US 3504622 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aprll 7, 1970 R. MORRISON 3,504,622
' PRINT WHEEL SETTING AND DETENTING MEANS WITH -`rELEC'IRICAL CONTROLS THEREFOR f Filed Sept. 15, 1968 l 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 6W5/wa?.
fupf/ 4 Maw/50M,
R. MORRISON 3,504,622
PRINT WHEEL SETTING AND DETENTING MEANS WITH ELECTRICAL CONTROLS THEREFOR April 7,1970
3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Sept. 15, 1968 59 Ofwrmce,
' April 7, 1970` R. MORRISON 3,504,622 PRINT WHEEL SETTING AND DETENTING MEANS WITH 'ELECTRICAL CONTROLS THEREFOR 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Sept. v13, 1968 Cam/oar Int. ci. B413 U.s. Cl. 101-99 s Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A small hand-held stamp has a series of wheels or belts which carry type for marking numbers or other characters. These are positioned automatically in response to electrical signals, as from a computer. On demand, the stamp sets itself to the desired data. It may then be used manually to mark the data on an ordinary sheet of paper, a printed form, or a manufactured article. In one form, number Wheels are rotated quasi-continuously through individual slip clutches. The position of each wheel is sensed, and each is stopped automatically at the correct position as determined by comparison and logic circuitry.
A form is shown in which the hand stamp is connected by a flexible cable to a control box which contains the comparison, logic, and driving circuitry. Another form shown uses no cable; the hand stamp is inserted into a cavity in a control box, where it is automatically set. It is then removed for use.
This invention relates to alphanumeric marking, printing, or stamping devices. In particular, it relates to a portable marking device which may be set or controlled remotely either in space or in time, so that it may be held by hand or other means and used to mark characters n an ordinary sheet of paper, a printed form, an article of manufacture, or other independent, physically separate medium, while the characters that it marks are determined and controlled remotely and automatically by means of a computer, an electronic digital measuring instrument, or other data processing apparatus.
This invention makes it possible, for example, to stamp, mark, or print test data or special identifications on manufactured articles, or to mark calibration, identification. monetary, or business data on an ordinary sheet of paper, a bank pass-book, or on any printed form, under automatic remote control: the operator need only apply the portable marking device to the medium, and it will automatically record the data without any error or further attention. In contrast, conventional automatic marking or printing devices can function only with their own internally-stored paper, in the form of rolls or Z-Fold packets of fixed width and nature, and are not at all adaptable to pre-existing papers, forms, pass-books, articles of manufacture, or other special media.
In the drawing:
FIG. l is a simplified perspective view of the exterior of one form of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a block schematic diagram of the functioning of the form of the invention of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a partial semi-diagrammatic, partly-exploded view of a portion of the internal mechanism of a form of the invention according to FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a partial semi-diagrammatic cross-sectional view of a non-exploded form of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a diagram of a portion of a modification of the invention showing the disposition and relations of a belt and of sensors;
FIG. 6 is a semi-diagrammatic partial perspective view of a mechanism of a modification of the nature of FIG. 5;
United States Patent O ICC FIG. 7 is a simplified perspective view of the exterior of another form of the invention;
FIG. 8 is a simplified, partially-diagrammatic crosssectional view of the form and modification of FIG. 7.
In FIG. l, a portable marking device 1 is shown connected by a flexible cable 2 to a control box 3, which controls the positions of character-marking elements (such as number wheels) 4 in device 1, in accordance with signals transmitted to box 3 from an external signal source 5. The portable marking device 1 may be held manually by a handle 6 and used to mark or print such remotely-controlled data on a printed form, sheet of paper, or other external medium 7. It will be seen that the data recorded on medium 7 is completely independent of any machine requirements as to the dimensions, physical disposition, or properties of medium 7, so long as it is capable of receiving the mark. It may be a page in a book. The device 1 may also have a visual display window 9 and a manual actuator 8, such as a push-button. The display 9 will normally display the same data that the marking elements 4 are positioned to mark or print, for the information of the operator. This display 9 may be effected by means of character-bearing wheels, belts, or other such expedients on, or linked to, the elements 4, or by optical devices.
The actuator or button 8 may be used to command the device 1 to reset itself, via the control box 3, to the next piece of data that it is desired to mark or print.
FIG. 2 shows a block schematic diagram of the functions of the system of FIG. l. The block 1 contains the main functional elements required in the portable marking device 1, and the block 3 the main elements in the box 3 (FIG. l). The interconnections are indicated generally at 2, corresponding to the cable 2 of FIG. l. The portable marking device 1 contains mechanical driving means 21 which drive the character marking elements, such as number wheels, 4. Driving means 21 may be a motor housed in the device 1, or may be a remotely-located motor, housed for example in control box 3, driving the charactermarking elements 4 thourgh a flexible shaft. The mechanical drive in either case is quasi-continuous. That is, it is initiated on command, as from the push button 8 (FIG. l), and continues Without further manual control until the character markers 4 have all completed at least one revolution or traverse. The character markers 4 may be driven through individual slip-couplings or clutches off a common shaft, so that any or all may be stopped at different points in their travel, by means to be described presently, and so present the correct combination of type characters to the record medium 7 (FIG. l).
In FIG. 2, the means to determine where to stop the character markers 4 (of which only one is shown, for simplicity), involve the sensing of the position of each marker 4. Position sensor 22 does this, and sends position information back to the control box circuitry 3. The circuitry in box 3, in turn, determines when each of the marker elements 4 is in the position required to mark the correct data, in known manner, and sends stop signals along conductors of the cable 2 back to the marking device 1. Here, in response, stopping devices 23, which may be solenoids, stop each marker element 4 at the correct point. It should be noted that this is a parallel process, i.e., the marking elements 4 are rotated simultaneously by the driving means 21, and each of these elements are stopped by means 23 sometime in the course of, substantially, a single revolution or traverse, so that the whole setting process for all the marking elements takes but a short time, for example 1/2 second.
Referring now to FIG. 3, there is shown one contemplated embodiment of the internal mechanism of the portable marking device 1 of FIG. 1, shown in a partial perspective view, partly exploded. The mechanism required for marking two different characters or digits is shown for simplicity and clarity, although it is understood that in practice a complete marking device 1 may have enough mechanism to print a line of, say, from 6 to 10 characters, by merely repeating the assemblies shown.
In FIG. 3, a shaft 30 is driven quasi-continuously (defined earlier) by a motor or equivalent means 31. The shaft 30 carries gears 32, which are mechanically connected to it by slip couplings indicated schematically at 33, so that the gears 32 normally rotate with shaft 30,
,but may be stopped individually by solenoid and detent devices 35, 35', 36, while the shaft 30 may continue to rotate. These are described below.
Gears 32 engage gears 34 which can rotate freely on a fixed shaft 37. Fixed to gears 34 are detent wheels 36. Plungers or the like 35 of solenoids or other stopping devices 35 may engage the detent wheels 36 so as to stop them (together with gears 32 and 34, and parts attached thereto), at selected points in their circumferences. Engaging gears 34 are additional gears 38, which are fixed to number-printing or character wheels or the like 39, freely rotatable on another fixed shaft 40. Character wheels 39 lmay carry raised type, which may be linked by passing against an ink roller 41.
-In operation, motor 31 rotates shaft 30, and the gear trains 32, 34, 38 together with type wheels 39, until stop signals are received from the control box 3 (FIG. 1), whereupon the solenoids or the like 35 are energized and stop the character wheels 39 at the correct points by engaging plungers or the like 35. The signal to stop the rotation of each wheel is derived from position sensing information via the control circuitry 3 (FIGS. l and 2). The sensing of each wheel position may be performed, for example, by contacts on stationary plates 43, which are engaged by contact fingers 42 mounted on the rotatable gears 32. Any suitable type of sensing may be used, such as photoelectric. The contacts or other types of sensors are indicated in dotted lines on the plates 43, and are connected to wires such as are indicated at 44, which go into the cable 2 (FIG. 1).
FIG. 4 is a partial cross-sectional view of an assembly according to FIG. 3, illustrating how the components may nest together to form a compact assembly. Here, the motor 31 may be housed inside the handle 6, and drive shaft 30 through suitable gearing or other means 49. The remaining components are as in FIG. 3. Contact or sensor plates 43 are located close to the gears 32, and their large central holes clear the hubs of the gears 32 and the slip clutches or limited-torque couplings 33. The detent wheels 36, together with their gears 34, occupy substantially the same space, along the direction of the shafts, as the assemblies of gears 32 and contact plates 43, and also substantially the same such space as the character wheels 39 and their gears 38. The gears 32, 34, 38 may be quite thin. In FIG. 4, the solenoids 35 would be in the back of the assembly, and their showing is omitted for clarity.
FIG. is a diagram of a portion of a modification of the invention, in which the position information is obtained by means of an endless belt or the like, with non-contacting sensors, such as photoelectric, capacitive, or inductive sensors of known types. The belt is indicated at 50, running on pulleys or sprockets indicated at 52, 53. One of these is coupled, as by gearing, to a character whetl 39. The sensors are indicated generally at 54 (in this case there are l0 of them shown), and the sensing points or indices on the circumference of the belt which are sensed are indicated at 51 and 51. If the sensors are photoelectric, the sensing points 51, 51 may be optical-ly reflective spots or they may be holes; if the sensors are inductive, they may be spots of magnetic material; if the sensors are capacitive, they may be spots of metallic foil or of electrically conductive paint. In this diagram of FIG. 5, the sensors 54 are in two staggered rows, to avoid crowding, and there are two sensing points or spots 51, 51', spaced half the belts circumference apart. The circumference of the belt is twice the circumference of either pulley or sprocket 52, 53. Under these conditions, one or the other spot 51, 51 will pass under each of the sensors during a single revolution of the pulleys.
The relationships required to sense explicitly the angular position of pulleys such as 53 are more generally as follows:
Let s be the total length of the row of sensors, as shown in FIG. 5, and L be the total length of belt 50, and N the number of pulley circumferences that eq-uals the belt length L. Then it is required that Also, the number N' of sensing points such as 51, 51'
must be equal to N. In the particular example illustrated in FIG. 5,
N =N==2 and L N1rr 8 2- 2 1r Referring now to FIG. 6, there is shown a preferred construction for a mechanism to realize the functions of FIG. l by the general method illustrated in FIG. 5. FIG. 6 is a partial, simplified diagrammatic perspective View, and shows, for clarity, the mechanism associated with only one character wheel. In practice, such mechanism would usually be repeated to provide several characters, such as 6 or 10, as is obvious. Belt 50 and pulleys 52, 53, and sensors 54, are provided similarly to FIG. 5. Pulley 53 is fixed to a detent wheel 36 and also to a gear 63; and the whole group is carried on a shaft 61, to which it is rotatably connected by a slip coupling or limited-torque coupling, which may take the form of an arched fiat spring element 64. The center portion of spring 64 is fixed to the shaft 61, as by soldering or by engaging a fiat portion on the shaft. The end portions of spring element 64 bear frictionally on a side portion of gear 63, and so may drive it in rotation when the shaft 61 is rotated by a motor means 31. Other suitable kinds of slip coupling, such as ratchet mechanisms, may be employed, consistent with the desired compactness.
Gear 63 drives another gear 68, which is fixed to a character wheel 39, both being free to rotate on a fixed shaft 62. Pulley 52 is free to rotate on another fixed shaft 60.
The detent wheel 36 is engageable by a stopping device, such as the plunger of a solenoid 35, similarly to FIG. 3. In operation, the position of index, spot, or sensing point 51 on belt 50 is sensed by sensors 54; operation is the same as described in connection with FIG. 2. When that sensor in the group 54 is energized which corresponds to the correct character on wheel 39, the control circuitry energizes the stopping device 35, and holds the wheel at that point. Simultaneously, the same process will be going on in all the other mechanisms corresponding to the additional characters or digits.
It will be noted that in the embodiments of FIGS. 5 and 6, the sensors are arranged in substantially straight rows outside of the mechanism itself. This fact makes it possible to locate the sensors outside the case of the marking device, which leads to a form of the invention in which the connecting cable 2, of FIG. 1, can be eliminated, and other Velements including the motor means 31 may also be located outside the case. This form of of the invention is illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8.
FIG. 7 is a simplified exterior perspective view of this other form of the invention. In FIG. 7, a normally stationary housing or `box 73, which may rest on a desk or a table, contains the sensors 54, the motor means 31, and the necessary control circuitry, as Well as the stopping devices 35. In the box 73 is a cavity 74, into which the hand stamp or marking device may be manually inserted. When it is so inserted, apparatus in the lbox 73 can automatically set the characters on stamp 10 to the correct readings. Device 10 may then be removed from the cavity 74 and used to mark the characters onto any desired medium. The process may then be repeated.
The visual display 9 on the marking device 10, FIG. 7, repeats the data which the marking elements 39 are set to mark, for the information and assistance of the operator. This display 9 may be effected by various means known to the art, and detailed showings are omitted for clarity of illustration. One method is to mark characters on the belts 50 (FIG. 6)', and to position the viewing window or area appropriately. In the particular arrangement shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the sequence of characters would be repeated twice around the length of the belts 50.
In the other form of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 1, 3, and'4, the characters for the visual display 9 may be marked on appropriate movable elements such as gears 32, or on other elements, or with the auxiliary employment of optical devices.
Referring to FIG. 8 in conjunction with FIG. 7, the marking device 10 may be provided with windows or the like 70, through which the sensors 54, located in box 73, can sense the sensing points on the belts 50. Operation is the same as in FIGS. 5 and 6, and will not be described again in detail. -Device 10 may also be provided with a driven element 71, such as a disc with a clutch facing, which is connected internally to a shaft such as 61 (FIG. 6). When stamp device 10 is inserted into the cavity 74 in box 73, element 71 may engage another clutch element connected to motor means 31, so that the shaft such as 61 is driven from the outside.
Stopping devices such as solenoids 35 may also be loA cated inside the box 73, as shown in FIG. 8, and protrude through openings in the casing of device 10 to engage detent devices 75 therein, in the manner shown. An inking roller 72 may be provided in the bottom portion of box 73, which contacts the character wheels 39* when device 10 is inserted into the cavity 74. As the character wheels 39 are rotated by motor means 31, the type faces will automatically be inked.
It will be seen that, in this form of the invention, a substantial portion of the list of functional components is relocated from inside the marking device 1 or 10, to the stationary box such as 73; and the cable 2 (FIG. l) is eliminated. The principal functional components required in the device 10, FIGS. 7 and 8, are slip-coupling means driving character-marking elements, and means connected to these elements which carry movable indicia or sensing points whose positions may be sensed from the outside.
In FIG. 8, the detent mechanism 75 engaging detent wheel 36 is preferably of the normally-locked type, as illustrated. During the rotation of the character wheels and other elements, stopping device 35 would push the top of the detent lever to the left, releasing detent wheel 36 and permitting it to rotate. At the end of the operating cycle, it would release, permitting the spring-loaded detent lever to engage wheel 36 and lock it into place, insuring that the character Wheels 39' remain in proper alignment.
Belts such as 150 may be of any suitable type, or they may be chains. A chain could for example be made. of non-magnetic material except for one or more links made of iron or the like; these links would constitute the spots or indicia 51 (FIGS. 5 and 6), and could be detected by magnetic or inductive sensors. A preferred type of belt is the kind known as a timing belt, made of an elastomeric material and having internal teeth, which engage teeth (not shown) in the usual manner on pulleys or sprockets such as 52, 53.
An important feature of the present invention is that the marking devices such as 1, .10 are portable. The term portable in this specification is used to mean that the marking device is of size, weight, and nature to be brought to the medium to be marked-as in the case of a hand stamp marking a printed formin contrast to those prior devices such as typewriters and computer printers, where t-he medium (such as a roll of paper) is brought to or stored inside the marking device or machine.
1. A portable marking device adapted to mark characters on external media, comprising (a) an upright housing having a handle thereon and adapted to be manually grasped and upper and lower parallel shafts carried by the housing,
(b) marker rotor means including marker rotors carried by the lower' shaft in the housing to define and to be rotatable about a lower lateral axis, there being circularly spaced outwardly exposed character markers on said rotors, and
(c) operating means to controllably rotate the marker rotor means including a 'rotary driver and drive rotors carried by an upper shaft within the housing to define and to be rotatable about an upper lateral axis, the drive rotors connected in drive transmitting relation between the driver and said marker rotors,
(d) said operating means including control means to selectively interrupt the transmission of drive from said drive rotor means to said marker rotor means upon presentation of at least one selected character imarker for marking said media, said control means including holding structure extending within the housing and above the level of the marker rotors but outwardly of said drive rotors to selectively interrupt rotation of the drive rotors, said holding structure including solenoids, circularly spaced outwardly facing shoulders carried by the drive rotors, and holding elements linearly movable 'by said solenoids into and out of selective engagement with said shoulders. v
2.. The device of claim 1 wherein said driver rotates and said operating means includes slip couplings connected between said driver and said drive rotors and within the housing whereby the driver may continue to rotate while rotation of said drive rotors is interrupted by said holding elements.
3. The device of claim 1 wherein said control means includes sensing means to sense the degree of rotation of said marker rotors, input means to transmit input data corresponding to selected marker presentation to said media, comparison logic circuitry connected to said sensing means and to said input means to receive said input data and responsive thereto to produce control signals, said solenoids being responsive to said control signals to move said elements into drive rotor shoulder engagement when selected markers are presented for marking said media.
4. The device of claim 3 wherein said sensing means include relatively rotatable conductors which are rotatable with said drive rotors.
5. The device of claim 3 wherein said sensing means includes a belt driven in synchronism with drive rotor rotation, elements to be sensed carried by the belt, and an element sensor in sensing proximity to the belt.
6. The device of claim 1 including indicia on said operating means within the housing, said housing having a window through which said indicia is visible, said indicia being movable relative to the window so that indicia moved into full window view corresponds to a marker presented for marking said media.
7. The device of claim 1 including a receptacle having a well into which said housing is downwardly receivable, said receptacle containing said driver and a portion of said control means.
7 8 8. The device of claim 1 including an ink roller located 3,007,399 11/ 1961 Sasaki et al 101-93 to be engaged by said character markers in response to 3,049,992 8/ 1961 Brown et a1. 101-99 initial rotation of said marker rotor means by said driver. 3,141,403 7/ 1964 Brown et al. 101-99 3,338,160 8/1967 Heil 101-99 References Cited 5 3,399,619 9/ 1968 Sims 101-111 X UNITED STATES PATENTS WILLIAM B. PENN, Primary Examiner 1,556,782 10/1925 Glasgow 101-110 1,836,671 12/1931 Langford lOl-93 X U.S. C1. X.R. 2,627,807 2/1953 Buhler 101--93 2,796,830 6/1957 Hilton 101-93 10 10159 95 346-33 141 2,998,187 8/1961 Wollar lOl-72X