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Publication numberUS3699520 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 17, 1972
Filing dateApr 10, 1969
Priority dateApr 19, 1968
Also published asDE1920166A1
Publication numberUS 3699520 A, US 3699520A, US-A-3699520, US3699520 A, US3699520A
InventorsFrayssinoux Roland Francois Ed
Original AssigneeCompteurs Comp D
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method for remote reading successive data of various apparatuses and device for operating the same
US 3699520 A
Apparatus for remote reading successive data of various devices wherein a common line connected to a recorder joins the data sources of sub-units to successively transfer data to the common line, a signal being transmitted at the end of each reading to switch to the next sub-unit so that all the data are successively recorded.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Frayssinoux 1451 Oct. 17,1972

[54] METHOD FOR REMOTE READING 3,021,518 2/1962 Kuman et a1 ..340/27l X SUCCESSIVE DATA OF VARIOUS 3,176,415 4/ 1965 Leathers ..340/ 149 X APPARATUSES AND DEVICE FOR 3,311,880 3/1967 Belanger ..340/ 147 ()P A THE S AME 3,387,267 6/1968 Little ..340/l50 3,445,814 5/1969 Spalti ..340/150 [721 9". P Edward F 3,492,649 1/1970 Polillo ..340/1so sinoux, Paris, France [73] Assignee: Compagnie Des Comptenes, Paris, Primary Caldwell France Assistant Examiner-Howard Cohen Attorney-Pierce, Scheffler & Parker [22] Filed: April 10, 1969 1211 App1.No.: 815,169 1571 ABSTRACT Apparatus for remote reading successive data of vari- [30] Foreign Appucmoh Priority Data -ous devices wherein a common line connected to a recorder joins the data sources of sub-units to succes- Apl'll 19, 1968 France "68148 750 ively transfer data {Q the common line, a signal being transmitted at the end of each reading to switch to the [52] US. Cl ..340/150, 235/61. next sub-unit so that all the data are successively [51 Int. Cl. ..H04q 9/00 recorded [58] Field of Search ..340/149, 150, 147, 271 Each Subunit comprises registers with means to [56] Reerences Cited gister the data, a motor for driving a member analyzmg the registering means, both of them being con- UNITED STATES PATENTS nected to a common line and driving the switching elements, a transfer line for connecting a succeeding 2,290,753 7/1942 Keckley ..340/150 register after a work cycle afld a recorder being 2,295,533 9/1942 Leathers ..340/150 acted to the common line to record the Successive 2,344,254 3/1944 Leathers et a1 ..340/150 dam 2,870,258 l/1959 Cooper ..340/l50 X 2,942,243 6/1960 Biiz ..340/150 X 23 Claims, 16 Drawing Figures 2a a 3g 30 25 E 7 j 3 33 \3l; a

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PATENTEDUBHT \972 3,599,520

' SHEET 7 OF 7 FIG .11

METHOD FOR REMOTE READING SUCCESSIVE DATA OF VARIOUS APPARATUSES AND DEVICE FOR OPERATING THE SAME In numerous cases, it appears to be advisable to take remote controlled meter readings of data from various metering and control devices, these readings being taken at variable time intervals which may be fairly close together, or long intervals apart.

As an example, in industrial installations it may be necessary periodically to take at very short time intervals, temperatures and pressure readings at numerous places. This is the case in electric power stations, specifically nuclear power stations.

In another instance, it may be necessary to take readings of meters such as water, gas or electric meters, an operation that normally is only done every month or every 2 months, but which necessitates a large staff, and relatively long accounting operations. Particularly, in this latter application, the invention is most advantageous, as in large blocks of dwelling houses, here it becomes possible to take successive readings of all the water, gas and electric meters at a central point that may or may not be in said block of dwelling houses, without manual help and at low cost since the series of operations takes very little time.

Moreover, by operating the invention in the last example considered, all the meter reading may be easily dealt with .in an entirely automatic manner, without human intervention, even as far as making out bills for the customers.

Processes and devices have already been proposed for these purposes, but they necessitate drawing up exploratory programmes for the devices, making it very difficult to read them without loss of time in securing data from the various meters such as water, gas and electric meters and thermometers etc. Moreover, known devices necessitate setting up a large number of conductors between the various meters to be read.

The invention completely solves this problem.

According to the invention, the method for remote reading successive data pertinent to various distinct sources of data is characterized in that a center is established for all data sources, and each source is arranged in the form of an independent sub-assembly with its own internal autonomy for registering by itself, successive readings of data from each source and transferring it to said center. A signal is transmitted by each sub-assembly at the end of the reading operation which performs a switching operation whereby the subassembly having registered the data from its source is put at rest, and a following sub-assembly takes the readings of the data from its source, to produce, in its turn, a signal for performing a new switching operation to another sub-assembly, so that the data of all the sources are thus successively transferred, in a chronological and aperiodic order, to said center.

The invention applies to a device for carrying out the above-mentioned procedure.

To facilitate the understanding of the invention, we shall use the word register" for the member or members of the devices for taking data readings, the word register" being understood generally to mean, drums, disks, tapes, slides, or other kind of data registering support.

According to the invention, the device comprises registers each including means on which the data are registered corresponding to the successive valves sub mitted to it, a motor for driving at least one analysis member for said means, said motor and said analysis member being electrically connected to a joint conductor, switching elements driven by said analysis member being inserted between a supply conductor for the motor, tracks and analysis member of a first register and, a transfer conductor to which said supply conductor is switched after a cycle of said analysis member for supplying current to a following register, the joint conductor also ensuring the return of the supply current as well as carrying the data read, this joint conductor being connected to a data collecting memory successively collected by each analysis member of the registers.

Various other characteristics of the invention will moreover be revealed by the detailed description which follows.

Embodiments of the invention are shown, by way of non-restrictive examples, in the accompanying drawmg.

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatical elevation of a integrator mechanism making the invention apply.

FIG. 2 is a plan, partly cut away, corresponding to FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a developed view, on a larger scale, of one of the elements appearing in the preceding figures.

FIG. 4 is a partial diagrammatical plan showing certain characteristics of one of the members of FIGS. 1 and 2.

FIGS. 5 and 5a are electric diagrams of an installation according to the invention.

FIGS. 6 and 6a are explanatory curves of data obtained in the installation according to the invention.

FIGS. 7 to 11 are diagrammatical elevations showing alternative ways of carrying out the mechanism of FIG. 1.

In that which follows, and to facilitate the understanding of the invention, the latter is described in its application to reading registers formed by totalizing metering appliances, for example, meters for liquid or gaseous fluids and electric meters. The integrator comprises drums 1, 1a ..ln mounted on a spindle 2. One of these drums, the drum In for instance, is driven by a metering mechanism and, in a manner known in itself, it drives the drum immediately adjacent when it has made a complete revolution, then in its turn, this drum drives another drum, and so on. These driving and recording mechanisms can obviously be made in numerous various ways, and are well known, there is thus no need to describe them in more detail.

In the example selected in this description, each drum 1 to In is provided for instance on one of its sides with a track 3, 3a ..3n, which has conducting and non-conducting parts of electricity. The arrangement of these parts can be effected in many different ways and, as an example, FIG. 3 shows one of these arrangements according to which the track 3 has a four-digit coding or, in other words, the track 3 is divided up into four rows 3 3 ,3 3 each of said rows confining as many divisions as there are of figures or other graphic signs on the drums l to In. When only ten figures exist, as in the example shown, the four rows are sufficient for making a distinct combination of divisions which correspond to each figure, 0 to 9, with conducting and insulating divisions. For instance, according to FIG. 3, the conducting divisions are shown cross hatched whereas the non-conducting divisions are shown blank. To read the different rows, four conductor brushes 4 are provided for contacting said rows. In that which follows, he brushes 4 will be called reading brushes and the tracks 3 reading tracks.

The drums described above are covered with an endless tape 5 of flexible material, preferably transparent, so that a visual reading of the drum figures still remains possible, this tape being wound on guiding and tension rollers 6 which are shown four in number, but whose number can be different, two rollers being sufficient, if so required, for carrying and tensioning the tape 5.

The tape 5 is intended to be driven by a motor 7, preferably by direct current, which is connected by a gear reduction transmission 8 to one of the rollers, in this case the roller 6a which is provided with claws 9 penetrating into perforations 10 made near the lateral edges of the tape 5 like film perforations.

The mechanism also comprises, below the endless tape 5, a support 11 for several conducting tracks such as 12, 13, I4 and 15. Furthermore, one of the guide rollers 6, in this case, the roller 6b (FIG. 1) has a conducting track 16 over its entire periphery, facing perforations 10a. Brushes 12a, 13a, 1411,, 140 150 and 16a are placed facing conducting tracks 12 to 16 described above, but these brushes are placed outside the endless tape 5 for reasons given farther on.

Looking at FIG. 2, we see that the tape 5 has in alignment with the conducting track 14, and in alignment with the brushes 14a,, 14a two rows of alternating perforations l7 and 170, these perforations acting so that the track 14 which is electrically connected by conductors (not shown) to the motor 7, can be permanently supplied with electric current to make said motor 7 revolve which consequently, by the roller 6a, drives the endless tape 5. The track 14 is also advantageously used for supplying other tracks described previously, the same as the supply of the conducting divisions provided for each ofthe drums l to In.

Seeing that the motor 7 can be continuously supplied with electric current through the perforations 17, 17a, the intensity Im that it receives is constant, which is shown by the line 18 of FIG. 6 which symbolizes the motor current.

When the motor 7 revolves and drives the endless tape 5, the brush 16a is periodically brought into contact with the conducting track 16 of the roller 6b and consequently current pulses of intensity lb (FIG. 6a) are produced. The perforations 10a being uniformly spaced the pulses lb, symbolized by the line 19, are of rectangular shape because the supply to the brush 160 takes place by full on or full off, and these pulses are obviously a time function. They thus make reference In the example shown where four drums I exist whose tracks each comprise four rows (see FIG. 3) there must thus be provided four sets of the four perforations each corresponding to four reading brushes 4.

Referring to FIG. 6b, we see that the brushes 4 belonging to each reading track enable a current I] to pass giving rise to pulses 22 which are staggered in time and whose amplitude depends on the number of conducting divisions with which each set of brushes 4 have been brought into contact. The position of these pulses is thus characteristic of the figure by presented the position of each integrator drum 1 to In. It is characteristic, according to the invention, that the length of sets of perforations 20, 21 as well as other perforations described in what follows, be preferably a multiple or sub-multiple of the length of the perforations 10a which determine the time base pulses. Actually, if we add, as shown in FIG. 6a, the motor currents 1m, to the time base currents lb and the reading currents ll, then we obtain, in the form of resulting currents Ir, characteristic signals in square waves 23, 23a, 23b ..23n which form a coded representation of the moment when these signals have been formed and of the figure registered by each drum.

Seeing that the data of said drurns 1 to In are thus converted into coded electric pulses, then it is obviously easy to transmit them by simple means.

FIG. 5 shows a first embodiment of an installation using the mechanism described in FIGS. 1 and 2 and making possible the successive reading of data of any number of integrator mechanisms able to be separated from each other by any distance and the recording and interpreting, and putting into use the data in several manners which will be referred to farther on.

To make the identifying of different integrators possible, that is to say, their place in the installation to which they correspond, and eventually, their nature, namely for instance, if it refers to a water meter, a gas meter, electricity meter or the like, when the installation is provided for reading all kinds of meters in one and the same work cycles, the endless tape 5 is provided with a distinct series of perforations 24, called address or identification. These perforations, whose combination particularly belongs to each tape or group of tapes, are staggered in relation to the reading perforations 20, 21 and are identifiable, as shown in FIG. (id, in relation to time base pulses 19, seeing that said address perforations 24 give rise to pulses 25 corresponding to an address current Id which is thus produced in relation of time with reading currents II.

In FIG. 5, the mechanisms described above with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2 are designated by the letters A, B.... N, being mechanisms which each comprise motors 7a, 7b.....7n driving endless tapes 5a, 5b ..Sn respectively which form, with the brushes 4 and other brushes described in that which follows, a scanning means or, more generally, an analysis member for the data of integrators or registers.

A direct current source 26 is provided for supplying a two-conductor line 27, 28, the conductor 28 being, for instance, the positive conductor whereas the conductor 27 is the negative conductor. The conductor 28 is connected to the input of a first switching member 29, called, in that which follows return to zero switch", this member being able to be manually or automatically controlled, or even manually and automatically, and being intended, as is explained in that which follows in the description, to return all the mechanism A to N to their initial position after a work cycle.

The embodiment of the return to zeroswitch 29 can be considered in numerous different manners and essentially depends on the way in which it is to be operated.

When the integrators A to N require to be read, then the switch 29 is branched to a terminal 30 connected by a conductor 31 to the input of a switch 32, called transfer, which is intended to transfer the supply initially established on the mechanism A towards the mechanism B after reading all the data coming from said mechanism A. As shown by the drawing, the transfer switch 32 is first closed on the contact 33 which supplies, by a conductor 34, the motor 7a connected by a conductor 35, to the line 27 common to all the mechanisms A, B.....N. In referring to the embodiment described with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, the switch 32 and its contact piece 33 are made by the brushes l4a ,-l4a,, the perforations 17, 17a of the endless tape 5 and the conducting track 14 which has been described as required to supply the motor 7.

In a diagrammatical manner and in accordance with that which has been described in the foregoing, we notice that the contact 33 and conductor 34 are connected by a conductor 36, to reading tracks 3, to the time base track 16 and to the address track 12, the

reading brushes 4, the time base brushes 16a and the address brushes 120 being all connected to the same common conductor 35 which is part of the line 27. It is by this means that the various intensities Im, Ib, I1 and Id are successively added for finally giving the resultant intensity Ir and hence the resultant signals 23, 23a, 23b ..23n which characterize the data coming from each integrator mechanism.

When the motor of the mechanism A has made the tape 5 (FIGS. 1 and 2) advance for a sufficient distance, then, if we refer to FIG. 4 we see that the perforations 17 17a of FIG. 2, symbolized in this figure by a continuous line 17', are interrupted. Then, the track 14 supplying the motor, the reading, address and time base tracks, cease to be supplied. On the other hand, a brush, out of action until then, for example, the brush 13a (FIG. 2) is put into contact, by perforations of the tape 5 (not shown in FIG. 2) but symbolized at 13 in FIG. 4, with the conducting track 13, which is symbolized in FIG. 5 by the transfer switch 32 which rocks from the terminal 33 to the terminal 33', connected by a transfer conductor 31a to the transfer switch 32a comprised by the mechanism B. In this manner, the switch 32 of the mechanism A, by the action just described, switches the supply from the mechanism A to the mechanism B, while insulating said mechanism A. Simultaneously, a second switching is done, symbolized in FIG. 5 by a switch 37 whose mobile member is connected to a line 38 branched on to the return to zero switch 29 and is led from the position shown by the solid line, for which the line 38 is continuous, to the position shown by the dotted line for which said mobile member of the switch 37 is in connection with a conductor 39 branched to the terminal 33 of the transfer switch having initially served for supplying the motor 7a. However, the drawing shows that the motor 7a cannot be supplied, as long as the return to zero switch 29 is closed on its terminal 30.

Of course, as has been already described in the foregoing, the switchings described above are effected by the perforations of the tape 5.

As far as said switchings are concerned, he perforations 13, in FIG. 4 produce this effect, these perforations extending over a certain length of tape so that the motor 7a can be braked, seeing that its passage from full speed to zero speed necessitates a certain amount of time.

Seeing, as has just been described, that the mechanism A is insulated, on the other hand the mechanism B is put under voltage, then the same operations described in the foregoing are carried out by said mechanism B whose time base pulses, reading and address pulses, are transmitted by the conductor 35a to the line'27 until the moment when the transfer switch 32a and also the switch 37a are released, which insulates the mechanism B .of the supply effected by the conductor 31a, this supply being transferred, by a conductor 31b to the following mechanism, and so on, up to the transfer switch 32n. We see by the foregoing, that an automatic sequential interrogation of the various mechanisms A to N is made by a successive scanning of said data so that they record at the moment when these mechanisms are interrogated. The last mechanism, namely mechanism N, is not provided with a transfer conductor connected to the terminal 33n of its transfer switch, so that at this moment, the circuit of the line 28 is open, meaning that all operations are interrupted. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the various transfer switches 32, 32a ..32n are closed on the terminals constituting the conducting tracks 13, 13a ..13n, which means that a fresh new interrogation is not possible in this state ofsaidtransfer switches seeing that the motors 7a, 7b ..7n cannot be supplied. However, it has been explained that the switches 37, 37a ..37n are then respectively in the position for which they are in electric connection with the conductors 39, 39a ....39n leading to the terminals 33, 33a ..33n of the transfer switches 32 to 32n.

By operating the return to zero switch 29, we then connect the line 28 to the line 38, and consequently,

the current is again applied to the terminal 33 by then effecting the supply to the motor 7a. In actual practice, and, in view of the supply which has been described above through the perforations 13,, the terminal 33 is in fact formed by the conducting track 13, which, at this moment, is in contact with the brush 13a (FIG. 2) by the perforations 13 (FIG. 4) of limited length. When the motor 7a has revolved sufficiently so that the perforations 13, have completely gone past, then we find ourselves in a new switching state for which it will be that the brushes 14a, and 14a, (FIG. 2) will be again brought into electric contact with the conducting track 14 supplying the mechanism A, a new switching state for which the switch 37 is thus brought to the position for which. it is shown by a solid line in FIG. 5, as then the brush 13a is no longer in electric contact with the track 13 owing to the advancing of the tape 5. Seeing that the return to zero switch 29 is not in contact with the terminal 30, the motor 7a thus cannot be supplied any longer, it is thus stopped, and the corresponding tape 50 will be in a position for which a new scanning of data of the integrator will be possible. a

Seeing that by the switching operation that has just been described, the switch 37 is returned to its position shown by a solid line in FIG. 5, then the switch 370 is put under voltagetand the same operation for returning to zero is produced for the mechanism B, and so on, as far as the mechanism N. A complete work cycle is thus carried out.

By considering once more the time during which the sequential and aperiodic exploration of the various mechanisms is effected, for operating the data transmitted, various means can be considered. FIG. shows that a magnetic tape recorder 40 can for instance, be provided, the electric signals Ir transmitted by the line 27 being converted into magnetic pulses by a recording head 41. The recorder 40, or other memory can be permanently mounted on the line 27 when the installation assembly comprises a very large number of A to N mechanisms and that said recorder or memory 40 is placed in an operating center to which the line 27 is connected. In this case, the recorder or memory 40 is associated with a decoding device for data received, which device can itself be associated with various other machines, particularly computers and printing machines making possible the preparing of printed statements and in this manner prepared for sending to customers without any manual intervention.

When, on the contrary, the number of mechanisms A to N is smaller, for instance, in the case of water, gas and electricity meters belonging to various flats in a residential block of buildings, then the recorder or memory 40 can be made in the form of an easily conveyed appliance provided with plugs that an operator can plug into a corresponding wall-point or switchboard provided at a given place to which the lines 27, 28 are connected. In this case, it may also be advantageous that the current source 26 be included in the recorder 40, seeing that this source may be actually constituted by low-voltage batteries, of 10 or 12 volts for instance, which makes it unnecessary to provide supervision for an installation concerning a block of buildings, seeing that the circuit assembly is inert in this case most of the time. It is also advantageous that the return to zero switch 29 can be automatically controlled for avoiding any manual error, this control being easily arranged by making the switch 29 a relay that is automatically supplied from the recorder 40 when the latter is put into operation.

Other methods of transmission can also be contemplated, particularly it is possible to convert, by electronic means known currently in the art, the data transmitted by the lines 27, 28 so that they can be forwarded by a telephone system to an operational station.

In the embodiment according to FIG. 5, we note that to connect the various assemblies A, B and collect data, it is only necessary to have three wires, which are the conductors 38, 31 and 27. It should nevertheless be noted that these conductors are cut by as many contacts 32, 32a ..32n as there are integrators read.

FIG. 5a shows an alternative by which, whatever the number of integrators to be analyzed, there only exist at the most, two switches in series. For this, the switches 32 and 37 consist in each assembly under the form of two-contact switches, shown in the drawing by two mobile blades linked together for being simultaneous switched from one to the other position that they may occupy. Also, a supplementary conductor 28a is provided for permanently connecting the source 26 to one of the terminals of each of the switches 32 and 37.

As in FIG. 5, the motor 7a is firstly supplied by the switch 32 one of whose blades is closed on the terminal 33, whereas the other, which is under voltage, is insulated from the terminal 33'. In this position, the readings of time base and data are done as already described. Then, the conducting track 13 causes the two switches 32 and 37 to rock, so that the motor is awaiting the return to zero, whilst the motor 7b is supplied from the terminal 33' of the transfer switch 32. We see that only the two switches 32 and 32a are then in series. The same procedure is effected by the following assemblies as far as the assembly N, two switches only being always at most in series.

When the return to zero switch 29 is closed, the motor 7a is put into operation by the switch 37 because the conductor 38 is then supplied. As soon as the return to zero of the assembly A is effected, the switches 37 and 32 are again rocked, and it is then that the motor 7b of the assembly B which is supplied from the conductor 28a, the switch 37, the part of the conductor 38 extending from said switch 37 to the switch 370, then, by the conductor 390 until the moment when the switches 37a and 32a are themselves rocked again. Consequently, the returning to zero of the various mechanisms A to N is effected step by step and, each time, only two switches are in series because the supply is always ensured from the continuous conductor 28a.

In that which precedes, the invention has been described in a method of execution putting into operation punched tape mechanisms, but the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2, while it offers advantages, specifically with regard to the facility of manufacturing said mechanisms, is not necessary for putting the invention into operation. Actually, said mechanisms A to N can be made in very numerous other manners. Some possible alternatives are shown in FIGS. 7 to 10 to show that reading by analysis or scanning the data of each integrator can be done in several ways.

According to FIG. 7, the drums l to 1n always comprise coded tracks 3 to 3n, and the motor 7 drives, through reducing gear 8a, an insulating roller 42 on which conducting rings 43 are mounted, from which reading brushes 4 project. Other conducting rings 44 provided with brushes such as 45, cooperate with conducting elements 46 for fulfilling annexed functions, i.e., form time base pulses and carry out the various switching operations described in the foregoing.

Another alternative is shown in FIG. 8 according to which the integrator comprises drums 1, 1a ..1n arranged in an arc of circle. In this case, a brush-holder shaft 47 is placed concentrically to the rotation axis of the drums for being driven by the motor 7, conducting tracks 48 are also placed concentrically to the shaft 47 to be followed by those of the brushes 45 which carry out annexed functions, whereas only one set of brushes 4 can, if so required, be sufficient for reading the data of the various drums 1, 1a ..In of which parts of coded tracks to be scanned are then aligned.

Still another alternative is shown in FIG. 9, according to which the motor 7 drives, by the reducing gear 8a, a drum 49 cooperating with a brush 50 for forming the time base pulses, the reducing gear 8a also driving a worm 51 on which a carriage 52 is mounted provided with a brush 53 which is thus made, during a working cycle, transversely and successively to scan the coded tracks 3, 3a..-.....3n of the drums as well as the equally coded tracks 54 controlling the annexed functions previously described.

FIG. shows another alternative enabling the operating appliances to be simplified. Particularly, according to this alternative, it becomes possible to suppress all decoding appliances as well as the transmission of time base signals. As in FIG. 9, the mechanism comprises a carriage 52 driven by worm gear 51 from the motor 7 by the reducing gear 8a although said gift can eventually be suppressed if the pitch of the worm gear is sufficiently small. The coded tracks of the drums 1, la ..ln are then replaced by magnetic tapes on which arerecorded, sound signals corresponding to the data of said drums; for instance, the sounds, one, two, three, etc... are recorded opposite FIGS. 1, 2, 3, etc.....on the drums. Also, a magnetic tape placed parallel to the worm gear 51 and this tape contains, also by sound signals, the address of the mechanism in question as well as any information which might eventually be useful. The carriage 52 is then fitted with a reading head 55 similar to the reading head of a magnetophone, and this reading head which converts the magnetic recording into electric pulses, is connected in the same manner as the reading. brushes 4 of the preceding methods of executionto the conductors 35 or 35a or 35n leading to the line 27 of FIG. 5, or 50. The carriage 52 also comprises a brush 56, and switching tracks 57 are provided for carrying out the switching operations described in the foregoing, namely, the transfer of the current supply to a following mechanism and the return to zero of the carriage 52.

The data thus transmitted are, as formerly, recorded in a memory like the memory 40 of FIGS. 5 or 5a, on tapes, drums, discs, or other magnetic supports, enabling the subsequent eventual making out of typed statements as may be done with a dictating machine.

The scanning time of the various drums can be no longer than in the case of drums fitted with coded tracks, for itis now current practice in the technique to proceed with readings at high speed of magnetic elements previously recorded at this same high speed, and then to carry out a second reading at a speed making the data recorded audible.

According to the alternative of FIG. 11, it is no longer necessary to provide conducting or prerecorded tracks in connection with each drum, which might present difficulties, particularly when existing meters have to be adapted.

As shown in FIG. 11, each drum is then provided, as well as that shown by druin l, with cams 58, four in number, for instance. The above-mentioned cams, designated by the signs a to 0, have, on their periphery, notches 59 whose-arrangement corresponds, for instance, to coding according to FIG. 3, each notch showing one of the active parts in grey in that figure. The cams 58 are keyed to the drum to which they are attached, so as to be driven at the same time as the latter.

Conducting brushes 60, 60a for instance formed by wires or elastic strips, are anchored in a support 61, and discs 62, 62a ..62n are placed facing each brush, these discs each having a conducting sector 63. The

discs 62, 62a ....62n are keyed on a joint conducting shaft 64 with their respective sectors angularly staggered in relation to the others.

As shown at the right side of FIG. 11, address of an mechanism A, B, etc.... likewise the switches 32 and 37, described with reference to FIGS. 5 and 5a, are

formed by grids 65, of which one only is shown, which grids have brushes facing them, such as the brush 6071, these brushes being also associated with conducting sector discs.

A control cam 66 is'provided facing each drum for actuating a lifting lever 67 of appreciable T-shape, and articulated on a spindle 68.

The'control cam66, likewise the shaft 64, are driven from the motor 7 of each mechanism of FIGS. 5 or 5a.

When a reading is driven, then the motor 7 drives the variouscams 66 for successively lowering the levers at T 67 of the various drums so as successively to read the data of the latter. When the levers 67 are lowered, then the brushes 60, 60a come into contact with their respective disc 62, provided a notch 59 of the cams 58 is opposite the end of said brushes. On the contrary, the disc-brush contact does not take place if a notch 59 is not facing a brush. I

The discs 62 thus being driven by the motor 7 by means of a transmission 69 and making a complete rotation while each lever 67 is lowered, then the conducting sectors 63 necessarily come into contact with the corresponding brushes, if these brushes are in a notch of the cams 58. Consequently, a sequential reading of the various drums takes place, a reading of the address of the assembly considered,,. and also the transfer switchings and return to zero already explained.

As revealed by thepreceding description of the various methods of carrying out the invention, each integrator or recorder forms a kind of sub-assembly which is independent, which contains the recording appliance, meter or controller which forms the sources of data included in said sub-assembly. It is remarkable to notice that each sub-assembly comprising a motor means that said sub-assembles are thus provided with their own internal independence for carrying out themselves, on the one hand, reading operations of data and sources of information, and on the other hand, producing and transmitting signals tripping switching operations, which themselves have theeffect of making the sub-assembly inactive that has made its work cycle, and to make active the following sub-assembly without another sub-assembly being able to be made operational, so long as the second sub'assembly has not itself made its work cycle and hence transmitted switching signals. In this way, a chain reading process is created, which is chronological both for the data of each source contained by each sub-assembly, and for the following sub-assemblies. This reading process is also aperiodic, because the time required for reading data coming from a sub-assembly may be different from the reading time of another sub-assembly, and this without an initial programming for operating sub-assemblies whose order in the series thatthey form is strictly indifferent.

Furthermore, all the sub-assemblies appear connected in series to a joint liaison, and in fact this is so, because all the data are transmitted one after another to the conductor 27. By this transmission process, the

number of wires that must connect successive sub-assemblies is thus eventually reduced to one, namely the wire 27, but for practical embodiment reasons, it is more convenient to use two wires, namely, the joint liaison 27 and the transfer liaison 31a, 3lb.....3ln and even a third wire which is 38 when a return to zero must be provided for.

The invention is not restricted to the examples of embodiment, shown and described in detail, for various modifications can be applied to it without going outside its scope. In particular, the means for ensuring switching operations from one mechanism to another that must be scanned, can be effected in many other ways besides those described, for example, by relays, mechanical switches, semi-conductors and the like components or devices currently operated in the technique of electricity and electronics.

lclaim 1. Apparatus for successively recording data from a plurality of sources comprising means for registering data at each of the plurality of sources, means for analyzing the data registered at each source, circuit means including a source of electric power, means connected to said circuit means for driving each of said analyzing means, memory means for successively collecting and recording data derived from said analyzing means, (circuit means including a source of electric power) and at least one conductor connecting each analyzing means with said memory means for transferring data to said memory means, each analyzing means including at least one switch means for disconnecting the driving means from said circuit means (thereof) and connecting to said circuit means the driving means of a subsequent analyzing means when the data registered at a source has been transferred to said memory means whereby each analyzing means is successively connected with said memory means by said switch means of the preceding analyzing means for successively collecting and recording data from each analyzing means.

2. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said circuit means includes two conductors, one of which is connected at all times to each analyzing means and said at least one switch means of each analyzing means comprises double contacts to connect each analyzing means in parallel in said circuit means.

3. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein each of said analyzing means comprises an endless tape having means for identifying the source of the particular data registered by said registering means.

4. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein each of said registering means comprises at least one track having conducting and nonconducting portions thereon for providing a binary system for analysis of the registered data and wherein each of said analyzing means includes contact means for selectively contacting said portions to supply data impulses to said circuit means.

5. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein each of said registering means comprises a track having magnetic and non-m agnetic portions thereon for analysis of the registered data and wherein each of said analyzing means includes a magnetic responsive member for supplying data to said circuit means.

6. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein each of said registering means comprises a series of cams and each of said analyzing means comprises a series of selectively conducting and non-conducting discs and contact brushes therefor, said contact brushes contacting said cams and selectively contacting said discs to complete said circuit means.

7. Apparatus as claimed in claim 4 wherein said analyzing means includes an endless tape having perforations therein for analyzing data, in alignment with said at least one track, said driving means moving said tape past said track, said at least one switch means including control perforations in said tape for controlling said driving means.

8. Apparatus as claimed in claim 4 wherein each of said analyzing means includes means for supplying evenly spaced time impulses to said circuit means while said at least one track supplies data impulses thereto.

9. Apparatus as claimed in claim 8 wherein the evenly spaced time impulses have a duration equal to a multiple of the duration of the data impulses whereby the sum of said impulses forms a square wave pattern indicating time and data from each registering means.

10. Apparatus as claimed in claim 4 wherein said at least one track comprises a plurality of drums arranged according to a binary system and actuated by each of said sources of data and said contact means cooperates with said drums to supply data impulses to said circuit means.

11. Apparatus as claimed in claim 7 wherein each of said registering means comprises a plurality of drums rotatably arranged according to a binary system and actuated by said sources of data, said endless tape being disposed tangentially of said drums and wherein said contact means comprise brushes mounted adjacent said tape for contact with said drums through the data analyzing perforations therein, said perforations being arranged in a plurality of sets thereof in staggered relation to provide impulses for the analysis of data registered by said drums in sequential order, a set of perforations in said tape for supplying impulses for identifying the source of the data registered on said drums and a set of evenly spaced perforations for supplying evenly spaced time impulses.

12. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein each of said analyzing means comprises an endless tape with control perforations therein and said at least one switch means includes brushes cooperating with said control perforations for connecting and disconnecting said driving means for each of said analyzing means.

13. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein each of said registering means comprises a plurality of drums rotatably arranged according to a binary system and actuated by each of said sources of data and wherein each of said analyzing means comprises a rotatable roller, brushes mounted on each said roller in angularly spaced relation thereabout and in alignment with said drums whereby impulses are supplied to said circuit means in accordance with the positions of said rotatable drums.

14. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein each of said registering means comprises a plurality of rotatable drums mounted in parallel relation about the arc of a circle, and wherein each of said analyzing means comprises a plurality of brushes mounted on a shaft at the center of said circle and adapted to contact said drums whereby relative rotational movement between the brushes and the drums produce impulses for analyzing data, measuring time, controlling said driving means and said at least one switch means.

15. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein each of said registering means comprises a plurality of drums rotatable about a common axis and wherein said analysis means comprises a carriage movable parallel to the axis of the drums and a brush supported by said movable carriage for contact with said drums to produce impulses for analyzing data, measuring time, controlling said driving means and said at least one switch means.

16. Apparatus as claimed in claim 15 wherein the drums includes magnetic and non-magnetic portions and said carrier includes a magnetic responsive member for reading the magnetic portions of said drums.

17. Apparatus as claimed in claim 6 wherein said contact brushes are resilient and make contact with said discs when contacting a low point of a cam, said discs being uniformly driven by said driving means.

18. Apparatus as claimed in claim 17 wherein said analyzing means further comprises supplementary cam means actuated by said driving means for sequentially moving said contact brushes into contact with said discs whereby the data registered at eachsourse is analyzed sequentially.

19. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 and further comprising supplementary switching means in said circuit means for actuating said driving means to return said analyzing means to its initial zero position after the data registered at each source has been transferred to said memory means by said analyzing means.

20. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said memory means comprises a magnetic recorder.

21. Apparatus as claimed in claim 20 wherein said magnetic recorder is removable from said circuit means.

22. Apparatus as claimed in claim 21 wherein said source of electric power is removable from said circuit means together with said magnetic recorder.

23. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 and further comprising printing means actuated by said memory means for transferring said data to printed records.

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Referenced by
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US3965335 *Sep 27, 1974Jun 22, 1976Sperry Rand CorporationProgramable data entry system
U.S. Classification340/870.24, 235/442, 235/441
International ClassificationG06M1/00, H04Q9/00, G06M1/276
Cooperative ClassificationH04Q9/00, G06M1/276
European ClassificationH04Q9/00, G06M1/276