US 3861301 A
There is disclosed a machine which enables addresses or other multi-line texts of alphabetical and numerical characters to be printed on a document in a single operating cycle. This machine comprises a support means on which data relative to the identity and position of the various characters contained in the text to be printed are stored, a reading complex for reading said data stored on the support means and a printing assembly controlled by said reading complex so as to orderly print on a document the several characters read by the reading complex.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
States Patent 1191 Di Marzio et al.
[451 Jan. 21, 1975 MACHINE FOR PRINTING MULTI-LINE TEXTS OF ALPHABETICAL AND NUMERICAL CHARACTERS ON A DOCUMENT Inventors: Emilio Di Marzio, Venice; Ivo
Spiazzi, Cusano Milanino, both of Italy Assignee: Firma S.p.A., Milan, Italy Filed: Nov. 21, 1973 Appl. No.: 418,038
U.S. Cl. 10l/93.08, 235/58 Int. Cl B4lj 9/10 Field of Search 101/93 C, 111; 235/58,
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 4/1959 Kistner et a1 101/93 C 7/1959 Beattie 101/93 C 2/1961 Havg 101/93 C 3,133,497 5/1964 Martin 101/93 C 3,465,866 9/1969 Gehring et a1... 197/20 3,629,848 12/1971 Gibson l 340/1725 3,750,565 8/1973 Hubbard et al l01/l1l X Primary Examiner-Edgar S. Burr Assistant Examiner-Edward M. Coven Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Holman & Stern  ABSTRACT There is disclosed a machine which enables addresses or other multi-line texts of alphabetical and numerical characters to be printed on a document in a single operating cycle. This machine comprises a support means on which data relative to the identity and position of the various characters contained in the text to be printed are stored, a reading complex for reading said data stored on the support means and a printing assembly controlled by said reading complex so as to orderly print on a document the several characters read by the reading complex.
8 Claims, 15 Drawing Figures PAIEMEB MH I 3.861.301
sum YCIUF 13 PATENTH] JAN 2 1 I975 SHEEI C30! 13 Pmaminmzl ms sutn mar 13 PATENTED 3.861.301
' sum user 13 PATENTEDJANZI 1915 saw near 13 L-mxc Pmminmzl ms SHEEI 110F 13 mm mm.
PATENTED mm 1275 saw isur 13 I!" I I MACHINE FOR PRINTING MULTI-LINE TEXTS OF ALPHABETICAL AND NUMERICAL CHARACTERS ON A DOCUMENT This invention relates to a machine which enables addresses or other multi-line texts of alphabetical and numerical characters to be printed on a document in a single operating cycle.
The so-called handling of addresses, i.e., the conservation and periodical printing of determined addresses of documents such as letters, envelopes, circulars etc. is notably carried out at present mainly by two systems of different conception.
The older and still more widespread system is that which uses typographic, silk-screen, ectographic or other matrices derived from traditional printing processes, for recording the addresses to be managed. These latter are then reproduced on any document by impressing the matrix on the document itself, using for this operation suitable machines the operating priciple of which does not differ much from that of traditional printing machines. Relief punched metal or plastics plates, or paper or cardboard cards engraved or typewritten in a special manner are mainly used as matrices. The more evident disadvantages which arise are, for the plates, the size and weight of the filing system and the need to use suitable punching units, and, for the cards, the impossibility of printing more than one copy of the documents at a time, and the small number of reproductions obtainable from each card.
The most recent system however uses an electronic processor, for which an address is no more than a collection of data to be treated in respect of determined preinserted automatic programmes. This system is developing rapidly especially because of the characteristic flexibility of a processor; the need to use an electronic processor arises where the requirement of having available updated data on the operation of the firm or of merely recognising services in which the procedures can be standardised is most felt, and once it has been placed in the service of the firm it can easily be used to resolve the mechanisation of relatively simple services such as that of handling addresses.
However even for this system objections of an economical and technical nature can arise. The objections of economical nature refer to the cost of handling the addresses by the processor, considering both the time for which the central and peripheral units are employed, and the relatively greater complexity of procedures, programmes and the organization of the data which must be such as to enable an address to be used in the required form. The objections of a technical nature relate to the need for a processor printer for reproducing the address on documents which are collected together in the form of a continuous modulus, which implies on the one hand the use of successive units downstream of the printer (cutters, tearers etc.) which enable the continuous module to be divided into single documents, and on the other hand the practical impossibility of printing the addresses on envelopes or any other document (circulars, direct publicity etc.) which are not in the form of a continuous modulus (unless one prints on labels in the form of a continuous modulus and then uses them in units which apply them to the individual documents).
Taking account of that stated above, the object of this invention is therefore to provide a machine for printing addresses which, while preserving the many merits of the electronic processor system eliminates its defects, i.e., with respect to this system it is less costly and is able to print addresses either on documents in the form of a continuous modulus or on individual documents. More precisely the object of this invention is to provide a machine which starting from a punched card or other similar storage means of low weight and size and of easy preparation, is capable of printing in a single operational cycle, both on documents in the form of a continuous modulus and on individual documents, an address or other text in the form ofa number of lines of alphabetical and numerical characters (this extension of the object of the invention to the printing of a general multi-line text instead of a simple address is clearly due to the fact that the contents of the text to be printed do not create distinctions between one machine and another).
In view of this object the machine according to the invention, for printing a general text of alphabetical and numerical characters formed from m lines and k typographical spaces per line, comprises a reading complex for data, stored on a support means, relative to the identity and position of the various alphabetical and numerical characters contained in the text to be printed, and a printing assembly controlled by said reading complex, said printing assembly being composed of a support unit for print characters and a support unit for print hammers arranged to co-operate with said print characters for printing alphabetical and numerical characters on a document fed between said hammers and said print characters, said support unit for print characters containing an ordered succession of as many rows of n (n 2 k) like print characters as there are alphabetical and numerical characters in the language adopted for the text to be printed, said support unit for print hammers containing a succession of m rows, spaced apart by one step in said succession of rows of print characters, of n print hammers provided with respective means for their independent operation into a position of engagement with respective print characters, said units being disposed and made to move one with respect to the other in the direction of development of said succession of rows of print characters in such a manner that one group, different each time, of m successive rows of print characters, comes in turn into a printing area in which the print characters are in a position facing, and suitable for engagement with, the m rows of print hammers, said support means for stored data being divided into a number m of store sectors, in each of which is stored the data relative to the identity and position of the alphabetical and numerical characters contained in one line of the text to be printed, and each of said sectors being divided in its turn into a number h (k s h sn) of subsectors, each of which is provided with an ordered succession of storage positions in which the data relative to the alphabetical or numerical character situated in a determined position in a line of the text to be printed is stored according to a code which comprises the use of storage positions increasingly more distant from a reference position for storing data regarding the identity of progressively successive alphabetical and numerical characters in accordance with an order of succession corresponding to that of the print characters contained in the printing assembly, said reading complex comprising at least one reading device including m readers, each of which is designed for reading the data stored in one sector of the support means and comprises in its turn h reading elements, each of which is controlled so as to scan in succession, starting from the aforementioned reference position, the various storage positions of a subsector of the support means in such a manner as to read the character identity data stored in a determined storage position of said subsector in any moment of time, the time lag of which from the moment of scanning said reference po sition depends on the distance between the storage position used and said reference position, the h reading elements included in each reader being independently connected to the means for operating the same number of hammers of one of the m rows of hammers of the printing assembly so as to cause the independent operation of these latter at each reading of a piece of data stored in the various subsectors of a store sector of the support means, and being made to scan the respective subsectors of the support means simultaneously and in phase with each other so that all the data regarding the identity of equal characters stored in one sector of the support means is read simultaneously and gives rise to the simultaneous operation of all the hammers associated with the reading elements which read this data and then to the simultaneous printing of all the equal characters contained in one line of the text to be printed, the reading movement and the mutual movement of the two units of the printing assembly being synchronised and put into mutual phase in such a manner that the reading of a determined piece of data regarding the character identity by one of the reading elements of a determined reader always coincides with the appearance of the corresponding row of print characters in a position facing those hammers forming part of the row associated with the reading elements of that reader, and the readers associated with the, in turn, successive rows of hammers in the direction of mutual movement of the two units of the printing assembly being controlled in such a manner as to scan the respective sectors of the support means with mutual time lags corresponding to one step in the succession of storage positions in the support means and in the succession of rows of hammers and print characters of the printing assembly, so that the control actions for the operation of a row of hammers of the printing assembly for the printing of a group of equal alphabetical or numerical characters on a line of the document to be printed are delayed, with respect to those for the operation of the previous row of hammers for the printing of the same alphabetical or numerical characters on the previous line of the document, by a time sufficient to allow the corresponding row of print characters to move from the position facing said previous row of hammers to the position facing the row of hammers being operated.
This machine, which because of the continuous motion between the print characters and the print hammers may be defined as the volley printer type, has clearly the merit of printing in a single operational cycle all the alphabetical and numerical characters included in the various lines of the text to be printed and also of doing this both on documents in the form of a continuous module and on individual documents. This latter characteristic is clearly due to the fact that the printing of all the lines of the text takes place in a single passage of the print characters within the printing area, i.e., without the necessity of moving the document for the passage from one line to the other, as would be necessary (and almost impossible for single documents) if the electronic processor system was to be used. Moreover the machine according to the invention has the merit of being able to use as its data support means a punched card or another analogous storage means of small size and weight and easily preparable. Finally a not inconsiderable merit is that the machine according to the invention is evidently of very low cost (both initial and operating) with respect to the electronic processor system.
To better clarify the structural and functional characteristics of the machine according to the invention, a detailed description will now be given of one embodiment suitable for printing texts of three lines and of a maximum of twentysix typographical spaces per line starting from a card punched in Hollerith code, and also of one conceptually analogous modification of it. The following description, which is given by way of non-limiting example, refers to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGS. 1 and 2 are overall views in elevation and plan respectively of one example of a printing machine according to the invention;
FIG. 3 is a plan view from below of the support unit for print characters of the machine of FIGS. 1 and 2;
FIG. 4 is a section on the line IVIV of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a section on the line V--V of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a plan view from above of a drive unit for the printing tape which is associated with said support unit for print characters;
FIG. 7 is an elevational representation of the complex formed from said drive unit, seen in section on the line VII-VII of FIG. 6, and said support unit, seen in section as in FIG. 4;
FIG. 8 is a section on the line VIII-VIII of FIG. 9, of the complex consisting of the said support unit for print characters and a support unit for print hammers also forming part of the printing assembly of the machine of FIGS. 1 and 2;
FIG. 9 is a sectional view on the line IX-IX of FIG.
FIG. 10 is a plan view of a card punched in Hollerith code, which is used as a support means for the data relative to the identity and position of the various alphabetical and numerical characters in the text to be printed;
FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the reading complex used in the machine of FIGS. 1 and 2 for reading punched cards such as that of FIG. 10;
FIG. 12 is a diagrammatic elevational representation of the reading complex of FIG. 11;
FIG. 13 shows the basic diagram of the electrical circuit by which the print hammers are coupled to the reading complex so that the operations of the hammers are controlled in accordance with the data read on the punched cards fed to the reading complex;
FIG. 14 shows two representative diagrams of the form and method of operation of two cams associated with the electrical circuit of FIG. 13;
FIG. 15 shows a different reading complex replacing that of FIGS. 11 and 12 in a modification of the machine of FIGS. 1 and 2.
The machine shown by way of example in the accompanying drawings comprises generally a printing assembly 11, into which documents, either individually or grouped in the form of a continuous modulus, are inserted, on which the text to be printed must be reproduced, and a reading complex 12 connected operationally to said printing assembly so as to control its operation on the basis of the data read from punched cards fed to it as required.
The print assembly 11 comprises a support unit for print characters 13, a support unit for print hammers 14 and a unit 15, for controlling the movement of a printing tape 16 driven to run between the two units 13 and 14. The documents to be printed are inserted as required between the tape 16 and unit 14 and are retained there momentarily for the entire printing time.
The support unit for print characters 13 is shown in detail in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5 and comprises a succession of character support bars 17, which support, grouped in pairs on the individual bars, as many rows of print characters 18 as there are alphabetical and numerical characters provided in the language used for the text to be printed. In the example considered, a succession is used which comprises the numbers 0,1, 9, the letters A, B, Z, and, between the letters R and S, the symbol there is also provided a certain number of character free bars arranged between that bar which carries the characters relative to the number 0 and that which carries the characters relative to the number 1. The number n of like characters included in any of said rows may vary between wide limits, but must always be equal to or greater than the maximum number k of typographical spaces of which each line of the text to be printed is composed.
The bars 17 are supported at the ends of respective pairs of supports 19, which are pivoted on the pins which connect the various links of a pair of chains 20, each of which is engaged with two pinions 21 and 22, the first of which is keyed on an idle shaft 23 and the second on a drive shaft 24 rotated continuously in the direction indicated by the arrow 33 in FIG. 4.
As can be seen from FIG. 4, the two shafts 23 and 24, and consequently the four pinions 21 and 22, are disposed in such a manner as to give the chains 20, and consequently the succession of bars 17, a substantially elliptical path which comprises two straight portions, in one of which, as shown in FIGS. 1, 7 and 8, at least three character support bars are in a flat position facing the print hammers 26, 27 and 28 of the unit 14, which is suitable for establishing the engagement between the hammers and print characters for printing the corresponding alphabetical and numerical characters on a document inserted between the two units 13 and 14 (FIG. 7). The zone in which this condition occurs will be called hereinafter printing area. In this area, for the purpose of resisting the pressure exercised by the print hammers, behind the character support bars (at a small distance from them so that there is no rubbing) there is disposed a backing plate 29, which is rigidly joined to two fixed ends 30 of the outer frame of the unit 13. These ends also act as a support for a cover element in the form of a shell 31 comprising an aperture 32 at said printing area.
With the support unit for print characters 13 there is associated the unit 15 which drives the printing ribbon 16, which is shown in detail in FIGS. 6 and 7 and comprises two ribbon reels 34 and 35, between which the ribbon 16 extends guided by the cover element 31 of the unit 13 and an extension 56 of it forming part of the frame 57 of the unit 15; as shown in FIG. 7, the guide action of the element 31 is such as to keep that portion of ribbon situated within the printing area at a small distance from the print characters situated in the same printing area, so that there is no rubbing between the ribbon and the print characters. The two reels 34 and 35 are thrust by springs 36 and 37 into engagement (obtained by pins 38 and 39) with respective discs 40 and 41, which are connected and disconnected alternately with two drive units 42 and 43 by electromagnetic clutches 44 and 45. The alternate energising and de-energising of the electromagnetic clutches 44 and 45 is controlled by a microswitch 46, with which cooperates a lever 47 fixed to a spindle 48 to which are also fixed two rocker arms 49. The lever 47 can assume two different extreme positions (shown in differently dotted lines in FIG. 7), which are defined by the position, sometimes to the right and sometimes to the left of the axis of the spindle 48, of the line of action of the spring 50 to the lever 47 and to a fixed point 51. The movement of the lever 47 from one to the other of its two end positions is determined, at the end of the unwinding of the ribbon from the reel which up to that moment was idle and hence dragged (the left one in the case of FIG. 7 by the engagement between a block 52 carried at the end of the ribbon and the corresponding end of the arms 49. As a consequence of this engagement the arms 49 rotate about the axis of the spindle 48 and enable the lever 47 to move beyond the dead point represented by the line joining the axis of the spindle 48 to the point of fixing of the spring 50 on the arm 47. When this happens the microswitch 46 changes its state and de-energises the electromagnetic clutch associated with the reel which up to that moment was dragged, and energises the electromagnetic clutch associated with the reel which up to that moment was pulling. The motion of the ribbon then reverses and continues in that way until the block carried by the other end of the ribbon encounters the other end of the arms 49, so returning these to the original position and restoring the original motion of the ribbon. To ensure that the ribbon is always under tension whatever the direction of its motion, two washers of braking material 53 and 54 are provided fixed to a fixed cross member 55, on which the two discs 40 and 41 rub, and are consequently braked (naturally the braking action exerted on the dragged disc will be more effective than that exerted on the pulling disc, and this explains the tensioning effect produced on the ribbon).
The support unit for print hammers 14 is shown in detail in FIGS. 8 and 9, and comprises a succession of three rows of n print hammers 26, 27 and 28, spaced apart by one step in the succession of rows of print characters of the unit 13 in the direction of movement of these latter within the printing area (it should be noted that in FIG. 8 the movement of the print characters is the reverse of that in FIG. 4, because the unit 13 is shown here turned through with respect to FIG. 4). In the direction of development of the rows of hammers, i.e., in the direction of FIG. 9, the print hammers are in phase with the print characters of the rows of print characters contained in the unit 13, so that each hammer of a row can engage with a corresponding character belonging to the same row when a determined row of print characters is brought into a position facing said row of hammers by the rotary motion produced by the drive shaft 24 of the unit 13. The hammers 26, 27 and 28 are slidably housed in through holes in a plate 58, and when at rest they rest on a further plate 59. They are operated by respective electromagnets 60, 61 and 62, the mobile cores 66, 67 and 68 of which are connected to the hammers 26, 27 and 28 by respective rods 63, 64 and 65. The electromagnets 60 are carried, in the scale arrangement of FIG. 9 (which enables a small distance to be maintained between the hammers 26 irrespective of the undoubtedly larger dimensions of the electromagnets), by four longitudinal members 69 fixed to two end walls 70. The electromagnets 62 are carried in their turn, again in accordance with a scale arrangement, by four longitudinal members 71 fixed to the two walls 70 in a symmetrical position with respect to the longitudinal members 69. The electromagnets 61 are carried, again in accordance with a scale arrangement, by two pairs of longitudinal members 74 fixed to the walls 70 in a mutually symmetrical position (FIG. 8). The unit 14 is completed by a fan 73 disposed in such a manner as to blow air into the space inside the system of walls and longitudinal members, so as to keep the windings of the electromagnets at an acceptably temperature.
The operation of the electromagnets 60, 61 and 62, and hence of the hammers 26, 27 and 28, is controlled by the reading complex 12 in accordance with the data read from a suitable support means for stored data.
This support means consists preferably of a punched card such as that shown in FIG. 10, in which the various data relating to identity and position of the alphabetical and numerical characters contained in the text to be printed are stored, using the well known Hollerith code.
In accordance with this coded storage system, the card 74 of FIG. 10 comprises a plurality of punchable positions arranged in 12 lines and eighty columns.
The twelve lines of punchable positions of the card 74, disposed at a mutual distance apart equal to that of the rows of print characters of the unit 13, consists of nine lines carrying the numbers 1 to 9, one line 77 carrying the numbers nought and two further lines 75 and 76 without any reference symbols. The code used in such that each perforation provided in one of the lines carrying the numbers I to 9 refers to a numerical character corresponding to the number indicated on the line itself if the column comprising this perforation does not comprise perforations in the lines 75, 76 and 77 (e.g., as in the fortyfirst column from the beginning in FIG. 10), or alternatively refers to an alphabetical character represented by one of the letters A to I (A for the one line, B for the two line and so on) if the column comprising this perforation also comprises a perforation in the line 75 (e.g., as in the first column from the beginning in FIG. 10), or alternatively refers to an alphabetical character represented by one of the letters J to R (in the same order as previously mentioned) if the column comprising this perforation also comprises a perforation in the line 76 (e.g., as in the tenth column from the beginning in FIG. 10), or alternatively refers to an alphabetical character represented by the symbol or the letters S to Z (again in succession as for the numbers 1 to 9) if the column comprising this perforation also comprises a perforation in the line 76 (e.g., in the twentyeighth column from the beginning in FIG. 10); finally a perforation in line 77 without any other perforations in the same column (e.g., as in the fortysecond column from the beginning in FIG. 10) refers to a numerical character represented by the number 0. The code system just described is also shown for clarity in the table given below in which the first column from the left indicates any lines provided with perforations in addition to those in the lines 1 9 on the card and the other columns indicate the different meaning assumed by the perforations in the lines 1 9 in the absence or presence of further perforations in the lines 75, 76 and 77.
The number 0, as stated, is represented by a single perforation in line 77.
In order to read a punched card such as that of FIG. 10, the machine shown on the drawings uses preferably a reading complex 12 such as that shown in FIGS. 11
and 12. This reading complex comprises firstly a readv ing surface 78 on which, with the help of rollers 79 carried by spindles 80, the punched cards 74 taken one at a time from a store 81 in which the cards are accumulated one on the other, are driven towards a collection tray 82 (with a speed of movement equal to that of the print characters of the unit 13). The taking of the cards is aided by a thin thrust plate 83 moved alternately forwards and backwards from the rest position of FIGS. 11 and 12.
The rollers 79 and thrust plate 83 are driven by a motor 84, coupled by two pulleys 85 and .86 and a transmission belt 87 to a shaft 88, on which the helical pinions 89 and 90 are keyed. The pinions 89 drive the spindles 80 and hence the rollers 79 uniformly by a 1:1 coupling with gearwheels 91 keyed on the spindles 80. The pinion 90 engages with a transmission ratio of 1:4 with a gearwheel 92 keyed on a spindle 93, on which is keyed a cam with a single lobe 94. A lever 96 pivoted at 97 and connected to the thrust plate 83 (slidable in one plane) by means of a rod 98 hinged at its two ends, is kept in engagement with said lobe by a spring 95. Because of the particular gear ratio chosen for the shafts 88 and 93, and the single lobe configuration of the cam 94, the thrust plate 83 makes one oscillation for every four turns of the rollers 79; the purpose of this is evidently to create between the taking of one card and the next a time interval sufficient to enable the first taken card to travel the entire or almost entire reading surface 78 before the next card is taken. Moreover the contour of the cam 94 and the length of the lever 96 are chosen so as to ensure that the thrust plate 83 has a speed of movement equal to the peripheral speed of the rollers 79, so as to enable the cards to always move at the same speed, both when they are in the process of being taken and during their passage on the working surface.
Between the store 81 and the collection tray 82, along the working surface 78, there are four reading devices 99, 100, 101 and 102, disposed at a distance apart equal to nine steps in the punchable positions (or storage positions) of the cards 74. Each of these reading devices includes three readers (indicated in FIG. 12 respectively with the reference numerals 103 105, 106 108, 109 111 and 112 114), each of which is designed to read the data stored in one of three adjacent sectors 115, 116 and 117 of the card 74 (FIG. 10). The three readers of each of the reading devices 99-102 are spaced apart by one step in the punchable positions of the card in the direction of forward movement of this latter and comprise in their turn a certain number of adjacent reading elements, in mutual phase, each of which is designed to scan in succession all the punchable positions of one column of the card. Each of the reading elements which comprise a determined reader is connected (in the manner which will be explained hereinafter) to one respective hammer of the n hammers which compose one of the three rows of hammers of the unit 14 of the printing assembly, because of which their number is evidently less or equal to n. To the same hammers of the same row are also connected the reading elements which in the other reading devices are designed to scan the same columns of the card, so that each column of the card is designed to be read by one reading element of each of the devices 99-102, but to control by means of these a single hammer of the unit 14. The reading elements may be of various types, for example the photoelectric cell or brush type; the essential requirement is that they are able to provide a determined signal each time when during the course of their scanning they encounter a perforation on the card.
The circuit shown in FIG. 13 may be considered as an example of connection between a print hammer and the four reading elements (one for each of the devices 99-102) designed to explore a single column of the card 74, in which the various reading elements have been considered as being formed from conducting plates 99a, 100a, 101a and 102a (signal emitter parts) associated with brush receiving elements 99b, 100b, 101!) and 102b (signal receiving parts).
Among the main elements which comprise or control the circuit of FIG. 13 there are firstly the rotating changeover switch 118 and the two cams 119 and 120. The changeover switch 118 is formed from a disc 121 provided with a conducting sector 122 and three contacts 123, 124 and 125 spaced apart and from the sector 122 by one pitch in the punchable positions of the card 74, and a conducting pointer 126 rotatable in synchronism with the spindles 80 and with its phasing adjusted so that it arrives at the contact 123 each time the reading element of the device 99 is scanning the punchable position relative to the line 75 of the column being scanned.
The cam 119, shown with cylindrical contour in FIG. 13, has a contour shaped so as to produce a succession of openings and closures of a switch 127 associated with it for each complete turn, and of which the graphical representation is given in FIG. 14 (the heavy dotted lines indicate closures). This cam 119 is coupled to the shaft 93 so as to rotate in synchronism with it, so as to make a quarter of a revolution for each revolution of the spindles 80; it follows that the openings and closures controlled by each quarter of its contour take place as the card passes through a different one of the reading devices 99-102. Its contour is formed in such a manner that the closures of the switch 127 always take place when a punchable position on the card passes to the position of scanning by a reading element. Thus as can be seen in FIG. 14, the cam 119 causes the switch 127 to close each time one of the twelve puchable positions of the card finds itself in a position of scanning by the reading element of the device 99, and each time one of the punchable positions l-9 of the card finds itself in a position of scanning by the reading elements of the device 100, 101 and 102, and also after a further step of advancement of the card on termination of scanning of the punchable position 9 by the reading element of the device 102. The four positions of the succession of openings and closures controlled by the cam 119 are indicated by the reference numbers 119a, 119b, H and 119d in FIG. 14, where the arrow 128 indicates the direction of succession.
The cam also rotates together with the shaft 93 and has a contour which keeps the switch 129 closed for nearly the whole of its revolution, until the moment of the last closure of the switch 127. This is seen clearly in FIG. 14, where the heavy dotted line indicates the period of closure.
The various electrical connections of the circuit of FIG. 13 are as follows. The switch 127 has a fixed contact 130 connected to a positive terminal 131 and a mobile contact 132 connected to the mobile contact 133 (normally in the position of FIG. 13) of a changeover switch 152b provided with two fixed contacts 135 and 136. The contact 135 is connected to the conducting plate 120a of the reading element included in the reading device 102 by way of a switch sensitive to the arrival of the card at the reading station defined by the device 102, i.e., by way of a switch disposed at the inlet of the device 102 along the path of the card on the reading surface 78. The contact 136 is connected to the mobile contact 141 (normally in the position of FIG. 13) of a changeover switch 151a provided with two fixed contacts 143 and 144. The fixed contact 143 is connected to the conducting plate 101a of the reading element included in the reading device 101 by way of a switch 139 sensitive to the arrival of the card at the reading station defined by the device 101. The contact 144 is connected in its turn to the mobile contact 145 (normally in the position of FIG. 13) of a changeover switch a provided with two fixed contacts 147 and 148. The contact 147 is connected to the conducting plate 100a of the reading element included in the reading device 100 by way of a switch 138 sensitive to the arrival of the card at the reading station defined by the device 100. The contact 148 is connected in its turn to the conducting plate 99a of the reading element of the reading device 99 by way of a switch 137 sensitive to the arrival of the card at the reading station defined by the device 99.
The sensing element 99b of the reading element included in the reading device 99 is connected to the pointer 126 of the rotating changeover switch 118. The contacts 123 and 124 of this latter are connected to a negative terminal 149 by way of respective relays 150 and 151, with which further relays 150' and 151 are associated for holding those contacts controlled by the relays 150 and 151. The contact 125 is connected to the negative terminal 149 by way of two relays in parallel 152 and 153, with which further relays 152 and 153 are associated for holding those contacts controlled by the relays 152 and 153. The conducting sector 122 of the rotating changeover switch 118 is connected directly to the sensing elements 100b, 101b and 102b of the reading elements included in the reading devices 100, 101 and 102 respectively, and is also connected to a negative terminal 158 by way of an amplitier 159 in series with one of the electromagnets 60 (or 61 or 62) for operating the print hammers 26 (or 27 or 28). The amplifier and electromagnet are also connected to a positive terminal 160 by way of a normally open switch 153a controlled by the relays 153 and 153' in series with a normally closed switch 152a controlled (together with the changeover switch 152b) by the relays 152 and 152'.
The switch 129 has a mobile contact 134 connected to a positive terminal 142 and a fixed contact 146 connected to the mobile contacts 132 and 133 of the switch 127 and of the changeover switch 152b by way of two diodes with opposing cathodes 154 and 155 in series. The fixed contact 146 is also connected to a negative terminal 156 by way of the relay 150' in series with a normally open switch 150b controlled (together with the changeover switch 150a) by the relays 150 and 150', by way of the relay 151' in series with a normally open switch 151b controlled (together with the changeover switch 151a) by the relays 151 and 151 and also by way of the relay 152 in series with a normally open switch 152c controlled by the relays 152 and 152'. The common cathodes of the two diodes 154 and 155 are also connected to the negative terminal 156 by way of a resistance 157 in series with the relay 153 and a normally open switch l53b controlled by the relays 153 and 153'. Finally an intermediate point between the resistance 157 and the relay 153' is connected directly to the sensing element l02b of the reading element included in the reading device 102.
As stated, the circuit of FIG. 13 represents an example of the connection between four reading elements designed to scan the same column of the card and one of the print hammers of the unit 14. Obviously the machine will include as many equal circuits as there are print hammers. The only difference between the various circuits will be represented by the fact that the cams 119 and 120 and the rotating changeover switch 118 of the circuits relative to reading elements included in readers for scanning different sectors of the card will be out of phase by one step so as to give different moments of beginning of the reading.
Taking this into account, it will be supposed that a machine will be used constructed in this manner for printing a three line address stored on the card 74 of FIG. 10.
While the various rows of print characters of the unit 13 succeed each other in the printing area in a position facing the three rows of print hammers of the unit 14 by the uniform motion given to the drive shaft 24, and while the document (single or as a continuous module) on which the address is to be printed is positioned in said printing area with or without the use of suitable motorised means of any type, the thrust plate 83 takes the card 74 from the store 81 and places it on the reading surface 78 where it is made to advance at constant speed (equal to that of the print characters) by the drive rollers 79. On arriving at the inlet to the reading device 99, the card closes the switch 137, so allowing the device 99 to read. As the first line of the card arrives in a position to be read by the reading elements designed to scan the card sector 115, the cams 119 cause a first closure of the switches 127 included in the circuits relative to said reading elements, so (for each of them) making the electrical connection between the positive terminal 131 and the conducting plate of the reading element, which thus becomes active. As there are no perforations, the sensing elements 99b of the reading elements which scan the seventh, the tenth, the eleventh and from the thirteenth to the twentyseventh column (from the beginning in FIG. of the card do not make electrical contact with the conducting plate and therefore do not energise the respective relays 150 (the pointer 126 is in that moment in the position of FIG. 13); instead, the sensing elements 99b of the reading elements which scan the first to the sixth and then the eighth, the ninth and twelfth column of the card make contact because of the perforations in these latter, because of which said sensing elements cause the energising of the respective relays 150 which. before being again de-energised because of the subsequent advancement of the card, cause the closure of the switches 150k and hence the energising of the relays 150. These latter keep the switches 150!) closed, because of which they themselves remain energised and also keep the switches 150a closed (previously also closed by the relays 150), which deactivate the reading elements of the device 99 and instead activate the reading elements of the device 100 (naturally reference is always made to the reading elements for said columns provided with perforations in the first line).
After a further step of advancement of the card, i.e., when the first line of the card sector 116 arrives at the second reader (out of phase by one step) of the device 99 and the second line of the card sector arrives at the first reader of the device 99, the cams 119 of both readers close the switches 127, while the pointers 126 of the first reader are in the position of electrical contact with the contacts 124. The changeovers previously described in relation to the first reader are evidently repeated for the second reader, i.e., the relays 150 and 150 are energised and switch the changeover switches 150a relative to the reading elements which explore the 29, 30, 32, 33, 34, 36, 37, and 39 columns, so deactivating the reading elements of the device 99 and activating those of the device 100; with regard to the first reader however, the sensing elements 99b of the reading elements which scan the tenth, eleventh and thirteenth column of the card cause the momentary energising of the respective relays 151 and then, together with the permanent energising of the relays 151, the switching of the changeover switches 151a towards the reading device 101.
After a further step of advancement of the card, this latter comes into a position in which the first line of the sector 117 is at the third reader, the second line of the sector 116 is at the second reader and the third line of the sector 115 is at the first reader, while the pointers 126 of the third reader are in the position of FIG. 13, those of the second reader are at the contact 124 and those of the first reader are at the contact 125; the cams 119 close the switches 127 of all the readers of the device 99. in conformity with that said previously, the changeover switches a associated with the reading elements of the third reader which scan the 54, 55, 56, 57 and 70 columns of the card switch over and the changeover switches 151a associated with the reading elements of the second reader which scan the thrityfourth and thirtyeighth columns of the card switch over; however no change takes place in the first reader because the card sector 115 has no perforations in the third line,
After a further step forward, the card is brought into a position in which the fourth line of the sector 115 is at the first reader, the third line of the sector 116 is at the second reader and the second line of the sector 117 is at the third reader, while the pointers 126 of the first reader are brought to the sectors 122, those of the second reader to the contacts 125 and those of the third