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Publication numberUS3660836 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 2, 1972
Filing dateMar 17, 1970
Priority dateMar 17, 1969
Also published asDE2009228A1, DE2009228B2
Publication numberUS 3660836 A, US 3660836A, US-A-3660836, US3660836 A, US3660836A
InventorsNakatani Taro, Nishimoto Masaki, Segawa Hiromi, Yamamoto Hiroshi
Original AssigneeToa Electric Co Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Data converter
US 3660836 A
Abstract
A data converting apparatus cooperating with a function pattern containing information of a given function; the scanner is to be actuated a distance corresponding to the axis of the independent variable and the corresponding value on the function pattern is detected for conversion to provide a numerical readout.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [151 3,660,836 Nakatani et al. [4 1 May 2, 1972 [54] DATA CONVERTER [56] References Cited [72] Inventors: Taro Nakatani; Masaki Nishimoto, both of UNITED STATES PATENTS Kobe; Hiromi Segawa, Nishinomi'ya; Hiroshi Yamamoto Osaka a" f Japan 2,829,824 4/l958 Schuster ..235/61 .6 A

3,165,730 l/1965 Robinson... Assigneer T08 Tokushu Denki Kabushiki Keisha, 3,421,082 l/l969 Newbold ....324/100 x Osaka, p n 2,964,240 12/1960 Brinster et al. ..235/6 1 .6 [22] Flled: 1970 Primary Examiner-Maynard R. Wilbur [21] Appl. No.: 20,335 Assistant Examiner-Charles D. Miller Attorney-Craig, Antonelli & Hill [30] Foreign Application Priority Data [57] ABSTRACT ,Oct. 14, 1969 Japan ..44/82064 A data conve'mng apparatus cooperating with a function pap Mar, I7, 1969 Japan tern containing information ofa gi function; the Scanner is to be actuated a distance corresponding to the axis of the inde- [52] US. Cl. ..340/347 R, 235/ I54, 235/6l.6 Pendent variable and the corresponding value on the f i [51] Cl pattern is detected for conversion to provide a numerical [58] Field of Search ..340/347; 235/6l.6, 154; readout l 1 Claims, 19 Drawing l igures PATENTEDMAY 2 1972 SHEET 2 BF 8 INVENTORS MAS/'1 KI NISHIMOTO' TARo NAKAT I H RaMI sso-AwA and HIROSHI YAMAmoro PATENTEDMAY 2 I972 SHEET u 0F 8 INVENTORS MAS AKI NIS/lIMcn'p TARO AKATANI,

HIROMI SEGAWA and HIRDSHI YAMAMOT'O MvM AMA? ATTORNEY P'A'TENTEBMAY 2 I972 SHEET 5 OF 8 INVENTOR'I': 10 TARO NAKATANI- &\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\W 95 112- MAS/Hr]; NISHIMDT'O,

HIROMI SEGAWA and #rRosHZ YAMAMoTo ATTORNEY5 DATA CONVERTER.

This invention relates to a Data Converter, particularly to one which can automatically solve arbitrary functions from analog values obtained as the result of a measurement, convert the solution thus obtained into the digital amount, and indicate it in a numerical value, and also to a measuring apparatus equipped with this Data Converter. The data converter according to this invention is a data handling apparatus for scientific and chemical instruments, such as PH meters or measuring apparatus such as photoelectric colorimeters, which are used for clinical examination or physiological study, and an apparatus which can be used to convert the data, when it is necessary to introduce the final result of the measurement obtained in analog value. In other words, the photoelectric colorimeter, a measurement apparatus which must convert the unsettled data obtained from the analog output of the measurement into the final data, can only indicate the optical density of the fluid to be tested as the analog output of measurement on the meter. It is, therefore, necessary to read the density of the fluid by referring to the correcting curve which displays a logarithmic curve showingthe correlation between optical density and the required density.

In case of measuring the hemoglobin quantity of blood, the output of the photoelectric colorimeter is the optical density of the hemoglobin quantity, but the unit of hemoglobin quantity is a density shown in mg/dl. Accordingly, it has been the usual practice to measure beforehand the correlationship between the optical density and the amount of hemoglobin and to inscribe the same in a correcting curve, so that the desired result may be read by referring to the correcting curve after reading the photoelectric colorimeter. This method not only involves the danger of misreading or errors in reading the meter and the correcting curve, but also requires time, labor and skill in reading the correcting curve for each measurement.

In view of the aforementioned shortcomings and inconveniences, an improvement of this measuring method has been earnestly desired for a long period of time, especially in the field of clinical examination.

The present invention has successfully solved the aforementioned problem. A main object of the present invention is to provide a device whereby data in analog quantity which must be converted into another unit quantity of fixed functional relation, is made an input and is finally converted into a numerical value which can be read at a glance.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a device which enables a user to solve a given function with ease.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a colorimeter which automatically produces a digital indication, dispensing with the need on the part of an operator of reading a meter and with reading from a correcting curve as practiced heretofore.

Further objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be understood clearly from the following description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. I is a perspective view of a first embodiment of a data converter including a scanner according to the present invention,

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the data converter of FIG. 1, on an enlarged scale and taken on the section line 2 2, which shows a drum or a pattern support member,

FIG. 3 is a front view of the scanner in FIG. 1, on an enlarged scale,

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the data converter in FIG. 1, taken on the section line 4 4,

FIG. 5 is a circuit diagram showing a scanner shifting device,

FIG. 6 is a block diagram of the device shown in FIG. 1,

FIG. 7 is a circuit diagram showing in detail a main part of FIG. 6,

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a second embodiment according to the present invention,

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of the device in FIG. 8, taken on the section line 9 9,

FIG. 10 is a front view of the scanner shown in FIG. 8, on an enlarged scale,

' FIG. 11 is a driving control circuit diagram of the pattern support member,

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a third embodiment according to the present invention,

FIG. 13 is a block diagram of FIG. 12,

FIG. 14 shows a modification of the pattern support member,

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of a part of the device having a plurality of pattern support members,

FIG. 16 is a cross-sectional view of the device in FIG. 15, taken on the section line 1616,

FIG. 17 and FIG. 18 show, respectively, a modification of the transducer, in which FIG. 17 is of a light-transmission type and FIG. 18 is of an electromagnetic conversion type, and

FIG. 19 is a modification of the function pattern.

Referring now to the drawing wherein like reference numerals are used throughout the various views to designate like parts, and more particularly to FIGS. 1-7, one embodiment of a data converter according to the present invention comprises: a function pattern 20 recording an arbitrary function, a rotary drum 21 which fonns a support member for the function pattern 20, a scanner generally designated by reference numeral 23 which detects the differences in physical property between the function pattern 20 and the surface 22 of the rotary drum, a device 24 (FIG. 5) which shifts or displaces the scanner 23 a distance x in the independent variable axial direction of the function pattern by means of an analog input, a driving device generally designated by reference numeral 25 (FIG. 1) for the rotary drum 21 supporting the function pattern which shifts correlatively the scanner 23 and the function pattern 20 in the subordinate variable axial direction y, a support mechanism 26 for the drum 21, a gate circuit 27 (FIG. 1) which controls the counting of pulses by signals which detect the base line and the function curve of the function pattern as a result of scanning by the scanner 23, a signal generator 84 which provides a pulse line having a pulse repetition frequency in proportion to the unit of subordinate variable of the function pattern 20, a counter 29 which counts the aforementioned pulses, a photoelectric indicator or display tube 30 of three figures which indicates the number of pulses counted by digital means, and a casing 31 containing therein the above-mentioned devices.

The function pattern 20 coated witha binding agent on the reverse side, is a piece of paper with a black surface and is cut in a shape corresponding to an arbitrary (predetermined) correcting curve line to be examined and is enclosed by the curve liney=f(x) andabase line y=0. f

As indicated in FIG. 1, the surface of the rotary drum 21, forming a supporting member for the function pattern 20, is plated with nickel in order that it may be able to reflect fully any light falling on the same. The spindle of the drum 21 is formed in effect and supported by two balls 36 and 37 (FIG. 2) which press against the end surfaces of the side panels 38 and 39 of the drum 21 and are arranged in the supporting members generally designated by reference numerals 34 and which are rotatably supported by the supporting frames 32 and 33 provided in the casing 31. As shown in FIG. 2, two center holes 40 and 41 are provided in the center of the two sides 38 and 39 of the drum 2]. Each of the supporting members 34 and 35 is supported on its spindle 44 and 45 by means of ball bearings 42 and 43, respectively.

The supporting member 34 serves for the transmission of torque, and its spindle 44 is connected with a rotating spindle 47 (FIG. 1) of a synchronous motor 46 by way of gears 48 and 49. In the center of the spindles 44 and 45 are provided threaded holes 50 and 51, respectively, while springs 42 and 43 exerting pressure on the balls 36 and 37 are inserted into the threaded holes 50 and 51. Springs 52 and 53 are stressed by spring checks or stops 54 and 55, respectively. While the spring 52 presses lightly against the ball 36 of the supporting member 34 for the transmission of torque, the spring 53 presses strongly against the ball 37 of the other supporting member 35 so that spring force may be weak for the former and strong for the latter. That is, while the end surface of the side panel 39 of the-drum 21 is strongly pressed by the ball 37, the other end surface of the side panel 38 is only lightly pressed by the ball 36, whereby the side panel 38 comes into contact with the flange 56 of the supporting member 34, for

the torque transmission by frictional engagement. Therefore,

the torque of the supporting member 34 for the transmission of torque is transmitted to the drum 2], which is also made detachable from the supporting'members 34 and 35, where necessary.

The scanner 23 provided on its triangular movable member 59 (FIGS. 3 and 4) with an electric lamp 57 for scanning and with a photoelectric element 58, is situated near the drum 21 and moves transversely on a guide member 60 placed along the direction of the revolving spindle of the drum 21. That is, at the rear of the cylindrical surface of the revolving drum 21, the lamp 57 which throws light downwardly and perpendicularly from a point at which the cylindrical surface makes contact with a tangent of 45, and the photoelectric element 58 which receives the light horizontally, are fixed on a triangular movable member 59, to which rollers 61, 62 and 63 are pivotally secured, two on the upper part and one on the lower part of the triangularmovable member 59. These rollers 61, 62 and 63 engage in, i.e., are fixed in the exposed grooves 64 and 65 of the guide member 60 slightly inclined forward as shown in FIG. 4. A transverse slit 66 is arranged at the center of the guide member 60. This slit 66 is to facilitate the shifting of the lead wires of the lamp 57 and of the photoelectric element 58. Transverse movement of the scanner 23 is operated by a balance motor 67 (FIGS. 1, 5 and 6). A precise potentiometer 68 (FIGS. 4 and 5) is provided near the balance motor 67, and each of the rotating spindles 69 and 70 (FIG. 5)v

of the balance motor 67 and of the potentiometer 68 passes through the guide member 60; grooved pulleys 71 and 72 are fixed to the extreme end of the rotating spindles 69 and 70, respectively, and two small grooved pulleys 73 and 74 are provided on the supporting frames 32 and 33, respectively. As shown in FIG. 5, an endless rope 75 which is fastened to one side of the movable member 59 of the scanner 23, passes over the small-sized grooved pulley 73, is wound once around the grooved pulleys 72 and 71 of the potentiometer 68 and of the motor 67, passes over the grooved pulley 74 and is fastened to the other end of the movable member 59 of the scanner 23. Therefore, the rotation of the balance motor 67 causes the potentiometer 68 to rotate and at the same time causes the rope 75 to move, whereby the movable member 59 of the scanner 23 is moved along the guide member 60.

The balance motor 67 is connected to the input element 77 by way of a potential difference detecting circuit 78 and of an amplifier 76. The potentiometer 68 of the potential difference detecting circuit 78 is connected to the input element 77. If a voltage from an analog measuring output, for example, of a photoelectric colorimeter is impressed upon or applied to the input element 77, the balance motor 67 started by means of the amplifier 76 and at the same time the potentiometer 68 is turned or rotated. The potentiometer 68 in the potential difference detecting circuit 78 controls the voltage supplied to the balance motor 67. That is, an analog input signal, after its noise is removed in the input element 77, for example, by a filter, is transmitted to the primary winding of a transformer 80 by way of a chopper 79 of the potential difference detecting circuit 78. The balance motor 67 rotates, driven by the voltage induced in the secondary winding of the transformer 80. On the other hand, the potential difference detecting circuit 78'compares, in a bridge 81, the input voltage with the voltage of the potentiometer 68, and the difference of these voltages comes to be the motive power of the motor 67. Variable resistance 82 of the bridge 81 is a zero-setting adjuster to set the position of the scanner 23 at the end of the pattern, i.e. at the point x=0 and variable resistance 83 is a span adjuster to adjust'the moving distance of the scanner 23. As mentioned herein before, the potentiometer 68 turns simultaneously with the balance motor 67 and if it'operates so as to make smaller the potential difference, the motor driving .voltage from the input finally disappears at the very point of balance, whereupon the motor 67 stops. In other words, the scanner 23.stops after moving over a distance proportionate to the analog input. This moved or traversed distance is regarded as the'independent variable x on the function pattern 20. The function pattern 20 affixed onto the rotative drum 21, on the one hand, is provided with or .made from a light absorbing material, and on the other hand, the drum surface is plated with a material forming a light reflecting body. Therefore, the photoelectric element 58 is activated by the light from the lamp 57 of the scanner 23 falling on the drum surface 22 but is in the state of non-activation when the light from lamp 57 falls on the function pattern 20.

A pulse line or series of pulses having a pulse repetition frequency in proportion to the unit of the subordinate variable line of the function pattern is produced by a separately provided signal generator 84. This pulse line is transmitted, passing through a conventional shaping circuit 85, to the gate circuit 27 (FIG 1). As the rotative drum 21 is already in a rotating condition when the scanner-23 stops, the scanner 23 scans the cylindrical surface of the drum 21 at a certain point along the x direction on the rotative spindle of the drum 21. That is to say, the light of the lamp 57 is absorbed on meeting with the black graph portion 20 and the photoelectric element 58 thereby loses its input. The part other than the function area having no black portion, is a plated surface and has a luster, whence the reflected light of the lamp 57 is caught by the photoelectric element 58. By making the absence and the presence of an input for the photoelectric element 58 the detecting signals and by connecting them to the gate circuit 27, the gate circuit 27 sends to the counter 29 a pulse line, i.e., a series of pulses which indicates the distance between a detected signal of the base line detected by the scanner 23 on the dependent variable x and the detected signal of the functional curve. Furthermore, in case a function has the shape of a straight line, data converting is possible by means of changing the repetition frequency of the pulse line, which is in proportion to the unit on a subordinate variable line or changing it by insertingan n-progressive circuit between the gate circuit 27 and the counter 29. I

A description is made below of the function and the operation of the first embodiment of the Data Converter according to the present invention, by reference to the block diagram in FIG. 6 and the schematic diagram of the main circuit in FIG. 7.

When the balance motor 67 receives the analog input signal, it rotates in proportion to the power of the input signal but stops as the driving voltage becomes zero due to the balancing of the bridge 81. The stoppage of the motor 67 is detected by detecting the absence of the motor driving voltage by the stoppage detecting circuit 86. This detecting signal becomes an input of NAND 2 (element 87 in FIG. 6).

On the other hand, the rotating drum 21 rotates constantly and converts the data. Accordingly, as mentioned above there should always be two phases in front of the photoelectric element 58, namely the black data converted part 20and its reflected phase 22, irrespective of the location of the photoelectric element 58 which displays or produces a pulse signal of the light. The electrical pulse signal which is converted from the input of the light pulse signal, is used as another input of NAND 87 after it is shaped by a conventional shaping circuit 88.

If the balance motor 67 stops when the photoelectrically operated element 58 indicates the black portion and counting is started, it could mean that the counting is performed only partially, e.g., halfway. With this in view, the NAND is so protric element 58 indicates the specular surface.

The following is a detailed explanation of the operation of circuit. When pushing the start button 89, RS flip-flop 90 and 91 as well as the counter 29 are reset by grounding them through a respective diode. Now, the following explanation of the conditions of the circuit shown in FIG. 7 is made on the basis that the condition of 6v (6 volts) is represented by 1 and the condition 0v (zero volts) by 0".

The RS flip-flop 90 is connected with the base of its transistor 92 through the diode, and the collector of the transistor becomes 1 and waits by pushing the start button 89 as mentioned above.

The balance motor 67 is energized and therefore rotates as a result of the application of the analog input signal to circuit 77 and the x-axis stop signal in the stoppage detecting circuit 86 becomes a signal 0 when the motor 67 operates, i.e., is rotating, and becomes a signal 1 when the motor 67 stops because the stop signal is a phase-inverted signal, integrating a source of electricity of the motor 67.

This signal from the stoppage detecting circuit 86 becomes one input of NAND 87. Following this, a time signal detects the reflecting part 22 (hereinafter referred to as "white") of the rotating drum 21 and the non-reflecting part (hereinafter referred to as black") by rotation of the drum 21 and reception of light of the lamp 57 on the photoelectric element 58 as a reflected light.\

The output of the shaping circuit 88 is 1 when the photoelectric element 58 covers the non-reflecting black, and to the contrary, it is 0 when the photoelectric element 58 covers the reflecting white. Thus, the output of the shaping circuit 88 becomes the other input of NAND 87 and the output of the shaping circuit 88 changes in the fashion of l, 0, l, 0, because the drum 21 rotates constantly. Therefore, the output of NAND 87 becomes 0 only while the motor 67 stops, otherwise it is always 1.

The flip-flop 90 is an off-trigger and is changed from 1 to 0, being triggered when NAND 87 changes from 1 to 0, and thereafter is held in that condition until the start button 89 is pushed again, irrespective of the change of the output signal from NAND 87. When the output of RS flip-flop 90 becomes 0, the shaping circuit 88 becomes the second input of NOR 93, repeating the change 1, 0, and becomes the input of NAND 94, producing the output of 1 only when the output of the shaping circuit 88 becomes the input of O, 0 being obtained on the white. Among the three inputs of NAND 94, one input is obtained from RS flip-flop 91 whose output is 1" upon resetting, while the remaining two inputs thereof eventually become 1, since the output of the shaping circuit 85 of the pulse signal becomes 1 as it is repeating the change of 1, O, 1, 0, like the time signal. Accordingly, when those three inputs of NAND 94 become 1, NAND 94 produces the output 0 and counts the number, driving the counter 29. When the shaping circuit 88 changes from 0 to 1, NOR 93 becomes 0 from 1 and NAND 94 operates to stop the counting, when NOR 93 changes to 0 from 1 and the RS flip-flop 91 changes to 0 from 1.

At this time, as the RS flip-flop 91 is held, like flip-flop 90, until the start button 89 is pushed, the counter remains in the same condition until the counting stops automatically, regardless of the rotation of the rotating drum 21.

During the time when the motor 67 stops and the photoelectric element 58 indicates the black part, no counting is made until the drum 21 rotates and becomes white, but the counting begins at the same time as it becomes white, when the input of NOR 93 becomes 0, 0. The counting is stopped when the drum becomes black because the output of the shaping circuit 88 changes to 1 in the input of NOR 93 and accordingly the output of NOR 93 becomes 0 and the input of NOR 93 1, 0. Counting is not started when the drum changes to white" again, because the RS flip-flops 90, 91 are still held in the pre-existing conditions and even if the output of NOR 93 changes to 1, the other input of NAND 94 remains, i.e., is held at 0.

On the other hand, even if the motor 67 stops in case of white", as NAND 87 does not work because of its input being 0, l as mentioned above, the rotating drum 21 will continue to move without counting, and the counting begins after it changes to black" again. While the rotating drum 21 always rotates as mentioned above, the counting is done only from a single scanning. It can be freely selected either to change the non-reflecting black part into an AD conversion or to change the reflected white" part into an AD conversion, because this is determined by the fact whether the phase is inverted or not in the final transistor of the shaping circuit 88.

Next, a modification of a data converter of the present invention will be described by reference to FIGS. 8-11. A difference between this embodiment and the first one is in the shape of the supporting frame, that is, the supporting member for the function pattern 20 is changed in this embodiment to a table 95. In FIGS. 8-10, reference numeral 96 generally denotes a frame comprising two opposite side boards 97 and 98, a front board 99 and back board 100 connecting the side boards and a bottom board 101. A sliding member 102 is provided at the inside upper end of each of the side panels 97 and 98 for the purpose of slidingly guiding both side ends of the table 95. In the center of the frame 96 a guiding member 104 is arranged to support the scanner 103 in such a fashion that it stretches over each upper end of the said side panels 97 and 98. A guiding groove 105 is provided in the guiding member 104 so as to enable the scanner 103 to slide transversely, guided by the groove 105. The scanner 103 consists of a movable member 106 (FIG. 10) supported in such a fashion that it can move transversely in the guide groove 105, the lamp 57 being fixed on the movable member 106 and a photoelectric element, for example, a photo transistor 58, being fixed near and opposite to the lamp 57. The photoelectric element 58 is placed in a position where it can receive from the lamp 57 those rays of light incident upon and reflected from the light reflecting surface of the table 95. An actuating cable 75 of the scanner 103 is attached to both sides of the movable member 106. Reference numeral 107 denotes a roller fixed in the guide groove 105 and is pivoted to the movable member 106. The table 95 is supported in such a manner that its two side edges fit into the sliding members 102, along which the table is allowed to slide perpendicularly to the movement of the scanner 103. The surface of the table 95 is covered with a reflecting board 110 coated with a material of high reflection efiiciency, for example, with an aluminum foil, a silver-plated board and so on. A function curve F and a base line G are drawn on the reflecting board 110 with a reflection-checking material; as an example, one may draw on a transparent polyester film 111 (FIG. 9) a function curve F and a base line G in black using a conventional black, light-absorbing material and cover the reflecting board 110 with this film 111. Transverse movement of the scanner 103 is performed in the same manner as in the first embodiment with the corresponding device 24 provided on the underside of the table 95. Also, as indicated in FIG. 9, a rack 112 extending in the longitudinal direction is affixed to the underside of the table 95, and a pinion 114 is keyed to a rotative spindle of a reversible motor 113 provided on the bottom board 101 to drivingly engage the pinion 114 with the rack 112 and thus transmit the rotation of the reversible motor 113 to the table 95.

In accordance with the rotation of the motor 113, the table 95 slides in sliding members 102 perpendicularly to the movement of scanner 103. Corresponding to the scanners travel and stop in proportion to a certain analog input, the table 95 moves correlatively and converts the data.

Moreover, a rotating disc 116 of a light pulse generator 115 is provided on a spindle forming an extension of the rotative spindle of the motor 113 and extending outside of the side panel 97 to produce or generate a standard pulse lines, i.e., a series of reference pulses. Cooperating with the rotating disc 116 is a photoelectric converter 117 consisting of a lamp and of a photoelectric element, whereby the generator 115 sends a pulse line to the gate circuit 27, after passing through the shaping circuit 85, only when the tableis displaced, i.e., is moving by rotation of motor 113. f

The photoelectric element 58 of the scanner 103, according to the sliding movements-of the table 95,transmits a base line signal at the point of passing the base line G, and a function curve signal at the point of passing the function curve F. The two signals are applied to a flip-flop circuit 1 l9 and then to the gate circuit 27, after passing through an amplifier 118 and the shaping circuit 88. Therefore, a signal as determined by the scanner 103 is applied to' one input and a standard pulse line to the other input of the gate circuit 27. Being a circuit that opens only when a pulse or signal is applied atboth inputs, this gate circuit 27 opens with the first pulse signal from the scanner 103 and closes with the next, and only the standard pulse line generated between these two pulse signals, i.e., the pulses generated by the generator 115 during this time interval is transmitted to the counter 29, whence the numerical value counted by the counter 29 is indicated by the photoelectric indicating tube 30. The reversible motor 113, which drives the table 95, stops upon closing of either one of the two microswitches 120 or 121 (FIG. 9) attached to the panels 99 and 100 of the frame 96. The reversible motor 113, however, starts to operate byswitching-on a separately provided operating switch 122, irrespective of the two micro-switches, and rotates in the reverse direction due to the operation of a conventional relay device 123. The operating switch 122 is operatively connected to the flip-flop circuit 119 and does not operate before the signal of the scanner 103 is transmitted with certainty twice to the gate circuit 27 by the circuit 119.

An example of a control circuit for a reversible motor 1 13 is indicated by the circuit diagram in F IG. 1 1, according to which a fixed contact 124 of the normally closed micro-switch 120 is connected to the fixed contact 125 of the other microswitch 121, and a fixed contact 126 of the switch 121 is connected to a common terminal 127 of the field winding and compensation winding in the reversible motor 113. The fixed contact 128 of the micro-switch 121 is connected to one input terminal of an input connection 129 for an electric power source by way of the coil of an electromagnetic relay 123; the other input terminal of the connection 129 is connected to the fixed contact 130 of the micro-switch 120 and further to one of the pair of fixed contacts 132 which form part of an auxiliary double throw switch 131 of the electromagnetic relay 123,

and the other is connected to the close-contact 124 and thus to the-contact 125. Each of the pair of fixed contacts 132 and 133 opens or closes depending on-the position of the movable contact 134 which, in turn is actuated by the electromagnetic relay 123 controlling the auxiliary switch 131. The interconnected contacts132 and 133 are connected with the common terminal 127 by way of the operating (start) switch 122 of the reversible motor 113. Connected to the terminals 135 and 136, provided on the motor 113, are one of each pair of the fixed contacts 138 and 139 of another auxiliary switch 137 of the electromagnetic relay 123; the pairs of fixed contacts 138 and 139 are selectively opened and closed by a movable contact 140 which is also actuated by the electromagnetic relay 123.

One contact of each of the pairs of the contacts 137 and 138 are interconnected and, in turn, connected to the circuit intermediate the electromagnetic relay 123 and one of the input terminals 129.

OPERATION The following is an explanation of the operation of the above-mentioned control circuit of FIG. 11.

FIG. 11 shows the condition of the table 95 when in contact with the edge board 99 of the frame 96, with the micro-switch 120 open and the contacts 125 and 126 of the micro-switch 121 closed as shown. In this condition, when the operating switch 122 is closed, the voltage applied at terminals 129 causes the reversible motor 113,to rotate by way of the circuit including fixed contacts 132 and the fixed contacts 138 which are closed by movable contacts 134 and 140, respectively. As a result of the momentary rotation of the reversible motor 113, the table leaves the edge board 99 and naturally the previously open micro-switch now closes and the input voltage at terminals 129 is applied by way of the closed contacts and 124 of micro-switch 120 and by way of the closed contacts 125 and 126 of the micro-switch 121 to the windings of the reversible motor 113, thereby forming an energizing circuit in parallel with the starting circuit including switch 122, whereupon the table 95 is driven irrespective of the condition of the operating switch 122. The table 95 contacts the edge board 100 after travel of a certain distance, and at the same time the micro-switch 121 opens, whereupon the connection is changed from that between contacts 125 and 126 to that between contacts 125 and 128. Accordingly, the reversible motor 113 stops due to the interruption of electric current. At this time, the micro-switch 120 is in the closed condition and the electromagnetic relay 123'is energized by the input voltage at terminals 129 by way of micro-switches 120 and 121, whereby both movable contacts 134 and move to engage with their respective fixed contacts 133 and 139 at auxiliary switches 131 and 137 of the relay 123.

The foregoing describes the operation and travel of the table 95.

Next, after confirmation of the stoppage of the table 95, if the operating switch 122 is again closed, the reversible motor 113 turns in the reverse direction clue to the presence and interconnection of condenser 141. As a result of this momentary movement of the motor 113, the table 95 leaves the edge board 100 and accordingly the micro-switch 121 is returned to the normal, pre-existing condition of closed. That is to say, the connection between the contact 125 and the contact 128 The reversible motor 113, energized by way of micro switches 121 and 120, then rotates in the opposite direction and moves the table 95 oppositely. The table 95 stops after traveling a certain distance, irrespective of the operating switch 122. Furthermore, during the time of travel, the coil 123 with its self-holding switch 142 is in the energized condition maintaining the holding circuit until the micro-switch 120 opens whereupon the coil 123 returns to'the former deenergized" condition when the holding circuit is thus opened. This operation is repeated.

The third embodiment of a Data Converter according to the present invention is shown in perspectiveview in FIG. 12 and in block diagram in FIG. 13.

This embodiment makes it possible to use a plurality of function patterns 20. In the case of a photoelectric colorimeter, for example, the function pattern must be changed whenever the fluid to be tested is changed. Therefore, it is very desirable to have several kinds of function patterns provided in the device so that the desired function pattern may be easily selected. The following description is made of an embodiment that has solved the aforementioned problem.

In the drawings, reference numeral 143 denotes a belt sheet, 7

on which are indicated the base line G and the function curve F of each function pattern 20, for example, a plurality of several kinds of function patterns 20 drawn in black ink on the light-reflecting board 144, such as aluminum foil. Both ends of the belt sheet 143 are rolled up'by drums 145 and 146. The function graph drawn on the function pattern 20 makes the subordinate variable axis correspond to the longitudinal direction or rolling up direction of the belt, which is so arranged and constructed as to move in the direction of the subordinate variable axis of the function graph according to the rotation of drums 145 and 146.

Linked to the rotative spindle of the drum 145 is a driving supported by a bearing (a radial ball-bearing).

The scanner 103 similar to that employed in the second embodiment is suspended over the belt sheet 143. This scanner 103 is so designed as to move in the direction of the axial line of the independent variable in the function. In other words, the scanner 103 is provided in such a fashion that it can move along the guide member 104, extending over the belt sheet 143 in the center between the two drums 145 and 146, and carries a transducer to be activated (by the light in this case) or non-activated by the function pattern 20. Besides; the scanner 103 includes also a movable member 106 (see FIG. 10), a lamp 57 fixed to the movable member 106, and a photoelectric element 58 or a phototransistor placed adjacent and opposite to the lamp 57.

The photoelectric element 58 is set at such position as to receive the reflected light from the reflecting surface of the pattern 20. Connected to both sides of the movable member 106 is a cable 75. The moving device 24 of the scanner 103 comprises, like the second embodiment of FIGS. 8-10, two small grooved pulleys 71 and 72, the balance motor 67, the potential difference detecting circuit 78 including the potentiometer 68, and the amplifier 76.

The pulse generator generally designated by reference numeral 1 is provided on the spindle 147 of the drum 145 connected with the driving motor 148. This pulse generator 115 comprises a rotative disc 116 having many radial slits and a photoelectric transducer 117 composed of a projector and a light-receiving element. Pulse lines, i.e., pulse series generated by the pulse generator 115 are transmitted to the gate circuit 27 by way of the amplifier 151 and the shaping circuit 85.

By depressing or pushing the switch 152, the balance motor 67 begins to rotate and the scanner 103 is shifted or displaced. The scanner 103 which is moved over a distance proportional to the analog input and then stopped, can be said to have thus moved by a distance of movement corresponding to the independent variable x on the pattern 20. In other words, when the scanner 103 stops, it is located somewhere along the independent variable x of the function, and the belt sheet 143 begins to move thereafter in the direction of the subordinate variable of the pattern 20. Therefore, the photoelectric element 58 of the scanner 103 moves across the base line G and the function curve F and interrupts a signal which detects the base line G and the function curve F of the part other than the reflected surface 144. This signal is again transmitted to the gate circuit 27 by wayof the amplifier circuit 153 and the shaping circuit 88.

A delay circuit 154, such as a relay, is connected between the operating switch 152 and the gate 27 so that the counting may not be started before the action of the following sequence is completed, by closing the gate circuit 27 for a sufficiently long time-to complete the action.

After the operating switch 152 is pushed, the balance motor 67 begins to rotate and the scanner 103 moves to the place proportional to the analog input and then stops.

A pulse line or pulse series transmitted by the forementioned pulse producing apparatus and another signal interrupted by the scanner 103 are supplied to this gate circuit 27, in addition to the output of the delay circuit 154. As the gate circuit 27 opens only when three pulse signals are applied thereto, it opens with the signal from the scanner 103 detecting the base line and closes with the function curve detecting signal, sending only the pulse line or pulse series during that time to the counter 29. Moreover, it indicates the digital amount which is equivalent to the counted subordinate variable by a photoelectric indication tube 30.

FIG. 14 shows a variation of the first embodiment and also shows a front view of only the drum part which constitutes a supporting body of the function pattern, namely, it is the pattern supporting body which makes it possible to store simultaneously many functional patterns. The rotating drum 155 is sufficiently long and three functional patterns are placed or mounted on its surface 156.

In another variation, many rotating drums as shown in the first embodiment maybe provided in a single assembly. As

shown in FIGS. 15 and 16, four rotating drums 21 are supported at the two ends thereof by two annular supporting plates or frames 157 and 158, to which are connected the bearing support members 157' and 158. The support members 157 and 158 rotatably support by means of ballbearings 165 and 166 the axial or sleeve portions 163 and 164, adjoined by flange portions 161 and 162 of the supporting members generally designated by reference numerals 159 and and accommodate on the inside thereof the spring-loaded balls 171 and 172, respectively, that again rotatingly support the drums 21.

Axial or sleeve parts 163 and 164 are thus supported by ball-bearings 165 and 166, respectively. The supporting plate or frame 157 is fixed to a shaft 168 at its center and is supported in such a fashion that it can rotate intermittently. Each of the axial portions 163 and 164 of a respective drum forms with its flange portion 161 or 162 a supporting part 159 or 160, of which in the illustrated embodiment the left supporting part 159 is used for the transmission of torque. The axial or sleeve portions 163 and 164 are provided with threaded bores 169 and 170 extending through the axial parts. Enclosed in the bores 169 and 170 are springs 173 and 174 which press or spring-load the balls 171 and 172, respectively.

The two springs 173 and 174 are stressed by spring checks or stops 175 and 176, one more strongly and the other more weakly, namely, the ball 171 on the side of the rotating power transmission part 159 is spring-loaded weakly and the ball 172 on the side of the supporting part 160 is spring-loaded strongly. In other words, while the end surface of the one side panels 39 of the drum 21 is spring-loaded, i.e., pushed strongly by the ball 172, the end surface of the other side panel 38 comes into contact with the surface of the flange 161 which constitutes the supporting part for the torque transmission, because the spring-load or pushing power of the ball 171 is weaker. Accordingly, there is formed a gap between the other flange 162 and the end surface 39 of the drum 21. The axial part or sleeve portion 163 has a flange 177 on the outside and is joined to a coupling 178 on the motor sidefThat is to say, the rotary shaft of the fixed driving motor 179 rotates the coupling 178 by way of a gearbox 180, and by means of a ball 181 with a spring which is enclosed in the coupling 178', the surfaces of the coupling 178 and of the outside flange 177 come into contact with each other and thus the torque is transmitted. Accordingly, when the shaft 168 of the supporting plate rotates, the torque of the motor 179 is transmitted to the other rotating drums 21.

Though the scanner 23 or 103 has been operated by utilizing reflection of the light, a change of its transducer is easy. As indicated'in FIGS. 17 and 18, it can be changed to a transducer by means of light transmission and magnetic detection. In case of a scanner of the light-transmission type, as illustrated in FIG. 17, the scanner comprises only the photoelectric element 58 and scanning is carried out by equipping it with a cylindrical flood light projection 183 under the function pattern. The pattern support, such as a rotating drum, a table, a belt sheet and the like, should be made of transparent material and the function pattern 185 must be made of opaque material. Therefore, the photoelectric element 58 of the scanner 182 is not activated as long as it is over the function pattern 185 but is activated over the pattern support other than the function field. Namely, when the photoelectric element 58 changes to the status of non-activation from the activated status, or vice versa, it detects the base line of the function pattern or the function curve.

Description is made below of an embodiment of a magneticelectric converting system as indicated by FIG. 18. The desired function pattern 188 is formed by a thin plate 186, made of paper or plastics, coated with a powder of ferrite 187.

Since the pattern support 189 is made of non-magnetic material, an excitation current flows through the pick-up coil 191, when the scanner 190 or pick-up crosses the magnetic field of the pattern. The current is then detected by a conventional detecting circuit 192.

As the time during which the current flows, is the time during which the function pattern 188 is scanned, the gate of the counter 29 is opened by the output of the detecting circuit 192, and pulse lines of the pulse generator are counted by the counting circuit. Accordingly, this embodiment has the same effect as the preceding embodiments.

The aforementioned embodiments of this invention involve the steps of imparting to the scanner a displacement in proportion to the analog input, shifting correlatively the scanner and the function pattern in the direction of the subordinate van'able, and counting the number of pulses to be oscillated by the pulse generator during the two signals obtained by the scanner detecting the base line and the curve line of the function.

It is possible, however, to incorporate a pulse generator into the function pattern itself. As indicated by FIG. 19, into the function pattern 193 surrounded by the function curve F and the base line G, many parallel lines 194 are drawn at the intervals corresponding to the unit of the subordinate variable, in the direction of the axial line of the independent variable. Although it depends upon the kind of transducer, in the case of a scanner of the light reflecting type 23 or 103 (as shown by the first to third embodiments), for example, the function pattern may comprise the interval portion 195 made of light reflecting material and linear lines made of black light-absorbing material.

In the case'of a scanner of the light transmission type, the function pattern may comprise linear lines 194 and the interval portion 195 with a combination of transparent and opaque materials.

While we have shown and described several embodiments in accordance with the present invention, it is understood that the same is not limited thereto, but is susceptible of numerous changes and modifications as known to those skilled in the art, and we therefore do not wish to be limited to the details shown and described herein but intend to cover all such changes and modifications as are encompassed by the scope of the appended claims.

We claim:

I. A data converter comprising:

first means for storing thereon first and second functional graphs, each of which is a function of an independent variable;

second means for supporting said first means;

.third means optically coupled with said first and second means, for scanning said first and second functional graphs stored in said first means and for detecting the differences inthe surface characteristics of said first means at the portions on which said first and second graphs are stored and the surface portion of said first means between said first and second graphs, in response to light reflected from each of said portions;

fourth means, coupled to said third means, for driving said third means in the direction of the axial line of said independent variable in response to an analog input thereto said fourth means including an input circuit receiving said analog signal, a potential difference detecting circuit receiving as a first input thereto, the output of said input circuit a potentiometer coupled to said third means and said potential difference detecting circuit and providing a second input thereto, representative of the magnitude of the displacement of said third means along said axial line, the output of said potential difference detecting circuit corresponding to the difference between said first and second inputs thereto, representative of the difference between said analog input and said axial displacement of said third means, and a servo-motor mechanism, coupled to said third means and said potentiometer and responsive to the output of said potential difference detecting circuit to displace said third means along said axial line until the displacement thereof in said axial direction corresponds to the magnitude of said analog input to said input circuit;

fifth means coupled to said second means, for driving said second means in a direction perpendicular to said axial line of said independent variable;

sixth means for generating a train of pulses;

seventh means responsive to the output of said servo-motor mechanism, for generating a stop signal corresponding to the sensation of said servo-motor mechanism; eighth means coupled to said seventh means and said third means, for providing a first control signal in response to the absence of a stop signal from said seventh means during the energization of said servo-motor mechanism;

ninth means, responsive to the output of said third means, said sixth means and said eighth means, for transmitting therethrough a number of pulses generated by said sixth means, said number corresponding to the distance between said first and second functional graphs stored on said first means at the axial location of said independent variable at which said third means is positioned when said servo-mechanism is de-energized;

tenth means for counting said number of pulses transmitted by said ninth means; and

eleventh means for providing a digital indication of said number of pulses counted by said tenth means.

2. A data converter according to claim 1, wherein said first means comprises a rotary drum having said first and second functional graphs recorded thereon, said second means comprises a pair of supporting members supporting each end of said rotary drum about a common axis, and ball support means movable in direction of the axis of said drum supported by said pair of supporting members, and said fifth means comprises a driving motor operatively connected to one of said supporting members and a torque transmission means coupled to said driving motor for transmitting the torque output of said driving motor to said drum, and including means for engaging the end surface of one of said supporting members to one end surface of said drum.

3. A data converter according to claim 1, wherein said first means comprises a plurality of function patterns having recorded thereon said first and second functional graphs, said second means includes a belt sheet supporting said plurality of functional patterns, and said fifth means comprises a winding drum means over which said belt sheet passes, for selectively winding said belt sheet around said drums at each end thereof, and a driving motor connected to one of said drums for rotating said winding drum means. v

4. A data converter according to claim 1, wherein said third means comprises a light source and a photoelectric element mounted upon a displaceable member and a guide member along which said displaceable member may be moved, so as to displace said light source and photoelectric element together adjacent said first and second means so as to scan said first and second functional graphs and the surface of said first means, and further including means coupling said displaceable element with said servo-motor mechanism and said potentiometer so as to provide synchronous coupling therebetween.

5. A data converter according to claim 4, wherein said light source and said photoelectric cell are arranged adjacent the surface of said first means so that light generated by said light source and reflected from the surface of said first means is received by said photoelectric cell and wherein said means for coupling said displaceable element, said potentiometer and said servo-motor mechanism in synchronism includes an endless rope coupled thereto.

6. A data converter according to claim 1, wherein said input circuit comprises a filter, said potential difference detecting circuit includes'a bridge circuit one input of which is connected to the output of said filter and another input of which is connected to one terminal of said potentiometer, a transformer, one terminal of which is connected to a second terminal of said potentiometer and another tenninal of which is connected to one terminal of said filter, and an amplifier circuit connected to one side of said transformer for coupling the output thereof to said serve-motor mechanism.

7. A data converter according to claim 6, wherein said potential difference detecting circuit further includes a van'able resistor network connected between said filter and said second terminal of said potentiometer for adjusting the displaceable distance of said third means and wherein said bridge circuit includes a variable resistor for setting the initial position of said third means at one end of a scan.

8. A data converter according to claim 1, wherein said eighth means comprises a NAND gate, one input of which is connected to the output of said seventh means, and another input of which is coupled to the output of said third means, and wherein said ninth means comprises a first bistable multivibrator, one input of which is connected to the output of said NAND gate, and another input of which is connected to a system energizing switch, a NOR gate, having one input thereof connected to an output of said first bistable multivibrator and another input thereof coupled to the input of said third means, a second bistable multivibrator one input of which is connected to the input of said NOR gate, and another input of which is connected to said energizing switch, and an additional NAND gate, having one input connected to an output of said second bistable multivibrator, another input connected to the input of said NOR gate, and a third input coupled to the output of said sixth means.

9. A data converter according to claim 1, wherein said sixth means comprises a reversible motor mechanically coupled to said second means and a rotating disc axially connected to the shaft of said reversible motor, said disc having a plurality of optical slits in the periphery thereof and further including a light source positioned adjacent the slits of said disc so as to have the output thereof chopped by said disc during the rotation thereof, and a photoelectric detector circuit optically coupled to the output of said light source associated with said disc so as to provide said train of pulses in response to the rotation of said disc.

10. A data converter according to claim 9, wherein said second means comprises a substantially planar table supporting said first means, displaceable in a first linear direction, and wherein said third means includes means for scanning said surface of said table in a direction perpendicular to the direction of movement thereof.

1 l. A data converter according to claim 9, wherein said first means comprises a plurality of function patterns having recorded thereon said first and second functional graphs, said second means includes a belt sheet supporting said plurality of functional patterns, and said fifth means comprises a-winding drum means over which said belt sheet passes, for selectively winding said belt sheet around said drums at each end thereof, and a driving motor connected to one of said drums for rotating said winding drum means.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4963498 *Jan 15, 1988Oct 16, 1990BiotrackCapillary flow device
US5300779 *Aug 18, 1992Apr 5, 1994Biotrack, Inc.Capillary flow device
Classifications
U.S. Classification382/113, 702/137
International ClassificationG06F3/00
Cooperative ClassificationG06F3/002
European ClassificationG06F3/00B