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Publication numberUS3697981 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 10, 1972
Filing dateFeb 8, 1971
Priority dateFeb 8, 1971
Publication numberUS 3697981 A, US 3697981A, US-A-3697981, US3697981 A, US3697981A
InventorsHarkins Chester M, Harkins Delue M
Original AssigneeHarkins Chester M, Harkins Delue M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Monitoring attachment for self-service gasoline pumps
US 3697981 A
Abstract
A monitoring attachment for mounting on self-service gasoline pumps to generate pulses correlated to the amount of gasoline dispensed from the self-service pump. The pulses are transmitted to a remote station as input to a slave register. The monitoring attachment is constructed in a manner to prevent the ignition of gasoline fumes that may be emitted from the pump.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Harkins et al. 51 Oct. 10, 1972 [541 MONITORING ATTACHMENT FOR 2,447,819 8/ 1948 Roth ..200/8 R SELF-SERVICE GASOLINE PUMPS 3,238,316 3/1966 Voss ..200/8 R 72 lnv -nl )rs: Chester M. Hurkins l l24 W.'t l I L l I h Avenue Spokane g; Primary Exammer-John W. Caldwell 99204; Delue' Hark'ins 335 Assistant Examiner-Robert J. Mooney Thain Lewiston Idaho 3501 Att0rneyWel-ls, St. John & Roberts [22] Filed: Feb. 8, 1971 57 ABSTRACT [21 Appl. No.: 113,375 A monitoring attachment for mounting on self-service gasoline pumps to generate pulses correlated to the 52 0.5. CI. .L ..340/359, 200/10, 340/364 amount gasoline dispensed from the Self-Service 51 rm. C1. ..G08c 1/00 p p- The p s are transmitted to a remote Station 5 Fi ld f S h ZOO/23, 26, 8 R, 9, 10; as input to a slave register. The monitoring attachment 340/359, 364, 203, 271; 222/26, 76 is constructed in a manner to prevent the ignition of gasoline fumes that may be emitted from the pump. [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 8/1964 Farrell ..200/23 9 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures 1 I, MONITORING ATTACHMENT FOR SELF- SERVICE GASOLINE PUMPS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to self-service gasoline pumps and more particularly to monitoring attachments for monitoring the amount of fuel dispensed from the gasolinepump during the self-service operation.

required to take the word of the customer as to how much gasoline and the monetary worth of the. gasoline dispensed from the gasoline pump.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now in detail to the drawings, there isshown in FIG. 1 a monitoring attachment generally To solve the problem, very complicated monitoring systemshave been designedand incorporated in some of the self-service stations for monitoring'the self-service gasoline pump and communicating'the information to a central office so that the operator will know how much gasoline has been dispensed from each gasoline pump. Such a unit is described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,340,525. Many of the complicated devices have proved to be substantially inoperative because their accuracy is greatly affected by temperature changes. Consequently, the operator of the self-service stations has to run out to each pump to double check the accuracy of the monitoring system.

To complicate the problem, the monitoring equipment must be able to monitor the gasoline dispensed from the gasoline pump without igniting any gasoline fumes which would cause an explosion.

One of the principal objects of this invention is to provide a very simple, yet accurate monitoring attachment for attaching to a self-service gasoline pump for accurately monitoring the amount of gasoline dispensed therefrom. 1

An additional object of this invention is to provide a self-service gasoline pump monitoring attachment that is mounted in a mannerto prevent the ignition of gasoline fumes that maybe emitted from the pump.

A further object of this invention is to provide a monitoring attachment for mounting directly to the gasoline pump without having to substantially modify the pump.

These and further objects will become apparent upon the reading of the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OFTI-IE DRAWINGS A preferred embodiment of this invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary front 'view of a portion of a self-service gasoline pump showing a pump register mounted in a pump housing with a monitoring attachment affixed to the exterior of the'housing and operatively connected to the register;

FIG. 2 is a vertical cross-sectional view taken through a longitudinal axis of the monitoring attachment; and

designated by the numeral 10 for utilization in combination with a self-service gasoline pump generally designated by the numeral 11. The pump 11, has a housing 12 with an interior surface 13 and exterior surface 14. i t

Although not shown because of their well-known features, the gasoline pump includes 'a hose mechanism with a fluid pump for dispensing the gasoline from a reservoir through the pumpand hose into a customers vehicle. The pump has a metering means for measuring the amount of gasoline flowing through the hose and into the vehicle.

The gasoline pump 11 also includesa register 16 mounted generally in-the upper part of the housing receiving the gasoline. The monetary value is displayed by a monetary value indicator 20. In this particular device, the monetary value indicator 20 includes digit numbers 21 and 22. For illustration purposes, the numerals 77 are displayed indicating that 77 worth of gasoline has been dispensed from the gasoline pump.

The register 16 has a register shaft 24 that is rotated in direct proportion to the amount of liquid dispensed from the gasoline pump. The register shaft 24 rotates about a substantially horizontal axis.

' The monitoring attachment 10 includes a case 26 made of a plastic electrically non-conductive body 27 having an extending flange 28 that is mounted up against the exterior surface 14. The case 26 is affixed to the housing 12 by bolts 30. The case 26 is mounted on the exterior surface 14 in axial alignment with the register shaft 24. The case 26 includes a removable cap 32 that enables one to obtain access to the interior of the case by removing screws 33. The cap 32 and body 27 form an enclosure having a cylindrical cavity 35 (FIGS. 2 and 3) formed therein coaxially about an axis that is axially aligned with the register shaft 24. The cylindrical cavity 35 has a cylindrical wall surface 36 that is electrically non-conductive consisting of the same plastic material as the case. Furthermore, the cylindrical cavity 35 is defined by radial wall surfaces 37 and 38 that are likewise electrically non-conductive.

A bore 40' is formed in the case 26 coaxially with the axis of the cylindrical. cavity 35. The bore 40 extends from the exterior of the caSe and communicating with the cylindrical cavity 35. The bore extends through the cavity 35 forming an annular indentation 41 in the cap 32. The annular indentation 41 forms an annular shoulder 43. The bore 40 forms an annular shoulder 44 e at the intersection with the cylindrical cavity 35.

7 27 coaxially about the cylindrical cavity 35.

A plurality of evenly angularly spaced female electrical contact buttons 48 are embedded in the body 27 coaxially about the axis with each contact button having a surface 50 that communicates with the cylindrical cavity 35 and which is flush with the cylindrical wall 36. Each of the female electrical contact buttons 48 is also electrically connected to the ring 46. An electrical lead 52 has one end affixed to'the case 26 and is electrically connected to the ring 46 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3.

The monitoring attachment also hasan axial contact button 54 embedded in the cap 32 aligned along the axis of the monitoring attachment with a surface 55 communicating with the cylindrical cavity 35 in the annular indentation 41. An electrical lead 57 has one end mounted in the case 26 and is electrically connected to the axial contact button 54.

The monitoring attachment '10 has a rotor 60 that is constructed of an electrically non-conductive plastic material, preferably of the same type as the case having similar dielectric and heat expansion characteristics. The rotor 60 is rotatably mounted in the cylindrical cavity 34 almost entirely filling the cylindrical cavity so that there isinsufficient space between the rotor and the walls of the cavity to support combustion caused by any electrical spark that may occur within the case. The rotor 60 has a shaft 61 formed integrally therewith that extends outward through the bore 40 terminating in an end 62. The shaft 61 extends through the housing 12 for connection with the register shaft 24. An axial bore 64 is formed in the end 62 having a diameter complementary to the exterior diameter of the register shaft 24 to receive the end of the register shaft 24 therein. The radial hole 65 is formed in the end 62 enabling a cotter pin 66 to be inserted through the radial hole 65 and the end of the register shaft 24 to lock the rotor 60 to the shaft 24 to cause the rotor 60 to rotate with the shaft 24. I

The shaft 61 has an opposite end 68 that projects slightly from the side of the rotor into the annular indentation 41 for rotatably supporting the rotor in conjunction with the shaft section 62. It should be noted that conventional bearings are not required since the rotor and the case are made of substantially the same material having a plastic electrically non-conductive bearing surfaces for minimizing friction therebetween.

An axial hole 70 is formed in the end 68 extending axially through the rotor 60 into the end 62 as shown in FIG. 3. The hole 70 has an end 71. A cylindrical electrically conductive contact number 73 is slidably mounted in the hole 70. A spring 74 is mounted between the contact member 73 and the end 71 to bias the contact member 73 axially outward into frictional engagement with the axial contact button 54 to provide electrical communication therebetween.

The rotor 60 has a peripheral surface 76 directly opposite the cylindrical wall surface 36 of the cavity. The rotor 60 has radial surfaces 77 and 78 directly opposite the radial wall surfaces 37 and 38 respectively of the cavity. As previously mentioned, the size of the rotor is sufficient to almost completely fill the cavity so that there is insufficient space between the surfaces 76-78 and the surfaces 36-38 to support combustion should any gasoline vapors permeate into the cylindrical cavi- The rotor 60 has a radial hole 80 formed therein extending from the peripheral surface 76 inward intersecting the axial hole 70 as shown in FIG. 3. A male cylindrical contact member 82 is slidably mounted in the radial hole 70. A spring 83 of electrically conductive material is mounted in the radial hole 80 having one end engaging the cylindrical contact member 73 along its cylindrical surface and the other spring end engaging one end of the cylindrical male contact member 82 to bias the contact member 82 radially outward to frictionally engage the cylindrical wall surface 26 and the female electrical contact button surfaces 50. In this particular embodiment ten electrical contact buttons 48 are embedded in the case at evenly angularly spaced locations so that the male contact member 82 will engage each of the surfaces during one rotation of the rotor. When a power source is applied across the electrical leads 52 and 57, electrical pulses are generated through the monitoring attachment at a rate of 10 pulses for each revolution of the register shaft 24. Such a number of contact surfaces 50 is often preferable for registers that display the monetary value in units of tenths.

It should be noted that the springs 74 and 83 bias the contact members 73 and 82 outwardly respectively for contact with the contact buttons to provide good frictional wiping contact to enable electrical signals to be communicated therebetween. Such an arrangement also compensates for any wear that may occur in the contact member 73 and 82 to enable the monitoring attachment 10 to be operated for an extended length of time with little or no maintenance.

As shown in FIG. 1, the leads 52 and 57 extend to a remote station indicated by the dotted enclosure line 85. The remote station 85 most likely would be the central office having a cash register which isremote from the self-service gasoline pumps. Within the remote station 85 is a power source 86 that is operatively connected between electrical leads 52 and 57 to cause pulses to be generated by the intermittent engagement of the contact member 82 with the female electrical contact buttons 48.

A slave register 88 is mounted electrically, connected to the electrical leads 52 and 57 for receiving the pulses and converting the pulses to a visual display similar to display 18 to enable the operator located at the remote station to have a practically instantaneous accurate reading of the amount of gasoline pumped from the gasoline station and the monetary value associated therewith which is to be collected from the customer utilizing the self-service gasoline pump.

It should be understood that the above described embodiment is simply illustrative of the principles of this invention and that numerous other embodiments may be readily devised by those skilled in the art without deviating therefrom. Therefore, only the following claims are intended to define this invention.

What is claimed is: i

1. In combination with a self-service gasoline pump having an enclosed housing with a register mounted therein for displaying a monetary value correlated to the amount of gasoline dispensed from the self-service gasoline pump, in which the register has a shaft that rotates in correlation to the flow of gasoline dispensed from the pump;

a monitoring attachment for generating electrical pulses that correlate to the flow of gasoline dispensed from the self-service gasoline pump, comprising: a

a case mounted on the exterior of the housing;

said case having a cylindrical cavity with an electrically non-conductive surface coaxially about an axis;

'a cylindrical rotor rotatably mounted in the cavity filling the cavity sufficiently to prevent combustion from occuring within the cavity and for rotation about the axis, said rotor having a shaft with one end extending outward from the case along the axis and projecting through the gasoline pump housing and into the interior and axially connected with the register shaft to cause the rotor to rotate in direct correlation to the rotation of the register shaft;

said rotor having an electrically non-conductive surface directly opposite the electrically non-conductive surface of the case;

a plurality of female electrically conductive elements mounted in one of the electrically non-conductive surfaces at uniformly spaced intervals about the axis; v

a first electrical lead mounted in the case and electrically connected to each of the female elements;

a second electrical lead mounted in the case; and

a male electrically conductive element mounted in the other surface and electrically connected to the second electrical lead, said male element being spring biased to engage the one surface and to intermittently sequentially frictionally rub against the female elements as the rotor is rotated by the register shaft to enable electrical pulses to be generated that correlate to the flow of gasoline dispensed from the pump.

2. The combination-as defined in claim 1 wherein the case and rotor shaft are constructed of an electrically non-conductive material so that electrical energy will not be communicated from the attachment to the gasoline pump.

3. The combination as defined in claim 1 wherein the cylindrical cavity is defined by a cylindrical electrically non-conductive surface and wherein the female electrically conductive elements comprise female contact buttons mounted in the cylindrical surface at evenly spaced annular intervals about the axis in which each female contact button has a contact surface flush with the cylindrical surface, and wherein the rotor has an electrically non-conductive peripheral surface directly opposite the cylindrical surface of the case and wherein the rotor has a radial hole formed therein communicating with the peripheral surface and wherein the male electrically conductive element comprises a radial male contact member slidably mounted in the radial hole with a spring means biasing the cylindrical Contact member radially outward to alternately frictionally en gage the cylindrical surface of the case and the female contact buttons as the rotor is rotated by the register shaft to generate pulses the frequency of which correlate to the flow of gasoline dispensed from the gasoline pump.

4. The combination as defined in claim 3 wherein the female contact buttons are electrically interconnected by an electrically conductive ring embedded in the case and wherein the first electrical lead is connected to the ring. 1 t

5. The combination as defined in claim 3 wherein the second electrical lead is electrically connected to an axial contact button stationarily mounted in the case and exposed to the cavity coaxially centered along the axis and wherein the other end of the rotor has an axial hole formed therein opposing the axial contact button and wherein an axial contact member is slidably mounted in the axial hole and wherein the spring means is mounted in the axial hole for biasing the axial contact member into a continuous rubbing engagement with the axial contact button while the rotor is being rotated.

6. The attachment as defined inclaim 5,wherein the radial hole intersects the axial hole with the radial spring means engaging both the radial contact member and the axial contact member to provide electrical continuity therebetween.

7. In combination with a self-service gasoline pump having an enclosed housing with a register mounted therein for displaying a monetary value correlated to the amount of gasoline dispensed from the self-service gasoline pump, in which the register has a shaft that rotates in correlation to the flow of gasoline dispensed from the pump;

a monitoring attachment for generating electrical pulses that correlate to the flow of gasoline dispensed from the self-service gasoline pump, comprising:

a case mounted on the exterior of the housing;

said case having a cylindrical cavity with an electrically non-conductive cylindrical surface coaxially about an axis;

a cylindrical rotor rotatably mounted in the cavity for rotation about the axis, said rotor having a shaft with one end extending outward from the case along the axis and projecting through the gasoline pump housing and into the interior and axially connected with the register shaft to cause the rotor to rotate in direct correlation to the rotation of the register shaft, said rotor having an axial hole formed in the other end thereof;

said rotor having an electrically non-conductive surface directly opposite the electrically non-conductive surface of the case with a radial hole formed therein communicating with and intersecting the axial hole;

a plurality of female electrically conductive contact buttons mounted in the electrically non-conductive surface of the cylindrical cavity, at evenly spaced annular intervals about the axis, in which each female contact button has a contact surface flush with the cylindrical surface;

a first electrical lead mounted in the case and electrically connected to each of the female elements;

an axial contact button stationarily mounted in the case and exposed to the cavity opposite the axial hole;

a second electrical lead mounted in the case and electrically connected to the axial contact button; and

a radial male electrically conductive contact member slidably mounted in the radial hole;

an axial contact member slidably mounted in the axial hole; and

spring means mounted in the intersecting axial and radial holes for biasing the control members out-' ward against the contact buttons and electrically interconnect the contact members to enable electrical pulses to be generated that correlate to the flow of gasoline dispensed from the pump.

8. The combination as defined in claim 7 wherein the case and rotor shaft are constructed of an electrically

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2447819 *Jul 11, 1945Aug 24, 1948IbmCommutator
US3146322 *Aug 30, 1960Aug 25, 1964Farrell Terence M PRotary electric switch having a plurality of contacts
US3238316 *Nov 12, 1963Mar 1, 1966Western Electric CoSpherical shaped multiple contact switch with pivot arm and plunger mechanism
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3828200 *Jun 27, 1973Aug 6, 1974Gerry MProgramming timer with series connected switches
US4079387 *May 21, 1976Mar 14, 1978Canon Kabushiki KaishaCounter circuit for a camera
US4225759 *Nov 21, 1977Sep 30, 1980Ford Motor CompanyHigh voltage distributor utilizing a high dielectric fluid medium
US4268890 *Mar 30, 1979May 19, 1981Siemens AktiengesellschaftBreaker combination for bus bar installations
US6067476 *Oct 30, 1997May 23, 2000Gilbarco Inc.Apparatus and method to detect tampering with fuel dispenser totalizer
Classifications
U.S. Classification235/94.00A, 200/8.00A, 200/10
International ClassificationG01F15/06
Cooperative ClassificationG01F15/063
European ClassificationG01F15/06B2