US 3720298 A
To enable aligned printed web-carried symbols, which are out of the line of sight, to be seen from a regular position adjacent the keyboard of said printer, a prism bends source light to illuminate the symbols. Another prism, which is mounted in a cover of the printer housing, bends the source light reflected from the web into the line of sight. A bank of aligned lamps is supported in a position aligned with the printing stations on the web, and each thereof is adapted to be illuminated in succession by means which is responsive to completion of the formation of a symbol. A double image of each lamp can be seen through one of the prisms. Parallax of the lamp is prevented by aligning a selected double image with a pair of station designating marks on a pair of parallel scales carried adjacent the web and on said first named prism.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Alonas et a1.
1March 13, 1973 1 PRISM ALIGNMENT MEANS FOR A CHARACTER AT A TIME PRINTER  Inventors: Kay Alonas, Skokie; Valentine R. Engelman, Niles; Norman A. Jacobs, Arlington Heights, all of Ill.
 Assignee: Teletype Corporation, Skokie, Ill.
 Filed: Nov. 16, 1970  Appl. N0.: 89,788
 US. Cl. ..l97/l82, 197/186 B  Int. Cl. ..B4lj 29/18  Field of Search ..l97/l, 19, 84 A, 180, 182,
197/186 R, 186 13,187, 188,189, 190, 191, l94;33/l83;353/81  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,866,582 7/1932 Smith ..l97/182 3,137,381 6/1964 Behr et a1. ..l97/l82X 2,632,548 3/1953 Ackerman ..197/1 87 X 2,443,722 6/1948 Carlson ..353/8l 3,432,844 3/1969 Winston..... ..l97/l R UX 1,600,808 9/1926 Dukehart.... .....l97/l82 X Primary ExaminerErnest T. Wright, Jr. Attorney-J. L. Landis and R. P. Miller  ABSTRACT To enable aligned printed web-carried symbols, which are out of the line of sight, to be seen from a regular position adjacent the keyboard of said printer, a prism bends source light to illuminate the symbols. Another prism, which is mounted in a cover of the printer housing, bends the source light reflected from the web into the line of sight. A bank of aligned lamps is supported in a position aligned with the printing stations on the web, and each thereof is adapted to be illuminated in succession by means which is responsive to completion of the formation of a symbol. A double image of each lamp can be seen through one of the prisms. Parallax of the lamp is prevented by aligning a selected double image with a pair of station designating marks on a pair of parallel scales carried adjacent the web and on said first named prism.
2 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEUMAR 1 31975 3,7 0,29
SHEET 10F 4 VEN RS KAY ALONAS VALENTlNE R. ENGE AN NORMAN A. JAC WW KM ATTORNEY PATENTEDHARI 31973 SHEET 2 OF 4 FIG.
PATEIHEDHARmms 3,720,29 SHEET-3 0r 4 Q FIG. 5
BINARY COUNTER 82 A 82 8 82C 82 D 82 E 82F 826 m W W W W W W r 82EN 82FN 826M 82BN 820M BZDN PRISM ALIGNMENT MEANS FOR A CHARACTER AT A TIME PRINTER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Furthermore, other means are provided for preventing parallax of the light of any selected lightable component.
Considered from another aspect, the foregoing ob- The present invention relates to character at a time 5 j C ar eff ted in an operator manageable printer or character by character printing. Particularly, the invention relates to non-impact printing. Specifically, the invention relates to keyboard controlled electrostatic printers.
In a conventional impact printer which is adapted for operator control through the agency of a keyboard, characters or intelligence symbols are formed on a web or carrier in succession to generate a record. Without reference to any recorded character or symbol, any station on the web at which printing is about to occur is readily determinable by reference to a mechanical member, usually, a print hammer, or a mechanical component which is connected to the print hammer or its carriage.
In non-impact printing, particularly in electrostatic printing of the type with which the present invention is concerned, no mechanical impactor is involved. A character at a time is printed by selectively deflecting successive streams of ink electrostatically for tracing patterns on a web towards which the ink is transferred across a span from successive ink supplying nozzles. It cannot be determined by reference to any usual mechanical member the station at which printing is about to occur. Therefore, to enable ready determination, separate provision is required.
A light cursitor of the type used in many cathode ray display devices is considered an undesirably costly expedient. Moreover, present evaluation considers mechanical indicating means esthetically detracting. Both the cost and esthetic considerations, have resulted in a current design in an electrostatic printer which hides the line on a web along which printing is about to occur from the normal line of sight of an operator at a regular position adjacent the printer keyboard. As a result, location of a station at which printing is about to occur in such a printer has been further complicated.
It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved device of the referenced type which solves the foregoing problems.
It is another object of the invention to enable an operator to determine a station at which printing is about to occur in a printer of the type with which the present invention is concerned.
It is a further object of the invention to enable printing to be seen in such a printer from a regular operators position adjacent the printer keyboard, as it occurs, though the printing is out of the regular line of sight of an operator.
It is an additional object of the invention to minimize the cost in apparatus for effecting the foregoing objects.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION To achieve the foregoing, and other objects of the invention which will become apparent from the ensuing description, a printer, adapted for printing a character at a time on a web at successive stations which are aligned with each other and with indicia of a scale, has a bank of lightable components which are arranged in alignment with the indicia. Means are provided for successively illuminating said lightable components.
which has a keyboard. To that end means are provided for supporting a web in a recording attitude. Means are responsive to the keyboard for recording symbols on the web along aligned stations hidden from the line of sight of an operator at a regular position adjacent the keyboard. A lid is mounted for selectively covering the web. A prism mounted in the lid, when in web covering condition bends light reflected from said stations into said line of sight.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING In the ensuing detailed description of the invention reference is had to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view according to line 22 of DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring now more particularly to FIG. 1, shown is an operator manageable printer 10 of a non-impact type which comprises a rectangular housing 12 having a well or cavity 14 with an upper opening 16. A framework 18 of the printer 10 includes a frame section 20. It is adapted for rotationally supporting opposite ends of a shaft 22 for carrying a roll 24 from which a web 26 uncoils into a course through the framework 18, the course partially extending through opening 16. A bar 28, which is rockably connected to the framework 18, guides the web 26 from its roll 24 downwardly through well 14, the framework 18 having parts (not shown) for guiding the web 26 upwardly about a stationary platen 30 (FIG. 2) which together with the framework 18 comprises means for supporting the web 26 in an intelligence recording attitude.
Downstream of platen 30, the web path extends past a backing member or plate 32 which is supported by framework 18. It has a medial aperture 34 through which there is exposed a wheel 36 adapted to frictionally engage and drive web 26 in the direction of arrows 38 (FIG. 1) and 40 (FIG. 2). To that end, wheel 36 is secured to a shaft 42, an end extension 44 (FIG. 1) of which is drivingly connected to a stepping motor (not shown) for advancing the web 26 a line at a time by means which may be conventional and only a pulley 46 and pulley belt 48 of which are shown. A pressure bracket 50 which is pivotally connected to frame section 20 has a rod 52 extending transversely of the web path and carries a pair of small cylindrical bearings or bosses 54 adapted for engaging the web 26, a spring load (not shown) on the bracket 50 urging the web 26 into frictional and driving engagement with drive wheel 36.
A keyboard 56, which may be of the type disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,171,890, issued to L. C. Anderson, et al., Mar. 3, 1965, is supported from the front portion of housing 12 and adjacent opening 16. From a regular position adjacent the keyboard 56, anoperator can control the intelligence which will be applied to web 26 through selection of appropriate keys 58 such that a succession of characters or symbols will be generated transversely of the web 26 along an imaginary line 60 (FIG. 2) on the web 26.
In exemplary printer 10, the parts are proportioned and designed such that line 60 is out of the normal line of sight 61 of an operator regularly arranged for operating keyboard 56. Means responsive to the keyboard 56 for recording indicia or successive characters or symbols of intelligence on web 26 at aligned successive stations on line 60 comprises a bank of nozzles 62 (only one of which is shown in FIG. 2), the nozzles 62 being aligned transversely of the direction of web movement. The nozzles 62 are adapted for successive operation to form any selected symbol or character and they are spaced from web 26 across a gap 64. They are supported in a casing 68 through a slot 66 of which they are adapted to supply ink. To the latter purpose, an ink reservoir (not shown) is housed in said casing and is fluidally connected to said nozzles 62 for supplying ink thereto.
Printing is produced on web 26 by a non-impact process of the type generally shown in US. Pat. No. 3,432,844, issued to C. R. Winston Mar. 11, 1969. In said process, each key 58 may be adapted for causing production of a distinctive digitally encoded output 70 (FIG. Upon energization by said output 70, tracing drive or character generation means 72 produces associated analog outputs through leads 74, 76, and 78, and simultaneously a character interval signal through lead 80 whereby: (1) a valving electrode 75 (FIG. 2) is energized for a predetermined period of time for causing ink to flow in a stream from an associated nozzle 62 toward web 26 for impingement thereon; (2) a voltage is imposed across a pair of horizontal electrodes 77 for deflecting the ink stream horizontally in gap 64; (3) a voltage is imposed across a pair of vertical electrodes 79 for deflecting the stream vertically in gap 64; and (4) at the completion of said predetermined period, the end of the character interval signal, as an input, energizes a binary counter 82 for counting in a known manner.
Casing 68 is arranged at the forward end portion of well 14, and it has an upper horizontal surface 84 (FIG. 2) which is disposed below opening 16 but above the level of line 60. A surface 86 of casing 68 slopes out of line of sight 61 rearwardly and downwardly from the back end of surface 84 at an angle of about 36 to the upper limit of slot 66, said upper limit being at a level slightly above line 60.
A circuit board 88 is supported from casing 68 in a horizontal plane spaced slightly above surface 84. It supports portions of the circuitry (FIG. 5) associated with a bank or an array of horizontally aligned lightable components such as lamps 90. Each of the latter is aligned with a printing station on web 26 though spaced forwardly and upwardly therefrom; and is visible to an operator regularly positioned at the keyboard through opening 16 along his regular line of sight 61. The exemplary lamps 90 are glow discharge tubes which project upwardly from the circuit board 88. However, other members, such as filament type bulbs or light emitting diodes, are considered equivalents thereto.
A prism 92 is supported above circuit board 88. Its width is substantially the same as the width of web 26 whereby illumination of entire line may be effected. The prism 92 has a pocket, cutout, or well 94 into which lamps project, and an upper flat surface 96 parallel to the circuit board 38, through which said lamps 90 are visible from above. A downwardly extending surface 97 of the prism 92 covers the rear aspect of the lamps 90.
Light source means herein shown as a fluorescent tube 98 is supported in a pair of opposed mounts 100 (FIG. 1) which are carried from framework 18. The arrangement is such that the longitudinal axis of tube 98 is parallel to line 60, and said tube 98 is disposed adjacent the forward face 102 of prism 92. The parts are fashioned and arranged such that light rays from tube 98 which pass through face 102 are reflected downwardly from surface 96 and pass through prism surface 97 along a line 103 (FIG. 2) for illuminating intelligence along line 60.
A lid 104 is rockably connected to the rear wall 106 of housing 12 by a hinge 108. The lid 104 is proportioned as a closure for upper opening 16 and is adapted to cover web 26 from above. The normally upper surface 110 of the lid 104 has a window opening in which a prism 112 is releaseably mounted by a plurality of snap fasteners 114. In a first or an open condition (FIG. 1) of the lid 104, the upper opening 16, frame section 20, web 26, nozzle 62, and light tube 98 are uncovered. In its second or closed condition (FIG. 2) the aforesaid elements are covered.
When lid 104 is closed, prism 112 intersects line of sight 61. Said last prism 112 is constructed and fashioned such that it bends light regularly reflected along line 115 from line 60 into the line of sight 61. Thereby, intelligence on line 60 and hidden from view to an operator when the lid 104 is in its first condition will be seen by such operator when the lid 104 is in its second condition.
To enable determination of the station at which printing is about to occur, in accordance with the invention, scale means comprising a scale 116 (FIGS. 3 and 4) may be painted on surface 86 of casing 68. The scale 116 extends transversely of the alignment of lamps 90, and in a front to rear direction it extends to slot 66. The scale 1 16 has a plurality of marks or indicia 118 which are parallel to each other, their spacing being longitudinal of said scale 116. Each of the marks 1 18 is a straight line which is aligned with a printing station along line 60 and has a proximate end 120 and a distal end 122. For orientation each 10th mark 118 is designated by an arabic numeral in a range from 10 to 80 and is referrable to a corresponding printing station.
Scale means comprising another scale 124 extends longitudinally of the web proximate end portion of prism surface 96. Scale 124 may be fashioned by etching parallel marks or indicia 126 in prism 92. Each of said marks 126 is a line and has a web proximate end 128 and a web distal end 129. Moreover, the last named marks 126 extend to the web proximate edge of prism surface 96, and each is aligned with a mark 118 in a direction which is normal to the transverse dimension of web 26. Accordingly, each is also aligned with a printing station on the web 26 and it is disposed in vertical alignment with a lamp 90. As on scale 116, each th mark 126 has been designated by an arabic numeral in the range of 10 to 80.
In the exemplary embodiment, binary counter 82 has seven flip-flops or stages 82A 82G which are arranged in known fashion capable of 128 different output combinations (only 80 of which are used in printer 10). Each stage 82A-82G has a normal output N and a complementary or inverted output I.
The outputs of stages 82A, 82B, 82C, and 82D are decodingly connected in a known manner to an array of 16 AND gates collectively designated 130. Particularly, the gates 130 are designated in succession 130a 130p and are arranged such that in response to 16 suceessive character end signals through lead 80, 16 successive outputs will be produced through gate conductors collectively identified 132 and particularly designated 132a 132p. Extensions 133 of the latter conductors 132 define a plurality of elongated parallel conducting elements in a grid or matrix 134.
A plurality of parallel conductors 137 which are extensions of five output leads generally designated 136, and particularly identified as 136A 136E, complete matrix 134. Said parallel conductors 137 extend normally to the extensions 133 which they intersect at 80 positions (corresponding to the printing stations along line 60) from which lamps 90 are energized. Leads 136 extend as output members from an array of five NAND gates collectively identified 138 and individually identified 138A 138E. The NAND gates 138 are connected to the outputs of counter stages 82E, 82F, and 826 such that: (1) lead 136A is energized only for the first 16 binary counter steps in a sequence to cause lamps 90Aa 90Ap connected thereto to light in succession, (2) lead 1363 is energized only during the next 16 counter steps in succession to cause the 17th through the 32nd lamps 90Ba 908p to light in succession, and (3) lead 136E is energized during the last 16 counter steps of an 80 count succession, whereby, lamps 90Ea 9013p are energized successively.
Parallax of lamps 90 can be avoided in the instant apparatus by several techniques, as follows: (A) Visually align a selected lamp 90 with opposite ends 128 and 129 of a superposed corresponding mark 126 in scale 124. (B) Visually align a selected lamp 90 with its corresponding mark 126 and with an associated mark 118 on scale 116. The second technique is more accurate than the first. Reliability is enhanced further with the third technique in accordance with the present invention, by (C) Constructing prism 112 such that when a selected lighted component 90 is viewed through said last prism 112 by an operator arranged at his regular position, he will see a pair of images identified as X and Y (FIG. 4) along line of sight 61. That is to say, prism 112 in effect comprises a pair of discrete optical wedges 112a and 1121) (FIG. 6) with a common upper surface 140. Wedge 1120 includes straight prism surface 142; and wedge 1121) includes an arcuate surface 144 which is angularly offset from surface 142. ln consequence a selected ray of light from any point 146 from any of lamps will follow a path 148, and another ray of light from such last point 146 will follow a path 150. Accordingly, the image of each lamp 90 as seen through prism 112 will be split or doubled into a pair of images X and Y. Image X will appear through scale 124, whereas, image Y will appear superposed and to the rear thereof. When the double image appears aligned with aligned or corresponding marks 118 and 126, parallax of the light component 90 is non-extent; and the last mentioned aligned marks 118 and 126 indicate a station on web 26, the relative position of which may be determined by reference to the arabic numerals carried on the scales 1 16 and 124.
As many modifications in the described construction could be conceived, and as many changes could be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the claims, it is intended that all matter contained in the accompanying specification shall be considered as illustrative only and not in a limiting sense.
1. In an operator manageable printer having a framework, a combination which comprises:
a keyboard supported from said framework; means for supporting a web in recording attitude; means responsive to said keyboard for successively recording symbols transversely of said web along aligned stations hidden to a line of sight of an operator at a regular position adjacent said keyboard;
a lid mounted for selectively covering said web;
a first prism mounted in said lid and when in web covering condition bending reflected light from said aligned stations into said line of sight;
a source for light supported from said framework;
a second prism supported adjacent said source for illuminating said stations with light from said source; bank of lightable components disposed beneath said second prism and visible therethrough by an operator at said regular position, each lightable component supported in alignment with one of said stations;
means for illuminating said lightable components in succession in correspondence with the printing succession;
a first scale carried on said second prism above said bank of lightable components;
a second scale supported parallel to said first scale adjacent said web; and
indicia comprising a plurality of marks on each scale, the marks on each scale being parallel with each other and aligned with the marks on the other scale.
2. A printer according to claim 1 wherein the construction of the first prism is such that an aligned double image of a lightable component is visible therethrough and in alignment with a corresponding station.
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