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Publication numberUS3699259 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 17, 1972
Filing dateJul 15, 1971
Priority dateJul 15, 1971
Publication numberUS 3699259 A, US 3699259A, US-A-3699259, US3699259 A, US3699259A
InventorsMain Henry Allan, Thompson Joseph
Original AssigneeNorthern Electric Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Coin switch apparatus
US 3699259 A
Abstract
Coin switch apparatus for prepay coin actuated mechanisms, such as telephones, in which a minimum prepaid amount must be deposited before actuation of the mechanism. Where a coin deposited is equal to or more than the required minimum, the coin proceeds right through, actuating a signalling means if desired. Where two coins of a particular value must be deposited to meet the minimum amount, the first coin is held in the mechanism by a latch and a second coin will strike the first coin, be deflected and proceed through the apparatus. The coin held actuates a switch for ensuring a connection for withdrawal of the latch and release of the coin on reception of a release signal.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Main et al.

[451 Oct. 17,1972

[ COIN SWITCH APPARATUS [72] Inventors: Henry Allan Main; Joseph Thompson, both of London, Ontario, Canada [73] Assignee: Northern Electric Company Limited,

Montreal, Quebec, Canada [22] Filed: July 15, 1971 [2]] Appl. No.: 163,012

[52] U.S. Cl ..179/6.5 [51 Int. Cl. ..H04m 17/02 [58] Field of Search ..1'79/6.3, 6.5

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 7 886,497 5/1908 Harrison ..179/6.3 R 1,143,367 6/1915 Dixon ..179/6.5

Primary Examiner-Kathleen H. Claffy Assistant Examiner-David L. Stewart Attorney-Sidney T. Jelly [57] ABSTRACT Coin switch apparatus for prepay coin actuated mechanisms, such as telephones, in which a minimum prepaid amount must be deposited before actuation of the mechanism. Where a coin deposited is equal to or more than the required minimum, the coin proceeds right through, actuating a signalling means if desired. Where two coins of a particular value must be deposited to meet the minimum amount, the first coin is held in the mechanism by a latch and a second coin will strike the first coin, be deflected and proceed through the apparatus. The coin held actuates a switch for ensuring a connection for'withdrawal of the latch and release of the coin on reception of a release signal.

10 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PATENTEDnm 11 1972 SHEET 2 BF 8 PATENTEDHCT 17 I972 SHEET 3 OF q ML Fig.

PATENTEDUCI 17 I972 SHEEI 6 (IF 8 Fig. 6

PAIENTEU I972 3 699 I 259 sum 7 or 8 I I IIO Fig. 7

COIN SWITCH APPARATUS This invention relates to prepay coin operated mechanisms. In particular it relates to prepay pay stations for telephones, although other uses are possible.

In prepay telephone usage, as in other prepay devices, it is necessary to prevent use of the apparatus until the correct amount has been deposited. Typically, in prepay telephones it is necessary to prevent the use of the telephone until at least the minimum, for example, cents, has been deposited, either in the form of two five-cent coins, or one 10 cent coin, or one 25 cent coin. It is also necessary to make provision for refund of any or all of the coins deposited when the call is abandoned. An abandoned call includes the situation where the call is abandoned after a single five cent coin has been deposited.

For a prepay telephone, the basic method of preventing use until the correct minimum coinage has been deposited is to disable the'dial. There are two systems; ground start and loop start. On systems using a ground start line circuit, usually the ground connection is not completed until the minimum coinage has been deposited, and this is a precaution additional to disabling the dial. The dial is disabled by short-circuiting the dial-pulsing contacts on rotary dials, and by applying a suitable bias on frequency tone dials. Previously the short circuit disabling the dial has been completed through a pair of contacts located on the hopper trigger switch located at the entry of the coin hopper. The switch is a component part of the coin relay, being at the upper end of the hopper and positioned so that the first coin entering the hopper trips the hopper trigger switch. The hopper trigger switch is restored to normal whenever the coin relay collects or refunds.

On loop start line circuit systems, the Central Office switching equipment is started and connected to the coin telephone simply by lifting the handset, but dialing cannot proceed because the hopper trigger switch has not been operated and the dial is short-circuited. The first coin deposited, after proceeding through the coin checking chute will operate the hopper trigger switch and enable dialing to be carried out. For a minimum ten cent operation it is necessary that the short circuit across the dial must be maintained until at least two five cent coins have been deposited if these coins are being used to make the minimum ten cent deposit. Thus the five cent coin must be handled in a different manner, compared with the 10 or 25 cent coins. There are two basic methods for handling five cent coins at present.

Method 1 The first five cent coin is held in the coin chute and released by the second five cent coin. The two coins travel together through the chute and follow one another into the coin relay hopper and trip the hopper trigger switch.

Method 2 The first five cent coin is allowed to proceed through the chute and enter the hopper, tripping the hopper trigger switch. In passing through the chute the first coin operates a switch which is then mechanically latched in the operated position. This latched switch closes a second short-circuit across the dial in addition to the short-circuit provided by the hopper trigger switch contacts. The first coin operates the hopper trigger switch but a short circuit on the dial remains by the latched switch. The second five cent coin unlatches the latched switch removing the second short-circuit and, as the original short-circuit was removed by the operation of the hopper trigger switch by the first five cent coin, dialing can be carried out. The latching switch is alternately latched and unlatched by successive five cent coins and must be restored to normal" at the conclusion of each call to prevent a fraudulent practice.

For ground start line circuit systems there is required a ground at the coin telephone in order to start and connect the central office switching to the coin telephone. This ground connection is provided by the operation of the hopper trigger switch in present systems. The methods of handling the five cent coins as described above for loop start line circuit systems also apply for ground start systems but there is an inherent problem associated with the ground start system. This problem is associated 'with the refunding of a single five cent coin if the call is abandoned after a single five cent coin has been deposited. If method 1, described above, is used the first five cent coinwill be held in the chute and since the hopper trigger switch has not been operated, the Central Office will not have been started. Thus it will be necessary to provide some mechanical linkage to release the held coin, and an additional coin return path is necessary to allow this coin to reach the coin return bucket. Method 2, described above, is satisfactory for ground start systems.

The present invention enables commercially available coin chutes to be used, without modification. Such chutes are not arranged for holding the first five cent coin, and do not have provision for audible coin identification. The present invention combines holding of a coin with coin signalling function. A switch is positioned in each coin channel below the coin chute. Each switch operates an electronic sound generating circuit to provide distinctive coin identification signals. Convenientlythe coin signalling switches are in the same unit as the five cent coin holding device. Satisfactory operation with either loop start or ground start circuits can be obtained without modification to the coin telephone wiring. Also five cent coin signalling problems are avoided, in that in previous systems, involving a held coin in the chute, difficulties arise in recognizing the coin when two five cent coins travel through the chute together and strike the five cent gong in quick succession. There is a saving in vertical space requirements, particularly as compared with Method 2 as described above. The vertical space problem is further aggravated by the need for a coin signalling switch in such an existing system.

The present invention provides a means for controlling the use of a prepayment coin telephone requiring a minimum deposit of, for example, 10 cents and allowing two five cent coins or one 10 cent or one 25 cent coin to meet the minimum requirements. Further the invention provides for the refund of any deposited coins whether or not the minimum deposit has been satisfied. Also the generation of satisfactory five cent coin signals is obtained independently of the five cent coin control devices.

In accordance with the invention there is provided for a prepay coin actuated mechanism, a coin switch apparatus for insertion between a coin chute and a coin hopper, the'coin switch apparatus comprising:

a housing;

a coin channel in said housing and defining a first preferential path and a. second alternative path, said paths terminating in common entry and exit positions; a latch for retaining a first of a pair of consecutive coins in said first path, the second path positioned to receive coins deflected from said first path by a retained coin;

a coin signal switch adjacent said common entry position, said coin signal switch activated by each coin entering said channel;

a coin operated switch mechanism located in said first path and actuated by a coin retained by said latch to provide a coin disposal circuit; and

means for withdrawing the latch to release the retained coin to the common exit. 1

The invention will be readily understood by the following description of an embodiment, by way of example, in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which: I

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic drawing, illustrating the general arrangement of the related parts, coin chute, coin switch apparatus, and hopper;'

FIG. 2 is a side elevation of one form of coin switch apparatus in accordance with the invention;

F IG'. 3 is a bottom plan view of the apparatus of FIG. 2, in the direction of arrow X;

FIG.'4 is a view of the other side of the apparatus of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a cross-section on the line 55 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a cross-section on the line 66 of FIG. 3;

FIG. v7 is a cross-section on the line 7-7 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 8 is a cross-section on the. line 8-8 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 9 is a block diagram of the electrical circuit for the coin switch apparatus.

FIG. 1 illustrates in a diagrammatic block form the arrangement of the coin switch apparatus 10, in accordance with the presentinvention, relative to a coin chute apparatus 11 and a coin hopper 12 shown in cross-section. Coin hopper 12 is part of a coin relay assembly which is of conventional form and in general use. Similarly the coin chute 11 isa readily available commercial unit. The coin chute accepts coins, separates them into separate channels according to their value, and also checks for washers, and the like. Rejected coins and other articles exit at 13, while accepted coins pass to the coin switch apparatus 10.

In the coin chute 11 the various values of coins are sorted into channels which are positioned one behind the other, as viewed in FIG. 1. The five cent coins are passed to the front channel, the cent coins to the center channel and the 25 cent coins to the rear channel. The present invention is concerned particularly with the five cent coins and the path for these coins through the coin switch apparatus is a channel indicated by the dotted lines 14.

The five cent coinsexit from the coin chute 11 at 15. To provide for the 10 cent'minimum for a call, two five cent coins must be used, and the first of these is held in escrow in the coin switch apparatus until either a refund or collect decision is made. The first coin drops down actuating a coin signal switch 16. The channel through the apparatus provides two paths, a first preferential path, indicated by arrow 17, and a second path, indicated by arrow 18. The first coin follows the first preferential path 17, but is halted at a mid position along the path by alatch 19, as indicated at 20. The

coin is held at in such'a position that a second coin passing through exitlS drops down and is deflected by the coin at 20 into the second path 18. The second coin alsoactuates thecoin signal switch 16. 'After deflection by the first c'oin, the second coinpasses over'the latch 19 along path 18 to the exit, at 21.. From the exit 21 the second coin enters the hopper 12, tripping the hopper trigger switch by means of the paddle 22. Thefirst coin while held at 20, engages the arm 23 of a coin present switch 24. The coin signal switch 16 is actuated by the first five cent coin drops from the chute 11 into the coin switch apparatus 10 actuating coin signal switch 16. The coin continues to fall and is held behind the latch 19, also pushing down the arm 23 of switch 24. The arm 23 is held down as long as a coin is in the retained position 20, holding the switch in the operated condition, and providing .a ground connection. This ground connection is required to refund the first five cent coin if the call is abandoned after a'single five cent coin is deposited. The second five cent coin drops down into the coin switch apparatus 10 again actuating the coin signal switch 16. The secondcoin bounces off the first coin and is deflected into the second path .18, avoiding latch 19," and thence into the hopper 12, tripping the hopper trigger switch by detecting the paddle 22.

Operation of the hopper trigger switch establishes the ability to dial, and in the case of ground start line circuits also provides the necessary connection to ground to start the Central Office circuits (in the case of five cent coins a dual connection to ground is provided). The hopper trigger switch also prepared the circuit for disposal of coins by the coin relay in the usual manner. The holding latch 19 is withdrawn, for example by an electromagnet, allowing the first five cent coin to be released and proceed to the hopper 12.

If the call is completed, a collect signal is sent from the Central Office, vane 28 is moved to the correct side to the left in FIG. 1 as indicated at 35, and the trap door 27 opened to permit the coins to pass to the collect hopper. If the call is abandoned, a refund signal is sent by the Central Office, vane 28 is moved to the right in FIG. 1 as indicated-at 36 and the trap door 27 opened to permit the coins to pass to the refund channel. The refund will occur if only one coin has beeninserted, being held by the latch 19, as actuation of the switch 24 by the held coin ensures a completed electrical circuit which onreceipt of a refund signal from the Central Office will cause withdrawal of the latch 19, with the coin passing through to the refundchannel. Likewise a collect signal will result in the collection of a single five cent coin, such as may be required in T01] Overtime charges. More detailed operation will be described later in conjunction with FIG. 4.

FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 illustrate in more detail a coin switch apparatus in accordance with the present invention. As will be seen from FIG. 3, the apparatus 10 is generally of sandwich construction, comprising a plurality of plates fastened together. As seen in FIG. 3, the plates, in sequence, are front cover plate 40, five cent channel plates left and right 41 and 42, five and 10 cent separator plate 43, 10 cent channel plates left and right 44 and 45, 10 cent and 25 cent separator plate 46, 25 cent channel plates left and right 47 and 48, and rear cover plate 49.

Mounted on the front cover plate 40, at one end, by means of a bracket 50 is an electromagnet 51 comprising coils 52 and an armature 53. The armature 53 is pivotted at 54 on two further brackets 55 attached to the front cover plate 40. Extending from the armature 53 is an arm 56. At its end remote from the armature, the arm 56 is bent inwards to project through the front cover plate 40 into the channel for the five cent coin. This bent end forms the latch 19, and passes through an opening 57 formed in the front coverplate 40 (see FIG. 2) to extend intothe five cent coin channel.

Mounted on the front cover plate 40, at the end remote from the electromagnet 52, are the two switches 16 and 24 (see FIG. 1). Switch 16 is the upper switch and is the coin signal switch for the five cent coin, and also acts as the first switch for 10 cent coins. Switch 24 is the coin present switch. Arm 25 extends from switch 16 on the side facing towards the electromagnet 51. The end of the arm is bent inwards and extends through a curved slot 61 in the. front cover plate 40, across the five cent coin channel formed by plates 41 and 42 (FIG. 5) through a similarly curved slot 61 in the five cent-10 cent separation plate 43, and across the IQ cent coin channel formed by plates 44 and 45 (FIG. 6). The inward end of the bent portion extends into but not through a further curved slot formed in separator plate 46. Arm 23 of switch 25 has a bent portion extending inwards through curved slot 64 in the front cover plate 40,.and across the channel for the five cent coin. Arm 23 isheld downwards, as viewed in FIG. 2, when a coin is held in the retained position by the latch 19. The inward end of the bent portion of the arm 23 also extends into a curved slot formed in the separator plate 43. A cover 66 extends over the ends of arms 25 and 23 where they pass through the slots 61 and 64, and also over the arm 56 attached to the armature 53 of the electromagnet 51.

Mounted on the rear cover plate 49 are two further switches 70 and 71. Switch 70 is mounted toward one end of the apparatus, and has an arm 72 extending towards the other end. The end of the arm is bent to pass through a curved slot 73 in the rear cover plate 49, across and above the 25 cent coin channel (see FIG. 6) through a curved slot in the 10 cent-25 cent separator plate 46, across the 10 cent channel and into a curved slot in the separator plate 43. Switch 70 is the second coin signal switch for the 10 cent coins. Switch 71 is mounted toward the other end of the apparatus to the switch 70 and also adjacent the top edge thereof. It has an arm 75 extending toward switch 70 and the end of the arm is bent to pass through a curved slot 76 in the rear cover plate 49, across the 25 cent coin channel (see FIG. 7), and into a further curved slot in the separator plate 46. Switch 71 is the coin signal switch for the twenty-five cent coins. A cover 77 extends over switch 71 and partly over switch 70, covering the arms 72 and 75, being shown partly broken away in FIG. 4.

Coins enter the apparatus via channel inlets at 80. A cable 81 connects the apparatus to the remainder of the installation, being fastened by a clamp 82. The cable 81 connects to the various terminals 83 of the switches 16, 24, and 71, and also to the electromagnet 51 via the smaller cable 84.

The formation of the coin channels can be readily seen in FIGS. 5, 6, 7 and 8. 1

As will be seen from FIG. 3, and as described above, the mechanism is in the form of sandwich construction comprising a plurality of plates fastened together, creating coin channels separated by separator plates.

The various switches are actuated by arms (or actuav tors) which extend through slots in the various plates and in certain instances actuators will pass through more than one set of adjacent plates, for example for actuation by coins passing down the ten cent channel which is in the center of the construction.

FIG. 5 is a cross-section taken between the front cover plate 40 and the five cent channel plates 41 and 42. There is seen the left hand channel plate 41 and right hand channel plate 42 and also, behind these plates, the five and ten cent separator plate 43.'The channel plates 41 and 42 define a channel for five cent coins which has two-paths: path 17 (FIG. 1) which extends vertically from the inlet 90, behind the retaining latch 19 and then to the left, in FIG. 5 to the exit 91 when the latch 19 is withdrawn; and path 18 (FIG. 1) which extends to the left just below the inlet 90, and then downwards past the latch 19 to the exit 91 a coin being diverted into the path 18 by a first coin being retained by the latch 19.

The end of the arm, or actuator 25 for the five cent coin switch 16 (FIG. 1) extends across the channel, just below the inlet, at 92. It moves in an are when struck by a coin, being accommodated in an arcuate slot 93 formed in the five and 10 cent separator plate 43. Actuation of switch 16 bythe actuator 25 occurs each time a five cent coin enters the mechanism. The actuator 25 also extends across the 10 cent coin channel, as will be described.

Situated below actuator 25 is the actuator 23 for the five cent coin present switch 24 (FIG. 1). Actuator 23 extends through the front cover plate 40, by means of arcuate slot 64, across the five cent coin channel and into a further arcuate slot 94 in the five and 10 cent separator plate 43. Actuator 23 is struck and pushed down by a coin dropping down and coming to rest behind the retaining latch 19. Actuator 23 is held down all the time a coin is held behind the latch 19, and is released when the retaining coin is released by withdrawal of latch 19.

It will be seen that the actuator 25 is struck by each five cent coin passing into the five cent coin channel, whether it is held part way through by latch 19, or passes right through. Each coin therefore operates switch 16 and creates a signal.

It is desired that a 10 cent coin gives two signals. This is obtained by causing a 10 cent coin to activate both the five cent coin signal switch and also an additional coin signal switch. FIG. 6 is a cross-section taken between the five and 10 cent separator plate 43 and the 10 cent channel plates 44 and 45. There is seen the left hand channel plate 44and the right hand channel plate 45 and also, behind these plates, the lO-and 25 cent separator plate 46. The channel plates 44 and 45 define a channel for the 10 cent coins, having an inlet 95 and an exit 96. l v

The five cent coin signal switch actuator or arm 25, extends through the arcuate slot 93 in the five and 10 cent separator. plate 43, as described above, and then also across the 10 cent coin channel defined by the channel plates 44 and 45. Finally the five cent coin signal switch actuator 25 extends into an arcuate slot 97 in the 10 and 25 cent coin separator plate 46. After actuating the five cent coin signal switch actuator 25, a 10 cent coin passes down the channel and strikes the 10 cent coin signal switch actuator 72. This actuator 72 extends through arcuate slot 73 in the rear cover plate 49 (FIG. 4) and also through arcuate slot 98 in the 10 and 25 cent separator plate 46, the actuator then extending across the 10 cent coin channel. The end of the actuator 72 moves in an arcuate slot 99 in the five and 10 cent separator-plate (FIG. 5). 1

The form of the 25'cent channel is illustrated in FIG.

7, which is a cross-section taken between the and 25 cent separator plate 64 and the 25 cent channel plates 47 and 48. In FIG. 7, the rear cover plate 49 is seen behind the channel plates 47 and 48. An inlet to the channel is at.105 and an exit at 106. Also seen is the arcuate slot 73 in the rearcover plate and the actuator 72 for the ID cent coin signal switch 70. I Although the actuator 72 passes across from the rear cover plate, through the 10 and 25 cent separator plate to the 10 cent channel, the actuator in its normal nonactuating position is not in the path of travel of the 25 cent coins but is in the uppermost position in the slot 73 and slot 98 (FIG. 6) and is in a recess 107 formed in the left hand 25 cent channel plate 47. The actuator 72 only moves into the twenty-five cent channel for a very short time as it is being moved by a 10 cent coin passing down the 10 cent channel. It is not likely that it will be struck by" a 25 cent coin during this movement, but even if it does so it will not produce any false indication as the actuator is being moved at that timeby a ten cent coin.

The 25 cent coin signal switch actuator 75 extends through the rear cover plate 49 via arcuate slot 76. The actuator 75 extends across the 25 cent channel and its end proves in an arcuate slot 108 formed in the 10 and 25 cent separator plate 46 (FIG. 6).

Each of the actuators is arranged to extend somewhat beyond the particular channel, or channels for the five cent coin'signal switch actuator 60, and with it is associated. In each case the end of the actuator extends into a slot in a separator plate and by this means it is assured that a coin will not either slip past the end of an actuator in a channel, or possibly jam inthe channelbetweenthe end of an actuator and a separator plate. FIG. 8, a cross-section through the sandwich of plates, illustrates this. FIG. 8 is a cross-section on the line 8-8 of FIG. 2 andthe position of the cross-section in each of the FIGSLS, 6 and 7 is indicated by the chain dotted line 110.

FIG. 9 is a block diagram of the circuitry associated with the. mechanism of the present invention. The mechanism described above, and illustrated in FIGS. 1

to 8, is indicated by the dotted outlines 120a and 120b, and also indicated diagrammatically within these outlines are the five, 10 and 25 cent coin signal switches 16, 70 and 71, and magnet 51. The switches connect to a coin signal generator 121, the switches and signal generator being connected between the ring and tip lines 122 and 123 respectively. In the ring line, before the coin signal switches, are the switch hook contacts The arrangement described will operate satisfactorily with most commercial coin chutes which separate five, 10 and 25 cent coins into separate channels. The coins are fed from the various'channels in the coin chute into the corresponding channels in the mechanism of the present invention. Basically, as has been described, there is a dual path. for the five cent coin. The first coin operates the coin signal switch 16 in passing and is held in the channel by the latch 19 which in its normal position protrudes into the five cent coin channel. The coin engages the coin present switch arm, or actuator 63 and operates that switch 24, holding it in the operated position so long as that coin remains held in the coin channel.

The next five cent coin operates the five cent coin signal switch 16 then drops down, hits the first five cent coin retained by the latch 19, and is deflected into a second portion of the channel, over the latch 19, and passes through the exit 91 (FIG; 5). From the exit 91 the second five cent coin drops into the hopper .12 (FIG. 1) actuating the hopper-trigger switch paddle 22. This coin is then retained in the hopper 12 by the trap door 27 until a collect or refund signal is received. The actuation of the coinsignal switch 16 causes a single pulse of a predetermined frequency tone to be produced, which is heard by the operator. 7

If a ten cent coin is inserted it passes through the chute 11, into the ten cent coin channel where it first actuates the five cent coin, signal switch 16 by the actuator 60 and then drops down to actuate the ten cent coin signal switch 70. The coin then passes through exit 96 (FIG. 6) into the hopper 12, actuating the hopper trigger switch paddle 22. The coin is ,held in the hopper 12 by the trap door 27 until a collect or refund signal is received. Actuation of the coin signal switches 16 and causes the predetermined produced twice.

A 25 cent coin passes through the chute 11 into the 25 cent coin channel where it actuates the coin signal switch 71 then passes through exit 106 into the hopper 12 (FIG. 1) actuating the hopper trigger switch paddle 22. The coin is held in the hopper by the trap door 27 until a collect or refund signal is received. The actuation of the coin signal switch 71 causes five pulses of a predetermined frequency tone to be produced. Conveniently the five pulses are produced electronically.

frequency tone to be.

ing cannot proceed as the dial pulse contacts 125 7 remain short circuited by the hopper triggercontacts 126. A deposit of a 10 cent coin or 25 cent coin will proceed through the coin chute 11 and coin switch mechanism 10 and on entering the coin relay hopper 12, will operate the hopper trigger switch by means of paddle 22. Hopper trigger switch contacts 126 and 130 operate to complete the coin relay circuit to ground and also remove the short circuit across the dial pulsing contacts 125. Dialing may now proceed.

if the lO'cent initial rate is met by using two five cent coins, the following will happen: The first coin deposited will pass through the coin chute l1 and will be held in .the channel of the coin switch mechanism 10 by the holding latch 19. The coin held by the holding latch will keep the five cent coin present switch 24 in the operated position and this will complete the coin disposal relay path to ground through the coin release electromagnet coil and coin present switch contacts 129. This circuit path is necessary in order to provide for release of the first five cent coin in the event that the call is abandoned after only one five cent coin has been deposited. The second five cent coin deposited passes through the coin chute and on entering the coin switch mechanism 10, it bounces off the first five cent coin being held by the holding latch 19. The second five cent coin bounces over the holding latch, proceeds through the switching mechanism, enters the coin relay pending on whether the coin relay 128 was operated in the collect or refund position. The coin relay with a delay release time ensures the proper operation of this arrangement. Ground Start Line Circuit Going off-hook closes switch hook contacts 124 but nothing happens as a ground connection is required to start the Central Office circuit. A deposit of a 10 cent coin or a 25 cent coin will proceed through the coin 4 chute 11 and coin switch mechanism 10 and on entering the coin relay hopper 12 will operate the hopper trigger switch by means of paddle 22. Hopper trigger switch contacts 126. and 130 operate to complete the coin relay circuit to ground and also remove the short circuit across the dial pulsing contacts 125. With the ground circuit completed, the Central Office circuits will be actuated and dialing may proceed.

If the 10 cent initial rate is met by using two five cent coins, the following will happen: The first coin deposited will pass through the coin chute l1 and will be held in the five cent channel of the coin switch mechanism 10 by the holding latch 19. This will hold the five cent coin present switch 24 in the operated position. With coin present switch 129 closed, the coin relay circuit to ground is completed. The Central Office circuit will be actuated and dial tone will be returned to the coin telephone. Dialing cannot proceed, however, because the. short circuit through hopper 12 and operatesthe hopper trigger switch. Conor a collect voltage pulse as required after the calling party hangs up. Either the collect or refund pulse will operate both the five cent coin release electromagnet 51 and the coin disposal relay 128 which actuates the vane 28 and trap door 27. The second five cent coin which was lying on the trap door 27 of the coin relay will be dumped immediately. The first five cent coin which was held by the holding latch 19 will be released at the same instant, by the operation of the coin release electromagnet 51 and will be dropped into the hopper 12 of the coin relay. The coin relay is a slow release relay and it will hold in the dump position for approximately 600 milliseconds. This is sufficient time to allow the first five cent coin to travel from the switch mechanism 10 through the coin relay hopper l2 and into either the collect or refund channel 29 Or 30 decontacts 126 remains across dial pulsing contacts 126. The second coin deposited will proceed through the coin chute 11 and on entering the coin switch mechanism 10 will bounce off the first coin held by the holding latch 19. The second coin will then bounce over the holding latch and proceed through the coin switch mechanism. On entering the coin relay hopper 12 the hopper trigger switch will be operated by the paddle 22. Hopper trigger switch contacts 126 and 130 operate and complete a second circuit to ground from the coin disposal relay 128 and also remove the short circuit from dial pulsing contacts 126. Dialing can now proceed.

The remainder of the call is the same as for loop start. Call Abandoned After Single Five Cent Coin Deposit With a loop start line circuit the Central Office is actuated immediately on going off-hook and for Central Office equipped with ground start line circuits, the Central Office is actuated by the first five centcoin. In both cases the first five cent coin will be held by the holding latch 19 in the coin switch mechanism 10. If the call is abandoned at this point, the Central Office Coin Trunk Circuit will send out a refund pulse which will operate the coin disposal relay 128 and the Coin Release electromagnet 51. The coin will then be returned to the caller. Coin Disposal Check Pulse The Coin Trunk Circuits in use in different types of Central Offices-all check for satisfactory disposal of coins in the coin relay. This is usually done by repeating the collect or refund pulse at 1 second intervals. If the coin disposal relay 128 has not satisfactorily disposed of the coins the hopper trigger switch will not have restored and the ground circuit will not have been opened. If the ground circuit remains after repeated pulses, a Central Office alarm circuit is activated so that appropriate action may be taken. Some Coin Trunk Circuits respond .on the first check pulse while others respond after several check pulses have failed to clear the coin relay. This arrangement is compatible with all known Coin Trunk Circuits in that it restores to normal on the collect or refund pulse and the first check pulse will find that the ground connection has been opened.

Toll Call A call to the Operator is originated in, the same manner asa local call. When the operator answers, a refund pulse is sent out to the coin telephone and any coins deposited in order to originate the call will be refunded to the caller as previously described under local calling.

On the operators instructions, the caller will deposit the requested amount of coinage. The and 25 cent coins will pass through the coin switch mechanism 10 and will operate the appropriate 10 cent and 25 cent coin signal switches which will in turn cause the appropriate audible coin identification signal to be generated. The first five cent coin used will enter the coinswitch module and will operate the five cent coin signal switch in passing. It will then be trapped by the holding latch 19.-The second and successive five cent coins will also operate the five cent coin signal switch in passing but will bounce off the first five cent coin and proceed into the coin relay hopper 12. Thus, if any five cent coinshave been deposited, the first one will be held in the switching mechanism 10 and the remainder will be in the coin relay hopper 12 along with 10 and 25 cent coins. As previously explained, the first five cent coin held by the holding latch 19 will be released on either the collect or refund pulse so that it will be collected or refunded along with other coins in the hopper.

The coinsignal switches 16, 70 and 71- are connected to suitable electronic circuit for producing predetermined frequency signals. As described above one pulse is produced each time the five or 10 cent signal switches 16 or. 70are actuated, and five pulses are produced when the 25 cent signal switch 71 is actuated. However, it is possible to arrange other forms of signalling, for example, one pulse for the five and 10 cent signalling switches 16 and 70 at one frequency and a pulse of another frequency for the 25 cent signal switch 71. In another alternative the coin signal switches can be used to actuate mechanical indicators. While the particular embodiment illustrated in the drawings, and described above, is of sandwich construction, comprising a series of separator plates, left and right channel plates and cover plates, it is possible to combine two or more plates into a single unit, as by moulding. Thus, for example, the five cent channel plates 41 and 42 can be moulded in one with the separator plate 43 and also the 10 cent separator plates 44 and 45 can be moulded with separator plate 43, to form one unit, The 25.cent channel plates 47 and 48 can be moulded in one with the separator plate 46. Other arrangements, and methods of construction, and manufacture, can be used.

What is claimed is:

l. A coin switch apparatus for insertion between a coin chute and a coin hopper, the coin switch apparatus comprising:

a housing;

a coin channel in said housing and defining a first preferential path and a second alternative path, said paths terminating in common entry andexit positions;

a latch for retaining'a first of a pair of consecutive coins in said first path, the second path positioned to receive coins deflected from said first path by a retained coin;

a coin signal switch adjacent said common entry position, said coin signal switch activated by each coin entering said channel; i

a coin operated switch mechanism located in said first path and actuated by a coin retained by said latch to provide a coin disposal circuit; and

- means for withdrawing the latch to release the retained coin to the common exit.

2. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 including at least one further channel in said housing and having entry and exit positions, and a coin signal switch associated with said channel, said further channel adapted to receive coins of a value which differs from thevalue of the coins received in said coin channel.

3. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 including a signal generator, the signal generator adapted to produce a signal on actuation of a coin signal switch.

4. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, comprising three coin channels,.said channel extending in parallel planes in adjacent side-by-side relationship, acommon wall between adjacent channels, each channel adapted to receive a coin of a value which differs from the other channels, the channel adapted to receive the lowest value coin comprising said coin channel defining a first preferential path and a second alternative path, a coin signal switch associated with each of the other channels and adapted to provide a coin signal indicative of the value of the coin.

5. Apparatus as claimed in .claim 4, one of the other channels adapted to receive coins twice the value of said lowest valuecoin, the coin signal'switch actuated by said lowest value coin adapted to be actuated also by said coin of twice the value, a second coin signal switch actuated by said coins of twice the value ofsaid lowest value coin,- and athird coin signal switch adapted to be actuated by coins in the remaining channel.

6. Apparatus as claimed in claim .5, the apparatus of sandwich construction comprising a first cover plate; left and right spaced apart channel plates defining a first coin channel therebetween; a first separator plate; left and right spaced apart channel plates defining a second coin channel therebetween; a second separator plate; left and right spaced apart channel plates defining a third coin channel; and a second cover plate.

7. Apparatus as claimed in claim 6, the first coin channel comprising the channel for coins each of the lowest value, the second channel comprising the channel for coins each of a value twice that of the lowest value coins, the third channel adapted to receive coins each of a value higher than the other coins.

8. Apparatus as claimed in claim 7, the coin signal switch actuated by coins of the lowest value including.

an arm extending through a slot in the first cover plate, across the first coin channel, through a slot in the first separator plate, across the second coin channel and into a slot in the second separator plate, whereby a coin passing into the first orsecond coin channels will actuate said switch.

9. Apparatus as .claimed in claim.8, said second coin signal switch including an arm extending through a slot in the second cover plate and a slot in the second separator plate, across the second coin channel and into a slot in the first separator plate, whereby a coin passing into the second coin channel will actuate the second coin signal switch in addition to the coin signal switch actuated by the coin of lowest value.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US886497 *May 10, 1905May 5, 1908James HarrisonSystem and apparatus for telephone local toll or pay stations.
US1143367 *Dec 14, 1912Jun 15, 1915Western Electric CoCall-registering mechanism.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5709294 *Apr 26, 1996Jan 20, 1998Quadrum Telecommunications, Inc.Non-jamming coin chute trigger assembly for pay telephones
US6304643Aug 3, 1999Oct 16, 2001Elcotel, Inc.Pay phone deposit method for limiting overpayment by a customer
US6550600Jun 28, 2001Apr 22, 2003Qvex, Inc.Coin escrow and changer apparatus
US6578696Feb 27, 2001Jun 17, 2003British Telecommunications Public Limited CompanyCoin escrow mechanism
US6712688May 4, 2001Mar 30, 2004Qvex, Inc.Coin changer
WO1998005156A2 *Jul 30, 1997Feb 5, 1998Quadrum Telecommunications IncCoin escrow apparatus for pay telephones
Classifications
U.S. Classification379/155
International ClassificationG07F5/00, G07F5/04, H04M17/00, H04M17/02
Cooperative ClassificationG07F5/04, H04M17/026
European ClassificationG07F5/04, H04M17/02C