US 2491968 A
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. Dec. 20, 1949 J. P. GILBERT RADIO SELECTOR SYSTEM FOR AUTOMOBILES 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 2, 1946 gwuo/wbo r LAWRENCE J p GILBERT De..2o, 1949 I P, LB RT 2,491,968
RADIO SELECTOR SYSTEM FOR AUTOMOBILES Filed A ril'z, 194s 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 33 J grime/r14 0! as LAWRENCE ,1 -.P. GILBERT Dec. 20, 1949 L. J. P. GILBERT RADIO SELECTOR SYSTEM FOR AUTOMOBILES 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed April 2, 1946 LAWRENCE J P. GILBERT Dec. 20, 1949 J. P. GILBERT 2,491,963
*RADIO SELECTOR SYSTEM FOR AUTOMOBILES Filed April 2, 194a 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 gwvom/hom LAWRENCE Q .P GILBERT Patented Dec. 20, 1949 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE RADIO SELECTOR SYSTEM FOR AUTOMOBILES 4 Claims. 1
The present invention relates to improvements in radio apparatus and more particularly to a radio station selector system for automobiles and self-propelled vehicles in general.
One of the main objects thereof is to provide a simple, eflicient and inexpensive device for installation upon the steering wheel of a self-propelled vehicle designed to free the operator from the hazardous task of reaching out from his seated position behind the steering wheel to actuate a radio control means under circumstances which necessarily calls for taking his eyes and mind off from conditions in the road ahead of him, to the detriment of his safety and security.
Another object thereof is to provide upon the steering wheel apparatus of a self-propelled vehicle novel radio station control means so shaped, designed, assembled and functioning, that the operator of the vehicle need not take his hands off from the wheel at any time in order to secure whatever selective radio station or program he desires.
Another object of the present invention is to provide, in conjunction with the steering wheel of the vehicle, a novel arrangement of visual illuminated dial upon which is indicated, by a. definite predetermined color schedule, variable selective radio stations so designated and functionin that the operator can instantly tell, even when his eyes are trained straight ahead to watch traiiic conditions ahead of him, when any particular color is flashed upon the dial, which radio station is tuned-in selectively, because of the colored glow imparted upon his clothing or some other surface within focus of his eyesight.
Another object thereof is to provide, in conjunction with a steering Wheel apparatus and a radio hook-up located preferably on the dash, novel means for imparting to a pointer a movement whereby it cycles the dial indicating selective stations by color or otherwise so that it may be brought into registration with any station indicating part of the dial visually in a manner permitting the operator to take cognizance thereof without having to transfer ocular attention to the dial.
A further object thereof is to provide, in conjunction with an automobile steering wheel and a radio hook-up preferably located upon the dash,
novel means for illuminating the dial and the pointer cooperating therewith to indicate the preference of the operator for any particular radio station, the arrangement of parts being such that both the dial and the pointer and attendant parts are transparent enabling a brilliant visual eifect to be produced whenever electrical illumination is trained upon these parts.
A still further object thereof is to provide, in a device of the kind described, a separate radio station selector electrical circuit, as well as an optional automatically operative electrical circuit for causing the other circuit to be separately closed whether the pointer moves in one direction upon the dial or in a counterdirection, according to whichever station identifying indications the op' erator wants to skip for quickly selecting the station he prefers.
Another object of this invention is to provide magnet-controlled means of an electrical circuit for timing and controlling the operation of the radio station selector apparatus, in accordance with the predetermined schedule of cOlored flash lights indicatable upon a station identification dial. The arrangement and disposition of the parts is such that control of all moving parts included in said circuit is made upon a predetermined rotary movement imparted to'a selector pointer which traverses the dial.
In carrying out the foregoing objects I have combined visual and audible instrumentalities of a radio hook-up within a compact control center of movement upon the usual steering wheel of an automobile and the like self-propelled vehicle, such as the loud speaker and station identification dial, and, at the same time, have brought within ready reach of the operator, whilst his hands are upon the steering wheel and able to actuate the loud speaker and dial, manually controllable means for selecting the desired radio station.
With the above and other'objects in view my invention consists in the combination, arrangement and details of construction disclosed in the drawings and specification, and then more particularly pointedout in the appended claims.
In the drawings, wherein similar reference characters designate similar parts throughout the several views,
Figure 1 is a top plan view of my invention,
Figure 2 is a fragmental sectional elevation of an instrument board on the dash of an automobile showing parts of my invention,
Figure 3 is a view similar to Figure 2 but showing parts in a qualified position,
Figure 4 is a cross sectional elevational view of the housing of my invention, containing various radio control instrumentalities,
Figure 5 is a cross section taken on line 55 of Figure 4,
Figure 13 is another diagrammatic view showing the alternative circuit connections for the sta tion selector system.
Referring to the drawings, which are merely illustrative of my invention the various parts thereof are disclosed. On the dash board of the self-propelled vehicle will be mounted an instrument case l0, seen in Figure 2, housing some parts of my invention. The usual steering wheel H has the usual column [3 and radiating spokes l2. Fixedly mounted circumferentially of the steering wheel II as upon the rim thereof is an annular radio dial l4, seen in Figure 1, formed preferably of Lucite, as is also the steering wheel itself. This dial is composed of a circumferentially extending series of segments ['5' which are transparent, designated 15 upon each of which, in any desirable manner, station identifying legends or indications 16 are placed :for visual inspection. I prefer to employ a predetermined color scheme by virtue of which a different identifying color is assigned to each separate segment E5 of the dial, for the purpose of safeguarding the operator in selectively registering any Of these station identifying legends or indications, especially when the dial is illuminated in the manner hereinafter disclosed.
Mounted concentrically'within'the wheel II and of a lesser diameter with respect to it is a klaxonring I! having an inwardly extending series of radial spokes 18 connected to a klaxon inner ring 46 soon to be described. This ring I! is made transparent by composing it of Lucite or similar light transparent material. A loud speaker cover [-9 is made of transparent material such as Lucite and is preferably made concave-convex in configuration.
This cover is mounted to close theupper end of a preferably transparent Lucite housing'or casing 48 having a boss 49 secured operatively upon thesteering torque shaft 85, as shown in Figure 4. This housing is designed to contain many different radio instrumentalities, with which is functionally associated certain parts in the instrument case I!) now to be described.
In this case I0 is a radio station selecting pushpull rod. 20 having the operating head 2!. It slides in a guide collar 22 formed upon the case Ill. Bracket arms 23' project forwardly from the front. of the case l0, carrying a pivot 24 upon which is trunnioned swivelably a magnet case 25. The rod 25! carries a Wiper clip 25 adapted for engagement with a magnet plunger Zl. The magnet case has a lug 28 to which is attached one end of a spring 29, the other end of which is attached as at 33 to the adjacent wall of the instrument case. Inside of the magnet case is a small magnet 3|, having a solenoid inside which carries a head 32. The master magnet case 33, carries a solenoid plunger shaft 3 5, whose head is designated 35, located at its opposite end. A lever arm bracket 36, projects laterally of the magnet case 25 for engagement with the plunger 34 of the master magnet in case 33.
Also mounted upon the steering wheel II is a volume control ring 31 having radially disposed spokes 38. Inside of this ring is the klaXon inner ring 46 of smaller diameter than ring 31, which is formed with a radially extending master klaxon ring spoke 42. The ring spoke 42 is shaped terminally into a pointer which consists of the ring 4| and bulb 39 of Lucite. The star in the ring is designated 10, 43 designates mirrors or reflectors placed opposite to the color materials or the like media 45 mounted upon the individual segments I 5 of the dial i l. Spacers for the segments are shown at 44. The media 45 are in reality coding symbols which by color imprint serve readily to convey to the operator a particular radio station, he is interested in. They present differently colored shadings for station differentiating purposes. Inscribed operatively upon the transparent cover it is a legend representing the planet Saturn, since it is obvious that the annular dial encircling the cover simulates Saturn.
The steering wheel hub housing or casing 48 adjoins the gear shift lever housing as shown in Figure 2. In Figure 4, 5! is the ring hub casing shaped to form a collar dependingly mounted upon the radial arms or spokes I8. A coiled bal ance spring 52 rests upon the ring hub and also engages the inner surface of the assembl container. A retainer ring 53 has a snap fit for holding the preferably Lucite cover it in its frame. Concentrically disposed in the housing at its upper part is a loud speaker of Lucite designated 54 which has its horn flaring outwardly andwhich is formed at its inner end with a cup-shaped body 55 closing it at this point. This loud speaker will be included in the radio control selector circuit hereinafter set forth. It is formed at its upper end with a jacketing flange 56 which rests upon a stout coiled spring 92.
The klaxon reverse gear piclup magnet 51 is operatively mounted in the assembly container or box 11. 55 is a color segment ring seated annularly upon the upper side of the ring 46, being made of Lucite or like material. The horn contact rings are designated 55 and are normally spaced apart. An annular series of gear teeth 60 are formed upon the collar Si connected to spokes 48, with which meshes a spur gear 55 fixed upon a vertically disposed drive shaft 63, mounted at the bearing arm 54 formed upon a holder 56 which is attached by screws 3? to the inner wall of the housing 48. Coil spring 68 is wound around the shaft 53 hearing at one end against bearing arm 54 and at its other end bearing against bevel gear H.
Drive shaft bevel gear ii meshes with motor bevel gear 12 upon motor shaft "l3 of the electric motor F4. The drive shaft reverse bevel gear 15 is out of engagement with motor shaft gear "42- when bevel gear ll is in engagement with same. The floor of the container box ii is designated 15 and supports th motor The drive shaft throw-out or reversing collar 2'' has pivotally attached thereto as at 39, th lever arm 80, while the other end of this lever pivotall'y mounted at upon a fi -d bracket 83 on the floor "it": of the ll. Between the ends of the lever arm or rod 39 is the armature contact member shown in Figure It will be observed that a pair of spaced switch contacts in the klaxon reverse mechanism is shown at 8d, one on the cup-shaped part 55 of the loud speaker and the other fixed within the box 11.,
The clamping nut 86 is screwed home upon the reduced stem 86a of the torque shaft 85 so as to engage the base portion 49 of the housing 48. Inside of the box 11, between its lower and upper parts is 'operatively mounted a retainer ring 88 to hold and support the coil spring 92 which, at its upper end, bears against the under surface of the collar flange 56 formed upon the loud speaker horn.
The master radio station selector brush ring 90 is operatively and insulatedly mounted upon the collar 6| of ring 46, and it consists of one master brush segment 90b, Figure 12, which is a good electrical conductor, while the remaining circumferentially extending series of seg- 1 ments composing this ring (Figure 12) are dummy segments, non-conductors. Reference numeral 93 designates a light socket formed peripherally of the housing 48 in which is attached a light bulb 94, associated with which, in said socket, is a light shade or guide 95. Brush contact 96 is insulatedly mounted upon the collar 6| for the transparent ring 46 and is spaced apart from the klaxon contact rings 91 insulatedly mounted upon the inner surface of the cover frame portion of container box TI.
The radio station selector circuit relay magnet, generally referred to by the numeral 98, is mounted in the box I1 and also a small motor 99. Figures 6 and 7 illustrate the interior construction of the relay magnet 98. The plunger of magnet I04 in relay magnet 96 is designated I03, this being the tuning control magnet. It is mounted upon frame I05, as shown in Figure 6 and on this frame is a bracket I06 which carries projecting separated spring fingers or contact I 01 engageable with the contact points or brushes I39 0f the rotor I09 (Figure 8). The contact rotor gear I08 meshes with a pinion or gear II I on gear shaft H0, H2 being a flat spring bearing upon a cam II4 on a shaft IIOa. A lever arm H6 or arms H6 are mounted upon a cross pin I and carries pivoted pawl II5 for engagement with ratchet wheel I20, on shaft I I0a, upon which latter shaft is also fixed the gear H3 which meshes with gear III. A spring stop H8 is fixedly mounted on frame I05, against which bears one end of a coiled spring I I9 wound about a push and pull rod II'I pivotally mounted at its upper end to the lever arm H6, and at its lower end being pivotally attached to the plunger head I03 of the solenoid of magnet I04. The other end of the spring is mounted so as to force this plunger head down.
I44 represents the chambered out portion in the upper part of the housing 49 in which klaxon or horn contact rings 59 are movable.
In practice it will be understood that the main radio station selector electrical circuit calls for operation elevation of the ring H in order to a.
move the pointer bulb 39 in one direction, say in a clockwise direction. In'order to move it in a counterclockwise direction, should the operator desire to do this, it is necessary in one method to depress the cover I9, instead of elevating the ring II. In each case an electrical circuit is closed for attaining the desired result.
In order to tune in any desired selective radio station, in the operation of the present invention, the procedure will be as follows: the radio is turned on, and a radio station is mentally selected. The operator then with his finger raises the klaxon ring I! in order to bring into engagement contacts 96 and 91 in the radio station selector control circuit. Current flows from battery I35 by wire I (Figure 12) to movable contact 96, then to brush 91, which forms a radio selector circuit switch. Thence current flows by wire I46, wire I59 to the light bulb 94. This light, when burning, will shine through the color segment ring 58 for the purpose of changing the color of lighting in the klaxon inner ring 46, in the master klaxon ring spoke 42, in the radial klaxon spokes I8, in the klaxon ring II, in the pointer the bulb 39, and in the star in the ring pointer 40. All these parts, being made from Lucite are transparent, and when the light flashes against the colored background of these parts there will be a correspondingly colored glow reflected upon surrounding parts of the vehicle, or upon the hand of the operator, or his clothing which he can notice without training his eyes to inspect the particular radio station he has selected.
In closing this radio selector control circuit by means of switches 96, 91 current will also flow through wire I60 to the relay magnet 98 to energize the magnet I04 and lift the plunger I03. Finally, current flows through wire I6I for operating the motor I4. As the motor turns its bevel gear I2, meshing with bevel gear II of the drive shaft rotates thisdrive shaft, so that gear on this same shaft, in meshing with the gear teeth formed upon the collar 6| in turn 1 will rotate the klaXon ring 46 and master klaxon ring spoke 42. The operator will hold the klaxon ring I! at its raised position long enough until it is pointing to the station that was selected.
At this point, when the pointer bulb registers the selected radio station on the dial I4, the klaxon ring I! is released, and having been raised against the tension of spring 52, this spring -.now relaxes retracting the ring I! and opening the selector circuit, by separating switch contacts 96 and 91, thereby effecting the turning out of the light, the de-energizing of relay magnet 98 and stopping of rotation of the motor I4. When the contacts 96 and 9? are separated, and the relay magnet 98 is de-energized, the plunger I03 in the magnet I04 drops by reason of its own weight and the force of the spring I I 9. The pull rod II! will thus move downwardly rocking the arms H6 and the pivoted pawl II5 to rotate the rachet I20 and the gear H3. The rotation of the gear II3 is imparted to the gear I08 through gear III and this will effect the rotation of the rotor I09. Through the proper proportioning of the various parts the de-energizing of the relay magnet 98 achieves a rotation of the rotor I09 of more than so that the contact points I01 will engage the contacts I39 rather than the insulated portions of the rotor upon which they rested at the beginning of the cycle. Now electrical current is transferred through wire I41, contact points I01, rotor I09, and wire I48 to the master radio station selector ring brush 90. Then when the klaxon ring I1 is retracted, in the manner disclosed, this master brush 90 will make contact with the proper segment corresponding with the particular segment on ring 89 (Figure 9) in order to tune in the required particular radio station desired. In effecting this, the pointer bulb will-be pointing to the particular station selected. Current flows through wire I49 to the associated small magnet 3i so its plunger 21 will begin to pick up magnetically, causing its plunger 21 to be long enough to strike thewiper-clip 26 on pusher rod 20. Current is also carried by wire I 50, in series with the solenoid or magnet 3I, into the master magnet in case 3-3 and will" pick up: its solenoid plunger ill As this occurs, the plunger 34 will engage the lever arm bracket 38,. causing it to rock: the magnet case on pin M in brackets- 23", thereby causing: plunger 21 to' push clip 26 and: with: it pushrod 20 to: the left, as viewed in Figure 3, for selecting the proper radio station.
The operator may desire, to save time, to move: the pointer bulb' 3-9 over a small are relatively to the: annular dial I4 instead of along are,- and finds that this is accomplished by movingthe bulb in a direction counter to that which he previously has moved it. The operation of the radiov station selector control circuit is now as follows: There are two ways of doing this. In accordance with the first way, theloud speaker 54 will be pressed downwardly, compressing the balance spring, 92 and in doing so, contacts 84, seen in Figure 12, abut electrically being the reverse contacts, and now the circuit to the electric light 94 will again be closed and: the light then will burn, the relay 98: will pick. up, and the motor I4 will rotate. The closing of this switch will also energize the reverse magnet" 51, causing the reverse gear lever arm 80 to pick up or be elevated. This action disengage's bevel gear II and engages the reverse: bevel gear 15, causing a reverse rotation of the remaining mechanism, so that now the klaxon ring will rotate in a counter direction.
The other method of accomplishing counterrotation of the klaxon ring that tunes in a predetermined station is as follows: Referring to Figure 12, to' the radio station selector control circuit, it is readily seen that the. spring fingers I 01: contact the points of the rotor I09 for the. purpose of completing the circuit into the radio station selector ring 90b. In the radio selector control circuit. rotor I09 never stops on the contacts but passes electricity through the fingers I01 only during. the: time it is rolling over the 90' degree angle mentioned.
However, as shown in: Figure 13, for the purpose ofrotating the klaxon ring. in a reverse direction, without employing horn 54 and contacts' 84' the wiring has. been changed over what is shown in Figure 12 in: the particular that, besides assembling the rotor IUQ for making engagement with contacts I01, three contact fingers mm are also assembled in relation to this rotor I09; whatis left out in Figure 13 that ap-- pears in Figure 12 are contacts 84. The rotor IE9 is here arranged to stop its rotation so that twoof the three fingers I B'Ia are always in elec-- trical contact with rotor I09, now when the. relay 98 drops-and. rotates this rotor 90 degreesit will. alternate the flow. of electricity from finger I and finger 2,.to'finger I and finger 3. In other: words, the rotation ofthis rotor we, in diagram Figure 13 will close one circuit, one timeand the other circuit the other or next time.
The klaxon ring reversing circuit includes the following connectors shown in Figure 13.
When switch and crush 96 and 5!? contact current will fiow'from one side of battery I to these engaged switch points so, 1. Thence current flows directly to finger I of'the' series of fingers Iflla associated with rotor its by way of wire- I53. Current is. conducted by rotor H351 to finger 2 of the'series, whence current flows bywvire I'M to wires IN, IE8, and I59 for operation of the motor '54, relay 98, and light bulb 94 respectively. The battery being grounded,v the motor circuitis closed and klaxon ring turns in one direction, since the reverse magnet circuit-is open.
But rotor I09 will soon turn to a position where finger 2 will engage an insulated portion onits periphery while spring finger 3 will electrically contact the rotor. Now electricity passes from finger l to rotor I09 through finger 3 and by way of wire I55- through reverse magnet 51' to wire |32a which is in series therewith by wire llil to the motor, by wire I56 to relay 98, and by wire I59 to light bulb 94. The reverse magnet 51- will. be energized and will lift the arms and hence the shaft 63. The gear I2 on the motor T4 will be disengaged from the upper bevel gear TI and engaged with the bevel gear I5 for causing the reverse rotation of the shaft 63 and the gear'65.
From the foregoing it will be readily seen the present invention, when installed upon the steering gear of a self -propelled vehicle serves the dual purpose of safeguarding the car operator from promoting traffic hazards as he now does in reaching out from over the steering wheel to somepart of the dash to tune in a particular station, but also rendering easier and more convenient the operations involved just at the moment when he may have to turn the steering wheel to properly steer the vehicle. He does not have to remove his hands from the wheel at all at any time, in oper-- ation of the radio apparatus hereinset forth. His attention will never be distracted from proper and safe operation of the machine because of the radio hook-up. The loud speaker being nowlc cated in the center of the hub of the control wheel, it is brought closer to the occupants and located further away from the vehicles' noises and vibrations, thereby requiring less volume. By familiarizing himself with the color schedule employed on the station identification dial, itwill enable the operator to select desired radio stations by means of the code colors, thereby making it' unnecessary for him to read the dial.
At least the spokes of the control unit of this invention should be made of Lucite; so shouldbc' the station identification dial so it may be lighted in part or in whole, the mirrors reflecting the colored lights. The spacers 44 on the dial may be used to block out the station identification letter area or blocking off the lighting of the station identification means. The klaxon ring spokes are connected to the klaxon inner ring as shown in Figure 1. It includes the ring around said star which is-a pointer. The klaXoninner ring is made of Lucite. The light bulb will be installed inside of master spoke 42 as a booster light in the event that the light bulb 94 proved to be too weak to provide sufiicient light to illuminate dial I4 properly.
What I claim is:
1. A radiostation selector for automobile radio receivers comprising a plurality of station selection push rods slidably mounted in said vehicle, an electromagnetic operator for each of said'push rods, a steering column in said automobile, a fixed contact member on said steering column, a plurality of contacts on said fixed contact mem ber, circuit connectin means between said contacts and said electromagnetic operators for said push rods, a rotatable contact member about said steering column, a single contact on said rotatable member for engagement with aselected contact of said fixed contact member, an electric motor operator for said rotatable member, a switch connecting the circuit of said motor in' an independent electrical circuit, an annularsprlngpressed handle for said switch about said steering column, a rotatable switch member in the circuit of said push rod operators, an electric operator for said rotatable switch in said motor circuit, said rotatable switch operator opening said push rod circuit upon completion of said motor circuit by said motor circuit switch, and said electric operator for said rotatable switch closing the circuit of said push rod operators upon opening of said motor circuit, whereby a desired station is selected by closing said motor circuit by said annular switch handle, and the correspending station selecting push rod will be actuated upon release of said annular handle.
2. A radio station selector for automobile radio receivers comprisin a plurality of station selector push rods slidably mounted in said automobile, an electro-magnetic operator for each of said push rods, a steering column in said automobile, a fixed contact member on said steering column, a plurality of contacts on said fixed contact member, circuit connectin means between said contacts and said electro-magnetic operators, a rotatable contact member about said steering column, a single contact on said rotatable member for engagement with a selected contact on said fixed contact member, an electric motor operator for said rotatable member, a switch connecting the circuit of said motor in an independent electrical circuit, an operating member for said switch on said steering column, a rotatable switch member in the circuit of said push rod operators, an electrical operator for said rotatable switch in said motor circuit, said rotatable switch operator opening said push rod circuit upon completion of said motor circuit by said motor circuit switch, said electric rotatable switch closing the circuit of said push rod operators upon opening of said motor circuit, and electric means for reversing the rotation of said rotatable contact member relative to said fixed contact member.
3. A radio station selector for automobile radio receivers comprising a plurality of station selector push-rods slidably mounted in said automobile, an electro-magnetic operator for each of said push rods, a steering column in said automobile,
a fixed contact member on said column, a plurality of contacts on said fixed contact member, circuit connecting means between said contacts and said electro-magnetic operators, a rotatable contact member on said column, a single contact on said rotatable member adapted to engage a selected contact on said fixed contact member, an electric motor operator for rotating said rotatable member, a switch connecting said motor in an independent electrical circuit, a spring pressed operating member for said switch on said column, a second switch in the circuit of said electro-magnetic push-rod operators, an electrically excited operator for said second switch connected in said motor circuit, said last named operator being adapted to open said second switch when said first named switch is closed and to close said second switch when said first named switch is open whereby a desired station is selected by closing said first named switch to energize said motor for rotating said rotatable contact, and the corresponding station selecting push rod is actuated upon opening of said first named switch by release of said spring pressed operating member.
4. A radio station selector as set forth in claim 3, including means for reversing the rotation of said rotatable contact member relative to said fixed contact member.
LAWRENCE J. P. GILBERT.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,972,471 Bohner Sept. 4, 1934 2,206,512 Reinholz et al July 2, 1940 2,296,755 Woods Sept. 22, 1942 2,315,191 Elliot Mar. 30, 1943 2,346,623 Stewart et a1 Apr. 11, 1944