US 1965874 A
Abstract available in
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
' y 1934- E. c. APPOLD ILLUMINATING DEVICE Filed 001?. l, .1931 4 Sheets-Sheet l y 10, 1934- E. c. APPOLD 'ILLUMINATING' DEV ICE I Filed Oct. .1. 1931 4 s t -s t 2 MGM mm mm Q Rm an s Rm b 63 m ms g 3 Z W MW a, on @M/ g a M ww an N mm Q N hm July 10, 1934. E. c. APPOLD ILLUMINATING DEVICE Filed Oct. 1, 1951 4 Shee'ts-Sheet 3 QQ JPQQ w M E Q\ MN. wm agm 8&3 QQ. aw R: mg 1 w R .lJll Na. w mww um um a MR jg S E. c. APPOLD ILLUMINATING DEVICE July 10, 1934.
Fild Oct; 1. 1931 4 Sheets-Skeet 4 Patented July 10, 1934 uni-Tao STAT-ES PATENT oFFrcs 2 Claims.
The present invention relates to illuminated signs and embodies, more specifically, an improved sign wherein a composite block formed of one or more luminous tubes is energized in a 5 predetermined manner with of suitable voltage by means of an improved control mechanism, the block, electric circuits, and control apparatus being of such character that a minimum number of indicia portions and associated control equipment is required for a block affording a desired multiplicity of independently displayed indicia.
More particularly, the invention embodies an illuminated sign capable of displaying or illumi nating any selected numeral from zero to nine, inclusive: In addition to being suited for use in displaying game scores and related information upon score boards, the invention finds wide and varied use in connection with call boards, time indicating devices, numerical signal indicators and other devices wherein is to be given.
While many devices have been designed for displaying indicia of this character by means of composite display blocks, these devices have utilized a plurality of incandescent lamps, each constituting an independent light source and connected in a suitable circuit. The complex wiring and switch control mechanism necessary to operate these existing devices hasrendered their construction difficult and their maintenance expensive. Furthermore, to a certain extent, the numerals formed by these existing devices are objectionable to the eye and the devices have not met with a great amount of popular favor.
With a view to providing an indicia the outline of which shall be pleasing to the eye, invention to provide an indicia 0 wherein a composite more luminous tubes and controlled to effect the display of desired indicia. i
A further object of the invention is to provide an indicia display device embodying a suitable number of luminous tubes, portions of which are utilized in suitable combinations to form a desired indicia. A further object a numerical indication it-ls an object of the present display device of the invention is to provide,
an improved display system for effecting the selective operation of a composite board formed of one or more positive column discharge tubes.
-A further object of the invention is to provide an improved composite luminous tube structure, portions of which are adapted to be illuminated to effect the display of selected portions of the tube or tubes and thus form a desired indicia. A further object of the invention is the provision of a composite positive column discharge no tube structure comprising a plurality of spaced an electric current substantially continuous and, 'zero and nine board is formed of one or rated.
electrodes, the tube being so formed and the electrodes so disposed that the gaseous contents of selected portions of one'or more of-the tubes may be energized to form a selected numeral.
A further object of the invention is to provide a controlling mechanism for a composite positive column discharge tube structure wherein, if desired, a transformer is utilized to provide the desired voltage between the tube terminals, in which event the. mechanism is of such character that arcing is prevented by separating the high tension contacts in the circuits for energizing predetermined tube sections subsequent to the separation of contacts included in the circuit of the primary, or low tension winding of the transformer.
A further object of controlling mechanism of the above character wherein the sequence of operation of the low and high tension transformer contacts, as outlined above, is preserved and the contact operating mechanism eilectively controlled by stick circuits and release mechanism.
These and other objects of the invention and the means for their attainment will be more ariparent from the following detailed description,
the invention is to provide 1 taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
Figure 1 is a plan view of a tube panel upon which a luminous tube has been mounted and formed with sections and electrodes to adapt portions of the tube to be energized in accordance with the invention.
Figure 2 is a plan view of a luminous tube which is adapted to cooperate with the tube of Figure 1 to form any desired numeral between v inclusive. This tube is alsoprovided with electrodes to adapt portions thereof to be energized.
Figure 3 is a plan view of a panel upon which the tubes shown in Figures 1 and 2 haveubeen mounted.-
Figure 4 is a diagrammatic representation of all of the numerals from zero to ninie, inclusive, which can .be formed by the tubes when sections thereof are illuminated and illustrates the tubes in combination with those electrodes which are placed in the electrical circuit to effect the desired illumination.
Figure 5 is a diagrammatic representation of an electrical system for energizing portions of the tubes shown .in Figure 3 in a selected manner to proyide'the illumination of a desired numeral.
Figure 6 is a fragmentary view in plan showing a solenoid controlled contact closer adapted for completing the circuits shown in Figures, and particularly to provide an illumination of the numeral three, all of the contacts'being sepathe gaseous content of Figure 7 is a view similar the high tension contacts in the low tension contacts in solenoid being deenergized in gizing the illuminated tubes.
Figure 8 is a view similar to Figure 7, showing all of the contacts in their closed positions.
Figure 9 is a view in side elevation showing the device of Figure 6.
Figure 10 is a view in side elevation, showing the operating shaft and movable contact elements of the devices shown in Figures 6 to 9, inelusive.
Referring to the drawings, particularly Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4, a panel for mounting suitable positive column discharge tubes is shown at 20, provided with a plurality of apertures 22 which are adapted'to receive terminals carried at predetermined points on the luminous tubes. While the composite tube element for forming the numerals as described hereinafter may be formed of any suitable number of tubes, the form shown and described herein includes two tubes which are formed of suitable portions or sections in the desired shape. Figures 1 and 2 show these independent tubes and Figure 3 shows the two tubes assembled upon the panel in operative relation ship. The tube illustrated in Figure 1, is formed of vertical sections 26, 2828 (including a portion 29 rendered non-luminous by paint or other opaque coating as is common in this art) and a portion 24, 30 and 31, (including a portion 25 non-luminous as explained above), horizontal sections comprising composite tubes 3233-34 and 3835 and tube 36; and diagonal sections 40, 42, 44, 46, 48-49 and 50. At the juncture of these respective sections, electrodes 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, 70, 72, 74, 76 and 78 are provided and connected by suitable electrical conductors to contact terminals described hereinafter.
The luminous tube shown in Figure 2, is formed of vertical sections 82, 84-86-88 and -91; horizontal section 9293-9495, (the section 94 being that portion of the tube which lies outwardly of the intersecting diagonal tube element 100, the portion 93-94 being that which lies between diagonal tube sections and 96. and action 95 being that which lies to the left, as viewed in Figure 2, of diagonal tube section-96 and diagonal sections 96, (having the part 97 rendered opaque), 98 and 100. The juncture of these sections are provided with electrodes 102, 104, 106, 108, 110, 112, 114, 116, 118 and 120, such terminals being connected to the controlling contact elements described hereinafter.
The luminous tubes comprised in this invention are herein described and illustrated as positive column or discharge tubes of the kind in which a column of some rare gas of the neon, helium group is adapted to be -ionized by the passage of a current between the electrodes. Obviously any so-called luminous tube is applicable and while a transformer is illustrated thus presupposing the energization of the tubes at high potential, it is also equally within the purview of the invention to utilize tubes operable on a socalled low voltage.
Briefly, in accordance with this invention, if any two spaced electrodes be connected with a source of electrical energy of adequate potential, the tube between such electrodes will be energized and that portion of the tube will be rendered luminous. Again if different sets of spaced electrodes in the same tube be placed in the circuit, spaced portions of to Figure 6 showing closed position and open position, the the act of deeneraceaeva that tube will be illuminated. while those portions of the tube in which the gaseous content is not energized will not be luminous. Any desired design may be developed, utilizing more than one tube, and combining the efiect oi luminous portions of two or more tubes, those portions of the respective tubes or parts which overlap not affecting the visual effect since the envelopes oi' the tubes are transparent.
From an inspection-of Figures 3 and 4, the manner of forming the independent numerals by connecting the terminals of the foregoing sections with the electrical supply will be readily apparent.
The zero is formed by connecting terminals 52 and 118 to a high tension source of current and connecting terminals 56 and 58, and 66 and 104 together, thus energizing tube sections 24, 30, 42, 33,44, 28, 90, 91, 100, 93, 94, 96,86 and 84.
It is to be noted that in the forming of the figure zero", because electrodes 56 and 58 are connected together, the circuit leg 42 will be in parallelism with the circuit leg comprising sections 31, 25 and 32. The circuit leg comprising the three sections is much longer than section 42, and hence has a greater resistance so that most of the current will fiow through the short leg 42. The resistance of the circuit leg comprising sections 31, 25 and 32 is made, with respect to that of leg 42, greater than the proportional length between the two legs because of the reduced diameter of section 25. It is to be understood that the potential drop across the two ends of tube 42 is not great enough to force sufiicient current through the longer circuit leg in parallelism therewith to ionize the gas therein. Therefore, when these two legs are connected in parallelism as in the forming of the numeral zero", only circuit leg 42 will become luminous.
It is only that gas within the path of the current flowing between electrodes that is ionized to become luminous. Consequently a branch tube that has an end-opening near the path taken by current in a main tube will not be illuminated. For example, in the forming of the number zero" Just described, current flows from electrode 52 through envelope sections 24 and 30 past the open end of the spur tube 40, but inasmuch as electrode 54 is not polarized no current flows in such spur and it will remain dark while tube sections 24 and 30 are illuminated. Similarly, pursuant to forming the numeral zero, current flows through sections 33 and 44 past the mouth of section 34 and without ionizing the gas in the latter named section. Other sections, in the forming of other numerals, later described, will be illuminated while those opening thereinto will remain dark, but for the same reasons as has been here given with respect to forming the numeral zero. Consequently this explanation will not be repeated when similar conditions arise later in the description.
The numeralone is formed by connecting terminals 102 and 106 to the source of electrical energy so as to energize and render luminous the tube section 82.
The numeral two" is formed by connecting terminals 58 and 112 to the source, and connecting terminals 116 and 74, and 108 and together, thereby energizing and rendering luminous tube sections 42, 33, 44, 28, 46, 35, 49, 86, 88. 95, 94, 93 and 92.
The numeral three ing terminals 58 and 120 is formed by connectto the source, and conterminals '76 and '78 to thesource,
' terminals 52 and 120 to \and 62, and '74 and necting terminals "72 and 114 together thereby energizing tube sections 42, 33, 44, 28, 46, 35, 98, 91, 100, 93, 94 and 96.
The numeral tour is formed by connecting thus energizing tube portions 36, 49, 48 and 26.
The numeral five" is formed by connecting terminals 52 and 120 to the high tension source of electricity and connecting terminals 64 and 62 together and 114 and 68 together, thus energizing tube portions 34, 33, 32, 31, 30, 24, 38, 35,98, 91, 100, 93, 94 and 96.
The numeral six" is formed by connecting a' suitable source oi electricity andconnecting terminals 56 and 58, 60 118 together so as to energize tube sections 44, 33, 42, 30, 24, 84, 86, 96, 94, 93, 100, 91, 98, 35 and 49.
The numeral "seven? is formed by connecting terminals 58 and 70 to the source of electricity, thus rendering tube portions42, .33, 34 and 50 luminous.
- sponding switch stern 232 The numeral"eight". is formed by connecting terminals 54 and to the electrical source, and connecting together terminals 56 and 58, and 116 and '74, thus rendering tube sections 40, 30, 42, 33, 44, 28, 46, 35, 49, 86, 96, 94, 93,400, 91 and 98 luminous.
The numeral "nine" terminals 54 and 114 to is formed by connecting and 104, thus energizing sections 40, 30, 42, 33, 44, 28, 46, 35, 90, 91", 100, 93, 94 and 96.
One form of controlling mechanism for periecting the desired circuits is shown in Figures 5, 6, '7, 8, 9, 10. This mechanism includes a suitable mounting plate or panel 126.
The secondary 172 of the transformer is connected to certain of the contacts of the switches by means of wires 1'74 and 1'76. These wires are connected selectively to certain of the terminals of the luminuos tubes by the'contacts of therespective switches. .The manner in which such connections are effected is as iollows:-
Solenoids 128, 130, 132, 134, 138, 138, 140, 142, 144, 146 are mounted upon the switch panel 126, eachsolenoid being connected directly to one of the low tension supply wires 148. The other low tension supply wire 150 has connected therein the reset switch button 152 and is adapted to be connected to the respective solenoids 128,
130-etc. by push button control switches 0, 1, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, respectively. Upon energizing any one or the solenoids, the attraction of its core draws upwardly the correwhich is attached thereto and has contact arms or bridge members thereon. The low tension terminals 156 and 158 are closed by meansot the respective bridges 160 to hold the energized solenoids in the circuit after the control switch is released. Contacts 156 and 158 are connected to the proper low tension supply wire by means of wires 161. It will thus be seen that each solenoid 128, 130-etc., is provided with a stick circuit" or holding circuit and each stick circuit includes the reset switch button 152 which, when operated, breaks the stick circuit" to deenergize the respective solenoids and restore the electrical circuits to the normal.
unenergized condition. A second movable bridge 162 is adapted to be actuated by the respective solenoids to close switch terminals 164 and 166, terminals 164 being connected to the respective terminals 158 by means of a wire 168. In this fashion, the primary winding 169 or the the electrical source and connecting together terminals 56 and 58, and 72.
sections hereinbeiore enumerated transformer, is connected across the supply wires 148, 150 through wire 167, 168, bridge 162 and wires 1'70 of the respective switch circuits. Inasmuch as each solenoid actuates its respective low tension contacts in the manner described above, this portion of the electrical circuit for each solenoid actuated switch will not be discussed hereinatter in the interest of brevity.
The terminals of the secondary or high tension winding 1'72 0! the transformer are connected to wires 1'74, 1'76, which extend to contacts 1'78 and of each of the solenoid actuated switches.
The following description indicates the manner in which the terminals of the luminous tubes are connected to cause the gaseous contents of certain selected portions thereof to be energized in order that certain numerals may be displayed. To accomplish this, the high tension terminals 1'78 and 180 of the respective switches are connected to certain of the of the. tube terminals are connected together.
In order to avoid complication oi the drawings, the terminals actuated by the solenoids and connected to the above tube terminals are indicated as being connected to the respective terminals by suitable legends instead of by lines indicating electric circuits. For the same reason, the lead wires connecting the several contacts of the several switches with a common tube terminal are not illustrated, but it will be obvious to any electrician how these connections are to be made.
The numeral zero is formed (as illustrated in Figure 4) by connecting terminals 52 and 118 to the respective terminals 1'78 and 180, and contube terminals and other necting together the terminals 56 and 58 and 66 1 and 104. When solenoid 128 is energized, the high tension terminals 1'78 and 180 are connected to the tube terminals 52' and 118 by bridges 182 and 184, respectively, and the two intermediate contact bridges 186 and 188 connect the terminals :13.
In order to display the numeral one", solenoid 130 is energized by closing push button switch I and connecting terminal 1780f this switch to the contact which is connected to the tube terminal 102. bridge 184 connects the terminal 180 to the contact which is connected to tube terminal 106. In this fashion, tube section 82 is illuminated and the numeral one" is displayed.
The numeral two is displayed by closing push button contact switch II to energize solenoid 132. Contact 178 01 this switch is thus connected to the contact which is connected to tube terminal 58 by means of bridge 182, and contact 180 of this switch is connected to the contact which is connected to tube terminal 112 by means of bridge 184. Movable bridges 190 and 192 close the circuits to the respective tube terminals 116 and '74, and 108 and 110. In this fashion, the tube Figure 4 are energized.
The numeral "three" is energized by closing the push button switch III which energizes the solenoid 134. Such energization causes movable bridge 182 to close the circuit between contact 1'78 1'.
and the contact connected .to tube terminal 58, while movable bridge 184 closes the circuit between contact 180 and the contact connected to' terminal 120. Movable bridge 194 connects tubeterminals '72 and 114 together. As a result, tube Bridge 182 closes this circuit while sections hereinbefore described in connection with Figure 4 are energized and the numeral three" is thus displayed.
Numeral iour" is displayed by closing the push button switch IV. Solenoid 136 is thus energized and movable bridges 182 and 184 are actuated to close the circuit between contact 178 and the contact to tube terminal 76, and the circuit between 180 and the contact to tube terminal 78, respectively. Tube sections 36, thus energized to display the numeral four".
The numeral five is displayed by closing the push button switch V and energizing solenoid 138. Movable contact 182 thus connects contact 178 to the contact which is connected to the tube terminal 52, while movable bridge 198 connects the tube terminals 62 and 64 together. Movable bridge 200 connects tube terminals 68 and 114 together while movable bridge 184 connects con-' tact 180 with the contact of tube terminal 120. In this fashion, the tube sections illustrated in Figure 4 are energized to display the numeral (five).
, The numeral six is displayed by energizing solenoid 140. Movable contact 182 thus connects contact 178 to tube terminal 52 while bridge 202 connects tube terminals 56 and 58 together and movable bridge 204 connects tube terminals 60 and 62 together. Movable bridg'e 206 serves to connect tube terminals 74 and 118 together and bridge 184 connects tube terminal 120 to the contact 180. As a result, the gaseous contents of tube sections indicated in Figure 4 are energized to illuminate the figure six.
The numeral seven is displayed by energizing solenoid 142 to cause movable bridge 182 to close the circuit between contact 178 and the contact connected to tube terminal 58, while movable bridge 184 closes the circuit between contact 180 and the contact connected to tube terminal 70. As a result, tube sections 42, 33, 34 and 50 are illuminated. I
The numeral eight is displayed by energizing solenoid 144 in response to which movable bridge 182 connects terminal 178 to the tube terminal 54 while bridge 216 connects tube terminals 56 and 58 together. Bridge 218 connects tube terminals 116 and 74 together and bridge 184 connects contact 180 with tube terminal 120. Upon the closing of the circuits by solenoid 144, the gaseous contents of the tube sections indicated in Figure 4 are energized to display the numeral eight".
The numeral nine is displayed by energizing solenoid 146 which actuates movable bridges 182, 222, 224, 184. Arm 182 connects terminal 178 with the tube'terminal 54, bridge 222 connects tube terminals 56 and 58 together; arm 224 connects tube terminals 104 and 72 together; and arm 184 connects contact 180 with tube terminal 114. As a result of the actuation of the foregoing bridges, the tube sections indicated in Figure 4 are illuminated to display the numeral nine".
To cause illumination of any numeral to cease, the reset button is pressed, interrupting the stick circuit and thereby disenergizing the solenoid and permitting the contacts to separate.
While the specific contactor assembly or switch illustrated in the drawings may be varied to suit diflerent conditions, one mechanical form is shown in Figures 6 through 10 illustrating the means 134 controlling the illumination of the numeral "three.
49, 48 and 26 are which are pinned to Mounting brackets 228 support the respective solenoids upon the panel 126. The cores 230 of the respective solenoids are suitably connected to stems 232 which are slidably mounted in brackets 234.
It should be observed that the mechanism afiords a means for causing the high tension contacts to be opened subsequent to the opening of the low tension contacts, thus avoiding destructive. arcing at the high tension contacts. To accomplish the foregoing, the high tension bridges, say 182, 184 and 194 are mounted on sleeves 236 the respective stems 232. The low tension contact bridges 160 and 162 are secured to the respective slidable sleeves 238 and 240. Axial movement of the sleeves 238 and 240 upon the stems 232 is limited by pin and slot connections 242, and springs 244 normally urge the bridges toward their respective contacts so that the stems 232 compress the springs when sufficient contact is had between the closing points of the circuit. The stationary hightension contacts '72, 114, 120, and lextend from the panel 126 as shown in Figure 9, and are fiexiblethat after contact is made therewith the stem 232 may be moved further upward to close the low tension contacts. Thus the transformer is deenergized by opening the circuit through the primary coil before the high tension contacts are opened. The high tension contacts normally project downwardly in order that the intervening space .be-
tween such contacts and the respective high tension contact arms may be less than that between the low tension contacts and arms to permit this relative movement of the low tension contacts. The low tension contacts will thus be closed last and opened first.
Between alternate contacts, if desired, spacing barriers or shields 246 are provided to prevent "flash-over" in operation.
Various modifications will occur to those skilled in the art in the shape, disposition and selection of luminous tubes to form the desired indicia as well as in the type of luminous tubes, whether energized by high or low tension current as well as in the wiring, and circuit closers therefor, and no limitation is intended by the phraseology of the foregoing description or illustration in the accompanying drawings, except as defined in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:-
1. The combination of two luminous tubes having branches and articulated into sections to co-configure the numerals zero to nine each within substantially a common area of a single plane, and electrodes at the terminals of said branches and sections, part of said sections being common to a plurality of said numerals, and there being a different combinationof said electrodes to, energize selected sections of said tubes to form each of said numerals.
2. The combination of a plurality of luminous tubes having numerous branches and articulated into numerous sections to jointly configure the numerals zero to nine each within substantially a common area of a single plane, and electrodes at the terminals of said branches and sections, part of said sections being common to a plurality 01 said numerals, and there being a different combination of said electrodes to energize selected sections of said tubes to form each of said numerals.
EDGAR C. APPOLD.