Patent No. 4,905,813
Escrow Credit Controllers And Method Of Operation Thereof
Issued: March 6, 1990
Inventor: Darrell Rademacher, Dryden, N.Y.
Assignee: XCP, Incorporated, Dryden, N.Y.
An escrow credit controller for use with vending machines having a vend path which is several articles in length, such as a copier machine. The controller accepts value in the form of coins or bills, and escrows the value in an escrow total. When the escrow total deposited reaches a trigger amount which is at least equal to one more than the number of articles in the vend path times the vend price, the vending machine is enabled. The controller continues to add value to the escrow total as coins or bills are deposited, and subtracts the vend price from the escrow total upon receipt of a vend signal from the machine. When the escrowed value is less than or equal to the number of articles in the vend path times the vend price, or when the "value return" is activated by the user, the machine is disabled (possibly after a delay to avoid "trapping" the article(s)).
The escrow controller retains the escrow balance for an additional time delay, during which time it continues to look for signals from the machine which indicate additional articles dispensed (copies made). After a delay sufficient to clear the vend path, either the remaining escrow value is returned (if the "value return switch" was activated) or the machine waits for the escrow value to be increased above the trigger amount again.
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