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Publication numberUS2401940 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 11, 1946
Filing dateFeb 27, 1942
Priority dateFeb 27, 1942
Publication numberUS 2401940 A, US 2401940A, US-A-2401940, US2401940 A, US2401940A
InventorsLange Paul L B
Original AssigneeLange Paul L B
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Portable traffic signal
US 2401940 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 11, 1946. R LANGE 2,401,940

PORTABLE TRAFFIC SIGNAL Filed Feb. 27, 1942 2 Sheets-Sheet l 1N VENTOR.

BY W1 54W,


June 11, 1946. LANGE 2,401,940

PORTABLE 'TRAFFIC SIGNAL Filed Feb. 27, 1942 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 ATTOR NEYS.

Patented June 11, 1946 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE PORTABLE TRAFFIC SIGNAL Paul L. B. Lange, Lakewood, Ohio Application February 27, 1942, Serial No. 432,662

3 Claims. 1

This invention, as indicated, relates to a portable traffic signal. More particularly, it comprises a portable unit having separable and collapsible parts permitting the same to be readily carried by a single person to a place of use to be quickly assembled into full operative relation in a minimum of time. The signals are adapted to beoperated by a storage battery carried in the base of the structure, and the control of such signals may be adjusted for manual, automatic or emergency flashing operation.

The principal object of the present invention is to provide a trafllc signal which may be of light, but sturdy, construction, and which may be readily carried from point to point in the manner of personal baggage, or may be carried in an automobile, orstreet car, or bus, or other public conveyance, to a point of use.

Another object of the invention is to provide a portable traflic signal adapted for emergency use and capable of operation on a base similar to permanently installed signals.

Another object of the invention is to provide a portable traflic signal utilizing a storage battery and having structural features permitting the same to be moved about in knocked-down form, and after reaching the point of installation to be transformed into a rigid structure firmly supported on the surface of the roadway, and having a convertibility to permit the same to be operated manually, automatically, or as a caution flashing signal.

Another object of the invention is to provide safety features in the structure whereby the base of the signal will be constantly illuminated to avoid collision with the standard.

Another object of the invention is to provide means whereby the signal when placed in automatic operation may be locked to prevent tampering therewith.

Other and further objects of the invention will appear in the course of the following description.

To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends, said invention, then, consists of the means hereinafter fully described and particularly pointed out in the claims, the annexed drawings and the following description setting forth in detail certain mechanism embodying the invention, such disclosed means constituting, however, but several forms in which the principle of the invention may be used.

In said annexed drawings:

Fig. l is a side elevation of the apparatus assembled in operative condition and indicated as under manual control of a traiflc ofllcer;


Fig. 4 is an enlarged side elevation of the base and the lower portion of the standard of the apparatus showing the manually operated switch and connections in position on the apparatus;

Fig. 5 is an enlarged detail view showing the clamping means for the manual switch of the apparatus, as seen along the line 5-5 shown in Figure 4, looking in the direction of the arrows;

Fig. 6 is a fragmentary view of the upper portion of the base, as seen along the line 66 shown in Figure 4, looking in the direction of the arrows; and showing the switch control unit and locking cover therefor;

Fig. 7 is a side elevation showing the three major portions of the apparatus in knocked-down and collapsed, or telescoped condition, ready for transportation to a point of use;

Fig. 8 is a fragmentary detail view showing means for adjusting a commutator bar for varying the timing of one of the lighting circuits; and

Fig. 9 is a wiring diagram showing diagrammatically the motor, commutator discs and switches, battery and circuit connections to the lamp units.

As is shown more particularly in Figures 1 and 3 the signal apparatus comprises a base member I providing a receptacle 2 for a storage battery ,3, and having an intermediate standard 4 with a telescopic extension member 5 mounted centrally above the same, such telescopic section supporting at its upper end a traffic signal unit 6 carrying signal bulls eyes and lamps, preferably of standard colors and arrangement. The base I, as stated, has a receptacle 2 for the storage battery. such receptacle preferably being of rectangular outline and of a size to receive a battery of suit able type. The receptacle merges with a bottom support I, preferably of frusto-conical outline, as seen in side elevation. In order to provide for ready portability of the base portion of the structure it is formed of two frusto-conical segments, one at the upper side I of slightly larger diameter than the lower segment 8. Each of the segments is provided centrally with a recessed area 9, I 0, respectively, nested together and held in pivotal relation by means of a pivot pin II. The upper segmental base member preferably terminates at one side of the battery receptacle in a straight margin l2, as seen from above, such marginal 3 portion having notches l3, l4, spaced from its respective margins a sui icient distance to receive a locking stud l5 provided with a wing nut l5. Such locking stud is mounted on the lower segmental member 8 and when moved into engagement with the notch l3 may be held in such position by tightening the wing nut to form a rigid base for the structure. When it is desired to move the base from one position to another the segmental portion 8 is rotated about the pivot I I until the stud l5 engages the notch I 4, and the wing nut is then turned to lock the telescopic base members in telescoped or nested relation, as shown more particularly in Figure 7. The battery receptacle is provided with upstanding arms II on opposite sides and has apertures iii to receive a bail i8 by means of which the base portion of the apparatus may be readily transported. The upper portion of the battery receptacle is provided with a hinged casing top 20 within which a combined switch and motor housing 2| is slidlngly engaged supported at one end by means of a boss 22 within a socket 23, and supported at the other end by bolts engaged through apertures in the flanged portion 24 of said housing.

Within the motor housing 2| is engaged the motor 25 and commutator unit 28 with cooperating contact fingers 21 connected by suitable conductors with a plug terminal 23 mounted centrally within a cylindrical socket 29 adapted to receive the lower end of the standard 4 and hold the same in clamping engagement by means of a setscrew 30. One terminal of the battery is grounded by means of a metal bar 3| to the inner wall of the receptacle, and the commutator is connected by means of a flexible cable 32 to the other terminal of the battery. The casing top 2| is preferably mounted on the upper end of the receptacle by means of a hinge 33, and on the opposite side carries'a latch member 34 adapted to fit within a lock 35 on the opposite side of the receptacle. At one side of the casing top a housing 36 is provided to receive the switch unit and manual plug-in. A hinged cover plate 31'provided with a. lock 38 is adapted to engage over the switch housing and be locked in secure relation to the same to prevent tampering with the automatic mechanism of the apparatus.

- It will be noted that easy removal of the motor unit is provided for as well as convenient access to the switches and battery connections. Replacement of the battery may be readily carried out. The battery may be connected for recharging when the unit is not in service without removing the same from the receptacle.

The standard 4 fits snugly within the socket 29, but before being placed in position the terminal plug 4i is engaged with the plug socket 28, heretofore referred to. The upper telescopic section 5 of the standard is then raised to the desired elevation and clamped by means of the clamping ring 42 on the threaded portion 43 at the upper end of the standard 4, which, by reason of the split socket efiect, has clamping action against the outer surface of the extension member 5. The plug 4| is at the lower end of the conducting cable 44 carrying the various individual circuit wires, and its upper end is provided with connection to the permanently secured plug member 45 which receives the contact elements of the plug member 46 connected with the cable carrying various conductors to their respective lamp units of the signal casing. The upper end of the extension member 5 is slightly reduced in diameter in order to permit firm engagement thereover of the supporting socket 4! which is provided at the lower end of the supporting frame of the signal unit 6.

The socket has a plurality of arms 48, shown as four in number, and at one side is provided with a stud engaged by a wing nut 49 whereby the signal unit may be firmly clamped at the upper end of the extension member 5. The arms 48 are secured, preferably, centrally of the respective sides of the rectangular trafiic signal unit 8, which, as shown, is preferably a light metal casing havinga closed upper end 5!, to which is permanently secured a handle 52 so that said unit may be readily carried when the parts are disassembled for transportation. It will be noted that each side of the signal unit is provided with circular openings 53 behind which reflector members 54 are provided carrying lamp sockets 55 connected to their respective conductors 55. Outwardly of each of the openings 53 an annular frame 57 is provided, preferably lunged at one side and provided with a stud and wing nut clamping device 58 at the opposite side whereby free access to the lamp socket may be had and the bulbs 59 inserted as required. The annular frame is adapted to frictionally receive a sleeve 6| supporting a lens or bull's eye 02 at its inner end and formed adjacent its outer portion as a shield or hood 63 to restrict the projected rays of the adjacent light unit when it is turned on.

In order to prevent injury to the apparatus. or to the man c oflicer who may be in charge of the same when it is used for manual operation, a downwardly directed reflector 64 is provided at the base of the signal unit supporting the bulb socket 65 with an individual conductor 56, and provided below the bulb 61 with a lens 68 mounted in a removable frame 69.

When it is desired to havethe signal unit operated by a trafiic oil'icer, the manual switch shown in Figures 4 and 5 is connected with the apparatus, the switch casing 1| having a spring clip 12 adapted to be resiliently engaged around the standard 4 and held firmly in position by means of a wing bolt 13. The switch casing carries centrally of its cover plate 14 a switch knob 15 by means of which the control of the respective light elements may be carried on. A flexible cable 16 carries the necessary conductor elements, which, through prongs on the terminal plug 71 are placed in proper relation to the various lamp circuits.

The plug 11, it will be noted by reference to Figures 1, 4 and 6, is connected with the terminal unit 18 in the switch housing 36 heretofore referred to.

Said housing also carries the individual switch 19 for the bottom light 6'! on the reflector and the two-way switch for manual and automatic control, and the switch 8! for the caution light control, which will be more particularly described in connection with the wiring diagram shown in Figure 9.

In order to provide for variation in the timing allowed for main highway .traflic and for cross traflic it is desirable to provide an adjustable element on each of the switch contacts carried on the commutator element 26. Such variable control may be provided for by the sliding adjustment of the contact area on the commutator, as shown in Figure 8. This'adjustment may assume various forms, but preferably includes a stationary contact plate 82 with which a sliding contact plate 83 cooperates to provide a total range of contact area to insure correct timing for each of the lamp circuits of the signal unit. The sliding contact may be locked in position by means of a setscrew emergency, such as accident, fire or the like, use is made of the caution light circuit closed by the switch 8|, heretofore referred to, and carrying current to the motor through the branch circuit 81 and the interrupter unit to the branch circuit the margin of the slid- 89. The interrupter unit comprises a cam wheel 9|, preferably mounted onthe large end gear 92 on the commutator shaft 93. The cam elements of the cam wheel ride against the spring terminal 94 bearing intermittently against the contact 95 connected with the circuit 96 to the caution or yellow lamps of the signal unit. Such connection could be made with the red lamp circuit, or with the combination of circuits, as might seem most desirable.

It will be noted that the switch 19 controls the circuit 66 and the white or floor light 61 beneath the signal unit and is maintained in constant operation after nightfall to prevent collision with the signal unit, and also to prevent injury to the traffic omcer if the unit is manually operated.

When the two-way switch 8|] is set upon the contact I IJI for the manual control the remainder of the manual control circuit is supplied by the group of conductors within the cable terminating in the plug unit 11 received in the socket 18. The circuits'are completed through the contacts within the manual switch casing I! over which the contact finger is moved by means of the knob 15.

The various circuits of the lamps are completed through the socket 28 and the plug 29 and the socket 45 and plug 46 and therespective conductor connections 56 within the signal unit 6.

When the device is set for automatic operation the switch 80 is placed upon the contact I02 which has a branch circuit I03 connected with the motor 25, and the companion branch circuit 14 is connected with a contact finger riding upon the contact disc I05 comprising the main connection with the commutator. The conductor from the contact disc I05 is connected with a series of contact segments upon insulated contact areas of the commutator drum, thesegments I06 carrying a contact I01 energizing the circuit I08 connected with the green light controlling traflic over one thoroughfare and its companion red light controlling traffic over a cross-thoroughfare. An intermediate insulated disc Ill carries two short contact members H2 controlling the circuit I i3 for illuminating the four yellow, or caution, lights intermediate 2. signal change. The insulated disc I i4 is similar to the insulated disc I06, hereon as an intermittent flashing unit during times of emergency, or it may be operated as a standard traffic control for week-end trafilc, orheavy traffic arising through special gatherings of people at unusual times and places where ordinarily no permanent traflic light would, be required.

Other modes of applying the principle of my invention may be employed instead of those explained, change being made as regards the mechanism herein disclosed, provided the means stated by any of the following claims or the equivalent of such stated means be employed.

1 therefore particularly point and distinctly claim as my invention:

1. An apparatus of the character described having in combination a self-energized portable traffic signal unit comprising a base formed of two frusto-comcal segments having cutaway straight margins adapted to be brought into alignment when the apparatus is to be carried and providing a standard having a rotary segmental section housing a storage battery, a. signal casing engageable thereon and readily separable therefrom, and

having means permitting nested vertical alignment of the segmental section, when arranged for hand transportation, and permitting outward positioning of the segmental section for base enlargement for holding the structure in firm operative relation when assembled for service.

to reduce its overall length, and a base member tofore described, the contact segment H5, how- I ever, being diametrically opposite the position of the contact segment I01, and the contacts of the circuit H6 being to green lights controlling traffic on the cross-thoroughfare and the red lights controlling traffic on the main thoroughfare. As has been heretofore stated, the battery is grounded to the casing by means of a conductor 3| and the return circuits to all the operative elements is through the middle of the base member standard and signal unit in accordance with the position of the elements energized.

As has been stated, the battery of the trafllc formed of two frusto-conical segments having cutaway straight margins adapted to be brought into alignment when the apparatus is to be carried and providing a receptacle for a battery and electrical connections and control elements and provided with a handle for ready portability.

3. An apparatus of the character described' comprising a knock-down portable traflic signal adapted to be separated into three readily portable parts, including a lamp casing, an intermediate standard portion adapted to be telescoped to reduce its over-all length and a base member formed of two frusto-conical segments having cutaway straight margins adapted to be brought into alignment when the apparatus is to'be carried' andproviding a receptacle with a surface contacting flange, means for reducing the contact area of such flange to permit convenient carrying of the unit, said base member providing. a receptacle for a battery and electrical connections and control elements whereby the lamps in said lamp casing may be operated automatically as directional signal means or as flasher signal means, or operated manually as directional means, said casing provided with a handle for ready portability.


The entire unit is light in weight, 1

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2486655 *Nov 26, 1948Nov 1, 1949Kistle John PPortable traffic control device
US2517239 *Feb 2, 1948Aug 1, 1950Rickabaugh Philip MIlluminated football down signal
US2580938 *Sep 15, 1950Jan 1, 1952Martin Joseph GPoliceman's portable traffic signal device
US2586643 *Jul 30, 1949Feb 19, 1952Garlow HarryCombined auto mirror, radio antenna, light, and directional signal construction
US2625130 *Jan 10, 1951Jan 13, 1953Welton L MorserReflective marker
US2732541 *Sep 10, 1952Jan 24, 1956 Signalling devices
US2829362 *May 3, 1954Apr 1, 1958Frank TerrillTraffic control system
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US7586421Nov 15, 2006Sep 8, 2009Emergency Traffic Systems, Inc.Traffic signal devices and methods of using the same
US8362923Jan 29, 2013Emergency Traffic Systems Inc.Traffic signal devices and methods of using the same
US20070115139 *Nov 15, 2006May 24, 2007Emergency Traffic Systems, Inc.Traffic signal devices and methods of using the same
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U.S. Classification340/908, D10/115, 362/240, 362/191
International ClassificationG08G1/095, G08G1/0955
Cooperative ClassificationG08G1/0955
European ClassificationG08G1/0955