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Publication numberUS3907086 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 23, 1975
Filing dateMay 8, 1974
Priority dateMay 18, 1973
Publication numberUS 3907086 A, US 3907086A, US-A-3907086, US3907086 A, US3907086A
InventorsWillis Frederick Gordon
Original AssigneeMars Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for retarding the closing of the hinged cover of a coin mechanism
US 3907086 A
Abstract
In a coin mechanism having parallel spaced plates for guiding a coin through the mechanism, one of the plates being hinged to provide access to the interior of the mechanism, apparatus for checking or retarding the closing of the hinged plate to reduce the impact of the closing without interfering with the firmness thereof.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Willis Sept. 23, 1975 APPARATUS FOR RETARDING THE [56] References Cited CLOSING OF THE HINGED COVER OF A UNITED STATES PATENTS COIN MECHANISM 2,776,156 1/1957 Thibodeau 16/86 A Inventor; Frederick Gordon 2,827,996 3/1958 Haverstick l94/l0l X Winchester, Mass 3,163,278 12/1964 Rounsivell 194/102 x [73] Assignee: Mars, Incorporated, McLean, Va. Primary Examiner Aen Knowles [22] Filed: May 8, 1974 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Davis, l-loxie, Faithful] &

H d 21 Appl. No.: 468,508 .apgoo [57] ABSTRACT [30] Forelgn Apphfatmnlpnomy Data In a coin mechanism having parallel spaced plates for May 18, 1973 United Kmgdom 23882/73 guiding a coin through the mechanism one of the plates being hinged to provide access to the interior of [52] US. Cl.2 194/1 K the mechanism, apparatus for cheekihg or retarding [51] Int. Cl. G07F 100/00 the closing of the hinged plate to reduce the impact of [58] Fleld of Search 194/1 R, 1 A, l K, 99, the closing without interfering with the firmness 194/100 R, 100 A, 101, 102, 103; 16/86 R, thereof 9 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures APPARATUS FOR RETARDING THE CLOSING OF THE HINGED COVER OF A COIN MECHANISM This invention relates to apparatus for checking or retarding the closing of the hinged sidewall or cover of a coin selector mechanism to reduce the impact of the closing.

Coin selector mechanisms are employed, for example, in coin operated vending machines to authenticate and identify coins deposited in the machine. In many of these mechanisms (e.g., the mechanisms shown in US. Ser. No. 405,881 filed Oct. 12, 1973 as a continuation of Ser. No. 255,814, filed May 22, 1972 and now abandoned, assigned to the assignee of this application) a coin enters the top of the mechanism edge-first and rolls on its edge down one or more coin tracks between parallel spaced plates. The tracks and parallel spaced plates are typically tilted from the vertical so that one face of a coin rolling down a track bears on one of the plates. Coin sensors are provided along one or more of the coin tracks for testing the coin as it moves along the coin track, For example, inductors may be provided for electro-magnetically measuring the distance from the inductor to the face of the track. opposite the inductor. As will be readily apparent, the distance to the coin from an inductor on the plate against which the coin does not bear is highly sensitive to the spacing of the two parallel plates. Since one of these plates must be hinged or otherwise removable to provide access to the interior of this portion of the apparatus, the repositioning of this plate after opening is critical to proper operation of the device. Typically, one of these plates is hinged and provided with a strong return spring to keep the plate tightly closed except when held open by a person servicing the mechanism. If released from a fully open position, this cover plate closes with considerable force, the impact of which may damage the coin mechanism. Even if there is no immediate damage to the mechanism, repeated closings may cause wear of the parts provided to position the cover plate.

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide apparatus for checking or retarding the closing of a hinged cover plate of the type described above.

In some coin selector mechanisms the alignment of the parallel spaced plates, as well as their spacing, is important to proper operation of the mechanism. The hinged cover plate must therefore be accurately positioned in three dimensions after opening.

It is therefore another object of this invention to provide a stop which insures proper three dimensional positioning of a hinged cover plate having a checking device constructed in accordance with the principles of this invention.

These and other objects of the invention are accomplished in accordance with the principles of the invention by mounting a snubber of elastomeric or resilient material near the hinge of the cover plate to be checked in such a way that as the cover plate closes, a corner of the cover plate engages a surface of the snubber, thereby deflecting and pinching a portion of the snubber against an opposite fixed surface. The closing of the cover plate is retarded while the corner of the plate slides slowly across the surface of the pinched snubber, finally sliding past the snubber and releasing it. If desired, the snubber can be released early enough so that the cover plate continues to close unchecked for a short final distance, thereby assuring firm closing but with greatly reduced impact. When the cover plate is fully closed, the snubber is entirely out of contact with the cover plate and in no way interferes with proper positioning of the cover plate.

To assure accurate three dimensional positioning of the hinged cover plate relative to the stationary plate, a pin having a conical tip is provided on one plate for cooperation with a complementary aperture of recess in the other plate. When the cover plate snaps closed a short final distance as described above, the tip of the pin seats firmly in the aperture, thereby fixing the spacing of the plates and simultaneously correcting any misalignment thereof.

Further features and objects of the invention, its nature and various advantages will be more apparent from the attached drawing and the following detailed description of the invention.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a partial elevational view of a coin mechanism having a hinged cover and equipped with an impactreducing door check constructed in accordance with the principles of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along the line A--A in FIG. 1 but with the hinged cover open at an angle of to the other plate;

FIGS. 3 through 5 are sectional views similar to FIG. 2 showing successive stages in the closing of the hinged cover of the mechanism;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the snubber employed to check the hinged cover of the mechanism of FIGS.

1 through 5;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along the line B-B in FIG. 1 showing the arrangement used to accurately position the hinged cover of the mechanism when closed; and

FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 7 showing an alternative embodiment of the positioning device of FIG. 7.

The figures are intended to be representational and are not necessarily drawn to scale.

Throughout this specification the term coin is intended to mean genuine coins, tokens, counterfeit coins, slugs, washers, and any other item which may be used by persons in an attempt to use coin-operated devices.

FIG. 1 shows the outside of a portion of a coin mechanism 10 of the type described briefly above. As mentioned above, coin mechanism 10 has parallel spaced front and back plates 12 and 14 mounted between the sides 16 and 18 of housing 20. P'lates 12 and 14 are typically of a hard plastic material such as glass fiber reinforced Valox 420 available from, the General Electric Company. Between plates 12 and 14 are a number of coin tracks (indicated in FIG. 1" by broken lines 22 and 24). Coins enter the mechanism through coin entry 30 and progress downward through the mechanism under the influence of gravity. Each coin rolls or slides on its edge along successive coin tracks, generally with a face bearing on one of plates 12 or 14. To insure that one face of a coin will bear on one of plates 12 or 14, the plates may be tilted slightly from thevertical toward the plate (e.g., rear plate 14) against which coins are to bear.

As a coin rolls down along c-oin track 24, it is subjected to one or more tests of coin genuineness and denomination, for example, by coin sensors (represented by broken circles 32, 34, and 36) and associated circuitry. Depending on the tests performed, sensors may be mounted adjacent the coin passageway on either or both of plates 12 and 14 in any number and in any type (e.g., optical, electro-magnetic, etc.) may be employed. In many applications, the spacing of a coin from a sensor will be a critical factor in determining coin genuineness and denomination in apparatus of this kind. In all cases, the proper spacing of plates 12 and 14 is desirable to guide coins through the mechanism with a minimum of frictional resistance and vibration.

Occasionally a coin or other object may jam in the portion of the apparatus between plates 12 and 14. It will then be necessary to open the apparatus to remove the jammed object. It may also be necessary to open the apparatus periodically for cleaning. Accordingly, front plate 12 is hinged at one corner to back plate 14. The hinge structure includes pin 40 extending through tabs 42 and 44 on plate 12 and into surrounding block 46 on plate 14. This structure allows front plate 12 to be opened substantially more than 90 relative to back plate 14. To insure that front plate 12 returns to the proper position after opening, a strong return spring 48 is provided around pin 40 to urge front plate 12 closed at all times.

As shown in FIG. 7, when plate 12 is closed, the spacing of plates 12 and 14 is maintained by conical pin 50 mounted on plate 14 in cooperation with conical aperture 52 in plate 12. The tip of pin 50 may be a cone having an internal angle approximately equal to the internal angle of aperture 52 or the internal angle of the tip of pin 50 may be somewhat larger than the internal angle of aperture 52 (e.g., 60 and 45 respectively). In the latter case, pin 50 seats in aperture 52 with the tip bearing on the outer (i.e., largest) periphery of aperture 52 as shown in FIG. 7. The very end of pin 50 does not touch plate 12 at all. In addition to determining the spacing of plates 12 and 14, the seating of pin 50 in aperture 52 corrects any misalignment of plate 12 relative to plate 14 in the plane of the plates. In effect, pin 50 and aperture 52 fix or stabilize the relative locations of plate 12 and 14 in three dimensions. This is particularly important where there are coin sensors on plates 12 and 14 which must be accurately positioned relative to one another in all three dimensions. Of course, pin 50 could be mounted on plate 12 and aperture 52 in plate 14. In any event, pin 50 and aperture 52 are preferably located diagonally opposite the hinge structure to minimize torque on plate 12 by the action of spring 48. Such torque could cause plate 12 to twist and interfere with the parallelism of plates 12 and 14.

If desired, the spacing of plates 12 and 14 can be made adj ustable by replacing pin 50 with a set screw 54 through plate 14 having a conical tip 56 for cooperation with aperture 52 as shown in FIG. 8. Once screw 54 has been adjusted to give the proper spacing of plates 12 and 14, a drop of glue can be used to cover the head of screw 54 to prevent further motion thereof.

To check or retard the closing of front plate 12 after it has been opened and reduce the impact of plate 12 on pin 50 or screw 54, a checking device constructed in accordance with the principles of this invention is provided near the hinge structure including pin 40. As is best viewed in FIGS. 2 through 5, this checking device includes an elastomeric or resilient snubber 60 shown in full in FIG. 6) having a block portion 62 projecting through enlarged aperture 70 in plate 14 and a pad portion 64 behind plate 14. Pad 64 is somewhat larger than aperture 70'to prevent snubber 60 from being pulled through aperture by the opening or closing of front plate 12. Snubber 60 is held in place by retainer plate which is secured to the back of plate 14 by screws 82. Spacer rings or washers 84 are provided between plate 80 and plate 14 to prevent excessive tightening of plate 80 and consequent damage to snubber 60.

Block 62 is tapered so that it projects further from aperture 70 on the side nearer pin 40 than it does on its other side. Thus when plate 12 is fully closed as shown in FIG. 5, the surface 66 of block 62 opposite the inside surface of plate 12 is closest to plate 12 near pin 40. One purpose of tapering block 62 in this way is to provide a device which acts as a check when plate 12 is closing, but which does not significantly interfere with plate 12 when it is being opened. As plate 12 closes, edge 72 of plate 12 engages tapered surface 66, with the result that block 62 is deflected and a portion thereof is pinched or stretched out between edge 72 and plate 14. (This is described in greater detail below in the discussion of FIGS. 3 through 5). When plate 12 is being opened, edge 72 catches block 62 on surface 65 (as shown in FIG. 6), deflecting block 62 but not pinching any part of the block against an opposite surface of plate 14. Since this pinching of block 62 provides most of the checking action of the device, there is no significant checking action when cover plate 12 is being opened.

Although tapered toward plate 12, it is preferable that no part of snubber 60 actually touches plate 12 when plate 12 is fully closed. In this way possible misalignment of plate 12 as a result of contact with snubber 60 is avoided.

Pin 40 and the edge 72 of the inside surface of plate 12 parallel to pin 40 are positioned relative to snubber 60 so that as plate 12 swings closed from the position shown in FIG. 2, edge 72 moves through an are which intercepts the tapered surface 66 of snubber 60 (also parallel to pin 40), thereby engaging and deflecting block 62. Progressive stages in the deflection and deformation of block 62 as plate 12 closes are shown in FIGS. 3 through 5. In the first stage shown in FIG. 3, edge 72 catches block 62 and pushes it to the side in the direction edge 72 is moving. A portion of block 62 is pinched between edge 72 of palte 12 and edge 74 of aperture 70. As plate 12 continues to close, the portion of block 62 which is trapped between edges 72 and 74 is deformed more radically until, as shown in FIG. 4, it is stretched out practically flat between edge 72 and the opposite inner surface of plate 14. At this point edge 72 begins to slide more noticably along surface 66 of snubber 60. This sliding allows the material of block 62 which is trapped between edge 72 and plate 14 to slowly escape and allows plate 12 to continue closing slowly. When edge 72 slides past the last of the material of snubber 60, block 62 springs back to its normal shape and plate 12 snaps closed as shown in FIG. 5. During the entire time that edge 72 is in contact with snubber 60, the closing of plate 12 is very significantly retarded. Snubber 60 applies a moment to plate 12 opposite the moment applied to plate 12 by spring 48. The checking device may be designed so that plate 12 closes no faster than a creep while in contact with snubber 60. When snubber 60 is finally released, plate 12 snaps closed a short distance to assure a firm closing and proper spacing of plates 12 and 14. The impact of this closing is, of course, considerably reduced as compared to what it would be without the checking device of this invention. If a stop of the type shown in FIG. 7 or FIG. 8 is provided, this final short unchecked closing also insures firm seating of the conical tip of pin 50 or screw 54 in complementary conical aperture 52.

Depending on the relative locations of pin 40, snubber 60, and edge 72, plate 12 first engages snubber 60 at any desired angle of closure. Similar consideration determine the angle of closure at which plate 12 is finally released by snubber 60 and allowed to snap closed. In a typical application, cover 12 first engages snubber 60 when it is at an angle of approximately 45 to plate 14 and is finally released when at an angle of approximately 15.

The rate at which plate 12 closes while in engagement with snubber 60 is governed by a number of factors, including the strength of spring 48, the shape and location of the various components which interact to check plate 12, the flexibility of snubber 60, the frictional resistance of edge 72 to sliding on snubber surface 66, etc. One material found particularly suitable for snubber 60 is a closed-cell polyurethane material, Nu-Clear, having a durometer of 23 to 25 and available from the Samuel Bingham Company, 5 Conn Street, Woburn, Massachusetts. This is soft and flexible mate rial which when deflected as shown in FIG. 4 appears to almost flow out from between edge 72 and plate 14.

It is to be understood that the embodiments shown and described herein are illustrative of the principles of this invention only and that various modifications may be implemented by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. For example, various materials may be chosen for the components of the apparatus of this invention and various arrangements may be employed to meet the requirements of various applications.

I claim:

1. A coin handling apparatus comprising first and second spaced plates, the inner surfaces of which form walls of a passageway for coins, the two plates being joined by a hinge proximate an edge of the first plate permitting rotation of the first plate away from the second plate, the hinge axis being parallel to the inner surface of the first plate and displaced from it in the direction away from the second plate, a spring to bias the first plate toward the second plate, a stop on one plate which abuts an abutment surface on the other plate when the plates are closed to space the plates and position them substantially parallel to one another closed and a resilient snubber block spaced from the first plate when the plates are closed having a deflectable surface which is engaged by the said edge of the inner surface as the first plate is rotated about its axis towards the second plate to apply a moment to the first plate in the opposite direction.

2. The apparatus according to claim 1 in which the block is mounted on the second plate.

3. The apparatus according to claim 1 in which the block projects further from the inner surface of the second plate at the end of the deflectable surface that is nearer the hinge than at the opposite end.

4. The apparatus according to claim 3 in which the block is mounted on the second plate.

5. The apparatus according to claim 1 in which the first plate is generally rectangular and the hinge is at one corner of the plate, the stop being located in the vicinity of the diagonally opposite corner of the plate.

6. The apparatus according to claim 1 in which the spring is a coiled spring and the hinge includes a hinge pin, the spring being coiled around the hinge pin.

7. The apparatus according to claim 6 in which the first plate is generally rectangular and the hinge is at one corner of the plate, the stop being located in the vicinity of the diagonally opposite corner of the plate.

8. The apparatus according to claim 7 in which the block projects further from the inner surface of the second plate at the end of the deflectable surface that is nearer the hinge than at the opposite end.

9. The apparatus according to claim 8 in which the block is mounted on the second plate.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION g PATENTNO. 3,907,086

DATED September 23, 1975 INVENTOR(S) Frederick Gordon Willis It is certified that error appears in the ab0veidentified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Col. 1, line 24, "track." should be -coin-.

Col. 4, line 45, "palte" should be -plate-.

Signed and Scaled this ninth Day 0f March 1976 [SEAL] A ttes I RUTH C. MASON C. MARSHALL DANN Arresting Officer (vmmr'ssr'mwr ufParents and Trademarks

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2776156 *May 14, 1952Jan 1, 1957Thibodeau Wilfred EClosure check
US2827996 *Jul 27, 1953Mar 25, 1958Nat Rejectors GmbhCoin separators
US3163278 *Nov 5, 1962Dec 29, 1964Fisher & Ludlow LtdCoin selecting and testing mechanism
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4398626 *Aug 21, 1981Aug 16, 1983Mars, Inc.Low frequency phase shift coin examination method and apparatus
US5449058 *Feb 28, 1994Sep 12, 1995Mars, IncorporatedCoin testing device
US5524745 *May 27, 1994Jun 11, 1996Wohlrab; EkhartFilm hinge for a coin acceptor
US7617922Apr 2, 2004Nov 17, 2009Money Controls LimitedCoin acceptor
US20070039800 *Apr 2, 2004Feb 22, 2007Malcolm Reginald Hallas BellCoin acceptor
Classifications
U.S. Classification194/302, 194/344
International ClassificationG07F1/00, G07F1/04
Cooperative ClassificationG07F1/04
European ClassificationG07F1/04