Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3554347 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 12, 1971
Filing dateApr 29, 1968
Priority dateApr 29, 1968
Publication numberUS 3554347 A, US 3554347A, US-A-3554347, US3554347 A, US3554347A
InventorsPerkins Cornelius C
Original AssigneeBurroughs Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
System for automatically setting a position counter to effect agreement with the position of a traveling printing element
US 3554347 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventor Cornelius C. Perkins Birmingham, Mich. [2]] Appl. No. 724,965 [22 Filed Apr. 29, I968 [45] Patented Jan. 12, 1971 [73] Assignee Burroughs Corporation Detroit, Mich.


[52] U.S. Cl 197/48, 101/93, 197/65 [51] Int. Cl B41j l/60 [50] Field ofSearch 101/93; 197/4855, 65, 66

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,831,424 4/1958 MacDonald 197/49X 3,135,195 6/1964 Potter 101/93 COUNTER COMPARATOR 6 MEMORY Primary ExaminerEdgar S. Burr AttQrneysPaul W. Fish and Edwin Uren ABSTRACT: A system for synchronizing the lateral movement of. a printing element with an electronic position counter. A pulse generator is operatively connected to a printing element drive motor to generate a pulse at each printing position. The pulses from the pulse generator are supplied via an amplifier to a comparator circuit which is periodically tested for a voltage level change in the amplifier output. When the level has not changed for a predetermined time due to the arrested movement of the printing element, the electronic position counter is set to a predetermined number corresponding to the present position of the printing element.

' H I4 22 28 O 1 PATENTED JAN12|97I 3554347 sum 1 OF 2 FIG.I. /|a [I5 ,IO |s 6 T i A I 6 52 MOTOR O ,\Lf






sum 2 0F 2 W FIG]. 22

. I44 I45 I46 I47 I48 I49 4 I50 I I l I I I I FIGS.


----0 BY VMC. ray/Z ATTORNEY.

l SYSTEM FOR AUTOMATICALLY SETTINGA POSITION COUNTER TO EFFECT AGREEMENT WITII'THE POSITION OF A TRAVELING PRINTING ELEMENT SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION tronic position counter. However, when the power to the printing element drive motor is removed, the printing element can then be manually moved to any printing position and thereby invalidating the relationship between the printing element and storednumber in the position, counter. It is therefore necessary, prior to the operation of the printing element to set the position counter to effect count agreement with the position of the printing element. x

It is, therefore, an object of my invention to synchronize the present position of a printing element with theelectronicposition counter.

I have, therefore, provided a system to accomplish this synchronization and the system comprises a stop member positioned at one end of the path of travel of the printer element and a pulse generator which is operatively connected to the printing element and generates a pulse at each printing position during movement of the element. The outputof the pulse generator is temporarily stored in a multivibrator and at predetermined intervals, the present output of the pulse generator is compared with the output of the multivibrator to determine whether or not the printing element has moved one printing position during thepreceding time interval. When the printing element has been arrested by the stop member for a periodof' time, which time is greater than the time required for travel of the printer element between adjacent printing posidots. a position counter is electronically set with a number representing the present position of the element.


FIG. I is a diagrammatic illustration of portions of a printer embodying my invention.

FIG. Its a view taken along the the arrows 2'2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a flow diagram;

FIG. '4 is a schematic of theamplifier shown diagrammatically in FIG. I; i

FIGQS is aschematic'of the inatically in FIG. 1;

FIGJ6 is a schematic of the comparator of FIG. 1;

FIG; 7 is an illustration of the output of the amplifier;

FIG. 8 is an illustration of the printing positions adjacent the stop member;

FIG. 9 is a diagrammatic illustration of the flip-flop of FIG. 5.

line andin the directioniof flip-flop circuit shown diagram DETAILED DESCRIPTION In printers of the type illustrated in FIG. 1 wherein a'printing element 13 ismovable along a lead screw 14 from one printing position to the next, the carrier 19 is adapted was to allow manual movement of the printing'element along the lead screw; 'One reason for such an adaptation is to allow qualified service personnel perform maintenance operations such as cleaning and lubricating the lead screw-1'4. Unfortunately this tion bet-ween the printing element 13 and the position counter Additionally, it is the nature of most electronic components or devices which are capable of storing information in the form of electrical signals, to lose all such information upon the removal of electric power. Such removal of power naturally occurs whenever the system is turned off at the close of busi ness. Therefore, when the power is removed, the location of the printing element 13 as stored in the position counter II is lost. Before the printer is put in use, it is necessary to provide a system for automatically setting the position counter 11 to effect agreement with the position of a traveling printing element [3.

The position counter 11 functions to electrically retain the numerical position of the printing element 13 with respect to the platen 15 so that under control of a system such as disclosed and claimed in US. Pat. No. 3,403.380 entitled Format Control by C. C. Perkins et al. and assigned to the same 'signee. the printing element 13 may be moved in either direction any number i of print positions and. of course, a requirement of sequential printing is unnecessary. Once the printing element 13 is initially synchronized with the position counter 11 any future out of synchronization condition may be corrected according to this invention by turning the power off and on or according to another systemprocedure.

The printing element 13 responds through means not shown, to an input comprising the next printing position and the alpha-numeric character to be printed. In a billing system, by way of illustration only, the data to be printed may contain such information as quantity, article description, cost per unit, weight per unit, shipping charges, gross price, discount, net price and net weight. Each item of data istypically arranged in a columnar format whereineach column is spaced from the adjacent columns. In some instances, all of the above enumerated informationmay not be required, hence the printing element 13 must be moved along the path of travel through a column without printing. The synchronization between the printingelement 13 and the position counter 11 permits selective movement between different columns in a manner as shown -in the previously mentioned-patent entitled Format Control.

FIG. 1 illustrates the interconnection between the printing element 13 andthe electronic or position counter 11 which must be brought into synchronization. As illustrated in'FlG. l, a reversible electric motor 12 drives by means'of a lead screw 14, a'printing element 13 along a path parallel to the platen I5 and between rightl6 and left 18 sideframes. The printing element I3 is supportedby a carrier 19 which has a threaded drive connection with the lead screw .14 and is restrained against rotation by a guiderod20. Attached'to the right I6 sideframe is a fixe'dstop 22 to arrest the travel to the right beyond the extreme printing position as shown in'FlG. 8; of the printing elementl3. As illustrated, the printing element is of the well known, spheroidal type 10 which is rotatable-to position a selected printing type to the print line.

Operatively connected to the motor 12 is apulsegenerator 26 comprising a'rotatable shunt 28 which is rotated between a permanent magnet'32 and an opposed ferromagneticcore or transducer 34. Theshunt28 has a-plurality of spacedprojections 35 which are rotated between the magnet {ll-and the transducer 34 whenever the printing element .13 is -rnove'd along the platen by the motorlZ. In the present embodiment, the radial edges 63 of each-projection 35 representsa; printing position asdetinedalong the platen 15.

The transducer 34 is interconnected as-shown inFlG'rdto an amplifier -36 to supply the output voltage waveform=31as lillustrated in FIG.;"7. The amplifier 36 is connected to;.a- -comparator circuit 38 wherein the output of the amplifier

periodically tested to determine when the voltage gleyel changesJAny suitable comparator circuit maybe used suchas the comparator circuit illustrated in FIG. 6. Each time the :am-

plifier 36 is tested, the comparator circuit 38 generates either a change' or no change signal.- Both signals are supplied'to a disc counter 40 wherein the no change-signal increments the counter 40 and the change signal resets-or clearsthe counter40. The only output from the disc counter'40 occurs when there is a carry indicating that the counter has exceeded capacity This signal, called the carry signal K is supplied to the position counter 11 to preset that counter 11 to a predetermined number and this signal is also supplied to the motor control circuit 42 to turn off the motor 12.

The disc counter 40 and the position counter 11 may be any suitable electronic counter that is well-known in the art. FIG. 5 is a schematic of common flip-flop 41 which can be used for each counting stage of both the disc counter 40 and the position counter 11. in FIG. 1, the disc counter 40 is represented as a two-stage counter with the interconnection between each stage as is shown, while in the preferred embodimcnt the position counter 11 has eight stages which are similarly interconnected. Also, the position counter 11 in the preferred embodiment is a reversible counter; that is, it has the capability to be counted by incrementing or by decrementing.

ln the disc counter 40, when the count exceeds the count of three, the counter setting switch or 1" output transistor 44 is driven out of conduction causing the carry signal to be generated at its collector. This signal is applied to the R input resistor 46 at each stage of the position counter 11 to cause its associated preset switch or output transistor 44 or 48 to be driven into conduction. In the preferred embodiment, the number to be preset in the position counter is 150, therefore the first, fourth, sixth, and seventh stages have R input resistor 46 connected to the base diode 50 of the O output transistor 48 such as shown in FIG. and the other stages have the R" input resistor 46 connected to the base diode 52 of 1" output transistor 44. In the disc counter 40, the R input resistor 46 is connected as shown in FIG. 5, since the disc counter is preset to zero. The position counter 11 can be adapted to permit any number from zero to 255 to be preset in that counter by merely changing the connection of the R" input resistor 46 to the proper base diode 50 or 52 in each stage. For example, if the position counter were to be preset to zero, each stage would be as shown in FIG. 5, but if the preset number were to be 255, the R" input resistor 46 in each stage would be connected to the base diode 52 of the 1" output transistor 44.

Referring to FIG. 4, which is the schematic of the amplifier 36, there is shown the single winding 54 on the core 34. When the transistor 56 is conducting because of a signal applied to the base of the transistor, there are two current paths from the 8+ to ground. The first path is via one resistor 58 and the second path is via a second resistor 60 and the winding 5. If the shunt projection 35 is between the magnet 32 and the transducer 34, the winding 54 is essentially a high impedance and output level is essentially the magnitude of the zener diode 62. If a shunt projection 35 is not between the magnet and the transducer, the winding is essentially a short circuit and the output voltage is essentially the collector voltage of the transistor 56. For a more detailed discussion of this circuit, reference is made to U.S. Pat. application Ser. No. 521,662, filed Jan. [9, 1966, now a continuation application Ser. No. 780,308, filed Nov. 18, I968, entitled Transducer and assigned to the same assignee.

The testing signal for the comparator circuit 38 is generated from a magnetic signal which is encoded at a predetermined location 63 on the magnetic memory disc 64. This encoded signal is read by the read head 66 every revolution of the memory disc 64 and is used in the comparator circuit 38 to determine whether or not the amplifier voltage output 37 has changed during the previous revolution of the memory disc. Since a memory disc 64 is driven at a constant speed, an extremely constant time interval between testings is provided and by counting the number of revolutions between changes an elapsed time interval may be determined.

For the purpose of illustration, if the memory disc 64 rotates at 6,000 revolutions per minute, 1 revolution equals milliseconds and assuming that the carrier moves at the rate of 5.00 inches/sec., it will take the printing element 13 approximately milliseconds to move 0.l inch, which is equal to the distance between printing positions. Therefore. within 3 revolutions of the memory disc 64 the flip-flop 67 will change state ifthe carrier is moving.

OPERATION To initiate synchronization between the position of the printing element 13 and the position counter 11, the switch 68 is closed to supply power to the system. In particular, power is supplied to the motor control circuit 42 to cause the motor 12 to drive the printing element 13 toward the right. As the element moves past each printing position, the transducer 26 alternatively changes from a high impedance to a low impedance depending upon the presence or absence of the projection 35 between the magnet 32 and the transducer 34. The disc counter 40, as illustrated, counts from O to 3 or less, then resets, but the disc counter 40 never exceeds capacity as long as the printing element 13 is moving.

When the printing element 13 is arrested by the stop member 22, the testing in the comparator circuit 38 continues because the memory disc 64 is still rotating. As the disc counter 40 counts beyond the count of 3,a carry signal is generated out of the counter 40. This carry signal is transmitted to the motor control circuit 42 to turn off the power to the motor 12 and is also transmitted to the position counter 11 to set a predetermined number into the position counter 11 which corresponds to the present position of the carrier 19 against the stop member 22. In the preferred embodiment, the stop member 22 is effectively at printing position although it is physically positioned beyond that position so as not to interfere with normal movement of the printing element 13 and the number set into the carrier position counter 11 is therefore 150.

The flow diagram of FIG. 3 is entered via the box 69 labeled Run"Run." The designation Run refers to transferring the switch 68 to supply power to the motor 12 to move the printing element 13 to the right. The next operation is to test the output of the amplifier 36 which is shown by the diamondshaped symbol 70. If there is a change, the disc counter 40 is then cleared at the next step 71, and the program is returned to the testing of the amplifier at the next disc revolution.

If no change is detected, the disc counter 40 is incremented by one at the next step 72. The disc counter 40 is then tested 74 to determin e whether or not a carry signal is present. If no carry signal (K) is present, then the program returns to the amplifier testing step 70.

If a carry K is present, a number n is set 78 into the position counter 11 and the program is stopped 80. As previously stated, the time interval between each amplifier test 70 is equal to one revolution of the memory disc 64.

FIG. 8 illustrates the numerical identification of several juxtaposed printing positions which are adjacent the stop member of the right-hand end of the platen as viewed in FIG. 1. Each printing position is numbered in l/ 10-inch increments from the left hand end of the platen. In the present embodiment, the platen is 15 inches long although this length is not a limit.

Once the printing element 10 and the position counter 11 are, in synchronization, the position counter which as previously stated is an reversible counter, is responsive to bidirectional movement of the printing element. As the printing element moves to the right, the position counter is a count-up" counter, and as the printing element moves to the left, the position counter is a count-down" counter.

Thus, I have shown and described a system for synchronizing the positioning of a printing element 13 with the indicated electronic position stored in a position counter 11. The printing element 13 is operatively connected to the position counter 11 and when the movement of the printing element carrier 19 is arrested by the stop member 22, a signal from the disc counter 40, sets the position counter 11 to a predetermined number indicating the present position of the printing element 13.

lclaim: 1. ln priming apparatus: printing means movable along a path of travel having spaced apart priming positions including opposite end printing positions;

I an electronic counter normally synchronized with and controlling the positioning of said printing means-within the range of said end positions;

electrically operated means operatively connected to said printing means to move said printing means along said path of travel;

said electrically operated means also being operable to

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2831424 *Mar 1, 1954Apr 22, 1958Burroughs CorpTraveling type carriage in high speed printers
US3135195 *Jun 22, 1961Jun 2, 1964Potter Instrument Co IncHigh speed printer with moving characters and single hammer
US3343482 *Apr 14, 1965Sep 26, 1967Burroughs CorpAutomatically controlled printer for printing and coding documents
US3360782 *Nov 23, 1964Dec 26, 1967English Electric Leo ComputersSequence checking system
US3399753 *Jan 10, 1966Sep 3, 1968John E CarrPrinter with type wheel rotatable in either direction
US3400213 *Jul 16, 1964Sep 3, 1968Rudolf Hell KommanditgesellschElectrostatic telegraphic printer
US3417690 *May 2, 1966Dec 24, 1968Scm CorpRolling contact printer hammer and hammer carriage
US3420164 *Dec 20, 1965Jan 7, 1969Int Computers LtdCyclically operable printing and proportional spacing apparatus
US3426880 *Apr 14, 1967Feb 11, 1969Friden IncSerial character matrix page printer
US3442364 *Oct 2, 1967May 6, 1969Friden IncPrinting system with helical arrangement of type on type wheel
US3472352 *Sep 16, 1968Oct 14, 1969Burroughs CorpHigh speed serial printer
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3656169 *May 19, 1970Apr 11, 1972Casio Computer Co LtdMethod and apparatus for writing characters
US3715021 *Nov 27, 1970Feb 6, 1973Burroughs CorpVariable drive apparatus
US3858702 *Aug 20, 1973Jan 7, 1975Kokusai Denshin Denwa Co LtdDevice for feeding a printer head
US3942619 *Jul 16, 1973Mar 9, 1976Scope, IncorporatedPrinter employing stylus correlation and motor damping means
US3993180 *Aug 7, 1975Nov 23, 1976Sperry Rand CorporationDrive mechanism for an asynchronous printer
US4030588 *Apr 8, 1975Jun 21, 1977Canon Kabushiki KaishaPrinter
US4114750 *Aug 6, 1975Sep 19, 1978Hydra CorporationPrinter system having local control for dynamically alterable printing
US4143980 *Feb 17, 1977Mar 13, 1979Siemens AktiengesellschaftShifting arrangement for exact space positioning of a writing carriage in typewriters
US4152083 *Aug 10, 1977May 1, 1979Teletype CorporationMargin control for printing apparatus
US4176977 *Mar 8, 1978Dec 4, 1979Realty & Industrial CorporationProportional carrier control and moving mechanism for electric typewriter
US4279523 *Sep 14, 1979Jul 21, 1981International Business Machines CorporationPower recovery apparatus for an electric typewriter
US4368994 *Jun 20, 1979Jan 18, 1983The Singer CompanySingle servo driven printer
US4545695 *Jan 28, 1985Oct 8, 1985Nec Home Electronics, Ltd.Horizontal printing type printer
US4575269 *Apr 13, 1984Mar 11, 1986Ing. C. Olivetti & C., S.P.A.Portable electronic typewriter
DE2836349A1 *Aug 19, 1978Feb 28, 1980Kienzle Apparate GmbhRandsteuerung fuer einen druckkopf
U.S. Classification400/320, 101/93, 400/328, 101/93.15
International ClassificationG06F3/09
Cooperative ClassificationG06F3/09
European ClassificationG06F3/09
Legal Events
Jul 13, 1984ASAssignment
Effective date: 19840530