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Publication numberUS3658163 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 25, 1972
Filing dateJul 24, 1969
Priority dateJul 24, 1969
Also published asDE2036614A1, DE2036614B2, DE2036614C3
Publication numberUS 3658163 A, US 3658163A, US-A-3658163, US3658163 A, US3658163A
InventorsSniderman Albert
Original AssigneeBurroughs Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Variable format control from pre-printed line marks
US 3658163 A
Abstract
A line printer of a data processing system uses continuous web paper that has been pre-printed or pre-marked with two vertical rows of line marks disposed along one edge thereof, each line mark representing a selectable printing line thereon. As each line of output information is transmitted to the line printer for printable recording, a binary code representing a selected printing line on a separatable page form of the web paper is transmitted by the computer of the system and received and stored by the line printer, such receipt and storage serving to advance the web paper from the printing line on which the preceding line of information was recorded. During this advancement of the web paper, scanning means associated with the line printer, in cooperation with the advancing pre-printed line marks, serves to detect the arrival of the selected printing line in printing position and to stop the web paper and page form commensurate therewith for the performance of the printing function.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 51 Apr. 25, 1972 Sniderman [54] VARIABLE FORMAT CONTROL FROM PRE-PRINTED LINE MARKS [72] Inventor: Albert Sniderman, Southfield, Mich.

[73] Assignee: Burroughs Corporation, Detroit, Mich.

[22] Filed: July 24, 1969 [21] Appl. No.: 844,560

[52] U.S. C1 ..l97/l33 [51] Int. Cl. .1341] 15/00 [58] Field ofSearch ..197/133 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,131,895 10/1938 Kolm et a1. ..197/133 2,424,073 7/1947 Ayres .197/133 X 2,747,717 5/1956 Cunningham et a1... .....197/l33 2,884,852 5/1959 Saltz 197/133 X 2,944,651 7/1960 Malcolm et al.. .....197/133 2,981,396 4/1961 Lane ..197/133 2,983,356 5/1961 Thompson ..197/l33 2,983,357 5/1961 Estrems et a1. ..197/133 3,020,996 2/1962 DOnofrio ..197/133 3,042,178 7/1962 West 197/133 3,159,263 12/1964 Goreham ..197/133 3,185,283 5/1965 Spitsbergen et a1 ..197/133 Primary Examiner-Ernest T. Wright, Jr. Att0rneyPau1 W. Fish and Edwin W. Uren [57] ABSTRACT A line printer of a data processing system uses continuous web paper that has been pre-printed or pre-marked with two vertical rows of line marks disposed along one edge thereof, each line mark representing a selectable printing line thereon. As each line of output information is transmitted to the line printer for printable recording, a binary code representing a selected printing line on a separatable page form of the web paper is transmitted by the computer of the system and received and stored by the line printer, such receipt and storage serving to advance the web paper from the printing line on which the preceding line of information was recorded. During this advancement of the web paper, scanning means associated with the line printer, in cooperation with the ad vancing pre-printed line marks, serves to detect the arrival of the selected printing line in printing position and to stop the web paper and page form commensurate therewith for the performance of the printing function.

20 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures Patented April 25, 1972 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 INV TOR. ALBERT smo AN AGENT Patented April 25, 1972 3,658,163

3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. ALBERT SNIDERMAN AGENT Patented April 25, 1972 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Z CLUTCH AND COMPUTER BRAKE I SOLENOIDS 4,7k \IO? COUNT REGISTER F ('29 DECODER -'-|O9 l I27 |23 -|u SCANNER COMPARATOR I l l4l COUNT 2 83 \A/ $477 DECODER COUNTER COUNT coum RESET 85 I35 DECODER l3l 139 SOHNOET COUNT 117 I04 /99 DECODER |4s |o| fee L :45 4 ONE |33 |oe- SHOT i FLOP 93 |4? 95 COUNTER coum I53 oecoosR [Isl FLIP F|G.7 FLOP INVENTOR. ALBERT SNIDERMAN n5 BY II? I AGENT VARIABLE FORMAT CONTROL FROM PRE-PRINTED LINE MARKS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION A number of high speed line printers are known which are cooperably associated with data processing systems and which make use of continuous web paper as a means of printably recording the output data resulting from such processing, the web paper being generally provided with vertically spaced apertures along the right and left edges for the accommodation of feed sprockets or tractors and with horizontal spacedapart perforations by means of which individual page forms may be removed from the web. The arrangement or formatting of the printed data in preselected fields and on lines arranged therewithin according to the nature of the document being printed is generally accommodated through the cooperation of a selected one of a plurality of format tapes with spacing means within the line printer, the latter means being restrictively qualified to produce printing lines of predetermined spaced-apart distance, such distance providing a predetermined number of lines per vertical inch, the selected format tape serving to control the spacing means in such manner as to produce printing lines according to said predetermined spaced-apart distance or multiples thereof.

The use of endless format tapes as a means of arranging the printed output of these well known line printers gives rise to various disadvantages in the areas of operating efficiency and equipment and maintenance costs. Separate feed means are required in the line printer for the synchronous advancement of the selected format tape with the web paper, such tapes having feed apertures as well as longitudinally arranged apertures or marks representing the printing positions on the web paper, and special storage facilities are required in order that a number of uniquely different tapes corresponding to the various documents used may be maintained with minimum risk of damage and wear. In addition, the procedure for installing a selected tape in the special tape feed means, such that the tape is in proper registry relative to the horizontal perforations of the web paper, has generally proven to be cumbersome and time-consuming, entailing as it oftentimes does the trial and error experience of installing the tape, printing a line of information on the web paper, measuring the distance of the printed line from the perforations, re-installing the tape, reprinting and re-measuring.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is accordingly an object of the present invention to provide a high speed line printer that is unrestricted in its vertical spacing capability, and which is qualified to produce lines of printing of unlimited spaced-apart distance.

Another object of the invention is to provide a high speed line printer comprising format control means which is operable independently of format tapes, thereby eliminating the cost and inconvenience incidental to their storage and timeconsuming installation.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide format control means wherein the separate feed means for synchronously advancing the format tape with the web paper is eliminated, thereby realizing economies in the manufacture and maintenance ofline printers.

A further object of the present invention is to provide format control means that is instantly operable to produce any desired printing format without the need of first selecting and installing a corresponding format tape.

An additional object of the present invention is to provide a highly flexible line printer that comprises a single paper feed device into which an all-purpose format tape, if desired, may be inserted with ease and convenience and fed in synchronism with the web paper, such format tape serving in lieu of the preprinted line marks on the web paper.

A requirement of the invention is that either the web paper used thereon or an all-purpose format tape be pre-printedor pre-marked with vertically arranged line marks adjacent a longitudinally disposed row of paper feed apertures formed therein, each line mark representing a selectable printing position on a separatable page form of the web paper.

An important aspect of the invention is the use of binary codes transmitted from the computer of the data processing system to the line printer, such codes in selective cooperation with the pre-printed line marks and with web paper advancing and stopping means serving to locate pre-selected printing lines in printing position.

Another aspect of the invention is the use of scanning means mounted on one of the paper feed sprockets or tractors in sensing relationship with the pre-printed line marks, such scanning means being effective to differentiate as between line marks advancably passing therebeneath and to emit pulse signals corresponding thereto.

A still further aspect of the invention is the use of electronic means responsive to the pulse signals emitting from the scanning means to stop the web paper when the printing line represented by the transmitted binary code is located in printing position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING Other objects, aspects and advantages of the invention will be more clearly understood from the following description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a section of the continuous web paper showing right and left paper feed apertures and two vertical rows of typical pre-printed line marks;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view of a line printer wherein the web paper is shown both in relationship to a left and right feed sprocket and to scanning means mounted in contiguous relationship to the right sprocket in scanning relationship to the pre-printed line marks;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary perspective view of the line printer wherein the scanning means is shown in greater detail;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary right side view of the head member of the scanning means of FIG. 3 showing a light emitting element and a light sensing element both angularly directed at a single pre-printed line mark on the web paper;

FIG. 5 is a schematic block diagram representing the functional relationship ofthe various electronic components of the invention;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing an all-purpose format tape mounted underneath the guide member of the scanning means, said tape having pre-marked lines disposed on the inner surface thereof, and

FIG. 7 is a partial block diagram showing means for blocking the passage of Control Pulses-B in excess of ll to the counter.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION The preferred embodiment of the invention relates to a data processing system that includes at least a data input unit such as a card reader, a computer, and an output line printer, the invention serving to control the formatting of the output data on continuous web paper. Formatting of the type provided involves the pre-selection of printing lines under the control of the computer and without benefit of format tapes or special hardware for their synchronous advancement with the advancement of the web paper.

Line printers used in data processing configurations are generally provided with web paper advancing means and with means for stopping the advancement of the paper to thereby locate the various printing lines in printing position. The paper advancing means of the preferred embodiment comprises an electric motor as designated at 21 in FIG. 2, a constantly rotating driving shaft 23, a solenoid-operated clutch member generally designated at 25, and, at least one driven shaft 27 journaled within a pair of side frames 29. The driven shaft 27 is couplable with anddecouplable from the driving shaft 23 by means of the clutc' hmember 25. At least a pair of sprockets 31 and 33 are fixed to the driven shaft 27 for unitary rotation therewith, the peripherally disposed teeth of the sprockets 31 and 33 being drivingly insertable into corresponding vertically arranged rows of apertures 35 formed in the web paper 37, the driven rotation of the shaft 27 being effective to advance the paper 37 such as in an upward direction as shown in FIG. 2. Means for stopping the advancement of the paper 37 generally comprise a solenoid-operated brake member which is effective, in cooperation with the disengagement of the clutch member 15, to terminate the rotation of the driven shaft 27, such brake member being also generally designated at 25 in FIG. 2.

In order to arrange printed output data according to a variety of predetermined formats, variable and flexible means must be provided for activating the clutch and brake solenoids in such manner as to advance the web paper 37 from a previous printing line and to stop the paper 37 when the succeeding preselected printing line is brought into printing position. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, this variable requirement is provided by the transmission of binary codes from a computer designated at 39 in FIG. to the line printer,

and by generating a plurality of control pulses by means of a scanner 41 as pre-printed line marks 43 and 45 disposed along the right edge of the web paper 37 are read thereby. The initiation of paper feeding occurs when a binary code is received by a register of the line printer, such register being designated 47 in FIG. 5, and termination of paper feeding, to thereby locate a selected printing line in printing position, occurs when the line mark 43 and 45 corresponding to or otherwise designated by the binary code is read by the scanner 41.

By pre-printing the web paper 37 with line marks 43 and 45 as shown in FIG. 1, the scanner 41, under the influence of the transmitted binary code and in cooperation with hereinafter described electronic components, is effective to stop the web paper 37 on a selected printing line for printing a line of output information. As will be seen from FIG. 1, the web paper 37 also comprises spaced-apart rows of horizontal perforations 49 which serve to sectionalize the paper 37 into separable page forms, the line marks 43 and 45 representing a plurality of selectable printing lines on each page. A line mark 43, appearing only in the left vertical row of line marks, represents the last printing line on a page and is herein defined as the End of Page" mark. The firstdouble line marks 43 and 45 appearing at the top of each page represent the first selectable printing line on the page and are herein defined as the Heading mark. Between these Heading marks and the End of Page" marks, a plurality of double line marks 43 and 45 and single line marks 45 serve to represent selectable printing lines on the individual page forms. It should be noted that the printing lines'represented by the various line marks 43 and/or 45 will be spaced apart vertically from their corresponding line marks 43 and/or 45 an equivalent distance to the distance between the scanner 41 and the printing position of the line printer, the line marks 43 and 45 being disposed in advance ofthe printing lines represented thereby.

For each new line of output information from the data processing system, a binary code is transmitted from the computer 39 to the register 47, as previously mentioned, such code having been selected from program memory or generated from ancillary information recorded on the input media. Sixteen of these binary codes are used by the preferred embodiment, ranging from binary 0 to binary l5. Upon arrival of individual ones of these codes in the register 47, the line of information corresponding therewith would be printed on the printing line hereinafter designated, after the paper 37 has advanced to such line:

printing position, without advancing the paper.

1 On the "Heading" line of the page form after the paper has advanced from the End Of Page line of the preceding page to the line represented by the first double line marks 43 and 45 of the succeeding page.

2 Onthe line represented by the first double line marks 43 and 45 following the Heading line of the page being printed.

3 On the line represented by the second double line marks 43 and 45 following the "Heading" line.

4 On the line represented by the third double line marks 43 and 45 following the Heading line.

5 On the line represented by the fourth double line marks 43 and 45 following the "Heading line.

6 On the line represented by the fifth double line marks 43 and 45 following the "Heading line.

7 On the line represented by the sixth double line marks 43 and 45 following the Heading line.

8 On the line represented by the seventh double line marks 43 and 45 following the "Heading" line.

9 On the line represented by the eighth double line marks 43 and 45 following the Heading" line.

On the line represented by the ninth double line marks 43 and 45 following the "Heading" line.

On the printing line represented by the tenth double line marks 43 and 45 following the "Heading" line.

On the End Of Page" line of the page being printed, as represented by the line mark 43'.

On the line represented by the next succeeding double line marks 43 and 45.

14 On the line represented by the next succeeding single line marks 45 or 43, or double line marks43 and 45, whichever comes first.

l5 On the line represented by the second succeeding single line marks 45 or 43, or double line marks 43 and 45, whichever is the second mark.

vertica lly qualified The scanner 41 (FIGS. 2 and 3) is comprised of a hinged guide member 51 (FIG. 3) which is pivotally connected to a support arm 53 fixed to a semicircular support member 55. The support member 55 is anchored to a cross member 57 disposed between the side frames 29 of the line printer. Fixed to this hinged guide member 51 is a vertically displaceable housing 59 comprising interconnected upper and lower retainer members 61 and 63. Securely housed within these retainer members 61 and 63 is a pick-up head member 65 (FIG. 4) that is qualified to perform various hereinafter described pulse emitting functions by way of a cable 66 connected thereto and to various other components of the embodiment which are also described in a later section. The support arm 53 and semicircular member 55 are provided with formed apertures into which the driven shaft 27 is rotatably fitted. The guide member 51 is provided with an elongated slot 67, the uppermost portion of which serves to accommodate the peripherally disposed teeth of the sprocket 33 during a paper feed operation, and an enlarged lower most portion serves to accommodate the scanning function of the pick-up head member 65. The hinged guide member 51, including the housing 59 and the head member 65, is rotatable to a 90 open" position relative to the web paper 37 on the support arm 53 in order to accommodate the installation of a new supply of web paper 37 in the line printer, and in particular to facilitate the placement of the right side apertures 35 over the teeth of the sprocket 33. An adjustment screw 69 is threadably connected to the upper retainer member 61 and rotatably connected to the lower retainer member 63, such adjustment screw 69 being effective, upon rotation thereof, to establish proper registration between the head member 65 and the line marks 43 and 45 when a new supply of web paper 37 is installed.

With reference to FIG. 4, the head member 65 is provided with a pair of light emitting elements 71 and a pair of light sensing elements 73, such elements 71 and 73 being so arranged that a light emitting element 71 and an associated light sensing element 73 are disposed in vertical alignment with each row of line marks 43 and 45 and are angularly directed for convergence on each individual line mark 43 or 45 in its respective row marks as the latter 43 and 45 are moved into scanning view during advancement of the web paper 37. Any suitable light emitting and light sensing elements may be used, including infra-red emitting photodiodes and infra-red sensing photo transistors. The light sensing elements 73 may be conditioned to conduct through reflectance from the web paper 37 when a line mark 43 or 45 is not present within its scanning view, and to emit a pulse when the light emitted by the light emitting element 71 is absorbed or interrupted by the presence of a line mark 43 or 45 within such view. As represented in the block diagram of FIG. 5, the pulses emitting from the vertical row of line marks 45 are channeled along a line 75 through an amplifier 77 to a One-Shot 79, and pulses emitting from the vertical row of line marks 43 are channeled along a line 81 through an amplifier 83 to a One-Shot 85. Output pulses from the One-Shots 79 and 85 are variously gated, as hereinafter described, to produce three separate control pulses which in turn cooperate with several electronic components to effectuate the required activation of the clutch and brake solenoids 25, and to thereby stop the web paper 37 with the pre-selected printing line located in printing position, such line corresponding to the binary code which was transmitted from the computer 39 to the register 47. These control pulses may be identified, for convenience in understanding, as Control Pulse-A, Control Pulse-B, and Control Pulse-C, the functions ofwhich are described in the following section.

By channeling the output of the One-Shot 85 into an AND gate 87 along a line 89, and the output of the One-Shot 79 into the AND gate 87 by way ofa line 91, an inverter 93, and a line 95, an output pulse from the AND gate 87 is produced whenever an End Of Page" line mark 43' is detected by the scanner 41, such output pulse being identified as the Control Pulse-A. By channeling the outputs of the One-Shots 85 and 79 into an AND gate 97 by way of lines 99 and 101, respectively, an output pulse is produced by the AND gate 97 whenever a double line mark 43 and 45 is read by the scanner 41, such output pulse being identified as the Control Pulse-B. By

also channeling the outputs of the One-Shots 79 and into an OR gate along the lines 104 and 106, respectively, an output pulse is produced by the OR gate 105 whenever a line mark 45 or 43 only, or a double line mark 43 and 45 is read by the scanner 41, such output pulse being identified as the Control Pulse-C.

The register 47 may be comprised of four suitable bi-stable elements such as flip-flops to represent the binary decimal codes 1, 2, 4 and 8, such elements being operable in parallel to receive preselected binary codes 1 through 15 from the computer 39, and to produce an output to the clutch and brake solenoids 25 along the line 107 whenever such a preselected code is received. A first count decoder 109 comprising an array of AND gates is connected to the register 47, such decoder 109 being effective to recognize the presence of a binary code ranging from 1 through 12 in the register 47, and to produce an output along a line 111 whenever such a code is recognized. A counter 113 into which Control Pulses A and B are channeled by way of lines 115 and 117, respectively, may also be comprised of four suitable bi-stable elements such as flip-flops, such elements being cross-coupled and arranged in cascaded fashion such as to permit the counting of pulses. Each Control Pulse-A that is channeled to the Counter 113 along the line 115 serves to force or reset the counter 113 to a count of 12, such Control Pulse-A having been generated through the reading of an End Of Page line mark 43, and each Control Pulse-B that is channeled to the counter 113 along the line 117 serves to advance the counter 113 by a count of one, such Control Pulse-B having been generated through the reading of a double line mark 43 and 45, the first of said double line marks 43 and 45 following an End Of Page line mark 43' being effective to advance the counter 113 from its reset count of 12 to a count of l.

A comparator 121 is comprised of an array ofinput and output AND gates, the input gates being coupled, as represented by a line 119, to the flip-flops of the counter 113 in such manner as to recognize the pulse count thereof, and the out put gates being coupled to associated ones of the input gates and to corresponding ones of the AND gates of the count decoder 109, the latter coupling being represented by the line 111 in FIG. 5. Each ofthe output gates ofthe comparator 121 serves to produce an output to the clutch and brake solenoids 25 along a line 123 when an input is received from its associated input gate and from its corresponding AND gate of the count decoder 109. The operational effect of the count decoder 109, the counter 113, and the comparator 121 is to stop the advancement of the web paper 37 when the accumulated count of the counter 113 is equal to the preselected binary code stored in the register 47, assuming that such stored code ranges from one to 12.

A second count decoder 125 is coupled to the register 47 as represented by a line 127 in FIG. 5, such decoder 125 comprising an AND gate effective for recognizing a binary code 13 stored in the register 47. This count decoder 125 is effective to produce an output to the clutch and brake solenoids 25, along a line 129, upon the coincidence of a binary 13 input from the register 47 and a Control Pulse-B channeled along a line 131. The effect of count decoder 125, when a binary code 13 is stored in the register 47, is to stop the advancement of the web paper 37 at the printing line represented by the next succeeding double line mark 43 and 45.

A third count decoder 133 is coupled to the register 47 as represented by a line 135 in FIG. 5, such count decoder 133 comprising an AND gate effective for recognizing a binary code 14 stored in the register 47. This count decoder 133 is effective to produce an output to the clutch and brake solenoids 25 upon the coincidence of a binary 14 input from the register 47 and a Control Pulse-C channeled along a line 137. The effect of count decoder 133, when a binary code 14 is stored in the register 47, is to stop the advancement of the web paper 37 at the printing line represented by the next succeeding double line mark 43 and 45 or the next succeeding single line mark 45 or 43, whichever comes first.

A fourth count decoder 139 is coupled to the register 47 as represented by a line 141, such count decoder 139 comprising an AND gate efiective for recognizing a binary code 15 stored in the register 47. This count decoder 139 is effective to produce an output to the clutch and brake solenoids 25 upon the coincidence of a binary 15 input from the register 47 and a Control Pulse-C channeled along a line 143. A flip-flop 145 is disposed between the line 143 and a line 147 along which each Control Pulse-C is channeled, the flip-flop 145 being set by a first Control Pulse-C to produce an output along the line 143 upon the occurrenceof a second Control PulseC. The effect of count decoder 139 and the flip-flop 145, when a binary code 15 is stored in the register 47, is to stop the advancement of the web paper 37 at the printing line represented by the second succeeding double line mark 43 and 45 or single line marks 45 or 43,'whichever one is the second line mark.

As suggested in the foregoing description, the counter 113 is reset to a starting count of 12 by a Control Pulse-A generated by the End Of Page" line mark 43 of the preceding page, is advanced from the count of 12 to a count of 1 by the Heading double line mark 43 and 45, and is advanced thereafter by each succeeding double line mark 43 and 45 until a maximum count of 11 is reached. 1n the event the individual page forms of the web paper 37 are provided with less than 11 double line marks 43 and 45, as illustrated in FIG. 1, the counter 113 will advance to a count corresponding to the number of double line marks 43 and 45 thereon provided, and will thereafter be advanced or reset from such count to a count of 12 as the ,End Of Page" line mark 43' is read by the scanner 41, the latter count being required in conjunction with a binary code 12 in the register 47 in order to advance the web paper 37 from the line on which information was last printed to the End Of Page line. In the event, on the other hand, the individual page forms are provided with more than 11 double line marks 43 and 45, the counter 113 will advance to a maximum count of 11 as the first l 1 double line marks 43 and 45 on the page form are read by the scanner 41, and will thereafter remain at the count of 11, irrespective of the Control Pulses-B generated by the remaining double line marks 43 and 45 on the page, until the End Of Page line mark 43' is read by the scanner 41 and the counter 113 is advanced or reset to a count of 12.

In the event more than 11 double line marks 43 and 45 are provided on the page forms, means illustrated in FIG. 7 may be used to block the passage of Control Pulses-B in excess of 11 as double line marks 43 and 45 in excess of 11 are read by the scanner 41. According to P10. 7, a fifth count decoder 150 comprising an AND gate effective for recognizing a count of 11 is coupled to the counter 113 and to a flip-flop 151, the latter flip-flop 151 being coupled also to the line 115 of FIG. and to an AND gate 153 interposed between the line 117 of FIG. 5 and the counter 113. The flip-flop 151 is set to a conducting state by each Control Pulse-A produced by the AND gate 87, such Control Pulse-A, as previously stated, serving also to set the counter 113 to a starting count of 12. With the flip-flop 151 set to said conducting state, an output to the AND gate 153 along the line 155 serves to permit the passage of Control Pulses-B from the AND gate 97 to the counter 113, to thereby advance the counter 113 up to said maximum count of 11. When such maximum count is reached, the count decoder 150 produces an output along. the line 157 to thereby change the flip-flop 151 to a non-conducting state, such latter state serving to remove its said output to the AND gate 153 and to block the passage of additional Control Pulses-B to the counter 113. The counter 113 accordingly remains at a count of 11 until a succeeding End Of Page" line mark 43 is read by the scanner 41, the Control Pulse-A produced thereby serving to again set the flip-flop 151 to a conducting state.

It is also to be noted that up to 11 double line marks 43 and 45 on a page form are directly addressable by means of corresponding binary codes 1 to 11, and that double line marks.

43 and 45 in excess of 11 are addressable in sequential singleincrement and double-increment fashion only, single-increment addressing being effectuated by binary codes 13 or 14 and double-increment addressing being effectuated by binary code 15.

To briefly explain the mode of operation of the invention as it would operate in relation to the page form represented in H6. 1, the register 47 is reset by the operation of the clutch and brake solenoids 25 as the web paper 37 is stopped on the End Of Page printing line of the preceding page, the corresponding line mark 43' having also served to set the counter 113 to a count of 12 by means ofa Control Pulse-A. If the first line of information to be printed on the succeeding page is to be printed on the Heading line of such page, a binary code 1 is transmitted from the computer .39 to the register 47 and is recognized by the count decoder 109. Upon arrival of this code in the register 47, an output along the line 107 serves to operate the clutch and brake solenoids 25 to initiate the advancement of the web paper 37. As the paper 37 advances to the l-leading" line represented by the first double line marks 43 and 45 of the new page, a Control Pulse-B produced by the One-Shots and 79 and the AND gate 97 serves to advance the counter 113 from the count of l2 to a count of 1. Since at this point the binary 1 AND gate of the count decoder 109 and the input AND gate of the comparator 121 are in a compare state, the corresponding output gate of the comparator 121 produces an output pulse to the clutch and brake solenoids 25 along the line 123 to thereby stop the paper 37 on the Heading" line where the line of information is printed. As the paper 37 stops on the Heading line, the register 47 is reset to zero through the operation of the clutch and brake solenoids 25, the counter 113 remaining at the count of 1. In the event the next line ofinformation is to be printed on a printing line represented by the third double line marks 43 and 45 on a page form, a binary code 3 is transmitted from the computer 39 to the register 47 and is recognized by the count decoder 109, whereupon the clutch and brake solenoids 25 are operated to initiate the advancement of the web paper 37. As the paper 37 advances from the Heading" line, Control Pulses-B produced by the second and third double line marks 43 and 45 serve to advance the counter 113 from a count of l to a count of 3, whereupon a comparison between the count decoder 109 and the input gates of the comparator 121 serves to produce an output pulse to the clutch and brake solenoids 25 to thereby stop the paper 37 at a printing line represented by the third double line marks 43 and 45, where the line of information is printed. ln the eventthe next line of information is to be printed on a printing line represented by a single line mark 45 following the third double line marks 43 and 45, a binary code 14 is transmitted from the computer 39 to the register 47 and is recognized by the count decoder 133, whereupon the clutch and brake solenoids 25 are again operated to initiate the advancement of the paper 37. As the paper 37 advances from the printing line represented by the third double line marks 43 and 45, a Control Pulse-C produced by such line mark 45 cooperates with the binary code 14 recognition in count decoder 133 to produce an output therefrom to stop the paper 37 at the printing line next following the third double line marks 43 and 45, where the line of information is printed. If after printing on the printing line represented by the first single line mark 45 following the third double line marks 43 and 45, the next line of information is to be printed on the line represented by the third single line mark 45 following said third double line mark 43. and 45, a binary code 15 is transmitted to the register 47 and is recognized by the count decoder 139, whereupon the clutch and brake solenoids 25 are again operated to initiate the advancement of the paper 37. As the paper 37 advances from the line represented by the first single line mark 45 following the third double line marks 43 and 45, a first Control Pulse-C generated by the second single line mark 45 is channeled along the line 147 tothe flip-flop to change the state of the flip-flop 145 from a nonconducting to a conducting state. Upon reading the third single line mark 45 following the third double line marks 43 and 45. a Control Pulse-C generated thereby is passed through the flip-flop 145 to the count decoder 139, said latter Control Pulse-C cooperating with a binary code recognition in the decoder 139 to produce an output therefrom to stop the paper 37 at the printing line represented by said third single line mark 45. Assuming that the next line of information is to be printed on the End Of Page line, a binary code 12 is transmitted from the computer 39 to the register 47 and is recognized by the corresponding AND gate of the count decoder 109. As the paper 37 advances from the printing line represented by the third single line mark 45 following the third double line marks 43 and 45, a Control Pulse-A generated by the End Of Page line mark 43 will advance the counter 113 to a count of 12, after the counter 113 has first been advanced from a count of 3 to a count of 4 by a Control Pulse-B generated by the fourth double line marks 43 and 45 (as represented in FIG. 1), whereupon an output pulse from the comparator 121 is transmitted to the clutch and brake solenoids 25 to stop the paper 37 at the End Of Page" printing line where the line of information is printed.

The preferred embodiment of the invention lends itself to the use of an all-purpose endless loop format tape 149 (FIG. 6) in conjunction with web paper 37 that has not been preprinted with line marks 43 and 45. Such format tape 149 with line marks corresponding to those shown in FIG. I printed or marked on the inner surface thereof may be conveniently inserted underneath the hinged guide member 51, with a registering arrow (not shown) axially aligned with a horizontal row of perforations 49 in the web paper 37, such tape 149 being advanceable in synchronism with the advancement of the web paper 37 by the peripherally disposed teeth of the sprocket 33. Such synchronous advancement is made possible by the contour of the guide member 51 without the need for additional hardware. Line marks 43 and 45 printed or marked on this format tape 149 are read by the pick-up head member 65 of the scanner 41 in like manner to the reading of such line marks 43 and 45 printed on the web paper 37, the effect being the production of the previously described Control Pulses-A, B and -C.

While one embodiment of the invention has been shown and described in considerable detail, it will be apparent that various substitutions may be made in the several pulseproducing and pulse-responsive components, and that other adaptations and modifications may also be made without departing from the true spirit and scope ofthe invention.

What is claimed is:

1. in a computer responsive line printer having web paper advancing and stopping means and which utilizes web paper that is separable into page forms and provided with preprinted line marks arranged in two vertical rows, each of said line marks representing a printing position where data may be selectively printed, format control apparatus comprising:

a. means for storing coded information transmitted from a computer to said printer, said coded information falling within a plurality of categories including a first, second, third and fourth category of coded information representing selected printing positions on said page forms where data is to be printed, said storing means being effective for activating said web paper advancing means upon receipt of said coded information,

b. line mark differentiating means effective for distinguishably reading said pre-printed line marks on said web paper during the advancement thereof,

. pulse generating means cooperating with said line mark differentiating means and effective for producing first, second and third type control pulses according to the arrangement of said pre-printed line marks in said two vertical rows,

d. first code recognizing means associated with said storing means and effective for recognizing said first category of coded information,

. a counter resettable to a starting count of l2 by each of said first type control pulses and advanceable to a maximum predetermined count ofeleven by said second type control pulses, a first of said second type control pulse following a first type control pulse being effective to advance the counter from the starting count of 12 to a count of one,

comparator means cooperably associated with said counter and with said first code recognizing means, said comparator means being effective to activate said web paper stopping means when the count of said counter corresponds with said first category of coded information received by said storing means and recognized by said first code recognizing means,

g. second code recognizing means associated with said storing means and effective for recognizing said second category of coded information, said second code recognizing means upon recognizing said second category of coded information being effective to activate said web paper stopping means in response to the receipt of a said second type control pulse,

h. third code recognizing means associated with said storing means and effective for recognizing said third category of coded information, said third code recognizing means being effective to activate said web paper stopping means in response to the receipt of a said third type control pulse following the recognition of said third category of coded information, and

i. fourth code recognizing means associated with said storing means and effective for recognizing said fourth category of coded information, said fourth code recognizing means being effective to activate said web paper stopping means in response to the receipt of a second of said third type control pulses following the recognition of said fourth category of coded information, the combination of all of said means rendering said line printer capable of selectively printing data on variably spaced printing lines on said page forms of said web paper, the variable spacing resulting from said variably spaced lines being restricted only by the placement of said pre-printed line marks thereon.

2. Format control apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said pulse generating means is effective for producing a said first type control pulse when a line mark disposed in the leftmost of said two vertical rows of said pre-printed line marks on said web paper is read by said line mark differentiating means.

3. Format control apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said pulse generating means is effective for producing a said second type control pulse when a line mark disposed in both of said two vertical rows of said pre-printed line marks on said web paper is read by said line mark differentiating means.

4. Format control apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said pulse generating means is effective for producing a said third type control pulse when a line mark disposed in either of said two vertical rows of said pre-printed line marks on said web paper is read by said line mark differentiating means,

5. Format control apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said first category of coded information storable in said coded information storing means and recognizable by said first code recognizing means comprises the binary codes l through 12 transmitted by said computer.

6. Format control apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said second category of coded information storable in said coded information storing means and recognizable by said second code recognizing means comprises the binary code l3 transmitted by said computer.

7. Format control apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said third category of coded information storable in said coded information storing means and recognizable by said third code recognizing means comprises the binary code 14 transmitted by said computer.

8. Format control apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said fourth category of coded information storable in said coded information storing means and recognizable by said fourth code recognizing means comprises the binary code 15 transmitted by said computer.

9. Format control apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein pulse blocking means is provided for preventing the advancement of said counter beyond said predetermined count of eleven when more than 11 second type control pulses are generated by said pulse generating means relative to a single one of said page forms of said web paper, said second type control pulses in excess of 1 1 being generated by the reading of more than 11 line marks disposed in both of said vertical rows of line marks on said page form by said line mark differentiating means.

10. Format control apparatus as defined in claim 9 wherein said pulse blocking means comprises:

a. decoding means associated with said counter and effective for recognizing a count of l l therein,

b. a bi-stable element associated with said decoding means and with said pulse generating means, and

c. an AND gate associated with said bi-stable element, with said counter, and with said pulse generating means, said bi-stable element being effective to produce an output to said AND gate to permit the passage of said second type control pulses to said counter by the resetting effect of one of said first type control pulses, and effective to interrupt said output upon recognition of said count of eleven by said decoding means, said interruption of said output from said bi-stable element serving to prevent said passage of said second type control pulses from said pulse generating means to said counter.

11. Format control apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said means for storing said coded information is comprised of a register having four flip-flop circuits operable in parallel to represent the binary decimal codes 1,2, 4 and 8.

12. Format control apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said line mark differentiating means comprises:

a. light emitting means effective for directing light on both of said two vertical rows of pre-printed line marks of said page forms of said web paper, and

b. light sensing means associated with said light emitting means and responsive to a light reflected thereto by said web paper, said light sensing means cooperating with said pulse generating means to emit said first, second and third type control pulses when said reflected light is blocked by the presence of a pre-printed line mark reflectively intermediate said light emitting means and said light sensing means.

13. Format control apparatus as defined in claim 12 wherein:

a. said light emitted by said light emitting means is characteristically infra-red in nature, and

b. said blocking of said reflected light to said light sensing means by said presence of a pre-printed line mark reflectively intermediate said light emitting means and said light sensing means is characterized by the absorption of said infra-red light.

14. Format control apparatus as defined in claim 12 wherein said light emitting meansand said light sensing means of said line mark differentiating means are mountably supported by a cross-member of said line printer and disposed in straddling relationship with the peripherally disposed teeth of a feed sprocket of said web paper advancing and stopping means, said mounting being additionally characterized by:

a. a hinged guide member to which said light emitting and light sensing means are fixed, said guide member being rotatably displaceable a predetermined distance from its operating position parallel to said web paper to facilitate the installation ofa new supply thereof, and

b. adjusting means effective for varying the longitudinal positioning of said light emitting and light sensing means on said guide member such that said light emitting and light sensing means may be placed in accurate registry with said pre-printed line marks upon said installation of a new supply of web paper.

15. Format control apparatus as defined in claim 14 wherein said hinged guide member of said line mark differentiating means is additionally effective for operably supporting a pre-marked endless loop tape having line marks arranged in two vertical rows on the inner surface thereof, said pre-marked endless loop tape being readably advanceable in synchronism with said web paper by said feed sprocket associated with said line mark'differentiating means when said tape is used in lieu of pre-printed web paper.

16. Format control apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said pulse generating means cooperating with said line mark differentiating means is comprised of an array of gates associated with a pair of one-shots.

17. In a line printer having a non-incremental web paper advancing means and web paper stopping means, format control apparatus effective for selectively printing data on variably spaced printing lines on a web paper, said printer and said apparatus utilizing web paper which is provided with pre-printed line marks arranged in two vertical columns contiguous to one longitudinal edge thereof, said line marks consisting of double line marks comprising a mark in both columns and leftcolumn and right-column line marks comprising a single mark in one column only, said apparatus comprising:

a. means for receiving and storing coded information transmitted from an information source, said receiving and storing means being effective for activating said web paper advancing means upon the receipt of said coded information, said coded information including a first, second, third and fourth category thereof,

b. a plurality of code recognizing means associated with said coded information receiving and storing means and effec tive for recognizing predetermined ones of said categories of coded information, said plurality of code recognizing means including a first, second, third and fourth code recognizing means,

c. line mark differentiating means. effective for distinguishably reading said pre-printed line marks on said web paper during the advancement thereof,

(1. pulse generating means cooperating with said line mark differentiating means and effective for generating first, second and third type control pulses according to the arrangement of said pre-printed line marks in said two vertical columns,

e. a counter associated with said first code recognizing means, said counter being resettable by each of said first type control pulses in response to the reading of a said left-column line mark and advanceable to a predetermined count by said second type control pulses in response to the reading of said double line marks, and

f. comparator means cooperably associated with said counter and with said first code recognizing means, said comparator means being effective to activate said web paper stopping means when the count of said counter corresponds with the coded information of said first category thereof received by said storing means and recognized by said first code recognizing means, whereby said web paper may be selectively advanced a variable predetermined distance according to the selection of a succeeding second type control pulse generated by said pulse generating means upon reading a selected succeeding double line mark on said web paper.

18. Format control apparatus as defined in claim 17 wherein said second code recognizing means is effective for recognizing said second category of coded information, and upon recognizing said second category of coded information, for activating said web paper stopping means in response to the receipt of a said second type control pulse, whereby said web paper may be advanced a set distance according to the next succeeding second type control pulse generated by said pulse generating means upon reading the next succeeding double line mark on said web paper.

19. Format control apparatus as defined in claim [7 wherein said third code recognizing means is effective for recognizing said third category of coded information and, upon recognizing said third category of coded information, for activating said web paper stopping means in response to the for activating said web paper stopping means in response to the receipt of a second of said third type control pulses, whereby said web paper may be advanced a set distance according to the second succeeding third type control pulse generated by said pulse generating means upon reading the second succeeding line mark on said web paper, said line marks being of a double line mark, left-column line mark or right-column line mark nature.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification400/583.1, 400/616, 400/583.3, 400/579
International ClassificationG06K15/16, B41J11/42, G06K15/02, B41J11/46
Cooperative ClassificationB41J11/46
European ClassificationB41J11/46
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 22, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: UNISYS CORPORATION, PENNSYLVANIA
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:BURROUGHS CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:005012/0501
Effective date: 19880509
Jul 13, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: BURROUGHS CORPORATION
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNORS:BURROUGHS CORPORATION A CORP OF MI (MERGED INTO);BURROUGHS DELAWARE INCORPORATEDA DE CORP. (CHANGED TO);REEL/FRAME:004312/0324
Effective date: 19840530