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Publication numberUS2467910 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 19, 1949
Filing dateFeb 21, 1947
Priority dateFeb 21, 1947
Publication numberUS 2467910 A, US 2467910A, US-A-2467910, US2467910 A, US2467910A
InventorsReckard Charles E
Original AssigneeReckard Charles E
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Lighting control
US 2467910 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 19, 1949. c. E. RECKARD LIGHTING CONTROL Filed Feb. 2.1, *1947 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 April 19, 1949 c. E. RECKARD 2,467,910

LIGHTING CONTROL Filed Feb. 2l, 1947 Q 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 I 7 I 9' 38 |39 WWI l ,4" lo y I6 il ,/34

CHARMS i @fc/wea April 19, 1949. .l C, E, RECKARD 2,467,910

LIGHTING CONTROL Filed Feb. 21, 1947 l 3 ShetS-Sheet 3 CHARLES 5. R50/ARQ Patented Apr. 19, 1949 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE LIGHTING CONTRGL Charles E. Reckard, Brooklyn, N. Y.

Application February 21, 1947, Serial No. 730,164

1 claim. 1

This invention relates to control systems for lighted displays, wherein a combination oi lights is made to vary in intensity or color in predetermined patterns and/ or cycles, as maybe desired; either to produce a pleasing effect, to demonstrate problems, or for any other purpose to which it may be adapted.

The object of the invention, broadly, is to provide control means for so varying the intensity of light coming from two or more light sources in relation to each other as to cause a pleasing illumination effect; in the form of either a moving light effect where single colored lights are used, or also a changing color effect where difierent colored light sources are used in combination.

Another more specific object is to provide a simple control means for varying the intensity of two or more electric lights of the same color on a, billboard, sign or the like, wherein a rotatably adjustable rheostat is used for each light;` the rotating elements oi all the rheostats being' mounted on a common shaft operated by a motor for continuous cyclic operation of the control means, to cause a gradual turning on and oli of each light in a predetermined pattern relatively to the operation of the other lights, to produce] an apparently moving wave or waves of illumination, in ay predetermined manner, across the billboard, sign or the like, in accordance with the pattern.

Another object is to produce a simple control means as defined above, wherein either the rotating or the stationary elements of the rheostats are made adjustable about the common shaft, to vary the phase relation to each other, to change the pattern in any desired manner.

Another object is to produce a simple control means as dened above, wherein the stationary elements are not only adjustable but replaceable by others providing a diierent period of illumination or a different turning ofi or turning on interval to change the overall wave pattern, as may be desired.

Another object is to construct the control means above deiined in a control box, having a power supply connection, and a series of outlets for selective connection to any series of light bulbs, singly or in combination to each outlet, each of the outlets being in the circuit branch of one of the rheostats, which are connected in parallel across the power supply lines.

Another object is to adapt the above control 'means to a series of different colored lights, particularly of the basic colors: blue, yellow and red; whereby to obtain color changing waves of illumination of substantially constant intensity, in accordance with the colors and the corresponding rheostats, selected for operation in the device.

Other and still more specific objects will appear in the following detailed description of some illustrious forms of devices made in accordance with the present invention, having reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

Figure 1 is a section] View of the control means, broken to show that any number of rheostat units might be included in the device,

Figure 2 is a sectional view taken on line 2 2 of Figure 1.

Figure 3 is an end view of the driving motor and ,pulley on the operating shaft taken at 3-3 of Figure 1,

Figure 4 isa view of the contact means between the pow-er supply and the operating shaft Itaken at 4-4 oi Figure 1,

Figure 5 is a view of :the insulated contact support means taken at 5--5 of Figure 1,

Figure 6 is `a wiring diagram of one rheostat circuit branch, any number of which may be connected in parallel across the power supply lines,

Figure 7 is a wiring diagram showing Ithree of such bran-ches connected in parallel, with the rotating elements adjusted to different phase ,posi- -tions relative to each other,

Figure 8 is another diagram with the stationary elements of the rheostats adjusted to different phase positions around the operating shaft, and

Figure 9 is a similar wiring diagram illustrating the use of different circumferential lengths of the several rheostat resistance units, `for obtaining relatively different periods of illumination from the respective light bulbs during a cycle.

The form of device illustrated Ain the drawings comprises a rectangular casing I with a hinged lid 2 having hinges 3, lthe lid being cut out a-t one end to expose a series of outlet plugs 4 mounted on the end wall 5 of casing I by means of screws l. Each plug 4 has two terminal posts l :and 8 for connection to one of a pair of ypower lines 9 and to the correspond-ing rheostat resistance I0, respectively. The power lines may be brought in through the end wall 5 as sh-own.

The other of the pair of power lines II is connected to a binding post I2 on the arm I3 supporting a contact arm I4 in peripheral contact with a wheel I5 of conducting material fixed to the operating shaft I6. Arm I3 is formed on a bearing support Il for one end of the shaft I6,

and the bearing support is insulatedly mounted on the end wall 5 by means of a Bakelite washer I8 and Bakelite grommets I9, through which the mounting bolts 2|] are passed.

The bearing support 2| for the other end of the shaft I6 may be similarly mounted on the other end Wall of the casing I, by means of Bakelite washer 22, and grommets 23 for the mounting bolts 24. However, this insulation is not necessary if an insulated coupling comprising a pair of anged coupling collars 25, 26 of insulating material be used across a break 21 in the shaft, as shown in Figure 1. The insulation of the shaft at this point is desirable at any rate, in order to prevent any possible grounding `of the shaft circuit through the pulley 28 and drive belt 29 to the motor pulley 39, and motor 3|. The bearing support 2l has an arm 32 extending to the other side of the pulley 28 to form another bearing 33 on that side of the pulley and provide a rm support for this pulley and the shaft I6.

Each of the rheostat resistances l0, I0', etc., is mounted concentrically about the shaft It on a bracket plate 36 removably fixed to the bottom of the casing l at and to the sides of the .casing at 36. These bracket plates may be cut away along the top to provide a space under the lid for the wire leads between the several rheostat resistances and their corresponding terminal posts 8 at one end of the casing. These bracket plates may further be cut away at the lower corners and in the center to the radius oi the resistance, for weight reduction.

The rheostat resistances are connected at suitable intervals to the contact segments 31, and at their mid point 38 also to a binding post 39 for connection to the corresponding post 8 on the outlet plugs.

The parallel branches of the operating circuit are `completed by contact arms d fixed to shaft I6 and having their ends slidably operating over the segments 3l when the shaft is turned. Each branch circuit is broken, however, during the interval when the respective arm ill slides .over the segments 3l which lie between the ends of the resistance, and which are therefore not connected thereto. This interval may extend over different angular distances on different bracket plates for selective installation in a system, in accordance with a desired pattern.

The value of the rheostat resistances may be designed to be such that each half of a resistance will be suflicient to reduce the amount of current passing through the corresponding branch to a minimum, not only so as to dim the corresponding light bulb to practical darkness but also to reduce the tendency of sparking as the arm lll] enters or leaves an end segment.

The light bulbs @il in the system may be connected by individual male plugs 4,2 to the corresponding outlet plugs 4.

Either the resistances I9 or the arms 4E may be made angularly adjustable about the shaft nlli to properly set the branch circuits in the relative Aphase relations desirable to carry out a predetermined pattern. In the form shown in Figure 1, the arms lli are adjustable about the shaft and may be moved to lany angular position relative to each other and set by the lock screws 4,3.

Figure 6 shows one branch circuit diagrammatically, wherein one side of the power ysupply l) is connected through the light bulb 4I, the rheostat resistance IIB, the arm 4B, and shaft I6 to the other side ofthe power supply QI l. In practice the side 9 of the power supply may be split into as many strands 8 as there are plugs 4, one' strand being connected to each plug; or preferably the terminals I on all the plugs in the system may be connected together by a common bar or other connector d, the bar` being connected to the single strand 9, as shown schematically in Figures '7, 8, and 9.

The schematic wiring diagram in Figure rI shows a combination wherein the contact arms lll are adjusted to different relative phase positions. Figure 8 illustrates a combination wherein both the contact arms @Il and the resistances I0, lil and I0 are relatively adjustable and are set to different phase positions.

Figure 9 illustrates a combination wherein resistances of different circumferential lengths are used to provide different periods as well as phases of illumination from the several light bulbs 4I to get a desirable illumination effect, either in single color illumination or with multi-colored bulbs.

The illumination effects possible with this system are many. Obviously, as already suggested, in combination with single colored lights, traveling waves of light may be produced by advancing the phase of operation of the rheostats for each successive light, arranged in a bank, along which the waves are to travel. Various combinations of such waves may be produced, as will `be readily apparent, in multi-bank arrangements, by suitable adjustrnents of the corresponding rheostats.

In the operation of multi-colored lights, a unit of three lights or the basic colors, blue, red and yellow, besides a white light, may be used in any bank of such units and in any combination oi such banks, to get the wave effects desired. But, in addition, color changes in any desired combina.- tion may be obtained including all the colors of the rainbow. As is well known, a combination of blue and red lights will produce a purple eect, the shade oi which will depend on the relative intensity of the two colors, and its brilliancy Will depend on the total intensity thereof. Likewise, red and yellow will combine to produce orange; blue and yellow, to produce green; and lall three to produce brown; etc. The white light maybe used to provide the brilliancy, or the basic supply of light to the medium which is being illuminated, in the case of indirect lighting, and fram which the colored rays projected from the lights are reiiected. By a proper control of intensities of the several colors to produce desired color changes, furthermore, the total intensity may be maintained substantially constant, producing a traveling wave of color without any dark por.- tions.

Obviously, various combinations of color wave and light wave effects may be produced With'the present device by a proper selection of light bulbs, and selection and adjustment of rheostats there.- for.

It is to be understood that, instead of having a single light bulb connected to each of the Inale plugs 1552, corresponding bulbs in two or more banks of lights on one or more signs, billboards or the like may be connected in parallel, ,so as to be controlled by the same set of rhecstats one control box.

Thus, my device is adapted to produce .not merely a switching operation, but Ya means for controlling intensity and color variations simultaneously over any portion of Va billboard, sign or the like.

What ,is claimed is:

A control box for displays of electric lights, comprising a rectangular casing having a hinged 5 lid, a drive shaft axially mounted therein, a series of rheostat plates having circumferential resistance units thereon mounted concentrically about said shaft and having means for detachably securing them to the Walls of said casing, a series of contact segments arranged circumferentially about said shaft on each of said plates, said resistance units having connections at intervals to consecutive segments, a movable contact arm for contacting the segments on each of said plates, 1

adjustably xed to said shaft, insulated bearings mounted at the ends of said casing for said shaft, a series of outlet plugs mounted at one end of said casing for accessibility from the top of said casing, the end of the lid being cut away for this purpose, each of said plugs having two tenminals, one of which is electrically connected to the midpoint of one of said resistance units, the other of which being connected to one side of a power supply, a contact wheel xed to said shaft, a contact arm insulatedly mounted on said casing in contact with said contact wheel and having a terminal post for connection to the other side of said power supply.


REFERENCES CITED The following references are oi record in the o le of this patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,759,903 Hunter May 27, 1930 1,868,403 Weller July 19, 1932 l. 1,976,005 Boden Oct. 9, 1934 2,150,902 Van Bain Mar. 21, 1939 2,340,559 Pruyn Feb. 1, 1944 FOREIGN PATENTS 20 Number Country Date 550,210 Germany May 17, 1932

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1759903 *Dec 11, 1924May 27, 1930MentsAsbigkob
US1868403 *Jan 3, 1927Jul 19, 1932Weller Herbert CControlling device for electrical circuits
US1976005 *Mar 30, 1929Oct 9, 1934Ward Leonard Electric CoControlling apparatus for lighting effects
US2150902 *Jun 15, 1936Mar 21, 1939Neo Rite CompanyNeon advertising sign
US2340559 *Jun 9, 1941Feb 1, 1944Pruyn Leonard GMultiple-color electric sign
DE550210C *May 31, 1929May 17, 1932Marcel GuerinSchalteinrichtung zur Erzeugung veraenderlicher Mischfarben
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3114126 *Apr 2, 1962Dec 10, 1963Beckman Instruments IncCombined variable resistance device and mechanism for driving same
US3949241 *May 15, 1974Apr 6, 1976Maute Charles JControl apparatus for electrical devices
U.S. Classification323/352, 338/132, 315/297, 338/116
International ClassificationH05B37/02
Cooperative ClassificationH05B37/029
European ClassificationH05B37/02S