US 3928772 A
The RC time constant of a timer in a time dependent fault detector is automatically varied so that the timer may be used to monitor a plurality of mutually exclusive routines to which different maximum permissible periods of time are alloted. For example, the detector may be advantageously used to interrupt the operation of a xerographic copier if any one of a plurality of operating sequences of the copier is not completed on a timely basis.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Mooney Dec. 23, 1975 TIME DEPENDENT FAULT DETECTOR  Inventor: Thomas J. Mooney, Fairport, N.Y. Prlmqry Exammer-Herman Hohauser  Assignee: Xerox Corporation, Stamford, I
Comi- '57 ABSTRACT  Flled: 1974 The RC time constant of a timer in a time dependent  Appl. No.: 450,959 fault detector is'automatically varied so that the timer may be used to monitor a plurality of mutually exclusive routines to which different maximum permissible 5 307/ periods of time are alloted. For example, the detector n a I I I I v I e e u e I  new of Search f:i 1; of a xerographic copier if any one of a plurality of opcrating sequences of the copier is not completed on a  References Cited tlmely basls' UNITED STATES PATENTS 4 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures 3,734,604 5/1973 Szostak et al 355/14 SCAN JAM JAM Sheet 1 of 2 U.S. Patent Dec. 23, 1975 Sheet 2 of2 3,928,772
h k V I I I I I I III. \N H vm MM w l TIME DEPENDENT FAULT DETECTOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to failure detectors and, more particularly, to time dependent failure detectors.
As is known, time dependent failure detection is a relatively straightforward technique for monitoring any routine which normally advances from one identifiable point to another within a predetermined amount of time. To carry it out, there typically is a timer having a time out period selected to equal the maximum time period required by a particular routine under normal operating conditions, means for triggering the timer into operation when the routine reaches the first or reference point, and means for resetting the timer when the routine reaches the other or termination point. Thus, if the timer times out, it indicates that there has been a departure from nominal conditions or, in other words, that a failure has occured.
On occasion, several different time dependent fault detectors are used in the same machine or process to monitor mutually exclusive routines, especially when those routines are alloted different amounts of time. As will be seen, this invention eliminates the need for resorting to that wasteful practice.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION More particularly, one of the important objects of the present invention is to provide a time dependent fault detector which may be utilized to monitor a plurality of mutually exclusive routines, even if those routines are alloted different amounts of time.
Another object of this invention is to provide a method and means for automatically adjusting the time out period of a time dependent fault detector to match the maximum amount of time alloted to any one of a plurality of mutually exclusive routines.
A further object of this invention is to provide a time dependent fault detector for automatically interrupting the operation of a xerographic copier if any one of a plurality of mutually exclusive operating sequences is not completed on a timely basis.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a reliable and economical time dependent fault detector having the above-mentioned characteristics and capabilities.
In keeping with these and other objects, means are provided in accordance with this invention for automatically adjusting the time out period of a timer in a time dependent fault detector. Mutually exclusive routines to which different maximum time periods are alloted can, therefore, be monitored by a single detector since the time out period of the timer may be adjusted to match any one of them. Adjustment of the time out period is conveniently accomplished by switching a transistor into and out of conduction to thereby vary the RC time constant of the timer.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Still further objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent when the following detailed description is read in conjunction with the attached drawings. in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a xerographic copier with which the present invention may be advantageously utilized;
FIG. 2 is a simplified schematic of the processor section of the copier shown in FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 is a schematic of a time dependent fault detector constructed in accordance with the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENT While the invention is described in some detail hereinafter with reference to a specific embodiment, it is to be understood that there is no intent to limit it to that embodiment. On the contrary, the intent is to cover all modifications, alternatives, and equivalents falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
Turning now to the drawings, and at this point especially to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is a xerographic copier 10 having a charging station 11, an exposure station 12, a development station 13, a transfer station 14 and a cleaning station 15 disposed about the periphery of a drum 16 which is coated with a photoreceptor 17. In operation, an original document is placed image side down on a transparent platen 18, a dial 19 is set to the desired number of copies, and a print button 21 is depressed to initiate the copying process.
Copying starts with the energization of a corona generator 22 at the charging station 11 to uniformly charge the photoreceptor 17. The original document is flood illuminated by a suitable lamp (not shown) and is then scanned by a moving optics system 23 so that light reflected from the document is focused on the photoreceptor 17 at the exposure station 12. The reflected light discharges the photoreceptor 17 in an imagewise configuration to thereby provide a latent electrostatic image. The latent image is developed at the development station 13 by the application of an electroscopic toner powder, and the developed image is then transferred at the transfer station 14 to a copy sheet 24 which is fed from a cassette-type supply tray 25. Finally, to complete the process, the toner image is permanently affixed to the copy sheet 24 at a fuser station 26 and residual toner is removed from the photoreceptor 17 at the cleaning station 15.
As will be appreciated, there are a number of routines which must be successfully completed on a timely basis to make a satisfactory copy, and some of those routines are mutually exclusive. For example, in the optics system 23 there is a full rate scanning mirror 27 which is mounted on a carriage (not shown) to be reciprocatingly driven between a home positioned beneath the left-hand margin of the platen 18 (as viewed in FIG. 2) and an end of scan position beneath the opposite or right-hand margin of the platen 18, as described in more detail in a copending and commonly assigned application of W. F. Hoppner, which was filed June 6, I973 under Ser. No. 367,996 on an Exposure Apparatus." In the ordinary course, the scanning mirror 27 returns to its home position at the outset of each copy cycle and then moves towards its end of scan position to scan the original document. Jam detection and copy quantity control are, therefore, provided for this particular copier through the use of a microswitch 28 which is positioned to be actuated when the scanning mirror 27 is in its home position and deactuated when the mirror 27 is in any other position. Specifically, the jam detection and copy quantity logic are dependent on the successful and repeated actuation of the microswitch 28, as more fully explained in a copending and commonly assigned application of L. J. Fantozzi, which was filed Apr. 6, 1973 under Ser. No. 348,828 for Control Circuitry for Trouble Detection and Recovery System in a Copier/Duplicator." Accordingly, if there is a failure within the drive mechanism (not shown) for the optics system 23 or of the microswitch 28, jam detection and copy quantity control are lost, thereby creating the risk of a run away machine condition and of smoke and odor from undetected jams.
Analysis of this particular copier reveals that a failure of the drives for the optics 23 or of the microswitch 28 is indicated whenever that switch (1) is not actuated within six seconds or so after the print button 21 is depressed or (2) remains actuated during the copying cycle for more than about six tenths of a second. Time dependent failure detection may, therefore, be advantageously utilized. But there are a pair of mutually exclusive routines to be monitored, and those routines are alloted different amounts of time.
Referring to FIG. 3, there is a time dependent fault detector 31 which is capable of monitoring mutually exclusive routines, even if they are alloted different amounts of time. The capabilities of the detector 31 have been synergistically extended in accordance with this invention by including a timer 32 having an automatically adjustable time out period. To that end, as shown, the timer 32 comprises a three terminal thyristor 33 which is switched from one state of conduction to the other when a timing capacitor 34 charges to a predetermined voltage level. The charging time con stant for the capacitor 34 is adjusted under the control of a transistor 35 to thereby match the time out period of the timer 32 to the particular routine being monitored, and the timer 32 is triggered into operation and reset under the control of an inverter 36.
More particularly, in the illustrated embodiment, current is drawn from a dc. power supply through a resistor 37 and the parallel combination of collectoremitter circuit of the transistor 35 and another resistor 38. The output of the inverter 36 is connected in parallel with the series combination of the timing capacitor 34 and a further resistor 39 in the ground return path for that current flow. Thus, the current drawn from the dc. power supply is returned to ground through the timing capacitor 34 and it series resistor 39 or through the output of the inverter 36 depending on the logic level of the input signal applied to the input of the inverter 36. Specifically, if that signal is at a high (1) logic level, the timer 32 is triggered into operation because the current is routed through the timing capacitor 34 to charge it toward the critical voltage level. If, on the other hand, a low logic level signal is applied to the inverter 36, its output provides a relatively low impedance shunt path to ground for the current drawn from the dc. power supply and for any discharge current drawn by the capacitor 34.
Now, when the timer 32 is triggered into operation, its time out period depends on the state of conduction of the transistor 35. If that transistor is in a nonconductive state, the RC charging time constant for the timing capacitor 34 is relatively long and the time out period of the timer 32 is, therefore, relatively long. But, if the transistor 35 is in a conductive state, the resistor 37 is effectively bypassed and, consequently, the charging time constant for the capacitor 34 is reduced to thereby reduce the time out period of the timer 32.
To ensure that the timer 32 is relatively insensitive to ordinary fluctuations in the output current of the dc. supply source, the thyristor 33 is a programmable unijunction transistor (PUT). As shown, the PUT 33 has its anode-cathode circuit coupled across the timing capacitor 34 and the resistor 39 and its gate coupled to a junction between a pair of voltage dividing resistors 41 and 42 which, in turn, are connected across the dc. supply source. As a result, there is a gate-cathode bias voltage which holds the PUT 33 in a non-conductive state until the timer 32 times out. When that occurs, however, the PUT 33 switches into conduction because there then is sufficient voltage across the timing capacitor 34 to cause the anode-cathode voltage on the PUT 33 to exceed its gate-cathode bias voltage. In other words, time out of the timer 32 is marked by a significant drop in the gate-cathode voltage of the PUT 33.
The input and output interfaces 43 and 44, respectively, for the detector 31 are more or less tailored to its particular application to the copier 10 (FIGS. 1 and 2). That is, they are selected, together with the values of the capacitor 34 and of the resistors 37-39 and 41-42, to interrupt the operation of the copier 10 if the microswitch 28 (l) is not actuated within six seconds or so after the print button 21 is depressed or (2) remains actuated for more than about six tenths of a second at any time during a copying cycle. Indeed, to accomplish that, the input interface relies on certain signals that are supplied by the copier 10 viz., (a) an initializing signal (INIT) which drops from a high l) logic level to a low (0) logic level approximately 20 milliseconds after the print button 21 is depressed, (b) a scan signal (SCAN) which is at a high (1) or a low (0) logic level depending on whether the microswitch 28 is actuated or not, and (c) a run signal (INIT BJAMF) which is herein assumed to simply be the complement of the initializing signal (INIT). For a description of the provision made in the copier 10 to supply those signals, reference may be had to the aforementioned application Ser. No. 348,828.
Inasmuch as the interfaces 43 and 44 form no part of the present invention, other than to mate the detector 31 with the copier 10, there is no reason to burden this disclosure with a detailed discussion of them. Indeed, the drawings provide sufficient detail to make their operation self-evident.
CONCLUSION In view of the foregoing, it will now be appreciated that the present invention provides a time dependent fault detector suitable for monitoring a plurality of mutually exclusive routines, even if different amounts of time are alloted to those routines.
What is claimed is:
1. In combination with a xerographic copier having a plurality of mutually exclusive routines each alloted a different amount of time, a time dependent fault detector for interrupting the operation of said copier whenever any one of said routines fails to be completed within the time alloted thereto; said detector comprising a timing capacitor, a resistive path for supplying charging current for said capacitor, a shunt path coupled in parallel with said capacitor for bypassing said charging current around said capacitor until one of said routines is initiated, means responsive to the initiation of any one of said routines for disabling said shunt path to thereby trigger said timer into operation, and means for selectively bypassing a portion of the resistance in 6 circuit; and further including means for applying a bias voltage to said gatecathode circuit, whereby said programmahle unijunction transistor switches from a nonconductive state to a conductive state when said timer times out.
4. The combination of claim 3 wherein said bypass means includes a transistor having a collector-emitter circuit connected in parallel with said resistance, whereby the time out period of said timer is adjusted by switching said transistor into and out of conduction.