(11) EP 0 360 302 B1


(45) Mention of the grant of the patent:
17.03.1993 Bulletin 1993/11

(21) Application number: 89121003.1

(22) Date of filing: 13.11.1986
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC)5B67D 1/00, B67D 1/08


A carbonated drink dispenser

Spender für kohlensäurehaltige Getränke

Distributeur pour des boissons carbonatées

(84) Designated Contracting States:

(30) Priority: 20.11.1985 US 799911
20.11.1985 US 799919

(43) Date of publication of application:
28.03.1990 Bulletin 1990/13

(62) Application number of the earlier application in accordance with Art. 76 EPC:
86115763.4 / 0223204

London W2 2EX (GB)

(72) Inventors:
  • Karlis, Robert Gale
    Fairfield, Connecticut (US)
  • Dole, Charles Minot
    Purdys, N.Y. 10528 (US)
  • Webster, Gary Lawrence
    Fairfield, Connecticut 06430 (US)
  • Anderson, George J.
    Garrison, N.Y. (US)
  • Jeans, Edward Lewis
    Monmouth Gwent, Wales (GB)

(74) Representative: Denmark, James 
Bailey, Walsh & Co. 5 York Place
Leeds LS1 2SD Yorkshire
Leeds LS1 2SD Yorkshire (GB)

(56) References cited: : 
GB-A- 2 114 246
GB-A- 2 010 977
US-A- 2 598 009
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    [0001] This invention relates to apparatus useful in carbonated drink dispensers in general, and more particularly to a device for coupling a gas cylinder to a fitting with a preferred feature of a mechanism for weighing the contents of such a cylinder, the device and mechanism being particularly useful in a carbonated drink dispenser.

    [0002] U.S. Patent 4,520,950 discloses an in-home drink dispenser which includes a source of concentrate, e.g. syrup, a carbonator which is filled with ice and water and a carbon dioxide tank for supplying carbon-dioxide to carbonate the water in the tank. In such an in-home drink dispenser, since the cylinders are being handled by people not used to such, there is a need to provide for ease of use, as well as ease of an insertion and removal of the cylinder from the drink dispenser. It is also important to know how much carbon dioxide is left. Knowing when one is about to run out of carbon dioxide is of great importance, particularly where a cylinder is not immediately on hand. The carbonator can be refilled with water and ice; however, if one runs out of carbon dioxide, at a time when the supplier is not open for business, it may be necessary to wait, possibly over a weekend, to get a new cylinder. Thus, the need for an indication of this level is particularly important.

    [0003] The present invention provides a mechanism particularly useful in an in-home drink dispenser and which allows a consumer to easily install a CO₂ cylinder in a carbonated drink dispenser and preferably to monitor the CO₂ usage. The mechanism of the present invention is useful in most drink dispensers but is most opportunely used in a drink dispenser such as the one disclosed in European Patent Application No. 0223209 claiming priority from USA Patent Application Serial No. 799,911, entitled "In-Home Drink Dispenser" assigned to the same assignee as the present invention.

    [0004] In a typical dispenser, it is necessary to connect the carbon dioxide cylinder to the system. This is done with a connection which, when the connection is made, opens a valve to allow a flow of carbon dioxide out of the gas cylinder. (See for example U.S. Patents 4,408,701; 4,328,909; 4,363,424; 4,523,697; 4,520,580; 4,570,830; 4,564,483 and 799,201. In the connections disclosed in the aforementioned applications, a connecting means which provides a relatively high mechanical advantage is provided. This was thought necessary at the time because of the high pressure acting on the probe entering the cylinder, this pressure being too high for the average person to operate against when inserting the cylinder. This, of course, made insertion of the cylinder more difficult. According to the present invention there is provided a carbonated drink dispenser comprising

    a) a fitting having an elongated thin probe, and passage means for the passage of carbon dioxide gas through the fitting;

    b) a carbon dioxide cylinder removably connectible to the fitting, said cylinder comprising a check valve in the neck thereof which is opened by the probe when the cylinder is opened by the probe when the cylinder is connected to the fitting to enable carbon dioxide gas to pass from the cylinder into said passage means and through the fitting, characterised in that the dispenser is constructed so that the cylinder and fitting are connected by positioning the cylinder with the probe aligned with the check valve followed by the moving of the cylinder and fitting relatively together in the direction of the probe so that the probe opens the check valve and in that the probe is of such thinness that said movement of the cylinder and fitting relatively together can be achieved by direct manual effort in the direction of the probe.

    [0005] Preferably the cylinder is connectible to the fitting by a simple connection comprising bayonet pins which fit into appropriate bayonet slots on the neck of the cylinder. Preferably also the cylinder is suspended from the fitting containing the probe, the fitting also containing a pressure regulator. By so suspending the gas cylinder, it is possible to measure its weight by providing an upward bias to the probe fitting, using suitable springs.

    [0006] In accordance with a preferred arrangement of the present invention, the fitting to which the gas cylinder is attached is supported rotatably within a hood, the hood forming a lever which is biased upwardly. The hood rotates on a shaft supported in a bracket which is attached to a wall of the dispenser. Springs act between the bracket and the hood to bias the hood upwardly. A mechanism, including a planar member, which is guided in a curved slot, maintains the probe vertical so that in any position the user can easily insert a gas cylinder as indicated above onto the probe without difficulty. The planar member which is guided and which maintains the pin vertical is also provided with indicators visible through a window to indicate the degree of the fullness of the cylinder. A full cylinder will act against the spring and pull the hood all the way down. As the cylinder is used up, the hood will begin to move upwardly until, when the cylinder is completely empty, the hood will be fully up. In accordance with a preferred feature of the present invention, the spring is adapted to begin moving the gas cylinder upward only over the last part of the supply, e.g. the last ten percent. Thus, as soon as movement starts the user knows that he is getting near the end of his supply.

    [0007] The cylindrical member which engages the probe fitting is formed with a pair of arms. The arms are aligned with axial slots which are used for engaging the pins on the probe fitting when locking the two fittings together. By aligning the arms with the axial slots, the user is given a guide and knows exactly how to line up the gas cylinder to insert it onto the probe fitting. Preferably, on the hood, there are alignment markings and an arrow, indicating to the user the direction in which to rotate the handles or arms so as to lock the cylindrical member and, therefore, the CO₂ cylinder in place. In the illustrated embodiment, there are holes at the ends of the arms through which a finger can be inserted to hold the gas cylinder. A cover is also placed over this fitting for decorative and protective purposes. The cover has a tear-away tab on the top to allow access to the cylindrical member and fitting when attaching to the probe fitting. The tab cover, however, provides protection during shipping and remains in place until the cylinder is to be used.

    [0008] An embodiment of the invention will now be described by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:-

    Fig. 1 is a perspective view of an in-home drink dispenser in which the mechanism of the present invention may be used.

    Fig. 2 is a view similar to Fig. 1 showing the door to the carbonator compartment and CO₂ compartment opened;

    Fig. 3 is an exploded view of the elements attached to the top of the CO₂ cylinder.

    Figs. 3A, 3B and 3C are views to illustrate the operation of the thin probe;

    Fig. 4 is an elevation view partially in cross section showing the manner in which the CO₂ assembly is attached to a probe fitting in which is incorporated a regulator and also shows part of the weighing mechanism;

    Fig. 5 is a perspective view showing the cylindrical member which permits attachment to the probe fitting of Fig. 4;

    Fig. 6 is an exploded view of the weighing mechanism of the present invention.

    Figs. 7 and 8 are elevation views, partially in cross section and partially in phantom showing the operation of the weighing mechanism, Fig. 7 showing the weight mechanism with an empty cylinder and Fig. 8 showing the weighing mechanism with a full cylinder.

    [0009] Figs. 1 and 2 are perspective views of the in-home drink dispenser in which the mechanism of the present invention may be used. Fig. 1 shows the drink dispenser 11 with its doors closed. Fig. 2 shows the dispenser 11 with its carbonator door 13 and CO₂ compartment door 15 opened, and the CO₂ cartridge 17 and carbonator tank 18 removed. Also visible in Fig. 2 is the syrup cartridge 19. The CO₂ cylinder 17 has a cover 23 for ease in handling and also for mounting into the machine in a manner to be described below.

    [0010] Figs. 3-5 illustrate the cover assembly for the carbon dioxide cylinder 17 and its connection to a regulator which also acts as a weighing mechanism. Referring to Fig. 3, over the end of the gas cylinder 17 there is placed an O-ring seal 701. Next a member 703, which has an inner washer-like portion, is placed over the neck section 704 of cylinder 17, and held in place by a flange on threaded fitting 705 threaded into the threads 707 in the neck section of the cylinder 17. The fitting 705 contains a check valve which is operated when an appropriate pin or probe is inserted into its opening 709. The pin and valve opening arrangement are shown in Figs. 30A, 30B and 30C and referring to these figures, the fitting 705 is shown as having the opening 709 which leads to a chamber 709A containing a valve ball 709B which is urged by a spring 709C against a seat at the end of opening 709. The ball 709B therefore prevents the escape of carbon dioxide through the opening 709. The member 713 which operates the valve ball 709B and which is described hereinafter is also shown, and this member is provided with a slender probe 713A which, when the members 731 and 705 are brought together, enters the opening 709 as shown in Fig. 30B and unseats the ball 709B allowing carbon dioxide to flow from the carbon dioxide cylinder. An O-ring seal 709D in the opening 709 engages the wall of the probe 731A to prevent escape of gas past the said seal 709B when the ball 709B is unseated as shown.

    [0011] As shown in Fig. 3C, the probe 731A is provided with a small bore 731B which is offset relative to the centre line of the probe so that the ball 709B will not in fact block the bore 731B through which the gas has to escape in order to enter the dispenser.

    [0012] The characteristic of the probe 731A is that it is of small diameter compared to conventional probe connections as used for carbon dioxide cylinders. Usually these probe connections require the assistance of a mechanical advantage device to enable the cylinders to be connected to the dispensers, whereas in the case of the present arrangement, the probe is of such small diameter that connection can take place by the application of manual force. Typically, the probe diameter may be of the order of 1/8th inch for use with a gas cylinder of which the internal pressure is of the order of 800 lbs per square inch. With this arrangement, a force of only 10 lbs is required in order to connect the gas cylinder to the fitting 731, but it is within the scope of this invention to use cylinder probes of different diameter depending upon the internal pressure of the gas cylinder, but optimally one should aim for providing an arrangement wherein a coupling force of the order of 10 lbs is all that is required in order to couple the cylinder to the fitting.

    [0013] Member 703 contains a central cylindrical portion 711 with two arms 713 at the ends of which rings 715 are formed as finger grips. As best seen from Fig. 5, on the inside of the cylindrical portion 711 are formed two diametrically opposed axially extending slots 719 which lead to circumferentially extending locking slots 720. These are also shown in Fig. 4. A cover 23 is snapped over the member 703 to give the cylinder the finished appearance illustrated in Fig. 2. The cover is snapped so as to enclose the top of the cylinder 17 as well as the member 703 and includes side parts 721 with openings 723 which align with the openings 715 formed in the arms 713 of member 703. These openings permit a finger grip for ease in handling of the cylinder. The cover 23 contains a tear-away top portion 725 with a tab 727 provided to tear off the cover to permit ease of access to the fitting 709.

    [0014] The handles 713 or 721 also act as an alignment means. As can be seen from Fig. 5, the axial slots 719 are aligned with the handle 721. Thus, when inserting the gas cylinder on to regulator assembly 729 which has a mating fitting 731 with projections 733 thereon, for engaging in the slots 719 and 720, the handles can be used for alignment purposes. The user simply lines up the handles with the pins 733 and then rotates the handles 721 until they are in a predetermined position in which the cylinder is locked in place against the fitting 731. The fitting 731 includes a hollow probe (not shown) which fits in and seals within the opening 709 and opens the valve therein to permit the flow of carbon dioxide through the regulator and into the rest of the system.

    [0015] The regulator is also shown in Fig. 6 which is an exploded view of the regulator and weighing assembly. The fitting 731 of the regulator 729 with its pins 733 is visible at the bottom of Fig. 6. A shaft 735 extends out from both ends of the regulator. Shaft 735 on the left hand side contains a flat 737. A member 739 to be described in more detail below is placed over this end of the shaft 735. The whole assembly, generally indicated as 740 is inserted into a hood 741 containing holes 743 on each side thereof for accepting the shaft 735. The shaft 735 on the left hand side is held in place in a cylindrical recess 745 attached to the regulator 729 by means of a cotter or split pin 747. Thus, after the shaft 735 on the right hand side is inserted through its hole 743, the recess 745 is aligned with the hole 743 on the left and the shaft 735 on the left hand side inserted and secured in place with cotter or split pin 747. Thereafter the member 739 can be placed over the end of the shaft 735. The hood 741 has a brim 749 containing thereon indicia 751 and 753 along with arrows 755. The indicia indicate to the user the proper alignment for the handles 721 in the position where the bottle is inserted and the position where it is locked in place. The hood 741 is held in an assembly 757. This assembly includes a U-shaped bracket 759 having holes 761 in its base for mounting within the gas cylinder compartment of the dispenser. Extending through the two legs of this U-shaped bracket 759 is a shaft 763. At each end of the shaft is a spring 765. This is a coil spring containing arms 767 and 769 each of which are bent at their ends so as to have a portion parallel to the axis of the spring. The portion 767 contains an axially extending portion 771 and portion 769 contains an axially extending portion 773. Portion 771 engages in one of a plurality of holes 775 in the arm of the bracket 759. The bracket 759 encloses the rear portion of the hood 741 with the shaft 763 extending through the opening 777 and the inwardly extending portion 773 engaging in holes 779. Thus, hood 741 rotates on shaft 763 and is biased upwardly by springs 765.

    [0016] Figs. 7 and 8 illustrate manner in which the weighing mechanism operates. The previously mentioned member 739 comprises a planar member containing an arcuate slot 781 therein. The slot 781 slidably engages a pin 782 provided on the inside of one of the walls of the cylinder compartment which is adjacent to the planar member 739. Its purpose is to maintain the axis of the fitting 731 vertical irrespective of the rotation of the hood 741. Fig. 7 shows the hood 741 rotated upwardly, corresponding to an empty bottle or no bottle in place. Fig. 8 illustrates the hood 741 rotated downwardly with a full bottle in place. It will be recognised that the locus of shaft 735 moving between the positions of Figs. 7 and 8 will exhibit curved motion and, were it not for the slot 781 and pin 782 and the rigid connection of the member 739 to the shaft 735, which in turn is rigidly connected to the regulator 729 and thus to the fitting 731, rotation of the regulator 729 and fitting 731 would take place. It is important that the axis of the fitting 731 be maintained vertical so that CO₂ bottles can be easily removed and inserted. The springs 765, thus, tend to bias the cover 741 upwardly into the position shown in Fig. 7. The weight of a full CO₂ cylinder acts against this biasing action to bring the cover downward to the position shown in Fig. 8. The biasing force of the spring 765 may be changed based on the users selection of the various holes 775 in bracket 759.

    [0017] The member 739 performs a second function, the function of an indicator. At the bottom of the member 739 are painted two areas 783 and 785. Area 783 is painted green, for example, and area 785 is painted red. A viewing window 787 is provided in the drink dispenser housing through which the painted areas 783 and 785 can be observed. With a full bottle, one looks through the viewing window 787 and sees the green area 783. As the bottle begins to empty, the red area 785 begins to appear until, when all red, the bottle is essentially empty. Preferably, the biasing force of the springs 765 is such that they operate only over the last ten percent of carbon dioxide in the bottle. That is to say, only when the bottle is, for example, 10 percent full will the bottle become light enough so that the spring begins to move the cover 741 upwardly. This gives a better indication at the end of supply than would a linear system which would be difficult to calibrate.


    1. A carbonated drink dispenser comprising:-

    a) a fitting having an elongated thin probe, and passage means for the passage of carbon dioxide gas through the fitting;

    b) a carbon dioxide cylinder removably connectible to the fitting, said cylinder comprising a check valve in the neck thereof which is opened by the probe when the cylinder is opened by the probe when the cylinder is connected to the fitting to enable carbon dioxide gas to pass from the cylinder into said passage means and through the fitting, characterised in that the dispenser is constructed so that the cylinder and fitting are connected by positioning the cylinder with the probe aligned with the check valve followed by the moving of the cylinder and fitting relatively together in the direction of the probe so that the probe opens the check valve and in that the probe is of such thinness that said movement of the cylinder and fitting relatively together can be achieved by direct manual effort in the direction of the probe.

    2. A dispenser according to claim 1, characterised by cam means on the fitting and cylinder neck serving to maintain the fitting connected to the cylinder neck.
    3. A dispenser according to claim 2, characterised in that said cam means comprises bayonet slots in said neck and beyonet pins on said fitting.
    4. A dispenser according to any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that said cylinder is suspended from the fitting when connected thereto.
    5. A dispenser according to any preceding claim, wherein said check valve is disposed along a vertical axis and said thin probe extends along said vertical axis.
    6. A dispenser according to any preceding claim, and further including a regulator, said fitting and thin probe extending from said regulator, and a spring biasing said regulator upwardly so that said cylinder moves the changing weight as gas is used up.
    7. A dispenser according to claim 6, and further including indicating means for indicating the relative position of said regulator as said cylinder moves.
    8. A dispenser according to claim 7, wherein the biasing force of said spring is such as to be effective to move said gas cylinder upwardly only over a fraction of its weight.
    9. A dispenser according to claim 4, characterised by a weighing mechanism to which said fitting is attached including: means forming a rotatable lever at the end of which said fitting is mounted; means for biasing said lever upwardly against the downwardly acting weight of said gas cylinder; and indicator means for indicating the relative position of said second fitting.
    10. A dispenser according to claim 9, characterised by means for mounting said fitting to said lever in such a way that said probe is maintained vertical as said lever rotates.
    11. A dispenser according to claim 10, characterised in that said lever comprises:
       a hood having a top and side walls, a rounded front wall and a brim extending therefrom, holes formed in said side walls near said front wall;
       a shaft extending from each side of said fitting passing through said holes in said side walls whereby said fitting is rotatable with respect to said hood; and
       means for maintaining said fitting such that said probe is vertical by bringing about relative rotation between said fitting and said hood as said hood rotates.
    12. A dispenser according to claim 11, characterised in that said means biasing comprising:
       a U-shaped bracket having a base and two extending arms, said base mounted to a vertical wall, a hole formed in each arm;
       a shaft passing through said holes, said side walls of said hood having holes at the rear thereof through which said shaft passes, said hood thereby being rotatable on said shaft; and
       at least one spring acting between said arm of said bracket and said hood biasing said hood upwardly.
    13. A dispenser according to claim 12, characterised in that the biasing force of said spring is such as to be effective to move said gas cylinder upwardly only over a fraction of its weight.
    14. A dispenser according to claim 13, characterised in that said fraction is about one-tenth.
    15. A dispenser according to claim 14, characterised in that said means maintaining said pin vertical comprises:
       a planar member rigidly coupled at one end to one end of said shaft extending from said first fitting said planar member having a curved slot therein;
       a wall formed parallel to said planar member; and
       a pin extending from said wall and slidably engaging said planar member curved slot, guiding said planar member so that it remains vertical as said hood rotates, whereby said probe will also remain vertical.
    16. A dispenser according to claim 15, characterised in that said wall contains a viewing hole and said planar member contains colour coded areas viewable through said viewing hole such that the position of said planar member and thus the weight of said gas cylinder will be indicated.
    17. A dispenser according to claim 19 characterised by a regulator formed integrally with said first fitting.


    1. Ein Spender für kohlensäurehaltige Getränke, mit:

    a) einem Fitting mit einer langgestreckten dünnen Sonde und Durchlaßmitteln für den Durchlaß von Kohlendioxidgas durch das Fitting;

    b) einem Kohlendioxidzylinder, der entfernbar mit dem Fitting verbindbar ist, wobei der Zylinder ein Rückschlagventil in seinem Hals aufweist, das durch die Sonde geöffnet wird, wenn der Zylinder durch die Sonde geöffnet wird, wenn der Zylinder mit dem Fitting verbunden ist, um den Durchlaß von Kohlendioxidgas von dem Zylinder in die Durchlaßmittel und durch das Fitting zu ermöglichen,
    dadurch gekennzeichnet,
    daß der Spender so konstruiert ist, daß der Zylinder und das Fitting durch Anordnen des Zylinders, wobei die Sonde mit dem Rückschlagventil fluchtet, gefolgt durch Bewegen des Zylinders und des Fittings relativ zueinander in Richtung der Sonde, so daß die Sonde das Rückschlagventil öffnet, miteinander verbunden werden und daß die Sonde so dünn ist, daß die Bewegung des Zylinders und das Fittings relativ zueinander durch direkte Kraftaufwendung von Hand in Richtung der Sonde erzielbar ist.

    2. Ein Spender nach Anspruch 1, gekennzeichnet durch eine Nockeneinrichtung an dem Fitting und dem Zylinderhals, welche dazu dient, das Fitting mit dem Zylinderhals verbunden zu halten.
    3. Ein Spender nach Anspruch 2, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß die Nockeneinrichtung Bajonettschlitze in dem Hals und Bajonettzapfen an dem Fitting aufweist.
    4. Ein Spender nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß der Zylinder an dem Fitting hängt, wenn er mit diesem verbunden ist.
    5. Ein Spender nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, worin das Rückschlagventil entlang einer vertikalen Achse angeordnet ist und die dünne Sonde sich entlang der vertikalen Achse erstreckt.
    6. Ein Spender nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, weiterhin mit einem Regulator, wobei das Fitting und die dünne Sonde sich von dem Regulator aus erstrecken und einer Feder, welche den Regulator nach oben vorspannt, so daß sich der Zylinder durch sich änderndes Gewicht bewegt, wenn das Gas verbraucht wird.
    7. Ein Spender nach Anspruch 6, weiterhin mit Anzeigemitteln zur Anzeige der relativen Lage des Regulators, wenn sich der Zylinder bewegt.
    8. Ein Spender Anspruch 7, worin die Vorspannkraft der Feder so ist, daß sie wirksam wird, um der Gaszylinder nach oben zu bewegen bei nur einem Bruchteil seines Gewichtes.
    9. Ein Spender nach Anspruch 4, gekennzeichnet durch einen Wägemechanismus, an dem das Fitting angeordnet ist, und der aufweist: Einrichtungen, die einen drehbaren Hebel bilden, an dessen Ende das Fitting angeordnet ist; Einrichtungen zum Vorspannen des Hebels nach oben entgegen dem nach unten wirkenden Gewicht des Gaszylinders; und Anzeigeeinrichtungen zur Anzeige der relativen Lage des zweiten Fittings.
    10. Ein Spender nach Anspruch 9, gekennzeichnet durch Einrichtungen zum Befestigen des Fittings an dem Hebel derart, daß die Sonde vertikal gehalten wird, wenn sich der Hebel dreht.
    11. Ein Spender nach Anspruch 10, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß der Hebel aufweist:
    eine Haube mit einer Oberseite und Seitenwänden, einer abgerundeten Vorderwand und einem sich hiervon erstreckenden Rand, wobei in den Seitenwänden nahe der Vorderwand Löcher ausgebildet sind;
    eine Welle, welche sich von jeder Seite des Fittings aus erstreckt und durch die Löcher in den Seitenwänden verläuft, wodurch das Fitting bezüglich der Haube drehbar ist; und
    Einrichtungen zum Halten des Fittings derart, daß die Sonde vertikal ist, durch Einbringen einer Relativdrehung zwischen dem Fitting und der Haube, wenn sich die Haube dreht.
    12. Ein Spender nach Anspruch 11, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß die Einrichtungen zum Vorspannen aufweisen:
    eine U-förmige Konsole mit einer Basis und zwei sich erstreckenden Schenkeln, wobei die Basis an einer vertikalen Wand befestigt ist und ein Loch in jedem Schenkel ausgebildet ist;
    eine Welle, welche durch die Löcher verläuft, wobei die Seitenwände der Haube Löcher an der Rückseite hiervon aufweist, durch welche die Welle verläuft, so daß die Haube hierdurch auf der Welle drehbar ist; und
    wenigstens eine Feder, welche zwischen dem Schenkel der Konsole und der Haube wirkt und die Haube nach oben vorspannt.
    13. Ein Spender nach Anspruch 12, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß die Vorspannkraft der Feder so ist, daß sie den Gaszylinder nur über einen Bruchteil seines Gewichtes nach oben bewegt.
    14. Ein Spender nach Anspruch 13, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß der Bruchteil ungefähr ein Zehntel ist.
    15. Ein Spender nach Anspruch 14, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß die Einrichtungen, welche den Zapfen vertikal halten, aufweisen:
    ein ebenes Bauteil, welches fest mit einem Ende mit einem Ende der Welle gekoppelt ist, welches sich von dem ersten Fitting aus erstreckt, wobei das ebene Bauteil einen gekrümmten Schlitz darin aufweist;
    eine Wand, welche parallel zu dem ebenen Bauteil ausgebildet ist; und
    einen Zapfen, der sich von der Wand aus erstreckt und gleitbeweglich in dem gekrümmten Schlitz des ebenen Bauteiles geführt ist, so daß das ebene Bauteil so geführt ist, daß es bei einer Drehung der Haube vertikal verbleibt, wodurch die Sonde ebenfalls vertikal verbleibt.
    16. Ein Spender nach Anspruch 15, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß die Wand ein Sichtfenster beinhaltet und das ebene Bauteil farbig kodierte Bereiche aufweist, welche durch das Sichtfenster sichtbar sind, so daß die Lage des ebenen Bauteils und somit das Gewicht des Gaszylinders angezeigt werden.
    17. Ein Spender nach Anspruch 16, gekennzeichnet durch einen Regulator, der einstückig an dem ersten Fitting ausgebildet ist.


    1. Distributeur de boisson carbonatée comprenant:

    a) un raccord comportant une fine sonde allongée et un moyen de passage pour laisser passer le gaz carbonique dans le raccord;

    b) une cartouche de gaz carbonique amovible que l'on peut connecter au raccord, ladite cartouche comprenant, dans son col, une vanne d'arrêt qui est ouverte par la sonde quand la cartouche est reliée au raccord pour permettre au gaz carbonique de passer de la cartouche dans ledit moyen de passage et à travers le raccord,

    caractérisé en ce que le distributeur est construit de manière que la cartouche et le raccord soient reliés en positionnant la cartouche avec la sonde alignée avec la vanne d'arrêt, puis en déplaçant la cartouche et le raccord, pratiquement ensemble, dans la direction de la sonde de manière que la sonde ouvre la vanne d'arrêt, et en ce que la sonde est d'une finesse telle que ledit mouvement de la cartouche et du raccord, pratiquement ensemble, peut être obtenu par un effort direct manuel dans la direction de la sonde.
    2. Distributeur suivant la revendication 1, caractérisé par un moyen à came monté sur le raccord et le col de la cartouche pour servir à maintenir le raccord relié au col de la cartouche.
    3. Distributeur suivant la revendication 2, caractérisé en ce que ledit moyen à came comprend des fentes en baïonnette dans ledit col et des broches en baïonnette sur ledit raccord.
    4. Distributeur suivant l'une des revendications précédentes, caractérisé en ce que ladite cartouche est suspendue au raccord, quand elle y est reliée.
    5. Distributeur suivant l'une des revendications précédentes, dans lequel ladite vanne d'arrêt est montée avec un axe vertical, ladite sonde fine étant le long dudit axe vertical.
    6. Distributeur suivant l'une des revendications précédentes, comprenant encore un régulateur, lesdits raccord et sonde fine partant dudit régulateur, et un ressort repoussant ledit régulateur vers le haut de manière que ladite cartouche déplace le poids qui varie quand on use le gaz.
    7. Distributeur suivant la revendication 6, comprenant encore un moyen pour indiquer la position relative dudit régulateur quand ladite cartouche se déplace.
    8. Distributeur suivant la revendication 7, dans lequel la force de rappel dudit ressort est telle qu'elle n'est efficace pour faire monter ladite cartouche de gaz que pour une fraction de son poids.
    9. Distributeur suivant la revendication 4, caractérisé par un mécanisme de pesée, auquel est fixé ledit raccord, comprenant: un moyen en forme de levier pouvant tourner et à l'extrémité duquel est monté ledit raccord; un moyen pour rappeler ledit levier vers le haut en opposition au poids entraînant vers le bas ladite cartouche de gaz; et un moyen pour indiquer la position relative dudit second raccord.
    10. Distributeur suivant la revendication 9, caractérisé par un moyen de montage dudit raccord sur ledit levier de telle façon que ladite sonde soit maintenue verticale quand ledit levier tourne.
    11. Distributeur suivant la revendication 10, caractérisé en ce que ledit levier comprend:
       un capot comportant une paroi supérieure et des parois latérales, une paroi avant arrondie et un rebord qui en part, des trous étant percés dans lesdites parois latérales près de ladite paroi avant;
       un axe partant de chaque côté dudit raccord et passant par lesdits trous dans lesdites parois latérales de façon que ledit raccord puisse tourner par rapport audit capot; et
       un moyen pour tenir ledit raccord de façon que ladite sonde soit verticale en effectuant une rotation relative entre ledit raccord et ledit capot quand celui-ci tourne.
    12. Distributeur suivant la revendication 11, caractérisé en ce que ledit moyen de rappel comprend:
       une fixation en forme de U comportant une base et deux bras qui en partent, ladite base étant montée sur une paroi verticale et un trou étant percé dans chaque bras;
       un axe passant dans lesdits trous, lesdites parois latérales dudit capot présentant des trous dans la partie arrière de celles-ci à travers lesquels passe ledit axe, ledit capot pouvant ainsi tourner sur ledit axe; et
       au moins un ressort agissant contre un desdits bras de ladite fixation et ledit capot repoussant ledit capot vers le haut.
    13. Distributeur suivant la revendication 12, caractérisé en ce que la force de rappel dudit ressort est telle qu'elle n'est efficace pour faire monter ladite cartouche de gaz que pour une fraction de son poids.
    14. Distributeur suivant la revendication 13, caractérisé en ce que ladite fraction est d'un dixième environ.
    15. Distributeur suivant la revendication 14, caractérisé en ce que ledit moyen maintenant ladite broche verticale comprend:
       une pièce plane reliée rigidement en un bout à un bout dudit axe partant dudit premier raccord, ladite pièce plane comportant une fente courbe;
       une paroi parallèle à ladite pièce plan; et
       une broche partant de ladite paroi et s'engageant en glissant dans ladite fente courbe de la pièce plane et guidant ladite pièce plane de manière qu'elle reste verticale quand ledit capot tourne de façon que ladite sonde reste aussi verticale.
    16. Distributeur suivant la revendication 15, caractérisé en ce que ladite paroi comporte un trou de vision et en ce que ladite pièce plane comporte des zones codées en couleurs visibles par ledit trou de vision de façon que soient indiqués la position de ladite pièce plane et donc le poids de ladite cartouche de gaz.
    17. Distributeur suivant la revendication 19, caractérisé par un régulateur faisant partie intégrale dudit premier raccord.