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Publication numberUS3841458 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 15, 1974
Filing dateFeb 23, 1973
Priority dateFeb 24, 1972
Publication numberUS 3841458 A, US 3841458A, US-A-3841458, US3841458 A, US3841458A
InventorsKinoshita Y
Original AssigneeGlory Kogyo Kk
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Rental locker system
US 3841458 A
Abstract
A rental locker system rendered lockable by dropping a required number of coins in the locker, comprises a slidable plate operated by the coins for unlocking the locker, a coin number setting plate which, upon unlocking, displaces the slidable plate to prevent the locker from being locked, and an operating lever engaged with the coin number setting plate at a predetermined engaging position, whereby the number of coins required for a rental period can be easily changed by changing the predetermined engaging position. The rental locker system may be further provided with an improved means for retaining coins temporarily for subsequently checking the correctness of the number.
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iliiiie iaies Pteiii 1191 Kinoshita Get. 15, 1974 1 RENTAL LOCKER SYSTEM Primary Examiner-Robert B. Reeves [7 5] Inventor. Yoshio Kmoslnta, 1-11me 1, Japan Assistant Examiner joseph J. Rona [73] Assignee: Glory Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha, Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Holman & Stem Hyogo-Ken, Japan 22 Filed: Feb. 23, 1973 1571 ABSTRACT A rental locker system rendered lockable by dropping [211 App! 335160 a required number of coins in the locker, comprises a slidable plate operated by the coins for unlocking the [30] Foreign Application fiiority Data locker, a coin number setting plate which, upon un- Fcb.24, 1972 Japan 47-19110 locking displaces the Slidable Plate Prawnt the locker from being locked, and an operating lever en- 52 us. c1 194/92, 194/45, 194/51 gaged with the Coin number Setting P1819 at a P [51] llnt. Cl. (307i 5/00 termined engaging Position whereby the number of [58] Field of Search 194/18, 19, 32, 45, 51 Coins required for a rental Period can be easily changed by changing the predetermined engaging po- 5 References Cited sition. The rental locker system may be further pro- UNITED STATES PATENTS vided with an improved means for retaining coins temporarily for subsequently checking the correctness of 2,991,866 7/1961 James et al. 194/51 X the number 3,050,169 8/1962 Stackhouse 194/19 3,460,662 8/1969 Kinoshita 194/51 13 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PAIENIEB 1 51974 3,841.458

saw 30F 11 RENTAL LOCKER SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to coin-operated rental locker systems, and more particularly to a type thereof including a coin number setting mechanism which is advantageously operable when the number of coins corresponding to a rental period is to be changed, and a coin retaining device for temporarily storing the coins.

In most of the rental lockers heretofore proposed, if the number of coins required for the rent of a locker for a rental period is to be changed, for instance, for an economical reason, the coin receiving system of the rental locker must be replaced entirely or at least partly by a new assembly or a new part of assembly, such a feature constituting a fundamental drawback of the conventional rental lockers.

Furthermore, in most of the conventional rental lockers, the coins dropped into the rental locker have been stored temporarily in a coin retaining device so that a subsequent examination of the coins is made possible for correcting erroneous payment of coins.

However, the coins thus stored in the retaining device in the conventional rental locker have been aligned in their diametrical direction rather than being stacked in their thicknesswise direction. For this reason, a much elongated chamber has been required in such conventional rental lockers, especially when the size of the locker becomes large, and the number of coins required for the rental charge is comparatively large.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A primary object of the present invention is to provide an improved rental locker system including a coin number setting mechanism, whereby the number of coins required for the rent of a rental period can be changed without requiring the total or a partial replace ment of the coin receiving mechanism.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved rental locker including a coin number setting mechanism wherein the number of coins required for a rental period can be preset by a simple procedure of merely changing the position of a coin number setting Still another object of this invention is to provide an improved rental locker including a coin retaining mechanism whereby coins are retained for predetermined period in a chamber of a comparatively minimized size.

An additional object of the invention is to provide an improved rental locker including a coin retaining mechanism wherein the coins are retained temporarily in a stacked state in their thicknesswise direction.

These and other objects of the invention can be achieved by an improved rental locker system which, in one aspect of the invention, comprises a slidable plate which is operated by coins dropped into the locker for allowing a locking mechanism to assume a lockable state, a coin number setting plate which, upon unlocking of the rental locker, displaces the slidable plate in a direction to prevent locking movement of the locking lever, and an operating lever disposed between the coin number setting plate and the slidable plate in such a manner that the engaging position between the coin number setting plate and the operating lever can be preset as desired, whereby the number of coins per unit length of the rental period can be changed to any desired value.

In another aspect of the invention, the rental locker further comprises an indication plate operating cooperatively with the operating lever for indicating the number of coins required to be dropped into the rental locker.

In still another aspect of the invention, the rental locker of the above described construction further comprises means for temporarily retaining coins disposed in connection with a coin passage, through which the coins dropped into the locker are introduced through a coin detecting means into the coin retaining means so that the coins are stacked in the coin retaining means in the thicknesswise direction of coins, and means for opening the lower end of the coin retaining means temporarily while the rental locker is unlocked.

The nature, principle, and utility of the present invention will be more clearly understood from the following detailed description of the invention with respect to a preferred embodiment thereof when read in conjunction of the accompanying drawings'wherein like parts are designated by like reference numerals.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is an elevational view schematically showing a rental locker constituting a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an elevational view similar to FIG. 1 of the rental locker in the locked state;

FIG. 3 is an elevational view similar to FIG. 1 of the rental locker wherein the number of coins corresponding to the minimum rental fee of the rental locker is preset to three; and

FIG. 4 is an electric circuit diagram of the electrical system of the rental locker shown in FIG. I.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring now to FIGS. 1 through 3 showing a preferred embodiment of the invention, there is illustrated a coin passage 1 extended vertically from a coin inlet (not shown) through a coin detecting mechanism. On one side of the passage 1, a coin detecting lever 2 is swingably supported on a supporting pin 3. The coin detecting lever 2 has a coin detecting portion 4 formed along a lower edge thereof, and a weight 5 is attached thereto so that the coin detecting lever 2 is maintained at a position having the coin detecting portion 4 projecting into the coin passage 1.

Thus, when a coin is introduced through the coin inlet into the coin passage 1, the coin pushes the coin detecting portion 4 of the coin detecting lever 2 laterally, so that the lever 2 is rotated slightly around its supporting pin 3 against the force of gravity acting on the weight 5, whereby the coin is allowed to pass through the coin passage 1.

The coin detecting lever 2 is also provided with catch-like projections 6 and 7 in the upper and lower parts thereof.

A slidable plate 8 is extends parallelly with the coin passage 1 on one side thereof, and two longitudinal guiding slots 9, 9, each engaging with a pin 10, are provided in the slidable plate 8. One side edge of the slidable plate 8 facing the coin passage 1 is formed with rack teeth 13 each including a horizontally extending step portion 11 and an inclined edge portion 12. Each time the coin detecting lever 2 detects a coin passing through the coin passage 1, the slidable plate 8 is elevated by a distance corresponding to one pitch of the rack teeth 13 by the catch-like projections 6 and 7 of the coin detecting lever 2. A bent flange portion 15 is formed at the upper end of the slidable plate 8, and another bent portion 14 is provided near the lower end of the lever 2.

An indicator operating lever 16 is also provided in the mechanism. The indicator operating lever 16 is pivotally supported by a pivotal shaft 17 located approximately at the middle point thereof. A pin 18 engaging with the lower bent portion 14 of the slidable plate 8 is provided at one end of this indicator operating lever 16, while on the other end of the lever 16, a pin 19' is provided. A bent portion 21 formed at the lower end of an indicating plate 20 presses against this pin 19 under the gravitational force acting on the indicating plate 211.

The weight of the indicating plate 211 is made less than that of the slidable plate 8. Numerical figures are inscribed on the indicating plate 21) at equally spaced intervals successively from the bottom upward, so that each of the figures is indicated through the window 23 formed in the front panel 22 of the locker.

A lock control lever 25 is swingably supported on a supporting shaft 26, and the center of gravity of the lock control lever 25 is offset from the supporting shaft 26. One end of the lock control lever 25 is formed into a bent portion 27 to be engaged with the hereinbefore described bent portion 15 of the slidable plate 8, and the upwardly rising edge of the lever 25 in the same arm: thereof as the bent portion 27 is caused to stop against a stopping pin 28.

The other end of the lock control lever (hereinafter simply termed control lever) 25 is adapted to be engaged with a blocking lever 31) which is coupled with a latch member 29 mounted coaxially on a rotating portion 32 of a cylinder lock 31 provided adjacent the front panel 22 of the rental locker. When the blocking lever is disengaged from the lever 25, the latch member 29 is allowed to be moved in and out of a slit 33 provided in the door of the rental locker, whereby the door can be locked or unlocked with the main body of the rental locker. Furthermore, it is so arranged that a key (not shown) is allowed to be pulled out of the cylinder lock 31 only after the cylinder lock 31 has been locked.

A swingable plate 36 swingable about a pivotal shaft 35 is provided to abut against a bar 34 which is moved toward or away from the swingable plate 36 upon insertion and removal of the key in and out of the cylinder lock 31, and an electric switch 37 is provided in such a manner that it is operated by the swingable plate 36 when the key is inserted into the cylinder lock 31. Another electric switch 41 is provided in the proximity of the cylinder lock 31 so that it is operated by a spring extending between a pin 38 projected from the blocking lever 30 and a stationary pin 39.

A coin number setting plate 46 having a plurality of coin number setting holes (three holes 43, 44, and in this example) is also disposed in this mechanism, and the coin number setting holes 43, 44, and 45 are selectively engaged with a coin number setting pin 42 implanted in the indicator operating lever 16 at a preset position. The coin number setting plate 46 is provided with a required number of vertical slots 48 engaging with a corresponding number of stationary guide pins 47 projecting from'the structural part of the mechanism, so that plate 46 can move vertically.

On the leftward end, as viewed in FIG. 1, of the coin number setting plate 46, there are provided rack teeth 50 aligned parallelly with the movable direction of the plate 46. The rack teeth 50 may be engaged with a pin 5'1 provided on a cam plate 52 rigidly coupled to a rotatably shaft 54. The shaft 54 is driven in the counterclockwise direction by an electric motor 53 via a train of gear wheels (not shown). When the cam plate 52 is rotated in the counterclockwise direction to a predetermined position, it operates still another electric switch 55.

Below the lever opening of the coin passage 1, there is provided a coin retaining tube 56 with opened upper and lower ends. At the lower opening of the coin retaining tube 56, a horizontally swingable cover plate 57 is provided. More specifically, the cover plate 57 has a portion pivotally supported by a pivot pin 60 vertically extending through a structural member 59 of the coin locker so that the cover is freely swingable in a horizontal plane. A pin (not shown) is also provided on the structural portion 59, and a coil spring (not shown) extends between the pin and the cover 57. Thus, the cover 57 is ordinarily urged under the action of this coil spring in a manner such that the side edge of the cover 57 abuts against another projection (not shown), and the lower opening of the tube 56 is thereby closed.

The cover 57 is also provided with a sidewisely projecting portion 61. A lever 63 having an end 62 thereof to abut against the projecting portion 61 of the cover 57 is rockably supported by a horizontal pin 64. When the other end 62a of the lever 63 is activated by the cam 52, the other end 62 of the lever 63 presses against the projecting portion 61 of the cover 57, whereby the cover 57 is swung open against the resilient force of the coil spring (not shown).

An electrical circuit provided in the above described example of the coin number setting device according to the present invention will now be described with reference to FIG. 4.

The positive terminal 83 of a dc. source is connected to a timer switch 65, and a normally closed contact 66 of the timer switch is further connected through a rectifying element 67 to the electric switch 41 which is operated by the blocking lever 30 rotated integrally with the locking lever 29. The normally opened contact 68 of the timer switch 65 is connected through another rectifying element 69 to the normally closed contact 71 of the switch 41 and also to the normally opened contact of the switch 55 operated by the cam 52.

Furthermore, the normally opened contact 72 of the switch 41 is connected to the normally opened contact 73 of the switch 37 operated by the insertion or removal of the key. The common contact of the switch 37 is further connected to the normally closed contact 74 of the switch 55 operated by the cam plate 52. The switch 55 is connected through a coil 76 of a relay to the negative terminal 77 of the dc. power source.

The positive terminal 83 of the dc. power source is also connected to a normally opened contact 79 of the relay 75, and a common contact 78 of the relay 75 is further connected through the motor 53 to the negative terminal 77. Between a normally closed contact 80 of the relay 75 and the negative terminal 77, a resistor 81 is connected.

The operation of this embodiment of the invention will now be described in detail.

A. In the case where the rental charge for a period of usage of therental locker is equivalent to one coin, the coin number setting pin 42 is set in the rightward end position, as viewed in FIGS. 1 and 2, of the indicator operating lever 16, and this pin 42 is brought into engagement with the coin number setting hole 13 of the coin number setting plate 46.

Then, the slidable plate 8 is manually pushed up until the indicating plate shows the figure 1 inscribed thereon through the window 23, and the rental locker is now prepared for the rental use.

a. When it is desired to use the rental locker, the user drops a coin into the coin slot. As the coin 82 advances along the coin passage 1, it pushes aside the coin detecting portion 4 of the coin detecting lever 2, whereby the lever 2 is rotated counterclockwisely thereby to disengage the upper catch-like projection 6 from the stepped portion 11 of a rack tooth 13 and to cause the lower catchlike projection 7 to engage the step portion 11 of another rack tooth 13.

After the coin has passed through the passage 1, the coin detecting lever 2 is rotated clockwise under gravity acting on the weight 5, and the catch-like projection 7 is thereby disengaged from the rack tooth 13 and the catch-like projection 6 is brought into engagement with another rack tooth 13. As a result, the slidable plate 8 descends under its own weight by a distance corresponding to one pitch length of the rack teeth 13.

Thus, through the engagement of the pin 18 on the indicator operating lever 16 with the bent portion 14 of the slidable plate 8, the indicator operating lever 16 is rotated in the clockwise direction, and the pin 19 on the operating lever 16 pushes up the bent portion 21 of the indicating plate 20. Thus, the indicating plate 20 is brought up by one step whereby (1" is indicated in the window 23.

Simultaneous with the aboved described operation, the control lever 25 is rotated clockwisely as shown in H0. 2, and the control lever 25 disengages from the blocking lever 30. The latch member 29 is thus ready to be rotated around its axis. When the cylinder lock 31 is operated by means of a key, the latch member 29 is swung about its axis, and the door of the rental locker is thereby locked.

The coin 82 passed through the coin passage 1 falls into the coin retaining tube 56 and deposited on the swingable cover plate 57.

Furthermore, under the rotation of the indicator operating lever 16, the coin number setting plate 46 is lowered through the engagement of the coin number setting pin 42 and the coin number setting hole 43, and the uppermost tooth 50a of the rack 50 formed on the coin number setting plate 46 is brought into the operable range of the pin 51 provided on the cam plate 52.

When the rental locker is locked as described above, the normally opened contact 72 of the switch 41 is closed by the blocking lever 30, and also the normally opened contact 73 of the switch 37 is closed by the insertion of the key. As a result, a circuit passing through the normally closed contact 66 of the timer switch 65, the rectifying element 67, the normally opened contact 72 of the switch 41, the normally opened contact 73 of the switch 37, and the coil 76 of the relay 75 is closed, with simultaneous closure of the normally opened contact 79 and the common contact 78, whereby the electric motor 53 is started.

When the electric motor 53 operates, the cam plate 52 is rotated. However, prior to the actual engagement of the pin 51 on the cam plate 52 with the uppermost tooth 50a of the rack 51) provided on the coin number setting plate 46, the cam plate 52 operates the switch 55 so that the normally closed contact 74 is not opened, deenergizing the relay coil 76, whereby the common contact 78 of the relay 75 is switched to the position shown in FIG. 4, and the electric motor 53 is stopped. The rental locker is maintained in this condition while it is used.

b. When the rental locker is now to be opened within the rental period, since the slidable plate 8 is now held in its lowermost position, the control lever 25 has been released from its engagement with the blocking lever 30, whereby the rental locker can be opened by simply using the key.

When the locker is opened, the relay circuit passing through the timer switch 65, the rectifying element 67, the normally closed contact 71 of the switch 41, the normally opening contact of the switch 55, and the coil 76 of the relay 75, is closed, and the electric motor 53 is operated again.

The pin 51 on the cam plate 52 is now brought into engagement with the uppermost tooth 50a of the rack 50 on the coin number setting plate 46, whereby the plate 46 is brought up together with the pin 42 provided on the indicator operating lever 16. As a result, the lever 16 is rotated in the counterclockwise direction, and the pin 18 provided thereon pushes the slidable plate 8 upward. The upward movement of the slidable plate 8, releases the engagement of the catch-like projection 6 of the coin detecting lever 2, whereby the projection 6 is shifted along the inclined edge portion 12 to the lower step 11.

Simultaneous therewith, the counterclockwise rotation of the indicator operating lever 16 lowers the indicator 20 through the engagement of the pin 19 and the bent portion 21 of the indicator 20, and the digit l is displayed in the window 23.

Furthermore, after the rotation of the indicator operating lever 16, the cam plate 52 is further rotated until it operates the switch 55 so that the normally closed contact of the switch 55 is closed and the normally opened contact 71) thereof is opened. At this instant, the key is seized in the cylinder lock 31, and the normally opened contact 72 of the switch 41 is opened. The relay 75 is thereby deenergized, and the normally opened contact 79 is disengaged from the common contact 78, whereby the electric motor 53 is stopped.

While the slidable plate 8 is elevated as described above and the control lever 25 is rotated in the counterclockwise direction by gravitational force acting thereon, the control lever 25 engages the blocking lever 30, whereby the locking movement of the latch member 29 is blocked by the blocking lever 30.

Furthermore, during the above described elevation of the coin number setting plate 46, the rotation of the cam plate 52 causes the projected portion thereof to abut against the end 62a of the lever 63, whereby the lever 63 is rotated in the clockwise direction, and the other end 62 of the lever 63 opens the cover 57 at the bottom of the retaining tube 56 against the force of the coil spring (not shown). The lower end of the coin retaining tube 56 is thus opened, and the coins stored in the tube 56 are delivered.

c. When the rental locker is used past 6 oclock, midnight, the timer switch 65 is operated, whereby the nor mally closed contact 66 thereof is opened, and the normally opened contact 68 is closed. Thus, a circuit consisting of the now closed normally opened contact 68 of the timer switch 65, one rectifying element 69, now closed contact 70 of the cam operated switch 55, and the relay coil 76 is established, and the electric motor 53 is operated. Thereupon the pin 51 of the cam plate 52 engages the uppermost tooth 50a of the rack 50, whereby the coin number setting plate 46 is elevated, and the indicator operating lever 16 is rotated in the counterclockwise direction.

According, the slidable plate 8 is elevated and held in the elevated position by means of the coin detecting lever 2. Simultaneous therewith, the indicator plate 20 is lowered, displaying the digit l in the window 23, and the rotation of the latch member 29 in the unlocking direction is prevented by the engagement of the blocking lever 30 with the control lever 25, whereby the unlocking of the cylinder lock 31 by the mere employment of a key is prevented.

Further rotation of the cam plate 52 operation the cam switch 55 to open the normally opened contact 70 thereof, and the electric motor 53 is thereby stopped.

After a predetermined period, the timer switch 65 stops its operation, and the normally closing contact 66 is now closed. As a result, a circuit consisting of the normally closed contact 66, the rectifying element 67, the switch 41, the key-operated switch 37, and the normally closed contact 74 of the cam switch 55, and the relay coil 76 is established, and the electric motor 53 is again started. Thus the cam-operated switch 55 is soon operated just before the pin 51 on the cam plate 52 engages the succeeding tooth 50b of the rack 50, and the electric motor 53 is stopped.

During the above described operation, coins stored in the coin retaining tube 56 are delivered under the action of the cam-operated lever 62.

When another unit rental period passes, the indicator plate 20 is further lowered so that the digit 2 is displayed in the window 23. At this instant, the lowest tooth 50c of the rack teeth 50 on the coin number setting plate 46 is brought into the engageable range of the pin 51 on the cam plate 52. Whenever a further unit rental period passes, the above described operation is repeated, and the digit 3 will be displayed in the window 23.

d. When one wishes to open the rental locker thus used in excess of the rental period, coins corresponding to the figure indicated in the window 23 are dropped into the coin inlet. Each time the coins are detected by the coin detecting lever 2, the slidable plate 8 and the indicator operating lever 16 are operated as described hereinbefore, whereby the indicator plate 20 is thereby successively elevated. Furthermore, the coin number setting plate 46 is lowered by the descent of one end of the indicator operating lever 16 caused by the lowering of the slidable plate 8 in such a manner that a still higher tooth in the teeth portion 50 is brought into the engageable range of the pin 51.

Finally, when the digit 0 is displayed through the window 23, the engagement between the control lever 25 and the blocking lever 30 is broken, and the latch member 29 intercoupled with the cylinder lock 31 can be unlocked by the use of a key.

When the latch member-29 is unlocked, the electric motor 53 is operated as described above, whereby the cam plate $2, the coin number setting plate 46, and the indicator operating lever 16 are successively operated in this order, and the indicator plate 20 is thereby shifted to display 1 through the window 23. Simultaneous therewith, the control lever 25 is caused to engage the blocking lever 30 through the movement of the slidable plate 8, and the locking movement of the latch member 29 is thereby prevented. As described above, the coin required to unlock the mechanism is once deposited in the coin retaining tube 56, and then delivered upon the rotation of the cam plate 52 at the time the coin number setting 46 is elevated.

B. When the rental charge of the locker for a rental period corresponds to two coins, the pin 42 provided on the indicator operating lever 16 is displaced to a sec ond position, wherein the pin 42 is engaged with the second coin number setting hole 44 provided intermediately of the coin number setting plate 46. The slidable plate 8 is then manually pushed up to a position where the second tooth of the rack 13 engages with the catchlike projection 6 of the coin detecting lever 2. In this case, the digit 2 is displayed in the window 23.

a. When it is desired to use the rental locker of the above described construction, two coins are inserted into the coin inlet leading to the coin passage 1 so that the slidable plate 8 is thereby lowered by two steps and 0 is finally displayed in the window 23. In this condition, the locking mechanism of the rental locker is brought into a lockable state as indicated in FIG. 2.

When the user closes the door of the locker and locks it by turning the key, the motor 53 is operated as described before, and the cam plate 52 is rotated to a position as indicated in FIG. 2, where the cam switch 55 is disengaged and the electric motor 53 is stopped.

b. When the rental locker is to be opened within the rental period, the electric motor 53 is started by the unlocking operation of the user, whereby the pin 51 on the cam plate 52 is brought into engagement with the uppermost tooth 50a of the rack teeth 50 formed on the coin number setting plate 46, and the coin number setting plate 46 is elevated by one step. Thus, the slid able plate is elevated through the indicator operating lever 16 through a distance corresponding to two pitches of the rack 13 provided on the slidable plate 8. Thus, the digit 2 is again displayed in the window 23, and the locking movement of the latch member 29 is prevented.

c. On the other hand, when the locker is used in'excess of the period, the cam plate 52 is rotated under the operation of the timer swtich 65, and the coin number setting plate 46 is elevated by one step by the pin 51 engaging with the uppermost tooth 50a of the rack 50 so that the indicator plate 20 is lowered by two steps to display 2 in the window 23. At the same time, the slidable plate 8 is elevated by two steps of the rack teeth 13 by the indicator operating lever 16 rotated through the engagement of the pin 42 with the hole 44 of the coin number setting plate 46.

It should be noted that the above described operation is repeated for every passage of the rental period thereby to advance the pin 51 on the cam plate 52 to the subsequent teeth 50b and 500, and the slidable plate 8 and the indicator plate 20 are advanced successively so that the digits 4 and 6 are displayed sequentially.

d. When the locker is to be opened, coins of a number corresponding to the figure indicated in the window 23 are dropped into the slot, so that the slidable plate 8 is lowered each time these coins are detected. The indicator plate 20 is thus moved upward, and the figure indicated in the window 23 will also be reduced, When the digit is finally displayed in the window 23, the rental locker will be ready to be opened. It should be noted that the coin number setting plate 46 is now lowered to the position where the uppermost tooth 50a of its rack 50 engages the pin 51 on the cam plate 52.

When the rental locker is unlocked and the door thereof is opened, the cam plate 52 is again operated through the unlocking operation of the user, and the coin number setting plate 46 is elevated by one step through the engagement of the pin 51 and the rack tooth 50a. Consequently, the slidable plate 8 is elevated by two steps, and the indicator plate is lowered by two steps, displaying the digit 2 through the window 23.

C. When the rental charge of the locker for a rental period corresponds to three coins, the pin 42 provided on the indicator operating lever 16 is replaced to still another position engageable with the third coin number setting hole 45 which is provided in the coin number setting plate 46 at a higher position than the hole 44. Simultaneous therewith, the slidable plate 8 is set as shown in FIG. 3 so that the catch-like projection 6 of the coin detecting lever 2 engages the third tooth of the rack 13 formed on the slidable plate 8, and the indicator plate 20 is thereby lowered by two steps to indicate the digit 3 in the window 23.

a. When the rental locker is to be used, three coins are dropped into the slot, whereupon the coins are detected successively, and the slidable plate 8 is lowered by three steps of the rack 13, whereby the indicator plate 20 displays 0 through the window 23. Simultaneous therewith, the latch member 29 is released and allowed to rotate in the locking direction, and the electric motor 53 is operated to rotate the cam plate to a position where the cam plate 52 is just disengaged from the cam-operated switch 55, whereupon the electric motor 53 is stopped.

b. When the rental locker is to be opened within the rental period, the electric motor 53 is again started by the locker-opening operation of the user, whereby the pin 51 on the cam plate 52 is brought into engagement with the uppermost tooth 50a of the rack 50 formed on the coin number setting plate 46, and the coin number setting plate 46 is elevated by one step. Thus, the slidable plate 8 is elevated for a distance corresponding to three pitches of the rack 13, whereby the rotation of the latch member 29 into the locking direction is prevented, and the digit 3 is displayed in the window 23.

c. When the locker is used in excess of the rental period, the electric motor 53 is again operated through the operation of the timer 65 thereby to rotate the cam plate 52 counterclockwisely, and the coin number setting plate 46 is elevated for one step. The indicator plate 2t) is thus lowered by three steps to display 3 in the window 23, and the slidable plate 8 is elevated by three steps.

The above described operation is repeated for every passage of the unit rental period thereby to indicated digits 6 and 9 successively in the window 23.

d. When the rental locker is to be opened, coins of a number corresponding to the digit displayed in the window 23 are dropped into the coin inlet. Upon detection of the coins, the slidable plate 8 descends, turning the indicator operating lever 16 clockwisely, whereby the indicator plate 20 is successively elevated until 0 is displayed in the window 23. At the same time, the coin number setting plate 46 is lowered successively until the uppermost tooth 50a is brought into the engageable range of the pin 51 on the cam plate 52, and the blocking lever 30 is released thereby to allow the rental locker to be opened by the use of its key.

As will be apparent from the above detailed description of the invention, the arm length of the indicator operating lever 16 can be varied by varying the preset position of the coin number setting pin 42 along the lever 16 so that the pin 42 engages in a desired one of the coin number setting holes 43, 44, and 45, whereby the number of coins required for a unit length of the rental period can be changed as desired without changing the engaging positions of the pin 51 on the cam plate 52 and the rack teeth 50 of the coin number setting plate 46. Under the presetting of the engaging pin 42 in a desired one of the coin number setting holes 43, 44, and 45, the operating distances of the slidable plate 8 and the indicator plate 20 can be changed, whereby the rental locker can be preset to a desired rental charge for a rental period.

Although the present invention has been described with respect to a preferred embodiment of the invention, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications may be carried out therein. For instance, the coin number setting pin 42 and the coin number setting holes 43, 44, and 45 provided on the indicator operating lever 16 and in the coin number setting plate 46, respectively, may be modified in such a manner that the coin number setting pin is provided on the coin number setting plate 46 and the coin number setting holes are provided in the indicator operating lever 16. Furthermore, the rental period which has been described to expire at 0 oclock, midnight, may be changed to a rental period of a predetermined hours starting from the instant of start of the usage.

I claim:

l. A rental locker system of the type rendered lockable with a key by dropping a required number of coins into a coin inlet and later unlockable with the same key comprising: a lock mechanism adapted to be locked or unlocked by said key", indication means indicating the number of coins required for locking or unlocking said lock mechanism; coin detection means for detecting the coins actually dropped; control means for controlling the lock mechanism in locking or unlocking; a slidable plate operating through said control means when the coin detection means detects coins of a number indicated in said indication means to place the locking mechanism in a lockable state; an operating lever rotatable around a pivotal point in cooperation with said slidable plate; and a coin number setting plate engaging with said operating lever at a position selectively changeable, whereby when the coin number setting plate is operated by an unlocking action of the user, the

operation is transmitted through said operating'lever to said slidable plate, whereby the coin number required for a rental period can be changed by selectively changing the engaging position of said indicator operating lever and said coin number setting plate.

2. A rental locker system as set forth in claim 1 wherein said operating lever is further intercoupled with said indication means in a manner such that the number of coins required for locking or unlocking said locking mechanism is indicated in accordance with the actual position of said slidable plate.

3. A rental locker system as set forth in claim 2 wherein said indication means includes an indicating plate bearing digits successively displayed through a window.

4. A rental locker system as set forth in claim ll wherein said locking mechanism comprises a cylinder lock having a latch member engageable with a slit in the door of the rental locker and a blocking lever for operating cooperatively with said control means.

5. A rental locker system as set forth in claim il wherein said control means is a control lever rotatable about a pivotal point with one end thereof being detachably engaged with said slidable plate and other end thereof being engageable with a blocking lever of said locking mechanism.

6. A rental locker system as set forth in claim 1 wherein said slidable plate includes a toothed rack portion engaging with said coin detecting means, a portion allowing said control means to block the locking movement of said locking mechanism, and another portion defining the movement of said operating lever, whereby when the slidable plate is moved in correspondence ,with each detection of coins dropped into said coin inlet, said operating lever is rotated, and said coin number setting plate is caused to descend in correspondence with the detected number of coins.

7. A rental locker system as set forth in claim 1 wherein cam means rotated by driving means is further intercoupled with said coin number setting plate, and said driving means is so controlled that when the user of the locker unlocks the locking mechanism, the coin number setting plate is thereby elevated by one step,

and the slidable plate is moved by a distance corresponding to the number of coins required for a rental period preset by said engaging position of said operating lever and said coin number setting plate.

8. A rental locker system as set forth in claim 1 wherein said slidable plate is caused to descend by a distance corresponding to a detected number of coins dropped into said coin inlet, and elevated by a distance corresponding to a preset number of coins required for a rental period.

9. A rental locker system as set forth in claim 1 wherein said indication means is so interlinked with said slidable plate that when a number of coins corresponding to a number indicated by said indication means are dropped into said coin inlet, said slidable plate is caused to descend to its lowest position, and the control means thereby allows the locking movement of said locking mechanism.

M). A rental locker system as set forth in claim 1 wherein timer means is incorporated, and whenever the timer means operates, said coin number setting plate is elevated by one step, whereby the slidable plate is moved by a distance corresponding to the number of coins preset for a rental period.

RE. A rental locker system as set forth in claim 1 wherein a coin retaining means is incorporated in connection with a coin passage downstream of said coin detecting means, and said coin retaining means is so constructed that coins passed through the coin detecting means are stacked in the coin thicknesswise direction in said coin retaining means.

12. A rental locker system as set forth in claim 11 wherein said coin retaining means comprises a coin retaining tube having a lower end opening and a horizontally swingable cover provided at said lower end openmg.

13. A rental locker system as set forth in claim 12 wherein said horizontally swingable cover is opened in cooperation with said elevating movement of said coin number setting plate, whereby the coins stacked in the coin retaining tube are temporarily retained therein until the end cover is swung open. =l l l=

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2991866 *May 16, 1958Jul 11, 1961Billy C JamesCoin operated locker
US3050169 *Feb 18, 1960Aug 21, 1962American Locker CoChecking locker
US3460662 *Jul 5, 1967Aug 12, 1969Kokuei Kikai Seisakusho KkCoin-operated locking mechanism
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4122935 *Dec 10, 1976Oct 31, 1978Glory Kogyo Kabushiki KaishaSystem for controlling coin-operated lockers
US4557365 *Dec 14, 1983Dec 10, 1985American Locker Security Systems, Inc.Coin operated lock unit
CN102189397A *Jun 9, 2011Sep 21, 2011宁波百年电器有限公司Inserter for timer
WO2007124914A1 *Apr 26, 2007Nov 8, 2007Wanzl Metallwarenfabrik KgToken-operated lock
Classifications
U.S. Classification194/288
International ClassificationG07F17/12, G07F17/10, G07F9/00, G07F5/02, G07F5/00, G07F5/20
Cooperative ClassificationG07F5/00, G07F17/12
European ClassificationG07F5/00, G07F17/12