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Publication numberUS2235181 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 18, 1941
Filing dateSep 5, 1939
Priority dateSep 5, 1939
Publication numberUS 2235181 A, US 2235181A, US-A-2235181, US2235181 A, US2235181A
InventorsThiel Frank
Original AssigneeThiel Frank
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Traffic signal
US 2235181 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 18, 1941. THiEL 2,235,181

TRAFFIC SIGNAL Filed Sept; 5, 19:9



Patented Mar. 18, 1941 PATENT OFFICE TRAFFIC SIGNAL Frank Thiel,

Application September 1 Claim.

The present invention pertains to a novel signaling device for motor vehicles and is suitable for use on trucks as Well as passenger vehicles.

The principal object of the invention is to provide a signal that is both illuminated and movable and which automatically stops after making a predetermined number of oscillations without further attention by the driver after the starting operation of pressing a switch. Another object of the invention is to provide a device of this character, which, when idle, is concealed behind the usual side view mirror. Thus, this signal is also within view of the driver and he can see directly whether or not the signal is operating, thereby dispensing with a pilot light or similar auxiliary signal.

A further object of the invention is to provide a simple and inexpensive mechanism for effecting the automatic operation described above.

In the accomplishment of these objects the signal is in the form of an arm pivotally attached to the lower end of the bracket arm of the side view mirror. This end is constructed in the form of a housing containing the operating mechanism.

The circuit for the actuating motor is grounded through this housing. The motor is geared to the arm through a suitable oscillating linkage. The circuit also comprises a contact piece which oscillates with the arm and another contact member in the nature of a ratchet driven by the first contact member as a pawl. The ratchet member is in electrical contact with the housing, but the latter has a dead or insulated spot engaged by the ratchet member once during each revolution of the latter, and thus breaking the circuit once in each revolution. The number of ratchet teeth determines the number of oscillations made by the arm in each operation.

The operating motor is also comprised in another circuit having a starting switch in the form of a spring-returned push button. Thus, the motor can turn the ratchet off from the dead spot in the housing, and thereafter another circuit is established through the motor and housing to continue operating the device. The starting motor circuit has in the meantime been opened by return of the push button to open position.

The invention also embodies a unique oscillating linkage so constructed as to reduce to a minimum the amount of play in the oscillating arm and also to increase the amplitude of the oscillation.

The invention is fully disclosed by way of Detroit, Mich.

5, 1939, Serial No. 293,33

example in the following description and in the accompanying drawing in which:

Figure 1 is an elevation of the device;

Figure 2 is a section, in a parallel plane, of the housing and illustrating the oscillating mechanism;

Figure 3 is a section on the line 33 of Figure 2;

Figure 4 is a section on the line 4-4 of Figure 3;

Figure 5 is a side view of the pawl and ratchet contact device and,

Figure 6 is a wiring diagram.

Reference to these views will now be made by use of like characters which are employed to designate corresponding parts throughout.

In Figure l the numeral I designates generally a suitable portion of the side wall structure of a motor vehicle for supporting a side view mirror. Within the vehicle is suitably mounted a small electric motor 2 having a flexible shaft armor 3 passed through a bushing 4 extending through the wall I and fastenedtherein by nuts 5.

To the outer end of the armor 3 is secured a metal housing 6, and additional supporting means may be provided if the armor is likely to bend under the weight of the casing B and associated parts. The motor shaft 1 extends into the casing, in which it is journaled as shown in Figure 2, and carried a worm 8 at its free end. An arm 9 extends from the casing 6 at a suitable angle and carries a side view mirror I0 constructed and employed in a manner well known in the art. To the casing B is pivotally attached a signal arm ll terminating in a head l2 on which is depicted a suitable signal l3, such as an arrow, which may also be illuminated by a lamp M if desired.

The pivotal attachment of the arm H to the casing 6 is made by means of a shaft l5 journaled in the casing 6 and fixed to the arm, as illustrated in Figure 3. Within the casing, a gear segment I6 is fixed to the shaft, for a purpose which will presently be described.

In the casing 6 is also journaled a worm gear ll meshing with the worm 8, as illustrated in Fig. 2. A link I8 is articulated at one end l9 to the gear I! and has its free end formed as a toothed rack meshing with the gear segment IS. A free link 2| is loosely mounted on the shaft 15 and pivotally attached to the link 18 in order to hold the rack 20 in firm engagement with the gear segment.

In the operation of the device as thus far described, it will be evident that rotation of the gear Why the motor-driven worm 8 causes the gear segment IE to oscillate, and with it the shaft I5 and signal arm H. The gearing is so dimensioned and the signal arm so positioned that the latter is concealed behind the mirror arm 9 at the upper limit of the oscillation. The gear tooth connection between the member I6 and the rack eliminates play that would otherwise occur in the oscillation of the arm H. Further, the gear arrangement increases the amplitude of the oscillation for a given relation of centers, since substantially the whole of the rack 20 is beyond one or the other end of the teeth of gear It at the limits of the oscillation.

The pivot end of the signal arm H is also formed as a housing 22 to contain certain electrical parts which are assembled before the arm is applied on the shaft [5. An insulated disk 23 is loosely mounted on an enlarged portion l5 of the shaft l5. This disk has one face engaging the casing 6 and its other or exposed face fitted with a conducting ring 24. The latter is formed with a predetermined number of equidistant steps 25 which function as ratchet teeth in a manner presently to be described. Adjacent to the disk is another insulating member 26 fixed to the shaft by a set screw 21. Extending from the circumference of the member 26 is a pivotally mounted angular contact finger or brush 28 maintained in frictional engagement with the ring 24 by a spring 29.

In the operation of this portion of mechanism, the member 26 with the brush 28 obviously oscil- ;lates with the shaft I5. In doing so, it engages successive steps 25 on successive oscillations. The parts are so dimensioned that the amplitude of oscillation of the member 28 is substantially equal to the distance between adjacent steps 25. Thus, the member 28 acts as a pawl on the ring 24 as a ratchet .and drives the ring and disk 23 through one revolution when all of the steps have been once engaged.

The wall of the casing 6 engaged by the disk 23 has a dead or insulated spot 38, as shown in Figure 3 and a contact pin 30' extends from the ring 2 3 through the disk and into engagement with the wall of the casing. Thus, the pin 24 is grounded through the casing except when in engagement with the dead spot 36, and the latter is so located as to be thus engaged after one revolution of the disk 23 in the manner described.

As shown in the wiring diagram in Figure 6, one side of the motor 2 is connected to the battery 3! which is grounded at 32. The other side of the motor is grounded at 33 through a conductor 34 in which is interposed a spring-return switch 35. The motor is started on closing the switch, but this particular circuit is held enclosed only momentarily.

Another conductor 36 extends from the battery or input side of the motor through the lamp [4 and to the oscillating brush 23. Another conductor 31 extends from the brush to the other side of the motor. The casing 6 is represented at 38 as being grounded, it being understood that the grounds 32 and 33 are comprised in the metallic structure of the vehicle as in ordinary practice.

The starting of the motor is sufficient to move the pin 38 oif the dead spot 30, whereupon a circuit is completed through the battery, motor, conductor 3?, brush 28, ring 2% and casing 6 independently of the switch circuit. A similar circuit is at the same time made through conductor 36 and lamp Hi. Both circuits are broken when the pin returns to the dead spot 30, and for the next operation, the switch circuit is employed to start the motor and take the pin 39' off the dead spot 39 as already described.

The conductors may conveniently be housed within the armor 3 and the signal arm ll, especially for connection to the oscillating brush 23 and the lamp It.

For assembly purposes, one end of the sleeve 3 is split at 4 and tapered, with a nut 5' threaded thereon to tighten the sleeve on the shaft 4 in any desired position of adjustment.

It will be seen in Figure 1 that the signal head I2 is striped red at 40 and white at 4!, while the arrow I3 is also red. The striping is preferably opaque and the arrow transparent. Thus, although the illuminated arrow may not be conspicuous in daylight, the opaque striping presents a very effective signal.

When idle, the signal arm is inconspicuous since it is concealed behind the mirror arm 9. Further, it is within view of the driver who can observe its operation directly and without resorting to a pilot light or similar indicator. The device is constructed of a relatively small number of simple and inexpensive parts and is quickly installed on a Vehicle.

Although a specific embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described, it will be understood that various alternations in the details of construction may be made without departing from the scope of the invention, as indicated by the appended claim.

What I claim is:

An oscillating device comprising a fixed support, a shaft journaled therein, means for oscillating said shaft, a conducting brush carried by said shaft, a conducting ring loosely mounted on said shaft and engaged by said brush, said ring having spaced steps engageable successively by said brush, whereby said ring is rotated by oscillation of said brush, a conductor extending from said ring into engagement with said support, said support having an insulated spot engageableperiodically by said conductor.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2644152 *Mar 16, 1950Jun 30, 1953Ginsberg Walter FTraffic warning signal
US6276821 *Jun 17, 1999Aug 21, 2001Donnelly CorporationVehicle exterior mirror system with signal light
US6416208May 25, 2001Jul 9, 2002Donnelly CorporationVehicle exterior mirror system with signal light
US6685348Jul 8, 2002Feb 3, 2004Donnelly CorporationLighted vehicular exterior rearview mirror system
US6926431Apr 8, 2003Aug 9, 2005Magna Donnelly Mirrors North America, L.L.C.Vehicular mirror assembly incorporating multifunctional illumination source
US7083312Feb 2, 2004Aug 1, 2006Donnelly CorporationLighted exterior mirror system for a vehicle
US7140755Nov 4, 2002Nov 28, 2006Donnelly CorporationSecurity lighted exterior rearview mirror system for a vehicle
US7168830Apr 4, 2003Jan 30, 2007Donnelly CorporationVehicle exterior mirror system with signal light
US7325953Dec 16, 2004Feb 5, 2008Donnelly CorporationVehicle exterior mirror system with turn signal light assembly
US7334925Aug 16, 2006Feb 26, 2008Donnelly CorporationLighted exterior rearview mirror system
US7377675Jan 3, 2007May 27, 2008Donnelly CorporationVehicle exterior mirror system with signal light
US7547127Feb 4, 2008Jun 16, 2009Donnelly CorporationLight module for a vehicular exterior mirror assembly
US7784983Feb 26, 2008Aug 31, 2010Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc.Vehicular exterior rearview mirror assembly
US7815348Jun 15, 2009Oct 19, 2010Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc.Light module for a vehicular exterior mirror assembly
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US8251555Sep 16, 2011Aug 28, 2012Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc.Lighted exterior mirror assembly for vehicle
US8262268Nov 15, 2011Sep 11, 2012Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc.Exterior mirror vision system for a vehicle
US8393766Aug 27, 2012Mar 12, 2013Manga Mirrors of America, Inc.Lighted exterior mirror assembly for vehicle
US8449158May 18, 2012May 28, 2013Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc.Vehicle exterior mirror system
US8534886Sep 10, 2012Sep 17, 2013Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc.Exterior mirror vision system for a vehicle
US8662724Sep 16, 2013Mar 4, 2014Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc.Exterior mirror system for a vehicle
US8696179Mar 11, 2013Apr 15, 2014Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc.Lighted exterior mirror assembly for vehicle
U.S. Classification200/61.27, 362/540, 362/494, 200/DIG.170, 200/33.00R
International ClassificationB60Q1/34
Cooperative ClassificationY10S200/17, B60Q1/34
European ClassificationB60Q1/34