US 1943011 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 9, 1934. J B, FRYAR 1,943,011
FLOAT OPERATED SW1 TCH Filed March 9, 1933 2 Sheets-Sheet l grwc/wm 94 QZZMES 15. FRYAR Jan. 9, 1934. J. B. FRYAR FLOAT OPERATED SWITCH Filed March 9, 1933 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Elmo/rm Jq vz s 1B. FZQYAR MOI/M405 Patented Jan. 9, 1934 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE FLOAT OPERATED SWITCH James B. Fryar, Dayton, Ohio Application March 9, 1933. Serial No. 660,183 '1 Claims. (Cl. 200-84) My invention relates to indicators and has particular reference to fluid level indicators; altho, of course, .the invention is not to be understood as limited to such use.
Briefly stated, the invention has for one of its important objects to provide an indicator which will be especially useful for indicating to the operator of an automobile or other motor vehicle when the level of fluid in the fuel. tank has dropped to a predetermined point, the nature of the construction being such that the indicator may include an electrical circuit and switching means without any likelihood of igniting the fuel; the nature of the device being such that it will be positive in operation and will be unaffected by the surging of the fluid as the car or'vehicle rocks in transit.
Another object is toprovide in an indicator of the kind referred to a novel float-operated switching mechanism, the elements of which are so arranged as to permit free operation of the float to close or open the circuit of the signal when a predetermined level of the fuel in the tank has been reached, the arrangement being such as to prevent the possibility of the floats lagging owing to frictional binding with a wall or guide element.
Still another object of the invention is to provide an electrically operated signal for apprising the driver of the fact when the fuel supply drops to a predetermined point, and which signal includes a circuit having a switch element which will be opened to break the circuit when the ignition switch of the vehicle is opened, and which will assume a closed position when the ignition switch of the vehicle is closed.
The invention further contemplates 'a novel guide for the float and supporting means for such guide. 1
40 Other objec s are to provide a novel switch element having contacts hermetically sealed so as to prevent gasoline vapor from reaching same; to provide a device including a minimum number of simple parts which may be easily assembled and which will operate positively and reliably for an indefinitely long period of time without the necessity of inspection, adjustment or repair; and further, to provide a device which can be readily installed without. the ei'rercise of unusual skill,
and which will not in any way detract from the appearance of the vehicle, nor interfere with the operation of it or with the functioning of other apparatus that may be carried by the vehicle. The foregoing and other objects are attained by a novel combination and arrangement of parts to be hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings illustrating what now appears to be a preferred example of the invention altho it will be apparent that details can be varied considerably within the spirit and scope of the subject matter claimed hereinafter.
In the drawings, wherein the same reference characters have been used to designate the same parts in all views,
Figure l is a sectional view taken through a portion of an automobile gasoline tank, and illustrating the novel float-operated switching mechanism, the casing and portions of which are shown in vertical section, and the view also illustrating diagrammatically the circuit and the instrument board of the car;
Figure 2 is a top plan view of the switching mechanism, with the dome-like cover removed;
Figure 3 is a sectional view through the switching mechanism, but illustrating the position same assumes when the level of fuel in the tank is above the predetermined point at which the signal will be actuated, the contacts of the switch bein shown separated;
Figure 4 is an enlarged rear elevational view of the mounting post carrying certain levers employed in the control of the switch, there also being illustrated a portion of the float rod;
Figure 5 is a detail sectional view through a portion of the diaphragm and the cup member to illustrate the securing and sealing means for the joint between the two;
- Figure 6 is adetail view partly in section illustrating the float rod andstop thereon in association with the base or support of the switch;
Figure 'l is an end elevational view of the floatcontaining casing.
Referring to the drawings by reference characters, and turning to Figure 1, numeral 8 denotes the gasoline tank of a motor vehicle or device, there being the supply line 9 leadingfrom the tank to the carburetor (not shown).
In-carrying out the invention, the tank 8 is provided with a hole in the top, the margin of which is surmounted by the annulus 10 which may be secured in place in any preferred fashion. Seated upon the annulus 10 is the disklike closure plate 11 having the circumferential flange 11b seating against the inner wall of annulus 10 so as to make a tight seal, it being observed that there is a packing ring 12 interposed between the members 10, 11 so as to assure of a tight seal. Screws or the like 13 may be used for and these clamping the members 10, 11 together,
screws 13 also for: clamping the annulus lb the top of the tank 8 about aforementioned hole.
Figure 1 also clearly illustrates that the under portion oi the closure plate m the downwardly projecting ears 11c 01' which there be any suitable number, and to which ears see ed the barrel or casing 14. Screws or the 42, may be used for securing the barrel or casing l4 to the ears Ila.
The barrel or casing 14 is provided with one or a number oi comparatively large holes adjacent'the top of the 8 so as to permit the fuel of the tanl: to flow into the casing 14, it being further observed. that there is a hole 140 in the side waE of the barrel or casing 14 adjacent the bottom thereof so as to assure of maing the level of the iuel in the barrel or casing equal to the level of fuel in the tank 8.
Within the casing 14 is a float 15 having secured to its top the float rod 16 which extends upwardly through the guide-bearing l'lr, which is provided in the web member 1'? carried by the walls of the casing M. with reference to the web member 1'? providing the guide-bearing, as aforesaid, particular attention is to the manner of mounting this web member, assembling it with the casing Li. Tne ,web member comprehends a number of preferably radial arms as shown in Figure The ends of the arms of the web member 1'4 are turned downwardly as illustrated in Figure 1 so as to be re- Y ceived in pockets 18 formed by making a short,
horizontal slit in the wall of casing 14 and then bulging the subjacent portion of such wall inwardly as indicated at 18c. When the downturned ends 1? of the arms of the web member have been seated the pockets 18, then the stock of the casing wall above the web arms will be pushed inwardly slightLv as indicated at 18b, so as to overlie a portion of the arms 17b to hold the web member seated, as will be clearly apparent from an inspection of Figures 1 and Tnus the guide-providing web member 17 can be readily and rigidly assembled in the casing 1 without resorting to the use of solder, welding, or fastening elements such as screws, rivets, or the Still referring to Figure l, but also having reference to Figure 3, it will be seen that the floatoperated rod 16 is provided above the web member 17 with an enlargement'providing a stop 19 adapted to engage the bottom surface of the closure plate or disk 11 about the bearing 20 when the level of fuel in the tank 8 is, at a point substantially above the minimum or signal-in dicated" level, which is denoted by the dotted line a in Figure i. In other words, the movement of the float vertically in the casing 1% is but a, short distance, and one reason, among others, for this is to prevent undesired operation of the low level indicator by surging of the fluid in the tank when the vehicle is in transit.
The float rod 16, as intimated, extends through the central bearing 26" in the closure plate ii, and such rod has a second shoulder 21 adjacent its upper end. The fioat rocl extends with a loose fit through a flange portion of a lever 38 to which reference will be made later on, it being observed that such lever is below the second shoulder or abutment '21 on the rod 16. The engagement of shoulder 21 with the lever 38, as in Figure 1, brings about closing of the circuit to the signal. All this will be referred to in detail later on.
In carrying out the invention, I preferably pro vide the disk-like closure plate 11 with an upstanding boss 23 providing a support for an angle bracket 22 which is secured to the top of the boss 23 by means of the screw or bolt 24. Ohviously, however, other securing means might be used, and the bracket might be secured to the top of the closure plate 11 instead 01' to a boss such as Welded or otherwise secured to the upstanding arm of the bracket 22 is a cup member 25, there being a central hole through the upstanding bracket arm and cup member, through which hole passes the binding post 26. The head portion 0! the binding post within the cup member is provided with the contact 27 which is adapted to engage o. companion contact- 26 which is carried by a diaphragm 32 secured against the marginal flange b of the cup member by the clamp ring 25c and the packing or washer 32b (see Fig- The diaphragm-carried contact 28 may be secured to the diaphragm any preferred manner, such as by the washers 32:: which are secured to opposite sides of the diaphragm at a central point thereon; or the contact 28 may be secured to, or be an integral part of, the adjacent end of lever member 34 which is secured to the diaphragrn, preferably at or about the site of the washers Adverting to the binding post 26, it will be observed that the hole through the cup mem- 25 and upstanding arm of the bracket 22 is considerably larger than the diameter of the binding post, and that a bushing and associated insulation material washer structure serves to insulate the binding post 26 from the cup member 25 and the bracket Nuts 36 may be used, as usual, for drawing the head of the binding post 26 against the adjacent insulation washer and also for securing the terminal element 31 of the circuit line 31.2.
Figure i also illustrates that there is a crimped metal strip 33 which connects the contact 28 with the rim 25a of the cup member 25 so as to provide a ground, it being understood, of course, that the cup member 25 is of metal, and it being apparent at a glance that such strip 33 will permit flexing of the diaphragm 32, while at the same time providing a ground for one side oi the signal circuit. Strip 33 is held in place by metal ring 25:: (Figure 5).
The signal itself that is employed may be of any desired form, but preferably it will be a light S secured to the dashboard of the car or at some other convenient point so as to be readily seen.
The circuit wire 31a leads to the light 8, while the circuit wire 31b leads from the light to the battery B which has the ground connection 3lc grounded as at 53.
Particular importance is attached to the fact I that the ignition lock L controls a switch which will be open when the ignition switch is open, and closed when the ignition switch is closed. This is of considerable advantage, as the driver may be apprised that his gasoline is running low at a time when he is almost home and does not want to bother about getting gasoline. When he cuts out the ignition switch L of his car, the signal light S will go oil. When he again turns on the ignition switch, the signal will tell him that he needs gasoline.
Reference has heretofore been made to the diaphragm-actuating lever 34 which may carry the contact 28, but which, in any event, controls extension :1: of the control lever 36, causing such used a sleeve 41 on the pin 35 so as to maintain the rear end of the arm 34 at a point adjacent the upstanding portion 36' of the lever 36, 36'.
The control lever 36 is pivoted as at 36a (see Figs. 1 and 4) to the spaced side portions of an upstanding post 3'7 whose feet are secured to the closure disk or plate member 11 by screws or other desired means as indicated at 37'.
Figures -1 and 3 illustrate the control lever 36 as being angular in side elevation and having 9. depending forwardly extending notched portion 36b providing a catch which is adapted to engage the angular latch portion 381; ofa latch lever 38 which is pivoted as at 39 to the lower portion of the post member 37 between the sides thereof as illustrated in Figures 1, 3, and 4.
Figures 1, 2 and 3, illustrate the control lever 36 and the latch lever 38 as provided with lateral ears 36c, 38c respectively. The ear 380 of the lever 38 is located much closer to the pivot 39 than to the end 38b providing the bearing through which the upper end of the float rod 16 extends. On the other hand, the ear 360 of the control lever 36 is located adjacent the outer end of such lever and preferably immediately adjacent the laterally turned plate portion 1: which is adapted to intercept the upper end of the float rod 16 when the float rises above the low level a shown in Figure 1.
Inasmuch as the ear 380 is close to the pivot 39, the latch lever 38 will be easily tripped by the shoulder 21 on the float rod when the float 15 drops to a point below the low level a. It is important that the latch lever 38 be easily tripped so as to avoid possibility of the float lagging and failing to drop with the levelof the fluid in the tank, On the other hand, the location of the ear 36c of the control lever 36 at a point adjacent the outer end thereof enables the coil spring 40 which connects the ears 36c, 380 to effect positive operation of such lever, and the diaphragmactuating lever 34 immediately the latch portion 38a of lever 38 disengages from the notch or catch portion 36b of lever 36.
It is believed to be apparent that the vertical rocking of the lever 36 will produce a lineal horizontal movement of the diaphragm-controlling or actuating lever 34, and this, by reason of the fact that the connection 35 of lever 34 with the lever 36 is above the pivot point 3611. about which the lever 36 rocks. This point is referred to briefly for the present. The operation will be described later on.
A dome-like cover 42 is provided for enclosing the switching mechanism, and it may be secured in place upon the top surface of the closure plate 11 in any preferred manner.
The operation of the device may be summarized as follows:
When the tank 8 is replenished with fuel to a point above the low level indicatedby dotted line a in Figure l, the float 15 rises. pushing the float rod 16 upwardly through the bearings 17a, 20. The parts of the device at the commencement of this filling operation would be in the position shown in Figure 1. The upward movement of the float 15 and float rod 16 causes the upper endof the float rod to intercept the lateral permitting lever to rock in a clockwise direction. When this happens, the shoulder 21 will'have raised off of the bearing portion 38b of the latch lever 38 so that the spring 40 will swing the latch lever 38 in a clockwise direction also, su'ch relative movement of the levers 36, 38 causing the latch portion 384 to engage the catch portion 36b of lever 36, as shown in Figure 3, so as to hold the levers in the position shown in Figure 3.
While the control lever 36 is being moved in a clockwise direction under the influence of the upper end of the rising float rod 16, the pivot 35 which connects the diaphragm actuating lever 34 to the lever 38 will be moving in a clockwise direction also, although such mov ment is very slight, and is substantially lineal. Such rearward movement of the diaphragm-actuating lever 34 causes the contacts to be separated as indicated in Figure 3. Thus the signal circuit is open, and the signal S will not be displayed.
' The location of the enlargement or shoulder 19 on the float rod 16 with reference to the closure member or disk 11 is such that such shoulder 19 stopped immediately the shoulder 19 engages the bottom of plate 11.
The tank 8 may be fllled with fluid right up to the top wall, but the float remains submerged, as I will be evident. This is a distinct advantage, as it prevents the float from being affected by the surging of fluid in the tank while the vehicle is in transit.
The signal S will not be shown and the parts will remain in the position shown in Figure 3 until such a time as-the level of fluid in the tank 8 drops to the dotted line indication of Figure 1. At such time the upper shoulder 21 on the float rod 16 will have engaged the lateral bearing portion of the latch lever 38 so as to pull such lever in a counter-clockwise direction about its pivot 39. 1
This disengages the latch portion 38b. of such latch lever38 from the catch portion 36b of lever 36. The spring 40 which connects the levers 36, 38 now comes into play to pull lever 36 downwardly in a counter-clockwise direction which, as a result levers 3,6,and 34, moves the lever 34 to the left, as viewed in Figures 1 and 3, so as to bring the contacts 27, 28 into engagement as shown in Figure 1. The circuit of the signal S will now be, closed, and'the signal will apprise the operator that his fuel is running low.
Of course, it is desired to have the low level a of the pivot-connection 35 between sufficiently above the bottom of the tank so as I enable him to get to the next gas station replenish his supply.
It will be evident that I have provided a snapaction switch that will be positive and effective in operation. There are no pivots at the site of the contacts 27, 28 which are hermetically sealed so as to prevent any possibility of gas vapor getting thereinto. The contacts are also protected against moisture and dirt and the dome-like closure 42 will protect the working parts of the device from the elements, while at the same time ready inspection of same. The levercarrying post 37 enclosing the pivot endsof the levers, and the U-shaped formation of the levers 36, 38 at the site of their pivots, provides a very strong construction. .By, including the'ignition switch L in the apparatus, as a means for operating a cut-out switch, the driver, when starting out in the morning, will be immediately reminded to get gasoline in the event that lie was given the low signal on his way home the evening before.
Zia-lost drivers are careless watching their gasoline gauges, and fu thermore, most gauges are unreliable in operation, and give the driver only an epproznmation or the amount of fuel that lie in his tank at a particular time.
casing protects the float against surgin; but the holes icadjacent the of the tank enable the ca mg id to be immediately supplied with fuel to the level to which the tank is fifled. The small hole lee adjacent the bottom of the casing 1% will not expose the float 15 nor the interior of the casing ldto surging fluid in the tank, but of curse, assure the maintenance of level of fuel in the casing 14 equal to the level in the t outside. It is a simple ma to it is a r equally simple matter to apply the signal S to the dashboard. Any desired form of switch to be operated by the ignition switch L can used; although, of course, preferably the signal switch will be identical with the ignition switch as a part of the lock.
Having thus descr'llzed claim In a low level indicator or the like for fluid tanks including electric signal and circuit therefor. a base member, a. closed casing carried by said base member and having opposed walls, one of said walls being ilexible, cooperating contacts within said casing and carried by said walls, said contacts being andadapted to make and break said circuit, a lever secured to said flexible P; a control lever for said aforementioned lever atively connected thereto, and having "gaging portion, a latch member adaptge said latch engaging portion of said l- 2,81 apply the switch and unit to the tank 8, and
my invention, what I latch member, yielding :2 second mentioned lever and to actuate said latch against a a in: said lever to effect enssid contacts, float-operated means one direction to actuate said second ed or to s parate said contacts and of said latch with said latchon of said second mentioned lever, Wt operated means having a latch tripon adapted to engage and release said t moved in the opposite direction whereby, ti.. said yielding means and levers, to efie-ct on ement of said contacts 2. a low level indicator or the like for fluid tanks including an electric signal and circuit iereior, a case member, a closed casing carto hold the contacts together said walls, said contacts ried by said base member and having opposed walls, one of said walls being flexible, cooperating contacts within said casing and carried by being in and adapted to make and break said circuit, a lever secured to said flexible wall, a. control lever for said aforemen ioned lever and operatively connected thereto, and having a latch engaging portion, 2. Batch member adapted to engage said latch engaging portion of said second lever, yielding means engaging said second mentioned lever and latch and tending to actuate said latch against said lever and to actuate said lever to effect engagement of said contacts, float-operated means operable in one direction to actuate said second mentioned lever to separate said contacts and er fect engagement of said latch with said latchengaging portion of said second mentioned lever, and said float operated means having a latch tripping portion adapted to engage and release said latch when moved in the opposite direction whereby, through said yielding means and levers, to effect engagement of said contacw.
3. In a fluid level indicator or the like including an electric signal and circuit therefor, a member, relatively fixed and movable contacts said circuit and providing a switch, a carrier arm for said movable contact, an operating lever carried by said base and pivoted to said carrier arm, means tending to hold said contacts together, lever actuating means operable in one direction to disengage said contacts, latch means carried by said base for holding said contacts disengaged, and tripping'means for said latch carried. by said lever-actuating means and operable upon movement thereof in another direction.
4. In a fluid level indicator or the like having an electric signal and circuit therefor, relatively movable contacts in said circuit providing a switch, means tending to hold the contacts together, a lever, actuating means for said lever operable in one direction to disengage the contacts, latch means arranged to hold the contacts disengaged, tripping means for said latch means carried the lever actuating means and operable upon movement and the latter in the opposite direction, the movements 01' the lever actuating means and the tripping means being controlled by the level 01' the fluid. 1 5. The structure of claim 4, the means tending including a spring actuated carrier arm.
6. The structure of claim 4, the means tending to hold the contacts together comprising a spring 13o actuated carrier arm pivoted to the lever.
'lfThe structure of claim 4, the means tendto hold the contacts together comprising a carrier 'arm pivoted to the lever and a spring controlling the lever and latch means.
- JAMES B. FRYAR.