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Publication numberUS3891077 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 24, 1975
Filing dateOct 24, 1973
Priority dateOct 27, 1972
Also published asDE2252767A1
Publication numberUS 3891077 A, US 3891077A, US-A-3891077, US3891077 A, US3891077A
InventorsSauerbrunn Wolfgang
Original AssigneeBosch Gmbh Robert
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
High-speed printer
US 3891077 A
Abstract
A high-speed printer is operative for printing alphanumerical characters by selecting dots of a matrix composed of dots arranged in identical parallel columns which are spaced from each other in the direction of a line of alphanumerical characters to be printed. The printer includes a printing head including printing elements arranged in form of a single one of the mentioned columns. A drive motor moves the printing head along a predetermined path extending in the direction of the line of characters to be printed. A detector arrangement detects the arrival of the printing head at successive predetermined locations along the path of movement of the latter. A synchronizing arrangement generates successive synchronizing signals in response to detection by the detector arrangement of the arrival of the printing head at successive ones of said predetermined locations. A character-generating unit connected to the synchronizing arrangement receives successive synchronizing signals and furnishes to the printing elements successive groups of signals, each group signifying which dots of the column are to be printed, and each group being furnished to the printing elements in synchronism with the receipt by the character-generating unit of one of said synchronizing signals.
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United States Patent 1 Sauerbrunn 1 HIGH-SPEED PRINTER [75] Inventor: Wolfgang Sauerbrunn,Gerlingen,

Germany [22] Filed: Oct. 24, 1973 [21] App]. No.: 409,336

[30] Foreign Application Priority Data Oct. 27, 1972 Germany 2252767 [52] US. Cl. 197/1 R; l01/93.l5 [51] Int. Cl B41j 3/05 [58] Field of Search 197/1 R, 49, 48; 101/93 C [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,459,287 8/1969 Avins et a1. 197/1 R 3,690,431 9/1972 Howard 197/1 R 3,703,949 11/1972 Howard et a1. 197/1 R 3,752,288 8/1973 Detig et al. 197/1 R 3,757,346 9/1973 Holland 197/1 R 3,802,544 4/1974 Howard ct al. 197/1 R Primary Examiner-Edgar S. Burr Assistant ExaminerR. T. Rader Attorney, Agent, or FirmMichael S. Striker 57 ABSTRACT A high-speed printer is operative for printing alphanumerical characters by selecting dots of a matrix composed of dots arranged in identical parallel columns which are spaced from each other in the direction of a line of alphanumerical characters to be printed. The printer includes a printing head including printing elements arranged in form of a single one of the mentioned columns. A drive motor moves the printing head along a predetermined path extending in the direction of the line of characters to be printed. A detector arrangement detects the arrival of the printing head at successive predetermined locations along the path of movement of the latter. A synchronizing arrangement generates successive synchronizing signals in response to detection by the detector arrangement of the arrival of the printing head at successive ones of said predetermined locations. A character-generating unit connected to the synchronizing arrangement receives successive synchronizing signals and furnishes to the printing elements successive groups of signals, each group signifying which dots of the column are to be printed, and each group being 'fumished to the printing elements in synchronism with the receipt by the character-generating unit of one of said synchronizing signals.

20 Claims, 1 Drawing Figure HIGH-SPEED PRINTER I BACKGROUND or THE INVENTION ical characters are registered in dotor point-matrix speeds. The synchronization between the column-bycolumn read out of the character generator is more assumed than actual, and the advancement of the printing electrodes, under the control of the stepper motor,

can easily fall out of phase with the column-by-column read-out of the character generator. Evidently, the distance actually advanced by the set of printing electrodes, in response to the receipt by the driving stepper motor of a triggering pulse'to cause the advancement of the motor output shaft by one step, will depend upon the instantaneous speed of the motor at the time that the triggering pulse is received, the inertia of the rotating parts of the motor being a significant factor when form, the points of the matrix being arrangedv in horizontal rows and vertical columns. The character generator has one output for each horizontal row of the point matrix, and the character generator is read out in such a manner that the signals corresponding to the information units associated with each successive vertical column of the point matrix appear simultaneously at the plurality of outputs of the character generator. Thus, the successive vertical columns of the point matrix encoding of the alphanumerical character are read out, column by column. The character generator has a plurality of column-selection inputs, one for each vertical column of the point-matrix. When a selection signal is applied to one of these column-selection inputs, there appear at the plurality of outputs of the character generator the signals associated with the constituent points of the respective column of the point-matrix. Columnselection signals are applied to the column-selection inputs in succession, so as to effect the column-bycolumn read-out of the point-matrix arrangement of information stored in the character generator. The character generator cooperates with a set of printing electrodes, equal in number to the outputs of the character generator and accordingly equal in number to the horizontal rows of the point-matrix. The set of printing electrodes prints onto a roll of paper or the like successive groups of points, in accordance with the particular combination of output signals appearing at the outputs of the signal generator at any one time.

High-speed printers of this type are already known. In the known constructions, the set of printing electrodes is moved back and forth along the line to be printed, which may for example extend in direction transversely to the elongation of the elongated and rolled-up paper upon which the printing is performed. The drive motor for the advancement of the set of printing electrodes along the line to be printed is a step per motor. With that particular type of high-speed printer, triggering pulses for the stepper motor are generated simultaneously with the generation of columnselection pulses for the column-by-column read out of the character generator. in establishing such an expedient, the assumption is that the stepper motor will be turned in precisely controlled manner as triggered by the triggering pulses and that the column-by-column read-out of the character generator will occur in exact synchronism therewith, so that after a particular column of the point-matrix stored in the character generator is readout, the next such column will be read-out exactly at the time that the moving set of printing electrodes reaches the position on the line to be printed at which the points corresponding to such column are to be located. Unfortunately such exact synchronization cannot be realized, except at relatively low printing very high speeds of operation are involved. Moreover, his not possible to maintain the speed of the stepper motor exactly constant, and the tendency of the motor to exhibit periodic speed variations will increase with increasing motor speed. As a result of these factors, the printing speed of the known printer is limited to about characters per second, with the printing proceeding with good printing quality at a printing speed of about 30 characters per second, but being only just acceptable when the printing speed is at about 100 characters per second.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is the general object of the invention to provide a high-speed printing arrangement, particularly such as would be used for print-out purposes in a digital computer, which can print effectively and reliably at printing speeds substantially higher than was possible with prior-art printing arrangements of the general type in question.

This object, and others which will become more understandable from the following description, can be met according to one advantageous concept of the invention, by providing, in a high-speed printer of the type operative for printing alphanumerical characters by selecting dots of a matrix composed of dots arranged in identical parallel columns which are spaced from each other in the direction of a line of alphanumerical characters to be printed, in combination, a printing head including printing elements arranged in form of a single one of said columns. Drive means moves the printing head along a predetermined path extending along said direction. Detecting means detects the arrival of the printing head at successive predetermined locations along the path of travel thereof. Synchronizing means generates successive synchronizing signals when said detecting means detects the arrival of the printing head at successive ones of said predetermined locations. Character-generating means connected to said synchronizing means receives said successive synchronizing signals and furnishes to the printing elements successive groups of signals, each group signifying which dots of the column are to be printed, and the character-generating means furnishing each successive group of signals to the printing elements upon receipt of one of said synchronizing signals.

As a result, it is possible to achieve a distortionless print out at very high printing speeds, in virtually complete independence from the actual speed of the drive motor, inasmuch as according to the concept of the present invention the column-by-column read-out of the point-matrix character generator is more directly synchronized with the distance travelled by the moving printing head than was the case with the prior-art approach. Even very sizable variations in motor speed will not result in a loss of synchronism, inasmuch as any such motor speed variations will to a very considerable extent be automatically compensated for by corresponding changes in the speed of the column-bycolumn read-out of the point-matrix character generator. As a result, the drive motor can be of almost any convenient type, for example a stepper motor or a DC. motor or a polyphase AC. motor. It is only necessary that the driving motor, or the means which converts the rotational motion of the motor into translational movement of the printing head, be reversible, so that the printing head can at the end ofa line be returned to the beginning of the next line to be printed.

The novel features which are considered as characteristic for the invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its construction and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The single FIGURE depicts in schematic manner one exemplary embodiment of the inventive concept.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In the FIGURE, reference numeral designates a source of information signals. The information source 10 can be in the form of a magnetic tape storage or a perforated tape storage, or can be the output of a computer. The information source 10 has six outputs each of which is either energized or left unenergized. With six such outputs, there are evidently 2 64 different possible combinations of energized and unenergized outputs, and accordingly the information source 10 is capable of generating 64 different output signals.

The information source 10 has an input for the receipt of an advancement pulse which causes the information source 10 to present at the six outputs thereof a signal corresponding to the next unit of information in the succession of units of information stored therein or 'furnish thereby. For example, the information source 10 may be comprised of an elongated perforated tape having six parallel tracks, and a set of six photoelectric detector elements arranged transverse to the elongation of the tape, with advancing means provided for moving the tape relative to the photoelectric detectors by a distance corresponding to the minimum distance been successive perforations of one track, in response to the receipt by the information source 10, at the illustrative input thereof, of a tape-advancement signal.

The six outputs of the information source 10 are connected to respective ones of the six inputs of a character generator 11 provided in the form of a readonlymemory (ROM) unit. The character generator 11 is capable of generating 64 different alphanumerical characters, the character actually generated being determined by which one of the 64 different possible combinations of input signals is applied to the six inputs thereof. Each character is stored in the form of 35 separate units of information, in correspondence to the 5 X 7 point-matrix form in which each generated character is ultimately to be printed. Specifically. the units of information stored in the read-only-memory unit 11 are stored in a manner corresponding to five vertical columns and seven horizontal rows of a point-matrix. Each of these thirty-five units of information may be a logic 1 signal or a logic 0 signal, in dependence upon the signals applied to the six inputs of the character generator 1 l.

The character generator 11 has seven outputs designated I, II, III, IV, V, VI and VII, in correspondence to the seven horizontal rows of the point-matrix form in which the character represented by the information stored in generator 11 is ultimately to be printed. It is emphasized that the character generator 11 in question is per se a conventional component.

The character generator 11 is provided with five column-section inputs, designated 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. When a column-selection signal is applied to one of these five inputs 1-5, there appears at the seven outputs I-VII of the character generator 11 a set of seven signals corresponding to the seven units of information representative of the constituent elements of the respective vertical column of the point-matrix character to be printed. Column selection signals are applied to the five inputs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 in succession and cyclically.

The seven outputs I-VIl of the character generator 11 are connected to seven inputs of an amplifier stage 12. The seven outputs of the amplifier stage 12 are connected to a set of seven aligned printing elements, such as printing electrodes. These printing electrodes are contained within a printing head 13 and are arranged in a vertical column, as considered with respect to the direction in which printed material is read by a human reader.

Reference numeral 14 designates an elongated sheet of paper wound off a non-illustrated paper supply roll. The printing head 13 is mounted for movement (by non-illustrated guide means) in direction transverse to the elongation of the elongated sheet'l4, back and forth in the direction along which a line of alphanumerical characters is printed.

The drive means for the printing head 13 is comprised of a wire 14' which is taughtly guided around two guide rollers 15 and 16, with the wire l4'being fixedly connected to the printing head 13. Reference numerals 33 and 34 designate two alphanumerical characters which have been printed in point-matrix form on the sheet I4, the characters illustrated being the capital letters A and E. It will be noted that the printed characters 33 and 34 are spaced from each other a predetermined distance corresponding to the normal separation between successive characters. The drive wire 14' is driven by a stepper motor 17, through the intermediary of the guide and drive roller 16.

Mounted on the motor shaft 18 of the stepper motor 17 is a coded disk 19, and coded disk 19 rotating in unison with the motor shaft 18. The coded disk 19 is provided with markings so spaced and arranged as to serve for the properly synchronized generation of columnselection signals to be applied to the column-selection inputs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 of the character generator 11.

Specifically. the coded disk 19 is marked with a plurality of radially extending lines 20, arranged in circumferentially spaced groups of five lines each. A photoelectric detector unit 21, of conventional nature, is provided to generate a succession of pulses upon movement thereby of the successive radially extending lines 20. The sequence of pulses generated by photoelectric detector unit is applied to the input of an amplifier 22. The amplified signals appearing at the output of the amplifier 22 are thereafter applied to a pulse-shaping stage 23, such as a monostable multivibrator. The pulse appearing at the output of pulse-shaping stage 23 are uniform rectangular pulses. The pulses appearing at the output of pulse-shaping stage 23 are thereafter applied to the counting input of a 4-bit binary counter 24. The binary outputs of the 4-bit binary counter 24 are connected to the binary inputs of a binary-to-decimal decoder 25, the decimal outputs of which are connected to the column-selection inputs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 of the character generator 11.

The 4-bit binary counter 24 must be reset after the receipt of each set of five successive pulses from the output of pulse shaper 23. To this end, the binary counter 24 is provided with a reset input connected to the output of pulse-shaper 29 to receive therefrom a reset pulse. A reset pulse is applied to the reset input of binary counter 24 intermediate the application thereto of the successive groups of five pulses each from the output of pulse shaper 23. To this end, the coded disk 19 is provided with a plurality of radially extending lines 26 located intermediate the successive circumferentially spaced groups of five lines 20, and located nearer to the axis of rotation of the disk than the lines 20, so as not to be detectable by the photoelectric detector 21 for the lines 20. A second photoelectric detector 27 is provided for the detection of the movement past detector 27 of the lines 20. The photoelectric detector 27, as well as the photoelectric detector 21, can be provided in the form of a light source cooperating with a phototransistor or other lightresponsive semiconductor element or circuit. The disk 19 can be of transparent or translucent material, and the lines 20 and 26 can be opaque, or vice versa. Also, the markings on the disk 19 could be detected by means other than photoelectric means, such as mechanical contact feelers, pneumatic means, magneticfield-responsive means, etc. Furthermore, the disk 19 itself could be replaced by a rotating cylinder, with the markings 20 and 26 being provided on the circumferential periphery of the cylinder.

In any event, when the photoelectric detector 27 detects a radially extending line 26, it applies a pulse to amplifier 28. The amplifier pulse at the output of amplifier 28 is applied to a further pulse-shaping stage 29, which may for example be a monostable multivibrator. The pulse appearing at the output of the pulse-shaping stage 29 constitutes a reset pulse for the binary counter 24 and is applied to the reset input thereof.

The fifth output of the binary-to-decimal decoder is connected to the advancement pulse input of the information source 10. Moreover, the information source is responsive to the trailing edge of the pulse received at such advancement pulse input. For example, the information source 10 may be comprised of a differentiator stage having an input connected to the fifth decimal output of the decoder 25. Thus, such differentiator would generate a positive-going and a negativegoing voltage spike in response to the appearance on the fifth output of decoder 25 of the leading and trailing edges of the generated pulse, respectively. A halfwave rectifier could be connected to the output of such differentiator stage for the purpose of passing only the negative-going voltage spike corresponding to the trailing edge of the pulse appearing on the fifth output of the decoder 25, and this negative-going voltage spike I can be employed to drive a stepper motor for effecting advancement of the perforated tape in information source 10 by a unit distance, so that the signals at the six outputs of source 10 will now correspond to the next character to be printed. The expedient of triggering advancement of the perforated tape in information source 10 at the moment of the trailing edge of the last of the five column selection pulses leads to the advantageous result that such tape advancement will be completed before the time that the next column-selection pulse, applied to column-selection input 1, is generated. It will be understood that the printing head 13, upon completion of the printing of the character 33, for example, will move a distance corresponding to the normal separation between characters, before commencing the printing of the character 34. This time interval will be sufficient for the advancement of the perforated tape in.information source 10 by a unit distance.

As mentioned before, the printing head 14 is movable along a horizontal line (as viewed in the FIGURE), in both rightwards and leftwards directions, due to the provision of suitable mounting means. The mounting means may have the form of a (non-illustrated) guide rail which is engaged by the printing head 14 and slides therealong. Other mounting expedients will be evident to those skilled in the art, and do not per se form part of the present invention. As will be evident to those skilled in the art, the rightwards movement (as viewed in the FIGURE) of the printing head 13 should continue only until the printing head 13 reaches the end of a line to be printed, whereafter the printing head 13 should travel in leftwards direction back to its starting position; likewise, its leftwards travel should be terminated when it in fact reaches its starting position. To this end, the printing head 13 is provided with a member 30 having a leftwards projecting portion and a rightwards projecting portion. When the printing head 13 moves rightwards to such an extent that it reaches the end of the line to be printed, the right-hand end of the member 30 enters into a photoelectric detector unit 32 which generates a signal which causes the motor 20 to rotate in the reverse direction, to cause the printing head to travel in leftwards direction back towards its starting position. When the printing head 13 has travelled in leftwards direction to such an extent as to have reached its initialor starting position, the left-hand por tion of the member 30 will enter into the photoelectric detector unit 31 and generate a signal which causes the motor 22 to again turn in the original direction, causing the printing head 13 to again travel across the sheet 14 in rightwards direction. The signal which is generated by photoelectricdetector 32 when the printing head 13 reaches an end-of-line position can also be applied to means for rolling up the sheet 14, so that such rolling up can be effected during the return-movement of the printing head 13, so that the sheet 14 will be in proper position by the time the printing head 13 returns to its initial or starting position. Furthermore, the signal generated by the photoelectric detector 32 when the reading head 13 reaches the end-of-line position can furthermore be employed to activate (non-illustrated) electronic switch means to disable the photoelectric detectors 21 and 27, or alternatively the binary counter 24, during the return movement of the printing head, so that no printing of information will occur during the return movement of the printing head, despite the fact that the synchronizing lines 20 and 26 are moving past the photoelectric detectors 21 and 27. i

The means for reversing the direction of rotation of motor 22 in response to generation of a signal by unit 32, the means for again reversing the direction of rotation of motor 22 in response to generation of a signal by unit 31, and the means for disabling the photoelectric detectors 21 and 27 during the return movement of the printing head 13, have not been illustrated or described in detail, inasmuch as the circuitry involved is evidently of a routine and conventional nature.

In the illustrated embodiment identical synchronizing markings 20 are provided on the synchronizing disk 19. The synchronizing pulses derived therefrom and appearing at the output of pulse-shaper 23 are applied to the combination of the binary counter 24 and the decoder 25, which together cooperate to apply columnselection signals to successive ones of the columnselection inputs l of the character generator 11. A functionally equivalent but distinct alternative would be to replace the five identical markings of each group of synchronizing markings with five distinguishable markings, for example, five markings located at different radial distances from the motor shaft 18. A separate photoelectric detector could be provided for the detection of each of the five distinguishable synchronizing markings, and the output of each of such five photoelectric detectors could be connected directly to the five column-selection inputs l-5 of the character generator 11.

An important concept of the invention is the idea of synchronizing the generation of the column-selection signals with positive detection of the arrival of the moving printing head at predetermined positions along its path of travel. In the illustrated embodiment, the detection of the position of the printing head is made some what indirectly, by detecting, in effect, the position of the motor output shaft which drives the printing head. A further but distinct possibility would be to detect the position of the printing head in a still more direct manner, for example by providing successive synchronizing markings right along the path of movement of the printing head and providing a photoelectric detector on the printing head. However, irrespective of whether the latter alternative is employed, or whether the illustrated approach is employed, it will be appreciated that the concept according to the invention is a marked departure from prior-art practice. In the prior art, the triggering pulses for the stepper motor and the columnselection pulses for the character generator were generated simultaneously, the assumption being that the movement of the printing head would be synchronized with the cyclical energization of the column-selection inputs. However, as explained earlier, this'synchronization was merely an assumed synchronization, whereas the synchronization achieved with the approaches according to the present invention is a much more effective synchronization, establishing a more direct relationship between the position of the moving printing head and the generation of the successive columnselection signals.

It will be understood that each of the elements described above, or two or more together, may also find a useful application in other types of circuits and constructions differing from the types described above.

While the invention has been illustrated and described as embodied in a high-speed printer, it is not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made without departing in any way from the spirit of the present invention.

Without further analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present invention that others can by applying current knowledge readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features that, from the standpoint of prior art fairly constitute essential characteristics of the generic or specific aspects of this invention and, therefore, such adaptations should and are intended to be comprehended within the meaning and range of equivalence of the following claims.

What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is set forth in the appended:

l. A high-sped printer for alphanumerical characters,

comprising a printing head driven back and forth along a band-shaped character record by means of a reversible drive motor and comprised of r printing elements adapted to print as many as r dots in a column; a character generator for registering characters in the form of a dot matrix composed of c columns and r rows and provided with r information outputs and 0 columnselection inputs and operative for presenting at said r outputs signals representing the dots in the column corresponding to whichever one of saidc inputs has a selecting signal applied thereto, said r outputs being connected to said r printing elements; and reading means for reading out said character generator column-bycolumn and for causing said r printing elements to print the corresponding dot-matrix alphanumerical character column-by-column, by cyclically applying selecting signals to successive ones of said 6 inputs, said reading means comprising a coded disk mounted on and rotating in synchronism withthe outputshaft of the drive motor and provided with synchronizing markings ar-- ranged in first and second concentric tracks, the first track containing at least one group of c equiangularly spaced markings respectively corresponding to said 6 column-selection inputs, and the second track containing at least one reset marking, first and second det'ec tors respectively detecting the markings in the first and second tracks and generating corresponding first and second synchronizing signals, a binary counter having a clock input and a reset input respectivelyconnected to the outputs of said first and second detectors for receipt of said first and second synchronizing signals, respectively, and a binary-to-decimal decoder havings its inputs connected to the binary counter outputs and having 0 outputs respectively connected to said c column-selection inputs for applying selecting signals to the latter, and wherein said reset marking in said second track is 'angularly offset relative to said group of markings in said first track such that resetting of said binary counter occurs subsequent to the printing by said printing head of a complete character.

direction; detecting means operative for detecting the arrival of said printing head at successive predetermined locations along said path and operative for generating successive synchronizing signals in response to the detection of the arrival of said printing head at successive ones of said predetermined locations, said detecting means comprising an information carrier bearing synchronizing markings, reading means positioned to read said markings and generate said synchronizing signals, and means for effecting relative movement between said information carrier and said reading means in direct correlation with the movement of said printing head along said predetermined path, and wherein said synchronizing markings are arranged in spaced groups, the synchronizing markings within each group being equidistantly spaced from each other by a first distance corresponding to the equal spacing between the dotmatrix columns of one dot-matrix alphanumerical character to be printed, and wherein adjoining ones of said spaced groups are spaced from each other by a different second distance corresponding to the spacing be tween successive alphanumerical characters to be printed, and wherein the spaces intermediate successive ones of said groups are devoid of synchronizing markings like the synchronizing markings contained in said groups; and character-generating means connected to said reading means and operative upon receipt of said successive synchronizing signals for furnishing to said printing elements successive groups of signals, each group signifying which dots of a dotmatrix column are to be printed.

3. The printer defined in claim 2, wherein said information carrier is an endless information carrier.

4. The printer defined in claim 3, wherein said information carrier is a circular information carrier.

5. The printer defined in claim 4, wherein said means for effecting relative movement between said information carrier and said reading means comprises means connecting said circular information carrier to said drive means torotate said circular information carrier in exact synchronism .with the operation of said drive means.

6. The printer defined in claim 5, wherein said drive means comprises a motor having a rotatable output shaft and means interconnecting said rotatable output shaft and said printing head for converting the rotational movement of said output shaft into movement of said printing head along said path, and wherein said circular information carrier is mounted on said rotatable output shaft for rotation therewith.

7. The printer defined in claim 2, wherein said character-generating means comprises input means for receiving a character-indicating signal indicative of which alphanumerical character is to be generated, a plurality of column-selection inputs equal in number to the columns of the dot-matrix format in which said alphanumerical characters are printed, and a plurality of outputs equal in number to the horizontal rows of the dot-matrix format in which said alphanumerical characters are printed and connected to said printing elements, connecting means connected to said detecting means for receipt of said synchronizing signals and connected to said column-selection inputs and operative for applying a column-selection signal to successive ones of said column-selection inputs in synchronism with the receipt of synchronizing signals from said detecting means, and means operative in response to the application of a column-selection signal to one of said column-selection inputs for presenting at said plurality of outputs a group of signals signifying which dots of the corresponding column are to be printed by said printing elements.

8. The printer defined in claim 7, wherein said detecting means is provided with a synchronizing signal output and comprises means for generating successive groups of identical synchronizing signals at said syrichronizing signal output, the successive groups of identical synchronizing signals each consisting of a number of signals equal to the number of columns in said dotmatrix format, and wherein said connecting means comprises counter means having an input connected to said synchronizing signal output for receiving said successive groups of identical synchronizing signals and having a plurality of outputs connected to different respective ones of said column-selection inputs and operative for applying a column-selection signal to successive ones of said column-selection inputs in synchronism with the receipt by said counter means of the constituent signals of each of said groups of identical synchronizing signals.

9. The printer defined in claim 7, wherein said detecting means comprises signal-generating means for generating successive groups of distinguishable synchronizing signals at a plurality of outputs, the successive groups of distinguishable synchronizing signals each consisting of a number of signals equal to the number of columns in said dot-matrix format, and wherein said connecting means comprises means connecting said plurality of outputs of said signalgenerating means to said column-selection inputs and operative for applying a column-selection signal to different ones of said column-selection inputs in dependence upon which one of said distinguishable synchronizing signals is received by said connecting means.

10. The printer defined in claim 8, wherein said counter means has a reset signal input, and wherein said detecting means further comprises means for generating at a reset signal output of said detecting means connected to said reset signal input a reset signal intermediate each of said groups of identical synchronizing signals in order to reset said counter means after the printing of all the columns of an alphanumerical character.

11. The printer defined in claim 8; and further comprising information storage means having an information signal output connected to said input means of said character-generating means and furthermore having an advancement signal input for receipt of advancement signals and means operative for applying to said input means of said character-generating means a succession of character-indicating signals each signifying an alphanumerical character to be printed, and comprising means for applying to said input means of said character-generating means the next signal in said succession of character-indicating signals upon receipt of an advancement signal at said advancement signal input, and means connecting together said advancement signal input and the last of said column-selection inputs and operative for applying to said advancement signal input an advancement signal in response to the appearance of a column-selection signal at that output of said counter means connected to said last column-selection input.

12. The printer defined in claim 8, wherein said drive means comprises a'drive motorhaving a rotating output shaft and means interconnecting said output shaft and said printing head for converting the rotational movement of said output shaft into movement of said printing head along said path, and wherein said detecting means comprises a circular information carrier mounted on said rotating output, shaft for rotation therewith, said circular information carrier being provided with successive groups of markings circumferentially spaced from each other by predetermined angular intervals, and wherein the markings of each group are all located on a single annular track on said information carrier concentric with the center of the latter, and wherein said detecting means further comprises a stationary reading head mounted in proximity to said an nular track for reading said markings and having an output constituting said synchronizing signal output for generating a synchronizing signal upon the detection of a marking.

13. The printer defined in claim 12, wherein said counter means comprises a binary counter having a counting signal input constituting said input of said counter means and having a plurality of binary outputs and being operative for generating a binary-encoded signal at said plurality of binary outputs corresponding to the cummulative total of the number of signals applied to said counting signal input thereof, and a binary-to-decimal decoder having a plurality of binary inputs connected to said binary outputs of said binary counter and having a plurality of decimal outputs each connected to a respective one of said column-selection inputs.

14. The printer defined in claim 13, wherein said binary counter is a resettable binary counter having a reset signal input, and wherein said detecting means fuither includes resetting means for generating a reset signal when said printing head arrives at any one of a plurality of predetermined locations along said path.

15. The printer defined in claim 14, wherein said circular information carrier is provided with a plurality of markings spaced from each other by predetermined angular intervals and located in a further annular track on said information carrier concentric with the center of the latter and a further stationary reading head positioned in proximity to said further track for reading the markings of said further track and having an output connected to said reset signal input and being operative for'applying to the latter a reset signal upon detection "of a marking in said further annular track.

17. The printer defined in claim 16, wherein said circular information carrier has the configuration of a circular disk, and wherein said first-mentioned annular track and said further annular track are located at different radial distances from the center of said disk, and wherein said first-mentioned and said further reading heads are both light-responsive reading heads.

18. The printer defined in claim 17, wherein said markings in said annular tracks are radially extending lines. I

19. The printer defined in claim 9, wherein said drive means comprises a drive motor having a rotating output shaft and means interconnecting said output shaft and said printing head for converting the rotational movement of said output shaft into movement of said printing head along said path, and wherein said detecting means comprises a circular-disk information carrier mounted on said rotating output shaft for rotation therewith, said circular information carrier being provided with successive groups of markings circumferentially spaced from each other by predetermined angular intervals and wherein the markings of each such group are each located on a different annular track of said information carrier, and wherein said detecting means further comprises a plurality of stationary reading heads mounted in respective proximity to said annular tracks for reading the markings in the respective tracks, said plurality of stationary reading heads constituting said signal-generating means.

20. A high-speed printer of the type operative for printing alphanumerical characters in dot-matrix form, comprising, in combination, a printing head comprised of a number of printing elements equal to the number of dots in one column of the dot matrix; reversible drive means driving said printing head back and forth along a band-shaped character record; synchronizing means for generating synchronizing signals correlated with the position of said printing head, and including an information carrier bearing a plurality of first markings and at least one second marking distinguishable from said first markings, first and second detecting means operative for detecting only said first markings and for detecting only said at least one second marking, respectively and for generating corresponding first and second synchronizing signals; a dot-matrix character generator; means connecting said character generator to said printing elements for effecting activation of different combinations of said printing elements in dependence upon the character registered by said character generator; read-out means connected to said first detecting means and operative for effecting orderly readout of the dot-matrix information corresponding to a single character registered by said character generator in a plurality of successive read-out steps respectively synchronized with successive ones of said first synchronizing signals; and a character information source connected to said second detecting means and operative for changing the character registered by said character generator in synchronism with the receipt by said information source of said second synchronizing signal.

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Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification400/124.4, 400/320, 101/93.15
International ClassificationB41J19/00, B41J19/94, B41J19/20, G06K15/00, G06K15/02, G06K15/08
Cooperative ClassificationB41J19/202, B41J19/94
European ClassificationB41J19/94, B41J19/20B