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Publication numberUS3734345 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 22, 1973
Filing dateJun 2, 1971
Priority dateJun 2, 1971
Publication numberUS 3734345 A, US 3734345A, US-A-3734345, US3734345 A, US3734345A
InventorsGarner L
Original AssigneeGarner L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Product vending apparatus
US 3734345 A
Abstract
A coin-operated device for vending a product which typically is packaged on a card having a hole adjacent one edge thereof so the card may normally be conveniently suspended and/or displayed on a hook arrangement. The device includes a horizontally positioned rod for holding a plurality of the cards, i. e., the rod extends through the hole in each card and is suitably supported by a frame member, sprocket and chain structure conveniently fitted to the frame structure and juxtaposed above the rod so that the lower flight thereof is parallel thereto, a plurality of fingers attached to the chain at uniform intervals thereon and arranged to jut outwardly therefrom to overlap the rod in turn, drive structure selectively driving the sprocket and chain structure, and coin operated structure which engages and operates the drive structure cyclically for remotely indexing the fingers, thus causing them to eject the cards singularly off one end of the rod. The cards are then intended to be delivered in a typical vending machine manner, e. g., gravitate through suitable chutes, etc., to facilitate ease in assuming possession by the purchaser.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Garner May 22, 1973 [54] PRODUCT VENDING APPARATUS [76] Inventor: Lue O. Garner, 1698 NE. 175th Street, North Miami Beach, Fla. 33162 [22] Filed: June 2, 1971 [21] Appl. N0.: 149,240

[5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,248,005 4/1966 Joschko ..221/75 X 3,355,064 11/1967 Schlaf ..221/75 X 3,338,179 8/1967 Klemm ...l98/l74 X 1,317,745 10/1919 Watson etal ..198/174 X Primary ExaminerStanley H. Tollberg Attorney-John R. Walker [57] ABSTRACT A coin-operated device for vending a product which typically is packaged on a card having a hole adjacent one edge thereof so the card may normally be conveniently suspended and/or displayed on a hook arrangement. The device includes a horizontally positioned rod for holding a plurality of the cards, i. e., the rod extends through the hole in each card and is suitably supported by a frame member, sprocket and chain structure conveniently fitted to the frame structure and juxtaposed above the rod so that the lower flight thereof is parallel thereto, a plurality of fingers attached to the chain at uniform intervals thereon and arranged to jut outwardly therefrom to overlap the rod in turn, drive structure selectively driving the sprocket and chain structure, and coin operated structure which engages and operates the drive structure cyclically for remotely indexing the fingers, thus causing them to eject the cards singularly off one end of the rod. The cards are then intended to be delivered in a typical vending machine manner, e. g., gravitate through suitable chutes, etc., to facilitate ease in assuming possession by the purchaser.

9 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures Patented May 22, 1973 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG.

FIG. 2

INVENTOR LUE o. GARNER WZMW Patented May 22, 1973' 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 6

IN VENTOR. LUE O. GARNER QVJMM%,,Z

FIG Z7 PRODUCT VENDING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to vending machine devices.

2. Description of the Prior Art A careful search in the search room of the U. S. Patent Office was made which resulted in finding the following three patents: the Lerner U.S. Pat. No. 2,872,069; the Gabrielsen U.S. Pat. No. 3,923,392; and the Krakauer US. Pat. No. 3,263,857. One of the objects of the Lerner '069 patent is to provide a vending machine wherein the articles to be sold are mounted on cards held in upright position in view of the operator. Additionally, structure including endless chains are incorporated to accomplish the vending or dispensing thereof. As a matter of fact, it appears that six endless chains move in unison through a drive train of spur gears to deliver a card into the dispensing chute. This and other features of the 069 patent inherently makes a vending machine of this type rather expensive. The Gabrielsen 392 patent is directed toward a horizontal conveyor sandwich merchandising machine with particular emphasis on structure for assuring that the article dispendsed or ejected is not crushed or damaged by the ejecting member, which is particularly significant for dispensing fragile or easily crushed items. The Krakauer et al. 857 patent pertains to a multi-level first-in first-out merchandising machine. This device incorporates enumerous beveled gears and other structure which is rather expensive to manufacture. This machine contemplates the provision of a merchandising machine in which a plurality of superposed, elongated, merchandise-carrying conveyor belts are inclined to the horizontal in a direction transverse to the belt length. The articles are retained on the belts at all points throughout its length. The belt is moved in response to deposit of coins equaling the purchase price so as to cause an article to be delivered by gravity to a delivery chute.

In addition to the above, there are numerous other coin-operated vending machines known by the applicant, e. g., cigarette and candy vending machines or the like. However, the state of the prior art known by the applicant is void of a vending machine which may be used to dispense a large variety of different items of various sizes and shapes. Such items presently are packaged on a card having a hole adjacent one edge thereof and include a tremendously large spectrum of material, It should be appreciated that these cards come in various dimensions which are more or less determined by the physical size of the item being vended. Certain vending machines wherein the articles to be sold are mounted on cards require that the cards be of uniform dimensions, i. e., the Lerner 069 patent.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is directed towards overcoming the disadvantages and problems relative to the prior vending machines. The concept of the present invention is to provide an automatic coin-operated vending device for vending numerous products which typically are being packaged on a card having a hole adjacent one edge thereof. Additional, the vending device of the present invention may be used for vending a product which may be packaged in transparent sack-like packages or the like, i. e., also having a hole adjacent one edge for receiving a hook or the like.

It is anticipated that the vending device of the present invention may be incorporated with typical delivery chutes specifically designed for the size and weight of the particular item being vended. In other words, the device may be used for vending hardware items, e. g., screws, glue, etc., or grocery items, e. g., canned foods or the like attached to a card, ad infinitum. I anticipate that my vending device may be suitably adapted to dispense any item that can be attached to a card or contained within a sack-like structure having a hole adjacent the one edge thereof and/or conventionally packaged items which may be adapted to be so arranged.

The vending device of the present invention includes a horizontal rod for holding a plurality of the cards or the like, i. e., the rod extends through the holes therein and is suitably supported by a frame member, sprocket and chain structure conveniently fitted to the frame structure and juxtaposed above the rod so that the lower flight thereof is parallel thereto, and a plurality of fingers being attached to the chain and arranged on at least a segment thereof so as to project outwardly therefrom. Thus, rotation of the sprocket brings each of the fingers in turn into a coacting juxtaposed relationship with the rod. In addition, the vending device includes drive structure selectively driving the sprocket and chain structure, and coin-operated structure which engages and operates the drive structure cyclically for remotely indexing the fingers, thus causing them to eject the cards singularly off one end of the rod. Obviously, the cards are then intended to be delivered in a typical vending machine manner, e. g., suitable chutes or any other well known structure direct the cards to a location facilitating ease in assuming possession by the purchaser.

It is anticipated that a plurality of devices as just described will be suitably grouped and housed in cabinet structure well known to those skilled in the art, i. e., preferably a transparent panel placed in front of each rod so that the items suspended thereby may readily be viewed by the prospective purchaser.

The primary advantage of the vending device of the present invention is that shoplifting of these items is substantially eliminated. Thus, considerable savings is realized by the vendor. Additionally, considerable manhours are saved by utilizing the vending machine of the present invention as opposed to conventional counter-type sales.

The items to be vended will be prominently displaced, i. e., when the last item has been sold from the display rod, the prospective purchaser will make his selection from other compartments. The structure of the vending device of the present invention is engineered with simplicity paramount and the operative structure thereof is positive in its action, reliable, dependable, easy to operate, and simple to restock.

The items to be sold are placed on the rod and arranged between adjacent fingers in a front-to-back relationship which places the specific items next to be dispensed in plain view of the prospective purchaser, i. e., each time an item is sold, another one advances to the front in its place. In this way, each item to be sold is always conspicuously displayed for close scrutiny by the prospective purchaser.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the vending device of the present invention diagrammatically depicting coin-operative structure for engaging mechanically actuated drive structure.

FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken as on the line II-II of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged view showing a portion of the rod which supports the cards or the like being rigidly maintained in a substantially horizontal position.

FIG. 4 is similar to FIG. 3 except the anti-pivot structure is displaced to allow the rod to pivot downwardly to facilitate replenishment of the product thereon.

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken as on the line VV of FIG. 2.

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken as on the line VI-VI of FIG. 2. However, an alternate means constituting an electric solenoid is shown for operating the drive means, the solenoid being responsive to the coin rejector.

FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken as on the line VII- VII of FIG. 1.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The device 11 of the present invention is intended to be used for vending a product 13 which typically is packaged on a card 15 or received in a plastic sack or the like (not shown), either of which has a hole 17 adjacent one edge thereof which is sufficiently tearresistant to suitably support the weight of the product 13 by having a rod or the like extending through the hole 17. Conceivably, certain products may be vended by the device 11 by having an eyelet suitably attached thereto, i. e., the product being supported by the rod extending through the eyelet.

The device 11 generally comprises an elongated rod 19 for holding a plurality of the cards 15, i. e., the rod 19 normally being horizontally disposed is received in the hole 17 of each card 15, support structure 21, a drive and an idle sprocket 23, 25 positioned above the rod 19 and rotatably mounted on the support structure 21, an endless chain 27 trained about or suitably engaging the sprockets 23, 25, a plurality of fingers 29 fixedly attached to the chain 27 at uniform predetermined intervals and being arranged thereon to project out wardly from the chain 27, drive means 31 selectively driving the sprocket 23, and coin-operated means 33 for engaging and operating the drive means 31 cyclically for remotely indexing the fingers 29 which in turn urge the cards 15 singularly off one end of the rod 19. The support structure 21 includes a horizontally disposed platelike member 35 supported above a resting surface by a plurality of legs 37, a vertically disposed back plate member 39 fixedly attached to the horizontal member 35 in any well known manner, as by welding or the like, a pair of vertically disposed angleiron members 41 being arranged substantially as depicted in FIG. 2 of the drawings and fixedly attached to the back plate member 39 in any well known member, as by welding or the like, and a horizontally disposed tubular support member 43 arranged a predetermined distance above the member 35 and fixedly attached to the membeta 41 in any well known manner as by welding or the like.

It should be understood that the device 11, as herein disclosed, is conveniently limited to a single configuration. However, in actual practice it would be desirable to include adequate support structure to suitably arrange several devices 11 in a vertical array, i. e., one above the other, and several such arrays would be suitably grouped in a side by side relationship, in a manner obvious to those skilled in the art. In this regard, it should also be understood that no attempt will herein be made to disclose the cabinet-like structure for enclosing the device 11 since such structure is obvious to those skilled in the art and does not constitute a novel part of the present invention.

Particular attention is now directed towards FIGS. 1, 3 and 4 of the drawings wherein it may be seen that the rod 19, having a proximal end 19 and a distal end 19", has a substantial bend adjacent the proximal end 19 thereof which is fixedly attached to a blocklike member 45 in any well known manner, as by welding or the like. The angleiron member 41 respectively include webs 41', 41", as best viewed in FIG. 1 of the drawings. The blocklike member 45 is sandwiched between the webs 41 and is pivotally attached thereto, i. e., the webs 41" and the blocklike member 45 being provided with suitably aligned apertures 47 for receiving a pivot pin 49.

It should be appreciated that the rod 19 normally is in a horizontal position as best illustrated in FIGS. 1, 3 and 6 of the drawings. However, in order to facilitate replenishment of the products 13 thereon, the rod 19 is pivoted downwardly to a position depicted in FIG. 4 of the drawings.

Anti-pivot means 51 being interposed between the webs 41" and the rod 19 hold the rod 19 rigid in the horizontal position (FIG. 3) and allows the rod 19 to be pivoted downwardly (FIG. 4) to facilitate replenishment of the products 13 thereon.

The anti-pivot means 51 includes a transverse notch 53, which is provided in the blocklike member 45. In addition, means 51 includes a hingelike member 55, and a tension spring 57, as best viewed in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 of the drawings. In other words, the hingelike member 55 is somewhat U-shaped (FIG. 2) so that the hinged portions thereof may be arranged adjacent the outermost surfaces of the webs 41". Additionally, the hingelike member 55 and the webs 41" are provided with suitably aligned apertures 59 for receiving a pivot pin 61. Further, the tension spring 57 has one end thereof swingingly attached to the member 55 adjacent the outer edge thereof, i. e., a suitable aperture (not shown) is provided for receiving the spring 57, and the other end of the spring 57 is provided with a suitable eyelet for swinging attachment to the pivot pin 49, substantially as depicted in FIGS. 3 and 4 of the drawings.

Accordingly, when the outer edge of the hingelike member 55 is received in the notch 53 (FIG. 3), the rod 19 is rigidly supported substantially in a horizontal position. Further, moving the hingelike member 55 out of the notch 53 (FIG. 4) allows the rod 19 to pivot about the pivot pin 49 for reasons previously disclosed, i., e., the rod 19 moves downwardly sufficient to provide a space between the rod 19 and the lower edges of the fingers 29.

The tubular member 43, preferably being rectangular in cross section, includes a pair of vertically disposed webs 43a, 43b and a pair of horizontally disposed webs 43c, 43d. The one end of the tubular member 43 extends through a suitable aperture 63 in the back plate member 39, as best viewed in FIG. 5 of the drawings. More specifically, a portion of the webs 43c, 43d adjacent the ends of the member 43 are cut away and one end of the webs 43a, 43b extends through the aperture 63 substantially as shown for the web 43d in FIG. 5 of the drawings.

The drive means 31 includes a first disk 65 (FIGS. 2 and 5), a second disk 67 (FIGS. 1 and 2), a plurality of drive pins 69, a drive arm 71, and a drive arm return tension spring 73. It should be pointed out that the drive means 31 also includes actuating means responsive to the coin-operated means 33 for engaging and operating the drive means 31 cyclically for remotely indexing the fingers 29 and for urging the cards singularly off the distal end 19" of the rod 19.

The principal embodiment of the device 11, or more specifically, the actuating means thereof alluded to above, constitutes a flexible wire rope member 75 having one end thereof suitably attached to the lower end of the drive arm 71 and the other end thereof suitably attached to operative structure responsive to the coinoperated means 33. The wire rope member 75 is suitably rigged, i. e., at least a sheave 77 is provided which is suitably attached to the support structure 21 in any well known manner, as by a screw 79 or the like.

In other words, from FIG. 1 of the drawings, it may be seen that the coin-operated means 33 includes a knob 81, accordingly, depositing the proper denomination of coins engages the knob 81 with the wire rope member 75 for operation thereof, i. e., pulling outwardly on the knob 81 pulls the drive arm 71 downwardly (see FIG. 5) to a position depicted by the numeral 71.

It should be pointed out that the disks 65, 67 have a spaced apart relationship and are fixedly attached to a common concentric shaft 83, as is the drive sprocket 23. More specifically, and referring to FIGS. 2 and 5 of the drawings, it may be seen that the webs 43a, 43b are provided with axially aligned apertures 85 for receiving the shaft 83. Additionally, one of the respective ends of the drive pins 69 are fixedly attached to the first disk 65 and the other ends of the drive pins 69 are fixedly attached to the second disk 67 in any well known manner, as by welding or the like.

The idle sprocket 25 is rotatably attached to the tubular member 43. In other words, the webs 43a, 43b are provided with suitable apertures for receiving a pivot pin 87. It should be appreciated that the idle sprocket 25 is suitably aligned on the pivot pin 87 so that an extension of the plane thereof is in alignment with the plane of the drive sprocket 23, in a manner obvious to those skilled in the art, e. g., sleevelike spacers 89, 89' or the like circumferentially engage the pivot pin 87 adjacent each side of the idle sprocket 25.

The endless chain 27 having the fingers 29 attached thereto, is entrained about the drive and idle sprockets 23, 25 in the usual manner. Referring to FIGS. 1, 6 and 7 of the drawings, it may be seen that the fingers 29 are arranged in first and second parallel spaced apart aligned arrays 29 and 29 constituting coacting pairs of fingerlike members. The first and second arrays 29, 29 are arranged to straddle the rod 19 and the cards 15 are placed on the rod 19 between the uniform intervals of the coacting pairs of finger members 29, 29. Activation of the coin-operated means 33 advances the drive means 31 or more specifically, the fingers 29, 29' are advanced a predetermined distance to urge one card 15 off the distal end 19" of the rod 19.

One end of the tension spring 73 is swingingly attached to the upper end of the drive arm 71 in any well known manner, e. g., a hook portion thereof extends through a suitable aperture 90 adjacent the upper end of the arm 71. The upper end of the spring 73 is suit ably attached to the back plate member 39 by a screw 91 suitably received in a threaded aperture 93 therein, as best viewed in FIG. 5 of the drawings. It should be understood that the upper end of the spring '73 urges the drive arm 71 upwardly and simultaneously inwardly toward the back plate 39 to properly engage the drive arm 71 with the succeeding drive pin 69 upon completion of the return stroke thereof.

In other words, the drive arm 71 includes a semicircular hook portion 95 constituting a bearing surface having a complementary size with the diameter of the drive pin 69 for optimum engagement thereof. The drive stroke of the drive arm 71 commencesfrom a position substantially as depicted in solid lines for the drive arm 71 in FIG. 5' of the drawings.

A downward pulling force on the wire rope member 75, i. e., in a manner previously described, completes the drive stroke of the drive arm. The drive arm is shown in broken lines by the numeral 71' as it reaches the end of the drive stroke. Accordingly, releasing the tension on the wire rope member allows the tension spring 73 to urge the drive arm 71 upwardly and inwardly to engage the next succeeding drive pin 69, i. e., to the position just described and shown in solid lines for the drive arm 71.

For reasons yet to be fully disclosed, the drive sprocket 23 is rotatably driven precisely during each drive stroke of the drive arm 71. In other words, the drive means 31 includes stop means for limiting the travel of the fingers 29, 29 between cycles thereof as the coinoperated means 33 are actuated, in a manner previously described. More specifically, the stop means are engaged when the drive arm 71 has traveled to a position depicted by the numeral 71', i. e., the next succeeding drive pin 69 engages a shoulder portion 97 of the drive arm 71, thus limiting the rotation of the drive sprocket 23 to precisely 90 during each drive cycle thereof.

It should be understood that the diameter of the drive sprocket 23 or the number of teeth thereon must be taken into consideration when determining the spaced interval between the fingers 29, 29'. Additionally, the number of teeth on the drive sprocket 23 will also determine the number of drive pins 69 to be incorporated. In other words, I prefer that the drive sprocket 23 have sixteen teeth so that when four drive pins 69 are positioned 90 apart, a drive stroke of the drive arm 71 advances each tooth thereon precisely four teeth. Accordingly, the spaced interval of the fingers 29, 29' on the chain 27 is equal to four teeth on the drive sprocket 23.

Also, it will be understood that the location and spacing of pins 69 are important and should be so arranged that when the drive arm is in the position shown as at 71', one of the sets of fingers 29, 29' will be adjacent the distal end 19" of rod 19. Also, it will be understood that by varying the radial distance of pins 69 from shaft 83 (and therefore the distance between the pins 69), the stroke required of drive arm 71 may be changed. In addition, these various relationships should be coordimated with the number of teeth and diameter of sprockets 23 and 25.

Therefore, the just-mentioned structure for the drive means 31 constitutes synchronization means for advancing the fingers 29, 29' along the rod 19 a consistent predetermined distance with each drive cycle of the drive arm 71, i. e., the distance being coincident with the uniform interval between the individual finger members 29, 29.

It should be appreciated that when the synchronization means is constructed as above disclosed, the distance between individual fingers 29, 29 may be increased by using a larger chain 27 and sprockets 23, 25 or decreased by using a smaller chain 27 and sprockets 23, 25. In other words, the physical size of the product 15 obviously will vary with a particular product. Therefore, the interval between each of the fingers 29, 29' may be varied accordingly. Additionally, the interval between each of the fingers 29, 29 may be varied by selecting drive sprockets 23 of various diameters or having more than 16 teeth or less than 16 teeth thereon, i. e., using the same gauge chain 27. For example, the drive sprocket 23 having 24 teeth thereon and being driven by a total of four drive pins 69 would advance each tooth forward six teeth with each drive stroke of the drive arm 71. Accordingly, the spaced apart distance of each of the fingers 29, 29 would then be equal to six teeth of the drive sprocket 23. On the other hand, the drive sprocket 23 having 12 teeth thereon and the same four 90 displaced drive pins 69 would be advanced a total of three teeth with each drive stroke of the drive arm 71. Accordingly, the spaced apart interval between the fingers 29, 29 would then be equal to the distance of three teeth on the drive sprocket 23, ad infinitum.

It should now be apparent that regardless of the number of teeth on the drive sprocket 23 and the interval between each of the fingers 29, 29' each drive cycle of the drive arm 71 advances the fingers 29, 29' one interval. In other words, from FIG. 6 of the drawings, it may be seen that a finger 29a is positioned at 12 oclock, a finger 29'b is positioned at 9 oclock, a finger 29'c is positioned at 6 oclock, and a finger 29'd is positioned adjacent the finger 29'c. One cycle of the drive means 31 will move the finger 29d to the position depicted by 29'c, and the card 15 being positioned between the fingers 29'c, 29d will have been urged off the rod 19 by the finger 29'd, i. e., the finger 29'd having a coacting finger 29, as previously described. Further, the finger 29'c will have moved to the position shown by the tinger 29b, finger 29'b will have moved to the position shown by the finger 29'a, and the finger 29'a will have moved toward the drive sprocket 23 along the upper flight of the chain 27, etc., for the remaining fingers 29, 29'.

The drive means 31 includes anti-backlach means 99 for preventing reverse travel of the sprockets 23, 25 and chain 27, particularly during the return stroke of the drive arm 71. In other words, the anti-backlash means 99 includes a sawtoothed circumference 101 about the first disk 65, an anti-backlash pawl 103 or ratchet means operably attached to the drive sprocket 23 allowing the sprocket 23 to be rotatably driven in but one direction, i. e., clockwise, as viewed in FIGS. and 6 of the drawings.

More specifically, and referring to FIG. 5 of the drawings, the pawl 103 preferably is U-shaped in cross section so that one end thereof may straddle a portion of the first disk 65. An anti-backlash pawl bracket 105 is positioned substantially as depicted in FIG. 5 of the drawings, and the lower end thereof is fixedly attached to the web 43b of the tubular support member 43 in any well known manner as by a pair of screws 107 or the like. The pawl 103 is pivotally attached to the bracket 105, i. e., the upper end of the bracket 105 and the pawl 103 are provided with suitably aligned apertures 109 for receiving a pivot pin 111.

The pawl 103 is urged downwardly so as to engage the sawtoothed circumference 101 of the disk 65 by a tension spring 113. In other words, the disk 65 is free to rotate clockwise as viewed in FIG. 5 but the pawl 103 engaging the sawtooth circumference 101 prevents counterclockwise rotation thereof, in a manner obvious to those skilled in the art.

More specifically, the pawl 103 is provided with an aperture intermediate thereof for swingingly receiving the upper portion of the spring 113. The lower end of the spring 113 is fixedly attached to the web 4312 in any well known manner, e. g., the spring 113 being suitably attached to the web 43b by a screw 117 threadedly received in a suitable aperture (not shown).

From FIG. 6 of the drawings, it may also be seen that an alternate embodiment is included with the vending device 11. The alternate embodiment includes substituting a solenoid 119 for the wire rope member 75 and other ancillary structure, e. g., the sheave 77, etc. In other words, energizing the solenoid 119 causes the drive arm 71 to move through the drive cycle thereof, i. e., move to the position shown in broken lines and depicted by the numeral 71, in like manner as previously described for the principal embodiment. The tension spring 73 returns the drive arm 71 to the position depicted in solid lines and as character referenced by the numeral 71, also in like manner as previously described for the principal embodiment.

It should be obvious to those skilled in the art that the coin-operated means 33 preferably includes structure peculiar to the principal or alternate embodiment. In other words, no attempt will be made herein to teach inventive structure for coin-operated means. It is the intent of the present invention to utilize existing well known coin rejectors for closing the link, i. e., electrically or mechanically, depending upon the selected embodiment thereof, between the pull knob 81 and the drive means 31. Also, it will be understood that the coin-operated means may be omitted and knob 81 connected directly to member 75 so that the device may be operated without coin operation, as desired, without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

In view of the above, operative structure is diagrammatically depicted in FIG. 6 to illustrate a typical means of energizing the solenoid 119. In other words, a power cable 121 having one end thereof connected to a typical plug 123 which is intended to be received in any convenient electrical outlet, e. g., 115 volts AC or the like, carries the electrical current for energizing the solenoid 119. One of the conductors for the cable 121 is connected directly to the solenoid 119 and the other conductor is connected to a single pole single throw switch 125 contained within the coin operative means 33. Closing the switch 125 completes the electrical circuit for the solenoid 119 which causes the prodnet 13 suspended on the rod 19 adjacent the distal end 19 thereof to be urged off the rod 19 in like manner as previously disclosed. FIG. 6 of the drawings shows the pull knob 81 mechanically linked to the switch 125 which obviously is an oversimplification of the structure contained within the coin operative means 33. Accordingly, the type of coin operative means 33 should be selected and the appropriate technical specifications or manuals thereof should be perused in conjunction with practicing the instant invention.

Although the invention has been described and illustrated with respect to preferred embodiments thereof, it is not to be so limited since changes and modifications may be made therein which are within the full intended scope of the present invention.

1 claim:

1. A device for vending a product which typically is packaged on a card having a hole adjacent one edge thereof to normally receive a hook, said device comprising rod means for holding a plurality of the cards with said rod means extending through said holes therein, said rod means normally being horizontally disposed and being fixed against rotation about its longitudinal axis, support means, sprocket means positioned above said rodmeans and rotatably mounted on said support means, endless chain means engaging said sprocket means, said sprocket and chain means being arranged with the lower flight of said chain means being horizontally disposed establishing an elongated portion thereof adjacent to and parallel with said rod means, a plurality of finger means fixedly attached to said chain means at uniform intervals therein, said finger means being arranged on at least a segment of said chain means projecting outwardly therefrom and each of said finger means in turn is successively brought into and out of a coacting juxtaposed relationship with said rod means by rotation of said sprocket means, drive means selectively driving said sprocket means, and coin-operated means for engaging and operating said drive means cyclically for remotely indexing said finger means for urging the cards singularly off one end of said rod means.

2. The device of claim 1 in which said rod means includes pivot means pivotally mounting one end thereof on said support means and operable anti-pivot means interposed between said support means and said rod means for selectively holding said rod means rigid in said horizontal disposition and allowing said rod means to pivot downwardly to facilitate replenishment of the product thereon.

3. The device of claim 1 in which said drive means includes stop means for limiting the travel of said finger means between cycles thereof as said coin-operated means are actuated.

4. The device of claim 1 in which said finger means are arranged in first and second parallel spaced apart aligned arrays constituting coacting pairs of fingerlike members, said first and second arrays being arranged to straddle said rod means and said cards being placed on said rod means between said uniform intervals of coacting pairs of fingers so that activating said coinoperated means advances said finger means a predetermined distance to urge one card off the end of said rod means.

5. The device of claim 1 in which said drive means includes anti-backlash means for preventing reverse travel of said sprocket and chain means.

6. The device of claim 5 in which said anti-backlash means comprises ratchet means operably attached to said sprocket means allowing said sprocket means to be rotatably driven in but one direction.

7. The device of claim 1 in which said drive means includes synchronization means for advancing said finger means along said rod means a consistent predetermined distance with each cycle thereof, said distance being coincident with said uniform interval between said individual finger means.

8. A device for vending a product which typically is packaged on a card having a hole adjacent one edge thereof to normally receive a hook, said device comprising rod means for holding a plurality of the cards with said rod means extending through said holes therein, said rod means normally being horizontally disposed, support means, sprocket means positioned above said rod means and rotatably mounted on said support means, endless chain means engaging said sprocket means, said sprocket and chain means being arranged with the lower flight of said chain means being horizontally disposed establishing an elongated portion thereof adjacent to and parallel with said rod means, a plurality of finger means fixedly attached to said chain means at uniform intervals therein, said finger means being arranged on at least a segment of said chain means projecting outwardly therefrom and each of said finger means in turn is successively brought into and out of a coacting juxtaposed relationship with said rod means by rotation of said sprocket means, drive means selectively driving said sprocket means, said drive means including synchronization means for advancing said finger means along said rod means a consistent predetermined distance with each cycle thereof, said distance being coincident with said uniform interval between individual finger means, and coin-operated means for engaging and operating said drive means cyclically for remotely indexing said finger means for urging the cards singularly off one end of said rod means.

9. The device of claim 8 in which said drive means includes anti-backlash means for preventing reverse travel of said sprocket and chain means.

a n: a: t a

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4921128 *Oct 24, 1988May 1, 1990Jean GuiganLinear magazine for storing and automatically dispensing objects
US6439423Sep 1, 2000Aug 27, 2002Sanden Corp.Vending machine having a commodity discharge apparatus excellent in theftproofness
DE19502880A1 *Jan 31, 1995Aug 1, 1996Gerd KorgeGripper system for small objects suspended on rod
EP0314102A1 *Oct 26, 1988May 3, 1989Jean GuiganLinear warehouse for automatically storing and distributing articles
EP0984405A1 *Mar 15, 1999Mar 8, 2000Van der stuyft, LievenApparatus for dispensing parts
EP0991038A2 *Sep 30, 1999Apr 5, 2000Sanden CorporationCommodity discharge apparatus for vending machine, in which a commodity can be successfully released from a suspension member
EP1081663A2 *Aug 29, 2000Mar 7, 2001Sanden CorporationVending machine having a commodity discharge apparatus excellent in theft proofness
EP1628268A2 *Nov 30, 2004Feb 22, 2006Kasema, S.A.Device for dispensing products
Classifications
U.S. Classification221/81
International ClassificationG07F11/26, G07F11/00, G07F11/64, G07F11/16
Cooperative ClassificationG07F11/26, G07F11/64
European ClassificationG07F11/26, G07F11/64