|Publication number||US3926291 A|
|Publication date||16 Dec 1975|
|Filing date||6 May 1974|
|Priority date||6 May 1974|
|Publication number||US 3926291 A, US 3926291A, US-A-3926291, US3926291 A, US3926291A|
|Inventors||Burke William F, Crowell Lee T, Greenwood Robert C, Jones Thomas E|
|Original Assignee||Pan Nova|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (2), Referenced by (33), Classifications (8)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent Burke et al.
[ Dec. 16, 1975 CODED TOKEN AND ACCEPTOR Inventors: William F. Burke, Westminster; Lee
T. Crowell, Whittier; Robert C. Greenwood, Cypress; Thomas E. Jones, Costa Mesa, all of Calif.
Pan-Nova, Inc., Santa Fe Springs, Calif.
Filed: May 6, 1974 Appl. No.: 467,088
US. Cl. 194/4 F; 194/6 Int. Cl. G07F l/06 Field of Search 194/4 R, 4 F, 4 E, 6, 7,
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS lO/1948 Shann 194/4 R 3,209,881 lO/l965 Goalby et al 194/4 E Primary E.\'aminerStanley H. Tollberg Attorney, Agent, or Firml-larris, Kern, Wallen & Tinsley [5 7] ABSTRACT 15 Claims, 15 Drawing Figures Sheet 2 of 2 U.S. Patant Dec. 16, 1975 CODED TOKEN AND ACCEPTOR This invention relates to token operated dispensers such as gasoline dispensers, and in particular to a new and improved coded token, token reader and token acceptor.
Tokens have been widely used for operating various types of dispensers and other mechanisms and most coin and token operated mechanisms include some device for distinguishing between valid coins or tokens and nonvalid items deposited in the mechanism. The present invention is directed to a coded token and to an acceptor for accepting properly coded tokens and rejecting or returning improperly coded tokens and all other items deposited.
There is a current need for a token operated dispenser system having a plurality of dispensers operable by identical tokens with some means for coding the token so that only particularly coded tokens can be used with specific dispensers. By way of example, a chain of gasoline service stations may utilize token operated gasoline dispensers with each station selling tokens substantially identical to tokens of the other stations. It is desirable to have the token reader and acceptor mechanisms as well as the dispenser mechanisms the same in all of the stations for obvious reasons of economy in manufacture and maintenance. At the same time, it is desirable that tokens purchased at one station not be usable at another station. This can be accomplished by making the tokens of different size or weight or external configuration. However such requires differences in the token readers and acceptors. Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide coded tokens which can be substantially identical in appearance, composition, size and weight and yet have different internal electrical configurations for coding purposes. A further object is to provide such a coded token in the customary disk shape and one which can be inserted into a slot without regard to orientation. The disk shaped token is round and hence is readily inserted and subsequentially handled in the token passages. The round token is more easily handled and stored by the company and by the customer, is strong and durable and can be handled in the customers pocket and in coin type handling mechanisms without fear of damage. The token is reuseable for long periods of time without fear of damage to the token or to the code. The token is preferably made of molded plastic construction and various colors and color combinations are readily obtained, which colors are throughout the token and not subject to destruction by surface wear.
A further object of the invention is to provide a token reader and a token acceptor for use with the coded tokens, and in particular, to provide a token acceptor in which the code is readily changed for accepting tokens with different codes.
The token of the invention comprises a disk of electrical insulating material with one or more concentric electrical conductors therein exposing circles of conducting material at one or both surfaces, and providingv an electrical path between exposed circles. A wide variety of conductor configurations is available. The conductor configurations normally are asymmetrical and the token acceptor is readily set to accept a token with a particular code when inserted with either of the two possible orientations.
Other objects, advantages, features and results will more fully appear in the course of the following description. The drawings merely show and the description merely describes preferred embodiments of the present invention which are given by way of illustrations or example.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a coded token incorporating the presently preferred embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a view similar to that of FIG. 1 showing the opposite surface of the token;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 1;
FIGS. 4 through 9 are views similar to that of FIG. 3 showing alternative coding configurations;
FIG. 10 is a sectional view through a token passage illustrating the token of FIG. 1 in a reader;
FIG. 11 is a sectional view taken along the line l1l1 of FIG. 10;
FIG. 12 is a view of the token of FIG. 11 with the reverse orientation;
FIG. 13 is an electrical schematic of a token acceptor incorporating the presently preferred embodiment of the invention; and
FIGS. 14 and 15 are tables illustrating the detection signals obtained in the acceptor of FIG. 13 for the token in the reader configurations of FIGS. 11 and 12, respectively.
The coded token of FIGS. l-3 comprises a disk of electrical insulating material, typically a molded plastic, and concentric electrical conductors 21, 22, 23 positioned within the disk. The conductor 21 provides a circle 26 at one surface of the disk 20 and another circle 27 at the opposite surface. The conductor 22 provides the circles 28, 29, and the conductor 23 provides the circles 30 and 31.
The conductors 21, 22, 23 preferably are metal stampings molded in place in the disk and may have a plurality of openings therethrough for material flow during the molding operation. In an alternative configuration, the circles 26-31 may be positioned at the surfaces of the disk and interconnected by wires or straps.
The conductor configuration in the disk is varied to change the code, and a number of differently coded tokens are illustrated in FIGS. 4-9. There are four potential radial positions for the conducting circles at each surface of the tokens illustrated in FIGS. 1-9; however, it is readily understood that fewer or more radial positions can be utilized, depending upon the number of code combinations desired.
FIGS. 10-12 illustrate the token of FIGS. 1-3 in a token reader. The token may be deposited in a slot at the inlet of a chute 41 and moves past a reader 42, typically under the influence of gravity. The token path defined by the chute is forked, with one portion 43 leading to a token return 44 and with another portion 45 leading to a token storage tray 46. A deflector arm 47 may be spring loaded to the position shown in FIG. 10 for token return, and moved to the dash line position by a solenoid 48 for directing an accepted token withthe predetermined code to the storage tray 46.
The reader 42 has eight spring wiper contacts designated by the numerals 1 through 8 carried in a U- shaped bracket 50 mounted on the chute 41. As the token passes along the chute, the wiper contacts engage the conducting circles on the surfaces of the token. In the token orientation illustrated in FIG. 11, the token conductor 21 provides an electrical conductive path between the contacts 4 and 6, with the other electrical paths as illustrated in FIG. 11. If the token is deposited with the opposite orientation, the conductive paths between the wiper contacts will be as illustrated in FIG. 12.
Means are provided in the chute 41 for indicating when a token is in position at the reader 42. Typically this may be an optical or mechanical switch 52 mounted in the chute 41 at the position indicated in FIG. so that the switch is actuated by interrupting a light beam or deflecting a lever when a token is aligned with the contacts of the reader.
An acceptor circuit for receiving signals from the reader 42 and operating the solenoid 48 to direct a token to the token storage tray 46 when the token is appropriately coded, is illustrated in FIG. 13. The wiper contacts l-4 of reader 42 are connected through resistors 55 to a plus voltage and through diodes 56 and buffer inverter amplifiers 57 to a decade counter 58, and to the inputs of a decoder 59. The wiper contacts 5-8 are similarly connected to the decade counter 58 and to a decoder 60.
When a token is in the chute in position to be decoded, the token ready switch 52 operates and clocks the token latch 62, a D flip-flop. The decade counter 58 is enabled at CE by the low condition of the token latch Q output. The decade counter 58 will now clock at a rate determined by the frequency of the oscillator 63.
The 1 output of the decade counter 58 will go high when the first oscillator clock goes high following the low CE signal. The token wiper contact 1 will now go low via the buffer inverter and blocking diode. With a token in the reader as shown in FIG. 11 wiper contact 7 will also go low through the conductor 23. The low signal at wiper contact 1 will provide a low signal at output 14 of decoder 59, and the low signal wiper contact 7 will provide a low signal at output 11 of decoder 60. For acceptance of this specific code, the input A of nor gate 1 of the gate matrix sequence 1 will be connected to decoder 59 output 14 and input B will be connected to decoder 60 output 11. This will cause the flip-flop associated with the sequence 1 gate 1 to clock to its set state.
The second oscillator clock causes the decade counter 58 output 1 to go low and the output 2 to go high. This places the low signal on wiper contact 2, and hence on contact 3 via token conductor 22. Output 9 of decoder 59 and output 15 of decoder 60 will go low, and these particular outputs would be connected to the A and B inputs respectively of the sequence 1 gate 2. Since the sequence 1 gate 1 flip-flop is set, the D input of the flip-flop for gate 2 is high, allowing the flip-flop to set.
The decade counter is similarly sequenced through outputs 3 through 8, with output 9 providing an input to reset delay 65.
If all eight output pulses of the decade counter result in correct decoding, the 6 output of sequence 1 gate 8 flip-flop will go low, resulting in a high signal at token accepted latch 66 through nand gate 67. The ninth or reset oscillator clock will cause the latch 66 to set and energize the solenoid 48 through inverter 68 and an amplifier stage 69. At the same time, the token latch.62 is reset and the decade counter 58 is held at 9. The
reset delay 65 is also enabled and after a period of time determined by the resistor-capacitor networks 72, the Oh output of reset delay 65 will go high, clearing the decade counter 58 and the flip-flops of the gate matrices of sequence 1 and sequence 2, and releasing the so lenoid 48.
If a token having some other conductor code is inserted into the acceptor connected as described above, the solenoid will not be energized and the token will pass to the token return tray. If the token of FIG. 1 1 is inserted in the reverse orientation, as shown in FIG. 12, it will be accepted by making the appropriate connections between the group A decoder 59 and group B decoder 60, and the gates of sequence 2. Hence it is seen that the acceptor will accept a properly coded token for either orientation and will reject or not accept all other tokens. The coding of any particular acceptor is readily changed by changing the interconnections between the outputs of the decoders 59, 60 and the inputs of the gates of the sequence 1 and 2 gate matrices.
As described above, token decoding is accomplished by placing a zero voltage on each of the normally positive wiper contacts l-8 sequentially, and at each step in the sequence examining the potential on all eight contacts. The wiper contacts 1-4 are read by the binary-to-decimal decoder 59 which produces a single zero output of decimal equivalent to the binary input. The decoder 60 provides a similar decoding function for wiper contacts 5-8. The group A and group B decimal equivalents produced by decoding the binary signals obtained when sequencing through the eight wipers for the token in the position of FIG. 11 is shown in the chart of FIG. 14. The chart of FIG. 15 provides the same infonnation for the token when inserted in the reversed position of FIG. 12.
The acceptor could readily be expanded to accept additional codes by including additional gate matrices. If distinctions are to be drawn between acceptable but differently coded tokens, additional token accepted latches and solenoids can be used to direct the tokens along the appropriate paths. In another alternative configuration, one set of gate matrices may be used to accept a token having one value, such as one gallon or one dollar, and another set of gate matrices may be used to accept a similar token having another value such as $5.00 or 5 gallons. A separate token accepted latch may be used for each set of gate matrices, with both operating the same solenoid for accepting the token, but with the latches providing different signals to the dispenser indicating the different values of the two tokens.
1. A coded token for token operated dispensers and the like, comprising:
a disc of electrical insulating material having opposed surfaces;
' separate concentric and spaced circles of electrically conductive material on at least one of said surfaces; and
an electrical conductor separate from and extending through said insulating material and electric ally connecting selected ones of said circles.
2. A coded token as defined in claim 1 having at least one further electrical conductor electrically connecting other selected ones of said circles.
3. A coded token as defined in claim 1 wherein said selected circles are on opposite ones of said opposed surfaces.
4. A coded token as defined in claim 1 wherein said selected circles are on the same surface of said insulating material.
5. A coded token as defined in claim 1 and:
passage means defining a path for a token between an entrance slot, a token return slot, and a token storage receptacle;
a bracket mounted at said path;
a plurality of electrical contacts carried in said bracket and positioned in opposing relation with a gap therebetween for movement of a token through said gap, with said contacts positioned for engaging the token surfaces at the radial positions of said circles; and
means for connecting said contacts to a token acceptor.
6. Apparatus as defined in claim 5 including an acceptor having:
detector means for detecting an interconnection between each of a plurality of radial positions on each surface of a token and each of the other radial positions, and providing a set of detection signals indicating such interconnections; and
decoder means having said detection signals as inputs and providing a token accepted signal as an output for tokens having directly interconnected circles in a predetermined configuration.
7. A reader for coded tokens in the form of disks of electrical insulating material with one or more concentric electrical conductors therein providing directly interconnected circles of conducting material at one or both token surfaces, including in combination:
passage means defining a path for a token between an entrance slot, a token return slot, and a token storage receptacle;
a bracket mounted at said path;
a plurality of electrical contacts carried in said bracket and positioned in opposing relation with a gap therebetween for movement of a token through said gap, with said contacts positioned for engaging the token surfaces at the radial positions of said circles as a token moves through said gap; and
means for connecting said contacts to a token acceptor.
8. A reader as defined in claim 7 with contacts in corresponding positions on each side of said gap for contacting the circles for either of the two possible orientations of a token.
9. A reader as defined in claim 7 including detector means mounted in said passage means for detecting the presence of a token at the position in said path for contact of token circles by said contacts.
10. A reader as defined in claim 9 including:
direction control means in said passage means for se lectively directing a token to said return slot and said storage receptacle; and
acceptor means having said contacts and said detector means connected thereto as inputs for actuating said direction control means to direct a token to said storage receptacle when such token has interconnected circles in a predetermined configuration.
11. Apparatus as defined in claim 7 including an acceptor having:
detector means for detecting an interconnection between each of a plurality of radial positions on each 5 surface of a token and each of the other radial positions, and providing a set of detection signals indicating such interconnections; and decoder means having said detection signals as inputs and providing a token accepted signal as an output for tokens having interconnected circles in a predetermined configuration.
12. An acceptor for coded tokens in the form of disks of electrical insulating material with one or more concentric electrical conductors therein providing directly interconnected circles of conducting material at one or both token surfaces, including in combination:
detector means for detecting a uniform and direct interconnection between each of a plurality of radial positions on each surface of a token and each of the other radial positions, and providing a set of detection signals indicating such interconnections; and
decoder means having said detection signals as inputs 75 and providing a token accepted signal as an output for tokens having interconnected circles in a predetermined configuration.
13. An acceptor for coded tokens in the form of disks of electrical insulating material with one or more concentric electrical conductors therein providing interconnected circles of conducting material at one or both token surfaces, including in combination:
detection means for detecting an interconnection between each of a plurality of radial positions on each surface of a token and each of the other radial positions, and providing a set of detection signals indicating such interconnections; and
decoder means having said detection signals as inputs and providing a token accepted signal as an output for tokens having interconnected circles in a predetermined configuration;
with said detection means including means for sequentially connecting each of said radial positions to a reference point in sequence and sampling said radial positions for each such sequential connection.
14. An acceptor as defined in claim 13 wherein said decoder means includes first and second decoders, and
said detection means includes means for connecting 50 the detection signals from one token surface to said first decoder and the detection signals from the other token surface to said second decoder.
15. Apparatus as defined in claim 14 wherein said decoder means includes first and second gate matrices each having a plurality of gates, and
means for connecting an output from said first and second decoders to each of said gates in a predetermined pattern whereby one of said matrices provides a token accepted signal for a specific token 6O circle interconnection configuration for one of the two possible orientations of the token and the other of said matrices provides a token accepted signal for the other orientation.
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|International Classification||G07F7/08, G07F1/06, G07F1/00|
|Cooperative Classification||G07F7/08, G07F1/06|
|European Classification||G07F7/08, G07F1/06|