Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3919834 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 18, 1975
Filing dateApr 2, 1973
Priority dateApr 5, 1972
Also published asDE2317165A1
Publication numberUS 3919834 A, US 3919834A, US-A-3919834, US3919834 A, US3919834A
InventorsTomomi Murakami, Akira Tsuzuki
Original AssigneeCitizen Watch Co Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Memory watch
US 3919834 A
Abstract
A memory watch provided with a rotatable sound-record carrier and an associated electro-acoustic transducer for alternate recording and reproduction has a spring mechanism adapted to store sufficient mechanical energy for driving the carrier through one or more cycles for reproduction alone or for recording and subsequent playback of the recorded message at the command of the user or automatically at a preset time. Recording is blocked unless sufficient energy is stored to enable subsequent playback.
Images(8)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

' United States Patent 1191 DEVICE Murakami et al. Nov. 18, 1975 MEMORY WATCH 2,641,654 6/1953 0mm 58/14 x v 2,726,288 12/1955 179/100.2 R 1 Inventors- Murakam" 3,135,084 6/1964 58/14 Hlgashlmurayama; Aklra l r 3,376,551 4/1968 Armbruster 340/1725 Tokyo, both of Japan 3,376,700 4/1968 Davis et al. 58/14 3,420,051 1/1969 Matteson 58/14 [73] Assgnee' watch T 3,507,110 4/1970 M11612 58/14 apan 3,644,682 2/1972 Parilla... 179/6 TA [22] Filed: Apr. 2, 1973 3,675,415 7/1972 Sato 50/14 x 3,686,851 8/1972 Kozu et al 58/14 [21] Appl. No.: 347,347 3,695,741 10/1972 Dollenmayer ..'346/137 Primary Examiner.loseph W. Hartary 30 F orelgn Application Priority Data Assistant Examiner U. Weldon Feb. 24, 1973 Japan 48-34123 Attorney Agent Firm Emest Montague; Karl Feb. 24, 1973 Japan 48-58961 ROSS; Herbert Dubno Feb. 24, 1973 Japan 48-58962 Feb. 24, 1973 Japan 48-22335 ABSTRACT [52] us. 01 58/14; 58/23 R; 58/57.5; A memory watch p v i h a ro ata le sound- 179/1()() 1 C record carrier and an associated electro-acoustic [51] 1111.01? G04B 21/08; G04C 21/12; transducer for alternate recording and reproduction 04 3/00 has a spring mechanism adapted to store sufficient [58] Field of Search 58/14, 23 R, 57.5; mechanical energy for driving the carrier through one 179 1002 R 002 A, 10 C 7 274/4 or more cycles for reproduction alone or for recording R 4 B 4 1) 4 4 11; 340 7 5; 346/20, and subsequent playback of the recorded message at 137; 3 0 2 97 35 the command of the user or automatically at a preset time. Recording'is blocked unless sufficient energy is [5 References Cited stored to enable subsequent playback.

UNITED STATES PATENTS 10 Claims, 19 Drawing Figures 2,554,404 5/1951 Griffith 179/1001 C RECORDlNG ERASlNG BUTTON) HEAD l B Z m RECORDING AND RE1$%lNG'- i k REPROD. HEAD R ROING RECORDING AND REPROD. ccr, SPRING q GEAR I 'i/TEIQ ESO E l fTRAIN l f o N h m \c POSITION I INDICATOR GOVERNOR-- I b a WATCH STOPPING DEVICE I TIME-SET DEVIC p d c T|ME-SET J BUTTON aT RELEASE STARTING DEVICE 4 U.S. Patent Nov. 18, 1975 Sheet20f8 3,919,834

US. Patent Nov. 18, 1975 Sheet30f8 3,919,834

U.S.*Patent Nov. 18, 1975 Sheet5of8 3,919,834

US. Patent 18,1975 Sheet60f8 3,919,834

m FE/EDBACK 105 I4 I A (TIMER 107 "1 10,3

f-CLOCKWORK F IG I 5 I M TIME START WINDING) INDKIATOR) /SET N I I A F I L SPRING POSITION J E ASING SENSOR f fiEAD B TIME K N PRESET GEARS POSITIONlhG DEVICE E I ,cHANGEOvER C u SWITCH SUPPLY SWITCH gggfi G I I --'P T GOVERNOR H I SPEAKER AND MICROPHONE STARTING I DEvIcE H n U RECORDING AND I REPRODccT. l

I R -REOORDING AND STOPPWGJ REPROD. HEAD DEvIcE RECORDING MEDIUM US. Patent Nov. 18, 1975 Sheet70f8 3,919,834

MEMORY WATCH A memory watch heretofore proposed can deliver an alarm sound from a bell, buzzer etc. at a time set by the user. Such conventional memory watch has the disadvantage that the user is only notified by the alarm sound at the time set by him, that the user must learn by heart or write down on a sheet of paper etc. what he has to do at that time, and that if the user missed such sheet of paper or finds it hard to read, he could not finish his scheduled tasks.

An object of the invention is to provide an improved memory watch which can obviate the disadvantage encountered with the conventional memory watch.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved memory watch which can record and reproduce a users schedule which is necessary for him to be aware of and adhere to in the present busy and troublesome life.

A further object of the invention is to provide an improved memory watch comprising a memory device, an indicator, and a time-set device, all incorporated therein and made integral with the watch, designed to alert the user to the arrival of the time for performing a scheduled task.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved memory watch which can record the users important items for reproduction at any time desired by the user unless these items are erased, without requiring operation of the time-set device.

We realize these objects, in accordance with our present invention, by the provision of electro-acoustic transducer means (i.e. a combined speaker and microphone) having a recording mode for registering a voice message on a sound record, such as a magnetic tape, and a reproducing mode for playing back a message so registered. A carrier for the sound record is juxtaposed with the transducer means for coaction therewith, in either of the aforementioned modes as established by switchover means occupying either a first or a second position, the carrier and the transducer means being relatively displaceable by associated drive means during operating cycles of predetermined duration in either of the aforementioned modes. The drive means include mechanical energy-storing means prestressable by mechanically operable loading means, such as pushbuttons or winding stems, to accumulate enough energy for performing at least one operating cycle; upon such prestressing, a message registered on the sound record may be played back at a time selected with the aid of presettable start means controlled by the clockwork. Recording is possible only upon a prestressing of the energy-storing means to an energy level sufficient to perform a reproducing cycle following a recording cycle, a displacement of the switchover means into the second or recording position thereof being otherwise prevented by suitable blocking means.

The energy-storing means may include a spring coupled with the carrier for rotating same through a full revolution in each of its modes and may further include, in a specific embodiment described hereinafter, resilient biasing means resisting the retraction ofa stepping pawl under the control of an actuator, such as a playback button, whose operation thus establishes a cocked position for that pawl. Upon the release of this actuator, the pawl imparts to the spring an incremental stress equivalent to one carrier revolution. Such an incremental stress can also be imparted to the spring by 2 another stepping pawl, controlled by a'second actuator such as a record button, which can be operated only if the first stepping pawl has been cocked.

In accordance with another embodiment of our invention, also described in detail hereinafter, the spring is a coil provided with a rotatable support which occupies different angular positions upon a stressing of the spring to different energy levels. In that instance the blocking means may comprise a position sensor engaging the rotatable support to determine the presence or absence of enough accumulated reserve energy for the subsequent playback of a message about to be recorded.

According to a further feature of our invention an electrical power supply for the electro-acoustic transducer means can include switch means controlled by the sound-record carrier to close an energizing circuit only in an off-normal rotary position of that carrier.

The above and other features of our invention will now be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawing in which:

FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing an overall system comprising essential parts of one embodiment of a memory watch according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a front elevation of the memory watch shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a plan view showing the essential parts seen in FIG. 1 on an enlarged scale, with the magnetic recording medium omitted;

FIG. 4 is a section on line IV-IV of FIG. 3, showing the magnetic recording medium;

FIG. 5 is a plan view showing the mechanism for supplying energy necessary for driving the magnetic recording medium shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a plan view showing the time-set device and the starting and stopping device of our improved memory watch;

FIG. 7 is a section on line VII-VII of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a plan view showing means for releasing the timeset device;

FIG. 9 is a plan view showing a control mechanism for an erasing head;

FIG. 10 is a plan view showing the switch mechanism of the watch;

FIG. 11 is a section on line XI-XI of FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a section on line XII-XII of FIG. 10;

FIG. 13 is a side elevation of a detail shown in FIG. 12;

FIG. 14 is a block diagram showing one embodiment of the recording and reproducing circuit and the switching circuit of the watch;

FIG. 15 is a block diagram showing a modified overall system forming part of another embodiment of a memory watch according to the invention;

FIG. 16 is a plan view showing the essential parts seen in FIG. 15 on an enlarged scale, with the magnetic recording medium shown as a magnetic tape;

FIG. 17 is a section on line XVII-XVII of FIG. 16;

FIG. 18 is a section on line XVIIIXVIII of FIG. 16; and

FIG. 19 is a fragmentary elevation of the overall system shown in FIG. 15.

In FIG. 1 we have shown three essential parts of one embodiment of the memory watch according to the invention, i.e. a clockwork I, a time-set mechanism II and a recording and reproducing mechanism III. The system includes a watch a, a time-set device b, a time-set button c, a release device d, a recording button e, a re- 3 producing button f, a spring g, a gear train h, a governor 1', a magnetic recording medium j, a recording'and reproducing headk, an erasing head z, a position iridi cator m, a stopping device n, a starting device p,'a recording and reproducing circuit q, and an electroacoustic transducer r, i.e. a speaker and microphone.

The time-set button 0, release device d, recording button e and reproducing buttonfare adapted to be operated from the outside.

Successive operations of the recording and reproducing mechanism III necessary for first actuating the magnetic recorderj and then stopping it in a given position will now be described. The energy for operating the magnetic recording medium j is supplied via the recording button e and the reproducing button fafter the establishment of the preliminary conditions necessary in order to effect recording for the purpose of starting reproduction by means of the signal delivered from the time-set device b. Thus, the reproducing device must be operable either independently of the time-set mechanism II or in response to the signal delivered from the time-set mechanism II. For this purpose, the operation of the reproducing button fresults in a release of the recording button e, thereby bringing the recording button e into its operative condition. The operation of the reproducing button f also results in a condition in which the spring g can be supplied or is supplied with energy whose amount is sufficient to operate the magnetic recorder j. The same amount of energy is also supplied when the recording button e is operated. The energy stored in the spring g is supplied through the gear train h to the magnetic recorderj and to the position indicator m. This kinetic energy is also transmitted through the gear train it to the governor i which serves to adjust the amount of kinetic energy to be supplied to the magnetic recording medium j. The transmission of kinetic energy to the recording mediumj is terminated by separating the gear wheels of train h or by arresting the governor i or the recorderj with the aid of the stopping device n. If the reproducing button for the timeset mechanism II is operated, the starting device p becomes effective to release the stopping device n, thus activating the magnetic recording medium j. At the same time, the position indicator m is also operated to mark the starting position of the recording mediumj. In this position, a signal is delivered to the stopping device n so as to insure the halting of the magnetic recording medium j in its reproduction-starting position. Thus, if the recording button e and the reproducing button fare oerated, energy is supplied to the spring g and the starting device p becomes effective to operate the stopping device n, thereby halting the magnetic recording medium j in a given position.

We shall now describe the operation of the recording and reproducing mechanism III following actuation of the reproducing button fwhich starts the movement of the magnetic recording mediumj and the position indicator m. The starting of the movement of the position indicator m closes the powersupply switch of the recording and reproducing circuit g. At the time of recording, if the recording button e is operated, the erasing head z makes contact with the magnetic recording mediumj to erase the signal recorded thereon. The operation of the erasing head z causes a switch for discriminating between recording and reproducing operations to operate and hence to close the recording circuit. As a result, the transducer r operates in its soundreceiving mode, or as a microphone, to translate the users voice into an electric signal which is then delivered to the recording circuit for conversion into a magnetic signal to be stored on the magnetic recording medium j with the aid of the recording and reproducing head k. The erasing head 1 continues its erasing operation until it arrives in a given position to be determined by the position indicator m even if the operation of the recording button 2 is stopped. The position indicator m causes the erasing head 1 upon its arrival in the given position to separate from the magnetic recording medium j, thereby stopping its erasing operation. During reproduction, the erasing head z is not moved and the reproducing circuit is closed by the aforementioned discriminating switch when the erasing head 2 occupies its retracted position. As a result, during reproduction the operation of the reproducing button f causes the magnetic recording medium j to start its movement as the power supply is connected to the reproducing circuit. The magnetic signal delivered by the recording medium j is supplied to the reproducing head k whose output is amplified by the reproducing circuit and then reconverted into voice frequencies by the transducer r which now acts as a sound generator or speaker. Thus, the recording and reproducing mechanism III operates in the same manner as in a conventional tape recorder.

In the time-set mechanism II, the setting device b is controlled by the button c in the same manner as conventional time-setting means. When the time of the clock mechanism I conforms to the setting of device b, the latter operates to actuate the starting device p in the recording and reproducing block III. If it is desired to make the time-setting device b inoperative, use is made of the releasing device d. Thus, the memory watch according to the invention activates the reproducing device within mechanism III to operate automatically at the time preset by means of the clock mechanism I and the externally actuatable mechanism II.

FIG. 2 shows one physical embodiment of a memory watch according to the invention, comprising an electroacoustic transducer 1, i.e. a speaker and microphone, a watch case 2 in which are incorporated the clock mechanism and the recording and reproducing mechanism, a window 3 through which the user can ascertain that the magnetic recording medium commences its rotation, a winding button 4' for operating a conventional clockwork, a winding button 5' for setting the time, a recording button 6, and a reproducing button 7'.

The essential parts of the overall system shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 will now be described with reference to FIGS. 3 to 14. In FIG. 3, reference numeral 4 designates a winding stem for operating a conventional clockwork by the button 4 of FIG. 2. Also shown is a stem 5 of time-set button 5', a stem 6 of recording button 6', a stem 7 of reproducing button 7', a recording and reproducing head 8, and an erasing head 9. A magnetic governor for rotating a magnetic recording medium at a constant speed comprises a rotary disk 10 whose speed is held constant by a permanent magnet 11, carried on the free end of a lever 11' engaging an eccentric pin 12.

When the time-set button 5 is pulled out by one step, it is possible to select a time when the reproducing device is to be automatically operated. If the time-set button 5 is restored to its original position and then depressed, it is possible to select a time when the reproduction is to be effected. If the recording button 6' is depressed, it is possible to store the recording energy in a spring inside a spring box 16 (FIGS. 4 and 5) while placing the erasing head 9 in contact with the magnetic recording medium and connecting the change-over switch to the recording circuit. The recording button 6 cannot be operated unless the reproducing button 7 is operated first. If the reproducing button 7' is depressed, it is possible to obtain a condition in which the reproducing energy can be stored in the spring upon release of the reproducing button 7. With the reproducing button 7 depressed, the magnetic recorder starts its operation and the power-supply switch of the recording and reproducing circuit is closed. If the reproducing button 7 is pulled out, the time-set device is released to prevent the magnetic recording medium from being operated at the preset time.

In the system according to our invention, therefore, all the components can be actuated by the operation of the four buttons 4' 7'. The recording and reproducing head 8 always contacts the magnetic recording medium with a constant force-so as to transmit the magnetic signal to and receive it from that medium. The erasing head 9 is brought into close contact with the recording medium during recording only.

In FIG. 4, reference numeral 13 designates a battery. Other components shown there are a recording and reproducing circuit 14, a machine frame 15 for the clockwork, the aforementioned spring box 16 for rotating the recording medium constituted by a ring 23 of synthetic resin carrying a magnetic film 23, an intermediate gear wheel 17, a time-setting spur gear 19 coaxial with ring 23, another coaxial spur gear 20 forming part of the clockwork, a ratchet wheel 21 for winding up the spring box 16, insulator balls 22 supporting an annular carrier 24 for ring 23, a gear wheel 25 for driving the magnetic recording medium 23, 23 and a stop-positiondetermining plate 41 made of insulating material.

The battery 13 is capable of supplying a current to the recording and reproducing circuit and also of driving the main clockwork. The magnetic recording medium 23, 23, its carrier 24, plate 41 and driving gear 25 are made into an integral annular body and rotated by the torque of the spring box 16, the rotational speed of the annular body being increased by the interposition of the intermediate gear 17. The annular body 23, 23, 24, 41 is rotatably journaled by the insulator balls 22 so that the carrier ring 24and its facings 24, 24" are electrically insulated from the machine frame 15.

The components supplying the energy necessary for driving the annular recording body will now be described with reference to FIG. 5.

As shown in FIG. 5, a reproducing lever 33 converts the linear movement of the reproducing button 7 and its stem 7 into a rotary motion; a leaf spring 34 transmits the reproducing energy via a lever 35 to a pawl 36 which is secured to the free end of the lever 35 and coacts with ratchet wheel 21. A retaining pawl 18 prevents the reverse rotation of the ratchet wheel 21, being urged against that wheel by a spring 18'. A spring 37 serves for restoring the recording button 6' to its original position; a gear train 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 magnifies the rotation of the spring box 16 in driving the rotary disk at a high speed. Also shown is the magnetic governor for rotating the recording body at a constant speed, as described with reference to FIG. 3, whose lever 11' of high-permeability material is provided at its free end with the permanent magnet 11 and forms part of a magnetic circuit, its bifurcate opposite 6 end straddling the eccentric pin 12 for displacement thereby.

If the reproducing button 7' is depressed against the action of the spring 34, the reproducing lever 33 is rotated clockwise to a position 33', shown in dotted lines, to deflect the leaf spring 34 into a position 34 shown in dot-dash lines, thereby bringing the stepping pawl 36 to a position 36, shown in dot-dash lines, for engagement with the ratchet wheel 21. In this cocked position, enough energy to wind up thespring box 16 by one ratchet tooth is stored in the leaf spring 34. If the reproducing button 7' is released, the energy stored in the leaf spring 34 is transmitted through the lever 35 to the pawl 36, thereby stepping the ratchet wheel 21 by one tooth.

If the recording button 6' is depressed, the ratchet wheel 21 is also rotated by one tooth to load the spring box 16. If the recording button 6 is released, it is restored to its original position by the action of the spring 37.

The amount of energy stored in this manner in the spring box 16 is so chosen as to be able to rotate the recording medium 23, 23' through the intermediate gear 17 by one turn. The stored energy must be supplied to the magnetic recording body at the same rate upon recording and reproduction. Moreover, at the time of re cording, the energy for the next preset reproduction must be stored. For this purpose, the recording energy must be transmitted after the reproducing button 7 has been operated to bring the stepping pawl 36 into the cocked position 36' where the reproducing energy can be supplied to the spring box 16. We therefore provide a mechanism which enables the recording button 6 to be depressed only after the reproducing button 7' has been operated. This mechanism will be described with reference to FIG. 9. The angle of rotation of the spring box 16 is magnified by the gear wheels 26, 27 in driving the gear 25, thus rotating the magnetic recording body 23, 23 whose rotational speed is held constant by the gear train 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 driving the rotary disk 10 which is controlled by the permanent magnet 11, adapted to be moved in the radial direction of disk 10 by means of the eccentric pin 12. Thus, it is possible to adjust the rotating speed of disk 10 in dependence upon the position of the eccentric pin 12.

We shall now describe means for adjusting the timesetting mechanism, operating the starting device, releasing the stopping device, rotating the magnetic recording body and stopping in a given position.

As shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, the stop-positiondetermining plate 41 is provided at a part of its outer periphery with a notch and coaxially overlies a starting plate 42 which is freely rotatable with respect to plate 41; a guide pin 41' projecting from plate 41 engages in a slot formed in plate 42. A stop-release lever 43, upon entering the notch of the plate 41 under the pressure of a weak spring 40, engages the starting plate 42. Lever 43 coacts with a stop lever 44 terminating in a spur which is radially urged against the rotary disk 10 by a biasing spring 45 to halt its rotation. A link 46 is articulated to stem 5 and normally held in its illustrated position by a restoring spring 50; a lever 47, displaceable by the link 46, carries a pin 47' which shifts a grooved gear 48 along stem 5 for engagement with a coacting gear 49 adapted to be rotated by the grooved wheel 48 and to drive a time-setting gear 58 through an axially shiftable gear 59 coaxial therewith. A time-setting lever 51, having a boss 51' and a resilient extremity 51" overlies a leaf spring 52 which is downwardly cammable bythe boss 51' to bias the gear 59 axially upon an inward movement (to the left in FIG. 7) of lever 51. A setinitiating lever 53 is mounted on the setting lever 51 so as to follow its movement by the action of a spring 54 and is provided at one end with a lug 55 for driving the starting plate 42 in a clockwise direction as indicated in FIG. 6 by an arrow 0. A starting lever 56 carries a lug 57 for driving the starting plate 42 in the same clockwise direction (arrow as lever 53 under the control of reproducing lever 33 upon a swing of the latter as described above with reference to FIG. 5. The end of link 46 remote from stem is in engagement with a pin 51" of lever 51 opposite the boss 51 which is backstopped by a seat 38 as it bears on a cam 52 of leaf spring 52. As in the conventional time-setting mechanism, when a projection of spur gear 59 registers with a hole of gear 58, gear 59 is moved downward by the aforedescribed biasing action of leaf spring 52. The camming motion of lever 51 entrains the lever 53 whose lug 55 lies at the level of starting plate 42.

The assembly shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 operates as follows. If it is desired to activate the system at a set time, the time-setting button 5' is pulled out as shown by an arrow A to rotate the link 46 counterclockwise as indicated by an arrow B, with clockwise displacement of lever 47 (arrow C) and inward shifting of the grooved gear 48 (arrow D), thereby bringing the latter into engagement with the time-setting gear 49. If the time-set button 5' is now rotated, the grooved gear 48, timesetting gear 49 and axially shiftable gear 59 are rotated in turn until the desired time has been set. Thereafter the time-setting button 5 is restored to its original position and is then depressed as indicated by an arrow E to rotate the link 46 clockwise as shown by an arrow F. As a result, lever 51 is entrained counterclockwise as shown by an arrow I in FIG. 6 so that the boss 51 is wedged between the cam 52 of leaf spring 52 and the seat 38, this position being shown in dot-dash lines in FIG. 7. Simultaneously, the starting lever 53 is swung clockwise, as shown by an arrow J, by the spring 54 during the inward movement of lever 51 to swing the lug 55 clockwise, i.e. in a direction shown by an arrow K, thereby actuating the time-setting mechanism. Gear 58 is driven by the clockwork at a speed of one turn every 12 hours. As soon as its hole registers with the projection of the preset gear 59, gear 59 descends toward the cylindrical gear 58 by the biasing action of leaf spring 52, thereby lowering the cam 52' thereof and releasing the setting lever 51. That lever is thereupon rotated clockwise by the resiliency of its extremity 51" to retract the starting lever 53 in the counterclockwise direction causing the starting plate 42 to rotate clockwise as shown by an arrow L. This rotation of plate 42 deflects the stop-release lever 43 in the clockwise direction shown by an arrow M, thereby rotating the stop lever 44 in the opposite direction as shown by an arrow N and unblocking the rotary disk 10. As a result, the magneticmemory block 23, 23', 24, 41 starts its rotation, with entrainment of the starting plate 42 by the stop-positiondetermining plate 41 in the clockwise direction (arrow 0) by means of the pin 41'. During this rotation, the coacting end of lever 43 rides on the outer periphery of the starting plate 42 until, after one revolution, it re-engages in the notch of plate 41, thereby freeing the lever 44 to arrest the disk under the force of spring 45 and stop the rotation of the magnetic-memory block. If, next, the reproducing button 7' is depressed, the reproducing lever 33 is swung clockwise to rotate the starting lever 56 in the opposite direction as shown by an arrow 0 As a result, lug 57 of lever 56 causes the starting plate 42 to move in the same manner as described above. After one revolution of plate 42, the coacting end of lever 43 again drops into the notch of plate 41 to stop the disk 10 by means of lever 44, thereby halting the rotation of the magnetic-memory block.

In FIG. 8 we have shown a modification of the mechanism of FIG. 6 wherein the starting lever 53 is fulcrumed on a lever 158 which is biased to its illustrated full-line position by a leaf spring 62. A grooved rod 60 secured to the inner end of the stem 7 of the reproducing button 7 is coupled with a deactivating lever 159 which coacts with supporting lever 58 and is provided at one end with a pin urged into engagement with the groove of the slidable rod 60 by means of a leaf spring 61.

If the user does not wish to reproduce the recorded message at the preset time, the reproducing button 7 is pulled out, i.e. in a direction shown by an arrow U, to move the rod 60 to a position 60 shown in dotted lines whereby the deactivating lever 159 is rotated into a position 159', indicated in dot-dash lines, and indexed in this position by the leaf spring 61. This clockwise swing of lever 159 results in a counterclockwise rotation of the lever 158 about a pivot 158" into a position 158' shown in dot-dash lines. If, now, at the preset time the lever 51 is moved in a clockwise direction shown by an arrow W as described above, the resulting counterclockwise motion of starting lever 53 into a position 53', shown in dot-dash lines, is ineffectual as the swing of its lug 55, indicated by an arrow X, misses the starting plate 42. If the reproducing button 7 is depressed inward, i.e. in a direction opposite that of arrow U, deactivating lever 159 returns to its original position and restores the starting lever 158 to normal by the action of the spring 62.

FIG. 9 shows a mechanism for making the erasing head 9 contact the magnetic film (23, FIG. 4) at the time of recording only and for separating the erasing head from that film after the magnetic-memory block has executed one turn.

At 66 we have shown in dot-dash lines a part of the I film-supporting ring 24 (FIG. 4) provided with an elongated recess which lets a lever 67, urged against the inner peripheral edge of the part 66 by a leaf spring 68, occupy a position illustrated in full lines in which a lever 69 and a spring 71, adapted to grip a pin 72 on the erasing head 9 between them, are separated from each other to allow the erasing head 9 to be advanced into a working position, against the force of a spring 73, by an actuating lever coupled with the recording button.

If the memory block and therefore the part 66 is stopped, the holding lever 69 and the coacting spring 71 are moved apart by means of the lever 67. Then, if the reproducing button is pushed, the pawl 36 is retracted in a direction shown by an arrow a in the manner described with reference to FIG. 5 while the starting device becomes operative to rotate the memory block as described with reference to FIG. 6, along with part 66, in a direction shown by an arrow d. If the recording button 6' is pushed, as shown by an arrow Z, immediately after the reproducing button 7' has been depressed to retract the pawl 36, a pin 6" projecting from the stem 6 swings the actuating lever 65 in the counterclockwise direction indicated by an arrow f whereby the erasing head 9 is urged against the magnetic film, as shown by an arrow 1, against the force of the leaf spring 73. Subsequently, the part 66 is rotated to cam the lever clockwise into its alternate position 67, shown in dot-dash lines, where the lever 69 and the spring 71 in their positions 69' and 71 grip the pin 72 to index the erasing head 9 in its advanced or working position. When the free end of the lever 67 again drops into the recess of part 66, after one revolution, lever 67 is restored to its original position wherein lever 69 and spring 71 release the pin 72 and the erasing head is moved to its withdrawn position by the spring 73. The mechanism just described has the advantage that-the erasing head 9 is held in contact with the magnetic film even when the recording button 6 is released, until the memory block has completed one revolution, and that the erasing head 9 is automatically separated from the film immediately thereafter.

In order to supply the recording energy only after the storage of the reproducing energy has been assured, the actuating lever 65 is provided with a projection 65" adapted to engage the pawl 36 until the same is retracted by the operation of the reproducing button 7, thereby preventing the operation of the recording button 6.

In FIG. 10 we show a changeover switch forming part of the recording and reproducing circuit 14. A switch armature 76, constituting a common terminal, engages a contact 77 in a reproducing position and a contact 78 in a recording position. The changeover is effected by ,means of a rocker 75 linked with the erasing head 9 and contacted by an insulator 76 secured to the free end of armature 76. A supply terminal 80 is connected to the recording and reproducing circuit whereas a terminal 81 represents the ungrounded pole of the battery 13. The switchover between the recording and the reproduction position is effected by the movement of the erasing head 9. As described with reference to FIG. 9, during reproduction the erasing head 9 is withdrawn. In this condition, a facing 76" on armature 76 engages the contact 77 to close the reproducing circuit. During recording, the erasing head 9 is moved in the direction shown by the arrow t whereby the rocker 75 deflects the insulator 76 to separate the armature 76 and its facing 76" from the contact 77 while another facing 76" engages the contact 78 to close the recording circuit.

A supply switch shown in FIGS. 11 13 is so constructed that the electric power is turned on as soon as rotation of the memory block is started. As described with reference to FIG. 4, the ancillary members 24, 24" supporting the film-carrying ring 23 are electrically insulated from the other members. The terminal 81 on the battery side is shown in section in FIG. 11. In FIGS. 12 and 13 there is shown in section and in side elevation the supply terminal 80 for the recording and reproducing circuit. As seen from FIGS. 12 and 13, an insulator 82 is embedded into one part of the outer periphery of ring 24' in such a position as to register with the terminal 80 on standstill. If the memory block is rotated, the terminal 80 disengages the insulator 82 and makes contact with the ring 24, thereby interconnecting the two terminals 80, 81 through that ring. After one revolution of the block, the terminal 80 rides up the insulator 82 to disconnect the terminals 80, 81 from each other.

In FIG. 14 we have shown details of the recording and reproducing circuit 14 according to the invention.

Referring to FIG. 14, blocks 101, 102 represent switches STV SW adapted to be closed during recording, and blocks 103, 104 represent complementary switches SW SW adapted to be closed during reproduction. When the memory block starts rotating, the supply is turned on to operate an amplifier 107. If a timer 105 is turned on, a circuit 106 is closed to supply positive feedback to the amplifier 107 which thereupon oscillates to emit an alarm signal from a speaker 108. Various kinds of alarm signals may be emitted from the speaker 108 by changing the frequency characteristic of the feedback circuit 106. If the timer 105 is turned off, the positive feedback is discontinued so that circuit 107 operates as a simple amplifier. Thus, a signal picked up by a transducer 109, included in the recording and reproducing head 8 (FIG. 3), may be supplied through switch 104 to the amplifier 107 whose output is passed by switch 103 to the speaker 108. At the time of recording, when the memory block rotates and the electric supply is turned on to energize the amplifier 107, the speaker 108 acts as a microphone to convert sound waves into an electric signal which is then supplied through switch 101 to the amplifier 107 whose output is fed by switch 102 to the transducer 109 which changes the electric signal into a magnetic signal to be stored on the recording film. During recording, the alarm sound is not emitted by the speaker 108; the time available for recording may be ascertained by observ ing the rotating body through the window 3 shown in FIG. 2. Recording may start after a lapse of time which is equal to the duration of the alarm sound emitted by the speaker 108 at the beginning of reproduction.

The timer 105 is turned on as soon as the electric supply circuit is closed and is turned off after a predetermined period whereupon reproduction of the previously recorded message takes place.

It will thus be apparent that the memory watch according to our invention allows the user to record his schedule on the magnetic carrier and preset the time of playback according to his schedule, being alerted to that schedule by the alarm sound generated by the watch in order to listen to the prerecorded message. If the user misses the scheduled playback, he may push the reproducing button again to ascertain the contents of the message. If playback at the preset time becomes unnecessary, the user may pull the reproducing button to skip the delivery of the alarm sound and the message. Reminders concerning items not necessarily related to time, such as lists of goods to be bought at markets or shops, can be reproduced at will by simply operating the reproducing button.

FIG. 15 shows another embodiment including a winding device A, a spring B for accumulating mechanical energy, a gear train C, a governor D for adjusting the output energy of the spring B, a position sensor E for detecting the amount of energy accumulated in the spring B, an indicator F revealing the amount of stored energy sensed by device E, a device G for determining the stopping and starting positions of a recording medium S, a starting device H, a stopping device I, a selector button J, a device K for presetting the selected reproducing time, a start button L for delivering a signal to operate the recording and reproducing device, a clockwork M, an erasing head N, a changeover switch 0 for alternatively recording and reproducing, and electric supply switch P, a recording and reproducing circuit Q, a recording and reproducing head R, an electric power supply T, and a speaker 1 l and microphone U. y

The winding device A serves to store the mechanical energy in the spring B. The amount of energy thus accumulated in the spring B is sensed by the device E and revealed by the indicator F. That energy is not released at this time since the gear train C is stopped by the device I. If it is desired to record, the winding device A is operated until the energy accumulated in the spring B becomes a maximum as determined by the sensing device E. The output signal from the device E then activates the erasing head N and reverses the changeover switch to its recording position. Actuation of the start button L now operates the starting device H and deactivates the stopping device I. Thus, the gear train C is unblocked as the supply switch P closes to energize the circuit Q from source T for recording sound signals, arriving at the microphone U, through the recording and reproducing head R on the magnetic memory S' which is driven at a constant speed with the aid of the governor D.

As the energy accumulated in the spring B diminishes, sensor E operates the positioning device G to determine the home position of the.rotating body S and supply a signal to the stopping device I to arrest the gear train C in that position while opening the electric supply circuit at P. Thus, the recording cycle is completed.

When the energy required to rotate the magnetic memory S through one revolution is exhausted, the sensing device E detects a reproducing condition. In that instance the erasing head N is withdrawn, the changeover switch 0 is placed in its reproducing position, and the indicator F reveals the reproducing mode in which a starting signal generated manually by button L, or automatically by presetting device K when the time selected with the aid of button J matches that read on the clockwork M, actuates the starting device H. Then, the magnetic memory S is driven in the same manner as in the recording mode, the magnetic information recorded on the magnetic memory being supplied through the recording and reproducing head R and the circuit 0 to the speaker U which emits a corresponding audible message.

The signal delivered by the position-determining device G again arrests the gear train C and hence the magnetic memory S in the home position. We also provide means for preventing the starting device H from responding to a signal from start button L or presetting device K whenever the energy accumulated in the spring B falls to a lower limit which is insufficient to drive the magnetic memory S.

In FIG. 16 we show a gear wheel 201 of a springwinding mechanism, a box-type gear wheel 202, a series of unidirectionally effective gears 203, 203 preventing rotation of the box gear 202 when it is wound up in a counterclockwise direction, a transport gear 204, a series of step-up gears 205, 206, a high-speed gear 207 constituting a magnetic governor, a magnetic recording tape 208 provided at its center with sprocket holes adapted to be engaged and driven by the transport gear 204, a recording and reproducing head 209, an erasing head 210, carried on the free end of a changeover lever 211 for displacement into a working position 210 in contact with the tape 208 so as to cancel a previous message at the time of recording, a leaf spring 212 for urging the changeover lever 211 into its reproducing position, an armature 213 ofa changeover switch movable under the control of lever 211 to rewise rotation of the spring box to stop the magnetic.

tape 208 in a predetermined home position, a starting plate 221 coacting with a starting lever 222 biased by a spring 223 in one direction, a stopping lever 224 having three branch arms one of which is engageable with the position-determining plate 220 and the starting plate 221 while the other two branch arms are effective either to stop the gear train 205 or to close the supply switch 218, a biasing spring 225 for stopping lever 224, a follower lever 226 trailing the sensing plate 219 to control the changeover lever 211 and to deactivate the starting lever 222 when the energy stored in the spring box is at its lower limit, a lever 227 adapted to operate the starting lever 222 in response to a signal from a time-setting device which includes a latch 228 adapted to be pushed up against a mounting plate 232 at times other than the preset time as shown in FIG. 19, a lever 229 for placing the lever 227 in a position enabling it to operate the starting lever 222, a spring 230 for restoring the lever 229 to its original position, and a buttonoperated lever 231 for displacing the starting lever 222 from the outside.

As shown in FIG. 17, the system further includes a coil spring 233 inside the box gear 202, the inner end of the spring being fixedly anchored to a center shaft 237 having a square lower end 237" received in a base plate 241 of the clockwork so that shaft 237 is nonrotatable, a ring gear 234 secured to the box gear 202, a planet gear 235 in meshing engagement with the ring gear 234 and the shaft 237 and supported by a pin 236 press-fitted into the sensing plate 219 whereby the rotation of the box 202 stepped down by the planet gear 235 entrains the plate 219, a set of sawtooth-shaped clutch teeth 239 preventing counterclockwise rotation of plates 220 and 221 (FIG. 16) when the spring box 202 is wound up in that direction but letting these plates 220, 221 turn in the opposite (clockwise) direction, a leaf spring 240 urging the position-determining plate 220 and the starting plate 221 against the sensing plate 219, an indicator 238 for showing the angular position of the sensing plate 219, and an indicator head 238' engaged by a square end 219 of a control boss of plate 219 for positively coupling the indicator 238 to plate 219.

FIG. 18 shows a yoke consisting of members 242, 242, 242" of high permeability, the yoke member 242 supporting a permanent magnet 241 and being secured to the base plate 241 by a screw 243, thereby constituting the magnetic governor for controlling the speed of rotation of gear 207.

In operation, if the gear wheel 201 is rotated clockwise as by means of a winding stem or the like, the box gear 202 meshing therewith is rotated counterclockwise to tighten the spring 233. In this case, the gears 203, 203' counterrotate out of mesh with the transport gear 204 driving the tape 208. Also, plate 219 is entrained at a reduced rate by the planet gear 235 in the same counterclockwise direction. When the box gear 202 has performed six revolutions, the plate 219 has made one turn; every two turns of box gear 202 corre- 13 spond to one revolution ofthe magnetic tape 2.08. In rotating counterclockwise, sensing plate 219 becomes disengaged from the position-determining plate 220 by virtue of the serrations 239 so that the plate 220 does not rotate in that direction. Thus in the recording mode the spring 233 is wound up until the plate;219has completed one full turn and the indicator 238, shows that the degree of wind-up has reaclhed its upper limit. In that case the follower lever 226 is rotated so that a pin 226" at its lower end occupies a position 226, thereby swinging the mode-controlling lever 211 counterclockwise. As a result, the erasing head 210 secured to lever 211 is broughtintoclose contact with the magnetic tape 208 as shown by a position 210'. the same time, the armature switch 213 engages the contact 215. Then, the starting button is depressed from the outside to swing the lever 231 counterclockwise, with resulting clockwise rotation of the starting lever 222. Thus, the starting lever 222 engages a pin 221 projecting from the plate 221 to move this plate counterclockwise and cam the stopping lever 224, bearing upon the plate 221, in a clockwise sense whereby a branch arm 224" of lever 224 closes the supply switch 218 so as to energize the system. Another branch arm 224' is separated from one of the gears 205 to unblock the gear train 205 207. Thus, the energy accumulated in the spring 233 is released to rotate the box gear 202 in the clockwise direction and bring the unidirectionally effective gears 203, 203' into operative engagement with the transport wheel 204, thereby driving the magnetic tape 208 at a constant speed by means ofthe magnetic governor 207, 241, 242, 242', 242". As above described, if the magnetic tape 208 is driven and the supply switch 218 is closed, the electric signals delivered from the microphone are amplified by the circuit 216 and recorded on the magnetic tape 208 by means of the head 209. When the magnetic tape 208 has completed one revolution, the position-determining plate 220 has carried out /a turn. In this position the free end of stopping lever 224 drops into a notch of plate 220 as the lever 224 swings counterclockwise and returns to its original position to stop the series of gears 205, open the supply switch 218 and halt the movement of the magnetic tape 208. At this instant, the energy-sensing plate 219 has been rotated by Va turn in the clockwise direction and the associated lever 226 is displaced by the spring 212, acting via lever 211, into a half-way position in which its pin 226" lies at 226". Moreover, the lever 211 and erasing head 210 are restored to their original positions by means of the spring 212 and the armature switch 213 engages the reproducing-side contact 214.

If, now, the lever 231 is operated in the same manner as described above, the magnetic tape 208 is again driven as before, the switch 218 is closed and the magnetic signal recorded on tape 208 can be delivered via circuit 216 to the microphone.

If it is desired to effect the reproduction at the time selected by means of the presetting device, the timesetting latch 228 is pressed upward as shown in FIG. 19. If the setting button controlling the lever 229 is now depressed, that lever swings counterclockwise and, as a result, the free end 227' of one of the branch arms of lever 227 is moved into a position aligned with lever 231. At this point a pin 227" projecting from another branch arm of clockwise-rotating lever 227 is wedged between the time-setting latch 228 and the mounting plate 232' while an extension 227" is deformed to store resilient energy. Under these conditions, if the watch reads the time selected by the presetting device, the latter device becomes effective to release the latch 228.

Thus, the lever 227 is rotated counterclockwise with the aid of resilient energyaccumulated in the extension 227" and, as a result, the starting lever 222 is moved clockwise to drivethe magnetic tape 208, thereby letting reproduction take place at the preset time.

If the recording and manual or automatic reproduction steps described above are repeated, the energy accumulated in the spring 233 becomes exhausted while the sensing plate 219 completes a full turn and reverts toits original position. In this condition, the energy accumulated in the spring 233 is at a minimum wherefore the starting device must not be operated. For this purpose, the pin 226" at the free end of lever 226 blocks in its illustrated position the starting lever 222 so as to prevent its clockwise rotation.

What is claimed is:

'1. In a timepiece, in combination:

a clockwork;

electro-acoustic transducer means having a recording mode for registering a voice message on a sound record and a reproducing mode for playing back a message so registered; a carrier for said sound record juxtaposed with said transducer means for coaction therewith;

switchover means having a first and a second operating position for placing said transducer means in said reproducing and recording modes, respectively;

drive means for relatively displacing said carrier and said transducer means during operating cycles of predetermined duration in both said recording and reproducing modes, said drive means including mechanical energy-storing means prestressable to accumulate enough energy for performing at least one operating cycle;

presettable start means controlled by said clockwork for actuating said drive means at a selected time, upon a prestressing of said energy-storing means, for playing back a message registered on said sound record;

manually operable loading means for prestressing said energy-storing means; and

blocking means controlled by said loading means for preventing a displacement of said switchover means into said second operating position upon a failure to prestress said energystoring means to an energy level sufficient to perform a reproducing cycle following a recording cycle.

2. The combination defined in claim 1 wherein said energy-storing means comprises a spring.

3. The combination defined in claim 2 wherein said carrier is rotatable about an axis, said drive means further comprising transmission means coupling said spring with said carrier for rotating same through a full revolution in each of said modes.

4. The combination defined in claim 3, further comprising an electrical power supply for said transducer 15 carrier in said reproducing mode.

6. The combination defined in claim wherein said energizing circuit includes an amplifier, said alarm means comprising a feedback path for said amplifier -closable by said timing means to place said amplifier in an oscillatory condition.

7. The combination defined in claim 3 wherein said energy-storing means further includes resilient biasing means and wherein said loading means comprises a first actuator operatively coupled with said switchover means for establishing said reproducing mode, a sec ond actuator operatively coupled with said switchover means for establishing said recording mode, and first and second stepping means for imparting an incremental stress equivalent to one carrier revolution to said spring, said first stepping means being retractable against the force of said biasing means into a cocked position by said first actuator upon operation thereof, said second stepping means being displaceable by said 16 second actuator upon operation thereof, said second actuator being inhibited by said blocking means in an unoperated condition of said first actuator whereby said first stepping means must be retracted prior to dis placement of said second stepping means to establish said recording mode.

8. The combination defined in claim 7 wherein said transducer means includes an eraser head juxtaposable with said sound record by said second actuator in said recording mode.

9. The combination defined in claim 7 wherein said actuators are pushbut'tons.

10. The combination defined in claim 3 wherein said spring is a coil provided with a rotatable support occupying different angular positions upon stressing said spring to different energy levels, said blocking means comprising a position sensor engaging said rotatable support.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2554404 *Mar 24, 1949May 22, 1951Doke GriffithControl system for annunciators
US2641654 *May 31, 1949Jun 9, 1953Raymond W GreggCombination chronometer and sound reproducing instrument
US2726288 *Oct 29, 1954Dec 6, 1955Jr Weldon T EllisElectromagnetic sound recorder and reproducer
US3135084 *Apr 29, 1963Jun 2, 1964Kidder Oren ATalking clock
US3376551 *May 21, 1964Apr 2, 1968IbmMagnetic writing devices
US3376700 *Oct 21, 1965Apr 9, 1968Audio Chron IncTape recorded chime clock
US3420051 *Oct 21, 1966Jan 7, 1969Clement DavisCombination clock and tape player
US3507110 *Jul 3, 1967Apr 21, 1970Milatz Norman CAudio clock
US3644682 *Aug 5, 1968Feb 22, 1972Parilla Arthur RTalking clock apparatus
US3675415 *Mar 29, 1971Jul 11, 1972Amano CorpProgram device for producing time signals and the like
US3686851 *Mar 4, 1970Aug 29, 1972Matsushita Electric Ind Co LtdTalking clock apparatus
US3695741 *Dec 18, 1970Oct 3, 1972IbmMinature disc dictation machine featuring integral disc storage
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3998045 *Jun 9, 1975Dec 21, 1976Camin Industries CorporationTalking solid state timepiece
US4015090 *May 20, 1975Mar 29, 1977Sony CorporationRecording and/or reproducing apparatus
US4097905 *Sep 2, 1976Jun 27, 1978Justin KramerTape player time signal
US4102120 *Jul 13, 1976Jul 25, 1978Gebruder Junghans GmbhElectronic alarm clock with a servicing arrangement for time adjustment
US4228470 *Oct 26, 1978Oct 14, 1980Raphael RahaminElectronic reminder system
US4242745 *Dec 13, 1978Dec 30, 1980Ebauches Electroniques SaElectronic timepiece with electroacoustic transducer
US4368988 *Dec 3, 1980Jan 18, 1983Casio Computer Co., Ltd.Electronic timepiece having recording function
US4389121 *Feb 13, 1981Jun 21, 1983Sharp Kabushiki KaishaSpeech synthesizer timepiece with alarm function
US4391530 *Sep 18, 1980Jul 5, 1983Casio Computer Co., Ltd.Electronic timepiece
US4405241 *Dec 4, 1980Sep 20, 1983Casio Computer Co., Ltd.Electronic device having timepiece function
US4406549 *Mar 17, 1981Sep 27, 1983Casio Computer Co., Ltd.Electronic timepiece with alarm and voice announcement function
US4498787 *Jul 31, 1984Feb 12, 1985Jung Sun LinReminder
US4548511 *Sep 30, 1982Oct 22, 1985Kabushiki Kaisha Suwa SeikoshaElectronic timepiece with voice memory
US4701862 *May 27, 1986Oct 20, 1987Sharp Kabushiki KaishaAudio output device with speech synthesis technique
US5309413 *Aug 3, 1993May 3, 1994Ess Technology, Inc.Method, integrated circuit, mechanical analog clock movement and completed assembly for a talking analog clock
US5555536 *Jul 19, 1994Sep 10, 1996Rolf; Rebecca L.Device for playing recorded audio at a selected time
US5615111 *May 16, 1996Mar 25, 1997Solefound, Inc.Record and playback means for footwear
US5794205 *Oct 19, 1995Aug 11, 1998Voice It Worldwide, Inc.Voice recognition interface apparatus and method for interacting with a programmable timekeeping device
US6111495 *Feb 23, 1999Aug 29, 2000Garside; Melissa F.Alert device
USRE35032 *Aug 19, 1994Sep 5, 1995Rahamin; RaphaelElectronic reminder system
DE2857808C3 *Feb 27, 1978Nov 8, 1984Sharp KkTitle not available
DE3046338A1 *Dec 9, 1980Sep 17, 1981Casio Computer Co LtdElektronische uhr mit aufzeichnungsfunktion
DE3243438A1 *Nov 24, 1982Jun 9, 1983Suwa Seikosha KkElektronische uhr
DE3538829A1 *Oct 31, 1985May 7, 1987Schoeller Martin AlexanderPortable device for recording and storing dictated texts
EP0547250A1 *Jul 6, 1992Jun 23, 1993Citizen Watch Co. Ltd.Timepiece equipped with silent alarm
WO1997015045A1 *Oct 18, 1996Apr 24, 1997Voice It Worldwide IncVoice recognition interface apparatus and method for interacting with a programmable timekeeping device
Classifications
U.S. Classification368/63, 968/447, 968/970, 968/974, 369/20, 968/398
International ClassificationG04C3/00, G04G13/02, G04B47/00
Cooperative ClassificationG04B47/00, G04G13/021, G04G13/028, G04C3/001
European ClassificationG04B47/00, G04G13/02A, G04G13/02D, G04C3/00K