Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3667624 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 6, 1972
Filing dateJan 28, 1971
Priority dateJan 30, 1970
Publication numberUS 3667624 A, US 3667624A, US-A-3667624, US3667624 A, US3667624A
InventorsMitsuo Ogura, Shinichi Fukazawa
Original AssigneeHitachi Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cassette-tape supplying apparatus
US 3667624 A
Abstract
A cassette-tape supplying apparatus permitting a continuous recording or reproduction of a number of cassette tapes, which is constructed such that a number of cassettes are set upright on an input hopper and that they are fed under the upright state in the order of the first, second and third holders to be outputted from said third holder, and in which said second holder is adapted, upon swivelling, to mount said cassettes onto at least one deck.
Images(4)
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Unite States Ptent Ogura et a1. [45] June 6, 1972 CASSETTE-TAPE SUPPLY ENG [56] References Cited APPARATUS UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,291,323 12/1966 Pastor ..214/6 BA [72] Inventors: Mitsuo Ogura, Odawara; Shinichi Fu- 1463580 8/ 1969 Freudenschusl kazawa, Chigasaki, both of Japan 3,484,055 12/1969 Raine ..274/4 F [73] Assignee: Hitachi Tokyo Japan Primary Examiner-Gerald M. Forlenza [22] Filed: Jan, 28, 1971 Assistant Examiner-George F. Abraham 1 pp No: 110,476 AllorneyCraig, Antonelll, Stewart & Hill Foreign Application Priority Data Jan. 30, 1970 Japan ..45/771l 11.5. C1. ..214/8.5 A, 214/7, 2 l4/8.5 F, 242/181, 274/4 F Int. Cl 865g 60/00 Field of Search 214/85 F, 8.5 A, 7, 6 D, 6 BA; 351/123,125;274/4 F; 242/180, 181

[5 7] ABSTRACT A cassette-tape supplying apparatus permitting a continuous recording or reproduction of a number of cassette tapes, which is constructed such that a number of cassettes are set upright on an input hopper and that they are fed under the upright state in the order of the first, second and third holders to be outputted from said third holder, and in which said second holder is adapted, upon swivelling, to mount said cassettes onto at least one deck.

3 Claims, 13 Drawing figures PATENTEDJUH s 1912 3. 667. 624

saw 1 or 4 FIG. 2B

o INVENTORS 37 36G MITSUO OGURA AND SHIN\CH\ FUKAZAWA BY Cray Anfonelli, Shaman-l:

ATTORNEYS PATENTEDJUH 6 m2 saw 20F 4 350 2 8 {I00 33b ,29 39 ,34 ,30 =5 4 Tn... FIG. 3A Q I: 1: Ln

V i INPUT REPRODUCTION, REWINDING OUTPUT HOPPER DECK DECK STACKER FIG.

FIG.

FIG. 30

IN VEN TORS MITSUO OGURA AND SHINICHI UKALAWA BY Craig, qntoneui, Stiulan? t ATTDRNEYS PATENTEDJUH 6 I972 SHEET 3 OF 4 FIG. 3]

INVENTORS 06 U R A MITSUO AND SHINICH] FUKAIAWA CASSETTE-TAPE SUPPL YING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a cassette-tape supplying apparatus. More particularly, it relates to a cassette-tape supplying apparatus permitting a continuous recording or reproduction of a number of cassette tapes.

2. DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART It is generally carried out by hands to charge a recording or reproducing apparatus with a cassette tape, and to remove it therefrom. It is accordingly impossible to automatically conduct a continuous recording (including sound recording, etc.) or reproduction (including musical performance, etc.) of a number of cassette tapes.

Some apparatus for a continuous recording or reproduction of a number of cassette tapes are presently being tried, but they cannot be said to be fully satisfactory because of, e.g. their mechanical complication.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An object of this invention is to provide a cassette-tape supplying apparatus permitting a continuous recording or reproduction.

This invention comprises an input hopper on which a number of cassettes are set upright, an output stacker, a first holder for receiving cassettes from said input hopper, a second swivellable holder adjacent to said first holder and adapted, upon swivelling, to set said cassettes onto at least one deck, a third holder adjacent to said second holder and for outputting said cassettes to said output stacker, and a cassette supplying mechanism for sequentially feeding said cassettes from said first holder to said third holder under such state that said cassettes are set upright.

According to this invention, since the cassettes are sequentially supplied from the input hopper to the holder section, a continuous recording or reproduction is permitted. In addition, since the cassettes are fed under the upright state, the mechanism is made very simple.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a common cassette.

FIG. 2A is a perspective view showing an embodiment of this invention.

FIG. 2B is a view showing, in detail, a part of FIG. 2A.

FIGS. 3A to 3I are views illustrating the supplying states of cassettes for explaining this invention, respectively.

FIG. 4 is a circuit diagram for explaining this invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to FIG. 1, an example of a cassette is shown. The cassette 10 has a magnetic tape 11 and reels (not shown) contained therein, and is provided with hub-inserting holes 12 and 13 into which are inserted hubs for rotating the reels. Holes 14 and 15 are for insertion of a capstan shaft. An opening 16 is formed such that a magnetic head is pressed thereto to provide the contact between it and the magnetic tape 11.

CONSTRUCTION FIG. 2 shows an embodiment of this invention. It is a magnetic-recording reproducing apparatus with two decks, which comprises an input hopper 21, a reproduction deck 22, a rewinding deck 23 and an output stacker 24. Also included is a cassette-tape supplying mechanism 25 by which this invention is characterized. The cassette 10 is caused to stand on the input hopper 21 with the side of the opening 16 downwards. A number of cassettes are thus set upright between a cassette weight 26 and a shutter 27. The cassette weight 26 is kept pulled or pushed towards the shutter 27 by means of, e.g., a spring, so as to urge the cassettes towards the shutter. The shutter 27 has a shutter magnet 27a connected thereto. It is normally closed as shown in the figure, while it is opened upon energization of the magnet 27a. Accordingly, the cassettes are normally hindered by the shutter 27, and are not given to the cassette-tape feeding mechanism 25. The cassette-tape supplying mechanism 25 consists mainly of a cassette holder section and a feeding section. The cassette holder section is divided into three parts, i.e. the first holder 28, the second holder 29 and the third holder 30. The first holder 28 is substantially equal in width to the input hopper 21, and has on the side of the input hopper 21 an opening 28a being slightly larger than the cassette. In addition, an opening 28b is provided in the upside so as to separate the front and back walls. A switch 83-1 is arranged, which is actuated when the cassette is pushed into the first holder 28. In adjacency to the first holder 28, the second holder 29 is disposed at the positions of the reproduction deck 22 and the rewinding deck 23. Similarly to the first holder 28, an opening 29a is formed in the upside of the second holder 29. A further opening 29b leading to the opening 29a is provided in that portion of the back of the second holder 29 which corresponds to the junction between the reproduction deck 22 and the rewinding deck 23. The junction between the first holder 28 and the second one 29 is, at the front, in such condition that they are nearly in contact with each other. In contrast, at the back, an opening 292 is formed in the first or second holder so as to provide some space. Passed through the respective lugs 22a and 23a of the reproduction deck 22 and the rewinding deck 23 is a shaft 31, to which the second holder 29 is fixed. The shaft 31 is turned by a rotary solenoid 31a. Accordingly, the second holder 29 is swivelled upon turning of the shaft 31, so as to be covered on the reproduction deck 22 and the rewinding one 23. A switch 86-1 is provided on the deck 23, and is actuated when the second holder 29 is covered on the decks. The third holder 30 is disposed in adjacency to the second holder 29 and at the position of the output stacker 24. The third holder 30 has an opening 30a similar to the opening 28a of the first holder 28 on the side of the output stacker 24, and a further opening 301; on the upper side. At the back of the third holder 30, an opening is formed in which an ejector 32 is contained. The ejector pushes out cassettes having been supplied to the third holder 30, to the output stacker 24. A shutter 33 is disposed between the third holder 30 and the output stacker 24, and normally closes the passage between them. The ejector 32 and the shutter 33 are connected with a rotary solenoid 32a to be actuated thereby.

The cassette supplying section is provided in proximity to the first to third holders and in parallel thereto, and comprises a threaded screw 34 and three carriers 35a to 350. The spacings between the adjacent ones of the carriers 35a to 35 are equal, and are slightly wider than each cassette. The carriers are moved leftwards or rightwards upon rotation of the screw 34 by a reversible motor 51. However, the relation in the relative positions among the three carriers is fixed. Under the initial state, the carrier 35a is located at the left end of the first holder 28, while the carrier 35b is positioned at the left end of the second holder 29, i.e. substantially at the boundary between the hopper 21 and the reproduction deck 22. The carrier 350 is positioned substantially at the center of the second holder 29, i.e. substantially at the boundary between the reproduction deck 22 and the rewinding deck 23. The carriers 35a to 350 have parts 360 to 36c extending above the holders, respectively, and hold pawls 37a to 37c by means of the parts 36a to 36, respectively. The pawls 37a to 37 extend into the holders through the openings 28b and 29b in the upsides of the holders.

FIG. 2B illustrates in detail the carrier section. The pawl 37a is urged clockwise by a spring 39a, and is held in contact with a protrusion 38a of the holding part 36a to have its clockwise swivel prohibited. As a result, the pawl 37a is adapted to swivel anticlockwise by an external force. The carrier 35a is further provided with an arm 40a (refer to FIG. 2A), a switch S4 being kept off under the state in FIG. 2A. When the carrier 35a is moved rightwards to release the contact between the arm 40a and the switch S4, the switch S4 will be thrown open. At the position of the carrier 35b, a switch 85-1 is arranged. When the carrier 35a is moved to the position of the switch 85-], the arm 40a will be brought into contact with the switch 85-1 to effect the change-over operation thereof.

OPERATION A number of cassettes are set upright on the input hopper 21, and are pushed towards the first holder 28 by the cassette weight 26. However, the shutter 27 is closed, so that they are not fed into the first holder 28. When the shutter magnet 27a is energized thereby to draw the shutter downwards to open it, one of the cassettes is supplied into the first holder 28. Since the interior width of the holder is approximately equal to the thickness of the cassette, only one cassette is accommodated. When the accommodation of the cassette into the first holder 28 is sensed by the switch 83-1, the shutter 27 will be closed to intercept the passage between the input hopper 21 and the first holder 28. When the screw 34 is rotated by the motor 51, the three carriers 35a to 35 will be simultaneously moved rightwards. The cassette 10a in thefirst holder 28 is pushed rightwards under the upright state by the pawl 37a of the carrier 35a (FIG. 3A). As shown in FIG. 3B, the cassette 10a is fed to the position of the reproduction deck 22. This results from the changeover of the switch S5-l by the arm 40a of the carrier 350. When the cassette a is supplied to the desired position, the second holder 29 will be covered, as shown in FIG. 3C, on the decks owing to the turning of the shaft 31. Since the holder is provided with the opening 29e at the position of the pawl 37a, the swivel of the holder is not impeded by the pawl. On the reproduction deck 22, there are disposed hubs 38 and 39 for driving the reels of the cassette, a magnetic head 40, a capstan 41, etc. On the other hand, the second holder 29 is formed with openings 290 at positions corresponding to the hub-inserting holes 12, 13 and capstan-inserting holes l4, 15 of the cassette. Therefore, when the second holder 29 is brought down onto the decks, the hubs 38, 39 etc. will be inserted through the openings 29c into the insertion holes l2, 13 etc. of the cassette. In the next step, the cassette or the magnetic head is moved as may be required, to provide the contact between the magnetic head 40 and the magnetic tape 11 in order to conduct a recording reproducing operation. In the meanwhile, the screw 34 is rotated to return the carriers 35a to 35 c to the positions as shown in FIG. 3A. In addition, the shutter 33 on the side of the output stacker 24 is then opened, so that the ejector 32 advances to effect the action of ejecting a cassette in the third holder onto the stacker 24. In the present stage, however, no cassette is supplied in the third holder 30. Hence, no cassette is actually pushed out onto the stacker 24. Upon completion of the recording reproduction of the cassette 100, the second holder 29 is restored to the original state.

In order to bring the next cassette to the recording reproduction, the shutter 27 is opened to feed the next cassette 1012 into the first holder 28 (FIG. 3D). As illustrated in FIG. 3E, the cassette 10a is supplied to the position of the rewinding deck 23 by the carrier b, while the cassette 10b is fed to the position of the reproduction deck 22 by the carrier 35a. When the two cassettes 10a and 10b are supplied into the second holder 29, it will be swivelled to set the cassette 10a on the rewinding deck 23 and the cassette 10b on the reproduction deck 22 (FIG. 3F). On the rewinding deck 23 there are disposed hubs 42 and 43, which are inserted into the insertion holes 12 and 13 of the cassette through openings 290' formed in the second holder 29. It is accordingly taken into consideration that the cassette 10a has its tape rewound under the state of FIG. 3F so as to be used without any rewinding process when it is subsequently set. The cassette 10b is set on the reproduction deck 22, and has the recording reproduced in parallel with the rewinding process of the cassette 100 at the rewinding deck 23. Upon completion of the respective rewinding and reproducing processes of the cassettes 10a and 10b, the second holder 29 is restored to the original state.

When the reproduction of the next cassette 10c is to be conducted, the cassette 10c will be fed into the first holder 28 as shown in FIG. 30, and the three cassettes 10a to We will be simultaneously supplied rightwards in the upright state. The cassette 10a delivered to the third holder 30 is fed onto the output stacker 24 by the ejector 32 after the shutter 33 is opened. Then, the shutter 33 is closed. Upon swivel of the second holder 29, the cassettes 10b and 10c are respectively set on the rewinding deck 23 and the reproduction one 22 to effect the rewinding and reproducing processes in parallel. In the meantime, the carriers 35a to 35 are returned leftwards to the original positions (FIG. 3]). Repetition of the steps illustrated in FIGS. 36 to 31 will sequentially and continuously perform the recording, reproduction and the tape rewinding.

The cassette supplying mechanism shown in FIGS. 2A and 3 is not to be restricted to the embodiment, but may be put into practice with, for example, a rack and pinion or a link mechanism without departing from the spirit of this invention.

Furthermore, while the above embodiment has been described as having reproduction and rewinding decks, this is based on the idea that the tape in the cassette as having been taken up from one reel to the other on the reproduction deck is rewound so as to be immediately usable for subsequent reproduction. Disposition of only the reproduction deck is allowed. It is also possible to provide the rewinding deck prior to the reproduction deck. Yet furthermore, the reproduction deck may be replaced with a deck for recording.

FIG. 4 illustrates a circuit arrangement applicable to the cassette-tape supplying apparatus in FIG. 2A.

When a start switch S1 is turned on, a relay R1 will be actuated to close contacts Rl-l and R1-2. Upon closure of the contact Rl-l, the relay R1 is held through the switches S2, 83-1 and the contact Rl-l. In addition, the shutter magnet 27a is energized through the contact R1-2 to open the shutter 27. When the shutter 27 is fully opened, the switch S2 will be turned off. Further, the first cassette is fed into the first holder 28 upon the full opening of the shutter 27. The cassette fed into the first holder 28 renders off the switch S3-1 of the first holder. Simultaneously, a switch S32 is actuated to become "on. When the switch 53-1 becomes off, the holding circuit of the relay R1 will be interrupted, resulting in opening the contact R1-2 to de-energize the shutter magnet 27a thereby to close the shutter 27 under the bias of the spring.

Since the switch S32 is actuated simultaneously with the switch 83-1 and is kept on", a relay R2 operates to bring contacts R2-1 and R2-2 to the closed condition. As a result, the motor 51 is connected to an AC power source of 100 V so as to revolve in the forward direction. Thus, the carriages or carriers 35a to 350 start feeding a cassette. Immediately the carriage 35a has left its home position, the carriage return switch S4 is turned ofii When the cassette is sent out from the first holder 28 to the second holder 29, the switch S32 will be released. However, the switch S4 is turned on, so that the relay R2 is held and that the cassette continues to be fed. When the carriage 35a comes to the position of the switch S5-1 (the position at which the cassette is to stop), the switch S5-1 will be changed over by the arm 40a of the carriage 35a. The motor 51 is accordingly stopped.

Interlocked with the switch 55-1, a switch S5-2 is turned on" to operate a relay R4. Hence, a contact R4-2 is closed to turn the rotary solenoid 310, so that the second holder 29 is mounted onto the decks along with the cassette. The relay R4 is held through a contact R5-1 of a relay R5 and its own contact R4-1. When the second holder 29 is correctly mounted on the decks, the cassette-setting switch 86-1 (86-2, S6-3) will be turned on. The switch 86-2 actuates a relay R3, with the result that the motor 51 is rotated in the reverse direction. The carriages are returned by the reverse rotation of the motor 51. As soon as the carriages begin to return, the switch -1 is reverted (the position shown in FIG. 4). But the carriages continue to return with a by-pass circuit. When the carriages return to their home positions, the switch S4 will become of? to break the holding of the relay R2. Therefore, the contact R2-2 is opened to stop the motor 51.

On the other hand, when the cassette is mounted on the deck, a tape head assembly magnet 52 will be energized through a contact R5-2 of a relay R5 since the switch 56-3 is kept on. Therefore, the tape head 40, the guide, the pinch roller 41, etc. are inserted into the cassette to start the respective operations, such as the recording reproduction, on the decks. When signals indicating the completion of the respective operations on the decks, i.e. those of the completion of reading (READ END) and the completion of rewinding (RWD END) are imparted to an AND gate 53, the AND gate produces an output, which is amplified by an amplifier 54 and is fed to the relay R5 to actuate the latter to bring the contact RS-2 to the open condition. As a result, the tape head assembly is returned by the bias of a spring,

Upon returning of the tape head assembly, a switch $7 (a tape-head-assembly returning switch) becomes of! to cut off the holding current through the rotary solenoid 31a of the second holder. Thus, the second holder 29 is restored to the original position by force of a spring (not shown).

As mentioned above, when the carriage 35a is stopped at the position of the switch 85-1, the switch 853 will be turned on. A relay R6 is therefore energized to actuate the shutter/ejector rotary solenoid 320 through a contact R6-2. The shutter 33 and the ejector 32 are mechanically inter locked. In the first step, the shutter 33 is opened and the ejector 32 pushes out the cassette in the third holder 30 onto the stacker 24. In the next step, the shutter 33 is closed and the ejector 32 returns. Upon completion of this series of actions, a limit switch S8 for the shutter/ejector rotary solenoid is turned off" to cut off the holding current of the relay R6 thus to finish all the operations. Since the three carriages are kept returned to their home positions, the cassettes begin to be supplied again.

As described above, in accordance with this invention, a

number of cassettes may be sequentially fed in such state that they are always standing. In addition, the cassettes may be set onto a deck for the purpose of recording, reproduction or rewinding by swivelling the second holder. The recording, reproduction or rewinding may be automatically and continuously performed with a simple mechanism.

We claim 1. A cassette-tape supplying apparatus comprising an input hopper on which a number of cassettes are set upright, an output stacker, a first holder for receiving cassettes from said input hopper, a second swivellable holder adjacent to said first holder and adapted, upon swivelling, to set said cassettes onto at least one deck, a third holder adjacent to said second holder and for outputting said cassettes to said output stacker, and a cassette supplying means for sequentially feeding said cassettes from said first holder to said third holder under such a state that said cassettes are set upright.

2. A cassette-tape supplying apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said cassette supplying means comprises a reversible motor, a screw connected to said motor and arranged substantially in parallel with said first, second and third holders, a plurality of carriages arranged at spacings each being slightly larger than the width of said each cassette, said carriages having their moving direction determined by the rotary direction of said screw and extending in said holders to push said cassettes, and means to determine the forward rotation, reverse rotation and stopping of said motor.

3. A cassette-tape supplying apparatus according to claim 2, wherein said carriages comprise a first carriage for feeding said cassette in said first holder to said second holder, and a second carriage for feeding said cassette in said second holder to said third holder, the relation in position between said first and second carriages being always fixed.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3291323 *Jul 13, 1964Dec 13, 1966Minnesota Mining & MfgTape cartridge changer mechanism
US3463580 *Nov 17, 1966Aug 26, 1969Hauser RaimundMotion picture camera having means for changing film cartridge automatically
US3484055 *May 1, 1968Dec 16, 1969Molins Machine Co LtdInformation retrieval system
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3811625 *Mar 16, 1972May 21, 1974Cybrix CorpMagnetic tape cassette changer
US3814343 *Oct 10, 1972Jun 4, 1974Programming Technologies IncAutomatic tape loading apparatus for cassettes and the like
US4381527 *Sep 24, 1979Apr 26, 1983Lanier Business Products, Inc.Cassette changing method and apparatus
US4510539 *Dec 28, 1981Apr 9, 1985Lanier Business Products, Inc.Continuous loop cassette changer apparatus for a dictation/transcription system
US4519009 *Jul 20, 1982May 21, 1985Lanier Business Products, Inc.Dictation recording and transcribing system utilizing a multiple media cartridge apparatus
US5157565 *May 31, 1990Oct 20, 1992Distributed Logic CorporationTape cassette loading mechanism
US5956198 *Apr 25, 1997Sep 21, 1999International Business Machines CorporationTape rewinder in tape storage and retrieval library
US7252187 *Jun 25, 2004Aug 7, 2007Lorusso LouisDelivery system for use in motor vehicles
EP0026089A2 *Sep 18, 1980Apr 1, 1981Lanier Business Products, Inc.Cassette changing apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification414/798.3, G9B/15.152, 242/337.1, 414/798.7, 414/932, 360/92.1
International ClassificationG11B15/68
Cooperative ClassificationG11B15/6885, Y10S414/111
European ClassificationG11B15/68E