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Патент USA US3097755

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July 16, 1963
R. E. LEO
3,097,745
GENERAL Punyosß Docuumr som-ING sym
Filed Oct. 31, 1961
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July 16, 1963
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GENERAL PURPOSE DOCUMENT SORTING SYSI‘BI
Filed (1ct. 31. 1961
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July 16, 1963
R. E. LEO
GENERAL PURPOSE DOCUMENT SORTING SYSTEM
3,097,745
July 16, 1963
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3,097,745
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R. l'î` LEO
GENERAL PURPOSE DOCUMENT SÜRTING SYSTEM
Filed Oct. 31, 1961
3,09 7,745
July 16, 1963
R. E. LEO
GENERAL PURPOSE DOCUMENT soRTING SYSTEM
3,097,745
July 15, 1963
R. E. I_Eo
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3,097,745
GENERAL PURPOSE DOCUMENT somma SYSTEM
Filed oct. 31, 1961
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United States Patent O
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3,097,745
Patented July 16, 1963
9
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be selectively specified as the one to be selected for sort
3,097,745
ing purposes.
GENERAL PURPOSE DUCUlVIENT SORTING
SYSTEM
Robert E. Leo, Bozeman, Mont., assigner to General
Electric Company, a corporation of New York
sorting purposes without particular regard to the formats
Filed Oct. 31, 1961, Ser. No. 149,062
6 Claims. (Cl. 209-1115)
to be encountered in a stack of intermixed documents
having different formats.
This invention relates generally to a document sorting
system, and more particularly to an improvement in a
system for sorting intermixed documents in response to
indicia appearing thereon in diffe-rent formats.
While the invention may be employed for various ap
plications, it may be advantageously employed, for eX
ample, to sort bank documents magnetically encoded,
such as checks and deposit slips, in accord with the spec
ilications and guides set forth in a Bank Management
These and other objects of the invention are achieved
in a »document sorting system by which documents hav~
ing up to twelve separate fields may be sorted, each ñeld
consisting of any number of digits up to ten. Pour dis
tinct cue symbols are employed to separate «the fields on
the documents. Four separate cue counters arc pro
vided to count the «distinct cue symbels as ythey are read
on a given document. An AND-gate is provided for
the purpose of defining and selecting each of as many
as twelve distinct fields for sorting purposes and a plu
rality of AND-gates are provided «with each cue counter
to decode the cue count configurations of the four
counters as the given document is read. A plugboard
having hubs connected to the output terminals of the
cue-count decoding AND-gates and hubs connected to
Publication 147 published by the Bank Management
Commission of the American Bankers Association, New
York, New York, April 1959, for Automation of Bank
Operating Procedures using the Common Machine Lan
guage comprising magnetic ink characters as adapted by
the American Bankers Association with the concurrence
the input terminals of «the field defining and selecting
ANDgatcs is provided in order that twelve distinct fields
may be selectively defined by appropriate plugboard con
nections between cue-count decoding AND-.gates and field
of the major manufacturers of electronic equipment.
The electronic equipments manufactured in the past for
sorting magnetically encoded documents were specifically
designed for handling documents bearing information in
specified formats.
Still another object is to provide a system for identify
ing a given field specified as the one to be selected for
defining and selecting AND-gates. Twelve pushbutton
Each format conformed to a stand
switches are provided t-o arbitrarily select any one of the
ard adopted by the American Bankers Association but, as
explained more `fully in the aforementioned Bank Man 30 twelve fields which may be defined. Each pushfbutton
switch is connected to an input terminal of a different
agement Publication 147, particularly in Part lli at pages
one of the field defining and selecting AND-gates.
2l to 36, considerable latitude is allowed each bank in
Having defined and selected a given field for sorting docu
arranging the “ouais” and “auxiliary on-us” field formats
ments, when `that field is located, a character-decision
for its own internal application requirements. The “on
AND-gate is partially enabled.
A digit counter, which is reset by each field separating
us” field is generally defined as .that space between the
dollar amount and the transit number printed in a band
along the bottom :of a check, referred to as the clear
band. The “auxiliary on-us” field is that space in the
clear band to the left of the transit number on documents
having sutiicien-t length.
Within the standard ABA format, considerable liexi
bility is allowed each bank in the “on~us” and “auxiliary
cue symbol is provided to count up to ten digits in each
field of a document. Ten digit-count decoding AND
gates are provided, each having an input terminal con
nected to a different one of ten digit-selecting pushbutton
40
crous” fields with the result that some banks have had
manufactured for ‘them special document sorting systems
which are not able to handle interrnixed documents of
different formats, such as during off-line sorting of transit
documents, particularly if field identification is intimately
related to the arrangement of cue symbols employed to
define the fields in the different transit documents. Such
a special document sorting system of 'the prior art is de
scribed in a United States patent application Serial No.
839,836 filed September 14, 1959, by Norman R. Crain
et al. and assigned to the assignee of this application.
A general purpose document sorting system must be
capable of identifying :data fields on documents without
particular regard to the format of the fields on the docu
ments when it is being operated ofi-line. ln the special
document sorting system described in the aforesaid ap
plication Serial No. 839,836, a particular field is located
by counting the number of cue symbols printed upon
documents as they are read and sorted. If the documents 60
are transit documents having different arrangements of
field-defining cue symbols preceding the particular field,
switches. When the digit selected within the field specified
for sorting is located, the character‘decision AND-gate
is completely enabled and »the document being read is
sorted in accord with the digit selected. In that manner,
any digit of a given document in any one of as many as
twelve fields may be selected for sorting purposes without
regard to the format once the twelve fields are defined
by plugboard connections, thereby providing maximum
flexibility in adapting the system `for use in different ap
plications. An embodiment of the present invention in
a document sorting system having many improvements
is disclosed in an application Serial No. 149,120 filed
concurrently herewith on October 31,1961, by Byron F.
Burch, Jr., and assigned to the assignee of the present
invention.
Other embodiments and applications of the invention
will become apparent from the following description with
reference to the drawings in which:
FIG. l is a schematic diagram of a document sorting
system with «greater detail as to the mechanical structure
thereof;
FIG. 2a illustrates a sample document bearing data
comprising magnetic ink characters and FIGS. 2b, 2c and
2d illustrate different data formats which may be en
proper sorting of intermixed transit documents is dif
ficult to accomplish.
countered on documents;
Accordingly, an object of this invention is to provide 65
FIG. 3 is a functional `block diagram of a sorter con
a system `for sorting intermixed documents with different
trol unit in accordance with the present invention for
formats.
the system of FIG. 1;
Another object is to provide a flexible means for de
FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of a timing signal syn
fining fields to be selected for sorting purposes.
chronizer;
Another- object is `to provide a ñexible means for de
FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram of a first type of cue
fining a plurality of fields from which a given one may
counter;
3,097,745
3
light produced by a source S8 below the belt is inter
rupted by the document passing along the belt. To rac
FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram of a second type of cue
complish that, the belt may comprise a pair of parallel
strips with the light beam passing between them. The
interruption of the light beam produces a positive sig
counter;
FIG. 7 is a schematic diagram of a digit counter;
FIG. 8 is a schematic diagram of a cue counting and
field selecting section in the sorter control unit of FIG.
3; and
FIG. 9 is a schematic diagram of a digit counting and
selecting section in the system of FIG. l utilizing the
digit counter of FIG. 5.
GENERAL INFORMATION
nal in a conductor 59 that is amplified by an amplifier
60 `and applied to the character reader 22 to initiate a
document reading operation and to the sorter control
unit 21 over a line 56 to initiate the generation of syn
10
FIG. 1 illustrates schematically a document sorting
system with greater particularity to the mechanical struc
ture of the sorter itself which »comprises the mechanical
apparatus referred to hereinafter as the sorter by which
documents to be sorted `are conveyed from an entry point
20 to pockets 1 to 12 designated the special-sort pocket
SSP, pockets Zero to Nine, and `the Reject pocket. The
documents are deposited in the pockets in accord with,
and in response to, indicia appearing on the documents
themselves.
The documents are »conveyed through the sorter by end
less belts, such as a belt 13, under control of an elec
chronizing signals.
Thereafter, the document is transported past a point
where the magnetic ink indicia thereon is magnetized by
a permanent magnet 55 `and past the transducer 14 which
responds to the magnetized indicia to produce signal
waveforms having distinct characteristics representative
of the characters of which the indicia is composed.
FIG. 2a illustrates one form of a document used in
a banking operation which bears indicia used for sorting
in accord with the present invention. In such an opera
tion, ordinary commercial checks or deposit slips corn
prise the principal classes of documents to be sorted. The
document illustrated in FIG. 2n is a check having print
ed near its lower edge a series of characters which com
prise digits or numerals separated into fields by cue sym
tronic sorter control unit 21. The operation of the
bols. The cue symbols comprise the amount symbols 81
sorter control unit 21 is controlled by a character reader 25 and 82, the “on-us” symbols 83, 88 and 89, the hyphen
22 which receives character waveform signals from a
symbols 84 and 86, and the transit symbols 85 and 87.
transducer 14 that responds to indicia printed on the
These symbols define fields on the check to be used for
documents to be sorted.
different purposes.
The control of the sorter by the sorter control unit
The first major field is used to specify the dollar amount
21 is effected through a memory device 1S having a 30 of the check and is designated the amount field. This
plurality of `discs 2’ to 11" which operate a plurality of
field is primarily used when the sorter control unit is
pairs of contacts, one pair for each disc, such as a pair
operated to transmit data to a computer. Such an op
16 for the disc 2'. These contacts are connected through
eration is referred to hereinafter as an “on-line” op
conductors 30 to 39 to control solenoids 42 to 51, which
eration.
operate detiectors 62 to 71 in the path of the documents,
The next major field following the amount symbol 82
thereby directing a document into respective pockets 2
may be used for “on-us” data specified by the drawee
to 11 in accord with command signals from the sorter
bank for its own internal system applications. It is
control unit.
designated the “on-us“ field and includes in minor fields
A dciiector 61 is `controlled directly over a conductor
or sub-fields a transaction ‘code number (346), an ac
29 by the sorter control unit in a manner described in 40 count number (4957), and a branch bank number
said co-pending application Serial No. 839,836 to de
(1238).
posit documents in the pocket 1 which is referred to
The next major field following the first transit symbol
as the special-sort pocket SSP since it is used `for special
85 has eight numerals corresponding to the drawee banks
sorting purposes.
routing symbol (1234) and transit number (7890) sepa
The endless belts, such as the belt 13, operate over a; Cit rated into minor fields by a hyphen symbol 86.
suitable pulleys, such as a pulley 24, `arranged in any
The last field following the second “on-us" symbol 88
suitable configuration to convey documents, such as a
is denominated the “auxiliary ori-us” field because it may
document 23, from one belt to the next in succession
be used by the drawee bank, on documents sufficiently
until the document meets an open one of the deliectors
long to accommodate it, for its own internal application
61 to 71, which deiiects the document into a pocket,
requirements.
as indicated by a document 25 shown entering the Zero
FIGS. 2b, 2c and 2d illustrate other formats which
pocket 2, the pocket comprising a space between the
may be employed on documents of different lengths. It
moving belt 13 and a plate 26 lightly pressed against the
should be noted that an “auxiliary on-us” field is also
belt 13 in any suitable manner, as by a spring 27. As
present in documents illustrated in FIGS. 2b and 2c. It
documents are deposited in the Zero pocket 2, the plate
should be further noted that the amount and transit num
26 is forced outwardly against the tension of the spring
ber fields have the same number of digits in each docu
27. In the event that none of the deliectors 61 to 71
nient in conformance with standard American Banli
are open, a document conveyed along the line finally
ers Association rules, but that the “on-us” and “auxiliary
engages stationary deliector 72 which causes it to be de
60 ori-us” fieids do not. And finally, it should be noted that
posited in the Reject pocket 12.
the “auxiliary on-us” field of the sample document of
All of the guide pulleys, such as the pulley 24, are
FIG. 2c includes a hyphen symbol 80 to separate the
positively driven by means of a synchronous motor 28,
data therein into two `minor fields. In the present em
which also drives the nine discs (2' to 11') of the memory
bodiment of the invention, as many as four hyphen sym
device 15 `through la common shaft 52. A switch S1 is
bols may be employed to separate data in a given major
provided to apply alternating current to the motor 28
field into minor fields.
and to a relay K1. When the relay K1 is energized, a
positive signal RSR is transmitted to the sorter control
unit 21 over a conductor 53 to indicate that the sorter
is ready to sort documents.
The documents enter the sorter at point 20, after hav
The character reader 22 is capable of distinguishing
between all of these different indicia. The transit,
amount, “on-us” and hyphen symbols may be denoted
by the respective notations Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 employed
to represent the signals produced thereby. For exam
ple, in response to the Q4 (hyphen) symbol 84 (FIG 2a),
which their movement and spacing are appropriately syn
the character reader 22 produces a signal Q4 on the
chronized and adjusted with respect to the movement
corresponding one of four conductors Q1 to Q4 illus
of the sorter pulleys. The entry of a document into the
sorter is first detected by a photo-electric cell 57 when 75 trated in FIG. l. In response to the Ql (transit) sym
ing passed through a sequencing device (not shown) by
3,097,74e
6
bol 85, the character reader 22 produces a signal Q1
ated, thereby causing its hammer to advance to the left and
driving the associated pin to the left through its disc so that
it projects from the disc on the opposite side. The pin
75 in disc 11’ is shown in the projecting position as in re
on a different one of the four cue-signal conductors. In
response to the Q2 (amount) symbol 81 and Q3 (“onus”) symbol 83, the character reader produces respec~
tive signals Q2 and Q3 on the second and third ones 5 sponse to a pulse in the conductor PD9 at the output of
of the four cue~signal conductors.
the sorter control unit 21.
Similarly, the digits or numerals 0 to 9 which may ap
Upon rotation of the discs 11', the pin ’7S engages corre
pear in any of the fields cause the character reader to pro
sponding contacts 16', causing a circuit to be closed to the
duce respective signals CDO to CD9 in the corresponding
corresponding solenoid S1 via the conductor 39. Ener
digit-signal conductors CDO to CD9 as illustrated in 10
gization of the solenoid 51 causes the deñector 7‘1 to be
FIG. 1.
pivoted for an instant sufficient to admit the check having
The digit signal conductors CDO to CD9 and the four
the numeral 9 in its third digit position of the account
one-signal conductors Q1 to Q4 are all connected to the
number field into the Nine pocket, assuming the third digit
sorter control unit 21 to transmit digit and cue signals
thereto.
The sorter control unit illustrated in FIG. 3 is provided
with two sets of pushbutton switches, one designated
Field Selector (KFi to KF12) and the other Digit Selector
in the account number held had been selected for sorting
15 as in the foregoing example.
(KDI to KDIG). By selectively actuating a iield select
ing switch corresponding to one of the fields, which is de 20
ttìned by plugboard programming in accordance with the
present invention, the operator causes the system to select
for sorting a particular held corresponding to the switch
actuated. Similarly, by selectively actuating a digit se
iecting switch, the operator may cause the system to re
spond to the signal produced by the numeral in the se
it will now be observed that had the number 9 been
read in the selected digit position of one check and the
number 0 or 1, in the selected digit position of the imme
diately following check, thc lirst check must travel the
entire length of the sorter to the deflector 71 before it is
deposited in the Niue pocket, whereas the immediately
following check must be almost immediately deposited
in the Zero or One pocket.
Thus, the second check must
be deposited in its designated pocket before the first check
25 arrives at the deflector 71.
For this reason the contacts, such as the contacts 16
lected digit position of the selected field. Thus, for ex
and 16', associated with discs 2’ and 11’ are spaced at
ample, if the switches corresponding to the account num
progressively greater angles .from the hammers, such as
ber sub-field of the “on-us” field and the number three
the hammer ’76, about the periphery of the discs. Thus,
digit are actuated, the system responds only to the nu
merals in the third digit position of the account numbers 30 the contacts 16 associated with disc 2' are spaced from
the associated hammer 76 by a very small angle and are
on the documents such as those illustrated in FIGS. 2a
closed shortly after the associated pin has been set by that
to 2d. Considering the document of PIG. 2a, a signal
hammer. On the other hand, the contacts 16' associated
will appear on a corresponding one of output conductors
with the disc 1i' are spaced about the disc from the asso
PDI) to PD9 from the sorter control unit, and the check
will be deposited in the Nine pocket controlled by the 35 ciated hammer by nearly 360°. Thus, the contacts 16’
will be closed at the end of a long interval after the respec
conductor 39 via the memory device 15. As a further
tive pin 75 has been set by its associated hammer. The
example, if the next check read has the numeral 0 in the
respective time intervals are so adjusted by the spacing of
third digit position of the account number, a pulse will
appear on the conductor PDi), and the check will be de 40 the contacts about the associated discs that detiectors 61 to
71 are pivoted just in time to admit to the corresponding
posited in the Zero pocket controlled by the conductor 30
pockets documents bearing the corresponding numeral in
via the memory device 15.
the selected digit position. A given detiector is returned
The pulses in the output conductors PDI) to »PD9 of the
to its normal position after a document has been admitted
sorter control unit 21 operate through the memory device
to the associated pocket and before the arrival of the lead
15 to energize the solenoids 42 to 51 and thereby operate 45 ing
edge of the next document.
the deflectors 62 to 71 in proper time relation to direct
the different documents into the pockets corresponding to
the numeral in the third digit of the account number field.
In that manner the operator may sort all checks in the
In actual practice, the deflectors are preferably driven
both in opening and in closing, the action being only initi
ated, or triggered, by the actuating solenoid. However,
different pockets of the sorter, each pocket receiving 50 for simplicity of illustration, the detiectors are shown as
being positively pivoted by the solenoids and returned by
checks having the same numeral in the digit position se
the associated springs.
lected from the field on which sorting is being accom
The pulses in the output conductors PDI) to PD9 of the
plished. The Reject pocket receives checks having imper
sorter control are accurately timed with respect to the
feet printing, or printing that does not adequately accord
with the intended character fonts, and the special-sort 55 position of the check entering the sorter. This is etîected
by a timing section which is synchronized by the signals
pocket SSP receives other checks of special categories as
transmitted over the line 59 through the amplifier 60 to a
described in the aforesaid copending patent application
timing section in the sorter control unit Z1 via a line 56.
Serial No. 149,120.
Although one type of sorter has been illustrated sche
The manner in which the timing of the operation of the
deíiectors is effected via the memory device is as follows. 60 matically in FIG. 1, it should be understood that other
types of sorters may be employed in practicing the pres
The timer 15 comprises ten discs 2’ to 11', only two of
ent invention.
which are shown on the drawing. The discs 2’ to i11' are
The character reader 22 may be of the type shown and
on the common shaft 52 which is driven at such a speed
described inthe Kenneth R. Eldredge Patent No. 3,000,000
that it makes one complete revolution during the time re
quired for a check to travel the length of the pocket assem 65 issued September l2, 1961. or the Merritt & Steele Pat
bly. Each of these ten discs have about their periphery
twelve apertures, indicated by circles 74, each aperture
containing a pin 75 which normally projects outward on
the right side of the disc. Cooperating with each disc is
ent No. 2,924,812 issued February 9, 1960. Other types
of character readers may be employed to practice the pres
ent invention. In general, the structure of the character
reader operates to provide a character-identifying signal
a hammer 76 operated by respective solenoids 90 to 99. 70 for each character read. As each of the four cue symbols
These solenoids are connected to the respective output
are sequentially read, signals Q1 to Q4 are transmitted to
conductors PD() to `PD9 of the sorter control unit 21 via
the sorter control unit 21 over respective conductors Q1
amplifiers.
to Q4, and as each of the ten digits are sequentially read,
Upon appearance of a signal in any of the conductors
PDO to PD9, a corresponding solenoid 90 to 99 is oper 75 singals CDO t-o CD9 are transmitted to the sorter control
unit 21 over respective conductors CDO to CD9.
3,097,745
7
from a document and converts them to an inverse bi
SORTER CONTROL SYNCHRONIZATION
quinary code (5, Ã, E, î). The inverse biquinary code
signals are transmitted through AND-gates 101 to 104 to
flip-flops 105 to 108 which comprise an input register.
The bistable state of the flip-ñops 105 to 108 corresponds
As noted hereinbefore, the sorter control unit 21 re
ceives a signal from the photocell 57 via the amplifier 60
over a line 56 to synchronize the operation of the sorter
control unit with the sorter. That signal, which occurs
as the leading edge of a given document approaches the
read head 14, triggers a timing chain of monostable multi
to the values of the signals received over the conductors
CDO to CD9 according to the inverse biquinary code in
the following table:
vibrators Y1, Y2 and Y3 (FIG. 3). The trailing edge
of the signals derived from the monostable multivibrators
in sequence are differentiated to provide positive pulses
(5)
l
(4)
(2)
l
l
(l)
l
over conductors CSYl, CSY2 and CSY3 at 10, 80 and
142 milliseconds after a signal on the conductor 56 trig
gers the first monostable multivibrator Y1.
The signals on conductors CSY1 and CSYZ are applied
to a pulse synchronizer 147 in order to derive synchronized
signals on conductors CSY1S and CSYZS. The pulse
synchronizer illustrated in FIG. 4 comprises a ñip-fiop
SPS and a monostable multivibrator YSP. When a signal
having a duration of l() milliseconds occurs on the con
20
ductor SCYl or CSYZ, its trailing edge is differentiated to
produce a +6-volt pulse that is transmitted through an
At the proper time during the sorting pass of a given
document, the content of the input register is transmitted
through AND-gates 15S to 158 and OR-gates 161 to 164
to an output register comprising ñip-ñops 165 to 168
»k6-volt signal RSR on the conductor 53 from the relay
where the pulses are stored according to the biquinary
K1 (FIG. l) when power is being applied to the sorter. 25 code (5, 4, 2, l). At a later time determined by a syn
It should be noted that all AND and OR-gates applied to
chronizing signal transmitted over a conductor CSY3 to
the sorter are diode gates designed to be responsive to
a monostable multivibrator YRO, the content of the out
positive signals. Suitable circuits are described in chap
put register is decoded by a gated decoder 170 to provide
ter 13 of Pulse and Digital Circuits, by Millman and
a pocket-decision signal over an appropriate one of the
OR-gate 393 to an AND-gate 394 which is enabled by a
Taub, published by McGraw-Hill Book Co. (1956). An
inverter 395 is employed to apply a signal from the AND
gate 394 to the set control terminal of the ñip-ñop SPS
and to apply an inverted signal to the reset control termi
nal of the flip-flop SPS. Upon the occurrence of a clock
pulse from a source (not shown) which generates clock
pulses at 25() kc., the ñip-ilop SPS is set.
30 conductors PD() to PD9, thereby to control the deñectors
62 to 71 of the sorter (FIG. l) in accord with the plug
board programming to be described with reference to
FIGS. 8 and 9 in response to the characters on a docu
ment read by the character reader 22.
The timing of the output pulse from the monostable
multivibrator YR() is so related to the position of the
The positive-going leading edge of the output signal
document in its travel from the entry point 20 to the ñrst
from the flip-hop SPS upon being set triggers the mono
deñector 61 of the sorter (FIG. l) as to provide the
stable multivibrator YSP which produces a negative sig
proper timing for the operation of the deñector 61 via an
40
nal having a duration of tive milliseconds. Both the ilip
amplifier 78 without the necessity of passing a special
ñop SPS and the monostable multivibrator YSP are con
sort pocket decision signal transmitted over the conductor
nected to an AND-gate 396 to enable it to transmit a
29 through the memory device. Thus, the deñector 61 is
synchronized signal over the conductor CSYlS when a
actuated directly when the document is to be deposited
positive signal is present on the conductor CSYl and over
in the special-sort pocket SSP in response to a special-sort
the conductor CSY2 when a positive signal is present on L15 code entered into the input register by means not shown
the conductor CSYZ. It should be noted that since both
and transferred to the output register. The means for de
the Hip-flop SPS and the monostable multivibrator YSP
riving a special-sort pocket decision and for entering the
ane clocked, the monostable multivibrator YSP is not
special-sort code into the input register is fully described
triggered until the clock pulse following the clock pulse
which sets the ñip-ñop SPS. That assures that the syn
chronized signal on conductor CSYlS or CSY2S is pres
ent for only one clock period of four microseconds.
Some time after the signal on the conductor CSY1
or CSYZ has decayed, a +6-volt signal is transmitted
from the inverter 395 to the reset control terminal of the
ñip-ilop SPS so that the next clock pulse to occur will
reset the flip-flop SPS. The monostable multivibrator
YSP automatically resets after five milliseconds.
in the aforesaid copending application filed concurrently
herewith; for the purpose of understanding and practicing
the present invention, the control means for the special
sort pocket SSP need not be described herein.
The pocket decision signals transmitted over the other
conductors are applied to the memory device via arn
pliñers, such as the signal on the conductor PDO which
is transmitted via an amplifier 79, to a solenoid 90. As
described hereinbefore, the solenoid 90 actuates the ham
mer 76 to store a Zero pocket decision signal appearing
The two synchronized signals on the conductors CSYIS
on the line PD() for later transmittal over a line 30 to the
and CSYZS are applied to other sections as required. As 60 solenoid 42 to actuate the deñector 62 in time to cause
noted hereinbeflore, the signals on the conductors CSY1S
the document, such as the document 25 illustrated, to be
and CSYZS derived from the signals on the respective
conductors CSYl and CSY2 are employed throughout
the system for timing various functions. The signal on
the conductor CSYlS is associated with the time at which
reading a document begins and the signal on the conductor
CSYZS is associated with the time by which reading a
document is completed and transfer of pocket-decision
data to the sorter must begin.
SORTER CONTROL
The sorter control unit is illustrated schematically in
FIG. 3 which shows an encoder 100 that receives signals
over the line CDO to CD9 from the character reader 22
(FIG. l) representing respective digits O to 9 read from
deposited in the Zero pocket.
The operation of the sorter-control unit as illustrated
in FIG. 3 may best be understood from a description
of the general sequence of events as a given document
enters the point 20 (FIG. l) and is read. The photo
electric cell 57 detects the leading edge of the document
and transmits a signal over the line 59 through the am
plifier 60 to the character reader 22 and over a line 56
to the monostable multivibrator Y1 illustrated in FIG. 3.
The trailing edge of the negative going output signal of
the monostable multivibrator Y1 which has an unstable
time duration of ten milliseconds, is differentiated to de
rive a positive signal that is transmitted over a line CSYl
3,097,745
10
to the pulse synchronizer 147. That positive signal trans
mitted over the line CSYI is synchronized by the pulse
terminal of the iiip-flop CHN, whereupon the flip-flop
synchronizer 147 and transmitted as a positive (four
microsecond) pulse over the line CSYIS to a cue count
CHN is set and the AND-gates Iiìl to 104 are disabled.
As the digits are read in sequence from the document
and signals are transmitted over the lines CDO to CD9,
the encoder converts each signal in succession to the in
verse biquinary code according to the table set forth here
ing and ñeld selecting section 110, to reset four cue
counters, one for each of the cut symbols Q1, Q2, Q3 and
Q4 read on a given document and to a digit counting and
selecting section 111 to reset a counter for counting digits
read in a given field on the given document. The four
microsecond signal transmitted over the lines CSYlS is
also employed to reset a Hip-flop CHN. The ñip-ilop
CHN will often be referred to hereinafter as the character
decision Hip-flop since it responds to the numeral read
from a selected digit position in a specified ñeld for initiat
ing the transmission of a pocket decision corresponding to 15
the numeral read.
inbefore and transfers the four-bit codes into the input
register such that as each successive digit is read, its in
verse biquinary code replaces the code of the previous
digit in the input register. When Ythe field and digit se
lected for sorting has been locatedgthe flip-flop CHN is
set as just described, thereby disabling the AND-gates 101
to 104 and locking the inverse biquinary code of the digit
selected in the input register.
An on-line, off-line selector 180 is provided to selec
The differentiated trailing edge of the negative out
tively transmit a positive signal over a line MSSI or a
put signal of the monostable multivibrator Y1 triggers a
line MSSZ to continuously enable either two groups of
AND-gates 182 to 185 and 176 to 179 or the group of
stable period of seventy milliseconds. The trailing edge 20 AND-gates 15S to 158. When the selector 180 is set for
on-line operation, a positive signal is transmitted only
of the negative output signal from the monostable multi
over the line MSSI so that as the digits are read and en
vibrator Y2 is differentiated to provide a positive signal
coded by the encoder 100, the inverse biquinary codes of
which is transmitted over a line CSY2 to the pulse syn
the digits are successively transferred to a computer (not
chronizer 147 which synchronizes it and transmits it as a
shown). A pocket decision is then made and transmitted
positive four microsecond pulse over a line CSYZS to
second monostable multivibrator Y2 which has an un
the AND-gates 15S to 158.
While the character decision llip-flop CHN is reset, the
by the computer through the group- of AND-gates 176
to 179 and through the OR-gates 161 to 164 to the output
register. When the positive signal derived by differentiat
ing the trailing edge of the negative-going signal from the
AND-gates 101 to 104 are enabled to transmit from the
encoder 100 the inverse biquinary codes of the digits read
in sequence from a given document in response to signals 30
transmitted over the respective lines CD9 to CD9 to the
encoder 100. A plugboard 175 is employed in coopera
tion with the cue counting and lield selecting section 110
and the digit counting and selecting section 111 to select
the field and digit for sorting in accordance with the 35
present invention as more fully described with reference
to FIGS. 8 and 9.
Referring to the sample document in FIG. 2n, it may
be seen that the third digit in the account number field
4957 may be selected for sorting by connecting appro
priate cue-count and digit count decoding AND~gates to
40
appropriate ñeld selecting and digit selecting AND-gates.
As the document is read from right to left, the first Q2
(amount) symbol 81 is counted by a Q2 counter in the
section 110 after which the ten digits (0000195900) in
the amount ñeld are counted by the digit counter in the
section 111. 'Ihe second Q2 (amount) symbol 82 ad
vances the count of the Q1 counter to a count conñgura
tion of two,
The signal transmitted by the character reader 22 (FIG.
1) over the line Q2 is transmitted by an OR-gate 171 to
the digit counting and selecting section 111 over a line
QOR to reset the digit counter therein so that following
the Q2 (amount) symbol 82 on the sample document of
FIG. 2a, the transaction code digits (346) are counted.
When the Q3 (“on-us”) symbol 83 is read, a signal is
transmitted over the line Q3 to the OR-gate 171 to reset
the digit counter again. It is also transmitted to the Q3
counter in the cue counting section 110. At that time, of
the four cue counters in the cue counting and decoding
section 110, the Q1 and Q4 counters are at zero, the Q3 60
stable multivibrator Y2 recovers from its unstable state
and the trailing edge of its negative-going output signal
is differentiated to produce a positive signal that is trans
mitted over the line CSY2 and synchronized by the
pulse synchronizcr 147 to provide a synchronized (four
microsecond) pulse transmitted over a line CSYZS.
It should be noted that the on-line, olf-line operation
counter is at the count of one and the Q2 counter is at
control illustrated is the same as that employed in the
the count of two; by appropriately decoding that unique
aforementioned copending application, Serial No. 839,
cue-count contiguration, a signal may be transmitted over
836, but that the on-line, off-line control illustrated in
the aforesaid copending application ñled concurrently
a line FLD to an AND-gate 174, thereby indicating that
65 herewith may also be employed as fully illustrated there
the field selected for sorting has been located.
in. It should be further noted that the flip-Hops, AND
During the transmission of a signal over the line FLD,
as the digits in the account number are read and counted,
gates, monostable multivibrators, encoder and decoder
are conventional circuits known in the art and may be
the digit counter is advanced to the count of three when
the .digit 9 is read. By selectively decoding the count
the same as the corresponding circuits disclosed in the
70
conliguration of three, a signal may be transmitted over
aforesaid copending application, Serial No. 839,836, or
the copending application tiled concurrently herewith. It
a line DGT to the AND-gate 174, thereby indicating that
the digit selected for sorting has been located. Having
should be noted further that the flip-flops and monostable
multivibrators are synchronized circuits in that each re
found the field and the digit speciñed, the AND-gate 174
quires a clock pulse from a central source of clock pulses
is enabled to transmit a signal to the set control input
(not shown) which occur every four microseconds. And
3,097,745
11
tinally, it should be noted that the encoder 100 and de
coder 170 are provided to enable the sorter control unit
of FIG. 3 to be employed for on-line operation as well
as off-line operation. Since a pocket decision is to be
made is accordance with the present invention only dur
ing off-line operation, it should be recognized that in
practicing the present invention only oft-line the encoder
a Field Select pushbutton switch and a Digit Select push
button switch.
CUE COUNTING AND FIELD SELECTING
As a given document is read, such as the document il
lustrated in FIG. 2a, the distinct cue symbols 81 to 89
are counted by four separate cue counters such as the one
illustrated in FIG. 5. The cue counter for the Q1 (transit)
100 and decoder 107 may be eliminated by providing ten
symbol illustrated in FIG. 5 is the same as the cue
iiip-iiops in both the input and output register storing
counters employed for the Q2 (amount) and the Q3
digit signals and transmitting pocket decision signals,
(“on-us") symbols, respectively, the only diiference be
The lines PDO to PD9 would then be coupled to the out
ing that each counter is connected to the respective Q1,
Q2 and Q3 output terminals of the character reader Z2
put register by gates instead of the gated decoder 170.
DIGIT AND CUE COUNTERS
The four cue counters employed in the cue counting
and field selecting section 110 illustrated in FIG. 8 are of
a first type illustrated in FIG. 5 and a second type illus
(FIG. 1). Accordingly, only the operation of the Qi
(transit) symbol counter illustrated in FIG. 5 is de
scribed, the operation of the Q2 and Q3 counters being
the same.
ing and selecting section 111 illustrated in FIG. 9 is a
As the two Q1 (transit) number symbols 85 and 87 on
the sample document illustrated in FIG. 2a are read,
two successive positive pulses are applied to an input con
ductor Q1 of the counter to enable an AND-gate 400.
binary counter employing synchronized tiip-ñops as
Four to eight microseconds later, during the continued
shown in FIG. 7. In order to simplify the disclosure and
presence of a signal on the conductor Q1, a synchronizing
understanding of the present invention, the clock pulse
synchronizing network has not been illustrated.
signal CSP on a conductor 197 from a ñip-ñop CSP il
trated in FIG. 6 which utilize synchronized iiip-iiops.
Similarly, the digit counter employed in the digit count
lustrated in FIG. 3 is applied to the set control terminal
of the first stage QlA of the counter through an enabled
Before describing the cue counters with reference to
AND-gate 402. A clock pulse which occurs in time coin
FIGS. 5 and 6 and the digit counter with reference to
cidence with the synchronizing signal CSP on the con
FIG. 7, and then describing with reference to FIGS. 8
ductor 196 sets the first stage Q1. The “true” output
and 9 the manner in which the plugb-oard 175 may be em
terminal of the first stage QlA enables an AND-gate 403
ployed to define fields and digits which may be selected
and the “false” output terminal disables the AND-gate
for sorting through the Field Select and Digit Select push
402. Thereafter, upon the occurrence of the next pulse
button switches, it is pointed out that a signal RSR trans
on the conductor Q1 after the symbol 87 on the docu
mitted over the line S3 from the relay K1 (FIG. 1) is in
ment illustrated in FIG. 2a is read, the AND-gate 403
verted by an inverter 190 and transmitted over a line 191
as a signal IltSlt to the cue counting and field selecting t "' transmits an enabling +6-volt signal to the set control
terminal of the second stage Q1B, thereby causing it to be
section 110 and the digit counting and selecting section
set. Since no other Ql (transit) symbol appears on the
111 as shown in FIG. 3. While the relay K1 is de-en
document of FIG. 2a, the Q1 (transit) counter remains
ergized, the signal RSR transmitted over the conductor
at the count of two until a signal occurs on the conductor
53 is negative and the signal ÍRSR conducted over the
CSYIS in response to the next document to be read and
line 191 is positive so that the four counters and the digit
is transmitted through an OR-gate 405 and the OR-gate
counter are continuously reset until the switch S1 (FIG.
1) is closed to apply power to the sorter at which time
404.
The signal CSP on the conductor 197, which may be
the signal RSR conducted over the line 53 is positive and
referred
to as a count-synchronizing pulse, is of four
the signal IHSR transmitted over the conductor 191 is
microseconds duration. It is derived from the fiip-iiop
negative, thereby interrupting the continual resetting of
CSP in FIG. 3 in response to any digit signal on the line
the counters while the sorter is in operation. In that man
D0-9 or any cue signal on the line QOR since both of
ner it is assured that the counters are reset when sorting
the lines D0-9 and QOR are coupled by an OR-gate 193
is begun.
to a monostable multivibrator YCP which, upon being
It is also pointed iout that as the digits are read in se
triggered applies a positive signal to the set control termi
quence on a given document, the corresponding digit sig
nal of a i'lip-iiop DCC and through an enabled AND
nals transmitted over the lines CDO to CD9 to the sorter
gate 194 to the set control terminal of a flip-flop CSP,
control unit are transmitted through an OR-gate 189
whereupon both tlip-ñops are set by the next clock pulse
such that a given digit signal is transmitted to the digit
applied to them simultaneously. The “true” output termi
counting and selecting section 111 over a line D0-9.
nal of the flip-flop CSP is connected by the line 197 to
The lines CDO to CD9 are shown in FIG. 3 passing
the digit and cue counters and to the reset control termi
through the encoder 100 to the OR-gate 189 to provide
nal of the flip-flop CSP so that the next clock pulse resets
a grid of conductors to which encoding diodes are con
it. In that manner, the signal CSP on the line 197 has
nected as disclosed in the aforesaid copending applica
a four microsecond duration.
tion Serial No. 839,836, and the aforesaid copending ap
The monostable multivibrator YCP has an unstable
plication Serial No. 149,120. Although a diode encoder
period of 500 microseconds and therefore delivers a nega
is suggested, other types of encoders may be advantage
tive signal which` is inverted to a positive signal by an
ously
employed.
inverter 19S to provide a positive signal to the set con
Finally, before describing the digit and cue counters,
trol terminal of the ñip-fiop DCC for 500 microseconds.
it is well to emphasize that the plugboard 175 connected
After the monostable multivibrator YCP recovers to its
to the cue counting and field selecting section 110 by a
stable state, it delivers a positive signal to the inverter
group of conductors represented in FIG. 3 by a cable 195
198. The inverter includes an input, emitter-follower
and to the digit counting and selecting section 111 by a
stage as represented symbolically by a half circle preced
group of conductors represented by a cable 196 is em
ing the inverting amplifier stage represented by the tri
ployed in accordance with the present invention to de
iine fields and digit positions within fields which may be
selected for sorting. Once defined by connectors between
hubs on the plugboard 175 and hubs in the cue counting
and field selecting section 110 and the digit counting and
selecting section 111, the field and digit position selected
for sorting documents are actually specified by actuating
angle as described in the aforesaid copending application
filed concurrently herewith. The output of the emitter
follower is a positive signal while the monostable multi
vibrator YCP is delivering a positive signal. Accordingly,
the next clock pulse alter the monostable multivibrator
YCP recovers resets the ñip-ñop DCC. In that manner,
3,097,745
13
4
the count-synchronizing pulse generating circuit is re
reset through the OR-gate 438. The first stage Q4A is
also reset by the fourth Q4 symbol through the AND
gate 436 which is enabled by the second stage Q4B. The
counting sequence of the Q4 (hyphen) counter is as fol~
lows:
set in time to generate another four microsecond pulse
in respone to a digit or cue symbol read.
Referring again to the diagram of FIG. 5, the binary
configuration for the counts of one and two are presented
at output terminals QIA, ÖÍÃ, QIB and mi?.
Four
AND-gates 411, »412, 413 and 414 are connected to the
output terminals of the transit counter as illustrated in
FIG. 8 to decode the respective count contigurations of
zero, one, two and three. Count decoding AND-gates 10
415 to 418 and 419 to 423 are connected to the Q2 and
ä`-~-`m~`~
Q4A Q4B Q4C
Count
`_,_--`~_`„"` ` » _“
f’SYiS __________________________________ _.
First t
__.
_______________ _.
Second Q4.
(l
Íl
1
(l
0
one.
D
1
0
D
two.
ZOrO,
'l‘ltirrl Q4_ _
l
l
(l three.
Q3 counters as illustrated in FIG. 8 to similarly decode
Fourth (M_
0
O
1 four.
the respective Q2 and Q3 count configurations of zero,
Q1, Q9, os er osriso
o i n l zero,
one, two and three. Only the flip-flops of the counters
F
Q1, Q2 and Q3 are illustrated in FIG. 8; their intercon 15
A positive signal on the conductor CSYIS or a signal
nections are the same as illustrated for the Q1 counter in
on the conductor 191 may reset the Q4 counter
FIG. 5.
through an OR-gate 439 in a manner similar to the re
From the foregoing it may be seen that the Q1, Q2 and
setting of the Q1, Q2 and Q3 counters. In addition,
Q3 counters may each count only from 0 to 3 since only
signals Ql~CSP, Q2-CSP or Q3-CSP are applied to the
two stages are provided for each counter. Accordingly, 20 OR-gate 439 from the Q1, Q2 and Q3 counters over con
the maximum number of Q1, Q2 and Q3 which may be
186 to 188 in order that the Q4 counter may be
employed on a document without confusion is three.
reset each time a Q1, Q2 or Q3 symbol is counted by the
the particular bank application of the illustrative em
respective counters Q1, Q2 and Q3. For example, when
bodiment of the system, a maximum count of three is
a Q1 symbol is read, a signal Q1-CSP is transmitted by
suliicient for the symbols Q1, Q2 and Q3. However, if 25 the AND~gate 400 (FIG. 5) over the conductor 186 to
other commercial applications require more than three
the OR-gate 439 (FIG. 6). Thus, in order for the Q4
Q1, Q2 and Q3 symbols to be employed on a given docu
counter to count in a sequential manner from zero to four,
ment, additional stages may be provided for the Q1, Q2
four Q4 symbols must follow each other on a given docu
and Q3 counters together with additional count-decoding
ment; i.e., a Q1, Q2 or Q3 symbol must not appear be~
AND-gates.
30 tween successive Q4 symbols. In the event that a Q1,
In order to assure that the Q1 counter is reset to the
count conñguration of zero when the sorter is initially
turned on, a signal IRSR from the inverter 190 (FIG. 3)
is applied to the OR-gate 405 over the conductor 191 so
Q?. or Q3 symbol does appear, the Q4 counter is reset
to zero. Accordingly, the Q4 (hyphen) symbol may be
that before the relay K1 (FIG. I) is closed to apply 35 or close a major field.
power to the sorter, a «k6-volt signal is transmitted
through the OR-gates 404 and 405 to continually reset
the counter. When the relay K1 is energized, and a posi
tive signal is applied to the inverter 190, a negative signal
It should be noted that since the Q4 counter is pro
vided with three stagcs, it may count a maximum of seven
Q4 symbols, but in the illustrative embodiment only ñve
decoding AND-gates 441 to 445 are connected to it as
is applied to the OR-gate 405, thereby discontinuing the 40 illustrated in FIG. 8 to decode only the count configura
continual resetting of the Q1 counter which is thereafter
reset only by a positive pulse on the conductor CSYIS
as the reading operation of each document is initiated
until the switch S1 (FIG. l) is opened and power is dis
tions of zero, one, two, three and four. If a particular
application requires utilization of more than four Q4
symbols within a given major field, additional cue-count
connected from the sorter.
45
The counting sequence of the Q1 counter is as follows:
Q1 to 441
Q3
symbols and, it' necessary, the decoding AND-gates
to 445 for the Q4 symbol.
Twelve AND-gates 451 to 462 illustrated in FIG. 8
are provided together with corresponding switches KFI
The counting sequence for the Q2 and Q3 counters is the 65 to KF12 to select a particular one of the twelve possible
same as for the Q1 counter.
The operation of the Q4 counter illustrated in FIG. 6
`
plugboard connections
between hubs connected to the cue-count decoding AND
gates 411 to 422 and i441 to 44S and the field-selecting
the Iirst Q4 (hyphen) symbol 84 on the sample document
AND-gates 451 to 462. Thus, to select a given major
illustrated in FIG. 2a is read, the signal derived from it is 60 or minor field for sequencing, the correct cue-count which
employed to gate a signal CSP on the conductor 197
deñnes that field is connected to a particular AND-gate
through an AND-gate 430 and an AND-gate 432 to
such as the AND~gate 456 having its associated switch
cause the first stage Q4A of the Q4 counter to be set.
KFG actuated from the position shown to a second posi
When the `first stage Q4A is set, AND-gates 433 and 436
tion to provide an enabling -l-ó-volt potential to the AND
are enabled so that when the second Q4 (hyphen) sym
gate 456. For example, if the third field 0n the sample
bol 86 is read from the sample document illustrated in
document illustrated in FIG. 2c is the desired field, the
FIG. 2a, the second stage Q4B is set and the first stage
cue-count conñgurations which identify the third field
Q4A is reset. Only two Q4 (hyphen) symbols are illus
trated on the document in FIG. 2a; however, if more than
two Q4 symbols are employed, the third Q4 symbol would 70
cause the ñrst stage Q4A to be set. When both stages
Q4A and Q4B are set, an AND-gate 434 is enabled.
'
'
Q1, Q2 and Q3 counters. As
Thereafter, when the fourth Q4 (hyphen) symbol is read,
Accordingly, the output terminal of the AND-gate 420 is
the third stage Q4C is set and the second stage Q4B is
connected to an input terminal of the AND-gate 456 by
75 a connector between a hub 6F and a hub 6A. The cue
activite
ffii
15
Q4 symbol cannot be used alone to uniquely define the
symbol following the third field is a Q4 (hyphen) sym
field 6. It is further observed that a Q1 symbol 85' pre
cedes the field 6 so that when the second Q4 symbol 86'
is read, the Q1 counter will be at the count of one. Since
either a Q1, Q2 or Q3 symbol resets the Q4 counter, the
Q4 counter will be reset to zero when the Q1 symbol 85'
bol; therefore, to isolate the third field from the other
fields, both major and minor, which follow it, the Q4
count of zeno decoded by the AND-gate 441 is connected
to an input terminal of the AND-gate 456 by a connector
between a hub 3G and a hub 6C. It should be noted
that the Q1 (transit) symbol preceding the fifth field will
is read and counted by the Q1 counter. Accordingly,
the cue-count configuration which uniquely defines the
reset the Q4 (hyphen) counter to 0 and thereby enable
sixth field is a Q1 count of one and a Q4 count of one
the fifth field to ’oe selected again as though it were the
which is reached when the Q4 symbol 86’ is read. There
third field. Therefore, the Q1 (hyphen) count of zero 10 fore, to define the sixth field for selection by plugboard
decoded by the AND-gate 411 must also be connected
connections to a field-selecting AND-gate, such as the
to the AND-gate 456 by a connector between hubs 3D
AND-gate 451 arbitrarily selected, the cue-count con
and 6B to uniquely define the third field. Having thus de
figuration Q1=1 and Q4=1 is connected as shown in
fined the third field, the operator may select it for sorting
15 FIG. 8.
by actuating the switch KF6 to the position which will
From the foregoing it may be readily appreciated that
provide a -|-6-volt enabling potential to the AND-gate
the cue-counting and field-selecting section illustrated in
456.
FIG. 8 enables as many as twelve cue-count configurations
to be connected to AND-gates which may be selectively
The fields of the sample document illustrated in FIG.
2a are separated into the following major fields: The 20 enabled by pushbutton switches KFI to KFlZ and that
each cue-count configuration may be employed to uniquely
amount field for the dollar amount ($1959.00); the “on
us” field for the branch number (1238), the account
define any major or minor field on a document of any
format and that the fields are defined solely by the cue
number (4957) and the transaction code (346); the
transit number field for the combined routing symbol
count configurations of the four cue counters and are
selected by the switches KFl to KFIZ. It should be
(1234) and transit number (7890) of the drawee blank;
and ari “auxiliary on-us” field permitted on documents
having sufficient length for the discretionary use of the
further noted that, with reference to the illustrated docu
ment in FIG. 2b, the fields are defined as digit positions
drawee bank. The corresponding major fields in the
between cue symbols without regard to the information
which the digits represent in order that any group of
sample document illustrated in FIG. 2b have been sepa
rated into minor fields one to seven. In selecting a field 30 digit positions between cue symbols may be selected for
sorting. That is of particular advantage when, for ex
for sorting by plugboard programming, minor field defini
ample, sorting is to be accomplished in accord with digit
tions are employed because, as is explained more fully
hereinafter, a digit counter is employed tio locate selected
positions within the “on-us” information field.
digits within the field selected for sorting and the digit
Digit Counting and Selecting
counter is reset by a signi-il derived from any symbol Qi,
During an off-line mode of sorting documents, the
documents may be sequenced in a normal manner by
sorting on successive digit positions starting with the
lowest digit position of a field which may be selected in
the manner just described with reference to FIG. 8. Each
field of digits between cue symbols may contain as many
as ten digits. After the field has been defined by the plug
board connections and selected by actuation of the ap
propriate Field Select switch, it is located in the manner
Q2,Assuming
Q3 or Q4.
that the third field is selected for sorting by
the plugboard connections between the cue-count decod
ing AND-gates 411 to 422 and 441 to 44S and the field
selecting AND-gate 456, th: field selected is located when
a given document is read by counting the cue symbols
until the appropriate cue-count configuration is reached.
At that moment, the AND-gate 456 is enabled and a +6
volt signal is translated through an OR-gate 479 and an
inverter 471 to cause a flip-flop FLD to be set and a
signal to be transmitted over a conductor FLD indicating
that the selected field has been located.
The hubs provided for the plugboard connections may
be arranged on the plugboard 17S (FIG. 3) in rows 1
through l2 and columns A through H. By arranging
justAny
described.
digit position within the selected field may be se
lected for sorting by selective actuation of Digit Select
pushbutton switches KDl to KDlt) illustrated in FIGS.
3 and 9. For example, if the four documents illustrated
in FIGS. 2a, 2b, 2c and 2d are to be sequenced according
to their account number, the documents are first sorted
the hubs in rows and columns, a given hub may be
according to the number in the first digit position of the
uniquely defined by specifying its row and column. For 50 account number field. The first document illustrated in
instance, the hub 3D connected to the AND-gate 411
FlG. 2a contains the number 7 in that digit position so
may be coupled to the hub 6B connected to the AND-gate
that it is deposited in the pocket Seven. rIhe second
456 by connecting the hub in the third row of column
document illustrated in FIG. 2b is similarly deposited in
D to the hub in the sixth row of column B.
the pocket Seven. The third and fourth documents, how
It should be noted that the twelve Field Select push
button switches KFI to KF12 (FIG. S) may be employed
to select fields in accordance with the cue-count decod
ing configuration connected to their associated AND-gates
451 to 462 so that it is possible to select any one of
twelve fields in accord with a particular plugboard pro
gram in such a manner that the first switch KFl need not
necessarily be employed to select the first field. For in
stance, in the foregoing example illustrated in FIG. 8, the
third field was selected by actuating the sixth switch KFG
ever, are deposited in the respective pockets One and
Nine.
During the second sorting run, the second digit position
is selected. For instance, to further sort the documents
60 deposited in the pocket Seven during the first run, the
second digit position of the account number field is ex
amined and the first document illustrated in FIG. 2a is
deposited in the pocket Five while the second document
illustrated in FIG. 2b is deposited in the pocket Zero.
each subsequent sorting run, digit positions in
after the appropriate cue-count decoding AND-gates 65 During
successively higher orders are examined and the docu
were connected to the AND-gate `456. Thus, the twelve
AND-gates 451 to 462 allow a maximum of twelve field
ments further sorted until all of the documents having
a common account number have been deposited in a
single pocket defined by the most significant digit of the
ing AND-gates 451 to 462. Whenever documents are
70
to be sorted on a particular field, the related field-select
account number.
A digit counter illustrated in FIG. 7 and represented
switch is actuated.
by flip-Hops DGI and DG4 in FIG. 9 is provided for
As a further example, suppose it is desired to sort
counting all of the digits in each minor field, i.e., the
within field 6 of the document illustrated in FlG. 2b.
selecting configurations to be plugged to the field-select
1t is observed that a Q4 symbol 86’ precedes the field 6
but a Q4 symbol 84’ also precedes the field 4 so that a
digits between two successive cue symbols.
It should
3,097,745
17
be noted that a signal on the conductor QOR connected
to the OR-gate 171 in FIG. 3 to which signals on con
ductors Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 are applied resets the digit
counter to zero as respective cue symbols on a given
document are read.
The digits sequentially read after
a given cue symbol are counted by the digit counter and
decoded by a group of count-decoding AND-gates 480
to 489 connected to the digit counter for decoding digit
count configurations of one to ten, respectively, and pro
It should be noted that the digit counter is reset through
an OR-gate 479 by each cue symbol read in response to
a signal QOR derived from the OR-gate i171 (FIG. 3).
'I'he digit counter is also initially reset by a signal trans
mitted over the conductor CSYIS to assure that the digit
counter is reset when the reading of each document is
initiated. A signal IRSR is transmitted over the conduc
tor 191 for continually resetting the digit counter
through the OR-gate 479 until the relay K1 is energized
vide a +6-volt signal to respective digit-selecting AND 10
to provide a signal RSR on the conductor 53 which pro
gates 49€) to 499 only one of which is selected during a
sorting run.
vides a signal IRSR on the conductor 191 through the in
verter 190 (FIG. 3).
Selection of a digit position for sorting is accomplished
through the pushbutton switches KD1 to KD1() con
SUMMARY OF OPERATION
nected to respective AND-gates 490 to 499. The output
terminals of the digit-selecting AND-gates 490 to 499
When the sorter is being operated off-line, the sorter
are connected to an OR-gate 475 to set a flip-flop DGT
control
unit controls the entire sorting process based
through an AND-gate 476 when the digit position se
upon plugboard wiring, operator control Field and Digit
lected by one of the switches KD1 to KD1() is located, a
Select switch settings, and the information read from the
digit is read therefrom and a synchronizing signal de 20 documents
being processed. In the on-line mode, the
rived from a flip-flop SAD is applied to the AND-gate
sorter control unit transmits the information read from
476. The lijp-flop SAD is set for four microseconds via
each document to the computer for processing and de
a flip-flop SPD eight microseconds after the flip-Hop CSP
veloping a pocket decision. The sorter control unit re
(FIG. 3) is set in order to assure that the cue and digit
the pocket decision command executed by the
counters have settled before allowing the llip-iiop DGT 25 ceives
computer for each document and, at the appropriate time
to be set.
stores this information in the output register of the sorter
Thus, in the n-ormal off-line mode of operation, a digit
control unit. Certain error checking functions are per
position within a specified field is located by the cue
formed in both the off-line and on-line mode of opera
counting and field-selecting section illustrated in FIG. 8
tion as disclosed and described in the aforesaid copend
and the digit-counting and selecting section illustrated in 30 ing
patent application Serial No. 149,120.
FIG. 9. When a field specilied has `been located and the
In
general, the purpose of olf-line sorting is to sequence
count configuration of the digit counter corresponds to the
a
group
of documents, normally in ascending numeric
digit position selected by the actuated one of the digit
order, based upon the information imprinted in one or
selecting pushbutton switches KD1 to KDll), the AND
gate 174 (FIG. 3) is enabled to transmit a -l-ô-volt sig 35 more fields of each document. In addition, there is often
a need to segregate the documents into a number of sub
nal to set the character-decision flip-flop CHN upon the
groups based upon information imprinted on the docu~
occurrence »of a sampling pulse SAM from the flip-dop
ments. Normal olf-line sorting is performed by sorting
SAM (FIG. 9) which occurs three clock periods (12
on successive digits from the least significant to the most
microseconds) after the selected digit is read and one
significant, within one or more fields imprinted on the
clock period (four microseconds) after a SAD signal is
documents. The operator selects the field within which
transmitted through the enabled AND-gate 476 in FIG.
he wishes to sort in a given sorting pass by depressing
9 to set the flip-flop DGT. The flip-flop DGT is reset
the
appropriate switches. There are twelve Field Select
500 microseconds after the monostable multivibrator
switches for selection of the ñeld within which it is de
YCP is triggered by the selected digit when a positive
sired to sort, and there are ten Digit Select switches for
signal is transmitted over a line 199 to the flip-Hop DGT.
The operation of the digit counter will now be de
scribed with reference to the logic diagram of FIG. 7.
As the digits in a lie-ld are read, corresponding CDO to
CD9 signals are transmitted from the character reader
45 selection of the digit position, within the selected field,
on which it is desired to sort.
The most desirable arrangement of the data fields on
magnetically encoded documents will vary from applica
tion to application. For this reason, extreme ñexibility is
2.2 (FIG. l) to the OR-gate 189 (FIG. 3). The output 50 provided according to the present invention so that the
signal of the OR-gate 189 is transmitted over the conduc
operator may organize the encoded information in the
tor Dlt-9 to the digit counter (FIG. 7) so that as each
manner most suited to his needs. The information field
digit is read, the digit counter is incremented by one.
selected for sorting by each of the twelve Field Select
The signal on the conductor D0-9 is coupled to AND
switches is defined `by the operator by appropriate plug
gates 477 and 478 to enable them to transmit synchroniz
board wiring. It is not necessary, of course, that all of
ing pulses CSP received over a conductor 197 flip-dop
CSP (FIG. 3).
The digit counter operates as a conventional binary
the Field Select switches be utilized to define ñelds; only
the switches needed to allow sorting within the desired
document fields are so utilized. Each field to be selected
counter; accordingly, a detailed description of its opera
tion is not provided herein. It is suñ’icient to understand 60 by a Field Select switch is defined by specifying the cue
symbol count which appears to the right of the field on
that it will count `in response to as many as ten digits
each document. Means are provided to accommodate the
according to the following table:
X12
DG4
DGB
DG2
DGl
(5)
f4)
(E)
(l)
Count
65 number of times.
-_-`_â__`_ ____
CSYIS or QOR ___________ _.
First Digit ______________ -_
Second Digit ______________ __
Third Digit...
_..
Fourth Digit
Fifth Digi
Sixth Digit..
o
0
1
0
0
0
D
(i
0
0
l
0
zero.
one.
two.
D
0
1
1
three.
0
0
0
1
1
l
0
U
1
0
1
(I
tour.
five.
six.
Seventh Digit.___.
Eighth Digit ______________ _.
l)
l
1
0
1
l)
l
0
seven.
eight.
Ninth Digit.
Tenth Digit. ._
l
i
0
0
l)
1
l
0
nine.
ten.
D
0
0
0
zero.
QOR or CSYlS
_ __
_
|
|
| |
i
i
|
i
i
\
i
fact that certain cue symbols may appear on each docu
ment more than once, and the further complicating :factor
that certain cue symbols may appear an unpredictable
Four electronic counters within the sorter control unit
count the number of cue symbols read from each docu
ment. The counters associated with the Q1, Q2 and Q3
symbols each have the capacity to count up to three of
70 the respective symbols from a given document. The Q4
symbol counter has the capacity to count up to four Q4
(hyphen) symbols; it resets to zero each time one of the
other three cue symbols is read, The Q4 symbol is used
for deñning sub-fields within major fields designated by
75 the other cue symbols.
3,097,745
19
20
that digit is then locked in the input register 105 and
retained therein until a `positive signal is transmitted
All of the four counters are reset to zero before read
ing begins for each document. 0n the plugboard, each
over the line CSYZS, whereupon the content of the in
state of each counter is represented by a set of three
common hubs. All three of the hubs in a set are elec
trically active when the counter to which they are in
ternally connected is in the state which the set of hubs
put register 165 is transferred into the output register
165. Approximately sixty-two milliseconds later, a posi
tive signal on the line CSY3 triggers the monostable
multivibrator YRO, therebyr to gate the content of the
output register 165 through the decoder 170 and pro
represents. For example, when the Q1 counter illustrated
duce a pocket decision signal on the line of the group
in FIG. 5 has counted the Q1 (transit) symbol 85 on the
of lines PDf) to PD9 which corresponds to the digit
sample document of FIG. 2a, the AND-gate 412 is en
abled to produce a positive signal on the set of hubs 4D, 10 read from the selected digit position in the selected field.
A pocket decision signal for the special-sort pocket
5D and 6D.
SSP is transmitted from the decoder via a line 29' in a
Associated with each Field Select switch is a set of
three hubs on the plugboard. These hubs are used to
define the field on the document within which sorting
similar manner but is received as a code 1110 either
is to be done when the corresponding Field Select switch
is depressed. Each field within which sorting is to be
done is defined by wiring the appropriate cue counter
hubs to the hubs corresponding to the switch which is
cial decision making logic networks (not shown) dur
ing off-line sorting as described by the aforesaid Patent
Application Serial No. 839,836 or the aforesaid patent
application filed concurrently herewith. The 'aforesaid
copending application filed concurrently herewith may
from the computer during on-line sorting or from spe
desired to assign to that field as illustrated in FIG. 8
20 also be referred to for a complete description of a fiexible
for the Field Select switches KFl and KF6. For eX
document sorting system having many features, including
ample, assume documents with the format of FIG. 2b
a unique system for selecting a pluraìity of digits on
are to be sorted. In wiring the plugboard, provision
a given document from a single field or a plurality of
is to be made to allow sorting on any field. For con
fields to cull the document from a stack of documents
venience, the Field Select switches KFI to KFG are to
being sorted if the document contains a specified con
be assigned in the same order as the fields appear on
the document, from right to left. The number of each
field is shown in FIG. 2b. rThe table below lists the
cue counter states required to define each field. The state
shown for each field is wired to the hubs of the Field
Select switch with the same number as the field.
Counter States
figuration digit in the selected digit position.
To illustrate by a simple example the fiexibility of a
document sorting system according to the present in
vention, assume that a stack of intermixed transit docu
30 ments, such as the documents in FIGS. 2a to 2d, are to
be sorted, some having no dollar amount field present.
By referring to the foregoing table it may be seen that
all fields, including the first and second, may be uniquely
defined without utilizing the Q2. (amount) symbol counter
since the cue count configuration for the remaining
counters is distinct for all of the fields. Thus, by utiliz
ing only the Q1, Q3 and Q4 counters, any given field
40
To define Field 1 as the field to be sorted when Field
Select switch KFl is depressed, a wire is plugged from
the innermost hub 4E of the Q2 (amount) symbol 45
counter to one of the hubs in the set 1A, 1B and 1C
connected to the field defining AND-gate 451. ‘From
the foregoing table it is seen that a single plugboard
connection is sufficient to uniquely define the Field 1
may be defined and located for sorting intermixed docu
ments, including those not having dollar amount fields.
To further illustrate the flexibility of a document sort
ing system according to the present invention, assume
that documents similar to the document of FIG. 2b are
to be sorted in field 7 and that some of the documents
do not bear the symbol 83’ and the field 3 of digits
which precede the symbol 84’.
Under those circum
stances, the Q3 (“on-us”) symbol count configuration
which must be defined and detected is either Q3=1 or
Q3:2. To define such configuration in the alternative
in order to uniquely define the same field in doucments
since the Q2 counter is at the state representing a count 50 of two acceptable formats. an Oil-gate 471 in FIG. 8
of one only while the Field is being read. The other
fields are defined by wiring two or three counter states,
shown opposite each, to the hubs of the field selecting
AND-gate assigned to the field. `‘For example, it is
may be employed. An inspection of the document of
FIG. 2b reveals that the Q3Il count configuration
uniquely defines the field 7 when the field 3, including
the symbol 83', is absent', but to avoid sorting on the
seen by inspection of the foregoing table that the cue 55 field 3 when it is present on a given document, a Ql
count configuration of the Q1, Q3 and Q4 counters may
(transit) symbol count configuration of two must also
be uniquely employed to define the Field 3 by connecting
be specified. Accordingly, plugboard connections from
hubs 1D, 4F and 1G to hubs 3A, 3B and 3C in FIG. 8.
hubs 4F and 7F to hubs 8K and SI connected to the
In some instances, only two cue counters need be em
OR-gate 471; from the hub 7D to the hub 7A; and from
ployed to define a field, such as the Field Z which may 60 the hub 8H connected to the OR-gate 471 to the hub
be uniquely defined by the cue count configuration of the
7C uniquely define the field 7 through the AND-gate
Q1 and Q2 counters in the present example.
457 for two alternative formats. Additional OR-gates
The digit counter within the sorter control unit counts
and AND-gates may be provided for defining fields by
the number of digits within each field as the digits
cue count configurations in accordance with the present
are read from right to left. No plugboard wiring is re
invention if intermixed formats presenting more corn
quired to define the Digit Select switches KDl to KD10 65 pleX alternatives are to be sorted.
(FIG. 9). Depression of a. given Digit Select switch
While the principles of the invention have now been
causes sorting to occur on the corresponding digit posi
made clear in an illustrative embodiment, there will be
tion (counting from right to left) within the field se
immediately obvious to those skilled in the art many
lected by the Field Select switch depressed. The digit
modifications in structure, arrangement, proportions, the
70
counter is reset to zero each time a cue symbol is read.
elements, materials, and components used in the prac
Having defined and selected a given field, the digits
tice of the invention, and otherwise, which are particu
within that field are counted and, when the digit selected
larly adapted for specific environments and operating rc
for sorting within that field is located by counting, the
AND-gate 174 (FIG. 3) is enabled to set the character
decision ñip-fiop CHN. The inverse biquinary code of
quirements, without departing from those principles.
The appended claims are therefore intended to cover and
21
3,097,745
embrace any such modifications, within the limits only
of the true spirit and scope of »the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. In a system for sorting documents, each document
having data comprising characters recorded thereon and
separated into fields `by arbitrarily selected ones of a
plurality of distinct types of symbols, the combination
comprising:
an apparatus having a plurality of pockets into which
the documents are deposited as they are sorted in 10
accord with la character read from a specified char
22
with a character read from a specified character posi
tion of a specified field of each document;
a mechanism for transporting documents into proper
pockets as they are sorted;
means for reading said characters and symbols in se
quence to produce thereby electrical signals char
.acteristic of said characters `and symbols;
a plurality of means for counting said electrical signals
characteristic of symbols on a given document, one
counting means for each distinct type of symbol;
means responsive to said plurality of counting means
acter position of a specified field of each document;
for locating said specified field;
a mechanism for transporting the documents into proper
means responsive to said electrical signals character
pockets ‘as they are read and sorted;
istic of said characters for locating said specified
means for reading said characters and symbols in se 15
character position;
quence to produce thereby electrical signals charac
means responsive to said specified field locating means
teristic of said characters and symbols;
and to said character position locating means for
separate means for counting signals characteristic of
producing a sorting control signal;
each type of different ones of said symbols;
and sorting means responsive to said sorting control
field identifying means selectively coupled to different 20
signal for causing said transport mechanism to trans
one of said separate counting means for recognizing
port said given document into a proper pocket.
a predetermined combination of count configurations
4. In a system for sorting documents, each document
of said separate counting means, said predetermined
having
data comprising characters recorded thereon and
count configuration uniquely defining said specified
separated into fields by arbitrarily selected ones of a plu
field;
rality of distinct types of symbols, the combination com
means responsive to said electrical signals characteristic
prising:
of said characters for locating said specified character
an apparatus having a plurality of pockets into which
position;
means responsive to said identifying field means and
to said character position locating means for pro 30
ducing a sorting control signal;
and sorting means responsive to said sorting control
signal for causing said transport mechanism to trans
port said given document into a proper pocket.
2. In a system for sorting documents, each document
having data comprising characters recorded thereon and
separated into fields by arbitrarily selected ones of a plu
rality of distinct types of symbols, the combination corn
prising:
an apparatus having a plurality of pockets into which 40
the documents are deposited as they are sorted in
accord with a character read from a specified char
acter position of a specified field of each document;
a mechanism for transporting the documents into proper
pockets as they are sorted;
45
means for reading said characters and symbols in se
quence thereby to produce electrical signals char
acteristic of said characters and symbols;
means for locating said specified field by recognizing
electrical signal characteristics of given types of 50
symbols associated with `given ones of the fields,
including the field specified for Sorting, said means
including separate means for counting the electrical
signals characteristic of each different type of symbol,
a decoding means for decoding the count configura 55
tions of said counting means and programming means
for selecting a combination of count configurations
of said counting means thereby to specify a field for
documents are deposited as they are sorted in accord
with a character read from a specified character posi
tion of a specified field of each document;
a mechanism for transporting documents into proper
pockets as they `are sorted;
means for reading said characters and symbols in se
quence thereby to produce electrical signals char
acteristic of said characters and symbols;
a plurality of means for counting said electrical signals
characteristic of symbols on a given document, one
counting means for each distinct type of symbol;
means for selectively defining said specified field in
terms of the count configuration of selected ones of
said plurality of counting means when the fields
preceding the specified field have been read;
field locating means coupled to said field defining means
for producing a control signal indicating that the
specified field has been ‘located when the field-defin
ing-count configuration of said selected ones of said
plurality of counting means is reached in response to
corresponding types of symbols read and counted by
the selected ones of said plurality of counting means;
means responsive to said electrical signals character
istic of said characters `for locating said specified
character position;
means responsive to said control signal produced Íby
said field locating means and to said character posi
tion locating means for producing a sorting control
signal;
and sorting means responsive to said sorting control
signal for causing said transport mechanism to trans
sorting;
port
said given document into a proper pocket.
means responsive to said electrical signals characteristic 60
5. In a system for sorting documents, the combination
of said characters for locating said specified character
as defined in claim 4 wherein said means for selectively
position;
defining said specified field comprising:
means responsive to said specified field locating means
an AND-gate having a plurality of input terminals, at
and to said character position locating means for
least one input terminal for each one of said plurality
producing a sorting control signal;
65
of counting means selected for defining said specified
and sorting means responsive to said sorting control
signal for causing said transport mechanism to trans
port said given document into a proper pocket.
3. ln a system for sorting documents, each document
field;
means having n+1 output terminals coupled to each
having data comprising characters recorded thereon and 70
one of said plurality of counting means for present
ing an output signal at output terminals l to n+1
separated into fields by arbitrarily selected ones of a plu
rality of distinct types of symbols, the combination com
integer;
prising:
an apparatus having a plurality of pockets into which
documents are deposited as they are sorted in accord 75
for respective counts of zero to n, where n is an
and means for selectively coupling to `an input terminal
of said AND-gate one of said output terminals of
each of said means coupled to each of Said plurality
3,097,745
of counting means selected for defining said specified
ñeld.
6. In a system for sorting documents, each document
having data comprising characters recorded thereon and
separated into fields by arbitrarily selected ones of a plu
rality of distinct types of symbols, the combination com
prising:
an apparatus having a plurality of pockets into which
documents are deposited as they `are sorted in accord
with a character read from a specified character posi
tion of a specified lield of each document;
a mechanism for transporting documents into proper
pockets as they are sorted;
means for reading said characters Vand symbols in se
quence to produce thereby electrical signals charac
teristic of said characters and symbols;
a plurality of means for counting said electrical signals
characteristic of symbols on a given document, one
counting means for each distinct type of symbol;
means for selectively deñning a plurality of fields to
be specified for sorting in terms of the count con
iigurations of selected ones of said plurality of count
ing means when the ñelds preceding the respective
fields to be specified have been read;
24
means for selectively specifying a given one of the fields
defined by said field defining means for sorting;
field locating means coupled to said field defining means
for producing a control signal indicating that the
specified field has been located when the field-defin
ing-count configuration of said selected ones of said
plurality of counting means is reached in response to
corresponding types of symbols read and counted by
the selected ones of said plurality of counting means;
means responsive to said electrical signals character
istic of said characters for locating said speciiied
character position;
means responsive to said control signal produced by
said iield locating means rand to said character posi
tion locating means for producing a sorting control
signal;
and sorting means responsive to said sorting control
signal for causing said transport mechanism to trans
port said given document into a proper pocket.
References Cited in the tile of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
2,994,428
D-aubendick __________ __ Aug. l, 1961
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