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Publication numberUS3800826 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 2, 1974
Filing dateDec 26, 1972
Priority dateDec 26, 1972
Also published asCA985330A1, DE2338997A1
Publication numberUS 3800826 A, US 3800826A, US-A-3800826, US3800826 A, US3800826A
InventorsCann G Mc
Original AssigneeMc Cann S Eng & Mfg Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Soft drink dispenser disconnect assembly
US 3800826 A
Abstract
A fluid and electrical disconnect assembly for use with solenoid actuated soft drink dispensers having a disconnect block which is adapted for fluid and electrical communication with a dispenser assembly. The disconnect block carries a pair of male connectors which, when inserted in the dispenser head, make an electrical connection therewith. The disconnect block also carries a pair of fluid receiving tubes, each tube communicating with an individual valve chamber and valve. The valves are normally biased in the closed position. The dispenser head has a corresponding pair of fluid receiving tubes which are insertable into the valve chambers of the disconnect block and thereby open the valves for fluid flow therethrough. A releasable lock is carried by the dispenser head which holds the male connectors within the dispenser head thereby securing the head to the disconnect block in electrical and fluid communication therewith and allowing simple release therefrom.
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United States Patent [191 McCann 1 Apr. 2, 1974 1 SOFT DRINK DISPENSER DISCONNECT ASSEMBLY [75] Inventor: Gerald P. McCann, Glendale, Calif.

[73] Assignee: McCanns Engineering & Mfg. Co.,

Glendale, Calif.

22 Filed: Dec. 26, 1972 21 Appl. No.: 318,665

[52] U.S. Cl 137/560, 137/3291, 137/606, l37/6l4.05, 222/76, 222/129.1 [51] Int. Cl. Fl6k 19/00 [58] Field of Search 137/560, 606, 607, 614.05, l37/329.1, 329.2, 329.3, 329.4; 222/76, 129.1, 129.2, 129.3, 129.4

Primary ExaminerRobert G. Nilson Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Lyon & Lyon 57 ABSTRACT A fluid and electrical disconnect assembly for use with solenoid actuated soft drink dispensers having a disconnect block which is adapted for fluid and electrical communication with a dispenser assembly. The disconnect block carries a pair of male connectors which, when inserted in the dispenser head, make an electrical connection therewith. The disconnect block also carries a pair of fluid receiving tubes, each tube communicating with an individual valve chamber and valve. The valves are normally biased in the closed position. The dispenser head has a corresponding pair of fluid receiving tubes which are insertable into the valve chambers of the disconnect block and thereby open the valves for fluid flow therethrough. A releasable lock is carried by the dispenser head which holds the male connectors within the dispenser head thereby securing the head to the disconnect block in electrical and fluid communication therewith and allowing simple release therefrom.

10 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures PATENTED APR 2 I974 SHEEI 3 BF 4 SOFT DRINK DISPENSER DISCONNECT ASSEMBLY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Solenoid activated soda beverage dispensers are in standard use in soda fountains and the like where soft drink beverages such as colas are served. Such dispensers offer an efficient and convenient means for mixing the soda and syrup and dispensing the beverage into the consumers glass. However, cleaning these devices presents a large problem, as the use of syrup necessitates frequent cleaning operations and removal of the dispenser head from the remainder of the dispensing assembly is a prerequisite to cleaning. The construction of solenoid activated soft drink dispensers does not provide access to the syrup traveled passages while the dispensing head is in electrical and fluid communication with its power and fluid supplies. In order to clean these passages, it is necessary to physically remove the dispenser head from the the remainder of the dispenser assembly. This requires separate disconnecting of the electrical wiring and sealing of the fluid lines, whereupon the dispenser head can be removed, cleaned, and replaced. This operation requires a good deal of time and consequently represents an economic detriment to the user.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Briefly, the invention comprises a disconnect block which is secured to the dispensing assembly and is in electrical and fluid communication therewith. The block carries a pair of male connectors which are received by the dispenser head and make electrical contact therewith for activation of the solenoids mounted thereon. The disconnect block also carries a pair of valve and valve chambers for effectuating fluid communication between the fluid sources in the dispensing assembly and the dispenser head. To remove the dispenser head for cleaning, it is only necessary to release the locking mechanism and pull the head from the disconnect block, thereby removing the head and breaking both the electrical and fluid communication therewith.

It is the primary object of this invention to provide a disconnect assembly for solenoid operated soft drink dispensers which allows for the simple removal of the dispenser head from the dispensing assembly.

It is another object of this invention to provide a disconnect assembly for solenoid operated soft drink dispensers which simultaneously cuts off electrical and fluid communication with the dispensing head upon removal thereof from the dispensing assembly.

These and other objects and advantages of the instant invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

In the drawings FIG. 1 is a side elevation of the dispensing head and disconnect block.

FIG. 2 is a frontal elevation of the dispensing head.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the dispenser head and disconnect block taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a sectional plan view taken along line 44 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a sectional view of the dispenser head taken along line 55 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 6 is a sectional view of the dispenser head taken along line 66 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 7 is a sectional view of a portion of the dispenser head and disconnect block taken along line 77 of FIG. 4.

FIG. 8 is a partial sectional view of a portion of the dispenser head showing th micro switch and actuating lever.

FIG. 9 is a partial sectional view of the dispensing block showing the valve carried therein.

FIG. 10 is a sectional view of a second embodiment of the invention, similar to FIG. 5 of the first embodiment.

FIG. 11 is a sectional view of a portion of the dispenser head and connector block of the second embodiment.

FIG. 12 is a sectional view of the electrical connection in the second embodiment, taken along line 12-12 of FIG. 10.

Referring now in detail to the drawings, the disconnect assembly 10 is best described with initial reference to the dispenser assembly, generally designated 12, which is shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. The Figures show the dispenser head 14, the disconnect block 16, and inlet tubes 18 and 20 for the soda water and syrup which are secured at their opposite ends to fluid hoses 21 which communicate with fluid supplies (not shown). The dispensing head 14 is comprised of a soda water inlet extension 22 and syrup inlet extension 24 which respectively communicate with an interior water conduit 26 and interior syrup conduit 28. Flow restrictors 30 and 32 are positioned in the conduits to provide for adjustment of the flow therethrough to obtain proper balance of water and syrup in the dispensed beverage.

The water conduit 26 continues from the flow restrictor 30 to valve chamber 34 which houses a solenoid actuated valve 36. Similarly the syrup conduit 28 further extends from flow restrictor 32 to a second valve chamber 38, which houses a solenoid actuated valve 40. Valves 36 and 40 are comprised of fittings 42 and 44 on the ends of armatures 46 and 48 of solenoids 50 and 52. Fittings are biased against the open outlet ends 54 and 56 of the water and syrup conduits 26 and 28 within the valve chambers by springs 58, thereby maintaining the valves in a closed position and preventing flow therethrough. Solenoids 50 and 52 are activated through micro switch 60, raising armatures 46 and 48 and opening valves 36 and 40 for the duration of the solenoid activation period. The micro switch is in turn actuated by a lever 62 which pivots about pin 64 to depress button 66, as seen in FIG. 8.

From valve chamber 34, the internal water conduit 26 extends downwardly to diffuser 68, where it communicates with an annular outlet about the diffuser through narrow conduit 72. The water then passes from the dispenser head through the outlet 72 inspout 76. The internal syrup conduit 28 extends from valve chamber 38 into vertical conduit 78. The syrup passing therethrough exits through the annular aperture in the lower end of the diffuser 68 and mixes with the soda water as the fluids flow through the outlet 74 in spout 76.

From the above description, it is apparent that if the soda water and syrup were introduced under pressure to the water and syrup inlet extensions 18 and 20 and the solenoids and micro switch were connected to an electrical power source, a soft drink beverage comprised of soda water and syrup would be dispensed through spout 76 into a glass upon pressing said glass (not shown) against lever 62, activating the solenoids and opening valves 36 and 40 for fluid passage therethrough. In order to clean the dispenser head above described, it would be necessary to disconnect the electrical wiring, remove the water and syrup inlet extensions from the supply hoses 21 and seal the extended ends of the supply hoses. Whereupon the dispensing head 14 could be separated from the entire assembly and properly cleaned.

The disconnect block 16 has a pair of valve chambers 84 and 86 therein, which are disposed so as to communicate the inlet tubes 18 and 20 which are carried by the block 16 with the water and syrup inlet extensions 22 and 24 which are carried by the dispensing head, upon said extensions being inserted in the respective valve chambers. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, each valve chamber houses a pair of rings 88 near each end thereof to provide water tight seals, a valve ball 90 and spring 92 biasing the valve balls against a forwardly disposed O ring, thereby defining valves 94 and 96. The springs 92 tend to maintain the valves in the closed position so that when the dispensing head 14 is removed from the disconnect block 16 the valves 94 and 96 would prevent fluid flow through the dispensing block and obviate the need for further sealing during disassembly. It should be noted that inlet tubes 18 and 20 have wire members 95 projecting therefrom to prevent the valve balls from interfering with the fluid flow therethrough while said tubes are disposed within valve chambers 84 and 86. As shown in FIG. 3, the disconnect block has a pair of additional channels 98 (one being shown) which communicate with the valve chambers 84 and 86. These channels are a result of manufacturing technique and hence are shown sealed with a plug 100.

The disconnect block 16 also carries a pair of guide pins 102 and 104 which are adapted to be received by locking chambers 106 and 108 in the rearward end of the dispenser head 14, as best seen in FIGS. 7 and 9. Each guide pin has an annular groove 110 therein which is adapted to receive a locking wire 1 12 and 114, respectively, which are carried by the dispensing head (see FIG. Locking wire 112 is held at one end by screw 1 16, while wire 1 14 is similarly held by a second screw or suitable fastening means 118. A U-shaped re lease bar 120 is provided in the dispensing head with arm 122 thereof abutting the free end of locking wire 1 12. The other arm 124 of the bar is secured to locking wire 114. The spring force of each wire causes said wires to press into annular grooves 110 in the guide pins, locking the guide pins within the locking chambers 106 and 108 and thereby securing the dispenser head to the disconnect block. To release the dispenser head from the disconnect block, an upward force must be exerted on the release bar 120 which lifts the locking wires from the annular grooves by means of arms 122 and 124, allowing the dispenser head to be pulled from the disconnect block.

The electrical connections to the solenoids 50 and 52 are also made via the disconnect block. Electrical outlet contacts 126 and 128 are in electrical contact with guide pins 102 and 104 through elongated contact members 130 and 132. The guide pins, of course, are

constructed of an electrically conductive material. In the preferred embodiment, elongated coil springs are utilized as contact members and 132, as seen in FIG. 7. A second pair of electrical spring contacts 134 and 136 are disposed in a pair of vertically oriented channels 138 and 140 which communicate with locking channels 106 and 108. Upon insertion of the guide pins 102 and 104 into the locking channels, the ends of the guide pins make electrical contact with the electrical spring contacts 134 and 136. An electrical wire 142 extends from each of the electrical spring contacts to the solenoids and micro switch, completing the electrical circuit. Finally a cover 144 and beverage advertising button 146 are provided for appearance. The cover is secured to the dispensing head 14 by fastening means 148 and the button is attached by screw member 150.

In use, lever 62 is pushed rearward by a glass which activates the solenoid valves 36 and 40 through micro switch 60, allowing the soda water and syrup to flow through the dispensing head 14 and out the spout 76 into the glass. Upon removal of the glass, the lever 62 is urged forward by spring 63 which opens the micro switch, deactivating the solenoids 50 and 52 and closing valves 36 and 40, thereby shutting off the flow of fluid through the dispensing head. When the dispensing head requires cleaning, it is only necessary to press upwardly on the release bar 120, which raises the two locking wires 112 and 114 from the grooves 110 in the locking pins and pull the dispenser head from the disconnect block. The valves 36 and 40 in the disconnect block close and prevent fluid flow therethrough, and electrical contact to the solenoid is broken when the diepensing head is pulled from the disconnect block.

A second embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIGS. 10 12. This embodiment differs from the first only in the manner of making the electrical contact between the dispensing head 200 and disconnect block 202. In the first embodiment, this was accomplished by electrical contact springs 134 and 136 which came into contact with guide pins 102 and 104 upon inserting the guide pins into the locking channels 106 and 108. In this embodiment, the springs 134 and 136 are eliminated and the electrical wires 142 are extended through channels 204 in the dispensing head 200 directly to the locking wires 206. The locking wires each have a vertical portion 208 terminating in an eyelet 210. A screw 212 extends through each eyelet and into the dispensing head thereby securing the locking wires to the dispensing head and the electrical wires 142 to the locking wires. When the guide pins on the disconnect block are inserted into the locking channels in the dispensing head, the locking wires 206 come into contact with the guide pins thereby completing the electrical contact between the dispensing head and disconnect block. It can be seen that in the second embodiment the locking wires serve the dual purpose of locking the dispensing head to the disconnect block and making the electrical connection therebetween, while in the first embodiment, the locking wires have solely a locking function.

Various changes and modifications may be made in carrying out the instant invention without departing from the spirit and scope thereof. Insofar as these changes and modifications are within the purview of the appended claims, they are to be considered as part of the invention.

1 claim:

1. A disconnect assembly for removing the dispensing head from a soft drink dispenser which assembly comprises a disconnect block adapted to support said dispensing head, said block having at least two fluid inlets therein, a pair of valves communicating with said inlets, means for maintaining said valves in the closed position, and a pair of guide means extending from said block and said dispensing head having a pair of channels therein adapted to receive said guide means, a pair of electrical contacts, a portion of each of said contacts being disposed within the receiving channels, said portions being adapted to contact said guide means upon said guide means being inserted within said channels, and a pair of fluid inlets extending from said dispensing head and being adapted to communicate with said valves in said disconnect block, said inlets opening said valves upon being inserted therein.

2. The combination of claim 1 including means for maintaining said guide means within said receiving channels whereby said dispensing head is locked to said disconnect block.

3. The combination of claim 1 wherein said valve and said valve maintaining means comprise a pair of valve chambers extending through said disconnect block and communicating with said inlets, each of said valve chambers having a forward end portion of reduced internal diameter, a valve ball disposed within each of said valve chambers and a spring member positioned within each of said channels for biasing said balls against said forward end portions of said valve chambers thereby maintaining said valves in a closed position.

4. A disconnect assembly for removing the dispensing head from a soft drink dispenser which assembly comprises a disconnect block adapted to support said dispensing head, said block having at least two fluid inlets therein, a pair of valves communicating with said inlets, said valves comprising a pair of valve chambers extending through said disconnect block and communieating with said inlets, each of said valve chambers having a forward end portion of reduced internal diameter, a valve ball disposed within each of said valve chambers, and a spring member positioned within each of said chambers for biasing said balls against said forward end portion of said valve chambers by maintaining said valves in a closed position, and a pair of guide means extending from said block and said dispensing head having a pair of channels therein adapted to receive said guide means, means for maintaining said guide means within said receiving channels whereby said dispensing head is locked to said disconnect block, a pair of electrical contacts, a portion of each of said contacts being disposed within the receiving channels, said portions being adapted to contact said guide means upon said guide means being inserted within said channels, and a pair of fluid inlets extending from said dispensing head and being adapted to communicate with said valves in said disconnect block, said inlets driving said valve balls to the rearward end of said valve chambers thereby opening said valves upon being inserted therein.

5. The combination of claim 4 wherein each of said fluid inlets carried by said dispensing head is a tubular member having a projection extending outwardly therefrom to prevent said valve balls from sealing the open end of the fluid inlets and thereby preventing fluid flow therethrough.

6 The combination of claim 2 wherein said means for maintaining said guide means within said receiving channels comprises a groove disposed within each of said guide means, a locking member positioned across each of said receiving channels, said locking members being biased toward the central axes of the said channels so that upon inserting said guide means within said receiving channels, said locking members press into said grooves thereby maintaining said guide means within said receiving channels and means for forcing said locking members from said grooves whereby said dispensing head can be withdrawn from said disconnect block.

7. A disconnect assembly for removing the dispensing head from a soft drink dispenser which assembly comprises a disconnect block adapted to support said dispensing head, said block having at least two fluid inlets therein, a pair of valves communicating with said inlets, said valves comprising a pair of valve chambers extending through said disconnect block and communieating with said inlets, each of said valve chambers having a forward end portion of reduced internal diameter, a valve ball disposed within each of said drive chambers and a spring member positioned within each of said channels for biasing said valves against said forward end portions of said valve chambers thereby maintaining said valves in a closed position and a pair of guide means extending from said block, each of said guide means having a groove disposed therein and said dispensing head having a pair of channels therein adapted to receive said guide means, a locking member positioned across each of said receiving channels, said locking members being biased towards the central axes of said channels so that upon inserting said guide means within said receiving channels, said locking members press into said grooves thereby maintaining said guide means within said receiving channels, means for forcing said locking members from said grooves whereby said dispensing head can be withdrawn from said disconnect block, a pair of electrical contacts, a portion of each of said contacts being disposed within the receiving channels, said portion being adapted to contact said guide means upon said guide means being inserted within said channels, and a pair of fluid inlets extending from said dispensing head and being adapted to communicate with said valves in said disconnect block, said inlets driving said valve balls to the rearward end of said valve chambers thereby opening said valves.

8. The combination of claim 7 wherein each of said fluid inlets carried by said dispensing head is a tubular member having a projection extending outwardly therefrom to prevent said valve balls from sealing the open ends of the fluid inlets and thereby preventing fluid flow therethrough.

9. The combination of claim 8 including a pair of electrical contacts carried by said disconnect block, said contacts being in electrical contact with said guide means.

10. The combination of claim 8 wherein said means for forcing said locking means from said grooves comprises a U-shaped release bar, each arm of said bar being in contact with one of said locking members, whereby upon forcing said U-shaped bar into said disconnect block, said locking members are disposed outwardly from said receiving channels thereby releasing said guide means.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification137/560, 137/606, 222/129.1, 137/329.1, 137/614.5
International ClassificationG07F13/00, B67D1/00
Cooperative ClassificationB67D1/005, B67D1/0085
European ClassificationB67D1/00H2B4H, B67D1/00H8C