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Publication numberUS3618732 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 9, 1971
Filing dateJan 13, 1970
Priority dateJan 13, 1970
Publication numberUS 3618732 A, US 3618732A, US-A-3618732, US3618732 A, US3618732A
InventorsHarry D Forse
Original AssigneeHarry D Forse
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gasoline-dispensing system
US 3618732 A
Images(5)
Previous page
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventor Barry D. Forse 220 Woods Road, Edgewood Addition, Anderson, Ind. 46011 I 21 1 Appl. No. 2,563

[22] Filed [45] Patented Jan. I3. 1970 Nov. 9, 1971 [54] GASOLINE-DISPENSING SYSTEM Primary Examiner-Samuel F. Coleman Attomey- Hood, Gust, Irish & Lundy ABSTRACT: A system for dispensing a quantity of gasoline having a selling price equal to a predetermined denomination of paper currency, such as a one dollar bill. A computing pump is provided including a driving motor, a flow meter which measures the volume of gasoline delivered by the pump, and a selling price computer operated by the flowmeter. A bill reader is provided which receives and inspects the bill to determine its validity and denomination and provides an output signal when the bill has been determined to be valid and of the correct denomination The motor is started to initiate the pumping operation in response to the output signal from the bill reader and the motor is stopped to terminate the pumping operation by the selling price computer when the selling price of the gasoline dispensed equals the denomination of the bill. A coin-actuated device is provided into which a coin, such as a quarter, must be deposited before the dispensing nozzle can be removed from the holder Upon properly returning the nozale to the holder, the coin is returned. Operation of the system is inhibited until the nozzle has been properly positioned and locked into the fill pipe.

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INVENTOR HARRY D. FORSE Z W QM, Mi 1M1} ATTORNEYS l. Field of the Invention This invention relates generally to liquid dispensing systems,

and more particularly to a system for dispensing a quantity of 1 liquid having a selling price equal to a predeterminedputing pump operated by an attendant, the unit selling price of the gasoline being set into the computing device which then computes and displays the selling price of the particular quantity of gasoline dispensed. Unattended, coin-actuated gasoline pumps have been proposed; however, such unattended pumps have not met with favor for a variety of reasons, including improper positioning of the nozzle in the fill pipe of the vehicle resulting in spillage of the gasoline and a resultant fire hazard, and failure to return the nozzle to its holder, thus resulting in damage to the hose and nozzle. Further, prospective customers may not have a sufficient number of coins of the correct denomination.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The general object of the present invention is to provide a gasoline-dispensing system which will accept paper currency, such as a 1 dollar bill, and dispense a corresponding quantity of gasoline. Features of the invention which eliminate prior objections to unattended gasoline pumps include positive locking of the nozzle in the fill pipe with the system being disabled to prevent the dispensing of gasoline unless the nozzle has been properly positioned and locked in the fill pipe, and the provision of a coin receiving device which requires deposit of a coin, such as a quarter, before the customer can remove the nozzle from its holder. However, the coin is returned when the nozzle has been properly returned to the holder.

In its broader aspects, the invention provides a system for dispensing a quantity of liquid having a selling price equal to a predetermined denomination of currency. A computing pump assembly is provided including a pump for delivering the liquid to a supply conduit, a motor for operating the pump, means for continuously measuring the volume of the liquid delivered by the pump, and means coupled to the measuring means for continuously computing the selling price of the volume of liquid delivered including means for setting the unit selling price into the computing means. A device is provided for receiving currency and for inspecting the same to determine its validity and denomination, the device providing an output signal when the currency received thereby has been determined to be valid and of the predetermined denomination. Means are provided for actuating the motor to initiate operation of the pump in response to the output signal, and means are provided for deactuating the motor to terminate operation of the pump in response to computation by the computing means of the selling price equal to the predetermined denomination. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, means are provided for locking the nozzle at the end of the supply conduit in the filling opening of a liquid container, and means are further provided for sensing s'uch locking and enabling the dispensing system in response thereto.

It is accordingly an object of the invention to provide an improved system for dispensing a quantity of liquid having a selling price equal to a predetermined denomination of currency.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved liquid dispensing system including a dispensing nozzle adapted to be inserted in a filling opening of a liquid container wherein the dispensing of liquid is inhibited unless the nozzle has been properly seated and locked in the filling opening.

The above-mentioned and other features and objects of this invention and the manner of attaining them will become more apparent and the invention itself will be best understood by reference to the following description of an embodiment of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an elevational view showing an unattended gasoline pump incorporating the invention;

FIG. 2 is a schematic view showing the system embodied in the pump of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary view showing one system for providing a "su'i'p" signal in response to the computation of a predetermined selling price for the quantity of gasoline dispensed;

FIG. 4 is a side view, partly in cross section, showing the coin-actuated nozzle release mechanism incorporated in the invention;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken generally along line 5-5 of FIG. 4 and showing the nozzle supported in the holder and clamped therein;

FIG. 6 is a schematic illustration of the electrical circuitry employed in the coin-actuated nozzle release mechanism of FIGS. 4 and 5;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary, cross-sectional view showing the nozzle locking and sensing mechanism of the invention;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 8-8 of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 99 of FIG. 7;

FIG. 10 is a schematic view showing the locking and sensing circuitry of the nozzle of FIG. 7;

FIG. 11 is a schematic view showing the motor control of the system of FIG. 2;

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary schematic view showing a modification of the system of FIG. 2;

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary view showing a modified form of the pump of the invention; and

FIG. 14 is a schematic view of one of the two change-making circuits employed in the pump of FIG. 13.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, the system of the invention is described and illustrated as embodied in an unattended computing gasoline pump adapted to accept a l dollar bill and dispense 1 dollars worth of gasoline therefor. This system will accept multiple dollars, but does not attempt to enable the customer completely to fill his gasoline tank and return in change any unexpended portion of the last dollar deposited. The unattended pump I4 as shown in FIG. I which incorporates the system of the invention includes a conventional computing pump assembly having a digital readout 16 showing the number of gallons of gasoline dispensed, a digital readout 18 showing the computed price of the gasoline dispensed, and a manually actuated device 20 for setting the per gallon price of the gasoline into the price computer. Pump 14 includes a bill-reading device 22 having a tray 24 by which a bill is presented to the device for determination of its validity and denomination. Upon acceptance of the bill by the billreading device 22, thus indicating that the bill has been determined to be valid and of the correct denomination, a signal is provided which initiates the dispensing operation. When the computed price of gasoline dispensed by pump 14 equals the denomination of the bill deposited, i.e., 1 dollar, in the illustrated embodiment, another signal is provided which terminates the dispensing operation.

Pump 14 is provided with a conventional, flexible dispensing hose 26 having a nozzle 28, to be more fully described hereinafter, attached to the end thereof. Nozzle 28 is supported and releasably clamped by a coin-actuated nozzle release mechanism. In operation, a customer first deposits a coin, such as a quarter, in nozzle release device 30, the deposit of the coin releasing the clamping of the nozzle 28 to permit its removal for insertion in the fill pipe of the vehicle. A l dollar bill may then be deposited in the bill reader 22 by means of tray 24 and upon proper positioning and locking of nozzle 28 in the fill pipe, as will be described hereinafter, the system is enabled to initiate the dispensing operation. When the dispensing operation has been completed and the nozzle 28 returned to holder 30, the mechanism is actuated to return the coin. A conventional change-making device 32 may be provided for actuation by bill reader 22 in order to provide the customer with change from a dollar bill for use in actuating the nozzle release mechanism 30.

Referring now specifically to FIG. 2, the unattended pump system 14 comprises a conventional pump 34 driven by electric motor 36, pump 34 being connected to gasoline storage tank 36 by inlet conduit 38, and discharging gasoline pumped thereby through discharge conduit 40 to which flexible hose 26 is coupled. A conventional price computing system 42 is provided comprising conventional flowmeter 44 coupled in discharge conduit 40 for measuring the volume of gasoline which is pumped therethrough by pump 34. Flowmeter 44 is coupled to conventional gallonage register 16 which provides a digital readout of the quantity of fuel dispensed by pump 34 as measured by flowmeter 44. Gallonage register 16 is coupled to conventional price computer 18 which is adapted to have the unit price of the gasline, i.e., the price per gallon, set therein by a conventional manually actuated unit 20. Thus in conventional fashion, flowmeter 44 continuously measures the volume of gasoline dispensed by pump 34, gallonage register l6 continuously indicates the cumulative quantity of gasoline dispensed, and the price computer 18 continuously indicates the cumulative selling price of gasoline dispensed. Gallonage register 16 and price computer 18 are adapted to be reset to zero by conventional reset solenoid 46.

Bill reader 22 may be of any conventional type, such as that illustrated and described in US. Pat. No. 3,480,785 to Don R. Aufderheide. Bill reader 22 provides an output signal in its output circuit 48 responsive to acceptance of a valid bill of the proper denomination.

An enable relay 50 is provided for coupling output circuit 48 of bill reader 22 to starting input circuit 52 of motor control 54 in response to an enabling signal in enable circuit 56 provided in response to proper seating and locking of nozzle 28 in fill pipe 58 connected to fuel tank 60 of vehicle 62. Motor 36 is energized from a suitable source 64 of energizing potential by control 54 to be hereinafter more fully described.

Thus, when nozzle 28 is properly seated and locked in fill pipe 58, an enabling signal is provided in enable circuit 56 which actuates the enable relay 50 to couple output circuit 48 of bill reader 22 to start circuit 52, thereby to actuate control 54 to energize motor 36 so as to initiate a gasoline-dispensing operation.

Price computer 18 is provided with means, to be more fully described hereinafter, for providing in its output circuit 66 a Stop" signal in response to the computed price for the gasoline dispensed equaling the denomination of the bill previously accepted by bill reader 22. Output circuit 66 is coupled to motor control 54 for actuating the same to deenergize motor 36 thereby to terminate the gasolinedispensing operation in response to a Stop" signal. Stop circuit 66 is also coupled by circuit 68 to nozzle seating and locking detector 70, unlocking and removal of nozzle 28 from fill pipe 58 being inhibited in the absence of a Stop signal thereby to prevent removal of the nozzle from the fill pipe 58 while pump 34 is still dispensing gasoline. Nozzle 28 is also provided with a conventional automatic shutoff device 72 which provides a signal in its output circuit 74 when the gasoline dispensed into container 60 reaches a predetermined level in fill pipe 58. Output circuit 74 is coupled to stop circuit 66 so that the automatic shutoff signal is applied to motor control 54 to deenergize motor 36, and also to the nozzle seating and locking detector 70 to permit unlocking and removal of nozzle 28 from fill pipe 58.

Enable relay 50 and a manually actuated switch 76 also couple bill reader 22 to a conventional change dispenser mechanism 32. Thus, in the absence of an enabling signal in enable circuit 56 provided by nozzle seating and locking detector 70, enable relay 50 couples output circuit 48 of bill reader 22 to switch 76 so that upon manual actuation of switch 76, change dispenser 32 is actuated to dispense coins corresponding to the denomination of the bill accepted by bill reader 22. Thus, if the customer does not have a quarter for deposit in coin-actuated nozzle release mechanism 30, he may first deposit a 1 dollar in bill reader 22 and actuate switch 76 so that change dispenser 32 will provide change, a part of which may be used to actuate coin-actuated nozzle 70 30. However, once nozzle 28 has been properly seated and locked in the fill pipe 58 so that an enabling signal is provided by nozzle seating and locking detector 70 in enable circuit 56, enable relay 50 is actuated to couple bill reader 22 to motor control 54 so that the deposit of a 1 dollar bill put in bill reader 22 and acceptance of the bill will result in application of a Start" signal to motor control 54, operation of switch 76 to actuate the change dispenser 32 being inhibited by enable relay 50.

As indicated, deposit of a coin, such as a quarter, in coin-actuated nozzle release mechanism 30 results in release of nozzle 28 so as to permit its removal from mechanism 30 and insertion into fill pipe 58. Upon completion of the gasolinedispensing operation and return of nozzle 28 to mechanism 30, mechanism 30 is actuated to return the coin deposited therein. Further, return of nozzle 28 to mechanism 30 provides a signal in its output circuit 78 which actuates reset solenoid 46 to reset gallonage register 16 and price computer 18 to zero.

It will be observed that so long as nozzle 28 is properly seated and locked in fill pipe 58, an enabling signal will be provided by nozzle seating and locking detector 70 and enable circuit 56 which actuates enable relay 50 to couple dollar bill reader 22 to motor control 54. Thus, while the dispensing of l dollar's worth of gasoline into tank 60 by pump 34 as computed by price computer 18 will result in the provision of a Stop" signal in output circuit 66 which will deenergize motor 36, the customer may immediately deposit another dollar bill in bill reader 22 which, upon acceptance of the bill, will provide another Start" signal to actuate motor control 54 again to energize motor 36 so as to dispense another dollar's worth of gasoline into tank 60. Thus, once a customer has deposited a quarter in coin-actuated nozzle release mechanism 30, removed the nozzle 28 therefrom, and the nozzle has been properly seated and locked in fill pipe 58, as will hereinafter be described, the customer may then successively deposit any desired number of 1 dollar bills in bill reader 22 which, if accepted thereby will result in the pumping of a corresponding quantity of gasoline into tank 60. It will further be observed that if tank 60 becomes filled during the pumping of l dollar's worth of gasoline therein, as sensed by the automatic shutoff mechanism 72, a Stop" signal signal will be provided to motor control 54 which deenergizes motor 56 to terminate the dispensing operation. The Stop" signal provided by the automatic shutofl' mechanism 72 is applied by circuit 68 to nozzle seating and locking detector mechanism 70 to permit unlocking and removal of the nozzle 28. However, so long as the nozzle 28 remains seated and locked in fill pipe 58, the automatic shutoff signal will persist, thus inhibiting further dispensing of gasoline even though the customer might inadvertently deposit another 1 dollar bill in the bill reader 22. lt will be observed that upon operation of the automatic cutoff mechanism 72, the customer has forfeited any unexpended amount of the last 1 dollar bill deposited.

Referring now to FIG. 3, price computer 18 includes three digital readout wheels 80, 82, 84, wheel 84 being the highest order wheel and indicating dollars from zero to nine in the illustrated embodiment, and wheels 80 and 82 being the lower order wheels indicating units and tens of cents from zero to 99. in order to provide the Stop" signal in stop circuit 66 when the price computer 18 indicates that l dollar's worth of gasoline has been dispensed, cam projections 86 are provided on the dollar indicating wheel 84 respectively in alignment with each of the digits indicated on, with the exception of zero, and a cam projection 88 is provided on the lowest order cents wheel 80 aligned with the zero digit indicated thereon. Cam projections 86, 88 respectively actuate normally open microswitches 90, 92 coupled by AND-circuit 94 to stop circuit 66. Thus, it will be readily seen that when price computer 18 has computed an integral dollar selling price, such as l dollar, 2 dollars, et seq., both microswitches 90 and 92 will be actuated by respective cam projections 86, 88, thus both applying signals to AND-circuit 94, resulting in the provision of a Stop signal in stop circuit 66. This Stop signal will persist as long as the indicator wheels 80, 82, 84 remain in their positions indicating such an integral dollar amount. However, upon actuation of reset solenoid 46 responsive to return of nozzle 28 to nozzle release mechanism 30 so as to return gallonage register 16 and price computer 18 to their zero indications, dollar wheel 84 will be reset to its zero position, thereby deactuating microswitch 90 removing its signal from AND-circuit 94 and thus terminating the Stop" signal. Further, assuming nozzle 28 remains properly seated and locked in fill pipe 58, and the customer deposits another 1 dollar bill in bill reader 22 which is accepted thereby so as to apply a new Start" signal to motor control 54, the resumption of the dispensing operation will immediately cause the lowest order indicator wheel 80 to move away from its zero position thereby deactuating microswitch 92, removing its signal from AND-circuit 94 and again terminating the Stop" signal.

Referring briefly to FIG. 11, motor control 54 comprises line contacts L1 and L2 which couple motor 36 to power source 64, which may be a source of single-phase, l20-volt, 50-cycle alternating current. Starting circuit 52 is coupled to one end of operating coil L associated with line contacts L1 and L2, the other end of operating coil L being coupled to negative side 96 of a suitable source of direct current control potential. Thus, appearance of a positive start" signal in starting circuit 52 will energize operating coil L to close line contacts L1 and L2 so as to energize motor 36. Operating coil L is also coupled in series with positive side 98 of the source of control potential by normally open sealing contacts L3 and normally closed stopping relay contacts S. Thus it will be seen that when line contact or operating coil L is energized in response to a Start" signal in starting circuit 52, sealing contacts L3 close to couple operating coil L across the control power source 96, 98 so that the line contactor operating coil L remains energized and line contacts L1, L2 remain closed despite removal of the Start signal from starting circuit 52 at the conclusion of the operating cycle of the bill reader 22. Appearance of a Stop" signal in stop circuit 66 energizes operating coil S of the stopping relay, thereby opening contacts S in series with operating coil L, thereby deenergizing operating coil L causing opening of line contacts L1 and L2 and deenergization of motor 36. It will now be seen that upon the deposit of another dollar bill in bill reader 22 and acceptance of the bill thereby, another Start signal will appear in starting circuit 52 which will energize operating coil L causing closing of line contacts L1 and L2 despite the fact that the Stop" signal is still present in stop circuit 66 and energizing operating coil S of the stopping relay. Energization of motor 36 and the resumption of the dispensing of gasoline will very immediately cause the lowest order indicating wheel 80 of price computer 18 (FIG. 3) to move away from its zero position thus deactuating microswitch 92 and terminating the Stop" signal prior to termination of the Start" signal. Operating coil 8 of the stopping relay is thus deenergized closing its contacts S permitting operating coil L to be sealed-in through its now closed contacts L3.

Referring now to FIGS. 4,5 and 6, nozzle assembly 28 comprises a housing 100 which encloses the nozzle seating and locking detector mechanism 70 and the automatic shutoff mechanism 72, spout 102 projecting from housing 100. Electrical leads 104 including the enable circuit 56, nozzle release circuit 68 and automatic shutoff circuit 74, are carried by hose 26 in accordance with conventional practice. Housing 100 of nozzle assembly 28 has a generally U-shaped clamping member 106 and a hook member 108 secured thereto, as shown.

Coin-actuated nozzle support and release mechanism 30 includes a housing 110 having a wall 112. Another wall 114 is provided spaced from housing wall 112 to define nozzlereceiving cavity 116 therebetween. A support member 118 extends transversely across cavity l16 between walls 112, 114 for supporting spout 102 of nozzle assembly 28. A weight-sensitive pin 120 likewise extends across cavity 116 and is adapted to be engaged by hook member 108 thereby to support nozzle assembly 28 in the position shown in FIG. 5. Clamping pin 122 in its extended, clamping position (FIGS. 4 and 5) also extends across cavity 116 and through U-shaped member 106 thereby to clamp nozzle assembly 28 in mechanism 30 so as to prevent its removal therefrom.

A conventional coin receptor mechanism 124 is mounted within the housing 110 and adapted to receive a coin, such as a quarter, through slot 126. A coin or slug rejected or returned by mechanism 124 is ejected through chute 128 to return receptacle 130. Coin receptor mechanism 124 is provided with a coin return actuator lever 132 which when actuated causes mechanism 124 to return a coin deposited therein through chute 128 to receptacle 130. Coin receptor mechanism 124 on deposit and acceptance of a coin, actuates a latch lever 134.

Clamping pin 122 extends through opening 136 in wall 112 and in its extended position has its distal end 138 seated in opening 140 in wall 114. Proximal end 142 of clamping pin 122 has a member 144 secured thereto. A suitable spring 146 extends between member 144 and wall 112 and serves normally to bias clamping pin 122 to its extended, clamping position, as shown in solid lines in FIG. 4, in which pin 122 extends through U-shaped member 106 on nozzle assembly 128, thereby to retain the nozzle assembly in mechanism 30. When clamping pin 122 is in its extended, clamping position, member 144 engages and actuates normally closed switch LS1, thereby to open the same. Latching member 134 engages projection 148 on clamping pin 122, thereby holding clamping pin 122 in its extended, clamping position against the force exerted by spring 146.

On deposit of a coin in coin receptor 124, and acceptance of the coin thereby, latch member 134 is actuated thereby to release projection 148 so that spring 146 moves clamping pin 122 inwardly, as shown by arrow 150, to the position shown in dashed lines at 122a. In its retracted position 122a, distal end 138 of pin 122 is generally flush with wall 112, pin 122 thus being removed from U-shaped member 106 of nozzle assembly 28 so as to permit the nozzle assembly to be removed from mechanism 30. In its retracted position 122a, member 144 engages normally closed switch LS3, thereby to open the same.

Support pin 120 is pivotally mounted on wall 112, as at 152. Distal end 154 of support pin 120 is received within slot 156 in wall 114. Proximal end 158 of support pin 120 extends into housing 110 and a spring 160 normally pivots pin 120 upwardly, as shown by the arrow 162. It will be seen that when nozzle assembly 28 is positioned in cavity 116 with hook member 108 engaging pin 120, the weight of nozzle assembly 28 will cause pin 120 to pivot downwardly against the force exerted by spring 160. The opposite sides of proximal end 158 of support pin 120 respectively engage normally open switches LS2 and LS4. When pin 120 is pivoted upwardly, i.e., when nozzle assembly 28 is removed, proximal end 158 is pivoted downwardly by spring 160 thereby closing switch LS4 and opening switch LS2. When proximal end 158 of pin 120 is pivoted upwardly in response to the weight of nozzle assembly 28, switch LS2 is closed and switch LS4 is opened. As will hereinafter be described in connection with FIG. 6, switches LS2 and LS4 are arranged so that upon upward pivoting of proximal end 158 of pin 120 in response to placement of nozzle assembly 28 thereon, the contacts of switch LS4 remain closed until proximal end 158 has been pivoted to substantially its uppermost position, whereas the contacts LS2-1 of switch LS2 close immediately upon initial upward movement of proximal end 158.

A solenoid A is provided in housing 110 having an annature 163 arranged to engage member 144 in the retracted position of clamping pin 122, as shown in dashed lines at 144a. Thus, with clamping pin 122 moved to its retracted position 122a, energization of solenoid A will result in extension of its armature 163 in the direction shown by the arrow 164, thereby to move pin 122 toward its extended, clamping position. When pin 122 reaches its clamping position, it is again engaged and restrained by latching member 134, and member 144 engages coin return lever member 132 which actuates the coin return mechanism to return the previously deposited coin through chute 128 to coin return receptacle 130.

Referring now to FIG. 6, the coil of solenoid A is serially coupled across the positive and negative sides 98, 96 of the source of control power by normally closed switch contacts LS3, normally opened switch contacts LS2-1, and normally closed switch contacts LS1, normally opened switch contacts LS4 being connected in parallel with switch contacts LS3. In FIG. 6, the switch contacts are shown in their positions with nozzle assembly 28 positioned on mechanism 30 with hook member 108 engaging pin 120 thus closing contacts LS2-1 and opening contacts LS4, and with pin 122 in its extended, clamping position, thus opening contacts LS1 and closing contacts LS3. Thus, in this position, it will be observed that sole noid A is deenergized. Assuming now that a coin is deposited in and accepted by coin receptor 124, latching member 134 will be actuated to release projection 148 on pin 122, thus permitting the spring 146 to move pin 122 to its retracted position 122a, thus closing contact LS1 and opening contact LS3. Thus, while pin 122 has been withdrawn from U-shaped member 106 so as to permit the removal of nozzle assembly 28 from mechanism 30, with the nozzle assembly still supported by pin 120, contacts LS2-1 will remain closed and contacts LS4 will remain open. Thus, with contacts LS3 and LS4 both open, solenoid A will remain deenergized. Now, when nozzle assembly 28 is manipulated so as to release hook member 108 from pin 120, pin 120 will be pivoted by spring 160 so that proximal end 158 closes contact LS4 and opens contact LS2-1, contact LS2-1 opening before closing of contact LS4. When contact LS2-1 opens, solenoid A remains deenergized and thus pin 122 remains in its retracted position 122a.

Now, when nozzle assembly 28 is returned to mechanism 30 and hook member 108 engages with pin 120, as above described, the weight of the nozzle assembly 28 will cause proximal end 158 of pin 120 to pivot upwardly. As indicated above, switch contacts LS4 remain closed until proximal end 158 has substantially reached the upper extremity of its pivotal movement, however switch contacts LS2-1 immediately close upon the beginning of upward movement of proximal end 158 of pin 120. Thus, as soon as the weight of nozzle assembly 28 is applied to pin 120, switch contacts LS4 are still closed, switch contacts LS2-1 are immediately closed, and switch contacts LS1 are closed since pin 122 is in its retracted position 122a. Solenoid A will thus be actuated to move pin 122 toward its extended clamping position. Member 144 will immediately move away from its retracted position 144a and switch contacts LS3 will thus be actuated to their closed position so that solenoid A remains energized for completion of its stroke to extend pin 122 despite subsequent opening of switch contacts LS4. When pin 122 reaches its extended position in which projection 148 is engaged by latching member 134, thereby holding clamping pin 122 in its extended position, member 144 again engages switch LS1 to open its contacts thus deenergizing solenoid A so that its armature 163 is retracted by a suitable spring (not shown).

Reset solenoid 46 is coupled in series across the positive and negative sides 98, 96 of the control power source by switch contacts LS2-2. Thus it will be seen that when switch contacts LS2-2 are closed by upward movement of proximal end 158 of support pin 120 in response to the weight of nozzle assembly 28 being supported thereon, reset solenoid 46 is energized to reset gallonage register 16 and price computer 18 to zero. When nozzle assembly 28 is removed from mechanism 20, switch contacts LS2-2 are open, as above described, thereby deenergizing reset solenoid 46 so as to permit operation of gallonage register 16 and price computer 18, as above described.

Referring now to FIGS. 7-10 inclusive, fill pipe 58 is of the conventional type having an annular flange 166 in its end with diametrically opposite notches 168, 170 which cooperate with the locking ears of a conventional locking cap (not shown), i.e., the cap is initially positioned with the locking ears extending through slots 168, 170 and then the cap is rotated by about one-fourth of a turn so the ears engage the undersurface of flange 166, which may have cam surfaces thereon (not shown) for providing positive locking action.

Housing of nozzle assembly 28 has a shoulder portion 172 from which spout 102 projects, shoulder portion 172 being adapted sealingly to engage the outer surface of flange 166 of spout 102 projecting into fill cap 58, as seen in FIG. 7. Diametrically opposite locking ears 174, 176 extend from shoulder portion 172 and are adapted initially to be received in notches 168, 170 of flange 166 of fill pipe 58, and thereafter to engage the undersurface of flange 166 thereby to hold shoulder portion 172 in sealing engagement with flange 166 upon rotation of housing 100 by approximately one-fourth turn, as shown by the arrow 178 (FIG. 8).

A solenoid B is positioned within housing 100 with its armature being in the form of an elongated locking pin 180 which extends through opening 182 in shoulder portion 172. Locking pin 180 is normally biased to an extended position, as shown in FIG. 7, by means of spring 184. When solenoid B is energized, pin 180 is retracted to the position shown in dashed lines at 180a with its distal end generally flush with the surface of shoulder portion 172. In its retracted position 1800, pin 180 opens normally closed microswitch MS2. Normally open microswitch M51 is mounted in housing 100 with its actuating button 186 extending through opening 188 in shoulder portion 172. When housing 100 is disposed with shoulder portion 172 in sealing engagement with flange 166, actuating button 186 of microswitch MSI engages and is depressed by flange 166 thereby opening switch MS]. A manually actuated nozzle release switch 190 is also mounted in housing 100.

Inspection of FIGS. 8 and 9 will reveal that locking pin 180 is disposed generally midway between locking ears 174, 176 and is radially spaced from axis 192 of housing 100 and fill pipe 158 by a distance such that locking pin 180 will enter and extend through a notch 168, 170 in flange 166. Actuating button 186 of microswitch M51 is disposed on the other side of locking ears 174, 176 and positioned such that when ears 174, 176 are initially seated in notches 168, 170, and housing 100 is then rotated by approximately one-quarter of a turn, actuating button 186 will at all times be in engagement with flange 166, i.e., it will not enter a notch I68, 170.

Referring now briefly to FIG. 10, normally open microswitch contacts M81 and normally closed microswitch contacts MS2 serially connect enable circuit 56 to the positive side 98 of the control potential, while switch 190 serially connects nozzle release circuit 68 and solenoid B to the positive side 98.

In the operation of the nozzle seating and locking detector 70, after removal of the nozzle assembly 28 from nozzle release mechanism 30, spout 102 is inserted in fill pipe 58 until ears 174, 176 engage the upper surface of flange 166, the distal end of pin 180 likewise engaging the upper surface of flange 166 and being partially retracted thereby against spring 184. Actuating button 186 of switch M81 is shorter than ears 174, 176 and thus actuating button 186 is not depressed and switch M81 remains open. Housing 100 is then rotated in the direction shown by the arrow 178 until ears 174, 176 enter slots 168, 170 with shoulder portion 172 then being moved into abutting engagement with the upper surface of flange 166. This depresses actuating button 186 of switch M81 thereby closing its contacts, however engagement of the upper surface of flange 166 with the distal end of pin 180 has fully retracted the pin to its position 180a thereby opening switch MS2. Housing 100 is then further rotated in the direction 178 so that ears 174, 176 are rotated into locking engagement with the undersurface of flange 166 until pin 180 moves into alignment with one of the slots 168, 170, such as slot 170 as shown in FIG. 8. Spring 184 then moves pin 180 to its extended position in which it extends through slot 170 thereby locking nozzle assembly 28 in its dispensing position with shoulder portion 172 in sealing engagement with the upper surface of flange 166. Movement of pin 180 to its extended locking position causes closing of switch M82 thus completing the enabling circuit 56 so as to energize the enable relay 50, as above described. It will be observed that pin 180 cannot be manually retracted and thus, so long as pin 180 is in its extended position with solenoid B deenergized, housing 100 cannot be manually rotated and thus nozzle assembly 28 is positively locked in its inserted position in fill pipe 58. Reference to FIG. 10 will reveal that until the dispensing operation has been completed, i.e., in the absence of a Stop signal in nozzle release circuit 68, closing of switch 190 will not result in energization of solenoid B and thus pin 180 will remain in its extended locking position during dispensing of the gasoline into tank 60.

At the conclusion of the dispensing operation, either by provision of a Stop" signal by price computer 18, or by automatic shutoff device 72, nozzle release circuit 68 is energized and thus actuation of switch 190 will couple solenoid B to nozzle release circuit 68 thereby to energize solenoid B to retract pin 180 so as to release the locking connection. Retraction of pin 180 to its retracted position 180a by energization of solenoid 8 opens switch M82 thereby deenergizing enabling circuit 56 and enable relay 50. Housing 100 may then manually be rotated in the direction opposite arrow 178 until locking ears 174 176 are in alignment with notches 168, 170, and nozzle assembly 28 may then be removed from fill pipe 58.

It will now be seen that the dispensing system cannot be actuated to initiate the dispensing of gasoline into tank 60 unless and until nozzle assembly 28 is properly seated and locked in fill pipe 58, and that once so seated and locked, nozzle as sembly 28 cannot be removed from fill pipe 58 unless and until the dispensing of gasoline has been terminated, either by the dispensing of whatever quantity of gasoline has been paid for or by automatic shutoff device 72.

Referring briefly to FIG. 12 in which like elements are indicated by like reference numerals, if desired, the coin impounding feature of nozzle release mechanism 30 may be eliminated with the nozzle release mechanism 30 being actuated in response to the depositing of a 1 dollar bill in bill reader 22. Thus, in this embodiment, output circuit 48 of dollar bill reader 22 is coupled to a suitable solenoid (not shown) in nozzle release mechanism 30 which is arranged to release latch 154. Thus, upon deposit and acceptance of a one dollar bill, the output signal in output circuit 48 of bill reader 22 energizes the solenoid of nozzle release mechanism 30' to release latch 134 thereby to permit retraction of clamping pin 122, as above described. Thereafter, when nozzle assembly 28 is properly seated and locked in fill pipe 58, enable circuit 56 is then energized to energize enable relay 50, so that the bill acceptance signal in output circuit 48 is applied to Start circuit 52, all as above described.

Referring now to FIGS. 13 and 14 of the drawings, if it is desired to return change for the unexpended amount of the bill deposited upon occurrence of the automatic shutoff signal, the arrangement now to be described is provided. Here, price computer 18 includes a register 19 indicating the unexpended amount of the value of the bill deposited for any amount of gasoline dispensed. Register 19 may comprise an additional pair of counter wheels 191, 192 which countdown to provide the reciprocal of the price indicated by the price register portion of price computer 18 (based upon 7 dollar increments). Thus, if an automatic shutoff signal is provided upon the dispensing of cents worth of gasoline, change register 19 will indicate 20 cents.

A coin-dispensing system 193 is associated with each of the change wheels 191, 192, and description of one will suffice. Each wheel 191, 192, which has numerals from zero to nine thereon, has projections 197 thereon respectively associated with each of the numerals with the exception of zero, projections 197 actuating microswitch M83 sequentially to energize conventional step switch 194. Step switch 194 has nine output circuits 195 and thus, if the dime" change register wheel indicates the numeral one upon the occurrence of the automatic shutoff signal, output circuit 195-1 will have a signal therein.

Coin tube 196 is provided for receiving a quantity of coins, dimes in the case of the system associated with the dime wheel 192, and pennies in the case of the cents wheel 191. Tube 196 has a plurality of coin-slicing slots 198 therein, each having a slicing blade 200 associated therewith. Each slicing blade is actuated by a solenoid 204. A gate 206 actuated by solenoid 208 selectively closes the lower end of coin tube 196. Each output circuit 195-1 through 195-9 of step switch 194 is coupled to AND-gate 210, to which automatic shutoff circuit 74 is also connected. The output of each AND-gate 210 is coupled to a respective slicer solenoid 204. Automatic shutoff circuit 74 is coupled by time delay circuit 212 to gate solenoid 208.

Assume now that upon occurrence of the automatic shutoff signal, as above described, cents worth of gas had been dispensed, leaving an unexpended amount of 10 cents. Output circuit -1 of step switch 194 will thus be energized, and the appearance of the shutoff signal in circuit 74 will cause a signal to appear in the output circuit of AND-circuit 210-1 which will energize slicer coil 204-1, thereby to extend slicer blade 200-1 into slot 198-1, so as to slice off l dime, i.e., to prevent more than 1 dime from falling from tube 196 upon opening of gate 106. The shutoff signal, after a short time delay provided by time delay circuit 212, also energizes gate coil 208 so as to open gate 206, thereby to dispense one dime.

The cents system 193 functions in identical fashion in conjunction with wheel 191. Thus, if the indicated unexpended amount upon occurrence of l automatic shutoff signal is 10 cents, I dime and no pennies will be returned. 0n the other hand, if the unexpended amount should be l9 cents, I dime and 9 pennies would be returned. Step switches 194 are reset, along with price computer 18, by the signal in line 78 indicating return of nozzle assembly 28 to holder 30.

It will be readily understood that other known systems for returning change equal to the unexpended amount of the bill deposited upon occurrence of the automatic shutoff signal may be employed.

While there have been described above the principles of this invention in connection with specific apparatus, it is to be clearly understood that this description is made only by way of example and not as a limitation to the scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

l. A system for dispensing a quantity of liquid having a selling price equal to a predetermined denomination of currency comprising: a computing pump assembly including a pump for delivering said liquid to a supply conduit which includes a flexible section having a nozzle on the end thereof,

means for supporting said nozzle, means for clamping said nozzle on said supporting means to prevent removal therefrom,

currency-actuated means for releasing said clamping means thereby to permit removal of said nozzle from said supporting means,

a motor for operating said pump,

means for continuously measuring the volume of said liquid delivered by said pump,

means coupled to said measuring means for continuously computing the selling price of said volume of liquid delivered including means for setting the unit selling price into said computing means,

a device for receiving currency and for inspecting the same to determine its validity and denomination, said device providing an output signal when the currency received thereby has been determined to be valid and of said predetermined denomination, means for actuating said motor to initiate operation of said pump in response to said output signal,

and means for deactuating said motor to terminate operation of said pump in response to computation by said computing means of a selling price equal to said predetermined denomination.

2. The system of claim 1 wherein said device receives paper currency, said currency-actuated means being coin-actuated and releasing said clamping means in response to deposit of a predetermined coin.

3. The system of claim 2 wherein said coin-actuated means includes means for returning a coin deposited therein,

and further comprising means for actuating said coin returning means in response to placement of said nozzle on said support means.

4. The system of claim 2 further comprising means for sensing placement of said nozzle on said supporting means,

and means responsive to said sensing means for actuating said clamping means to clamp said nozzle.

5. The system of claim 4 wherein said coin-actuated means includes means for returning a coin deposited therein,

and further comprising means responsive to said actuation of said clamping means for actuating said coin returning means.

6. The system of claim 4 wherein said clamping means is movable between clamping and released positions,

and further comprising spring means for normally biasing said clamping means to said released position,

said coin-actuated means including means for latching said clamping means in said clamping position, said latching means being released responsive to deposit of said coin thereby to permit movement of said clamping means to said released position by said spring means,

said last-named actuating means including means for moving said clamping means from said released position to said clamping position.

7. The system of claim 4 wherein said computing means includes means for resetting the same to zero,

and further comprising means for actuating said resetting means in response to said sensing means.

8. The system of claim 1 wherein said nozzle is adapted to be inserted into a filling opening of a liquid container,

and further comprising means for sensing insertion of said nozzle into said opening to a predetermined position,

and means for enabling said system in response to said sensing means.

9. The system of claim 8 wherein said enabling means is coupled to said actuating means whereby actuation of said motor is inhibited in the absence of insertion of said nozzle in said filling opening to said position.

10. The system of claim 8 wherein said sensing means includes means for locking said nozzle in said position in said filling opening.

11. The system of claim 10 wherein said filling opening comprises a fill pipe communicating with said container and having an open end,

said open end having a flange portion formed thereon,

said flange portion having at least one opening formed therein;

said locking means comprising means for engaging said flange portion and a locking member adapted to be seated in said opening.

12. The system of claim 11 wherein said nozzle includes a shoulder portion adapted to abut said flange portion when said nozzle is in said position,

said engaging means comprising a hook member on said shoulder portion adapted to pass through said flange portion opening and to engage said flange portion upon rotation of said shoulder portion with respect to said fill pipe thereby to hold said shoulder portion in abutting engagement with said flange portion,

said locking member comprising a pin extending through an opening in said shoulder portion and movable between extended and retracted positions,

said pin being radially spaced from said hook member,

said pin in said extended position being seated in said flange portion opening when said shoulder portion is so rotated and is in said abutting engagement with said flange portion thereby preventing further rotation of said shoulder portion in either direction,

said locking means further including means for moving said pin between said extended and retracted positions thereof.

13. The system of claim 12 wherein said sensing means further includes means for detecting said extended position of said pin.

14. The system of claim 13 wherein said moving means comprises spring means for normally biasing said pin to said extended position,

and a solenoid for moving said pin to said retracted position.

15. The system of claim 13 wherein said sensing means further comprises a second means for detecting said abutting engagement of said flange and shoulder portions,

said enabling means including means responsive to both said first-named and second detecting means for enabling said system only when said flange and shoulder portions are in abutting engagement and said pin is seated in said flange portion opening.

16. The system of claim 8 wherein said currency is paper, said sensing means including means for providing a sensing signal when said nozzle is in said position,

said enabling means comprising means for coupling said device to said actuating means in response to said sensing signal,

and further comprising means for dispensing coins totaling said denomination in response to a signal,

said coupling means coupling said device to said dispensing means in the absence of said sensing signal whereby said dispensing means is actuated in response to said output signal.

17. The system of claim 8 further comprising means for supporting said nozzle,

means for clamping said nozzle in said supporting means to prevent removal thereof,

coin-actuated means for releasing said clamping means in response to deposit of a predetermined coin thereby to permit removal of said nozzle from said supporting means,

means for sensing placement of said nozzle on said supporting means, means responsive to said last-named sensing means for actuating said clamping means to clamp said nozzle,

said computing means including means for resetting the same to zero, and means responsive to said last-named sensing means for actuating said resetting means.

18. The system of claim 1 wherein said supply conduit has a nozzle on the end thereof,

and further comprising means for supporting said nozzle,

means for clamping said nozzle on said supporting means,

and means responsive to said output signal for releasing said clamping means thereby to permit removal of said nozzle from said supporting means.

19. The system of claim 1 wherein said device receives a predetermined denomination of paper currency,

said selling price computing means including means for computing the unexpended amount of said currency as said liquid is dispensed,

said supply conduit including a flexible section having a nozzle on the end thereof adapted to be inserted into a container for dispensing liquid therein,

ing means to said coin dispensing means in response to said sensing means and including means for actuating said coin dispensing means to dispense coins corresponding in value to said unexpended amount.

sis-ts UNET STAT S FFEQE Inventor H6. 371?}; D EUKSE It is certified that errcr appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

A .1. M. i

Patent Citations
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US2679308 *Feb 8, 1946May 25, 1954Ballard Moore JamesCoin-controlled dispensing pump
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5895457 *Oct 7, 1997Apr 20, 1999Gary-Williams Energy CorporationAutomated filling station with change dispenser
EP0815523A1 *Mar 13, 1996Jan 7, 1998Task Technology USA, Inc.Unattended automated system for selling and dispensing
EP1008082A1 *Jun 3, 1998Jun 14, 2000Gary-Williams Energy corporationAutomated filling station with change dispenser
WO1998055952A1 *Jun 3, 1998Dec 10, 1998Thomas P BruskotterAutomated filling station with change dispenser
Classifications
U.S. Classification194/206
International ClassificationG07F15/00, G07F7/00, G07F7/04, G07F15/04, B67D7/30, B67D7/08
Cooperative ClassificationG07F7/04, G07F15/04, B67D7/307
European ClassificationG07F7/04, G07F15/04, B67D7/30D4