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Publication numberUS3854784 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 17, 1974
Filing dateNov 29, 1972
Priority dateNov 29, 1972
Also published asCA1009748A1, DE2357445A1, DE2357445B2, DE2357445C3
Publication numberUS 3854784 A, US 3854784A, US-A-3854784, US3854784 A, US3854784A
InventorsR Hunt, W Jenkins
Original AssigneeIbm
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Information media handling system
US 3854784 A
Abstract
An information media handling system comprises an information media container and a hopper which is adapted to receive the container. The hopper includes a spring biased automatic locking arm having an integral pin which during insertion of the container into the hopper enters and follows a groove in the container to a first position in the groove to lock the container into positive engagement with the hopper. Momentary application of another force in the direction of insertion disengages the container by allowing the pin to continue along and exit from the groove. Another spring then causes the container to be partially ejected from the hopper.
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United States Patent [1 1 Hunt et al.

INFORMATION MEDIA HANDLING SYSTEM [75] Inventors: Ronald Eugene Hunt; William Melchior Jenkins, both of Austin, Tex.

[73] Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation, Armonk, NY.

[22] Filed: Nov. 29, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 310,314

[52] U.S. Cl 312/319, 312/10, 312/333, 292/DIG. 4, 360/133, 360/137 [51] Int. Cl E05c 19/06, A47b 81/06 [58] Field of Search 312/333, 319, 10; 292/80, 292/99, DIG. 4; 360/133, 137; 274/4 B [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,243,134 3/1966 Reed et al. 274/4 B 3,674,329 7/1972 Schill 312/319 3,694,015 9/1972 Gley 292/DIG. 4 3,745,565 7/1973 Daines et al. 292/DIG. 4

FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 282,983 9/1952 Switzerland 292/DIG. 4 1,188,996 4/1970 Great Britain 292/DIG. 4

Primary ExaminerHarry N. Haroian Attorney, Agent, or FirmD. H. Lefeve; John L. Jackson; J. Jancin, Jr.

[57] ABSTRACT An information media handling system comprises an information media container and a hopper which is adapted to receive the container. The hopper includes a spring biased automatic locking arm having an integral pin which during insertion of the container into the hopper enters and follows a groove in the container to a first position in the groove to lock the container into positive engagement with the hopper. Momentary application of another force in the direction of insertion disengages the container by allowing the pin to continue along and exit from the groove. Another spring then causes the container to be partially ejected from the hopper.

11 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PATENTEUBEEIYIQH v 3.854.7 4 SHEEI 1 OF 4 FIG. 4 7

sum 2 o 1 FIG. 5

PATENTEUUECI 7 I974 Sam 3 or 4 PATENTEB DEC] 1 m4 SHEET 4 [IF 4 FIG.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to information media handling systems, and more particularly to information media handling systems having hoppers adapted to engage storage media containers.

2. Description of the Prior Art Examples of prior art information media handling systems include a number of systems in which a container of magnetic storage media is engaged in a hopper for performing various operations to the media. In an apparatus utilizing a tape cartridge or tape cassette for the information media container, reading and recording operations are performed while at least a portion of the media remains within the container.

Alternatively, information media handling systems are known in which the information media is completely removed from the media container after the container is engaged in the hopper. An example of this latter system is found in magnetic disc recording systems wherein one or more substantially thin and flexible magnetic discs are protected from mutilation and abuse by storage in a cartridge while outside of the reading and recording apparatus. The cartridge is loaded into a hopper of the reading and recording apparatus and the discs are completely ejected from the cartridge for performing read and record operations on the discs. During reading and recording the empty cartridge may be removed from the reading and recording apparatus. For retrieving the discs, the cartridge is inserted into a hopper and the discs are reloaded from the reading and recording apparatus back into the cartridge. The reloaded cartridge may then be removed from the reading and recording apparatus with assurance that the delicate discs contained therein will be protected while outside the apparatus.

In any of these systems utilizing a cartridge, cassette, or similar container for the storage media a problem exists in positively engaging the container into the hopper. In the familiar cartridge tape system for stereo entertainment purposes, this problem is solved by frictionally engaging the tape cartridge near the end of its travel into the hopper of the recording or playing machine. This solution has the disadvantage of requiring that a portion of the cartridge protrude from the playing or recording apparatus so that the cartridge may be grasped by hand to retrieve it from the apparatus. This protrusion of the cartridge is unsightly from an appearance standpoint and may also hamper access to the various controls on the front of the recording and playing apparatus.

Another solution to this problem of engaging the information media container into the hopper is found in a locking mechanism which requires the operator to perform such an operation as pushing a button or twisting or turning a lever to disengage the container from the hopper. A disadvantage of this solution is the additional control whose operation must be learned by the operator.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to engage an information media container into a hopper in an improved manner.

It is also an object of this invention to engage an information media container substantially totally within a hopper without the requirement of a protrusion of the container from the hopper.

It is a further object of this invention to engage an information media continer into a hopper with the application of a substantially low force on the container.

It is yet another object of this invention'to disengage an information media container from a hopper by application of a substantially low force on the container.

These and other objects are accomplished by providing an information media container which engages a spring biased rotatable locking arm mounted in a hopper. The container has a guiding entry ramp at an acute angle from the direction of entry of the container into the hopper. During insertion this entry ramp is first engaged by a pin mounted at an end of the locking arm. The ramp guides the arm and pin until the pin engages a groove in the container. Continued inward movement of the container causes the spring biased pin to enter the groove. The container is further inserted into the hopper until the pin engages a stopping edge in the groove. Inward force on the container is then released and a return spring mounted in the hopper biases the container into positive engagement with the pin on the locking arm, establishing an interim locking position to positively lock the container into the hopper. To remove the container an inward force is applied to the container which causes the pin on the spring biased locking arm to continue movement within the groove to an exit port/ramp. When the pin reaches the exit port/ramp of the groove the release of inward force on the container causes the return spring to push the container out of the hopper as the pin on the locking arm rides out of an exit port/ramp.

The foregoing and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following more particular description of a preferred embodiment of the invention, as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an information reading and recording apparatus including the information media container and hopper of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the information media container of this invention;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the automatic locking means of the hopper of this invention;

FIGS. 4 8 are plan views showing the positions of the moving parts of the hopper and the information media container as the container is inserted into the hopper, engaged by the automatic locking means, and ejected from the hopper.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIG. 1, information media reading and recording apparatus 1 is shown including a hopper 30 having engaged therein an information media container 10. It can be observed in FIG. 1 that surface 25 of container 10 is substantially flush with front panel 2 of reading and recording apparatus 1.

FIG. 2 shows information media container 10 as a cartridge for holding information media disc 20. Container 10 includes an entry ramp 11 having a substantially acute angle with respect to the direction of entry of container into hopper 30, which direction of entry is parallel to the sides of container 10. At one end of entry ramp 11 is a lock engaging means which includes groove 12. Groove 12 includes an entrance port 13, holding section 14, and exit port/ ramp 15. On one side of groove 12 is wall 16 while on its opposite side is wall 17.

At the other end of entry ramp 11 is edge 18 of container 10. At the end of entrance port 13 opposite entry ramp 11 is shown edge 19 of container 10. The angle that edge 19 makes with any portion of container 10 is immaterial for the purposes of description of this invention. Edge 19, therefore, may be parallel to edge or may form a greater or lesser angle than that shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 3 shows automatic locking means 38 of hopper 30. Locking means 38 includes locking arm 31 mounted for pivotal movement about pivot stud 32 on riser 33 of hopper 30. Compression and torsion spring 34 serves as a spring biasing means for biasing locking arm 31 in two directions. The compression function of spring 34 biases arm 31 against riser 33 but allows movement in the direction of arrow 36. The torsion function of spring 34 biases locking arm 31 in a counter-clockwise direction against wall 39 of hopper as indicated by arrow 35. Locking pin 37 is mounted on locking arm 31 and follows groove 12 on container 10 during insertion into and removal of container 10 into and out of hopper 30.

Referring now to Fig. 4, return spring 41 is shown mounted on hopper 30 by screws 42. Container 10 is shown inverted from the orientation shown in FIG. 2 and partially inserted into hopper 30 with locking pin 37 of automatic locking means 38 in contact with entry ramp 11 of container 10. Return spring 41 of hopper 30 is also shown in contact with edge 18 of container 10. Application of a force on container 10 in the direction of arrow 21 against the biasing forces of springs 34 and 41 moves container 10 toward the rear of hopper 30.'It should be recognized that edge 18 may be a straight extension of entry ramp 11 or it may make other angles with ramp 11 than that shown. As container 10 moves toward the rear of hopper 30, entry ramp 11 moves locking pin 37 toward entrance port 13. With continued application of force on container 10 in the direction of arrow 21, locking pin 37 enters entrance port 13 as shown in FIG. 5.

In FIG. 5, locking arm 31 and locking pin 37 are restricted from counter-clockwise movement from the biasing force of spring 34 because locking pin 37 is in contact with wall 16 of entrance port 13. Continued movement in the direction of arrow 21, however,

moves wall 16 of entrance port 13 out of contact with locking pin 37 so that locking arm 31 and locking pin 37 move in a counterclockwise direction into the holding section 14 of groove 12. Before the force on container 10 in the direction of arrow 21 is released, however, locking pin 37 is restricted from further counterclockwise movement in holding section 14 by protrusion 22 in groove 12. Container 10 is also restricted from any further rearward movement because of the engagement of locking pin 37 and wall 17 of groove 12. If all external force on container 10 is removed at this time, return spring 41 moves container 10 slightly outward from the rear of hopper 30 into the position shown in FIG. 7. Container 10 can move no further than slightly outward by the force of return spring 41 because of the engagement of locking pin 37 with the portion of wall 16 in holding section 14 adjacent to exit port/ramp 15.

In FIG. 7, container 10 is positively engaged into hopper 30 by the cooperation of automatic locking means 38 on hopper 30 and groove 12 in container 10. Application of a momentary force on container 10 in the direction of arrow 21, however, causes wall 16 of holding section 14 to move rearward, out of engagement with locking pin 37, allowing locking pin 37 and locking arm 31 to rotate counter-clockwise. This counter-clockwise movement of locking pin 37 allows pin 37 to enter exit port/ramp 15 of groove 12. By releasing external force on container 10, return spring 41 produces a force on container 10 tending to move it away from automatic locking means 38 of hopper 30. As container 10 moves away from automatic locking means 38, locking pin 37 is guided out of engagement with groove 12 by exit port/ramp 15, as shown in FIG. 8. In moving out of engagement with exit port/ramp 15, locking pin 37 and locking arm 31 are pushed away from container 10 by exit port/ramp 15, against the compression bias of spring 34.

Return spring 41 may be selected to provide enough force to push container 10 only partially out of hopper 30 or it may desirable for return spring 41 to provide enough force to completely eject container 10 from hopper 30 when locking pin 37 rides out of exit portlramp 15.

Operation Container 10, FIG. 2, is automatically locked into engagement with hopper 30 by initial insertion into hopper 30 as shown in FIG. 4. A force is then applied to container 10 in the direction of arrow 21 until rearward movement of container 10 ceases as locking pin 37 contacts wall 17 and protrusion 22 of groove 12 as shown in FIG. 6. The force applied to container 10 is then released and container 10 moves into positive engagement with automatic locking means 38 as shown in FIG. 7.

To release container 10 from positive engagement with hopper 30, a momentary force is applied to container 10 in the direction of arrow 21 as shown in FIG. 7. Container 10 will move slightly rearward in hopper 30 and then come to rest as locking pin 31 contacts wall 17 of groove 12. The external force on container 10 is released and return spring 41 moves container 10 out of engagement with automatic locking means 38, as shown in FIG. 8.

It is recognized that the invention described herein is applicable to many types of information media apparatus. It is immaterial whether container 10 is used with a single information media disc, a plurality of information media discs, an information media elongated tape, or any other information media utilizing a container therefor. Further, it is immaterial whether reading or recording of the information media takes place inside the container or partially or totally external to the container. For example, the invention described herein may be used to engage a tape cartridge into a magnetic tape playing machine wherein the tape is contained within the cartridge throughout playing. Alternatively, the container of the invention may be used as a storage container for information media discs upon which recording and reading are performed only after the container of discs has been loaded into the apparatus and the discs have been ejected therefrom.

While the invention has been particularly shown with reference to a preferred embodiment thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the foregoing and other changes in form and detail may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. An information media handling system comprising in combination:

a hopper for insertion of an information media container therein;

said container including a side having a recessed lock engaging means for engaging an automatic locking means of said hopper, said automatic locking means including a substantially rigid locking arm rotatable in two axes of rotation, so that said container is locked into said hopper by application of a first force in a first direction to said container and released from said hopper by application of a second force to said container in said first direction.

2. The information media handling system of claim 1 wherein said lock engaging means of said information media container further includes a groove engageable with said pin at said locking arm, said groove including an entrance port, a holding section, and an exit port- /ramp.

3. The information media handling system of claim 2 wherein said automatic locking means further includes spring biasing means connected to said locking arm of said automatic locking means for biasing said locking arm toward said exit port/ramp of said groove of said lock engaging means of said information media container.

4. The information media handling system of claim 3 wherein said information media container further includes an entry ramp for guiding said pin of said locking arm into said entrance port of said lock engaging means of said information media container.

5. The information media handling system of claim 4 wherein said automatic locking means further includes a return spring engageable with said information media container, said return spring biasing said information media container against travel in said first direction for positive engagement of said pin with said holding section.

6. The information media handling system of claim 5 wherein said information media container further includes a cavity for storage of one or more magnetic recording discs.

7. An information media handling system comprising in combination:

a hopper for insertion of an information media container therein;

said container including a side having a recessed lock engaging means for engaging an automatic locking means of said hopper;

said automatic locking means including a substantially rigid locking arm rotatable in two axes of rotation, said locking arm having mounted thereon a pin having a substantially circular cross section, said pin engaging said lock engaging means of said container, and said automatic locking means including a return spring engageable with said con tainer, said container being locked into said hopper by application of a first force in a first direction to said container against the bias of said return spring and released from said hopper by application of a second force to said container in said first direction.

8. The information media handling system of claim 7 wherein said lock engaging means of said information media container further includes a groove engageable with said pin of said locking arm, said groove including an entrance port, a holding section, and an exit port- /ramp.

9. The information media handling system of claim 8 wherein said automatic locking means further includes spring biasing means connected to said locking arm of said automatic locking means for biasing said locking arm toward said exit port/ramp of said groove of said lock engaging means of said information media container.

10. The information media handling system of claim 9 wherein said information media container further includes an entry ramp for guiding said pin of said locking arm into said entrance port of said lock engaging means of said information media container.

11. The information media handling system of claim 10 wherein said information media container further includes a cavity for storage of one or more magnetic recording discs.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION PATENT NO. 3,854,784 DATED December 17, 1974 ]N\/ENTOR(S) Ronald Eugene Hunt and William Melchior Jenkins It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 5, line 27, the word "said" (first occurrence) should read --a a Column 5, line 27, the Word "at" should read --of- Signed and Scaled this sixteenth Day Of December 1975 [SEAL] AtIeSI.

RUTH C. MASON Arresting Officer C. MARSHALL DANN Commissioner rr/Parents and Trademarks

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Classifications
U.S. Classification312/9.63, 292/DIG.400, 360/133, G9B/23.42, 312/333, G9B/15.97, 360/137, G9B/17.9
International ClassificationG11B17/043, G11B17/04, G11B17/03, G11B23/03, E05F1/16, G11B23/023, G11B15/675
Cooperative ClassificationG11B17/03, G11B15/6751, Y10S292/04, G11B23/0321
European ClassificationG11B17/03, G11B15/675B, G11B23/03B2