|Publication number||USRE40141 E1|
|Application number||US 10/014,431|
|Publication date||Mar 4, 2008|
|Filing date||Dec 14, 2001|
|Priority date||May 23, 1995|
|Publication number||014431, 10014431, US RE40141 E1, US RE40141E1, US-E1-RE40141, USRE40141 E1, USRE40141E1|
|Inventors||Ichiro Kawamura, Ryoichi Imanaka, Yoshikazu Goto|
|Original Assignee||Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (19), Classifications (6), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a continuation of Reissue application Ser. No. 09/558,462, which is now U.S. Pat. No. RE37,659, which is a reissue of U.S. Pat. No. 5,764,622.
The present invention relates to a disk-shaped, recording medium housed in a cartridge, and a signal recording apparatus using such a cartridge.
Today's computers and other information equipment commonly use optical disks to meet their large memory capacity requirements. A conventional optical disk cartridge is explained below with reference to the drawings.
Since the conventional cartridge 31, housing the disk 32, must record a desired signal accurately, the disk 32 must be protected from contaminants, such as dust or fingerprints, and from other defects, such as scratches. Such a fixed-disk structure, therefore, cannot allow a user to remove the disk 32 from its cartridge and mount it to another signal regenerating apparatus. Even if the disk 32 was removable, however, the user would not be able to identify whether the disk 32 was present in the cartridge 31, nor recognize whether the disk 31 was contaminated with dust or fingerprints, or damaged by defects.
If such contamination or defects go unrecognized, the signal recording apparatus, when accessing a defective location on the disk, will record the signal in error. A signal recording apparatus can be equipped with a defect detection feature which would allow it to skip defective locations on the disk, however, such a feature reduces recording apparatus performance, and prohibits the apparatus from recording signals at high speed.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to allow a user to recognize whether the disk housed in a cartridge has been taken out of the cartridge, and the signal recording apparatus housing the cartridge can record a signal without accessing a defective place, caused when the disk was removed from the cartridge, on the disk.
The disk cartridge of the present invention is directed to a disk cartridge that allows the user to access the disk housed in the cartridge.
In one embodiment of the disk cartridge according to the present invention, a cartridge is structured such that a recording apparatus can record a signal onto a medium when the cartridge is mounted on the recording apparatus. The cartridge houses a recording medium, and includes an opening through which the medium can be removed from the cartridge. An indicator on the cartridge informs the user as to whether the recording medium may have been removed from the cartridge.
In a second embodiment of the disk cartridge of the present invention, the cartridge houses a recording medium, and comprises at least one window or opening for recording a signal onto the medium when the cartridge is mounted on the signal recording apparatus. The cartridge includes an opening through which the medium can be removed from the cartridge, a shutter which covers the opening and an indicator which informs the user as to whether the medium may have been removed from the cartridge.
The present invention further provides a signal recording apparatus that detects whether a recording medium has been removed from its cartridge. The signal recording apparatus includes a detector which monitors the indicator on the disk cartridge, and determines whether the medium has been removed from its cartridge. If the detector determines that the medium may have been removed from its cartridge, the signal recording apparatus will not record a signal onto the medium.
A first embodiment of the cartridge of the present invention is described as follows with reference to the drawings, wherein like or corresponding reference numerals are used for like or corresponding parts throughout the several views.
The adhesive tape 4 preferably operates such that once peeled off the cartridge 1, it will not re-adhere as originally manufactured. The adhesive tape, however, can operate in any suitable manner whereby, once peeled off, it exhibits some indication that the cartridge 1 has been opened. A cover 5 seals the opening 3, and removing the cover 5 allows the user to remove the recording medium 2 from the cartridge 1. The cartridge body 6 includes a window 7 which exposes the recording medium 2. The window 2 is covered by the shutter 8. When the cartridge 1 is mounted on the signal recording apparatus, the shutter 8 is automatically opened to expose the window 7.
The structure of this first embodiment enables either the cover 5 or the cartridge body 6 to indicate that the adhesive tape 4 has been removed, and that the recording medium 2 may have been removed from the cartridge body 6. In other words, changing the condition of adhesive tape 4 from solid adhesion to both the cartridge body 6 and the cover 5, to a peeled off condition allows the recording medium 2 to be removed from the cartridge body 6. For example, as illustrated in
A second embodiment of the cartridge of the present invention is described as follows with reference to the drawings, wherein like or corresponding reference numerals are used for like or corresponding parts throughout the several views.
A hinge 17 is mounted to the cartridge body 6, and a first end of the cover 16 is pivotally mounted to the cartridge body 6 at the hinge 17. A second end of the holder 16 includes a latch 18, which engages a receptor 19 of the cartridge body 6, and thereby locks the cover 16 in the closed position.
The above structure only allows the user to remove the recording medium 2 from the cartridge 1 when the claw 14 is removed. The claw 14 thereby serves as an indicator for determining whether the recording medium 2 may have been removed from the cartridge 1. When the connectors 15 have been cut and the claw 14 removed, the user can recognize that the recording medium may have been removed from the cartridge 1, and the user can expect that the recording medium 2 may be contaminated with dust and/or fingerprints, or it may have some defects.
Additionally, since the opening 13, for accessing the recording medium 2, is located on a different face than the first window 11 and the second window 12 a signal recording apparatus handling the cartridge requires no special structure for regenerating a signal from both sides of the disk. In this second embodiment, the first window 11 and the second window 12 are provided for recording and regenerating a signal to/from both sides of the recording medium 2. When either side of the disk is used, however, or only one side of the disk is used, it is sufficient to provide one window.
In either the first or second embodiment, the cover 5 or 16 can be removed from the cartridge body 6, however, as shown in
A third embodiment, providing a signal recording apparatus which handles the cartridge of the present invention, is described as follows with reference to the drawings, wherein like or corresponding reference numerals are used for like or corresponding parts throughout the several views.
The detector 20 corresponding to the cartridge of the first embodiment with reflective silver tape, as shown in
As mentioned above, the adhesive tape 4 need not be of a reflective color, for example a light absorbing color like black may be used. In the instance that a light absorbing color is used, the adhesive tape 4 would absorb a portion of the light emitted from the luminous element 24 and the receiver 25 would thus receive a reduced level of reflected light. The detector 20 determines that the received light is below a threshold level, which indicates that the adhesive tape 4 has not been removed and thus the recording medium 2 has never been removed from the cartridge 1.
Another example comprises an adhesive tape material with different reflective properties than that of the cartridge body 6 and cover 5. Accordingly, a different amount of light emitted from the luminous element 24 would be reflected from the adhesive tape 4 than from the cartridge body 6 and cover 5. The detector 20 of the signal recording apparatus detects the level of light reflected from the cartridge body 6 and cover 5, and determines whether the adhesive tape has been removed from the cartridge 1.
The detector 20 corresponding to the cartridge of the second embodiment with the claw 14, as shown in
The recording apparatus of this third embodiment, as described above and illustrated in
A fourth embodiment, providing an electronic apparatus which handles the cartridge of the present invention, is described as follows with reference to the drawings, wherein like or corresponding reference numerals are used for like or corresponding parts throughout the several views.
The electronic apparatus of this fourth embodiment, as illustrated in
A preferred embodiment of the searcher 21 operates by recording an information signal over the entire recording medium 2, and then regenerating the information signal as recorded. The information signal includes an error correction code, and an error can be detected when the information signal is regenerated. When a detected error cannot be corrected, or it can be corrected but it exceeds a specified error range, the sector where the error occurs is not recordable, and the information that the sector cannot be used is recorded at a specified place on the recording medium 2. The recorded information regarding defective sectors can also be displayed on the display 27 to inform the user regarding the recordable capacity of the recording medium 2. This operation is available also for each track or each sector of the recording medium 2, thereby defective or recordable sectors or tracks can be recorded in the specified place of the recording medium 2 for controlling a recording operation to the recording medium 2.
Where the recording medium 2 is an optical disk, a LASER is used in for recording and regenerating signals. In order to store an information singal on the optical disk in an optimum condition, the acceptable output range of the LASER must be narrow. For example, in the case of a commercialized, recordable optical disk, an optimum output range of the LASER must be within plus or minus 10% of the specified power level. When recording an information signal within this range of LASER output power, the error rate does not exceed the specified range (e.g. not more than 0.00001). When regenerating a recorded information signal, however, the error rate will not exceed the specified range, provided the LASER regenerating power output is within plus or minus 50% of the specified power level. Therefore, it is known that an acceptable range of LASER output power for recording is narrow, while that for regenerating is wide.
In other words, once an information signal is recorded, it can be accurately regenerated even if fingerprints, or other defects exist on the optical disk. On the other hand, if fingerprints or other defects exist on the optical disk before recording the signal, reliable recording will be hard to achieve at the affected locations of the disk. Accordingly, after recording a signal onto the optical disk, it is possible to remove the optical disk from a cartridge and load it to a regenerating apparatus to regenerate the signal. The optical can, however, be removed from the cartridge 1 of the present invention, and can be reloadable for recording on the recording apparatus of the present invention. In this case, as explained above, the apparatus searches the recordable medium for defects, and then skips any defective locations while recording the desired signal.
As described above, the present invention provides advantages over the prior art. The present invention provides a disk cartridge that houses a recordable medium, and provides an indication as to whether that recordable medium has possibly ever been removed from the cartridge. The user may thereby determine that the recordable medium might be contaminated with fingerprints, dust or other defects prior to attempting to record a signal onto the recording medium.
The present invention also provides a signal recording apparatus that can detect whether a signal recording medium has possibly ever been removed from the cartridge. The signal recording apparatus, when it determines that a recording medium has possibly been removed from the cartridge, searches for defective locations on the recording medium, and skips any such places during signal recording. The signal recording apparatus thus increases reliability and speed of the recording process.
The present invention further provides an electronic apparatus that informs the user of the recordable capacity of a recording medium that has possibly been removed from the cartridge.
Of course, it should be understood that the wide range of modifications can be made to the exemplary embodiments described above. It is therefore intended that the foregoing detailed description be regarded as illustrative rather than limiting and that it be understood that it is the following claims, including all equivalents, which are intended to define the scope of this invention.
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|U.S. Classification||720/733, 720/735, 360/133|