US 3852793 A
An electronic switch monitors the arrival of a film element to a photographic film processor and transmits a signal to an electronic unit which controls the flow of water into said processor. When a piece of film enters said processor the electronic unit begins a timing cycle at the end of which the water to said processor is turned off. If a subsequent piece of film enters the processor during the timing cycle, then the electronic unit is reset to the beginning and the timing cycle is re-initiated. The water to the processor is turned off only after a predetermined period of time has elapsed after the entry into the processor of the last element of film. The electronic unit is provided with a switch for selecting an automatic or manual mode of operation.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 McClintock Dec.3,11974 3,763,758 10/1973 Manack et al. 354/298 UX Primary Examiner--Fred L. Braun Attorney, Agent, or FirmRichard C. Woodbridge [5 7] ABSTRACT An electronic switch monitors the arrival of a film element to a photographic film processor and transmits a signal to an electronic unit which controls the flow of water into said processor. When a piece of film enters said processor the electronic unit begins a timing cycle at the end of which the water to said processor is turned off. If a subsequent piece of film enters the processor during the timing cycle, then the electronic unit is reset to the beginning and the timing cycle is re-initiated. The water to the processor is turned off only after a predetermined period of time has elapsed after the entry into the processor of the last element of film. The electronic unit is provided with a switch for selecting an automatic or manual mode of operation.
10 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures HYPO WASH DRY TAN K TANK 2 BOX 1 APPARATUS FOR CONSERVING THE USE OF WATER ELECTRICITY, AND THE LIKE IN AUTOMATIC FILM PROCESSORS  Inventor: Earl A. McClintock, 6406 Riverton Ave,, North Hollywood, Calif. 91606  Filed: Jan. 31, 1973  Appl. No.: 328,390
 US. Cl. 354/324, 134/57 R, 354/299  Int. Cl. G03d 3/02  Field of Search 95/89 R; 354/299, 322, 354/324, 319, 297; 134/46, 57 R  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,334,566 8/1967 Friedel 95/89 R 3,487,763 1/1970 Pensgen 3,532,047 10/1970 Pensgen.... 95/89 R 3,559,555 2/1971 Street 354/298 32 1. 46@ 50 52 CD (5 L1 L2 44 AUTO I 43 ,6 on AUX.
MAN EQUIE DEVEL TANK I 30 FILM g," 26 26 34-- 0 OFF PATENIELBXEB sum QHEH 10$ 2 C5 C9 L1 L2 44 UTO 48 OFF AUX.
DEVEL. HYPO WASH DRY TANK TANK TANK 24 BOX 1 22 I 40 28 Q G) F 30 FILM .1 ON 26/ 34 0 0 OFF w A t; d k; /2 /4 /6" 60 v v I APPARATUS FOR CONSERVING THE USE OF WATER ELECTRICITY, AND THE LIKE IN AUTOMATIC FILM PROCESSORS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention Disclosed in an electronic device for conserving the water, power and fuel used in processing photographic film.
2. Description of the Prior Art Most photographic processing equipment does not process film in a continuous manner. Instead, the processing machine operator will turn the processor ON" when coming on duty thereby initiating a flow of water to the processor and the start of auxiliary equipment associated with that processor. However, during the pematically controlling the flow of water into a photographic film processor.
riod that the machine is ON it may get only intermittent use, that is, film will not be continuously processed while all the equipment is running. This results in a great loss of water and an added burden on sewage facilities as well as the needless operation of auxiliary equipment. Often a silver recovery unit is used as auxiliary equipment with a film processor for extracting the silver particles which are removed from the film during the developing and fixing steps of the processing.
Because the intermittent use of the film processing equipment produces a lot of waste and inefficiency, a solution was sought whereby water and auxiliary equip ment to the processor could be shut off automatically a short period of time after the last piece of film enters the processor. The present invention offers a constructive and simple solution to this problem.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Disclosed is a method and apparatus for conserving the water and auxiliary equipment associated with photographic film processing machinery. An electronic microswitch located on a roller detects the entry of a piece of film into the processing equipment. The microswitch is connected directly to an electronic water saver device including a timer element responsive to said microswitch. Each time a piece of film passes over the roller connected to the microswitchthe timer in the automatic electronic water saver is reset and begins a timing cycle. If no new piece of film triggers the microswitch during the timing cycle, then the timer will time out and close an electronically operated solenoid valve which controls the flow of water into the photographic processing equipment. In this manner, the photographic equipment will shutoff automatically if no new film is fed to it within a certain time period. However, if another piece of film should arrive at the processor and trip the microswitch, then the automatic electronic water saver timer will be reset to zero and begin to time again. In this manner, the solenoid valve will be kept open until the time between pieces of film entering the processor is greater than the length of the timing cycle. The automatic electronic water saver will also turn off auxiliary equipment such as the associated silver recovery unit at the same time the solenoid valve is closed. Other equipment such as sewage controls, electricity, and heating fuels may also be regulated by the automatic electronic saver.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a simple and improved method and apparatus for auto- It is another object of the present invention to control the auxiliary equipment associated with photographic film processing machinery. Typically, such equipment would include silver recovery units, heating apparatus, and other electrical and mechanical equipment. Such auxiliary equipment also includes pumps and fans within the processor itself.
It is a still further object of the present invention to turn off the water and auxiliary equipment associated with a photographic film processor a predetermined period of time after the last piece of film has entered the processing apparatus. If a piece of film enters the apparatus while the timer in the automatic water saver is going through its time cycle, then the timer is automatically reset to zero and the timing cycle is reinitiated.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a schematic view of the automatic electronic water saver device used in conjunction with a photographic film processor; and
FIG. 2 is an electronic schematic drawing of the components associated with the automatic electronic water saver.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION FIG. I shows a film processing machine 10 comprising four separate sections including, in order, a developer tank 12, a fix or hypo tank 14, a wash tank 16, and a dry box 18. The film 20 enters the developer tank and proceeds through the processor while being guided by a system of rollers 22. Tanks 12, 14 and 16 include overflow apertures 24 which catch the excess liquids in the tanks and carry them to suitable sewage disposal facilities.
The entering film 20 passes over a special roller 26 which is connected to the sensing arm of a microswitch 28. The signal from microswitch 28 is carried over line 30 to the automatic electronic water saver unit 32. Water saver 32 includes an input from the ON-OFF switch 34 of the processor. The signalfrom processor ON-OFF switch 34 is communicated to water saver 32 via line 36. Water saver 32 also has two output control lines 38 and 40 which lead to a solenoid valve 42 and to auxiliary equipment 44, respectively. Water saver unit 32 includes a motorized timer dial 46, an AUTO- MATIC OFF-MANUAL toggle switch 48 and two visual display lights L-l and L-2- 50 and 52. Solenoid operated valve 42 is by-passed by a 3/16 inch copper tube 54 that allows a small flow of temperate water to operate the heat exchanger whereby the solution in the processing machine tank will always be at operating tem perature. An input line 56 feeds solenoid operated valve 42 which discharges into line 58 which serves as a water feed input to the processor 10 after passing through a wash pump 60.
Whenever a piece of film 20 enters the processor 10 it trips special roller 26 and therefore microswitch 28. The signal that film is present is transmitted to the automatic electronic water saver unit 32 which will begin a timing cycle each time a piece of film enters the processor 10. As long as the water saver 32 is somewhere in its timing cycle, then solenoid operated valve 42 is open and water from input line 56 flows into output line 58 and through wash pump 60 into the processor.
Therefore, water will continue to flow into the processor for a predetermined period of time after the film has tripped microswitch 28. If no new film reaches the processor during the timing cycle of unit 32, then the timer 46 times out and solenoid operated valve 42 is closed thereby shutting off the flow of water to processor 10. This, of course, insures that water will not be wasted while there is no film being processed in the processor. If, however, a subsequent piece of film reaches the processor before the time cycle has elapsed, then timer 46 is reset and the time cycle will continue until the time between pieces of film becomes greater than the length of the timing cycle itself.
FIG. 2 is an electronic schematic of the component arrangement within the automatic electronic water saver unit 32. Unit 32 consists principally of relays R-1 and R-2, timer unit T, AUTOMATlC-OFF-MANUAL switch S, and indicator lights L-l and L-2.
Microswitch 28 is connected via line 30 to input contacts 62 and 64. A source of 120 volts alternating current 66 is connected in series with switch 28. input contact 64 is connected to a common line 68 which is connected to one end of relay coil 70, the other end of which is connected via line 72 to fuse 74 and to the other microswitch input contact 62 through line 76. Relay R-1 includes a set of double pole, double throw contacts which are illustrated in their normally closed condition. In theunactivated state, arm 78 makes a closed circuit with contact 80 and forms an open circuit with respect to contact 82. Contact 82 is directly connected to one end of relay coil 70 via line 84. Likewise, on the other set of contacts, arm 86 completes a normally closed circuit with contact 88 when relay coil 70 is deactivated and no electrical circuit is completed between arm 86 and contact 90 during the same period of time. Briefly described, contacts 80 and 88 are the normally closed contacts and contacts 82 and 90 are the normally open contacts.
Contact arm 86 is connected via line 92 to a fuse 94 and via line 96 to ON-OFF contact 98. The ON-OFF processor control switch 34 is connected through a 120 volt alternating current source 100 to said contact pole 98. The other pole of the ON-OFF switch 34 is connected to the other input contact point 102 which is electrically connected directly to contact point 64 and common line 68 via line 104.
Contact 90 of relay R-l is connected via line 106 to arm 108 of relay R-2. Relay R-2 controls a single pole, double throw set of contacts 110 and 112. When R-2 is closed, arm 108 is in the normally closed relationship with contact 110. During the same period of time, contact 112' is in the normally open position. Contact 112 is connected directly to contact 88 of relay R-l via line 114.
Arm 108 is connected to the timer T motor coil 116 via line 118. The other side of the timer motor coil winding 116 is connected via line 120 to the AC input contact 102. A solenoid 122 is also connected to line 120. The other lead of solenoid 122 is connected via line 124 to arm 78 of relay R1. Contacts 126 and 128 are controlled by solenoid 122 and the timing motor 116 of the timer T. Output control contact 128 is connected via line 130 to contact 132 of the AUTOMAT- lC-OFF-MANUAL switch S. Contact 132 is also connected via line 134 to one input of lamp L-2 and via line 136 to one side of relay coil R-2. Switch S is shown in the AUTOMATIC operating position with arm 138 in contact with 132. Contact 140 of switch S is connected directly via line 142 to AC input contact 98. When armature 138 is touching contact 140, then the AUTOMATIC-OFF-MANUAL switch is in the MAN- UAL position and AC power source 100 is connected directly to output terminals 144 and 146.
The second terminal of lamp L-2 is connected via line 148 to a first terminal of L-l and via line 150 to output terminals 152 and 154. The second terminal of L-l is connected via line 156 to the junction of fuse 74 and line 72. Relay coil R-2 has one side of its relay winding connected directly to the common line 68 via line 159 and the other side of its winding connected via line 158 to contact of R-l.
in operation, a piece of film 20 is inserted in the load end of processor 10. The presence of the film is detected by microswitch 28 which impresses the full 120 volts AC of source 66 across the winding 70 of relay R-l. Therefore, every time a piece of film enters the processor, relay R-l is energized causing arm 86 to engage contact and causing arm 78 to engage contact 82. When arm 86 engages contact 90 a circuit is closed through timer motor 1 16. The circuit includes ON-OF F switch 34, 120 volt AC source 100, input contact 98, line 96, fuse 94, line 92, arm 86, contact 90, line 106, arm 108, line 118, timer motor 116, line 120, input contact 102, and back to ON-OFF switch 34. In this fashion, timer T is energized whenever ON-OFF switch 34 is closed and microswitch 28 detects the presence of film entering processor 10. At the same time that arm 86 engages contact 90, arm 78 engages contact 82 and completes another circuit through solenoid 122. When arm 78 engages contact 82 a circuit is completed through closed microswitch 28, 120 volt AC source 66, input contact 62, line 76, fuse 74, line 72, line 84, contact 82, arm 78, line 124, solenoid 122, line 120, input contact 102, line 104, input contact 64, and line 30 back to microswitch 28. The voltage on solenoid 122 causes the device to operate and starts the delay timing motor which is prc-set to a developing time, usually five or six minutes in the standard developer. It is to be understood that the length of the timing cycle is usually set to the developing time of the processor but may be set to any time desired.
The 120 volt AC imposed upon timer motor coil 116 via arm 78 and contact 84 is transmitted to contact 126 via a line 160. Contact 126 normally engages contact 128 until the pre-set time cycle has elapsed. When contacts 126 and 128 are in the make position the 120 volts AC is imposed across the relay coil 162 of relay R-2 via lines 130 and 136 through the relay 162 and to ground 68. The energization of relay R-2 causes arm 108 to engage contact 112. All of this happens in a relatively short period of time while the film is still being introduced into processor 10. When no more film arrives at processor 10 microswitch 28 opens, then arm 86 of relay R-l returns to contact 88 in its normally closed position. Since timer T is in a timing mode, relay R-2 is still energized and arm 108 engages contact 112. In this manner, the power that was transferred to contact 90 is now transferred through contacts 88 and 112 to the timer, as follows: power from the 120 volt AC source passes through input contact 98, line 96, fuse 94, line 92, arm 86, contact 88, line 144, contact 112, armature 108, line 118, timer motor winding 116, line 120, input contact 102, line 36, and ON- OFF switch 34 back to the volt AC source 100. ln
this manner, power is kept on the timer mechanism during the timing cycle when microswitch 28 is no longer engaged by a piece of film. Duringthe timing cycle, the power that is imposed across the relay winding 162 of relay R2 is also imposed across the two output sets of contacts 144-152 and 146154. In this manner, energy is always supplied to the solenoid valve 42 and the auxiliary equipment 44 during the timing cycle during which film is being treated in the processor.
When relay R-l is deenergized there is a short period of travel time during which arm 78 swings between contacts 82 and 80. During the travel time of arm 78 there is a hiatus during which contact is made with neither contact 82 or 80 and the electrical circuit is broken. This feature is important because it allows solenoid 122 to release and reset the timing cycle.
Since arm 86 of relay R-l is a make before break process, voltage 'will remain on lines 106 and 114 until the release of relay R-l is completed. The release of R-1 allows voltage from line 92 to flow through arm 86 and contact 88 to maintain voltage to the timer. Likewise voltage is supplied to contacts 126 and 128 through line 130 to maintain the operation of Relay R-2 and therefore output to the solenoid for the water flow and the auxiliary equipment.
The processor will continue to operate after each piece of film travels past'the microswitch until such a time that no film is inserted during the preset timing cycle. At the expiration of the preset timing cycle terminals 126 and 128 of timer T will open and release, i.e., deenergize relay R-2 so that arm 108 returns to its normally closed position engaged with contact 110. This, of course, breaks the circuit that includes arm 86 of relay R-l, contact 88, line 114, contact 112, and arm- 108 of relay R-2. This open circuit deenergizes timer T and, in turn, removes the power from output terminals 144-152 and 146-154. Since operating power to the solenoid valve and auxiliary equipment has been removed at the end of the timing cycle, both of these pieces of equipment will be deenergized. When sole- Panel light L-l is wired across the microswitch 28 circuit and gives an indication that a piece of film is entering the processor unit 10. Panel light L-2 is turned on whenever power is applied to the output terminals and indicates that the solenoid valve and the auxiliary equipment are being supplied with electrical energy.
Briefly described, the automatic water saver serves to provide electrical energy to the solenoid valve and the auxiliary equipment whenever film enters the processor and for a predetermined time period after that. it, however, a new piece of film arrives at the processor during the timing cycle intiated by the previous piece of film, then the electronic water saver is reset and the timing cycle begins anew and does not elapse until the timer has gone through its timing cycle uninterrupted by a new piece of film.
'by the electronic device such as lights, heating elements, etc..
in a general manner, while there has been disclosed effective and efficient embodiments of the invention, it should be well understood that the invention is not limited to such embodiments as there might be made changes in the arrangement, disposition, and form of the parts without departing from the principle of the present invention as comprehended within the scope of the accompanying claims.
1. An apparatus for conserving the resources consumed by a conventional photagraphic processor in which a plurality of film elements are treated, compris mg:
a mechanically operable switch means for detecting the presence of a film element as it enters said processor;.
an electronic unit actuatable by said switch means;
a valve means responsive to said electronic unit for controlling the flow of water into said processor, said electronic unit including:
a resettable motorized timer means; and
a relay type means including means for resetting said resettable motorized timer means when said switch means detects the presence of another film element as it enters said processor;
wherein said electronic unit controls the duration of the flow of said water through said valve means.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said valve mean is a solenoid operated valve.
3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said electronic unit further controls the fuel consumed by said processor.
4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said electronic unit further controls the electric power consumed by said processor.
5. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said electronic unit controls the power to a silver recovery unit.
6. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said valve means includes a bypass means for maintaining the temperature in said processor above a predetermined level.
7. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said mechanically operable switch means is a limit type switch.
8. The apparatus of claim 7 wherein said mechanically operable limit type switch means includes the switch that normally initiates the actuation of said conventional photographic processor.
9. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said relay type means further includes:
a means for maintaining power to said resettable motorized timer means for a predetermined period of time after said switch means detects the presence of a film element as it enters said processor.
10. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said relay type means comprises at least:
a first relay having a first and a second set of relay contacts each having a normally closed and a normally open condition responsive to said mechanically operable switch means, said resettable motortronic unit further comprises:
at least one pair of output terminals energizable by said resettable motorized timer means for providing electric power to said valve;
wherein said resettable motorized timer means is reset during the period that said second set of contacts change from the normally closed to the normally open condition.
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