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Publication numberUS3575272 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 20, 1971
Filing dateMar 6, 1969
Priority dateMar 6, 1969
Publication numberUS 3575272 A, US 3575272A, US-A-3575272, US3575272 A, US3575272A
InventorsHildebrand Russell L
Original AssigneeHildebrand Russell L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Selector mechanism for vending machine
US 3575272 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Russell L. Hildebrand I129 Madigan, Concord, Calif. 94520 804,840

Mar. 6, 1969 Apr. 20, 197 I Inventor Appl. No. Filed Patented SELECTOR MECHANISM FOR VENDING [5 6] References Cited FOREIGN PATENTS 1,140,917 3/1957 France 221/126 Primary ExaminerSamuel F. Coleman Attorney-Milmore & Cypher ABSTRACT: An apparatus enabling a single coin chute mechanism to selectively vend a plurality of items having a manually engageable selector arm connected to a pusher head which is in turn slidably connected to a guide rail mounted on the coin chute mechanism.

PATENTED APRZO I97! SHEEI 2 or 2 INVENTOR.

Russell L. Hildebrand Attorneys SELECTOR MECHANISM FOR VENDING MACHINE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The coin chute mechanism of the basic type shown in U.S.. Pat. No. 3,371,763 is used to vend a single article. To vend a different article from the same vending machine required the use of another coin chute mechanism. Since the coin chute mechanism represents a substantial proportion of the cost of any vending machine, the use of applicant's device instead of multiple coin chute mechanisms represents a substantial savings in the construction of vending machines which vend two or more different articles.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The gist of the invention is the use of a simple selector arm which slides laterally and is used to select one of a number of different articles instead of making the selection with one of a number of coin chute mechanisms located in proximity to the article to be vended.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to simplify the mechanism used to vend different articles from the same machine and therefore reduce the overall cost of the machine.

It is a further object to accomplish this reduction in cost with a mechanism which is more rugged, more trouble free and easier to service than existing machines using multiple coin chutes.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a vending machine incorporating the selector mechanism of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross section of the device taken substantially along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the device taken substantially along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the device taken substantially along the line 4-4 of FIG. 2 showing the coin chute mechanism in its operative position.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the device taken substantially along the line 5-5 of FIG. 4.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The selector mechanism of the present invention is for use with a vending machine 1 having a plurality of storage bins 3,4, and 5 for stacks of articles 7 to be vended, an article chute 9, a coin chute mechanism 11 actuated by a coin having an actuating arm 13 mounted for axial reciprocating movement,

and a coin receiver 15 mounted therebelow, the improvement consisting briefly of: the front wall of the machine being formed with a laterally extending slot 17; a manually engageable selector arm 19 mounted for sliding laterally within the slot; 'a pusher head 21 mounted for axial and lateral movement; and an actuating member 22 connected to the coin chute mechanism and having a guide rail 23 transversely mounted to the actuating member and slidably engaging the pusher head for axial reciprocation. Referring to the elements in detail in the order set forth in the proceeding paragraph, the vending machine is basically the standard machine consisting of a container having a hinged or removable door 26 with a lock 27 for loading the machine with merchandise and removing the coins collected. The door is generally formed with a window 28 for displaying samples of the articles 29, 30 and 31 to be vended. The machine is formed with an opening 33 connecting with the article chute for dispensing the merchandise.

Within the machine, the articles to be vended are stored in bins in columnar stacks by flanges 34, 35, 36, 37, 38 and 39 connected to an inner rear wall 41. The bins are separated by walls 42 and 43.

The article chute consists of a bottom wall '44 which forms a steeply slanted connection between the bottom of the storage bins 46 and the discharge opening. Preferably there is a landing 47 and a step 48 for catching the article within the machine.

The coin chute mechanism is standard equipment, and will only be briefly described. It consists of a coin-receiving slot 49 formed in a flat strip of metal 51 having a finger engageable handle 52 which slides between guides 53 and 54. The handle is returned by a spring 55 after the coin falls into the coin receiver. The entire coin chute assembly is attached to the machine by machine screws 57 from the inside.

1 The slot in the front face of the machine is preferably formed with-grooves 8,10 and 12 into which the selector arm falls when selecting a particular article. Such grooves are not absolutely essential but they do reassure the person using the machine that he is now in position to receive the article of his choice. The selector arm is preferably provided with a knob 58 or other means which is easily grasped. The arm is connected to an H-shaped member 59 which rides on inwardly turned flanges 61 and 62 held between the extending members 63, 64, 65 and 66.

A guide arm 67 connected to the selector arm and having a free end 68 slides along the bottom of the storage bins. Preferably the free end is bent downwardly to elevate the major portion of the guide arm above the bins.

The mechanism includes means slidably connecting the pusher head and the guide rail. Specifically this consists of a downwardly turned channel member 69. having legs 71 and 72 which are formed with slots 73 and 74 through which passes the guide arm. The channel legs straddle the guide rail and the crossmember 76 is connected to a plate member 77 which is connected to the pusher head. The plate also serves as a means for receiving the stack of articles to be vended so that only one article will be vended for each axial movement of the pusher head.

Feet members 78 and 79 are attached to the underside of the plate. The feet may be in the form of a metal loop thus forming a cam surface for riding onto the bottom of the storage bin. The feet straddle the guide arm and help to keep the plate in a level position.

The selector mechanism is protected from tampering by a shield member 81 which extends the length of the slot and also extends to within close proximity to the plate attached to the pusher head to prevent upward movement of the pusher head thereby preventing vending of more than one article by merely moving the selector arm.

The actuating member is connected to the actuating am of the coin chute mechanism by a pair of laterally spaced fasteners 82 and 83.

In operation, the operator grasps the knob of the selector arm and places it in one of the slots corresponding to the article to be selected. Movement of the selector arm carries with it the H-shaped member which rides along the guide flanges, the guide arm which in turn carries the channel member, the plate member and the pusher head. A coin is then inserted into the opening in the coin chute mechanism and the operator pushes inwardly on the handle which causes the actuating arm to move the actuating member inwardly. The guide rail moves against the inner leg of the channel member and causes the plate and pusher head to slide toward the storage bins. As the pusher head moves forwardly, it rides down the inclined portion of the free end of the guide arm and is thus in a position to push against a single article to be dispensed. The feet members ride on the bottom of the bin as clearly shown in FIG. 4. One of the articles then slides down the chute to the landing where it is in position for receipt by the operator.

It should be noted that while the pusher head is moving forwardly, the stack of articles above the article on the bottom rides onto the plate where it is held until the spring on the coin chute returns the entire mechanism to the first position as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. As the plate is withdrawn, the entire stack of articles falls to the bottom of the bin in position for another coin operation.

The shape and arrangement of the entire mechanism combines in a very unique way to foil the efforts of anyone who would attempt to obtain one of the articles without using a coin. In addition to the lock mechanism, and the coin chute mechanism, the most vulnerable portion of the machine is the slot in which the selector arm rides. The articles must be shielded from probes of every sort which could be worked through the slot opening and back to the bins. Every working part contributes in an accumulative way to prevent operation without a coin.

The shield which covers the slot also provides a bottom edge 84 which forms a pivot line for the plate when the selector member is being moved to a difierent lateral position. The inwardly turned flanges for the H-shaped member extend the width of the slot and as shown in H68. 2 and 3 they assist in preventing a probe from being worked between the bottom end of the shield and the top portion of the bottom flange.

Even the wide member 86 connecting the coin chute mechanism and the guide rail serves as a baffle to prevent a magnetic probe from reaching the coin box.

lclaim:

l. A selector mechanism for a vending machine having a plurality of storage bins fon'ned with a bottom plate for receiving stacks of articles to be vended, an article chute mounted below said storage bin bottom plate, a coin chute mechanism actuated by a coin having an actuating arm mounted for axial reciprocating movement, and a coin receiver mounted therebelow, the improvement consisting of:

a. the front wall of said machine being fomted with a laterally extending slot;

b. a manually engageable selector arm mounted for sliding laterally within said slot;

c. a pusher head mounted for axial and lateral movement;

d. an actuating member connected to said coin chute mechanism and having a guide rail transversely mounted to said actuating member and slidably engaging said pusher head for axial reciprocation; and

e. a guide arm connected to said selector arm and having a free end in sliding engagement with said bottom plate of said storage bin.

2. A selector mechanism as described in claim 1 including:

means attached to said pusher head adapted for receiving said articles to be vended preventing the lowering of said stack of articles until said coin chute is fully returned to the coin-receiving position.

3. A selector mechanism as described in claim 2 including: feet members connected to said pusher head having cam surfaces for riding onto said bottom of said storage bin.

4. A selector mechanism as described in claim 3 including:

a shield member extending the length of said slot extending to said means attached to said pusher head to prevent upward movement of said pusher head.

5 A selector mechanism as described in claim 3 including:

a. a pair of inwardly turned angle members extending the length of said slot; and

b. an H-shaped member connected to said selector am and slidably held by said angle members between the extended arms of said H-shaped member.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
FR1140917A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5337876 *Apr 30, 1993Aug 16, 1994American District Enterprises, Inc.Counter-top vending machine
US20040158352 *Feb 11, 2003Aug 12, 2004Sheem Sang K.Vending machine with a ' Walking Item-Selector', and methods of using it
Classifications
U.S. Classification194/342, 221/126
International ClassificationG07F11/20, G07F11/10, G07F11/16, G07F11/04
Cooperative ClassificationG07F11/20, G07F11/10
European ClassificationG07F11/10, G07F11/20