US 3897862 A
A cancelling machine for use as a ticket system employing season tickets is equipped with ticket sensing devices for determining whether an inserted ticket has a preselected configuration and dimensions. If a ticket is acceptable a portion thereof is severed by the machine in payment of fare or the like.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent James 1 Aug. 5, 1975 15 TICKET SYSTElVlS 3204,741 9/1965 Maxwell et a1 1 1 1 1 1 194/4 B 3,344.89? 10/1967 Kliewer .4 1751 Alec patr'ck James- Brmmgham 3,457,391 7/1969 Yamamoto 194/4 R England 1 1 Assigfleei National Research Develfipment Primary ExaminerStanley H. Tollberg Corporatinn London England Attorney, Agent or FirmCushmar1, Darby & 22 Filed: May 16, 1973 Cushma  Appl No.: 360,739
 ABSTRACT  US. Cl 1. [94/4 C A cancelling machine for use as a ticket system em- [5 I] Int. Cl. (107i 1/06 ploying season tickets is equipped with ticket sensing [58} Field of Search 1. 194/4 R, 4 B 4 E, 4 C devices for determining whether an inserted ticket has 194/4 F a preselected configuration and dimensions. If a ticket is acceptable a portion thereof is severed by the ma-  References Cited chine in payment of fare or the like.
UNITED STATES PATENTS 24 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures 1178 003 4/1965 Haville 194/4 E B 5|975 3,897,862 PATENTEB SHEET 2 TICKET SYSTEMS This invention relates to ticket systems and apparatus for use in, for example, public transport, car parking, and other circumstances where monies are to be paid in return for use of facilities.
It is common to issue season tickets each of which represents prepayment for a number of such uses, so as to expedite passage of regular travellers (or other fare payers) through fare-collection points.
The objects of the present invention are to provide improved apparatus and systems for use where season tickets are applicable.
In accordance with one aspect of the invention we provide a cancelling machine for use in a ticket system employing season tickets, which machine comprises a jaw adapted to receive the end portion of a length of ticket material inserted therein, and arranged to be inoperable if ticket material of other than a predetermined cross-sectional configuration and dimensions is inserted, said machine being adapted to sever and remove unit lengths from the total length so inserted.
In accordance with another aspect of the invention we provide a ticket system comprising a season ticket having a length of material which is relatively rigid and of a predetermined cross-sectional configuration and dimensions and of a length representing a multiple of unit length, and at least one cancelling machine as hereinbefore referred to, the said cross-sectional configuration and dimensions of the ticket and jaw being complementary.
The invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:-
FIG. I is a view of a ticket;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view showing the ticket when erected from a flat condition;
FIG. 3 is a view taken from one side ofa cancelling machine;
FIG. 4 is a view taken from the other side of the machine;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view taken on the line 5-5 in FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is an underside plan view in the direction of FIG. 4; and
FIG. 7 is a circuit diagram of the machine.
One form of ticket system for use in a public transport vehicle utilises season tickets 10 (see FIGS. 1 and 2) which may, in the simplest form of the invention, be all identical, and are made from a length of, for example, extruded plastics material which is generally tapelike but is provided with two parallel thinned portions 11 extending along its length and at predetermined spacings from the lateral edges thereof. The thinned portions 11 are provided by grooves on both faces of the strip end so that the strip 10 can be folded longitudinally so as to be of truncated V section in crosssection (as shown in FIG. 2). One end portion 12 of each ticket 10 is made of narrower width, for example by cutting away marginal edge portions of the strip, and this portion 12, which may be called a handle, may be embossed, printed or otherwise provided with data re lating to the date of issue, the value of the ticket, the system in which it is to be used and the like. It will be apparent that such a ticket can alternatively be manufactured in the form shown in FIG. 1 by, for example, injection moulding, instead of taking extruded strip, cutting it to length and shaping the handle portion.
The plastics material selected may have flexibility so that it can be coiled to be stowed in a pocket or handbag or the like, and may have a predetermined translucence, or alternatively a specific colour as hereinafter explained.
FIGS. 3 to 6 illustrate a cancelling machine for use with tickets of the type described above. The machine incorporates a ticket-receiving jaw 20, the configuration of which is such that the tickets are erected to their truncated V-section upon insertion into the jaw. For this purpose, the mouth of the jaw 20 has a pair of faces 21 which converge towards one another inwardly of the jaw and lead into a truncated V-section portion 22 of the jaw. A lead-in ramp 23 is provided at the mouth of the jaw 20 to provide guidance for tickets inserted thereinto.
Movement of a ticket 10 into the jaw 20 is limited by the face 24 of an abutment 25 located beyond the portion 22 of the jaw 20. The abutment 25 mounts a number of pins 26, three are shown in the drawings, for sliding movement in direction of ticket insertion. The pins 26 are disposed in alignment with the V-section portion 22 of the jaw so as to be displaced by ticket insertion provided that the end of the ticket is of the correct configuration in section. The pins 26 are associated one with each of a plurality of microswitches 27 which close upon displacement of the associated pin to the left, as viewed in FIG. 5, by an amount sufficient to bring the end face of the pin 26 into flush relation with the face 24.
Thus, when a ticket of the correct configuration and dimensions is fully inserted into the jaw 20, all three microswitches 27 will close. If however the ticket is not of the correct configuration and/or dimensions or if the end thereof has been deformed then this may be detected by the non-closure of one of the microswitches 27. It will be understood that the sensitivity of the means for detecting the configuration and dimensions of the ticket may be increased by the provision of a greater number of pins 26 and microswitches 27. The insertion of a ticket into the jaw 20 is detected by a feeler 28 in the form of a two-armed lever which is mounted pivotally on the machine with the end of one arm 29 thereof projecting into the jaw 20 at a suitable location and the end of its other arm 30 contacting the actuator 31 of a microswitch 32. The microswitch 32 is normally open and as a ticket is inserted, the feeler 28 is deflected causing opening of the microswitch 32. Thus, the presence of a ticket in the jaw 20 is indicated by microswitch 32 being open.
The feeler 28 serves a dual-function in that it also cooperates with the actuator 33 of a further microswitch 34. The microswitch 34 is normally open and is closed upon deflection of the feeler 28 by a ticket provided that that ticket is of a greater thickness than a thickness predetermined by the setting of the microswitch 34. Microswitch 34 is therefore only closed by tickets which are thicker than a predetermined minimum thickness. As upper limit on the thickness of ticket acceptable to the machine may be provided in a number of ways; for example, the portion 22 of the jaw 20 may be dimensioned so that it will only accept tickets which are less than a predetermined thickness. Alternatively, an abutment (not shown) may be provided which is cooperable with the arm 29 of the feeler 28 to limit deflection of the latter so that the feeler 28 acts as an abutment to prevent insertion of tickets of thickness greater than a preselected value. Thus, the machine has a facility for detecting the presence of ticket material of other than predetermined configuration and dimensions. Only when the ticket inserted is of the correct configuration and dimensions will the machine operate as will become apparent from the description below.
A releasable one-way brake means is provided to prevent withdrawal of an inserted ticket until a portion thereof has been severed and comprises a pair of gripping members 35a, 35b. One gripping member 35a is disposed beneath the apex of the portion 22 with its gripping face located therein and is pivotally mounted by a fixed part of the machine. A compression spring 36a biases the member 350 clockwise. The other gripping member 35b is disposed above the apex of the portion 22 and is pivotally mounted by a verticallydisplaceable clamping member 37 which, in FIG. 5, is shown in its lower position wherein the gripping face of the member 35b is presented within the portion 22. A spring 36b biases the member 35!) counterclockwise The spacing between the gripping faces of the members 35a and 35b when the clamping member 37 is in its lower position is such that the members 35a and 35b are pivoted against their spring biassing in response to ticket insertion and past their dead-centre positions. Thus, the members 35a and 351) permit full insertion of a ticket but oppose withdrawal thereof as such movement increases the gripping force exerted by the members 35a and 35!). Release of the ticket for the purpose of withdrawal is effected by raising of the clamping member 37 as hereinafter described.
The machine further includes a guillotine comprising a blade 38 of configuration corresponding to the truncated V section of the tickets and located between the abutment 25 and the portion 22 of the jaw 20, the spacing between the blade 38 and the face 24 being preset in dependence upon the length of ticket to be cancelled during each operation. The blade 38 is displaceable vertically between the position shown in FIG. and a lower, severing position in which it entirely overlies the end of the portion 22.
Vertical displacement of the clamping member 37 and the blade 38 is effected by an electric motor 39. The motor 39 drives a spindle 40 through the agency of an output gear 41 and worm gear 42. The spindle 40 is formed with an eccentric which is connected to a support 43 for the blade 38 by a connecting arm 44 whereby the blade 38 is reciprocated in response to ro tation of the spindle 40 to effect severance of a ticket inserted into the jaw 20.
The spindle also mounts a cam disc 45 having a dwell over a minor part of its periphery. A pivoted follower 46 co-operates with the cam through the agency of a roller 47, the follower being biassed into engagement with the cam periphery by springs 48. The clamping member 37 is coupled to the follower 46 and the dwell of the cam disc 45 is arranged so that the clamping member is raised (thereby disabling the one-way brake means) immediately after operation of blade 38 to permit withdrawal of the ticket and is thereafter lowered preparatory to insertion of a further ticket.
Operation of the machine will now be described with reference to FIG. 7 which is a schematic diagram of the electrical circuitry of the machine. Assuming that a ticket of the correct configuration and dimensions is presented to the machine for cancellation, the ticket is erected to its truncated V-section as it is pushed into the jaw 20 and abuts the face 24 of the abutment 25. At this time. microswitches 27 and 34 which are series connected (see FIG 7) connect a relay R to a voltage source to energise the relay. Upon energisation of the latter, an armature switch RI associated with the relay R latches to connect the motor 39 to the voltage source. The switch R1 normally short circuits the motor. The motor 39 then begins to drive the spindle 40 and after rotation of the spindle 40 through a small angle a microswitch 42 is caused to close by cooperation with a cam 53 carried by the spindle. This microswitch 52 is in parallel with microswitches 27 and 34 and remains closed until one complete revolution of the spindle is effected.
As the spindle rotates, the blade 38 is lowered to sever the ticket and immediately thereafter the clamping member 37 is raised to release the ticket. These operations occur within the first half-revolution of the spindle. As soon as ticket severance occurs the microswitches 27 open but the motor continues to operate by virtue of a complete circuit provided by the micro switch 52 and a further microswitch 50 in series therewith which is maintained closed during the first halfrevolution of the spindle by co-operation with a cam disc 51 provided on the spindle. Upon completion of the first half-revolution, switch 50 opens and deenergises the motor. The machine remains in this condition until the ticket is withdrawn causing closure of the microswitch 32 which, being in series 52 and in parallel with switch 50, completes the circuit to reenergise the motor which then completes the revolution of the spindle until the microswitch 52 opens.
In order to provide an audible indication for the benefit of the supervisor of the ticket cancellator the spindle is conveniently provided with a radially projecting peg 54 arranged to trip the actuator 55 of a bell 56 immediately after ticket severance by the blade 38. Where access to the vehicle is controlled by a gate or turnstile, completion of the severing operation may be arranged to allow operation of the gate or turnstile to permit entry to the vehicle.
Hence, when the system is installed for example at the entry point to a passenger transport vehicle, and a potential passenger boards who is in possession of a suitable ticket the passenger inserts the ticket into the machine which severs a portion appropriate for the journey to be undertaken, and the bell 56 sounds so that a driver who is also collecting fares will be aware that that particular passenger may board the vehicle without tendering any fare. The driver may also sell tickets, or the tickets may be pre-purchased.
In order to confine particular tickets for use on particular routes or in particular circumstances, and to avoid fraudulent use of material which may be similar to the ticket material, the correct tickets may be colour coded and/or of particular translucency or opacity, and the machine may be provided with an automatic sensor system. In the illustrated embodiment, the sensor system includes a light source 60 and a photo-electric cell 61 or the like which senses light transmitted from the source 60 by an optical fibre 62 and through the ticket material and allows operation of the machine only when the light transmitted falls within acceptable lim- Ills.
Alternatively the cutting operation may also notch the free end of the remaining ticket portion which is withdrawn from the cancelling machine, and the position of the notch may be varied from side-to-side of the width of the material by movement of the notch cutter, and hence the presence of a notch in the material in the correct position may be an indication that a ticket portion has been cut: the notch cutter position may be tested e.g. by a ticket inspector, or indicated by means on the machine.
The system as above described is particularly convenient for use on public transport vehicles operating on the so-called fixed fare basis where every passenger pays the same amount, irrespective of the length of the journey to be undertaken.
However in a modification of such system, the dual fare structure is employed, for example a low-rate fare during portions of the day, and a high rate fare during rush hour periods, and in this event various possibilities exist. One possibility is for the abutment to be adjustable relative to the guillotine position so that for example one-quarter inch of ticket material is severed during low fare times, and by adjustment of the abutment 25, one-half inch of ticket material is severed during rush hour periods. An alternative is for the guillotine structure to be duplicated at different positions relative to the abutment 25 and the driver may select one or other guillotine to be brought into operation depending uopn the time of day. The latter possibility also has advantages in that child/adult fare structures can be incorporated and the driver can select the appropriate guillotine after considering an individual passenger.
It will be appreciated that a ticket of several inches in length may represent for example ten, twenty or more journeys, and that the passenger removes the ticket after severance which thus becomes shorter after each journey has been paid for.
It will be appreciated that a generally similar system may be used for example for car parking with the ticket being severed at each entrance to the car park or each departure from the car park.
1. A cancelling machine for use in a ticket system employing season tickets, said machine comprising:
a jaw adapted to receive the end portion of a length of ticket material inserted therein,
means for sensing the cross-sectional configuration and dimensions of the length of ticket material being inserted, the sensing means including:
a. a ticket presence sensor for detecting the presence of a length of ticket material in said jaw and for providing a signal indicative of the presence of said ticket material;
b. a thickness sensor having means detecting whether the length of ticket material is of at least as great as a predetermined thickness and providing a signal indicative of the presence of sufficiently thick ticket material; and
c. a plurality of ticket-configuration sensors arranged to detect the presence of ticket material within a respective plurality of pre-selected regions of the jaw and to provide signals in response to such detection;
means for severing and removing unit lengths from the total length of ticket material inserted in said jaw, provided the ticket material is sensed to have a predetermined cross-sectional configuration and dimensions; and a motordriven rotary mechanism for operating the severing means by performing one complete revolution for each usage of the machine.
2. A machine according to claim 1 wherein said jaw is shaped to erect ticket material inserted thereinto to a predetermined cross-sectional configuration.
3. A machine as claimed in claim 2 wherein the jaw includes a portion of truncated V-section.
4. A machine according to claim 1 wherein the machine is operable to sever a ticket only when signals are produced by ticket-presence sensor, the ticketthickness sensor and each of the ticket-configuration sensors.
5. A machine according to claim 1 including means for determining whether the translucency of ticket material inserted into the jaw exceeds a preselected minimum comprising a light source on one side of the jaw and a light detector on the opposite side thereof.
6. A machine according to claim 1 including a releasable one-way brake means for preventing withdrawal of an inserted ticket from said jaw.
7. A machine according to claim 6 including means operable to release said one-way brake means after completion of a ticket-severing operation.
8. A machine according to claim 1 including means for emitting an audible or visual signal upon completion of a ticket-severing operation.
9. A machine according to claim 1 including an abutment located in or beyond said jaw to limit insertion of a ticket, said abutment being located in predetermined spaced relation to a ticket-severing device of the machine.
10. A machine according to claim 9 including means for adjusting said abutment to the severing device to vary the spacing therebetween.
11. A machine according to claim 1 wherein the ticketpresence sensor and the ticket-thickness sensor share a common sensing element located in the jaw.
12. A machine according to claim 1 wherein the ticket-configuration sensors each have a sensing element projecting into the jaw, the sensing elements being configured in dependence upon said predetermined ticket configuration.
13. A machine according to claim 1 wherein the motor is initially energised by the presence of signals produced by the ticket-thickness sensor and each of the ticket-configuration sensors.
14. A machine according to claim 13 including means for maintaining said motor energised until completion of a ticket-severing operation, said means being independent of the ticket-thickness and ticketconfiguration sensors. i
15. A machine according to claim 14, wherein said means is operable to disable the motor upon completion of a part-revolution of said rotary mechanism until reception of a signal from the ticket-presence sensor indicative of withdrawal of a ticket from the jaw.
16. A ticket-cancelling machine comprising:
a ticket-receiving passageway for guiding ticket material inserted through one end thereof along a predetermined path, said passageway comprising a plurality of sections which extend alongside one another towards the other end of the passageway and are relatively inclined with respect to one another, ticket-configuration sensing means adjacent the other end of the passageway for sensing arrival of the leading end of the ticket material at a preselected position along said path, said sensing means including a plurality of sensors, each associated with a respective portion of the leading end of the ticket material in the associated passageway section; and mechanism including a ticket severing member mounted for movement transversely across said path, said mechanism being operable, in response to sensing of the leading end of the ticket material by each sensor of said sensing means to move said member across said path and thereby sever a portion of the ticket material, characterized in that walls of said passageway, which define said sections, diverge from one another adjacent said one end of the passageway whereby flexible ticket material can be contoured to the configuration of the passageway by said diverging walls as the ticket material is inserted into the passageway.
17. A machine according to claim 16 wherein said passageway is of inverted, truncated V-section.
18. A machine according to claim 16 including a fur ther sensing means comprising a sensing element arranged in said passageway so as to be displaced in response to insertion of a ticket into the passageway, whereby the extent to which said element is displaced provides a measure of the thickness of the ticket material, said mechanism being rendered inoperable in the event that said sensing element is displaced by less than a predetermined amount corresponding to insertion of a ticket whose thickness is less than a predetermined value.
19. A machine according to claim 16 including means for determining whether the translucency of ticket material inserted into said passageway lies within predetermined limits, which means comprises a light source and a light detector disposed on opposite sides of the passageway and being effective to render said mechanism inoperable in the event that the translucency of a ticket falls outside said predetermined limits.
20. A machine according to claim 16 including oneway brake means arranged, when operative, to allow advance of ticket material towards said other end of the passageway but assist withdrawal of the ticket material in the opposite direction, and wherein said mechanism includes means operable to disable the one-way brake means, in response to completion of a severing operation, to permit withdrawal of the ticket material re maining in the passageway after the severing operation.
21. A machine according to claim 20 including a tickebpresence sensor for detecting the presence of ticket material within said passageway and providing a signal in response to removal of ticket material from said passageway, said mechanism operating in two stages, a first stage in which the severing operation is executed and the one-way brake means is disabled by said disabling means and a second stage in which the one-way brake means is reset, the second stage of operation being initiated in response to the production of a signal by said ticket-presence sensor.
22. A machine according to claim 21 wherein said mechanism includes a motor, a shaft driven rotatably by said motor, and control means including said control means initiating operation of said motor in response to sensing of the arrival of the leading end of a ticket at said pre-selected position by said ticket-configuration sensors, the severing member being coupled to said shaft so as to execute a ticket-severing operation during initial rotary movement of the shaft and the one-way brake means being coupled to the shaft so as to be disabled upon further rotation of the shaft, the control means further including means for interrupting rotation of the shaft upon completion of a part-revolution thereof until production of a signal by the ticketpresence sensor whereupon rotation of the shaft is continued until completion of one revolution, the one-way brake means being rendered operative once more during such continued rotation of the shaft.
23. A machine according to claim 20 including means for emitting an audible or visual signal upon completion of a ticket-severing operation.
24. For use in a ticket-cancelling machine which includes:
a ticket-receiving passageway for guiding ticket ma terial inserted through one end thereof along a predetermined path, said passageway comprising a plurality of sections which extend alongside one another towards the other end of the passageway and are relatively inclined with respect to one another, ticket-configuration sensing means adjacent the other end of the passageway for sensing arrival of the leading end of the ticket material at a preselected position along said path, said sensing means including a plurality of sensors, each associated with a respective section of the passageway and arranged to sense a respective portion of the leading end of the ticket material in the associated passageway section; and mechanism including a ticket severing member mounted for movement transversely across said path, said mechanism being operable, in response to sensing of the leading end of the ticket material by each sensor of said sensing means to move said member across said path and thereby sever a portion of the ticket material, characterized in that walls of said passageway, which define said sections, diverge from one another adjacent said one end of the passageway whereby flexible ticket material can be contoured to the to the configuration of the passageway by said diverging walls as the ticket material is inserted into the passageway;
a ticket, comprising:
flat strip of extruded plastics material, said ticket being formed with longitudinal lines of weakness at positions corresponding to the junctions between said sections of said passageway to allow erection of the ticket material to a configuration corresponding to the cross-sectional configuration of the passageway.