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Publication numberUS2794084 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 28, 1957
Filing dateDec 29, 1953
Priority dateDec 29, 1953
Publication numberUS 2794084 A, US 2794084A, US-A-2794084, US2794084 A, US2794084A
InventorsAldo Segoni
Original AssigneeAldo Segoni
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Accident signalling device
US 2794084 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 28, 1957 A. SEGONI ACCIDENT SIGNALLING DEVICE Filed Dec. 29,. 1953 \NVENTbfi Ado 52.5mm

States Patent ACCIDENT SIGNALLING DEVICE Aldo Segoni, Florence, Italy Application December 29,1953, Serial No. 400,972

' 4 Claims. ((31. zoo-61.52

The invention relates to an automatic-device to be particularly applied to vehicles so that it may close a signalling circuit, for example an acoustic one, when the vehicle, owing to an accident, has become capsized, tilted, or the like. This device is useful to signal the presence of damaged vehicles, out of the road, and in which the passengers are not able to ask for aid, while the prompt intervention of the rescue means may save said passengers. A device of this kind may also be applied on airplanes, or on other locomotion means, and may be de signed to signal that the vehicle is tilted more than a predetermined amount out of its usual position.

According to the invention, a shaped recess or cavity is formed in order to present a lower central zone and other higher zones and at least a movable element is provided for in this cavity, which is displaced from the lower central zone towards a higher zone when the vehicle-such as the automobile-on which the device is secured, is inclined over a definite limit determined by the inclination shown by the cavity between the lower central zone and the higher ones; means are provided so that an electrical circuit may be closed by said movable element when it reaches a higher zone of the cavity.

The movable or each movable element is made up of a member capable of rotating and it preferably may be made up of a metallic ball or of a drop of mercury, in any way as to obtain an element having a suitable weight, capable of closing a circuit, by means thereof, through contacts with terminals located in the cavity.

In a particularly advantageous and simple embodiment, the walls of the cavity are defined by a revolution surface, rotating around a vertical axis and having an appropriate shape. Said surface is designed to determine a lower central zone and at least a higher peripheral annular zone and a high central zone shaped like an overturned glass or cup.

The cavity is practically formed by two disc-shaped elements provided with approximately truncated cone shaped walls so as to form the profile required; said two disc-like elements are coupled with each other so as to be electrically insulated and to form a peripheral zone having a gradually decreasing height, wherein it is possible to fit the element or an inner movable element capable of establishing the contact between the two disc-like elements, forming the cavity.

The drawing illustrates some exemplary embodiments of the invention. In the drawing:

Fig. 1 illustrates a partially sectioned side view of the device;

Fig. 2 illustrates an enlarged detail of Fig. 1;

Fig. 3 illustrates a cross-section along the line III,III of Fig. 1;

Figs. 4 and 5 illustrate the device respectively in the tilted vertical position and in an inclined position, wherein the signalling circuit is closed, in a reduced scale;

Fig. 6 illustrates a diagram of the circuit wherein an acoustic signalling device is illustrated in the conventional way; and

, Fig. 7 illustrates a section of another embodiment.

.-According to the embodiment of Figs. 1 to 5, the de- ICC vice includes two metallic disc profiled elements, coupled to each other and generically referred to as 1 and 2. The element 1 includes a flat central portion 10, an upwardly opened truncated cone wall 1b and a peripheral downwardly opened annular truncated cone wall 10. The element 2 includes a glass or cup shaped downwardly opened central portion 2a, a downwardly opened truncated cone wall 2b and a peripheral rim 20. As shown in Fig. 2, the peripheral rim 2c of the element 2 and the rim of the peripheral annular wall 10 are separated from each other by an insulating layer 3, such as a varnish.

The two elements are coupled by a central threaded stem 4, which is engaged in an insulated manner to the cup 2a of the element 2 through an outer nut 5 and an inner one 6, two spacers made up of insulating material 7 being interposed between said nuts; the stem 4, at its lower end, passes through a hole of the central zone 1a of the element 1 and a nut'8 is outwardly screwed thereon, by which nut the element 1 is urged against the' element 2.

A nut 9 screwed onto the stem 4 forms, in conjunction with the nut 5, a terminal for the cable 10 which thus is maintained in electrical contact through the stem 4 and the nut 8 with the element 1. In an appropriate point of the element 2, for example in the truncated cone wall 2b, there is a profile or shaping capable of housing the head 11a of a screw 11, on which two nuts 12 and 13 are screwed, designed to secure the screw and form a terminal for a cable 14; the cable 14 thus is maintained in electrical contact with the element 2.

In the cavity formed by the coupling of the elements 1 and 2 two loose metallic balls 15 are housed; the number of the balls may be more or less than two.

A stirrup 16 integral with the element 2 and only shown in Fig. 1 serves to mount the device onto the structure in any suitable way, so that the stem 4 is substantially vertical. The cables 1014 form a section of the circuit including, for example, the battery 17 and a signal apparatus of the conventional type indicated in 18 (Fig. 6), capable of emitting a signal when the circuit is closed between the cable 10 and the cable 14 in the hereafter described procedure. An intermittent switch 20 of a known type, for example of the bimetallic type or of the thermal expansion type, may be included in the circuit.

The small balls 15 are located in the lowest zone of the element 1, that is in the zone 1a, in the usual position. They remain substantially in this position during the normal running of the vehicle and cannot mount along the sloped wall 1b which is upwardly opened; suitable ribs, such as those indicated in 19, projecting in the inside of the cavity, prevent the small balls from eventually assuming a circular rolling motion and in this way go up along the wall 111. In event of an accident, by which the vehicle may run off the road and maybe extremely inclined, for example, at least one of the small balls 15 will roll into correspondence of the highest zone of the cavity defined by the elements 12, said zone being defined by the walls 1c2b-2c; the small ball is fixed between the walls lc-Zb in these walls, because the inclination of the truncated cone surface 2.) is restrictedly lower than that of the truncated cone wall 10, whereby'the projection of the lines of section will meet in accordance to an angle a illustrated in Fig. 1. For this scope and owing to the position of the wall 10, even if the. vehicle will subsequently regain, always oil? the road, its usual position, at least one ball will remain fitted, as shown by dot and dash in Fig. 1. If the vehicle when capsizing, rolls out of its normal posi-,-

tion, the device will assume the position shown. in Fig. 5'. If the vehicle will be completely capsized, the balls 15 either will remain fixed as above mentioned or will reach the position shown in Fig. 4, remaining in contrast Patented May 28, 1957..

between the stem 4 and the wall 2a of the cup section central zone of the element 2.

Both in the conditions shown in Fig. 1 by dot and dash lines or in Fig. 5, and in the conditions shown in Fig-4', the metallic balls ,15 close the circuit between the cables and 14 determining a metallic contact in the first case between the elements. 1 and 2 and in the second case between the element 2 and the stem 4.

i A certain amount of mercury may be provided for in the cavity formed by the element 1.2 in replacement of one or more balls said mercury being housed between the walls 10 and or in the cup 2a, will perform the same. operations as explained for the balls 15.

As a modification, it may be possible to form, between the Walls 1b and 1.0, an annular projection towards the cavity in, order to. obtain. an efficient stopping of the inner movable element.

By unscrewing the nut 8, the cavity containing the balls or the mercury is easy to be reached.

According to the modification shown in Fig. 7, wherein the similar members are referred to with the same references, the two discs 1 and 2 are connected in a different way than that with the stem 4; for example, they are connected by small springs 21 designed in such a way as to avoid the execution of the metallic contact between the two discs. The stem 4 is defined in order to connect the nuts 6 and 9; the nut 6 may even form the head of the stem. A cable 22 connected to the cable 10 establishes the permanent electrical contact between the cable 10 and the disc 1, instead of the stem 4; said cable 22 may be welded to the cable 10 or fixed with a terminal 23, similar to the one indicated by 11-121-3.

The balls 15 establish the contact between the disc 2 and the nut or head 6, in this case in the tilted position (-as that shown in Fig. 4).

What I claim is:

1. An automatic circuit-closing device for the actuation of an electrical signal upon the displacement of a vehicle or the like from a normal position, especially designed to give alarm in case of capsizing and road accident, including: a first metallic disc-shaped element formed with a conical portion at the center thereof, upwardly and outwardly inclined, and with an annular conical wall portion surrounding said conical portion and downwardly and outwardly inclined, a second metallic disc-shaped element formed with a conical wall outwardly and downwardly inclined to a degree slightly greater than the inclination towards the bottom of the annular wall of said first element, and being provided with an edge which has the periphery thereof still more inclined towards the bottom, said two elements matching along the circular periphery, an electrically insulating layer mechanically coupling said elements whereby to form a closed chamber in the assembly, at least one relatively small ball movable within said chamber and fashioned from electrically conductive material, a terminal carried by said second element at the highest central zone thereof and electrically insulated with respect to said element, and a rod fashioned from electrically conductive material, electrically and mechanically connecting said first disc-shaped element with said terminal, said rod being centrally positioned in said chamber.

2. An automatic switching device for the actuation of an alarm signal upon the displacement of a vehicle or the like from a normal position, especially designed to give alarm in case of capsizing and road accident, including: a first metallic disc-shaped element formed with a conical portion at the center thereof, upwardly and outwardly inclined, and with an annular conical Wall portion surrounding said conical portion and downwardly and outwardly inclined, a second metallic disc-shaped element formed with a conical wall. outwardly and downwardly inclined to a degree slightly greater than the inclination towards the bottom of the annular wall of said ing layer interposed between said first element, and being provided with an edge which has the periphery thereof still more inclined towards the bottom, an annular insulator mechanically coupling said two elements along the circular periphery, whereby to form a closed chamber in the assembly, at least one relatively small ball movable within said chamber and fashioned from electrically conductive material, a terminal carried by said second element at the highest central zone thereof and electrically insulated with respect to said element, and an electrical conductor connecting said first disc-shaped element to said terminal.

3. An automatic switching device for the actuation of an alarm signal upon the displacement of a vehicle or the like from a normal position, especially designed to give alarm in case of capsizing and road accident, inciuding: a first metallic disc-shaped element formed with a conical portion at the center thereof, upwardly and outwardly inclined, ribs positioned within said conical portion, said portion being also formed with an annular conical wall portion surrounding said central portion and downwardly and outwardly inclined, a second metallic disc-shaped element formed with a conical wall outwardly and downwardly inclined to a degree slightly greater than the inclination towards the bottom of the annular wall of said first element, and being provided with an edge which has the periphery thereof still more inclined towards the bottom, 'said two elements matching along the circular periphery, an electrically insulating. layer mechanically coupling said elements whereby to form a closed chamber in the assembly, at least one relatively small ball movable within said chamber and fashioned from electrically conductive material, a terminal carried by said second element at the highest centralzone thereof and electrically insulated with respect to said element, and a rod. fashioned from electrically conductive material, electrically and mechanically conmeeting said first disc-shaped element with said terminal, said rod being cent-rally positioned in said chamber.

4. Anautomatic switching device. for determining the closure of an electrical circuit to a signal, upon the displacement: of a vehicle or the like from a normal position, especially designed to give alarm in case of capsizing and road accident, including: a first metallic discshaped element formed with. a conical portion at the center thereof, pwardly and outwardly inclined, and with an annular conical wall portion surrounding said conical portion and downwardly and outwardly inclined, asecondmetallic disc-shaped element formed with a conical wall outwardly and downwardly inclined, and with an edge which is inclined towards the bottom to a degree exceeding the inclination of said first annular conical wall portion; said two elements being mechanically coupled along, the circular periphery, an electrically insulatelements at said periphery, whereby to form a closed chamber in the assembly, an amount of mercury free in said chamber, a terminal carried by said. second element at the highest central zone thereof and electrically insulated with respect to said element, and an electrical conductor connecting said first disc-shaped element to said terminal.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,107,245

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3001184 *Feb 2, 1959Sep 19, 1961Aaron P EdelmanSwimming pool alarm unit
US3038151 *Apr 21, 1960Jun 5, 1962Elliott & Evans IncWave-actuated signal
US3356812 *Sep 16, 1965Dec 5, 1967Benjamin MoschettaMercury type electrical switch
US3509298 *Jul 24, 1968Apr 28, 1970Sylvania Electric ProdDisturbance switch
US3729602 *Oct 27, 1971Apr 24, 1973R MyersTilt responsive switch with ball contact actuating structure
US4085304 *Aug 13, 1976Apr 18, 1978Shorrock Developments LimitedVibration switch having threaded terminals and plural roller contacts
US4591676 *Mar 8, 1984May 27, 1986First Inertia Switch LimitedInertia switch impact sensor
US4697174 *Oct 10, 1985Sep 29, 1987Viator Sr John RBall actuated alarm device
US4764761 *Oct 7, 1987Aug 16, 1988Maguire Iii John NEarthquake alarm
US4972595 *Feb 23, 1989Nov 27, 1990Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki KaishaInclination sensor
US4980575 *Apr 10, 1990Dec 25, 1990Sensormatic Electronics CorporationMotion sensor and detection system
US5923263 *Sep 30, 1997Jul 13, 1999Rodriguez; Luis G.Driver safety and swimming pool safety device
US7002482 *Apr 23, 2004Feb 21, 2006Callaway James JPosition activated mercury switch
US8217284 *Oct 26, 2009Jul 10, 2012Shenzhen H & T Intelligent Control Co., Ltd.Anti dumping switch and device having same
WO1983003747A1 *Apr 22, 1983Nov 10, 1983Laserow Kaj AbWarning device for monitoring the position of a part of a human body
WO2000021052A1 *Oct 1, 1998Apr 13, 2000Luis G RodriguezDriver safety and swimming pool safety device
Classifications
U.S. Classification200/61.52, 200/224, 340/689, 200/226
International ClassificationH01H35/02
Cooperative ClassificationH01H35/02
European ClassificationH01H35/02