US 2703662 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 8,1955 E. A. MEYER 2,703,662
SWITCH HOUSING RETAINING MEANS Filed Jan. 11, 1949 Summer a E Gttorncgs United States Patent SWITCH HOUSING RETAINING MEANS Application January 11, 1949, Serial No, 70,171 6 Claims. (or. 220-345 This invention relates to retainers for holding elements such as electric switches and similar devices in openings in supporting members. One application in which such retainers hav been found to be particularly satisfactory is in automobile body constructions, wherein these retainers are used to mount and hold the switches which control the electrical circuit for operating the power mechanism which serves to raise and lower lhe windows of the body. These switches are usually mounted in openings provided in the body trim panels.
One of the objects of "the invention is to provide an inexpensive retainer which may be made of sheet metal and which will simplify the operation of mounting such switches and their associated face plates in the openings in the trim panels, since after the retainer has been placed in the opening, it is only necessary to press the assembly consisting of the switch and face plate into the retainer, and when it reaches the proper position, the retainer operates to automatically. hold it in that position.
A further object is to so devise the retainer that por tions of it will be engaged by the face plate and switch assembly when the latter is pressed into position in it, and said portions will thereafter serve to lock the retainer in position in the opening in the trim panel.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent upon reference to the specification and accompanying drawing, in which:
Figure l is a sectional view through an opening in a supporting member, showing my improved retainer in position therein.
Figure 2 is a sectional view taken on the line 2-2 of Figure 1.
Figure 3 is a perspective view of the retainer showing the details of constructionof it.
The numeral indicates a supporting member or panel, such as a door trim panel in an automobile body, having an opening 12 formed in it, in which opening it is desired to secure aiiiielement, such as an electric switch, designated generally as 14, which serves to control the operation of the power mechanism which is adapted to raise or lower the windows of the body, the switch being provided with terminals 16, 18 and 20 to which wires leading to the electrical portion of the power mechanism are connected. The trim panel, as is usual, is covered on its interior face with upholstering material 22, which is cut at the opening so that its edges 23 may extend therethrough.
The switch 14 is located within a housing which is secured in any suitable manner between two spaced flanges 24 and 26, which are formed as an integral part of and extend inwardly from a face plate 28, which in this particular embodiment is made as a die casting. The actuating knob 30 of the switch projects through an aperture 32 provided in the face plate 28, and is adapted to be moved up or down, being normally retained in the central position by spring pressure. When it is desired to raise the window, the knob 30 is moved upwardly against the spring pressure whereupon the switch 14 closes the electrical circuit which controls the power mechanism which raises the window. When the raising movement has been completed, the knob 30 is released and is returned to and is held in its central or off position by the spring pressure wherein the circuit through the switch is opened. Similarly, when it is desired to lower the window, the knob 30 is moved downwardly and is held in that position whereupon the 2,703,662 Patented Mar. 8, 1955 switch closes the electrical circuit controlling the power mechanism causing the latter to lower the window. After this movement has been completed, the knob 30 is released and is returned to central or off position by the spring pressure, so that the electrical circuit through the switch is again opened.
To mount and hold the switch and face plate assembly in the opening 12 in the trim panel 10, a retainer designated generally as 34 is provided. This retainer is formed of sheet metal which is sufficiently hard to be of a spring nature. As best shown in Figure 3, the body 36 of the retainer is of substantially rectangular shape, conforming generally to the shape of the outer edge of the face plate, and has an upstanding flange 38 formed on it to provide rigidity.
Stamped from the central part of the body 36 at opposite sides thereof and bent at a right angle thereto are portions 40, the outer ends of which are curved as at 42. Sheared from each of the portions 40 is an arm 44 which is bent so that it extends outwardly as at 46,
then inwardly as at 48 to provide a shoulder 50, and.
then outwardly again as at 52. Adjacent the region of the shoulder 50, each of the arms has a tongue 54 sheared from it, the free end of the tongue extending inwardly to the plane of the portion 40.
At the other two sides of the retainer, there are stamped from the central portion of the body 36 two spring fingers 56, which are then bent at substantiallyva right angle to the body. Each of these fingers is provided with a portion 58 which extends inwardly, and another portion 60 which extends outwardly, forming a ridge portion 61 therebetween.
In assembling the parts in position, the retainer is first inserted in the opening 12 in the trim panel 10. As it is pushed through the opening, the arms 44 and the fingers 56 will be sprung inwardly until they pass behind the trim panel, whereupon they will move outwardly to their normal position. The retainer is pushed into the opening until the face of the body portion bears against the upholstery material 22, thus serving to hold the latter tightly in position around the edge of the opening 12 and keeping it from pulling away therefrom.
When the retainer has been pushed in to this position,
the outward springing movement ofthe arms 44 will cause the shoulders 50 to engage the rear face of the trim panel and the edge of the upholstery material which extends through the opening, with the result that the retainer will be held in position in the opening.
Next the assembly consisting of the face plate 28 and the switch housing 15 mounted therein is pressed into the retainer 34. During this inward movement, the fingers 56 are sprung outwardly and slide over the outer surfaces of the flanges 24 and 26, until the face plate has been pressed in as far as it will go, with its outer edge 62 hearing firmly against the upholstery material whereupon the ridge portions 61 will spring inwardly into apertures 64 formed in each of the flanges 24 and 26.
This will of course tend to resist outward movement of the face plate and will serve to hold the assembly in position in the opening in the trim panel.
At the same time, the inner ends of the tongues 54 on the arms 44 bear against the side faces of the switch housing 15, and this serves to hold the arms in their outermost position wherein the shoulders 50 engage the rear face of the trim panel. The purpose of this is to provide additional means for insuring that the face plate and switch assembly will be firmly held in place during use. If it should be necessary to remove the parts for service purposes, that may be done by inserting a screw driver or other tool beneath the edge 62 of the face plate, and by applying sufficient force to cause the ridge portions 61 of the fingers 56 to spring out of the apertures 64, and to overcome the friction caused by the ends of the spring tongues 54 bearing against the side faces of the switch casing, the assembly consisting of the face plate and the switch housing may be removed.
While in the device illustrated there is only one electric switch present, it is to be understood that it is equally useful where there are a plurality of such switches, it only being necessary to enlarge the size of the face plate and the retainer to accommodate the additional switches.
While I have shown and described a specific embodiment of my invention, it will be understood that various changes in size, shape and details of construction may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
1. In combination, a supporting member having an opening formed therein, a centrally apertured retainer mounted in said opening, said retainer having a pair of spring fingers and a pair of spring arms extending therefrom, each of said arms having a tongue extending inwardly therefrom, said arms being flexed outwardly into engagement with the rear face of the supporting member to hold the retainer in said opening, a housing supported within said retainer, and a face plate to which said housing is secured, said face plate having a pair of spaced flanges positioned in the aperture in said retainer, each of said flanges having a hole formed therein, said spring fingers being snapped into said holes to hold the face plate in position in said retainer, said tongues being engaged and moved outwardly by the housing as the housing is inserted into the retainer to lock said arms in expanded position behind the rear face of the supporting member.
2. In combination, a supporting member having an opening formed therein, a one-piece retainer provided with a generally central aperture positioned in said opening and contacting the supporting member adjacent all the edges of said opening, said retainer having a pair of spaced resilient spring fingers extending therefrom, a face plate provided with a pair of spaced flanges positioned in said aperture, said flanges each having a hole in which one of said spring fingers extends, and a switch housing mounted between said flanges in engagement therewith, each of said flanges being located between said housing and one of said spring fingers, said spring fingers being flexed outwardly by said flanges and thereby exerting a force inwardly toward the housing to hold said face plate in the retainer by engagement of said spring fingers with said holes.
3. A retainer for mounting an element in an opening in a supporting member, said retainer comprising a body portion, a pair of spring fingers and a pair of spring arms integral with and extending from said body portion, and a tongue sheared from each of said spring arms and extending inwardly at an angle relative to the remainder of the spring arm from which it is sheared, said arms being flexible outwardly into engagement with the rear face of the supporting member to hold the retainer in said opening, said tongues being engageable with and movable outwardly by an element inserted within said retainer and thereby serving to lock said arms in outwardly flexed position behind the rear face of the supporting member, said spring fingers being resiliently and positively engageable with recesses in said element to hold said element in position in said retainer.
4. A one-piece retainer for mounting an element in an opening in a supporting member, said retainer comprising a generally rectangular body portion provided with a centrally located aperture extending therethrough, and a pair of oppositely disposed spring fingers and a pair of oppositely disposed spring arms formed integral with said body portion and projecting out of the general plane thereof, each of said arms having a tongue sheared therefrom and extending inwardly at an angle relative to the remainder of the spring arm from which it is sheared, said arms being flexible outwardly into engagement with the rear face of the supporting member to hold the retainer in said opening, the free ends of said tongues being engageable with and movable outwardly by an element inserted into the aperture in said body portion to thereby lock said arms in outwardly flexed position behind the rear face of the supporting member, said spring fingers being resiliently and positively engageable with recesses in said element to hold said element in position in said retainer.
5. In combination, a supporting member having an opening formed therein, a centrally apertured retainer frame positioned in said opening and contacting the supporting member adjacent the edges of the opening therein, said retainer frame being provided with spring arms engaging the rear face of the supporting member to hold the retainer in position in said opening, a face plate provided with portions extending into said retainer frame, said face plate having outer edges extending outwardly beyond edges of said opening and abutting the front face of said supporting member, a housing secured to said face plate and located within said opening, and a pair of oppositely disposed spring fingers on said retainer frame extending in the same direction as said spring arms, said fingers being flexible in a direction generally perpendicular to the direction of flexure of said spring arms and engaging said portion of the face plate to hold said face plate in position in said retainer frame.
6. In combination, a supporting member having an opening formed therein, a retainer mounted in said opening, said retainer having a pair of spring arms extending therefrom, a tongue sheared from and extending inwardly from each of said arms, said arms being flexed outwardly into engagement with the rear face of the supporting member to hold the retainer in said opening, a face plate having portions extending into said retainer, and a switch housing secured to said face plate and located within said opening, outer edges of said face plate extending outwardly beyond edges of said opening and abutting the front face of said supporting member to prevent the passage of said face plate through said opening, said tongues being engaged and moved outwardly by the switch housing as said housing is inserted into said opening and thereby locking said arms in expanded position behind the rear face of the supporting member.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 973,568 Russell Oct. 25, 1910 1,031,976 Weber July 9, 1912 2,113,535 Cuno et a1. Apr. 5, 1938 2,125,843 Hall Aug. 2, 1938 2,140,441 Clark Dec. 13, 1938 2,140,442 Clark Dec. 13, 1938 2,180,598 Mahan Nov. 21, 1939 2,223,273 Slessman Nov. 26, 1940 2,246,722 Del Camp June 24, 1941 2,446,141 Parsons July 27, 1948 2,491,447 Hall Dec. 13, 1949 2,494,669 Nodine Jan. 17, 1950 FOREIGN PATENTS 540,279 Great Britain Oct. 10, 1941