US 1988796 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 22, 1935. HUEBER 5- AL 1,988,796
HORN SYSTEM Filed Nov. 17, 1930 mnum ml gwoewfou Henry Huebev Erwin, C- Horion Patented Jan. 22, 1935 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE Hamburg, N. Y., assignors to Trico Corporation, Buflalo, N. Y.
Products Application November 17, 1930, Serial No. 496,311
This invention relates to an electrical signal system and particularly to such a system adapted for use on automotive vehicles.
It is customary to provide motor vehicles with electrical horns for emitting warning signals, such horns being controlled by switches or make and break devices of the button type, which are conventionally mounted on tho steering wheel or column of the vehicle. Such signal systems are usually capable of emitting signals of but a single pitch and volume, since the horns-have no adjustment operable from the drivers compartment of the vehicle except the control switches which are merely adapted to open or close the operating electrical circuit.
The present invention contemplates a system, whereby the horn or sound producing unit may be so controlled from the operator's compartment of the vehicle that the operator therein may cause such unit to emit signal notes of varying pitches and amplitudes or of .any predetermined one of numerous notes within a range of various pitches and amplitudes. By this means the vehicle driver may efiect the emission of a low soft note when in the midst of pedestrian traffic which might become confused and startled by a louder note; or a loud, piercing note when such is necessary.
The system includes an electrical sound. generating unit or horn adapted to produce sound notes varying as to pitch and amplitude in accordance with variations in the characteristics of the actuating electrical current, preferably of the type shown in co-pending application Serial No. 486,225 filed October 3, 1930, an electrical circuit including a battery or other source of elec-' trical energy, and a control unit, the latter comprising means for closing the circuit upon the application of pressure and opening the circuit upon release of the pressure, such as in the conventional vehicle signal switch or button, and means operable for varying the characteristics of the current in the circuit.
These and other objects and advantages will become apparent from the following description of a typical embodiment of the present invention, reference being made to the accompanying drawing wherein:-
Fig. 1 is a diagrammatic view of an electrical circuit adapted to associate the elements contemplated by this invention, the horn unit being shown in longitudinal cross section.
Fig. 2 is a central cross sectional view taken through the control unit of the present invention.
Fig. 3 is an elevational view of the forward or trumpet section of easing of the horn shown in Fig. 1.
As shown in Fig. 1 the electrical circuit comprises a horn unit 10 connected in series with a battery or other source of electrical energy 11 and a switch or key 12. The horn 10 includes a casing section 13 forming a chamber 14, and a forward section 15 which closes the chamber 14 except for a single opening or trumpet passage 16 communicating with the atmosphere and terminating inwardly of the casing in radial grooves 16'. A diaphragm 1'7 is clamped between the. casing members and may be vibrated or oscillated by an electro-magnet 18 which is adapted to alternately draw an armature 19, secured to the center of the diaphragm 17, toward the magnet core 21. The magnet isintermittently energized, when the switch 12 is closed, by the intermittent contact of a spring breaker arm 22, which is secured to the casing 13 by an insulated fastener 23, with an adjustable contact screw 24, threaded through the casing. The free end of the breaker arm is adjacent the magnet core 21 and is adapted to be drawn thereby from contact with the screw 24. The magnet 18 is supported by a pair of metal strips 25 and 26 which serve as electrodes or'electrical terminals for the magnet, the strip 25 being insulated from the casing 13 and secured thereto by an insulated fastener 2'7 which also functions as a binding post. The strip 26 is attached to the fastener 23 and is thereby, during certain phase periods, placed in electrical communication, through the breaker arm 22 and contact screw 24, with the casing 13.
In operation of the horn it will be understood that, upon closing of the control unit 12, one terminal of the source 11 will be in communication with the magnet 18, while the other terminal thereof will be in communication with the casing 13 and contact screw 24. when the spring breaker arm 22 presses againstorcontacts the screw 24 the electrical circuit will be closed energizing the magnet and causing the arm 22 to be drawn from contact with the screw 24, whereupon the circuit is brokerr'and the arm allowed to return into contact with the contact member 24. The magnet 18 will in this manner be alternately energized and de-energized while the unit 12 is closed, causing the diaphragm to be alternately urged toward the magnet core 21. The resulting vibration or oscillation of the dia-' phragm will effect similar oscillation of the air column in the passage 16 and radial grooves 16' creating the effect of sound, the tone of such sound varying as to volume and pitch in accordance with the stroke or degree of flexure of the diaphragm and the frequency of .oscillation thereof. The latter may be varied by adjustment of the screw 24 and both may be varied by variation of the energizing electricalcurrent.
The control unit 12 included in the present invention, comprises a base plug 30 threaded externally at 31 in order that it may be screwed into a metal element of the steering wheel or column. The plug is preferably attached to some although a conducting wire may be attached thereto if desired. The upper end of the plug contact point or prong 35.
A button or cap 36 of insulating material and preferably formed of upper and lower sections 37 and 38 threaded or otherwise secured together,
is provided with an inwardlyextending flange 39 adapted to engage under the flange 32 for retaining the button upon the plug. The flanges are normally held in contact by a helical spring 41, seated. upon the shoulder 34 of the recess 33 and contacting a metal ring 42 embedded in the button 36. .A conductor 43 connects the latter to a contact plate 44 embedded in the center of the button. The latter also has a depending tubular portion 45 extending into the recess 33 of the plug. A stack of carbon discs 46 comprising a carbon compression rheostat is supported within the confines of the tubular part 45 upon a metal plate 47 which is in turn supported by a helical spring 48 bearing against a metal annulus 49. The latter is spaced from the plug 30 by an insulating washer 51- and is connected to an electrically insulated wire 52 which may lead to the battery as shown in Fig. 1.
When the parts are in the position shown in Fig. l the circuit is open since there is no' elec-' trical communication between the plug 30 and the wire 52. When the button 36 is depressed against the compression of the spring 41, to contact the plate 44 with upper carbon discs 46, the circuit may be completed throughthe plug 30, spring 41, ring 42; conductor 43, contact member or plate 44, discs 46, plate 47, spring 48, plate 49 and wire 52.. Due to the property of superposed carbon elements of offering reduced resistance to an electrical current as the pressure thereon is increased, the'carbon discs 46 will, when contact is first made with the plate 44 effect a greater drop in the electro-motive force of the current passing therethrough than when great pressure is applied to the plate 44 to firmly press the carbon discs together.
The potential of the current passing through the horn may accordingly be varied by the changing degree of pressure applied to the horn button 36, a light pressure allowing a current of lower potential to pass therethrough than when a great pressure is applied. At all times, however, until the plate 4'7 is pressed into contact with the prong .35, the carbon elements 46 will offer some resistance. At that time the current may pass through the plug 30, plate 47, spring 48, plate 49; to the wire 52, thereby eliminating the carbon elements from the path of the current.
It will be understood that the amplitude and pitch ofthe horn will vary according to the potential of the current passing therethrough and that this may be varied from nothing to'substantially that maintaining across the terminals of the battery, by the control unit or horn button,.a light-pressure thereon allowing a current of low potential to actuate the horn, producing a low and soft signal note, and greater pressure allowing a current of greater potential to actuate the horn to .efiect 'a higher pitched and-louder tone. Complete depression of the horn button, contacting. the plate 47 and the prong 35 will allow an effective current of maximum potential to actuate the horn, thereby producing a signal note of maximum volume and pitch.
The control unit or horn button may be of small I 1,988,796 element thatis grounded with the vehicle chassis,
size and readily mounted on the steering wheel or column of a motor vehicle, or in another location thereon so that the horn may be easily actuated by the; vehicle operater for producing signals. of any of various sound notes. It will be understood that the details of construction and terinined by the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. An electrical control unit comprising rela-.
tively movable and spaced'electrically connected first and second contact members, a third contact member between said pair of contact members and bodily movable into contact with one thereof, a resistance element in contact with and movable with said third contact member and adapted to contact with the first contact member upon movement thereof, whereby the first and second contact members may be moved into electrical communication with said thirdv "contact member through said resistance or said third contact member may be moved into direct electrical communication with the second contact' member.
2. An electrical control unit, comprising a base having an electrical contact member projecting therefrom, a second contact member resiliently supported in spaced relation to said first contact member, a resistance element abutting said sec,- ond contact member and being movable therewith, and a third contact member in electrical communication with said first contact member and movable relative thereto, said third contact member being resiliently supported in spaced retherefrom, a second contact member resiliently supported in spaced relation to said first contact member, a resistance element comprising a plurality of compressible resistance units, said resistance element-abutting said second contact member and beingmovable therewith, and athird contact member in electrical communication with said first contact member and movable relative thereto, said third contact member being resiliently supported in spaced relation to said resistance element and insulated therefrom, and
said second contact member and resistance units being disposed between said first and third contact members.
4. An electrical control unit comprising a base, a button resiliently supported relative to said base, a contact member associated with said base and a contact member associated with said button, said members being in electrical communication, a carbon compression-resistance resiliently supported between said contact members and having a metallic element associated therewith, whereby pressure upon said button may effect electrical communication between one of said contact members and said metallic element through said resistance or direct communication through contact of the other of said members and said metallic element;
5. An electrical control unit comprising a metallic base having a central recess and a contact prong therein, said base having a circumferential flange thereabout, a button comprising an upper section having atubular extension fitting into said central recess and a lower section tom engaging under said flange, a contact member formed with said button, a metal plate and spring means for supporting it within said tubular extension and spaced between said contact member and said contact prong, a carbon compression resistance disposed upon said plate, and a spring for normally holding the lower section of said button in abutment with said circumferential flange and said contact member spaced from said resistance, said spring electrically connecting said metallic base with said contact member.
6. In an electrical control device, a base having a fixed contact, a movable contact normally spaced from said fixed contact by resilient means and insulated from said fixed contact, a resistance element movable with said movable con tact, a second movable contact supported in normally spaced relation to said resistance element by resilient means, said second movable contact and said fixed contact being electrically con, nected, whereby movement of the second movable contact will cause itto close against said resistance element and continued movement thereof will cause said first mentioned movable contact to close against the fixed contact.
'I. In an electrical control device, a fixed contact, a first movable contact supported in normally spaced relation to the fixed contact by resilient means, a compression resistance element movable with said first movable contact, a second movable contact supported in normally spaced relation to said compression resistance element by'resilientmeans, whereby the second movable contact may be moved to close against the compression resistance element to establish variable resistance electrical communication between said second and first movable contacts, and may be moved further to move the second contact into direct contact with said fixed contact.
' 8. An electrical control unit comprising a base having a fixed contact, a button movable toward the base and having a contact member carried thereby and in electrical communication with said fixed contact, resilient means for resisting movement of the button toward the base, a metallic member between said contacts, resilient means normally spacing said metallic member from and resisting movement of it toward said first'contact, and a resistance element between said metallic member and the contact member carried by the button, said resistance element normally contacting one of said members and normally being spaced from the other of said members.
9. An electrical control unit comprising first and second contact members spaced and electrically connected, one of said first and second contact members being stationary, and the other being movable to vary the space therebetween, a third and movable contact member between said first and second contact members, a resistance element between said first and third contact members, and resilient means normally spacing said second and third contact members, the movable one of said first and second contact members upon initial movement causing compression of resistant element between the first and third contact members against the compression of said resilient means, and upon further movement and further compression of said resilient means bringing the second and third contact members into contact.
10, An electrical control unit comprising a base having a recess with a contact therein, a button having a tubular extension extending into said central recess, spring means for urging said button away from said base, means associated with the button and base for limiting movement of the button away from said base, said button having a contact member within the bore of said tubular extension, a metallic member and spring means between the base and metallic member for resiliently supporting the latter within said tubular extension in spaced relation to the contact of the base, and a resistance element disposed in said tubular extension between said members and normally spaced from one thereof.
11. An electrical control unit comprising a base having a central recess and a contact at the bottom of said recess, said base having a flange means thereabout, a button having an upper portion carrying a contact member and a lower portion engaging under said flange means, a metal plate and spring means for supporting it in said recess between said contact and contact member, a resistance element disposed upon said plate, and a spring for normally holding the lower portion of the button in abutment with the flange means of said base and said contact member spaced from the resistance element, said contact and contact member being electrically connected.
12. An electrical control unit comprising first and second contact members spaced and electrically connected, the second contact member being stationary and the first contact member being movable to vary the space between said members, a third contact member between and movable between said first and second contact members, a resistance element between said first and third contact members, and resilient means normally spacing said second and third contact members, the first contact member upon initial movement toward the second contact member causing compression of the resistance element between the first and third contact members and upon further movement moving the resistance element and third contact members against the compression of said resilient means to bring the third contact member into contact with the second contact member.
13. An electrical control unit comprising first and second contact members spaced and electrically connected, the second contact member be: ing stationary and the first contact member being movable to vary the space between said members, a third contact member between and movable between said first and second contact members, a resistance element between said first and third contact members and normally spaced from one thereof, and resilient means normally spacing said second and third contact members, the first contact member upon initial movement toward the second contact member causing both of said first and third contact members to contact-said resistance element and thus causing compression of the resistance element between thefirst and third contact members and upon further movement moving the resistance element and third contact members against the compression of said resilient means to bring the third contact member into contact with the second contact member.
ERWIN c. HORTON.