Auxiliary keyboard
United States Patent 2014432

This invention relates to an automatic accessory device for use in connection with registering and calculating machines for setting up the keys of the latter in accordance with tables of figures and the like. When machines of the order concerned (cash registers, adding machines, and the like)...

Guido, Gerhold
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Guido, Gerhold
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This invention relates to an automatic accessory device for use in connection with registering and calculating machines for setting up the keys of the latter in accordance with tables of figures and the like. When machines of the order concerned (cash registers, adding machines, and the like) are set for the recording of amounts which are read off from tables (tables of interest, prices, dues, fees, and the like) the operator must memorize the amounts concerned, even if only for a few moments, and must then set up the individual digits and ciphers on the machine from memory. This process of transference from the table to the machine thus necessitates to a certain extent mental work from which there result sources of error and loss of time.

The present invention has for its object to enable this mental work to be replaced by mechanical work in such a manner that by mere actuation of releasing means (switch key or the like) corresponding to any particular item in a table of figures all the digits and ciphers pertaining to this item are set up by positive mechanical actibn and simultaneously on the machine to u5 which the accessory device according to the present invention is fitted. The actual amount set up by the automatic device need not be known to the operator at all at the start.

The device according to the invention consists essentially of a system of electric switches in which there is provided for each item of the table a multiple switch for as many contacts as there are numerals or signs in one item of the table. By means of these switches current connections are established to electromagnets associated with the individual keys of the registering or calculating machine in question.

The armatures of these electromagnets then operate, either by direct action or indirectly as relays, the keys or other setting elements of the said machine.

The depression of the setting keys can, however, also be effected, as above mentioned, by the application of force in other ways, for example by means of compressed air.

For the principle of the invention it is immaterial in what manner and by the use of what force the actuation of the setting means of the registering*r calculating machine is carried out, whether by bperating the keys of this machine or by operating directly on the internal mechanism (the keys being omitted), and whether electrically (for instance with the use of electromagnets) mechanically (for instance with the aid of Bow66 den wires), pneumatically, or otherwise.

A constructional example-embodying the.invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings, for the readier understanding of the following specification, it being assumed, for the simpler representation of this example, that the table from which the readings are to be taken is a short table of interest together with the main and supplementary charges for merely ten capital , unts i~in whnle-month neriods of interest.

The following table is thus taken as an example: Month 1 2 3 4 5 8 7 8 10 11 12 10 -- ----- 271 295 322 - 2 5- ... ....2 690 644 20 -------- ---- ----------- ---- ---- ----81 5 66 30 ---- ---- --- ---- ---- ---- ---- - 813 885 266 40 ------------------------------- -- 1066 1166 1268 50 ------------------------------- --- 12 196 70 ---- ---- ---- --- --- ----- 185220 2260 100---- ---- ---- ---- --- ------- -------- 2608 2854 3100 The machine used is assumed to be a cash register of a normal type having, apart from other details, four banks of keys of nine keys each in the fnllowing arrangement: 10...$ $ 10 c. c.

90.__ 9.-- 90 9 80... 8.- 80 8 70... 7... 70 7 60._ 6..- 60 6 . ... - 50 40... 4._ 40 4 30... 3 30 3 20. 2.- 20 2 10.- 1 10 1 In the more modern machines the naughts (ciphers) do not require setting, and therefore no key is provided therefor.

In cash registers of the type assumed the keys are arranged in arcs on a bowed front.

Finally, in connection with the constructional example shown in the drawings it is assumed that the operation of the keys is effected through relays, and that the operating force is supplied in the one example by helical springs. In the 50 drawings: Fig. 1 shows a diagram of connections for the llth and 12th months of an automatic accessory device for the setting up of tables on registering machines in accordance with the present inven-,0 tion, as arranged for the table of the type given above.

Fig. 2 shows a block of switch elements, in perspective; there being a row of switches for each vertical column of the table.

Fig. 3 is a perspective broad-side view of a row of switches.

Fig. 4 is a transverse section of a row of switches.

Fig. 5 shows the lay-out of a block of spring-operated push-pins.

Fig. 6 is a side elevation of a row of springoperated pusher units of the type shown in Fig. 5.

Fig. 7 is a longitudinal section of a pusher unit with relay.

Figs. 2 and 3 show that for each vertical column of the table (months) there is provided a row of switches I.

Each switch corresponds to a capital amount (one line) of the table, and is capable, in the present example, of establishing 1 to 4 contacts. The switches belonging to one column are structurally combined in a metal rail 2. They can, however, be manufactured singly or in groups, and subsequently combined in any suitable manner.

When these banks or rows of switches are placed in juxtaposition the arrangement of the switches on the upper surface of the unit will be analogous to that of the items in the table, that is to say there will be twelve switches in the length of the unit (corresponding to the twelve months of the table) and ten in the depth (corresponding to the ten capital amounts).

It will be clear that it is equally possible to build up rows of switches for each of the lines of the table, instead of for each of the columns thereof, and then to place these rows one above the other instead of one next the other, to provide the complete switch-board.

The switch-board is provided with the appropriate inscriptions, such as at the top or at the bottom the months and at each line or on each key the capital amount, to guide the operator.

The switches themselves are not confined to any g particular form or type.

In the case of comparatively simple tables it will be possible to place the switches so far apart that they can be provided with operating keys which project above the surface of the switchboard. In cases, however, in which it is necessary to crowd a large number of switches into a small space, as shown in Figs. 2 to 4, it is advisable to countersink the heads of the switches, and to arrange for the individual switches to be operated by the pressing in of a pin. In this connection it becomes possible to supply the current either through the metal rail 2 for all the switches of a row in common or through this pin, and to provide within the pin itself further individual switches for other purposes, for instance for the account keys of the registering machine or for the controlling of a motor for driving this machine or for returning the push-pins.

The switches illustrated, by way of example, in Figs. 3 and 4 each consist of a stem 3 slidably fitted in holes in the solid metal head piece 2, the said stem having at its upper end a screwed-on head 4 and being adapted to be retained normally in the raised position by means of the helical spring 5. At its lower end the stem 3 is provided with two slotted spring leaves 6 which thus embody four contact springs.

The conducting wires leading from the switches to the relays are disposed in groups corresponding to columns of figures of the registering table and embedded in grooves in the inm:s'a ng plates 7 and 8, said plates are of a thickness of about four millimeters and disposed about two millimeters apart from one another. At the upper end of the plates, tongues are provided which engage with grooves in the'head piece 2 made of metal. Between the plates 7 and 8 strips or plates of insulating material are inserted as required.

Each of the plates 7 and 8 is provided on one side in its length, that is to say horizontally, with two sets of nine strips (wires) for the leads to the relays (groups 10 and 11 on plate 7, and groups 12 and 13 on plate 8, see Figs. 2 and 4).

Each group of strips is appropriate to one bank of keys on the cash register, and to the numerals 1 to 9 or 10 to 90.

Between the switches I (Fig. 3) and those leads of the groups 10 to 13 which are required at any one time for each individual item in the table there are embedded on the second (outer) side of the contact-strip plates vertical strips 14 forming the counter-contacts for the switches, these strips or wires 14 being brought through to the inside of the respective plate through a hole 15 at the top, and at the bottom end through a hole 16 tt 23 form contact with the corresponding vertical strip on the inner side of the plate. This connection can be effected either by bending over the lower end of the transverse strip and passing the same through the hole or by making the transverse strips 14 of each of the groups 10 to 13 of equal length over the entire group down to the bottom, and establishing connection with the longitudinal strips concerned by means of interchangeable rivets (or the like). On numerical alteration of the arrangement of the table it is merely necessary, in the former case, to transpose the transverse strips, and in the latter case to shift the interchangeable rivets, clamps, or the like.

If, as is actually the case with the table here taken as an example for the purpose of the present description, all the four times nine keys of the cash register be not required (the present table only goes as far as $31.._, so that the keys 40 to 90 $ will not be required), it will be clear that the leads for the non-used keys can be omitted.

The longitudinal conductors (of all the rows of switches) destined for cooperation with the same relay are collected together at the end of the plates. This is effected, for example, by means of collecting grids 17 and 18 (Mg. 2) of which the lower (17) collects the groups of conductors 10 and I I from the plate 7, while the upper (18) collects those of the groups 12 and 13 of the plate 8.

The connection between the conductors 10 to 13S and the members of the grids 17 and 18 is best effected by means of flat sockets or receptacles 19 and plugs 28. From the ends of the collecting grids the connections to the relays are best effected by means of flexible cables.

The relays and the pusher elements for the operation of the keys of the cash register are comprised, in the example shown in Figs. 5 to 7, in a unit or block detachably mounted over the keys of the cash register. This block consists in the main of four juxtaposed arc-shaped banks of pusher elements corresponding to the four banks of keys on the cash register.

On the arc-shaped member 21 there are arranged radially to the keys 22 of the cash register the push-pins 23 which pass with their lower end at 24 through slotted guide holes in the bottom of the arc-shaped member, and which are guided at their upper end in sleeves 25. These sleeves are screwed at their lower end into the 'r arc-shaped member 21, and contain the compression spring 26 by means of which the pin 23 can be pressed against the key 22.

Parallel to the axis of the push-pin 23 there are provided on a carrying plate 21 screwed to the arc-shaped member the core 28 and the coil 29, and at the bottom there is articulated the armature 30, of the relay which, with its nose 31, effects the arresting of the push-pin when the spring 26 is compressed.

If the relay armature be attracted, the spring 26 presses the push-pin 23 down upon the key 22 of the cash register. In order to permit of the return movement of this key after completion of the registering process, the push-pin 23 is adapted to be lifted by means of the toothed sectors 32 and arc-shaped rack 33, until the tension of the armature spring 34 brings the nose 31 of the armature into engagement to arrest the push-pin in the lifted and tensioned position, the helical spring 26 being thereby recompressed.

The rack 33 slides upon the surface of the arcshaped member 21, and is guided between the side wall of this member and the suitably flattened push-pins 23. For the operation of thetoothed sectors 32 this rack is required to carry out a short reciprocating movement which is imparted to it by the first of the toothed sectors. This sector is in its turn driven by the shaft 35 which passes through all four arc-shaped basic members, and is adapted to be rotated at a suitable point by means of a lever coupled thereto and operated by hand or by a motor.

The operation of the device is as follows: Assuming, for example, that it is desired to register the charges for $50.-_ in twelve months,-the row of switches for the twelve months (last row of switches 2 in Figs. 2 and 3) as allotted to the switch key provided for $50.__ is depressed. Let us assume that it is the fifth key of this row of switches.

Upon the depression of the key the contact springs 6 adjacent to 15 (Figs. 3 and 4) and mounted on shaft 3 of the switch keys are brought into metallic connection with vertical strips 14.

In accordance with the above-given sample table, the amount of $15.62 C is to be registered and these vertical strips are associated with the following horizontal strips 16: (a) with the 1. horizontal strip (from the bot-, tom) of group 13 (b) with the 5. horizontal strip (from the bottom) of group, 12 (c) with the 6. horizontal strip (from the top) of group 10 (d) with the 2. horizontal strip (from the top) of group 11 The connections associated with strips 16 are shown in the transverse section, Fig. 4. The horizontal strips 16 are brought into association with one end of the wires of the electromagnets by means of the receptacles 19 and plug 20, through the corresponding conductors of the grids 17 and 18 and are connected with the following keys (compare switch scheme Fig. 1).

.(a) with key for $10 (b) with key for $5 (c) with key for 60c.

(d) with key for 2c.

Since the other end of the wires of all electromagnets and the metal bodies 2 in the row of switches, together with the contact strips 6. are connected to a supply of current (Fig. 1), by depressing the required switch key, four circuits are simultaneously closed by means of the relay magnets allocated to the cash register keys for printing $10, $6. 60c. and 2c. The armatures 30 (Fig. 7) of these four relays are attracted, the catches 31 release the push-pins 23 associated with these relays, and the springs 26 force these pins down upon the cash register keys 22 so that the cash register is set to operate the amount of $15.62.

A hand or motor actuated lever is fastened to the shaft 35 (Fig. 6), the shaft is rotated and the four first toothed sectors 32 of each bank of pusher elements fixed on shaft 35 are slightly rotated upwards, this causing the four racks 33 and the other toothed sectors to move upwards.

The toothed sectors 32 actuate the cams 37 of the four push-pins 23 which have been released, and lift them until the catches 31 snap into engagement. The two toothed sectors 32 which have not been released, perform the same motion, but run idle. The shaft 35 is then immediately returned into its original position by means of the lever and all the toothed sectors are returned to their initial positions of rest. The registering and calculating mechanism of the cash register may then be operated in the usual manner by means of a hand or by a motor. It is advisable to arrange for the reciprocating movement of the curved racks and toothed sectors, that is to say the returning of the pushpins, to be effected simultaneously with the operation of the mechanism of the cash register by suitable coupling to the shaft of the latter.

The block or unit of pusher elements is detachably mounted on a suitable frame over the keys of the cash register, so that this latter can be used when desired without the automatic table-setting device, after removal of the pusher unit.

In order to provide for the possibility of registering other amounts, independently of the table, while the automatic table-setting device is in position, a separate switch board with individual switches for each of the relays can be provided in addition to the switch block of the table, so that the keys of the cash register can be operated through the intermediary of the relays and push-pins but independently of the automatic multiple switching mechanism.

I claim: 1. In an electrical attachment for registering machines and the like comprising a plurality of registering keys, the combination of a plurality of contact keys for actuating the registering keys, a plurality of insulating plates, electrical conductors disposed on one face of each plate, a plurality of conducting elements disposed on the second face of each plate and connected to predetermined conductors on the first face of the plate, and electro-magnets connected to said conducting elements to operate the registering keys, the said contact keys being adapted to contact with the said conductors to excite said electromagnets, whereby a single contact key actuates a plurality of registering keys.

2. In an electric attachment for registering machines and the like comprising a plurality of registering keys, the combination of a plurality of contact keys for actuating the registering keys, a plurality of insulating plates disposed in spaced relation to one another, electric conductors at- 70 tached to one face of each plate and disposed parallel with respect to one another, a plurality of conducting elements disposed on the second face of each plate and connected to predetermined conductors on the first face of the plate, said 76 conducting elements on the one face of the plate being disposed at right angles with respect to the conductors on the other face of the plate, insulating means disposed between the said a plates, and electromagnets connected to said conducting elements to operate the registering Qkeys, the said contact keys being slidably disposed between the said spaced plates and adapted to make contact with the said conductors to excite the electro-magnets, whereby a single contact key actuates a plurality of registering keys.

3. A device as claimed in claim 2 comprising electrical conducting means connecting all conducting elements of the different plates leading to the same electro-magnets, said conducting means being disposed at the front and rear edges of said plates.