US 3922965 A
A document printer for automatically printing on a check or the like preselected data on a plurality of lines. A print head is controlled to traverse the face of a document for printing thereon. The print head is controlled to exactly duplicate the path of a path defining structure for carrying out the printing operations.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 1 Platt 1 DOCUMENT PRINTER  Inventor: John D. Platt, South Laguna, Calif.
 Assignee: MSI Data Corporation, Costa Mesa,
 Filed: Dec. 26, 1973  App]. No: 428,182
 US. Cl. ..101/93.04; l01/93.12;10l/93.l6;
197/1 R  Int. C1. B4lJ 3/04; B41J 3/10; B41] 29/40  Field of Search 101/90, 91, 92, 46, 93,
1 Dec.2, 1975 Primary ExaminerEdgar S. Burr Assistant ExaminerPaul J. Hirsch Attorney, Agent, or FirmChristie, Parker & Hale  ABSTRACT A document printer for automatically printing on a check or the like preselected data on a plurality of lines. A print head is controlled to traverse the face of  References Cited a document for printing thereon. The print head is UNITED STATES PATENTS controlled to exactly duplicate the path of a path de- 2,578,771 12/1951 Zint 197/82 fining structure for carrying out the printing opera- 2,672,809 3/1954 Hoffman et a1 101/289 X tions 2,997,152 8/1961 Dirks 197/1 R 3,063,537 1l/l962 Allen, Jr. 197/19 8 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures 1' 3A6 i 4-5 3 ,Q ,4 205 ;g H. a i: 2 33- z a 0 1 1 8 I f i I L1 I 32 .1 1 5 I 0 I r- 1-# I 5 4. 23 I 1 .frfi I I 57 24 a /51 o 0 0 o O O E o 2. o o 6 6 66 I 6 a 4/5 a; 29 w 1% 3 .5 m
i II 1 K I l I I 1 I l Sheet 2 of 3 3,922,965
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. U.S. Patent Dec.2, 1975 v This invention relates to a document printer and more particularly to a device for the high speed print ing preselected data on a plurality of lines of a document such as a personal check and the like.
Electronic point of sales or automatic store transaction systems have been developed for use in retail outlets. These automatic transaction systems speed up the checkstand operations and improve the over-all retail store operations. Such automatic transaction systems have also been developed for use in high-volume retail outlets such as supermarkets. The supermarket automatic transaction systems include electronic transaction or check out terminals arranged at the conventional check out stand in a supermarket for recording and processing each customers transactions or purchases. Despite the high speed of processing the cus tomer transactions by these high speed electronic systems it has been found that relatively large amounts of time are expended at the check-out counter in a supermarket for a customer to process a check representing his transaction. The customer has to manually write out the name of the store, the amount of the purchase or the amount of the check, and date and sign the check. The store clerk, in turn, must process the check including endorsing it to the store. Accordingly, there is a need for a document printer that can automatically print out data on a check at a high speed and the printer can be controlled or integrated into ,an electronic automatic transaction system. One such electronic transaction system that comprehends such an automatic document printer or check writer is the subject of the pending patent application bearing Ser.
The present invention provides an improved document printer that is reliably accurate at high speeds and is relatively inexpensive and may be readily integrated into and controlled by present day automatic storage transaction systems for speeding up the check-out procedures at retail outlets. The document printer is adapted to print across the face of a customers check data that he would normally write in, such as the date, name of the store, the amount of the check as well as to automatically endorse the check to the'store. The document printer or check writer further includes the ability to endorse checks that are not printed by the document printer. The document printer can print and endorse a document such as a check and eject it from the printer ready for use by the store clerk in approximately 5% seconds. The document printer in addition to being employed in an automatic store transaction system may be employed in retail outlets that are not equipped with such systems when an appropriate electronic control network is associated therewith.
From a structural standpoint, the present invention comprehends a printer for printing documents and the like comprising a housing having an aperture for receiving a document and inserting the document completely within the housing for-printing thereon. The housing includes means for receiving and holding the document in a position to be printed on. The receipt of the document in the correct printing position is signalled to the associated electronics for conditioning the associated electronics to commence printing. The
printer itself includes'means for defining and traversing a preselected path of travel corresponding to the path of travel across a plurality of lines on the document to be printed. The printing means is mounted to the path defining means to cause the printing means to follow the preselected path of travel and thereby traverseacross the face of the document to be printed along the plurality of lines to be printed on. The printer includes means for signalling the arrival of the printing means at each line for initiating the printing in a line. The path defining means carries a plurality of means for sequentially operating the signalling means for signalling the arrival of the printing means at the printing position in the plurality of lines on the document to be printed. The document printer includes means for actuating the ejection means for automatically ejecting the printed document through the housing aperture during the travel of the printing means. i v f These and other features of the present invention may be more fully appreciated when consideredin the lightof the following specification and drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the document printerof the present invention illustrating a blank check to be inserted into the printer and embodying the presen invention;
FIG. 2 is a front elevational veiw of atypical blank check for use in the printer of FIG. 1;
matically printed by the printer of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a partial, back view of a check endorsed by the printer of FIG. 1;
. F IG. 5 is a schematic view of the path of travel of the printing means of the document printer relative to the face of a check for printing out the data illustrated in FIG. 3;
FIG 6 is a top view, with portions broken away, of the document printer of FIG. 1 and with the housing removed;
FIG. 7 is a front elevational view, with elements broken away, of the structures illustrated in FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a partial, perspective view of the chain guide elements illustrated in FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a right side elevational view, with portions shown in section of the document printer illustrated in FIG. 7; and
FIG. 10 is a block diagram of the electronic control network for controlling the document printer of FIG. 1 as it may be integrated into an automatic store transaction system.
Now referring to the drawings, a detailed examina-' tion of the document printer or check writer embodying the present invention will be described. The document printer, or check writer 10 as illustrated in FIG. 1 includes a housing 11 having a document receiving aperture 12 to receive a document such as a blank check 13. The blank check 13 is inserted into the aperture 12 and is completely held within the housing 11 for the purposes of printing thereon. The document to be printed may be a blank, personal check of the type illustrated in FIG. 2. The housing 11 includes a manually operated endorsing switch 14 mounted on the top of the housing 11 adjacent the aperture 12, as illustrated. The endorsing switch 14 preferably is a combination light and switch for signalling that the check 13 has been properly positioned within the printer 10. On the right hand side of the housing 11, as'illustrated in FIG. 1, there is provided an ejection aperture 15 for manually ejecting a check that is held in the printer 10. The check writer 10 also includes a control switch 16, on the same side of the housing 11 as the ejection aperture 15, for actuating the printer 10.
It should be understood that the blank check 13 is inserted into the check writer 10 and is automatically printed on at preselected lines and then ejected through the aperture 12 for further use. In printing on the document or the blank check 13 the printer 10 is effective for printing out the date, the payee and the amount of the check. This data as printed out by the check writer 10 is illustrated in FIG. 3. It is also important to endorse the check to the retail outlet or the supermarket during the time that the check is being printed and a typical endorsement of the back side of the check as provided by the printer 10 is illustrated in FIG. 4. The check 13 may be automatically endorsed during the time interval that the check is held within the check writer 10 for printing on the front face. The provision of the manually operated switch 14 allows checks that have been previously completed by the customer or checks that have been prepared other than by the check writer 10 to be endorsed by the writer 10. For this purpose, the check 13 may be inserted into the aperture 12 lengthwise and through the manual operation of the switch 14, the check will be endorsed. It will be recognized that during this manual endorsing operation the check will be accessible outside of the aperture 12 and no ejection is required.
Now referring to FIGS. 6-9 in particular, the detailed structural organization of the document printer or check writer 10 will be examined. The document printer or check writer l basically comprises two sections, a printing section A and a printing path defining structure B. The arrangement is such that the path defining structure B defines a preselected path of travel for traversing over the face of a document to be printed on a line by line basis for printing out each line as the print head traverses over the face of the check 13. The print head for the document printer is caused to exactly duplicate the path of a selected point as it is guided by the path defining structure so as to traverse across the face of the document and print on the document as it is controlled by the path defining structure B. For the purposes of printing on a check such as a typical personal check 13, the path defining structure B may define a serpentine path relative to the check as illustrated in FIG. 5. For this purpose it will be noted that the printing section A is normally arranged at a starting or home position which is denoted by an X in FIG. 5 and when actuated travels to the right in a line with the blank line representing the date line on the blank check. The printing section A then moves down to the next successive line or. the payee line as illustrated in FIG. 2 after it reaches the right hand extremity of the date line. The print section A then traverses the payee line from the right to the left extremity and then is moved down to the third line or the amount line and prints in the reverse direction from line 2 or in a normal direction from left to right. As indicated in FIG. 5, upon reaching the right hand extremity in line 3, the eject mechanism for the printer I0 is actuated and the check is ejected back out through the aperture 12 for the housing 11 of the printer 10. After the check is ejected, the printing mechanism A is moved down to the next successive line which is identified as the carriage return line in FIG. 5 and is moved from right to left along this line and then travels back up to the starting or home position in coincident with the date line. When the printing section A reaches the home position, the path defining structure B is deactuated and the check writer 10 is in position for printing on the next check to be placed within the writer proper. It should be understood that during the time interval that the check 13 is being printed that the back side is being endorsed. The control of the endorsing operation is a function of the electronic control associated with the printing mechanism proper. The endorsing operation will be described more fully hereinafter.
The printing section A includes a print head 20 for printing on the document or blank check 13. The print head 20 comprises a plurality of marking elements, identified as the elements E, that are controlled by individual solenoids 20$ for marking on a check in terms of a 5 X 7 matrix. The print head 20 that has been adapted for use in the document printer or check writer 10 of the present invention is the print head disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,770,091. The printing elements utilized in this invention may be energized and controlled by the same type of control network as disclosed in said patent and in particular as illustrated in FIG. 6 thereof. The printing mechanism as illustrated in said patent, has been modified for the purposes of the present invention by eliminating the anvil and providing the needle line elements 20E with a flat marking surface for impacting the document to be printed. In this particular embodiment, since documents of the type of a check 13 are not constructed of a carbonless type paper, an inking ribbon is interposed between the marking elements 20E and the document or check 13 to be printed for producing a visible mark on the document. The control network for energizing the individual solenoids 20$ for moving the needle like printing elements 20E of the print head 20 is controlled by means of the electronic check out terminal when the printer 10 is to be used in conjunction with such an automatic transaction system. This control operation will be described hereinafter in conjunction with FIG. 10. A more complete disclosure of the print head 20 may be had by reference to US. Pat. No. 3,770,091 and which disclosure is incorporated herein by reference.
The print head 20 is mounted and controlled so as to bedirectly exposed to the surface of the check 13 along the lines to be printed as will be described more fully hereinafter. The check 13 received through the aperture 12 is received and positioned between a main plate 21 and a check guide plate 22. The check guide plate 22 is apertured to expose the ends of the printing elements 20E of the printing head 20 to the surface of the check to be printed when it is moved from its home position at which position the check guide plate 22 is shaped to extend between the check and the print head 20. As the check 13 is inserted between the main plate 21 and the check guide plate 22 it engages a pair of check ready fingers 23 arranged adjacent the opposite ends of a finger shaft 24 so as to be simultaneously depressed in response to the pressure applied in the positioning of the check therebetween. The fingers 23 are coupled to operate the check ready switch 25 for signalling to the associated electronic control system that the check is properly positioned and ready to be printed on. The check 13 is held in the correct printing position between the plates 21 and 22 by means of a spring biased plastic ball 26 which protrudes through an aperture 26A in the main plate to abut the check guide plate 22 and thereby clamp the check in position. The clamping force is provided to the ball 26 under the urging of a fiat steel spring 27 secured to the back side of the main plate 21 by means of a fastener 28. In this fashion the check 13 will be clamped between the ball 26 and the check guide plate 21 while printing occurs and prevents any slippage or moving of the check while the print head is traversing and printing on the face of the check. The clamping force applied, on the other hand, allows the check to be ejected out of the printer 10. The operation of the check ready switch will be operative to energize a light constructed integrally with the manual endorse switch 14 for visibly signalling that a check 13 is in a position to be printed. The print head 20 is mounted by means of a carrier 30 which is coupled to the path defining structure B. The carrier 30 also mounts the ribbon employed for the print head 20. In this instance the ribbon is provided in the form of a ribbon cartridge 31 of commercially available construction which releasably stores an inking cloth 31R which may be readily withdrawn and stored within the cartridge 31 proper. Such a cartridge is sold under the tradename Addmaster by the Addmaster Corporation, 416 Junipero Serra Dr., San Gabriel, Calif. and includes a self-inking cloth 31R.
As illustrated in FIG. 6 the inking ribbon 31R is withdrawn from the cartridge 31 and is passed in front of the print head 20 and has its free end 31RF secured to a ribbon collar 32 that is spring biased by means of a 4 spring 33 to allow the ribbon to move in and out of the cartridge 31 in accordance with the horizontal movements of the carrier 30. The ribbon collar 32 is mounted on a vertical slide tube 34 and secured to be vertically movable therewith. One end of the spring 33 is secured to the collar 32, while the other end is secured to spring 38S which travels vertically with tube 34. The vertical slide tube 34 is mounted on a vertically extending guide rod 35 which is secured to the main plate 21 by means of a bracket 36 is illustrated in FIG. 7. The construction of the slide tube 34 relative to the guide rod 35 is to allow the slide tube 34 to move vertically up and down on the guide rod 35 under control of the path defining structure B.
The ribbon cartridge 31 is secured in a position adjacent the print head 20 by means of a bracket arm 37 secured to carrier 30 as illustrated in FIG. 7. The leaf spring 38S is secured to the bar 38 and allows vertical movement to the bar 38 while providing force to keep 38 engaged in notched piece 38x, FIG. 9, which is secured to carrier 30. Thus bar 38 follows carrier 30 vertically and horizontally (as viewed in FIG. 9). The bracket 37 may include a flat spring 39 or the like for yieldably retaining the cartridge 31 on the bracket 37 and allow it to be readily replaced. As should now be appreciated this structure allows the print head 20 and the cartridge 31 to move horizontally and vertically in accordance with the path defined by the path defining structure B. The horizontal movement of the print head 20 is provided by the slide tube 41 mounting the carrier 30. The carrier 30 is supported by a dovetail 40 but allows vertical movement thereof. The dovetail 40 is mounted to a carriage 40C which secures a slide tube 41 mounted for horizontal movement on a rod 42, as best illustrated in FIG. 6. The carrier 30 has its outboard end supported on an external carrier support 45 by means of an outwardly extending roller 46 mounted on a shaft 46S extending from the back side of the carrier 30 so as to roll along the carrier support 45 as the carrier is moved. It should be understood that the carrier support 4 5 is secured to the printer proper. The carrier support 45 only serves to add support to carrier 30 during shipment of machine and is provided to take stress off chain, etc. This provides the horizontal movement for traversing the print head 20 across the face of the check 13 and along a line to be printed.
On the opposite side of the main plate 21 form the check guide plate 22 there is mounted an endorsing means for endorsing the check 13. The endorsing means in accordance with the present invention comprises a rubber endorsing stamp that may be a preinked stamp and-stamps the back of the check 13 in response to pressure. applied thereto for moving it against the check. The pre-inked stamp is identified by the reference character .43 and is of commercially available construction sold under the tradename Wespac by Wespac of 2445 Chico Ave., S. El Monte, Calif. 91733. The stamp 43 is operated through the provision of an endorser solenoid 44 so that when the solenoid is energized it moves the stamp against the back of the check 13. For this purpose the main plate 21 is provided with an aperture 45 adjacent the stamp 43 to allow the stamp to move through the plate and engage the back side of a check held against the check guide plate 22.
The solenoid 44 is automatically energized by the electronic control network that controls the actuation of the print head 20 and is energized at a preselected interval during the printing on the check. The manual operation of the stamp 43 results from the manual energization of the solenoid 44. The manual operation is effected through the operation of the switch 14 on the housing 11 which through a suitable circuit (not shown) energizes the solenoid 44 to cause the stamp to be applied to the check. It will be recognized that the stamp will have the endorsing information thereon such as the information illustrated in FIG. 4.
For the purposes of ejecting the printed check upon the completion of the printing operation, an ejector bar is mounted adjacent the right hand check ready finger 23 as illustrated in FIG. 7. The ejector bar 50 is pivotably mounted to the plate 21 intermediate its ends and is arranged in its normal non-ejecting position. It is mounted adjacent a pin 51 secured to the right hand side of the carrier 30 so that when the carrier is moved to the right to a position corresponding to the eject position of FIG. 5 it will engage and depress the ejector bar 50 so that it will assume a position as illustrated in dotted outline. This depression will cause the opposite end of the bar to engage the finger 23 and move it upwardly and thereby eject a printed check from between the plates 21 and 22 and through the aperture 12 of the housing 11. For the purposes of manually ejecting a check out of the housing 11 an L-shaped ejector lever 53 is pivotably mounted by means of a pivot pin 54 to the main plate 21 for engaging the right hand end of ejector bar 50 so as to move it upwardly and into engagement with the finger 23 to effect the desired check ejection. This manually operated ejector lever 53 may be operated by the store clerk by placing a sharp object such as a pencil or the like in the ejector aperture 15 of the housing 11 so as to move the ejector lever 53 in a counterclockwise direction as illustrated in dotted outline in FIG. 7 to eject a check from the printer 10.
The path defining structure B is arranged towards the bottom of the printer 10 as illustrated in FIG. 7. The path defining structure B positively defines a preselected serpentine path for a chain 55. The chain 55 is power driven and for this purpose a drive motor 56 is provided which has its shaft connected to a drive sprocket 57 coupled for driving the chain, as is evident from examining FIGS. 7 and 9. The drive motor 56 is of a commercial construction and is preferably an alternating current, gear head type motor having a magnetically actuated brake attached thereto for quickly arresting the motor shaft. Upon the energization of the drive motor 56 the sprocket will be directly driven and thereby actuate the chain 55. The brake associated with the drive motor 56 will be applied upon deenergization of the motor and the de-energization thereof is controlled by a home switch 58 mounted to the back side of the main plate 21 and having its operating arm 58A extending through to the opposite or inner side of the plate 21; see FIG. 9.
The arrangement of the chain 55 is of particular significance with regard to controlling the movements of the print head 20. The chain 55 is mounted on plastic guide strips that allow the chain to slide along the guide strips and which strips are identified by the reference numeral 60. As illustrated in FIG. 7, the chain is arranged to travel in four vertical levels in accordance with the arrangement of the plastic chain guides 60. The chain 55 also mounts a plurality of pins, shown as the pins 61, 62, 63 and 64, that project outwardly from the chain. These pins are arranged relative to the home position of the print head 20 for operating a program switch 65 mounted adjacent the lower right hand corner of the chain 55. The program switch 65 is secured to the main frame 21 by a bracket 66 so as to have its switch operating arm 65A extending into the path of the pins 61-64 as they are carried thereby to cause the arm 65A to be operated. The program switch 65 signals the associated electronics of the positioning of the print head 20 as the various lines on the check to be printed that the print head is in alignment therewith so that it may be actuated for printing on the aligned lines. As illustrated in FIG. 7, the pin 61 will operate switch 65 to signal the associated electronic control network that the print head 20 is at the date line for the check 13 and that the date should be printed thereon. The pin 62 will then generate the switch 65 to signal that the amount should be printed and the payee should be printed on the next successive line. The pin 63 will signal that the amount should be written out on the third line when it operates the program switch 65. The pin 64 is ignored for the purposes of the programming for controlling the print head 20. The pin 64 connects the chain 55 to the carrier 30 to cause it to follow the path of the chain as illustrated in FIG. 5.
The horizontal movement of the carrier 30 is guided by the provision of a horizontal guide rod 42 extending across the plate 21 between the brackets 69 which are secured to the plate 21. The guide rod 42 slidably mounts a horizontal slide tube 41 securing the carriage 40C which mounts the carrier 30.
It, of course, will be understood that in addition to the horizontal movement of the carrier 30 along the guide bar 42 that the preselected path will move the print head 20 vertically. For this purpose the chain pin 64 is connected to the carrier 30 so that when the chain pin 64 goes around the end of the uppermost guide bar 60, for example, it will lower the carrier 30 therewith. This occurs every time that the chain pin 64 goes around the end of one of the guides 60. In this fashion the print head 20 will be vertically lowered with respect to the check on a line by line basis and will continue along the line in a horizontal direction as dictated by the path provided for the chain 55.
At this point it should be noted that a pressure plate 70 is mounted adjacent the bottom end of the path defining structure B. The pressure plate 70 is defined to have a shape complementary to the shape of the check guide plate 22. The purpose of the pressure plate 70 is to bias the print head 20 towards a check undergoing printing and during the interval the print head 20 is directly exposed to the face of the check 13. During the interval that the print head 20 is traversing the adjacent moved from the print head as a result of the shape of the pressure plate 70. For this purpose the pressure plate 70 reacts with a pressure system including a pressure plunger 71 having a rod 72 mounting a spring 73 thereon for applying the appropriate amount of pressure to the plunger head 74. The plunger head 74 engages a follower element illustrated in the form of a plastic ball which is identified by the reference numeral 75. The plastic ball 75 is mounted adjacent the inner face of the main plate 21 so as to be operative to engage the operating arm 58A of the home switch 58. This occurs when the requisite amount of pressure is applied by the ball 75 at the time interval that the carrier 30 is returned to its home position so as to deenergize the drive motor 56. At this time interval, the print head 20 is opposite the check guide plate 22 and moves the ball 75 into engagement with the switch 58. The pressure is removed from the print head 20 by shaping the pressure plate 70 during the intervals identified as carriage return and eject in FIG. 5.
It should now be evident that the mounting of the print head 20 allows three orthogonally related degrees of freedom, horizontal, vertical and in and out against a check to be printed. The print head 20 will follow the surface of the check undergoing printing thereby allowing for warpage, etc. of the main plate 21.
With the above structure in mind the operation of the document printer may now be examined in detail. The operation of the document printer 10 will be described in terms of how it may be integrated into an automatic transaction system of the type disclosed in the above-identified copending patent application. It will, of course, be recognized that any other suitable electronic control network may be employed for actuating the print head to print out selected data on a document. For the purposes of using the document printer 10 in an electronic transaction system of the type disclosed in said copending patent application, the general block diagram for representing the data source for energizing the print head solenoids 208 of the print head 20 may be appreciated by reference to FIG. 10. The print head solenoids 205 are generally identified by the block 208 in FIG. 10. The customary electronic check out terminal employed in automatic transaction systems is generally identified by the block 80 and entitled ELECTRONIC CHECKOUT TERMINAL. At this point it should be recognized that the electronic checkout terminal will be adapted to include preselected keys unique to the printing operation so that the store clerk may enter into the data processing system the amount of the purchase of a particular customer for printing that amount on the check. The store name and data will also be entered as aresult of the initiation of the check printing by the store clerk depressing the correct keys at the terminal 80. The data processor 81, then may read out the data to be printed on the check, and it may be temporarilystored in the register generally identified by the reference numeral 82. When the program switch 65 is actuated the data in the register 82 is transferred tothe solenoid select control circuit 83 to energize the correct solenoids 208 of the print head 20 at the time that the-print head 20 is in the correct position for printing on a line as signalled by the program switch 65. At that time the solenoids 208 will be energized and the check printed in accordance with the data received from the processor 81. The individual alpha-numeric characters printed on the check 13 are printed out in terms of marks produced in a X 7 matrix as described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,770,091.
For the purpose of initiating the printing operation the control switch 16 is operated so as to allow the control circuits to energize the drive motor 56. The energization of the drive motor 56 will cause the chain 55 to be actuated and the print head 20 to move from its home position as indicated in FIG. 5 to the right along the face of the check to reach the position on the line where the date for the check is started to-be printed out. After the time interval when the chain pin 61 operates the program switch 65 the data in the block 82 will have been processed by the solenoid selection control circuit 83-so that the appropriate solenoids of the print head 20 will be energized for marking on the check in terms of the 5 X 7 matrix a date such as 17 Aug. 1973 as illustrated in FIG. 3. After the date has been printed on the face of the check, the continuous actuation of the chain 55 will cause the carrier 30 to move downwardly, as illustrated in FIG. 7, as the pin 64 moves off the upper most chain guide 60 towards the next lower chain guide 60 to place the print head 20 along the payee line of the check 13. At the time interval that the chain pin 62 operates the program switch 65, the print head 20 is on the right-hand extremity of the payee line and the printer will be controlled to print on the payee line from right to left rather than from left to right as on the date line. Accordingly, the data will be printed so that the amount will be printed opposite the dollar sign on the payee line and the name of the store will then be printed. At the time interval that the pin 64 reaches the left hand extremity of the guide 60, it will move downwardly to the next lower guide 60 and carry the carriage 30 to place the print head 20 along the amount line of check. Accordingly, when the chain pin 63 operates the program switch 65 the control circuitry will be actuated so that the amount of the check will be written out as indicated in FIG. 3 along the line progressing from the left to the right. After the printing of this line is completed, the carrier 30 will continue its movement towards the right so that the pin 51 carried by the carrier 30 will engage the ejector bar 50 and move it downwardly so that the opposite end of the ejector bar 50 will engage the check ready finger 23 and move it and the other finger 23 upwardly carrying the printed check 13 with it. This action will cause the check 13 to be moved through the check receiving aper'tur'e 12 to be available to the customer or the store clerk. After the carriage 30 has reached the extremity of the amount line it will be moved down to the next lower level for the purposes of its return to the home position. The carrier 30 then will be moved horizontal to the left to return it to the home position and will be carried back vertically up to the upper level as it goes around the sprocket 57. At the time that the carrier 30 reaches the position opposite the home switch 58, the requisite amount of pressure is applied to the ball to operate the home switch 58 and thereby de-energize the motor 56. This will stop the carrier 30 and the print head 20 will be arrested at its home position and be in condition for the next check writing operation.
What is claimed is: i i
1. A printer for printing on documents such as checks and the like comprising a housing having an aperture for receiving a document and inserting the document completely within the housing for printing thereon, v
means for receiving and holding the document to be printed in a stationary position to be printed on,
means for signalling the receipt and correct positioning of the document in the receiving means for printing thereon, I means for defining and traversing a preselected serpentine path of travel corresponding to a plurality of lines on a document to be printed, said path defining means comprising a power driven chain, means for guiding the chain over the preselected, serpentine path whereby a point on the chain traces said path from a starting point, around the path and comes to rest at the starting point to trace a path corresponding to the traversing of the lines on the document to be printed, means' for actuating the path defining means, printing means, means for mounting said printing means to said latter-mentioned means to cause the printing means to duplicate the preselected path of travel upon actuation thereof and thereby traverse across the face of the document to be printed in a plurality of lines, means for signalling the positioning of the printing means at each line for initiating the printing in a line upon the operation of the signalling means,
a plurality of means carried by the path defining means for sequentially operating said signalling means at a plurality of points in the path corresponding to the plurality of lines on the document to be printed,
means for ejecting a printed document through the housing aperture, and
means carried by the path defining means for operating the ejection means at a preselected point in the path corresponding to the complete traversal of the document by the printing means.
2. A printer for printing on documents as defined in claim 1 including switching means arranged adjacent the starting point, said power driven chain including motor means for driving the chain and coupled to be responsive to the switching means, means carried by the chain for operating the switching means when it arrives at said starting point for de-energizing the motor and thereby maintaining the printing means at the starting point.
3. A printer for printing on documents such as checks and the like comprising a housing having an aperature for receiving a document and inserting the document completely within the housing for printing thereon,
means for receiving and holding the document to be printed in a position to be printed on,
means for signalling the receipt and correct positioning of the document in the receiving means for printing thereon,
a power driven chain,
means for mounting and guiding the chain over a preselected path of travel corresponding to a plurality of lines on a document to be printed,
a drive motor,
means for coupling the drive motor to the chain for driving same,
carrier means connected to the chain to be moved thereby,
printing means mounted to the carrier to cause the printing means to duplicate the preselected path of travel of the chain to thereby traverse across the face of the document to be printed in a plurality of lines,
means for signalling the positioning of the printing means at each line for initiating the printing in a line,
a plurality of pins carried by the chain for sequentially operating said signalling means at a plurality of points in the path corresponding to the plurality of lines on the documents to be printed,
means for ejecting a printed document through the housing aperture, and
pin means carried by the carrier means for operating the ejection means at a preselected point in the path corresponding to the complete traversal of the document by the printing means.
4. A printer as defined in claim 3 wherein said printing means comprises a print head having a plurality of individually operated printing elements and a ribbon cartridge having a self inking ribbon stored in the cartridge and extended across the printing head and movable into and out of the cartridge in accordance with the movements of the carrier means, and means for yieldably securing the end of the inking ribbon.
5. A printer as defined in claim 3 wherein said printing means is mounted to allow motion in three orthogonally related planes.
6. A printer as defined in claim 4 wherein the preselected path is defined to allow printing on successive lines from opposite ends of the line.
7. A printer as defined in claim 5 wherein the means for holding the document to be printed comprises a document guide plate having an aperture to expose the face of the document to the printing means, the opposite side of the document being held against a main plate, the printing head being moved over the guide plate and the document during its travel,
a pressure plate having a shape complementary to the shape of the guide plate,
pressure means mounted with the carrier means movable over the pressure plate to exert pressure to cause the printing means to move against the document to be printed when the printing means is exposed to the document and to move away from the document when it travels past the guide plate thereby allowing entry and ejection of the document and travel of the printing means over the guide plate.
8. A printer as defined in claim 7 including switching means adapted to de-energize the drive motor,
said pressure means including means for operating the switching means at a home position of the chain.