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Publication numberUS3512158 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 12, 1970
Filing dateMay 2, 1968
Priority dateMay 2, 1968
Publication numberUS 3512158 A, US 3512158A, US-A-3512158, US3512158 A, US3512158A
InventorsScarbrough Alfred D
Original AssigneeBunker Ramo
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Infra-red printer
US 3512158 A
Images(6)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 12, 1970 A. D- SCARBROUGH 3,512,158

INFRA-RED PRINTER Filed May 2, 1968 e Sheets-Sheet 1 DIRECTION OF TAPE SCALE OF SEVEN CHARACTER GEN.

COMPUTER I \\//95 28 I 88 I 85 :0 c 0 82- Alfred D. Scarbrough dF/M BY sasa oz MXM ATTORNEY INFRA-RED PRINTER Filed May 2 1968 6 Sheets-Sheet 2 TO DIODE AMPLIFIERS CHARACTER M5 GATES I /|O2 2 HO SCALE OF FIVE SCALE OF CLOCK COUNTER SEVEN COUNTER TIMING DECODE LEM CHARACTER DECODE Liji.

CHARACTER REGISTER SEQUENCER 2 1 1. 5 TO DIODE AMPLIFIERS I29 I30 I o BAND- f PASS I28 TIER DETECTOR I34 I36 COMMUNICATION SCALE OF LINK |3| |32 SEVEN COUNTER I Lg? DET E CToR FILTER RESET M TIER IEQEGSR Alfred D. Scarbrough I4o BY A. D: SCARBROUGH 3, ,158

INFRA-RED PRINTER Ma 12, 1970 i Filed May 2, 1968 V 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 F6 F7 F8 F9 FIO PH COMPUTER INVENIOR Alfred D. Scarbrough ATTORNEY Ma 12, 1 970 IA. D. sAFBRouGH 3,512,158

. INFRA-RED PRINTER 6 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed May 2, 1968 INVEN TOR Alfred D. Scarbrough F IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII iwlllll wlllllillL ATTORNEY May 1970 A. D. SCARBROUGH INFRA-RED PRINTER 6 Shets-Sheet 5 Filed May 2, 1968 F3 F3 F4 I 1 F5 JNVENI'OR Alfred D. Scarbrough Wi -W ATTORNEY Filed May 2, 1968 A. D. SCARB-ROUGH INFRA-RED PRINTER 6 Sheets-Sheet 6 WAIT FOR START W m DATA IN MOTOR DELAY MOTOR REGISTER CLEAR SCAN COMPLETE w INVEN TOR Alfred D. Scarbrough ATTORNEY United States Patent US. Cl. 346-76 15 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The invention comprises an infra-red printer using infrared emitters, such as infra-red emitting diodes, as a source of heat to produce printing or graphical characters on heat-sensitive paper. In one embodiment, a heat-sensitive paper strip is pulled past seven infra-red diodes arranged in a line across the paper to correspond to the seven vertical positions of a character matrix such as that used in display equipment. Selective energizing of the diodes irradiates the paper to correspond to a sequence of characters that can be constructed from a dot matrix. Typically the diodes are pulsed, although they may be driven for longer durations to print lines on the paper either by moving the paper past the diodes or by moving the diodes relative to the paper.

Short description of the invention Prior art printers use heated wires or resistance elements to apply heat to heat-sensitive paper. For example, the US. Pat. No. 3,145,071 for a High Speed Thermal Contact Printer, patented by Arthur W. Vance, uses heated wires, such as silver wires, to apply heat to a thermo-sensitive paper. The apparatus of the US. Pat. No. 3,161,457 for Thermal Printing Units, issued to Hans Schroeder et al., uses small resistors to generate heat and to apply the heat to the paper.

An example of commercially available thermally-sensitive material which may be marked by heat is the paper manufactured by Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company which are marked under the trademark Thermo-Fax paper.

With modern high speed computers, the speed at which the computers may be read is limited by the speed at which the information may be printed. Infra-red emitting diodes have substantially no thermal inertia and they can be turned on and off very rapidly. Consequently, because they may be turned on and oil very rapidly, the thermosensitive paper may be moved rapidly past the emitting diodes to generate information on the paper indicative of the information read out of the computer.

Infra-red emitting diodes, such as gallium arsenide diodes, are efficient and therefore generate little spurious heat. The heat generated is concentrated into a substantially monochromatic ray of high intensity infra-red radiation. The diode itself does not get hot because the generated energy is substantially all radiated.

Because the generated rays are monochromatic, they can easily be focused. Thus, for example, they may be focused into a beam of high intensity which prints the paper at a very rapid rate compared to printers wherein the heat energy is spread over a wider spectrum and has less intensity.

Some infra-red emitters emit parallel light beams in small concentrated bundles of energy, whereby no lens system is needed.

Infra-red emitters operate from relatively low power and voltage sources. Because of the low power and voltage requirements of the infra-red emitters, they may be driven by transistorized circuitry.

Because of the high efficiency of the infra-red emitters and because they operate at a cool temperature, they have an inherently long life.

It is therefore an object of this invention to print on heat-sensitive paper with infra-red radiation originating from a controlled infra-red source.

It is a more particular object of this invention to achieve the above object with infra-red emitting diodes.

It is still a more particular object of this invention to achieve the above objects with infra-red emitters which are adapted to be controlled in response to electrical signals.

It is even a more particular object of this invention to control such infra-red emitters with transistorized circuitry.

It is another object of this invention to drive infra-red emitters with circuitry arranged to produce pulses appropriate to generate recognizable characters.

It is yet another object of this invention to achieve the above-enumerated objects with transistorized circuitry which is adapted to be responsive to logical signals.

It is a specific object of this invention to provide apparatus and circuitry which is adapted to achieve the aboveenumerated objects.

Other objects will become apparent from the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

Brief description of drawings FIG. 1 is a diagram of a rudimentary device of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a diagram of a device of this invention adapted to be controlled by a character generator;

FIG. 3 is a sample of typical symbols in a 7 x 5 matrix which may be printed by the device of this invention;

FIG. 4 is a more detailed block diagram of typical driving circuitry for infra-red emitters, according to this invention;

FIG. 5 is a detailed block diagram of a typical frequency-shift keying driving circuitry for driving infrared emitters;

FIG. 6 is a specific embodiment of the character register, sequencer, and counters of FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is a specific embodiment of the character decode means of FIG. 4;

FIGURE 8 is a specific embodiment of the timing decode gates of FIG. 4;

FIG. 9 is a specific embodiment of the character forming gates of FIG. 4; and

FIG. 10 is a block diagram of the operation sequence of the apparatus of FIG. 4.

Detailed descrip ion of invention Typically, characters are printed out in a 7 x 5 matrix of dots as shown, forexample, in FIG. 3. The driving circuitry shown herein is adapted to produce such characters. However, it should be stressed that the 7 x 5 dot matrix is shown for convenience only and that the invention is not to be limited to producing such characters.

In FIG. 1, a control circuit 10, through an amplifier 12, drives an infra-red emitter 14. The return circuit typically is through a common terminal 16. Concurrently with the energizing of emitter 14, the control circuitry energizes the motor 18. Motor 18 drives a reel or spindle 20, winding heat-sensitive paper or tape off of the supply reel 22.

The control circuit may-for example-be a computercontrolled character generator with associated equipment as shown in FIG. 2. Alternatively it may be a paper or magnetic tape reader. Other examples of information sources, such as memory drums, telemetering links, or electric typewriters may be used.

The motor 18 may be a continuously energized motor, a stepping solenoid, or other intermittent motor.

The infra-red emitter 14 may, for example be a gallium arsenide diode.

The emitter 14, when energized, emits infra-red energy 24 which is focused by a lens system 26 onto the heatsensitive paper 28. It should be emphasized that the lens system 26 need not be used when the emission of the emitter 14 produces the appropriate concentrated energy without such a lens system.

The lens system 26 may be a single or multiple lens. It need not be spherical. The criterion is that the radiation 24 be focused at the desired point on the paper.

In FIG. 2, seven infra-red emitting diodes 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, and 42 are shown above the heat-sensitive paper 28. Radiation from these'diodes is shown focused onto the paper 28 by the cylindrical lens 44.

The diodes are driven, respectively, by amplifiers such as transistorized amplifiers 46, 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, and 58 which, in turn, are excited by the outputs of AND distributing gates 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, 70, and 72.

The output signals of character generator 74 are channeled to the distributing gates. Timing signals are channeled from generator 74 into a scale-of-seven counter 76 and are thence channeled to the distributing gates. Computer 75 is shown connected to determine the particular character chosen by generator 74.

The character generator 74 is also shown controlling the motor 18, and hence the movement of the heat-sensitive tape 28.

Details of specific embodiments of the character generator connections are reserved for the discussion of FIGS. 4-10. I Typical figures printed onto tape 28 in a 7 x dot matrix are shown in FIG. 3f Notice that the dots are arranged in seven rows and five columns. For convenience of description, number the columns from left to right, columns 1 through 5. Number the rows, consecutively, from bottom to top of the figure, rows 1 through 7.

In the described embodiments, the dot positions are scanned one-at-a-time, starting with column 1, row 1; thence proceeding up column 1 to row 7; thence to column 2, row 1, up column 2 to row 7; thence through columns 3, 4, and 5, in order, from roW 1 to row 7 in the same fashion as in columns 1 and 2.

During movement of tape 28, the positions of the dot matrix come under the infra-red diodes in the abovedescribed order. Should a signal be transmitted to the proper diode, a dot is produced on the tape. For example, the position of column 1, row 1, first moves into position under diode 42. Should a pulse of energy be received by diode 42 at that moment, a dot is produced in the column 1, row 1 position. A moment later the tape 28 has advanced so that the column 1, row 2 position of the dot matrix has advanced under diode 40. Should a pulse of energy be received by diode 40 at that moment, a dot is produced in the column 1, row 2 position. The tape then advances to place, consecutively, the column 1, row 3 under diode 38; column 1, row 4 under diode 36; column 1, row 5 under diode 34; column 1, row 6 under diode 32; column 1, row 7 under diode 30; column 2, row 1 under diode 42 Note that the row of diodes is turned slightly from a position directly across the tape 28, toward the direction of motion of the tape so that the diode 42 is in position to produce a dot in'row 1 of the next column of the dot matrix immediately after the diode 30 is in position to produce a dot in row 7. Since the order of production of the dots in the dot matrix is known, each character which may be produced may be represented by a thirty-five bit binary numeral in which, for example, the 1 indicates that a dot is formed in the consecutively indexed position, While the numeral 0" indicates that a dot is omitted in a particular position. Referring to FIG. 3, in which the numbers 80-95 indicate the consecutive dots to be produced in the dot matrix, to print out the numeral 2 the print-out command can be represented by the binary sequence:

.To print out a character, the character generator 74 sends a series of timed pulses to the scale-of-seven counter 76, causing the counter 76 to distribute the timing pulses to the gate amplifiers in the following order: 72, 70, 68, 66, 64, 62, 60, 72

Signals are also channeled from the character generator 74 to the motor 18 to synchronize the tape movement with the timing signals.

A series of intermittent pulses are transmitted from generator 74 to all of the gates in synchronism with the timing signals. For example, when the numeral 2 is to be printed out, the pulses transmitted to all of the gates are intermittent in the above-mentioned pattern, i.e.:

wherein a 1 represents a pulse coinciding with a timing pulse, and a 0 represents the absence of a pulse coinciding with a timing pulse.

There are many variations in the character generator. Obviously, if desired, thirty-five diodes could be positioned over the heat-sensitive paper in the positions of the dots in the dot matrix. All of the appropriate diodes corresponding to the positions of desired dots could then simultaneously be energized.

One of the embodiments which prints the dots serially is shown in FIG. 4. The computer 75 produces command signals indicating the character to be written out. A typical output of computer 75 might be six channels in parallel adapted to set a register means such as the character register 104. Typically, the character register cells are flip flops wherein the output signals, F and F represent two complementary outputs, e.g. F is true and F is false when the-flip flop stores a 1, and F is false and T is true when the flip flop stores a 0. A six channel computer output is shown, for example, in FIG. 6 in which the six signals are designated by the lines 326, 327, 328, 329, 330, and 331'. The signals 326-331 are connected to the character register 104 which generates twelve signals, F6, W, F7, W, F8, F8, F9, F5, F10, W, F11, and F11. The signals F6-F11 are channeled into a sequencer means such as the sequencer 108 which starts the motor 18 when any signal other than (F6) (F7) (F8) (F9) (F10) (F11) is sensed, such term being true only when the register 104 stores only zeros. All of the output signals of register 104 are channeled into a decoding means such as the character decode means 106. The output signal of the sequencer 108 is connected to AND gate 102 to control the channeling of clock pulses from a timing means such as the clock into a counter means such as the scale-of-seven counter 118. When the desired character is completely printed, a clear signal is delivered from the sequencer 108 to clear the character register 104.

The timing pulses delivered by clock 100, through gate 102 to the scale-of-seven counter causes the scale-of-seven counter to index through its seven states.

The scale-of-seven counter 118 may, for example, comprise three flip flops producing outputs designated F0, F0, F1, W, F2, F2. Any seven states of these signals may be used as the outputs of the scale-of-seven counter 118. For explanation purposes, as shown in FIG. 8, the following codes have been chosen as outputs of the counter 118:

The binary output 110 of the counter 118 is connected to reset counter 118 into its 000 state and to send a pulse to the scale-of-five counter 120. Counters 118 and 120, together, may be considered to be a counter means.

The scale-of-five counter 120 may, for example, comprise three flip flops producing outputs F3, F3, F4, fi, F5, F5. Any five states of these signals may be used as the outputs of the scale-of-five counter 120. For explanation purposes, as shown in FIG. 8, the following codes have been chosen as outputs of the counter 120:

The binary output 100 of counter 120 is connected to reset counter 120 into its 000 state.

The scale-of-seven counter 118 may be adapted, as in FIG. 4, to produce seven signals which are produced in ordered sequence in synchronism with the timing pulses of clock 100. Alternatively, as shown in the specific embodiment of the timing decode gate of FIG. 8, the same signals may be produced in the timing decode gates 116 (also considered to be part of the counter means).

The timing decode gates 116 are adapted to produce thirty-five timed signals, distributed in sequence upon thirty-five conductors shown generally at 110. That is, the first signal in the sequence is channeled to the first conductor, the second signal to the second conductor, and so on through the thirty-five signals and conductors.

The character decode means 106 is adapted to produce a signal on only one of the sixty-three conductors shown generally at 112. That is, the presence of a signal upon a particular conductor of the set 112 acts as a command signal to the character forming gates 114 to control the particular sequence of signals produced by gates 114 to cause the infra-red emitters to produce a particular character upon tape 28 in the dot matrix shown in FIG. 3.

The combination of signals from conductors 110 and 112 causes a permanent storage means such as the character forming gates 114 to produce a timed sequence of signals such as that needed to form the character 2, Le: 11100101001001100100110010011000110.

The signals delivered by the scale-of-seven counter 118 (or alternatively by the timing decode gate 116) to the distributing gates 60-72, are connected so that the first timing signal in each set of seven sequenced timing signals is channeled to gate 72, the second to gate 70, the third to gate 68, and the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh to gates 66, 64, 62, and 60, respectively.

The basic operation diagram is shown in FIG. 10. The apparatus of FIG. 4 first waits for data from the computer 75. The data is placed into the register 104 and the motor 18 is started. After a short delay, caused by the sequencer 108, signals are sent to the gate 102 (the motor 18 is then up to speed and running) to cause the circuitry to drive the infra-red emitters to print the desired character. When the print out of the character is complete, the register 104 is cleared by the sequencer 108 and the apparatus again waits for data from the computer 75.

Referring now to FIG. 6, there is shown a typical sequencer 108. In sequencer 108, the JK flip flops 304 and 310 have outputs which, for convenience, are designated F12, F 1'2 F13, F1 3. The presence of a signal on the J input of flip flop 304 sets flip flop 304 into its F12 state (i.e. F12 true and T12 false). The presence of a signal on the K input sets flip flop 304 into its F 12 state. Similarly, the presence of a signal on the J input of flip flop 310 sets that flip flop into its F13 state. A signal on the K input sets the flip flop into its F 13 state.

The F6-F11 signals from the register 104are connected to the input terminals of an OR gate 300. The out- 6 put of gate 300 is connected through AND gate 302 to the J input of flip flop 304. The K input of flip flop 304 is connected to AND gate 340 which has a true output when the end of a matrix scan is reached.

The F12 output of flip flop 304 is connected to the input of AND gate 102, to amplifier 306, and through time delay means 308 to the J input of flip flop 310. The W output of flip flop 304 is connected to the inputs of AND gates 302 and 314, and through time delay means 312 to the K input of flip flop 310.

The F13 output of flip flop 310 is connected to the inputs of AND gates 102 and 314. The F 13 output of flip flop 310 is connected to the input of gate 302.

When the register 104 is set into any condition except 000000, the gate 300 delivers a signal to gate 302. Provided the flip flops are in their zero or false state, i.e. provided m and m signals exist, the gate 302 delivers a signal to the J input of flip flop 304 setting it into its one or true state, i.e. an F12 signal is produced.

The production of an F12 signal causes the motor 18 to be actuated by the amplifier 306. After a short delay, by means 308, to allow the motor to accelerate, the F12 signal appears on the J input of flip flop 310 which sets flip flop 310 into its F13 state. With flip flops 304 and 310 producing signals F12 and F13, gate 102 is opened to allow timing signals from clock to be channeled to counter 118. When thirty-five pulses have been delivered by clock 100 to register 118, a signal appears on AND gate 340 which sets flip flop 304 into its 1 1'? state.

The setting of flip flop 304 into its FE state causes gate 314 (because an F13 signal is still present) to deliver a clearing signal to register 104.

After a short delay to allow the clearing signal, time delay means 312 allows the FT? signal to reset flip flop 310 into its F11: state. The sequencer 108 is then ready to receive the next signal from register 104 and to repeat the operation.

A typical character decode means 106 is shown in FIG. 7. In FIG. 7, eight AND gates, shown at 320, are each adapted to receive three inputs of different permutations of F6 or 1 6, F7 orw, and F8 or F8. Thus the gates 320, from left to right in FIG. 7 are responsive, respectively to the following inputs F6 F7 F8 The eight AND gates, shown at 322, are each adapted to receive three inputs of different permutations of F9 or T9, F10 or F10, F11 or F'fi. Thus the gates 322, from bottom to top in FIG. 7, are responsive, respectively to the following inputs:

F9 F10 Fl].

seven AND gates of the matrix 324. Eachof the seven AND gates also has connected to its input terminals an output connection of a different one of the set for gates 322, except for the bottom gate which has input signals TFO) Tm (F11). Thus for each combination of F6 or F6, F7 or 1 7, F8 or F8, F9 or F, F10 or F10, F11 or iii, except T87 TFT F TF5? F107 F117, there exists an AND gate in the matrix 324 which produces a signal. For any particular signal on register 104, except 000000, there is one and only one of the conductors 112 energized.

A typical timing decode gate matrix 116 is shown in FIG. 8. In FIG. 8, seven AND gates, shown at 330, are each adapted to receive three inputs of different permutations of F0 or F0, F1 or E, F2 or W. The gates 330, from left to right in FIG. 8, are responsive respectively to the following inputs:

F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 The output of each of the gates 330 is connected to five AND gates of a matrix 334 of thirty-five AND gates. Each of the five AND gates also has connected to its input terminals an output connection of a different one of the five gates in the set 332. Thus for each combination of F0 or W, F1 or E, F2 or W, F3 or F3, F4 or F4, F5 or W (except those of the form lllxxx, xxxlOl, xxxllO, and xxxlll, where x is a 1 or *0) there exists an AND gate in the matrix 334 which produces a signal. The outputs of the matrix 334 are thirty-five conductors 110. The thirty-five conductors 110 are consecutively energized in synchronism with the clock pulses delivered from clock 100.

It is apparent that the gates 330 could have been part of the scale-of-seven counter 118, with the outputs of gates 330 connected, respectively, to the gates 60-72 .(FIG. 4).

It is also apparent that the gates 332 could have been part of the scale-of-five counter 120. Instead of connecting the counters 118 and 120 with an AND gate 119 (see FIG. 6), the output of the right hand gate of gates 330 could have delivered pulses to counter 120.

A typical character forming gate circuit 114 is shown in FIG. 9. In FIG. 9, the conductors 110 are displayed or ordered so that the conductor receiving the first timing pulse is at the top, the conductor receiving the second pulse is next, and so on down the column of conductors until the last conductor receives the last pulse.

Only a single conductor 341 of the conductors 112 is shown, carrying a control signal to print out the character 2. The first conductor 340 of conductor set [110 is connected to an AND gate 342. The gate 342 is also connected to the conductor 341 of the set of conductors 112. The conductor 341 is also connected to other AND gates shown generally at 344. The set of gates 344 has a number of gates equal to the number of dots in the character 2. The gates of the set 344 are connected to the sequentially pulsed conductors so that a pulse is delivered at the proper time to cause the infra-red emitters to'print out the dots of the character 2.

The outputs of the gates 344 are connected to a bank of OR gates 346 so that whenever one of the gates 344 is energized, a signal appears at the output terminal 348.

Each of the other conductors (not shown) of the set of conductors 112 is typically connected to a set of gates similar to the set 344. The number of gates in a particular set depends upon the number of dots of the character to be printed out. The conductors of set 110 corresponding to the time-sequenced dot positions in the particular chosen character to be printed are connected to the AND gates.

It is apparent that other gate configurations could be used to reduce the number of gates.

It is also apparent that should there be dot positions in the dot matrix described in connection with FIG. 3 which are never printed, the particular conductors of set 110 corresponding to those dot positions may be omitted.

An alternative embodiment of the invention which is adapted to receive dot commands, for example, over a communication channel or link 128 is shown in FIG. 5. The particular circuit of FIG. 5 is adapted to receive print out commands from a frequency-shift-keying modulated signal. The frequency-shift-keying (FSK) signal comprises signals of two frequencies, 1 and f2. In the shown embodiment, a frequency of 2 corresponds to a command to print out a dot. A frequency of f1 corresponds to a command not to print out a dot. The communication link may comprise a radio link, or an audio link. The signal may be an amplitude modulated signal, a pulse width modulated signal, a frequency modulated signal, a pulse amplitude modulated signal, a pulse code modulated signal, or any other signal carrying the required information in FSK form.

The communication link 128 is connected to two filters 129 and 131 to separate the t2 and f1 signals. The filters transmit signals to the detectors and 132 which change the signals into substantially constant amplitude signals (of short duration, i.e. a pulse). The outputs of both detectors 130 and 132 are connected to an AND gate whose output is connected to control a monostable multivibrator and to reset counter 138 into its zero condition. The reception of a signal having both f1 and f2 components at the beginning of a character, triggers the multivibrator, sending a pulse to the motor 18 of sufficient time duration to allow the dot matrix to be printed out. The outputs of detectors 130 and 132 are connected to the inputs of the OR gate 136 whose output drives the scaleof-seven counter 138. Thus whenever a signal f2 (for a dot) or f1 (to skip a dot) are received, the counter 138 indexes. The output of detector 130 is connected to the inputs of distributing gates 60-72 to print a clot. The scale-of-seven counter 138 energizes only one of the gates 60-72 at a time in the sequence 72, 70, 68, 66, 64, 62, 60, 72,

Thus, when both f1 and f2 are simultaneously received, the motor 18 is started and the counter 138 is reset. The next signals received index the counter, and if they are f2 signals, they command the particular gate which is momentarily energized by counter 118 to send a signal to its infra-red emitting device to print out a dot.

It should be noted that variations of this embodiment are practical and contemplated by this invention. For example, counter 138 may be reset by the absence of both F1 and F2, and the motor 18 may be driven if either F1 or F2 is present. This could be accomplished by changing gate 134 to a NOR gate and constructing the monolife is assured. The emitters have insignificant thermal inertia, whereby they may rapidly be pulsed. Because of the concentrated power in the short-duration beams, low energy is required. Further, the emitters match the voltages and currents of transistorized or solid state driving circuitry.

There has also been provided by this invention, particular combinations of driving circuitry which are particularly adapted for driving the infra-red emitters.

What is claimed is:

1. In combination:

a movable strip of heat-sensitive material;

a plurality of infra-red emitters, adapted to emit infrared radiation;

means for directing infra-red radiation from said emitters onto predetermined portions of said material;

emitter energizing means responsive to control signals,

for energizing said emitters in a predetermined manner, said emitter energizing means comprising;

means for receiving and storing said control signals; means for storing character programs;

means for converting said stored control signal into a command signal adapted to extract a predetermined character signal sequence from said permanent storage means;

timing means;

distributing means, connected to receive said character signal sequence and to deliver said signals to said emitters;

means connected to receive signals from said timing means and to deliver signals to said permanent storage means to time the production of said character signal sequence, and to said distributing means to distribute said character signal sequence consecutively, in predetermined order to said emitters; and

motor means responsive to said emitter energizing means for driving said material in synchronism with the energizing of said emitters to print out characters upon said material in response to said control signals.

2. In combination:

a movable strip of heat-sensitive material;

a plurality of infra-red emitters, adapted to emit substantially monochromatic infra-red radiation, ar. ranged in a row which is tilted from a direction normal to the direction of motion of said material, toward said direction of motion;

means for directing infra-red radiation from said emitters onto predetermined portions of said material;

emitter energizing means responsive to control signals,

for consecutively energizing said emitters in a predetermined sequence, said emitter energizing means comprising;

register means for receiving and storing said control signals;

permanent storage means for storing character programs;

decoding means for converting said stored control signal into a command signal adapted to extract a predetermined character signal sequence from said permanent storage means;

timing means;

distributing means, connected to receive said character signal sequence and to deliver said signals to said emitters;

counter means, connected to receive signals from said timing means and to deliver signals to said permanent storage means to time the production of said character signal sequence, and to said distributing means to distribute said character signal sequence consecutively, in predetermined order to said emitters; and

motor means responsive to said emitter energizing means for driving said material in synchronism with the energizing of said emitters to print out characters upon said material in response to said control signals.

3. Apparatus according to claim 2 and further comprising sequencer means, connected to receive signals from said register means to start said motor means, to delay delivery of said timing signals, and to reset said register means into a state ready to receive a new control signal.

4. Apparatus according to claim 3 in which:

said permanent storage means comprises a plurality of character forming gates responsive to predetermined ones of signals from said timing means, and responsive to command signals from said decoding means.

5. Apparatus according to claim 3 in which:

said decoding means comprises a gate matrix adapted to receive binary signals from said register means and to produce a signal upon a unique output conductor for predetermined ones of the binary combinations received.

6. Apparatus according to claim 3 in which:

said timing means comprises a gated clock.

7. Apparatus according to claim 3 in which:

said distributing means comprises a plurality of distributing gates, connected to receive signals from said permanent storage means, and from said counter means to distribute said signals from said storage means to said emitters in response to said signals from said counter means.

8. Apparatus according to claim 3 in which:

said counter means comprises a counter, and a plurality of timing decode gates arranged to deliver signals in sequence to a first plurality of conductors connected to said permanent storage means, and to deliver signals in sequence to a second plurality of conductors connected to said distributing means.

9. Apparatus according to claim 3 in which:

said sequencer means comprises a pair of JK flip flops, the first said flip-flop being responsive to a non-zero signal in said register means to produce a signal to start said motor means, the second said flip-flop being responsive to a delayed signal from said first flip flop to gate pulses from said timing means to said counter means, said first flip flop being responsive to said counter means to reset at the end of the count of said counter and to deliver a reset signal to said register means and a delayed reset signal to said second flip flop.

10. In combination:

a movable strip of heat-sensitive material;

a plurality of infra-red emitters, adapted to emit infrared radiation, arranged in a row which is tilted from a direction normal to the direction of motion of said material, toward said direction of motion;

means for directing infra-red radiation from said emitters onto predetermined portions of said material;

means, responsive to control signals, for consecutively energizing said emitters in a predetermined sequence; and

motor means responsive to said means responsive to control signals for driving said material in synchronism with the energizing of said emitters to print out characters upon said material in response to said control signals,

said means responsive to control signals comprising:

means for separating control signals of a first fre quency from control signals of a second frequency;

detector means for detecting said first and second frequencies and for producing first and second detected 11 signals indicative of the presence of said first and second frequencies, respectively;

counter means, connected to be reset to its initial condition by signals chosen from the class consisting of the simultaneous reception of both said detected signals, and of the absence of reception of either of said detected signals, and connected to count upon reception of only one of said detected signals;

a monostable multivibrator, connected to be actuated by signals chosen from the class consisting of the simultaneousreception of both said detected signals, and of the reception of the first of a group of said detected signals, and connected to deliver an energizing signal to said motor means, the dwell time of said multivibrator in its unstable condition being predetermined to allow complete print out of one character; and

a plurality of distributing AND gates, connected to receive a predetermined one of said detected signals, and connected so that said gates are consecutively gated by said counter means, said distributing gates channeling signals to said infra-red emitters.

11. Apparatus according to claim 10 and further comprising:

a communication link, connected to receive said control signals and to deliver them to said means for separating control signals, and adapted to transmit frequency-shift-keying signals.

12. Apparatus according to claim 11 in which said means for separating control signals comprises:

a first and a second filter, connected to receive signals from said communication link and to deliver signals to said first and second detector means, respectively.

13. Apparatus according to claim 12 in which:

said detected signals are channeled through an AND gate to the input terminal of said multivibrator and to the reset terminal of said counter means;

12 and in which said detected signals are channeled through an OR gate to the counting terminal of said counter means.

14. Apparatus according to claim 13 in which said counter means is a scale-of-seven counter, said distributing gates are seven in number, a signal is delivered by said counter to a different said distributing gate for each condition of said counter, and said predetermined one of said detected signals is channeled to all of said distributing gates.

15. Apparatus according to claim 12 in which:

said detected signals are channeled through a NOR gate to the input terminal of said multivibrator and to the reset terminal of said counter means, said multivibrator beingresponsive to be triggered by the transition from true to false by the output signal of said NOR gate; and in which said detected signals are channeled through an OR gate to the counting terminal of said counter means.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,735,049 2/ 1956 DeForest 317-235 2,909,973 10/1959 Koelsch et a1 954.5 3,085,132 4/1963 Innes 17830 3,308,452 3/ 1967 Michel et a1. 340 -324 3,334,353 8/1967 Everest 34676 3,341,857 9/1967 Kabell 346-l07 3,349,174 10/1967 Warschauer 1786.7

JOSEPH W. HARTARY, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification347/247, 250/316.1, 400/120.1, 178/30, 347/248
International ClassificationB41J2/45, G06K15/12
Cooperative ClassificationG06K15/1247, B41J2/45
European ClassificationG06K15/12D4L, B41J2/45
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 9, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: EATON CORPORATION AN OH CORP
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:ALLIED CORPORATION A NY CORP;REEL/FRAME:004261/0983
Effective date: 19840426
Jun 15, 1983ASAssignment
Owner name: ALLIED CORPORATION COLUMBIA ROAD AND PARK AVENUE,
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:BUNKER RAMO CORPORATION A CORP. OF DE;REEL/FRAME:004149/0365
Effective date: 19820922