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Publication numberUS3677555 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 18, 1972
Filing dateNov 21, 1968
Priority dateNov 21, 1968
Also published asDE1951814A1, DE1966360A1
Publication numberUS 3677555 A, US 3677555A, US-A-3677555, US3677555 A, US3677555A
InventorsRyan Allen L, Vail Thomas W
Original AssigneeWarwick Electronics Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cassette changer
US 3677555 A
Abstract
A cassette changer having a plurality of elements for either record or playback operation relative to a tape and defining a tape path wherein a holder for a plurality of cassettes can be indexed sequentially to bring successive cassettes into position to have a portion of the tape carried thereby in line with the tape path and with a capstan for driving the tape along with a pair of spindles extending through the reels of each cassette and having driving engagement with one reel of a cassette in playing position. The operations are primarily controlled by a main control member movable through two different strokes with a full stroke thereof causing retraction of cassette probe means, disengagement of the drive to the driven one of the spindles, lifting of certain of the head and transport components away from the tape, and indexing of the cassette holder. Movement of the main control member through less than a full stroke, as required in pause, fast-forward, and rewind operations, causes the foregoing operations except for indexing of the said holder. The main control member is moved through a full stroke by power means which can be operated by either of a reject switch, an end-of-tape sensor switch, or a record interlock switch when a tape appearing at playing position to be recorded upon is actually pre-recorded. The main control member can be moved through less than a full stroke by operation of either a stop member or last cassette shut-off mechanism, or by actuable elements, such as buttons, operable to provide the pause, fast-forward, and rewind operations, with the first two mentioned operations operating through the power means but interposing an abutment in the path of the main control member to limit the main control member to the shorter stroke. The probe has three distinct positions to detect either a pre-recorded tape cassette, a non-recorded tape cassette, or the absence of a cassette, with the last-referred to position causing further operation of the indexing means. The drive for the reel spindles is by means of an idler wheel system, with the first normally operative idler wheel being movable from an operative position causing normal speed operation of the tape, a second optionally operative idler wheel providing for fast-forward operation, and a third optionally operative idler wheel providing for rewind operation, and with the first idler wheel always being disengaged by the main control member upon movement thereof.
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ilnite States Patent 1 1 ,677,555 Wait at 1 1 July 18, 1972 [5 CASSETTE CHANGER 57 ABSTRACT [72] Inventors; Thomas Va, Des p i Allen A cassette changer having a plurality of elements for either Ryan, Chicago both of "L record or playback operation relative to a tape and defining a tape path wherein a holder for a plurality of cassettes can be 1 Asslgneei Warwick Elefllmnics, indexed sequentially to bring successive cassettes into position [22] Filed: No 21 1968 to have a portion of the tape carried thereby in line with the tape path and with a capstan for driving the tape along with :1 [2| App]. No.: 777,689 pair of spindles extending through the reels of each cassette and having driving engagement with one reel of a cassette in playing position. The operations are primarily controlled by a 52 us. c1 ..274/4 r, 179/1002 2, 226/187, cmmol member hmugh F different stmkes 242/181, 242/200, 274/4 C, 274/4 D w1th a full stroke thereof causing retraction of cassette probe 51 111i. c1 ..Gllb 27/22, G1 lb 23/12 means dlsFngagemem the dnve" 58 Field at Search ..274/4 F, ll,4C,4D, 11 c, Spindles, hffing of the head and 274/11 D; 242/180, 181, 197-200; 352/6-8; ponents away from the tape, and indexing of the cassette 53 9; 79 002 Z 1002 R; 40 79 holder. Movement Of the control member through lESS than a full stroke, as requlred 1n pause, fast-forward, and rewind operations, causes the foregoing operations except for indexin of the said holder. The main control member is [56] References Cited moved hrough a full stroke by power means which can be UNITED STATES PATENTS operated by either of a reject switch, an end-of-tape sensor switch, or a record interlock switch when a tape appearing at 2,867,435 1/1959 Gleason ..274/4 F playing position to be recorded upon is actually pre-recorded. 3, 50, 2 /1962 Ulman ...179/ 100.2 The main control member can be moved through less than a 3,093,334 6/1963 A r ----242/2 l full stroke by operation of either a stop member or last cas- 3,432,082 3/1969 Beville ..274/4 F sette hut-off mechanism, or by actuable elements, such as 3,429,519 2/1969 Staar ..242/201 button o erable to provide the pause, fast-forward, and re- 6 6 /1 6 B iggs t a /7 wind operations, with the first two mentioned operations 7, 1 2 NoWlan 179/ -2 Z operating through the power means but interposing an abut 3, 1 ,21 l 7 T ll r --27 F X ment in the path of the main control member to limit the main 3,439, 2 /1969 Weig l ..274/4 F X control member to the shorter stroke. The probe has three 3, 53,39 9 Mill r ..274/4 F X distinct positions to detect either a pre-recorded tape cassette, 3,484,055 l2/ 1969 Raine ..274/4 F X a non-recorded tape cassette, or the absence of a cassette, with the last-referred to position causing further operation of the indexing means. The drive for the reel spindles is by means OTHER PU L A of an idler wheel 8 stem, with the first, normally operative idler Hanson, North American Phillips Co., Audio Engineering Society Reprint 0584, 4 30- 68.

wheel being mova le from an operative position causing normal speed operation of the tape, a second optionally operative idler wheel providing for fast-forward operation, and a third optionally operative idler wheel providing for rewind operation, and with the first idler wheel always being disengaged by the main control member upon movement thereof.

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CASSETTE CHANGER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to cassette changers wherein a series of cassettes can automatically be indexed for successive playing or recording of tape under the control of a plurality of manually-operable members providing for different desired operations.

Tape cartridge changers are known wherein each cartridge is moved from a reserve stack to playing position and then moved to a succeeding position, which requires complex handling mechanism for the cartridges and which creates increased reliability problems. Also known is a cartridge changer, as shown in Tatter et al. U.S. Pat. No. 3,317,212, owned by the Assignee of this application, in which cartridges are held in a holder and moved successively into playing position, but which does not provide all of the necessary features for operating with a cassette of the type presently on the market.

SUMMARY An object of this invention is to provide a new and improved cassette changer wherein a plurality of cassettes are mounted in a holder and the holder can be indexed to advance successive cassettes to a playing position, with means to detect the presence of a cassette in playing position and cause further indexing of the holder if no cassette is present as well as to detect the condition of the tape in the cassette and cause further indexing if a record operation is established and the cassette at playing position has been pre-recorded.

Another object of the invention is to provide a cassette changer in which a plurality of cassettes are held in a cassette holder which can be indexed to present successive cassettes to a playing position, with a spindle drive for driving at least one of the reels in the cassette and with the various operating mechanisms being controlled by the movement of a main control member which is responsive to either power means or mechanical means to move through either of two stroke distances, with the lesser stroke causing lifting of certain elements associated with the tape drive capstan and magnetic heads, retraction of a probe for detecting cassette presence and condition thereof and release of the drive to one of the reel spindles. A full stroke additionally causes index of the holder. Movement of the main control member through the lesser stroke can provide for a pause, fast-forward, or rewind operation and also a last-cassette shut-off and stop operations, with the full stroke being provided in an end-of-tape, record interlock, or cassette reject operation.

Still other objects of the invention are to provide new and improved cassette sensing means, drive means for the reel spindles, automatic last cassette shut-off operation, automatic search for a cassette with blank tape, and a relatively simple and inexpensive mechanism providing for complete control and operation with respect to tape cassettes.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. I is a front elevation of the cassette changer with a front panel removed and with parts at one end thereof broken away;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the structure shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a vertical section taken generally along the line 3- 3 in FIG. 2 and on an enlarged scale and with the mechanism positioned as shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a vertical section taken generally along the line 4- 4 in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a vertical section taken generally along the line 5- 5 in FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a vertical section taken generally along the line 6 6 in FIG. 3;

FIG. 7 is a view, similar to FIG. 6, showing the parts in a different position;

FIG. 8 is a vertical section, taken generally along the line ll--8 in FIG. 7;

aa vn FIG. 9 is a fragmentary section, taken generally along the line 9-9 in FIG. 7;

FIG. 10 is a plan section taken generally along the line 10- 10 in FIG. 3;

FIG. 11 is a view, similar to the lower right-hand part of FIG. 3, showing the indexing mechanism in one position thereof;

FIG. 12 is a view, similar to FIG. Ill, showing the parts of the indexing mechanism in another position;

FIG. 13 is a diagrammatic view of the cassette sensing means and operating mechanism therefor with parts broken away;

FIG. 14 is a circuit diagram showing the circuit for operating the power means for causing certain of the operations;

FIG. 15 is a fragmentary section, on an enlarged scale, showing the mounting of the capstan shaft; and

FIG. 16 is a fragmentary view similar to FIG. 4 showing a removable tray structure for holding a plurality of cassettes.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT General Organization Referring now to the drawings, the cassette changer is designated in its entirety at 20 in FIGS. 1 and 2, and the eassette holding and moving structure and the tape function controlling means are mounted upon a suitable chassis structure 22. The chassis 22 includes a generally rectangular base 24 having upright front and rear walls 26, the upper ends 28 of which are turned and extend inwardly toward one another. Chassis 22 further includes an upright end wall 30 (FIG. 1) having a perpendicularly disposed inwardly turned upper end 32 positioned in the plane of wall pontions 28. The left-hand end of chassis 22, as viewed in FIG. 1, includes a pair of spaced, vertical walls 34 and 36, with a horizontally disposed top wall 38 extending therebetween to form an enclosed compartment 40 for the drive means to be hereafter described.

A pair of inwardly facing vertically disposed tracks 42 (FIG. 4) are provided on front and rear chassis walls 26 and disposed in a common horizontal plane to define a horizontal guide means for a cassette holder, indicated generally at 44. The cassette holder 44 is an upwardly open box-like member having a horizontally disposed base 46 and upright sides 48. Extensions 50 extend laterally outwardly from the lower end of each side wall 48, and longitudinally spaced upright divider members 52 (FIG. 2) extend between :side walls 48 to define cassette receiving slots therebetween for holding cassette C. A plurality of holder supporting members 54 are welded, or otherwise suitably secured, to extensions 50, and the supporting members 54 extend laterally outwardly of the extensions 50 (FIG. 4) into the guide tracks 42, where they are supported by ball bearing assemblies retained in suitable cage structures.

Chassis structure 22 includes a horizontally disposed wall 39 that extends forwardly from upright wall 34, as viewed in FIG. 3, and capstan and transducing means are provided adjacent the outermost end of wall 39 to define a tape path into which each of the cassettes may move. The structure for moving the cassette holder 44 to sequentially position each of the cassettes C in the tape path will be best understood from FIGS. 1, 3, and 10-12, subsequently to be described.

A main control member in the form of a slide 60 (FIG. 5-7) is mounted for vertical movement relative to upright wall 34 by a pair of headed studs 64 extending from wall 34 that impale vertical slots 62 in slide 60. Slide 60 is biased upwardly by the weight of parts engageable therewith and acting in an up ward direction. The main slide 60 includes a first projection 70 on the lower end thereof for actuating a cassette sensing means including a probe to be hereafter described, and a second projection 72 on the lower end for actuating the means to cause index of the cassette holder 44.

Cassette Index Means The cassette holder indexing structure includes a generally L-shaped lever 76 having a leg that extends into compartment 40 through an opening 78 (FIGS. 3 and 6) in the lower end of wall 34, and the mid-portion of lever 76 is pivotally connected at 80 between a pair of ears 82 that extend upwardly from chassis base 24. The upwardly extending leg of lever 76 is pivotally connected at 84 (FIGS. -12) to a longitudinally extending link 86, and the end of link 86 remote from pivot 84 is connected by a pivot pin 88 to the end of a further link 90 that is pivotally connected intermediate its ends at 92 between a pair of ears 94 that extend upwardly from chassis base 24. The end of link 90 remote from pivot 88 includes a generally cylindrically-shaped actuating portion 96 that bears against the upright flange 100 of an actuating slide 102. Slide 102 is mounted for longitudinal movement relative to chassis base 24 by a pair of headed pins 104 that impale longitudinally extending slots 106 in slide 102. The end of slide 102 remote from upright portion 100 includes an actuating portion 108, the function of which will hereinafter appear.

Means is provided for positively retaining the cassette holder 44 in an appropriate location to positively position the tape in a selected cassette C in alignment with the tape path defined by the head elements, and this means includes an inverted U-shaped rack 110 (FIGS. 4 and 12) on the lower surface of holder base 46 centrally thereof. Rack 110 includes a plurality of longitudinally spaced notches, each corresponding to a cassette location in the holder, and each notch includes a vertical surface 112 (FIG. 12). A generally L-shaped holding pawl 114 is pivotally mounted at 118 between a pair of flanges 116 that extend upwardly from base 24, and holding pawl 114 includes a generally upright surface 115 that is adapted to be positioned in face-abutting engagement with the surface 112 in one of the notches in the rack 110 for positively retaining the holder 44 against movement to the right, as viewed in FIG, 12, relative to the chassis during a tape recording or playing operation.

Locking pawl 114 includes a downwardly-extending actuating leg 120 that is positioned in the path of movement of the actuator 108 on slide 102 for controlling movement thereof. The pawl 114 is biased in a clockwise direction about pivot 118 by a pawl 130 to be described, as viewed in FIG. 11. As is evident from FIG. 12, when the abutment 72 on slide 60 is spaced from lever 76, the locking pawl 114 is urged into positive retaining engagement with the cassette holder 44. When the main slide 60 is depressed through a full stroke, the abutment 72 moves into engagement with the forwardly-extending portion oflever 76, slide 102 is moved to the right as viewed in FIGS. 11 and 12 to pivot the locking pawl 114 in a counterclockwise direction about pivot 118 to move the surface 115 on the locking pawl out of the notch in the rack on the bottom of the cassette holder 44.

A pair of Negator" spring assemblies 126 (FIG. 1) are preferably attached to cassette holder 44 at the front and rear thereof for urging the cassette holder to the right as viewed in FIGS. 1, 11 and 12. Thus, it will be appreciated that each time the slide 60 moves downwardly through a full stroke the abutment 72 pivots lever 76, the locking pawl 114 is moved to a position allowing the springs 126 to move the holder to the right. When the slide abutment 72 moves out of engagement with lever 76, a spring 138 acting through the pawl 130 again moves holding pawl 114 in a clockwise direction about pivot 118 to reengage the locking surface 115 on the pawl with a corresponding locking surface 112 in a notch in the bottom of the holder rack 110. During this latter movement, the actuating leg 120 on the holding pawl 114 shifts the slide 102 to the left, so that the upright surface 100 at the end of slide 102 engages the actuator 96 on the lever 90 to pivot the lever 90 and levers 86 and 76 from the position of FIG. 11 to the position of FIG. 12 to recock the mechanism.

The means for limiting the movement of cassette holder 44 to index the single cassette includes a generally L-shaped temporary holding pawl 130 (FIG. 11). The mid-portion of pawl 130 is connected at pivot 132 between a pair of upstanding flanged brackets 134 (FIG. 4) that are secured to the base 24 adjacent slide 102. The pawl 130 includes a transversely-extending pin 136, best seen in FIGS. 4 and 11, that is positioned beneath holding pawl 114 so that movement of the pawl 130 is operatively responsive to the movement of the pawl 114. The spring 138 (FIGS. 3 and 10) is connected between the pawl 130 and the chassis base 24 to urge the pawl 130 in a clockwise direction about the pivot 132. The spring 138 acts through pawl 130 to bias the holding pawl 114 upwardly.

A generally diamond-shaped abutment plate 140 is connected to one leg of pawl 130 at pivot 142 for movement between inclined stop surfaces 144 and 146 on the pawl. A plate 148 extends along and is fixed to the undersurface of the base 46 of cassette holder 44 adjacent rack 110, and plate 148 is positioned to overlie and cooperate with pawl 130. To this end, plate 148 includes a plurality of inclined tabs 150 that are struck outwardly from one side of the bracket.

During a cassette reject cycle, when the main slide 60 is moved downwardly to bring abutment 72 into engagement with lever 76, the resulting counterclockwise pivotal movement of the pawl 114 causes the pawl 130 to also pivot in a counterclockwise direction through the engagement of the pawl 114 with the pin 136 on the pawl 130. It will be appreciated that as soon as the surface on pawl 114 is freed from the rack surface 112 on holder 44, the abutment plate 140 on pawl will be spaced from a tab 150 on bracket 148, so that the holder is free to move to the right as viewed in FIG. 11. As the counterclockwise pivoting movement of pawls 114 and 130 continues, abutment plate is moved into the path of movement of one of the tabs 150, so that a tab engages a surface of the plate 140. Movement of the holder 44 further to the right, as viewed in FIG. 11, is prevented since the plate 140 engages against pawl surface 146. When the main slide 60 moves out of engagement with lever 76, pawls 114 and 130 are pivoted in a clockwise direction by spring 138, and stop pawl 114 moves into engagement with a locking surface 112 on the rack 110. The pawls 114 and 130 function as an escapement mechanism to permit a single index of the cassette holder 44 on each stroke of the main slide 60. The entire holder assembly 44 can be shifted to the left manually as viewed in FIG. 1 preparatory to a series of indexes thereof, and the pawl 114 will ratchet over the notches in the rack 110 in holder 44, while the abutment plate 140 on pawl 130 will pivot in a counterclockwise direction about pivot 142 to allow the holder 44 to freely pass thereby. The limit movement of cassette holder 44 to the right in FIG. 1 is controlled by a frame abutment 151.

Cassette Sensing Means The cassette sensing structure is best understood by reference to FIGS. 3, 4, 10 and 13. The cassette sensing means includes a vertically-movable probe in the form of a sensing pin or plunger 154 (FIG. 4) that is movable through an opening 156 in the base 46 of holder 44 and to, or through, an opening 158 in one comer of the base of a cassette C, it being understood that a plurality of holes 156 are provided in the base of holder 44, one hole 156 corresponding to each of the cassette holding positions. Sensing pin 154 is guided and supported in its vertical movement by a bushing 160 that is received in an opening in the bight portion 162 of an inverted U-shaped bracket 164 (FIG. 4) which is secured to the upper surface of chassis base 24. Sensing pin 154 includes an enlarged mounting portion 166 at the lower end thereof, and mounting portion 166 is apertured to receive a pin 168 that also extends through the opposed sides of a downwardly open U-shaped link 170. A finger 172 extends outwardly from mounting portion 166 for actuating a switch, indicated generally at 174, as will hereinafter appear.

The end of link remote from pin 168 makes a sliding connection with a fixed bracket 176 by means of a transverse pin 1'78 carried on the link that is slidably received in an elongate slot 180 in bracket 176. Movement of link 170 and pin 168 is controlled by the aforedescribed L-shaped actuating link 74 and, as can be best seen in FIG. 13, actuating link 74 has its mid-portion pivotally connected at 182 between a pair of upstanding brackets 184 on chassis base 24. An elongate connecting link 186 has one end pivotally connected at 188 to the upwardly-extending arm of actuating link 74, and the opposite end of connecting link 186 is connected at pivot 190 to the upwardly-extending leg of a further L-shaped lever 192. A transverse pivot pin 196 (FIG. 3) pivotally connects the midportion of lever 192 between a pair of upstanding flanges 196 on chassis base 24, and a transversely-extending pin 1918 (FIG. extends outwardly from the end 200 of lever 192, with the pin 198 impaling the sides of channel-shaped link 170. A spring 202 (FIG. 10) is connected between lever 192 and the base 24 of the chassis to urge the lever 192 in a clockwise direction about pivot pin 196, as viewed in FIG. 3. It will be appreciated that during a cassette change cycle, when the slide 60 is moved downwardly to bring the abutment 70 into engagement with lever 74 pivotal movement of lever 741 in a counterclockwise direction about pivot 182 shifts connecting link 1186 to the left, as viewed in FIG. 13, to pivot the lever 192 in a counterclockwise direction about pivot 196. Counterclockwise pivoting movement of lever 192 moves the pin 198 in an arcuate path and channel-shaped link 170 is pivoted in a clockwise direction and shifted to the left via the pin and slot connection 178,180. Clockwise pivoting movement of link 1170 draws the sensing pin 154i downwardly into a clearance position, so that the cassette holder 06 can move freely relative to the cassette sensing structure.

When a cassette change cycle is completed, spring 202 returns the parts to the position of FIG. 3, and the pin 154 moves upwardly through the appropriate opening 156 in the bottom of the cassette holder. As is evident from FIG. 13, switch 174 includes three switch arms 204, 206, and 208, and the contacts on the switch arms are connected in the circuit shown in FIG. 14, to indicate whether or not a cassette is present in a particular holder station; and, if a cassette is present, the switch 174- indicates whether or not the tape is pre-recorded, or non-recorded.

As now known, cassettes have a knock-out plug in the cassette opening 158. If the plug remains affixed, this indicates a nonrecorded tape and the probe 154 will move upward the shortest distance under the urging of the spring 202 and there will be no change effected in the circuit of FIG. 14. If the plug is removed, the probe can move further upward until stopped by the cassette wall and switch arms 206 and 208 Contact. If no cassette is present, the probe can move upward the full distance and switch arm 206 is moved upward to contact switch arm 206.

Tape Controlling and Transducing Structure A function selecting and controlling assembly 220 is mounted at the left-hand end of chassis 22, and includes a plurality of vertically movable actuable elements in the form of push buttons 222, 224, 226, 228, 230, 232, and 234 for selecting, respectively, reject, pause, rewind, fast-forward, record, play and stop functions. Vertically movable plungers 236, 238, 240, 242, 24-4, 266, and 248 are associated, respectively, with each of the aforementioned vertically movable push buttons, and each of the plungers includes forwardly extending operating portions to be hereafter described. Each of the plungers is movable vertically downwardly between a pair of spaced channel members 250 and 252, and a spring 254 (FIG. 33) engages shoulder portions of each of the plungers to bias them upwardly toward channel member 250. A longitudinally movable latch bar 256 extends through openings in each of the push button plungers for latching the plungers in a depressed position, it being understood that the latch bar 256 is arranged to release a previously depressed push button when a further push button is depressed, as is well known. The pause button is released by pressing it a second time.

Drive means 260 is mounted in compartment 40 and can be best understood from FIGS. 3 ands 5. A motor M (FIGS, 1 and 3) is mounted on upright wall 36 for powering the drive means 260.

The output shaft of motor M is identified at 262 and is disposed between a pair of spindles 263 and 264 which extend forwardly through the wall 34 to a position wherein a yieldable drive pawl 265, at an end of each spindle, can engage within notches in the two reels of the cassette. The pawl 265 for spindle 266 is shown in FIG. 3 and the spindle 263 has a similar pawl. In normal play or record operation, the rotation of motor shaft 262 is transferred to spindle 264 by way of the tape drive capstan shaft 266.

The mounting for capstan shaft 266 is shown particularly in FIG. 15 wherein a bushing 267 is mounted in the wall 34 and has a tube 277 extended therefrom for a substantial part of the capstan shaft length. A pair of bearings 268 and 269 are supported in the bushing 267 and end of tube 277, respectively, to rotatably mount the capstan shaft with only a short length of the capstan shaft exposed at the end thereof. This structure provides the necessary support for the long shaft capstan when force is exerted thereon by the pressure roller 319, described hereinafter in coaction with the cassette C in the play-record position. The tube 277 provides a shroud and has its outer diameter dimensioned to provide a running fit with the capstan receiving hole in the cassette. When the pressure roller 319 applies force to the capstan, the tube free end engages and is supported by the cassette with the total movement of the tube being only that provided by clearance between the tube and cassette opening. This provides a firm fixed support for the short exposed end of capstan shaft 266 and minimizes deflection.

A flywheel 280 at an end of the capstan shaft with a reduced diameter portion 281 engages a spring-urged intermediate drive wheel 282 which engages the motor shaft 262, as shown in FIG. 5. The drive is transferred from the flywheel 280 and, more particularly, from the capstan 266 by way of a first movable idler 283 mounted on an arm 284 pivoted to a movable arm 285 which pivots about a pin 286. A spring 287 urges this idler 283 into engagement between the capstan 266 and a roller 288 fixed to the spindle 264.

The non-driven spindle is free to rotate in response to rotation of its associated reel as caused by movement of tape in the cassette.

For fast-forward operation, the first idler 283 is disengaged and a second spring-urged idler wheel 290, carried on an arm 291 pivoted at 292 to an arm 293 pivoted on a pin 294, is moved into position between the motor shaft 262 and a reduced diameter section 295 on the spindle 264. This transmits the drive directly from the motor shaft to the spindle. For a rewind operation, both the first and second idler wheels are inoperative and a third idler wheel 296, carried on an arm 297 pivoted at 298 to an arm 299 pivoted on the pin 294, is moved into a position of engagement between the drive wheel 282 which engages the motor shaft 262 and a diameter section 300 on the spindle 263. A spring 301 urges the third idler wheel 296 toward operative position.

The control of the various idler wheels is in part from the push buttons and in part from the main control slide 60. Referring particularly to FIG. 5, the play button 232 and the record button 230 have forwardly extending sections 302 and 303 which overlie a catch member 304 movably mounted by pin and slot mountings extending downwardly past and underneath the first idler mounting arm 285 whereby depression of either of the buttons will lower the member 304 to permit the first idler wheel 283 to move into drive position. A spring 304a urges the catch member 304 upwardly with sufficient strength to hold out the first idler wheel 283, unless depressed. When either of these buttons is raised, the idler wheel 283 is disengaged. The idler wheel 283 can also be disengaged by operation of a bell crank member 305 pivoted at 306 and having an end 307 engageable under the arm 285 and at the opposite end having a roller 308 engageable by a cam 309 on the slide 60 whereby lowering of the slide also will disengage the first idler wheel 283.

As seen in FIG. 5, the second idler wheel 290 for providing fast-forward operation can be moved downwardly into engaged position by lowering of an extension 310 of the fast-forward push button 228. The third idler wheel 296 can be lowered into position by lowering of a forward extension 311 of the rewind push button 226.

Tape Transducing Structure The structure for either recording or playback of a tape is shown particularly in FIGS. 1 to 4 and includes the capstan 266, previously referred to, which can extend through an opening 315 in the cassette, a play-record head 316, an erase head 317, an end-of-tape sensor 318, and a pressure roller 319. The elements 316-319 are mounted for up and down movement on a bridge 320 which is movable up and down on a pair of posts 321 and 322 extending upwardly from the frame of the cassette changer and with a pair of springs 323 and 324 on the posts engaging the upper side of the bridge and urging it downwardly. The bridge 320 can be elevated against the force of springs 323 and 324 by rocking of a pair of lift arms 325 and 326 engaging under rollers 327 and 328 on the bridge.

The lift arms 325 and 326 each have integral upward extensions 329 and 3311 and are pivoted intermediate their ends to a pair of ears upstanding from the plate 39 with the ear 331 having a pivot pin 332 for the lift arm 325, as shown in FIG. 3. The upper ends of the extensions 329 and 330 are connected by a transversely-extending channel 333 having an operating arm 334 extending rearwardly therefrom intermediate the ends of the channel which is pivotally connected to a link 335 by a pin 336, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. The link 335 is connected to a bell crank having arms 337 and 338 by a pivot pin 339, with the bell crank being pivoted at 340 to a pair of upstanding ears 341 and 342 extending upwardly from the plate 39.

The left-hand arm 338 of the bell crank extends through an opening 343 (FIG. 6) in the frame wall 34 and engages in a cut-out 344 in the main slide 60. As is evident in FIG. 3, lowering movement of the main slide 60 rotates the bell crank in a counterclockwise direction by engagement with the arm 338 and through the connecting linkage raises the lift arms 325 and 326 to lift the bridge 320 to raise the heads 316 and 317 from the position shown in FIG. 4 to an elevation above the upper edge of the cassette C. This also elevates the end-oftape sensor 318 and the pressure roller 319. After power is removed from the main slide 60, the springs 323 and 324 urge the bridge 320 downwardly, which acts through the aforesaid linkage to lift the main slide 60 to its normal rest position.

Referring to FIG. 4, the pressure roller 319 is carried on a pivot arm 3511 pivoted to the bridge at 351 and yieldably urged in a direction to move toward the capstan 266 by a spring 352 guided on a pin 353 carried on the bridge with a stop 354 limiting downward movement of the pressure roller. The endof-tape sensor 318 has a plunger 355 which is urged toward the tape, as shown in FIG. 4, by a spring 356 so that when no further tape can be advanced off one of the reels in the cassette, the loop of tape caused by the force of the spring 356 is drawn to a taut condition to raise the plunger 355 and cause the upper end thereof to engage a contact arm 358 of a switch 359 mounted on the bridge which functions as shown in the circuit of FIG. 14 to initiate a cassette index cycle.

The elements shown in FIG. 4 including the capstan 266 and pressure roll 319, the head 316, the head 317, and the end-of-tape sensor 318 together define a tape path in which the tape of a particular cassette C must lie for proper operatron.

The main slide 60 can be moved downwardly, either by power means or mechanical means. The power means comprises a solenoid 400 (FIGS. 1, 3 and having a plunger with an enlarged end 401 pivotally connected to an arm 402 of a bell crank pivoted at 403 to a bracket 404. The other arm 405 of the bell crank has a roller 406 engageable with a bentout part 407 of the main slide whereby inward movement of the plunger 40lcauses clockwise pivoting of the bell crank to lower the slide 60. The actuation of the solenoid provides a full downward stroke of the main slide 60, unless the stroke is interrupted by a movable abutment. This abutment structure is shown in FIGS. 5, 6, 7, and 10 and embodies a movable plate 410 movably mounted on the wall 34 by a pair of pins 411 engageable in slots 412 and 413 in the plate and with the slide plate being urged to a retracted position by a spring 414 engageable between one of the pins 411 and a pin 415 on the slide plate. The slide plate 410 is shown retracted in FIG. 6 and extended in FIG. 7. The slide plate also carries a latch member 420 movable relative thereto by pin and slot mountings indicated generally at 421. The latch member is urged to an advanced position by a spring 422. The latch member 420 carries a latch pin 423 at an end thereof.

, The slide plate providing the abutment and the latch member carried thereby are normally in the position shown in FIG. 6, but can be advanced to the position shown in FIG. 7 by upward movement of an actuator plate 430 mounted to the wall 34 by pin and slot connections 431 and 432. The actuator plate has a cam roller 433 at its lower end engageable with a cam surface 434 on the rear edge of the slide plate 410 whereby elevating movement of the actuator plate 430 causes advance of the slide plate 410 to the position shown in FIG. 7. This positions an abutment 440 at the opposite end of the slide plate 410 under an car 441 on the main slide 60 to limit the downward position of the main slide 60 to a position higher than that when the slide moves through a full stroke to its lowermost position. In the process of the slide advancing, the latch member 420 will remain stationary because of the latch pin 423 engaging the ear 441 until the slide has descended to the position shown in FIG. 7 wherein the spring 422 can become effective to advance the latch member 420 and place the latch pin 423 above the slide ear 441. The parts are then as shown in FIG. 7 with the main slide 60 locked in an intermediate lowered position which has been sufficient to lift the head bridge 320, lower the sensing probe 154 and release the take-up idler wheel 283. The movement has not been sufficient to trip the escapement mechanism to cause an indexing movement of the cassette holder 44.

The mechanism for operating the actuator plate 430 in elevating movement to limit the downward stroke of the main slide 60 occurs either upon operation of the stop button 234 or upon actuation of the last cassette shut-off mechanism. The operation from the stop push button is shown particularly in FIG. 8 wherein the plunger 248 thereof has a pair of pins 450 engageable at either side of an end 451 of a lever pivoted at 452 to a bracket 453 extending downwardly from the plate 38, with the opposite end 454 of the lever being bifurcated and engageable in an opening 455 at the upper end of the actuator plate 430. Thus, depression of the stop button 234 causes counterclockwise pivoting of the lever shown in FIG. 8 to lift the lever and lift the actuator plate 430.

In addition to depression of the stop push button 234, which mechanically lifts the slide 430, it is necessary to pulse the solenoid 400 to lower the main slide 60 in a stop operation and this is accomplished by operation of a switch 460, having an arm 461 carrying a roller 462 operable by a cam plate 463 movable with the actuator plate 430 and having a cam 464 which functions to close the switch 460 as the slide actuator plate 430 moves from the lower position of FIG. 6 to the elevated position of FIGS. 7 and 8. A spring 465 extends between the wall 34 and the actuator plate 430 to partially counterbalance the weight of the mechanism.

The stop plunger 248 also has an ear 470 that operates to throw off the intermediate idler wheel 282 in a stop operation. This occurs by the ear 470 engaging one arm 471 (FIG. 5) of a bell crank pivoted at 472. The other arm 473 is pivotally connected to an arm 474 carrying the idler wheel 282. The idler wheel 282 is normally urged into position by a spring 475 connected to the arm 471. I

The last cassette shut-off mechanism comprises a cam 500 on the underside of the cassette holder which is effective upon Inllu: rvnn movement of the cassette holder after playing of the last cassette C in the holder to lower and pivot clockwise a lever 501 having a follower roller 502 (FIGS. 1 and 10) engageable by the cam and pivoted at 503 to the frame of the changer and having a pivot connection 505 to an upwardly extending link 506 which is pivoted at 507 to a bell crank arm 508, with the bell crank being pivoted at 509 to a bracket 510 fixed to the plate 39. The other arm 511 of the bell crank has a roller 512 positioned to engage an arm 515, shown particularly in FIG. 9, which is mounted by means of a universal joint connection 516 for pivoting about two different axes. The arm 515 has a roller 520 which can engage under an ear 521 on the main slide 60. The arm 515 is urged to a retracted position by a spring 517 connected between the arm and the wall 34.

In operation, when the cam 500 becomes efi'ective, the arm 515 is pivoted to the position shown in FIG. 9 to underlie the slide car 521 after the slide 60 has returned to its upper position. With the cassette holder then having indexed beyond its final cassette position, the probe 154 is elevated as in a normal cycle and finding no cassette present, which is the same as a reject cycle, the solenoid 400 is pulsed to lower the slide 60. This causes counterclockwise pivoting of the arm 515, as shown in FIG. 6 to cause the arm to engage under the bifurcated ends 454 of the stop push button system and lift these arms to raise the actuating slide 430 to shift the abutment plate 410 to limit the downward stroke of the main slide 60 to an intermediate position, with the result that the head bridge is raised, the cassette sensing probe is lowered, and the drive idler is released, but without further indexing of the cassette holder. This final position is shown in FIG. 7.

The actuator plate 430 will lower under its own weight to release the abutment plate 410 when freed from restraint. When the cassette holder is shifted to release roller 502 from the cam 500, the roller 512 moves away from arm 515 and spring 517 withdraws the roller 520 from under slide ear 521. This frees the actuator slide 430 from restraint. On initiating an operation after a stop operation, the stop push button is released to again free actuator plate 430 from restraint.

The operation of the main slide 60 under control of the solenoid 400 has been described. Additionally, the main slide 60 can be lowered to the intermediate position, mechanically, by operation of any of the pause button 224, rewind button 226, or fast button 223. The actuation of the buttons 226 and 228 to effect the spindle drives has previously been described. Each of the push button plungers is constructed similarly to the plunger 242, shown in FIG. 3, wherein a flange 600 overlies a plate 601 which is pivoted at a right-hand end, as shown in FIG. 3, by a pair of upstanding ears 602 and 603 pivoted to brackets 604 and 605 (FIG. on the top plate 38. The plate 601 intermediate its ends has a pair of ears 606 and 607 carrying a pin 608 which pivotally connects to a double link 609 which is pinned at 610 to an arm 611 which, at its left-hand end, as viewed in FIG. 3, is pivoted by a pin 612 to a fixed bracket 613. Thus, operation of any of the push buttons 224, 226 and 228 will depress the left-hand end of the plate 601 to pivot it counterclockwise and through the link 609 will cause clockwise pivoting of the arm 611, as viewed in FIG. 3, about the pivot pin 612 to lower the main slide 60 to a position to lift the head bridge, lower the cassette sensing probe 154 and release the take-up idler wheel 283.

The circuit shown in FIG. 14 has been referred to and, at this point, is believed generally clear from the preceding description. The solenoid 400 is in a main power line 701, along with the switch of a relay 702 for controlling energization of the solenoid 400. The relay is in a control circuit having a lower voltage than that supplied to the solenoid 400, with one side of the line being indicated at 705 and the opposite side at 703. Whenever a circuit is completed across the relay 702 it results in pulsing of the solenoid 400 with a delayed release of the solenoid 400 being accomplished by the capacitor 704 in the control circuit. The control circuit includes the switch 174 associated with the cassette probe 154, the tape sensor switch 359 associated with the ends of tape sensor plunger 355, a reject switch 710 directly operated and closed by operation of the reject push button 222, a record interlock switch 711 which is automatically operated by depression of the record push button 230, and the stop switch 460 previously described.

The reject switch 710 functions to cause cassette indexing operation whenever operated to place a succeeding cassette in playing position. The record interlock switch 711 functions with the switch arms 206 and 208 of the switch 174 to provide a further indexing cycle of the cassette holder if a record operation is requested and the cassette arriving in play position has the knockout plug of the cassette removed to indicate that there is a pro-recorded tape in the cassette.

A modified holder is shown in FIG. 16 wherein the base 46 does not have the side walls 48, as shown in FIG. 14, but is merely planar. A cassette holder in the form of a tray having a bottom 700 and four surrounding upstanding walls can hold a plurality of the cassettes C. The side walls are identified at 701 and 702. Each of the end walls are notched, as shown at 703, for end wall 704 to permit access to the cassette reels. The tray can be located on the base 46 by means of a plurality of downwardly extending posts 705 at the four corners of the tray which engage in correspondingly located holes 706 in the base 46.

Although not shown in the sectional view of FIG. 16, the tray bottom 700 has openings coincident with the openings 158 in the cassettes C and the base 46 has openings similar to openings 156 to permit operation of the cassette sensing plunger 154.

We claim:

1. A cassette changer for playing one of a plurality of tape cassettes with the cassettes each having a code member to indicate non-recorded tape comprising, tape transport and head elements defining a tape play path, a movable cassette holder for holding a plurality of cassettes, means for indexing said holder to present successive cassettes to a position wherein a length of tape in a cassette lies along said path, a movable support mounting at least one of said elements for movement toward and away from the tape along said path, probe means including a movable probe member having a retracted position spaced from said travel path and three different advanced positions including two different intermediate positions for sensing the absence of a cassette at said play position when the probe member is fully advanced and further sensing whether the cassette has the code member by the intermediate advanced position taken by the probe member, and means in cluding a movably mounted main control member moved through a full stroke in a cassette indexing cycle to move said support and said one element to a cassette index position, to operate said indexing means, and to move said probe to its retracted position.

2. A cassette changer as defined in claim 1 wherein power means moves said main control member, said power means being independently operable by each of an end-of-tape sensor, a reject switch, and a switch operated by said probe when the absence of a cassette is sensed.

3. A cassette changer as defined in claim 1 wherein said indexing means includes a movable pant moved by said main control member in the full stroke of the main control member, and means for moving said main control member through less than a full stroke to move said support and retract said probe without moving said part and indexing said holder.

4. A cassette changer as defined in claim 3 wherein said main control member is yieldably moved, and an abutment is moved into the path thereof to limit the stroke of said member, and means operated by either a stop button or a last cassette shut-off mechanism to move said abutment.

5. A cassette changer as defined in claim 3 wherein mechanical means operate said main control member through less than a full stroke and said mechanical means being operable by either of pause, fast forward or rewind buttons.

6. A cwsette changer as defined in claim 5 wherein the cassette has tape reels therein with a drive spindle for each reel and drive means therefor operable to move the tape at a play speed, at fast forward, or rewind and said main control member controlling said drive means.

7. A cassette changer for playing any one of a plurality of tape cassettes with the cassettes each having a code member to indicate non-recorded tape comprising, head elements and a capstan defining a tape path with a coacting element for pressing a tape against the capstan, means mounting at least one of said elements for movement away from the tape, a movable cassette holder for holding a plurality of cassettes, means for indexing said holder to present successive cassettes to a position wherein a length of tape lies in said path, a pair of spindles positioned to extend through the reels of a plurality of cassettes and having drive engagement with the reels of a cassette at said'position, a drive mechanism for said capstan and spindles including movable idler wheels, probe means for detecting the presence of a cassette at said position and the presence of the code member, a main control member having a full stroke to retract the probe means, move said element, operate the indexing means and disengage the drive mechanism to the spindles and a lesser stroke to perform all the aforesaid functions except operate the indexing means, power means for moving said main control member, a reject switch, an end-of-tape switch, and a probe switch, all three switches in circuit with said power means to cause operation thereof, means movable into the path of said main control member to limit the stroke thereof, and means operated by a stop button or a last cassette detecting mechanism to move said abutment, and means operable apart from said power means to move said main control member in a partial stroke for pause, rewind, or fast forward operation.

8. A cassette changer for playing one of a plurality of tape cassettes with the cassettes each having a code member to indicate non-recorded tape comprising, elements defining a tape play-record path, a cassette holder for holding a plurality of cassettes, means for indexing said holder to present successive cassettes to a play position wherein a length of tape lies in said play-record path, probe means including a movable probe member having a retracted position spaced from said travel path and three different advanced positions including two different intermediate positions for sensing the absence of a cassette at said play position when the probe member is fully advanced and further sensing whether the cassette has the code member by the intermediate advanced position taken by the probe member, means at the end of each index cycle for advancing said probe member from the retracted position toward a cassette, and including means for automatically continuously indexing said holder and actuating said probe member between retracted and advanced position to search for a cassette with non-recorded tape when a record operation is desired.

9. A cassette changer as defined in claim 8 having a record interlock switch, and a circuit including said switch and said probe means to again index said holder if a pre-recorded tape arrives at said position and said switch has been operated.

10. A cassette changer as defined in claim 8 wherein said probe means includes a multi-contact switch operated by said probe member with .the switch and probe member having three operative positions related to the advanced position of the probe member wherein, in a first position, a non prerecorded cassette is detected, in a second position, a prerecorded tape cassette is detected, and, in a third position, the absence of a cassette is detected.

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US3770282 *Aug 31, 1971Nov 6, 1973Warwick Electronics IncCassette changer
US3774915 *May 6, 1971Nov 27, 1973Matsushita Electric Ind Co LtdAutomatic cassette changer
US3810239 *Sep 19, 1972May 7, 1974Natsushita Electric Ind Co LtdAutomatic cassette changer
US3814343 *Oct 10, 1972Jun 4, 1974Programming Technologies IncAutomatic tape loading apparatus for cassettes and the like
US3823945 *Nov 29, 1971Jul 16, 1974Peripheral Syst CorpControlled transport of a flexible medium
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Classifications
U.S. Classification360/92.1, 242/344, G9B/15.19, 226/187, 360/62, G9B/15.37, G9B/15.138, 242/337.1
International ClassificationG11B15/16, G11B15/28, G11B15/68
Cooperative ClassificationG11B15/6815, G11B15/28, G11B15/16
European ClassificationG11B15/16, G11B15/68B2, G11B15/28