Title:
[INDIVIDUAL CARD OUTPUT CONTROL METHOD AND CARD OUTPUT CONTROL MECHANISM USING THE METHOD]
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A card output control mechanism used in a card vending machine is disclosed to include a housing, transferring rollers for transferring cards forwards, output rollers for outputting each transferred card from the transferring rollers to a card outlet, and a dispensing wheel, which is rotated counter-clockwise at first to push a second card apart from a first card toward the transferring rollers when two cards are simultaneously transferred by the transferring rollers and then rotated clockwise to move the first card forward to the output rollers after the second card has been pushed away from the first card.



Inventors:
Chien, Tien-yuan (TAIPEI, TW)
Lin, Cheng-yi (TAIPEI, TW)
Lin, Wei-jung (TAIPEI, TW)
Application Number:
11/307741
Publication Date:
08/23/2007
Filing Date:
02/20/2006
Assignee:
INTERNATIONAL CURRENCY TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION (Taipei, TW)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65H5/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
MORRISON, THOMAS A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Muncy, Geissler, Olds & Lowe, P.C. (Fairfax, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An individual card output control method used in a card output control mechanism comprising a housing, a plurality of transferring rollers adapted to transfer cards forwards, a set of output rollers adapted to output each transferred card from said transferring rollers to a card outlet, and a dispensing wheel set between said transferring rollers and said output rollers, the individual card output control method comprising a first step of rotating said dispensing wheel counter-clockwise to push a second card apart from a first card toward said transferring rollers when two cards are simultaneously transferred by said transferring rollers, and a second step of rotating said dispensing wheel clockwise to move the first card forward to said output rollers after the second card has been pushed away from the first card.

2. The individual card output control method as claimed in claim 1, wherein said housing comprises a base frame shell, said base frame shell having a card outlet at a front side thereof, a top chamber defined above said base frame shell for accommodating a number of cards in a stack, and a bottom chamber defined below said base frame shell for accommodating said transferring rollers; said set of output rollers is pivotally mounted inside said bottom chamber of said housing between said card outlet and said transferring rollers.

3. The individual card output control method as claimed in claim 1, wherein said card output control mechanism further comprises an adjustment unit set between said transferring rollers and said set of output rollers, said adjustment unit comprising a fixed base, said fixed base having a vertical screw hole, an adjustment board suspending below said fixed base, said adjustment board having a forwardly extending guide portion, said forwardly extending guide portion defining with said base frame shell of said housing a card output gap for guiding cards out of said top chamber toward said output rollers individually, and a adjustment knob mounted in said vertical screw hole and connected to said adjustment board and rotatable to move said adjustment board vertically relative to said base frame shell of said housing; said dispensing wheel is disposed in front of said guide portion.

4. The individual card output control method as claimed in claim 3, wherein said dispensing wheel is an oval wheel movable vertically with said adjustment board relative to said base frame shell of said housing.

5. A card output control mechanism comprising: a housing, said housing comprising a base frame shell, said base frame shell having a card outlet at a front side thereof, a top chamber defined above said base frame shell for accommodating a number of cards in a stack, and a bottom chamber defined below said base frame shell; a plurality of transferring rollers in said bottom chamber adapted to transfer cards out of said top chamber; a set of output rollers pivotally mounted inside said bottom chamber of said housing between said card outlet and said transferring rollers; an adjustment unit set between said transferring rollers and said output rollers, said adjustment unit comprising a guide portion defining with said base frame shell of said housing a card output gap for guiding cards from said transferring rollers to said output rollers individually; and a dispensing wheel set between said transferring rollers and said output rollers in front of said guide portion of said adjustment unit and adapted to control and move one individual card out of said card output gap.

6. The card output control mechanism as claimed in claim 5, wherein said adjustment unit comprises a fixed base, said fixed base having a vertical screw hole, an adjustment board suspending below said fixed base, said adjustment board having a part forming said guide portion, and a adjustment knob mounted in said vertical screw hole and connected to said adjustment board and rotatable to move said adjustment board vertically relative to said base frame shell of said housing.

7. The card output control mechanism as claimed in claim 5, wherein said dispensing wheel is an oval wheel movable with said adjustment board vertically relative to said base frame shell of said housing.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a card vending machine and more particularly, to a card output control mechanism for card vending machine, which accurately outputs only one single card at a time.

2. Description of the Related Art

Various card vending machines have been disclosed for vending telephone cards, IC cards, etc. However, different cards may have different thickness. A thickness difference may result in a delivery trouble. It is important to provide a card vending machine that is practical for vending different cards.

According to the design of Output gap adjustment device for card stacker, the housing, referenced by A, has two side panels A1, a card delivery unit B is mounted on the side panels A1, and an adjustment device C is mounted on the side panels A1 above the card delivery unit B and adapted to adjust a gap for output of cards D individually. The adjustment device C comprises a base frame C1, a cover plate C2 covered on the base frame C1, a movable adjustment plate C3 suspending in between the base frame C1 and the cover plate C2, a rotary knob C4 mounted in the base frame C1 and connected to the movable adjustment plate C3. The rotary knob C4 can be rotated to move the movable adjustment plate C3 vertically and to further adjust a gap between the top surface of a cushion block A21 at a bottom panel A2 of the housing A and the bottom surface of the movable adjustment plate C3 for output of the cards D individually. The design of the aforesaid has a complicated structure, resulting in a high manufacturing cost and complicated installation procedure. Further, it is difficult to adjust the card output gap accurately subject to the thickness of the cards to be delivered. A minor gap error may cause two cards to be delivered at a time.

Therefore, it is desirable to provide a card output control mechanism for card vending machine that eliminates the aforesaid drawbacks.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention has been accomplished under the circumstances in view. It is one object of the present invention to provide a card output control mechanism, which accurately delivers only one single card to the card outlet at a time.

According to one aspect of the present invention, the card output control mechanism comprises a housing, a plurality of transferring rollers adapted to transfer cards forwards, a set of output rollers adapted to output each transferred card from the transferring rollers to a card outlet, and a dispensing wheel set between the transferring rollers and the output rollers. The dispensing wheel is rotated counter-clockwise at first to push a second card apart from a first card toward the transferring rollers when two cards are simultaneously transferred by the transferring rollers, and then rotated clockwise to move the first card forward to the output rollers after the second card has been pushed away from the first card.

According to another aspect of the present invention, the card output control mechanism further comprises an adjustment unit adapted to adjust a card output gap between the transferring rollers and the output rollers. The adjustment unit comprises a fixed base, which has a vertical screw hole, an adjustment board suspending below the fixed base, the adjustment board having a part forming a guide portion, and a adjustment knob mounted in the vertical screw hole and connected to the adjustment board and rotatable to move the adjustment board vertically relative to the base frame shell of the housing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an elevational view showing the outer appearance of a card output control mechanism according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the card output control mechanism according to the present invention.

FIG. 2A is an exploded view of a part of the card output control mechanism according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a sectional side view of a part of the card output control mechanism according to the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a schematic sectional side view of the present invention, showing the card output action of the card output control mechanism (I).

FIG. 4A is an enlarged view of a part of FIG. 4.

FIG. 5 is a schematic sectional side view of the present invention, showing the card output action of the card output control mechanism (II).

FIG. 5A is an enlarged view of a part of FIG. 5.

FIG. 6 is a schematic sectional side view of the present invention, showing the card output action of the card output control mechanism (III).

FIG. 6A is an enlarged view of a part of FIG. 6.

FIG. 7 is a circuit diagram of the control circuit of the card output control mechanism according to the present invention.

FIG. 8 is an elevational view of a prior art design.

FIG. 9 is a schematic sectional view showing the operation of the prior art design.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to FIGS. 1˜3, a card output control mechanism in accordance with the present invention is shown comprising a housing 1, a plurality of transferring rollers 2, two output rollers 3, and an adjustment unit 4.

The housing 1 comprises a base frame shell 11, and two side frame shells 12 at two sides of the base frame shell 11. The two side frame shells 12 define with the base frame shell 11 a top chamber 13 adapted to accommodate a stack of cards, and a bottom chamber 14 adapted to accommodate the transferring rollers 2. Further, the base frame shell 11 has a plurality of through holes 111 in communication between the top chamber 13 and the bottom chamber 14, and a card outlet 15 at the front side.

The transferring rollers 2 are pivotally mounted inside the bottom chamber 14 and peripherally protruding over the top side of the base frame shell 11 through the through holes 111 for transferring the stacked cards out of the top chamber 13 toward the card outlet 15 and into a gap between the two output rollers 3.

The output rollers 3 are pivotally mounted inside the housing 1 between the transferring rollers 2 and the card outlet 15, and adapted to carry each card transferred by the transferring rollers 2 to the card outlet 15.

The adjustment unit 4 is mounted in the top chamber 13 of the housing 1 between the transferring rollers 2 and the output rollers 3, comprising a fixed base 41, which has a vertical screw hole 411, an adjustment board 43 suspending below the fixed base 41 above the base frame shell 11, an adjustment knob 42 mounted in the vertical screw hole 411 and connected to the adjustment board 43 and rotatable to adjust the elevation of the adjustment board 43 relative to the fixed base 41 and to further adjust a gap between the adjustment board 43 and the base frame shell 11 of the housing 1, a wheel axle 441 mounted in a vertical sliding slot 121 at each of the side frame shells 12 of the housing 1, and a dispensing wheel 44 fixedly mounted on the wheel axle 441. According to this embodiment, the dispensing wheel 44 is an oval wheel. The adjustment board 43 has a forwardly extending guide portion 431, which defines with the top wall of the base frame shell 11 of the housing 1 a gap for the passing of a card out of the top chamber 13 toward the output rollers 3, and a coupling portion 432 which is coupled to the wheel axle 441 for enabling the wheel axle 441 and the dispensing wheel 44 to be synchronously moved with the adjustment board 43 to the adjusted elevation.

Further, a gear transmission mechanism 5 is installed on one side frame shell 12 and driven by a motor 6 to rotate the transferring rollers 2, the output rollers 3 and the dispensing wheel 44. The gear transmission mechanism 5 comprises a drive gear 51 and a plurality of driven gears 52 driven by the drive gear 51 to rotate the transferring rollers 2, the output rollers 3 and the dispensing wheel 44 clockwise/counter-clockwise. The driven gears 52 that are coupled to the transferring rollers 2 are one-way gears. Further, the transferring rollers 2 and the output rollers 3 each have a wheel axle for the mounting of the driven gears 52.

After a stack of cards has been set in the top chamber 13 inside the housing 1, a proper downward pressure is employed to the stack of cards, for example, a pressure board 16 is pressed on the top side of the stack of cards to increase the friction resistance between the cards and the transferring rollers 2. Spring means may be used to impart a downward pressure to the pressure board 16 against the storage stack of cards.

Referring to FIGS. 3˜6, a plurality of cards 7 are arranged in the top chamber 13 of the housing 1 in a stack. When wishing to adjust the card output gap, rotate the adjustment knob 42 to move the adjustment board 43 and the dispensing wheel 44 upwards/downwards and to further adjust the gap between the guide portion 431 and the top wall of the base frame shell 11 subject to the thickness of the cards 7. When a control circuit is activated (see FIG. 7), the motor 6 is started to rotate the drive gear 51 of the gear transmission mechanism 5 clockwise, thereby driving the driven gears 52 to rotate the transferring rollers 2 in direction toward the card outlet 15 and simultaneously to rotate the output rollers 3 in direction reversed to the direction of rotation of the transferring rollers 2. Because the cards 7 have light and thin characteristics, the adjustment unit 4 must be accurately adjusted. If the card output gap is excessively big, two cards 7 may be delivered through the guide portion 431 at a time. At this time, the revered rotating dispensing wheel 44 will push the top (the second) card 7 backwards (see FIGS. 4 and 4A), and the motor 6 will be revered to rotate the drive gear 51 counter-clockwise after the second card 7 has been pushed away from the first card 7, thereby rotating the dispensing wheel 44 clockwise to push the first card 7 forwards (see FIGS. 5 and 5A) so that the first card 7 can be delivered to the card outlet 15. Because the driven gears 52 that are connected to the transferring rollers 2 are one-way gears, the second card 7 is kept at the transferring rollers 2 when reversing the motor 6 to rotate the drive gear 51 counter-clockwise (see FIGS. 6 and 6A). Therefore, the dispensing wheel 44 pushes two stacked cards 7 apart when rotated counter-clockwise, and moves the first card 7 forwards only when rotated clockwise. This design prevents delivery of two stacked cards 7 to the card outlet 15 at a time.

In the aforesaid preferred embodiment, the adjustment unit 4 uses the adjustment board 43 to carry the dispensing wheel 44 in vertical direction, and the dispensing wheel 44 is separately provided in front of the guide portion 431 of the adjustment unit 4. Other equivalent adjustment design may be employed to substitute for the adjustment unit 4 without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

The gear transmission mechanism 5 of the aforesaid preferred embodiment is adapted to rotate the transferring rollers 2, the output rollers 3 and the dispensing wheel 44 clockwise/counter-clockwise. Any of a variety of other transmission designs, for example, belt transmission or chain transmission means may be used to substitute for the gear transmission mechanism 5.

A prototype of card output control mechanism has been constructed with the features of FIGS. 1˜7. The card output control mechanism functions smoothly to provide all of the features disclosed earlier.

Although a particular embodiment of the invention has been described in detail for purposes of illustration, various modifications and enhancements may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is not to be limited except as by the appended claims.