US 2139193 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
l. LAMOTHE ET AL Dec. (s,` 193s.
CAP LOCK j E .3? .az
Patented Dec. 6, 1938 I PATENT OFFICE CAP LOCK Rodolph I. Lamothe au sld Lamothe Application May 12, 1
This invention relates tol remote control signal locks, and is particularly applicable to the inlet cap of the fuel tank of an automobile.
'I'he general object of the invention is to provide a lock for 'the inlet cap of the fuel tank of an automobile, to be operated from a suitable place within the automobile, such as the dashboard, for unlocking the fuel inlet cap, when it is desired to ll the fuel tank with fuel.
A further objectis to provide a lock of the character stated which will automatically lock the fuel inlet cap, when it is swung close'd, and shut off the lock signal.
Other objects and advantages will appear hereinafter.
The invention is illustrated in the annexed drawing, which forms a part of this specification and in which,
Fig. 1 is a longitudinal section of the controlling switch of our invention.
Fig. 2 is a longitudinal section of the fuel inlet cap, the cap lock and the solenoid for unlocking said lock.
Fig. 3 is a vertical longitudinal section taken on line 3-3 of Fig. 2; showing the fuel inlet cap locked by our lock in closed position.
' Fig. 4 is a view like Fig. 3, except that the fuel inlet cap is shown unlocked and in open position.
Fig. 5 is a diagram of the lock operating circuit.
Fig. 6 is an enlarged sectional view of a portion of the switch of Fig. 1.
Referring more particularly to the drawing 1n which corresponding parts are designated by the same reference characters in all of the figures, our invention includes a spring cap I for the inlet 2 of the fuel tank of an automobile; a lock 3 for said cap; a solenoid 4 for unlocking said lock; a switch 5 for controlling said lock, an electric light 6 controlled by said switch for indicating when said lock is unlocked and said cap is open: and an electric circuit I controlled by said switch for energizing said solenoid and said electric light for the purpose above described.
On the upper end of the fuel tank outlet 2 is secured an annulus 8 by screws 9 `extending downwardly through said annulus and engaging 4at their lower ends brackets I 0 extending inwardly from the upper end of the outlet 2. The cap I is hinged at one side to the annulus 8 by a hinge i I I around the pivot of which is coiled a spring I2, one end of which engages said annulus, while its other end engages said cap for swinging said d Samuel E. McFarland,
s Angeles, Calif.; said McFarland assignor to 937, Serial No. 142,202
cap upwardly on said hin of the fuel tank.
I'he lock 3 is located at the edge of the cap I opposite the hinge II and includes a lock casing I3, depending from said edge of the cap over the 6 outside of the inlet 2; a pair of plungers I4 and I5 mounted in said casing; a. lock ball I6 mounted in said casing; and a latch Il depending from the adjoining edge of the cap I for engaging said lock ball for locking said cap in closed position l0 over the inlet 2. The plunger I4 is slidably mounted in a bore I8 in the lock casing I3 eX- tending through the upper side of the annulus 8, and said plunger is formed with a socket I9 in its lower end in which is fitted a spring 2U, l5 bearing at lower end upon the lower end 2| of the bore I8, and vat its upper end against the upper end of said socket I 9 for urging the plunger I4 upwardly in said bore I8. The upper portion of the plunger bore I8 is slightly smaller in diam- 20 eter than the lower portion thereof, forming an annular shoulder I 8 between said smaller and larger portion of said bore. The plunger I5 is slidably mounted in a bore 22 in the lock casing I3 extending downwardly through the lower end 25 of said casing, and the upper end 23 of said bore is adapted to be engaged by the upper end of said plunger for limiting the upward movement of said plunger in said bore. In the casing I3 is provided a transverse opening 24 extending from the 30 plunger bore I8 to the plunger bore 22 in which opening is retained the lock ball IE so that it may roll into either of said plunger bores for the purpose to be described. The plunger-I4 1s reduced from its upper end for a portion of its 35 length, as at 25 to slide within the upper reduced portion of the bore I8 and to receive one side of the lock ball I6, which reduced portion of said plunger forms at its lower end a shoulder 2B for lengaging the shoulder I 8 for limiting the up- 40 Ward movement of said plunger in the bore I 8, under the influence of the spring 29, as illustrated in Fig. 4 of the drawing. The plunger I5 is reduced from its upper end fora portion of its length, as shown at 2l, to receive the other Side 45 of the lock ball I6, which reduced portion forms a shoulder 28 at its'lower end for engaging the lower side of said lock ball when rolled to the right into the opening 26, whereby said ball holds the plunger I5 in its lowermost position prevent- 50 ing upward movement of said plunger in the bore 24 as illustrated in Fig. 4 of the drawing. The latch Il is provided with a notch 29 to receive the lock ball I6, whereby the cap I is locked in closed position over the inlet 2. -A solenoid ge to open the inlet 2 connecting rod 38' is connected at its upper end to the lower end of the lock plunger I6 and extends downwardly through a tube 3l screwseated at its upper end at 82 in the lower end of the .plunger bore 22 and screw-seated at its lower end at 88 in the upper end of a sleeve 84, which extends upwardly from the upper end of the 'spool 85, on which the coil 36 of the solenoid 4 Aus pose hereinafter more fully described.
is wound, said sleeve 34 forming an extension of the sleeve 81 of said spool to receive the upper portion of the core 38 of said solenoid. A solenoid switch 89 is mounted in the sleeve 34, said switch comprising a iixed contact member 40 and a slidable contact member 4I. The contact member 49 is in the form of a screw which extends through and is screw-seated in a threaded bushing 42 of insulation which is seated vin the wall of the sleeve 34. The slidable contact member 4I is in the form of an extension of the solenoid core 38, being coupled at its lower end to the upper end of the solenoid core by a screw coupling 43, and includes a ring 44 of insulation which is countersunk in said contact member within an annular groove 45A in the periphery thereof. In the upper end of the contact member 4I is provided a pocket 46 closed at its upper end by an end wall 41, which wall is provided with an aperture 48 through which extends the lower end of the connecting rod 30 into said pocket, there being a head 49 on the lower end of said connecting rod, in said pocket for engaging said upper end wall 41 when the solenoid core 38 is drawn downwardly and for engaging the lower wall 50 of said pocket when said solenoid core is moved upwardly, in the manner and for the pur- In the lower end of the solenoid core 38 is secured a plug 5i provided with a socket 5| in its upper end. A coil spring 53 rests in the plug socket 5I." and extends upwardly into a socket 38 in the lower end of the solenoid core 38 'for normally holding said core and the lock plunger i 5 in their elevated position as shown in Figs. 2 and 3,
in which position said plunger holds the lock ball I6 in the notch 29 of the latch I1, whereby the lock 3 locks the cap I in closed position over the fuel inlet 2.
The controlling switch 5 includes a pair of terminal contact members 54 and 55 and a'slidable contact member 56 mounted in a tube of insulation 51 which is detachably secured at its forward end to the dashboard 58 of the automobile by means of a clamp screw sleeve 59, which sleeve extends through an opening 60 in said dashboard and is formed with an external thread 6I which engages an internal thread 62 in the forward end of the tube 51, the outer end of said sleeve being formed with an external flange 63 for engaging the face of the dashboard 58 for drawing said forward end of said tube 51 against the inner side of said dashboard, as shown in Fig. l of the drawing. Each of the terminal contact members 54 and 55 comprises a tubular body 64, a contact point 65, a screw plug 66, a screw terminal 61 and a spring 68. The body 64 is formed with a reduced inner end 69 which is seated in the tube 51 of insulation, and through which extends the contact point 65 -into contact with the slidable contact member 56. The plug 66 is screw-seated in the outer end of the tubularbody 64, and the terminal screw 61 is screw-seated in the outer end of said plug. The contact point 65 is formed with a head 10 on its end within the tubular body 64 and the. spring 68 is located within said body with its ends engaging said contact pin head 16 and the plug 88 whereby the" contact point 66 is urged into contact with the sliding contact member 56. The sliding contact member 66 comprises a sleeve 1| of insulation and a metallic ring 12 ntted within an annular 5 groove 13 in the periphery of said sleeve, which sleeve and ring are slidably ntted within the insulation tube 51. A glass switch push button 14 is slidably fitted in the clamp sleeve 59 with its inner end engaging the forward end of the sleeve 1i, of the sliding contact member 56; the outer end of said push button being rounded as at 15 and formed with an annular shoulder 16 around said rounded portion, which shoulder is adapted to engage an annular internal flange 11 formed on the clamp sleeve 59 for limiting the outward movement of said push button and sliding contact member 56 under the influence of a coil spring 18 in the insulation tube 51, the forward end of which spring engages the rear end of said sliding contact member 56 and the rear end of which spring engages a pair of set screws 19 seated in the insulation tube 51.
'Ihe signal light 6 is an electric bulb light, which is fitted in a socket 86 mounted on a base .8i formed with a plurality of spring iingers 82 for yieldingly engaging the inner surface of the insulation tube 51, said light, base and ngers being inserted in the rear end of said insulation tube, so that the light of said light may be seen through the switch push button 14 and sliding contact member 56. 'I'he base 8i forms the socket terminal for the light 6, while the central terminal 83 for the light extends through said base into the bottom of said socket and is insulated from said base by an insulation sleeve 84.
Electric current for the operating circuit 1 may be generated by a battery 85. From one pole of said battery extends a lead 86 to ground 81. From the other pole of said battery extends a lead 88 to the terminal 8i of the light 6 and from the other terminal 83 of said light extends a lead 89 to the terminal 40 of the solenoid switch 39. From the slidable contact member 4I of said solenoid switch extends a lead 90 to ground 9|. From the lead 88 extends a lead 92 to the terminal contact member 55 of the controlling switch 5. From the terminal contact member 54 of said controlling switch extends a lead 93 to one end of the coil 36 of the solenoid 4, the other end of said coil leading to ground 94.
'I'he solenoid 4 is mounted on a suitable part of the automobile by means of a bracket 95 formed with a sleeve 96 which securely embraces the solenoid sleeve 34.
The operation, uses and advantages of our invention are as follows:
When the cap I of the fuel tank inlet 2 is closed and the controlling switch 5 is open, said cap is locked closed by the lock 3, as illustrated in Figs. 1 and 2 of the drawing, the lock being locked by the engagement of the lock ball i6 with the latch notch 29, which ball is held in its locking position by the plunger I5 in its uppermost position, in which position said plunger is held by the solenoid spring 53 engaging the lower end of the solenoid core 38.
To unlock the fuel inlet cap l it is necessary to close the controlling switch 5, which is located within the automobile. The switch 5 is closed by the driver `of the automobile upon pressing the switch button 14 inwardly against the ten- Asion of spring 18, until the slidable contact member 56 is moved to such position that its contact ring 12 engages the contact points 65 of the con- 75 through contact member 55, contact ring 12, and
contact member 54 of the controlling switch 5, thence throughV lead 93 and coil 36 of solenoid 4 to ground 94 and back through ground 81 and lead 86 to battery 85, and the current flowing through the solenoid coil 36 pulls down the solenoid core 38, sliding contact member 4I'of solenoid 4, connecting rod 30 and lock plunger I5 and unlocks the lock 3, there being a short downward movement of the solenoid core 38 and contact member 4I,- before theshead.49 of the connecting rod 30 passes from the lower to the upper end of the pocket 46, and engages the upper wall 41 of said pocket with a jar to pull down said connecting rod and said plunger. The plunger I5 being pulled down, the cap I may be swung up on its hinge II, the latch notch 29 camming the lock ball I6 therefrom through the opening 24 into the plunger bore 22 at one side of the reduced upper end 21 of the plunger I5 upon the shoulder 28 of said plunger, and the plunger I4 being elevated by its spring 20, until arrested by the engagement of the plunger shoulder 26 with the bore shoulder I8 and the re duced upper end of said plunger locking said ball in engagement with the shoulder 28 of the plunger I5. The engagement of said plunger shoulder 28 by the ball I6 holds the plunger I5 down in its lowermost position against the tension of the solenoid spring 53, with the connecting rod head 49 engaging the lower wall 50 of the pocket 46 and preventing upward movement of the solenoid core 38 under the influence of said spring, when the push button 14 is released, and the 'solenoid coil 36 is deenergized by the opening of the controlling switch 5 under the influence of spring 18, which forces the sliding contact member 56 forward until the contact ring 12 disengages the contact points 65 of the contact members 54 and 55, and said contact points engage the insulation sleeve 69. While the cap I is unlocked and swung open for filling the fuel tank through the inlet 2, and the plunger I5 is held down in its lower position by the engagement of ball I6 with the plunger shoulder 28, the sliding contact member 4I of the sole-v noid switch 39 is held down in its lower position,
89 terminal 40 of switch 39, slidable contact member 4I of said switch and lead 96 into ground 9| and thence through ground 81 and lead 86, back to battery 85, the current passing through signal light 6 lighting said light which can be seen through the glass button i4 and the sliding switch contact member 56. While the light 6 is lighted the driver in the automobile observing said light through the glass button 14, will know that .the fuel inlet cap I is open and unlocked.
When the fuel tank is filled with fuel and the cap I is swung down over the inlet 2 into closed position, said cap is automatically locked in such position by the lock 3, because the latch I1 depresses the plunger I4 against its spring 20 and withdraws the plunger shoulder 26 below the bore shoulder I4', whereupon the plunger I5 is forced upwardly by the solenoid core 38, switch contact member 4I. and connecting rod 3I, under the inuence of the solenoid spring 53, and the shoulder 28 of said plunger cams the ball I6 through the opening 24 into the latch notch 29, as illustrated in Fig. 2 of the drawing.
While our invention is particularly applicable to automobile fuel tank inlet caps, it may be used as a remote control lock for other purposes..
Our invention, being controlled by the driver or other occupant of an automobile, prevents unauthorized persons from opening the fuel tank inlet and stealing gasoline from said tank.
We do not limit our invention to the exact construction herein disclosed, in as much as variations and modifications thereof may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention.
A lock for fuel tank inlet cap and the like comprising a notched latched member on said cap, a casing provided with a pair of plunger bores and a ball opening extending between said bores, a spring plunger in one of said bores to be depressed by said latch member upon entering said bore. when said cap is swung into closed position,
a lock ball in said ball opening for engaging the notch in said latch member and locking said cap in closed position, a plunger in said other bore for engaging said ball and holding said ball in engagement with said notched latch, and means for withdrawing said latter plunger from said ball to allow said ball to roll in said opening out of engagement with said notched latch member for unlocking said cap, said spring plunger being constructed and arranged to move upwardly against said ball, when said cap is swung open, to hold the ball out of the spring plunger bore until said cap is swung closed and said spring plunger is depressed by said latch member.
RODOLPH I. LAMOTHE.
SAMUEL E. MCFARLAND. 40