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Publication numberUS3844298 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 29, 1974
Filing dateFeb 26, 1973
Priority dateFeb 26, 1973
Also published asCA1010917A1
Publication numberUS 3844298 A, US 3844298A, US-A-3844298, US3844298 A, US3844298A
InventorsE Schweitzer
Original AssigneeArdac Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Angled edge stacking coin chute
US 3844298 A
Abstract
A unique coin chute to receive, retain, and dispense coins in such a manner as to guarantee that no two adjacently stored coins have aligned edges. The invention comprises a chute having two intersecting arms. Coins are alternately placed into each of the two arms such that no coin abutts an aligned coin but instead is supported by and supports coins with which it is angled. A novel bi-directional mechanical switch alternates the depositing of the coins into each of two channels which orient the coins for ultimate disposition into an associated arm of the chute.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

t atent [1 1 Unite-ii tes Schweitzer [52] US. Cl 133/5, 194/1 K, 221/67, 193/43 R, 193/31, 193/43 A, 214/8.5 K

{51] int. Cl. G07d l/00 [58] Field of Search 133/1, 3, 4, 5; 193/43 R, 193/31, 43 A, DIG. l;221/67, 175; 194/4 G,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 6/1930 Fry 193/31 R 7/1952 Hartmann 193/31 R X Oct. 29, 1974 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Oldham & Oldham Co.

[57] ABSTRACT A unique coin chute to receive, retain, and dispense coins in such a manner as to guarantee that no two adjacently stored coins have aligned edges. The invention comprises a chute having two intersecting arms. Coins are alternately placed into each of the two arms such that no coin abutts an aligned coin but instead is supported by and supports coins with which it is angled. A novel bi-directional mechanical switch alternates the depositing of the coins into each of two channels which orient the coins for ultimate disposition into an associated arm of the chute.

10 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures ANGLED EDGE STACKING COIN CHUTE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Heretofore in the field of coin dispensing apparatus two basic types of coin columns or chutes for retaining coins prior to dispensing have been utilized. The first type, known as the flat stack chute, is shown in FIG. 1. Here the chute receives and retains a plurality of coins 12 in a stacked relationship. Upon actuation, a solenoid 14 causes a plunger 16 to force the bottom coin of the stack into the passage 18 for final dispensing. The passage 18 must be of sutstantially the same heighth as the thickness of the coins 12 to guarantee that a single stroke of the plunger 16 will not dispense more than one coin. It can be seen that when the passage 18 is kept at a minimum heighth the comer 20 formed by the junction of the chute 10 with the passage 18 presents a point whereat the jamming of a bent or oversized coin might readily occur. If for example a nickel happened to fall within the dime chute, the nickel being oversized as compared with a dime, and the passage 18 were not large enough to allow the passage of a nickle therethrough, it would be understood that the plunger 16 would jam the nickle against the corner 20 and thus inhibit the operational ability of the coin dispensing apparatus. Similarly, if a coin were bent to a substantial degree it would also have a tendency to jam at the corner 20.

In FIG. 2 it is shown that the second well known type of coin chute retains the coins in an aligned edge stacked pattern. Here it can be seen that the coin chute 30, somewhat wider than the thickness of the coins 12 contained therein, has associated therewith the two solenoids 34 and 38 which respectively control the operation of the plungers 32 and 36. As is well known in the art, the dispensing of the coins 12 from the chute is achieved by properly actuating and sequencing the solenoids 34 and 38. Here again it should be readily seen that the chute 30 is susceptible to jamming. An oversized or bent coin might readily jam between the walls of the chute 30 and, if the chute 30 were to be designed so as to guard against the jamming of a bent or oversized coin by widening the chute then it would be susceptible to jamming by the passing by of two undersized coins. In other words, if two coins, such as dimes, are worn thin by use then it would be understood that they could conceivably slide side by side within the confines of the chute 30 and thereby jam the coin dispensing apparatus.

It is of course most desirable that the servicing of coin dispensing apparatus be as simple as possible with little care having to be taken to guard against the presence of bent, oversized, or undersized coins. Particularly, it is most desirable that the servicing of such coin dispensing apparatus comprise nothing more than the undiscriminating placing of a multitude of coins in bulk hoppers where they may be automatically placed in the proper dispensing chutes by electro-mechanical means. The coin dispensing chutes to be associated with such an apparatus must be unaffected by the presence of oversized, undersized, bent, or wrong denomination coins in order to appreciate the utility of the simplified servicing approach.

It is therefore an object of the instant invention to present a coin column or chute which is immune to the affects of physical variances in the coins to be dispensed.

Yet another object of the invention is to present a coin chute which is readily adaptable for use with automatic coin sorting and stacking apparatus.

Still another object of the invention is to present a coin chute which is simplistic in design, reliable in operation, and readily adaptable for use in present state of the art coin dispensing apparatus.

These objects and other objects which will become apparent as the detailed description proceeds are achieved by apparatus to receive, store, and dispense coins comprising a chute having two intersecting arms, each arm being capable of retaining coins; means connected to one end of the chute for depositing the coins into the various arms according to a preselected pattem; and means connected to the other end of the chute for dispensing a preselected number of the coins from the chute.

For a full understanding and appreciation of the techniques and apparatus of the invention reference should be had to the detailed description and accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a prior art showing of a flat stack chute;

FIG. 2 is a prior art showing of an aligned edge stack chute;

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the chute comprising the instant invention;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of FIG. 3 taken along the line 4-4;

FIG. 5 is a plan view of a rotating gate which may achieve the depositing or dispensing of coins stored in the chute of the instant invention; and

FIG. 6 is a plan view of one approach to the deposit ing apparatus to be associated with the chute of the instant invention.

A general understanding of the chute comprising the instant invention may be had by reference to FIG. 3. It can be seen that the chute, designated generally by the numeral 40, substantially comprises two intersecting aligned edge stacking chutes or arms 42 and 44; the arms preferably intersecting at their midpoints. Although the chutes 42 and 44 are shown in FIG. 3 as intersecting at right angles, it will become apparent that such need not be the case.

Fundamentally, the chute 40 achieves the objects of the invention by providing for an alternating or angled edge stacking pattern of the coins to be retained for dispensing. FIG. 4 shows this stacking technique taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 3. The coins 46 shown in this cross-sectional view have been received in the aligned edge stacking column 42 while the coins 48 have been received in the aligned edge stacking column 44. It can be seen that the angled edge stacking pattern achieved by use of the chute 40 guarantees that no two adjacent coins have aligned edges. This position guarantees that there will be no passing-by of undersized coins. Since the angled edge stacking pattern relieves the concern over the pass-by effect, the individual chutes or arms 42 and 44 may be of such width as to guarantee that a bent coin or an improper coin such as a nickel in the dime chute or a quarter in the nickel chute will not cause a jamming thereof. Specifically, it is contemplated that all chutes in a coin dispensing system may be of such size as to be capable of receiving and dispensing the largest as well as the smallest coin to be associated with the system; such coin being bent so as to have slightly less than doubled its thickness. In other words, in a dollar bill changer which dispenses nickels, dimes, and quarters. each of the arms of each of the three chutes 40 would have rectangular crosssectional dimensions; one side of the rectangle being slightly greater than the diameter of a quarter and the other side slightly less than twice the thickness of a quarter.

It should of course now be understood that the technique of the instant invention is achieved by guaranteeing that no adjacent coins have aligned edges. This requirement dictates that the two chutes comprising the angled edge stacking chute 40 intersect each other at some angle, that angle not necessarily being 90 but great enough to assure that the edges of abutting coins cannot slide past each other.

The dispensing means to be utilized in association with the chute 40 to pass coins therefrom may have any of numerous characteristics. For instance, it should be readily seen that the combination of solenoids and plungers as shown in the prior art drawing of FIG. 2 would be readily adaptable for use in the instant invention. For a dispensing of an even number of coins the solenoids and plungers would both be associated with the same chute while for the dispensing of an odd number of coins one plunger and solenoid would be associated with the chute 52 while the other would be associated with the chute 44.

It should further be noted that a technique to achieve the selected dispensing of coins would be the utilization of a rotating gate or turntable controlled by stepping switch or logic network. A rotating gate 50 is shown in FIG. 5 to be characterized by the presence of a slot 52 passing therethrough. If the chute 40 were placed upon the rotating gate 50 and the gate 50 caused to rotate through the control of a stepping switch or a logic network it can be seen that as the slot 52 aligns with the chute 42 a coin would be dispensed and as it aligned with the chute 44 a second coin would be dispensed. By controlling the amount of rotation of the rotating gate 50 any preselected number of coins could be dispensed from the chute 40. Of course, the utilization of stepping switches and logic networks to achieve such preselected control is well known and understood in the art.

Attention is now focused to the methods and apparatus for directing the coins from a bulk hopper into the angled edge stacking pattern achieved in the chute 40. It of course should be understood that the coins received from the bulk hopper are to be alternately placed into the chutes of arms 42 and 44 respectively so as to abide by the techniques of the invention. While any of numerous means for so directing the coins is contemplated to be within the scope of the invention, FIG. 6 illustrates a specific manner by which this object may be achieved. There it can be seen that a funnel 60 receives the coins as they are fed from the bulk hopper. As the coins are dropped into the funnel 60 they pass down the sides thereof and are directed by a bidirectional mechanical gate or flipper 62 housed within the neck of the funnel 60 into one of the channels 64 or 66. The funnel 60 is shown to be of clear plastic to better illustrate the mechanism therein but the funnel 60 may be of any suitable material. The flipper 62 is pivotally connected to the neck of the funnel 60 by means of a pivotal pin 68. The flipper 62 is of such a nature that the portion above the pivotal pin 68 is of greater mass than that portion below the pin. Consequently, the center of gravity of the flipper 62 rides above the pivotal pin 68. As a coin passes through the funnel 60 and comes into engagement with the flipper 62 the coin is directed by an exposed leg 72 toward one of the channels 64, 66. As the coin passes over the exposed leg 72 it causes the flipper 62 to pivot around the pivotal pin 68 allowing the coin to enter the appropriate channel. The weight of the coin does the work of shifting the center of gravity of the flipper 62 to an opposite side of the pivotal pin 68 so that the flipper 62 comes to rest in a position which will tend to direct the next coin coming through the funnel 60 toward the opposite channel. It can be seen then that the flipper or bi-directional mechanical gate 62 alternately directs coins to the channels 64 and 66. It is contemplated that a pin 70 shown in FIG. 6 to be perpendicularly extending from the flipper 62 will engage with a slot 71 in the flipper housing so as to limit the swing of the flipper 62. Of course, the pin 70 and its associated slot 71 would not be necessary if the flipper 62 were allowed to come into stopping engagement with the side of the funnel. It is further contemplated that a light anti-bounce spring 69 may be provided between a grounded portion of the funnel assembly and a point on the flipper 62 above the pivotal pin 68 so as to dampen any bounce of the flipper 62 when a coin passes. In general then it should be understood that, as shown in FIG. 6, the flipper 62 has directed a coin down the channel 66 and will direct the next coin along its curved leg 72 into the channel 64 at which time the flipper 62 will pivot about the pin 68, the pin 70 stopping the pivoting motion by engagement with the sides of slot such that the flipper would then be ready to direct the next coin back to the channel 66.

The channels 64 and 66 provide the final orienting of the coins from the funnel 60 so that they are positioned in the proper arms 42, 44 of the chute 40. It can be seen from FIG. 6 that the channel 64 has a slight righthand twist and the channel 66 a slight lefthand twist such that those channels may respectively direct coins into the arms 42 and 44 of the chute 40. The ultimate engagement of the channels 64 and 66 with the arms 42 and 44 of course cannot extend beyond the intersection of the two arms 42 and 44 since such an extension would interfere with the alternate passage of coins. One skilled in the art should readily appreciate that the channels 64, 66 may be replaced by a similar member having extruded projections in coin-receiving relationship with the flipper 62; the projections deflecting and guiding the coins appropriately.

It should be understood that the utilization of a bidirectional mechanical gate such as the flipper 62 is but one way of achieving the direction of the coins into the angled edge stacking chute 40. It should be readily appreciated by one skilled in the art that the rotating gate 50 having the slot 52 passing therethrough which is shown in FIG. 5 could readily achieve the purposes of directing the sorted coins into the angled arms of the chute 40. As the coins are fed from the bulk hopper using known techniques they could singularly be dropped into a vertical chute which would drop the coins into the slot 52 of the rotating disk 50. With the coins so positioned the disk 50 would rotate so as to align the slot 52 with one of the arms 42, 44 of the chute 40. When so aligned, the coin would automatically drop into its proper position in the chute 40. The rotating disk 50 would then return to its feed position under the vertical chute and, upon receiving a second coin, would rotate in the opposite direction so as to drop the coin into the other arm of the chute 40. It should of course be understood that many other techniques could be readily adapted to achieve the proper dispensing of coins as they are sorted from the bulk hopper into the proper arm of the chute 40.

Thus it can be seen that the objects of the invention have been achieved by the techniques and apparatus presented and described herein. While in accordance with the Patent Statutes only the best known and preferred embodiments of the invention have been presented and described in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited thereto or thereby. Consequently, for a true appreciation of the scope of the invention reference should be had to the accompanying claims.

What is claimed is: 1. Apparatus to receive, store and dispense coins, comprising:

a chute having at least two continuously intersecting arms, each arm being capable of retaining coins;

means connected to one end of the chute for depositing the coins into the various arms such that no two consecutively deposited coins are received by the same arm; and

means connected to the other end of the chute for dispensing a preselected number of the coins from the chute.

2. The apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein the arms of the chute are of such nature as to retain each coin in an edge aligned relationship with all other coins in the same arm.

3. The apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein the arms of the chute are rectangular in cross-sectional area and the arms intersect at their cross-sectional midpoints.

4. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the chute has two intersecting arms and the means for depositing the coins alternates the depositing of coins between the two arms.

5. The apparatus according to claim 4 wherein the means for depositing the coins further includes two channels, one associated with each of the arms of the chute, the channels orienting the coins so as to be receivable by the associated arm.

6. The apparatus as recited in claim 4 wherein the means for dispensing the coins releases the coins alternately from each of the arms until the preselected number of coins have been dispensed.

7. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the means for depositing the coins comprises a member pivotally mounted above the chute in such a manner that each successive coin passing thereover and into an arm of the chute causes the member to pivot and direct the immediately succeeding coin into a different arm.

8. A chute for receiving, storing, and dispensing coins, comprising two intersecting arms, each arm the chute share a common cross-sectional midpoint.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1761785 *Aug 19, 1929Jun 3, 1930Fry Benjamin LCoin-actuated mechanism
US2602534 *Apr 3, 1951Jul 8, 1952William H HartmannAutomatic dividing device for conveyer systems
US2937785 *Jul 11, 1956May 24, 1960Opal Mfg CompanyArticle release mechanism
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3934692 *Feb 25, 1974Jan 27, 1976Ardac, Inc.Positive action coin dispenser
US4579215 *Oct 15, 1984Apr 1, 1986Kaspar Wire Works, Inc.Multiple chute coin mechanism
US4607650 *Sep 5, 1984Aug 26, 1986Kabushiki Kaisha NipponcoincoCoin dispensing apparatus
US4693357 *Feb 3, 1986Sep 15, 1987Kaspar Wire Works, Inc.Multiple chute coin mechanism
US5011456 *Jun 22, 1989Apr 30, 1991Kabushiki Kaisha Nippon ConluxCoin receiving and discharging apparatus
EP0146294A2 *Nov 30, 1984Jun 26, 1985Asahi Seiko Kabushiki KaishaCoin dispensing apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification221/67, 198/374, 453/61, 193/DIG.100, 193/31.00R, 194/344
International ClassificationG07D1/00, G07F1/04
Cooperative ClassificationY10S193/01, G07F1/047
European ClassificationG07F1/04H