US 3902511 A
A device for counting or dispensing disc-shaped members in which use is made of an inclined disc plate the lower portion of which extends into communication with a trough containing a supply of disc-shaped members and in which the disc plate is mounted for rotational movement within a circular recess and is provided with slots which extend outwardly to the edge dimensioned to receive disc-shaped members flatwise therein. The rim portion adjacent the periphery of the disc plate is provided with a dispensing opening between the 7 and 11 o'clock positions dimensioned to permit the passage of a disc-shaped member therethrough from the slotted disc plate, the slots in the disc plate being formed with a trailing edge for positive engagement of the outermost disc-shaped member within the slot for displacement through the dispensing slot in a dispensing operation.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Jacobs [451 Sept. 2, 1975  Inventor: Eric Jacobs, London, England  Assignee: The Seeburg Corporation, New
 Filed: Apr. 24, 1974  Appl. No.: 463,760
 Foreign Application Priority Data Mar. 9, 1974 United Kingdom 10533/74  US. Cl. 133/8 R; 133/8 R Primary ExaminerStanley I-l. Tollberg  ABSTRACT A device for counting or dispensing disc-shaped members in which use is made of an inclined disc plate the lower portion of which extends into communication with a trough containing a supply of disc-shaped members and in which the disc plate is mounted for rotational movement within a circular recess and is provided with slots which extend outwardly to the edge dimensioned to receive disc-shaped members flatwise therein. The rim portion adjacent the periphery of the disc plate is provided with a dispensing opening between the 7 and 11 oclock positions dimensioned to permit the passage of a disc-shaped member therethrough from the slotted disc plate, the slots in the disc plate being formed with a trailing edge for positive engagement of the outermost disc-shaped member within the slot for displacement through the dispensing slot in a dispensing operation.
22 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTEU 35? 21975 sum 1 0f 3 PATENTED 3E? 21975 SHEUEUF 3 PATENTED SE? 2 I975 SHKU 3 [IF 3 FIG. 7
COUNTING AND DISPENSING DEVICE FOR DISC-SHAPED MEMBERS This invention relates to a device for dispensing and c ing flat disc-shaped members such as coins of varion. denominations, chips, tokens and the like.
Devices of the type described are generally employed for dispensing coins and other disc-shaped members, the number of which is predetermined with a setting device which is usually electronic in nature and which includes electrical or mechanical step-off means responsive to the dispensing of each coin or disc-shaped member to discontinue the dispensing operation when the predetermined number of coins or disc-shaped members have been delivered. Thereupon the step-off means steps off the series of hot contacts to de-energize the driving motor and terminate the dispensing operation upon return to zero position.
This invention is addressed to a new and novel concept in the construction and operation of the mechanism for dispensing disc-shaped members individually, in rapid sequence, from a supply maintained within a hopper, Reference is made to US. Pat. No 3,273,571 for description and illustration of suitable electrical means which may be employed in combination with the dispensing mechanism of this invention for setting the device in operation to dispense a predetermined number of disc-shaped members, and mechanically responsive counting means for counting the disc-shaped members that are dispensed, and for de-energizing the dispensing mechanism when the predetermined number of disc-shaped members have been dispensed. Reference is also made to US. Pat. No. 3,285,380 for description of an electrical means for controlling both the dispensing operation and for counting the disc-shaped members as they are dispensed by stepping off on contacts through which the dispensing operation is maintained.
In each of the aforementioned patents, the dispensing device makes use of a vertically disposed inclined disc member which is mounted for rotational movement through a coin hopper having a plurality of coins to be dispensed thereby. The disc member is formed with an annular recess in the rim portion which provides a ledge upon which an edge of the coins may rest and in which the recessed portion is provided with a plurality of short studs, circumferentially spaced by an amount to accommodate a coin therebetween. Thus, in response to rotational movement of the disc member about its axis, coins come to rest on the ledge and are carried by the studs from the hopper at the bottom to an upper level at or adjacent the top of the disc, where the coins are stripped from the ledge for passage through a gateway where they are counted as they pass therethrough.
This device has the limitation with respect to speed, the possibility ofjamming, and the ability to over'run, as well as a deficiency from the standpoint of insuring that the coins are dispensed one at a time and that the coins are actually dispensed from the device once they have been raised to dispensing position.
It is an object of this invention to produce a device for dispensing and counting flat disc-shaped members, such as chips, tokens, coins and the like, which device is simple in construction and easy in operation; which is formed of relatively few simple parts that are easily assembled into a sturdy and rugged device; which is effective to achieve separation of members to be dispensed for positive displacement one at a time during dispensing operation; which is capable of easy adjustment for use with disc-shaped members of different size, or tokens or coins of different denominations. and which is capable of operation at variable speeds for maximum yield without loss of control in the amount dispensed, and which is not subject to over-run.
These and other objects and advantages of this invention will hereinafter appear and for purposes of illustration, but not oflimitation, an embodiment of the invention is shown in the accompanying drawings in which FIG. 1 is a perspective elevational view of a dispensing device embodying the features of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a view of the disc plate portion of the device;
FIG. 3 is a view of the disc plate portion of the device with the cover plate removed;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along the line 4--4 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged elevational view of the elements in a dispensing operation;
FIG. 6 is a view showing an advanced portion of the dispensing operation; and
FIG. 7 is a schematic view of the counting control.
Referring now to the drawings, the numeral 10 indicates a flat base plate mounted on a frame 12 which supports the base plate 10 at an angle of inclination with the vertical, in which the angle may range from 10 to but which is preferably supported at an angle of inclination with the vertical within the range of 10 to 30.
A ring member 16 is secured, as by conventional fastening means such as screws, nuts and bolts, welding, soldering, adhesive or other conventional feeding means, to the upper face of the base plate 10. The ring member 16 is dimensioned to have a thickness corresponding to the thickness of the disc-shaped members 20 to be processed by the device, such as a thickness within the range of l/32 to inch, and preferably about N16 to /a inch. Instead of forming the ring member 16 of a separate element, the same effect can be achieved by forming the base plate with a circular central recessed portion of the desired depth, corresponding to the thickness of the ring member. The inner rim of the ring member or recessed portion provides an an nular ledge 18 which functions as a runway on which the disc-shaped members 20 can ride, as will hereinafter be pointed out.
A disc plate 22 is mounted in the recessed portion 24 for rotational movement about the center thereof as the axis 25. The disc plate 22 is dimensioned to have a thickness corresponding to the thickness of the ring 16 or depth of the recessed portion 24 and a radius corresponding to the distance between the inner rim of the ring 16 or outer periphery of the recessed portion 24 to the axis, and preferably slightly less, so that the disc plate 22 will sweep the entire circular area of the recessed portion 24 during rotational movement. In practice, the disc plate 22 is provided with a central opening 26 of square or other shape (other than round) which receives the correspondingly shaped end portion 28 of a shaft 30 which extends through an axial opening in the base plate 10 from a driving motor 32 mounted, with or without a gear reduction 34, onto the backside of the base plate for driving the disc plate in rotational movement.
The disc plate 22 is formed with a plurality of circumferentially spaced apart slots 36 which extend outwardly contimously to the periphery of the disc plate. Each slot 3 4 is formed with an inner portion 38, the width of which is not critical as long as it is sufficient to accommodate the disc-shaped member 20 when seated flatwise therein, but it is preferred to form the inner portion 38 of each slot 36 to a width which is somewhat greater than the greatest dimension of the disc-shaped members but less than twice that dimension.
The important element is the deviation in the lower edge 40 in the direction away from the upper edge 42 of the slot to provide an increasing spaced relation therebetween in the outer terminating end portion of the slot, with the deviation being effected by a rearward slope in the lower edge of the trailing end portion of the slot when measured in the direction of rotational movement of the disc plate. The trailing portion 40 of the lower edge extends at an acute angle with the tangent at the periphery of the rim within the range of l560 and preferably within the range of 2045.
A passage 44 is provided in the rim portion 16 above the 7 oclock position but below the ll oclock position, and preferably between the 8 and I oclock positions. The passage 44 is in the form of a slot which extends through the rim portion and is dimensioned to have a length, when measured in the circumferential direction, which is greater than the diameter of the disc-shaped members to be dispensed but less than twice the diameter, and preferably slightly greater than the diameter of the disc-shaped members so as to limit passage of said disc members through the slot to only one at a time.
The passage 44 is defined at its upper end 46 by a pin 48 or abutment adjacent the inner edge of the rim, but without protruding into the circular recess of the base plate into the path of the disc member 22 and it is defined at its lower end 49 by a portion of the ring member 16, preferably provided as a separate replaceable sector 52, whereby the length of the slot can be adjusted merely by replacement of one segment by another to increase or decrease the spaced relation from the stop for use with disc-shaped members of different dimensions or denominations.
It will be seen from FIG. 2 that, as the disc plate 22 rotates in the clockwise direction, the outermost discshaped member 20 in the slot 36 approaching the dispensing passage 44 will, in response to gravitational force and/or centrifugal force, become disposed in the outermost region of the slot.
As the slot 36 comes into radial alignment with the passage 44, the increased spaced relation developed between the passage 44 and the sloped trailing edge 40 of the slot will correspondingly exceed the diameter of the disc-shaped member so that the latter will become free automatically to move outwardly and fall or otherwise be displaced by gravitational force and/or centrifugal force, whereby its central axis will lie outside of a straight line between the stop 48 and the point on the trailing edge 40 on which the disc-shaped member rests.
In response to continued turning movement of the disc plate 22, a force is applied to the portion of the 6 disc-shaped member engaged by the lower edge 40.0f
the slot which prevents return of the disc-shaped member 20 into the slot and instead forces the disc-shaped member to be cammed outwardly through the slot 44 in a dispensing action. As seen in FIG. 5, the spaced relation between the trailing edge 40 and the stop 48 is such that when the outermost member is being displaced from the slot through the dispensing opening 44, the spaced relation between the edge 40 and the stop is less than the diameter of the disc-shaped member thereby to prevent more than the outermost member to be dispensed during movement of the slot past the dispensing opening.
From the operational standpoint, it is important that the sloped trailing edge 40 commence at a distance from the rim 18, or from the periphery of the disc plate, which corresponds to at least one-half of the diameter of the disc-shaped members to be dispensed so that the latter will be disposed on the rearwardly sloping edge 40 by the time that it extends beyond the rim and into the dispensing passage 44. The trailing edge 40 of the slot should have a downward slope at the time that the slot is radially aligned with the passage in order to take advantage of gravitational force automatically to displace the disc-shaped members into the outer portion of the slot and to achieve the described dispensing action.
Thus the location of the dispensing slot 44 depends somewhat on the backward angle of the trailing edge 40 of the disc plate. In any event, it is more or less limited to a position above the bank of disc-shaped members in the hopper 60 or above the 7 oclock position but below the l 1 oclock position.
The device is completed by hopper 60 which is open at the side facing the disc plate 22 and is attached to the frame 12 so that its lower curvilinear edge 62 is axially aligned with the inner edge 18 of the rim or ledge 18. Thus the disc-shaped members within the hopper will overlap the slots as they travel through the lower sector of their rotational movement over the base plate. The disc-shaped members can enter the slots to lie flat in the slot in response to the alignment that is effected during rotational movement.
In order to take care of problems that might arise because of jams or bridges built up by the disc-shaped members, it is desirable, though not essential, to provide the hopper 60 with a horizontally disposed shelf 64 spaced above the bottom wall 66 and outwardly of the disc plate 22 so as to provide a well 68 therebetween into which disc-shaped members flow for arrangement in substantially parallel relation with the disc plate. The shelf is resiliently mounted for movement in the direction toward and away from the disc plate to provide a certain amount of give for breaking up jams and to work the disc-shaped members into alignment for achieving a smooth feeding relationship into the slot of the disc plate. For this purpose, a tension member, such as a coil spring 70, is secured at one end onto a tab 72 fixed to the inner front wall 74 of the shelf 64 while the other end is attached to a stud 76 fixed to the bottom wall 66 of the hopper 60, resiliently to urge the shelf in the direction toward the disc plate 22 to normal position.
in order to prevent lamination of one disc member onto another during displacement through the dispens- 5 ing passage 44, a cover plate 80 is provided to span at member 16 but less than twice the thickness of the discshaped members to be dispensed.
Instead ofa separate cover plate 80, use can be made of a hold-Clown ring 82 having an inner cdge84 which substantially coincides with the inner edge of the ring member 16, and with means. such as bolts 86 fastening the hold-down ring 82 to the base plate with the ring member 16 therebetween.
A control lever 90 is pivoted onto a post 92, fixed to the base plate, while a portion offset from the pivot is provided with a stud 94'which depends therefrom into the outlet passage 44 in the path of the disc shaped members dispensed therethroughv The lever 90 is resiliently urged by a wire spring96 to rock about its pivot 92 until it engages the stop 48 to position the stud 94 in normal position in the path of the dispensed discshaped members. i
The lever is rocked from normal position to operative position in response to displacement of a disc-shaped member through the dispensing slot. An electrical switch can be positioned to be engaged by the control lever during rocking movement to displaced position to signal delivery of a disc-shaped member, While the ten sion means 96 operates automatically to return the lever to normal position when the disc-shaped member clears the lever and is dispensed.
It is preferred to make use of a coin feeler switch 97 positioned to be engaged by the disc-shaped member as it is being dispensed by displacement through the slot 44.
It will be further understood that instead of making use of a slotted disc plate of the type described, mounted for rotational movement within the circular recess, use can be made ofa disc plate of greater thickness formed with outwardly extending grooves in the outer face thereof corresponding in depth and shape to the thickness and shape of the slots in the disc-shaped member, but with the disc plate still being dimensioned to be received in the circular recess for relative rotational movement.
The number of disc-shaped members to be dispensed can be indicated by pre-selection of the series of contacts 100 which are made hot by closing one or the other of the electrical switches 102. This enables current to be transmitted to the driving motor to effect rotation of the disc plate 22. As each disc-shaped member is dispensed, the contact arm 104 is displaced by mechanical response or electrical response, as described in the aforementioned patents, sequentially to move the contact arm until it moves off of the hot contact points to zero position. Upon the happening of this event, the electrical circuit to the driving motor is cut off to terminate the dispensing operation.
It will be understood that changes may be made in the details of construction, arrangement and operation, without departing from the spirit of the invention, especially as defined in the following claims.
1. A device for dispensing and counting disc-shaped members comprising a trough for holding a supply of disc-shaped members, a circular disc plate having a plurality of circumferentially spaced apart passages extending continuously outwardly and terminating at the edge of the disc plate, with each passage having a width at least as great as the diameter of the disc-shaped members to enable receipt of the disc-shaped members flatwise therein, with the outer end portion of the passage being formed with a trailing lower edge portion that extends at a.downward slope at the time that the passage comes into radial alignment with a dispensing opening with the corresponding end portion of the passagebeing of increased width relative to the inner por-, tion of the passage, said disc plate being inclined in the direction away from the trough with the lower end portion in communication with the trough for enabling disc-shaped members to come to rest gravitationally in the passages, a rim having an annular ridge immediatelysurrounding the disc plate and dimensioned to have a depth corresponding to the'depth of the passages, a dispensing slot extending through the rim dimensioned to have a length greater than the diameter of the disc-shaped members but less than twice the diameter and a thickness at least as great as the thickness, with the dispensing slot being located between the 7 and 11 oclock positions, and means for rotating the disc plates relative to the rim whereby disc-shaped members are picked up in the passages of the disc plate for displacement sequentially from the trough into the passages and radially outwardly through the passages into and through the dispensing opening during rotational movement of the disc plate.
2. A device as claimed in claim 1 which includes a stop mounted for movement into and out of the path of the disc-shaped members during passage through the dispensing slot for actuation in response to movement of a disc-shaped member through the slot.
3. A device as claimed in claim 1 which includes a stationary inclined base plate and in which the disc plate is mounted for rotational movement on the face of the base plate, and the passages comprise slots which extend outwardly to the edge of the disc plate.
4. A device as claimed in claim 3 in which the slotted disc plate has a thickness corresponding to the thickness of the disc-shaped members for enabling the discshaped members to be received flatwise in seated relation therein.
5. A device as claimed in claim 4 in which the thickness of the disc plate ranges from slightly more to slightly less than the thickness of the disc-shaped members so as normally to permit only one layer of discshaped members to be retained in the slot.
6. A device as claimed in claim 3 in which the slots have a width throughout the length thereof at least as great as the diameter of the disc-shaped members.
7. A device as claimed in claim 3 in which the bottom edge of each slot is formed with 'a trailing edge in the outer end portion which is downwardly inclined when the slot becomes radially aligned with the d spensing passage.
8. A device as claimed in claim 7 in which the lower edge of each slot extends at a backward angle within the range of l560 with the tangent.
9. A device as claimed in claim 7 in which the lower edge of each slot extends at a backward angle within the range of 2045 with the tangent.
10. A device as claimed in claim 7 in which the downwardly inclined trailing edge of the slot commences at a distance from the periphery which is at least equal to the radius of the disc-shaped members.
11. A device as claimed in claim 1 in which the depth of the passages approximates the thickness of the discshaped members.
12. A device as claimed in claim 3 in which the slotted disc plate has a thickness at least equal to the thickness of the disc-shaped members.
13. A device as claimed in claim 3 in which the rim comprises an element separate and apart from the base plate and is secured thereto to define a'circular recess in which the disc plate is mounted for rotational movement about a common axis.
14. A device as claimed in claim 3 in which the rim is an integral part of the base plate to define a circular recess therebetween in which the disc plate is mounted for rotational movement.
15. A device as claimed in claim 1 in vwhich-the rim has a thickness at least as great as the thickness of the passage but less than twice the thickness.
16. A device as claimed in claim 2, which includes a lever from which the stop depends, means offset from the stop for mounting the lever for rocking movement between a normal position in which the stop is in the path of the dispensing opening and operated position out of the path of the dispensing opening and which includes means constantly urging the lever towards normal position.
17. A device as claimed in claim 1, which includes means responsive to the passage ofa disc-shaped member through said dispensing slot to subtract from the number of disc-shaped members yet to be dispensed.
18. A device as claimed in claim 1 in which the circular disc plate comprises a single member having a thickness greater than the thickness of the disc-shaped members and the outwardly extending passages comprise grooves in the face of the disc plate which extend outwardly to the peripheral edge thereof.
19. A device as claimed in claim 18 in which the passages are formed to a depth corresponding to the thickness of the disc-shaped members.
20. A device as claimed in claim 1, which includes a hold-down ring plate over the rim, and means for securing the hold-down ring plate to a base plate with the rim therebetween. s
21. A device as claimed in claim 20, in which a portion of the rim adjacent the dispensing slot is formed of an element separate and apart fromthe remainder of the rim to enable replacement to vary the dimension of the dispensing slot for use with disc-shaped members of different diameters.
22. A device as claimed in claim 1, in which the means for rotating the discplate'comprises a driving motor and means connecting the motor to the disc plate for rotating the disc plate relative to the rim.