US 2897300 A
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y 28, 9 A. M. KING 2,897,300
CONTROLLING SWITCH MECHANISM FOR LUMINARIES Filed May 2, 1958 a Sheets-Sheet 1 flu! M/fm a g @M July 28, 1959 A. M. KING CONTROLLING SWITCH MECHANISM FOR LUMINARIES 3 SheetsSheet 2 Filed May 2, 1958 H E a l m fl AEEEEEEE i f WW L bmwuum v 172294972 Z1074 4444 M /f//v6 A. M. KING CONTROLLING SWITCH MECHANISM FOR LUMINARIES July 28, 1959 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed May 2, 1958 15236222 07 A2 45 M /f//vc;
flzforvzgy United. States Patent CONTROLLING SWITCH MECHANISM FOR LUMINARIES Alan M. King, St. Lambert, Quebec, Canada Application May 2, 1958, Serial No. 732,612
14 Claims. (Cl. 200-33) The present invention is concerned with cam controlled time switch mechanisms adapted to selectively energize, and maintain, for a predetermined length of time, individual electrical circuits from a plurality of such circuits.
More specifically the invention is a coin controlled time switch mechanism particularly suited for use in combination with religious luminaries consisting of multiple arrangements or banks of electric lamps arranged to simulate rows of candles.
For this purpose the lamps must be arranged and controlled so that by depositing an appropriate coin or coins one or more lamps are operated for a selected time period. As will be appreciated, the individual lamps must be initially energized in succession and automatically reset for subsequent energization at the end of the time period.
At the present time there are switch mechanisms available for this purpose, but these, in order to handle the number of circuits required, are cumbersome and bulky requiring considerable space for their installation.
In accordance with the present invention a compact mechanism is provided to give the time sequence controlling action required. Essentially the present apparatus consists of at least one and preferably two opposed rows of spaced apart switches, each switch controlling a single lamp, a common switch actuating means adapted to energize said switches individually and in sequence, and a common switch resetting means adapted to act on the energized switches and, with the desired time lag, return the switches in sequence according to their initial energi zation to normal position ready for a further tripping or energization under the control of a coin operated controlling mechanism.
More specifically each switch of the row or opposed rows of switches includes opposed spaced apart resilient cont-act leaves or plates and a pivotally mounted rack holder or contact arm which is adapted to open or close the switch contact plates. Each rack holder includes an extension or contact member extending above the common row of switches and is constructed so as to slidably retain a toothed rack segment on its inner surface opposed to the switch contact plates.
The common switch actuating means consists of an endless chain mounted for travel along the tops of the switch contact arms and this chain is provided with a projecting trip member adapted to contact in sequence the projecting contact members of the rack holders as it passes. Chain driving means and circuit means are combined with the controlling coin deposit mechanism so that on deposit of an appropriate coin the chain is moved a predetermined distance sufiicient for the chain trip member to contact and pivot inwards one rack holder.
The common switch resetting means in the preferred construction consists of a pair of constantly and slowly driven opposed splined shafts which are mounted so as to extend between the opposed rows of rack holders. The rack holders are disposed relative to the driven shafts so that the pivoting inwards of any one holder permits the 2,897,300 Patented July 28, 1959 rack portion slidably mounted therein to drop obliquely downwards past the respective shaft. Release of the rack holder, which is resiliently biased, causes the top toothed portion of the rack portion to engage with the correspondingly opposed toothed portion of the adjacent splined shaft. Accordingly, under the constant rotation of the shafts the rack portions are slowly raised until they again clear the shaft allowing the pivotally mounted rack holders to pivot outwards to their original position opening the respective switch contact plates and breaking the individual circuits. As previously mentioned, in order to ensure the return of the rack holders to normal reset condition each pivotally mounted arm is resiliently biased outwards or towards the driven splined shafts.
Having thus generally described the nature of the invention, particular reference will be made to the accompanying drawings showing by way of illustration a preferred embodiment thereof and in which:
Figure l is a view in perspective elevation of a stand supporting a bank or rows of electrical votive lights controlled in accordance with the invention;
Figure 2 is a side view of the construction shown in Figure l with the controlling mechanism of the invention and a coin deposit mechanism indicated in broken lines to illustrate their relative position in the interior of the stand;
Figure 3 is a View in side elevation of the controlling mechanism of the invention showing the two end portions, the central portion omitted being identical;
Figure 4 is a plan view of the construction shown in Figure 3;
Figure 5 is a sectional view of the construction shown in Figure 4 to illustrate more clearly a typical arrangement of a pair of opposed contact switch assemblies, the endless actuating chain, and constantly rotating delayed switch return splined shafts with the switch contact arms shown in normal non-actuated position;
Figure 6 is a detail view of the right-hand switch assembly of Figure 5 to show the rack holders in tripped or actuated position under the engagement of the chain contact member with the projecting contact member or pin of the holder, the resilient switch contact plates being released into contact making circuit to one of the lamps;
Figure 7 is a detail view corresponding to Figure 6 with the rack supporting arm freed by the chain contact member and pivoted outwards by the biasing spring bringing the upper toothed portion of the sliding rack into meshed engagement with the teeth of the opposed rotating splined shaft;
Figure 8 is a somewhat diagrammatic view in perspective elevation to illustrate a portion of the actuating chain and contact member with a pair of adjacent rack holders actuated in sequence showing the rack portion of the nearest holder partially raised by its engagement with the rotating splined shaft, the switch contact blades being omitted for clarity;
Figure 9 is a cross-sectional view of the rack holder of Figure 7 along the line 9-9 to illustrate more clearly the mounting of the sliding rack portion;
Figure 10 is a diagrammatic view of a suitable circuit for the apparatus of the invention.
Figure 11 is an enlarged detail view of a portion of the switch actuating chain and chain actuated control switch to illustrate the preferred single link controlling arrangement in more detail.
With particular reference to Figures 1 and 2 of the drawings, a religious luminary 10 having a plurality of votive lights 12 is shown in front and side elevation. The lights 12 are arranged to simulate the appearance of the usual candles and each light is provided with an electric lamp adapted to be energized and controlled in sequence by the apparatus of the invention. A coin receiving container 14 is mounted beneath the stand, as shown in broken lines, with a coin receiving slot or slots 16 provided on the exterior. The coin receiving container 14 is connected by asuitable circuit, as will be described, to the controlling apparatus of the invention, also shown in broken lines, and indicated generally at 21.
As shown, see Figures 3 and 4, a preferred construction of the main controlling apparatus in accordance with the invention includes two opposed rows of switch assemblies, there being one switch assembly 20 for each of the lights 12. While the end'portions only are shown in Figures 3 and 4' it-will be appreciated that the complete assembly is of. sufii'cient length to provide any require'dnumber of switches, for example, to control the arrangement illustrated would require about 50 switches in each row since there are about 100 votive lights 12 shown.
The switch assemblies 20 "are mounted in two opposed aligned rows on correspondingly aligned supporting plates 22 supported at each end by standards 24a, 24b. The standards 24a, 24b, are mounted on a base plate 25 together with the driving mechanism for the apparatus, as will be described more detail later.
Each switch assembly 20, as shown most clearly in Figures '5, 6, 7, includes 'a pairof opposed resilient contactblades 26a, 26b, which aremounted to the plate 22, with the longer blade 26a adjacent the plate, and to which suitable connections 28a, 28b, are made from the lamp energizing circuit. Rack holders 30 are eachpivotallyunounted at one'end by'lu-gs3'l to a common shaft 32"extending the length of the respective plate 22, so as to be aligned with one pair or set of switch-blades 26a, 265. A lateral extension 34 of each rack holder 31') fits through the gap or opening 23. provided along the length of the switch assemblies-between the base plate 2 =and= the plate '22. Each extension 34 is shaped so as to'have an end flange 35-adapted to engage the blade 26a of the switch contact blades when the switch arm 30 is innormally closed position. Since the rack holder 30 is normally resiliently biased away from the inner surface of the plate 22 by a spring 36, also mounted on the shaft 32, the extension 34 holds the blade 26a against the respective outer surface of the plate 22 keeping the circuit open. Each rack holder 30 is provided with an-outstanding contact member or pin 38 which is secured to the upper 'end of the holder 3! so as to extend above the common axis shaft 32. Themain body of the rackholder 30- is formed as a channel section 39*having opposediianges 40 and a toothed rack portion 42 is slidably mounted therein by the engagement of the flanges 40-with slots46 provided at each side of the rack portion 42.
A main feature :of the. present invention resides in the mounting of the rack-holders 30 and the means whereby they are initially tripped to energize the individual lamp circuits and insequence returned to their originalzpositions w iththe desired time lag interval.
endlessswitch actuating chain 50 is mounted between chain sprockets 52, 54 for .travel above and along thelength 'ofithe opposed rows ofswitch assemblies 20. The-supportingplates 22 are provided with inwardly extending flange portions-19a, "19b, 'which forrnchain guiding-tracks along'sthe lengthof'the-apparatus. Inthe constructions illustrated thexchain sprocket 52 is mounted as an'idler onua' stub shaft 53 ajournalled -on the upper end' of the standard-24a while the chain sprocket 54- is fixedly mounted on the upper end of the drive shaft 55 extending through and being journalled in the supporting standard 2411. -A chain=drivemotor=60 is mounted on the base plate 25 and'is provided with bracketextensions16l, 62, which-also-act .to support and align the driveshaft 55; The drive from the: motor .60 .is transrnitted to the drive shaft 55 by opposed bevel gears 63, 64. As will be explained in more .detail later, .circuit means connected to the coin receiving container 14 are adapted to control the actuation of the chain 50 and switch means connected with the chain and circuit are adapted to limit the travel of the chain on each coin controlled actuation.
A pair of opposed, counter-rotating splined shafts 68, 70 are journalled between the supporting standards 24a,
24b, so as to extend the length of and between the op-- posed switch assemblies 20. A shaft driving motor 72 is mounted on the base plateZS and supplies a constant drive to speed reduction boxes 74a, 74b, coupled through gears 75, 76. The drive from the speed reduction box 74b in turn is transmitted-to the splined shaft 68 which, as it is in meshed engagement with the shaft 70, also causes a corresponding counter rotation of this latter shaft. The gear reduction of the boxes 74a, 74b is preferably very great so that the splined shafts 68, 70 complete one revolution about every 5 hours to give the desired time lag effect.
With this arrangement, and with particular reference to Figures 5 through 8, the individual switch assemblies 20 are tripped and reset in the following manner. It should first be mentioned that the switch actuating chain 50 is provided with an outstanding switch contact memher or cam plate 51' which extends inwardly of the chain so as to intersect the aligned switch arm pins 38. An outstanding trip pin 55 is also provided on the chain 50 at this point and acts in combination with controlling switch arrangements to transfer the cam plate 51 from one row to the other as will be described later.
Referring to'Figure 5, we shall assume that the chain '50 has proceeded to a point where the cam plate 51 is directly in front of the pin 38 of the rack holder 30 of the right hand switch assembly shown. On deposit of an appropriate coin, the'chain- 50 is driven so that the plate 51 new contacts the pin 38 tilting the rack holder 30 about the shaft 32, as shown in Figure 6. The effect of this inward tilting of the holder 30 is that the rack portion 42, since'it is now cleared from its idling position above the shaft 70, slides downwards by force of gravity 'to the bottom of the rack holder 30 and the end flange 35 of the extension 34 moves outwardly and releases the switch blade 26a. The release of the switch blade 26a permits it to contact the opposing blade 26b completing the circuit to the particular lamp connected thereto. As the chain cam plate 51 continues past the contact pin 38, the pin 38 is released and through the spring 36' the rack holder 30 is again tilted outwards towards the shaft 70. However, the upper tooth of the rack portion 42 is now placed in meshed engagement withthe teeth of the rotating shaft 70 and therefore the rack holder 30 cannot return fully to its original position but remains in axslightly inwardly tilted position maintaining the flange .35 of the extension 34 clear of the switch contact bl'ade'26a. Accordingly, the switch will remain in closed and energized condition until the rack portion 42, through the rotation of the shaft 70, has again moved up to' its upper idling position clear of the shaft 70 releasing the rack holder 30 to the infiuence of the spring 36 which will return it to its original position. The final inward movement of the rack holderextension 34 again brings the flange .35 into depressing contact withthe switch blade 26a breaking the contact andturning'ofl'the lamp.
In order to control the actuation of the chain drive motor 60 and consequently :the travel of the .chain .cam plate 5-1 so that a single switch assembly is actuated on each coin deposit, a'chain control switch is mounted on a bracket secured .at each side to the opposing plates 22 adjacent the'standardj24b so that anactuating swltch arm "81 is disposed in the .path of the links 50a of the chain--50, see Figure '11. In the preferred constructron illustrated, the'spacings between the switch assemblies contact pins 38 are maintained .to agree with" the spacings between the connecting rivets 50b of the chain 50, i.e., on the order of so that as each link 50a passes the control switch 80, the switch arm '81 is first contacted by a rivet 50b and then falls into the depression between this and the following rivet. The chain cam plate 51 is contoured and located on the chain 50 so that the individual contact pins 38 are forced out wards and released when the plate 51 has travelled the length of one link 5611 Accordingly, the chain switch 80, since it is controlled by the spacing of the links 50a, breaks the contact to the chain drive motor 60 at each link spacing so that the chain 50 is stopped before the cam plate 51 contacts the next contact pin 38.
The chain trip pin 55 also acts in combination with control switches 99a, 90]), mounted on the bracket 100 and also similar control switches 91a, 91b, mounted on a corresponding bracket 102 disposed adjacent the standard 24a in the path of the chain 50 at each end of the rows of switches to accelerate the travel of the chain cam plate 51 from row to row. The switches 90a, 90b, 91a and 91b are each provided with resilient contact arms as shown for the switch 80. As shown in Figures 4 and 11, the switches 90a, 90b, 91a, 91b, are mounted so that their contact arms are disposed in the path of the chain trip pin 55 so that, for example, the switch 90a is contacted and actuated immediately the chain cam plate 51 has released the last switch contact pin 38 in the right hand row of switches. The actuation of the switch 9% starts the chain drive motor 60 which remains actuated until the trip pin 55 contacts the contact arm of the switch 90b which when actuated stops the chain drive motor 60. The switches 91a, 91b function in a like manner when the chain trip pin 55 reaches the opposite end of the row of switches. As will be described, the single link controlled chain switch 80 is rendered inactive during the travel of the chain between the switches 99a and 90b or 91a, 91b and is restored immediately the switches 90b or 9112 are actuated.
To describe the action of these controlling switches and other controlling circuits particular reference will be made to Figure 10 illustrating a preferred overall circuit diagrammatically. In this circuit a coin switch 100 is closed by the deposit of a coin in the coin container 14. The internal arrangement and workings of coin deposit containers of this nature are well known and varied and therefore it is not thought necessary to describe or illustrate this in detail.
The closing of the coin switch 1% energizes the coin relay coil 102 closing the relay so that it remains energized the power travelling through the relay contacts 102a, to the chain control switch 80. After the coin has passed, the coin switch 100 returns to normal position so that power travels through the coin switch 100 and the second set 1021) of the relay contacts to the chain drive motor 69-, starting it. As the chain drive motor 60 moves the chain 50, as previously described, the contact arm 81 of the switch 80 drops into space between links 56a allowing the switch 80 to return to normal position. This breaks the circuit to the coin relay 102 de-energizing it, returning relay contacts 102a, 10% to full open operation. The chain drive motor 60 continues to run, getting its power through the chain switch 80 until the switch contact arm 81 is contacted by the next link pin Siib again actuating the switch and stopping the motor 6t As also previously described, when the chain cam plate 51 has actuated the last switch contact pin 38 on the end of a row of switches it is necessary that it be moved around the supporting sprocket gear to a starting position on the opposite row of switches.
This as previoulsy mentioned, is accomplished by the chain trip pin 55 and the switches 99a, 90b, 91a, 91b with the following circuit. When the switch 90a is actuated the chain travel relay 104 operates closing relay contacts 104a, Iii lb and starts the chain drive motor 60. The relay ltld remains closed through the switches 90b,
, r 6 91b, which are in series, until the trip pin 55 has travelled around the chain sprocket 54 and trips the switch 9%. The tripping of the switch 90b releases the relay 104 and the motor 60 is stopped and is again under the control of the chain control switch as previously described. The switches 91a, 91b on the other end of the rows of switches operate in a like manner, the switch 91a closing the relay 104 and so on.
It should also be mentioned that while the accompanying drawings and preceding description refer to the switch assemblies 26 as having two contact blades 26a, 26b the same arrangement could be utilized with a three bladed switch with the central blade being contacted by the actuating arm extension 34. This would be necessary if some means were incorporated in the present switch arrangement for applying a variation to the intensity of the power supplied to the individual lamps controlled, for example, to give the lamps a flickering effect simulating candles.
1. A time switch mechanism adapted to control the selective intermittent energization of a plurality of elec trical circuits singly and in sequence and to maintain each of said selective energizations for a delayed constant period of time, said mechanism comprising in combination a plurality of individual switch assemblies disposed in at least one aligned row with each switch assembly having a pivotally mounted actuating member and controlling a single circuit, intermittently driven switch actuation controlling means including a contact member adapted to engage and pivot said switch assemblies switch actuating members in sequence to a first position closing said switches, said controlling means being mounted adjacent to and adapted to intermittently travel the length of said row of switch assemblies in even increments, a driving means for said controlling means, a first controlling switch connected to and adapted to intermittently energize said driving means, and a constantly driven switch restoring means mounted adjacent to and extending the length of said row of switch assemblies and adapted to be engaged in sequence by said switch assemblies actuating members on individual intermittent actuation by said controlling means contact member and to individually and continuously restore in a predetermined delayed constant period of time switch assemblies thus initially actuated.
2. A time switch mechanism as claimed in claim 1 wherein said controlling means comprises an endless chain disposed above said aligned switch assemblies and said contact member is mounted on and extends from said chain into a path intersecting the upper ends of said pivotally mounted switch assemblies actuating members.
3. A time switch mechanism as claimed in claim 1 wherein said common switch restoring means comprises at least one constantly driven elongated splined shaft extending in juxtaposed relationship with and transverse to said switch assemblies actuating members.
4. A time switch mechanism as claimed in claim 1 wherein said controlling means on each actuation travels in single increments corresponding to the spacing between each of said switch assemblies.
5. A time switch mechanism adapted to control the selective energization of a plurality of electrical circuits singly and in intermittent sequence and to maintain each of said selective energizations for a constant period of time, said mechanism comprising in combination a plurality of individual switch assemblies disposed in equally spaced relationship and at least one aligned row with each switch assembly having a pivotally mounted actuating member and controlling a single circuit, intermittently driven switch actuation controlling means including a con tact member adapted to engage and pivot said switch assemblies contact members in sequence and being mounted adjacent to and adapted to travel the length of said row of switch assemblies in even increments, a driving means for said controlling means, a coin actuated controlling switch connected to and adapted to intermittently energize said. driving means upon each coin deposit, and a constantly driven. common switch restoring means mounted adjacent to and extending the length of said row of switch assemblies andadapted to be engaged by said individual switch assemblies actuating members on intermittent sequential actuation. by said switch controlling means contact member and to individually and continuously restore in ,a predetermined constant period of time switch assemblies thus initially actuated.
6. A time switch mechanism as claimed in claim whereinsaid intermittently driven switch actuation controlling means comprises van endless chain disposed above said. aligned switch assemblies and said contact member is-mounted on and extends from said chain into a path intersecting said switch assemblies actuating members. 7. A time switch mechanism as claimed in claim 6 wherein :there are two opposed rows of spaced aligned switch assemblies and said endless chain travels about both rows.
8. A time switch mechanism as claimed in claim 5 wherein saidswitch actuation controlling means travels in increments corresponding to the spacing between each of saidswitch assemblies.
9. A time switch mechanism as claimed in claim 5 wherein said common switch restoring means comprises at least one constantly driven elongated splined shaft extending in juxtaposed relationship with and transverse to said switch assemblies actuating members.
10. A time switch apparatus adapted to control the selective energization of a plurality of electric lamps in a. votive light arrangement singly and in sequence and to maintain. each of said selective energizations for a constant period of time, said apparatus including, a coin operated actuatingswitch, a plurality of individual switch assemblies. disposed in spaced relationship and in at least one aligned row with each switch assembly controlling a circuit to one of said lamps and having a pivotally mounted rack holder provided with a sliding rack portion, and an endless switch actuating chain mounted for intennittenttravel along the length of said row of switches and including .a switch contact plate following a path intersecting one end of each of said switch assemblies rack holders, chain driving means and control means for said chain driving means adapted to move said chain in even increments connected to and initially actuated by said coin operated switch, a common switch restoring. means consisting of at least one elongated splined shaft supported for rotation in juxtaposed relationship with and extending the length of said aligned switch assemblies rack holders, means for constantly driving said splined shaft, whereby contact of said chain contact plate with each successive one of said switch assembly rack holders is adapted to pivot said holder completing the respective circuit, and the sliding rack portion of said holder is placed in meshed engagement with saidshaft, and by said shaft and in a predetermined constant delayed time period is restored to its original position breaking said circuit.
.11. A time switch apparatus as claimed in claim 10 wherein there are two opposed rows of aligned switch assembli m and said switch actuating chain travels about both rows, said common switch restoring means including two opposed splined shafts in meshed engagement for counter rotation between said opposed switch rows.
12; A time switch apparatus as claimed in claim 10 wherein eachof said switch assemblies includes opposed resilient ,contact. blades and said rack holder includes a projecting portion adapted to engage one of said contact blades.
13. A time switch apparatus as claimed in claim 10 wherein said chain driving control means includes a switch having a contact arm disposed in the path of said chain and adapted for sequential actuation by each of the connecting members between each link of said chain.
14. A time switch apparatus as claimed in claim 10 wherein said actuating chain travels in increments corresponding to the spacing between said switch assemblies.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,771,995 Uher July 29, 1930 2,145,228 Neuman Jan. 24, 1939 2,279,220 Baum Apr. 7, 1942 2,501,274 Hamilton Mar. 21, 1950