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Publication numberUS3587453 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 28, 1971
Filing dateFeb 17, 1969
Priority dateFeb 17, 1969
Publication numberUS 3587453 A, US 3587453A, US-A-3587453, US3587453 A, US3587453A
InventorsKlein Richard G, Morris John C, Thorson Sheldon E
Original AssigneeSinger Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Stability for hand operated postage meter
US 3587453 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Richard G. K1ein San Lorenzo;

Sheldon E. Thorson, Pleasanton; John C. Morris, Castro Valley, Calif.

Appl. No. 799,840

Filed Feb. 17, 1969 Patented June 28, 1971 Assignee The Singer Company Inventors STABILITY FOR HAND OPERATED POSTAGE METER 1 Claim, 4 Drawing Figs.

U.S. C1 101/1, 21 1/13, 248/19,.248/21248/1888 1nt.C| F161 15/02, F16m 11/22 Field of Search 101/287,

45,66,57,71,73,91,297,301;248/14,16,19, 23,121,123,125,424,429,188.8, 346; 160/(1nquired); 21 1/13, 39, 42, 43

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 820,511 5/1906 Marten 248/346X 878,043 2/1908 Chrisman Z48/Z3X 1,612,148 12/1926 Oettinger 211/13 1,684,925 9/1928 Perlmutter 248/346 1,887,924 11/1932 Evans 248/346 2,001,287 5/1935 Ryan 101/287X 2,194,366 3/1940 Ott 248/346X 2,497,299 2/1950 Daily 248/125X 2,800,737 7/1957 Crossan... 248/188.5X 3,307,707 3/1967 Wright 248/125X 3,472,476 10/1969 Johnson 248/125X Primary Examiner Robert E. Pulfrey Assistant Examiner-C. Coughenour Attorney-Charles R. Lepchinsky ABSTRACT: An outrigger device is adjustable within the base ofa postage meter from a normally inoperative to an operative position. In its operative position, the outrigger or slidable meter support extends transversely of the plane of motion of the hand operated crank arm to provide stability to the meter during operation of the crank.


STABILITY FOR HAND OPERATED POSTAGE METER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to hand operated postage meters and more particularly .to adjustable means for stabilizing the meter during the registration of values and printing of the postage in dicia by rocking ofa hand'crank.

2. Description of the Prior Art Generally, hand operated postage meters are relatively small, lightweight and inexpensive units for low volume mailing operations. As the hand crank is rocked forwardly of the meter, the force required to operate the meter and the extensive arc of the stroke combine to cause the meter to tip on edge and/or to slide on thesupporting work table.

In order to overcome the tipping and sliding, an operator first positions the mail matter in the meter to receive the postage impression and then places one hand on the meter while operating the crank with the other hand. The problem might also be solved by increasing the area and weight of the base of the device, but this added mass would tend to defeat the purpose of a small lightweight meter which must be transported to the POst Office for periodic purchase of prepaid postage.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the present invention, the postal meter is stabilized during rocking of the hand crank by an element supported in the meter. base and adjustable to an operative position transversely of the plane of movement of the crank to intersect the direction of applied force whereby the meter is prevented from tipping or displacement on the work surface.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a view in perspective of a hand operated postage meter with a portion of the cover broken away to show the disposition of a stabilizer bar in accordance withthis invention;

FIGS. 2 and 3 are longitudinal sectional elevational views of the stabilizer bar showing the bar in the inactive position and in an adjusted position, respectively, the view being taken on the plane indicated by line 3-3 in FIG. I; and

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the stabilizer bar, the view being taken on the plane indicated by line 44 in FIG. 3.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The invention is preferably shown as embodied .in a postage meter of the type disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,469,777 issued to Maynard E. Anderson et al. on Sept. 30, 1969 and comprises a baseplate (FIG. I) which carries the meter operating mechanism supported in a suitable framework within a cover I2. In operation, the amount of postage to be imprinted on a piece of mail matter is selectively determined by an adjustment ofa knob 14. The mail matter or envelope to receive the postage impression is then positioned within a throat l5 and a handcrank I6 is rocked forwardly of the meter (FIG. 1.) in an arc of approximately 90 to effect a cycle ofmeter operatron.

Upon operation of handcrank 16, a force is required which is sufficient to control operation of a registering mechanism for the registration of a postage value in each register 17 and 18 as well as operation of a print platen for an impression of the postage indicia. Each of these mechanisms, the registering mechanism and printing mechanism, are of well-known construction forming no part of the present invention and, therefore, are not described.

At its lower end, crank arm 16 is secured on an extended end ofa main drive shaft, as disclosed in the above-mentioned Pat. No. 3,469,777 adjacent the lower right-hand rear portion of the meter. The crank arm 16 is rockable forwardly from the vertical at rest position shown in FIG. I, and in a plane parallel to the right-hand side of the meter. Normally, as the crank arm 16 is rocked in its arc, the load becomes such that the force required to operate the crank causes the meter unit to tip about its lower right-hand edge and to slide on the surface of the supporting table. When such an displacement of the meter occurs, the resulting postage impression is too often illegible or there may be no impression at all.

In order to provide stability for the meter unit and prevent the tipping and sliding thereof during operation of the crank arm I6, an outrigger or auxiliary meter support bar 20 is provided and is extensible from the meter transversely of the plane of movement of the crank. Preferably, the support bar 20 is a die casting or is otherwise formed of a rigid material, the rectangular top surface of the bar extending beyond the main body portion of the bar to form a pair of parallel lengthwise runners or flanges 2] and 22 (FIGS. 1 and 4). Each of the flanges 21 and 22 is adapted for sliding engagement in respective parallel grooves 23 and 24 formed in a guideway 25 provided in the baseplate 10 parallel to and adjacent the front surface of the meter and at a right angle to the plane of movement ofthe crank arm 16.

Within the lower surface of the outer end portion of the bar 20, a recess 26 is formed in which a pad or foot 27 is disposed. The pad 27, preferably of a frictional material such as rubber, is one of four similar pads upon which the meter is suitably supported. As seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, the recess 26 is suffi ciently larger than the pad 27 to enable an operator to grasp the bar 20 to move it outwardly from the normally inactive position shown in FIG. 2 to the active position shown in FIG. 1.

Means are provided for frictionally retaining the bar 20 in either the inactive or active position. For this purpose, a rectangular depression 30 is formed in the top surface of the bar 20 extending for approximately one-half the length of the bar and positioned intermediate its width. At each end of the depression 30, respective lips 31 and 32 are formed and beneath these lips the respective ends of a half elliptic spring 33 are disposed. Normally, spring 33 is bowed against the inner top surface of the guideway 25 (FIG. 2) but is yieldable upon adjustment of the bar 20 in either direction relative to a locking screw 34, which is threaded through the base plate 10 into the depression 30 of bar 20. The screw 34 is threaded into the base sufficiently only to enable the engagement of the lower end of the screw with either end of the depression 30 thereby limiting the adjustment of the bar 20 in either direction. Once the adjustment of the screw 34 is completed, the screw is locked in place by means of nut 35 as it is turned against base 10. The screw 34 then serves, in cooperation with spring 33 t0 frictionally retain bar 211) in either adjusted end position as seen in FIG. 2.

Thus, it can be seen that upon adjustment of the outrigger or bar 20 outboard of the meter as seen in FIG. I, the end or pad supporting portion ofthe bar 20 lies in the operating plane of the crank arm 16. In this manner, the bar 20 provides a stabilizing effectlfor the meter with the adjusted support directly under the crank arm 16, intersecting the direction of force, as the crank is rocked forwardly and downwardly from the normal vertically disposed inactive position shown in FIG. 1. By this means, tipping or displacement of the meter is prevented, making it unnecessary for an operator to hold the meter down with one hand while operating the crank arm with the other. Also, the base area and/or weight is not a factor in providing a more stable unit.

We claim:

I. In a value printing device having a framework including at least one side frame member and a base member, a crank supported in said framework and spaced outwardly from said one side frame member for rocking movement in an are from an upright position to a substantially horizontal position and in a plane parallel with said one side frame member to control operation of said printing device, and a stabilizer device for preventing displacement of the value printing device upon rocking movement of said crank, the combinati-on comprising:

permit deflection ofsaid spring, and

a stop pin supported in said base member for projection into said guideway and engagement in said rectangular depression to bear against the bow of said spring causing said spring to yield during frictional adjustment of said bar between said normally retracted position and said operative position,

said spring resiliently retaining the respective ends of said rectangular depression in engagement with said stop pin in either extreme position of said bar.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4635811 *Sep 18, 1985Jan 13, 1987Honeywell Information Systems ItaliaComputer modular frame with retractable stabilizers
US5020768 *Nov 3, 1989Jun 4, 1991Compao Computer CorporationStabilizing apparatus with extensible legs for computer system tower unit
US5388792 *Sep 9, 1993Feb 14, 1995Compaq Computer CorporationPivotable computer tower support foot apparatus
US5749637 *Oct 5, 1995May 12, 1998Dell Usa, L.P.Computer system chassis having a selectively extendible support assembly for conversion between desktop and tower patforms
US6873791 *Jun 20, 2002Mar 29, 2005Chuan-Hsin ChengRetaining device of heat blower
US8701929 *Feb 12, 2013Apr 22, 2014Cheri LongPortable gas can
US20030235462 *Jun 20, 2002Dec 25, 2003Chuan-Hsin ChengRetaining device of heat blower
US20070181512 *Feb 3, 2006Aug 9, 2007Shao-Chieh TingSeat of a compound draft-paper rack
U.S. Classification101/480, 248/678, 248/188.8, D18/14
International ClassificationG07B17/00
Cooperative ClassificationG07B2017/00233, G07B17/00193
European ClassificationG07B17/00E1