US 2531350 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
J. CHRASTINA 2,531,350
RECEPTACLE FOR A SWITCH Nov. 21, 1950 Filed June 27, 1947 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 JOHN CHRASTINA INVENTOR.
Nov. 21, 1950 J. CHRASTINA RECEPTACLE FOR A SWITCH 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed June 2'7, 1947 R. 11 P Wm H 1 n M mm F H 4 c 90 N 3 3 M 3 6 J Nov. 21, 1950 J. CHRASTINA 2,531,350
RECEPTACLE FOR A SWITCH Filed June 27, 1947 :s Sheets-Sheet s JOHN CHRAST/NA INVENTOR.
BECEPTACLE FOR A SWITCH John Chrastina, Decatur, 111., assignor of twentyfour and one-half per cent to William Diefenthaler and twenty-four and one-half per cent to Clifford C. Poarch, both of Decatur, Ill.
Application June 27, 1947, Serial No. 757,585
This invention relates to electric switches and has to do with a provision for removing and replacing a unitary switch assembly without necessarily handling or disconnecting and reconnecting any of the line or circuit wiring.
It is well known that, in many instances, in making switch repairs and replacements, the ends of attached line or circuit wires are carelessly and even unavoidably broken off adjacent the switch assembly, thus adding to the inconvenience and cost as well as the time consumed in making a switch change or repair. Moreover, it has been dangerous, and special skill was required in making a switch repair or change heretofore without first shutting oif the electric current. Therefore, the present invention has for one of its objects to produce a receptacle or socket element which, in practice, is provided for efiectively permanent installation and it only is accordingly connected directly to the line or circuit wires, and, as such, is arranged and adapted to receive and house, detachably, a removable and replaceable, unitary switch assembly whose working form and arrangement in itself may be substantially identical with any of the present day standard types of switches, except that, instead of the unitary switch assembly being directly connected to the line or circuit wires as in the practice heretofore, only the permanently installed receptacle or socket element is so connected and the latter is provided with terminal contacts which are electrically engaged by contacts carried by the inserted and applied detachable switch assembly.
Another object of the invention is to simplify and make practical a detachable unitary switch assembly which answers all fire hazard regulations and is safely handled by a person not especially skilled as an operative for such work, even an ordinary housewife, if a switch change becomes necessary, the provision being such that the change can be made without first shutting off the electric current.
Other objects and advantages to be attained will hereinafter more fully appear in the following description.
Practical structural modifications illustrative of the present invention are shown in the accompanying drawings, in which:
Figure 1 is a top plan view of one form of receptacle element;
Figure 2 is a perspective view of a terminal contact element detached;
Figure 3 is an end view of the receptacle element;
Figure 4 is a longitudinal section on the line 4-4 of Figure 1;
Figure 5 is a cross section on the line 5-5 of Figure 1;
Figure 6' is a perspective view illustrating a form of detachable unitary switch assembly as just about to be inserted in the receptacle element of Figures 1, 3, 4 and 5 or as having just been removed therefrom;
Figure 7 is a longitudinal section illustrating the receptacle element with the unitary switch assembly inserted therein, and the parts as installed in an ordinary outlet box in use;
Figure 8 is a top plan view of another form of receptacle element;
Figure 9 is a longitudinal section on the line 9-9 of Figure 8;
Figure 10 is a perspective view of a modified form of terminal contact used in the receptacle element of Figure 8;
Figure 11 is a view of another modification of terminal contact used in the receptacle element of Figure 8;
Figure 12 is a view of one end of the receptacle element shown in Figure 8;
Figure 13 is a view of the opposite end of the receptacle element of Fig. 8;
Figure 14 is a view illustrating a modified form of unitary switch assembly as about to be insorted in or having just been removed from the receptacle element shown in Figures 8, 9, 12 and 13;
Figure 15 is a longitudinal section of the re: ceptacle element of Figure 8, With the unitary switch assembly in place therein, taken on the line l5l5 of Fig. 8.
Figure 16 is a top plan view of still another form of receptacle element;
Figure 17 is a side elevation of the receptacle element shown in Figure 16 Figure 18 is an end view of the receptacle element of Figure 16;
Figure 19 is a detail view of a terminal contact as used in the receptacle element of Figure 16;
Figure 20 is a top plan view of a modified unitary switch assembly used in the receptacle element of Figure 16;
Figure 21 is a detail view of a contact member used in the unitary switch assembly of Figure Figure 22 is a longitudinal section showing parts of the modified switch assembly of Figure Figure 24 is an end view of the said modified switch assembly; and
Figure 25 is a view illustrating the last named switch assembly as about to be placed in or having just been removed from its receptacle element. Before referring to the drawings in detail, it is first noted that the showing in Figures 1 through '7 is illustrative of an adaptation of the present invention for a type of one-way switch generally known as the Bryant switch, while the showing in Figures 8 through is for a three-way switch known as the Leviton type, and, in Figures 16 through 25, it is illustrated as particularly adapted for use in connection with a type of General Electric mercury switch.
Referring now to Figures 1 through 7, the numeral 2B designates a receptacle or socket type housing to receive a removable unitary switch assembly designated generally by the numeral 21. Sufiice it to say that the switch assembly is of any known and approved one-way construction and arrangement internally and, therefore, is not shown in full detail. The interior working parts are contained within a generally rectangular housing or body shell from which projects externally an operating lever 28.
The switch housing or body shell 21 is received in the receptacle element 26, which, as shown in Figures 1 and 4, is hollowed out or chambered rectangularly, as at 29, and is opentopped. Both the receptacle element 26 and the switch body housing or shell 21 are made of some suitable non-electric material of requisite tensile strength and durability, preferably a plastic.
The receptacle element 26 is provided at its opposite ends with ears or sup orting extensions 30 by which it can be supportedly attached to the adjacent inturned upper end portions 3| a of a conventional outlet box 3|, such as that usually providedin an electric wiring installation in a floor, wall partition or other desired place in a building structure. As shown (se Figures 1 and 6 for clarity) these ears or supporting extensions 30 have ofiset flat ton ue-like stem portions which are set in rectang lar recessed face portions of the end walls of the receptacle element 26 and fastened in place by screws 32. The ,outerend port ons of these ears or extensions 38 are slotted transversely, as at '33, for adjusting thefposition of the receptacle element when the latter is secured to the end portions 3 l of the outlet box 3l by screws 34 which are passedthrough said slots 33 and tightened in screwe-threaded openings provided ther for in said inturned end portions of the outlet box 3| (see Fi ure '7) A regular finishing co er-plate 35 is a tached to the outl t box 3: in the usualway. after the receptac e eleme t 26 and removable switch assembly 21 are placed in the outl t box, the plate 35 being de'tachably secured by screws 36 wh ch are each inserted through an aperture provided therefor in the plate and an aline'd aperture 3'! in the respective stem port ons of the ears or extensions 33 of the receptacle elemen't'Z'S and a registered screw-threaded op ning 38 in the adjacent end wall portion of said receptacle element.
To remove an installed switch assembly it is only necessary to first remove the cover-plate 35 and then withdraw the inserted switch assembly 12? from the receptacle element 26, and this without the use of any special tools or necessitating any direct disconnection of line or circuit wires. That is to say, the receptacle element 26 is provided with terminal contact members 39 exposed on the inside of the receptacle hollow or chamber 23 so as to be engaged slidably or in movable contact by terminal contact members 40 on the switch assembly 2?, these contacts 35 and 40 being of any approved form and arrangement. Suffice it to say that the interior mechanism (not shown) of the switch assembly 27 makes and breaks connection with a pair of the opposed members 40 by reversible rocking movements of the operating lever 28 of the assembly in a conventional manner. However, detai's of the terminal contact members 39 that are a part of the receptacle element 26 are shown in the drawing.
The detail form of one of the contact members 39 is shown in Figure 2 of the drawings. The intermediate body portion of each member 39 is secured firmly in the material of the receptacle element 26 in any suitable manner, usually by placing it when said element 28 is molded as made of a plastic. One right angular end portion 41 of the member .39 is exposed and free as spring tongue near the adjacent side wall of the receptacle element 26 so as to engage the contact member All of the switch assembly 21. The opposite end portion of the member 39 is formed as an car .42 and located externally of the end wall of the receptacle member 26 for the attachment of a line or circuit wire 43 as indicated in Figure 7. Inasmuch as the receptacle element -26 is a permanent installation and only the switch assembly 2'! is removed for repairs or replacement, the wiring 43 obviously does not have to be disconnected when the switch change is made.
As to the modification of the invention shown in Figures 8 through 15 of the drawings, it is noted that the set-up here is very similar to that shown in Figures 1 through 7 except that, in the former showing, the provision is for a one-way type of switch, while in the latter showing the provision is for a three-way switch. Hence, the illustrations of the receptacle element 28 and the switch assembly 21 are substantially identical in both adaptations of the invention, that is, as to the general mounting provisions of the receptacle element 25 and the form of the body housing or shell of the switch assembly 2-! and its operating lever 28, the only material difference being in the specific form and location of the respective contact members of the receptacle element and the switch assembly.
There is a special f 0rm of contact member 14 (see Figure 1-0) and two other members 45 of a different form (see Figure 11) which are provided on the receptacle element 26, one of the two members 45 at each end of the receptacle element 2'6 and the contact member 44 at one end of the receptacle element adjacent the member 45 thereat.
As shown more clearly in Figure 10, the contact member M has an elongated intermediate body portion '46 with a free angular contact portion proper 41 at one end, and a wire attaching ear 8 at its opposite end. The two other contact members 45, shown in detail in Figure 11, each has a short intermediate portion with an car 48 at one end for attachment of a line or circuit wire thereto and a spring contact tongue portion proper 4-9 at its opposite end. The adjacent pair of contact members 44 and 45 at one end of the receptacle element chamber 29 is arranged and adapted to be contacted respectively by contact members 59 and 5| provided on the adjacent .end of the switch assembly housing or shell 21 when the latter is placed in the receptacle element- 26,
Obviously, a contact member (not shown) on the switch assembly 21 is brought into contact with the sole contact member 45 provided at the opposite end of the receptacle element 26.
In both of "the foregoing described modifications of the invention, the removable switch assemblies 21, except for their contact members 40, 50 and 5|, as the case may be, are of substantially the same general construction, arrangement and operation as the usual standard types of switches, except, also, instead of the switch assembly havingthe usual ears or extensions at its ends for supporting attachment directly to an outlet box and also having the line or circuit wiring connected directly thereto, the said end ears or extensions are eliminated from the ordinary switch assembly and no direct wire attaching provision is made. In other words, the removable switch assembly of the present invention is simply insorted into the receptacle element and the effective wire connection is attained indirectly by the sliding contact between the respective contact members provided on the receptacle element and the switch assembly.
In the modified adaptation of the invention as illustrated in Figures 16 through 25 of the draw ings, which is designed more particularly for a type of mercury switch, the receptacle element 26 is similar to that of the two previously described modifications but somewhat different in details. So, too, the switch assembly 21 is somewhat difierent in details in this modification to be now described.
In the present modification, the switch assembly housing or shell 2'! is of the same generally rectangular form externally and it has substantially the same operating lever 28 but its interior mechanism and working parts (not shown, because of standard character and not in itself a part of the present invention) is for a mercury type of switch, for example, a known General Electric type, whereas the two hereinbefore described switches have mechanical interior operating parts alone.
This particular modified form of switch assembly has an interior provision of a pair of opposed contact members 52 (for details see Figures 20, 21 and 22). These members 52 (see Figures 21 and 22) are each of a substantially Z-shape, that is, with a transverse intermediate body portion from the ends of which extend right-angular, oppositely directed, longitudinal portions 53, 55, the ends 53 projecting outwardly from the ends of the switch assembly body housing or shell 2'5 and the ends 54 inwardly of the switch assembly, and said inner ends 54 of the members 52 overlapping transversely at the middle of the assembly 21, each of the members 52 being located adjacent an opposite longitudinal side wall of the assembly housing or shell and closely contiguous to the inner face of each side wall (see Figure 20).
In use of the switch, electrical connection between the inner ends 54 of said contact members 52 is made and broken at will of an operator by operation of the internal working provision of the switch assembly and as actuated b rocking the operating lever 28 in either direction needed.
The outer ends of the longitudinal extensions 53 of said contact members 52 protrude from the adjacent opposite ends of the switch assembly housing or shell 21' (see Figures 20, 22 and 25) and when the switch assembly is inserted ready 6. for use in the receptacle element 25 said preetruding end portions 53 are received in cut-out or slotted portions 55 of the end wallsiof said receptacle element and into sliding contact with special contact members 56 which has spring or other suitable contact extensions 51 at their free ends and are projected into said end wall cut-out or slotted portions 55 of the receptacle element 26. These contact members 55 are fastened suitably to the receptacle element 26 and each has an ear portion 58 located-outside the receptacle element for attachment to the line or Circuit wiring in the installation. 1
In other respects theprovisions and arrangement of the receptacle element of this last described modification are substantially the same as those in the hereinbefore described two modifications except possibly the supporting end extensions 30 which have shorter stem portions 59 that are each fastened to the end walls of the receptacle element by a single screw 60 and no particular provision being made and shown for attaching the finishing cover-plate 35 in place as shown in Figure 7. However, as to the provision of a finishing cover-plate 35, it is here noted that the same may be applied and fastened in place in any conventional and approved manner (not shown) either directl to the outlet box 3| or to the receptacle element 25 substantially as shown in Figure 7, as may be desired or preferred.
From the foregoing disclosures it is apparent that a unitary switch assembly is produced which, in itself, may be made in different standard types and internal working parts and the same can be readily applied to, removed from and. replaced whenever necessary or desired, without the use of special tools, by a person not especially skilled in such procedure, and safely without first cutting off the supply of electrical current and also without the necessity for disconnecting any of line or circuit wiring. At the same time the provisions of the present invention meet with the generally prescribed rules and regulations against the usual hazards in making original switch installations and in making repairs and replacements in the same.
Having thus described the invention and without intention of unduly limiting the same, what is claimed is:
1. In an electric apparatus, the combination of an outlet box adapted to be mounted in a wall or panel and having openings therein through which electrical power leads enter, a dielectric receptacle mounted in said outlet box, a unitary switch element carried in said receptacle and a cover plate for the several elements, means for mounting said receptacle on the face of the outlet box and the electric power leads on the outside of receptacle, electrical conducting means entering from the outside of the receptacle into the interior thereof, and a switch unit insertable through the face of the outlet box and into the receptacle mounted thereon, said switch element having outside dimensions of the inside dimensions of the receptacle and electrical contact means which slidably engage the electrical contact means on the inside of the receptacle and a cover plate having an aperture therein through which projects the switch operating element, and means for securing the cover plate to the outlet box and thereby retaining the switch element within into the receptacle.
2. In an electric apparatus the combination of an outlet box adapted to be mounted on a wall or panel and having openings therein through the receptacle and over the unitary switch 'elc which electric power leads enter. an open face ment.
receptacle mounted in said outlet box, a unitary JOHN CHRASTINA. switch element carried in said receptacle, electrical contacts extending through the wall of the 5 REFERENCES CITED receptacle into the interior thereof, and contacts The fonowing referen e are of record in the on the outer wall of the unitary switch element file of thi patent; which engages the contact on the interior wall NIT of the receptacle when said switch is inserted U ED STATES PATENTS within the receptacle, and a cover plate having 10 Number N Date an opening therein through which projects the 1,933,309 W ams Dec. 5, 1933 switch operator, said cover plate extending over 1,980,509 Tu k Nov. 13, 1934 the open face of the outlet box and the face of 2,397,683 O inski Apr. 2, 1946