US 2856474 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 14, 1958 W. l. NORRIS KEY CONTROLLED SWITCH BOX FOR ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES Filed 001;. 7, 19 57 2 Sheets-Sheet l BY JQWJQW HTTVS',
w; l. NORRIS Oct. 14, 1958 KEY CONTROLLED SWITCH B OX FOR ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Oct. '7, 1957 Nwwwg INVENTOR. Mil/am Juan Nor/1L9 BY 136W 622% United States Patent KEY CONTROLLED SWITCH BOX 'FOR ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES Willard Ivan Norr'igMarysville, Calif. Application October 7, 1957, Serial No. 688,731
7 Claims: (Cl; 2011- -44) The present invention is directed to, and it is a major object to provide, a novel key controlled switch "box for use in the electric supply circuit for an appliance, such as a television set or a radio; the device being especially designed-but not limited-for use in connection :with an appliance in a room of ahotel, motel, or the like, and wherein a fee is charged the room occupant foruse of the appliance.
Heretofore the switch boxes for such purpose have been controlled by the insertion of a coin thereinto, but this type of switch box has been found very disadvantageous, as it invites vandalism on the part of. a person seeking to gain access into the box in order to steal the coins. therefrom.
It is therefore another important object of'this invention to provide a switchbox, for the purpose described, which is key controlled, whereby to not only simplify the mechanism, but also to minimize the risk of intentional breakage; the control key being presented to the room occupant upon payment of a certain fee.
An additional object of the invention is to provide a switch box, as in the preceding paragraph, which requires not only the insertion of the control key into the box and turning of such key to on position, but also the manual shifting of an exteriorly accessible member from one position to another, to complete or close the circuit to the appliance; the member as so shifted being automatically latched against movement, and also such member then prevents the control key from being turned either left or right when said control key is in the on position, By the very nature of the control key lock, the key-when in the on position.cannot be removed. This of course prevents unauthorized withdrawal and appropriation of such control key. The shiftable member is releasable for return to said one position, and whereinthe control key can be turned to on? position and removed, only by the use of aseparate release key kept in the possession of an attendant, such as the room maid.
It is also an object of the invention to provide a key controlled switch box which is designed for ease and economy of manufacture, ready installation,,-and convenience of use.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a practical, reliable, and durable key controlled switch box, and one which will beexceedingly elfective for the purpose for which it is designed.
These objects are accomplished by means of such structure and relative arrangement of parts as will fully appear by a perusal of the following specification and claims.
In the drawings:
Fig. 1 is a front elevation of the key controlled switch box as mounted on an electric appliance, here illustrated as a television set.
Fig. 2 is an enlarged longitudinal sectional elevation of the switch box showing the parts as returned :to circuit-opening position by the attendant upon use of the .front 11 2,356,474 'Patented Oct. 14 19. 38
switch box in circuit-closing position, with the lever arm latched against movement.
Fig. 4 is a transverse sectional elevation on line 4-4 of Fig. 3.
Fig. 5 is a fragmentary transverse sectional elevation on line 5--5 of Fig. 3.
Fig. 6 is a transverse sectional elevation on line 66 of Fig. 3.
Fig.7 is a diagram of the circuit of the switch box, illustrating the relationship of the two switches in such circuit.
Referring now more particularly to the drawings, and to the characters of reference marked thereon, the key controlled switch ,box which embodies thepresent invention is indicated generally at 1,.and such box is preferably mounted directly on the appliance, here illustrated as a television set 2. The electric current supply cord 3 leads from a conventional outlet 4 into the switch box 1; the electric cord 5 for the appliance 2 leading from within said switch box 1 into such appliance.
Within the switch box 1 the cords 3 and 5 are connected by a circuit, indicated at 6, and wherein two switches are interposed in series; said switches being indicated at 7 and 8; it thus being necessary to close both switches 7 and 8 before the circuit 6 is completed through the switch box 1 to the appliance 2. j
The switchbox 1 includes a top 9,. a bottom 10, a front 11, a back 12, and an outer side 13; the box on the opposite or.inner side beingflanged, as at 14, and secured to theappliance 2 by bolts,15.. While in the present embodiment the switch box 1 is shown as side mounted,
it can be disposed at any convenient point on the appliance, or on an adjacent fixedsupport.
Aflat post 16 is secured in the box 1 between the top 9 and bottom 10 in spaced but facing relation .to the outer side 13, and such post supportm-adjacenhbut short of its upper end-.anv initially .open,--key-type electric switch; such switch being theone indicated at 7 in Fig. 7.
The switch 7 is of the type which includes a rotary, key-receiving spindle 17, wherein the keyhole is indicated at 18. The outer end of the spindle 17 and the keyhole 18 face. the outer side 13 and are alined with .a key- .entry aperture 19 in the latter.
The control key is indicated at 20, and such keywhich has a flat shank 21-isadapted to be; inserted .throughthe aperture 19 and into the keyholels; such keyhole 18 initially occupying a horizontal position, so that upon insertion of the key 20. the shank 21 likewise initially .lies horizontal.
Upon turning of the key 20 a quarter-turn, and so that the flatshank 21 is then vertical, the switch 7 is closed; such switch being of the type which prevents Withdrawal of the key 20 when in switch-closing-position, i. e., when the flat shank 21 is vertical, as aforesaid;
A longitudinally extending, vertically swingable lever arm 22 .is disposed in the switch box 1, with the rear end of such lever arm transversely pivoted, as at. 23. From the pivot 23 the lever arm 22 extends forwardly .to, adjacent the front 11, and at such point the lever arm includes-in integral relation-a forwardly. projecting finger 24 which extendsthroug-h a slot 25 in said front 11; the finger 24 terminating a distance ahead of the in order to permit of ready hand engagement with such finger.
,The slot 25 is of substantial vertical. extent so as to .permitswinging of the lever arm 22 from. an initial or .loweredposition extending at a forward and downward incline, as in Fig. 2, to, a raised position extending substantially horizontal, as in Fig. 3. i
The lever arm 22 is disposed, laterally of the box, so as to work up and down between the side 13 and post 16, and more particularly in a longitudinal vertical plane which intersects the shank 21 of key when the latter is engaged in the switch 7. Intermediate its ends the lever arm 22 is formed with an upwardly opening notch 26 having atapered or flared throat 27 at-the top thereof; the portion of the lever arm 22 which is formed with said notch 26 and throat 27 being initially below the spinits raised position, the key 20 cannot be turned or removed from the switch.
Upon such swinging movement of the lever arm 22 to its raised position, it is automatically latched in such position as follows: I
A key-operated catch 28 is mounted in the box 1 on the backside of the front 11, with the rotary key receiving spindle 29 of such catch 23 projecting through said front 11 for access from exteriorly thereof, and for reception of a release key 30. The catch 28, which is mounted alongside, but closely adjacent, the slot includes a laterally projecting, spring-pressed latch dog 31 which spans such slot and thus lies in the path of movement of the adjacent part of the lever arm 22. When the lever arm 22 is swung from its lowered position to its raised position it strikes a beveled or inclined cam edge 32 on the latch dog 31, urging the latter inwardly and permitting upward passage of said lever arm 22; the latch dog 31 then springing back beneath the lever arm 22 and releasably latching it against downward movement. See particularly Fig. 6.
An initially open push-button switch, which is the switch '8 previously mentioned in connection with the circuit shown in Fig. 7, is mounted on a horizontal ear 33 fixed to the lever arm 22 between the switch 7 and the front 11. The switch 8 is disposed so that the button 34 thereof projects upwardly, and such button engages-in switch closing relation-with a fixed stop 35- when said lever arm 22 is in its raised, latched-up, position.
It will thus be recognized that upon insertion of the key 20 into switch 7, and turning of said key 20 to a position with the shank 21 vertical, the switch 7 is closed, and that upon upward swinging of the lever arm 22 to its raised, latched position, the switch 8 is closed. This completes the circuit through the switch box 1, so that the appliance 2 may then be turned on and operated.
The key 20, which is the control key, is placed in the possession of the room occupant only after payment of a certain fee, and such key is thereafter used in the manner above described, together with manipulation of the lever arm by the finger 24, to close the circuit through the switch box 1. Thereafter, while the appliance 2 can be operated, the room occupant cannot withdraw the control key 20, which prevents its unauthorized removal and appropriation.
When it is desired to remove the control key 20, the release key 30-which, as aforesaid, is in the possession of an attendant, such as a room maidis inserted in the rotary key receiving spindle 29 of catch 28, and such release key is then manipulated to cause retraction of the latch dog 31. With the latch dog 31 held retracted, the lever arm 22 is swung downward by the finger 24 to the lowered or starting position of said lever arm 22; the release key 30 then being withdrawn, followed by withdrawal of the control key 20. Such lowering of the lever arm 22 results in lowering and opening the switch 8, while removal of the control key opens the switch 7.
The switch box 1 then stands with the circuit broken, ready for use by the room occupant who next receives the control key 20.
In order to prevent tampering with the internal mechanism of the switch box 1, as by insertion of a fishing element through the slot 25, a rotary guard plate 36 abuts flush against the back side of the front 11 in overlying relation to said slot. The catch 28 is mounted in connection with the front 11 by a bracket 37 which rearwardly offsets or spaces such catch slightly rearwardly of said front 11; the rotary guard plate 36 being turnably mounted on the portion of the spindle 29 between catch 28 and said front 11.
The rotary guard plate 36 has an opening 38 therein, and through which opening the finger 24 projects, whereby said guard plate 36 rides up and down on the front 11 in response to corresponding movement of said finger 24. With this arrangement the rotary guard plate 36 covers the slot 25, so that the internal mechanism of the device is effectively safeguarded against tampering by means of an element which could otherwise be inserted through said slot.
From the foregoing description it will be readily seen that there has been produced such a device as will substantially fulfill the objects of the invention, as set forth herein. A, While this specification sets forth in detail the present and preferred construction of the device, still in practice such deviations from such detail may be resorted to as do not form a departure from the spirit of the invention, as defined by the appended claims.
Having thus described the invention, the following is claimed as new and useful, and upon which Letters Patent .are desired:
1. A switch box unit comprising a box, a lever arm pivoted in the box for movement between one position and another position, meaans accessible from exteriorly of the box to manually move the lever arm between said positions, a catch mounted in the box operative to latch the lever arm in said other position upon movement thereto, a pair of initially open switches in the box, a control key adapted to engage in and close one switch from exteriorly of the box, the second switch being closed in response to movement of the lever arm to said other position, means to prevent withdrawal of the control key from the first switch when the lever arm is in said other position, a release key adapted to engage in and release said catch means from exteriorly of the box whereby to permit movement of the lever arm to said one position and withdrawal of the control key, and a switch box circuit in which said switches are interposed.
2. A switch box unit comprising a box, a lever arm pivoted in the box for movement between one position and another position, means accessible from exteriorly of the box to manually move the lever arm between said positions, a catch mounted in the box operative to latch the lever arm in said other position upon movement thereto, a pair of initially open switches in the box, one switch being of key-type and including a rotary key receiving part, a control key adapted to be engaged in said part from exteriorly of the box, the control key being part-turned to close said one switch and then being in capable of withdrawal therefrom, means between the lever arm and a portion of the control key in the box arranged to lock said key in such part-turned position when the lever arm is in said other position, a release key adapted to engage in and release said catch means from exteriorly of the box whereby the lever arm is then movable to said one position, and a switch box circuit in which said switches are interposed.
3. A switch box unit comprising a box having a front,
a top, a bottom, a back, and a side; a longitudinally extending lever arm disposed in the box, means transversely pivotingthe lever arm at its rear end in the box, the front of the latter having a vertical slot therein, a finger on the adjacent end of the lever arm projecting through such slot whereby said lever arm may be moved between a lowered position and a raised position by manual engagement of said finger, a post in the box between the top and bottom thereof, a laterally facing initially open switch mounted on said post, the switch including a rotary key receiving part facing the side of the box from a position on the other side of the lever arm, said side of the box having an aperture alined with said rotary part of the switch, a control key adapted to project through the aperture and to engage in said rotary part of the switch, partturning of the key and said part closing said switch, the control key having a flat shank vertically disposed when said key is so part-turned, the lever arm having a notch therein opening to the upper edge of said arm, and the flat shank of the control key being engaged in nonturnable relation in said notch when the lever arm is in raised position, a catch mounted in the box on the front thereof operative to latch the lever arm in said raised position upon movement thereto, a second initially open switch in the box mounted on the lever arm, means to close said second switch when the lever arm is moved to said raised position, a release key adapted to engage in and release said catch from exteriorly of the box whereby to permit movement of the lever arm to said lowered position, and a switch box circuit in which said switches are interposed.
4. A switch unit for an electric circuit comprising, with a switch box, a pair of separate initially open switches in the box interposed in series in the circuit, means mounting one such switch in the box in a fixed position, said one switch including a key turnable from an open position of the switch to the closed position thereof and removable only when the switch is open, the key including a fiat shank exposed in the box outwardly of the switch, a member mounted in the box for movement from an idle position to a working position and on which the other switch is mounted, the member includ ing an element outside the box for so manually moving the member, means in the box functioning to close the other switch upon the member moving to said operating position, means between the member when in said operating position and the key shank to prevent the latter from turning from a switch closing position, and a keyreleased latch element arranged to engage the member and prevent retractive movement of the same from said operating position.
5. A unit, as in claim 4, in which said other switch includes an actuating button depressible to close the switch, and said switch closing means comprises a stop plate fixed in position to overhang and engage and cause 6 the button to be depressed upon movement of the member to said operating position.
6. A switch box unit for an electric circuit comprising, with a switch box, a pair of separate initially open switches in the box interposed in series in the circuit, means mounting one such switch in the box in a fixed position, said one switch including a key turnable from an open position of the switch to the closed position thereof and removable only when the switch is open, the key including a fiat shank exposed in the box outwardly of the switch, a lever pivoted at one end in the box and on which the other switch is mounted, said lever being disposed generally at right angles to the key shank and arranged for swinging movement from an idle position to an operating position in the direction of the key shank, means in the box functioning to close the other switch upon movement of the lever to the operating position, and a key-released latch element in the box arranged to engage the member and prevent retractive movement thereof from said operating position; the lever having a slot cut in the edge thereof which faces the key shank in position to receive said shank upon the lever being swung to said operating position so as to then prevent turning of the shank.
7. A switch unit for an electric circuit comprising, with a switch box, a pair of separate initially open switches in the box interposed in series in the circuit, means mounting one such switch in the box in a fixed position, said one switch including a key turnable from an open position of the switch to the closed position thereof and removable only when the switch is open, a member mounted in the box for movement between idle and working positions and manually controlled for such move ment from exteriorly of the box, the member when in said operating position preventing retractiye movement of the key from a switch closing position, means functioning upon movement of the member to an operating position to close the other switch, and key-released catch means in the box arranged to engage and hold the member against retractive movement from the operating position thereof.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,334,292 Cox Mar. 23, 1920 1,526,812 Thomas Feb. 17, 1925 2,166,061 Kirk July 11, 1939 2,336,936 Johnson Dec. 14, 1943 2,508,067 Johnson May 16, 1950 2,641,919 Cooper June 16, 1953