Browse Prior Art Database

Bilevel Optical Ink Level Detector

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000084081D
Original Publication Date: 1975-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-02
Document File: 2 page(s) / 71K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Loiselle, JT: AUTHOR

Abstract

This device detects two levels of ink optically with the ink contained in an opaque bottle, a requirement in some applications.

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Bilevel Optical Ink Level Detector

This device detects two levels of ink optically with the ink contained in an opaque bottle, a requirement in some applications.

Its purpose is similar to that described in the article titled "Capacitive Ink Level Detector", authored by D. W. Phillips, appearing in the IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin, Vol. 16, No. 10, March 1974, pages 3293 and 3294. The Phillips device senses one level of ink by capacitive sensing.

The structures illustrated include two sets of light-emitting diodes (LED's) and phototransistors. Bottle 1 is accommodated by holder 2 and includes a plug 3 which is molded into a rubber stopper 4 located in the bottom of the bottle. When inserted, bottle 1 may contain ink at a fairly high level, such as level 5. Ink is depleted by a utilization device such as a printer, not shown, connected to lines 6 and 7. The bottle is guided into place by fixture 8.

LED 10 and phototransistor 11 sense ink at a higher depleted level, while LED 12 and phototransistor 13 sense ink at a lower depleted level.

Detecting the higher depleted level informs the machine operator that the ink supply is getting low but allows printing to continue. When the lower depleted level is detected, the machine may be arranged to print out "ink level low", then stop. Advantages of this detecting scheme are: 1. Any color bottle can be used, but black is preferred. 2. LED/phototransistor fixture 8 acts as a keyway to guide the bottle 1 into place when...