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Publication numberUS2671827 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 9, 1954
Filing dateDec 14, 1950
Priority dateDec 14, 1950
Publication numberUS 2671827 A, US 2671827A, US-A-2671827, US2671827 A, US2671827A
InventorsSlay John P
Original AssigneeSlay John P
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Rotary switch for railway signaling systems
US 2671827 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 9, 1954 J. P. SLAY 2,671,827

ROTARY SWITCH FOR RAILWAY SIGNALING SYSTEMS Filed Dec. 14, 1950 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Fig. 1 26' I8 F mnnnnnrmnnr FIFHFII'III J J J L L J J J L L J I o o as 88 a 33:: R l

96 68 L .90 102 g R 5m: I 2 g 42 INVENTOR. John R Slay RN EYs March 9, 1954 J. P. SLAY 2,671,827

ROTARY SWITCH FOR RAILWAY SIGNALING SYSTEMS Filed Dec. 14, 1950 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Fig. 5 20 Fig- 6 a r2 56 70 n\ C I INVENTOR. y- John R Slay ATTD R N EYS Patented Mar. 9, 1954 UNITED 1 STATE s smear 2,671,827 ROTARY SWITCH FOR RAILWAY? SIGNALING YSTE 1 Claim.

This invention comprises novel and useful improvementsin an-eleotric signaling system'for toy railways; and more specifically pertains to a novel system of signal lights for grade crossings, and the like,.for toy railways, together with im-- provedicircuit means and circuit control means for selectively operating the lights by the approach of a train to a' first switch and the departureof the train from'the other switch.

The principal object of this invention is to provide an improved electrical signaling system which will automatically control a single signal lighter apair oi -signal lights to indicate the approach'of a train or the departure of the train from the vicinity of the signal lights.

Afurther object of the invention is to provide an lectric signaling system which-shall be of general application not only to toy railways but for' electrical signaling for railways in general; and for electric signaling in A general.

Yet another important object of the invention is to provide anelectric signaling. system specifi-* cally adapted for use with toy railways which shall :havean exceedingly simple, yet dependable and durable construction as to its moving parts. A still further objeot'of the invention is to provide'an electrical signalingsystem which shall enable a signal'light to be operated automatically upon the approachof' the train; and the light darlenedupon the departure of a train there- 7 from.

yet another object of the'invention is to'pro will beyieldingly' urged to the completes'witcli closing: position-in response to actuation by the passage" of a train.

These; together'with various ancillary features andobjects of the invention; which will later be conl'eappareiitas the-"following description procoeds; are attained by the present invention, a preferred embodiment of which has been illustrated, by way of example only, in the accoinpaiiyiiig drawings; wherein:

Figure 1 is a top plan view of a portionrof a railway track for trains, arid showing the nian;

ner in which'th'e novel signaling systemmay be" associated with a crossing of the railwaytr'a'ckz- Figure 2 is" a top plan view, the cover being broken away to show the internal parts of a switch element forming a part of the invention;

Figure 3 is a view similar to Figure Z-but show= ing a second of the pair 'of switches forming a part of the invention;

Figure i is an end elevational view of the switchmembers of Figures 2 and 3 the same showing the actuating member for the switches;

Figures 5 and 6 are, respectively,verticalcen= tral longitudinal sectional views taken substantially upon'the planes indicated by the section lines 5-i' and B -fiof Figures 2 and 3 respec= tively;

Figures 7-9 are vertical transverse sectionalviews taken substantially upon-the planes'indicated by the section-lines T-"I; 8"-8and 9-4 of- Figure 3, respectively;

Figure 10 is a side elevational view' of a retary switch member forminga part of the switch unit: of Figure 25 Figures 11 and 12 are vertical transverse see:

ticnal views taken substantially upon thepla'nes indicated by the section lines I l--l I and I2 '-"-'l 2 of' Figure 1( respectively;

Figures l3-l 6 are successive" diagrammatic views illustrating the relative positions of the switches for operating the circuit means of the signalingsystem during successive l, v phasesof the operation thereof and I Figure 17 is a perspective View of'a stop or locking means forming a part of the rotary Referring more particularly to Figure 1, it will be seen that there is disclosed at III' a portion of a railway, which may be either a toyrailwayfor which this invention is ideally adapted, or may actually constitute a commercial railway, if as sired, thesame being provided with agrade ci'oss'-' ing or thelike indicated at I2: A portion of the locomotive of a railway train, indicated-at M; V

is provided upon one side with a switch actuat ing element I6 in the form of a laterally extend=' ing'idd fingnor the like which, as the train passes'one of the switch stations, is intended to energize a switch element 18. A second switch element 26 is provided, these elements being disposed on opposite sides of the grade crossing l2 at a suitable distance therefrom to effect the desired result, as set forth hereinafter. While the element I8 is actuated by th finger IS on one side of the locomotive l4, it is preferred to operate the other element 28 by a finger disposed on the opposite side of the train, this second finger being positioned either upon the locomotive or upon the rear car or one of the other cars of the train, as desired. It will be readily appreciated that the principles of this invention are not limited to the actual arrangement and positioning of the switches as shown, since, obviously, the switches could be successively operated in various ways. It is, however, essential for the purposes of this invention that the switches shall be so placed that they will be capable of being successively operated by the passage of the train by the switch so that as the train approaches the crossing and passes the first switch, the latter will be actuated, while after the train has completed its passage of the crossing, the passage of the train past the second switch will in turn actuate the latter.

The two switches are intended to control and operate in a novel manner, as set forth hereinafter, two sets of electric signal lights, these two sets being indicated at 22 and 24 and disposed on opposite sides of the grade crossing. If desired, but one such set of lights could be provided, the principle of operation of the lights being the same.

Each of the pairs of lights 22 and 24 includes a .go light 28 and a "stop light 26. These two lights are intended to be operated in alternation, it being contemplated that at all times one of the lights will be illuminated. When the train is not in proximity to the crossing, it is understood that the fgo light will be illuminated, while during the period of time when the train is in close proximity to and passing through the grade crossing, the go light will be darkened and the stop light will be illuminated as set forth hereinafter.

It is obvious that various types of switches and circuit arrangements could be provided to effect the desired results. One very'satisfactory arrangement has been illustrated in the accompanying drawings, making use of a pair of switch elements I8 and 20. 1

The two switches l8 and 20 are generally similar in their over-all construction, each consisting of a rotatable switch body having switch blades, together with stationary sets of contacts adapted to be contactedby the blades.

Referring now more particularly to Figures 3 and 6, it will be seen that the switch assembly I8 includes a suitable dielectric casing or switch box 38 having a removable closure 32 therefor. Rotatably journaled in this switch box, in a pair of walls of the same and extending beyond one of the walls, is a horizontally disposed shaft 34 which, upon its exposed end is provided with a switch actuating member 36 which may conveniently comprise a cruciform-shaped body having radially extending actuating arms 38. As illustrated, four such arms are provided, although the principles of this invention will admit of the use ofany desired number of arms, it being, of course, necessary that the internal construction of the switch be changed to conform to the number of arms employed. In any event, the actuator member 36 :is disposed in the path of travel of the finger IE on the locomotive, or the other actuating finger wherever positioned upon the train so that as the finger passes by the switch station, the finger will engage one of the arms 38 and impart a partial rotation to the switch actuating member and shaft. Successive passages of trains by the switch will cause a stepby-step rotation of the switch shaft and a series of successive operations of the switch as set forth hereinafter.

In the present invention, this step-by-step or partial rotation of the switch body is utilized to successively close sets of contacts within the switch box to control the various circuits forming a part of this invention.

In order to insure that the rotatable switch member will be always actuated into circuit closing position upon each actuating impulse of the finger I6 against the arm 38, a resilient stop or locking means is provided. This means preferably consists of a stationary cam body 46 secured to the interior of the switch box and concentric with the shaft 34, this cam body having a plurality of cam lobes or axial projections 42 together with cam recesses 44 therebetween. When the switch is designed to have four switch operations for each revolution of the switch shaft, the actuating member 36 will have four radial arms 38, while the cam member 46 will have four lobes and four recesses. A locking dog, which, as shown in Figure 17, may conveniently comprise an annular or drum-like body 46, is provided with an axial bore 48 slidably received upon l the shaft 34 and having a keyway 5lladapted to slidably engage a pin 52 carried by the shaft whereby the body 46 has free axial sliding movement upon the shaft but is non-rotatably keyed thereon for rotation therewith. At its end fac-' ing the cam member 40, the locking member 46 has a pair of diametrically disposed axially extending locking lugs 54 which are adapted to rotate over the surface of the cam member 48, riding over the cam lobes 42 thereof and descending into the cam recesses 44 between the lobes. A spring member 56 abuts one end of the locking body 46 and yieldingly urges the latter into engagement with the locking cam 46. The engagement of the lugs 54 with the lobes and recesses, under the bias of the spring, will tendto resiliently maintain the lugs within the recesses and thus will rotationally lock or yieldingly position the shaft 34 in each of the switchclosing positions of the shaft.

cam lobes 42.

As so far described, the switch members l8 and 28 are of identical construction. However, modified rotary switch bodies are mounted upon the shaft 34 to effect the different circuit controlling operations of the two switch units. Each of these switch bodies consists of a dielectric cylinder or drum such as that indicated at 58 for the switch l8, and at 66 for the switch 28. .Each of these drums is fixedly and non-rotatably secured to the shaft 34 within the switch box as by a fastening pin 62.

switch body 58 or .60, as shown in Figuresq5 and 6.

Intermediate its enqe th rotatable switchlj The above-mentioned spring 56 which; abuts the locking body 46 has its other extremity abutted against the adjacent end of the rotatable 55 body. 563-; isprovided with. an. annular fiangeor collar 64, while the rotatable, switch, body =60 of, the switch member 20*hasa pair of suchaannular flanges orcollars. t6; and, t8, the collars 64.; G6-

and. 68. being of identical, construction whereby. theshowing of Figures 11. and, 12. willbe applis cabletoeachof them.

Since the switch blades mounted, u on. each. of-the shoulders 64-, 66, and 6.8.are'identicallthe same numbers will be applied to the corresponding blades throughout this description. As.

previously mentioned, the rotatable bodies 58. and 60, together with their shoulders; are of. a dielectric or insulating materiah and a. pair of diametrically disposed electrically conductivesw-itchblades I and 12 are embeddedinparallel faces on opposite sides ofeach of; theshoulders,

these blades being disposed at right angles. to each otheri The embedded blades arepreferably flush withthe annular surfacesof the shoulders;

aswill. be readily apparent from Figures 5, 6,-

The blades and I2 constitute the movable contact membersof the switch unit.

As shown in Figure 3, the stationary switch contact members comprise a U-shaped electrical terminal I4 having a binding post I6 extending through one wallof the: switch box, the legs of the U -shaped terminal yieldingly embracing the opposite'sides .of the shoulder 64 for engaging the blades I0 and I2 during rotation of the switch body 50.

On the opposite side of. the switch box there are provided a pair of contacts I8 and 80 each of a resilient nature and provided with binding posts 82 and 84, respectively. The contacts 18 and 80 embrace the opposite sides of the collar 64 for engaging the switch blades 10 and 12 thereon. The arrangement is such that the contact 14 will serve to continuously supply current from any suitable source such as that indicated by the storage battery 86 of Figures 13-16 to whichever of the switch blades 10 and 12 are in contact with the member 64. The arrangement of the blades I0 and 12 at right angles to each other will therefore cause the blades to alternately establish contact between the member 14 and one of the stationary terminals I8 and 80 for each ninety degrees of rotation of the shaft and of the switch body mounted thereon. Thus, the contact I4 will be electrically connected with the contact 18 and upon ninety degrees of rotation will be connected instead with the contact 00, and so on. Thus, for each ninety degree step of rotation of the switch body, the source of current 86 is alternately connected with the connector or binding post 82 or 84.

The switch member 20 is of identical construction with the switch member I8 previously described except for the actual construction of the switch body 60 which has two instead of one flange or collar thereon, each having a pair of perpendicularly disposed switch blades. However, the stationary contact arrangement is different with respect to the switch, since, as shown in Figure 2, there are provided a pair of U-shaped contacts 88 and 90 having binding posts 92 and 94 extending through the walls of the switch box, each of these U-shaped contacts embracing one of the collars on the switch body. Thus, the U-shaped contact 88 embraces the collar 66 while the contact 90 embraces the collar 68.

On the opposite side of the switch box of the switch 20 there is provided a centrally disposed U-shaped contact 96 having a binding post 98.

and-a pair of separately: disposed: resilient contacts H0 and I02 having binding pOStS I04 and;

The ueshaped contact 96 is disposed between the collars and engages the switch blades 10. and; I2 ontheadjacent faces of the two collars, while! the contacts. I00 and I02 engage the opposite or outer sides or the collars, respectively engaging.

the rotary switch blades I0 and I2.

It is believed that the operation of the two sets of: rotary switch blades with the sets orstatiohary. contacts will be readily understood in View or: the'foregoing explanation of the opera-- tion or the switch contacts of the switch It.

In: order to better understand themanner which the two switch assemblies are connected to each other and to the signal light'sin accord-- ance with this invention, reference is now made to the diagrammatic viewsof Figures 13-16. A1-

though it will be understood that the Switch mem here have rotary contacts, the diagrammatic views illustrate reciprocating switch elements in the interest of simplicity of illustration. The sourcecf electricai supply 86 is connected to the U shaped contact 14 of the switch I8 by means Through the agency of the ductor-I I0 is, inturn, connected to a conductor:

I I4, the conductors I I0 and I I4 being respectivelyconnected to the stationary switch contacts I00 and 102 of'the switch member 20, while the conductor H2 is connected to the U-shaped switch contact 9.0. Through the shoulders 66 and 60, the contacts I00, 96, and IOZare selectively connectedto the contacts 88 and 90, the latter being connected by conductors I I0 and I I8, respectively, with the above-mentioned stop and go lights 26 and 28. The latter, in turn, are connected by a ground connector I20 to the source of electrical energy.

The operation of the switch signalling system will now be readily understood from the diagrammatic views of Figures 13-16. It is assumed that the showing in Figure 13 is that of the signalling system when no trains are in the vicinity of the grade crossing I2. At that time, the switch I8 is so positioned as to connect the terminal 14 with the terminal 18, whereby current is supplied to the conductors H0 and H4. However, the conductor I I0 is not engaged by the switch blade of the member 56, but the conductor H4 and its contact I02 are in connection with the switch member 90, thereby establishing a circuit by means of a conductor II8 through the go light 28 whereby the latter will be energized to indicate that no train is in the vicinity of the crossmg.

As a train approaches a crossing in the manner shown in Figure 1, the finger I6 upon the locomotive will impart a ninety degree turn to the actuator member 36 by engaging one of the spokes 38 thereof, thereby rotating the switch body 58 through one-quarter of the revolution.

As a train approaches a crossing, it is assumed that the go light is on at the crossing and the stop light is deenergized. As the train approaches the switch member I8, the switch is moved to the position shown in Figure 13, thus energizing the circuit to the stop light and deenergizing the circuit to the go light. When the train has completed its passage of the crossing, the switch actuator upon the end of the train will actuate the switch 20, thereby moving the light to the position shown in Figure 14 and break the circuit to the stop light while again energizing the circuit to the go light. It will now be seen that the switches are in their reversed positions, but that the signal lights are in their normal positions, awaiting the approach of the next train. When now the train again approaches the switch It, the latter will be actuated and the signalling system will assume the position shown in Figure 15, with the stop light again energized until the train again passes a crossing, at which time the switch 20 will be actuated and the signalling circuits will be in the position shown in Figure 16, with the go light again energized and the stop light darkened.

Certain features of the invention are obviously applicable to other electrical systems than a railway signalling system, since this invention readily enables the selected actuation of alternate electric circuits from sequential actuation of re-.

motely located switches.

Since, from the foregoing, the construction and advantages of this invention are readily apparent, further description is believed to be unnecessary.

However, since numerous modifications and equivalents will readily occur to those skilled in the art after a consideration of the foregoing,

specification and accompanying drawings, it is not intended to limit the invention to the exact embodiment shown and described, but all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to which fall within the scope of the appended claim.

Having described the invention, what is claimed as new is as follows:

For use in a railway signalling system having vehicle carried switch actuating members, a rotary switch for step-by-step actuation by the suc- 8 cessive passage of vehicles comprising an insulating casing, a shaft journaled in said casing, one end of said shaft extending from said casing, a cruciform switch actuating member fixed on said extending end for engagement by said switch actuating member, a stationary cam member secured to the interior of said casing concentric with said shaft, a plurality of axially extending radial cam lobes on said stationary cam, a locking dog slida=bly and non-rotatabiy mounted on said shaft, a lug on said dog adapted to ride on said cam lobes, resilient means biasing said dog into contact with said cam, a dielectric drum fixed on said shaft, an annular flange on said drum, a, pair of switch blades embedded in the opposite parallel faces of said flange, said blades being disposed at right angles to each other, a U-shaped contact terminal mounted in said casingythe legs of said U-shaped terminal resiliently engaging the opposite sides of said flange, a pair of contact terminals mounted on the opposed side of said casing, said contacts resiliently engaging opposite sides of said flange.


References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date Re. 16,166 Kennedy 1- Sept. 15, 1925 118,606 Hall 1 Aug. 29, 1871 626,704 Kasmeier June 13, 1899 1,205,549 Kruesheld Nov. 21, 1916 2,231,218 Palmer Feb. 11, 1941 2,411,478 Sullivan Nov. 19, 1946 2,440,690 Jacobi May 4, 1948 2,451,248 Slatin Oct. 12, 1948 2,452,916 Fleischmann Nov. 2, 1948

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US118606 *Aug 29, 1871 Improvement in electro-magnetic signal apparatus for railroads
US626704 *Apr 27, 1898Jun 13, 1899 Railway-signal
US1205549 *Nov 11, 1915Nov 21, 1916Henry KruesheldElectric switch.
US2231218 *Feb 13, 1939Feb 11, 1941J H Jochum JrSwitch
US2411478 *Sep 15, 1944Nov 19, 1946Cities Service Oil CoMultiposition rotary switch
US2440690 *Jul 11, 1946May 4, 1948Briggs & Stratton CorpSwitch
US2451248 *Jun 14, 1945Oct 12, 1948Joseph L SlatinPhonograph-radio switch
US2452916 *Oct 7, 1947Nov 2, 1948Eastern Specialty CompanyRotary tap switch
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2856791 *Jul 15, 1955Oct 21, 1958Northrop Aircraft IncControl knob lock
U.S. Classification200/14, 246/126, 74/527
International ClassificationA63H19/00, A63H19/34
Cooperative ClassificationA63H19/34
European ClassificationA63H19/34