US 3644931 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Stringer et al.
MULTISTYLI RECORDERS WITH STYLI CYCLICALLY MOVED THROUGH INTERSTYLUS SPACING inventors: Philip Roland Stringer; Eric Charles Gatland, both of Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand Assignee: The New Zealand Inventions Development Authority, Wellington, New Zealand Filed: Sept. 10, 1969 Appl. No.: 856,605
Foreign Application Priority Data Sept. 10, 1968 New Zealand ..1537l0 US. Cl. ..346/74 E, 178/66 R, l78/8, 346/74 ES, 346/ 139 Int. Cl. ..G0ld 15/06, H04n 1/12, H04n 1/18 Field of Search ..l78/6.6 A, 6.6 R, 8; 346/74 E, 346/74 ES, 139
[ 1 Feb. 22, 1972  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,311,803 2/ 1943 Wise 1 78/66 3,166,752 1/1965 Waterman... ....346/74 E 3,369,250 2/1968 Gifit ..178/6.6
Primary Examiner-Howard W. Britton Attorney-Holman and Stern  ABSTRACT A multichannel'recorder has a series of styli, movable cyclically transversely relative to a sheet of electrosensitive materi al movable longitudinally, the styli being connected individually to a source of voltage through individual trigger means, triggering of any trigger means causing the voltage to make a dot on the electrosensitive material at the position of the appropriate stylus, the combination of the motion and of the dot resulting in a readable trace appearing on the surface of the electrosensitive material.
5 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures Patentea Feb. 22, 1972 I 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Patented Feb. 22, 1972 3,644,931
5 Sheets-She 2 Patentd Feb. 22, 1972 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 MULTISTYLI RECORDERS WITH STYLI CYCLICALLY MOVED THROUGH INTERSTYLUS SPACING This invention relates to multichannel recorders. In connection with, for example, electronic data processing equipment it is frequently desired to write multiple adjacent parallel bands simultaneously to record information on a strip of electrosensitive paper. At present, the recorders to effect this are somewhat expensive or do not provide an adequate degree of variation to enable the recorded information to be set forth in a readily readable manner.
It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a multichannel recorder which will obviate or minimize the foregoing disadvantages or which will at least provide the public with a useful choice.
Accordingly, in one aspect the invention consists in a method of effecting multiple recording, said method comprising the step of applying short voltage pulses from a series of styli to a moving strip of electrosensitive material, the pulses from each styli being applied to one of a series of adjacent parallel bands and, simultaneously, moving the styli transversely of the length of the strip relative to said strip, each pulse producing a small black dot on the electrosensitive material, and the movement in two dimensions enabling dots to be provided in each band to form a recording of the pulses on the electrosensitive material with each dot positioned from its.
preceding dot to give a readable trace.
In a further aspect, the invention consists in a multiple channel recorder, said recorder comprising a frame, means adapted to move a strip of electrosensitive material on said frame in a lengthwise direction, a plurality of styli each adapted to apply an electrical impulse to the electrosensitive paper, means adapted to cause a relative transverse movement of said styli, and electrosensitive material relative to each other, and means adapted to apply electrical pulses through said styli, to said electrosensitive material, the construction and arrangement being such that in use said styli apply said pulses to said electrosensitive material in bands, and the twodimensional movement of the paper relative to said styli causing said pulses to form an association of the dots caused by the application of said pulses to said electrosensitive material, so that indicia or other information is formed as a record on said electrosensitive material by the trace resulting from the series of dots.
One preferred form of the invention will now be described, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which,
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a recorder according to the invention, and
FIG. 2 is a further perspective view from the opposite end, showing a cover for styli shown in place, and showing positioning of printed circuits forming part ofthe recorder.
FIG. 3 is a perspective sketch of a variable throw crank,
FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic view of the paper feed and flow.
FIG. 5 is a much enlarged view of one form of the styli, and its operating means,
FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic sketch of an encoding device forming part of the recorder,
FIG. 7 is a circuit diagram of the paper and stylus carrier motor drive.
FIG. 8 is a diagrammatic sketch of the styli electrical supply and wiring, and,
FIG. 9 is a circuit diagram of a voltage control forming part of the wiring of the recorder.
Referring to the drawings, a frame 1 carries a pair of brackets 2, which in turn carry a pair of rods 3 and a carriage 4 is mounted by brackets 5, the brackets 5 sliding on the rods 3. The carriage 4 is oscillated by a crank pin 6 driving a connecting rod 7, the connecting rod being thinned at 8 so that it will flex at that point, and being fixed to a post 9 fixed to the carriage 4. The crank pin 6 is adjustable by being fitted to a male dovetail block 10 mounted in a dovetailed slot in a rotatable member 11, the dovetailed block 10 being adjustably positioned by opposing thrust screws 12 and 13, associated with a part 14-of the rotatable member 11. The member 11 is driven by a suitable driving means which, comprises a synchronous motor or preferably a variable speed motor e.g., a stepping motor 15 pulsed by signals derived by an internal or external oscillator as will be described further later. One form of styli 16 are tungsten styli (see FIG. 5) mounted in a short tube 17 and having a cantilever spring 18 bearing on the end of the tube 17, the tube 17 in turn sliding in a guide 19 fixed to a part 20 of the frame 4.
We have found that there is surprisingly little wear of the tungsten styli, but adjustment for wear has been provided for e.g., by raising and lowering the carriage e.g., by the use of removable shims.
Any convenient number may be provided, and we have found that 128 is suitable for l l-inch-width paper.
A paper feed is provided, comprising a supply roll 21 of electro sensitive paper, and the paper web 22 passes around the roller 23 being held on by spring loaded pressure rollers 23a and the paper is led to a further roller 24, so that there is an exposed surface 25 and then passes under a further spring loaded roller 26 to keep the paper in contact with the roller 24. The rollers 23 and 24 are driven, the roller 23 by a chain 27 and the sprockets 28 and 29. The sprocket 28 is connected to the roller 23 by a friction clutch, the sprocket 29 is driven by a suitable driving means, for example a stepping motor operated by an external or internal oscillator as will be described further later. The roller 24, which is a takeup roller, is driven through a friction clutch by a spring or belt drive 30 and pulleys at a slightly increased speed.
The above construction describes a recorder in which the carriage is oscillated in a sinusoidal manner by the crank pin 6 and the connecting rod 7. For some purposes, a simulated linear motion of the styli is desirable. This can be achieved by use of an encoding device which may, for example, be associated with the stepping motor 15, and such an encoding device is referenced 31 in the drawings. In such a device, a drum 32 is rotatable by the shaft of the stepping motor 7, and the drum 32 has a plurality of apertures 33, 34, 35 and 36 which are provided on the surface of the drum, these apertures being positioned and spaced as required. A source of light 37 leads through a screen 38 to a series of photoelectric cells 39, 40, 41 and 42. The modulation of photoelectric cells is used to control electrical pulses given to the styli as will be described further later.
The electrical circuit for the paper drive motor 43 and for the motor 15 is shown in FIG. 7. Thus, for the paper drive motor, an external input 44 is connected to one terminal of a two way switch 45, the other terminal 46 being connected to an internal oscillator which may be variable for example between a low frequency and 200 Hz., such oscillator being referenced 47. A pulse shaper 48 is provided leading to a scaling device 49 with which is associated a speed control switch 50, the effect of the scaling device being to pass on selected pulses from the pulse shaper so that either a direct connection is made to the stepping motor drive translator 51 or the scaling device is used to divide the pulses by 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128 or 256 to give progressively lower numbers of pulses transmitted to the motor drive translator. The motor drive translator is connected to a mains supply through a power supply 52, and the translator is connected to the paper drive motor 43. The power supply also supplies 24 volts DC to the stepping motor drive translator 53 which supplies the carrier motor 15, being connected to a return wire 54. A pulse shaper 55 is provided in the circuit of the translator 53, and if desired an external input may be connected at 56.
In FIG. 8, there is a diagrammatic representation of some of the connections to the styli 16.
When the styli 16 have a suitable electric potential applied to them a current flows through the electro sensitive paper 25 to the rotating cylinder 23 which is connected to the earth of a power supply 58 capable of supplying the suitable electric potential for example v. However an intensity control 66 can be operated to set the potential at from say 60-150 v. The power supply output feeds through a supply regulator 59 having an on/off input control 68, such control, for example, being connected to the photoelectric cells of the encoding device shown in FIG. 6, so that the output of the supply regulator is interrupted at the switching rate of the photoelectric cell circuits. I
The supply regulator output is connected to the inputs of the stylus regulators 69.
The output of each stylus regulator (69) connected to a stylus 16.
The circuit of one stylus regulator 69 is shown in FIG. 8 in which the 150 v. from the power supply 58 enters through lead 61, the control lead 60 controlling a transistor 62 which in turn switches a further transistor 63 leading to a lead 64 which is connected to the appropriate stylus. One of these circuits is provided -for each stylus, and the circuits are provided as printed circuits 65 as shown in FIG. 2.
The use of the construction will be clear from the foregoing.
Suitable connections are made to the leads 60 controlling pulses to the individual styli, tag, from a data processing machine, and the data processing machine can also have associated with it electronic outputs adapted to control the stepping motor as well as to control the high-voltage pulses to the styli. The rate of drive in both the lengthwise and transverse directions can be adjusted and correlated to the pulses applied to the styli so that a trace in the form ofa series of dots in each band traversed by a styli can provide indicia according to the signals received, each dot being made by the discharge of an electric potential from the individual styli to earth through the paper 11. The precise form of the trace will vary according to the input, but the arrangement is such that when a stylus is provided with a writing pulse, being energized by the output of the circuit shown in FIG. 8, a black dot is produced on the electrosensitive paper, such dot being produced by the application of a voltage of the order of 150 volts between the stylus l6 and the earthed cylinder 23. By changing the rate at which dots are made on the paper, a change in tone can be ob.- tained, a high rate giving a dark black band, a low rate giving a light band. By using this principle of dot modulation, the grey scale of the electrosensitive paper is considerably enhanced. If the transverse motion amplitude is less than the styli separation, each stylus can be used to represent either analogue information (color tonal gradation representing signal strength) or digital information (black and white representing signal and no signal). With the wag, i.e., transverse motion amplitude equal to the styli separation, analogue information can be recorded in a more conventional format with instantaneous signal strength represented by positions across the paper. The spatial resolution which, in this use, is limited by the styli separation can be greatly improved by the use of the encoder 31, which enables printing in, for example, any one of 15 positions of the wag. Such an encoder is described above with reference to the FIG. 6, the encoder giving signals through the lead 60 to cause switching on and off of the circuit shown in FIG. 8 at the required intervals to divide the band.
A major advantage is that actual recording is in full view of the operator, and is visible at the point of recording on the paper. Chart loading isreadily accomplished from the front, and a paper tear off edge is provided. The paper passes over a large firm flat surface for chart notations and measurements I using a built in sliding cursor.
Printing of time markers or channel identification is readily accomplished by presenting suitable pulse sequences to the desired styli. Both the paper drive and the wag mechanism are driven from stepping or other preferably variable speed motors driven from signals derived from an external or internal pulsing device or oscillator. The internal oscillating frequency is variable over a range and the frequency divider circuits, e.g., the speed control circuit of FIG. 7, enables selection ofa wide range of paper speeds and associated wag rates. Constant contact pressure is applied to the styli and there is some automatic compensation for wear due to the spring loading. Because the styli are kept in constant motion overa small amplitude on the paper ata very low pressure, very slow paper speeds are possible, for example, speeds from as low as 1 inch per hour to as high as 200 inches per hour are readily obtainable. The wag rate is preferably of the order of 0.075 inch per stroke, and the paper movement and wag rate may be coordinated to give movement of any desired combination. The encoder shown in FIG. 6 is arranged to split the band widths into a number of segments and, for example, signals from a computer or other source of signals has the signals therefrom fed through the encoder gates comprising the photoelectric cell circuits above described, and the result is that it is possibly by using the encoder with sinusoidal motion of the wag amplitude to simulate electrically a substantially linear motion.
If desired, the oscillating head could be mounted on cantilevered springs instead of being provided with the guides 3 and brackets 5. Also, the head 20 is arranged to be tilted or removable so that the styli can be disconnected from the paper for any purpose.
The electrosensitive material used is that supplied by Communication Papers Inc. under the trademark Timemark 14" or its equivalent, and having a width of l 1 inches and a length of approximately 300 feet. It is possible to record about 8 hours information for example on electro magnetic tape, and then to speed up the tape to record the results from the tape on the electrosensitive paper. The latter being run at any desired speed but usually at an increased rate corresponding to the increase tape replay speed. Thus the instrument is not tied to real time and we have found that speed factors of up to 32 can be readily achieved e.g., 8 hours recording can be displayed in 15 minutes. The foregoing is a major advantage and a further advantage is that there are no synchronization problems such as occur with a serial single stylus recorder. The recorder gives multichannel output, and the pulse amplitude or frequency can be proportional to the intensity of the signal. Pulse duration is of the order of one-half to 1 msec. The styli may be wagged at suitable speeds, for example, 2-l0 Hz. If fed with the appropriate pulses, the recorder can be used to print characters. Thus, if some channels are not used to display outputs from a parallel processing device, these can be fed with appropriate pulses to produce alphanumeric annotations.
The construction results in slow motion of all the mechanical components, particularly when compared with recorders of similar applicability. The result is low wear with excellent mechanical reliability. Continuous operation recorders of this type have run for several thousand hours, the only maintenance required in this period being oiling of a few mechanical movements. The construction of the recorder is such that the number of parts of this nature have been reduced to a minimum, and consequently the recorder is extremely suitable for continuous operation. The construction is robust, and can withstand shock and vibration.
The recorder has a wide range of applications, such as the display of the bearing or range time information from digital sonar devices where the bearing or range interval is being computed in parallel. The resulting output display is a smooth intensity versus time display which allows a high degree of visual integration to be achieved. It has geophysical applications, and is ideal for showing recurring events as found in geophysical applications, because very slow speeds are available. Processing of the record is not required after the information has been presented to the styli, and the information is immediately available. The last mentioned point is particularly important for speeds as low as 1 inch per hour. In a recorder where the paper must travel even as little as 1 inch before information is visible, this would still correspond to a time delay of one hour.
The recorder can present information in many ways, first as an intensity display, second as an xy display, and finally as an alphanumeric display. If a multisensor is used to scan an object, then each of the sensors can be connected to the input of a stylus. For example, if an array of infrared sensors is used to measure body temperature, the output could be presented in an intensity time record. Alternatively. the sensors could be nuclear particle counters where the count rate would produce an intensity variation on each particular channel. Thus, the device can be used for scanning the intensity of radio activity, as for example in radio active paper chromatography. The machine can be operated in two modes, in the first of which there is a standard sized dot, by the use of a constant voltage and varying pulse rate or, alternatively, the voltage applied between the styli 16 and the cylinder 23 through the electrosensitive paper 25 can be varied to give a varying dot size, this mode using a fixed pulse rate.
If desired, a store for signals can be provided, for example, a 100-bit shift register store can be provided, enabling signals to be stored before being transmitted to the styli.
What we claim is:
l. A method of simultaneously recording numerous inputs of data on an electrosensitive sheet having a longitudinal axis and a transverse axis, said method comprising the steps of moving the sheet longitudinally, oscillating a series of uniformly spaced styli while the styli are continuously in contact with the sheet, the styli being arranged and oscillated in a line transverse to the longitudinal axis of the sheet, the amplitude of oscillation of the styli being approximately equal to the spacing distance between adjacent styli so that each stylus records on a band, the series of bends so formed being parallel to the longitudinal axis of the sheet, and applying short voltage pulses to the sheet so that each pulse marks the sheet with a dot, the relative movement in two directions between the styli and the sheet giving a coherent record across the width and along the length of the sheet.
2. An apparatus for simultaneously recording numerous inputs of data on an electrosensitive sheet having a longitudinal axis and a transverse axis, said apparatus comprising a frame, means adapted to move a strip of electrosensitive material on said frame in a lengthwise direction, a plurality of styli arranged in a line transverse to the longitudinal axis of the material and each adapted to apply an electrical impulse to the electrosensitive sheet so as to form a dot thereon, means to oscillate said styli transversely to and while continuously in contact with said sheet, the amplitude of oscillation of the styli being approximately equal to the spacing distance between adjacent styli so that each stylus records on a band, the series of bands so formed being parallel to the longitudinal axis of the sheet, and means adapted to apply electrical pulses through said styli to said electrosensitive material so that each pulse marks the sheet with a dot, the relative movement in two directions between the styli and the sheet giving a coherent record across the width and along the length of the sheet.
3. A recorder as claimed in claim 2 wherein said means to effect transverse movement of said styli comprises a carriage mounting said styli, means mounting said carriage and permitting oscillatory movement thereof, and mechanical means adapted to oscillate said carriage.
4. A recorder as claimed in claim 2 wherein said longitudinal feed of said electrosensitive material and said oscillatory motion of said styli is driven by a stepping motor supplied by pulses from a suitable power supply.
5. Apparatus as claimed in claim 2 wherein at least some of said styli are supplied with power under the control of an encoding device including a gate circuit adapted to trigger the supply of power applied to the electrosensitive material at the appropriate instant.