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Publication numberUS3581063 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 25, 1971
Filing dateDec 30, 1968
Priority dateDec 30, 1968
Publication numberUS 3581063 A, US 3581063A, US-A-3581063, US3581063 A, US3581063A
InventorsJoseph L Levasseur
Original AssigneeSimcom Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Verification means for character groups
US 3581063 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

vase-7 UR 3,531 063 3 3 SEARCH ROOM [7 2] Inventor Joseph L- L assflll' 2,482,242 9/ 1949 Brustman 340/ 149 St. Louis, Mo. 2,785,388 3/1957 McWhirter et al. 340/149 [21] Appl. No. 787,648 2,975,282 3/1961 Schaffer 235/617 [22] Filed Dec. 30, 1968 3,184,714 5/1965 Brown et al... IMO/146.2 Patented y 5, 1971 3,254,201 5/1966 Miller 235/617 Assignee Simwm Corporation 3,255,339 6 1966 Rausing 235/617 High g 3,344,258 9/1967 Michels 235/6l.7 3,404,259 10/1968 Atkinson et al 235/6l.7

s41 VERIFICATION MEANS FOR CHARACTER Primary ExaminerTh0mas Robinson GROUPS Attorney-Charles B. Haverstock 31 Claims, 22 Drawing Figs.

.8. Cl Means for verifying that a charagte group such 340/149A as a character group that represents an account number such [51] Int. Cl 606k 7/00 as might be used on a credit card or like device is or is not [50] Field of Search 235/617, known t b bje tionable for some reason, including means /21 ID, lDC, DOC, WEB; 340/14 2, for comparing a" particular character group with a plurality of 149, 149 A, 357; 178/17 D other similar type character groups and indicating the results of the comparison. The invention also includes novel means [56] References Cited for storing and moving character groups and other means for UNITED STATES PATENTS reading and/or sensing the stored character groups during 2,386,423 [0/1945 Blakely 235/61 .1 l movements thereof.

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SHEET [18 (1F 13 VERIFICATION MEANS FOR CHARACTER GROUPS The invention disclosed herein represents a substantial improvement over an invention of the same inventor filed Aug. 22, 1966 under Ser. No. 580,135 and entitled Apparatus And Method Of Authenticating Holders Of Identification Symbols."

The present invention relates generally to means and apparatus for comparing a character group usually represented in coded form such as a character group that represents a particular account number with a plurality of other coded character groups that represent other account numbers to determine if the particular account number is or is not included in the plurality of character groups with which it is being compared. More particularly the present invention includes apparatus for making a relatively large number of such comparisons in a very short time and with minimum of effort on the part of the operator. The present invention has particular application in the credit and related fields including any field where it is necessary or desirable to be able to rapidly find out if a particular number or other form of identification means is or is not included in a listing of such identification means. As such, the present device has particular application as a means to protect merchants and others who extend credit to persons who present credit cards when making a purchase. To this end, the present device provides means which will enable the merchant or other salesperson in a matter of seconds to determine if there is any known reason why he should not extend credit to a customer who presents a credit card. lt is not intended, however, to limit the present invention to the credit or credit card field and it will become readily apparent from the disclosure that follows that the invention has many other possible uses and applications including any application where it is desired to search a listing for a particular item.

Many businesses extend credit to their customers through the medium of credit cards and similar devices and the present invention for the sake of simplicity will be described in connection with this particular use. Credit cards are frequently lost, stolen, forged or otherwise misappropriated or misused and when misused they can result in considerable loss to the company extending the credit and possibly also to the person whose card has been misappropriated. At the present time there is no known reliable and fast way for a merchant or other salesperson to quickly, accurately and cheaply distinguish by means entirely located at the point of sale between a proper use of a credit card and a use that for some reason is know to be improper or unlawful. This is true even though the merchant may have available lists of credit card numbers that are known to be objectionable for some reason. Many efforts have been made to try to solve this problem including providing each merchant and/or sales outlet with frequently updated lists of known lost, stolen or otherwise objectionable credit card account numbers which the merchant is expected to search each time a credit card is presented. Such lists may contain many pages of account numbers which are in small print and are difficult and time consuming to search and to compare with the account number on each credit card as it is presented by a customer. Such lists are also easily damaged and misplaced, are often not available to every salesperson, and often the merchant will not destroy old lists when replacements are received thereby complicating the process. Such lists are also expensive and time consuming to prepare and costly to distribute or mail, and for these and other reasons many merchants find it too costly and time consuming to use them and prefer instead to assume the risk of occasional losses 1 account number of each credit card at the time it is presented against a master list of credit card account numbers that are known to be objectionable for some reason. The subject means can perform a complete comparison and verification operation between the card number and each number in the list even when the list contains hundreds or thousands of listings in a matter of a few seconds or less usually not substantially longer than the time required for the salesperson to dial the account number, and the entire verification operation can be done atthe same time that the account number embossed or otherwise applied to the card is used to make the required impression on the sales slip for later billing purposes. It is also anticipated to include means in the subject device to automatically sense or read the account number embossed in the credit card so that the salesperson need perform no extra duties beyond what is already presently normally required when making a sale.

It is therefore a principal object of the present invention to provide quick and accurate means for comparing or checking a number such as an account number against a listing of other account numbers.

Another object is to provide relatively compact and inexpensive means which can be used at or near the point of sale for checking and verifying whether a credit card is acceptable or for some reason is known to be unacceptable.

Another object is to provide improved and simplified character group verification means.

Another object is to provide simplified means for coding character groups.

Another object is to provide improved electro-optical reading and sensing means.

Another object is to reduce or eliminate losses due to extending credit to holders of credit cards and like devices that are known to be objectionable for some reason.

Another object is to provide means for making better use of information supplied to merchants and others who extend credit to credit card holders including information as to credit card account numbers and other identification means that are known to be objectionable for some reason.

Another object is to provide a salesperson with means by which hecan discover an unauthorized use of a credit card with little or no extra effort or time on his part.

Another object is to provide improved means for storing and handling data and particularly data contained in coded form.

Another object is to provide improved means for storing, moving and reading data including lists of identifying information.

Another object is to simplify the production, handling, and dispensing of lists of data.

Another object is to provide fast accurate means for searching lists of information.

Another object is to provide improved means controlling and regulating the speed and direction as well as the tension on a filmstrip as it moves between two spools.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent after considering the following detailed specification which discloses several embodiments thereof in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. I is a perspective view of a character group verification device constructed according to the teachings of the present invention and specifically for use in verifying whether an account number assigned to a particular credit card is or is not known to be objectionable for any reason.

FIG. 2 is a simplified top view of a credit card or similar device encoded with information which can be used in a device such as the device of H6. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing one form of programming means for use in the device of H6. 1;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of data storage and transport means for use in the subject device;

H6. 5 is a schematic circuit diagram of one form of comparison means for use in the device of HO. 1;

FIG. 6 is a schematic circuit diagram of means for controlling the' operation of the data storage and transport means of FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is a top plan view showing a more simplified form of programming means for use in the subject device;

FIG. 8 is a side view partly in section showing one form of optical reading means for use with the present device;

FIG. 9 is a schematic wiring diagram showing a modified form of the control means for the data storage and transport means of FIG. 6;

FIG. 10 is a schematic diagram showing an optical system including a light source for use with the present device;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view showing another modified form of coding means for use with the present device;

FIG. an enlarged top plan view of the coding means shown in FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view taken on line 13-13 of FIG. 12;

FIG. 14 is a schematic circuit diagram of a self-testing circuit for use with the present device;

FIG. 14a is a fragmentary plan view showing a portion of the data storage means having a self-test pattern thereon;

FIG. 15 is a schematic circuit diagram showing a total bit parallel comparator circuit for use with the present device;

FIG. 15A is a circuit diagram showing the construction of one stage of the bit comparator circuit of FIG. 15;

FIG. 16 is a schematic circuit diagram showing a data conversion circuit for converting information from serial bit to parallel bit form;

FIG. 17 is a schematic circuit diagram showing a portion of a circuit used to verify that an account or other identifying number has been fully and accurately encoded in each of its digit positions;

FIG. 18 is a schematic circuit diagram of an electronic encoder circuit for use with the present device;

FIG. 19 is a schematic circuit diagram showing another embodiment of a code verifier circuit for use in the present device; and,

FIG. 20 is a plan view of a data storage device or film strip having coded digital and control portions thereon for use in the present device.

Referring to the drawings more particularly by reference numbers, number refers generally to a verification device constructedaccording to the present invention and designed specifically to be used to verify whether the account number or other customer identification means appearing on or assigned a credit card or like device is or is not objectionable for some known reason. In other words, the device or means 30 provides means by which a merchant or salesperson can determine quickly and accurately and with minimum expense and effort if a person asking for credit by presenting a credit card is presenting a credit card that is or is not known to be objectionable for any reason. The form of the verification means 30 shown in FIG. 1 includes a housing 32 having a recess or slot 34 formed in its upper surface into which a credit card such as the card 36 can be accurately positioned during verification of its account number 38 printed or embossed thereon and/or encoded in the card as by a row of spaced holes or apertures. The device 30 includes both electrical and mechanical components and can, if desired, be incorporated into or made part of a more conventional device such as a device which is used to imprint information such as the customers name and address which is forrned by raised or embossed symbols on the credit card onto a sales slip. The sales slip imprinting means and associated mechanisms are not parts of the present invention and are mentioned merely to illustrate one of many possible means or devices with which the present verification means can be combined. With the present device it is desired to compare and/or search to see if a particular number or other form of identification usually in some coded form is included in a group or listing of other numbers of identifications. The things being compared may be similarly or complementarily encoded or they may be in some other form such as in series or parallel bits and one or both codes may be formed on some carrier or storage means such as on a roll of film, a magnetic tape or drum or on some other storage device or medium. A typical carrier and one of many forms of coded listing thereon as well as other control information will be described later.

There are many possible uses and applications for the subject device in addition to the credit card application described in this specification, and it is not intended or suggested that the invention be limited to one or even several particular uses or applications. In general, however, the invention can be used in any application where one or several numbers or other identifying means usually in coded form are to be compared with lists or groups of similar numbers or identifications for searching, verification, and other purposes.

As already stated, it is common practice in many businesses which extend credit to persons presenting credit cards at the time of making a purchase to keep lists of credit card account numbers assigned to cards that for some reason are known to be lost, stolen, misplaced, misappropriated, counterfieted or otherwise known or suspected to be in the hands of an unauthorized person or a person with a poor credit rating. Such lists are regularly updated and supplied to the merchants or salespeople who are then expected to use them by searching them visually for the account number on each card as it is presented. These lists can become long, detailed and difficult and time consuming to use, and as a result they are not used as much as they should be and are misplaced, damaged and not destroyed when replaced by more up to date lists. As a result losses occur.

With the present device, on the other hand, it is expected that an updated listing in coded form of known objectionable account numbers in some easy to handle and mail form such as on a filmstrip or magnetic tape is provided to each merchant instead of the more conventional printed lists, and these films or tapes are then installed in the subject device and are used to automatically compare the account number on each presented card with all of the account numbers on the list in a matter of a few seconds and with little or no extra effort required by the salesperson. To be suitable for this purpose the present device must be rugged, small, compact, reliable and fast acting, and it must be relatively inexpensive to construct so that it can be purchased in sufficient quantities to be used at points of sale. The film strips employed must also be inexpensive to prepare and easy to install.

The form of the device shown in FIG. 1 includes in addition to the recess 34 for the credit card 36, movable dial means 40 which can be operated by the salesperson to enter into the device or machine the account number 38 appearing on the card 36. This is accomplished a digit at a time by placing the index finger or the end ofa pen or pencil into a selected one of the holes 42 in the movable member 40 and moving the inember 40 forwardly until stopped by engagement with a fixed stop 44. The member 40 is then released and spring restored to its original position somewhat like the dial means used on dial telephones. This procedure is repeated once for each digit of the account number 38 until the entire account number has been entered. At the same time the account number will appear at window 46 which is located so that the operator can, if he likes, make a quick visual comparison between the account number on the card and the number he has dialed. After the account number has been entered the operator presses a button 47 to make the necessary comparison between the dialed account number and a listing of the other account numbers which are coded onto a filmstrip. This comparison can be accomplished in a few seconds even when the list on the filmstrip includes thousands of account numbers.

The device 30 also includes two indicator lights 48 and 50 to indicate whether the dialed account number is or is not included in the listing. One of the indicator lights produces a red signal to indicate that the account number is in the listing and the other produces a green indication to indicate that the device or machine did not find the account number in the listing. Many different forms of the subject device 30 are possible including several different forms which will be described herein as modifications. It is also contemplated as indicated above to combine the present device with known means for imprinting information embossed on a credit card onto a sales slip. This application will also describe means other than those shown in FIG. I for entering the account number manually or automatically, and it is also contemplated to use credit cards that have holes or apertures located to encode the account number in the card so that the card can be used for a more direct optical comparison with the listed account numbers.

FIG. 2 shows a form of the credit card 36 which can be used with the present device. The account number on this particular credit card is embossed in number form and is also present in coded form by a row of aligned holes or apertures 52 which extend completely through the credit card. The holes 52, as aforesaid, are provided to enable the card to be used for a direct optical comparison without requiring that the operator dial in or enter the account number as described above. The holes 52 are located in the card at positions which correspond to and represent the various digits of the account number 38. In FIG. 2 the card is shown for illustrative purposes positioned in alignment with a graph 54 which is subdivided by relatively heavy graph lines 56 into major or digit divisions each of which is further subdivided by lighter graph lines 58 into five smallsubdivisions. The holes 52 are located in the card in the appropriate subdivisions, and two holes are required in the space between the heavier graph lines 56 to represent one digit of the account number. For example, for the nine digit account number shown as No. 098,765,432, the first digit which is is represented by two holes 52 located in the first and second subdivision between the first two heavier graph lines 56 at the left end of the card. The second digit of the account number which is 9 is represented by holes in the first and third positions, the third digit 8 by holes in the first and fourth positions, the fourth digit 7 by holes in the first and fifth positions, the digit 6 by holes in the second and third positions, the digit by holes in the second and fourth positions, the digit 4 by holes in the second and fifth positions, the digit 3 by holes in the third and fourth positions, the digit 2 by holes in the third and fifth positions, and the digit 1 would be represented by holes in the fourth and fifth positions. The selection of. the hole locations to represent the different digits is completely arbitrary and can be varied as desired. The particular form of code just described is sometimes referred to as a two-out-offive constant ratio code which means that there are always two holes in five possible locations to represent each digit. If the number of digits in an account number is greater or less than the nine digit number shown, the number of holes and hole positions will be increased or decreased correspondingly. It is also possible with slight modification to encode alphamerical information as by a different constant ratio code having a sufficient number of variables such as for example by using a threeout-of eight position code and so forth. It is also contemplated instead of using holes in the credit card to use other forms of coding means including coating one surface of the credit card with a highly reflective material such as silver and locating nonreflective dots at positions corresponding to the hole locations without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention.

Referring again to FIG. 2 wherein a nine digit account number is shown encoded in the credit card, it can be seen that with five possible hole positions for each digit a total of 45 possible hole positions are provided, 18 of which will have holes in them. This particular form of encoding is shown and described for illustrative purposes only but does not necessarily represent the best or the only way to encode, and in fact other forms of coding and coding means will also be described herein including mechanical and electrical coding means that do not require any holes in the credit card as such. Some means for encoding, however, will be required both for encoding the credit card identification number and the numbers included in the listing. It is also anticipated to include means for sensing an account number embossed or otherwise appearing on a credit card and to use outputs of the sensing means to automatically set up or establish the account number for comparison with the listing thereby relieving the salesperson of the task of dialing or otherwise entering an account number into the machine. Provision may also be made in the card and/or on the film along one or both edges thereof or at some other suitable location for information used for control purposes as will be explained.

As further protection against possible fraud or misuse of a credit card, the holder may also be assigned another identification number, letter or symbol which does not appear on the card but which the owner of the card must remember and tell the salesperson at the time of purchase. For example, the owner of the card may be required to remember a special number such as 67 or a special combination of letters such as MZ" which will be told to the salesperson at the time the card is presented, and the salesperson must enter this information along with the assigned account number to complete the identification of the customer for comparison purposes. If this were done it would make it much more difficult for an unauthorized person to use a card because he would not be likely to know the special code number or letters.

FIG. 3 shows another form of dialing means used for entering an account number into a machine such as the machine 30. The means 60 include a spring restored operator member 40a which is rotated clockwise by the operator placing his finger in a selected one of the holes 61 corresponding to the number to be dialed. The member 40a is then rotated until stopped by the finger bumping into a fixed stop member 62. This rotates an assembly 63 through a corresponding angular displacement. Each time the assembly 63 is rotated it rotates one of a plurality of rotatable indicator members 64 in a coding and indicator assembly 66. For example, the first operation of the member 40:: rotates the indicator member 64 in the first number position and in so doing also latches the member 64 by means of an associated latch member 65 in a position corresponding to the digit that has been dialed. The latching of the first member 64 also sets up the mechanism in the assembly 66 so that the second operation of the member 400 rotates and latches the second member 64 in the second account number position and so on until an entire account number has been entered in the assembly 66. Devices capable of entering numbers a digit at a time in the manner similar to that described are known and available and this feature byitself is not at the heart of the present invention.

The indicator members 64 are also provided with sets of holes 68 therethrough located at spaced locations therearound and coded as aforesaid to correspond to the various possible digits that can be dialed. The holes 68 in the members 64 are formed at locations such that when all of the members 64 in the assembly 66 are latched in positions a line of the holes 68 will be fonned across the assembly 66' to represent the entire account number. The position of this line of holes 68 is shown at the bottom of the members 64 in FIG. 3. The members 64 may also have the various possible digit numbers 69 optionally printed or otherwise formed on their outer surfaces so that the account number will be visible through an opening such as the opening 46 (FIG. 1) for quick visual verification by the operator.

The members 64 are shown as being substantially annular in shape, and a light source 70 including a housing 72 with a bulb 74 therein is positioned extending through the members 64. The housing 72 is shown as. being a closed end tubular member having a narrow slit 76 formed along the lower side thereof in position tobe in alignment with the row of apertures or holes 68 which representthe dialed-in account number. This means that the light from the bulb 74 will pass through the slit 76 and through the. holes 68 for reasons that will be explained.

A film strip 80 with coded information on it is mounted for movement adjacent to the assembly 66 past the row of holes.

68 which represent the dial account number. The filmstrip 80,

sometimes called a memory carrier, is an elongated flexible transparent filmstrip such as a strip of movie film and is prepared by photographic means to have rows of opaque areas or dots 82 arranged in adjacent rows, each of which represents an account number to be compared with the account number that has been dialed into the assembly 66. The strip 80 may also have other information photographically recorded on it for control purposes. The account numbers coded on the strip 80 may represent account numbers which for some known reason are known to be objectionable, and the present invention is designed to compare the dialed-in account number in the assembly 66 or other means as will be described with all of the account numbers photographically recorded on the filmstrip 80. If the dialed-in account number or other coded information is not on the filmstrip 80 this means there is no known reason why credit should not be extended to the person presenting the credit card. On the other hand, if the dialed number is on the strip it will be sensed as the film moves through the device and used to energize a red light or some other suitable warning device to indicate to the operator that there is some known reason why credit should not be extended to the one presenting that particular card. The same could also be used as a good guy" check to search a list to make sure that the number is on the list before credit will be extended. There are probably as many possible applications for a good guy" check as there are for a bad guy check.

FIG. 4 shows the mechanism for supporting and moving the film 80 as the account numbers thereon are compared with the dialed-in account number. This mechanism includes a pair of spaced spools 84 and 86 between which the film strip is alternately wound and unwound and between which the strip moves when being read or sensed. The strip 80 extends between the spools 84 and 86 and is supported and accurately positioned and guided during movements therebetween by spaced guide rolls 88 and 90. During said movements the film also moves past an apertured member 92 that has a row of holes 94 positioned to be in alignment with the slit 76 in the lamp housing 72 and with the row of holes 68 dialed into the assembly 66. The holes in the apertured member 92 are also positioned to be aligned with the rows of opaque areas or dots on the film strip. In the form of the device disclosed, the holes 94 in the member 92 are at an angle of about 45 relative to the transverse dimension of the strip 80 so that the coded rows of dots on the filmstrip can be longer than the width of the strip and also so that relatively narrow film can be used without sacrificing accuracy. This is not essential but is usually desirable because it not only permits use of narrower film but it also enables the present device to be constructed to use standard width films which has obvious economic advantages.

The spools 84 and 86 are mounted for rotation respectively on shafts 96 and 98 of motors 100 and 102, and the motors 100 and 102 are connected and cont'rolled by a motor control circuit such as shown in FIG. 6 (or in FIG. 9). In the form shown only one of the motors can be energized at a time to be the driving motor that moves the filmstrip 80 while the other motor may be energized to provide drag for maintaining the film in a taut condition and to control the film speed. The motors also are constructed to drive their associated spools in opposite directions so that on alternate operation of the device the film will be moved in opposite directions through the device. For example, one of the motors rotates its shaft in a clockwise direction when it is the driving motor, and the other motor rotates its shaft in the opposite or counterclockwise direction when it is the driving motor. Bear in mind, however, that the film need move in one direction only between the spools during each operation.

The motor control circuit of FIG. 6 is under control of switch means and control markings on the filmstrip 80 including the opaque markings 104 and 106 located along one or both edges thereof. The markings 104 and 106 control light passage through the associated portions of the film and this is sensed by light sensitive means which produce signals to control the direction and speed of movement of the filmstrip and the stopping of the filmstrip at the conclusion of each operation. A special aperture 108 is located adjacent one or both ends of the member 92 to read the motor control markings 104 and 106 and a corresponding registering aperture may also be provided in the assembly 66 for this purpose.

A sensing unit 110 shown in FIG. 3 in block form is pro vided to respond to light from the light source 70 that is able to pass through the members 64 and the film 80. The sensing unit 110 includes optical and other light sensitive means or elements capable of responding to the light that is able to pass through the housing slit 76, the apertures 68 in the member 64, the apertures 94 in the member 92 and is not blocked by the coded opaque areas 112 on the filmstrip 80. In the particular form of the invention shown the coded opaque areas 112 on the film are complementary to the holes 68 in the members 64; that is, when a matched condition exists which is a condition when the dialed account number in the assembly 66 is the same as an account number on the filmstrip 80, the opaque areas on the filmstrip will block all right from the bulb and prevent any light from reaching the sensing unit 110. This condition will exist only for the brief moment that the two identical numbers are in registration as the filmstrip is moving between the spools 84 and 86. This same condition can also be produced more directly by using a credit card such as the credit card 36 of FIG. 2, which has the account number coded in it by the row of holes 52 positioned as described above or possible by having a silvered card with nonlight reflective dots as aforesaid. However, this may not be as desirable as having the coding means such as the means 66 or other forms which will be described later separate from the cards themselves because of the economics required to issue new credit cards and for other reasons. It can therefore be seen that with the subject device a momentary complete blockage of light will be produced each time a matched condition is sensed to indicate that the dialed number is included in the coded listing on the filmstrip 80. This condition will cause means to be energized to advise or warn the operator not to extend credit to the holder of that particular card. If, on the other hand, any light is able to get through from the light source 70 to one or more of the sensing elements in the sensing unit 110 in any one of the 45 odd possible positions at all times as the film is moving between the spools 84 and 86 it indicates some mismatch or some difference between the dialed account number and each of the coded account numbers represented by the rows of opaque dots on the filmstrip 80. Under these latter circumstances a different output will be produced and if this occurs at all times as the film is moving it means that the dialed number is not included in the listing on the filmstrip and that there is no known reason not to extend credit to the person presenting the card. The subject device can also be constructed to produce an output only under conditions when a perfect match exists and not to produce any signal or indication when everything is all right without changing the nature of the invention although it is usually desired to produce an output under both conditions as this may increase the operators confidence that the device is working properly.

FIG. 5 shows the details of the construction of a typical sensing unit which is positioned to receive and respond to light from the light source 70 after it has passed through the assembly 66 and through the film 80. The unit 110 includes one or a plurality of lenses 114 positioned to receive and pass any light from the source 70 that is able to pass through the slit 76, the holes 68 in the members 64, the filmstrip and the aperturd member 92. The particular form of device shown in FIG. 5 has one lens for receiving and focusing light received through the five possible aperture positions in each of the members 64. In other words, one lens is provided for passing all of the possible light in the positions that represent each digit of the account number. The light thus received, if any, is focused by the associated lens onto an associated light sensor device 1I6132. If light reaches any one of the photocells ll6--l32 it means there is a mismatch between the dialed account number and the coded account number on the filmstrip and the sensor or sensors that receive this light will then go from a nonconducting to a conducting state and in so doing will cause another circuit location 134 to go from a zero" or ofi state to a one" or on state due to the forward biasing that is produced on one or more of circuit transistors 136, 138 and 140 connected as shown. This also occurs when the device 30 is turned on. If, on the other hand, all of the light paths to the sensors are simultaneously blocked which occurs momentarily whenever a matched condition occurs, the circuit location 134 will then go to its zero or off" condition to indicate the matched condition.

Whenever the circuit location 134 is at a high voltage or on" condition indicating that light has been received at one or more of the sensors, a relatively high voltage will be on the base of a transistor 142 to cause it to conduct thereby reducing the voltage on its collector electrode to at or near ground potential. This in turn reduces the voltage on the base ofa sueceeding transistor 144 causing it to be cut off and preventing an impulse from reaching the control electrode 146 of a silicon controlled rectifier (SCR) 148. Hence, whenever light reaches any of the sensors in the sensing unit 110 which is the condition for a mismatch, the SCR 148 will remain in its inoperative or nonconducting condition indicating that at least so far as that comparison is concerned the credit card is valid.

If the credit card account number is identical to an account number coded on the filmstrip 80 light will momentarily be prevented from reaching any of the sensors 116-132. When this occurs the circuit location 134 will momentarily go to a low or zero potential condition thereby momentarily cutting off the transistor 142 causing its collector to go to a higher potential which will be applied to the base of the transistor 144. This will cause the transistor 144 to momentarily conduct thereby increasing the potential on the control electrode 146 of the (SCR) 148 turning the SCR on. The SCR 148 will thereafter remain on until later turned off as will be explained. When the SCR 148 is turned on it conducts and causes current to flow through the filament of red light 150 (light 48 in FIG. 1) to produce a warning or indication of the matched condition. The red light will thereafter remain on until the potential on the anode electrode 152 of the SCR 148 is removed.

It should be noted that thelight from the light source 70 will be able to reach the sensor unit 110 at all times except when a perfect matched condition exists, and this includes those times when the strip 80 is moving between positions when adjacent rows of dots 112 are registered with the rows of holes 68. This condition is important to enable the device to distinguish between matched and unmatched conditions and helps to prevent false outputs.

When the potential on the base electrode of the transistor 142 is at a relatively high potential which is the usual condition when no exact comparison exists between the credit card account number and any of the rows of opaque areas 112, the transistor 142 will conduct and its collector electrode will be grounded. At the same time, the potential on the anode electrode 152 of the SCR 148 is at a relatively high potential because at this time the SCR is not conducting. This high SCR anode potential is also applied to and through a diode 158 and a resistor 160 to the base of another transistor 162 causing it to be in a conducting condition. Whenever the transistor 162 is in a conducting condition current will flow from a positive voltage source through a green light 164 (light 50 in FIG. 1) and through the conducting transistor 162 and resistor 166 to ground. The green light 164 will therefore not be energized until at or near the end of the cycle when the projector bulb 70 turns ofi assuming of course that the red light has not been energized. Once the SCR 148 conducts, however, and causes the red light 150 to be energized it will remain in this conducting condition until its anode potential is removed as already stated. Hence it can be seen that either the red or the green light, but not both, will be energized during each cycle of operation. In this regard it should also be noted that the diode 158 prevents the green light 164 from being energized after the red light 150 is energized by providing a discharge path for any signal that might try to be applied to the base of the transistor 162.

The time duration that a positive potential is present on the control electrode 146 of the SCR 148 depends upon the speed of film 80, the size of the dots or opaque areas 112 and the tolerance provided between the dots and the holes with which they register. It has been found that even at relatively high film speeds and with opaque areas 112 that are just slightly larger than the openings 94 in the member 92 the subject device is still able to detect and distinguish between matched and unmatched conditions and produce the required outputs. It has also been found that there are certain advantages in using square opaque areas or dots on the filmstrip rather than round or other shaped dots although other shapes including round could also be used. The same is also true of the shapes of the holes in the members 64 and 92. The present device can also be constructed to have one or more light sources or bulbs and one or more sensors and lenses to read all or different numbers of the data channels. While the form of the device as disclosed in FIG. 5 has one light sensor for sensing light at five possible dot positions it is possible and contemplated to use one light source and one light sensor to sense light from all or any number of the'possible dot positions without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. To some extent the selection of the light, lens and sensor means will also depend on the length of each row of dots, how the dots are arranged, and the kind of optics employed.

Referring again to FIG. 5, a relay including a relay coil 170 which will be referred to as the read relay is shown having associated relay contacts 172 connected between the emitter electrode of the transistor 144 and ground. The read relay coil 170 is provided to control the reading or sensing operation and is energized after the film 80 has reached one of its two end positions of travel by means which will be described later.

. When energized the read relay contacts 172 close and prevent the SCR 148 from being turned on by grounding any possible signal that might otherwise be present on the emitter of the transistor 144. This prevents the possibility of producing a false red light signal after the strip has reached or nearly reached the end of its travel. The circuit for energizing the relay coil will be described in connection with FIG. 6. The other circuit elements shown in FIG. 5 but not specifically mentioned are mostly resistors and capacitors which have their values chosen to make the circuit operative for the purposes intended and will not be described in detail.

Referring again to FIG. 3, each of the indexing members 64 which constitute the assembly 66 has a plurality of indexing teeth 174 which correspond respectively to the various possible digit positions to which it may be set. The teeth 174 are provided to properly position and maintain the members 64 in the various possible setting positions to which they are dialed. When the dialing member 400 is rotated by the operator to a particular setting position it moves through a required angular displacement and in so doing moves a pawl bar 176 which has attached thereto hinged pawl members 178- 194 corresponding to each digit of the account number. Each time the member 40a is dialed a different selected one of the pawls engages the teeth 174 on the corresponding member 64 and rotates the member 64 through a predetermined angular displacement. Each time the bar 176 moves it also moves another pawl 196 which cooperates with a ratchet member 198 attached to one end of a cam shaft 200 and causes the cam shaft 200 to also rotate a predetermine distance. The cam shaft 200 has a plurality of cam lobes 202 located therealong' at positions corresponding to the various members 64so that each time the cam shaft 200 is rotated it will be advanced the same predetermined amount to position a different cam lobe 202 against its associated pawl 178l94. This is done so that on the succeeding operation of the member 40a a difi'erent pawl I will be moved into position for engaging the lowest tooth 174 of the adjacent member 64. In this way, the members 64 are set one position at a time during each succeeding operation of the member 40a. A spring member 204 is also provided to restore the member 400 to its initial reset position after each dialing operation. A plurality of holding pawls 65 are also provided to retain the members 64 in their dialed positions by engaging the appropriate teeth 174 and to prevent losing the setting of the member 64 just set when the pawl bar 176 is restored after each dialing operation. The holding pawls 65 are mounted on a shaft 205 with a reset lever 206 which is depressed to release all of the members 64 after a verification operation is completed so that springs 208 of which there is one for each member 64 can restore them to their initial reset condition in readiness for the next operation. The springs 208 are shown connected between a rod 210 at one end and the members 64 at their opposite ends. The particular form of programming means disclosed is included for illustrative purposes and it is anticipated that many other forms of programming means including others which will be described herein as modified forms can also be used without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

FIG. 6 is a diagram of the control circuit for energizing and deenergizing the drive motors 100 and 102 (FIG. 4) under control of the opaque areas 104 and 106 positioned adjacent to one or both edges of the memory carrier or film 80. The same light source 70 (FIG. 3) may be used to provide the light for reading or sensing the areas 104 and 106. In this case, however, the light passes through other apertures located to be in alignment with the opaque areas 104 and 106 as they move with the film. These include the aperture 108 in the member 92 (FIG. 4). The light that passes through the aperture 108 and is interrupted by the opaque areas 104 and 106 impinges on another light sensor 212 as the film moves in the device.

The motors 100 and 102 are identified, respectively in FlG. 6 as the counterclockwise and the clockwise motors and are connected, respectively, by leads 214 and 216 through switch means, which will be described later, to one side of a supply voltage source, such as to one side of an AC line represented by plug-in receptacle 218. The connection from one side of the plug 218 to the motors is through a switch 220 and through normally open motor control relay contacts 222. The clockwise rotating motor 102 will be energized to be the driving motor whenever a circuit is completed from its opposite side to the other side of the power supply. This circuit is through normally closed direction control relay contacts 224. When the relay contacts 224 are in their transferred position, on the other hand, the circuit just described to energize the clockwise motor 102 is not available, and instead another circuit is closed to energize the counterclockwise rotating drive motor 100. This circuit is through the normally open instead of the normally closed side of the direction control relay contacts 224.

Whenever one of the motors 100 or 102 is energized another circuit will be also established through other direction control relay contacts 226 which are ganged to operate with the contacts 224 to provide some energy to the nondriving motor which is the motor that is not directly across the line. This is done for the purpose of controlling the speed at which the memory carrier or film 80 travels and to provide controlled braking force which keeps tension on the film as it moves. Speed control is provided by a circuit which includes capacitor 228 in the motor circuits. The capacitor 228 is charged by the same source voltage which energizes the motors through a circuit which includes a diode 230 and a limiting resistor 232. The discharging of the capacitor 228 is in turn controlled by a circuit which includes a transistor 234 and resistors 236 and 238 connectedthrough normally closed motor control relay contacts 308as will be explained. ln the form of the device shown in FlG. 6 the motors 100 and 102 are shaded pole motors, and the direct current provided to energize the nondriving motor by the circuit just described causes the motor to oppose the action of the driving motor thereby producing drag on the film 80 and keeping the film taut. The amount of drag produced also controls the speed of film movement and is under control of the opaque areas 104 as will be described.

When the film is moving through the device, the spaced opaque areas 104 move past the aperture 108 in the member 92 (FIG. 4) and in so doing cause the light from the light source 70 to intermittently impinge on the photocell 212. The rate at which the opaque areas 104 move past the aperture 108 determines the frequency of the signals produced in the photocell, and these signals are applied to several different circuits including a speed control circuit. These signals are more specifically applied to the base of a transistor 240 through a capacitor 242. The transistor 240 is in am amplifier circuit which has an output produced on its collector when an input is applied to its base, and the outputs thus produced are applied to one side of capacitor 244 and resistor 246. The capacitor 244 and the resistor 246 together produce an output impedance which is inversely proportional to the signal frequency so that the signal on the output side of the capacitor 244 is proportional to the speed of the film 80. This signal appears on one side of diodes 248 and 250 which are connected to full wave rectify the output signal and to produce therefrom a negative output which operates to reduce the normal positive potential that appears across another capacitor 252 when no film movement is taking place. The value of the positive potential on the capacitor 252 is established by adjusting a potentiometer 254 which is connected through other fixed resistors 255 and 256 to a positive source. This adjustment establishes a threshold condition which forward biases another transistor 257 and causes the collector electrode thereof to be'in a normally substantially low or zero voltage condition. This condition of the transistor 257 will persist until the film speed is such that the inputs produced by the spaced areas 104 which chop the light reaching the elements 212 are sufficient to overcome the threshold setting established for the transistor 257. When the threshold potential is overcome the transistor will cease conducting and its collector voltage will increase thereby forward biasing another transistor 260 by increasing its base potential. The increase in the base potential of the transistor 260 is proportional to the speed of the film and the size and spacing of the opaque areas104. The operation just described in combination with the transistor 234 results in a closed loop speed control circuit in which the conducting condition of the transistor 234 plays a key role in regulating the amount of current that can flow through the motor or 102 whichever happens to be the nondriving motor. A zener diode 262 which has relatively low voltage characteristics is also connected from between the resistors 255 and 256 and ground. This zener is in effect across the potentiometer 254 and is included to establish relatively broad avalanche curve characteristics thereby making the speed setting of the potentiometer 254 relatively less critical. This is an advantage because it smooths the operation of the speed control means and prevents sharp or jerky corrections.

Referring to the upper lefthand portion of the circuit of FIG. 6 there is shown a capacitor 264 which is connected to a source terminal so that it charges whenever the power switch 220 is closed. The source which supplies power to this and other terminals in the circuits of the subject device is supplied through the receptacle 218 which when the switch 220 is closed is connected across a primary transformer winding 266 of a power supply transformer 268. The power supply transformer 268 has secondary windings which are connected respectively to secondary power circuits 270 and 272. The secondary circuit 270 is shown as a 12 volt power circuit and the secondary power circuit 272 is shown as an 1 l volt output supply circuit. Connections are made from the circuits 270 and 272 to various terminals located throughout the circuits. When the power supply circuits are energized a charge will be established on the capacitor 264 and this charge will forward bias a transistor 274 through a circuit that includes a resistor 276. This turns on or causes another transistor 278 to conduct and causes current to flow through a motor control relay winding 280 connected in the circuit of its collector thereby closing the normally open relay contacts 222 to supply energy from the input power source to one side of the motors 100 and

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3683332 *Sep 4, 1970Aug 8, 1972Delcon CorpNumber comparing system
US3863050 *Jan 7, 1974Jan 28, 1975Antoinette M BruggerAutomatic credit card validating device
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U.S. Classification235/380, 340/5.6
International ClassificationG07F7/08, G06Q40/00, G06F7/02
Cooperative ClassificationG07F7/08, G06Q20/4033
European ClassificationG06Q20/4033, G07F7/08