The present invention relates to facsimile systems and to automatic facsimile transmitters for use therein. One object of the invention is to provide an automatic facsimile transmitter with control apparatus for permitting the transmission of messages by facsimile from message blanks of various dimensions.
In accordance with one feature of the invention, an automatic facsimile transmitter is provided with a slot for the insertion of message blanks, the width of slot being adjusted in accordance with the length of a message to be sent and/or the amount of money paid therefor.
The system may be readily applied by using telegraph blanks with special spaces, one for each word of the message to be transmitted, the width, or length, of the blank as the case may be, determining the rate to be charged for the transmission of the message, and the width of slot being adjusted to receive the particular size of message blank selected.
In accordance with another feature of the invention, a shearing device is provided for automatically shearing off the excess portions of any oversize message blanks inserted into the transmitter.
In this specification the word "message" is used to include not only written, typewritten or printed matter, but also other visual representations such as maps, plans or photographs. The term "message blank" is similarly used to include blanks, forms or the like bearing such visual representations.
Embodiments of the invention will now be described by way of example, reference being made to the accompanying drawings comprising Figs. 1-7.
Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a coin controlled facsimile transmitting arrangement according to the invention.
Figs. 2 and 3 are fragmentary diagrammatic cross-sectional views taken along lines 2-2 and 3-3 respectively of Fig. 1, illustrating the coin control and slot blocking features of the transmitting arrangement.
Fig. 4 is a diagram of the circuit of the coin control switch arrangement.
Fig. 5 is a diagrammatic view of the arrangement for resetting the apparatus to normal at the termination of a message.
Fig. 6 is a simplified circuit diagram of the relay circuits utilised in the control apparatus.
Fig. 7 is a diagram of a modified arrangement for controlling the opening and closing of the message chute.
In Fig. 1, 10 designates the cabinet housing the facsimile transmitting apparatus and the coin control apparatus. Projecting outwardly from cabinet 10 is shown a message blank receiving chute I , provided at the top with two slots 12 and 13, separated from one another by a partition 19. The slots 12 and 13 are normally maintained closed by covers 14, 15, the construction of which will be given in more detail in connection with other figures. A manual non-locking control key 17 is mounted on the upper left-hand corner of the front face of the cabinet 10. A plurality of coin chutes 18a, 18b, 18c, 18d are provided for receiving coins of different values. The different coin chutes 18a-18d are provided on the front with windows 16 of some transparent material so that the user may see what coins have been deposited while using the apparatus.
Coin chute 18a may for example, accommodate a five cent piece, chute 18b a ten cent piece, chute 18c a twenty-five cent piece, and chute 18d a fifty cent piece. Messages of different lengths may be transmitted by the use of this apparatus.
Messages of shorter lengths, that is a smaller number of words, are passed into the message chute 11 through slot 12, while messages of longer length are passed through the combined slots 12 and 13. If it is desired to transmit a message of shorter length and assuming that the relevant charge is twenty-five cents, the message may be transmitted by depositing a five cent piece in chute 18a and two ten cent pieces in chute 18b, or by depositing a twenty-five cent piece in chute 18c, and then moving the control key 17 downwardly to remove the cover from slot 12, so that a message blank bearing the desired message may be inserted into the message chute 11. If a message of longer length is to be transmitted and assuming that the relevant charge is fifty cents, then coins to this value are inserted in the slots 18a-18d. Operation of lever 17 will then open both slots 12 and 13 to permit the insertion of a wider message blank. The lever 17 may be so arranged that when moved upwardly it controls a coin return flap RF to cause coins which have not yet been used to be refunded in cups 60.
Referring now to Fig. 2, it will be assumed that a single coin of 25 cents is deposited in the chute 18c so as to open the slot 12 for the in5) sertion of a message blank of smaller width.
The coin 25c drops to a point where it is stopped by arm 20 of a bell-crank lever 21. Arm 20 is also the armature of a control magnet XI which when de-energised permits the lever to rest in the slot closing position illustrated, under the influence of a spring 22. The coin 25c upon reaching this position operates an insulating button 23 to close a contact ci, thereby preparing a circuit for magnet XI. In response to operation of the key 17 downwardly, contacts 17a are momentarily closed and a circuit is completed as follows: ground, contacts T1a, contacts ci, contacts ei, winding of magnet XI, negative pole of battery, positive pole of battery, ground. Magnet XI energises, locks at xi, and permits the 1 coin 25c to drop through into the coin collecting box (not shown). Armature 20 in moving downwardly rocks arm 21 upwardly which rotates the catch 28 counter-clockwise. The catch 28 releases the lever 24 which rotates counter- 1 clockwise under pressure from an upturned extension on lever 21. An extension 29 on lever 24 moves away from contacts ei and permits them to open, whilst the cover 14, which is attached to the other end of the lever 24 opens the slot 2 12 for reception of a message blank, Lever 24 is provided with a projection 25, which co-operates with spring-tensioned arm 26 to hold the cover 14 in open position. When the coin passes contacts ci, or when the pressure is removed from key 17, the circuit of relay XI is again opened and arm 20 returns to its normal position.
Contacts ei, however, are opened and cannot again be closed until the lever 24 is unlatched and cover 14 allowed to make contact with inside surface of the underside of the lip 14a of the chute opening 12. In this way the cover 14 cannot be held open for a second message as will be explained later. Corrugations may be provided on the top of cover 14 and on the underside of the lip 14a so as to magnify the thickness of any paper projecting from the slot. A magnet YI is provided for unlatching the lever 24 and closing the coin slots 18a-18d in a manner to be described later. A mechanical coin refund linkage ML of known construction is provided for operating the refund flap RF when the key T7 is pushed upwards.
Fig. 3 shows a similar arrangement for controlling the opening of slot 13. In this case, however, the coin chute illustrated is coin chute 18d, since a single contact of this chute will operate the magnet X2 and will serve for simple illustration. Furthermore, the partition 19 is operatively associated with slot cover 15, so that upon opening of the slot 13 by the removal of cover 15, this partition will be removed and thus permit the insertion of message blanks of the combined width of both slots. Those parts of Fig. 3 which correspond to similar elements in Fig. 2 designated by references 20-29 have been designated by references 30-39. The control magnet is designated as X2 in this figure to distinguish from the corresponding magnet XI in Fig. 2, the re-set magnet YI, however, is the same in both figures.
Fig. 4 shows the wiring diagram of a coin controlled contact arrangement for checking the total value of the inserted coins. The circuit includes a set of contacts at for coin chute 18a, two sets of contacts bl, b2 for coin chute 18b, two sets of contacts cl, c2 for coin chute 18c, and a single set of contacts dl for coin chute 18d.
Upon deposit of a five cent piece in chute a and two ten cent pieces in chute b, a circuit will be established for magnet XI, as follows: battery, through the winding of the magnet Xl, front contacts cl, contacts bl, contacts b2, contacts a I, and key T7 to ground; thereby energising magnet XI. If, on the other hand, a single twentyfive cent piece is deposited in the coin slot 18c, a circuit will be established for magnet XI, as follows: battery, winding of magnet XI, back contacts cl, key I1 to ground; thereby again energising magnet XI. Other contacts could be added to coin chute 18a so that five coins of the five cent denomination would effect the operation of the magnet XI. However, for purposes of .0 illustration, the arrangement shown in the drawing is considered sufficient.
If the wider slot is needed, this may be accomplished in one of three ways, either by depositing a fifty cent piece in chute 18d, deposit.5 ing two twenty five cent pieces in chute 18c, or depositing one five cent piece in chute I a, two ten cent pieces in chute 18b and one twenty five cent piece in chute 18c. The operating circuit for the arrangement with a single coin in chute 18d, !0 a circuit is established for both magnets XI and X2 as follows: ground, contact 17a, contacts dl, winding of magnet X2 to battery, and ground, contact 17a, contacts dl, winding of magnet XI to battery. For the arrangement utilising two 5a coins in chute 18b, circuits are established for the two magnets as follows: ground, contacts 17a, contacts cl, winding of magnet XI to battery, and ground, contacts 17a, contacts c2, winding of magnet X2 to battery. For the arrangement .0 with one coin in 18a, two coins in 18b, and one coin in 18c, circuits for the magnets XI and X2 are established as follows: ground, contacts I a, contacts cl, winding of magnet XI, to battery, and ground, contacts 17a, contacts al, b2, bl, cl, winding of magnet X2 to battery.
It can therefore be clearly seen that various combinations of coins may be utilised to operate magnets XI, X2 for opening chutes 12 and 13. Further coin controlled arrangements may be provided for operating openings for further slots, as required, in accordance with the number of message sizes to be transmitted. Furthermore, other contact arrangements may be provided for the coin operated switches so as to Saccommodate any desired denomination and selection of coins. Remote control means for closing the contacts at, bl, etc., may be provided instead of the coin control, if desired.
After the coins have been deposited and the slots opened for reception of a message blank, the message blank is inserted into the chute II and passes in known manner to a facsimile transmitter illustrated diagrammatically by the rectangle FT in Fig. 5.
S The details of this facsimile transmitter FT have not been illustrated since they form no part of the invention. It is understood, however, that the transmitter may comprise the well known type of rotary drum arrangement with a scanning head moved across the length of the drum 60 by a lead screw or other desired arrangement.
The patent applications of Wise, et al., Ser. No. 269,314, filed April 22, 1939, and Ridings, et al., Ser. No. 370,748, filed December 10, 1940, disclose suitable facsimile transmitter mechanisms for use in connection with the present invention, while the application of Wise, et al., Ser. No. 293,188, filed September 8, 1939, discloses a receiver suitable for operation with said transmitter mechanisms. These transmitters are enclosed in cabi7nets and means are shown by which message forms fed through a slot in a cabinet are automatically secured to the surface of a scanning drum and automatically scanned. After the scanning operation the form on the drum is mechanically removed therefrom and the apparatus restored to initial position for another scanning operation, the series of operations involved being initiated by the operation of a push button circuit closer. In the present invention, upon insertion of the message blank, a key 58 mounted on the cabinet as shown in Fig. 1 is operated to close the contacts 58a; alternatively the contacts 58a may be operated in some way under control of the transmitter. Relay RI operates over an obvious circuit and applies ground to conductor 51 energizing magnet LSM for starting the scanning operation of the facsimile transmitter FT.
Operation of magnet LSM causes the scanning carriage, not shown, to feed forward, carrying with it an insulated contact-closing projection 52. Magnet LSM locks over its lower front contacts and release keys 53, 54 to ground.
Relay LSM also closes at its upper contacts an energizing circuit for magnet YI. Energization of YI rocks arms 26, 36, (Figs. 2 and 3) clockwise thereby releasing levers 24, 34 and permitting covers 14, 15 to return so as to close the message slots 12, 13. Simultaneously magnet YI rocks levers 27 and 37 anti-clockwise, thereby closing the coin slots 18a-18d, so that no coins will be accepted while the transmitter is in operation.
If only the slot 12, corresponding to the narrow message blanks, has been opened, projection 52 upon reaching a position corresponding to the end of the message blank for this slot operates key 53 thereby breaking the contact to ground for relay LSM and causing this relay to release and cause the carriage carrying the projection 52 to return to normal by any suitable means, not shown, such as a spring. Release of relay LSM opens the circuit for magnet YI thereby removing the blocking levers 27, 27 from the coin slots 18a-18d so that the apparatus is returned to normal unoperated condition.
When both slots 12, 13 are opened by removal of both covers 14, 15 and movement of partition 19, it is necessary that the facsimile transmitter FT be caused to scan a wider sheet. In order to accomplish this result, an additional pair of contacts 56 is associated with magnet X2, so that upon energization of X2 for opening the slot 13, a circuit is established as follows: battery, contacts 56, winding of relay R2, contacts of relay Ri to ground, causing relay R2 to energize.
Relay R2 then locks over its upper contacts to battery and remains operated. Relay R2 also short-circuits the contacts of key 53. The circuit for relay LSM is thus maintained after the scanning carriage in the transmitter FT has moved forward to such an extent that projection 52 has operated contacts 53. When the carriage has advanced to a distance corresponding to the width of a wider message blank, the projection 52 opens contacts 54 thereby breaking the circuit for magnet LSM and simultaneously breaking the circuit for magnet R2. Release of magnet LSM causes a release of magnet YI and a return of the carriage to normal, as explained above. Release of relay R2 permits its contacts to open and return this circuit to normal.
A simplified circuit diagram of the electrical components of Figs. 2, 3 and 5 is shown in Fig. 6.
This diagram is included merely for the purpose of facilitating a tracing of complete circuits and no detailed description thereof is offered as the operations can readily be traced from the preceding description.
The invention has been described as applied to arrangements for closing message slots so that control of the message lengths may be controlled to some extent by the width of the message blank. It should be understood, however, that the principles of the invention may be applied in other ways, e. g. the scanning mechanism may be applied to arrangements wherein the particular portion of the message blank to be scanned is controlled by the coins deposited in the apparatus. In such an arrangement it is not necessary to provide separate blocking means for controlling the insertion of different sized blanks, as illustrated in the drawings, the carriage control arrangement shown in Fig. 5 being sufficient for this purpose.
Furthermore, although the contacts such as al, bi, b2, etc. are shown as coin operated contacts, it should be clearly understood that in certain cases where it is not desired to have the apparatus coin operated, contacts corresponding to these arrangements may be operated directly by keys from a remote point, such as a casher's desk, so that the apparatus may be conditioned for transmitting the desired length of message.
Fig. 7 shows a modified arrangement including means for automatically shearing off the excess portions of any oversize message blanks inserted into the transmitter. The opening 12 to the message chute 11 is normally closed by a knife 70 movable in guides 71 under the control of a stiff spring 72 and provided with a cutting edge 73.
In order to send a message the subscriber first drops a coin or coins into one or more of the 3a coin slots 18a-18d, sufficient to make up the required fee. He then operates the key 17' in the "coin deposit" direction thereby depositing the coins. At the same time key 17' closes contacts 74 thereby completing a circuit for magnet XI as -i0 follows: ground, contacts 74, winding of magnet XI, contacts cl, battery. Magnet XI upon energising attracts its armature 20'a against the spring 22', thereby withdrawing the coin deposit arm 20' to allow the coin 25c to fall into the coin 5 box. The arm 21' engages the extension 74 of the knife 70 so as to withdraw the knife 70 from the slot 12 against the spring 72. The knife 70 is held in retracted position by a detent 75 which closes contacts 76, and operates arm 27' and similar arms to close all the coin slots.
The sender then drops in the message blank which is held at the bottom of the message chute II by a stop 77 controlled by a magnet Y2. If the message blank is of the correct length it will just fit in between stop 77 and knife 70. The sender now operates the start key 58 to close the contacts 58a which complete circuits from ground at contacts 76 for magnets YI and Y2 and relay LSM, which latter relay connects up ground in parallel to that connected up at contacts 58a.
Magnet YI releases the knife 70 which closes the message chute 11 and cuts off any excess length of paper from the message blank. Magnet Y2 withdraws the stop 77 to allow the message blank to fall further into the transmitter.
When the key 17' is operated in the "coin refund" direction it actuates the coin return flap RF by means of a pin coupling 78 having its head 79 free in the handle of the key 17'. The manner in which the arrangement of Fig. 7 may be embodied in the cabinet of Fig. 1 and interconnected with the circuits of Figs. 4, 5 and 6 will be apparent from the description already given with reference to Figs. 2 and 3. A knife T5 similar to 70 and a magnet similar to XI are associated with the slot 13 (Figs. 1 and 3) of the other portion of the message chute I . The magnets YI and Y2, however, are common to both portions of the message chute I .
What is claimed is: 1. A coin controlled system for a facsimile transmitter message transmission unit comprising a plurality of coin receiving slots, a plurality of normally closed message receiving slots, said message receiving slots being arranged to form a continuous long slot when all are opened, a plurality of coin controlled contacts at least one arranged to be controlled by coins deposited in each coin slot, a manually operable switch operatively associated with said coin controlled contacts, a plurality of message slot opening means selectively operated by closing a selected one of said coin controlled contacts and closing of said manual switch for selectively opening one or more of said normally closed message slots. 2. A coin controlled system for facsimile message transmission, comprising a plurality of coin receiving slots, a plurality of normally closed message receiving slots, said message receiving slots being arranged to form a continuous long slot when all are opened, a plurality of coin controlled contacts at least one arranged to be controlled by coins deposited in each coin slot, a manually operable switch operatively associated with said coin controlled contacts, a plurality of message slot opening means selectively operated by closing a selected one of said coin controlled contacts and closing of said manual switch for selectively opening one or more of said normally closed message slots, and manually operable means for returning coins deposited in said coin slot prior to closing said manually closed contacts.
3. A facsimile transmitting system, comprising a plurality of selectable coin operable contacts, a 4C message blank receiver having a slot for receiving message blanks, a shearing device normally blocking said slot from receiving message blanks, means operative under the control of said coin operable contacts for automatically withdrawing 41 said shearing device to permit a message blank to be inserted in said slot, a facsimile transmitter, manually operable contacts for operating said transmitter to transmit facsimile signals from said message blank, and means operated by said 5( contacts for automatically releasing said shearing device for shearing off any excess portion of said message blank.
4. A coin controlled system for a facsimile transmitter message transmission unit comprising a plurality of coin receiving slots, a plurality of normally closed message receiving slots, said message receiving slots being arranged to form a continuous long slot when all are opened, a plurality of coin controlled contacts at least one arranged to be controlled by coins deposited in each coin slot, a manually operable switch operatively associated with said coin controlled contacts, a plurality of message slot opening means selectively operated by closing a selected one of said coin controlled contacts and closing of said manual switch for selectively opening one or more of said normally closed message slots, means for transmitting facsimile signals corresponding to the visual representations on a message blank inserted in said message slot, and means responsive to operation of said transmitting means for closing said coin slots and maintaining them closed during the period of message transmission.
5. A coin controlled system for a facsimile transmitter message transmission unit comprising a plurality of coin receiving slots, a plurality of normally closed message receiving slots, said message receiving slots being arranged to form a continuous long slot when all are opened, a plurality of coin controlled contacts at least one arranged to be controlled by coin deposited in each coin slot, a manually operable switch operatively associated with said coin controlled conStacts, a plurality of message slot opening means selectively operated by closing a selected one of said coin controlled contacts and closing of said manual switch for selectively opening one or more of said normally closed message slots, means for Stransmitting facsimile signals corresponding to the visual representations on a message blank inserted in said message slot, means responsive to operation of said transmitting means for closing said coin slots and maintaining them closed during the period of message transmission, and means responsive to said transmitting means reaching a position determined by the number of open message slots for returning said system to normal unoperated condition.