US 3850279 A
A forms simulation display panel is arranged to automatically reposition the print point of a typewriter in response to manual designation by the typist of a desired print point. Information can thus be typed on a form in whatever order is most conveneient to the typist since typing fields can be randomly selected with a minimum of effort.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Kolpek Nov. 26, 1974 PRINT POINT POSITIONING CONTROL FOR A CHARACTER-BY-CI-IARACTER PRINTER Inventor: Robert A. Kolpek, Lexington, Ky.
International Business Machines Corporation, Armonk, NY.
Filed: Dec. 26, 1972 Appl. No.: 318,300
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 7/1889 Dewey 178/87 X 8/1900 178/87 X 6/1903 197/19 5/1904 197/19 12/1924 Reynolds 197/20 1/1960 Ducrocq 197/19 2/1960 Ziskind et a1. 197/19 Pilsatneeks 3,025,942 3/1962 Hess 197/66 3,128,458 4/1964 Romero 340/365 R 3,283,871 11/1966 Becking et al 197/20 3,346,853 10/1967 Koster et al. 340/l72.5 3,347,986 10/1967 Gilbert 340/365 X 3,380,568 4/1968 Adams et a1 197/20 3,462,549 8/1969 Hamilton-Fey 197/1 R UX 3,476,311 11/1969 Feldman 197/1.6 X 3,523,161 8/1970 Lewin 340/365 S X 3,579,195 5/1971 Hallmark et al. 340/1725 3,584,162 6/1971 Krakinowski 340/365 A UX 3,609,758 9/1971 Buesing 235/145 R UX 3,618,738 11/1971 Boyatt et a1. 197/122 X Primary ExaminerErnest T. Wright, .1 r. Attorney, Agent, or FirmLaurence R. Letson; E. Ronald Coffman [5 7 ABSTRACT A forms simulation display panel is arranged to automatically reposition the print point of a typewriter in response to manual designation by the typist of a desired print point. Information can thus be typed on a form in whatever order is most conveneient to the typist since typing fields can be randomly selected with a minimum of effort.
2 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures HORIZONTAL DETENT PRINT POINT POSITIONING CONTROL FOR A CHARACTER-BY-CHARACTER PRINTER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Typing of data on forms has been assisted in the past by the use of preset forms program devices such as punched paper tapes to automatically and rapidly move the typing print point between different typing fields. One convenient form of such a program device has employed marks on the typing form itself which assists in the automatic location of different typing fields. These prior forms assistance devices have in common the requirement that data be entered on the form in accordance with a preset order. It is often the case that the data available to the typist is presented is an order different from that required by the forms format program. In this case the typist is required to sort through the input data and draw out various items in the order of the format program.
DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION My invention provides the typist with direct access to whatever portion of a form is desired and in whatever order it is convenient to the typist. With my invention the typist is provided with a display unit that conveniently will support a blank version of the fomi being typed. The display unit includes sensing devices which respond to the manual designation of the typist of a point on the blank form to automatically move the typewriter print point horizontally and vertically to the point designated by the typist. With the use of this device the typist is freed to take raw data in whatever order it is presented and enter it into a form by successively designating the form locations on the display device in the most convenient order. Since the positioning between fields is done automatically in response to simply the designation of the desired field, the typist is enabled to gain effectively both the benefits of automatic field selection and convenient use of the data as presented. Also, this display device simplifies the task of typing on a variety of different forms where the same raw data is to be entered into different locations since the blank forms provide the simulation pattern required. If desired, any display unit can be combined with recording means so that any given order of forms positioning can be learned as the operator manually designates the order of typing fields with the first of a series of similar forms.
These and other objects, features and advantages of my invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art upon reading the following specific description of an illustrative preferred embodiment wherein reference is made to the accompanying drawing, of which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a typewriter having a semi-automatic forms positioning display panel constructed in accordance with my invention associated therewith; M
FIG. 2 is a diagramatic illustration of the typewriter and display panel shown in FIG. 1 together with the control circuitry by which the typewriter is controlled from input from the display panel;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged perspective view of the display panel employed in FIGS. 1 and 2; and
FIG. 4 is an enlargedcross-sectional view of a portion of the display panel shown in FIG. 3 and taken along lines IV IV thereof.
Referring now more specifically to the drawing in FIG. 1, there is shown a serial character-by-character impact page printer or typewriter that can be generally like the well known IBM Selectric I/O Writer as described, for example, in IBM Customer Engineering Selectric I/O Writer Instruction Manual Form/Part No: 241-5159-1 revised Nov. 12, 1962, published by International Business Machines Corporation, Armonk, New York. The typewriter 10 includes well known printing mechanism comprising a type element 11 having character shaped type 12 thereon. The type element 11 together with a page supporting impact resisting platen 13 defines a print point 20. Platen 13 is rotatably supported by bearings 14 in the typewriter frame 15 (see FIG. 2) for vertically moving a page 21 that is carried thereby. The type element 11 is supported on a carrier 16 (see FIG. 2) that is positioned by a lead screw 17 that is different from the escapement mechanism of the Selectric l/O Writer referred to above. Lead screw 17 controls lateral movement of the print point 20 horizontally across the page 21 to define a writing line 22 that extends along the length of platen 13.
The typewriter 10 also includes a keyboard having printing control keys 31 and print position moving keys such as a space bar 32, line return key 33, backspace key 34, and line feed key 35. Knobs 36 (see FIGS. 1 and 2) enable manual positioning of the page 21 vertically within the typewriter 10.
For moving the platen 13 between writing lines 22, a forward and reverse line feed or index mechanism 40 is provided which can be substantially like that disclosed in IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin entitled Forward and Reverse Indexing Mechanism" Volume 10, No. 12, May 1968 at page 1904, published by International Business Machines Corporation, Armonk, New York. The line feed mechanism 40 includes an activating magnet 41 like that employed in the Selectric I/O Writer identified above. Ordinarily, pulsing of magnet 41 produces a single line feed operation. If magnet 41 is held active, the line feed mechanism 40 will simply operate repeatedly. The line feed mechanism 40 also includes a reverse feed select magnet 42 as disclosed in the aforesaid IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin. When activated, reverse feed select magnet 42 changes the effective output direction of the line feed so that page 21 is fed to move the print point 20 toward the top of the page 21. A more versatile mechanism is obtained if the reverse line feed operates in half step increments and the forward line feed operates in full step increments as disclosed in the aforesaid IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin.
The lead screw 17 is driven through gears 18 and 19 by a direct current, forward and reverse drive motor 50. The carrier 16 thus is positioned along the length of platen 13 by operation of the motor 50. The control for ordinary letter feed and backspace of the print point 20 is not shown since it forms no part of my invention. This control can be accomplished by various techniques known to those skilled in the typewriter arts including, for example, the Selectric continuous or incremental motor control technique disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,618,738. To obtain precise positioning of the print point 20, a detent member 51 is normally engaged with a ratchet wheel 52 on the lead screw 17. When seeking a new typing field, electromagnet 53 is activated to withdraw the detent member 51 from ratchet wheel 52 and thereby free the lead screw 17 for movement prior to driving of lead screw 17 by motor 50. Termination of lead screw rotation is followed by release of electromagnet 53 and re-entry of the detent member 51 to again precisely position and hold the lead screw 17.
In summary it is seen that the typewriter provides mechanism capable of positioning the print point 20 horizontally and vertically both in the forward and reverse directions. While a type impact printer has been illustrated, those skilled in the art will recognize that a serial printer operating to produce visible hard copy by other techniques would be equally appropriate. For example, the printing mechanism could employ a controlled ink jet spray, a thermal matrix, or an optical character generator with equal facility.
The typewriter 10 is provided with horizontal and vertical motion tranducers 54 and 43 respectively (see FIG. 2) each of which can be similar in theory and operation to that disclosed in US. Patent 3,579,195. The horizontal motion transducer 54 comprises a pulse emitting wheel 55 which generates strobed position and direction information in photosensing mechanism 56 by which displacement of the lead screw 17 in individual character increments is measured. Suitable control circuitry including a counting register provides a digital horizontal print point position sensing device 57. Sensing device 57 stores a seven digit true binary code output that numerically represents the columnar position of print point 20 along the writing line 22. A reset key switch 61 which is conveniently carried by a foremat simulation control panel 60 (FIGS. 1 and 3) when depressed resets the horizontal position sensing device 57 to a starting condition such as that representing a left margin. The operator should press button 61 thereby normalizing the sensing device 57 after locating the print point 20 at a predetermined left margin position upon insertion of a new page 21.
The vertical motion transducer 43 is substantially identical to transducer 54 and includes an emitter wheel 44, and optical sense mechanism 45. Suitable control circuitry including a counting register provides a digital vertical print point position sensing device 46.
Sensing device 46 stores only a 6 digit binary code output which is numerically representative of the writing line position of the page 21 within the typewriter 10. Reset key switch 61 is operative also to set the sensing device 46 to a normal or starting condition upon depression.
In operation, a page 21 is inserted by the operator to align a fixed position such as a left corner mark 21a on the page 21 with the print point 20. Reset key 61 is depressed to set the horizontal position sensing device 57 and vertical position sensing device 46 to their zero or normalized conditions. Thereafter, all displacement of the print point 20 relative to the page 21 is accounted for in the horizontal and vertical print point position sensing devices 57 and 46 as unit displacement is added or substracted with motion of either the platen 13 or carrier 16.
The details of the display panel 60 are best seen in FIG. 3. This panel 60 includes a stand or base 62 and a display frame 63 supported thereby and oriented to the convenience of the operator. A probe 64 includes a dobber end 65 that actuates a start switch 66 when depressed to generate a start signal. A flexible cable 67 is connected to the base 62 and includes line 68 (FIG.
2) that carries the start signal to the control circuitry hereinafter described.
The frame 63 includes an optically transparent cover plate 69 that is just larger than an ordinary typing page. An opening 63a at the upper end of frame 63 allows insertion of a blank form 21' behind the cover plate 69 where it is held by the frame 63 in an orientation that is convenient to the operator. Openings 63b are provided in the cover plate 69 at each possible character position thereon for guiding the dobber end 65 of the probe 64. Spaced from the cover plate 69 is an elastic membrane 70 (see FIG. 4) onto the back of which is formed or mounted a plurality of horizontal writing line position transducers in the form of electrically conducting bands 71. A mesh or grid 72 separates the horizontal bands '71 from a conductive plating 73 on flexible diaphragm 74. Further plating 75 on diaphragm 74 is separated by grid 76 from vertically oriented columnar position transducer bands 77 carried by a cushion backing member 78.
Platings 73 and 75 are connected to a suitable logic level power source 79 (See FIG. 2). A band 71 is provided for each of the possible writing lines 22 on a page 21 and a band 77 is provided for each of the possible columnar positions on a page 21. The bands 71 and 77 thus provide a position detecting cross matrix that is superimposed on a blank form 21, held by the frame 63. The intersections of the cross matrix uniquely identify all the possible print positions on a page 21.
While the structure of the frame 63 has been described somewhat in detail for ease in understanding my invention, reference may also be had to US. Pat. No. 3,609,758 for a description of a structurally similar switch point closing device that-is configured for a different purpose. Particularly, US. Pat. No. 3,609,758 shows the details of the probe 64 which includes mechanism to provide the operator with a sensible signal such as an audible beep indicating that an input has been made.
In use, a blank form 21 showing the format to be typed is inserted between the transparent cover plate 69 and the membrane 70. The form 21' is thus held visible to the operator. The operator can manually designate a desired point on the form 21' by pressing the dobber end 65 of the probe 64 through a hole 63b against the form 21 to deflect membranes 70 and 74. Electrical contacts are made by the deflection of plating 75 against a vertical band 77 and by deflection of a horizontal band 71 against plating 73 to generate columnar and writing line position indicative signals on individual wires of multiwire cables 80 and respectively. The grids 72 and 76 prevent adjacent bands 71 and 77 from also being closed.
The position indicative signals in cables 80 and 90 are delivered to control circuitry including horizontal encode circuitry 81 and vertical encode circuitry 91. The encode circuitry 81 and 91 can take any suitable form known to the art such as, for example, a diode matrix wherein current applied to an individual wire in cables 80 or 90 is distributed by one-way connections through diodes to selected ones of a group of output wires 82 and 92 that are given binary significance to numerically represent the position indicated in the same sense as the output of position sensing devices 57 and 46.
The probe 64 as described in US. Pat. No. 3,609,758 closes internal switch 66 when adequate pressure has been exerted on dobber part 65 to insure electrical contact of horizontal conductive bands 71 and vertical bands 77 with their respective source plates 73 and 75. Closing of the probe internal switch 66 generates a signal on line 68 that activates a signal limiting single shot 100 to gate the information encoded on lines 82 and 92 into respective binary registers 83 and 93. As is well known in the art, these registers 83 and 93 are constructed to be over-ridden by whatever information is gated thereinto. The signal on line 68 also sets a start latch circuit 101 to activate an output line 102. The output of start latch 101 is delayed by a delay circuit 103 until the pulse termination output of single shot 100. The start signal then is applied to the horizontal detent control AND circuit 104 and to enabling gates 84 and 94 respectively of horizontal compare circuit 85 and vertical compare circuit 95.
If horizontal repositioning is required, a NOT horizontal stop signal will be presented by line 86 to the inverted input to AND circuit 104 and the coincidence will be satisfied. Electromagnet 53 is thus activated to withdraw detent 51 from ratchet 52. Horizontal compare circuit 85 will produce one of three outputs respectively on a forward drive output line 87, a reverse drive output line 88 and the stop drive output line 86. Compare circuit 85 functions to determine whether the binary code presented by horizontal print point position sensing device 57 on lines 58 is greater, less than or equal to the binary code presented by register 83 on lines 89.
If the binary code on lines 89 is greater than that on lines 58, a signal will be presented on the forward drive output line 87 which is connected to the motor 50 so as to drive the motor 50 in a direction to move carrier 16 to the right by rotation of lead screw 17. The rotation of lead screw 17 is sensed by optical senser 56 in terms of a number of pulses and a direction of lead screw rotation as described in aforementioned US. Pat. No. 3,579,195. These pulses are added to the original binary number retained in the horizontal print point position sensing device 57 to continuously update the binary code presented by lines 58 to compare circuit 85. When the binary code presented on lines 58 equals the binary code presented on lines 89 the signal on forward drive line 87 will be removed and in its place a signal will be generated on stop line 86. This signal provides an input to stop AND circuit 105 and also applies a horizontal stop signal to horizontal detent AND circuit 104 thereby completing the required coincidence necessary to deactivate electro-magnet 53 and permit detent pawl 51 to re-engage lead screw detent ratchet 52 to securely retain the newly attained horizontal position of carrier 16.
The same operation would have occurred had the binary code presented on lines 89 been of lesser magnitude than that presented on lines 58 with the exception that the compare circuit output signal would have appeared on reverse'feed line 88 to drive the motor 50 in a direction such that carrier 16 is displaced leftwardly by rotation of the lead screw 17. This displacement of the lead screw 17 decrements the horizontal print point position sensing device 57 to reduce the binary code on lines 96 with the current print point position as presented in binary form on lines 47 from the vertical print point position sensing device 46. If the binary code presented on lines 96 is greater than that presented to the compare circuit by lines 47, the line feed signal will be applied to output line 97 to energize line feed magnet 41 and cause repeated stepping of the platen 13 to move the print point 20 toward the bottom of the page 21. Motion of the platen 13 is sensed both in magnitude and direction by optical senser 45 which increments the vertical print point position sensing device 46 to continuously update the binary code applied to lines 47. When the code applied to lines 47 equals that presented on lines 96, the output signal on line feed line 97 is removed and an output signal is applied to vertical feed stop line 98 which is connected to the stop AND circuit 105. A signal applied simultaneously by line 98 and line 86 to stop AND circuit generates an output on line 106 to reset start latch 101 and terminate the operation.
If the code presented vertical compare circuit 95 by lines 96 had been of less magnitude that that applied by lines 47 an output signal would have been raised on reverse line feed line 99 to energize line feed reversing magnet 42. The same signal would have been applied through rectifier 99a to line feed line 97 to cause continued cycling of the line feed mechanism 40. Platen 13, however, would be driven in the reverse direction so as to move the print point 20 toward the top of page 21. The operation would terminate as previously described upon a coincidence between the code applied on lines 96 and that applied on lines 47.
Those skilled in the art will recognize that various additions, deletions and modifications can be made to the preferred illustrative embodiment thus described without departing from the principle of my invention as disclosed above. Accordingly, my invention is to be limited only by the appended claims.
1. A serial page printer having an elongated cylindrical platen for supporting a writing page and character by character printing mechanism positioned adjacent said platen and defining a printing point therebetween, carrier means for movably supporting at least one of said platen and said printing mechanism to enable movement of said printing point along a writing line,
further means for rotatably supporting said platen to enable movement of said printing point relative to said page to different writing lines, forward and reverse drive mechanism for moving said printing point laterally along said writing line, and forward and reverse line feed mechanism for moving said printing point vertically between writing lines, wherein the improvement comprises:
a format simulation control panel simultaneously displaying a format simulation area representative of at least a portion of a plurality of writing lines and including columnar position transducing means and writing line position transducing means responsive to manual designation of a point on said panel for generating respective columnar and writing line position indicative signals,
manually operable means for generating a start control signal, and
control means comprising:
first encoding means responsive to said columnar position indicative signal for generating a control output that is numerically representative of the columnar location of the manually designated point on said panel,
second encoding means responsive to said writing line position indicative signal for generating a control output that is numerically representative of the writing line location of the manually designated point on said controlpanel,
first print point position sensing means having an output that is numerically representative of the current column position of the print point defined by said platen and printing mechanism,
second print point position sensing means having an output that is numerically representative of the current writing line defined by the rotational position of said platen,
first compare means for comparing the output of said first print point position sensing means with the output of said first encoding means for operating said forward and reverse drive mechanism to eliminate any difference therebetween,
said control panel comprises:
a display frame for holding a page of paper in a display orientation, and
said columnar position transducing means and said writing line position transducing means form a cross matrix that is supported by said display frame in superimposition with a page of paper held thereby.