US 2606218 A
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A 1952 e. E. WICKMAN 8 ELECTRICAL APPARATUS Filed Oct. 12, 1950 Inventor:
George i k 'an y is At orn Patented Aug. 5, 1952 ELECTRICAL APPARATUS George E. Wickman, Westport, Conn., assignor to New York General Electric Company, .a corporation of Application October 12, 1950, Serial No. 189,796
3 Claims. (01. Ill-97) This invention relates to electrical apparatus for housing electrical devices having high and low voltage terminals and for making connections thereto. More particularly, the invention relates to an assembly adapted for the housing and electrical connection of a transformer and an electrically operated switch or relay adapted for use in a remote control lighting and power system.
In home or farm installations having garages, barns-or other out-buildings somewhat displaced from the house, it would be convenient to be able to control a light that will illuminate the yard or the space between the buildings. For example, when'a car is driven into the garage, it is desirable to be able :to throw ,a switch to turn on a light that will illuminate the path tothe house, and then, when the person gets back into his house, to be able. to turn ofi the light from that position. Itis realized that common three-way switches are available to serve this purpose-to allow a light to be turned on and off from either of twopositions-but with this type Wiring, it is necessary to carry switch leads insulated for high voltage to the various installations wherein the switch leads are madeof heavy conductor, usually armoured cable.
A much simpler lamp control unit is available which requires extending power cable only directly to the lamp with remotely controllable switching meansat the lamp and then using low voltage control wires to connect switches at any one of a number of locations, thus permitting the lamp to be turned on or off from any one of these stations.
The NationalElectrical Code of the National Board of Fire Underwriters .permits, under certain conditions-,the use of a relay switch device wherein the high voltage power leads have a switch that is controlled by a low voltage control circuit. Thus-for example, the Code permits the controlling of a ll5-volt lamp or motor by a 24.- volt control circuitproviding the 24-volt control wire in boxes, raceways, and the-like, is separated by a barrier fromthe l15-volt power leads.
It is an object of this invention to provide an improved control unit that facilitates the installation of a remotecontrol .systemproviding for the turning on and off of an electric device from any one of a number of locations.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a new and improved control unit for outdoor lighting that is simple in construction, weatherproof, and that fulfills the requirements of the Code.
It is a stillfurther objectof this invention to provide a new and improved control unit that is simple and cheap in construction and which is complete within itself except .for the wiring and low voltage control switches.
Further objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent and the invention will become more clearly understood from the following description referring to the accompanying drawing, and the features of novelty which characterize this invention will be pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this specification.
Briefly, this invention provides a control unit comprising a container having a transformer and a solenoid operated switch or relay therein. The solenoid switch is'powered by a low voltage from the transformer and may be energized by any one of a. plurality of low voltage switches that are included in the control circuit. The low voltage switches may be positioned at any convenient stations and are operable to control the solenoid switch and, thus, regulate the power supply to a li ht or the like which is to be energized. The container provides the required barriers to separate high voltage and low voltage circuits.
While the following description relates primarily to electric lights which are to be controlled from distant points, it is to be realized that such an installation has merely been selected as an example to more clearly depict the operating theory and scheme of this invention, and that the latter is not limited to such use but can likewise be applied to other installations, such as blower motors, hen house lighting control, or
, other such type installations, which could be opelevation taken along plane 2-2 of Fig. 2 in the direction of the arrows; while Fig. 4 is a side elevation taken along plane '3-3 of Fig. 2 in the direction of the arrows.
Referring to the drawing, a control unit I is shown positioned on a'pole 2 and is connected by power leads 3 to a power source 4. A lamp 5 is suspended from the control unit I, while control lead 6 activatesthe control unit to control power from the power supply 4 to the lamp 5.
The control unit I, as shown more specifically in Figs. 2, 3, and 4., comprises a casing I of some material that will withstand weather. For example, a cast aluminum container has been used in a preferred embodiment. A solenoid operated switch or relay 8 and a transformer 9 are shown mounted on a plate l within the casing 1. Plate Ill, in turn, is positioned to divide casing 1 into a high voltage compartment la and a low or con-- trol voltage compartment lb. Plate l0 rests on a shoulder l around the inner periphery of casing I and the plate is held in place by a pair of leaf springs l2 which are supported by rivet l3 on the casing 7. When plate It] is pushed down into the casing l, the leaf springs l2 are forced in close engagement with the walls of casing and then, after the plate I!) has come in contact with shoulder H, the leaf springs |2 spring out, due to their resiliency, to position positively the plate It in contact with shoulder This will prevent the plate from falling out, if the control unit I is turned upside down. Rivets l3, in turn, provide nipples for the engagement of indents M in a cover I5 which encloses the casing 1. Casing is further provided with a pair of ears l6, each of which contains a keyhole slot for the mounting of the control unit.
Casing l is further provided with a tubular passageway l8 which serves to separate the control voltage leads from the high voltage compartment 1a. A drain I 9 is provided to release moisture from the casing and a conductor bushing 29 is added to bring power leads into the casing As shown specifically in Fig. 4, a pair of power leads 2| and 22 are shown passing through the conductor bushing 20 into the casing 1. Lead 2| is connected to a primary connection or terminal lead 23 of the transformer, while lead 22 is connected to second primary connection or terminal lead 24 of the transformer. Leads 23 and 2|, in turn, are connected through a lead 25 to the relay 8, while a lead 26 from the relay is connected (as is lead 21 continuing from leads 22 and 24) to the lamp bulb '5, shown in Fig. 1. With this wiring, the transformer 9 is across the power supply 2|, 22, while the switching contacts of relay 8 are in series with one leg 2| of the power supply.
Two leads 28 and 29 are connected to the control or secondary connections or terminals of transformer 9. The lead 29 is connected to the center tap of a plurality of momentary contact switches (not shown) which, when activated to either of two positions, close lead 29 either across lead 30 or lead 3| to complete a circuit back to relay 8. Leads 30 and 3| are connected to lead 28, one through either of two coils (not shown) which are within relay 8. While relay 8 is more particularly described in copending U. S. patent application, Serial No. 39,956, filed July 21, 1948, assigned to the same assignee as that of the present invention, it is sufficient to note that there are two coils (not shown) in the relay 8, one to break and one to make contact in the circuit between leads 25 and 26. With this premise, if control current passes from lead 29 to lead 3|, and through the coil connected between lead 3| and lead 28, that being the closing coil, the relay 8 would operate to make contact across leads 25 and 26 in the primary circuit of the unit. On the other hand, if control current passed from conductor 29 to lead 39 and then into lead 28, it would pass through a second coil in relay 8 to open the circuit and, thus, break contact between lead 25 and lead 26 in the primary circuit. The conductors 29, 30, and 3|, since they are all in the secondary circuit of the transformer, may be so insulated as to carry a control voltage which, in a preferred embodiment, would be then only two control points may be used.
A still further feature of this invention is that a bushing 32, which may be integral with the casing 1, having a threaded bore communicating with the high voltage compartment la, is positioned in a face of the casing 1 to provide for the mounting of any of the usual lamp holders, such as that shown in Fig. 1.
Consequently, the structure thus described makes feasible an installation of a light in a driveway, with the light being controllable from the garage, from the house, or from any other location where it is desired to locate a control switch. This unit makes for a simplified installation and is a complete unit within itself. Consequently, outdoor lighting control can be used that is weatherproof and safe and will meet National Electrical Code specifications.
Modifications of this invention will occur to those skilled in the art and it is desired to be understood, therefore, that this invention is not to be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed, but that the appended claims are meant to cover all the modifications which are within the spirit nd scope of this invention.
What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent in the United States is:
l. A control unit for energizing an electrical device comprising a casing, a removable top for covering said casing, a removable plate for dividing said easing into a high voltage compartment and a control voltage compartment, a solenoid operated switch and a transformer each having high voltage and control voltage terminals with said high voltage terminals positioned in said high voltage compartment and said control voltage terminals positioned in said control voltage compartment, means for conducting power leads into said casing to be connected to said transformer high voltage terminals, extension leads for conducting power from said transformer high voltage terminals adapted to be connected through said solenoid operated switch to an electric device to be energized, means for conducting control voltage leads into said control voltage compartment to be energized by said transformer to effect operation of said solenoid switch to open or close the circuit through said extension leads, and means for conducting said extension leads out of said casing to said electric device whereby said device is actuated by said control circuit to be energized when said solenoid switch is energized and to be de-energized when said solenoid switch is de energized.
2. Electrical apparatus comprising a casing open at one end, a cover for said casing, a plate for dividing said casing into a high voltage compartment and a control voltage compartment, said plate being removable through the open end of said casing, a solenoid operated switch and a transformer, each having high voltage and control voltage terminals, means mounting said switch and said transformer on said plate with portions of eachextending through apertures in said plate such that said high voltage terminals are positioned in said high voltage compartment and said control voltage terminals are positioned in said control voltage compartment, at least one passageway extending through a wall of said casing and positioned in said high voltage compartment for the passage of high voltage conductors between said high voltage compartment and the exterior of said casing and a passageway between said low voltage compartment and the exterior of said casing, said passageway extending through said high voltage compartment but being entirely closed therefrom.
3. Electrical apparatus comprising a casing open at its upper end, a removable covering for said casing, inwardly extending shoulders on the walls of said casing, a plate for dividing said casing into upper and lower compartments, one of said compartments being a high voltage compartment and the other being a control voltage compartment, said plate being shaped to fit against the walls of the casing and to rest upon said shoulders, means removably retaining the plate on said shoulders, said plate having at least one aperture therein adapted to receive at least one electrical device having both high voltage and control voltage terminals with said high voltage terminals extending into said high volt- GEORGE E. WICKMAN.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
Pushbutton Wiring for Postwar Homes, pages 90, 91, May 11, 1946, Electrical World, published by McGraw-Hill.
Low Voltage Control, square D Company pamphlet, August, 1948.
Remote Control Wiring System, pamphlet #16-299, published by General Electric Company.