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United States Patent 3,627,094
Kaufman ,   et al. December 14, 1971

COIN CHUTE GUARD MEANS

Abstract

The disclosure provides a form of unidirectional coin gate or blocking means at the lower coin exit in drop- or gravity-type testing chutes so as to be situated at a point interposed between the chute exit and a closely proximate auxiliary coin-handling device in order to block off any space in which a fraudulent tethered coin can be manipulated for repeated withdrawal and reentry into the auxiliary device.


Inventors: Kaufman; Clarence D. (Las Vegas, NV), Reedy, Jr.; Terrence A. (Skokie, IL), Lally; Joseph E. (McHenry, IL)
Assignee: Bally Manufacturing Corporation (Chicago, IL)
Appl. No.: 04/784,049
Filed: December 16, 1968


Current U.S. Class: 194/203
Current International Class: G07f 003/02 ()
Field of Search: 194/9,97

References Cited

U.S. Patent Documents
1931741 October 1933 Sadgebury
2990930 July 1961 Melvin
3279574 October 1966 Seiden
3279575 October 1966 Johnson
Primary Examiner: Coleman; Samuel F.

Claims



We claim:

1. In combination with a gravity-type coin chute having a coin exit at a lower margin thereof and an auxiliary coin-handling device receiving coins from said exit and having a control member situated in predetermined spatial proximity beneath said exit to be engaged by an exiting coin for only a single transient operative engagement with said member, antifraud means comprising a coin-passing gate structure situated in close adjacency to the margins of said exit and operative to open to permit a coin element to depart from, but not to reenter, said exit when closed after passage of a coin, and defining a coin-immobilizing zone between said gate in closed condition and said control member effective to confine and substantially immobilize a captive type coin in said zone against fraudulent retrograde manipulation sufficient to effect more than one actuation of said control member.

2. The combination of claim 1 wherein said gate structure is an auxiliary device adapted for attachment to said coin chute and includes a bracket, and means for attaching the same to said chute, and a gate member pivoted on said bracket and entering said chute through a slot therein closely adjacent the margins of said exit, with a coin-engaged portion lying in the path of, and moved out of the way of a coin negotiating said exit, together with means operative to yieldingly maintain said gate member in normal coin blocking position and permit the same to be opened for exit of the coin and to restore the same quickly to said blocking position after passage of said exiting coin.

3. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said gate member has a leading edge lying across the path of a coin approaching said exit and said edge is sloped to provide a camming surface facilitating the opening of the gate responsive to engagement of an exiting coin with said leading edge.

4. Apparatus according to claim 1 further characterized in that said gate member is provided with an integral stop formation engageable with a part of said bracket to define the closed position of the gate member.

5. Apparatus according to claim 1 further characterized in that said gate member has an offset portion perforated to receive a counterweight element the mass of which may be selected to effect the return movement of the gate member to closed condition and permit it to yield and open responsive to engagement by an exiting coin of predetermined mass.

6. In coin-handling apparatus, in combination, a first coin chute of the gravity type having a coin exit at a lower margin thereof; a second coin chute structure situated to receive exiting coins from the first chute and including a control member disposed at a predetermined spatial distance below said exit margins of the first chute to be engaged and transiently actuated only once by an exiting coin which has cleared said exit, and antifraud means including: a pivoted gate member having a coin blocking portion disposed across said exit in a normal position of said gate member to be engaged by an exiting coin and moved to a coin-passing open condition permitting a coin to clear said exit, and means operative to return the gate member to said normal position after departure of a coin from the exit, said gate member being spaced above said control member a distance such that the latter in proximity to the gate member defines a restrictive space effective to confine a fraudulent coin element of the captive type such that after such coin element has effectively moved said control member to actuate the same once, there is insufficient room in said restrictive space by reason of the closed condition of said gate member to permit a retraction of said coin element from said control member a distance sufficient to permit any further effective actuating movements thereof.

7. In coin-handling apparatus comprising the combination of a coin chute having a coin exit at a lower margin of the chute body and an auxiliary coin-receiving device including an actuating member positioned in the path of the exiting coin to be engaged and moved thereby in the general direction of travel of said coin and of a character requiring that the auxiliary actuating member be permitted to return to a normal position back toward said exit in order to be capable of a further coin actuation, the improvement in antifraud means which comprises: a coin-opened gate positioned within the chute body at said exit close to the margins of said chute body and of a character to permit a coin to pass the same and clear said exit and margins and to close behind the coin and block retrogressive movement thereof any substantial distance back into the exit and body, whereby to limit the space existing between said gate auxiliary actuating member and chute body margins to an amount insufficient to permit fraudulent retraction of a coin of predetermined diameter back away from said auxiliary actuating member a distance sufficient to permit the latter to return to said normal position for actuation a second time by the same coin element.
Description



The so-called captive-coin fraud, employing a valid or acceptable coin element to which is attached a fine tough wire or synthetic filament or strip by means of which the coin can be jiggled or retracted after passing the testing means to procure repeated fraudulent operations of the master switch or other vending machine control, has numerous variations requiring different preventive means as well as combinations of preventive arrangements, such as filament-cutting knives, snares, and movable trapping devices variously positioned within and exteriorly of the chute.

The present improvements are particularly related to equipment employing auxiliary fraud-preventive means of the type disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,279,574 intended to be mounted closely adjacent the exit for acceptable coins in a conventional drop-type coin-testing chute and serving further to defeat the captive coin fraud by receiving the accepted coin and subjecting it to certain supervisory operations, for example, in the case of the patented device mentioned, to hold the accepted coin in a certain location to control supervisory vending circuits to permit a single vending operation only while the coin is disposed at such location.

It has been found that auxiliary coin-handling devices of the type described can be defrauded by a captive coin which is skillfully retracted at the instant it is released by the detecting fingers, in a way to operate the master switch of the vending machine and then be quickly retracted for a repetition of the operation any number of times; but in order that this form of fraud can be practiced a space is required between the coin chute and auxiliary device for the purpose. The presently disclosed guard means automatically blocks off the needed space which would exist at the coin exit as soon as the accepted coin clears such exit, as will be more fully explained in view of the following description and annexed drawing in which:

FIG. 1 is an elevational view of a coin-testing chute and its mounting cradle, together with an auxiliary supervisory coin-handling attachment;

FIG. 2 is a magnified fragment of the coin acceptance exit region of the coin-testing chute of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a magnified fragmentary detail of the novel fraud-preventive dog means as seen looking down upon lines 3--3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a magnified fragmentary detail of the fraud-preventive means as seen from the right side along lines 4--4 of FIG. 1;

FIGS. 5 and 5A are magnified fragmentary views showing the dog in respectively normal and pivotally operated conditions looking in the direction of lines 5--5 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged exploded detail of the fraud-preventive dog structure;

FIG. 6A is a perspective detail of the dog with added counter balance;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view, to reduced scale, of the reject chute;

The illustrative coin chute apparatus shown in FIG. 1 is conventional in that it comprises a known type of mounting cradle 10 which will be supported in association with some coin-controlled apparatus (not shown) such as a vending or amusement machine, such cradle serving to retain any of several known types of coin-testing chute 11 removably seated therein, as by means of pivot pins on the chute and spring-urged catches 12 forming part of the cradle and latching onto said pins on the sides of the coin chute. Such a cradling arrangement facilitates installation and removal of the coin chutes for servicing and replacement, as when changing coin denominations, and so on.

The mounting cradle in the illustrative installation further may include various auxiliary control and coin-handling appendages, such as a master coin switch 15 mounted on a plate 16 which is preferably attached to, or perhaps a part of, the cradle. The coin switch has an actuating finger 17 with an offset end disposed in an arcuate slot 18 in the plate, and aligned slot means formed by further plate means 19 defining a channel 20 in which the accepted coin, after leaving the testing chute exit 14, will be confined for operation to depress the switch finger to the dotted-line position and operate the switch before finally gravitating free of the auxiliary control unit when released by certain coin-holding finger means therein (not shown), partly seen at 23A, 23B.

Also supported at the side of the cradle is another switch means 22 usually forming part of such an auxiliary coin-handling attachment as disclosed in the aforesaid U.S. Pat. No. 3,279,574, and which is controlled by an extension 23 from the aforesaid coin-holding finger means situated interiorly of the mounting cradle for cooperation with certain portions of the testing chute passage in ways not material to the operation of the disclosed improvement and therefore not requiring detailed description here, it being sufficient for present purposes to observe that in the construction shown in FIG. 1, unacceptable coin elements C-1 which are rejected by the testing chute will exit therefrom at a point from within the larger irregularly shaped barnacle plate 24 leading to reject exit 27 (FIG. 7 also), while coins C-2 which are accepted will exit from the bottom of the testing chute at a point behind the small wall portion 26 just above the switch-operating finger 17, enlarged fragmentary portions of both of these chute passages being seen in FIGS. 3 through 5A.

Thus, in FIG. 1, an accepted coin is intended to depart at 14 from the coin acceptance exit of the testing chute and gravitate directly into the auxiliary guide chute portion 19 normally to emerge finally therefrom as indicated by the dotted-line representation of the coin C-2 for the purpose of transiently depressing the switch-operating arm 17 to the dotted-line position, and actuating whatever vending or other apparatus may be controlled by the coin chute means.

In order to prevent fraudulent retraction of the accepted coin back above the auxiliary chute section 19 from which it would normally depart, the main chute exit is blocked by a special pivoted guard member or dog 30, FIGS. 1 and 2, having a downwardly curved camming edge 31, FIG. 4, projecting into and laterally across the coin exit chute section in position to be engaged by the exiting coin C-2, FIG. 5, and be pivoted out of the path thereof, FIG. 5A, in passing into the auxiliary coin-handling means.

The dog or gate structure is such that it may be applied to existing coin-testing chutes at the location of the coin acceptance or exit passage 14 as by the construction depicted in FIG. 6, comprising a small mounting plate 33 shaped to fit beneath the coin rejection chute structure 24, said plate 33 having an offset tab 34 pierced to provide a pivot hole 35 and notched to provide a dog stop 36 to limit the downward or coin-passing swing of the dog or gate.

The coin-blocking dog 30, itself, FIG. 6, comprises a stamping including a central portion 30A pierced as at 38 to pass a pivot 39 staked into the hole 35, the stamping having, in addition to the nose portion or camming edge 31, an offset flange portion 40 pierced as at 41 to receive any necessary counterbalancing weight which may be required in the event coins of heavy denomination are to be handled, such additional weight being afforded by a rivet counterbalance member 43 or the like, FIG. 6A, of suitable mass when required.

Along a bottom edge of the dog stamping, a small tab 45 is struck out to serve as a limiting stop for the upward movement of the dog, this tab being intended to abut a lower edge portion 33E of the Mounting Bracket, as at 46, FIG. 3.

In order to position the exit-guarding dog means on the testing chute itself and permit ready installation and removal of the latter relative to the cradle and without interference with such auxiliary attachments as may be present, such for example as that in the aforesaid U.S. Pat. No. 3,279,574, an open-ended clearance slot 48 is utilized in both front and back wall portions of the testing chute, and the dog is dimensioned, and its pivot point is located on the small attaching plate 33 in a manner to dispose the lower margins of the dog substantially flush with the lower margins of the coin-testing chute, as indicated generally at 50 in FIGS. 4 and 5, by reason of which it will be seen that any desired auxiliary coin-handling apparatus may be positioned very close to, and in alignment with, the coin acceptance exit of the chute at 14.

The exit-guarding gate structure is preferably made as an attachment which can be added to or omitted from existing commercial coin-accepting and testing chutes, and to this end the peculiarly shaped reject chute section 24 is a barnacle structure normally attached to the testing chute by screws 28A; and the coin-blocking dog plate 33 is shaped to fit with an angular portion at 24A of the reject chute and to be fixed in operative assembly by only one screw 28A (FIG. 2) which attaches the reject chute. Thus, the unidirectional, exit-blocking dog or gate means 30-33 constitutes an attachment which may easily be assembled with or omitted from testing chutes such as described, depending upon whether as a part of the mounting cradle as shown, or in other disjoined arrangements known in the art and requiring very close proximity to an exit such as that at 14.

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