US 3917934 A
A charge calculator is provided in which the net time of use of a facility is calculated. Provision is made for dividing the net time by a selectable time unit to obtain a quotient. A charge is determined in accordance with the quotient and the charge is multiplied by the quotient to obtain a result. The circuit for determining the charge according to the quotient may be programmable and may be provided in the form of a diode matrix.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 11 1 Goto Nov. 4, 1975 1 CHARGE CALCULATOR 3.548.161 12/1970 Schwarz 235/616 R 3,588,450 6/1971 LeVon 235/618 R  lnvemor- G010 suwa! Japan 3,603,960 9/1971 Sanchez 340/3091  Assignee; Kabushiki Kaisha Suwa Seikosha, 3,604,898 9/1971 Magnusson 235/616 R Tokyo Japan 3,641,314 2/1972 Abramson .1 235/618 A 3,729,617 4/1973 Stone 235/617 R  Filed: June 7, 1974 3,760.160 9/1973 Gieringer et a1. 1. 235/61] R 3,775,593 11/1973 Gieringer et a1 1111111111111 235/618 A APPI- 1914771271 3,815,718 6/1974 Singer 194/1 N  F i Appncatiun priority Data Primary Examine/-11. Stephen Dildine, Jr.
June [2 1973 Japan 48455414 Attorney, Agent, or FirmWaters, Schwartz & Nissen 52 us. 01 235/156; 194/1 M; 194/1 N; 1571 ABSTRACT 194/DlG. 23; 235/61 M; 235/616 C; 340/51 A charge calculator is provided in which the net time  Int. Cl. G06F 15/20; G07B 15/02 of use of a facility is calculated. Provision is made for  Field of Search 58/141; 194/1 M, 1 N, 9 T, dividing the net time by a selectable time unit to 0b- 194/D1G. 23; 235/61 M, 61 S, 61.6 C, 61.7 tain a quotient. A charge is determined in accordance R, 61.8 A, 61.8 R, 61.9 R, 92 TC, 152, 156; with the quotient and the charge is multiplied by the 340/51, 309.1 quotient to obtain a result. The circuit for determining the charge according to the quotient may be program-  1 References Cited mable and may be provided in the form of a diode ma- UNTTED STATES PATENTS 3,484,586 12/1969 Wilson et a1. 235/616 R 8 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures CL OCH C'Hfl/QGE (/M/T 77/145 D/S LAV 3 SELECTOE 5 557 4 6 M/PUT CALCULflTO/Q PR/NT CONTROL 2 7 CHARGE CALCULATOR FIELD OF INVENTION This invention relates to charge calculators for use in installations such as parking areas or playgrounds and other such installations in which charges vary according to time of utilization.
BACKG ROUND As is well known, the rate of charge in, for example, a parking area or playground may vary depending on the particular time of use. For example, the rate may be different for daytime or nighttime, for weekends, for discount times or according to the need of imposing taxes. Even during a single time charge period, charges need not always be directly proportional to the length of time of utilization and may vary, for example, depending on and during the length of time of utilization. As a consequence, there is a need for apparatus which accommodates a complex charging system and such an apparatus normally involves a complex calculating unit. Furthermore, where it is desired to provide a universal availability to suit the circumstances of respective types of installations, the apparatus used must be able to perform functions found in a small-size computer.
SUMMARY OF INVENTION It is an object of the invention to provide an improved apparatus which permits a simple calculation of various charges which are payable according to time of utilization.
It is another object of the invention to provide a construction for apparatus of the above-noted type which is simple and inexpensive.
In apparatus according to the invention, means are provided for dividing a net time of utilization in terms of a predetermined unit time together with means for decoding the charge corresponding to the quotient from a programmable charge setting unit thereby to permit a calculation of charges in a simple manner.
Stated otherwise, the invention provides a charge calculator comprising first means for determining the time of use of a facility, second means for dividing the net time by a selectable time unit to obtain a quotient and further means to determine a charge corresponding to the quotient, said quotient being multiplied by said charge to obtain a result.
The aforesaid further means may include a diode matrix. The matrix includes a plurality of semiconductor diodes arranged with one coordinate of quotients and another coordinate of charges. Said further means may be programmable. In such case, the further means may include a plugboard in which the aforesaid diodes can be selectively arranged.
The second means may include means to vary the time unit. Furthermore, means may be provided to print the aforesaid result. Still further, a clock means may be provided to supply currently existing time which is arithmetically manipulated with the entry time so that the time of use of the facility can be calculated.
In addition to the above, display means may be provided to display the result or alternatively the result may be printed or both of the features may be provided together.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWING In the drawing:
FIG. I is a block diagram showing an arrangement of the apparatus according to one embodiment of the invention. and
FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of a circuit in which the charges of a table of charges are programmed by means of diodes.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION By way of example, Table I shows an exemplary charging system for a parking area in which system A is a charging system proportional to time of utilization, system 8 involves a discounted charge system commencing from an intermediate stage of charge time, and system C involves an extra charge commencing from an intermediate stage of charge time. .60
For a charging system such as A, a charge calculator can be produced by an electronic circuit which calculates a time of utilization and multiplies it by a basic charge per unit time which is previously set. The circuit required is relatively simple.
However. for systems B and C, a simple circuit as used in the previous example cannot perform the required calculation. Apparatus provided in accordance with the invention has overcome such problems and will be described in greater detail below.
FIG. I is a block diagram showing the fundamental arrangement of the charge calculator according to the inventionv Before a calculation is conducted, an entry time is supplied via an input device I and instructions given to perform a calculation. Immediately, the existing time (corresponding to exit time) is read into a calculation control section 2 from a clock 3 to efiect a subtraction with reference to the entry time. Thereby, there is calculated a net utilized time.
The net time is then divided in terms of unit time set in a time division setting section or unit time set 4. For example, when the related entry time is 9 hours 30 minutes and an exit time is II hours l5 minutes, the net time is I hour and 45 minutes. When a basic time of division is set at 30 minutes, the net time is divided into units of 30 minutes, thus yielding four divisions. It will be appreciated that the basic time of division can be set optionally. If it is set as I hour, the above-mentioned net time corresponds to two divisions.
FIG. 2 shows one circuit which can be used as the charge setting section 5 in which a charge is set for each time division by means of diodes. In the illustrated example, the set range covers magnitudes from I0 and 10" The reason for this is that the system being illustrated deals with units of IO yens. It is not necessary to set a charge when the 10" figure is zero. When the charge includes a one yen figure, a charge corresponding to the It)" figure must be set.
When the utilized time is divided in the above manner and a l signal from the calculation control portion 2 is given corresponding to a quotient 4, the output of 2 in the I0 figure becomes 1" and a signal of charge 400 yens" is obtained.
The charge signal is read into the calculation control 2 to be displayed in a display section 6 as the charge. It is also printed on a paper in printing section 7. This paper can be delivered to a customer as a receipt.
From the foregoing, it will be understood that the most important feature in the calculating portion of the apparatus according to the invention is that, first, the
unit time for the division of net time can be freely changed and, secondly, the charge for each time division can be freely changed. Therefore,'the unit time for the time division can be set by means of an input switch having BCD output, a semiconductor switch, a memory using a semiconductor or magnetic mate rial or the like. The charge for each time division can be set by a matrix board comprising diodes, transistors, FETs or the like, by a programmable nonvolatile semiconductor ROM, or by a ROM which incorporates magnetic material or the like, in order to permit optional programming.
The use of the above calculation system greatly simplifies the circuit for calculating charges and permits a simple calculation for the charge of discounted or service rates or tax.
As mentioned previously, when the charge is set by using a diode matrix board or using a diode pin board or the like, it is a simple matter for the operator to set the charge conveniently.
The invention permits the accommodation of various charging systems in the calculation of charges by engagement of two setting means respectively for unit times for division and charges corresponding to each division. Thus, when using the same charge set, the unit time for division may be doubled to provide a substantially discounted charge. Such a procedure permits distinguishing between day-time and night-time charges in a simple manner.
The same results can be achieved by fixing the first means while setting the second means to a doubled charge. Fixing the first means while making the second means variable, making the first means variable while fixing the second means, or making both the first and second means variable do not depart from the scope of the invention. In either instance, a combination of these two means permits the calculation of charge for various charging systems to be achieved in a simple circuit. By providing a plurality of such means, an apparatus is obtained which can take care of even more complicated charging systems.
When assembled as a product, the first and second means may be located within a single casing or within two different casings, provided variation of the set values is permitted.
As to the display and printing sections, either or both may be provided in a single casing.
In the device of the invention, a plurality of charge program boards may be incorporated according to the different charge systems for day, nights, weekends, services, etc. This is illustrated, for example, in Columns A, B and C of Table I. When, for example, the button for calculating a charge corresponding to one of the charge systems is pushed, the correct charge is obtained because the selected charge program board provides the right result even though the calculation to obtain the time division is common to each charge system.
In the above disclosed apparatus, when the utilized time (net time) is divided by a unit time, one sometimes comes out with a fractional answer. In such a case, according to this invention, if a fraction of one division time is generated, a charge corresponding to a full division time is calculated. For example, assuming that the unit time is 30 minutes and that the utilized time is 1 hour and 10 minutes, the time division which is used for charge calculation is three divisions.
What is claimed is:
l. A charge calculator comprising calculating means, a clock for providing an indication of current time, means for transmitting time data from said clock to said calculating means, said calculating means calculating a net time in response to said time data and an external calculating instruction, said calculating means dividing the net time by a predetermined unit time to obtain a quotient, and charge decoding means for decoding a charge corresponding to the quotient, said calculating means multiplying said charge by said net time to obtain a total charge, said charge decoding means including a semiconductor matrix board for establishing charge-setting according to said quotient, whereby charge-setting can be readily established by selection of an appropriate semiconductor matrix board.
2. A charge calculator as claimed in claim 1 comprising means for variably setting a unit time for dividing the net time to obtain a quotient.
3. A charge calculator as claimed in claim 2 comprising means for indicating and printing the total charge.
4. A charge calculator as claimed in claim 2 comprising a setting means for setting a basic charge.
5, A charge calculator comprising calculating means, a clock for providing an indication of current time, means for transmitting time data from said clock to said calculating means, said calculating means calculating a net time in response to said time data and an external calculating instruction, said calculating means dividing the net time by a predetermined unit time to obtain a quotient, and charge decoding means for decoding a charge corresponding to the quotient, said calculating means multiplying said charge by said net time to obtain a total charge, said charge decoding means including a programmable me ans for establishing charge-setting according to said quotient, whereby charge-setting can be readily established by selection of an appropriate programmable means.
6. A charge calculator as claimed in claim 5 comprising means for variably setting a unit time for dividing the net time to obtain a quotient.
7. A charge calculator as claimed in claim 6 comprising means for indicating and printing the total charge.
8. A charge calculator as claimed in claim 6 comprising a setting means for setting a basic charge.