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Publication numberUS3767207 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 23, 1973
Filing dateDec 1, 1970
Priority dateDec 2, 1969
Publication numberUS 3767207 A, US 3767207A, US-A-3767207, US3767207 A, US3767207A
InventorsK Okabe
Original AssigneeVictor Company Of Japan
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic and continuous tape cartridge player
US 3767207 A
Abstract
A tape cartridge player sequentially playing a plurality of stacked tape cartridges automatically and continuously. A tape cartridge to be played is moved from a first stacking position to a second stacking position and thence to a predetermined playing position. A tape cartridge which has been played is shifted back to the second stacking position and elevated vertically while maintaining its horizontal state, and held at such a height as will not prevent a movement of a next tape cartridge to be played into the second stacking position. While playing multitrack tapes, the tape cartridge player automatically switches after finishing one track to the next track. To this end, the tape cartridge player employs a means automatically shifting the playing head vertically by a predetermined amount to engage the next magnetic track when one track is completely played.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [1 1 Okabe i 41 AUTOMATIC AND CONTllNUOUS TAPE CARTRIDGE PLAYER [75] inventor: Katsnhilro Okahe,

Tokorozawa, Japan [73] Assignee: Victor Company of Japan, Ltd.,

Kanagawa-ken, Japan 22 Filed: Dec. 1, 1970 21 Appl. No.: 94,030

[30] Foreign Application Priority Data Dec. 2, 1969 Japan 44/96227 Dec. 2, 1969 Japan 44/96228 Dec. 2, 1969 Japan 44/96229 [52] US. Cl. 274/4 F, 214/6 BA [51] lint. Cl. Gllb 23/12 [58] Field of Search 274/4 F; 214/6 BA;

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,477,726 11/1969 Laschenski 274/4 F 3,289,962 12/1966 Gellenthin.... 274/4 F 3,512,786 5/1970 Ban 274/4 F 3,589,733 6/1971 Piotrowski 274/4 F 3,291,323 12/1966 Pastor... 2l4/8.5 R 3,335,699 8/1967 Aiken.... 214/6 BA 3,330,425 7/1967 Reda 214/6 BA Primary Examiner-Louis R. Prince Assistant Examiner-Dennis A. Dearing AttorneyHolman & Stern [57] ABSTRACT A tape cartridge player sequentially playing a plurality of stacked tape cartridges automatically and continuously. A tape cartridge to be played is moved from a first stacking position to a second stacking position and thence to a predetermined playing position. A tape cartridge which has been played is shifted back to the second stacking position and elevated vertically while maintaining its horizontal state, and held at such a height as will not prevent a movement of a next tape cartridge to be played into the second stacking position. While playing multitrack tapes, the tape cartridge player automatically switches after finishing one track to the next track. To this end, the tape cartridge player employs a means automatically shifting the playing head vertically by a predetermined amount to engage the next magnetic track when one track is completely played.

7 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures Patented Oct. 23, 1973 8 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR ATTORNEY Patented Oct. 23, 1973 8 Sheets-Sheet 5 I N VENTOR mm hm |v Q Q. 5 mm 5% \N ATTORNEY,

Patented Oct. 23,1973

8 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOR ATTORNEY Patented Oct. 23,1973 3,767,207

8 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR AiTQRNEY Patented Oct. 23,1973 3,767,207

8 Sheets-Sheet 6 V INVENTOR ATTORNEY Patented Oct. 23, 1973 8 Sheets-Sheet 7 INVENTOR ATIORNEY Patented Oct. 23,1973

.8 Sheets-Sheet 8 Fig I06- INVENTOR ATTORNEY AUTOMATIE AND CONTINUOUS TAPE CARTRIDGE PLAYER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to an automatic and continuous tape cartridge player and more particularly to an apparatus for automatically and continuously playing, in sequence, a plurality of tape cartridges loaded in a stack and for storing tape cartridges having been played sequentially in a stack.

2. Description of Prior Art The present applicant has proposed, in the US. application Ser. No. 807617 filed on Mar. 19, 19.69 entitled Automatic tape cartridge player, an apparatus for automatically and continuouslyplaying a plurality of tape cartridges. In this proposed apparatus, a plurality of cartridges to be played are stacked one upon another and a cartridge which has been played is discharged out of the apparatus by its own weight. In this proposed apparatus, however, there are problems that handling and adjusting of cartridges which have been played and discharged is troublesome and the apparatus is of a fairly large size.

There has also been proposed a conventional apparatus as shown, for example, in the specification and drawings of the US. Pat. No. 3,477,726. In this conventional apparatus, there is a stack of a plurality of cartridges to be played and a cartridge which has been played is sequentially stackedupwardly. This apparatus has a construction in which the cartridge which has been played slides up along-a slope and beneath another stack of the recited cartridges.

In this known apparatus, the cartridge which has been played directly abuts against one portion of a lowermost cartridge of the other stack of the recited cartridges and slides into such position as to force the lowermost cartridge to be elevated. This construction has a disadvantage that if the cartridges are frequently played, casings of the cartridges and labels for indicating contents of the cartridges are liable to have scratches due to friction between the mutually engaging car tridges.

Further, this known apparatususes a so-called compact cassette type tape cartridge. In this device, freely movable pinch rollers and a reproducing magnetic head are urged against a tape in the cartridge. However, a tape cartridge which is generally called a Lear Jet type has a built-in pinch roller. Accordingly, reproducing of this type of cartridge requires provision of a mechanism which is adapted to urge at a suitable pres sure the cartridge against a reproducing mechanism comprising such components as a capstan and a reproducing magnetic head. Hence, the aforementioned known apparatus is incapable of automatic and continuous playing of the Rear .let type tape cartridge.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is, therefore, a general object of this invention to solve the problems residing in the aforementioned proposed apparatus and eliminate the disadvantages of the known apparatus by providing a novel and useful automatic and continuous tape cartridge player.

Another object of the invention is to provide an automatic and continuous tape cartridge player in which cartridges stacked in one chamber are sequentially played from the lowermost one and cartridges which have been played are sequentially elevated from the lowermost position and stacked for storing in another chamber. In elevating the cartridges which have been played, the lowermost cartridge engages a whole lower surface of a cartridge in an upper layer and, therefore, there is no danger of causing scratches on the mutually engaging cartridges due to an abutment between them.

A further object of the invention is to provide an apparatus which effects a smooth movement of a cartridge to its playing position and a smooth automatic playing thereof. In this apparatus, the elevated cartridges which have been played are held at their elevated position thereby ensuring free movement of cartridges nextly to be played.

A still further object of the invention is to provide an automatic and continuous tape cartridge player in which a power source circuit is automatically closed when cartridges to be played are loaded in the apparatus and the power source circuit is automatically opened when they have all been played.

A still further object of the invention is to provide an automatic and continuous tape cartridge player having a mechanism which accurately presses a tape cartridge into contact with a reproducing mechanism comprising a capstan and a reproducing magnetic head.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The aforementioned and other objects and features of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description of a specific embodiment thereof, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which;

FIGJ. is a plan view showing one embodiment of a player according to the invention;

F162 is a bottom view of the same player;

F163 is a partly and vertically sectional front view of the same player;

FIG.4 is a perspective view showing a mechanism for horizontally moving a tape cartridge;

FIGS is a perspective view showing a mechanism for vertically elevating a tape cartridge;

FIGS.6A and 6B are respectively plan views of a mechanism for starting ans stopping a control gear wheel in its each operating state;

FIG.7 is a perspective view of the mechanism shown in FIG.6A;

FIGB is a perspective view of a mechanism for pushing back cartridge from its predetermined playing position;

FIGS.9A and 9B are respectively vertically sectional side views showing a chamber containing tape cartridges to be played in its each operating state;

FIGSJUA and 10B are respectively vertically sectional side views showing a chamber containing tape cartridges which have been played in its each operating state; and

FIG.]l l is an electric circuit diagram showing one embodiment of a control circuit.

First, a construction of one embodiment of the player according to the invention will be outlined with reference to FlG.1 through FIGJUU.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS A casing 10 for containing cartridges is provided on a chassis 111. The casing 10 consists of an outer casing portion 12 and a partition 113 provided in the middle of the casing. The casing Ml has a chamber 15 for containing cartridges to be played and a chamber 14 for containing cartridges which have been played, the two chambers being separated from each other by the partition 13.

A slot 16 is provided longitudinally on the chassis 11 at the bottom of the chamber 14. A cartridge feeder 17 is movable to the left and right in FlGS.1 and 3 along the slot 16. At a lower portion of a side wall 12a of the chamber 14, there is provided a lever 13 for actuating a microswitch 19 as shown in FIGS.9A and 9B.

At lower portions of both side walls 12b of the chamber 15., there are provided four rollers 20. A part of each roller is projected into the chamber in a resilient manner. At the side walls 12b of the chamber 15, there are also provided four leaf springs 21 as shown in FIGS.10A and 1013. The leaf springs 21 project obliquely upwardly into the chamber 15. A lower portion of a left side wall 120 of the chamber 15 is opened to such an extent that a front end portion ofa tape cartridge 22 projects out of the chamber 15.

A reproducing magnetic head 23, a capstan 24 and a tape end detecting contact 25 (usually called as a sensor) are respectively provided at predetermined positions on the chassis 11. The reproducing magnetic head 23 is secured at a forward end of an arm 26 one end of which is pivotally supported on a bracket 27. The tape end detecting contact 25 actuates a plunger 28 when it detects an end of a tape. A cam 82 is rotated by the plunger 28 to move the arm 26. The height of the reproducing magnetic head 23 is changed in four stages by stepwise pivotal motions of the arm 26.

The capstan 24 extends downwardly through the chassis 11 and carries a pulley 29 which also serves as a flywheel. The pulley 29 is driven by a motor 30 through a belt 31.

As shown in FIGS.6A and 68, a control gear wheel 32 is rotatably mounted on a shaft 33 on the lower surface of the chassis 11. A friction wheel is provided on a shaft ofa pinion 34 which meshes with the control gear wheel 32. There is also provided an idler 37 which is freely engageable with the friction wheel 35 and a shaft 36 of the motor 30. The idler 37 is rotatably supported on a forward end of an arm 38. The arm 38 is pivotally supported on one end of a lever 39. The other end of the lever 39 is pivotally supported on the shaft 33. The lever 39 receives a rotating biasing force in a clockwise direction by tension of a spring 40 which is provided between the arm 38 and the chassis 11.

A cam disc 41 which is integral with the control gear wheel 32 is provided above and in parallel with the control gear wheel 32. The cam disc 41 has two diametrically opposed recesses 42a and 42b formed on the periphery thereof. A lever 44 pivotally supported on a shaft 43 which is secured to the chassis 11 is biased to rotate in a clockwise direction by a spring 45. By this a first pin 46 provided on a lower surface of one end of the lever 44 is urged against the periphery of the cam disc 41. A second pin 47 provided on the upper surface of the lever 44 engages a projecting edge 39a of the lever 39.

A substantially L-shaped lever 48 is pivotally supported on the shaft 43. One arm 48a of the lever 48 has a crank-like bent portion 48b at the middle portion thereof and its forward end extends beneath the cam disc 41. The spring is provided between the lever 44 and the bent portion 48b of the lever 48. The cam disc 41 carries two pins 490 and 49b on its lower surface.

The pins 49a and 491; can push the arm 48a of the lever 48 against a rotating force exerted in a counterclockwise direction by a spring 50. The bent portion 48b of the arm 48a is opposite to the side edge of the lever 44. When the arm 48a swings in a counterclockwise direction, it pushes the lever 44 in a counterclockwise direction. Another arm 48c of the lever 48 is locked by a hooklever 52 energized by a spring 51.

On the lower surface of the chassis 11, there are provided, as shown in F162 through FIG.4, two rails 53 in parallel with the slot 16. A first slider 54 is provided in sliding engagement with the rails 53. The slider 54 has bushings 55 through which the rails 53 extend. As shown in FlG.4, the cartridge feeder 17 is secured to an upwardly bent portion 54a of the slider 54. A second slider 56 is slidably supported on the bushings 55. A downwardly bent left portion 54b of the slider 54 is urged in the direction of the arrow A in F 16.4 by the bias of a spring 57 which is provided between the bent portion 54b and an outer surface of an upwardly bent left portion 56a of the slider 56. This brings an inner surface of a right bent portion 540 of the slider 54 into engagement with an inner surface of the left bent portion 56a of the slider 56.

An arm 59 is secured to the control gear wheel 32 by means of two pins 58 which are secured on the lower surface of the control gear wheel 32. A rod 60 is pivotally connected at one end thereof to the forward end of the arm 59 and at the other end to the slider 56.

An opening 61 is formed on the chassis 111 at the bottom of chamber 15. A lifting plate 62 is provided for vertical movement through the opening 61. As shown in FIGS. 1, 3 and 5, the lifting plate 62 has four leg portions 62a to which one ends of four substantially L- shaped levers 63 are respectively pivotally connected. The levers 63 are respectively and pivotally supported in pairs at their middle portion on shafts 64 mounted on the chassis 11, and mutually connected by shafts 65 at the other ends. Further, the other ends of the levers 63 which are formed into pairs by the shafts 65 are connected to each other by rods 66.

A third slider 67 is supported at the right end of the slot 16 so as to slide along the slot 16. A rod 68 is pivotally connected with the slider 67 and one of the shafts 65. The slider 67 is moved to the right when it is pushed by the slider 54 which has moved to the right end of the slot 16. And the slider 67 returns to its leftward position by a force of a spring 69 provided between one of the shafts 65 and the chassis 11 when the slider 67 is released from the pushing by the slider 54. A cartridge supporter 70 having both its edges bent upwardly is secured on the upper surface of the slider 67. A microswitch 71 which is provided on the upper surface of the chassis 11 is opened when it is pushed by the slider 67.

A lever '72 shown in F1613 is pivotally supported on a shaft 73 extending upwardly from the chassis 11 and is made integral by a rod 75 with a lever 74 which is provided below the chassis 11. The lever 74 is rotatable in a counterclockwise direction when it is pushed by a pin 76 provided on the upper surface of the cam disc 41. The lever 72 has a bent end portion 72a. The bent end portion 72a serves to push back the cartridge 22 projecting from the chamber 15 as will be described later.

The microswitch 19 has two contacts 19a and 19b as shown in 1 16.11. The first contact 19a is connected in parallel with the microswitch 71 to a power source circuit 78. The second contact 1% is inserted in a power source circuit of a plunger 77. A switch 79 is connected in parallel with the contact 19b. The switch 79 has a movable contact 811 which rotates with a cam for changing the height of the reproducing magnetic head 23. As the contact 21 engages fixed contacts 81a and iillb in passing over them, the circuit for the plunger 77 is temporarily closed.

Nextly, operation of the device having the aforementioned construction will be described. A plurality of tape cartridges 22 are stacked in the chamber M of the cartridge containing casing 10, being loaded, as shown in FIGSA, from the top of the chamber. The lowermost cartridge pushes the lever 18, as shown in FIG.9B, which rotates to actuate the microswitch 19. This causes the contact 19a to be closed thereby starting rotation of the motor 311. At the same time, the contact 1% is also closed to energize the plunger 77.

As shown' in FlGfiB, the hooklever 52 which has locked the forward end bent portion of the arm 42 of the lever 48 is pulled by the plunger 77 in the direction of arrow B, thereby releasing the lever 48. The released lever 18 is rotated by a force of the spring '50 in the direction of arrow C. As the lever 48 rotates, its bent portion 48b pushes the side edge of the lever 44 thereby rotating the lever 44 in the direction of arrow D.

By the rotating motion of the lever 4 1, the pin 46 is disengaged from the recess 42b of the cam disc 41 and the pin 47 is withdrawn from the side projecting edge 39a of the lever 3'9. Then, the lever 39 is rotated by the force of the spring 40 in the direction of arrow E causing the idler 37 to be urged against the motor shaft as and the friction wheel 35 as shown in FIGASA. Thus, the control gear wheel 32 receives the rotational force of the motor 311 and starts its rotation in the direction of arrow P.

On the other hand, as the control gear wheel 32 rotates, the arm 59 which is secured to the control gear wheel 32 drives the slider 56 through the rod 61). By the driving of the arm 59, the slider 56 slides from a position shown by the chain line to a position shown by the full line in F163. The slider 56 drives the slider 54 through the spring 57. The feeder 17 mounted on the slider 54 pushes the lowermost cartridge 22 contained in the chamber M at its rear side surfacein the direction of arrow G in F163 thereby moving the cartridge 22 into the chamber 15.

The cartridge 22 moves in the chamber in the direction of arrow G guided by the rollers until the front end portion of the cartridge slightly projects from the opening formed at the lower position of the left side wall 120 of the chamber 1d. The movement of the cartridge 22 in the chamber 15 is stopped by engagement of the pinch roller contained in the cartridge with the capstan 24 through the tape. The movement of slider ss continues for a short period of time after the movement of the cartridge 22 is stopped. This excess displacement of the slider 56 is absorbed by the spring 57. By a resilient force of the compressed spring 57, the pinch roller of the cartridge 22 is urged at a predetermined pressure against the capstan 24 through the tape. Simultaneously, the tape in the cartridge contacts the reproducing magnetic head 23 and the tape end detecting contact 25.

After the cartridge 22 is moved from the chamber 141 to the chamber 15, cartridges to be played which are stacked in the chamber 141 are held on the upper surface of the feeder 17 as shown in FIGS. Accordingly, the lever 18 is released from pushing by the cartridge 22 and rotates upwardly to open the microswitch 19. Further, as the slider 54 moves, the cartridge supporter which has been pushed by the slider 541 to its pushed back position shown by the chain line in F163 is re leased from pushing by the slider Kid and is slightly moved forwardly to the position shown by the full line by a force of the spring ea.

As the cartridge supporter 71) moves, the microswitch 71 which has been opend is closed. in FIG. 11, as the microswitch 71 is closed, the circuit for the power source "7% remains closed even after the contact 19a of the switch 19 is opened. Accordingly, the motor 30 continues its rotation. The microswitch 113 is opened after the microswitch 71 is closed and, accordingly, the power source circuit will not be opened. When the contact 19b is opened, the plunger 77 stops its action. Further, the cartridge supporter 711 holds, as shown in 1 16.3, the cartridges 22 to be played in association wth the feeder 17.

The rotation of the control gear wheel 32 in the direction of arrow F is accompanied by rotation of the cam disc 41. Before the cam disc 41 completes its rotationcounted from the start of the rotation, the pin 49a provided on the cam disc 41 pushes the arm 42a of the lever 48 as shown in FIG.6A. As a result, the lever 48 which has been at the position shown by the chain line in FIGfiB returns in a rotating motion to the position shown in FiGJfiA. The lever 52 which has been released from energization by the plunger 77 and returned to its original position locks the lever 18 in a position shown in FIG.6A.

By a rotating motion of the pin 4% of the lever 18, the bent portion 48b is disengaged from the side edge of the lever Ml. As a result, when the recess 12a of the cam disc 41 moves to a position opposite to the pin 46, the pin as falls into the recess 42a and the lever 4 3 rotates by a force of the spring 45 in the direction of arrow 1-1. This causes the pin 7 to push the projecting side edge 39a of the lever 39. The lever 39 is rotated in the direction of arrow I whereby the idler 37 is dis-en gaged from the motor shaft as and the friction wheel 35. Accordingly, the rotation of the control gear wheel 32 is stopped. Thus, the cam disc 41 and the control gear wheel 32 complete their 180 rotation counted from the start of rotation and assume the same position as shown in 1 16.613. By the foregoing operation, the movement of the cartridge 22 loaded in the chamber 14 to the predetermined playing position is completed.

The motor 31) continues its rotation and, accordingly, the capstan 241 also continues its rotation. The tape in the cartridge 22 is driven and run by the capstan 2 1 and the pinch roller which hold the tape tightly therebetween. The reproducing magnetic head 23 contacts the running tape thereby reproducing audio signals recorded on the tape.

As the playing of the tape of the cartridge 22 continues and reproducing of a first channel track on the tape has been completed, an electroconductive foil attached at a predetermined position (position of termination of channel track) of the tape contacts the tape end detecting contact 25. The contact 25 is short-circuited by the electroconductive foil on the tape and electrically closed. When the contact 25 is closed, the plunger 22 is temporarily closed and energized. The operation of the plunger 28 causes the cam 22 for changing the height of the reproducing magnetic head 23 to rotate by 45 thereby moving the arm 26 upwardly in a rotating motion. Thus, the height of the reproducing magnetic head 23 is changed and the reproducing magnetic head 23 contacts a second channel track on the tape thereby starting playing thereof.

Reproduction of third and fourth channel tracks is effected in the same manner as described hereinabove. When the fourth channel track has been played and the cam 82 effects the fourth rotation, the movable contact 80 shown in FIG.11 which moves with the cam 82 moves on the fixed contacts 81a and 81b, temporarily contacting these fixed contacts, from the position shown by the chain line to the position shown by the full line. As the fixed contacts 81a and 81b are temporarily connected with the movable contact 80, the plunger 77 is temporarily closed and energized.

By the actuation of the plunger 77, the lever 52 again releases the lever 48 from its locked position. This results in starting of a next 180 rotation of the control gear wheel 32 and the cam disc 41 in the same manner as in the starting operation described hereinabove.

By rotation of the control gear wheel 32, the arm 59 slides the slider 56 through the rod 60 in the direction of arrow J in FIGS. 2, 3 and 5. Simultaneously with the movement of the slider 56, the slider 54 moves in the same direction as the slider 56 thereby disengaging the feeder 17 from the rear side of the cartridge 22. At this time, the pin 76 provided on the upper surface of the cam disc 41 moves in a rotating motion, as shown in FIG. 8, while pushing the end portion of the lever 74. This causes the lever 74 and the lever 72 to rotate integrally in the direction shown by arrow K. The bent portion 72a of the lever 72 pushes back the front end of the cartridge 22. As the lever 72 pivots, the cartridge 22 is pushed back in a reverse direction to the direction shown by arrow G into the chamber of the casing 10.

Towards completion of the 180 rotation of the control gear wheel 32 and the cam disc 41, the slider 56 approaches the right sliding end as shown by the chain line in F163. At this time, the slider 54 pushes, as shown in FlG.5, the slider 67 to withdraw it. The movement of the slider 67 is imparted to the shaft 65 causing all of the levers 63 to swing in the direction of arrow L. As a result, the lifting plate 62 is elevated while maintaining its horizontal state. The cartridge 22 which has been pushed back into the chamber 15 as described above and is placed on the lifting plate 62 is elevated by the lifting plate 62.

The cartridge 22 is elevated by the lifting plate 62 from the position shown in FlG.10A to the position shown in FlG.18B. In being elevated, the cartridge 22 moves past the leaf springs 21, forcing them open as shown by the chain line in FIGJOB. When the cartridge 22 has moved past the leaf springs 21, these springs return to their position as shown by the full line in FIG.10B. Accordingly, the cartridge 22 is maintained at the elevated state by the leaf springs 21 even after the lifting plate 62 moves down. The cartridge 22 thus held at its elevated position does not prevent a next cartridge from moving from the chamber 14 into the chamber 15.

When the control gear wheel 32 and the cam disc 41 complete their next 180 rotation (360 rotation calculated from the start of the rotation), the pin 46 of the lever 44 falls again into the recess 42b of the cam disc 41. Thus, the control gear wheel 32 and the cam disc 41 are brought to the same state as shown in H668 and their rotations are stopped. At this time, the sliders 54 and 56 have moved to the right end in FlG.3 and the feeder 17 and the cartridge supporter are moved out of the chamber 14. Accordingly, the stacked cartridges 22 to be played which has been held by the feeder l7 and the supporter 70 are lowered by one cartridge height in the chamber 14.

The microswitch 71 is pushed to open by the slider 67 and the cartridge supporter 70. However, the microswitch 19 is closed again by the cartridge to be played which has been lowered as described hereinabove. Accordingly, the plunger 77 is energized and the lowered cartridge is moved again in the same manner as previously described to a predetermined playing position for reproducing and playing. Cartridges which have been played are sequentially elevated to form a stack in the chamber 15.

It is to be noted that in case there is no cartridge to be played in the chamber 14, the microswitch W is not closed although the slider 67 and the supporter 70 are moved to the right end. Accordingly, the power source circuit is completely interrupted by opening of the microswitch 71 and the motor 30 is stopped whereby the whole apparatus ceases its operation.

Then, when desired tape cartridges are again stacked in the chamber 14, the continuous playing of the tape cartridges is automatically effected by the same operation as described hereinabove.

It is believed that the operation of the abovedescribed apparatus will be apparent from the foregoing description. It will be also obvious that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, as defined in the annexed claims.

What I claim is:

1. An automatic and continuous tape cartridge player comprising, in combination: means for containing in a first vertical stack a plurality of horizontally disposed tape cartridges to be played; moving means for moving a lowermost tape cartridge from said first vertical stack to a second adjacent position and thence to a predetermined reproducing position, said cartridge being positioned in a horizontal plane in said reproducing position; pushing back means for pushing back said tape cartridge from said reproducing position to said second positionafter said tape cartridge has been played; elevating means for elevating said played tape cartridge in said second position along a vertical axis to form a second stack while maintaining a horizontal state of said played tape cartridge; retaining means for retaining said tape cartridge elevated by said elevating means at its elevated position at such a height as not to prevent moving of a next tape cartridge to be played from said first vertical stack to said second position; a cam mechanism for controlling said moving means, said pushing back means and said elevating means; a motor for rotating said cam mechanism; transmitting means for transmitting the rotation of said motor to said cam mechanism, said transmitting means including an idler, said transmitting means transmitting the rotation when said idler is in a transmitting position and not transmitting when said idler is in a non-transmitting position; plunger means for releasing said idler from said nontransmitting position to said transmitting position to start transmission of rotation by said transmitting meansya first switch means having first and second contacts which switch means closes when at least one tape cartridge to be played is contained in said containing means and opens when the lowermost tape cartridge to be played is moved by said moving means; a second switch means which is connected in parallel with said first contact of said first switch means and closes after the movement of said moving means, and a third switch means which is connected in parallel with said second contact of said first switch means and closes temporarily when reproduction of said tape cartridge has been completed, said motor being connected -to said first contact of said first switch means and said second switch means, and said plunger means being connected to said second contact of said first switch means and said third switch means.

2. The automatic and continuous. tape cartridge player as defined in claim 1 furhter comprising means for moving said moving means from a starting position to a final position for moving said lowermost tape cartridge to said reproducing position, and means for returning said moving means to its starting position after said tape cartridge has been played, said elevating means being actuated in association with the returning motion of said moving means.

3. The automatic and continuous tape cartridge player as defined in claim 1 further comprising a reproducing mechanism including reproducing magnetic head and a capstan provided at said predetermined reproducing position, said moving means comprising: a slider which slides in the direction of the movement of the cartridge from said containing means to said reproducing position, a feeder which pushes a rear side of said tape cartridge and a spring provided between said slider and said feeder, said feeder being moved by a moving force imparted by the sliding movement of said slider through said spring, said slider being slightly moved in a sliding motion after the front end portion of said tape cartridge moved by said feeder contacts said reproducing mechanism, and said spring being energized by absorbing the slight movement of said slider to engage said tape cartridge with said reproducing mechanism through said feeder at a predetermined pressure.

4. The automatic and continuous tape cartridge player as defined in claim 1 further comprising a reproducing mechanism including a reproducing magnetic head, a capstan being provided at said predetermined reproducing position, said motor rotating said capstan as well as said cam mechanism.

5. The automatic and continuous tape cartridge player as defined in claim 1 wherein said cam mechanism comprises: a friction wheel to which the rotation of said motor is transmitted through said idler when said idler is in said transmitting position; a control gear wheel which is rotated by a rotational force transmitted by said friction wheel; a cam which is rotated integrally with said control gear wheel; and a mechanism for controlling and driving said moving means and said elevating means in accordance wih the rotation of said control gear wheel, said cam having recesses at diametrically opposed positions of the peripheral surface thereof, and wherein said transmitting means further comprises a lever means which is released from a locked position thereof by said plunger means, said lever means having a lever provided with a pin engageable with said recesses of said cam, said idler of said transmitting means being controlled by said lever with respect to positions in which said idler is engaged with and disengaged from the shaft of said motor and said friction wheel.

6. The automatic and continuous tape cartridge player as defined in claim 1 further comprising a rod connecting said moving means and said elevating means, said elevating means being driven directly by actuation of said moving means through said rod before completion of the returning motion of said moving means thereby elevating said tape cartridge.

7. The automatic and continuous tape cartridge player as defined in claim 1 wherein said switch means comprises a rotating lever provided on a side wall of said containing means, said rotating lever being rotated by said lowermost tape cartridge to be played when the tape cartridges to be played are contained in said containing means, and a switch being actuated by said rotating lever when rotated.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4023207 *Jun 25, 1975May 10, 1977Cook Thorsten PVideo tape cassette changing apparatus
US4415301 *May 19, 1980Nov 15, 1983West American Sound, Inc.Cassette handling device
US4636888 *Jul 9, 1984Jan 13, 1987Dictaphone CorporationChanger apparatus with movable means for withdrawing recording media from an input hopper to a recording deck to an output hopper
US4663680 *Jul 9, 1984May 5, 1987Dictaphone CorporationMounting frame for microcassette changer
US5157565 *May 31, 1990Oct 20, 1992Distributed Logic CorporationTape cassette loading mechanism
Classifications
U.S. Classification360/92.1, 360/91, 414/788.7, G9B/15.152, 414/932, 414/795.3
International ClassificationG11B15/68
Cooperative ClassificationY10S414/111, G11B15/6885
European ClassificationG11B15/68E