Title:
APPARATUS FOR DISPLAYING AND PRINTING INFORMATION
United States Patent 3641585


Abstract:
Apparatus for display and printing of received information by means of a continuous recording band of stainless steel of the type which when selectively magnetized forms the resulting information pattern throughout the thickness of the band. The band is powder treated on the one side for viewing the true image pattern therein and is powder treated on the other side as well for transferring the inverse image pattern therein to a permanent recording medium, thereby converting both sides to visible and true images. An alternative embodiment provides for a single twist in the band whereby it is first treated for viewing and then in accordance with the twist is recycled for purposes of generating permanent copy.



Inventors:
HODGES ROBERT JAMES
Application Number:
04/853182
Publication Date:
02/08/1972
Filing Date:
08/26/1969
Assignee:
INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ELECTRIC CORP.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
101/489, 101/490, 101/DIG.37, 358/301, G9B/5.233
International Classes:
G03G19/00; G06K15/14; G11B5/62; (IPC1-7): G03G15/16; G03G15/22; G03G19/00
Field of Search:
346/74MP,74ES 117
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
Britton, Howard W.
Claims:
I claim

1. Apparatus for displaying and printing information contained in a signal applied thereto comprising:

2. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said second means comprise a single powder applicator.

3. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein the recording medium is moved relative to said first means and wherein the developing medium applied to each side of recording medium is composed of magnetic powder particles.

4. Apparatus as claimed in claim 3 wherein the developed image is bonded to the permanent record by thermal bonding means, and wherein the powder particles are treated with a thermal fixing agent.

5. Apparatus as claimed in claim 3 wherein the magnetic image on the one side of the recording medium is composed of true images and suitable for direct viewing.

6. Apparatus as claimed in claim 3 wherein said permanent record is composed of a substrate, and said printing means include a pressure roller which presses the surface of said substrate against the other side of the recording medium.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to apparatus for displaying and printing information contained in a signal applied thereto.

The invention provides apparatus for displaying and printing information contained in a signal applied thereto, wherein a print band is selectively magnetized such that a pattern representative of the information is formed throughout the thickness of the print band; wherein the magnetic pattern on one side of the print band is presented to view by depositing on the one side a medium which adheres to the magnetic pattern; wherein a medium is deposited on the other side of the print band which adheres to the magnetic pattern thereon, and which is wholly transferable therefrom to a permanent record; and wherein the displayed and permanent patterns as viewed are the same way round.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing and other features according to the invention will be better understood from the following description taken with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 shows diagrammatically a side view of the apparatus according to the invention for displaying and printing information contained in a signal applied thereto;

FIG. 2 shows diagrammatically a modified arrangement of part of the apparatus shown in the drawing according to FIG. 1; and

FIG. 3 shows diagrammatically a plan view of another form of the apparatus according to the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to FIG. 1, the apparatus shown diagrammatically therein in side view is one arrangement according to the invention for presenting in visible form to an observer information received in the form of electrical signals, the information displayed being large, clearly legible and capable of rapid and semicontinuous change as the information received changes, and for obtaining permanent copies of the displayed information either continuously or at will. The apparatus may conveniently be divided for description into its display and printing portion.

The display portion of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1 includes a band 1 of any convenient width--typically 9 or 12 inches--guided in a closed loop by a series of rollers 2. A motor 2a drives the tape loop in the direction of the arrows A, either continuously or under the control of input signals. A magnetic recording head 3 is placed adjacent to the band 1 so that when energized by suitable electrical signals, the head forms a pattern of magnetic charges across the full width of the band. By utilizing a thin band of say stainless steel, which in bulk is magnetic or is rendered magnetic by cold rolling, the magnetic pattern formed by the head 3 on the surface 4 of the band 1 will be recorded throughout the thickness of the band 1; thus a magnetic pattern will be formed on the surface 5 of the band which is the inverse of the magnetic pattern on the surface 4 thereof. As will be described later in more detail, the pattern of charges on the surface 4 of the band 1 correspond to the visual image to be presented and the pattern of charges on the surface 5 of the band 1 is utilized to provide a permanent copy or copies of the displayed information. Suitable stainless steels for the band 1 are stainless steels which have been manufactured to E.N.6.0 or E.N.58A standards.

The charged band then passes through a dispenser 7 which applies to the surface 4 of the band 1 a finely divided magnetic powder whose color provides adequate contrast with the background of the band. The powder adheres to the surface 4 of the band 1 in a pattern corresponding to the pattern of magnetic charges formed by the head 3, and renders this pattern visible. The band 1 then passes to a display position where it can be viewed through a window 13 in the casing 14 of the apparatus. The charge pattern laid down by the recording head 3 must therefore be composed of true images.

The band 1 completes its circuit by passing through a printing station, indicated generally by the reference 9, and then to a scavenging unit 8a where the powder pattern on the surface 4 is removed. It then returns to the magnetizing head 3; depending on the mode of operation of the latter, a preliminary demagnetizing process, indicated in the drawing by the presence of a demagnetizing head 3a, may or may not be required.

The apparatus as so far described thus provides a means by which information received over an electrical input line can be rendered visible. The term "information" is here used in its widest sense and the apparatus may be used equally to display alphabetical or numerical matter, pictorial matter such as graphs, diagrams, or maps, or facsimile productions of any type of original. In most cases code conversion will be required in the driving circuits of the magnetic head 3 in order to create a pattern of magnetic charges corresponding, for example, to a numerical input signal; on the other hand with certain forms of recording head and with an input derived from the line-by-line scanning of an original, the input signals may be applied directly to the elements of the magnetic head.

The magnetic head 3 may itself take many forms and will therefore not be dealt with in any detail in this specification. However, for completeness it should be pointed out that a distinction should be drawn between "one-dimensional" heads which operate with magnetic band 1 moving across the head, building up a pattern by a line-by-line mosaic process, and "two-dimensional" heads that are usually operated with no relative movement between the head and the band, build up a pattern over an appreciable area of the band 1, which is then stepped up to expose a new area to the head. The different approach to the mechanics of driving the band 1, and also the associated printing apparatus about to be described, inherent in these different systems will be evident and will not be disclosed in detail.

The powder applied to the band by the dispenser 7 may be any finely divided magnetic material, a ferrite powder being suitable. The color of the powder is preferably dark to provide the highest possible contrast with the surface of the band 1 on which it is deposited. The band 1 may be illuminated when in the display position by means of a lamp (not shown in the drawing).

The printing portion of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1 includes a dispenser 6 which applies to the surface 5 of the band a finely divided magnetic powder which adheres to the surface 5 of the band 1 in a pattern which is the inverse of the pattern of magnetic charges formed by the head 3 on the surface 4 of the band.

The powder applied to the surface 5 of the band 1 by the dispenser 6 may be any finely divided magnetic material, a ferrite powder being suitable. The individual powder grains are coated with a thermal fixing agent such as a thermoplastic resin to permit thermal fixing of a printed copy desired as a permanent record.

The printing station 9 of the apparatus includes a paper supply reel 10 from which a continuous web of paper is fed over a pressure roller 9b which presses it against the surface 5 of the band 1, the linear speeds of the band and paper being at this point the same. This pressure transfers to the paper the powder pattern carried by the surface 5 of the band 1. The pattern, of course, suffers a reversal in the process but it will be recalled that this reversal has already been taken into account, i.e., since the charge pattern on the surface 4 of the band 1 is composed of true images, the images which form the charge pattern on the surface 4 of the band 1 must be mirror images. The paper web 11 is then passed through a heating device 15 which fixes the powder pattern on the surface of the paper, and is then delivered to the outside of the apparatus at a suitable delivery point.

In order to facilitate the delivery of the paper web 1 to the outside of the apparatus, i.e., in the direction of the arrow B, a pair of rollers 12 having their rotational axes at right angles to the rotational axes of the rollers 9a, are provided, and the paper web 1 is passed between the rollers 12 thereby causing it to be twisted through an angle of 90° and allowing it to be passed over the edge of the band 1 to the delivery point.

It will be evident that if the surface 5 of the band 1 is at all times powdered by the dispenser 5 and the pressure roller 9b is permanently biased towards its cooperating roller 2, the apparatus will print all information displayed by it as soon as the band moves around through the printing station. While this mode of operation is possible it is in general unlikely to be employed; the mode of operation envisioned is for the continuous presentation to an operator of continuously varying input data, the operator having the option of obtaining a permanent copy of any section of the displayed information he desires. For this reason the application of the pressure roller 9b to the cooperating band roller 2 is controlled through a solenoid 9c, and the application of the printing powder in the dispenser 6 to the surface 5 of the band 1 is controlled through a solenoid 16. The solenoids 9c and 16 and the drive motor 9d for the paper web are under the operators control as indicated in the diagram.

In some arrangements it will also be necessary for the operators print control to cause the band 1 to traverse through one complete pass, and at the same time take steps to ensure that the pattern recorded on the band is not lost permanently during this printing pass.

The scavenging unit 8b is utilized to remove any excess powder left on the surfaces of the band 1 after the printing operation.

The arrangement shown in FIG. 1 has been described in some detail as representing a typical general layout for display and printing apparatus embodying the invention. There are, of course, numerous alternative arrangements, some of which will be briefly discussed in the subsequent description. Again, the mode of operation of the apparatus and the specific design of the recording head 3 are very largely tied together and each of the individual recording heads makes its own particular demands on the rest of the apparatus. To explain these points at length in each particular case is obviously undesirable, since the necessary modifications will be evident to the reader of ordinary skill.

The dispensers 6 and 7 may take the form of any one of the fluid powder beds outlined in British Patent Specification No. 1,120,900 or alternatively, the dispensers may be provided by either a plain powder box or a mechanical powdering device, for example, some of the powdering devices outlined in my copending U.S. Patent Applications 770,475 filed Oct. 25, 1968, and now abandoned 770,691 filed Oct. 25, 1968, and now abandoned and 812,230 filed Apr. 1, 1969.

The general arrangement of the apparatus according to FIG. 1 is capable of being modified. For example, the magnetic pattern formed on the surface 4 of the band 1 by the recording head 3 could be composed of mirror images in which case the magnetic pattern on the surface 5 of the band 1 would be composed of true images.

If this were the case then the apparatus according to FIG. 1 would need to be modified in a manner as shown diagrammatically in the drawing according to FIG. 2 in order to effect an inversion of the magnetic pattern on the surfaces 4 and 5 of the band 1 thereby rendering them suitable for direct viewing and the obtaining of a permanent record.

As shown in FIG. 2, an extra guide roller 17 is provided which causes that part of the band 1 which is to be displayed to move in a horizontal plane relative to an aperture 19b in the casing 14, and the band is viewed, in a mirror 19 arranged at 45° to the plane of the displayed section of the band 1, through the window 13 in the casing of the apparatus. The mirror 19 causes inversion of the displayed image, and if required a lamp 19a is provided for illuminating the band 1 when in the display position.

Since the pattern on the surface 5 of the band 1 is composed of true images a reversal of the pattern is required on transfer to the paper web 11, and in order to effect this reversal a transfer roller 18 is interposed between the roller 9b and the one roller 2 with which the roller 9b cooperated in the arrangement according to FIG. 1.

Thus in operation the surface 5 of the band 1 after passing through the dispenser 6 comes in contact with the transfer roller 18 and the powder pattern is transferred under pressure from the surface 5 to the transfer roller 18. The transfer roller 18 then comes in contact with the moving strip of paper 11 which has the same linear velocity as the transfer roller 18. The pressure roller 9b presses the paper strip 11 against the transfer roller 18, and the powder pattern is transferred under pressure from the transfer roller 18 to the paper surface such that it is the right way round. Any powder particles remaining on the surface of the transfer roller 18 after the powder pattern has been transferred to the paper strip 11 may be removed by vacuum extraction means 20 before the surface of the transfer roller 18 again engages the surface 5 of the band 1.

Special transfer techniques are required as the powder will not readily adhere to a conventional smooth transfer roller. The roller 18 may be recorded with a continuous mosaic of magnetic dots on a surface coating of magnetic material or the surface of the transfer roller could be made tacky with a thin coating of grease or a suitable adhesive.

The mosaic of magnetic dots will pick up the powdered image from the surface 5 of this band 1 without disturbing the quality of the image. The transfer to the paper strip 11 would be effected as previously described, by pressure into the paper fibers and subsequent heating. However, the heating generated as a consequence of the pressure which is applied during transfer may prove to be sufficient to effect the thermal bonding of the powder particles which form the images, in which case the heating means 15 will not be required.

When the transfer roller 18 is provided with an adhesive coating, the adhesive may in practice be applied to the surface of the transfer roller 18 prior to it contacting the surface 5 of the band 1 by means not shown in the drawing, the adhesive facilitating the transfer of the powder from the surface 5 to the surface of the transfer roller 18. The transfer of the powder pattern to a substrate, for example the paper strip 11, to provide a permanent record would be effected as previously described for the roller having the mosaic of magnetic dots on the surface thereof. In this arrangement the vacuum extraction means shown in the drawing according to FIG. 2 would be replaced by extraction means which would remove both the grease or suitable adhesive and powder particles remaining after the powder pattern has been transferred to the paper strip 11. After passing the extraction means more adhesive would be applied to the surface of the transfer roller 18 before it again contacts the surface 5 of the band 1.

It should be noted that while the general arrangement of the apparatus according to FIG. 1 utilizes a vertical band the technique outlined in the preceding paragraphs may with certain modifications be equally well applied to apparatus which utilizes a horizontal band.

If the arrangements of the apparatus shown in the drawings according to FIGS. 1 and 2 are considered as plan views instead of side views then they would be representative of the apparatus according to the invention having a horizontal band. It would of course for these arrangements be necessary to modify the dispensers 6 and 7 such that they are suitable for powdering a horizontal band, for example the dispensers 6 and 7 may be provided by some of the mechanical powdering devices outlined in my copending U.S. Patent Applications 770,475 filed Oct. 25, 1968, 770,691 filed Oct. 25, 1968, and 812,230 filed Apr. 1, 1969.

If the print band of the apparatus according to the invention is in the form of a "mobius" loop, i.e., a band having a single twist in it, then the number of powder dispensers and scavengers required in the apparatus is reduced by half. This is illustrated by way of example in the drawing according to FIG. 3 which shows diagrammatically a plan view of another form of the apparatus according to the invention having a horizontal print band formed as a "mobius" loop.

Referring to FIG. 3, the display portion of the apparatus includes a "mobius" print band 1 which is guided in a closed loop by the roller 2 and, which is driven by the motor 2a in the direction of the arrows A, either continuously or under the control of input signals.

The recording of the magnetic pattern throughout the thickness of the band is effected as before with the magnetic recording head 3 situated adjacent to the band 1, i.e., the magnetic pattern on the surface of the band 1 adjacent to the magnetic recording head 3, which corresponds to the visual image to be presented, will be the inverse of the magnetic pattern on the other side of the band 1.

The charged band then passes through a dispenser 6 which applies to the recording surface of the band 1 a finely divided magnetic powder whose color provides adequate contrast with the background of the band. The powder adheres to the recording surface of the band 1 in a pattern corresponding to the pattern of magnetic charges and renders this pattern visible. The band then passes to a display position where it can be viewed through a window 13 in the casing 14 of the apparatus. The charge pattern laid down by the recording head 3 must as is the case with the arrangement according to FIG. 1, be composed of true images.

The "mobius" band 1 completes its first circuit by passing through a printing station which is indicated generally by the reference 9 and which is constructed and functions in the same manner as the printing station which forms part of the apparatus according to FIG. 1, and then to a scavenging unit 8 where the pattern of true powder images is removed.

After the first revolution of the "mobius" band 1 the operator of the apparatus, if requiring a permanent record of the previously displayed information, must render the demagnetizing head 3a and the recording head 3 inoperative and start a print mode of operation by energizing the motor 9d and the solenoid 9c. Thus when the dispenser 6 is next encountered during the print mode it is the surface of the "mobius" band 1 with the inverse magnetic pattern thereon which is powdered with the finely divided magnetic powder thus the powdered images which are presented at the display position of the apparatus during the second revolution of the "mobius" band 1 are mirror images. Since the solenoid 9c and the motor 9d have been energized, a permanent copy of the displayed information will be delivered to the outside of the apparatus at a suitable delivery point.

As will be evident from FIG. 3, the pair of rollers 12 utilized in the apparatus according to FIG. 1 are not required with this arrangement.

After passing through the printing station, the band 1 again encounters the scavenger 8 whereat any excess powder left on the surface of the band after the print operation is removed and then returns to the magnetizing head 3; depending on the mode of operation of the latter, a preliminary demagnetizing process, indicated in the drawing by the presence of the demagnetizing head 3a, may or may not be required.

It should be noted that the arrangement of the apparatus according to FIG. 3 may be modified in a manner similar to the modification outlined in preceding paragraphs with reference to FIG. 2 if it is desired to utilize a mirror to view the visual images.