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1. (WO1995006920) COIN HANDLING SYSTEM WITH CONTROLLED COIN DISCHARGE
Nota: Texto obtenido mediante procedimiento automático de reconocimiento óptico de caracteres.
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What is claimed is:
1. A coin sorter for sorting mixed coins by denomination, the coin sorter comprising:
a motor having a motor output shaft rotatable at a first speed;
a rotatable disc, coupled to the motor output shaft, having a resilient surface for receiving said coins and, via the motor output shaft of the motor, imparting rotational movement to said coins;
a stationary sorting head having a contoured surface spaced slightly away from and generally parallel to said resilient surface of said rotatable disc, said stotionary sorting head configured and arranged for sorting and discharging said coins of different denominations at different exit paths around the periphery of said stationary sorting head; an electrical coin sensor, located at a fixed sensing station located over the rotatable disc, sensing at least one coin denomination; and
a position monitor monitoring the movement of a sensed coin on the rotating disc downstream of said sensing station;
a circuit, responsive to the electrical coin sensor and the position monitor, for pulsing the motor on and off until the sensed coin is moved beyond a predetermined position downstream from the fixed sensing station.
2. The coin sorter of claim 1 wherein the motor output shaft is also rotatable at a second speed which is greater than the first speed.
3. The coin sorter of claim 2 wherein said disc is stopped in response to the sensing of said last coin, and then advanced intermittently until said last coin is discharged.
4. A coin sorter comprising:
a rotatable disc,
a drive motor for rotating said disc,
a stotionary sorting head having a lower surface substantially parallel to the upper surface of said rotatable disc and spaced slightly therefrom,
the lower surface of said sorting head forming a plurality of exit channels for guiding coins of different denominations to different discharge stotions around the periphery of said disc, a coin sensor in each exit channel for sensing each successive coin which enters that channel,
counting means connected to said coin sensors for separately counting the number of coins that enter each separate exit channel, and
control means connected to said counting means for decelerating said disc when the last coin in a preselected count of coins of a selected denomination is in the exit channel for that denomination, and stopping the rototion of said disc when said last coin is discharged from its exit channel.
5. The coin sorter of claim 4 wherein said control means includes means for momentarily stopping said disc when said last coin is sensed in its exit channel, and then advancing said disc through an angle sufficient to advance the trailing edge of said last coin from the coin sensor in that exit channel to the periphery of said disc.
6. The coin sorter of claim 4 which includes a brake for stopping the rotation of said disc, and said control means includes means for activating said brake in response to the sensing of said last coin.
7. The coin sorter of claim 4 wherein said contiol means includes means for energizing and de-energizing said drive motor.
8. The coin sorter of claim 4 wherein said coin sensors are located adjacent the outer walls of said exit channels.
9. The coin motor of claim 4 wherein said coin sensors are spaced away from the exit ends of said exit channels.
10. The coin sorter of claim 4 wherein said rotatable disc has a resilient surface, and said sorting head is positioned close enough to said disc to press at least a portion of each coin into said resilient surface as the coin passes along its exit channel.
11. The coin sorter of claim 4 wherein said control means includes
means for decelerating said disc to a stop when said last coin of a selected denomination has entered the exit channel for that denomination, and
means for advancing the stopped disc at a slow rate through a predetermined angle of displacement to discharge said last coin from its exit channel.

12. The coin sorter of claim 11 wherein said drive motor is an induction motor, and said means for rotating said disc at a slow rate comprises means for supplying energizing pulses to said induction motor.
13. The coin sorter of claim 4 wherein said coin sensors comprise proximity sensors mounted in said sorting head and generating electrical fields which extend downwardly from the lower ends of said sensors so that coins traversing the lower ends of said sensors interrupt the respective fields and thereby cause said sensors to generate corresponding output signals.
14. The coin sorter of claim 13 wherein each of said coin sensors is located along the outer edge of its exit channel, at a position where the field of said sensor is spaced radially outwardly from the outer edges of all coins which bypass that exit channel.
15. The coin sorter of claim 14 which includes means upstream of said exit channels for positioning the outer edges of the coins of all denominations at the same radial position.
16. The coin sorter of claim 4 wherein the side walls of each of said exit channels are straight.
17. The coin sorter of claim 4 wherein said contiol means includes an encoder for producing repetitive signals representing successive increments of the actual angular displacement of said disc, and means for storing a preselected number of said repetitive signals corresponding to the angular displacement of said disc required to advance a coin from the coin sensor in the exit channel for that coin to the discharge end of that exit channel.
18. The coin sorter of claim 17 which includes counting means for counting said repetitive signals after the sensing of said last coin, comparing the stored number with the actual count to determine when said last coin has been advanced to the discharge end of its exit channel, and stopping the rototion of said disc when said stored number and said actual count are the same.
19. A method of controlling the movement of coins between a stotionary head and a rotatable disc having a resilient upper surface located beneath said head and close enough to the lowermost surfaces of the head to cause those surfaces to press the coins into said resilient surface, said method comprising guiding coins of different denominations through different exit channels leading to different discharge stotions around the periphery of said disc,
separately sensing each successive coin which enters each of said exit channels,
separately counting the number of coins that enter each separate exit channel, decelerating said disc when the last coin in a preselected count of coins of a selected denomination is in the exit channel for that denomination, and
stopping the rotation of said disc when said last coin is discharged from its exit channel.
20. The coin sorting method of claim 19 wherein said decelerating step momentarily stops said disc when said last coin is sensed in its exit channel, and which includes the step of advancing said disc through an angle sufficient to advance the trailing edge of said last coin from the coin sensor in that exit channel to the exit end of its exit channel prior to said stopping step.
21. The coin sorting method of claim 19 which includes the step of positioning the outer edges of the coins of all denominations at the same radial position upstream of said exit channels.
22. The coin sorting method of claim 19 which includes the steps of producing repetitive signals representing successive increments of the actual angular displacement of said disc, and storing a preselected number of said repetitive signals corresponding to the angular displacement of said disc required to advance a coin from the coin sensor in the exit channel for that coin to the discharge end of that exit channel.
23. The coin sorting method of claim 22 which includes the steps of counting said repetitive signals after the sensing of said last coin, comparing the stored number with the actual count to determine when said last coin has been advanced to the discharge end of its exit channel, and stopping the rototion of said disc when said stored number and said actual count are the same.
24. A coin sorter comprising
a rotatable disc,
a drive motor for rotating said disc, a stotionary sorting head having a lower surface parallel to the upper surface of said rotatable disc and spaced slightly therefrom,
the lower surface of said sorting head forming a plurality of exit channels for guiding coins of different denominations to different discharge stotions around the periphery of said disc,
a first coin sensor within each exit channel for sensing the presence of each successive coin in that channel,
first counting means connected to said coin sensors for separately counting the number of coins sensed in each separate exit channel, and
control means connected to said counting means for decelerating or stopping said disc when the last coin in a preselected count of coins of a selected denomination has been sensed in the exit channel for that denomination, and for advancing said disc at a slow speed until said last coin is discharged from its exit channel and then stopping said disc.
25. The coin sorter of claim 24 wherein said control means comprises a second coin sensor adjacent the exit end of each exit channel for sensing each successive coin discharged from that channel,
second counting means connected to said second sensors for separately counting the number of coins discharged from each separate exit channel, and
means responsive to said second counting means for stopping said disc in response to the discharge of said last coin.
26. The coin sorter of claim 25 wherein said means for stopping said disc comprises a brake for said rotatable disc, and means for energizing said brake and de-energizing said drive motor in response to the discharge of said last coin.
27. The coin sorter of claim 24 wherein said rotatable disc has a resilient surface, and said sorting head is positioned close enough to said disc to press at least a portion of each coin into said resilient surface as the coin passes along its exit channel.
28. The coin sorter of claim 24 wherein said drive motor for said disc is an induction motor, and said means for advancing said disc at a slow speed comprises means for supplying energizing pulses to said motor.

29. The coin sorter of claim 24 wherein said first coin sensors comprise proximity sensors mounted in said sorting head and generating electrical fields which extend downwardly from the lower ends of said sensors so that coins traversing the lower ends of said sensors interrupt the respective fields and thereby cause said sensors to generate corresponding output signals.
30. The coin sorter of claim 29 wherein each first coin sensor is located along the outer edge of its exit channel, at a position where the field of said first coin sensor is spaced radially outwardly from the outer edges of all coins which bypass that exit channel.
31. The coin sorter of claim 30 which includes means upstream of said exit channels for positioning the outer edges of the coins of all denominations at the same radial position.
32. The coin sorter of claim 24 wherein said exit channels are straight.
33. A disc-type coin sorter comprising means for sorting coins by denomination, separate counting means for sensing and counting the coins of each denomination after the sorting of said coins, and control means responsive to the counting of the last sorted coin in a preselected count of coins of a selected denomination for stopping the discharge of sorted coins of said selected denomination after the discharge of said last coin and before the discharge of the next coin of said selected denomination following said last coin.
34. A disc-type coin sorter comprising a stotionary guide plate having a contoured lower surface arranged slightly above a rotatable coin-carrying resilient disc for sorting coins at respective exits outside the periphery of the resilient disc according to coin denomination, at least one coin detector for sensing and counting coins of at least one denomination, an encoder for tracking the angular position of the disc, a braking mechanism responding both to the counting of a preselected count of coins of a selected denomination and to the encoder by interrupting the discharge of sorted coins of said selected denomination to each of said respective exits after the discharge of the last coin and before the discharge of the next coin of said selected denomination following said last coin.

35. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 34, wherein said at least one coin detector senses and counts the coins of said at least one denomination while the coins are being carried by the resilient disc under the stationary guide plate.
36. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 34, wherein said at least one coin detector senses and counts the coins of said at least one denomination by sensing the top surface of each of the coins engaging said at least one coin detector.
37. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 36, wherein said at least one coin detector counts the coins by discriminating between the leading and trailing edges of at least one of the sensed coins of said at least one denomination.
38. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 34, wherein the braking mechanism includes at least one of the following: a frictionally-engaging brake impeding the speed of the disc, and a clutch for decoupling a member driving the disc.
39. A disc-type coin sorter comprising a stationary guide plate having a contoured lower surface arranged slightly above a rotatable coin-carrying resilient disc for sorting coins and discharging said coins at respective exits outside the periphery of the resilient disc according to coin denomination, at least one coin detector for sensing and counting coins of at least one denomination by detecting the leading and trailing edges of said sensed coins while the coins are being carried by the resilient disc, and a coin exit area located on the contoured lowered surface for discharging the counted coins.
40. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 39, further including an interruption mechanism for impeding the discharge of said coins in response to said at least one coin detector counting a predetermined number of coins of said at least one denomination.
41. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 40, wherein the interruption mechanism includes a movable diverter.
42. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 40, wherein the interruption mechanism includes a braking mechanism.
43. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 42, wherein the braking mechanism includes a frictionally-engaging brake for impeding the rotation of the disc.

44. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 42, wherein the braking mechanism includes a clutch.
45. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 42, further including a motor having a rotatable shaft coupled to and arranged for rotating the rotatable resilient disc, wherein the braking mechanism includes a frictionally-engaging brake and a clutch located between the rotatable shaft and the rotatable resilient disc.
46. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 45, further including at least one speed reducer also located between the rotatable shaft and the rotatable resilient disc and configured so that the disc rotates at an angular speed which is a fraction of the angular speed of the rotatable shaft.
47. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 40, wherein the rotatable disc rotates at a predetermined speed before said at least one coin detector counts said predetermined number of coins, and wherein the interruption mechanism is configured and arranged to impede the rotation of the disc so that the disc no longer rotates at said predetermined speed.
48. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 47, further including a controller for controlling the interruption mechanism so that the disc rotates for a substantial period of time at a reduced speed which is less than said predetermined speed.
49. A disc-type coin sorter comprising a stationary guide plate having a contoured lower surface arranged slightly above a rotatable coin-carrying resilient disc for sorting coins and discharging said coins at respective exits outside the periphery of the resilient disc according to coin denomination, at least one coin detector for sensing and counting coins of at least one denomination while the coins are being carried by the resilient disc, and an encoder for monitoring the angular movement of said disc after a predetermined number of coins of said at least one denomination has been counted, to determine when the last of the predetermined number of counted coins has been moved beyond a predetermined location spaced circumferentially from said at least one coin detector in the direction of coin movement.
50. A disc-type coin sorter comprising a stotionary guide plate having a contoured lower surface arranged slightly above a coin-carrying resilient disc for rotating at a predetermined speed and sorting coins and discharging said coins at respective exits outside the periphery of the resilient disc according to coin denomination, at least one coin detector for sensing and counting a predetermined number of coins of at least one denomination while the coins are being carried by the resilient disc, a speed control mechanism for impeding the rotation of the disc in response to said coin detector sensing and counting the predetermined number of coins so that the disc rotates for a substantial period of time at a reduced speed which is less than said predetermined speed.
51. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 50, further including an interruption mechanism selectively activated to prevent the discharge of said coins at each of the respective exits.
52. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 50, wherein the speed control mechanism includes a braking mechanism activated in response to said at least one coin detector counting the predetermined number of coins.
53. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 50, wherein the speed control mechanism includes a clutch and a brake, said clutch and brake arranged and disposed for causing the rotational speed of the disc to be reduced rapidly.
54. A disc-type coin sorter comprising a stationary guide plate having a contoured lower surface arranged slightly above a coin-carrying resilient disc for rotating at a predetermined speed and sorting coins and discharging said coins at respective exits outside the periphery of the resilient disc according to coin denomination, a motor having a rotatable shaft coupled to and driving the disc, at least one coin detector for sensing and counting a predetermined number of coins of at least one denomination, a current sensor for monitoring the magnitude of current drawn by the motor, a speed control mechanism for controlling the rotation speed of the disc in response to said coin sensor and the current sensor.
55. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 50, wherein the speed control mechanism includes a clutch and a brake arranged and disposed for causing the rotation speed of the disc to be reduced rapidly.
56. A method for running a disc-type coin sorter using a stationary guide plate having a contoured lower surface arranged slightly above a coin-carrying resilient disc for rotating at a predetermined speed and sorting and discharging coins of at least one denomination at a designated one of at least a first exit and a second exit outside the periphery of the resilient disc, a motor having a rotatable shaft coupled to and driving the disc, at least one coin detector for sensing and counting coins of said at least one denomination, said at least one coin detector counting a predetermined number of coins of said at least one denomination, the method comprising the steps of:
providing a first coin receiver position and a second coin receiver position for receiving coins at the respective first and second exits;
designating one of the first and second exits;
(a) discharging the counted coins via the designated one of the first and .second exits into the respective coin receiver position;
(b) in response to counting the predetermined number of coins, rapidly decreasing the rotating speed of the disc from the predetermined speed to impede the speed at which the last of the counted coins of the predetermined number moves toward said designated one of the first and second exits;
(c) shifting the discharge of coins of said at least one coin denomination from said one of the first and second exits to the other of said first and second exits so that the coins of said at least one denomination are subsequently discharged into the other of the first and second coin receiver positions;
(d) removing the coins discharged via the designated exit;
designating the other of the first and second exits; and
repeating the above-labeled steps (a) through (d) at least once, so as to operate the disc-type coin sorter without interruption.
57. A method for running a disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 56, further including the step of indicating to a user of the disc-type coin sorter that the predetermined number of coins have been counted and discharged.
58. A method for running a disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 56, wherein the step of rapidly decreasing the rototing speed of the disc includes the step of activating a brake and clutch mechanism coupled between the rotatable motor shaft and the disc.
59. A method for running a disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 58, wherein the step of rapidly decreasing the rototing speed of the disc from the predetermined speed further includes maintaining the disc at a reduced speed, which is less than the predetermined speed, for a substantial period of time.
60. A disc-type coin sorter comprising a stationary guide plate having a contoured lower surface arranged slightly above a rotatable coin-carrying resilient disc for sorting coins to respective exits outside the periphery of the resilient disc according to coin denomination, at least one coin detector for sensing and counting coins of at least one denomination, an encoder for tracking the angular position of the disc, a frictionally-engaging brake coupled to the resilient disc for impeding the rotation of the disc by applying one of at least two different braking forces, and a controller for commanding the brake to apply each of said at least two different braking forces selectively in response to the encoder.
61. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 60, wherein one of said at least two different braking forces is a maximum braking force and another of said at least two different braking forces is a variable force less than said maximum braking force.
62. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 60, wherein said encoder indicates when a coin of a predetermined count has moved past the coin sensor a measured distance and wherein said controller commands the brake in response thereto.
63. A disc-type coin sorter comprising a stationary guide plate having a contoured lower surface arranged slightly above a rotatable coin-carrying resilient disc for sorting coins to respective exits outside the periphery of the resilient disc according to coin denomination, a motor having a rotatable shaft coupled to and rotating said disc, at least one coin detector for sensing and counting coins of at least one denomination, an encoder for tracking the angular position of the disc, a braking mechanism coupled to the resilient disc for impeding the rotation of the disc, and a controller for selectively controlling the motor and the braking mechanism in response to the encoder, so that a preselected count of coins is sorted to the respective exits outside the periphery of the resilient disc.
64. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 63, wherein the braking mechanism includes at least one of the following: a frictionally engaging brake, a speed reducer, and a clutch.

65. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 60, wherein said controller selectively controls the motor by cycling power to the motor.
66. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 60, wherein the braking mechamsm includes a frictionally-engaging brake, and wherein said controller selectively controls the motor and the braking mechanism by cycling power to the motor and by commanding the frictionally-engaging brake to apply a variable braking force.
67. A disc-type coin sorter comprising a stationary guide plate having a contoured lower surface arranged slightly above a rotatable coin-carrying resilient disc for sorting coins to respective exits outside the periphery of the resilient disc according to coin denomination, at least one coin detector for sensing and counting coins of at least one denomination while being carried by said resilient disc, and at least one other coin detector, located and arranged outside the periphery of the resilient disc, for sensing that coins of said at least one denomination have been discharged therefrom.
68. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 67, further including a processor, responsive to said at least one other coin detector, for determining when a predetermined number of coins of said at least one denomination have been sorted to the respective exits.
69. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 67, further including means for controlling the rotation of the disc, said means including at least one of the following: a frictionally engaging brake, a clutch, and a power-controlled motor.
70. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 69, further including a processor, responsive to said at least one other coin detector, for determining when a predetermined number of coins of said at least one denomination have been sorted to the respective exits, wherein in response to the processor determining that the predetermined number of coins of said at least one denomination have not been sorted to the respective exits, the processor commands said means for controlling the rotation of the disc such that the disc rototes until the processor determines that the predetermined number of coins of said at least one denomination have been sorted to the respective exits.

71. A method of counting and sorting coins of mixed denominations in a disc-type coin sorter having a rotatable disc with a resilient surface for receiving said coins and imparting rotational movement to said coins, and a stationary sorting head having a contoured surface spaced slightly away from and generally parallel to said resilient surface of said rotatable disc, said method comprising the steps of
rotating said disc beneath said sorting head while feeding coins between said disc and sorting head,
sorting and counting each coin denomination between the lower surface of said sorting head and the upper surface of said disc,
discharging the sorted and counted coins at different exits around the periphery of said guide plate,
sensing each coin denomination at a fixed sensing station located upstream of the respective exits, and
monitoring the movement of a sensed coin on the rotating disc downstream of said sensing station by monitoring the angular movement of said disc, to determine when the sensed coin has been moved to a predetermined location spaced downstream from said sensing station in the direction of coin movement.
72. A method of counting and sorting coins of mixed denominations in a disc-type coin sorter having a rotatable disc with a resilient surface for receiving said coins and imparting rotational movement to said coins, and a stationary sorting head having a contoured surface spaced slightly away from and generally parallel to said resilient surface of said rotatable disc, said method comprising the steps of
rotating said disc beneath said sorting head while feeding coins between said disc and sorting head,
sorting and counting each coin denomination between the lower surface of said sorting head and the upper surface of said disc,
discharging the sorted and counted coins at different exits around the periphery of said guide plate,
separately sensing the coins of each denomination after the sorting of the coins but before the exiting thereof, monitoring the movement of a sensed coin which is the last coin in a prescribed number of coins of a prescribed denomination, by monitoring the angular movement of said disc, and
stopping the discharge of coins of said prescribed denomination at the exit where said prescribed number of that denomination are discharged, when said monitoring of the angular movement of said disc indicates that said last coin has been discharged.

AMENDED CLAIMS
[received by the International Bureau on 17 January 1995 (17.01.95);
original claims 1-3 unchanged; original claims 5, 11-12, 20, 35, 48,

50-53 and 55 cancelled; original claim 4 amended; original claims
19, 33-34, 63 and 71-72 amended and renumbered; remaining
claims unchanged, but renumbered (12 pages)]
1. A coin sorter for sorting mixed coins by denomination, the coin sorter comprising:
a motor having a motor output shaft rotatable at a first speed;
a rotatable disc, coupled to the motor output shaft, having a resilient surface for receiving said coins and, via the motor output shaft of the motor, imparting rotational movement to said coins;
a stationary sorting head having a contoured surface spaced slightly away from and generally parallel to said resilient surface of said rotatable disc, said stotionary sorting head configured and arranged for sorting and discharging said coins of different denominations at different exit paths around the periphery of said stotionary sorting head;
an electrical coin sensor, located at a fixed sensing station located over the rotatable disc, sensing at least one coin denomination; and
a position monitor monitoring the movement of a sensed coin on the rototing disc downstream of said sensing station;
a circuit, responsive to the electrical coin sensor and the position monitor, for pulsing the motor on and off until the sensed coin is moved beyond a predetermined position downstream from the fixed sensing stotion.
2. The coin sorter of claim 1 wherein the motor output shaft is also rotatable at a second speed which is greater than the first speed.
3. The coin sorter of claim 2 wherein said disc is stopped in response to the sensing of said last coin, and then advanced intermittently until said last coin is discharged.
4. A coin sorter comprising:
a rototable disc,
a drive motor for rotating said disc,
a stationary sorting head having a lower surface substantially parallel to the upper surface of said rototable disc and spaced slightly therefrom,
the lower surface of said sorting head forming a plurality of exit channels for guiding coins of different denominations to different discharge stotions around the periphery of said disc, a coin sensor located in each exit channel and over the rotatable disc for sensing each successive coin which enters that channel,
counting means connected to said coin sensors for separately counting the number of coins that enter each separate exit channel, and
control means connected to said counting means for decelerating said disc when the last coin in a preselected count of coins of a selected denomination is in the exit channel for that denomination, and stopping the rototion of said disc when said last coin is discharged from its exit channel.
5. The coin sorter of claim 4 which includes a brake for stopping the rotation of said disc, and said control means includes means for activating said brake in response to the sensing of said last coin.
6. The coin sorter of claim 4 wherein said contiol means includes means for energizing and de-energizing said drive motor.
7. The coin sorter of claim 4 wherein said coin sensors are located adjacent the outer walls of said exit channels.
8. The coin motor of claim 4 wherein said coin sensors are spaced away from the exit ends of said exit channels.
9. The coin sorter of claim 4 wherein said rotatable disc has a resilient surface, and said sorting head is positioned close enough to said disc to press at least a portion of each coin into said resilient surface as the coin passes along its exit channel.
10. The coin sorter of claim 4 wherein said coin sensors comprise proximity sensors mounted in said sorting head and generating electrical fields which extend downwardly from the lower ends of said sensors so that coins traversing the lower ends of said sensors interrupt the respective fields and thereby cause said sensors to generate corresponding output signals.
11. The coin sorter of claim 10 wherein each of said coin sensors is located along the outer edge of its exit channel, at a position where the field of said sensor is spaced radially outwardly from the outer edges of all coins which bypass that exit channel.

AMENDED SHEET (ARTICLE

12. The coin sorter of claim 11 which includes means upstream of said exit channels for positioning the outer edges of the coins of all denominations at the same radial position.
13. The coin sorter of claim 4 wherein the side walls of each of said exit channels are straight.
14. The coin sorter of claim 4 wherein said control means includes an encoder for producing repetitive signals representing successive increments of the actual angular displacement of said disc, and means for storing a preselected number of said repetitive signals corresponding to the angular displacement of said disc required to advance a coin from the coin sensor in the exit channel for that coin to the discharge end of that exit channel.
15. The coin sorter of claim 14 which includes counting means for counting said repetitive signals after the sensing of said last coin, comparing the stored number with the actual count to determine when said last coin has been advanced to the discharge end of its exit channel, and stopping the rototion of said disc when said stored number and said actual count are the same.
16. A method of controlling the movement of coins between a stationary head and a rotatable disc having a resilient upper surface located beneath said head and close enough to the lowermost surfaces of the head to cause those surfaces to press the coins into said resilient surface, said method comprising
guiding coins of different denominations through different exit channels leading to different discharge stotions around the periphery of said disc,
separately sensing each successive coin which enters each of said exit channels while the coin is on the rotatable disc,
separately counting the number of coins that enter each separate exit channel while the most recently sensed coin is on the rototable disc,
decelerating said disc when the last coin in a preselected count of coins of a selected denomination is in the exit channel for that denomination, and stopping the rototion of said disc when said last coin is discharged from its exit channel.
17. The coin sorting method of claim 16 which includes the step of positioning the outer edges of the coins of all denominations at the same radial position upstream of said exit channels.

18. The coin sorting method of claim 16 which includes the steps of producing repetitive signals representing successive increments of the actual angular displacement of said disc, and storing a preselected number of said repetitive signals corresponding to the angular displacement of said disc required to advance a coin from the coin sensor in the exit channel for that coin to the discharge end of that exit channel.
19. The coin sorting method of claim 18 which includes the steps of counting said repetitive signals after the sensing of said last coin, comparing the stored number with the actual count to determine when said last coin has been advanced to the discharge end of its exit channel, and stopping the rototion of said disc when said stored number and said actual count are the same.
20. A coin sorter comprising
a rototable disc,
a drive motor for rotating said disc,
a stotionary sorting head having a lower surface parallel to the upper surface of said rotatable disc and spaced slightly therefrom,
the lower surface of said sorting head forming a plurality of exit channels for guiding coins of different denominations to different discharge stations around the periphery of said disc,
a first coin sensor within each exit channel for sensing the presence of each successive coin in that channel,
first counting means connected to said coin sensors for separately counting the number of coins sensed in each separate exit channel, and
control means connected to said counting means for decelerating or stopping said disc when the last coin in a preselected count of coins of a selected denomination has been sensed in the exit channel for that denomination, and for advancing said disc at a slow speed until said last coin is discharged from its exit channel and then stopping said disc.
21. The coin sorter of claim 20 wherein said contiol means comprises a second coin sensor adjacent the exit end of each exit channel for sensing each successive coin discharged from that channel, second counting means connected to said second sensors for separately counting the number of coins discharged from each separate exit channel, and
means responsive to said second counting means for stopping said disc in response to the discharge of said last coin.
22. The coin sorter of claim 21 wherein said means for stopping said disc comprises a brake for said rotatable disc, and means for energizing said brake and de-energizing said drive motor in response to the discharge of said last coin.
23. The coin sorter of claim 20 wherein said rotatable disc has a resilient surface, and said sorting head is positioned close enough to said disc to press at least a portion of each coin into said resilient surface as the coin passes along its exit channel.
24. The coin sorter of claim 20 wherein said drive motor for said disc is an induction motor, and said means for advancing said disc at a slow speed comprises means for supplying energizing pulses to said motor.
25. The coin sorter of claim 20 wherein said first coin sensors comprise proximity sensors mounted in said sorting head and generating electrical fields which extend downwardly from the lower ends of said sensors so that coins traversing the lower ends of said sensors interrupt the respective fields and thereby cause said sensors to generate corresponding output signals.
26. The coin sorter of claim 25 wherein each first coin sensor is located along the outer edge of its exit channel, at a position where the field of said first coin sensor is spaced radially outwardly from the outer edges of all coins which bypass that exit channel.
27. The coin sorter of claim 26 which includes means upstream of said exit channels for positioning the outer edges of the coins of all denominations at the same radial position.
28. The coin sorter of claim 20 wherein said exit channels are straight.
29. A disc-type coin sorter comprising a rototable disc and means for sorting coins by denomination while the coins are carried on the rototable disc, separate counting means for sensing and counting the coins of each denomination after the sorting of said coins and while the most recently sensed coin is still in the rototable disc, and control means responsive to the counting of the last sorted coin in a preselected count of coins of a selected denomination for stopping the discharge of sorted coins of said selected denomination from the rototable disc after the discharge of said last coin and before the discharge of the next coin of said selected
denomination following said last coin.
30. A disc-type coin sorter comprising a stotionary guide plate having a contoured lower surface arranged slightly above a rotatable coin-carrying resilient disc for sorting coins at respective exits outside the periphery of the resilient disc according to coin denomination, at least one coin detector for sensing and counting coins of at least one denomination while the coins are carried on the rototable disc, an encoder for tracking the angular position of the disc, a braking mechanism responding both to the counting of a preselected count of coins of a selected denomination and to the encoder by interrupting the discharge of sorted coins of said selected denomination from the rotatable disc to each of said respective exits after the discharge of the last coin and before the discharge of the next coin of said selected denomination following said last coin.
31. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 30, wherein said at least one coin detector senses and counts the coins of said at least one denomination by sensing the top surface of each of the coins engaging said at least one coin detector.
32. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 31, wherein said at least one coin detector counts the coins by discriminating between the leading and trailing edges of at least one of the sensed coins of said at least one denomination.
33. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 30, wherein the braking mechanism includes at least one of the following: a frictionally-engaging brake impeding the speed of the disc, and a clutch for decoupling a member driving the disc.
34. A disc-type coin sorter comprising a stotionary guide plate having a contoured lower surface arranged slightly above a rototable coin-carrying resilient disc for sorting coins and discharging said coins at respective exits outside the periphery of the resilient disc according to coin denomination, at least one coin detector for sensing and counting coins of at least one denomination by detecting the leading and trailing edges of said sensed coins while the coins are being carried by the resilient disc, and a coin exit area located on the contoured lowered surface for discharging the counted coins.
35. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 34, further including an interruption mechanism for impeding the discharge of said coins in response to said at least one coin detector counting a predetermined number of coins of said at least one denomination.
36. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 35 wherein the interruption mechanism includes a movable diverter.
37. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 35, wherein the interruption mechanism includes a braking mechanism.
38. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 37, wherein the braking mechanism includes a frictionally-engaging brake for impeding the rotation of the disc.
39. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 37, wherein the braking mechanism includes a clutch.
40. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 37, further including a motor having a rotatable shaft coupled to and arranged for rotating the rotatable resilient disc, wherein the braking mechanism includes a frictionally-engaging brake and a clutch located between the rotatable shaft and the rotatable resilient disc.
41. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 40, further including at least one speed reducer also located between the rototable shaft and the rotatable resilient disc and configured so that the disc rototes at an angular speed which is a fraction of the angular speed of the rotatable shaft.
42. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 35, wherein the rototable disc rototes at a predetermined speed before said at least one coin detector counts said predetermined number of coins, and wherein the interruption mechamsm is configured and arranged to impede the rototion of the disc so that the disc no longer rotates at said predetermined speed.
43. A disc-type coin sorter comprising a stotionary guide plate having a contoured lower surface arranged slightly above a rototable coin-carrying resilient disc for sorting coins and discharging said coins at respective exits outside the periphery of the resilient disc according to coin denomination, at least one coin

AMENDED SHEET (ARTICLE W detector for sensing and counting coins of at least one denomination while the coins are being carried by the resilient disc, and an encoder for monitoring the angular movement of said disc after a predetermined number of coins of said at least one denomination has been counted, to determine when the last of the predetermined number of counted coins has been moved beyond a predetermined location spaced circumferentially from said at least one coin detector in the direction of coin movement.
44. A disc-type coin sorter comprising a stationary guide plate having a contoured lower surface arranged slightly above a coin-carrying resilient disc for rotating at a predetermined speed and sorting coins and discharging said coins at respective exits outside the periphery of the resilient disc according to coin denomination, a motor having a rotatable shaft coupled to and driving the disc, at least one coin detector for sensing and counting a predetermined number of coins of at least one denomination, a current sensor for monitoring the magnitude of current drawn by the motor, a speed control mechanism for controlling the rototion speed of the disc in response to said coin sensor and the current sensor.
45. A method for running a disc-type coin sorter using a stationary guide plate having a contoured lower surface arranged slightly above a coin-carrying resilient disc for rotating at a predetermined speed and sorting and discharging coins of at least one denomination at a designated one of at least a first exit and a second exit outside the periphery of the resilient disc, a motor having a rotatable shaft coupled to and driving the disc, at least one coin detector for sensing and counting coins of said at least one denomination, said at least one coin detector counting a predetermined number of coins of said at least one denomination, the method comprising the steps of:
providing a first coin receiver position and a second coin receiver position for receiving coins at the respective first and second exits;
designating one of the first and second exits;
(a) discharging the counted coins via the designated one of the first and second exits into the respective coin receiver position;
(b) in response to counting the predetermined number of coins, rapidly decreasing the rototing speed of the disc from the predetermined speed to impede the speed at which the last of the counted coins of the predetermined number moves toward said designated one of the first and second exits;
(c) shifting the discharge of coins of said at least one coin denomination from said one of the first and second exits to the other of said first and second exits so that the coins of said at least one denomination are subsequently discharged into the other of the first and second coin receiver positions;
(d) removing the coins discharged via the designated exit;
designating the other of the first and second exits; and
repeating the above-labeled steps (a) through (d) at least once, so as to operate the disc-type coin sorter without interruption.
46. A method for running a disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 45, further including the step of indicating to a user of the disc-type coin sorter that the predetermined number of coins have been counted and discharged.
47. A method for running a disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 45, wherein the step of rapidly decreasing the rotating speed of the disc includes the step of activating a brake and clutch mechamsm coupled between the rotatable motor shaft and the disc.
48. A method for running a disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 47, wherein the step of rapidly decreasing the rotating speed of the disc from the predetermined speed further includes maintaining the disc at a reduced speed, which is less than the predetermined speed, for a substantial period of time.
49. A disc-type coin sorter comprising a stotionary guide plate having a contoured lower surface arranged slightly above a rotatable coin-carrying resilient disc for sorting coins to respective exits outside the periphery of the resilient disc according to coin denomination, at least one coin detector for sensing and counting coins of at least one denomination, an encoder for tracking the angular position of the disc, a frictionally-engaging brake coupled to the resilient disc for impeding the rotation of the disc by applying one of at least two different braking forces, and a controller for commanding the brake to apply each of said at least two different braking forces selectively in response to the encoder.
50. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 49, wherein one of said at least two different braking forces is a maximum braking force and another of said at least two different braking forces is a variable force less than said maximum braking force.
51. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 49, wherein said encoder indicates when a coin of a predetermined count has moved past the coin sensor a measured distance and wherein said controller commands the brake in response thereto.
52. A disc-type coin sorter comprising a stationary guide plate having a contoured lower surface arranged slightly above a rotatable coin-carrying resilient disc for sorting coins to respective exits outside the periphery of the resilient disc according to coin denomination, a motor having a rotatable shaft coupled to and rotating said disc, at least one coin detector for sensing and counting coins of at least one denomination while the coins are carried on the rotatable disc, an encoder for tracking the angular position of the disc, a braking mechanism coupled to the resilient disc for impeding the rototion of the disc, and a controller for selectively controlling the motor and the braking mechanism in response to the encoder, so that a
preselected count of coins is sorted to the respective exits outside the periphery of the resilient disc.
53. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 52, wherein the braking mechanism includes at least one of the following: a frictionally engaging brake, a speed reducer, and a clutch.
54. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 49, wherein said controller selectively controls the motor by cycling power to the motor.
55. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 49, wherein the braking mechanism includes a frictionally-engaging brake, and wherein said controller selectively controls the motor and the braking mechanism by cycling power to the motor and by commanding the frictionally-engaging brake to apply a variable braking force.
56. A disc-type coin sorter comprising a stotionary guide plate having a contoured lower surface arranged slightly above a rototable coin-carrying resilient disc for sorting coins to respective exits outside the periphery of the resilient disc according to coin denomination, at least one coin detector for sensing and counting coins of at least one denomination while being carried by said resilient disc, and at least one other coin detector, located and arranged outside the periphery of the resilient disc, for sensing that coins of said at least one denomination have been discharged therefrom.
57. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 56, further including a processor, responsive to said at least one other coin detector, for determining when a predetermined number of coins of said at least one denomination have been sorted to the respective exits.
58. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 56, further including means for controlling the rotation of the disc, said means including at least one of the following: a frictionally engaging brake, a clutch, and a power-controlled motor.
59. A disc-type coin sorter, according to claim 58, further including a processor, responsive to said at least one other coin detector, for determining when a predetermined number of coins of said at least one denomination have been sorted to the respective exits, wherein in response to the processor determining that the predetermined number of coins of said at least one denomination have not been sorted to the respective exits, the processor commands said means for controlling the rotation of the disc such that the disc rotates until the processor determines that the predetermined number of coins of said at least one denomination have been sorted to the respective exits.
60. A method of counting and sorting coins of mixed denominations in a disc-type coin sorter having a rotatable disc with a resilient surface for receiving said coins and imparting rotational movement to said coins, and a stationary sorting head having a contoured surface spaced slightly away from and generally parallel to said resilient surface of said rotatable disc, said method comprising the steps of
rotating said disc beneath said sorting head while feeding coins between said disc and sorting head,
sorting and counting each coin denomination between the lower surface of said sorting head and the upper surface of said disc,
discharging the sorted and counted coins at different exits around the periphery of said guide plate,
sensing each coin denomination at a fixed sensing stotion located upstream of the respective exits and over the rototable disc, and monitoring the movement of a sensed coin on the rototing disc downstream of said sensing stotion by monitoring the angular movement of said disc, to determine when the sensed coin has been moved to a predetermined location spaced downstream from said sensing station in the direction of coin movement.
64. A method of counting and sorting coins of mixed denominations in a disc-type coin sorter having a rotatable disc with a resilient surface for receiving said coins and imparting rotational movement to said coins, and a stationary sorting head having a contoured surface spaced slightly away from and generally parallel to said resilient surface of said rototable disc, said method comprising the steps of
rotating said disc beneath said sorting head while feeding coins between said disc and sorting head,
sorting and counting each coin denomination between the lower surface of said sorting head and the upper surface of said disc,
discharging the sorted and counted coins at different exits around the periphery of said guide plate,
separately sensing the coins of each denomination after the sorting of the coins but before the exiting thereof and while the coins are still on the rotatable disc,
momtoring the movement of a sensed coin which is the last coin in a prescribed number of coins of a prescribed denomination, by momtoring the angular movement of said disc, and
stopping the discharge of coins of said prescribed denomination at the exit where said prescribed number of that denomination are discharged, when said monitoring of the angular movement of said disc indicates that said last coin has been discharged.