US 3732962 A
The coin chute provides effective fool-proof means whereby a substantial number of coins of various denominations may be inserted and advanced on edge, rather than flatwise with the slider, to initiate or condition for operation the mechanism of a dispenser of goods or services, provided that all of the coins inserted pass rigid tests for genuineness and for total valuation corresponding to the value of the goods or serves dispensed.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Hall [451 May 15, 1973  COIN CHUTE CONSTRUCTION  Inventor: Mitchell A. Hall, Fort Thomas, Ky.
 Assignee: Monarch Tool & Manufacturing Company, Covington, Ky.
 Filed: Aug. 10, 1970  Appl. No.: 62,384
 US. Cl ..194/92  Int. Cl ..G07f 5/14  Field of Search ..194/92, 55, 93, 57,
194/58, 78-80, 101, DIG. 2
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS l 1/1909 Rosenfield 194/58 6/1924 George 7/1932 Sabit ..194/92 2,277,018 3/1942 Patzer at al ,.l94/I0l 2,390,147 12/1945 Hatton ..l94/l()l 2,555,669 6/1951 Andres 194/10l 439,107 10/1890 Caspar 3,602,352 8/1971 Robinson ..194/92 Primary Examiner-Samuel F. Coleman Assistant ExaminerNorman L. Stack, Jr. A tt0rney-J Warren Kinney, Jr.
571 ABSTRACT The coin chute provides effective fool-proof means whereby a substantial number of coins of various denominations may be inserted and advanced on edge, rather than flatwise with the slider, to initiate or condition for operation the mechanism of a dispenser of goods or services, provided that all of the coins inserted pass rigid tests for genuineness and for total valuation corresponding to the value of the goods or serves dispensed.
36 Claims, 26 Drawing Figures l COIN (IHUTE CONSTRUCTION This invention relates to a coin chute, sometimes referred to as a coin slide or coin-controlled operator, the purpose of which is to initiate operation of a dispenser of goods or services, such as automatic food, drink or commodity dispensing machines, automatic laundry machinery and other machines timed or regulated to perform a service in exchange for a deposit of coins. The coin chute, as is usual, refuses spurious coins and coins of a value at variance with an established value of the goods or services to be dispensed.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION A coin chute as heretofore generally constructed, included as its operating member or plunger a flat elongate slider supported in a generally horizontal plane for reciprocation between a retracted inoperative position and an advanced operative position, the slider when fully advanced being effective to actuate a dispensing machine of the character referred to. The slider of the most popular coin chute currently in use is substantially flat, and is provided with circular perforations or pockets to accommodate one or more coins, sometimes of different denominations, with the coins disposed flatwise or in the mean plane of the slider, for advancement therewith. In some cases, as where coins of various foreign countries were to be accommodated, the coin pockets of the slider were substantially square, octagonal, or of other geometric shape corresponding to the shape of the coins, tokens, or slugs to be accommodated in flatwise condition.
Quite obviously, there is a practical limit to the number of coin pockets that may be formed in a slider which accommodates coins flatwise, if the size or area of the slider is to be kept within reasonable limits. Large sliders objectionably increase the weight and bulk of the coin chute, as well as the cost thereof, and in many cases where the space alloted to coin chute installation is limited, large or bulky coin chutes cannot be effectively utilized.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the present invention, coins are placed on edge, rather than flatwise with relation to the plane of the slider, so that sockets in the slider accommodating a multiplicity of coins will be much smaller in size than the face areas of the coins presented thereto. In this manner, the number of coins to be accon'imodated and advanced by a slider is very materially augmented, without requiring a corresponding increase in the size or area of the slider. In fact, the size of the slider in many instances may be materially reduced, while at the same time accommodating a greater number of coins than were previously accommodated by a slider of equal size. By this means, the slider and the coin chute supporting it may be advantageously limited as to size and weight, with substantial savings of expensive metals, manufacturing cost, and shipping expenses.
An object of the invention, therefore, is to minimize the size, weight, and cost of coin chutes capable of accommodating a large number of coins representing payment for vendible articles or services which might be of considerable value, or which might require accurate pricing with the aid of coins of low denominations.
Another object of the invention is to provide in a coin chute of the character stated, a simple and effective means in the form of a shiftable barrier element or gate, to preclude illicit tampering with or destruction of the internal coin chute mechanism in an effort to obtain free play or unauthorized acquisition of goods or services from a dispensing machine.
Another object of the invention is to provide in a coin chute, improved highly durable means for detecting and rejecting various types of spurious coins or slugs, and consequently precluding a full advancement of the slider to the operative position.
A further object is to structurally improve a coin chute of the character stated, in the interests of avoiding frequent servicing due to abuse by patrons and wear of mechanical parts.
Another object of the invention is to provide effective fool-proof means in a coin chute, whereby a multiplicity of coins may be inserted and advanced on edge, rather than flatwise with the slider, to initiate a dispensing function provided that all of the coins inserted pass rigid tests for genuineness and for total value corresponding to the value of the goods or services dispensed.
The foregoing and other objects are attained by the means described herein and illustrated upon the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. I is a perspective view of the improved coin chute embodying the present invention, the slider thereof being shown in a retracted position, with a multiplicity' of coins disposed on edge prior to advancement of the slider.
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary cross-section taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 2. g
FIG. 4 is a cross-section similar to FIG. 3, showing the slider and coins initiallypar'tially advanced by the slider, to close a protective gate or barrier behind the coins.
FIG. 5 is a cross-section taken on line 5-5 of FIG. 3, showing the gate in open position.
FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5, showing the gate shifted to closed position.
FIG. 7 is across-section on a reduced scale, taken on line 7 -7 of FIG. 5, and showing the gate and coins in the FIG. 3 relationship.
FIG. 8 is a cross-section on a reduced scale, taken on line 88 of FIG. 6, and showing the gate and coins in the FIG. 4 relationship. I
FIG. 9 is a view similar to FIG. 8, showing the gate shifting to open position incident to a retraction of-the slider toward the inoperative position following a partial advancement of the slider.
FIG. 10 is a cross-section similar to FIG. 3, showing acceptable coins and the slider advanced to calipering position.
FIG. 11 is a slightly enlarged cross-section taken on line ll1l of FIG. 10.
FIG. 12 is a cross-section taken on line. 12-12 of FIG. 11.
FIG. 13 is a cross-section taken on line 13-43 of FIG. 11.
FIG. 14 is a cross-section taken on line 14--14 of FIG. 11.
FIG. 15 is a cross section similar to FIG. 10, showing the calipering means blocking advancement of the slider when one coin is missing.
FIG. 16 is a fragmentary cross-section taken on line 16l6 of FIG. 15.
FIG. 17 is a view similar to FIG. 12, showing rejection of a magnetic slug and consequential blocking of the slider advancement.
FIG. 18 is a cross-section taken on line l818 of FIG. 17.
FIG. 19 is a view similar to FIG. 17, showing the deposit of a perforate slug and rejection thereof by the coin chute.
FIG. 20 is a cross-section taken on line 20-20 of FIG. 19, and showing the perforate slug in an initial phase of advancement.
FIG. 21 is a view similar to FIG. 20, showing the slug trapped to preclude a full advancement of the slider.
FIG. 22 is a view similar to FIG. 19, showing rejection of a square slug and detention of the slider.
FIG. 23 is a view similar to FIG. 22, showing the deposit of two coins of different sizes within a single slider pocket.
FIG. 24 is a perspective view showing the two coins of FIG. 23 elevated to the calipering mechanism for test purposes.
FIG. 25 is a cross-section basically similar to FIG. 16, indicating the calipering of four acceptable coins advanced by the slider.
FIG. 26 is a view similar to FIG. 25, illustrating tilting I of the caliper means for rejection of all the coins due to the absence of one of the required four coins of FIG. 25.
The objects and purposes of the invention, including those set forth above, have been achieved by departing from the conventional coplanar advancement of slider and coins, in favor of a structure which involves rolling or propelling the coins on edge incident to reciprocation or advancement of the slider. The departure mentioned has required marked changes in the nature of the coin tests needed or considered desirable, and some of the tests have been greatly simplified, sensitized, and otherwise improved thereby. The upright or edgewise disposition of the coins reduces frictional drag on the slider, thereby facilitating reciprocation thereof, while at the same time making possible a desirable marked increase in the number of coins which a slider of a given size or area is capable of accommodating.
The upright or edgewise disposition of coins mentioned above, renders feasible the provision of a simple sliding gate movable automatically whenever coins are initially advanced for testing, to isolate the coins and the testing means, as well as other vital internal elements of the coin chute, from the exterior of the structure where various implements might otherwise be inserted or applied in an effort to manipulate the mechanism for obtaining free play or illicit dispensing of goods or services.
Provision is made for effectively detecting and refusing all types of unacceptable slugs, coins, or tokens, and for blocking a full advancement of the slider when such are encountered. The testing means operates also to prevent full slider advancement to the operative position when the value of coins tested fails to equal in amount the selling price of goods or services to be dispensed under the control of the improved coin chute.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Throughout the accompanying drawings, the slider or plunger of the coin chute is denoted 30, and has a handle 32 whereby the slider may be advanced from the retracted or inoperative position of FIG. 1, to a fully advanced operative position at which the handle 32 closely approaches the upright wall portion 34 of a mounting bracket 36. Said bracket may constitute a means for mounting the coin chute bodily upon an apertured supporting wall of a dispenser cabinet, with the handle end of the slider exposed for manual actuation, while the mechanism to the right of the wall portion is concealed within the cabinet.
The leading end 40 of slider 30, upon a full advancement only, strikes or moves a dispenser actuator in accordance with common practice, to effect dispensing of goods or services as is well known.
As was previously pointed out, a full advancement of the slider will be possible only upon condition that the coins (or tokens) presented to the slider satisfy various acceptability tests, and are equal in value to the price of the commodity or service to be dispensed.
With reference to FIGS. 1 to 3, it is noted that the slider 30 is provided with a row of coin-receptive coin slots or pockets designated S1, S2, S3 and S4, the number of such slots or pockets being optional and dependent on the number of coins to be accommodated by each slot. Coins in the slots or pockets are designated C1, C2, C3, C4 and C5, and may vary in number as will become apparent later. The coins may be of various denominations and sizes. Some or all of the slots may accommodate as many as two coins placed in flatwise face contact, as in the case of coins C4 and C5, which may or may not be of a common size or denomination. According to FIG. 1, coins C4 and C5 may be identical and are supported in a widened slot or pocket S4, whereas in FIG. 23 the coins are shown as different in diameter and occupying a single widened slot or pocket of the slider 30. These differing situations will be explained in detail hereinafter.
The several coins are accommodated loosely in their respective slider pockets, and at the time of insertion each coin rests edgewise upon a flat floor surface or runway 42 underlying the fixed slider support or body plate 44. The pockets for the coins are quite narrow, and each is slightly longer than the diameter of a coin which it is intended to receive. Accordingly, any linear advancement of the slider results in rolling or propelling all coins edgewise along the stationary floor surface 42. As is readily apparent, the aforesaid type of coin pocket occupies much less slider area than is needed when the pockets are circular and sized to the coin diameter.
In the example illustrated, pockets S1, S2 and S3 are slightly wider than the coins to be accommodated therein, whereas pocket S4 slightly exceeds in width the thickness of two coins to be accommodated. It should be understood that any or all pockets may be widened to accommodate two coins, if desired. That is, in the example illustrated, the slider is seen to accommodate five coins; however, it may be adapted to accommodate eight coins by widening the pockets S1, S2 and S3, and making other minor alterations in the coin testing mechanism. If a greater number of coins is to be accommodated, the number of slider pockets and coin testing stations may be increased.
As is best illustrated by FIG. 1, the upright wall portion 34 of mounting bracket 36 is provided with several upright passageways 46 equal in number to and aligned with the slots or pockets S1, S2, S3, S4, thereby to permit passage of the coins through wall 34 incident to linear movement of slider 30. The passageways 46 are adapted to be closed by a sliding gate 48 (FIGS. 3 and 5), whenever slider 30 is advanced sufficiently to pass coins completely through said passageways 46.
Gate 48 may be in the form of a flat elongate plate as shown, supported against the back of wall 34 for sliding movement lengthwise between the positions of displacement indicated at 48 upon FIGS. 5 and 6. The gate is provided with a series of slots 50 spaced apart in correspondency with the spacing of passageways 46, so that slots 50 may be caused to register with passageways 46 when gate 48 is longitudinally shifted in one direction, (FIG. 5), thereby to permit passage of coins through wall 34. Upon shifting of gate 48 in the opposite direction, (FIG. 6), the slots 50 are moved out of register with passageways 46 so that gate 48 blocks the passageways 46 (FIG. 4), thereby to preclude insertion of wires, shims, or other instruments in an effort to manipulate the coins or the coin chute internal mechanism so as to obtain illicit free play.
The aforesaid longitudinal shifting movements of gate 48 may be very simply achieved by providing opposite side edges of slider 30 with cam faces 52 and 54, (FIGS. 2, 8 and 9), which operate against followers in the form of lugs 56, 58 provided on gate 48, (see also FIG. 6), to shift the gate in opposite directions depending upon the direction of slider reciprocation. Gate 48 may be slidably retained by a guide plate 60, (FIG. 3), fixed to wall 34 by means of screws or other fasteners 62. As before stated, gate 48 will be in open position only when deposited coins or their coin pockets are visible exteriorly of wall 34, as in FIG. 1. Once the coins have been passed beyond wall 34, gate 48 will be in the closed position of FIG. 4.
It may here be noted that slider 30 is slidably supported by stationary main body plate 44 (FIG. 3), to which is fixed a sub-plate 64 that provides the runway 42. Plates 44 and 64 are fixed relative to mounting bracket 36. Upstanding lugs 66, 66 are fixed upon main body plate 44 to project upwardly through parallel long slots 68, 68 in slider 30, so as to afford no interference with reciprocation of the slider; and said lugs are perforated above the slider to receive a transverse shaft 70 upon which are pivoted a pair of pawls 72, 72 biased by springs 74, 74 toward engagement with parallel rows of notches or ratchet teeth carried by the slider, but not shown on the drawings. This pawl and ratchet teeth arrangement is prevalent in the prior art disclosures, as a means to enforce a unidirectional progressive full advancement of the slider to the operative position following a favorable coin test, thereby to avoid any artful manipulation of the slider in an effort to obtain an illicit free play.
Shaft 70 supports at its opposite ends the side members 76, 76 which constitute a coin caliper frame located above the slider. The rear end of the coin caliper frame is supported by shaft 70, out of contact with the slider, whereas the forward end thereof is supported by plate 60, and screws 62, the plate 60 being preferably, though not necessarily, a part integral with side members 76, 76. In spanning relation to side members 76, 76, in the region of plate 60, is a rigid fixed shelf 78 having opposite ends anchored to the side members 76, 76. Shelf 78 may be substantially horizontal, as shown.
Fixed to the underside of shelf 78 is a series of stop blocks 80, each secured by a screw 83 to depend toward floor surface 42. The several blocks 80 are located one each above a coin or a slider pocket which has been partially advanced by slider 30 to a position beyond gate 48. The purpose of the blocks 80 is to limit upward bouncing of the coins out of their respective slider pockets in the event that a patron advances the slider suddenly and with great force, causing the coins to bounce upwardly when striking the caliper block inclines 82.
The several stop blocks 80 may be separately attached to shelf 78, and may depend different distances toward runway floor 42 depending upon the diametral dimension of the coin which it is required to stop. As will be understood, a block 80 assigned to stop upward bounce of a dime, will desirably depend closer to floor 42 than will a similar block used to stop upward bounce of a nickle or a quarter. In any event, the stop blocks provide means to limit or control upward bouncing of coins from the pockets S1, S2, S3 and S4 (FIG. 4), incident to a sudden advancement of slider 30. They may also be employed to measure the diameters of all advancing coins or slugs.
The reference numerals 84 indicate a series of fixed calipering elements for coins, each of which incorporates an incline 82 for elevating all advancing coins to a common level at which the upper edges of the coins are disposed in a single plane parallel to the plane of slider 30. Each coin so elevated rests edgewise upon a platform 86 of a fixed calipering element. A calipering element 84 may have but one incline 82 and one platform 86, if it is to control but one coin such as Cl. However, if the calipering element 84 is to control two coins, as in FIGS. 24, 25 and 26, it will include two inclines 82 and two platforms 86 in side by side relation as shown, with the object of bringing the upper edges of two coins to a common elevation.
The several fixed calipering elements 84 may be rigidly secured to sub-plate 64 in the paths of advancement of the coins, using screws 88 or equivalent fasteners. Those calipering elements which must elevate dimes and cents, will of course stand higher upon the sub-plate than will others that elevate nickels and quarters, since all coins are to be elevated until their upper edges assume a common level as previously stated.
In addition to the fixed calipering elements or blocks 84, there are provided movable calipering elements to cooperate with said fixed elements. The movable calipering elements are denoted generally by the reference numeral 90, and in the example illustrated by the drawings, two such movable calipering elements 90 are employed.
The movable calipering elements 90 being identical, a description of one will suffice for the other also. The element 90 comprises a stiff elongate wire or shaft 92 (FIGS. 1, 2, 3), having at one end an eye 94 through which extends a headed stud 96 anchored upon shelf 78. The eye 94 loosely encircles stud 96, so that the shank of wire 92 may swing upwardly in a vertical plane about stud 96, (compare FIGS. 3 and 10). The mounting at 96 also is loose enough to permit limited rocking of shank 92 about its own axis in opposite directions from a norm at which eye 94 rests flatwise upon shelf 78. Thus it is evident that the connection at 94, 96 is a swivel or universal joint connection.
The free end of wire shank 92 extends through an elongate narrow guide slot 98 of a fixed guide plate 100, and terminates in a cross-bar 102 which is transverse to the axis of shank 92. The axis of shank 92 may approximately bisect the length of the cross-bar 102 (see FIG. 2).
A spring wire located between the wire shanks 92 and anchored at 104, comprises two spring arms 106, 106 which overlie said shanks and apply a constant downward force thereon so as to yieldingly urge the cross-bars 102 toward the upper face of slider 30, (FIG. 3).
Cross-bar 102, FIG. 3, normally is lowered and cams against an inclined finger 108 of a pivoted latch or dog 110, thereby to yieldingly urge the nose of latch 110 against the lower face of slider 30. The latch or dog is pivoted at 112 upon main plate 44 of the coin chute body. Finger 108 is fixed to the latch and extends upwardly at an angle through a long narrow slot 114 of the slider (see FIG. 5). Said long slot 114 leads to a wider aperture 116, FIG. 3, formed in the slider, which aperture 116 can engage the nose of latch 110 upon advancement of the slider, provided that the latch nose is yieldingly biased against the under face of slider 30 as in FIG. 3. The latch nose when so biased will of course engage a wall of aperture 116 to limit advancement of the slider.
At this point, it is proper to note from FIG. 3, that elevating the wire shank about stud 96 and against the resistance of spring arm 106, will bring about the condition depicted by FIG. 10, wherein cross-bar 102 will approach the upper end of finger 108. Due to the inclination of finger 108, cross-bar 102 in moving upwardly will gradually withdraw from finger 108 and permit the finger and latch 110 to rock counter-clockwise about pivot 112, to the extent of lowering the nose of the latch from contact with the under face of slider 30. Accordingly, under the conditions depicted by FIG. 10, latch 1 will not engage stop aperture 1 l6 and will not therefore interfere with advancement of the slider to the operative position. Latch 110 may drop by gravity to the FIG. 10 position, or if desired, it may be springurged to that position.
Now, if wire shank 92 were to be lowered from the FIG. 10 position to the FIG. 3 position, its cross-bar 102 would move downward to cam against finger 108 and impart clockwise rotation to latch 110, thereby to poise the latch nose for entry into stop aperture 116 in the event of a slider advancement.
From the foregoing, it will be understood that the effectiveness of latch 110 to permit unrestricted advancement of slider 30, is dependent upon a sufficient elevating of shank 92 and its cross-bar 102 along the length of latch finger 108.
As a point intermediate the ends of shank 92, and close to swivel 96, there is fixed to the shank a transverse calipering head 120 which is in the form of an elongate metal strip having end portions located at opposite sides of the shank. The head is fixed to shank 92 in substantial parallelism with cross-bar 102.
As is best shown in FIGS. 24, 25 and 26, the metal strip constituting calipering head 120, is bent to provide a pair of hoods having inverted substantially V- shaped calipering grooves 122 and 124 extended in substantial parallelism and alignment with the slider pockets and the coins therein, so that coins advanced by the slider and elevated upon the stationary calipering elements 84 will enter the grooves, (FIG. 10). The calipering grooves are accurately formed and dimensioned for accommodating coins of given denominations, as follows.
With reference to FIGS. 23 and 25, for example, each of grooves 122 and 124 is shaped and sized to properly accommodate a dime and a nickel in face contact, standing on their respective platforms 86, 86. These coins, being proper and acceptable as calipered in FIG. 25, serve to equally elevate the opposite ends of the calipering head. Therefore, the calipering head will be horizontal, and no axial rotation of shank 92 will be induced, although shank 92 will thereby be bodily elevated as in FIG. 10 to disable slider latch 110.
Referring now to FIG. 26, this shows how a coin missing beneath the groove 122 of FIG. 25 will result in tilting the calipering head and slightly rotating the shank 92. Under such conditions, cross-bar 102 will be slightly tilted from the horizontal and shank 92 will not be elevated sufficiently to lower the latch 1 10 to the inoperative position of FIG. 10. Accordingly, the absence of one coin as in FIG. 26 will result in latch functioning to latch and stop the slider 30 at an early stage of advancement depicted by FIG. 10. When latch 110 engages aperture 116 to stop the slider, the coins will remain upon the several stationary calipering elements 84 until the patron retracts the slider to retrieve the rejected coins.
With further reference to FIG. 10, it should be understood that coins which meet the various tests incorporated in the coin chute, will pass beyond the stationary calipering elements 84 and, as indicated by broken lines in FIG. 10, will gravitate from the coin chute mechanism to a coin box, not shown.
In those instances where a single coin is to be accommodated by a pocket, as a Cl and C2 of FIG. 1, the calipering head grooves 122, 124 will each be so shaped and dimensioned as to fit the required single coins for gauging the diameter and the thickness thereof as the coins stand edgewise upon their respective stationary calipering elements 84 of appropriate height. Any coins failing to meet the established thickness or diameter requirements will fail to elevate the calipering head and shank 92 sufficiently to disable the slider latch 110, whereupon the latch will properly act to interfere with slider advancement.
In like manner, the latch will so act if, as in FIGS. 15 and 16, a coin is not present to support one end of the calipering head 120. As was previously pointed out, all coins or slugs may be measured for accuracy of diameter as they advance between the blocks 80 and the inclines of the stationary calipering elements 84.
Means is provided in the coin chute to detect ferrous metal slugs, and to stop the slider advancement in consequence thereof. Such means comprises a series of elongate bar magnets M, permanently magnetized, and supported above the runway 42 by body plate 44, (FIGS. 3 through 6). The number of magnets employed exceeds by one the number of pockets in slider 30, and are supported by plate 44 for individual longitudinal reciprocation in a common plane parallel to the plane of the slider.
The magnets M are spaced from one another in par allelism a distance such as to offer no interference with the advancement of proper non-ferrous coins, (FIGS. 4 and 5), as coins pass the magnets with their flat faces exposed thereto. Each magnet is longitudinally shiftable in its own elongate guideway formed in the material of body plate 44.
Longitudinal shifting of a magnet M results when a ferrous metal coin 132 (FIG. 17) is under advancement by slider 30, (to the right in FIG. 17), because of a strong attraction of the advancing coin to the magnet. The advancing end of magnet M carries a pusher finger 134 whose free end is adapted to strike a pivoted latch 136 and to move the latch upwardly about its pivot 138 toward slider 30. The nose end of latch 136 when projected upwardly is adapted to engage a stop carried by the slider, which stop may be in the form of a downwardly projecting abutment bar or lug 140 fixed upon the underside of slider 30 immediately adjacent the forward or leading edge of each coin for engagement with any of the latches 136. It may here be noted that the number of latches 136, and the number of pusher fingers 134 equals the number of magnets M. Latches 136 are limited in their upward movement, so as to provide durable positive stops for latching theslider against any material advancement prior to acceptance of the ferrous slug at the calipering station.
Under normal conditions of operation, all of the magnets M will be found shifted to a retracted position in the direction of handle 32, so as to ensure a lowered disposition of latches 136 out of the path of advancement of bar or lug 140. A ferrous slug 132 (FIG. 17) when advanced by the slider, will shift one or more magnets M in the direction of slider advancement, but upon retraction of the slider, slug 132 will return the affected magnet or magnets to the normally retracted position at which the latches 136 are inoperative.
From the foregoing it will be understood that slugs, coins or tokens which are magnetic, will be refused by the coin chute and returned to the person who inserted them in the slider pockets.
Means is provided for detecting, refusing and returning slugs which have a center hole, as at 144, FIGS. 19, 20, 21. For this purpose, the base plate 44 is provided with several pairs of stiff wire fingers 146, 148, each pair having convergent squared camming ends 150, 150 which, in the absence of a coin or slug, meet one another at an apex in the path of advancement of the coin or slug. The squared ends 150, 150 of a pair may be normally kept in yielding contacting relationship by means of light compression springs 152, 152 or otherwise.
- FIG. 20 shows how the bars or lugs 140, which are suitably shaped to separate the fingers, when advanced to the right by the slider with an apertured slug 144 carried by the slider will strike and separate the finger ends 150, 150 against the resistance of springs 152, 152. Further advancement of the slider and slug 144, FIG. 21, causes the biased finger ends 150, 150 to enter the slug aperture and converge toward one another, for abutting an inside wall of the slug aperture, thereby locking the slug and the slider against further advancement. Passage of a coin which is imperforate, will of course meet no opposition, since finger ends 150, 150 will slide uninterruptedly along the relatively smooth side faces of the coin, as at the upper half of FIG. 21. The various fingers 146, 148 may be supported within shallow cavities or recesses 154 provided in the upper face of plate 44.
FIG. 22 indicates an attempt to actuate the coin chute by inserting a substantially rectangular nonferrous slug 156 into one of the slider pockets. The slider may impart a partial advancement to slug 156, as indicated by the broken lines, but as the slug begins to ascend the incline 82 of calipering element 84, the upper edge of the slug will bind against a stop block to preclude further advancement of the slider. If slug 156 happens to be a ferrous metal slug, it will perform according to the description of FIGS. 17 and 18, to initiate a displacement of latch 136 to the slider locking position.
As will be understood, the coin chute embodying the present invention could be materially narrowed in its overall width dimension and still accommodate as many as four coins, by simply utilizing the principle of doubling the coin capacity of each slider pocket as suggested at S4 of FIGS. 1 and 2. Moreover, the same principle could be utilized to increase the slider capacity to eight coins, without increasing the overall width dimension of the coin chute disclosed. The coin capacity of the slider could, of course, be increased beyond that of FIGS. 1 and 2, with a minimal increase in the width of the coin chute, due to the edgewise disposition of the coins in the slider and consequential compacting of the coin testing means.
What is claimed is:
l. A single coin chute construction requiring a plurality of coins of predetermined size and evaluation initiating one operation of a dispenser for one item of goods or one service which comprises in combination: an elongate body having opposite ends, and a face providing runway means; a substantially flat elongate slider having a forward end and a rear end, and means supporting the slider for longitudinal reciprocation relative to the body between a fully retracted inoperative position and a fully advanced operative position; a plurality of narrow elongate coin receptive pockets in the slider near one end thereof receiving the plurality of coins, said pockets being parallel to each other and shaped and dimensioned to support the coins edgewise upon the runway means and to impart to said coins the longitudinal movements of the slider; elevating means in the path of advancement of said coins to elevate said coins to an elevated position with their upper edges all lying in the same plane; test means, including means for sensing the position of the upper edges. of the coins, operative upon partial advancement of the coins by said slider, to test said coins for acceptability as to evaluation and genuineness and when acceptable operating the dispenser; and means operative upon failure of any coin to satisfy said test, for precluding advancement of the slider to the fully advance operative position.
2. The combination as defined by claim 1, wherein at least one of said pockets is increased in width to accommodate two coins in face to face contact.
3. The combination as defined by claim 2, wherein said body includes a gate movable: from an open to a closed position behind the coins following a partial advancement of the coins toward said test means.
4. The combination as defined by claim 3, wherein at least one of said pockets is increased in width to accommodate two coins in face to face contact.
5. The combination as defined by claim 3, wherein at least one of said pockets is increased in width to accommodate two coins of different sizes disposed in face to face contact.
6. The combination as defined by claim 5, wherein is included means operative to elevate the upper edge of the smaller coin to the level of the upper edge of a larger coin preparatory to testing thereof.
7. The combination as defined by claim 1, wherein said body includes a gate movable to a closed position behind the coins following a partial advancement of the coins toward said test means to prevent access to the coins, said slide having means engageable with the gate to positively move it to its operative positions.
8. The combination as defined by claim 7, wherein the slider carries means to actuate said gate.
9. The combination as defined by claim 1, wherein at least one slider pocket is of reduced size to accommodate a coin smaller in diameter than one of the larger coins; and means operative to elevate the upper edge of the smaller coin to the level of the upper edge of a large coin preparatory to testing thereof.
10. The combination as defined by claim 5, wherein the elongate coin receptive pockets extend lengthwise of the direction of slider advancement.
11. The combination as defined by claim 10, wherein at least one of said pockets is increased in width to accommodate two coins in face to face contact.
12. The combination as defined by claim 10, wherein at least one of said pockets is increased in width to accommodate two coins of different sizes disposed in face to face contact.
13. The combination as defined by claim 10, wherein at least one of said pockets is of increased width to accommodate two coins of different sizes disposed in face to face contact.
14. The combination as defined by claim 13, wherein is included means operative to elevate the upper edge of the smaller coin to the level of the upper edge of a larger coin preparatory to testing thereof.
15. The combination as defined by claim 1, wherein said test means comprises an elongate permanent magnet having opposite ends and a side portion; means slidably supporting the magnet lengthwise of and adjacent to the coin runway means, for longitudinal reciprocation of said magnet relative to said body, the proximity of said magnet side portion to said runway means being such that a ferrous coin-like slug moved along the runway means by the slider will be attracted to the magnet with power sufficient to impart the coin movements to said magnet; and means operable incident to movement of said magnet in one direction of magnet reciprocation, to latch the slider against full advancement to the operative position.
16. The combination as defined by claim 15, wherein the means last mentioned includes a fixed abutment on the slider, a latch pivoted upon the coin chute body for movement into and from the path of movement of said abutment, and means carried by the magnet for moving the latch into the path of advancement of said abutment when the slug by magnetic attraction shifts the magnet in the direction of advancement of the slider.
17. The combination as defined by claim 16, wherein a magnet and an associated latch means related as set forth therein, are provided beneath each coin receptive pocket of the slider for detection of a ferrous slug advanced by any of said pockets.
18. The combination as defined by claim 15, wherein a magnet and an associated latch means related as set forth therein,'are provided beneath each coin receptive pocket of the slider for detection of a ferrous slug advanced by any of said pockets.
19. The combination as defined by claim 15, wherein the magnet is so located as to attract a side face of said slug.
20. The combination as defined by claim 19, wherein said latch means is located to engage the slider abutment while the slug remains under attraction by said magnet.
21. The combination as defined by claim 1, wherein said test means comprises a pair of body-supported fingers having camming ends normally yieldingly convergent to a state of approximate contact, said camming ends being in the path of movement of a coin or apertured slug advanced by the slider, and subject to separation by engagement of an edge of a lug in advance of such coin or slug whereby the opposite faces of such coin or slug are yieldingly wiped by said camming ends as the coin or slug is advanced by the slider, until by encountering an aperture of the coin or slug, the camming ends dip yieldingly into such aperture to the original position of approximate contact with one another, to abut an interior edge of the aperture for stopping advancement of the slider at a point prior to full advancement thereof.
22. The combination as defined by claim 21, wherein said fingers are located to engage the aperture of the coin or slug while the coin or slug remains in the slider pocket.
23. The combination as defined by claim 22, wherein other similar fingers and their convergent camming ends related as set forth therein, are provided astride the runway means of all said coin-receptive slider pockets.
24. The combination as defined by claim 1, wherein said test means comprises apparatus for detecting coins or slugs which are apertured, and including means for limiting advancement of the slider incident to detection of such coins or slugs.
25. The combination as defined by claim 1, wherein said test means comprises apparatus for detecting coins or slugs which have a geometric shape other than circular, and including means for limiting advancement of the slider incident to detection of such coins or slugs.
26. The combination as defined by claim 1, wherein the test means comprises: an elongate shaft having a free end and a swivel end; swivel means mounting the swivel end of the shaft upon a stationary part of the coin chute body above the level of the slider, for axial rocking movement and vertical planar movement of the free end of said shaft perpendicularly, toward and from the plane of the slider; an abutment on the free end of said shaft for movement therewith; an abutment carried by the slider; a latch pivoted upon the body and having a nose movable to but biased from the path of advancement of the slider abutment; means on the latch cooperating with said shaft abutment to translate upward movements of the shaft abutment into movement of the latch nose out of the path of advancement of the slider abutment; an elongate latch head fixed intermediate its ends upon said shaft adjacent to said swivel means, said head being of sufficient length to span two coins simultaneously advanced on edge by two adjacent coin receptive pockets of the slider; a pair of hoods secured to the head at opposite sides of said elongate shaft, said hoods each having an inverted substantially V-shaped coin-calipering groove located each to overlie the upper edge of one of said two coins advanced by the slider pockets; said two coins serving during calipering to elevate the hoods, the shaft carrying said hoods, and said shaft abutment, for releasing said latch for movement of its nose out of the path of advancement of said slider abutment, thereby to offer no interference to full advancement of the slider to the operative position.
27. The combination as defined by claim 26, wherein is included means on the coin runway means, adapted upon partial advancement of the slider to elevate said two coins to a position beneath the hoods at which the upper edges of said coins are disposed at a substantially common elevation above the plane of the slider.
28. The combination as defined by claim 27, wherein said coin elevating means comprises an inclined stationary block in the path of advancement of each of said coins; and means above the incline of the block to limit bouncing of the coins from the surface of the incline in the event of a sudden partial advancement of the slider.
29. The combination as defined by claim 1, wherein the test means comprises: an elongate shaft having a longitudinal axis and a free end and a swivel end; swivel means mounting the swivel end of the shaft upon a stationary part of the coin chute body above the level of the slider, for rocking movement of the shaft about its longitudinal axis and vertical planar movement of the free end of said shaft perpendicularly toward and from the plane of the slider; latch means movable between an operative position at which the slider is limited in its advancement, and an inoperative position at which the latch means offers no interference with slider advancement; and means operative incident to advancement by the slider of coins including an unacceptable coin, for axially rocking the free end of said shaft to establish an operative condition of said latch means.
30. The combination as defined by claim 29, wherein is included means adapted to enforce inoperativeness of said latch means when said shaft is elevated without axial rocking thereof, incident to an advancement of acceptable coins by said slider.
31. The combination as defined by claim 30, wherein is included means on the shaft to caliper the coins advanced by the slider, including means operative incident to calipering, for elevating the coins simultaneously to a position at which the upper edges of the coins stand at a common level above the plane of the slider.
32. The combination as defined by claim 31, wherein is included means to caliper simultaneously those coins which are in face contact one with the other.
33. The combination as defined by claim 32, wherein is included means to limit coin bounce during said elevating of the coins for calipering.
34. The combination as defined by claim 31, wherein the coin calipering means includes a transverse elongate head member fixed intermediate its ends to said shaft at a location near the swivel means, said head member including a pair of hoods to overlie the upper edges of coins advanced by the slider, said hoods comprising each'an inverted substantially V-shaped coincalipering groove arranged parallel to the direction of coin advancement and receptive of said coin upper edges incident to said coin advancement.
35. The combination as defined by claim 31, wherein at least one of said pockets is increased in width to accommodate two coins in face contact, said groove of at least one of the hoods being receptive of both contacting coins for simultaneous calipering.
36. The combination as defined by claim 35, wherein is included means to limit coin bounce incident to elevating of the coins for calipering.