection box 71 at any time, does not have access to the coins in the collection canister into which coin collection box 71 is emptied, and does not have access to the discharge end of coin chute 24 while coin collection box 71 is removed from its normal coin collection mounted position on the chute discharge end housing assembly as will now be described. He cannot, therefore, remove any coins that may have been deposited in the machine nor can he gain access to chute 24 to extract any coins that may have been inserted in the machine while he has removed coin collection box 71 to extract the coins therefrom. By the same token any unauthorized person gaining access to the interior of the vending machine by breaking through the normally locked service access door (not shown) would be faced with a coin handling mechanism welded to an interior machine wall and mounting a theftproof coin collection box in coin chute blocking position. Unless familiar with the sequential steps required to elfect removal of coin collection box 71, such an unauthorized person other than a professional thief would be thwarted in his attempt to steal from the machine by the very difficulty of breaking the coin collection mechanism free of the vending machine wall or removal of the coin collection box itself.
In this latter connection, coin collection box 71 at its upper end is provided with an inwardly and downward ly tapering entrance passage 74 (FIGURES 5, 6 and 8) the mouth of which opens upwardly and extends laterally substantially the full width of the open discharge end of chute 24. As best seen in FIGURES 5 and 6 the mouth is formed in an upstanding rib portion 75 laterally centered between the sidewalls 76 and 77 of coin collection box 71 and of a width substantially equal to the lateral dimension of the blocking lip 54 of blocking vane 49 to provide a space at each side when inserted endwise between sidewalls 32 and 33 sufficient to freely pass mounting legs 78 of latch tripping and mounting structure 72. Referring for the moment of FIGURES 5 and 6, mounting legs 78 form the lower forwardly extending runs of a one piece metal stamping providing at the rearward ends of legs 78 respective upstanding corner runs 82 interconnected along their rearmost edges by a transversely directed support wall 83 and, in vertically spaced overlying relation to legs 78, respective forwardly directed arms 84 terminating about midway of the length of legs 78 in L-shaped, latch tripping and blocking vane actuating ends 85 the short legs 86 of which are inturned as best seen in FIGURE 5. Support wall 83 above the upper edge of the respective arms 84 extends laterally beyond arms 84 and is inwardly notched at 86 to form laterally oppositely directed hanger arms 87 for limiting inward movement of coin collection box 71 between housing assembly sidwalls 32 and 33 and for engagement in sidewall notches 40 to suspend and secure coin collection box 71 in final assembled relation to coin chute 24 as shown in FIGURE 8.
L-shaped latch tripping and actuating ends 85 of arms 84 with L-shaped passages 43 of closure plate 35 of the chute discharge end housing assembly. Further inward movement of coin collection box 71 with arms 87 lightly sliding on wall edges 88, brings the leading upper corners of latch tripping and actuating ends 85 into contact with protuberance 64 of its respective latching lever 61 swinging levers 61 from their latched position of FIGURE 3 to the unlatched latch supported position of FIGURE 7 determined by abutting engagement of hanger arms 87 with the edges of sidewall main portions 36. In this partially assembled position, blocking vane 49 remains in blocking position beneath chute 24 due to its weight distribution relative to pivot axis P to assure that any coins that may have been trapped in chute 24 at the time of removal of coin collection box 71 or been deposited in the machine after its removal cannot be dislodged so as to bypass coin collection box 71 by rapid or jiggling partial insertion. Final assembly of coin collection box 71 and opening movement of blocking vane 49 is effected by shifting coin collection box 71 downwardly relative to housing assembly 31 to engage hanger arms 87 in notches 40 as shown in FIGURE 8. During the initial stages of such downward movement of coil collection box 71, inturned legs 86 of L-shaped latch tripping and blocking vane actuating ends 85 closely overlying abutment ledge 58 of blocking vane 49 (see FIGURE 7) engage ledge 58 and initiate clockwise movement of vane 49 around pivot axis P while maintaining latching lever 61 disengaged from latching contact with shoulders 51 until shoulders 51 pass beyond notched latching ends 63. Continued lowering movement permits the edge of levers 61 between ends 63 and proturberance 64 to ride lightly on shoulders 51 as vane 49 is positively driven counterclockwise by the descending movement of inturned legs 86 of coin collection box latch tripping and support structure into its final assembled position of FIGURE 8 where hanger arms 87 are fully entered into 10 notches 40. In this final position, blocking vane 49 is positively held in its open passage position of FIGURE 8 by legs 86 so all coins passing into and through chute 24 will be directed downwardly between deflector lip 37 and midsection 48 and lip 59 of vane 49 into coin passage 74 of theftproof coin collection box 71 which cannot be moved from its final assembled position except by retrograde upward bodily movement relative to housing assembly 31 to first release arms 87 from notches 40 followed by retrograde outward movement fliOIIl between sidewalls 32 and 33 of housing assemb y 31.
Such retrograde movement sequentially withdraws legs 86 from abutting contact with ledge 58 of blocking vane 49, then engages the upper edges of L-shaped latch tripping and blocking ends 85 with protuberances 64 of latch levers 61 swing them clockwise around their pivots 62 to swing levers 61 out of contact with shoulders 51 of vane 49 releasing vane 49 for automatic return in a counterclockwise direction under its normal biasing weight to chute blocking position before retrograde outward movement of coin collection box 71 from between sidewalls 32 and 33 of housing assembly 31 is effected. If for any reason automatic return of vane 49 to blocking position is prevented, for example by wedging of a coin between vane 49 and backwall 34 or lip 37 of housing assembly 31, lip 59 will have entered the open mouth of coin passage 74 (compare vane position of FIGURE 8 and coin box position of FIGURE 7) to be engaged by the foreward wall of coin passage 74 upon retrograde outward movement of coin collection box 71 to forcefully swing vane 49 to blocking position or, by reciprocating movement between the intermediate position of FIGURE 7 and abutting engagement between lip 59 and the forward wall of coin passage 74, jarring the blocking coin free so normal movement of vane 49 to blocking position will be effected. Should it happen that neither forceful movement nor jarring of vane 49 restores vane 49 to its blocking position, the complete removal of coin collection box 71 will be prevented and the service man will be compelled to report the malfunction to the owner who will replace the entire machine and return the malfunctioning machine to his plant for necessary disassembly and repair.
It will be clear from the preceding description that the present invention provides vending machine coin handling and collection mechanism rendering theft of coins by service personnel relatively impossible and providing an accurate accounting system enabling the vending machine owner to readily discover a shortage should the bonded service man misappropriate either the charge entrusted to him to refill the vending machine change maker or the coins deposited in and counted by the machines serviced.
The invention may be embodied in other specific forms 65 without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiment is therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive.
What is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. Coin collection mechanism for vending machines having a coin insertion slot leading to an interiorly mounted conventional coin sensing, change making and actuating mechanism comprising a coin collection chute mounted on the machine for receiving coins discharged from said mechanism, pivotal blocking means at the discharge end of said coin collection chute movable between chute closed position and chute opened position, housing means within said machine enclosing the discharge end of said chute and said blocking means and including latch means normally biased to latching position to secure said blocking means in chute closed position and passage means for passing latch tripping means, and a theftproof collection box having a coin passage and including latch tripping means formed to freely pass through said passage means and engage and release said latch means upon movement of said coin collection box laterally of said housing means to a position beneath 5 said discharge end of said coin collection chute and to engage and shift said blocking means to chute opened position upon final lowering movement of said coin collection box to a final coupled position.
2. The combination of claim 1 wherein said blocking means comprises a main body portion having laterally oppositely directed stub pivots adjacent its lower end, a substantially right angularly directed coin bloc-king lip at its upper end, and a right angularly related abutment flange formed as an extension of its lower end disposed for engagement by said latch tripping means upon said final lowering movement of said collection box to effect shifting of said blocking means to chute opened position.
4 3. The combination of claim 2 wherein said blocking lip and the adjacent upper end of said main body portion of said blocking means is laterally inset with respect to the remainder of said body portion to provide upwardly facing, laterally outwardly directed shoulder means projecting beyond the chute sidewalls for engagement by said latchmeans and said latch means comprises lever means pivoted at one end on the inner sidewall faces of said housing means in upwardly spaced relation to the remainder of said body portion of said blocking means for operation in the enclosed space delimited by said chute, the interior Wall of said vending machine, the
40 housing walls, and the remainder of said body portion of said blocking means.
4. The combintaion of claim 3 wherein said housing passage means is arranged to freely pass said latch tripping means into latch engaging position within said enclosed space upon movement of said coin collection box into coin receiving position beneath said discharge end of said coin collection chute.
5. The combination of claim 4 wherein said passage means comprises respective oppositely inwardly directed L-shaped passages in a wall of said housing means, said latch tripping means comprises matingly oriented L- shaped arm ends fixedly secured to said coin collection box in upwardly spaced relation to its upper end with their respective inturned, right angularly related, legs disposed to overlie a portion of said blocking means so as to engage and shift said blocking means to its chute open position upon lowering movement of said coin collection box.
6. The combination of claim 2 wherein said right angularly directed abutment flange is provided along its free edge with a pendant lip formation adapted to enter into the coin passage of said collection box upon initial raising disengaging movement of said coin collection box to assure engagement of said pendant lip with a wall of said coin passage upon lateral retrograde movement of said coin collection box from beneath said coin collection chute thereby assuring positive return of said blocking means to its chute closed position.
7. The combination of claim 1 wherein said conventional coin sensing, change making and actuating mechanism includes switch means actuated by passage of an accepted coin and unit counter and means is connected to said switch means to accumulate the number of actuations of said switch means whereby the attendant, upon removal of said coin collection box and recording of the reading of said counter, will provide record evidence of paid actuations of said switch means enabling the machine owner, upon adding the total of the change returned by the attendant to the total value of the coin retrieved from the collection box and comparing this total to the sum of the recorded count times the unit value of the dispensed commodity and the change provided the attendant at the start of his run, to have an accurate accounting from which to determine that the coin collection mechanism has not been pilfered.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1/1962 Osborne 23215 8/1967 Pennell 232-15 STANLEY H. TOLLBERG, Primary Examiner