US 3643836 A
A self-contained and readily portable apparatus for at adjustably variable desired times dispensing desired amounts of liquid-spray or other material from containers such as pressurized aerosol cans, the apparatus including a drive motor and a driven linkage effective upon actuation and during each cycle of operation of the drive motor to momentarily depress the container's spring-biased discharge valve. The frequency at which cycles of operation are instituted is adjustable and is controlled by a novel timer device including a clockworks mechanism having an hour hand output shaft upon which is mounted a disc element having on one surface a plurality of electrically conductive segments arranged in circular sets concentric with and at varying radial distances from the central axis of the disc, the circumferential spacing between the segments being equal within each set and different from set to set. An electric contact is mounted for adjustment radially of the disc surface so as to overlie any desired set of conductive segments thereon, and so as to sequentially and periodically engage the segments of such set during disc rotation. Engagement between the contact and a conductive segment completes a circuit including the drive motor and its power source, which comprises a battery pack from which the clockworks mechanism is also energized, instituting a cycle of operation. The cycle is terminated by engagement between a switch element in the circuit and a cam member of the motor-driven linkage. Intermediate successive cycles of operation, a second contact engaging the disc surface actuates the motor momentarily to disengage the cam member and the switch.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Hunt [ 1 Feb. 22, 1972  PROGRAMMED TIMER DEVICE AND DISPENSING APPARATUS INCORPORATING SAME William Grayson Hunt, 322 McRae St., Laurinburg, NC. 28352 22 Filed: Dec. 18, 1969 211 Appl.No.: 886,251
Hunt ...222/70 Weber ..222/70 Primary ExaminerRobert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-Thomas E. Kocovsky Att0meyllunt, Heard & Rhodes  ABSTRACT self-contained and readily portable apparatus for at adjustably variable desired times dispensing desired amounts of liquid-spray or other material from containers such as pressurized aerosol cans, the apparatus including a drive motor and a driven linkage effective upon actuation and during each cycle of operation of the drive motor to momentarily depress the containers spring-biased discharge valve. The frequency at which cycles of operation are instituted is adjustable and is controlled by a novel timer device including a clockworks mechanism having an hour hand output shaft upon which is mounted a disc element having on one surface a plurality of electrically conductive segments arranged in circular sets concentric with and at varying radial distances from the central axis of the disc, the circumferential spacing between the seg ments being equal within each set and different from set to set. An electric contact is mounted for adjustment radially of the disc surface so as to overlie any desired set of conductive segments thereon, and so as to sequentially and periodically engage the segments of such set during disc rotation. Engagement between the contact and a conductive segment completes a circuit including the drive motor and its power source, which comprises a battery pack from which the clockworks mechanism is also energized, instituting a cycle of operation. The cycle is terminated by engagement between a switch element in the circuit and a cam member of the motordriven linkage. Intermediate successive cycles of operation, a second contact engaging the disc surface actuates the motor momentarily to disengage the cam member and the switch.
8 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEDFEBZZ I972 3,643,836
//Vl E/V7'OR WILL/AM G. HUNT I MM ATTOIQ/VEYS PAIENTEDFEBZZ I972 3. 643,836
SHEET 2 OF 2 Arm/mafia PROGRAMMED TIMER DEVICE AND DISPENSING APPARATUS INCORPORATING SAME BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to timing devices for, among other applications, use in apparatus for dispensing liquid spray or other material, in amounts and at time intervals which are adjustably variable, from a pressurized aerosol can or other container, and is more specifically directed to an improved timing device and dispensing apparatus incorporating the same.
All known dispensing apparatus on the market at present will accommodate only one size aerosol can. It is also necessary for the can to have a special dispensing valve. Standard aerosol finger valves will not operate in these units. The amount of spray cannot be adjusted nor can the interval between spraying be adjusted. The spraying interval of these units is a set nonadjustable time of each minutes. This timing usually is advanced or retarded a few seconds on each dispensing which means the timer is not accurate and as a result from the time of day the dispensing will progress or digress so it is impossible to predict when these units will dispense in reference to the time of day.
This invention has all the necessary features to overcome the shortcomings of the other known dispensing apparatus as well as a system of using the drive motor only at dispensing time giving the unit a long battery life.
There are many known constructions of dispensing apparatus generally of the type described: see, e.g., U.S. Pats. Nos. 2,971,382; 3,187,948; 3,240, 3,269,601; 3,329,314; 3,368,7 l7; and 3,388,834. In comparison with the total potential market, however, the actual use of such apparatus has thus far been relatively small. This is attributable, in part, to most types of such dispensing apparatus requiring alternating electrical current for their operation. Such current is frequently not available in many areas of potential use of the apparatus, at some of which only a direct current source may be available and at other of which there may be no central power supply of any type. Additionally, the running of electrical cables or other wiring from a power source and to the apparatus may in certain applications he undesirable-for aesthetic, economic or other reasons-even if a power source of the necessary kind is at hand.
Difficulty has also been experienced in many instances with the timing devices associated with dispensing apparatus of the known types in question. The timing devices must, on the one hand, be of highly economical and durable construction, but should on the other hand be precise and readily adjustable in operation. Frequently economy and/or durability are achieved only at the expense of precision and/or adjustability, or vice versa, with the result that dispensing apparatus incorporating the timing devices are deficient in one or more critical respects.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides an improved timing device and dispensing apparatus incorporating the same which are readily transportable to any desired place ofintended use and are there immediately operable from a battery pack integrally associated therewith, which device and apparatus are of highly economical, durable and reliable construction while at the same time being quite precise and readily adjustable in operation.
In a preferred form of the timing device of the invention, a battery-powered clockworks mechanism mounts upon its output hour shaft a disc member which is rotated at a uniform speed one time about its central axis every 12 hours. A plurality of electrically conductive and interconnected segments are provided upon one face of the disc in circumferentially and radially spaced relationship to each other, the segments being arranged in a plurality of circular sets concentric with and at varying radial distances from the center of the disc. The circumferential spacing between the segments is the same within each set, and different from set to set. An electrically conductive contact element is mounted for convenient adjustive movement radially of the disc surface to a position overlying any desired one of the aforesaid sets of segments. During rotation of the disc, the contact element periodically and sequentially engages the segments of the set which it overlies, and by such engagement completes an electrical circuit at regular periodic intervals correlated with the circumferential spacing between the segments of such set.
When the timing device is incorporated into a dispensing apparatus of the type described, each completion of the aforesaid circuit actuates a drive motor associated with such apparatus, which drive motor in turn causes a driven linkage to momentarily depress and therefore open the upwardlybiased discharge valve of pressurized aerosol can or other similar container releasably suspended by the apparatus. The linkage is adjustable so that the duration of the valve's depression may be varied as desired. Upon completion of each cycle of operation, the drive motor is automatically actuated and various components of the apparatus are reset or returned to their original positions in readiness for the next succeeding cycle of operation, which transpires when continued rotation of the timing disc element again brings a conductive segment into engagement with the contact member of the timing device.
The means employed for resetting the apparatus between cycles of operation preferably includes a second contact so circumferentially spaced from the aforesaid first contact element about the surface of the timing disc as to engage conductive segments thereon only when the first contact is out of engagement with the segments. Engagement between the second contact and a segment completes and actuates the drive motor circuit only when resetting is required, and then only for the brief period of time necessary for such resetting.
The foregoing and other features and advantages of the invention will be in part evident and in part pointed out hereinafter in the following description of an illustrative embodiment thereof, which should be read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of dispensing apparatus incorporating a timing device in accordance with the invention, with the cover of the apparatus removed and with a phantom line showing of the top portion of an aerosol can suspended by the apparatus;
FIGS. 2 and 3 are top and bottom plan views of the ap paratus of FIG. 1, respectively;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged front elevational view of the disc element of the timing device of the apparatus;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged and exploded perspective view of contact assemblies of the timing device; and
FIG. 6 is a schematic wiring diagram of the electrical circuit of the apparatus.
Referring more particularly to the drawings, the dispensing apparatus identified in its entirety in FIGS. 1-3 by the numeral 10 generally includes a rigid frame 12 mounting containersuspending means including a slotted bracket 14 and resilient clip 16; a drive motor 18; a driven linkage including motor shaft 20, cam member 22 and pivoted lever 24; a timing device 26 including clockworks mechanism 28, disc element 30 and contact assemblies 32, 34; and a pack of two dry cell batteries 36 for powering motor 18 and mechanism 28, both of which are operable by direct current. Apparatus 10 is adapted to be mounted upon a wall or any other convenient support, by insertion of nail or screw-type fasteners (not shown) through apertured ears 37 projecting outwardly from opposite sides of frame 12, at any location where it is desired to periodically dispense regulated quantities of liquidspray or other material from a container such as the pressurized aerosol can 38 fragmentarily shown in phantom lines in FIG. 1.
Can 38 is of a conventional construction including a cylindrical main body portion, a tapered neck portion 39 having a head 40 extending outwardly from its upper end, and an upwardly biased discharge valve 42 having a discharge orifice 44 therein. Bracket 14 of frame 12 includes a forwardly opening slot 14 across which spring clip 16 may be extended, from a fixed connection with the bracket at its left end to a releasable connection at its right end with a lug 46 projecting downwardly from bracket 14. A can 38 of any length may be readily suspended from bracket 14 simply by inserting its neck portion 39 within slot 14, such that bead 40 overlies and is supported by the brackets upper surface, and then passing clip 16 about neck 39 and behind lug 46. Can 38 is rotated either prior to or after fastening of clip 16 so that its discharge orifice 44 faces forwardly, such that material dispensed therefrom upon depression of valve 42 will be directed outwardly away from frame 12. The removable cover of apparatus 10, not shown in the drawings, would of course include a suitable opening for the passage of discharged material outwardly from the apparatus.
Secured to that portion of frame 12 above discharge valve 40 of can 38 is a pivot pin extending through one end of lever 24 and mounting the lever for pivotal movement in a generally vertical plane. A pair of counteracting spring elements 52 secured at their left ends to frame 12 and engaging at their right ends an intermediate portion of lever 24 normally maintain the lever in the generally horizontally extending position shown in FIG. 1. Immediately above discharge valve 40 of can 38, a pair of vertically spaced ears 54 having aligned bores therein project forwardly from lever 24. Ears S4 mount a valve-actuating assembly including an internally threaded housing 56, coil spring 58 and an externally threaded plunger 60. Plunger 60 extends vertically through housing 56 and ears 54 and has enlarged upper and lower ends respectively disposed above and beneath such ears 54. Spring 58 encircles housing 56 between upper ear S4 and a collar 62 provided upon housing 56, biasing the housing and the plunger 60 extending therethrough downwardly to the position shown in FIG. 1. The upper end of plunger 60 is knurled so that the same may be readily rotated to vary as desired the vertical position of plunger 60 relative to housing 56, and may as shown he provided with indicia correlated to the vertical plunger position. Upon each downward pivotal stroke of lever 24, the enlarged lower end of plunger 60 will engage and depress discharge valve 42 of can 38. The duration of each such engagement may be varied as desired by rotating in the appropriate direction the enlarged upper end of plunger 60, thus raising or lowering the plunger relative to housing 56 and valve 42. During normal engagement between the enlarged lower end of plunger 60 and valve 42, the force of spring 58 is such as to maintain plunger 60 and housing 56 in the illustrated downward position thereof. If, however, valve 42 should inadvertently be depressed to its maximum possible extent by plunger 60, the increased upward force then exerted upon the enlarged lower end of the plunger upwardly displaces it and housing 56, relative to ears 54 and against the biasing force of spring 58, so as to avoid damage to valve 42.
At the free end oflever 24, to the right as viewed in FIG. 1, a flange 64 extends forwardly therefrom into the path of rotational movement of the cam member 22 secured upon output shaft 20 of frame-mounted drive motor 18. During each cycle of operation of apparatus 10, motor 18 rotates cam 22 in a counterclockwise direction at a substantially uniform speed through slightly less than one complete revolution, from its solid line position and to its phantom line position illustrated in FIG. 1. The engagement during such movement between cam 22 and lever flange 64 pivots lever 24 downwardly about pin 50, bringing the enlarged lower end of valve-actuating plunger 60 into actuating engagement with discharge valve 42 of can 38. Upon continued movement of cam 22 to its phantom line position, the same passes out of engagement with lever flange 64, whereupon lower spring element 52 returns lever 24 to its inoperative illustrated position.
Motor 18 is periodically actuated, at any desired ones of a plurality of time-intervals, by the timing device 26 and the pack of batteries 36 mounted upon a lower portion of frame 12. Device 26 includes a clockworks mechanism 28 of a known self-starting and battery-energized type such as manufactured and sold by Ingram industries. Circular disc element 30 is attached to the hour hand output shaft 66 of mechanism 28 for one complete revolution therewith, at a uniform speed and about its central axis, every 12 hours. Disc 30 is formed of electrically nonconductive material, but has a plurality of electrically conductive and interconnected segments in circumferentially and radially spaced relationship to each other upon the front surface thereof. Such segments define and may be formed in the same manner as a programmed printed circuit, by first depositing and then suitably etching a thin layer of copper or other electrically conductive material upon the aforesaid surface of disc 30. As is best shown in FIG. 4, the
conductive segments so formed extend generally radially of the discs surface and are arranged in a plurality of circular sets concentric with each other, with the disc axis, and with an inner circular conductive area 68 provided adjacent such axis and an outer annular conductive area 70 provided about the disc s peripheral edge. The radially innermost set is comprised of a single segment 72 extending the full distance between areas 68, 70 and electrically interconnecting the same. The second or next-outward circular set includes segment 72 and another segment 74 spaced 180 therefrom about the disc surface. The third set is comprised of segment 72 and two additional segments 76, 78, the spacing between such segments being 120. The fourth circular set of segments is comprised of all but segment 74 of those previously mentioned, plus three additional segments 80, the spacing between the six segments of such fourth set being 60. The fifth circular set includes all segments of the fourth set, plus six additional segments 82, the spacing between the twelve segments of such set being 30. The sixth and radially outermost circular set includes all of the segments of the fifth set, plus twelve additional segments 84, the 24 segments being spaced at l5 intervals from each other. Segment 74 is electrically connected to segment 76 by an arcuate feeder path 86 extending therebetween. All of the remaining segments radiate inwardly from and communicate directly with the outer conductive area 70 at the peripheral edge of the discs surface, which is in turn connected to the inner conductive area 68 adjacent the discs axis by segment 72. The electrical subcircuit thus comprised of areas 68, 70, feeder path 86 and the aforesaid conductive segments is isolated from the remaining conductive areas 88 upon the discs surface by the intervening nonconductive strips 90 resulting from the etching or other manufacturing process. For reasons subsequently discussed, strips 90 are purposefully made relatively narrow, and the conductive material within areas 88 is allowed to remain upon the discs surface.
Referring now particularly to FIGS. 1 and 3, contact assemblies 32, 34 of timing device 26 are supported by a bracket 91 secured in spaced adjacent relationship to the aforesaid forward surface of disc element 30. As shown in FIG. 5, assembly 34 comprises the terminal end of a standard electrical cable 92 including a relatively stiff inner conductor wire 92' surrounded by and projecting at one end from an insulating sheath 92", the projecting portion of wire 92 being closely encircled by a rivetlike contact element 94 having an enlarged outer end, and by a coil spring 96 compressed between the adjacent ends of insulating sheath 92" and conductor element 94 to bias the latter outwardly along wire 92'. Cable 92 is secured by a finger 98 to bracket 91, and projects downwardly through a bore provided in the bracket for firm engagement between the enlarged outer end of contact element 94 and the forward surface of disc element 30, such firm engagement being assured by spring 96. Contact assembly 34 includes a twopiece tubular housing 97 which in assembled condition projects through and is slidable longitudinally of an elongate slot 98 extending through bracket 91 parallel to a radius of disc element 30. A conductive contact element 99 carried by housing 97 is biased downwardly therefrom by a coil spring 100 so that its enlarged lower end is resiliently pressed into firm engagement with the surface of disc 30 therebeneath. By
sliding housing 97 longitudinally of slot 98, the position of contact assembly 34 may be adjustably varied in a radial direction so that its contact element 99 will engage the adjacent surface of disc 30 at a radial position corresponding to that of any desired one of the six circular sets of conductive segments thereon. Indicia 102 such as shown in FIG. 1 may be provided upon bracket 91 adjacent slot 98 to indicate the various possible radial positions of contact assembly 34.
In view of the spacing between the conductive segments upon the forward surface of disc element 30, and the fact that such disc element completes one revolution every 12 hours, it will be apparent that engagement between contact element 99 of assembly 34 and one of the conductive segments would occur once every l2 hours when contact assembly 34 is in its number one position overlying the first and radially innermost circular set of such conductive segments, once every 6 hours when assembly 34 is in its number two position, once every 4 hours when assembly 34 occupies its number three position, once every 2 hours when assembly 34 occupies its number four position, once every hour when assembly 34 occupies its number five position, and once every 30 minutes when assembly 34 occupies its number six and radially outermost position. The position of fixedly mounted contact assembly 32 is such that its contact element 94 always overlies the sixth or radially outermost set of conductive segments upon the adjacent surface of disc element 30, and engages the conductive segments of such set only when contact element 99 of assembly 34 is out of engagement with the conductive segments of whichever set it then overlies. The circumferential position of contact assembly 32 is so selected that the arcuate distance about the axis of disc 30 between it and contact assembly 34 differs sufficiently from a multiple of to achieve such end.
The diameter of the enlarged lower ends of contact elements 94, 99 of assemblies 32, 34 is greater than the width of the etched nonconductive strips 90 upon the adjacent surface of disc element 30, but considerably less than the distance between any two circumferentially adjacent conductive segments upon such surface. During rotation of disc element 30, therefore, contact elements 94, 99 at all times engage and are supported by one of the conductive segments and/or one of the isolated conductive areas 88 upon such surface, so as to be incapable of passing into one of the nonconductive strips 90 and thus possibly impeding the uniform rotation of disc element 30 by mechanism 38.
Referring now also to FIG. 6 of the drawings, the primary electrical circuit 104 of apparatus 10 includes batteries 36, drive motor 18, a single-pole double-throw switch 106, the conductive elements of contact assemblies 32, 34, and conductive portions of timing disc element 30. A secondary circuit 108 including clockworks mechanism 28 and only one of the batteries 36, both of which'are of standard IAzvolt dry-cell type, is provided for continuously energizing mechanism 28 during operation of apparatus 10. In primary circuit 104, one pole of serially arranged batteries 36 is connected to inner conductive area 68 of disc element 30, as by means of a terminal post 105 (see FIG. 3) associated or formed integral with the hour hand output shaft of the mechanism 28 mounting disc 30 for rotation. The contacts of assemblies 32, 34 are connected to stationary lower and upper terminals 1 10, 112 of switch 106, respectively, which switch also includes a movable terminal 114 connected to motor 18 and therethrough to the other pole of batteries 36. As is best shown in FIG. 1, terminal 114 of switch 106 is normally biased by a spring 116 into engagement with lower fixed terminal 110, but is movable upwardly into engagement with terminal 112 upon depression of a switch actuating lever or arm 118 projecting into the path of movement of cam member 22 and engageable thereby following passage of the cam member out of engagement with flange 64 of lever 24 during each cycle of operation. Each cycle of operation is instituted by rotation of disc element 30 bringing one of the conductive segments upon its forward surface into engagement with contact element 99 of contact assembly 34. Such engagement completes primary circuit 104, movable terminal 114 of switch 106 then being in its normal position of engagement with lower terminal 110, actuating motor 18. Cam member 22 rotates in a counterclockwise direction form its solid line position and to its phantom line position of FIG. 1, engaging during such movement lever flange 64 and thus occasioning discharge of material from cam 38. Upon reaching its phantom line position, cam member 22 engages and depresses switch arm 118, moving terminal 114 out of engagement with terminal and thus deactuating circuit 104 and motor 18. Continued rotation of disc element 30 moves the conductive segment which initiated the cycle of operation out of engagement with contact element 99 of assembly 34, and moves a conductive segment of the radially outermost set upon the discs surface into engagement with contact element 94 of assembly 32. Such engagement again energizes primary circuit 104 and motor 18, movable terminal 114 of switch 106 now then being in engagement with upper terminal 112, but only for the brief interval required for cam member 22 to move from its phantom line and to its solid line position. Such movement brings cam 22 out of engagement with arm 118 of switch 106, allowing spring 116 to move terminal 114 out of engagement with upper terminal 112 and into engagement with lower terminal 110, whereupon circuit 104 and motor 18 are deactuated and remain so until another cycle of operation is instituted.
As noted previously, the time intervals between institution of cycles of operation is determined solely by the position of contact assembly 34 longitudinally of slot 98 and therefore radially of disc element 30, and may be readily varied by sliding assembly 34 to any desired one of its six possible radial positions. When assembly 34 occupies any but its radially outermost position, its contact element 99 will engage conductive segments upon the surface of disc element 30 less frequently than will contact element 94 of fixed contact assembly 32. Engagement between contact element 94 and a conductive segment has no effect, however, except immediately following a cycle of operation of apparatus 10, since at all other times movable terminal 114 of switch 106 is out of engagement with the upper switch terminal 112 connected to contact 94 of assembly 32.
If a particular application of apparatus 10 should require the institution of cycles of operation at time intervals different from any of those six afforded by the programmed or printed circuit upon disc element 30, this can readily be achieved merely by substituting for such disc element another having a differently programmed circuit upon its surface. Such substitution can be readily effected, and the disc elements themselves can be economically mass produced. Contributing significantly to the latter capability, by permitting greater liberality of manufacturing tolerances, is the fact that the printed circuit upon any disc element 30 is not required to and does not control the duration-as opposed to the frequencyof each cycle of operation. Duration of operation is determined by the speed of motor 18, the position of switch 106, and other factors.
With any one disc element 30, differences in the frequency of operation of apparatus 10 can also if desired be realized by so modifying the gearing within clock works mechanism 28 as to cause disc element 30 to rotate at some uniform rate other than one revolution every 12 hours.
While the inclusion of batteries 36 within apparatus 10 permits its utilization in any and all desired locations, the apparatus can with only minor modifications be operated instead from an extraneous power source, in those locations where a central source of electrical current is available and the extending of wires from such source to the apparatus is not deemed objectionable.
It will be apparent that timing device 26 may be used to advantage in association with apparatus other than the apparatus 10 specifically shown and described. It should be recognized, therefore, that the foregoing description and disclosure of a specific embodiment of the invention is for purposes of illustration only, and not for purposes of limitation, the scope of the invention being in accordance with the following claims.
That which is claimed is:
1. Apparatus for periodically dispensing material from a container having a discharge valve displaceable to dispense material from the container, said apparatus comprising:
i. a frame;
2. container-mounting means carried by said frame;
3. a drive motor carried by said frame;
4. linkage means connected to and driven by said motor for during each cycle of operation thereof displacing the valve element of a container mounted by said mounting means;
5. and means for controlling operation of said motor, in-
cluding a. a clock works mechanism carried by said frame;
b. a disc element driven by said clock works mechanism about its central axis at a substantially uniform desired speed, said disc element having a plurality of electrically conductive and interconnected segments in circumferentially and radially spaced relationship to each other upon one surface thereof;
. a contact element mounted adjacent said disc surface for adjustive movement radially thereof and for sequential engagement, during rotation of said disc element, with those of said conductive segments at a radial position upon said disc surface corresponding to the adjustive radial position of said contact element;
. a source of power for said drive motor;
. an electrical circuit interconnecting said power source and said drive motor and including said conductive segments upon said disc surface and said contact element, engagement between said contact element and any of said conductive segments upon said disc surface completing said circuit and instituting a cycle of operation ofsaid drive motor; said linkage means including a rotatable cam member;
. and said motor control means including a switch assembly having a movable terminal and an actuating arm for moving said terminal from a normal first position connecting said contact elements into said circuit to a second position disconnecting said contact elements from said circuit, said actuating arm extending into the path of movement of said cam member and being engageable thereby at the end of each cycle of operation of said drive motor for then moving said terminal to its said second position and thereby terminating the cycle ofoperation.
2. Apparatus as in claim 1 wherein said control means includes, a second contact element mounted for engagement with at least one of said conductive segments upon said disc surface following each engagement by said first-mentioned contact element with said segments, and wherein said switch terminal in its said second position connects said second contact element into said circuit, completion of said circuit through said second contact element actuating said drive motor to rotate said cam member out of effective engagement with said switch arm and thus permit return movement of said switch terminal to said normal first position thereof.
3. Apparatus as in claim 1, wherein said container-mounting means includes a slotted bracket adapted to suspend the container with its main body portion extending below said bracket and its discharge valve extending above the bracket and beneath said linkage means, said linkage means further including a lever pivotally secured at one end to said frame for pivotal movement toward and away from said container discharge valve, said lever having a flange at the other end thereof engageable by said cam member during each cycle of operation of said drive motor for pivoting said lever toward said container discharge valve, resilient means carried by said frame and engaging said lever for biasing said lever away from said container discharge valve element, and a valve actuating assembly resiliently mounted by said lever intermediate the length thereof and including a valve actuating plunger adjustably movable relative to said lever toward and away from said container dischar e valve. 4
4. Apparatus as in c aim 3, wherein said valve actuating assembly further includes an internally threaded housing, said plunger being externally threaded and extending through said housing for axial adjustment relative thereto upon rotation of said plunger, and spring means connecting said housing to said lever for resilient movement of said housing and said plunger relative to said lever.
5. Apparatus for periodically dispensing material from a container having a discharge valve displaceable to dispense material therefrom, said apparatus comprising:
container-mounting means carried by said frame;
a drive motor carried by said frame;
linkage means connected to and driven by said motor for during each cycle of operation thereof displacing the valve element of a container mounted by said mounting means;
and motor control means including means for instituting cycles of operation of said motor at periodic intervals,
switch means engageable by said linkage means at the completion of each cycle of operation for terminating the same,
and means for briefly actuating said motor intermediate successive cycles of operation for disengaging said linkage means and said switch means.
6. Apparatus as in claim 5, wherein said linkage means includes a rotatable cam member; wherein said motor control means includes on electrical circuit and a contact element, and said switch means having a movable terminal and an actuating arm for moving said terminal from a normal first position connecting said contact element into said circuit to a second position disconnecting said contact element from said circuit, said actuating arm extending into the path of move ment of said cam member and being engageable thereby at the end of each cycle of operation of said drive motor for then moving said terminal to its said second position and thereby terminating the cycle of operation.
7. Apparatus as in claim 5, wherein said container-mounting means includes a slotted bracket adapted to suspend the container with its main body portion extending below said bracket and its discharge valve extending above the bracket and beneath said linkage means, said linkage means further including a lever pivotally secured at one end to said frame for pivotal movement toward and away from said container discharge valve, said lever having a flange at the other end thereof engageable by said cam member during each cycle of operation of said drive motor for pivoting said lever toward said container discharge valve, resilient means carried by said frame and engaging said lever for biasing said lever away from said container discharge valve element, and a valve actuating assembly resiliently mounted by said lever intermediate the length thereof and including a valve actuating plunger adjustably movable relative to said lever toward and away from said container discharge valve.
8. Apparatus as in claim 7, wherein said valve actuating assembly further includes an internally threaded housing, said plunger being externally threaded and extending through said housing for axial adjustment relative thereto upon rotation of said plunger, and spring means connecting said housing to said lever for resilient movement of said housing and said plunger relative to said lever.