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Publication numberUS3508636 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 28, 1970
Filing dateFeb 26, 1968
Priority dateFeb 26, 1968
Also published asCA927001A, CA927001A1, DE1909411A1, DE1909411B2, DE1909411C3
Publication numberUS 3508636 A, US 3508636A, US-A-3508636, US3508636 A, US3508636A
InventorsShirley John R
Original AssigneeH R Electronics Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Control means for vending machines and the like
US 3508636 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 28, 1970 J. R. SHIRLEY CoNTRoL MEANS FOP. VENDING MACHINES AND THE LIKE Filed Feb. 26. 1968 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 April 28, 1970 J. R. SHIRLEY CONTROL MEANS FOR VENDING MACHINES AND THE LIKE Filed Feb. 26, 1968 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 IIYYEIYTAE/ .Ip/fw f. 510 er .EY l 6 y j b2/rtf.

CONTROL MEANS Fon VENDING MACHINES AND THE LIKE Filed Feb. 26, 1968 April 28, 1970 J. R. SHIRLEY 3 Sheets-Sheet :5

3,508,636 CONTROL MEANS FOR VENDING MACHINES AND THE LIKE John R. Shirley, Crestwood, Mo., assignor to H. R.

Electronics Company, High Ridge, Mo., a corporation of Missouri Filed Feb. 26, 1968, Ser. No. 708,140 Int. Cl. G07f 1 1 00 U.S. Cl. 194--10 21 Claims ABSTRACT F THlE DISCLOSURE Electronic control means for vending machines and other coin controlled devices which accept different denomination coins, make vends at selectable prices, and perform other functions including making change, said control means including counting, memory, and logic circuit means, and means under control thereof for producing the vending, change making and other functions. The subject means are preferably designed and constructed using solid state components and are constructed to be packaged in a container which can be easily and quickly installed and removed.

Many coin operated devices are in existance including some which perform vending, change making and other functions and combinations thereof. For the most part, however, the known devices are limited in their versatility, are electromechanical in nature, and are constructed for specific limited applications such as applications which require the deposit of an exact amount of money for each operation as where the vend price and the amount of refund, if any, and other functions do not vary and are not selectable. Electromechanical control devices such as are also in Wide use are relatively complicated and expensive, and they require frequent and time consuming maintenance and repair and result in considerable machine down-time. Such devices are also relatively inflexible to change and difficult to adjust, and to increase their versatility to enable them to handle a greater variety of operations and functions disproportionally increases their complexity and cost. Electromechanical control devices are also relatively bulky and cumbersome, they are dif cult to install and adjust, and they are unsuitable for many applications such as those involving self-contained vending machines where space is limited and where a variety of selectable vend prices is desired.

Electronic control means for vending machines such, for example, as the control described in applicants Patent No. 3,307,671, dated Mar. 7, 1967, have solved some of the above mentioned problems and have overcome some of the disadvantages and shortcomings of the prior art. The device disclosed herein represents a still further improvement in such control means.

The present invention teaches the construction and operation of a novel, versatile, and exible electronic control circuit well suited to control vending, making change and other functions of vending machines, and the present control circuit is particularly suitable for use on vending machines capable of vending products costing different amounts, capable of accumulating amounts deposited in the vending machine and yreturning amounts deposited in excess of the vend price of the selected product.

The subject device includes a control circuit which comprises means responsive to the deposit of coins of different denominations into a coin receiving unit, means for accumulating or counting the value of coins deposited, means for controlling the selected vend operation of the machine including determining when an amount deposited at least equals the price of a selected article, and means United States Patent O icel under control of the accumulating means for causing a vend operation and for refunding amounts deposited in excess of the vend price. The present circuit also includes accumulator reset means including timer means, vend control means, and circuit selection means, and the subject control circuit is preferably constructed employing solid state components which minimize its size, improve its reliability, and enable it to be constructed and packaged as a compact plug-in type unit which can tbe easily and quickly installed and/ or removed and replaced in a vending or like machine. Being constructed insofar as possible of solid state components also makes the device relatively trouble free and relatively easy to handle and maintain.

A principal object of the present invention is to provide improved and more versatile means for controlling vending, refunding, and other operations of coin controlled devices.

Another object is to provide means capable of expanding the functions and operations performed by vending machines and like devices.

Another object is to increase the business potential of vending machines and the like.

Another object is to provide improved means for accumulating the value of money deposited in vending machines.

Another object is to provide means for determining amounts deposited in vending machines in excess of a selectable vend price and for refunding such amounts.

Another object is to provide improved electronic control means for vending and like devices which can be quickly and easily installed either as original equipment or as an improvement to an existing device and with a minimum of modification.

Another object is to provide relatively inexpensive means for controlling coin operated devices capable of handling transactions involving different money amounts.

Another object is to simplify the construction, operation, and repair of vending and like devices.

Another object is to provide a packaged plug-in type control unit for installing in vending machines and the like.

Another object is to minimize the time required after coins are deposited in a vending machine make t-he selected vend and to perform other functions including refunding amounts deposited in excess of the vend price.

Another object is to minimize maintenance and downtime on vending machines and the like.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent after considering the following detailed speciiication which covers a preferred embodiment of the subject device in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a control circuit constructed according to the present invention; and,

FIGS. 2A and 2B together are a schematic diagram showing the details of a particular embodiment of the control circuit of FIG. l.

Referring to the drawings more particularly by reference numbers, number 10 refers generally to a control circuit constructed according to the present invention. The circuit 10 is constructed to be used to control the various operations of vending machines and other money or coin controlled devices such as are capable of vending selectable items of merchandise costing different amounts. The circuit 10 operates in conjunction with a coin unit 11 on a vending machine, and includes accumulating means 12 which respond to impulses produced in the coin unit when coins are deposited therein to accumulate the money value of such deposits. When the amount accumulated in the accumulator 12 equals or exceeds the vend price of a selected item, several different things happen in the circuit ncluding determining how much, if any, has been deposited in excess of the vend price and refunding same, .nitiating a vend operation, resetting the accumulator neans to some preestablished reset condition, and per- Eorming other control functions as required. The accumuiator or counter circuit 12 may have several different con- ;tructions without departing from the spirit and scope )f the invention. The more common forms include a binary type counter, a iiip-tlop counter, a ring counter, a shift register type accumulator, a magnetic core accumu- .ator or any other equivalent type accumulator means -:ireferably constructed using solid state elements for reliability and to minimize the size and weight of the cirzuitry. Several different accumulator means including the ccumulator means 12 are disclosed in this specification as will be explained. y

The subject circuit is designed to be used in conjunction with a coin receiving unit such as the unit 11 which is shown in simplied form in FIG. 1. The coin unit 11 has provision for receiving nickels, dimes and quaters and includes nickel, dirne and quarter switches 14, 16 and 18, respectively. The nickel switch 14 is constructed to have its contacts close once for the deposit of each nickel, dime, and quarter; the contacts of the dime switch 16 close once for the deposit of each dime and quarter; and the contacts 3f the quarter switch 18 close once for the deposit of each quarter. Coin units having these general characteristics are known in the art.

The nickel switch 14 is shown connected between an input voltage source labeled -VDC and the input to the accumulator circuit 12. The accumulator circuit 12 also has a rst output connected to the input of a ve cent (dr) payback logic circuit 20 which in turn has its output connected to one input of a gate circuit 22. The gate cir- :uit 22 has a second input which is connected to the output side of the dime switch 16. The gate circuit 22 also has a first (normally open) output connected to the input of the accumulator counter 12 and a second (normally closed) output connected to one of several inputs of a payback counter circuit 24 as shown. When the gate 22 is in its alternate or transferred state caused by receipt thereat of a signal from the tive cent payback logic cir- :uit 20, it conducts the signal (or signals) it receives from the dime switch 16 to the input of the payback :ounter circuit 24. Otherwise it conducts the signals it receives from the dime switch 16 directly to the accumulator 12.

The accumulator circuit 12 has outputs which `are connected to the input of a decoder circuit 26. The decoder circuit 26 receives signals over this connection whenever the amount accumulated in the accumulator 12 equals or exceeds any of the selectable vend prices. When the ac- :umulator output equals the vend price set by the switch Z6 the circuit 26 conducts a vend signal through a selected switch position 28a, 28b or 28e of a price switch Z8 to operate the vend circuits. In the circuit as shown in FIG. 1 the price switch 28 is shown in its ten-cent price position 28a. The other -price positions of the switch Z8 are the fifteen-cent 28b position and the twenty-cent position 28C. Still other positions could also be included as required depending on the selectable prices of the goods being vended. The position of the price switch 28 therefore controls when an output signal from the decoder circuit 26 will be fed to a vend control flip-flop circuit 3G to cause said ip-op to change from its normal non-vend :ondition or state to its Ialternate or transferred state. When the vend flip-op 30 is transferred to its alternate or transferred state it causes an output signal to be fed t0 actuate a vend relay driver circuit 32 which then energizes a vend relay 34 to cause a vend operation to take place. When the vend flip-flop 30 is in its transferred or vend state it also causes another signal to lbe sent on lead 35 to a. second input tc the .accumulator circuit 12 to reset the accumulator to Ka predetermined condition. The same signal is also used to energize a timer circuit 36 which when energized measures a predetermined time interval and thereafter feeds a reset signal to the vend flipfiop 30 to return it to its normal state.

The output side of the quarter switch 18 in the coin unit 11 is shown in FIG. 1 connected directly through contacts 40b `and 40e of another price switch 40 to the vend ipop 30 and this means that each time the operator switch 18 closes when the selected vend price is either fifteen or twenty cents a signal `will be fed to energize the vend fiip-op 30. If the vend ip-op 30 is not already in its alternate or vend state by the time switch 18 closes, a signal conducted from the switch 18 causes the vend ip-iiop 30 to change immediately to the vend state. When the quarter switch 18 closes it also permits a signal to be fed to the payback counter 24 through the selected contacts of the second multi-position price switch 40 which is similar to and mechanically ganged to operate with the price selection switch 28. The switch 40, like the switch 28, is shown having a ten-cent position 40a, `a fifteen-cent position 4Gb, and a twenty-cent position 40C, and the setting of the switch 40 determines which inputs will be fed to the paylback counter circuit 24. For example, the circuit 24 will receive an input everytime the quarter coin switch 18 closes regardless of the setting of the switch 40, and the circuit 24 also receives a signal at its twentycent input position whenever the dime coin switch 16 closes when the gate circuit 22 is in its transferred position.

The payback circuit 24 contains logic circuitry which responds to the input signals it receives and operates to energize a payback motor control circuit 42 which in turn energizes a payback motor 44. Each time the payback motor 44 is energized it operates to return one coin usually a nickel in the case of the circuit as disclosed, and at the same time the motor 44 mechanically closes another switch 46 which causes another input signal to be fed to the payback counter 24 to thereby decrease the amount yet to be paid back by the amount of the coin that was just refunded. Each signal fed back in this way reduces the count standing in the payback counter by the amount of each corresponding payback and this continues until the count in the payback counter 24 is reduced to a predetermined or zero condition. When this condition is reached the counter 24 will be in its reset condition and will cease to energize the payback motor control circuit 42 and the payback motor 44.

The circuit as shown in FIG. 1 includes a power supply 47 which supplies DC power to the circuit as required. The payback motor 44 is shown powered from an AC source as are usually the internal relays of the vending machine which are not part of this invention. The power supply circuit may be of well known construction.

FIGS. 2A and 2B together form a schematic diagram showing the details of the circuit connections and circuit elements employed in a particular embodiment of the subject control circuit 10. The particular circuit shown is based on the block diagram of FIG. 1, and is for use on a vending machine that has a coin unit such as the unit 11 in FIG. 1 which is capable of accepting nickels, dimes and quarters. The vending machine on which the circuit 10 is used is arbitrarily selected to be capable of making vends at vend prices of ten, fifteen or twenty-cents under control of the setting of the ganged price switches 28 and 40 described above. The vending machine is also capable of Vrefunding amounts deposited in excess of a selected vend price. The elements and connections of the circuit shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B wherever possible are identiiied by the same numbers as are used in FIG. 1.

The coin switches 14, 16 and 18 are located in the coin unit 11 as aforesaid and are actuated or closed by movements of coins thereby to produce input signals for the circuit 10 that are used to control the various operations of the subject circuit and of the vending machine on which it is used. The accumulator circuit 12 is shown in FIG. 2A as including two bi-stable accumulator stages 48 and S0 although as mentioned above other types of accumulator circuits can also be used. The bi-stable circuits 48 and 50 function to accumulate the money value of the coins deposited and produce control outputs for use by other portions of the circuit and by the vending machine as will be explained.

When the nickel switch 14 (FIG. 2A) is closed by movement of a coin, an input is fed to an input circuit which includes resistor 52 and capacitor 54 in parallel and grounded capacitor S6 connected as shown. In the case of the quarter switch 18 the input signals are fed to a similar input circuit which includes resistor 58 and capacitor 60 in parallel and grounded capacitor 62. The parallel combinations of elements S2 and 54, and 58 and 60 function as iilter circuits to shape the incoming signals and also provide a discharge path for the associated capacitors 56 and 62, respectively.

The input signals produced by the closing of the dime switch 16 are fed to an input circuit which includes a resistor 64 connected in series with parallel connected capacitors 66 and 68. This circuit also includes a grounded circuit formed by parallel connected capacitor 70 and resistor 72 which provides a discharge path for the capacitors 66 and 68. The grounded input capacitors 56, 62 and 70 also operate to charge to temporarily store each input signal impressed thereacross as it occurs. These capacitors are connected so that they are charged at a faster rate than they are able to discharge after the input signal which charged them is over. This prevents falte inputs such as might be produced by a bouncing coin switch from being entered. The capacitors 66 and 68 in the circuit of the dime switch 16 are parts of the input to the gate circuit 22 which controls where the dime signals will be sent.

Whenever a single nickel is deposited in the coin unit, the nickel switch 14 will close momentarily allowing an input signal to pass and charge the capacitor 56. The same signal will also be fed to the input of the irst bi-stable circuit 48 which includes opposite symmetrically connected transistors 74 and 76 connected as shown. Since the circuit 48 is bi-stable it must always be in one of two different operating states in which either the transistor 74 or the transistor 76 is conducting while the other is non-conducting. The initial or reset condition of circuit 48 is arbitrarily predetermined for the circuit as shown to be the condition in which the transistor 74 is non-conducting and the transistor 76 is conducting. This reset condition is the condition obtalned when the circuit is first energized and after each vend operation and is also the condition produced upon recelpt of every other input signal from the coin unit as `will be explained. When the circuit 48 is to be reset inltially or after a vend the means for doing so include loglc means 77 included in the Hip-flop circuit 30 (FIG. 213)'.

The first incoming nickel signal from the coin unit to the counter stage 48 which is a negatively going 1mpulse will be fed through a capacitor 78 and a diode 80 in series therewith to the base element of the conductlng transistor 76. This will cause the transistor 76 to turn off or become non-conducting. Another resistor 82 is connected between the common junction of the elements 78 and 80 and the collector electrode of the transistor 76, and the resistor 82 provides a relatively high resistance connection between the laforementioned junction and the collector to help in switchlng succeeding input signals from one transistor to the other. As soon as the transistor 76 turns off, its load resistor 84 passes a positive inpulse through a resistor 86 which is connected to the base element of the transistor 74. This pos1- tive impulse causes the transistor 74 to turn on or conduct thereby completing a reversal of the initial condition of the circuit 48. The circuit 48 in its reversed condition acts as a memory circuit to remember the fact that one nickel has been deposited or entered into the accumulator circuit 12. This condition remains until another incoming signal is received from the coin unit to cause the circuit 48 to flip back to its previous or reset condition. This can be brought about by the deposit of a second nickel or other coin which causes a second similar negative input signal to be fed to the circuit 48.

The second input signal, however, instead of passing through the capacitor 78 and the diode 80, passes through a similar input circuit which includes series connected capacitor 88 and diode 90 to the base of the transistor 74. This second input signal operates in a manner similar to the rst input signal but with respect to the transistor 74 which is now conducting instead of with respect to the transistor 76. The second input therefore operates to turn the transistor 74 off and this in turn causes a positive impulse to pass through load resistor 92 and resistor 94 to the base of transistor 76 which is caused to again conduct. The circuit 48 is now returned to its original reset condition, which condition represents either no deposit or the deposit of an even number of nickels or other coins of the lowest acceptable denomination.

The circuit for the transistor 74 is similar to the circuit for the transistor 76 and includes a switching resistor 96 connected as shown. The emitter elements of both transistors 74 and 76 are shown grounded, and the base elements are shown biased to an operating condition by means of a balanced circuit which includes resistors 98 and 100 respectively and a negative biasing source. The input to the circuit 48 is also shown grounded through another resistor 102 and a capacitor 104 connected to the common side of the capacitors 78 and 88 to shape the input signals and provide a discharge path for capacitors 78 and 88.

Every time the transistor 76 is turned on, the voltage on its collector element will change from some positive value to zero or near zero voltage, and when this occurs a negative going DC signal is produced and fed on lead 105 as an input to the second stage bi-stable circuit 50. The circuit 50 is similar in construction and operation to the circuit 48 and includes two oppositely connected transistors 106 and 108 connected as shown. In its reset condition, the transistor 106 is turned off or non-conducting and the transistor 108 is turned on. The circuit 50I is the ten-cent reading circuit and receives one input signal for every two changes in the state of the circuit 48. When a second input signal causes the circuit 48 to return to its original or reset state, a negative going carry signal is produced as aforesaid on the lead 105 and is fed as an input to the second circuit stage 50 to be applied to the base of the transistor 108 in a manner similar to the way in which the first input signal to the circuit 48 was applied to the base of the transistor 76. This causes the transistor 108 to turn olf and at the same time produces a positive irnpulse which is applied to the base of transistor 106 to turn it on. Hence after two input signals are received representing the deposit of two nickels or one dime the circuit 48 will be in its original or reset state and the circuit 50 will be in its transferred state. This condition would be suflicient to cause a vend signal to be produced if a ten-cent vend were called for as will be explained.

When a third input signal representing the deposit of a third nickel in the coin unit is fed to the first stage circuit 48, it again changes to its transferred state, but this time no carry signal is fed to change the state of the circuit S0. Therefore, both circuits 48 and 50 will be in their transferred states indicating a total deposit of fifteen-cents. For a fifteen-cent Vend condition this would be sucient to cause a vend operation.

If a fourth input signal representing the deposit of a fourth nickel or equivalent amount is fed to the circuit 48 when a fifteen-cent vend is called for it will normally be refunded directly without registering. This is accomplished by mechanism which is not included in the present invention. When two dimes are deposited or when a fourth nickel is deposited for a twenty-cent vend, however, the

irst stage circuit will again receive an input signal and for a second time will return to its reset condition. In so doing, a second carry impulse will be fed to the circuit 50 to restore it to its reset condition. For a twenty-cent vend operation this condition is suicient to cause the vend relay to be energized as well as described.

lt should be apparent that more or less circuit stages similar to circuit stages 48 and 50 can be used depending upon the desired accumulating capacity, the cost of the desired vends, and the coin denominations that are acceptable. For example, a penny circuit, a ftycent circuit, a dollar circuit or any number of circuits including duplications of the circuits already mentioned can be added. The subject circuit can also be adapted for use with tokens and foreign coinage with minor modification. The circuits 48 and 50 in the simplified version of the device disclosed can accumulate a maximum setting representing the deposit of three coins of the lowest acceptable coin denomination. If one more stage is added it will increase the capacity to the extent that it will be able to accommodate a total deposit of seven of the lowest denomination coins. If still more similar circuits are added, the capacity will increase in a progression of Zn- 1 where n equals the number of circuit stages.

When a dime is inserted in the coin unit 11 it will alternately close the nickel and dime switches 14 and 16 during movement therethrough. In so doing it will cause two negative input signals to be fed to the circuit 48. The first signal will be fed to the circuit 48 as aforesaid directly from the nickel switch 14. The second signal, however, will be fed to the same input of the circuit 48 but through a more circuituous route which includes the dime switch 16 and the gate circuit 22. These two input signals produce succeeding changes in the state of the first counting stage 48 as aforesaid and also produce one change in the state of second counting stage 50. The operations to accomplish this are substantially the same as described above for the deposit of two succeeding nickels. In like manner, when two dimes are deposited, four distinct negative input impulses (two for each dime) will be fed to the input of the accumulator circuit 12 thereby producing suiiicient input impulses to produce four changes in the state of the first stage 48 and two changes in the state of the second stage 50.

When a quarter is deposited in the coin unit it will rst actuate the nickel switch 14, then the dime switch 16 and iinally the quarter switch 18. The input impulses produced by the actuations of the switches 14 and 16 will operate the bi-stable circuit stages 48 and 50` in the manner already described for a nickel and a dime, and the input impulse produced by actuation of the quarter switch 18 will operate to energize the vend relay 34 through the circuits 30 and 32 unless the vend relay 34 has already been energized by the circuit 12 in the usual way. The path for quarter input impulses is from the switch 18 through the iilter circuit which includes the parallel connected capacitor 60v and resistor 58 in series with diode 110, and then to the movable contact member of the price switch 40- (FIG. 2B). By the time this happens, however, the first stage bi-stable circuit 48 will have been actuated twice by the coin switches 14 and 16 and the second stage circuit 50` will have received one input signal. This means that circuit 48 will be in its normal state while circuit 50 will be in its transferred condition indicating a ten-cent deposit standing in the circuit 12 by the time the quarter reaches and actuates the quarter switch 18. If a ten-cent vend is to be made under these conditions bi-stable circuits 48 and 50` will have sent a vend cornmand as soon as the second input signal is received and entered into the circuit 50. If a fifteen or twenty-cent vend is to be made under the same conditions, the'circuits 48 and 50 never will be able to send a vend command since the proper condition is not present. Under these conditions, closing of the quarter switch 18 will operate to send the signal to and through switch 40 when it is in the fifteen-cent or twenty-cent position to the vend flip-liop 30 which will then in turn operate the circuits 32 and 34 to cause a vend. The actions of the switch means 40 and the timer means 36 operate to enable only one vend to take place for each deposit of an amount at least equal to the vend price no matter what combination of coins has been deposited or what vend price has been selected.

Whenever the Vend price as established by the setting of the ganged switches 28 and 40 has been deposited and registered in the accumulator 12, output signals will be produced and fed to the said switches and particularly to the vend switch 28. Referring to FIG. 2A it can be seen that the switch terminal 28a (the ten-cent terminal) is conected to the collector element of the transistor 76 and receives the same carry output impulses from the bistable circuit 48 as is used to change the state of the bistable circuit 50. In similar manner, the switch terminal 28b (the iifteen-cent terminal) is connected to the collector electrode of the transistor 74 through a diode 109. The terminal 28b is also coupled to the switch terminal 28e` (the twenty-cent terminal) through a resistor 111 to provide a discharge path for capacitor connected in the switch circuit. The twenty-cent switch terminal 28C is connected directly to the output of the second stage circuit 50` and also to an input of the ve-cent payback logic 20. The setting of the switch 28 determines the vend price and also controls which output of the accumulator circuit 12 will be fed to the vend flip-flop circuit 30. The outputs are fed from the movable switch contact 28d of the switch 28 to and through a diode 113 to the circuit 30.

The vend flip-flop circuit 30 includes two oppositely connected transistors 112 and 114 connected as shown so that the input signals received from the accumulator circuit 12 through the price switch 28 are applied to the base element of the transistor 114. When an input is applied to the base of the transistor 114 the circuit 30 is reversed or ips causing the transistor 114 to go from a conducting to a non-conducting condition in a manner similar to the circuits 48 and 50. This in turn produces a positive impulse across resistor 116 which is connected between the collector of the transistor 114 and the base of transistor 112 to cause the transistor 112 to turn on.

Another resistor 118 is connected between the collector of transistor 112 and the base of transistor 114. The resistor 116 mentioned above is usually selected to have a higher resistance than the resistor 118 to cause the base of the transistor 114 rather than of the transistor 112 to go into a conducting condition when the circuit is initially energized. If it were otherwise it might be possible for the circuit to produce a vend cycle every time it is plugged into a power source. This is because the resistors 116 and 118 are each part of different voltage divider circuits which provide the biases for the respective transistors. For example the resistor 116 is in a voltage divider circuit with resistors 120 and 122 between positive and negative sources, and the resistor 118 is in circuit with resistors 124 and 126 across similar positive and negative sources. This means that the Abase of transistor 114 will be initially biased to a higher potential than the base of the transistor 112 thereby causing transistor 114 to initially go to a conducting state in preference to the transistor 112. When the transistor 114 is in a conducting state, the base of the transistor 112 is biased below zero potential causing it to remain off. When a vend signal is received and applied to the base of the transistor 114, the bi-stable circuit 30 changes to its vend or transferred state, i.e. transistor 114 is cut oi and becomes non-conducting and the transistor 112 conducts. At the same time the base of another transistor 128 has a positive voltage applied to it by the voltage divider circuit made up of the resistors 120, 116 and 122 and this causes the transistor 128, which is normally in a non-conducting condition, to conduct.

When the transistor 128 conducts, current flows through another voltage divider network made up of resistors 130 and 132 connected to the emitter element thereof,

and this in turn puts a positive voltage on the base of still another transistor 134 which is also normally biased to be in non-conducting condition and causes it to conduct. This causes current to llow through the coil of the vend relay 34 which is connected to a positive source in parallel with a diode 135. When the relay 34 pulls in it causes a vend cycle to take place. The diode 135 is provided as a safety feature to protect the transistor 134 yfrom transients from the relay 34. The relay 34 has relay contacts 34a which transfer lwhen the relay is energized to produce a vend in the associated vending machine.

The collector of transistor 112 is connected through a. diode 136 to the input of the timer circuit 36 which is included to reset the circuit 30 after a predetermined timer interval as aforesaid. The collector of transistor 112 in its normal non-conducting state is at a positive potential, and this causes current to pass through the diode 136 to a negative supply through a voltage divider network made up of resistors 138, 140 and 142. Current normally Hows through the voltage divider network which network includes also a grounded capacitor 144 connected between the resistors 138 and 140. The connection between the resistors 140 and 142, on the other hand, is connected to the base element of another transistor 146. These connections keeps the capacitor 144 positively charged and the transistor 146 biased to a normally conducting state. The capacitor 144 controls the timing cycle produced by the circuit 36, and when the vend flip-.flop circuit 30 is in its normal non-Vend condition, the capacitor 144 as aforesaid charges to a predetermined charged condition. Later ywhen a vend signal is received and .reverses the condition of the circuit 30, the potential on the collector of the transistor 112 falls to near zero potential thereby removing the positive charging potential from capacitor 144 and allowing the capacitor 144 to discharge through resistors 140 and 142 thereby maintaining for a predetermined time depending on the time constant of the circuit a positive potential on the base of the transistor 146 to keep it in its normal conducting state. As the capacitor 144 discharges, the potential on the base of the transistor 146 is reduced or even made negative causing the transistor 146 to go to a non-conducting condition. When the transistor 146 ceases to conduct the potential on its collector increases positively from a near zero potential caused by load resistor 148 which is connected between the collector and a positive source, to a more positive potential thereby causing an output current to pass through a circuit which includes another resistor 150 in series with a diode 152 to the base of the transistor 11-4 which causes it to again conduct thereby returning the vend ilip-flop circuit 30 to its normal non-vend condition in readiness for receipt of another vend impulse.

Other capacitors 154 and 156 are connected to the collector electrode of the transistor 112 of the circuit 30 and are included to reset the accumulator circuit 12 to its initial or reset condition every time a vend operation takes place. The capacitors 154 and 156 are maintained in a positively charged condition when the circuit 30 :is in its normal inoperative condition which is the condton when the transistor 112 is not conducting and the transistor 114 is conducting. When a vend signal is received at the circuit 30 to reverse the conducting conditions of the transistors 112 and 114, the potential on the collector electrode of the transistor 112 is reduced to near zero potential and this causes the charges on the capacitors 154 and 156 to dissipate through associated resistors 158 and 160 respectively to ground. This also causes a negative impulse to flow through respective diodes 162 and 164 which have their opposite sides connected respectively to the bases of transistors 74 and 106. The negative impulses applied to the bases of the transistors 74 and 106 in the accumulator circuit 12 cause them to turn off thereby causing the accumulator to return to its initial or reset condition described above in 10 which the transistor 76 and 108 conduct and the transistors 74 and 106 are non-conducting.

The payback logic circuit 20 (FIG. 2A) like the decoder circuit 26 is connected to outputs of the accumulator circuit 12. The payback circuit 20 includes input diodes 166 and 168 connected to form an and gate circuit. One side of the diode 166 is connected to the collector electrode of the transistor 74 and one side of the diode 168 is connected to the collector electrode of the transistor 106. The opposite sides of the diodes 166 and 168 are connected together and to the junction between resistors 170 and 172. The opposite side of the resistor 170 is connected to a positive supply source. If either the transistor 74 or the transistor 106 is conducting, a drop in voltage to near zero will occur at the junction of the resistors 170 and 172 which junction is also common to the diodes 166 and 168 as stated. This is so because the resistor 170 is connected through one or both diodes 166 and 168 and through the conducting transistor 74 and/or 106 to a ground. This zero potential junction is also connected ot the gate circuit 22 through the resistor 172 which has its opposite sides connected to the junction between the capacitor 68 and another grounded capacitor as shown.

The only time that neither the transistor 74 and 106 is in a conducting condition is when the accumulator circuit 12 is in its reset condition, and only under this condition is the common junction of the diodes 166 and 168 at a potential above ground.

The payback logic circuit 20 has another portion which is formed by a diode 174 which is connected on one side to the collector element of the transistor 76 and a resistor 176 which has one side connected to the collector of the transistor 108. The common sides of the diode 174 and the resistor 176 are connected to one side of another resistor 178 which has its opposite side connected to a common connection between the capacitor 66 and a grounded capacitor 184. The diode 174 is polarized so that a positive potential will appear at the junction between the diode 174 and the resistor 176 if either the transistor 76 or 108 is not conducting. In the reset condition of the accumulator circuit 12 both of the transistors 76 and 108 conduct and this therefore reduces the potential at this junction to near Zero. This junction is connected to the gate circuit 22 through the resistor 178' as stated.

The gate circuit 22 is constructed toswitch the signals it received from the dirne coin switch 16 either to the accumulator counter 12 or to the payback counter 24. The signals from the coin switch 16 are negative pulses which are fed to the common connection between the capacitors 66 and 68. The other side of the capacitor 68 is connected to the grounded capacitor 180 as already stated and also to the junction between the resistor 172 and a diode 182. The diode 182 has its opposite side connected to the nickel input lead to the accumulator circuit 12. The junction formed between capacitor 68 and 180 in combination with the diode 182 therefore provides means for sending a second input to the input of the accumulator circuit 12 in response to actuation of the dime switch 16 whenever the accumulator circuit is not in its reset condition.

When the payback logic circuit 20 senses a reset condition of the accumulator counter 12, i.e. transistors 76 and 108 conducting, a positive potential is available through the resistor 172 for charging the capacitor 180. When the capacitor 180 is charged in this way it prevents a negative input impulse from the dime coin switch 16 from passing through diode 182 to the accumulator circuit 48. However, the capacitor 66 at this time conducts the negative input impulse from the switch 16 to the payback counter 24 instead. This signal is usually otherwise blocked by a positive potential applied across the capacitor 184 and only when the accumulator 12 is in its reset condition can a input signal pass through the gate circuit 22 to the payback counter 24. When the lccumulator counter 12 is in its reset condition, however, the positive potential is no longer available to :harge the capacitor 184 and the charge thereon, if any, is dissipated through the resistors 178 and 176 and the conducting circuit of the transistor 108. Hence, in the reset condition of the accumulator 12 the negative impulses from dime coin switch 16 can only pass to the payback counter 24 (see FIG. 2B).

The payback logic circuit 20 initially would allow a negative signal from the coin switch 16 to pass through to the payback counter 24. However, any first coin which :ould activate the dime switch 16 must first have actuated the nickel switch 14 and when this happens it changes the state of the first bi-stable accumulator circuit 48 taking the accumulator counter 12 out of its reset condition. Therefore, by the time a first coin is able to actuate the dirne switch 16, the reset condition no longer exists and no signal can be fed to the payback counter cir- :uit 24.

The payback counter 24 is shown constructed similarly to the accumulator circuit 12, and like the accumulator 12 it can be of many known constructions such as being a binary type counter, a flip-flop counter, a ring counter, a. shift register, a magnetic core counter or any other similar or equivalent device. The payback counter circuit Z4 as shown includes two similar bi-stable flip-flop cir- :uits identified generally by the numbers 186 and 188 (FIG. 2B) each circuit having a coupling resistor 190 and 192, respectively, connected between the collector elements of normally conducting transistors 194 and 196 and the base elements of normally non-conducting transistors 198 and 200. Other coupling resistors 202 and 204 are similarly connected between the respective collector elements of the normally non-conducting transistors 198 and 200 and the bases of the transistors 194 and 196. The resistors 190 and 192 are usually selected to have greater` resistance than the associated resistor 202 and 204 to assure a proper initial reset condition of the circuits 186 and 188 when the circuit is first energized. The reset condition is the condition in which the transistors 194 and 196 are conducting and the transistors 198 and 200 are not conducting.

When an input signal from the gate circuit 22 is received at the payback counter circuit 24 it passes through a diode 206 and is applied to the base of the transistor 194 causing the transistor 194 to stop conducting. This in turn causes the transistor 198 to commence :onducting in a manner similar to the stage of the ac- :umulator 12 therefore reversing the condition of the :ircuit 186. The same input signal also passes through another diode 208 and is applied to the base of the transistor 196 causing it also to stop conducting thereby also reversing the condition of the circuit 188.

The collectors of the transistors 194 and 196 are also :onnected respectively to diodes 210 and 212 which together form an or gate circuit which causes a positive potentional to be applied to the base of another transistor 214 to cause it to start conducting when either the transistor 194 or the transistor 196 is non-conducting. This in turn puts a positive potential on the base of still another transistor 216 causing it also to conduct. This causes current to flow through the coil of a payback relay 218 which is connected to the collector of the transistor 216. A protective diode 217 is also :onnected in parallel with the relay 218.

The payback relay 2.18 is in the payback motor control :ircuit 42 (FIG. 1) and when the payback relay 218 is :nergized it closes its relay contacts 219 which are in the :nergizing circuit of the payback motor 44. The payback notor energizing circuit includes connection leads L1 and L2 from a source voltage (FIG. 2B) and the nornally open relay contacts 219 as well as the motor 44. Each time the payback motor 44 is energized it operates to return one coin as stated above. In the present circuit 12 as disclosed one nickel is refunded each time the motor 44 is energized. Each time the motor 44 is energized it also closes the motor switch 46 which switch operates similarly to the coin switches 14, 16 and 1'8 only instead of sending a negative input impulse to the circuit 12 it sends its negative input impulse to the input of the bistable circuit 186 in the payback counter circuit 24 to cause the circuit 186 to change state. Regardless of the condition of payback counter 24 each impulse from the switch 46 changes the state of the bi-stable circuit 186 and every other impulse changes the state of the bi-stable circuit 188. These payback operations continue until the circuit stages 186 and 188 of the payback counter circuit 24 reach their reset condition.

The setting of the price switch 40 controls how input impulses from the quarter switch 18 are fed to the payback counter circuit 24 and also to the vend flip-flop 30. When the switch 40 is in the twenty-cent position (FIG. 2B) a negative impulse caused by the closing of the quarter switch 18 is fed through a diode 220 to the base of the transistor 194 to change the state of the circuit 186. The same impulse is also fed through other diodes 222 and 224 to the base of the transistor 196i to change the state of the circuit 188. This causes a payback operation to take place in the manner just described. Note in this case that both circuits 186 and -188 are transferred when a deposit of a lquarter is made for a twenty-cent vend. This means that a singleo peration of the payback motor will reset the circuit 24.

The same signal that passed through the diode 222 and 224 to the base of the transistor 196 also passes through another diodes 228 which is connected on one side to tha junction of the diode 222 and 224 and on the opposite side to the vend control circuit 30 on lead 229, where it is applied to the base of the transistor 114 to thereby produce a vend cycle. After a -vend cycle and one payback cycle have taken place the circuit will be reset to its initial condition as aforesaid in preparation for the next operation.

When the switch 40 is in its fifteen-cent position instead of its twenty-cent position a negative impulse from quarter switch y18 is fed through the aforesaid diode 2128 to the vend flip-flop circuit 30 to produce a vend cycle, and the same impulse is also fed through the diode 224 to the base of the transistor 196 changing the state of the circuit 188 only but not of the circuit 186. This will cause the payback motor 44 to be energized as described above to refund a coin. During the refund cycle the switch 46 will be closed as aforesaid and will permit a negative impulse to be fed to the input of the first bi-stable circuit 186 causing the transistor 194 to become non-conducting and the transistor 198 to conduct. The circuit 24 will after the first payback operation have both of its stages 186 and `188 in transferred conidtion which is the same condition discussed above for producing a single payback cycle. The refund motor 44 will therefore be energized a second time to produce a second refund cycle before the circuit 24 returns to its reset condition as aforesaid.

[When the switch 40 is in its ten-cent position, the negative impulses from quarter switch 18 pass to the base element of the transistor 194 causing the circuit 186, but not the circuit 188 to change its state. This condition of the circuit 24 energizes the payback motor 44 through the or gate which includes the diode 210 which feeds the positive potential which occurs on the collector of the transistor 194 to the base of the transistor 2.14 to cause it to start conducting and produce a payback cycle as disclosed above. Thereafter, when the motor switch y46 close the negative input impulse will be applied to the base element of the transistor 198 to cause it to become non-conducting and transistor 194 to become conducting. When transistor `194 conducts, its collector drops from a positive potential to a near zero potential and this causes a negative going signal to be sent from the collector to the base of the conducting transistor 13 196 causing it to become non-conducting and the nonconducting trasistor 200 to conduct. This in turn sends a positive potential through the diode 212 to again place a positive voltage on the base of the transistor 214 to produce another payback operation. The counter circuit 24 then acts in the same condition as described above in connection with the fifteen-cent vent setting of the switch 40 until a total of three coins has been refunded.

The power supply l47 for the subject circuit is shown in FIG. 2B as including a transformer 230 having a primary winding 232 connected to the input leads L1 and L2. These leads are also connected through the normally open payback relay contacts 219 across the payback motor 44 as described above. The transformer 230 also has a grounded secondary winding 234 which provides energy to a rectifier circuit 236 which provides the positive and negative voltages necessary to operate the cir cuit 10. The rectifier circuit 236 includes a pair of oppositely polarized diodes or rectifiers 238 and 240 which are connected on one side to the ungrounded side of the secondary winding 234. The other side of the diode 238 is connected to one side of a pair of grounded capacitors 242 and 244, and the other side of the diode 240 is connected to one side of capacitors 246 and 248 and resistor 250 through a series resistor 252 as shown. The D.C. outputs of the rectifier circuit 236 are appropriately labeled and and are connected to correspondingly labeled leads located about the circuit 10.

A manual switch 254 is optionally provided to by-pass the payback relay contacts 219. The switch 254 is for maintenance purposes and is used to empty coins out of the coin refund tube. Another switch 258 is also provided to by-pass the contacts 219 and is operated by mechanical means connected to the payback motor 44. The switch 258 is included to assure that the payback motor 44 once started completes each refund cycle regardless of the condition of the switch 219. A main onoff switch 260 is optionally also connected in the input circuit to the primary transformer winding 232.

It should now be apparent that by properly arranging the connecting circuits, and by properly selecting the cirn cuit connections for the gate circuit and other operating components, it is possible by simply setting the switches 28 and 40 to change the vend price and to properly control the refund operations. It is also possible to change the number of bi-stable circuits employed to vary the counting and/or accumulating capacity and to enable the circuit to handle an even greater range of vend and refund possibilities. The subject circuit can also be modified for use with a greater variety of coin denominations.

Thus there has been shown and described a novel coin controlled circuit for use with vending or similar devices which fulfills all of the objects and advantages sought therefor. Many changes, modifications, variations, adaptations, and other uses and applications of the subject control circuit will, however, Ibecorne apparent to those skilled in the art after considering this specification and the accompanying drawings Vwhich disclose one of many possible embodiments thereof. All such changes, modifications, variations, adaptations and other uses and applications of the subject control device which do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention are deemed to be covered by the invention which is limited only by the claims.

What is claimed is:

1. Control means for a vending machine having coin receiving means including means for receiving coins of more than one denomination including means for producing output signals representing the value of each coin deposited therein, means when excited for performing a vend operation, means for refunding amounts deposited in the coin receiving means in excess of the vend price, and means for selecting between several dierent vend prices, said control means comprising accumulator means connected operatively to the coin receiving means and energizable by output signals therefrom produced when coins are deposited to accumulate the value of said deposits, said accumulator means having input means connected to the coin receiving means and output means for producing an output signal to excite the means for prod-ucing a vend whenever the accumulated amount at least equals the vend price, other means connected between the coin receiving means and the means for performing a vend operation to excite said vend performing means more directly, bypassing the accumulator means whenever the deposit of a single coin exceeds the vend price, and means including said accumulator means for energizing the refund means to refund amounts deposited in the coin receiving means in excess of the vend price as determined by the setting of the vend price selection means.

2. The control means defined in claim 1 including means to reset the accumulator means whenever the vend performing means are excited.

3. The control means defined in claim 1 including means to prevent a second excitation of the vend performing means for a predetermined time interval following excitation thereof.

4. The control means defined in claim 1 wherein said accumulator means include a ring counter circuit having a plurality of succeeding circuit stages.

5. A control circuit for vending machines and the like comprising counting means including a plurality of serially connected bi-stable counting circuit stages arranged in order to be energized sequentially in response to the receipt of impulses produced when coins of selected denominations are deposited in the vending machine for accumulating the value of the coinage so deposited, each of said circuit stages having two distinct operating states and each of said stages producing an output whenever it goes into a selected one of its two operating states, said stages being connected so that a selected output from one stage produces a change in the state of the next succeeding stages, means including multiposition price switch means operatively connected to the output of the counting means, the setting of said switch means determining the vend price, means in the output of said counting means to initiate a vend operation whenever the amount deposited and accumulated therein at least equals the vend price as determined by the setting of the multi-position price switch means, refund means including a refund `motor and motor control means, said refund motor control means including refund counting means responsive to impulses produced by the deposit of amounts which exceed the selected vend price as determined by the setting of the multi-position price switch means, said refund means including refund multi-position switch means operable in cooperation with the multi-position price switch means, means for energizing the refund motor to refund amounts deposited in excess of the vend price as determined by the setting of the multi-position refund switch means, and means for resetting the counting means in response to the occurrence of a vend operation.

6. The control circuit defined in claim 5 wherein the plurality of serially connected bi-stable circuit stages include a rst stage having an input connected to respond to impulses generated in the vending machine in response to the deposit of coins therein, means in said first stage for generating an output impulse in response to the receipt of every other input impulse thereto, and a second stage having an input connected to respond to the output impulses generated by the first stage.

7. The control circuit defined in claim 5 wherein said refund counting means includes a counting circuit having at least one bi-stable circuit stage, and means for reducing an amount accumulated in the refund counting means by the amount of each refund.

8. The control circuit defined in claim 5 including means to initiate a vend operation in the vending machine more directly, by-passing the said counting means wherever the value of a single coin deposited in the vending machine exceeds the vend price as established by the sitting of the multi-position price switch means.

9. Control means for vending and like machines which include coin receiving means capable of receiving coins deposited therein and capable of producing .outputs corresponding to the value of each deposited com, means on the vending machine adjustable to establish a desired vend price, and means including refund motor means for refunding amounts deposited in excess of the price of a selected vend, the improvement comprising a control circuit for controlling the operations of the vending machine, said control circuit including first and second counting means each of which includes a plurality of serially connected bi-stable counting circuit stages which are capable of being in a reset or in a transferred state, sa1d first counting means having input connection means to the coin receiving means on the vending machine to respond to outputs produced thereby to accumulate the value of coins deposited therein, output means associated with said first counting means including connection means to the means on the vending machine that establish the selected vend price, said first counting means producing an output to initiate a vend operation in the vending machine when ever the amount accumulated therein at least equals the established Ivend price, other means operatively connected to the input of the second counting means to accumulate therein amounts representing deposits in the coin receiving unit in excess of the selected Vend price, said second counting means having output means operatively connected to the refund motor means, said refund motor means being energized by said second counting means once for each coin to be refunded, and means under control of the refund motor means for reducing the amount accumulated in the second counting means by the amount of each refund.

10. The control means defined in claim 9 -Wherein the input connection means to the first counting means includes means for temporarily storing each input received from the coin receiving unit, said temporary storage means preventing other inputs received during a predetermined storage period from sbeing entered in the first counting means.

11. Means for controlling the operation of a vending or like machine which includes vend control means, coin receiving means, vend price selection means, and means for refunding amounts deposited in excess of a selected vend price, said control means comprising counting means for accumulating amounts deposited in the coin receiving means, said counting means including a first counting circuit having a plurality of serially connected counting circuit stages each being capable of being in one of two distinct oprating states, one of said counting circuit stages having an input operatively connected to the coin receiving unit to respond to impulses produced by the deposit of coins therein, coins of different denominations producing different numbers of impulses, output means for the first counting circuit connected to the vend price selection means to energize the vend control means whenever the amount accumulated in the first counting circuit at least equals the selected vend price at a time when the vend control means have not already been energized during the same vend operation, and means for energizing the refund means to refund amounts deposited in excess of the selected Vend price, said refund means including a second counting circuit including at least one bi-stable circuit stage, an input to the second counting circuit connected receiving means and from the first counting circuit, an to respind to predetermined input signals from the coin output for said second counting circuit connected to energize the refund means, said refund means being energized once by the second counting circuit for each coin to be refunded, and means for reducing the amount accumulated in the second counting circuit by the amount of each such refund.

12. The control means defined in claim 11 wherein the vend price selection means includes a multi-position switch having a plurality of selectable connection terminals connected respectively to different points in the first counting circuit, and an output switch connection operatively connected to the vend control means.

13. Control means for vending and like machines which have coin receiving units capable of receiving coins of different denominations and of generating a predetermined number of output impulses to represent the money value of each coin deposited therein, vending control means on the vending machine, and means for refunding sums deposited in excess of a selected vend price, said control means comprising counting circuit means having an input connected to receive the impulses generated by the coin receiving unit when coins are deposited therein, said counting circuit means being capable of accumulating the value of coins deposited during each vending operation and including serially connected bi-stable circuit stages each including at least one solid state element and each being capable of being in one of two distinct operating states, means connecting the output of the coin receiving unit to the input of one of said bi-stable stages whereby the state of said one stage is changed every time a signal is received thereat from the coin receiving unit, said one stage changing the state of a succeeding circuit stage on alternate changes in its state so that the condition of all of the circuit stages represents the total amount of money deposited, refund counting means having input means operatively connected to receive predetermined outputs from the coin receiving means and predetermined outputs from the said counting circuit means to accumulate the value of amounts deposited in excess of the selected vend price, said counting circuit means including means to feed input impulses to the refund counting means whenever the amount accumulated therein exceeds the selected vend price, said last named means including logic circuit means, and other means under the control of the counting circuit means for energizing the vend control means to cause a vend operation to take place whenever the counting circuit means has an accumulated amount therein at least equal to the selected vend price.

14. The control means defined in claim 13 including means for resetting the counting circuit means to a predetermined condition each time a vend operation is initiated.

15. The control means defined in claim 14 wherein said reset means includes timer means which operate to prevent the occurrence of a second vend operation for a predetermined time period after initiation of a vend operation.

16. The control means defined in claim 13 wherein the refund counting means includes means for producing an output refund impulse to energize the refund means whenever the refund circuit means has an amount accumulated therein, and means under control of the refund means for energizing the refund counting means during the occurrence of each refund operation to reduce the amount accumulated therein by the amount of the refund, said refund counting means including means for reenergizing the refund means after each refund operation until the refund counting means reaches a predetermined reset condition.

17. Control means for vending machines capable of making vends at different selected prices including first switch means actuated by predetermined movements of coins therein to produce output signals to represent the amount of each deposit, vending control means comprising a first counting circuit means responsive to predetermined actuations of said first switch means, said counting circuit means including serially connected bi-stable circuit stages each of which includes at least one solid state element, each of said circuit stages being capable of being in one of two different operation states, one of said circuit stages being energized by the output signals from the coin receiving unit, said one stage producing an output on alternate changes of its state to change the state of the succeeding stage, adjustable decoder means including price selection switch means connected to the output of the counting circuit means the setting of which controls which condition of the counting circuit means will produce an output vend signal, and means for refunding amounts deposited in excess of the selected vend price including refund counting circuit means having input and output connections, one of said refund counting circuit input connections being connected to respond to predetermined output signals produced by actuations of the first switch means, a second input connection connected to respond to the occurrence of each refund operation, and a third input connection connected to the output of the counting circuit means, the inputs at said first and third input connections energizing the refund count ing circuit means to accumulate an amount therein equal to any amount deposited in the vending machine in excess of the selected vend price, the inputs at the second input connection energizing the refund counting means by an amount equal to the value of each refund, the output connection to said refund counting circuit means generating a refund impulse to produce a refund operation whenever the accumulated amount in the refund counting circuit means is greater than a predetermined reset condition.

18. A control circuit for vending machines and the like having coin receiving means capable of accepting coins of at least three different denominations, said coin receiving means including first, second, and third coin activated switch means, each of said rst, second and third switch means including means for generating an impulse each time it is actuated by a coin, vend control counter means including a plurality of serially connected bi-stable circuit stages, means for changing the state of one of said stages each time the first switch means are actuated by a coin, other means for changing the state of said one circuit in response to actuations of the second switch means whenever the vend control counter means has accumulated therein an amount that is less than the selected vend price, price control means connected to the output of the vend control counter means including means for selecting a desired vend price, said vend control counter means generating an output to initiate a vend operation whenever the amount accumulated therein at least equals the selected vend price, means under control of said vend control counter output for resetting the said vend control counter means to a predetermined reset con dition each time a vend output is generated therefrom, payback means for refunding amounts deposited in the coin receiving means in excess of the selected vend price, said payback means including payback counter means and payback logic means, said payback logic means including a gate circuit connected to the vend control counter means to cause a signal from said counter means to be fed to the payback counter means from the second coin switch means whenever said second coin switch means are actuated and the gate circuit is in a predetermined condition, and means by-passing the vend control means to actuate the vend control means whenever the third coin switch is actuated, said last named means producing an output to the payback counter means depend ing on the selected vend price, said payback counter means controlling means in the vending machine for paying back amounts deposited in excess of the selected vend price.

19. The control circuit defined in claim 18 wherein said first coin activated means are actuated by coins of five, ten and twenty-live cent denominations, said second coin activated switch means are actuated by coins of ten and twenty-five cent denominations, and said third coin activated switch means are actuated by twenty-five cent coms.

20. The vcontrol circuit defined in claim 18 wherein said price control means include means for selecting between vend prices of ten, fifteen, and twenty-cents.

21. A control circuit for a vending machine having a coin receiving unit including means for receiving coins of selected denominations and for producing one, two or three distinct outputs depending on the money value of each coin deposited therein, vend control means, price selection means, and refund means including refund motor means enrgizable to refund amounts deposited in excess of the selected vend price a coin at a time, said control clrcuit comprising a counter circuit having a rst input connected to the coin receiving unit, a reset input, a vend control output and a payback logic output, said payback logic output including a gate circuit, means for feeding at least one output signal from the coin receiving unit to the first counter circuit input for the deposit of each coin into the coin receiving unit, said counter circuit having means for entering and storing said output signals, means for feeding a second output signal to the counter circuit for each coin capable of producing two or more distinct outputs if at the time of occurrence of one of said second outputs the payback logic circuit has been conditioned by the counter circuit to have the gate circuit in a predetermined condition, means for producing an output at the vend control output of the counter circuit to initiate a vend operation whenever the amount accumulated therein at least equals a selected vend price as determined by the condition of the price selection means, means for resettingthe counter circuit to a predetermined condition each time a vend output is produced, and means for refunding amounts deposited in excess of the selected vend price, said refund means including a refund counter c1r cuit having a first input connection to the gate to recelve said second output signal from the coin receiving unit for each coin capable of producing at least two outputs whenever the gate is not in the aforesaid predetermined condition, a second input connection connected to the coin receiving unit for receiving every third output signal produced by any coin deposited therein that is capable of producing a third output signal, and a third input connection to said refund counter circuit connected to receive an input signal each time a coin is refunded.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,254,749 6/1966 Scherer 194-13 X 3,310,143 3/1967 Gerhart et al 194-10 X 3,323,626 6/1967 Abe et al. 194-10 STANLEY H. TOLLBERG, Primary Examiner UNITED STATES PATENT oFFICE CERTIFICATE 0F CRRECTION Patent No. 3,508,636 April 28, l970 John R. Shirley It is certified that error appears in the above identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 2, line 44, after "machine" insert to Column 5, line 3l, "falte" should read false line 69, "inpulse" should read impulse Column 9, line 2S, "keeps" should read keep Column l0, line l, "transistor" should read transstors line 2l, "ot" should read to Column 12, line 28, "singleo peration" should read single operation line 32, "diodes" should read diode line 33,- "tha" shoul read the line 54, "conidtion" should read condition line 69, "close" should read closes Column l3, line 7, "vent" should read vend Column 14, line 39, "stages" should read stage Column l5, line S4, "oprating" should read operating lines 70 and 7l, "receiving means and from the firgt counting circuit, an to respind to predetermined input signals from the coin" should read to respond to predetermined input signals from the coin receiving means and from the first counting circuit, an Column 17, line 64, after "control" insert Counter Column l5 line 4 "sitting" should read setting Signed and sealed this 5th day of January 1971.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. WILLIAM E. SCHUYLER, JR. Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3638003 *Sep 12, 1968Jan 25, 1972Heller & Co Walter ECredit-accumulating arrangement
US3687255 *Apr 16, 1970Aug 29, 1972H R Electronics CoMulti-price, multi-channel coin control means
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US3726377 *Oct 21, 1971Apr 10, 1973Seisakusho KkkVending machine having three-conductor collating circuit
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US3791505 *Jun 14, 1972Feb 12, 1974Marrick Ind IncSolid state vend control means and process of operation
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US3841456 *Jul 23, 1973Oct 15, 1974H R Electronics CoControl circuit for vending and other coin controlled devices
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US4056181 *Mar 16, 1976Nov 1, 1977Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.System and method for determining vendibility in automatic vending machine
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US4712049 *Aug 22, 1986Dec 8, 1987Coin Acceptors, Inc.Operation completion detection means
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Classifications
U.S. Classification194/217
International ClassificationG06F7/60, G07F5/22, G06F7/62, G07F5/20
Cooperative ClassificationG07F5/22, G06F7/62
European ClassificationG07F5/22, G06F7/62