US 2896021 A
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July 21, 1959 L, PHILIPPs I 2,896,021
INTER-COMMUNICATION SYSTEM Filed m. 9. I954 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 /5 INDICATOR PANEL ATTENDING PERSONNEL CENTRAL STATION PATIENTS ATTENDING 200M PEIZSONN EL 3 DUTY Room I INFORMATION I SELECTOR EMERGENCY STATION IN VEN TOR. LOU/5 PHIL/PPS ATTORNEY July 21, 1959 L. E. PHILIPPS INTER-COMMUNICATION SYSTEM 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Feb. '9. 1954 NEE-sum INVENTOR. L 00/5 5. PAUL/PR5 X A T T0 [2 N EV July 21, 1959 L. E. PHILIPPS 2,395,021
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MANUAL CONTROL. SWH'LH INVENTOR. LOU/5, E. PH/L IPPS Y M r: E Y T U D 24 V RETU RN ATTORNEY sion.
United States Patent 2,896,021 INTER-COMMUNICATION SYSTEM Louis E. Philipps, Cleveland Heights, Ohio, assignor, by mesne assignments, to The Standard Electric Time Company, Springfield, Mass, a corporation of Convnecticut Application February 9, 1954, Serial No. 409,104 4 Claims. (Cl. 179-1) This invention relates to communication systems, and more particularly to a multiple position unit whereby information is automatically transmitted to several locations simultaneously, and thereby is enabled to be acted ascertaina'ble by anyone versed in the art.
With the introduction of larger hospitals, and 2. recognizable shortage of trained personnel to operate the same, it has been" found necessary to provide some method of communications whereby contact can be had With any room from several pre-determined locations where the hospital staff is usually stationed, or from locations that are usually known as duty rooms, where the trained personnel prepares medication or food, and carries out the various functions incident to said profes- In the past, the usual type of communication service comprised of a buzzer system whereby a patient operated a button-type switch that gave either a visual or audible signal to the personnel in attendance, and it was required of them to come to the room of the patient before the type of service required by the patient was known.
As can be readily seen, this type of system,although sufiicient for small installations, is not adequate for hospitals having many rooms per floor, and several floors all within one enclosure.
The applicants device, on the other hand, provides an intercommunication system whereby the patient is able to converse directly with the personnel in attendance, and make known his wants, so that-said personnel is able to treat the patient within a minimum of'time thereby greatly increasing the service and etficiency-of the operation of the hospital. It is also possible in using the applicants device,'to transmit different kinds of information for difierentpurposes to a central station wherein visual signals are interpreted, and the prescribed action is then performed.
' The applicants device is also capable of simultaneous- 1y transmitting a plurality of information from various points to a central station wherein the information is registered, and the unit is then operable either automatically or manually to connect the central station to each tran'smitting'point singularly and sequentially thereby ena'bling the attending personnel to determine thecause for said transmitted information.
It is therefore realized that with the applicants device,
the hospital personnel arev ableto care for and treat.
more patients than possible in hte past, and theservice is administered with a minimum of valuable time lost and with less fatigue on the part of said attending a personnel.
In. the drawings:
. 2 Fig. 1 is a diagrammatic view of my communication system; i
Fig. 2 is a wiring diagram illustrating the sensory circuit of my selector unit, and associated equipment;
Fig. 3 is a wiring diagram of the resetting circuit of my selector unit, and associated equipment;
Fig. 4 is a wiring diagram of the finder circuit of my selector unit, and associated equipment;
Fig. 5 is a wiringdiagram of the manual control circuit of my selector unit, and;
Fig. 6 is a wiring diagram of the manual sensory circuit of my selector unit.
Referring now to the drawings throughout which like elements are designated by like reference characters, Fig l is a diagrammatic view, in very simplified form of my invention.' The numeral 1 signifies the central control station to which the information from each outlying station 3, 4 or 5 is transmitted. One central station is generally used for connecting a pre-determined number of outlying rooms or stations into one network, but more than one is contemplated where it is desirable to transmit said information to several control points simultaneously.
The equipment comprising the central control station 1 usually includes an indicator panel 8 having visual means to show which outlying room or rooms are signaling, and a telephone unit whereby voice communication can be held between the control station and said signaling room.
Also included within the control station equipment is an information selecting device 2 which registers and sequentially selects incoming signals thereby enabling the operator to handle each call individually and also to determine which calls have not been answered. An amplifier is associated with the control station equipment which provides sufficient amplification for voice communication, and a rectifier unit is part of said station to provide the DC. voltage for said system.
The equipment usually associated with the ordinary patients room 3 includes a switching mechanism which transmits a signal to the central control station where it is registered on the indicator panel, and thereby signals that assistance is needed. Also included is a device for holding voice communications between the patients room and central control station. Additional visual means are located within the room and over the door in the corridor to signify that a call has been placed from within.
Numeral 5 refers to What is usually termed an emergency station. This type of station may be anywhere within the system but is commonly used where patients, who need assistance in performing any function, are located, or in any'other room where immediate technical assistance is needed. I
The equipment comprising the emergency station includes a switch mechanism which transmits a flashing signal to the central control station and to visual means located in the corridor outside the emergency station, so that any of the attending staff who happen to be in the vicinity may see the signal and respond thereto.
Because of the technical staff having duties to perform which necessitate their absence from the central control station, such as blood sampling, dietary control, X-ray study and like functions, which are usually performed in laboratories or duty rooms 4, the applicants device provides for equipment in these special localities which comprises visual means whereby it is made known that calls have been received at the central control station and a device for holding voice communication between said dutv room and-central control station.
The ,device which enables the applicants system to vice is operable either automatically .or manually to sense that a signal has been received, and to ready the system in answer to said signal. After the signal has been re- .ceived and answered, the selector .device is operable to determine whether any other signals have been transmitted from the various positions such as the patients room 3., emergency stations or duty rooms 4, and if thereare anyv unanswered signals, the selector is operable to sequentially connect the control station to each transmitting position. After a signal has been answered, the selector is also operable to disconnect the electrical contact made between the transmitting stations equipment from the central stations equipment and to ready the transmitting stations equipment for subsequent use.
As before mentioned, my system contemplates the use of an indicator panel 8 to give visual indication of how many signals have been transmitted and from where t he signals have originated. The indicator panel is made 11p of at least one light for each room which are arranged in horizontal rows; each row. having an equal number of lamps. The lamps are connected to the in formation selector unit ,2 in such manner that when a person signals for assistance at one of the outlying positions, the lamp on. the indicator panel is illuminated. Each lamp is usually given a number corresponding to the outlet or station so that its location can be readily determined. The selector is also given an electrical signal setting the selector unit into operation to sense the call placed, to find the location of the call, connecting the attending personnel into communication with the calling station, and after the call has been answered, to place the system in readiness for a subsequent signal.
' More specifically, the simplified schematic of .Fig. 2 illustrates the sensing operation performed by the selector when a signal is received from a patients room 3., and answering thereof is attempted.
.. When the patient wishes to have assistance, he merely pulls a cord which is attached to the toggle arm 10 of a multiple pole switch 11, and by pulling thereon, he closes the contacts 12. The lamp 15, Fig. 1, on the indicator panel will then glow dimly due to the circuit established between a low voltage supply 13 (Fig. 2) and the lamp, through wire 7, contacts 12 and through a half-wave rectifier 21 which reduces the effective voltage by. rectification. The lower contacts 32 of switch 11 'are also closed energizing a duty relay 14 which connects a horizontal sensor motor 30 to the voltage supply "13 through wire 22, contacts 16, contacts 24, and manual control switch 91. A plurality of wafer-type switches are mounted on the shaft of the motor 30, the rotor of each switch being rotatable with said motor. All the lamps in each horizontal row on the indicator panel are connected to one wafer switch called the horizontal sensor switch 41. Usually there are 12 lamps in a row, and in a 4'8 station system there would be four separate wafertype switches, the lamps being positioned in four rows of 12 lamps each as shown in Fig. 1.
, The stationary contacts 40 of switch 41 are each connected to the junction point of the contacts 12 of switch "'11 and the rectifier 21, by wire 38. The rotary arm 42 is electrically connected to the coil 9 of a relay 35. When contacts 12 are closed, a voltage appears on the respective stationary contact 40 connected thereto. When the motor 30 is energized the unit has sensed that a call has been placed, and the rotary arm 42 rotates with the motor shaft making successive contact with the stationary contacts 40. When the rotary arm engages the stationary contact connected to the closed contact 12,
the coil 9 of relay 35 is energized, and pulls the contact 24 upward disengaging the horizontal motor from the power source. The horizontal sensor switch 41 is therefore stopped in this position.
As before mentioned, one switch 41 isused for one row, of lamps. In a 48 station unit, lamps 1 to 12 are connected to one switch, lamps 13 to 24 are connected to a second switch, lamps 25 to 36 are connected to a third, and lamps 37 to 48 are connected to a fourth switch. Each switch is mounted on the shaft of the motor 30 so that the rotary arm 42 of each switch is in the same radial position. Therefore, for example in an indicator panel of a 48 station unit as shown in Fig. 1, when a patients room switch in room 6 is closed, the horizontal motor 30 will rotate until the first horizontal switch is in position 6, but the remaining horizontal switches will be in the same relative position; the second in position 18, the third in position 30 and the fourth in position 42. In other words, any one of four room switches can be closed, and the horizontal motor will rotate and position the rotary arm 42 of each switch 41 in the same radial position.
When the contact 24 of relay 35 is pulled upward, power is delivered to the vertical motor 48 through contact 45. A plurality of wafer-type switches are mounted on the shaft of the motor 48, the rotary arm of each switch being rotatable with said motor. One of said switches is called the vertical sensor switch 54, and the rotary arm 53 is engageable with a stationary contact 52 thereon in any one of four positions.
In a 48 station system, the rotary arm 42 of the horizontal switch 41 having stations 1 to 12 connected thereto is in turn connected to the stationary contact 52 corresponding to position one. The rotary arm of each remaining horizontal switch having stations 13 to 24, 25 to 36 and 37 to 48 connected respectively thereto, are in turn connected to the stationary contact 52 of the switch 54 corresponding to positions 2, 3 and 4.
When the horizontal sensor switch 41 has been positioned, and the relay 35 is energized, voltage will also appear on one of the stationary contacts 52 of the vertical sensor switch 54. The vertical motor 48 will rotate the rotary arm 53 of the vertical sensor switch until said arm engages the stationary contact 52 having voltage impressed thereon, and the coil 21 of a vertical lockout relay 60 is thereby energized, disconnecting the vertical motor 48 from the power source 13.
The selector unit has now sensed that a cal-l has been placed, and has determined the origin of said call.
In a 48 station system there are usually 24 wafer-type switches mounted in spaced relationship on the shaft of the horizontal motor 30. Six switches are assigned to operate the complete system for each group of stations; group one being stations 1 to 12, group two being stations 13 to 24, group three being stations 25 to 36, and group four being stations 37 to 48.
Each group of switches comprises a finder, sensor, reset, and three audio or sound switches.
7 There are usually seven wafer-type switches on the vertical motor shaft in spaced relationship assigned to select which of the four groups of stations the system is connected to, and comprises a finder, automatic sensor, reset, three audio or sound, and a manual control switch.
The voice communication portion of the system is selectively connected to the central control station and the outlying station by means of the audio switches mounted on each of the horizontal and vertical motor shafts. The voice communication portion per se is of the standard type used for two-way communication and a detailed explanation thereof is not necessary. 7 It need only be said that when the horizontal and vertical sensor switches are operative to connect the central control station to the outlying station, voice communication is established therebetween also.
After the selector has placed the central control station in communication with the out-lying station seeking assistance, and there is no further need for said relationship, the selector is operative to disconnect the outlying station and to return the system to a quiescent state awaiting another call. The novel means by which this is accomplished is shown in Fig. 3 with only the opcrative elements necessary being connected to one station.
season When the operator at the central control station picks 'up' the telephone unit he closes switch 62 which enerthe coil 63 of relay 64, and the movable contact 65 is pulled downward to the stationary contact 67. The coil 68 of the room call switch 11 in the patients room is given a momentary surge of current, and the rotary arm is unlatched, opening the switch 11, and disconnecting the control section of the room circuit from the selector. The relay 64 remains energized as long as the telephone unit is off the cradle, and switch 62 is closed, thereby locking the motors 30 and 48 from the power source. ,When the operator has completed his conversation with the room, the telephone unit is placed back onto the cradle, and switch 62 is opened, disconnecting the coil 63 from the power source. The movable contact 65 of relay 64 swings upward and engages contact 70 connecting the motors 30 and 48 to one side of the power source 13 through wires 80 and 81. When the patients room switch has been disconnected, relay 35, Fig. 2, is de-energized, releasing contact 24 connecting the horizontal motor 30 to the power source, and the unit then begins to search for the next signal received at the central control station.
The circuit shown in Fig. 4 imposes a rectified voltage directly upon the indicator lamp panel, through a vertical finder wafer switch 83 mounted on the shaft of the vertical motor 48, and a horizontal finder wafer switch 84 mounted on the shaft of the horizontal motor 30, and wire 85. As the horizontal motor begins to rotate in its search for the next signal, the rotary arm 87 of the horizontal finder switch 84 successively engages the stationary contacts 88 of said switch, and the rectified voltage is applied momentarily to the lamp connected thereto in the respective horizontal row on the indicator panel, whereby the lamp glows brightly until the rotary arm 87 passes on. When the vertical motor 48 is energized to'connect the control station to the correct room, the rotary arm 82 of the vertical finder switch 83 will also be rotated to the correct row,'and the rectified voltage will then appear instantaneously upon the lamp corresponding to the room signaling, and the lamp will then glow brightly. This circuit enables the operator to know where the selector unit is electrically connected within the system at all times and its progress in locating the room that is signaling.
When the signaling room has been connected to the central control station, the horizontal and vertical motors will be prevented'from further rotation as disclosed herein above, and, the lamp on the indicator panel corresponding to the room with'which the central control station is in communication, will glow brightly.
When all signals have been answered, the system will become inoperative after the operator returns the telephone unit back to its cradle, and the indicator panel lamps will be extinguished.
Provision is also made to operate the applicants system by manual control, the circuitry pertaining thereto is shown in Fig. 5, and operation thereof will be presently described.
When a signal is received from a patients room 3, the appropriate lamp on the indicator panel will glow dimly. The operator will then throw the manual control switch 91 for the group, in which the signaling station is included, to hold position. The circuitry shown in Fig. 5 illustrates one position taken by the manual control switch when a room in group four or rooms 37-48 is signaling. The vertical motor 48 will immediately rotate and move the rotary arm 95 of the vertical manual sensor switch 94 into the position shown. The power source is connected directly to the rotary arm, and therefore the manual vertical sensor relay 96 will be energized, disconnecting the vertical motor 48 from the power source 13. The manual control switch 91 for group four is then thrown to the move position or to the extreme right. The horizontal motor 30 will be energized, and rotate the rotary arm 42, Fig. 2, of the horizontal "sensor switch 41, so that it engages the stationary contact connected to line 38' of the patients room switch 11. The manual control switch is spring loaded from the hold to move position so that it is necessary that the operator keep pressure applied thereto until just after the horizontal sensor switch has passed the station preceding the signaling station. The pressure can then be released, and the manual control switch will snap the hold position.
When the horizontal motor 30 has positioned the horizontal sensor switch 41, the horizontal sensor relay 35 will be energized thereby disconnecting the motor from the power source, and the system will then be in readiness for operation.
A protective circuit 'is used in conjunction with the horizontal motor 30 to prevent said'motor from stopping the rotary arm 42 between stationary contacts 40 when operating the system manually. This circuit is shown in Fig. 6 and operates as follows.
When the manual control switch 91 is thrown to hold or move position, the manual sensor control relay is energized, closing contact 97 and thereby connecting the horizontal motor 30 to the power source by another path; line 98, contact 97, line 98a, contact 99, and line 102. The line-98 is also connected to the stationary contact block of the horizontal lockout switch 104. The stationary contacts 103 are connected together so that when the rotary arm 105 is in engagement with any of said stationary contacts, the relay 106 is energized, and the movable contact 107 is pulled downward disconnecting the horizontal motor from the alternate or second path. If for any reason the horizontal motor 30 stops when the rotary arm 42 of the horizontal sensor switch 41, Fig. 2, is between stationary contacts 40, the rotary arm 105 of the horizontal lockout switch 104 is between stationary contacts 103. Relay 106 is de-energized, and movable arm 107 engages contact 99 supplying power to the horizontal motor 30, which will be able to position the horizontal sensor switch 41 properly, and connect the signaling station to the central control station.
If a signal is transmitted from a patients room 3, other lamps may be illuminated throughout the system, in addition to the one on the indicator panel to give a visual signal that assistance is needed. One lamp is usually located in the patients room to let the patient know that his signal has been transmitted. Another may be placed outside of the patients room 3 in the corridor, so that if any attending personnel are passing therethrough, they will see the corridor signal and respond thereto. Another lamp is placed in each duty room 4, and when any signal from any room is transmitted, the lamp in the duty room will be illuminated giving the personnel therein notice of said transmission. Voice communication equipment is located in each duty room, whereby the central control station can be contacted, and directions can be received about the signal transmitted, and the appropriate action can then be undertaken.
The applicants system also includes a number of outlying stations called emergency stations 5. These stations are located in places where direct physical assistance is needed. When a person signals for assistance from said station, he energizes a small motor which alternately makes and breaks the lamp circuit connected to the station, the circuit connecting the indicator panel lamp 15 to said stations, and the lamp circuit within the duty room. The visual result being that all of the above lamps flash oif and on thereby notifying the attending personnel that immediate assistance is needed at the signaling station.
Although I have set forth but one embodiment of my invention, it is understood that said description is not meant to be restrictive in any manner, and extensive departures therefrom can be made without departing from the spirit and scope thereof.
1, An intercomrrrunication system comprising a central station and a plurality of remote stations having lines leading to the central station, switch means at each remote station connected to the respective line and operable when actuated to initiate a call to the central station, selector switch means connected to the central station and having connections to all of said lines and having means for selecting the line in which a call has been initiated and connecting the selected line to the central station, audible con'nnunication means at the central station having provision for communication selectively with each of the remote stations, and means operable while said audible communication means is in use to reset said switch means at the remote station which initiated the call and to render said selector switch means inoperative to select other lines in which later calls have been initiated.
2. An intercommunicat'ion system comprising a central station and a plurality of remote stations having lines leading to the central station, a normally open switch at each remote station. connected to the corresponding line which leads from that remote station to the central station, said switch when closed initiating a call over the corresponding line to the central station, selector switch means connected between said lines and the central station and operable to select the calling line in which a call has been initiated by the actuation of the switch at the corresponding remote station and to connect the calling line to the central station, audible communication means at the central station having connections through said selector switch means to the remote stations for audible communication with the remote station where the call originated, relay means connected to saidselector switch means to control the latters operation and connected through said selector switch means and the calling line to the switch at the remote station where the call originated, and a switch associated with the audible communication means at the centralstation and operable when said audible communication means is in use to energize said relay means to de-activatesaid selector switch means, and to open the switch at the remote station where the call originated.
3. The intercommu'nication system of claim 2, wherein said selector switch means comprises a horizontal sensor motor, a plurality of rotary contacts coupled to the shaft of said motor to be turned in unison thereby, a plurality of groups of fixed contacts associated with the respective rotary, contacts, all of the fixed contacts in each group being positioned to be engaged in succession by the corresponding rotary contact as the latter rotates, each of said fixed contacts being connected to the line leading from acorresponding remote station, a relay connected to be energized in response to the closing of one of said remote station switches to energize the horizontal sensor motor to move said rotary contacts into engagement suo cessively with the fixed contacts in the respective groups, a vertical sensor motor, a rotary contact coupled to the shaft of said vertical sensor motor to be turned thereby, a plurality of fixed contacts associated with said last-mentioned rotary contact and positioned to be engaged in suc cession by said last-mentioned rotary contact as the latter rotates, said last-mentioned fixed contacts being connected individually to corresponding ones of the rotary contacts which are coupled to the horizontal sensor motor, means responsive to the engagement between one of saidrotary contacts which is coupled to the horizontal sensor motor and a fixed contact connected to the calling line for deencrgizing the horizontal motor to stop the last-mentioned rotary contact in this position and for energizing the vertical sensor motor to turn its rotary contact, and means responsive to the engagement between the rotary contact which is coupled to the vertical sensor motor and the fixed contact which is connected to the rotary contact coupled to the horizontal sensor motor which is connected to the calling line for de-energizing the vertical sensor motor and stopping its rotary contact at this position.
4. The intercomrnu'nication system of claim 3, wherein there are provided a plurality of lamps at the central station which correspond individually to the remote station's,
circuit connections between said lamps and the remote station switches for causing the lamps to be illuminated dimly in response to the closing of the corresponding remote station switches, and switch means operated by said horizontal and vertical sensor motors and connected to cause the lamp which corresponds to the calling line selected by said selector switch means to be illuminated brightly.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS