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Publication numberUS2606626 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 12, 1952
Filing dateMay 15, 1951
Publication numberUS 2606626 A, US 2606626A, US-A-2606626, US2606626 A, US2606626A
InventorsJerome C. Meyer
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic control device for the
US 2606626 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 12, 1952 .1. c. MEYER 2,606,626

AUTOMATIC CONTROL DEVICE FOR THE ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS OF MOTOR VEHICLES Filed May 15, 1951 22 VOLTAGE A? r REGULATOR 6669 F20 5 TO IGNITION, usm's,

ACCESSORIlS, ETC.

VOLTAGE I REGULATOR Jrome C/lleyer,

ATTORN EY Patented Aug. 12, 1952 "UNITE STATES PATENT OFFICE AUTOMATIC CONTROL DEVICE FOR THE ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS OF MOTOR VE- HICLES Jerome C. Meyer, Bladensburg, Md.

Application May 15, 1951, Serial No. 226,410

(Cl. ISO-82) 5 Claims.

The invention relates toautomatic control devices for the electrical systems, of automotive vehicles, and has for its principal object the provision of a-relatively simple and inexpensive apparatus for controlling certain of the electrical circuits with which such vehicles are commonly provided, whereby in case the operator leaves the vehicle without cutting off the engine, lights and/or current-consuming accessories, the circuits thereof will be automatically broken after a short predetermined interval and damage to the battery, engine and/r accessories avoided.

The apparatus also includes means whereby it will be caused to instantly break the said ve-' hicle circuits in the event of upset of the vehicle, thus reducing the danger of fire resulting from the ignition of spilled fuel by electrical sparks; and in one of its forms, upset of the vehicle will render the apparatus and the circuits it controls wholly inoperative until an intentional manual act has been performed in connection with it, whereby should the vehicle be righted after an upset, or right itself, it can not be driven until such manual act has been executed.

To the above ends, the invention resides in the novel combinations and arrangements of electrical switches, relays and circuits more fully hereinafter described and particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

In the accompanying drawing forming a part of this specification, in which like reference characters designate like parts throughout the views:

Figure 1 is a diagrammatic view showing the relays, switches and connections constituting one form of the invention, as incorporated into a typical electrical system of a present day automobile for the above indicated control thereof; and

Fig. 2 is a similar view illustrating another form of the apparatus.

Referring more especially to Fig. 1 of said drawing, 5 designates the operators seat, 6 the storage battery, 1 the electric generator, and 8 the voltage regulator and cut-out for said generator, with which substantially all motor vehicles of the gasoline engine propelled type-are now provided. One terminal of the battery 6 is grounded by a conductor 9 while the other terminal is connected by a lead [0 to one terminal Ila of an ammeter II, from the other terminal I lb of which extends a lead l2 adapted to supply current to the ignition system, lights, horn and other electrical accessories of the vehicle. A wire l3 connects the ammeter terminal llb with the generator cut-out terminal 14 of the voltage regulator 8, while the terminal l5 of such regulator is connected by a wire I6 to one of the brushes of the generator I, the other brush of which is grounded as at IT. The field coil 18 of the generator is connected to the first mentioned brush by a wire I9, and to the terminal 20 of the voltage regulator by a wire 2 l. The field coil circuits within this regulator are grounded in the conventional manner, as indicated at 22; and as all of the apparatus thus far referred to is well known and in itself forms no part of the invention, it need not be described in greater detail.

In the form shown in Fig. 1, the apparatus constituting the present invention comprises a three-pole electromagnetically operated relay 25, a retarded action switch or relay 25 (here shown for illustrative purposes as of the thermostatic type) and a mercury or equivalent position-operable switch 21, all of which elements preferably are assembled and housed as a unit for ready mounting on the dashboard or the like of the vehicle. In addition thereto, there is a singlepole two-position switch 28 adapted to be associated with the vehicle seat 5 for actuation thereby to alternatively make circuit through its contacts 29 and 30 in response to the presence and absence of the operator in driving position on the seat; also, a three-pole manuallyoperable switch 3|, and a pilot or indicating lamp 32, which two latter elements preferably are mounted on the instrument panel of the vehicle.

The relay 25 comprises an electromagnet 33 and three armatures 34, 35 and 36 operable thereby in the usual and well known manner. For convenience and clarity in illustration the armature 34 has been shown at one end of the magnet coil- 33 and the armatures 35 and 36 at the other end thereof, although in practice all of the armatures are or may be located at one end. The armature 34 is connected to the lead [2 from the ammeter, and is adapted to make and break circuit with a contact 3'! from which extends a wire In leading to the ignition system, lights, horn, etc. The armature 34 and its contact thus are disposed so as to control the supply of current to the ignition and accessories regardless of whether such current is being furnished by the battery 6 through lead ID, or by the generator I through the wire [6, voltage regulator 8 and wire l3.

Current is supplied to the coil 33 of relay 25 by a circuit comprising a wire 43 connected to the battery lead I0, mercury switch 21, wire 4!. blade 42 and contact 30 of the seat-controlled switch 28, and Wire 43. The other side of the relay coil is grounded, as indicated at 44; and the mercury switch 21 is so positioned that the circuit therethrough will be closed when the vehicle is in its normal upright position, and broken in case of an upset.

From what has been thus far described, it will be readily understood that when the operator is occupying the seat 5, whereby the switch blade 42. 0f the seat switch 28 is engaged with the con-,

tact 39, current from battery 5 will flow along lead it, wire 45,, through mercury switch 2'5, along wire 4!, switch blade 42, contact 35 and wire 43 to the magnet coil 33, thus energizing the relay 25 and causing its armature 34 to engage contact 3?, which permits current to flow from lead H3 through ammeter H and along wires |2 and |2a to the ignition system, lights, horn, etc. for the functioning of such elements in the usual manner. When the vehicle engine has been started and attains a speed sufficient to cause the generatorcut-out of the voltage regulator 8 to close, whereby the generator takes over the load, generator current will flow from said cut-out along wire l3, through amrleter H and along lead It) to wire 43, and thus so long as the operator remains on the seat 5 the vehicle motor, lights and accessories may be operated in the normal manner, irrespective of whether the current therefor is being supplied by the battery or by the generator. However, should the operator leave his position on the seat 5, the switch blade 42 will break circuit with the contact 30 thereby opening the main energizing circuit of the relay coil 33 and causing the armature 34 to open the hot lead circuit at the contact 31. Thus, park ing or leaving the vehicle unattended with the engine running, lights on, and/ or radio, heater or other accessories operating, will be prevented and likelihood of damage to thebattery' and/or engine from such cause substantially-eliminated;

Should an upset occur while the operator is occupying the seat-5 and the coil circuit of the relay 25 is energized, the chances are that the seat switch 28 will be opened, but in any event the upset will cause the mercury switch 21 to break such circuit whereby the relay armature 34 will open its circuit, thereby cutting off the engine ignition, lights, etc. and minimizing the danger of fire from the igniting of spilled gasolene. 1

In the operation of most motor vehicles it is desirable that the operator be able to leave the seat 5 for short periods of time without breaking the circuits controlled by the relay 25. To provide for such contingency, additional circuits including the relay armatures 35 and 36, and the thermostatic or equivalent retarded action relay or switch 26, are employed to produce a time lag in de-energization of the coil 33 of relay 25 and opening of the circuit of its armature'34 when the seat switch 28 is opened as a result of the operator leaving the seat. 7

To this end, the contact 45 associated with the armature 35 of the relay is joined at 45 to the wire 43 which supplies current to the relay coil 33, and the said armature is connected by a wire 4'! to the thermally operable element 48 of the relay or switch 28, which element at normal temperatures is in engagement with a contact 49 that is connected by a wire 58 to the wire 4|. The armature 35 of relay 25 is grounded as at 44, and the contact 5| associated with such armature is connected by awire 52 to one end of the resistance or heater element 53 of the thermostatic switch 25. The other end of such element is joined by a wire '54 to a contact 55 of the three-pole manually operable switch 3|, which contact is engageable by a blade 56 of such switch that in turn is connected by a wire 5! to the contact 29 of the seat-operable switch 28.

With the relays 25 and 26 arranged and connected as just described, they function as follows: When the operator assumes his position on the seat 5, thereby causing switch arm 42 to engage contact 30 and energize relay 25 as above set forth, the armatures 35 and 36 of such relay will close circuit with their respective contacts 45 and 5|. Closing of the circuit through armature 35 and contact 45 completes a shunt circuit around the seat switch 28, for current may now flow from wire 4| along wire 53, contact 49, thermostatic switch, element 48, wire 41, armature 35 and contact 45 to wire 43 and coil 33. It follows that when this shunt circuit has been thusestablished, the main energizing circuit of the coil 33 may be broken at the seat switch 28 (through the operator leaving the seat) without tie-energizing the relay 25, for its coil will be fed through the shunt.

However, engagement of the relay armature 36 with its contact 5| has grounded the wire 52 leading from one side of the heating element 53 of thermostatic switch 25, although no current will flow to such heating element so long as vehicle seat 5 is occupied since the heater circuit is open at contact 29 of the seat switch. 'But when the operator leaves theseat, whereby switch arm 42 moves from contact 30 to contact 29, current will flow through said switch arm and contact 29, wire 51, blade 56 of manual switch3l, contact 55 thereof, and wire 54' totheheating element 53. After a predetermined S interval, heat from element 53 causes the thermally re sponsive element 48 of switch 25 to open the shunt circuit of relay coil 33 at contact 49, and as the main energizing circuit of said coil has already been broken at the seat switch 23, the relay 25 will be de-energized and its several armature circuits opened. Breaking of the heater circuit at contact 5| of relay 25 causes the heater element 53 to cool down, permitting'the thermally responsive member 48 associated with such element to re-engage contact 49 of the shunt circuit, but this circuit is now broken at contact 45 of relay 25 and thus the device can only be reactivated through depression of the seat switch 28 to re-engage its arm 42 with contact 30. 1

It will thus be apparent that the operator may leave the seat 5 for relatively short periodswithout tie-activation of the ignition, lighting and accessor'y circuits of the vehicle, but that if he remains away for a time longer than it takes for the thermostatic switch 26 to function,said circuits will be automatically broken and damage to the mechanical and/ or electrical apparatus of the vehicle avoided.

The manual switch 3| is provided primarily to permit of the relay 25 being energized regardless of occupancy of the seat 5, so that the vehicle engine and/or accessories may be operated for inspection, testing, repair and the like. The blades 58 and 59 of this switch are supplied with current from the wire 4| by means of a wire 50, and are adapted to engage with contacts 6| and 62 respectively, the latter of which is connected to wire 43 by a wire 63. Wire 50, switch blade 59, contact 62 and wire 63 provide a manually controlled shunt about seat switch 28, whereby the relay 25 may be energized and deenergized independently of said seat switch. Contact 5| of the manual switch 3| is joined to thepilot or indicating lamp 32 by a wire 64, the other side of said lamp being grounded as at 55.

When the manual switch 3| is moved to cause its blades 58 and 53 to close their circuitsythe relay 25 will be energized (even though the seat switch 28 be open) by current flowing from wire 4| along wire 65, switch blade '59, contact 62, wire 63 and wire 43 to the relay coil 33, and thus the hot lead circuit |2, |2a will be closed by armature 34 and contact 31. At the same time current from wire 60 will pass through switch blade 58, contact 6| and wire 64 to lamp 32, thus givin a visible indication on the instrument panel that the manual control is in use and that the device is not in condition to function automatically. At this time the blade 56 of switch 3| has broken the circuit to the heater element 53 of the thermostatic switch 26 at contact 55, this being done to prevent unnecessary use of and current consumption by the heater element.

Instead of controlling the ignition, lighting and accessory circuits at a point beyond the ammeter as in Fig. 1, it may sometimes be desirable to effect the control ahead of such instrument since, particularly in the case of installation of the device on vehicles already in use, it may be more convenient to cut the apparatus into the established vehicle circuits at such point. This however, requires separate although simultaneous control of both the current supplied by the battery and that supplied by the generator, since if the current from only one of such sources be controlled, the device will fail to perform its intended function if the speed of the vehicle engine be such that through the action of the generator cut-out the current to the vehicle circuits is being furnished by the other of said sources at that time. Control of the generator current may be effected in either the generator output lead 01 in the generator field coil circuit.

Fig. 2 illustrates a form of the invention suitable for this type of use, and it also shows an alternative arrangement for effecting de-energization of the relays and opening of the vehicle circuits in case of an upset.

As here shown, the battery 6, generator 1, voltage regulator 8 and ammeter H of the conventional vehicle electrical system are present as before, as are also the thermostatic switch 26 and seat-operable switch 28 of the present invention. However, the relay mechanism of this form of the device comprises a double-pole relay 18 having a coil II and armatures 12 and 13 operable thereby, and a second double-pole relay 15 having a coil 16 and armatures l1 and 18 associated therewith. One side of each of these relay coils is grounded as indicated at 19 and 80, while their other sides are connected together by a wire 8| to which current may be fed by the wire 43 leading from the contact 38 of the seat switch 28. The wires 40 and 4| conduct current from the battery lead ID to the blade 42 of the seat switch 28 as in the preceding form; however, in this case the said battery lead is connected to armature 13 of relay [0, which armature has a contact 82 associated with it from which a lead I0 extends to the terminal Ila of the ammeter Also in this case, the wire 2| leading from the generator field coil I8 is connected to the armature 12 of said relay '18, which armature is adapted to coact with a contact 83 from which a wire 2| extends to the terminal of the voltage regulator 8. The armatures l1 and 18 of the relay 15 function in precisely the same man ner as did the armatures and 38 in Fig. 1, i. e., the armature TI and its associated contact 84 control the heater circuit of the thermostatic switch 26, while the armature l8 and its associated contact 85 control the automatic shunt circuit which includes the thermally responsive member 48 of said switch.

The functioning of this form of the device is much the same as that shown in Fig. l, the principal difference being that here, when the relays 10 and 15 are de-energized as a result of the operator leaving seat 5 and the subsequent opening of the shunt circuit at thermostatic switch contact 49, the current flowing from the battery 5 to the hot lead I2 is interrupted ahead of the ammeter (at contact 82) instead of beyond it as in Fig. 1, and simultaneously therewith the field coil circuit of the generator 1 is opened at contact 83 thus reducing the generator output to zero and preventing it from continuing to furnish current to hot lead I2 through wire |3. Obviously, this latter result could likewise be attained by having the control 12, 83 in the generator output wire l6 instead of in the field coil circuit wire 2|, if desired.

The means shown in Fig. 2 for effecting deenergization of the relays l8 and T5 in case of an upset of the vehicle comprises a mercury or sim ilar position-operable switch 98 so disposed as to be normally open, as distinguished from the normally closed switch 21 shown in Fig. 1. One terminal of the switch is connected to the wire 4| by a wire 9|, while the other terminal is grounded as at 92;'and a fuse 93 connects the wires 40 and 4| ahead of the juncture of the latter with switch wire 9|. In case of an upset of the vehicle the switch 90 will be closed thereby, thus short-circuiting the wires 48, 4| and 9| to ground 92 and causing rupture of the fuse 93, and since the wires 48 and 4| constitute the supply lead to the relays T8 and 15 regardless of whether the current is being furnished thereto by the battery or by the generator, blowing of the fuse 93 will cause de-energization of the said relays and immediate opening of their several armature circuits. Obviously, rupture of the fuse 93 will prevent reactivation of the device until a new fuse has been substituted for the one which has blown, and thus even though the vehicle be righted, or right itself, following an upset it can not be driven until the blown fuse 93 has been manually replaced.

The manual switch 3|, indicating lamp 32, and their connections have not been shown in Fig. 2 since as above indicated, their function is merely to enable manual activation of the device for the purpose of testing and/or repair of the vehicle instrumentalities; however, it will be readily understood that if desired, these elements may be included in this form of the apparatus, in the same relative positions shown in Fig. 1. It will also be understood that the alternatively shown upset controls 21 and 90, 93 may be used interchangeably in the two forms of the device; and in some cases, both may be used.

It will further be apparent that while two separate relays l0 and. 15 have been shown in Fig. 2, since they always function simultaneously, a

single four-pole relay might be substituted therefor. Also, that while the retarded action switch 26 has been illustrated and described as being of the thermostatic type, any other equivalent delayed action switch may be used in lieu thereof.

What is claimed is:

1. In an automatic control apparatus for the electrical system of a motor vehicle, the combination of relay mechanism comprising a plurality of normally open pairs of electrical contacts, and electromagnetic means arranged upon energization to close all of said pairs of contacts simultaneously, one of the contacts of one of said pairs being connectible to a source of current for the system and the other contact of such pair being connectible to the ignition,-

7 lighting and accessory circuit lead of the system; a two-position seat-operable switch having a contact at each'position and a blade member alternatively engageable with such contacts according to whether the seat is occupied or unoccupied; a main energizing circuit connected to said blade member and to said electromagnetic means for supplying current to the latter from said source, saidcircuit including that contact of the seat-operable switch which is engaged by the blade member thereof when the seat is cocupied; 'means for delaying de-energization of said electromagnetic means and thereby the opening of said ignition, lighting and accessory circuits for a determined interval after the seat is vacated and said main energizing circuit thus opened-by the seat-operable switch,such delaying means comprising a retarded action switch having a pair of normally closed contacts and actuating means for effecting a delayed opening thereof; a shunt circuit around said seat-operable switch, fed by said main energizing circuit and connectible to said electromagnetic means whereby to supply current thereto from said source, such shunt circuit including said contacts of the retarded action switch and a second pairof said relay contacts; and an actuating circuit for supplying current from said main energizing circuit to said retarded action switch,

such actuating circuit including a third pair of saidrelay contacts, the actuating means for such switch, and that contact of the seat-operable switch which is engagedby the blade member thereof when the seat is vacant.

'2. Automatic control apparatus as recited in claim 1, having in combination therewith a second shunt circuit around said seat-operable switch, also arranged to supply current from said source to the electromagnetic means of the relay mechanism; and simultaneously manually operableswitching means in said second shunt circuit and the actuating circuit of the retarded action switch respectively, arranged to open the latter as the former is closed, and vice versa.

-3.'Autor'natic control apparatus as recited in claim 1, having in combination therewith a second shunt circuit around said seat-operable switch, also arranged to supply current from said'source to the electromagnetic means of the relay mechanism; an auxiliary circuit supplied from said current source and including an indicating means; and a three-pole manually operable switch, the three blades of which are respectively included in and simultaneously control the actuating circuit of the retarded action switch, said second shunt circuit, and said auxiliary circuit, whereby said actuating circuit may be broken as the other two are closed, and vice versa.

4. In automatic control apparatus for the electrical system of a motor vehicle, which system includes alternate sources of current comprising a battery and 'a generator, the combination of relay mechanism comprising a plurality of pairs of normally open electrical contacts, and electromagnetic means arranged upon energization to simultaneously close all of said pairs of contacts, one of said pairs being interposed in the line from the battery to the ignition, lighting and accessory circuits of the vehicle to control flow of battery current thereto, and a second pair of said relay contacts being interposed in a circuit of the generator to control flow of current therefrom to said vehicle circuits; 9, twoposition seat-operable switch having a contact at each position and a blade member alternatively engageable with such contacts according to whether the vehicle seat is occupied or unoccupied; a main energizing circuit connected to said electromagnetic means for supplying current thereto, from the battery to initially energize such means and from either current source during continued energization thereof, said circuit including the blade member and that contact of the seat-operable switch which is engaged by such blade member when the seat is occupied; and means for delaying de-energization of said electromagnetic means and thereby the opening of said relay contacts controlling flow of current from said battery and generator to the vehicle ignition, lighting and accessory circuits for a determined interval after the seat is vacated and said main energizing circuit thus opened by the seat-operable switch, such delaying means comprising a thermostatic switch having a heater element and a pair of normally closed thermally responsive electrical contacts adjacent thereto; a shunt circuit around said seat-operable switch connectible to said electromagnetic means whereby to supply current thereto from said main energizing circuit, such shunt circuit including said contacts of the thermostatic switch and a third pair of said relay contacts; and a heater circuit fed by said main energizing circuit and including a fourth pair of said relay contacts, the heater element of said thermostatic switch, and that contact of the seat-operable switch that is engaged by the blade member thereof when the seat is unoccupied.

v 5. In an automatic control apparatus for the electrical system of a motor vehicle, the combination of relay mechanism comprising a plurality of pairs of electrical contacts and electromagnetic means arranged upon energization to actuate said pairs of contacts, one of the contacts of one of said pairs being connectible to a source of current and the other contact of such pair being connectible to the ignition, lighting and accessory circuit lead of the system; a two-position seat-operable switch having a blade member and a contact engaged by said blade when the seat is occupied; a main energizing circuit including said source, said blade member, said seat switch contact and said electromagnetic means; means for delaying de-energization of said electromagnetic means after the seat is vacated, such delaying means comprising a retarded action switch having a pair of contacts closed when the sea is occupied and actuating means for efiecting q delayed opening thereof when the seat is vacated, a shunt circuit around said seat-operable switch fed by. said main energizing circuit and connectible to said electromagnetic means, such shunt circuit including said contacts of the retarded action switch and a second pair of said relay contacts; and an actuating circuit for said retarded action switch adapted to be energized when the seat is vacated and contact between the blade and seat-operable switch contact is broken.

JEROME C. MEYER.

REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS

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Classifications
U.S. Classification180/273, 307/10.7, 290/37.00R
Cooperative ClassificationB60R21/015