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Publication numberUS3876840 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 8, 1975
Filing dateMay 25, 1973
Priority dateMay 25, 1973
Publication numberUS 3876840 A, US 3876840A, US-A-3876840, US3876840 A, US3876840A
InventorsBryant Jr Ellis H
Original AssigneeBryant Jr Ellis H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic time-temperature-message announcing system
US 3876840 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

' United States Patent Bryant, Jr.


N.W., Atlanta, Ga. 30327 [22] Filed:

May 25, 1973 Appl. No; 364,529

Ellis H. Bryant, Jr., 4881 Power Rd.

179/1002 MD, 6 C; 360/12 Primary E.\'aminerAlfred H. Eddleman Attorney, Agent, or FirmWatson, Cole, Grindle & Watson [57] ABSTRACT An announcing system in which the time, temperature. and commercial weather message announcements are provided on a single mechanism with one record and the TTA system will operate in any spatial orientation including a horizontal position. A stepping motor is used for a magnetic detent of the recording system and operates to positively position the magnetic sound heat in the center of a magnetic record [56] References Cit d track. Completely automatic time and temperature UNITED STATES PATENTS services are provided w1th no daily ma1g1tenance or m;

itial time setting to maintain accuracy y utilization o 3,632.880 1/1972 GOltlSChCln 179 1001 C 3.637.952 1 1972 Hw -6 et al. 179/1002 MD g 3 Bureau of s wwv Rad) 3,668,326 6/1972 Bryant, Jr 179/6 TA casts' 3.673.344 6 1972 Smith et 111.... 179/1001 C D 3,767,864 /1973 Smith et -.11. 179/1002 s Clams rawng F'gures =51 ENkBLE PULSE 197.0 FlZOM REMOTE 8111133111. 44 1 M\N.B\NM2Y A: ll- Ilikm SENS cooE CODE 1=1zoM BMW 29* SECOND 6 192011101 1111 TE\..D\G\TM. FROM BlNARY eMT 1=1e.1 WNUTE ENCODER 01v1oE1z 1111s DECODElZ T-\G1.1 110017. c1oc1 so 1.0 1

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vcc R8 MARKET woue NV +14v 4 :1 \008 IL Aumo em 'lOOfuxd 15v PD J. FOR MAX. '5\NE WAVE OUTPUT AUTOMATIC TlME-TEMPERATURE-MESSAGE ANNOUNCING SYSTEM This invention relates to time-temperatureannouncing machines (TTA) of the type which will automatically announce the time. temperature. and a commercial message in response to a request made by dialing the central office of a telephone exchange system. Prior art TTA systems have required separate records for the time. temperature. and the commercial messages to be announced and have used gravity actuated magnetic sound head devices and mechanical detent bars for positioning the magnetic sound head at the respective recordings. Such TTA systems are mechanically complex. require a great deal of operator attention. and can be operated only in a horizontal position. thereby significantly limiting the scope of their applications.

The TTA system of this invention presents a significant improvement and advancement over prior art TTA systems and has the following advantages and features over such known systems. The time. temperature, and commercial weather message announcements are provided on a single mechanism with one record and the TTA system will operate in any spatial orientation including a horizontal position. Therefore. the system can be used in spacecraft or in aircraft. etc.

A stepping motor is used for the magnetic detent of the recording system and operates in conjunction with a production ball screw to positively position the magnetic sound head exactly in the center of a magnetic record track. thereby eliminating complex and difficultto-manufacture detent bars and mechanical linkage. A four magnetic head system enables the machine to be adapted for computer speech synthesis and to provide multiple outputs. Completely automatic time and temperature services are provided with no daily maintenance or initial time setting to maintain an accuracy of 5 milliseconds at all times by utilization of the National Bureau of Standards WWV Radio broadcasts.

Temperature update data is transmitted to the TTA system at a central location from a remote temperature sensor over a single pair of telephone wires. The accuracy is sufficient for official Weather Bureau temperature certification (plus or minus Vz F.) over a 161 temperature range with excellent long term calibration stability. Digital outputs are provided for use in commercial time-temperature outdoor advertising signs as well as inside premise displays. Binary data representing time. temperature are also braodcast over the telephone companys central office dial tone generator to all of its area subscribers for automatically setting digital clocks and other equipment operated from a digital input. This information is received automatically when a subscriber originates a telephone call.

Special circuit enables daylight savings time changes to be preset up to 24 hours in advance of the 2:00 AM. Sunday morning correction. therefore making it unnecessary for operating personnel to be present when the automatic change occurs.

Continuous variable cycle recordings are made by stepping the magnetic head from track to track in sequence thereby providing up to 21 minutes of recording time with no noticeable interruption as the machine steps from track to track.

The TTA system uses dual compliance flutter filters with the rotating masses and the main drive motor completely submerged in transmission oil to provide viscous damping. cooling and lubrication, thereby enabling production of gear driven announcement machines to be consistently constructed with wide band flutter of less than 0.05 percent.

Automatic weather announcements programmed by ESSA teletype circuits are transmitted with an address and specific forecast for the involved zone in any one of one thousand prerecorded announcement combinations. The local official temperature is included from the Weather Bureau office and after the weather update from ESSA the teletype circuit is seized and the local temperature derived from the local weather office is transmitted back to the Weather Bureau's regional office thereby providing confirmation that the system has actually been updated within any given zone. This provides a hands-off" automatic service for small communities that is broadcast over the community telephone system. Such a service and its coding arrangement has been described in ESSA Bulletin W- 1132. July 18, 1969.

Recordings of locally variable cycle weather announcements made by Weather Bureau personnel from their local office or other remote location. along with the official temperature. are provided over one line telephone circuit to the TTA equipment located in the telephone companys central office. The announcements are distributed over the weather network on a multiple entry demand basis and such a service has application for medium and large sized cities.

In large metropolitan areas. such as New York City where a message rate telephone service is used. the telephone company may lease the time network to distribute sports announcements. such as baseball. football. basketball scores.

An absolute linear encoder fabricated from a metal plate provides feedback as to the exact positioning of a sound head on a magnetic track. The encoder is coded in a special eight-bit gray code and when used for temperature indication provides a range of 99 to +l F. for a 256 eight-bit code. The encoder is positioned by a resistance bridge to provide an exact code output that corresponds with the temperature to an accuracy of plus or minus /2 F.

The TTA system is free from mechanical indexing disturbances caused by record rotation. A greater flexibility of the types of announcement services is provided by the fact that all timekeeping and other functions are external to the TTA mechanism itself. The carriage assemblies are completely modular and are interchangeable simply by unplugging and removing a few mounting screws.

An advance index system is provided whereby the TTA system will advance the hour and minute recordings 6 seconds before the new hour and minute so that the time announcement is completed at the start of the 960 Hz tone marker indicating exactly the beginning of a new hour. The system may also be programmed to advance the hour and minute index for commercial systems where the time is announced in one minute increments.

A synchronizing system is required to bring the prerecorded time announcing record into exact synchronization with the time and this is accomplished on startup of the TTA system by an optical interrupter switch which is mounted so that the record operates it once per revolution. An internal system counter set by the output of the interrupter switch and another counter is set once every minute by the radio corrected master clock. The outputs of these two counters are compared with each other to advance the main drive motor when the record is slow in relation to the actual time. or retard the main drive motor when the record is fast in relation to the actual time. The accuracy of the synchronizing system is plus or minus 2.4 milliseconds.

A message assembly announcement synthesizing unit provides a message hours. minutes. seconds and the temperature in sequence on any one of three-or more output channels. and central office line trunk control pulses as well. The output of the three or more channels is offset by 5 seconds. the outputs of each of the three channels are exactly the same except for their time relationship or change in temperature. The telephone central office trunks are switched at the next available announcement when a new call comes in by standard central office techniques to improve the quality of the service by limiting the waiting time to a maximum of 5 seconds to obtain access to an announcement. The average waiting time is 2 /2 seconds which provides the subscribers with a full and complete announcement even during heavy traffic periods.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION A primary object of the invention is to provide a more economical and less mechanically complex time. temperature. and message announcement system.

A further object of the invention is to provide a significant improvement in reliability and utility of such TTA systems.

A third object is to provide a TTA system which can be applied to computer speech synthesis configurations.

A fourth object of the invention is to provide a time. temperature. and message announcement system which is completely automatic and requires no operator attention.

A fifth object of the invention is to provide control outputs in a TTA system for operating outdoor or indoor advertisiing displays.

A sixth object is to provide a TTA system which may be broadcast over telephone company central office dial tone generator equipment to all area subscribers and which will automatically set digital clocks and other machinery.

A seventh object of the invention is to provide a TTA system that may be automatically set for Daylight Savings time changes.

An eighth object of the invention is to provide a TTA system having continuous variable cycle recordings which are made available by sequentially stepping a magnetic head from track-to-track.

A ninth object of the invention is to provide a TTA system having substantial improvement in flutter performance which is capable of being produced with a wide band flutter of less than 0.05 percent.

A tenth object of the invention is to provide automatic weather announcements selected from any one of a thousand prerecorded announcement combinations and which is programmed by ESSA teletype circuits.

An eleventh object of the invention is to provide a TTA system using an absolute linear encoder to provide feedback as to the exact position of a sound head with respect to a miltiple track recording system.


A twelfth object of the invention is to provide a TTA machine in which all time-keeping. temperature, and weather functions are external to the machine itself, thereby reducing or eliminating mechanical indexing disturbances.

A thirteenth object of the invention is to provide a TTA system having modular carriage assemblies for improving the flexibility of the apparatus.

A fourteenth object of the invention is to provide an improved TTA system having an advance index system for completing announcements at the start of a 960 Hz tone marker at the beginning of each new minute and hour.

A fifteenth object of the invention is to provide a synchronizing system for synchronizing the prerecorded time announcing record with the exact time.

A final object of the invention is to provide a TTA machine having a message assembly announcement synthesizing unit for sequentially generating three or more output channels of messages comprising hours. minutes. seconds. temperature, and a weather/commercial announcement. wherein the average access time to an announcement is considerably reduced over prior art mechanisms.

GENERAL DESCRlPTlON The automatic time-temperature-annoueing TTA system receives a radio signal from WWV via a radio antenna located at the telephone company location. The entire TTA system operates from batteries and power is applied when the system is first made operational. The WWV signal is applied to a standard superheterodyne receiver tuned to the signal frequency. When a sufficient signal input is available. the audio output contains various information including a I00 Hz tone that is modulated with the digital time information. A Hz filter separates the one pulse per second. one frame per minute. information from the other data. This AC signal voltage is rectified and filtered and the fluctuating DC voltage is then applied to the input of a Schmitt trigger. The output of the Schmitt trigger represents the serial binary coded decimal (BCD) official time code that was transmitted originally from WWV. An enable signal is generated by application of a complete time frame of the interrange instrumentation group format H (lRlG-H) modified time code with the proper identification logic by means of a shift register. The lRlG-H time code has a 1 minute time frame and a 23-bit BCD code word with one minute resolution. The basic element rate is l pps. The code is defined in Document 104-70 published by Seeretariat. Range Commanders Council. White Sands Missile Range. New Mexico. 88002. The enable signal certifies that the time code is correct. complete and that the received binary coded decimal (BCD) Greenwich mean time (GMT) hour and minute are in the proper position in the shift register. The actual time of the operation of the enable circuitry is 29 seconds after the hour and minute stored in the shift register plus the propagation delay time from the WWV antenna to the output of the radio receiver at the telephone company.

The enable signal is applied to a local presettable clock. Simultaneously. the time is parallelly inserted from the GMT time stored in the shift register subsequent to its BCD-to-binary conversion. The second is generated locally at the 29th second in a minute. A divider chain between a free wheeling 3.9 MHz oscillator and a 1 Hz output is reset so that the next seconds pulse is corrected for the radio propagation delay. For example. a 3 millisecond delay indicates that the next output of the seconds pulse will be 997 milliseconds later. The logic reset delay is adjusted according to the receiver location in the above manner. The local binary block is thereby set to correct GMT time and will remain so as long as an occasional WWV reset is applied. The local free-wheeling oscillator has a drift rate of only five parts in 10" per day. In the event. for whatever reason. that the WWV signal is unavailable. the local GMT clock may be manually set. A mechanical counter is provided for recording the number of enable pulses per day.

The GMT binary hour is applied to adjustable logic circuitry for subtracting the GMT offset from the local 24 -hour time. For example. 19:31 GMT is equivalent to 14:31 Eastern Standard Time during the winter months when there is a 5 hour offset. During the summer months for daylight savings time 19:31 GMT is equivalent to 15:31 Eastern Standard Time. which represents a 4 hour offset. The normalization to local time is accomplished by operation of a key on the TTA equipment any time within the 24 hours preceding an actual time change. The correction is made automatically at 2:00 a.m. the following morning.

The binary 24-hour time is applied to the TTA hour step motor servo-amplifier and also to a remote equipment shift register. when a 24-hour local clock is desired. or for other special requirements.

The 24-hour local binary time is normally converted by suitable logic circuitry to 12-hour local time and applied to an hour step motor servo-amplifier having a Nixie readout that may be switched from GMT to 24- hour local time. another monitor position indicating the last-received data from WWV, or 12-hour local time. Nixie readouts are also provided for minute and second monitors.

The binary minute output from the presettable local clock is applied to a minute step motor servo-amplifier and a remote equipment shift register. The binary seconds output from the presettable clock is applied to'a temporary storage register which is enabled by the presettable clock every 5 or 10 seconds as may be required. The output of the temporary storage register is then applied to a seconds step motor servo-amplifier.

The binary step motor servo-amplifier consists of an 8-digit logic comparator that compares the incoming binary code with the .l-bit binary code derived from the 8-bit modified Gray code converter. The 8-bit modified Gray code is derived from a mechanical metal and coded plate and an LED/photo transistor optical encoder. The metal encoder plate is mounted on the step motor servo-carriage assembly. The step motor is stepped one step at a time at a rate of 60 steps per second in a direction controlled by the logic comparator. The step motor moves the encoder in one direction until the exact code is reached whenever the logic input is larger than the mechanical position of the encoder. However. if the mechanical position of the encoder is lower than the required input. the step motor moves the mechanical encoder in the opposite direction until the exact code is reached. An advantage of the step motor drive is that it is energized when it rests and will remain in the exact position until the input logic code is changed. Additionallyg the step motor will return to a given position in the event it is mechanically forced away and then released. Such apparatus represents an absolute encoder system whereby the exact carriage position is defined by the optical encoder and the binary input at all times.

A combination record. playback and erase magnetic head is mounted on the step motor carriage. The exact position of the magnetic head relative to the record is determined by a magnetic detent in the step motor, and adjustment of a ball lead screw nut mechanism, the position of the optical encoder and the input logic code. The ball screw and magnetic detent determine exact head position relative to a magnetic record track and the optical encoder determines which of 256 track positions the head is at for a given logic input. All step motor servo assemblies are alike and are modular and thereby interchangeable.

All time-keeping, temperature measuring, and variable message cycle links are generated by logic circuits and the data is converted into binary codes which the step motor servo-systems match with the proper recording track. The message assembly logic circuitry switches the magnetic head outputs to synthesize the required speech continuity and output. The message assembly unit also generates pulses for controlling the telephone central office common trunk equipment. for example. such as CO and CT pulses. The message assembly master timer is controlled by an optical interrupter switch associated with the record. thereby generating a pulse once per revolution. The message assembly unit blocks any servo changes during the time the track is announcing a message.

The remote equipment register is parallelly set by the local time and official temperature logic. A logic clock transmits a serial output once per second and that data operates a telephoneline driver for transmission of digital information to a sponsors remote location. Audio information is also transmitted over the same telephone wires on a time-sharing basis. The serial output is used at the sponsors premises for correct time and official temperature displays and. for example. electric outdoor advertising signs. The remote equipment shift register may also transmit digital information to a special telephone company dial tone generator to enable all subscribers within the telephone companys operating area to automatically set digital clocks on their premises. The digital time information may also be used internally by the telephone company in any number of applications.

The entire TTA system is adequately guarded by alarms for notifying telephone central office maintenance personnel in the event of a malfunction of the equipment. The alarm system also functions to make busy" subscriber trunk circuits.

Telephone trunk circuits previously used in TTA systems usually comprise a relay for indicating connection of an incoming call to a trunk. A holding relay is set to delay the connection of the audio and the "ring trip" of the central office equipment until the beginning of the next complete announcement cycle which is indicated by a CT pulse from the system. A CT relay is actuated for connecting the audio until the end of the announcement cycle and the CT relay is released by a CO pulse from the system to restore the trunk for the reception of a new telephone call. Such telephone trunk circuits have a number of disadvantages and the TTA system of this invention provides a new interface between the TTA system and the telephone central office

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3632880 *Apr 23, 1969Jan 4, 1972Cognitronics CorpInformation-announcing system
US3637952 *Dec 22, 1969Jan 25, 1972Matsushita Electric Ind Co LtdVoice clock apparatus
US3668326 *Feb 11, 1970Jun 6, 1972Audichron CoVariable multiple periodic and aperiodic announcement system
US3673344 *Dec 7, 1971Jun 27, 1972Bryant Ellis H JrHead positioning mechanism for recorded announcement apparatus
US3767864 *Dec 8, 1971Oct 23, 1973Audichron CoMultiple announcement system with selective deletion of announcements
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4155104 *Oct 1, 1976May 15, 1979Abraham PiltchProcess timer
US4602340 *Sep 29, 1982Jul 22, 1986Research Activities, IncorporatedInformation distribution system
US4761542 *Jul 25, 1985Aug 2, 1988Hitachi, Ltd.Automatic money receiving and paying method and apparatus
US4850007 *Jun 25, 1987Jul 18, 1989American Telephone And Telegraph CompanyTelephone toll service with advertising
US5987424 *Jul 10, 1997Nov 16, 1999Nec CorporationAccounting method and system for discounted communications charges
US6122234 *Nov 19, 1996Sep 19, 2000Minebea Co., Ltd.Recording disk drive using a synchronous driving motor
US8107600Feb 6, 2006Jan 31, 2012O'keeffe Sean PHigh volume call advertising system and method
US8554620Jan 18, 2012Oct 8, 2013Sean P. O'KeeffeHigh volume call advertising system and method
WO2002095708A1 *May 22, 2002Nov 28, 2002Lockheed CorpAutomated data monitoring system
U.S. Classification379/71, 360/12, 369/22
International ClassificationH04M3/487
Cooperative ClassificationH04M3/4876
European ClassificationH04M3/487N4