US 3782429 A
A drink vending machine has a cabinet in which two liquor containers are supported. A rubber hose connects each container to an optic type measure and to the bottom of a sight glass which extends upwardly from the optic type measure. Two platforms are mounted on a common lever below the measures respectively, and the lever is tipped by the weight of a drinking glass placed on one of the platforms, thereby closing a circuit which causes a drink to be discharged from the selected measure if coins are simultaneously deposited in a coin-feeding apparatus. A float in each sight glass may cause the coin slot to be blocked and an "empty" sign to light up when the float interrups the passage of light between a light source and a photoelectric cell.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 [111 3,782,429 Barber Jan. 1, 1974 VENDING MACHINE 3,119,485 1/1964 Bayers, Jr. 194/13 3,248,011 4/1966 Brodsky et al.. 222/70 [751 lnvemm' Adam Bub", 3,322,957 5/1967 Scoggin 222/66 x Weston-Super-Mare, England  Assignee: Barber Electrical Services Limited, Primary Examiner-William i. Price S e England AttorneyKurt Kelman and Hans Berman  Filed: Apr. 26, 1972  ABSTRACT A drink vending machine has a cabinet in which two liquor containers are supported. A rubber hose con-  Foreign Application Priority Data nects each container to an optic type measure and to May 4, 1971 Great Britain 12,860/71 the bottom of a Sight glass which extends upwardly from the optic type measure. Two platforms are  Cl 141/359 l94/DIG mounted on a common lever below the measures re- 51 l t Cl 607' 13/04 spectively, and the lever is tipped by the weight of a i T 359 2 drinking glass placed on one of the platforms, thereby 1 0 care 6 closing a circuit which causes a drink to be discharged from the selected measure if coins are simultaneously deposited in a coin-feeding apparatus. A float in each  References Cited sight glass may cause the coin slot to be blocked and UNITED STATES PATENTS an empty sign to light up when the float interrups 1,891,950 12/1932 Rush... 194/13 X the passage of light between a light source and a pho- 2.583,46l 1/1952 Arnett l94/DlG. 20 toelectric celL 2,967,644 l/l96l Barber et al.. 194/13 3,097,670 7/1963 Berman 141/361 7 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJAH H974 SHEET 1 BF 3 PATENTEDMH 1 191% 3,782,429
sum 3 or 3 VENDING MACHINE The present invention concerns improvements in or relating to vending machines and relates in particular to machines for dispensing spiritssuch as whisky, gin, vodka and the like for installation in a club for the convenience of members'who are enabled to obtain a drink, without the need of a steward in attendance, by inserting the appropriate number of coins in the machine.
lt is now conventional practice to pack whisky, gin and wines in plastic containers housed within a cardboard outer and it is proposed that this type of container will be used in the vending machine of the present invention.
However these containers have a disadvantage in that there is no visual indication of the amount of liquid in the container. Further problems arise when this kind of container is used in conjunction with an optic measure which can result in uncertainty of operation.
It is the object of the present invention to provide an improved vending machine for dispensing spirits which will overcome the foregoing disadvantages and which is simple in construction and easy to operate.
According to the present invention there is provided a vending machine for dispensing liquid which comprises a cabinet adapted to support one or more containers for liquid, a sight glass fitted to and extending upwardly from an optic type measure associated with the or each container, a tube connected between the or each liquid container and the lower end of a sight glass above said optic measure, means for supporting a drinking glass into which a measure of liquid is to be supplied and which is displaceable by the weight of the drinking glass alone to bring into operation means for actuating the optic measure to dispense a measured quantity of liquid to said drinking glass.
The machine may be completely electrically operated either by the insertion of coins into the machine, or alternatively solely by placing a drinking glass on to means such as a pivoted platform for supporting the glass and which closes an electric-operating circuit when swung by the weight of the glass.
To enable the invention to be clearly understood a preferred embodiment thereof will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a front view of the vending machine with a front door thereof removed.
FIG. 2 is a side elevation and FIG. 3 is a fragmentary. view, drawn to a larger scale, illustrating how an optic is held open during the vending of a drink.
Referring to said drawings, the machine comprises a cabinet 1 which may be a plastic laminate covered plywood cabinet fitted with a lift-off door at the front. The top part of the cabinet accommodates at each side a plastic lined cardboard covered carton 2 which contains the spirit to be dispensed.
Each carton 2 is supported on supports 3 and 4 in an inclined position. Each carton 2 is fitted with a tap 5 having its spout 6 pushed into the top of a rubber connector tube 7 and the other end of this tube is pushed on to a branch pipe 8 at the lower end of a sight glass 9, the lower end of whichis fitted to the top of an optic 10 of known construction in which a measure of the spirit to be dispensed can. be observed. The top of each sight glass 9 is open to atmosphere.
Each of said sight glasses 9 contains a float 1 1 which falls with the liquid level as the latter lowers until it passes between a photo electric cell 12 and an associated light source 13. When the float l1 lowers sufficiently in the sight glass 9 so as to occupy a position between the photo electric cell 12 and its associated light source 13 a sold out. sign 14 is illuminated as hereinafter explained to indicate that there is insufficient liquid in either carton 2 to enable a full measure to be dispensed.
The tops of both optics 10 are concealed by a lift-off cover 15 which, when removed, permits access to thumb screws 16 by which the-optics are secured in position.
The operating arms 17 of each optic 10 engage in slots 18 in the ends of an operating lever 19 fixedly secured to a part 20 fitted with a roller 21 which is engaged by a motor driven cam 21a which swings the part 20 and therefore the slotted arm 19 about a pivot 22 whereby the optic is actuated to dispense liquid as indicated in FIG. 3. Each cam 21a is driven by a geared electric motor 23.
It will be appreciated that as the motor 23 associated with each optic rotates the cam 21a the roller 21 is depressed by the cam profile thus causing the slotted ends of the lever 19 to lift the operating arms 17 of the optic 10 in order to dispense the measure of spirits, the optic remaining open until the cam 21a has completed its revolution and the roller 21 is allowed to enter a recess 21b in the cam 21a.
A glass for receiving a measure of spirit is placed on either one of two platforms 24 in a bottom compart ment 25 below the door (not shown) depending upon the selected one of two different drinks e.g. whisky or gin, (or different brands of the same kind of drink) required by a user of the machine. The said platforms 24 are each provided with a rubber mat 26 and the platforms are mounted for tilting movement, under the weight of a glass, on a shaft 27 fitted at its rear end with an operating lever 28 provided adjacent its upper end with a laterally directed pin 29 that projects between a pair of arms 30 associated respectively one with each of two micro switches 31 for selecting the drink to be vended by closing the circuit to the appropriate motor 23.
The optics 10 are illuminated by lamps 32 supported by a removable front plate 33.
The machine can either be conditioned to vend a drink upon the insertion of coins of a predetermined value or number to coin-receiving mechanism or it can be conditioned to be actuated manually without inserting coins by a user placing a glass on one of the two platforms 26.
The machine is provided at the top lefthandside with a front plate 34 of the coin mechanism which has a coin entry slot 35 at the top and below which is a label 36 giving the value and number of coins to be inserted in said slot 35. A button 37 is provided below the label 36 which can be pressed to obtain return of any coins rejected by the coin mechanism, these coins falling into a hopper positioned behind a flap 38.
A key-operated switch 39 is provided at the bottom of the plate 34 which must be operated to connect the machine to a source of electric supply before the machine can be used.
An instruction plate 40 is provided beneath the plate 34 and under this instruction plate is the sold out sign 14 previously referred to.
Preferably the door (not shown) is of the lift-off type and is secured by two pegs at the bottom and two differently keyed locks at the top, the door having two windows through which the optics can be observed.
The coin-feed mechanism is indicated generally at 41 (FIG. 2) and incorporates devices for checking the diameter, thickness and weight of a coin and for detecting washers or discs of ferrous metals likely to be used in place of coins.
The illustrated machine is set for operating by three coins as indicated by the label 36 but it may be made to operate one, two, or four coins by re-positioning a peg 42.
Coins can enter the coin-feed mechanism by way of the entry slot 35 provided a coin-blocking solenoid 43 has been energised to unblock said entry, the coins then being checked by the mechanism and if satisfactory are accepted, the first two coins being stored in the mechanism until the third coin has been checked and if satisfactory this coin releases the other coins into a cash box 44 and operates a micro-switch 45 before entering the cash box 44.
The machine is also fitted internally and at the same height as the optics 10 with a small electric panel 46 which contains a fuse holder with lamp fuse 47, a double pole mains door interlock switch 48 which disconnects the electric supply to the chassis when the door ofthe machine is removed and, a switch 49 which is operable to condition the machine for coin-operation or for manual operation (without using coins) as hereinbefore referred to.
The sequence of operations when the machine is to be operated by the insertion of coins is as follows.
Assuming the door is off, the switch 49 is set for coin operation and the door is replaced to switch on the power and the key switch 39 is turned to energise the solenoid 43 so that it is moved from a coin obstructing position.
A glass'is then placed on one of the tiltable platforms 24 depending upon the kind of drink required and the tilting of the platform moves the operating lever 28 to operate the appropriate micro-switch 31. Three coins are then inserted through the coin entry slot 35 and pass to the coin mechanism and the last of these three coins actuates the microswitch 45 which causes a first relay to close the latch in a manner not illustrated and to provide power through the appropriate one of the micro-switches 31 to start the electric motor 23 controlling the optic of the selected drink. As the motor rotates it causes the operating arms 19 to move and a micro-switch 50 is operated which now provides power for the motor 23 and cuts out the latching circuit to said first relay and causes the latter to open.
The motor 23 continues to operate until the cam 21a allows the lever 19 to open the micro-switch 50 and the roller 21 enters the recess 21b in said cam and stops the motor 23 and returns the machine to a condition for the next operation upon insertion of further coins into the coin-feed mechanism.
The following is the sequence of operations when the machine is operated manually and not by the insertion of coins.
The switch 49 is moved to the manual position and an alternative relay operating circuit (not shown) is brought into use which allows the machine to be operated without the use of coins. The door, which has been removed to give access to said switch 49 is now closed to switch on the power and with the tilting platforms 24 level, i.e. in an untilted position, the micro-switches 31 now provide a circuit to close the said first mentioned relay and latch.
When a glass is placed on the tilting platform 26 electric power is provided via a micro-switch 31 to start a motor 23 and as the motor rotates it causes the operating arms 19 to move to operate a micro-switch 50 to provide the power to the motor and open a relay as previously explained.
The motor continues to rotate and the arms 19 swing upwardly to operate the arms 17 of the optic to obtain a measured quantity of spirit from the optic until the cam 21a allows the roller 24 to enter the recess 21b and the lever 19 moves away from the micro-switch 50 and allows the latter to open and so stops the motor 23.
Removal of the glass now containing the dispensed quantity of liquid allows the tilting platform 26 to assume a level position and thus re-sets the relay and returns the machine to a condition where the placing of a glass on the platform will re-start the machine.
The operation of the sold out sign is as follows. The said locking solenoid 43 is in circuit with contacts of a second relay such that this relay has to be closed to enable the solenoid to be operated to unblock the coin entry slot 35. The lamp of the sold out sign is in circuit so that when the second relay is open the light is illuminated. The supply of current to the coil of this second relay is via the two photo electric cells 12 in series and provided that neither photo electric cell is obstructed by a float 11 in the sight glass 9 the resistance of the photo cells is sufficiently low to allow this second relay to close.
As soon as a float 11 cuts off the light to its associated photo electric cell 12 the resistance rises to a value such that said second relay is open and thus illuminates the sold out sign and causes the coin locking solenoid to move to a position in which it prevents insertion of coins through said coin entry slot 35.
lt is of course to be understood that the machine of this invention may comprise any number of containers of different drinks with corresponding duplication of control means for dispensing same.
lnstead of arranging for the machine to be operated electrically either by the insertion of coins into the machine, or directly by placing a drinking glass on a tiltable platform normally brought into circuit by insertion of coins, the machine may be operated mechanically by a hand operated plunger and suitable linkage controlled by a dog clutch and connected with the arms of an optic measure. A selection from two or more containers for different drinks is possible with this mechanical arrangement by rotating a rotary selector knob.
What I claim is:
1. A vending machine for dispensing a liquid comprising:
a. a cabinet adapted to support a container for said liquid;
b. an optic type measure mounted on said support;
c. a sight glass fitted to and extending upwardly from said measure;
(1. a tube connected to the lower end of said sight glass above said optic type measure and having a free end adapted to be connected to a container for said liquid supported by said cabinet;
e. supporting means for supporting a drinking glass in a position in which a measure of liquid may be supplied to said drinking glass from said optic type measure;
f. actuating means for actuating said optic type measure to dispense a measured quantity of said liquid to said drinking glass; and
g. operating means responsive to the weight of a drinking glass supported by said supporting means for bringing said actuating means into operation.
2. A machine as set forth in claim 1, wherein said actuating means are operated by an electric circuit, said supporting means include a support member mounted for displacement under the weight of said drinking glass, and said operating means include switch means closing the operating circuit of said actuating means in response to said displacement of said support member.
3. A machine as set forth in claim 2, wherein said actuating means include an electric motor in said operating circuit, a cam connected to said motor for being rotated thereby, and motion transmitting means operatively interposed between said cam and said optic type measure for actuating the latter to dispense a measure of said liquid when said motor is energized.
4. A machine as set forth in claim 2, wherein said supporting means include pivot means securing said support member to said cabinet for pivotal movement under said weight.
5. A vending machine as claimed in claim 2, including a control switch that can be set so as to enable the machine to be coin-operated, or alternatively, manually operated without insertion of coins into the machine.
6. A machine as set forth in claim 1, further comprising a float in said sight glass; a source of light and a photoelectric cell on respective opposite sides of said sight glass adjacent said lower end of the same; and indicator means on said cabinet operatively connected to said cell for providing visible indicia when passage of light from said source to said cell through said sight glass is interrupted by said float.
7. A machine as set forth in claim 6, further comprising coin-operated mechanism for preventing the bringing into operation of said actuating means by said operating means unless a coin is inserted in said mechanism, said cabinet being formed with a coin entry opening, and said mechanism including means for blocking said entry opening in response to interruption of said passage of light by said float.