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Número de publicaciónUS3680566 A
Tipo de publicaciónConcesión
Fecha de publicación1 Ago 1972
Fecha de presentación22 Sep 1969
Fecha de prioridad22 Sep 1969
Número de publicaciónUS 3680566 A, US 3680566A, US-A-3680566, US3680566 A, US3680566A
InventoresMueller Fred S, Riddle John B, Tanaka Frederick K
Cesionario originalMicro Magnetic Ind Inc
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
Bulk coin dispenser
US 3680566 A
Resumen
A method and apparatus for dispensing coins are disclosed where coins of mixed denomination are conveyed in a coin train from a reservoir toward a delivery station, and each coin is selectively diverted either to the delivery station or back to the reservoir depending upon whether or not that coin is needed to pay out a predetermined credit. Rotary disc and movable belt transports are disclosed for moving the coin train, either with a random mix of different denomination coins in the train or with the train made up of a sequence of pockets designed to hold specific denomination coins. Electric and photoelectric devices are disclosed for sensing coin denominations, and several types of registers are disclosed for controlling the value and denomination mix of coins to be delivered.
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I United States Patent Tanaka et al.

[4 1 Aug. 1,1972

[54] BULK COIN DISPENSER [73] Assignee: Micro-Magnetic Industries, Inc.,

Palo Alto, Calif.

[22] Filed: Sept. 22, 1969 [21] Appl. No.: 5,390

[52] US. Cl. ..l33/3, 194/10, 221/167 [51] Int. Cl. ..G07d 3/14 [58] Field of Search ..l33/2, 8, 8 A-8 E,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,819,701 9/1931 Downey ..133/3 2,348,936 5/1944 Sprenger ..133/3 2,423,503 7/1947 Jorgensen ..133/8 3,016,191 1/1962 Buchholz et al. ..133/8 X 3,079,934 3/1963 Thompson ..133/8 3,143,118 9/1964 l-laines ..133/8 X 3,173,431 3/1965 Chichester et al. ..133/3 Prirriary Examiner-RobertB. Reeves Assistant Examiner-David A. Scherbel Attorney-Limbach & Limbach [5 7] ABSTRACT A method and apparatus for dispensing coins are disclosed where coins of mixed denomination are conveyed in a coin train from a reservoir toward a delivery station, and each coin is selectively diverted either to the delivery station or back to the reservoir depending upon whether or not that coin is needed to pay out a predetermined credit. Rotary disc and movable belt transports are disclosed for moving the coin train, either with a random mix of different denomination coins in the train or with the train made up of a sequence of pockets designed to hold specific denomination coins. Electric and photoelectric devices are disclosed for sensing coin denominations, and several types of registers are disclosed for controlling the value and denomination mix of coins to be delivered.

' 15 Claims, 25 Drawing Figures PATENTED 1 I97? 3. 680.566

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SHEET 1 HF 14 JOHN B. RIDDLE FREDE K. TANAKA FRED FRIED M ELLER I N\ 'ENTORS ATTOKNEVS BULK COIN DISPENSER SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to change making machines and more particularly to a method and apparatus for dispensing coin change.

A wide variety of devices have been used in the past for dispensing coins from vending machines, dollar bill changers, and the like. The most common type of these devices employs a plurality of coin receiving tubes for holding stacks of coins in face to face relation and a shuttle mechanism for removing coins from the bottoms of the tubes. These devices may be programmed to give different amounts of change by arranging several coin tubes on a single shuttle mechanism and by operating the shuttle mechanism through multiple strokes. These devices are not readily adapted to dispense variable amounts of change, however, as where it may be desirable to give 10, 25, 40 or 70 cents change from a vending machine depending upon the value of the particular product which the customer selected from the machine.

It is a principal object of this invention to provide a coin dispensing mechanism which can be operated efficiently to dispense change in a wide variety of amounts.

In accordance with this invention, coins are dispensed by moving the coins in a coin by coin train from a reservoir of coins of mixed denominations and selectively diverting the coins to a delivery station or back to the reservoir. The coin train may contain a random mix of coins in random order, or the train may include coins of different denominations arranged in a regular sequence.

This technique involves substantial improvements in efficiency because: (1) the coin supply for the coin dispenser can be a bulk mixture of unsorted coins; (2) simple electronic controls may be used for diverting individual coins from the coin train while permitting electronic control of the total value of coins to be dispensed, and (3) the same universal coin dispenser can be used for a variety of applications ranging from making change for dimes, quarters and dollars to dispensing any amount of change for credit remaining in a vending machine after different purchases.

In the latter regard, this invention may be used with versatile vending installations where, for instance, a customer may deposit any amount of money between, for instance, 25 cents and ten dollars or more to accumulate a corresponding amount of credit in a register. He may then receive a commodity such as gasoline in any amount within the credit limit while the credit in the register is decreased, and as the commodity is dispensed, additional credits may be added to the register. At some variable time when no more commodity is to be dispensed, as when his gasoline tank is full, the customers remaining credit on the register can be returned by the use of this invention.

A wide variety of apparatus can be used in this invention for forming the coin train, and a wide variety of electronic controls can be used in this invention for operating the apparatus and controlling the value and denomination mix of coins to be dispensed.

The apparatuspreferably employs a rotating disc for forming the coin train from the reservoir as such discs have been used in some coin handling devices heretofore. Where such a rotary disc is used with a relatively small volume reservoir, a bulk coin supply hopper may also be employed to prolong the period between times when the device must be serviced. Where such an auxiliary supply is provided, it is desirable to provide some means for mixing coins of different denominations as the coins enter the reservoir so that an operator who has presorted coins is unable to load the device in a way that would flood the small volume reservoir with highest denomination coin.

A variety of devices may be employed for selectively directing individual coins in the coin train to either the reservoir or the delivery station. Thus, a selective coin ejector may be used for returning from the coin train to the reservoir all coins not wanted to make up a predetermined amount of change. Conversely, a selective coin ejector may be used for transporting wanted coins from the coin train to the delivery station. In the former situation, the coin train can terminate at the delivery station, and in the latter situation the coin train may either return to the reservoir or end at some auxiliary coin ejector which removes all remaining coins from the train and returns them to the reservoir.

The apparatus preferably includes a positive coin sensing device which may provide an input to control logic telling the controls that a coin is being operated upon. Where the coin train transport handles different denomination coins in a predetermined order, a simple interconnection between the transport and control logic can tell the logic the denomination of the coin which the coin sensor detects.

In the preferred apparatus of this invention, the coins are not arranged in any predetermined order in the coin train and denomination sensing means is used with the coin sensor to tell the control logic both that a coin is present and also the denomination of the coin. Denomination sensing may be accomplished in a variety of ways as is known in the art. Preferably, the denomination of a coin is determined by sensing its diameter. This may be accomplished by engaging the coin with a movable element which operates a bank of switches, photodetectors or the like, or the coin may operate directly on switching devices as by making contact between electrical terminals or interrupting light transmitted to a bank of photodetectors. Alternatively, a direct mechanical connection may be provided between a coin denomination sensing device and the coin ejector which ejects a coin from the coin train, but electronic coin denomination sensing devices are preferred because of their operating speeds and long term reliability.

Different forms of control registers may be used for controlling the value and denomination mix of coins to be dispensed depending upon considerations of cost for building the device and the extent of the versatility of the device which is desired. Binary digital registers are preferred for their speed and reliability, though mechanical registers may be employed. For inexpensive machines, a simple count-up register may be used with controls for presetting the register at different numbers away from a home position. For more versatility, an updown counter may be used driven in one direction by credit pulses and in the other direction by pulses representative of the values of coin dispensed. Where it is desirable to control the denomination mix of coins dispensed, a single register may be used coupled to output controls which require the dispensing of high denomination coins when a high credit number appears on the register or a separate register may be used for each denomination coin. The multiple register arrangement may employ a patch board programming device such as that disclosed in the application of John B. Riddle, Frederick K. Tanaka, Frank B. Lawrence, and Fred Sigfried Mueller, filed concurrently herewith for A Programmed Multiple Stamp Dispensing Apparatus Employing Optical Electronic Stamp Counting and Auxiliary Stamp Roll Capacity; in this way, the device can be easily reprogrammed to dispense different denomination mixes of coins.

Other features and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description of some illustrative embodiments of the invention read in conjunction with the attached drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective side elevation of coin dispensing apparatus constructed in accordance with the principles of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view through the apparatus of FIG. 1 taken along the plane indicated at 2- 2 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an oblique cross-sectional view of the apparatus of FIGS. 1 and 2 taken along the plane indicated at 3--3 in FIG. 2 and illustrating the interior of the apparatus generally parallel to the face of the coin lifting disc in the device;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along an interior curved plane near the outer periphery of the rotary disc in FIG. 3 as indicated at 44 in FIG. 3;

FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 are interior cross-sectional views at succeeding stages of the coin train as indicated by the lines and the arrows at 5-5, 6--6, and 7-7 in FIG. 3;

FIG. 8 is an enlarged interior sectional view of the coin denomination sensing station in the apparatus of FIGS. 1-7 taken along the plane indicated at 88 in FIG. 2;

FIG. 9 is a horizontal sectional view taken along the plane indicated at 99 in FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is an interior vertical sectional view of the coin denomination sensing means of FIGS. 8 and 9 taken along the bifurcated plane indicated at l0--10 in FIG. 8;

FIG. 11 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the plane indicated at 1111 in FIG. 3 and illustrating photodetector means by which the rotary position of the coin lifting disc is determined to produce a strobe signal employed in the control logic of the device;

FIG. 12 is a horizontal cross-sectional view of the large coin receiving hopper illustrated in FIG. 1 and taken along the plane indicated at 1212 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 13 is a schematic circuit diagram illustrating the control circuits employed for operating the apparatus of FIGS. 1-12 with this control circuitry including a simple digital counter for presetting the value of coins to be dispensed by the device which control circuitry may be used where the apparatus of FIGS. 1 12 is employed for dispensing change in a change-making machine which will accept input credits of 10, 25 and 50 cents, and 1 dollar;

FIG. 14 is a schematic circuit diagram similar to FIG. 13 but illustrating a modified form of control circuitry including an up-down counter by which more versatile operation may be obtained;

FIG. 15 is another schematic circuit diagram which may be employed in place of a portion of the circuit of FIG. 14 for programming the apparatus of FIGS. l-l2 to give a predetermined mix of coins as change for each difierent credit input;

FIG. 16 is a schematic perspective view of an alternative form of apparatus which may be employed in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 17 is a face view of the rotary disc employed in the apparatus of FIG. 16;

FIG. 18 is a vertical cross-sectional view of another alternative form of apparatus somewhat similar to the apparatus of FIG. 16 and FIG. 17 but employing electrical switches in place of photodetectors;

FIG. 19 is a face view similar to FIG. 17 but illustrating another alternative form of apparatus in which the rotary disc includes a series of different coin receiving pockets which are designed to receive a particular denomination coin in each pocket;

FIG. 20 is a cross-sectional view through the apparatus of FIG. 19 taken along the plane indicated at 20--20 in FIG. 19;

FIG. 21 is an elevational view of another alternative form of apparatus which may be used in accordance with this invention where the train of coins is produced by the movement of a pair of coacting belts in stead of a rotary disc;

FIG. 22 is a cross'sectional view taken along the plane indicated at 22--22 in FIG. 21;

FIG. 23 is a cross-sectional view taken along the plane indicated at 2323 in FIG. 21;

FIG. 24 is a sectional view taken along the plane indicated at 24--24 in FIG. 23, and;

FIG. 25 is an interior sectional view similar to FIG. 4 illustrating an alternative form of coin ejector mechanism.

Referring now in detail to the drawings and particularly to FIG. 1, the apparatus illustrated therein includes a main casting attached to a rear housing plate 32 by means of bolts 34 and supported on a triangular frame 36. A conveyor assembly 38 having side walls 40 is supported on a vertical brace 42 and a diagonal brace 44 which is in turn connected to the base 32, and a conveyor belt 46 is supported on axles extending between the side plates 40 and driven by an electrical motor 48. A cross plate 50 interconnects the side plates 40 and provides a tension adjustment for the belt 46 by means of threaded connectors 52.

As illustrated in FIG. 1, a large hopper 54 is mounted on top of the conveyor unit 38 by attachment to one of the side walls 56 of the device and by way of vertical support on the side walls 40 of the conveyor unit 38. As best seen in FIG. 12, the hopper 54 is provided with a pair of internal baffles 58 dividing the hopper and the narrow throat of the hopper into three compartments 60, 62 and 64.

A pair of apertures 66 and 68 are provided in the casting 30 at upper and lower levels, and suitable photodetectors are mounted in the apertures 66 and 68 for detecting high and low coin levels inside the casting 30. When the detector in aperture 68 detects that the coin level in the hopper has fallen below the level of the detector, the motor 48 is started to operate the conveyor belt 46 to convey coins from hopper 54 into the open top of casting 30, and when the detector in aperature 66 thereafter detects coins at the upper level in the hopper, the motor 48 is turned off.

All three compartments 60, 62 and 64 in the hopper 54 may be charged with a random mix of coins of different denominations. The three different compartments are provided, however, so that a machine operator who has presorted coins may place those coins in the three different compartments, and the coins will be mixed thereafter as the conveyor belt 46 removes coins simultaneously from all three compartments. In this way, the operator with presorted coins does not have to mix the coins to prevent stratification of different denomination in the hopper 54 and possible flooding of the coin reservoir in the machine with large denomination coins.

A coin delivery chute 70 is mounted in a front wall 72 of a housing around the device in a position to receive coins from a coin delivery station 74 at the periphery of the base plate 32.

Referring now to FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, a rotary disc 76 is mounted inside the space defined between casting 30 and base plate 32 with the disc 76 mounted on a shaft 78 which is journaled in the base plate 32 and driven by an electric motor 80 through a gear reduction drive 82.

As illustrated in phantom outline in FIG. 2, the apparatus is designed to receive a reservoir of coins 84 between the interior surface of the casting 30 and the top face of the disc 76, and the coins in the reservoir may fall into the annular space 86 near the bottom of the reservoir. A plurality of short pins 88 are mounted in the face of disc 76 protruding therefrom by approximately the thickness of a coin, and a circular ridge 90 extends around the disc 76 so that the ridge 90 and each of the pins 88 defines a pocket for moving coins upwardly out of the reservoir around the circle of the disc in a train. A plurality of conical protrusions 92 are provided on the face of the disc 76 for stirring the coins in the reservoir as the disc rotates.

As coins rise out of the reservoir in a train on the disc 76, they pass under a leaf spring 94 which is screwed onto the inside of the casting 30 as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4 and which functions to dislodge any extra coins which may be present in any pocket where two coins have become lodged in the same pocket. As coins progress past the spring 94, they pass through a coin denomination sensing station 96 where they engage a movable finger 98 hence past a coin ejection station 100 to the coin delivery station 74. With reference to FIGS. 3, 8, 9 and 10, the coin denomination sensing means at station 96 includes a finger 98 pivotally mounted on pivot pin 102 in an enclosed light tight housing 104, and an elongated arm 106 is rigidly attached to the finger 98 for corresponding swinging movement as indicated in phantom outline in FIG. 8. Two pairs of guides 108 and 110 are mounted on the interior surface of the light tight box 104 and support a sliding apertured screen 112. A light source 114 is mounted in the compartment 104 positioned to shine light through an aperture 1 16 in the screen 112 toward three phototransistors 118, 120 and 122. The phototransistors are so positioned that the transistor 118 will be illuminated through aperture 116 when a dime passes under finger 98, and phototransistors 120 and 122 will be illuminated through aperture 1 16 when a nickel or a quarter, respectively, passes under finger 98. The denomination sensing means is connected as illustrated in FIG. 13 to sense the presence of a denomination of a coin at station 96 so that the coin if unwanted for delivery may be rejected and returned to the reservoir at station 100.

As illustrated in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, a plunger 124 is .mounted at the ejection station in a bushing 126 in base plate 32, and the inner face of the plunger 124 carries a cam surface 128 positioned to engage a coin moving along the coin train and tip the coin off of annular shoulder 90 as illustrated in phantom outline in FIG. 6. When a coin is thus dislodged from the coin train, it falls directly back into the reservoir 84. The coin ejection plunger 124 is held in its extended position illustrated in solid lines in FIGS. 2 and 4 by a compression spring 130 (See. FIG. 2) which is mounted between a flange 132 on the plunger and the face of a solenoid 134.

When the coin denomination sensing means at station 96 senses the presence of a coin which is desired for pay out at the delivery station 74, the solenoid 134 is energized to withdraw the plunger and permit the coin to pass ejection station 100 to delivery station 74.

It should be noted that the rotary disc 76 carries a plurality of apertures 136 which are employed for accurately determining the rotary position of the disc 74 by means of light shining on a phototransistor 138 (FIG. 11) from a light source in an optical fiber strand 140. The output signals from phototransistor 138 provide strobe pulses to several of the control components to the device to indicate the exact time when the center of a coin receiving pocket moves under the finger 98.

The structure employed at the coin delivery station 74 may be best seen in FIGS. 3, 4 and 7 in which it will be noted that a coin extraction blade 142 is mounted on the base plate 32 by screw 144 and extends inwardly to a point 146 in the path of coins in the coin train after the coins have passed the coin ejection station 100. As illustrated in FIG. 7, the blade 142 extends onto the shoulder 90 of rotary disc 76 so that a coin being pushed around the circle of disc 76 by one of the pins 88 is pushed onto the top surface 148 of the blade 142. The top surface 148 is inclined downwardly so that a coin once on this surface will roll downwardly under the influence of gravity and out through the delivery station 74 to the coin receiving chute 70 in FIG. 1. As illustrated in FIG. 4, the blade 142 is provided with an interior recess 150 through which the pins 88 may move as the disc rotates.

It will be noted that the fiber optic light source is mounted on a support arm 152 supported on blade 142 by a screw 154.

The mechanical parts illustrated in FIGS. l-12 may be operated by the control circuits for the device in the following way. As the disc 76 rotates, it picks up coins in each of the pockets on the annular rib 90 in advance of each of the pins 88. The coins which are picked up are arranged in a random train of mixed denomination coins where, for instance, a quarter q in FIG. 3 may be followed by a nickel n which is in turn followed by a dime d.

As the disc 76 rotates, coins will be dislodged from any of the coin pockets in the train by the spring 94 where two coins are lodged in the same pocket, and the coins will proceed in the train through coin denomination sensing station 96 where the denomination of the coin will be sensed by detecting its diameter from one of the three phototransistors 1 18-122. If at the time the quarter, nickel, dime train of coins passes the coin denomination sensing station 98, the machine is conditioned to give only cents in change, the solenoid 134 (FIG. 2) will be deenergized advancing plunger 124 so that the quarter q engages cam surface 128 on the plunger and is dislodged on the disc to fall back into the coin reservoir. As the disc advances further and the nickel n is detected at the denomination sensing station 96, the solenoid 134 will be energized to withdraw the plunger 124 and permit the nickel to move through coin ejection station 100 onto the top surface 148 of the extractor blade 142 and hence out of the device. As explained hereinafter, the control mechanism which has been set to deliver ten cents in change will have been readjusted by delivery of the nickel to permit further delivery of only nickels, and therefore when the dime d is detected at the denomination sensing station 96, the solenoid 134 will again be deenergized to unseat the dime from the disc 76 and return it to the coin reservoir while the disc 76 continues to rotate and all dimes and quarters are ejected from the disc at station 100 until another nickel is detected at station 96.

Referring now to FIG. 13, one form of electronic circuit which may be employed for controlling the apparatus of FIGS. 1-12 employs a binary digital counter 156 designed to count to 32, that is to numeral two to the fifth power. Counter 156 is connected to four output gates 158, 160, 162 and 164 through which electrical signals are delivered when the counter 156 reaches the binary count corresponding to numerals l5, 18, and 2 l respectively.

The counter 156 is also connected through counter preset gating 166 to four input terminals 168, 170, 172 and 174 by which the control circuits may be preset to deliver, respectively, 1 dollar, 50 cents, cents, and 10 cents change. The counter preset gating is fixedwired into counter 156 so that counter 156 is preset to the zero position responsive to the 1 dollar pay switch 168; the counter 156 is preset to the 15 count position responsive to 25 cent pay s switch 172, etc. Obviously, the one dollar pay switch 168 and corresponding switches 170-174 may be provided by conventional dollar bill validators and coin acceptors where it is desirable to use the entire device for providing change in return for dollar bills and larger denomination coins.

The counter preset gating 166 is also connected through an or-gate 176 to a motor start circuit 178 which is employed to start operation of the motor 80. The start circuit is connected to a reset line 180 and to the strobe phototransistor 138 to stop the motor 80 after a reset signal has been generated below to indicate that a change making operation has been completed and when the strobe photocell 168 supplies a signal indicating that the rotary disc 76 has rotated to a sufficient extent-that the last coin detected at coin sensing station 96 which was necessary to pay out a predetermined amount of change has moved to a position where it is delivered from the machine.

The output of the start circuit 178 also goes through a short delay period timer 182 to a main power line 184 for operating the accept solenoid 134. The short delay timer 182 provides a short start-up period for starting rotation of the disc 76 to prevent change making errors which might otherwise occur during the start-up rotation.

The three phototransistors 118, and 122 which detect dimes, nickels and quarters are connected to a pulse generator 186 with the strobe signal to generate five output pulses for a quarter, to output pulses for a dime, and one output pulse for a nickel through an inhibit switch 188 to the input of counter 156 so that the number accumulated in counter 156 is advanced one digit for each pulse from the pulse generator 186. The inhibit switch 188 passes the pulses whenever a signal does not appear on its control terminal 190, and it should be noted that the pulses from pulse generator 186 are slightly delayed after the input from the photocells 118-122 to permit operation of the inhibit switch as explained below.

The outputs of gates 158-162 are connected to an ejector control 192 which contains three and-gates which are also connected to the photodetectors 118-122 so thatwhen, for instance, a quarter is detected by photodetector 122 at the same time that an output signal appears through the fifteen count gate 158, the and-gate 194 passes a coin reject signal to output line 196, hence through delay timer 198 to a reject coin switch 200 which interrupts power from the main power line 184 to the accept solenoid 134 thereby causing the detected quarter to be rejected by the solenoid 134 and plunger 124 under the influence of spring 130. In a similar manner, a detected dime will be rejected when the counter 156 has advanced to an eighteen count, and all coins will be rejected and a reset signal will be generated when the counter 156 has advanced to a 20 count by reset control 202.

At the time the coin reject signal is delivered on line 196, this signal passes through inhibit switch 204 to open inhibit switch 188 so that the pulse count from pulse generator 186 is not delivered to counter 156 for the rejected coin.

The operation of the control circuit of FIG. 13 may now be understood for normal operating situations where, for instance, a 50 cent pay signal is delivered from switch and assuming that the first coin to be counted is a quarter. The 50 cent credit signal from switch 170 presets counter 156 to a 10 count and simultaneously passes a start signal through or-gate 176 to start circuit 178. The motor 80 then starts and after a short delay power is supplied to line 184. The power on line 184 passes through reject coin switch which is normally closed to accept solenoid 134 so that the plunger 124 is retracted causing the first coin to be taken automatically. When the first coin detected at station 96 is a quarter, photocell 122 puts out a pulse causing five pulses to be delivered from pulse generator 186 through inhibit switch 88 to advance counter 156 from the ten count to the 15 count. Assuming that the next two coins are dimes, the photocell 118 will deliver a pulse from the first dime causing two pulses to be delivered from pulse generator 186 to count 156 to advance the counter to a count of 17, and the first dime will be accepted, and then the photocell 118 will detect the second dime causing two pulses to be delivered to counter 156 to advance the counter 156 to a count of 19. Let us assume at this point that the next coin detected is a quarter which supplies a pulse to and-gate 194 concurrently with a pulse from gate 158 since the counter has already reached a count of 15 so that an output signal is delivered to line 196 hence to inhibit switch 188 so that the five pulses from the quarter are not counted on counter 156 and concurrently through delay timer 198 to reject coin switch 200 which deenergizes solenoid 134 to reject the quarter. Similarly, when a count of 19 has been reached, a dime will be rejected, but when a nickel is detected by photocell 120 at station 96 pulse generator 186 delivers one pulse which advances the counter 156 to a 20 count while the nickel is accepted. When the next coin is detected at photocell 120 the concurrent pulses from photocell 120 and gate 162 pass through the corresponding andgate and the ejector control 192 to supply a pulse to the reset pulse generator 202. The reset pulse is applied to the counter 156 to reset the counter to zero and also to the start circuit 178 to stop the motor 80.

It will be noted that a problem might be encountered with the operation of the machine if the coin reservoir in the apparatus of FIGS. 1-12 were flooded with high denomination coins such as quarters, and the machine were unable to find a low denomination coin such as a nickel to fill out the 20 count. A control interlock is provided to overcome this problem together with another interlock designed to disable the machine in the event that the machine runs for so long a time that it is likely that something is wrong with the machine or that someone is tampering with the machine. Thus, a machine disable control 206 is provided for interrupting all power to the machine and preventing any further operation of the device. An adjustable long period delay timer 208 is connected to the disabled circuit 206 from the output of the start circuit 178 to operate the disable circuit 206 and lock out the machine after the long period delay of the timer 208 elapses. The reset signal from circuit 202 is connected to the long period timer 208 to reset that timer to zero each time a pay cycle is completed so that in normal operation of the machine, the long period delay timer 208 never runs through its full period to operate the control 206.

Additionally, a coin accept override switch 210 is wired in parallel with the coin reject switch 200, and the coin accept override switch 210 is closed by the expiration of the time period of a second delay timer 212 which is wired in parallel with the reject coin switch 200. Thus, when the reject coin switch 200 has been open for a period of five seconds, that is when a reject signal has been present from delay timer 198 for 5 seconds before a coin accept signal has appeared on the output of switch 200 to reset the delay timer 212, an output signal is delivered from the delay timer 212 to the coin accept override switch closing that switch so that power is supplied to the accept solenoid 134 through the override switch 210. Concurrently, with closing of the override switch 210, a signal is applied to the control terminal 214 of the inhibit switch 200 to cause the inhibit switch 188 to open again and pass output pulses from the pulse generator 186 to the counter 156. Thus, when the five second delay timer expires indicating that the machine has been hunting for a suitable coin for five seconds unsuccessfully, the override switch 210 will cause the machine to deliver the next coin regardless of denomination, and the pulse count from that coin will be passed to the counter 156. If the coin which is accepted is satisfactory to fill out the 20 count, the machine will merely end its cycle with a reset signal and wait for another credit input signal from one of the switches 168-174. If on the other hand, the coin dispenser has been hunting for a nickel, and the next coin delivered in response to the override switch 210 is a quarter, the counter 156 will be advanced beyond a twenty count thereby delivering an output signal through gate 164 to the machine disable circuit 206 to lock out the machine against further operation. This circuit is very desirable in that it prevents the machine from antagonizing a customer by failing to deliver the necessary change. The machine does deliver more change than required (producing a happy customer) and then goes into the disable mode to avoid repeating the mistake.

With reference to FIG. 14, the control circuit therein illustrated is very similar to that shown in FIG. 13 and differs primarily in the use of a digital up-down counter 216 which receives pulses to count up from the pulse generator 186 through inhibit switch 18 but which receives pulses to count down from a pulse generator 218 which is connected to the credit switches 168-174. The output gates 220, 222, 224 and 226 are connected to the minus 5, minus 2, 0, and plus 1 positions of the counter 216 since the home position of the counter 216 is zero instead of the 20 count home position of the counter 156 in FIG. 13. It will be apparent that the control circuit of FIG. 14 will operate in much the same way as the circuit of FIG. 13 except that the counter 216 is supplied credit pulses in a much more versatile manner so that additional credit pulses can be supplied from the pulse generator 218 while coin dispensing progresses. More importantly, however, the pulse generator 218 and its credit input switches 168-174 may be replaced by any digital pulse source from a vending machine to cause any desired amount of change to be dispensed. Additionally, the entire circuit of FIG. 14 may be employed as a vending machine control where credit input pulses are supplied from switches 168-174; then debit input pulses are supplied to line 228 from a vending machine, and finally debit input pulses are provided from the coin detecting photocells 118-122 as change is dispensed. The pulse generator 218, of course, provides a number of pulses which corresponds to the value of the credit established by one of the switches 168-174.

Referring now to FIG. 15, another alternative control circuit is illustrated which may be used with many of the components of the circuits of FIGS. 13 and 14 to provide the additional capability of programming the machine to deliver coin change in a predetermined mix of coin denominations for any given input pulse. The circuit of FIG. 15 includes three counters 230, 232 and 234 for counting the number of quarters, dimes and nickels to be dispensed by the machine. These counters are connected to the photocells 118-122 and the ejector control 192 to cause acceptance and rejection of coins in a manner similar to the operation of FIGS. 13 and 14 with each counter receiving only one pulse for each accepted coin and receiving no pulse for each rejected coin because of the operation of delay timers 236 and inhibit circuits 238. The input signals to establish credit to be dispensed may be supplied from

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Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.453/4, 453/17, 194/219, 453/32, 221/167
Clasificación internacionalG07D9/00, G07F5/00, G07F5/24
Clasificación cooperativaG07F5/24, G07D9/008
Clasificación europeaG07F5/24, G07D9/00F