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United States Patent 3,727,794
DiEranco April 17, 1973

MEMORANDUM DISPENSING DEVICE AT PRESELECTED INTERVALS

Abstract

An automatic reminder dispensing memoranda at preselected intervals comprising a constant-speed, substantially-horizontally-rotating drum, said rotating drum being of cylindrical shape and having an outer cylindrical wall and an inner cylindrical wall, the space between said walls being divided by spaced axial walls defining memoranda receiving pockets, a stationary bottom having an opening therein of at least the distance between said cylindrical walls and in cooperation with said spaced axial walls, said rotating drum being spaced slightly from said stationary bottom, means for rotating said drum at constant speed, memoranda means inserted in said memoranda receiving pockets, means in cooperation with said opening in said stationary bottom to deliver said memoranda means at preselected intervals and a signal means in association with said means to deliver said memoranda means.


Inventors: DiEranco; Jack E. (New York, NY)
Appl. No.: 05/172,175
Filed: August 16, 1971


Current U.S. Class: 221/3 ; 221/82; 221/86
Current International Class: B65H 29/34 (20060101); B65H 29/26 (20060101); B65h 029/34 ()
Field of Search: 221/86,89,91,3,12,13,82

References Cited

U.S. Patent Documents
1802674 April 1931 Schuyler
2314705 March 1943 Johnson
Primary Examiner: Tollberg; Stanley H.

Parent Case Text



REFERENCE TO A PRIOR APPLICATION

This application is a continuation of my copending application Ser. No. 868,477, filed Oct. 27, 1969, now abandoned.
Claims



I claim:

1. An automatic reminder dispensing memoranda at preselected intervals comprising a constantly-rotating, substantially horizontal drum, said rotating drum being of cylindrical shape and having an outer cylindrical wall having an inwardly disposed flange and an inner cylindrical wall, the space between said flange and said inner cylindrical wall being divided by spaced axial walls defining memoranda receiving pockets, a stationary plastic bottom having little frictional resistance and having an opening therein of at least the distance between said flange and said inner cylindrical wall and in cooperation with said spaced axial walls, said rotating drum being spaced slightly from said stationary bottom, means for rotating said drum constantly at a constant speed, a further means to manually rotate said rotating drum, in cooperation with said means for constantly rotating said drum at constant speed, memoranda means of stiff material inserted in said memoranda receiving pockets, means in cooperation with said opening in said stationary bottom to deliver said memoranda means at preselected intervals and a signal means activated by said memoranda means in association with said means to deliver said memoranda means.

2. The automatic reminder of claim 1 wherein said axial walls are equally spaced in association with indicia for time intervals.

3. The automatic reminder of claim 1 wherein said opening in said stationary bottom is substantially the size of said memoranda receiving pockets.

4. The automatic reminder of claim 1 wherein said means to deliver said memoranda means is a partially enclosed chute outwardly directed toward the bottom of said reminder.

5. The automatic reminder of claim 1 wherein said signal means is a trigger arm activating a microswitch.

6. The automatic reminder of claim 5 wherein said signal means is a buzzer.
Description



THE PRIOR ART

Automatic reminder devices calling attention to memoranda at preselected intervals are well known in the art. Most of the devices however are complicated with many moving parts and are difficult to operate.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is the provision of a novel type of automatic reminder dispensing memoranda at preselected intervals which is relatively simple in construction, absolutely automatic and easy to operate.

Another object of the present invention is the provision of an automatic reminder dispensing memoranda at preselected intervals comprising a constant-speed, substantially-horizontally-rotating drum, said rotating drum being of cylindrical shape and having an outer cylindrical wall and an inner cylindrical wall, the space between said walls being divided by spaced axial walls defining memoranda receiving pockets, a stationary bottom having an opening therein of at least the distance between said cylindrical walls and in cooperation with said spaced axial walls, said rotating drum being spaced slightly from said stationary bottom, means for rotating said drum at constant speed, memoranda means inserted in said memoranda receiving pockets, means in cooperation with said opening in said stationary bottom to deliver said memoranda means at preselected intervals and a signal means in association with said means to deliver said memoranda means.

These and other objects of the present invention will become more apparent as the description thereof proceeds.

THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top view of the memorandum dispensing device.

FIG. 2 is a plane view of a memorandum registering means.

FIG. 3 is a partial section side view of the memorandum dispensing device along lines 3--3 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a detail of the memorandum delivery unit in association with a signal means.

FIG. 5 is a plane view of one corner of the memorandum dispensing device.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A novel memorandum dispensing device has now been discovered which comprises a drum rotating substantially horizontally at a constant speed and having a plurality of memorandum receiving pockets mounted therein in association with a stationary bottom having an opening therein which communicates to a chute. The chute has a trigger for a signal means cooperating therewith. In operation, memoranda are manually prepared and inserted in the memorandum receiving pockets for the preselected intervals desired for delivery. The memorandum receiving pockets can be provided with indicia for time intervals. As the drum rotates, the memorandum receiving pockets are passed individually at preselected intervals over the opening in the stationary bottom. At this point, the memoranda drop through the opening, down the chute and activate the signal means. The operator then physically removes the delivered memoranda thus deactivating the signal means.

The device of the invention can be made of any size and shape depending on the number of memoranda receiving pockets and the length of the memorandums desired. The rotating drum can be driven by a electrical or mechanical constant speed motor such as is conventially utilized in clocks. Preferentially the mechanism connecting the rotating drum with the motor is capable of disengaging in at least one direction of rotation in order that the drum can be set with reference to time. It is also preferably that the top surface of the rotating drum be provided with time indicia in cooperation with the memorandum receiving pockets and an arrow opposite the time indicia at the memorandum delivery chute in order that the rotating drum can be set with reference to time.

The constant speed of rotation of the rotating drum can be selected depending on the length of time required for delivery of the memoranda. For certain uses such as deferred billing or call-ups for specific types of servicings, the drum can be adjusted to rotate once a year and the memorandum receiving pockets are spaced to provide 12 equal pockets for monthly reminders or more frequent divisions. Preferentially, however, the rotating drum is adjusted to make one complete rotation in 24 hours or 12 hours and the memorandum receiving pockets are spaced to provide 96, 48, 24 or 12 equal pockets. With a 24 hour rotation and 96 equally spaced pockets, memoranda may be delivered and signalled on a 15 minute basis throughout the day. Such an operation is useful in many businesses and professions, such as indicating the time for engagements and consultations, telephone calls to be made, progamming of manufacturing steps, and many other timed reminders.

The memoranda may be prepared on any type of stiff material which can receive messages. Ordinarily, it is preferable to utilize small slips of card stock such as 90 pound card stock for the preparation of the memoranda. The only criteria for the message holding memoranda is that it be sufficiently heavy to drop by gravity through the opening in the stationary bottom plate. The signalling means must also be operated by the message receiving memoranda however, the signalling means trigger can be set for activation by any weight which will drop through the opening in the stationary bottom plate. Other solid material adapted to receive messages may be employed such as plastic strips, metal strips etc. The size of these message receiving memoranda should be adjusted so that they fit the memorandum receiving pockets which of course may be of any size depending on the diameter of the rotating drum and the number of memoranda receiving pockets therein.

The spacing of the memoranda receiving pockets in the rotating drum need not be equal. Particularily on a 24 hour operation, in some usages, night memoranda may be dispensed at hourly intervals while day memoranda may be dispensed as often as 5 minute intervals or less. In turn, the opening in the stationary bottom plate may be of varied size depending on the spacing of the memoranda receiving pockets. Preferably, however, the memoranda receiving pockets are spaced equally around the rotating drum and the opening in the stationary bottom is of the size of the memoranda receiving pocket. With this arrangement, a 24 hour rotating drum can be used for memoranda of events further in the future than 24 hours. When the memoranda drops through the opening, the operater can determine that it is for the next day and reinsert it into the next memoranda receiving pocket which will be closed by the stationary bottom plate.

The chute delivering the memoranda may be of any shape and size as long as the memoranda is delivered therethrough by gravity. Preferably the chute delivers the memoranda to a side opening in the device and is of a size, shape and curvature that the memoranda slip is delivered by gravity. The signal indicating means indicating the delivery of the memoranda may be of any type having a trigger activated by the dropping of the memoranda slip. The signal indicating means can also be eliminated, however it is preferable to have such a signal indicating means which continually makes a visual and/or audio signal until the memoranda slip is removed. Without the signal indicating means, the operator is required to periodically check the device to determine if a memorandum has been delivered. However if, in operation, all memorandum receiving pockets are utilized to contain memoranda, the signal indicating means can be intermittently operated by the constant-speed motor with a manual cut-off switch.

For optimum results, a signal indicating means is preferred having a trigger activating means which stops the dropping of the memoranda slip and activates the signal until the memoranda slip is removed. A buzzer or light or both operated by a microswitch in association with a trigger rod extending over the chute has been found both preferable and economical.

For a more particular description of a preferred embodiment of the invention, reference is made to the drawings.

With reference to FIG. 1, the memoranda dispensing device 1 consists of a square box having mounted centrally therein a rotating drum 2. The rotating drum rotates horizontally in a clock-wise direction as shown by the arrow 3. This rotating drum 2 has an inner cylindrical wall 4 and an outer cylindrical wall 5 and is divided by axial walls 6, being equally spaced to define a series of memoranda receiving pockets 7. In the embodiment of FIG. 1, 48 memoranda receiving pockets 7 are depicted and the rotating drum 2 makes a complete rotation in 24 hours. Each of the memoranda receiving pockets 7 defines a 30 minute time period. On the outer rim of the rotating drum 2 is an inwardly disposed flange 8a having time indicia 8 thereon divided by 1/2 hour periods over 24 hours and identifying the particular memoranda receiving pockets 7. At the bottom of the rotating drum 2 is a stationary bottom plate 9 (shown in FIG. 3) having an opening 10 therein of the same size as the memoranda receiving pockets 7. This stationary bottom plate 9 is preferably made of plastic and should offer little frictional resistance to the passage of the memoranda slips 11 being in contact therewith and being conveyed by the rotating drum 2.

In operation a memoranda slip 11 (FIG. 2) is placed in a memoranda receiving pocket 7 as preselected for delivery at the proper time interval. The correct time for setting the rotating drum 2 is indicated by a time indicating arrow 12 affixed to the cover opposite the opening 10.

In FIG. 3 a sectional view of the internal mechanism of the device is shown along lines 3--3 of FIG. 1. The rotating drum 2 is suspended on shaft 13 which is rotated by a conventional 24 hour clock motor (not shown) through a series of gears including 14 and 15. Gear 15 is permanently affixed to shaft 13 which in turn rotates about a fixed shaft 17 within shaft 13. In order to set the rotating drum for the correct time, the drum 2 is lifted slightly, thus disengaging gear 15 from gear 14 and rotated until the correct time indicia 8 is opposite the time indicating arrow 12. When the drum 2 is released, gear 15 reengages with gear 14. The rotating drum 2 is maintained in slightly spaced relation with the stationary bottom plate 9 by a bushing 16 on said fixed shaft 17.

Any other conventional escape mechanism as is well known in the art may be employed to allow the setting of the correct time on the drum 2.

When the memoranda receiving pocket 7 containing a memoranda slip 11 rotates until it is over opening 10, the memoranda slip 11 drops through the opening 10 and slides along chute 18 until it is stopped by the signal trigger 19 in its extended position (FIG. 4).

Chute 18 has a bottom 19 which offers no resistance to the passages of the memoranda slip 11 as well as two sides 20 and 21 and a partial top 22 (as depicted more particularly in FIG. 4). The bottom part of the top 22 and sides 20 and 21 of chute 18 is cut away to enable the operator to grasp and remove memoranda slip 11.

The operation of the signal indicating means is furthered illustrated in FIG. 4. As the memoranda slip 11 drops down chute 18, it contacts signal trigger 19 and depresses it as is shown in the dotted lines. This in turn rotates rod 23 which activates microswitch 24 thus closing the current and activating buzzer 25 (shown partially). The circuitry of the buzzer is convention and not depicted fully. The same microswitch 24 could operate a visual signal such as a flashing light in a manner well known.

When the memoranda slip 11 depressing signal trigger 19 is removed the trigger assumes its original position due to the tension in the spring (not shown) within the microswitch 24. The pressure required to activate the microswitch 24 can be readily adjusted by the weight and length of rod 23. Preferably the arrangement is adjusted so that a 1 inch by 2 inch piece of a 90 pound card stock will depress the switch trigger 19 thus activating the microswitch.

In the preferred embodiment, the chute 18 is directed to an opening 26 in the device 1 toward a corner thereof as is depicted in FIG. 5. When the memoranda slip 11 drops and activates the signal trigger 19, the operator is then signalled to reach in the opening 26 and remove the memoranda slip 11.

It is obvious that other expedients known to those skilled in the art or disclosed herein may be employed without departing from the spirit of the invention.

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