US 3592306 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventor Lyman D. Dunn Chicago, BL
[21 1 Appl. No. 884,585
 Filed Dec. 12, 1969  Patented July 13, I971  Assignee Marian Company  ROTARY COIN MOVER WITH SIZE TESTER HAVING NORMALLY CLOSED BOTTOM Primary Examiner-Stanley H. Tollberg Attorney-Hofgren, Wegner, Allen, Stellman & McCord ABSTRACT: An improvement in a coin actuator for a vend ing machine of the type having a main rotor and a lock disc for preventing rotation of the main actuator rotor unless a coin of a predetermined value is received therein characterized by the provision of a bottomless coin receiving pocket and a swingabie door thereunder so that coins of a smaller size than those intended for use with the machine will automatically drop through the actuating mechanism without the need for an ex ternally actuated coin return mechanism and also, further characterized by the provision of a continuous substantially rigid peripheral tracking surface thereon so that coins in excess of the number of those which are intended to be received in the pocket for actuation of the mechanism will continue to ride about the periphery thereof during rotation of the mechanism and fall into the coin-receiving pocket on the next rotation after the first coin has advanced and cleared therethrough.
PATENTED JUL 1 31971 SHEET 1 [IF 3 I NVE NTOR. LYMAN D. DUN N f MA, M/l 'M KLJQLWI imamawl saw.
PATENTEU JUL 1 31971 359230 sum 2 OF 3 ROTARY COIN MOVER WITH SIZE TESTER HAVING NORMALLY CLOSED BOTTOM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION l Field of the Invention This invention relates to an improvement in a coin actuator for a vending machine. 1
2 Brief Description of the Prior Art The most pertinent prior art known to the applicant at this time includes Hill U.S. Pat. No. 3,205,995. This application is an improvement over the structure shown therein.
Generally speaking, the structure shown in U.S. Pat. No. .Z05.99S is satisfactory for its intended purpose in providing a coin-receiving actuator mechanism for a vending machine. In the structure shown therein is provided a main rotor, a locking disc, and a swingable gate, all three structures being generally disclike in nature. The locking disc prevents rotation of he main rotorunless a coin of a predetermined value is received in a pocket therein. Once so received, the coin will lift a cam member which nonnally holds the structure against further rotation to permit the continued advancement and rntallon of the main motor. This pocket has a bottom and, ifa coin of the improper value is dropped therein, it may be tetumed only by the actuation of a coin return mechanism which causes the third disc or swingable gate to swing away from the locking disc, permitting the coin to drop through the structure and out of a return chute to the exterior of the machine it has been found that some unscrupulous persons can utilme this feature of the coin return mechanism to continually ad ance the actuator mechanism without depositing addiuonal coins therein. It has been further found that some persons in utilizing vending machines with the coin actuator of the type shown in the aforementioned U.S. Pat. No. .205.995, do not follow instructions and add more coins than necessary for each cycling. It appears that as these coins are fed toward the actuator down a coin chute, they-tend to also occupy a portion of the coin-receiving pocket, causing a jamup in the mechanism, and rendering the vending machine temporarily inoperative.
Thus, a need and desire has arisen in the art for an improvement in the coin actuator of the type shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,205,995 to eliminate some problems which have from time to time arisen when persons have utilized or operated vending machines incorporating such an actuating mechanism in an improper manner It is to the satisfaction of this need and desire that the present invention is directed.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention is directed, in brief, to the improvement of a I ma actuator ofthe type shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,205,995.
The best mode currently contemplated by me for carrying mt the invention includes the provision ofa main disclike coin nlut a second locking disc and a third coin receiving and re- ;evtmg disc The improvement involves primarily the construclion of the third disc and its cooperation with the second dist In a preferred embodiment of this invention, the third disc has a bottomless coin-receiving pocketi Retention of the coin IS afforded by the distance between the sides of the pocket. The third disc further has a swingable door portion underlying the coin-receiving pocket so'that coins of a size smaller-than that intended to be received in the pocket would fall through the open bottom thereof and outwardly through the swingable door portion. In addition, the door portion is held against inward movement so that coins in excess of the number intended to be received in the coin-receiving pocket may track around the periphery of this assembly and, particularly, around the periphery of the third disc until the previously deposited coin has cycled through and the pocket is opened to receive the next coin which has been tracking around the periphery thereof.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a perspective view of a vending machine typical of the type which may employ the actuating mechanism of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary elevational view with portions broken away of the improved coin actuator of this invention showing the relationship of the componentswith two coins successively fed thereinto;
FIG. 3 is a figure similar to FIG. 2 showing the relationship of the successfully fed coins after the mechanism has been rotated through approximately 90of movement;
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIGS. 2 and 3 showing the relationship of the coins of the components after the rotation of the actuator through approximately lof movement;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary elevational view illustrating the relationship between the locking cam and the locking rotor when the components are in the positions as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view taken generally along the line 6-6 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary sectional view taken generally along the line 7-7 of FIG. 6 illustrating the relationship between the coin-receiving pocket of the coin receiving and tracking rotor;
FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 7 but showing the rejection of the coin by the coin-receiving pocket wherein the coin is undersize relative to that intended to be received therein; and
FIGS. 9 through 11 are view similar to FIG. 5 illustrating the camming action of a coin received in the coin-receiving rotor and the engagement with the locking cam for the lock rotor to lift the locking cam up out of its locking relationship therewith and permit continued advancement of the coin FBlQL L While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there is shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail a specific embodiment therefor, with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the embodiment illustrated.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings, in FIG. 1 there is shown a vending machine 10 of the type which the actuator of this invention is intended to be used. The vending machine includes a boxlike housing 12 having a feeding opening l4therein with a feeding platform 16. A coin-receiving slot 18 is provided for depositing a coin in the actuating mechanism and a coin return opening 20 is also provided so that those coins improperly fed into the mechanism may be retrieved. A knob 22 is mounted on a rotatable shaft structure 24 for actuating the coin actuator mechanism 26 of this invention responsive to the insertion of a proper coin, such as 280 and 28b. Preferably, the coin is fed toward the actuator by means of a chute 30 hav ing an open bottom 30:: with the chute being in communication with slot 18. The actuator 26 is connected to a mounting plate 32 by means of screws 34 which, in turn, connect the assembly to a-frame portion 36 within the housing 12 of vending machine 10.
A drive gear 38 is connected to shaft 24 for rotation therewith and is in meshing engagement with idler .gear 40 connected to frame 36 by means of screw 40a. Idler gear 40 is, in turn, in meshing engagement with drive gear 42.connected to hub 44 by screws 44a. Hub 44 is rotatably mounted about stud 46. Stud 46 is connected to frame 36 by suitable means, such as screw-46a;
A lock disc 48 is rotatably mounted about hub 44 A washer 50 is spaced about hub 44 between lock disc 48 and rotor 52. Both rotor 52 and lock disc 48 are preferably thin, generally planar, circulardisclike members of a suitable hard material, such as metal or the like. Rotor 52 may be provided with the illustrated small flared portion 52a which is normally presented below the chute 30 and assists in receiving coins fed from the chute to the actuator as will be explained lateniRotor 52 is connected to hub 44 for rotation therewith 'by means of screws 54.
i A plurality of ears 56 project laterally outwardly from one face of rotor52 and extend through arcuate slots 58 in lock disc 48. Springs 60 are connected between cars 56 and tabs which terminates in a generally right angular or upright radial shoulder or stop 64. A lock lever 66 is pivoted toa stud 68 which extends outwardly from the frame and impales a depending web portion 70 of the lever 66. A nut 72 is utilized to connect the lever 66 to stud 68. The free end of the lock lever '66 is upturned as at 74 and a downturned finger or depending leg 76 is provided on the underside of lever 66 near free end i 74. When the components are in the normal at rest position as shown in FIG. 2 and when only partial rotational movement has been applied to the rotor 52, the depending leg 76 generally abutsthe shoulder or stop 64 to prevent rotation of lock disc 48 and, unless lifted therefrom, the abutment of ears 7 56 with the far ends of slots 58 will prevent further rotation of rotor 52 relative to locking disc 48.
Generally speaking, the structure of the coin actuator described to this point is substantially the same as in the aforementioned Hill U.S. Pat. No. 3,205,995.
' The improvement of this invention is directed to the structureof a coin receiving and rejecting disc 80 which is con nected with the remainder of the actuator assembly described herein. As previously mentioned, in the U.S. Pat. No. 3,205,995 the third disc which performed the coin receiving and rejecting function was generally in the nature of a hinged gate, swingably mounted to the rotor. In the present invention, the coin receiving and rejecting disc 80 includes an inner face 82'and outer face 84 and a periphery 86. Preferably, the disc is generally flat and circular in configuration and either made of a suitable hard metal or hard plastic material.
The disc is connected to the rotor andaffixed therewith by 7 suitable screwlike fasteners 88. Most of the peripheral portion 86 of the disc 80 is formed as an outstanding annular rib or abutment which extends in a generally semicircular pattern about the exterior of the disc 80 from an initial radial leg 90 and terminates in an opposed inwardly directed radial leg 92.
Leg 90 and its associated depending wirelike member 94 (which generally spans the distance between legs 90 and 92) form one side-of a coin-receiving pocket generally designated 96. The other side of coin-receiving pocket 96 is defined by .abutment98 which is spaced from leg 90 a distance approximating the diameter of the coin intended to be held and accepted by the pocket 96. For the purposes of preventing wear dueto the serrated periphery of coins, both leg 90 and abutment 98 may be surrounded by a hard metallic element such as the returned portion 94a of wirelike element 94 and a generally circumsurrounding hard metallic ring 100 about the abutment 98. It is to be further understood that abutment 98 could be mounted for movement toward and away from leg 90 by means of a conventional slot arrangement through which fastener 88 would extend for the purposes of adjusting the distance between leg 90 and abutment 98 to accommodate different sized coins where such changes might be desired. Thus, whenever a coin 28a of the proper size is inserted down chute 30 and received into pocket 96, with guiding assistance afforded by the flared portion 52aof rotor 52, this coin will be held in thepocket between abutment 98 and leg'90.
Because the pocket 96 has an 96, bottom, if an undersize coin, such as coin 102 is deposited, it will continue to fall through the space between abutment 98 and leg 90. In so doing, it will contact a swingable door member 104v which together with abutment 98 comprises a continuation of the periphery 86 and is pivoted at 106 to the remainder of the disc 80 for swingable movement. relative thereto. The free end 1040 of door 104 abuts the area of peripheral rim 86 at its juncture'with leg portion 92 so as to hold the door against inward movement. The door is slightly recessed at this point defining a channel 105 which may tend to slightly embrace and guide a peripherally tracking coin as will be explained later. The weight of the descending coin 102 will cause the pivoted door 104 to swing about its pivotal mounting 106 and permit the coin 102 to drop outwardly therethrough as iIlustrated in FIG 8. The portion of the path oftravel of the'coin between the abutment 98 and leg 90 is unimpeded so that there is direct communication between the pocket 96 and the swingable door 104. Thus, there is no need to independently actuate any coin return mechanism for rejection and return of undersize coins It is to be understood that the 'coin return slot 20 would preferably be in communication with the area below swingable door 104 so that the coins could gravitate theretoward.
The operation of the actuator 26 when the proper size coin I is received isgenerally the same as that described in the aforementioned U.S. Pat. No. 3,205,995. The coin is held in the coin-receiving pocket 96 and initial rotation of the rotor 52 causes the coin to be brought into abutment with the upturned end 74 of lever 76. Continued advancement of the rotor causes the coin 28a to lift the lever 66 so that the depending leg 76 is removed from its abutting engagement with shoulders 64 of slot 62. This permits the coin receiving and rejecting disc 80, the rotor 52, and the lock disc 48 to cycle through one full revolution as sequentially illustrated in FIGS. 2 through 4 and partially illustrated in FlGS. 9 through 11. During this revolu tion, other mechanism associated with the actuator, such as by means of meshing engagement with gear 42, can be driven through a cycling operationto perform a vending function. ln
one current use of the actuator, the structure is-utilized to advance rolls of adhesively coated clear plastic material for laminating a cardlike article which may be fed between the rolls by being first introduced therebetween in the area of platform 16. I
The rejection feature of the actuator 26 and,-in particular,
I the disc of this invention, has already been described with. respect to undersize coins 102. However, the structure further has the capability of rejecting coins which are mistakenly fed down through chute 30.
Referring to FIGS. 2 through 4, thereis shown therein an additional coin 28b which has been fed down chute 3:0 andgenerally abuts coin 28a, there not being sufficientroom' between the rotor 52 and'disc 80 to accept the secondcoin.
Whereas with the structure shown in the Hill U.S. Pat. No. 3,205,995, there was a possibility of this coin subsequently falling in the area between the rotor 52 and the gatelike element utilized as a coin rejecting and receiving mechanism, in
the present invention the periphery 86, including door 104 of disc 80, occupies the space between the rotor 52 and disc 80 so that as the mechanism is advanced through a revolution, the coin 28b will track on the periphery, first being guided by door 104 in a slightly embracing relationship and then upon the main peripheral portion 86. After the cycle has been completed, and the coin 28a which was properly fed into the actuator has been dropped into a coin-receiving area, the end of the cycle will present the coin-receiving pocket 96 in the area below chute 30 and the additional coin 28b may fall into the pocket, having tracked about the entire periphery of the disc 80. lf the coin is oversize, it will merely serve to lift the lever 66 in the manner previously described, but will be result in a jamming or malfunctioning of the machine.
This invention provides an improvement in the coin actuator of the type shown in Hill U.S. Pat. No. 3,205,995, which the space between the rotor and the outermost disc which held the coin has been eliminated with this invention since the coin receiving and rejecting disc 80 has a peripheral portion which closes the space between that disc and the rotor 52 so that additional coins track about the periphery during the cycling of the actuator with the properly deposited coin. It has been found that if the periphery 86 including door 104 and abutment 98 is beveled slightly inwardly relative to rotor 52, that this tends to enhance the coin-tracking property thereof with respect to additional coins in excess of those intended to be received for a single cycle.
As previously described, coins which are undersize relative to those intended to be received automatically drop through the mechanism and are returned downwardly through the return chute. Thus, the improvement of this invention permits it to be used with existing structure and yet affords the advantages of greater reliability in operation, particularly in those instances where actuators have previously been subjected to abuse by persons improperly using the same or attempting to deliberately malfunction the system.
The foregoing detailed description has been given for clearness of understanding only, and no unnecessary limitations should be understood therefrom, as some modifications may be obvious to those skilled in the art.
1. In a coin actuator mechanism in a frame for controlling actuation of elements mounted to said frame responsive to reception of a proper coin, the coin actuator having a lock disc journaled for rotation in said frame about said principal axis; a main rotor journaled for rotation about said principal axis and connected to said lock disc with a lost motion connection; latch means connected to said frame and having a lock portion normally urged in locking engagement with said lock disc to prevent rotation of said lock disc and said man rotor other than the relative lost motion movement between the two, said latch means also having a cam surface normally positioned adjacent said main rotor and spaced from said lock disc; the improvement which comprises a coin receiving and rejecting disc connected to said main rotor, said disc having first and second faces and a periphery; a coin receiving pocket in one of said faces, the coin-receiving pocket having an open bottom with opposed spaced-apart coin-captivating portions; and a nonnally closed movable peripheral portion in communication with the open bottom of the coin-receiving pocket whereby coins undersized relative to those intended to be received in the pocket may fall therethrough and outwardly of the coin receiving and rejecting disc through the movable peripheral portion thereof.
2. The improvement of claim 1 wherein the movable peripheral portion of the coin-receiving pocket includes a portion pivoted for movement radially outwardly from the periphery.
3. The improvement of claim 2 wherein the pocket in the coin receiving and rejecting disc is opposite the main rotor.
4. The improvement of claim 2 wherein the movable peripheral portion normally underlies the coin receiving pocket.
5. The improvement of claim 1 wherein the coin receiving and rejecting disc has a generally continuous peripheral track between the openings defining the coin receiving pocket.
6. The improvement of claim 5 wherein the periphery of the coin receiving and rejecting disc is beveled inwardly towards the rotor.
7. The improvement of claim 6 wherein the movable peripheral portion of the coin-receiving pocket includes a portion pivoted for movement radially outwardly from the periphery.
8. The improvement of claim 1 wherein the coin receiving and rejecting disc has an outer face and an inner face in opposition to the rotor; a peripheral rimlike abutment extending from one side of the coin-receiving pocket and terminating in an opening in communication with the pocket; a normally closed pivotal door covering the opening and an abutment adjacent the door, the abutment forming the other side of the coin-receiving pocket with the rim, door and abutment qccu pying the space between the inner face of the com receiving and rejecting disc and the rotor to provide a tracking surface for coins in excess of the number intended to be received.
9. The improvement of claim 8 wherein the pivoted door is peripherally recessed relative to the rim and the abutment.