US 3782519 A
A coin controlled meter construction such as a parking meter wherein time is purchased upon insertion of a coin in the meter. A time indicator means is movable over a dial face for displaying the amount of time purchased. Means are connected to the indicator means so that the indicator means is moved out of displaying position after elapse of a fraction of the time purchased. Accordingly, if a new purchaser arrives at the meter, it will not be possible for the new purchaser to determine the amount of previously purchased time remaining on the meter so that the new purchaser will be required to insert at least one coin in order to insure adequate purchased time.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Zajac Jan. 1, 1974 COIN CONTROLLED METER CONSTRUCTION Inventor: Bruno G. Zajac, Harwood Hts., lll.
Qonaar Corporation, Elk Grove Village, Ill.
Filed: Sept. 11, 1972 Appl. No.: 287,514
US. Cl. 194/83, l94/DIG. 22 Int. Cl G07c l/30 Field of Search 194/83, DIG. 21,
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 5/1951 Trier et al l94/DIG. 22 3/1960 lapadre l94/DlG. 22
Primary Examiner-Stanley H. Tollberg Attorney--McDougall, Hersh & Scott 57 ABSTRACT A coin controlled meter construction such as a parking meter wherein time is purchased upon insertion of a coin in the meter. A time indicator means is movable over a dial face for displaying the amount of time purchased. Means are connected to the indicator means so that the indicator means is moved out of displaying position after elapse of a fraction of the time purchased. Accordingly, if a new purchaser arrives at the meter, it will not be possible for the new purchaser to determine the amount of previously purchased time remaining on the meter so that the new purchaser will be required to insert at least one coin in order to insure adequate purchased time.
8 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PAIENTEDJAN 119M 3.782.519-
SHEU 2 BF 3 COIN CONTROLLED METER CONSTRUCTION This invention is directed to coin controlled constructions which are utilized for the purchase of time. Parking meters comprise typical applications for such structures with the amount of time purchased providing a legal period for the use of a parking space for an automobile.
In standard parking meter constructions, indicator means such as a pointer movable over a dial face are utilized for displaying the amount of time purchased. These indicator means permit the user to insert one or more coins and to then verify that the correct amount of time is displayed on the meter.
A drawback to the arrangement described results when a purchaser removes his automobile from a parking place before the expiration of the time purchased. Since the indicator means still displays the time remaining, one or more additional automobiles can use the parking space without any payment. This, of course, results in a loss of potential revenue for the municipality or other institution responsible for the parking meters.
Attempts have been made to overcome this drawback by providing meters which indicate that purchased time is available but which will not display the exact amount of time available. An example of such a meter construction is found in Sollenberger U.S. Pat. No. 3,027,866, this meter being provided with an indicator having a single visible position. When purchased time remains on the meter, the indicator will always be in this single position. If the parking space is unoccupied, a new user will know that some time remains; however he cannot assume that more than a few minutes is available and, therefore, the tendency is to insert more money.
It has been found that meters of the type described in the Sollenberger patent are objectionable to the public. Thus, the person inserting coins has no indication that a certain amount of time has been purchased, and this leads to doubt about the reliability of the meter. Thus, even the initial purchaser is not given any indication which will assure him that he has purchased an appropriate amount of time.
It is a general object of this invention to provide an improved meter construction which will increase the revenue made available with standard meter designs.
It is a more specific object of this invention to provide an improved meter construction which employs an indicator means whereby the amount of time purchased will be displayed for the person inserting coins in the meter but which thereafter indicates only that an indeterminate amount of purchased time is available.
These and other objects of this invention will appear hereinafter and for purposes of illustration, but not of limitation, specific embodiments of the invention are shown in the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of meter mechanisms located outside the meter housing;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged vertical sectional view in elevation of the mechanism;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged vertical sectional view particularly illustrating the indicator and indicator position control elements;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary illustration of the cam mechanisms utilized for the indicator control means;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken about the line 5-5 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a front elevational view of the meter mechanisms in a time purchased condlition;
FIG. 7 is a detailed view of the indicator arm and associated cam follower utilized in the construction;
FIG. 8 is a detailed view of the cam element utilized for controlling the indicator position; and,
FIG. 9 is a vertical sectional view in elevation illustrating the mechanisms in a time elapsed position.
The subject matter of this invention generally relates to a meter construction wherein purchased time is obtained upon the insertion of a coin. The coin is received by means which serve to locate the indicator means for displaying the time purchased. These indicator means are engageable with an operating element which moves the indicator means out of indicating position after a fraction of the time purchased has elapsed. This arrangement, therefore, permits the initial purchaser to observe the amount of time purchased while at the same time preventing a subsequent purchaser from determining the amount of time remaining on an unexpired meter. In the case of parking meters, the arrangement encourages the subsequent user of a parking space to insert additional money since this is the only way that this subsequent user can determine the amount of time which he will have available for legal parking.
The structure of the invention specifically comprises an indicator which is associated with a cam follower. This cam follower is adapted to engage a cam element which is connected to the timing mechanism. The engagement occurs upon initial purchase of time, and this causes the indicator to be held in a time purchased display position. As the timing mechanism winds down, however, the cam is moved to a position such that releases of the cam follower occurs whereby the indicator is moved out of display position. Continued unwinding of the timing mechanism then occurs without affecting the indicator. During this period, the meter position indicates that purchased time is available without indicating how much time. When the time has fully elapsed, the meter indicates no parking in the standard fashion.
The features of the invention are adaptable for use with meters which permit the insertion of a series of coins with each coin resulting in the purchase of additional time. The cam element carries a plurality of cam follower engaging members so that the operation de scribed will occur irrespective of the number of coins inserted at any given time.
The meter construction 10 shown in the accompanying drawings is of the general type described in the Sollenberger U.S. Pat. No. 2,603,288. The meter thus in cludes a front wall 12 defining coin passages 14. An operating handle 16 is rotatably positioned on the front wall, and a coin carrier 18 is located immediately behind the front wall. This coin carrier is secured for rotation with shaft 20 and the handle 16 is connected to the shaft for achieving this rotation. Slots 22 are defined by the coin carrier, and these slots are normally aligned with the passages 14 so that coins inserted in the passages will be received within the coin carrier.
In accordance with the description set forth in U.S. Pat. No. 2,603,288, the timing mechanism of a meter is set when a coin is positioned within the coin carrier 18, and when the handle 16 is rotated. The time setting operation involves the engagement of a pawl associated with the coin carrier with one of the teeth 24 formed on winding wheel 26. This winding wheel is tied to the shaft of a clock mechanism for accomplishing the winding action necessary for setting the clock. A plurality of ratchet teeth 28 are positioned around the winding wheel, and these ratchet teeth are engageable with a separate pawl for preventing return movement of the coin carrier as long as a coin is positioned therein.
The meter construction also includes an indicator dial 3i) displaying increments of time. A pointer 32 is adapted to be positioned by mechanisms to be described for purposes of indicating to the purchaser of time the amount of time wound on the timing mechanism. The meter construction also includes a time expired flag 34 which in the position shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 9 tells the purchaser that there is no time on the meter. A violation flag 36 is adapted to be moved into display position when the handle 16 is in an intermediate position to eliminate improper use of the meter as explained in the Sollenberger patent.
The winding wheel 26 is mounted on a shaft 37 which is axially aligned with but not connected to the shaft 20. A cam element 38 is tied to the shaft 37 whereby this cam element rotates with the winding wheel. As indi cated, the timing mechanism is also tied to the shaft 37 whereby the timing mechanism is wound whenever the winding wheel is moved.
The indicator pointer 32 is pivotally mounted at 40 on intermediate wall 42 of the mechanism. The wall 42 is positioned behind intermediate wall 44 (FIG. 2) which is in turn positioned behind front wall 12. The violation flag 36 defines an elongated supporting arm 46 which is secured for movement with shaft 48. This shaft is mounted at one end in the wall 42 and extends forwardly through wall 44. As best shown in FIG. 2, the shaft carries a rubber bumper member 50 which is engaged by the coin carrier 18 in the normal position of the carrier. This carrier is urged in the counterclockwise direction by means of spring 52, and the carrier defines a leg 54 for engaging pin 56 when in the normal position. This pin extends through the shaft 48 whereby location of the coin carrier in the position shown in FIG. 2 serves to hold the shaft 48 in position.
When the coin carrier 18 is moved away, from the position shown in FIG. 2, the pin 56 is released, and a spring 58 secured to the arm 46 operates to pivot the violation flag 36 to the upward position. As explained in the Sollenberger patent, the expired time flag 34 is pivoted at 60, and an end portion 62 of this flag is engageable by the end portion 64 of flag 36 whereby the flag 34 is pivoted downwardly as the flag 36 is pivoted upwardly. A relationship of this type is also described in the aforementioned Sollenberger US. Pat No. 3,027,866.
The violationflag 36 carries a pin 66 which is received within the slot 68 defined by link 70 (FIG. 9). This link defines an opening at one end which receives pin 72 carried by indicator 32. Accordingly, as the violation flag 36 pivots downwardly, the indicator arm 32 will pivot away from the zero position shown in FIG. 9. Due to the distance of the pin 66 from the pivot axis of flag 36, the indicator 32 will move to the extreme lefthand position of FIG. 2 when the violation flag has moved to its full extent.
In the prior art structures referred to, the action described serves to move the indicator pin into a position such that a cam element could be freely rotated during winding of a timing mechanism. When full wind is completed for a particular coin, the return movement of the coin carrier restores the violation flag to the position shown in FIG. 9. Thus, the coin carrier engages the pin 56 which pivots the shaft 48 thereby repositioning the violation flag. The expired time flag 34 carries a pin 74 which normally bears against wall 76 defined by a plate 78 which is tied to the winding wheel. When the flag 34 is pivoted dowwardly upon rotation of the handle 16, the pin 74 is pivoted outwardly beyond the diameter of plate 78. Since this plate rotates with the winding wheel, the wall portion 80 on the periphery of the plate moves into position to block return movement of the pin 74 whereby the flag 34 is held in the downward position until the timing mechanism winds down at which time the end of the wall 80 moves past the pin 74 whereby the flag 34 is restored through the action of spring 82.
The indicator 32 carries a cam follower element 84. This element is pivotally connected at 86 and a spring 88 is positioned between this element and the indicator. One end of the spring is attached in opening 90 defined by the element, and the spring is wound around the pivotal connection as shown in dotted lines with the opposite end of the spring fitting around the edge of the indicator whereby the element 84 is normally urged in the counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 7. A stop pin 92 limits the counterclockwise movement of this element.
The cam element 38 carries a plurality of tabs 94 which provide bearing surfaces for contact with the pin 96 carried at the end of follower element 84. As best shown in FIG. 8, these tabs are located at increasingly greater distances from the pivot axis which, as will be explained, controls the position of the indicator 32 in accordance with the amount of money inserted for the purchase of time. The use of a plurality of tabs also enables the insertion of a series of coins by a single user so that discretion is possible with respect to the amount of time to be purchased. It will be appreciated that a greater or lesser number of options may be provided depending upon the needs of a particular application.
As indicated, the action of link 70 operates to move the indicator 32 to the extreme left-hand position shown in FIG. 9, and this action pivots the cam follower pin 96 outwardly beyond the periphery of cam element 38. Accordingly, when a coin is inserted in a meter and the handle 16 is rotated, the cam element rotates with the follower pin 96 in an outer position. When the handle 16 is released, the indicator 32 begins movement back with the violation flag 36; however, this movement is stopped when the follower pin 96 engages a tab 94. The slot 68 of link 70 permits restoring movement of the flag 36 while the indicator 32 is held in position.
The tabs 94 are dimensioned so that engagement with pin 96 will continue for a short period of time. When considering FIGS. 3 and 4, it will be noted that the follower 96 engages a tab; however, the cam element 38 is rotating in a counterclockwise direction as the winding mechanism winds down. Accordingly, the follower pin and tab will disengage after elapse of a fraction of the time purchased. At this point, the indicator 32 will fall by gravity back to its normal position.
With the arrangement described, the purchaser of time will observe the amount of time purchased since the indicator will initially assume the position shown in FIG. 3. After the elapse of a short time, for example 5 minutes, as determined by the width of the tabs 94 and the speed of the clock mechanism, the indicator will fall to the zero position as illustrated in FIG. 6. If the original purchaser of time leaves the parking space, and a new user of the space arrives, this user will know that there is unelapsed time since the no parking" flag 34 has not yet been restored. The new user will not, however, have nayinformation regarding the amount of unelapsed time and will, therefore, be compelled to insert more money to insure that sufficient time will be available.
It will be noted that the teeth 24 on winding ring 26 are located at evenly spaced intervals, and the position of these teeth is correlated with the position of the tabs 94. Due to the nature of the meter operation wherein movement of the winding ring is always terminated when the coin carrier has moved coins to the end of fixed cam tracks (as described in Miller, et al. U.S. Pat. No. 1,799,056), the teeth 24 and, accordingly, the cam elements 94 will always stop in predetermined positions. This enables operation of the indicator means in the manner described irrespective of the amount of time which may be on a meter when a coin is inserted.
In the event that a coin is inserted after a certain amount of time has clasped so that the tabs are in some intermediate position, the cam follower pin 96 will be located within the periphery of the cam element. The provision of spring 88 permits movement of the cam follower out from within the periphery even if one of the tabs tends to interfere with this movement. Thus, the element 84 will bear against the tab and pivot until it is freed from engagement with the tab, at which time the spring 88 will restore the follower to its normal position.
It will be understood that various changes and modifications may be made in the above described construction which provide the characteristics of the invention without departing from the spirit thereof, particularly as defined in the following claims.
That which is claimed is:
1. In a coin controlled meter construction for obtaining the purchase of time including means for receiving a coin, and means controlled by the receiving means for locating indicator means in position for displaying the time purchased, the improvement comprising means for moving said indicator means out of the displaying position after elapse of a fraction of the time purchased whereby the unelapsed portion of purchased time is not determinable with said indicator means, said indicator means comprising a pointer, a cam follower carried by said pointer, and indicator positioning means movable into position by said receiving means for engagement with said cam follower, a timer mechanism having movable wind-down means, and means connecting said positioning means to the wind-down means of said timer mechanism whereby said positioning means is moved out of engagement with said cam follower upon expiration of said fraction of time to enable movement of said pointer out of the displaying position.
2. A construction in accordance with claim 1 wherein said positioning means comprises a plate member and a plurality of spaced apart tabs attached thereto, said cam follower engaging one of said tabs upon movement of said plate member into said position by said receiving means.
3. A construction in accordance with claim 2 wherein said timer mechanism includes a shaft, said plate member being mounted on said shaft for movement with the shaft during operation of the timer mechanism, and wherein the spacing between said tabs and the access of said shaft varies whereby the amount of time displayed by said indicator varies depending upon the tab engaged by the cam follower.
4. A construction in accordance with claim 3 wherein said receiving means is adapted to receive coins of different denomination with the tab engaged by the cam follower depending upon the denomination of the coin inserted in the meter.
5. A construction in accordance with claim 2 wherein said plate member is mounted for rotation in response to movement of said receiving means, said timer mechanism including a rotatable shaft carrying said plate member, said tabs being spaced at progressively changing distances from the axis of rotation of said shaft, said indicator comprising a pointer movable over a dial face, the particular tab engaged by the pointer determining the display position of the pointer relative to the dial.
6. A construction in accordance with claim 5 wherein said cam follower comprises a finger operatively connected to said pointer, said finger having a short length tab engaging portion.
7. A construction in accordance with claim 6 wherein said pointer and associated finger are movable by said receiving means from a no time indicated position to a cocked position upon movement of said receiving means, said finger being movable from said cocked position into engagement with a tab upon restoring movement of said receiving means,
8. A construction in accordance with claim 7 including an arm pivotally mounted on said indicator, said finger being mounted on said arm. l =l= =l