US 2665153 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 5, 1954 c. F. TElcHMANN 2,665,153
CONTROL SYSTEM FOR LOCKING MEANS Original Filed May 30, 1945 2 Sheets-Sheet l Jan. 5, 954 c. F. TEICHMANN 2,665,153
CONTROL SYSTEM FOR LOCKING MEANS Original Filed May 30, 1945 y 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Ti. Ei .5.
BY Mb TTORNE YS' Patented Jan. 5, 1954 CONTROL SYSTEM FOR LOCKING MEANS Charles F. Teichmann, Crestwood, N. Y., assigner to Texaco Development Corporation, New York, N. Y., a corporation of Delaware Original application May 30, 1945, Serial No. 596,795. Divided and this application March 1, 1950, Serial No. 147,020
4 Claims. (Cl. 292-144) This invention deals with automatic actuating mechanisms, and more speciiically relates to the actuation of locking mechanisms by means of penetrative radiation.
This is a division of my co-pending application Serial Number 596,795 led May 39, 1945, in which the actuation of closure mechanisms is claimed. The claims in the present application are directed to the actuation of locking mechanisms.
The object of the present invention is to provide means for the actuation, through the use of penetrative radiation, of locking mechanisms, such for example as the locking mechanisms of bank vaults.
The use of radiant energy for the actuation of mechanisms is well known. Both visible light and invisible light have been employed for this purpose by directing a beam of visible or invisible 'light to fall on a photccell or photoelectric tube, vcommonly known as an electric eye. The photospectrum.
It also is known to employ radio waves for actuating various types of mechanisms. For example it is known to install an oscillator on an automobile for generating high frequency radio waves.
These waves are picked up by radio receiving apparatus and converted into electriccurrent for actuating a mechanism which will open the door of a garage and permit the driver to enter the garage without getting out of the car to open the doors. This is merely an example of the use of radio waves for actuating driving or control mechanisms. It is well known that they also have been used for operating airplanes, ships, and land vehicles by remote control as well as for numerous other applications of a similar nature. The use of radio waves for such purposes also has certain disadvantages. For example, they are non-discriminatory except as to wave length and any transmitter operating on the wave length to which the receiver is tuned will cause the operating mechanism to function. Thus if one man driving into his driveway turns on his transmitter to open his garage doors he would also open the doors of a neighbors garage in the next block if both of their receivers happened to be tuned to the same wave length.
In accordance .with the present invention I .em-
ploy penetrative radiation as the actuating medium. As used herein, the term penetrative radiation is intended to mean both electromagnetic radiation, such as gamma rays and x-rays, an high-speed particles of matter, such as those emitted from radioactive materials and those emitted from substances subjected to radioactive emanations, for example, alpha particles or helium atom nuclei, beta particles or electrons, neutrons, protons or hydrogen atom nuclei, positrons or positive electrons and mesotrons. The term penetrative radiation may also be defined as radiation which will pass through onethousandth of an inch thickness of iron Without appreciable loss in intensity. The preferred source of penetrative radiation is natural or articially radioactive substances. For example natural radioactive materials such as radium, uranium, thorium, actinium, their ores, and their salts may be employed. Artificially radioactive substances such as radioactive sodium also may be employed. The radioactive materials may be used either in their pure state or in dilute mixtures with inert substances, for example as in the luminescent radium paint used on the dials of clocks and watches. It is contemplated that the source of radiation may be of any quantity and may be either fixed or stationary, but in order to provide for discriminatory actuation of the locking mechanism it is preferred that the amount of radiation be correlated with the actuating circuit so that the locking mechanism will not function unless the detector is exposed to a definite quantity of penetrative radiation.
A detector sensitive to penetrative radiation is employed for converting the energy of the penetrative radiation into electrical energy for actuating the locking mechanism. This detector may be either an ionization chamber, a proportional counter, a Geiger-Muller type of counter, or any other suitable device depending on the particular type of penetrative radiation employed. For best results, however, I prefer to use a highly sensitive radiation detector of the type described in U. S. Letters Patent No. 2,397,071 to D. G. C. Hare, issued March 16, 1946. The electric current or pulses of current created in the detector may be amplified by means of any suitable type of amplier and the amplified current employed to actuate a relay or an electronic control device, thereby activating the power circuit of the mechanism which operates the lock.
Any type of electrical, hydraulic, or other suitable mechanism, or any combination thereof may be employed for operation of the lock, For
example, I may choose to use an electric motor geared as a driver, or an electrically heated vapor pressure motor, or I may prefer to employ an electromagnetic solenoid and a hydraulic system, depending on the specific type of operation and conditions involved.
For a further understanding of the principles of my invention reference is made to the accompanying drawings, it being understood that these drawings are illustrativeofiafew applications of my invention and I do not consider my invention to be restricted tothe specic embodiments herein illustrated and described.
Figure 1 is a diagrammatic illustration o'an arrangement for opening: hinged -typeldoors.
Figure 2 is a diagrammatic.illustration offan arrangement for actuating locking mechanisms.
Figure 3 is a front View of receptacleorkeyway 80 shown in Figure 2.
Figure 4 is a frontview of key member 60 vshown inFigure 2.
Figure' is asectionalfelevation on the line 5-5 of Figure 2,'looking in the direction of the arrows.
In the en'ibodiment` illustrated Ain-Figure -1, a
radioactive source I g'suchas radium, is enclosed in a container l2, formedofany suitable' material, such as steel, whichw'ill permit penetrative radiation'to 'pass through its walls 'and which may be portable or may be fastened tol an automobile or other movableobjeot. An absorptive shield I l5, composed of suificient'thickness of a substance, such aslead, lies between the Awall of the container l2, and thev radioactive source ITG, said shield being continuous exceptfor an opening I6 on one side which permits thepassage of penetrative radiation. 0In'order to cause the door opening mechanism to function, radiation from the'radioactive source IG.' is directed to fall'onthe detector i8, wherebombardmentf'of the elements of detector |8- creates electric current or pulses of current. lThis current orpulses `of current is ampliedzbymeans ofa suitable 'amphi-1era@ and the amplified current is employed rto operate a minimum current relay`i22 and a maximum kcurrent relay X24 connectedin series. Theminimumcurrent relay 22 is setto make "contact 'at a 'definite predetermined amount of current, for 'example '100 microam- Vperes'and the vmaximum"currentrelay v24V is set f lto break contact at a tdei'inite predetermined amount of current, :fora-example 125"microem- Both relays `are vconnected I in =serles in both the detector 'circuitiand'the power lcircuit which operates solenoid 'valve f2.6, isothat current is suppliedftocsolenoidvalvef'26 ^o'nly'wh`en both relays areclosed. This is the case 'only when the amplied current from Y'the detector is within the specific minimum and maximum limits for which relays 22and '.2'4 are setkto opcrate.
Solenoid valve 26forms part .ofahydraulic type door opening mechanism which consistsof a low pressure hydraulic uidmeservoir v23, a
-pump 3D operated by Yan electric motor `32, a
high pressure 'hydraulic'iiuid reservoir 34, kan
.automatic pressure .controldevice l36,1for maintaining the desired pressure .in the Ahigh pressure hydraulic uid .reservoir '34, the :solenoid valve 26, a check 4valve .38, fa :hydraulic .plunger device-l0 operatedbyithe hydraulic fluid, "and a solenoid release valve T42 orreleasin'g the "hy- One end of the pivotally attached to a stationary object, such as the wall of the garage, by means of support 43, and the plunger' or sliding element 46 is connected to a hinged door 50 in such a manner that movement of theplunger from the normal positioncausesfthe door150 to open. A release Vbutton 52, is provided for operating the solenoid release valve 42 in order to release the fluid from the plunger device 40 and allow it to return'to its'normalposition, thereby closing the door. A transformer 54 may be employed to re- *ducethemainline'voltage for the current supplied to4v the vsolenoid release valve 42.
yThe operation of the embodiment illustrated I5 .in""Fi'gure' l-isas'follows: penetrative radiation Yfrom' the portable radiation source l0 is directed so^as to'fall on -detector I8, which is responsive tozsaid penetrative radiation and functions to convert the penetrative radiation into electrical energy. The electric current or pulses of current created. in the elements .ofdetector I8 are .amplified to a. predetermined degree by means of amplier 26. Minimumcurrent relay 22 and maximumcurrent relay. 24 are connectedin se- 3" ries with theoutput from ampliiier 20 and in series with thepower supplyfor the door openingmechan-ismin-sucha manner that power for operating-the-door opening mechanism is supplied onlyvvhen the .amount of current output fromthe-'amplier is ofl suicient magnitude to -operate the minimum current'relay and is not of .-suiicient magnitude to operate the maximum current relay. When power is supplied to Vthe door operating mechanism through the fabovementioned "relay larrangement solenoid `valve-"26 opens'v and permits the flow of hydraulic 'fiuid from highpressure reservoir '34 to the hydraulic plunger-devicedil. The iiuid forces the o plunger or sliding element' of the plunger device Afrom its'normal position causing door 56 toppen. `In order to close the door the iiuid is #released from'the'hydraulic'plunger device by pushing buttonl Ato `open'solenoid release valve '42. v-Thereleasedf'fluid flows to lov/pressure resfervoir28. :Pump v`3i), driven by lelectric motor 32,.isfprovidedfto'punip the fluid'from'the low pressure reservoir 28 to the high pressure reservoir-34. The-fluid pressure in the high pressure ireservoir. is controlled by' automatic pressure con- 'trol valve 36.
In thezembodiment ofthefinvention shown-in 'Figure 2, a portable -key`member'50 is comprised :of a 1 cylindrical i member T62 having' a handle f64 A55'.attachecl :thereto to facilitate fhandlin'g and 6G .stance 12`p1acedatthe point of juncture of holes 'GBFan'd "Hl provides'a sourcefof penetrative radi- `ation. Plugs 14 and `16, "which are "permeable to s'aid penet'rative radiation, are 'placed in the V'openings ofthe 'holes at 'th'esurface of the cylin der. 'Exceptfor the area covering the openings of noies'ts and 'inthe surface fcyundricaimember62 is'covered by a shild 'T8 of a material impenetrable by Vthe penetrative radiation.. 'lindrical member l"'62 isafdaptedjto conform to the contour of receptacle or ukeyway 8G which is faixed tofand supported byfwall "82 'and which lilas-'alinear projection "li'adapted to cooperate rv.fith'slo'i',"56. A more sensitive 'detector-'86 and a less sensitive detector F8 lare positioned Ain the path lof vthe penetr-ative radiation. The "more sensitive detector 85 is connected through an amplifier SU to operate an on-and-oi type relay Q2 which is set to make contact at a denite specied current intensity and close the circuit which supplies power to mechanism 94 which operates lock 96. The less sensitive detector 88 is connected through an amplier g3 to operate a circuit breaker type relay itil. Both relay 92 and relay IDG are designed to respectively make and break Contact at substantially the same current intensity. Detector 88, however, is made less sensitive to the penetrative radiation by a thin shield |62 of material which reduces the amount of radiation passing into the detector. Relay |00, operated by the less sensitive detector S3, is connected into the output circuit of the more sensitive detector Se between amplier ii and relay 92 and controls the iow of current operating relay 92. If the amplied current supplied to relay Iii exceeds that required to trip this relay,
the output circuit of the more sensitive detector will be opened and relay 92 will not be actuated. Under these conditions no current will be supplied to the mechanism ed which operates lock SS.
The operation of the embodiment illustrated in Figure 2 is as follows: the portable key member til is inserted into keyway Bt and thereby penetrative radiation emanating from radioactive substance 'i2 is directed by means of openings 68 and 'it so as to fall on detectors 85 and Se which are responsive to said penetrative radiation. When the amount of electrical energy created in the elements of detector 8S is above a definite predetermined value relay $32 is actuated, thereby closing the power circuit of the locking mechanism and causing it to function. Detector 8B, which is shielded to make it less sensitive to the penetrative radiation, is connect-ed to relay I il!) in such a manner that when the amount or penetrative radiation exceeds a predetermined value the electrical energy created in the detector, when amplied, is suicient to cause relay |00 to be actuated. Actuation of relay Idil interrupts the `output circuit of detector tt and prevents the actuation of relay d2. Therefore, when the amount of penetrative radiation is in excess of a denite predetermined value the locking mechanism will not function. The operation of the device is dependent, therefore, upon the amount of penetrative radiation emanating from the radioactive source in the key. If the amount of penetrative radiation is less than that required to actuate relay 92 or greater than that required to actuate relay i d@ the locking mechanism will not operate, The difference between the lower and upper limits of the amount oi" penetrative radiation which will r'ause the locking to operate is dependent upon the amount of penetrative radiation abscrbed by shield 02 of detector 83 and may be varied at will by varying the material of construction or the thickness of shield H12.
In addition to discriminatory action based on the intensity of the penetrative radiation, the shape of the key and keyway may be varied to per-mit further discrimination. For example, the location, size, and cross sectional shape or the linear slot te and projection 8d may be varied and a multiplicity of conforming slots and projections may be used. The cross sectional shape of the cylindrical member 52 may be varied by making it an oval, rectangle, hexagon or any other shape desired. The length and thickness of the key and keyway also may be varied as desired. In addition the geometrical location of the key and detectors may be varied by altering the direction of holes 68 and 1D. Obviously other methods of obtaining discrimination may be employed without departing from the scope of this invention.
Figure 3 is a front view of receptacle Si] showing linear projection 84.
Figure 4 is a front elevation of key member 6c showing the position of slot G and holes 58 and 1B. l
Figure 5 shows a geometric arrangement forV the key member SG and receptacle t0 with respect to detectors 86 and 88.
As hereinbefore stated this invention is not limited to the exemplary illustrations given above and numerous modifications falling within the scope of this invention are evident.
Any source of penetrative radiation may be employed as previously mentioned. This source may be contained in any suitable container and preferably may be portable so as to be carried around by hand.
The detector may be located in any convenient position Where it can be exposed to the penetrative radiation. Since penetrative radiation is employed as the actuating medium the present device has the advantage of permitting complete concealment of the component parts if so desired. For example, `the detector may be placed in the door itself or in a position remote from the door and connected to the locking mechanism of the door by suitable electrical connections.
Any suitable system for obtaining discriminatory action may be employed. For example, in addition to the methods described in the foregoing examples a contact type current indicator may be used to measure the output from the detector in such a manner that a relay will be actuated when the current supplied to the indicator is equal to that required to make contact in the indicator.
The locking mechanism may be any of the conventional types normally used or any type of mechanism capable of adaptation for the op eration of locking mechanisms.
In addition to the actuation of closure and locking mechanisms the device described herein, and obvious modifications and extensions thereof, can be employed for numerous other purposes, for example, for actuating safety devices on machinery, for actuating railway block signals, for automatic oor leveling of elevators, for automatic selection of various wave lengths in radio communications, and for any other application where an operating mechanism can be controlled and actuated by means of penetrative radiation.
Obviously many modiiications and variations of the invention, as hereinbefore set forth, may be made without departing from the spirit and scope thereof, and therefore only such limitations should be imposed as are indicated in the appended claims.
1. A device for actuating locking mechanisms and the like which comprises a receptacle, a portable key-like member comprising a source of a definite predetermined quantity of penetrative radiation, contained in a housing shaped to conform to the shape of said receptacle, a detector concealed from view and adjacent to said receptacle for converting said penetrative radiation into electrical energy, the magnitude of which is proportional to the intensity of said penetrative radiation, a substance opaque to visible light disposed between said detector and said receptacle, control means responsive only t0 a predetermined quantity of electrical energy generated by said detector, and locking means actuated by said control means, the arrangement being such that when said container with said source of predetermined quantity of penetrative radiation is placed in said receptacle the electrical energy generated by said detector is of such magnitude as to operate said controlling means therebyactuating said locking means.
2. A device for actuating locking mechanisms and the like which comprises a receptacle, a source of penetrative radiation of definite predetermined intensity having a shape conforming to the shape of said receptacle and adapted to be inserted manually into said receptacle, a detector of penetrative radiation concealed from view and positioned in proximity to said receptacle for converting said penetrative radiation into electrical energy, said detector being nonresponsive to visible light, amplifying means for increasing the electrica1 output of said detector, discriminating means electrically connected to the output of said amplifying means, control means actuated by said discriminating means, and locking means actuated by said control means, the arrangement being such that said locking means is actuated only when a source of said definite predetermined intensity is inserted into said receptacle, a normally open minimum current relay and a maximum current normally closed relay connected in series to the output of said amplifying means, a power supply controlled by said relays, and a locking mechanism operated by said power supply.
3. A locking system or the like, comprising a radioactive substance emanating a denite predetermined quantity of penetrative radiation, a key-like container for said radioactive substance adapted to direct said radiation in two predeter mined directions, a receptacle for said key-like container adapted to conform to said container, two detectors responsive to said radiation and capable of converting said radiation into electrical energy, one of said detectors being more sensitive to said radiation than the other, a substance opaque to visible light disposed between each of said detectors and said receptacle, amplifiers electrically connected to the output of each of said detectors, a iirst relay electrically connected to the output of the amplifier of the more sensitive detector, a locking mechanism controlled by said first relay, a second relay electrically connected to the output of the amplifier of the less sensitive detector and adapted to control the electrical connection between said amplier for the more sensitive detector and said rst relay, the arrangement being such that both relays are actuated simultaneously only when a radioactive substance emanating a deiinite predetermined quantity of penetrative radiation is inserted in said receptacle.
4. A device for actuating locking mechanisms and the like which comprises a receptacle, a portable key-like member comprising a source of a deiinite predetermined quantity of radiation contained in a housing shaped to conform to the shape of said receptacle, a detector adjacent to said receptacle for converting said penetrative radiation into electrical energy, the magnitude of which is proportioned to the intensity of said penetrative radiation, control means responsive only to said predetermined quantity of electrical energy, and locking means actuated by said control means.
CHARLES F. TECHMANN.
References Cited in the iile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 2,081,074 Strauss May 18, 1937 2,095,688 Ballentine Oct. 12, 1937 2,309,329 Powers Jan. 26, 1943 2,456,233 Wolf Dec. 14, 1948 2,462,270 Lipson Feb. 22, 1949