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Publication numberUS3713582 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 30, 1973
Filing dateApr 29, 1971
Priority dateApr 29, 1971
Publication numberUS 3713582 A, US 3713582A, US-A-3713582, US3713582 A, US3713582A
InventorsFuruoka H
Original AssigneeGakken Co Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Counter
US 3713582 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Furuoka 1 1 Jan.30,1973

541 COUNTER 1,657,828 1 1928 Henderson ..235 91Rx 3,428,324 2/1969 Weisbecker.... ....23s 122x [75] Invent HdmFurmkaTokyoJapan 3,312,395 4/1967 Nara ..235/114 :Gkk C.Ltd.Tk ,J [73] Assgnee a FORElGN PATENTSORAPPLICATIONS [22] Filed: April29, 1971 650,902 10/1928 France ..235 78 [21] App1.N0.Zl38,452 92,435 1/1922 Switzerland ..235/78 Primary ExaminerRichard B. Wilkinson 1211 11171 15 iii/T36 56 21 /6; 499mmExam/P89111945-W41 [58] Fie1d 61 Search ....235/114, 122, 117 A, 1 13, 78, AmmePlrvmg Weme References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Nelson ..235/116 Baldwin ..235/78 Bromage ..235/114 Vethe ..235/140 Edsall.... ..235/117 A Oran ..235/144 M X Fieldsm, ..235/114 Fields ..235/114 Solon et al ..235/116 Neumann,Jr... ..235/114 Brewer ..235/42 Johnson.... .....235/91 R X Clifford ..235/114 X Johnson ..235/114 X [57] ABSTRACT A flat, substantially circular case houses a first rotary dial of comparatively large diameter, which is substantially in the form of a ratchet wheel, and a second rotary dial of comparatively small diameter which has a gear portion formed coaxially on its back surface. The first rotary dial is rotated by means of a click secured at one end to a partly exposed push button and engaged at the other end with the teeth formed on the periphery of the first rotary dial. The second rotary dial is actuated intermittently by the first rotary dial through gearing in order to register the number counted by each complete rotation of the latter. An indication made combinedly by the numerals marked on these first and second rotary dials can be observed through a window formed in the case.

6 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PAIENIEUmao I975 3.713.582

SHEEI 2 0F 3 INVENTOR.

INVENTOR. I

PATENTEDJMI 30 1913 SHEET 3 111 3 138a 1 F /G.6 g

COUNTER This invention relates generally to counters, and more specifically to a novel one-hand-operable counter for use in manually counting various objects, which may be either mobile or stationary, or repetitions of a particular operation or phenomenon. For example, it may be utilized for ascertaining a volume of traffic (by counting vehicles passing a particular point of a street per unit length of time), for detecting a degree of congestion in various means of public conveyance (by counting the passengers as they go on board), or for counting the attendance at a public performance. Applications of such a manual counter are innumerable.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a novel counter which is simple, inexpensive, small in size, light in weight, and easy to use.

Another object of the invention is to provide a counter which is operable by one hand and which is so shaped as to permit a firm and effortless grip for prolonged use.

Another object of the invention is to provide a counter which operates unfailingly by simple manual depression of a push button.

Another object of the invention is to provide a counter wherein each one hundred, for example, counted by means of a first rotary dial is readily registered on a second rotary dial associated therewith through a simple mechanism, so that up to several thousand objects or repetitions are countable without interruption.

A further object of the invention is to provide a counter which is equipped with simplified means for resetting its dials to zero.

A further still object of the invention is to provide a counter wherein two or more separately actuable dials are installed in parallel arrangement in a case thereby allowing a simultaneous counting of two or more different sorts of objects.

The novel features which are considered as characteristic of the present invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its construction and its mode of operation, together with the additional objects and advantages thereof, will be best understood from the following detailed description of some specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of one form of counter constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view showing the inner details of the counter of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view taken on the plane indicated by the line Y Y of FIG. 1 (the line X X in FIG. 3 indicating a plane on which FIG. 2 is taken);

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the counter of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a partly broken away front elevational view of another form of counter constructed in accordance with the present invention; and

FIG. 6 is a partly broken away edge view in elevation of the counter of FIG. 5.

Referring now generally to FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 4 in order to describe a first preferred embodiment of the present invention illustrated therein, the reference numeral 10 indicates a flat, substantially circular case which is comprised of two identically shaped halves 11 and 12 and which may be made of plastics or other suitable materials. On one side of the case 10 there is formed a semicircular opening 13 therethrough of a size large enough to receive all the fingers but the thumb of a users hand. A tangentially projecting portion 15 is formed at that part of the periphery of the case 10 which is located on an extension of a straight edge 14 of the semicircular opening 13, the portion 15 having a hole 15a opened in the tangential direction and defining a hollow space 16 therewithin in communication with the other portions of the interior of the case 10 as illustrated most apparently in FIGS. 2 and 4.

On the inner surface of one of the case halves, 12, there is formed an inner wall 17 concentrically with the semicircle drawn by the aforesaid opening 13. Further, concentrically with this inner wall 17, an outer wall 18 is provided which extends along the circumferential edge of the case half 12. An annular chamber 19 is thus defined between the inner wall 17 and the outer wall 18, the annular chamber 19 being in communication through an aperture 21 of the inner wall 17 with a semicircular chamber 20. An opening 22 is formed at an appropriate part of the outer wall 18 for the purpose of zero resetting still to be described in detail.

There is installed in the annular chamber 19 a first rotary annular dial 23 which, as illustrated most clearly in FIG. 4, which may be graduated with numerals 24 from 0 to 99 at equal spacings. The annular dial 23 is substantially in the form of va toothed ratchet wheel, having teeth 25 on its periphery whose pitch is equal to the spacing of the numerals 24 marked on the annular dial 23. A flange 26 (see FIG. 3) is formed circumferentially at the back of this annular dial 23 (the aforesaid teeth 25 are formed on this flange 26). On the inner surface of this flange 26 there is formed a projection or a detent 27 at a position corresponding to that of the numeral 0 on the dial 23.

Within the semicircular chamber 20, on the other hand, there is provided a second rotary or circular dial 28 which has an integral gear portion 29 at its back and which also has an integral shaft 28a (see FIG. 4) rotatably supported in a bore formed in a projection 30 that may be molded in one piece with the case 10. This circular dial 28 may he graduated with equally spacedapart numerals 31 (see FIGS. 1 and 4) from 0 to 2,900, for example, at one-hundred intervals, like 0, 100, 200 and so forth. The pitch of the teeth formed on the periphery of the aforesaid gear portion 29 of the circular dial 28 is equal to the spacing of these numerals 31. A pinion 32 is positioned at the aperture 21 of the inner wall 17, or between the gear portion 29 of the circular dial 28 and the flange 26 of the annular dial 23 so as to be in mesh with the gear portion 29 and to be engaged by the detent 27 of the annular dial 23. Thus the pinion 32 will impart an intermittent motion supplied by the annular dial 23 to the circular dial 28. The idling of this circular dial 28 is prevented by means of a flat spring 33 whose V-shaped head is kept in engagement with the teeth of the gear portion 29.

As illustrated most apparently in FIG. 4, the other case half 11 is provided with a wall or rim 34 extending along the outer boundary thereof, which, when the case halves 11 and 12 are combined as in FIG. 3, covers the outer wall 18 of the latter. An opening 22a is formed at the part of this rim 34 which corresponds to the aforesaid opening 22 of the outer wall 18. A suitably large window opening 35 (see FIGS. 1 and 4) is formed through that portion of the case half 11 which corresponds in location to the aperture 21 of the inner wall 17, where the circular dial 28 comes closest to the annular dial 23. By the side of this window 35 there is a bore 36 through which the integral shaft 28a of the circular dial 28 projects outwardly, and a knob 37 is secured at the outwardly projecting end of the shaft 28a thereby to reset the circular dial 28 to zero as desired.

Within the aforementioned hollow space 16 defined by the tangentially projecting portion 15 there is installed a push button 38 having one end 38a, which is made larger in cross sectional size, projecting outwardly through the hole 15a. This push button 38 has a slot 38b extending longitudinally therein, the slot 38b engaging a projection 39 formed on the inner surface of the case half 12 thereby to regulate the motion of the push button 38. A helical spring 40 is housed within the slot 38b in such a manner that one of its ends abuts on the projection 39. Hence the push button 38 is kept energized in the direction arrow-marked in FIG. 2. The inner end of the push button 38 is securely provided with a click 41 whose tip is self-energized, as it were, toward the teeth 25 of the annular dial 23 so as to remain in engagement therewith. The backward rotation of this annular dial 23 is prevented by means of a stop 42 which may be served by a suitably shaped flat spring.

As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 4, indexes 43 and 44 may be marked at both sides of the above mentioned window 35 to point to the exact numerals for a reading.

For use the case 10 is held by the users hand in such a manner that the thumb is placed on the push button end 38a while the other four fingers may be inserted into the opening 13. The push button 38 thus depressed repeatedly by the thumb against the force of the spring 40 will cause the teeth 25 of the annular dial 23 to advance one by one via the click 41. The number of times the push button 38 is depressed is exhibited at the window 35.

The annular dial 23 makes one complete rotation for each one hundred depressions of the push button 38, when the detent 27 formed beneath the numeral on the annular dial 23 engages and turns the pinion 32 to such a degree as to advance the circular dial 28 by one graduation, the relative pitches and relative numbers of the teeth on the pinion 32 and those on the gear portion 29 being predetermined accordingly. In this manner, up to 3,000 objects are countable without interruption in this particular embodiment of the invention. When more than I00 objects have been counted, the number pointed by the index 44 and that by the index 43 are to be added together to ascertain the correct reading.

The annular dial 23 can be reset to zero by manually moving its exposed teeth in the arrow marked direction in FIG. 2 through the opening 22 of the case 10, while the circular dial 28 is zeroed by manually turning the knob 37.

FIGS. and 6 illustrate another preferred embodiment of the present invention which is suitable for applications where two different sorts of objects, such as men and women, or people and vehicles along a street, have to be counted separately. Essentially, this second preferred embodiment is a combination of two identical counters constructed in substantial accordance with the first preferred embodiment described hereinbefore.

As seen in FIG. 6, a case houses two annular dials 123 and 123' which are separated from one another by means of a partition 101 and which are to be actuated independently. These annular dials 123 and 123' are provided with rims 126 and 126', respectively, extending along the toothed (125 and 125') peripheries thereof, the rims 126 and 126' being graduated with numerals 124 and 124' from 0 up to 99, for example, at equal spacings. A window opening is positioned at an adequate peripheral portion of the case 110, and indexes 143 and 143' are marked at both sides of this window 135.

Also on the periphery of the case 110 there is formed a tangentially projecting portion 115 whose interior 116 is divided by means of the aforesaid partition 101. There are housed in the partitioned interior 116 of the tangentially projecting portion 115 a pair of push buttons 138 and 138 having their ends 1381: and 138a projecting outwardly therefrom. Each of these push buttons 138 and 138' are energized outwardly by means different from that employed for the push button 38 of the hereinfore described first preferred embodiment of the invention, i.e. by a helical spring 140 installed between the inside end of the push button and a wall 116a defining the interior 116 of the tangentially projecting portion 115. Clicks 141 secured to the inside ends of the push buttons 138 and 138' are caused to keep themselves in engagement with the respective teeth 125 and 125' of the annular dials 123 and 123', and the backward rotation of these annular dials 123 and 123' are prevented by means of stops 142 which may be served by flat springs urged toward their teeth 125 and 125.

An opening 122 is formed at an adequate peripheral point of the case 110 for resetting the annular dials 123 and 123' to zero in a manner hereinafter to be described. A pair of toothed wheels 102 are supported, perhaps by one and the same shaft, at this opening 122 so as to be in mesh with the respective annular dials 123 and 123'. By manually turning these toothed wheels 102 thedials 123 and 123 can be respectively zeroed. it is needless to say that exact counterparts of the circular dial 28 in the first preferred embodiment of the invention can be provided as desired in respective combination with the annular dials 123 and 123' in this second embodiment for counting a total of more than 200 objects.

For use the push buttons 138 and 138' are to be depressed selectively according to two different sorts of objects to be counted, and the results will be indicated at the window 135.

While the embodiments of the invention as herein disclosed constitutes preferred forms, it is to be understood that other forms might be adopted. For instance, the numerals graduated on the annular dial and the circular dial may be rearranged as desired depending upon applications. Further, three or more annular dials may be built in a single case in accordance with the second embodiment of the invention to provide a counter capable of counting three or more different sorts of objects. All these modifications are intended in the foregoing disclosure. it is therefore appropriate that the appended claims be construed broadly and in a manner consistent with the spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

l. A counter comprising, in combination:

a flat substantially circular case defining a hollow interior;

means defining a substantially semicircular opening through said case to receive the fingers of a users hand;

a tangentially projecting portion disposed on the periphery of said case;

means defining a hole in said tangentially projecting portion in a tangential direction of said case communicating with said hollow interior of said case;

an inner wall disposed in said hollow interior defined by said case concentric with said means defining said semicircular opening in said case, said inner wall and an outer wall of said case defining an annular chamber therebetween;

a semicircular chamber defined by said inner wall and a straight edge of said means defining said semicircular opening;

means defining an aperture in said inner wall;

a first rotary annular dial rotatably mounted and concentrically disposed in said means defining said annular chamber;

ratchet teeth disposed around the periphery of said first dial;

means defining an opening in said outer wall of said case to expose a portion of said ratchet teeth disposed around the periphery of said first dial;

a second rotary dial rotatably mounted in said semicircular chamber defined by said inner wall and said straight edge of said means defining said semicircular opening;

a gear affixed to said second rotary dial;

a projection located on said first rotary dial projecting radially toward said second rotary dial;

a pinion positioned in said means defining said aperture in said inner wall, said pinion meshes with said gear affixed to said second rotary dial and is adapted to engage said projection;

a flat spring secured at one end to said case and having a V-shaped head at the opposite end disposed adjacent said gear affixed to said second rotary dial, said V-shaped head being in engagement with said teeth of said gear to prevent said second rotary dial from moving until acted on by a movement of said pinion;

means defining a window opening in said case aligned with said means defining said aperture in said inner wall, a portion of said first and second rotary dials being visible through said means defining said window;

a push botton disposed in said means defining a hole in said tangential portion;

means defining a slot extending longitudinally in said push button;

a projection affixed to said case and being received in said means defining said slot in said push button to regulate the movement of said push button;

resilient means housed in said means defining said slot in said push button, one end of said resilient means abuts said projection to bias said push button outwardly of said case;

a click affixed at one end to the end of said push button interior to said case, the other end of said click being adapted to engage said ratchet teeth of said first rotary dial; and

when said push button is depressed said click engages a tooth of said ratchet of said first rotary dial indexing said first rotary dial through a predetermined arch, once every revolution of said first rotary dial, said projection engages said pinion rotating said pinion and thus indexing said second rotary dial through a predetermined arch.

2. A counter as defined in claim 1, including stop means to prevent said first rotary dial from rotating in a backward direction.

3. A counter as defined in claim 2, including:

numerals disposed on a face of said first annular rotary dial, the spacing of said numerals being equal to the pitch of said ratchet teeth disposed around the periphery of said first dial;

numerals disposed on a face of said secondrotary dial, the spacing of said numerals being equal to the pitch of said ratchet teeth disposed around the periphery of said first dial;

index means associated with said first annular rotary dial and said second rotary dial, said index means distinguish one of said numerals on said first annular rotary dial and one of said numerals on said second rotary dial which corresponds to the number of items counted; and

said numerals on said first annular rotary dial and said number on said second rotary dial corresponding to the number of items counted are visible through said means defining said window opening in said case.

4. A counter as defined in claim 3, wherein:

said second rotary dial is rotatably mounted on a shaft, and an end of said shaft projects from a wall of said case; and

a knob is secured to said projecting end of said shaft toallow a user of said counter to rotate said first annular rotary dial and said second annular rotary dial to a zero reading at the start of a counting event.

5. A counter comprising, in combination:

a flat substantially circular case defining a hollow interior;

means defining a substantially semicircular opening through said case adapted to receive a users hand;

a tangentially projecting portion disposed on the periphery of said case;

means defining a plurality of holes in said tangentially projecting portion in a tangential direction of said case communicating with said hollow interior of said case;

an inner wall disposed in said hollow interior defined by said hollow case concentric with said means defining said semicircular opening in said case, said inner wall and an outer wall of said case defining an annular chamber therebetween;

a plurality of first annular rotary dials rotatably mounted in said means defining said annular chamber;

ratchet teeth disposed around the periphery of each of said annular rotary dials;

numerals disposed around the peripheries of said annular rotary dials, the spacing of said numerals being equal to the pitch of said ratchet teeth disposed around the periphery of said annular dials;

means defining a window opening in said case;

index means associated with said window, said index means distinguish one of said numerals on said periphery of each of: said annular rotary dials which number corresponds to the number of items counted;

said numerals on each of said annular rotary dials corresponding to the number of items counted is visible through said means defining said opening in said case;

a plurality of push buttons disposed in said means defining said plurality of holes in said tangential portion of said case, the number of push buttons corresponding to the number of annular rotary dials comprising said counter;

each of said push buttons have a click which engages the teeth disposed around the periphery of one of said rotary dials;

a plurality of springs corresponding in number to the number of push buttons, each of said springs being operatively associated with one of said push buttons to bias said push buttons outwardly of said case; and a stop means associated with each of said rotary dials to prevent said rotary dials from rotating in a backward direction.

6. A counter as defined in claim 5, including:

means defining an opening in an outer wall of said case;

a plurality of toothed wheels corresponding in number to the number of said annular rotary dials, said toothed wheels being disposed in parallel arrangement and rotatably mounted in said means defining said opening in the outer wall of said case, said toothed wheels being in mesh with said ratchet teeth disposed around the periphery of said annular dials; and

said toothed wheels allow a user of said counter to rotate said annular rotary dials to a zero reading at the start of a counting event.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5452335 *Dec 31, 1992Sep 19, 1995Symbiosis CorporationTemperature cycle counter
US5969315 *Sep 15, 1994Oct 19, 1999Ethicon, Inc.Display device for the number of heatings performed
US7137391Oct 3, 2002Nov 21, 2006Valois S.A.S.Dosimeter for fluid product dispenser
WO2003028792A1 *Oct 3, 2002Apr 10, 2003Valois SasDosimeter for fluid product dispenser
Classifications
U.S. Classification235/116, 235/117.00A
International ClassificationG06M1/04, G06M1/00, G06M1/16
Cooperative ClassificationG06M1/166, G06M1/045
European ClassificationG06M1/16C, G06M1/04C