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Publication numberUS2916566 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 8, 1959
Filing dateMar 13, 1958
Priority dateMar 13, 1958
Publication numberUS 2916566 A, US 2916566A, US-A-2916566, US2916566 A, US2916566A
InventorsBarthold F Meyer, Toruk Nicholas
Original AssigneeGen Motors Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Circuit controller
US 2916566 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

D 1959 B. F. MEYER EIAL 2,916,566

CIRCUIT CONTROLLER 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 13, 1958 1N VENTORS 1959 B. F. MEYER ETAL 2,916,566

CIRCUIT CONTROLLER Filed March 15, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS W aw I 4770/7/95) United States Patent Ofifice 2,916,566 Patented Dec. 8, 1959 CIRCUIT CONTROLLER Barthold F. Meyer, St. Clair Beach, Ontario, Canada, and

Nicholas Toruk, Allen Park, Mich., assignors to General Motors Corporation, Detroit, Mich., a corporation of Delaware Application'March 13, 1958, Serial No. 721,206 12 Claims. (Cl. 200- This invention relates to circuit controllers and more particularly to electric switch assemblies of the type including a plurality of individual switches mounted within a switch housing.

In the past, switch assemblies of this type have often been used as seat control switches for power operated vehicle seats which are selectively adjustable in both horizontal and vertical directions. Such switch assemblies have often included three individual switches mounted within a common housing, with one of the switches controlling selective vertical movement of the front portion of the seat, another of the switches controlling selective vertical movement of the rear portion of the seat, and the other switch controlling selective horizontal movement of the seat. Each of the switches included a separate manually operable actuator, with the actuators of the vertical control switches being movable in vertical directions and the actuator of the horizontal control switch being movable ina horizontal direction for convenience of the operator. Switch assemblies of this type have many advantages, but have the disadvantage of requiring the operator to operate the two vertical control switches if it is desired to simultaneously adjust the front and rear portions of the seat in vertical directions.

In the preferred emobodiment of this invention, the switch assembly generally includes a plurality of individual switches mounted in side by side relationship within a common housing. Each of the switches includes a separate switch actuator, with the actuator of one of the switches being selectively movable in directions normal to each other and the actuators of the other of the switches being movable in a direction corresponding to one of the directions of movement of the actuator of the one switch. In addition, the switch assembly includes sw-itch operating means operable by the actuator of the one switch, upon movement thereof in a direction corresponding to' the direction of movement of the other actuators, to simultaneously operate the other of the switches without operation of the one switch or movement of the actuators of the other switches. The switch assembly also includes an improved switch contact arrangement allowing the switch to carryhigh amperage without arcing or welding of the contacts when the switch is opened. i

A switch assembly according to this invention has many uses and is particularly suited for use as a seat control switch. Thus, the switch assembly may "include the three switches mounted in side by side relationship, one for selectively controlling vertical movement of the front portion of the seat with the actuator thereof movable in vertical directions only, another for selectively controlling vertical movement of the rear portion of the seat with the actuator thereof also movable in vertical directions only, and the other for selectively controlling horizontal movement of the. seat upon movement of the actuator thereof in horizontal directions. The actuator of the horizontal control switch may additionally be operable to control simultaneous vertical movement of the front and rear portions of the seat upon movement thereof. in vertical directions, without requiring, the operator to operate both of the actuators of the vertical control switches. Thus, the switch assembly of this invention provides a very useful operator controlled seat switch.

An object of this invention is to provide an improved electric switch assembly including a plurality of individual switches. mounted within a common housing. Another object of this invention is to provide an improved electric switch assembly including a plurality of indi vidual switches mounted within a common housing, with each switch including a separate actuator and with one of the actuators being arranged to control one or more of the other of the switches without operation of the actuators, thereof. A further object of this invention is to provide an improved electric switch assembly including a plurality of individual switches mounted within a common housing, with each including a separate actuator and with the actuator of one of the switches being operable to control each of the other switches without operation of the one switch or operation of the actuators of the other of the switches. Yet another object of this invention is to provide an improved electric switch assembly including a plurality of individual switches mounted within a common housing, each including a separate switch actuator, with the actuator of one of the switches being selectively movable in directions normal to each other and the actuator of the other of the switches being movable in a direction corresponding to one of the directions of movement of the actuator of the one switch, and with the actuator of the one switch being operable to control the other of the switches without operation of the one switch or movement of the actuator of the other switches. Yet a further object of this invention is to provide a circuit controller which includes an improved switch contact arrangement allowing the switch to carry high amperage without arcing or welding of the contacts when the switch is opened.

' These and other objects of this invention will be readily apparent from the following specification and drawings, wherein:

Figure l is a plan view of an electric switch assembly according to this invention;

Figure 2 is an enlarged view partially in seection taken along the plane indicated by line 2-2 of Figure 1; Figure 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the plane indicated by line 3-3 of Figure 1;

Figure 4 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the plane indicated by line 44 of Figure 1;

Figure 5 is a view partially in section taken along the planeindicated by line 55 of Figure 3; and

Figure 6 is a perspective exploded view.

Referring now to the drawings, the electric switch assembly 10 includes an outer escutcheon plate 12 and an inner generally rectangularly shaped depending housing 14. As can be best seen in Figure l of the drawings, the escutcheon plate includes a center cruciform shaped aperture 16 and a pair of generally square shaped apertures 18 to either side thereof, with each of the apertures opening to the housing 14. A switch base 20 of insulating material fits within housing 14 and is secured thereto by means of four angular spring clips 22. One leg of each clip fits within a depression 24 in the switch base and the other leg of the clip fits within a groove 26 in a locating lug 28 of the base and is provided with a lanced tab 30 engageable within an opening 32 in the adjacent wall of housing 14. The switch base is further provided with two longitudinally spaced upright ribs 3 4, each of which engages a pin 36 adjacent one end thereof to hold the pin within a circular shaped groove 38 provided in the end of a depending rib 40 of escutcheon plate 12 to one side of each of the apertures 18 therein. The other end of each of the pins 36 fits within a circular shaped groove 42 provided in the lower wall of escutcheon plate 12 to the other side of each of the apertures 18 therein and is held within the groove by the locating lugs 28 in the end walls of the switch base 20.

The switch assembly 10 includes three individual switches, two of the switches 44 being the same and being disposed to either side of the center switch 45. Each of the switches 44 includes a switch actuator 46 rotatably mounted on each of the pins '36 and swingable relative thereto within the apertures 18. The switch actuator 50 of switch 45 is of molded nylon and includes a lower ball shaped end 52 of spherical shape which seats within a spherical seat 54 provided on the inner end of the walls defining the aperture 16. The ball end 52 of switch actuator 50 further includes a central rib 56, and the ball end is angularly cut away at each side of the rib to provide pairs of angularly disposed edges 58, each pair providing a junction rib 60 extending laterally from a side of the rib 56.

Rib 56 is received within a slot 62 provided in the center plate portion 63 of a molded nylon switch actuating member 64, with the ribs 60 being located transversely of the slot and engageable with the switch actuating member to either side of the slot. The switch actuating member further includes generally U-shaped integral bar extensions 66, the end bars of which are apertured at 70. In addition, the sides of the center plate portion 63 are Provided with bearing grooves 72. As best shown in Figures 2 and of the drawings, the pins 36 extend through the apertures 70 and are received within the bearing grooves 72 in order to rotatably mount the switch actuating member 64 within the switch housing 14 for rotational movement thereof about the same axis as the axis of rotation of the switch actuators 46. The switch actuators 46 are rotatable about the pins 36 independently of any rotational movement of the switch actuating member 64 and are located within the extensions 66.

As best shown in Figures 3 and 6 of the drawings, a pair of stamped metal switch plates 74 and 76 fit within the switch base 20 and are riveted thereto by an elongated rivet 78 which also furnishes the hot lead to the switch. The plate 74 is of stainless steel and the plate 76 is of beryllium copper. It will be noted from Figure 6 that the plate 74 includes three pairs of laneed out upwardly bent arms 80, 81, and 82 with each arm mounting a contact button 84 normally open to a fixed contact 86 secured to the switch base 20. The plate 76 also includes three pairs of lanced out upwardly bent arms 87, 88, and 89 which are complementary to the arms 80, 81, and 82, respectively, and normally engage the contact buttons 84. The complementary pairs of arms 80, 87 and 82, 89 are the same and extend generally transversely of plates 74 and 76 and terminate to either side of the center line thereof which is generally coplanar with the aligned axes of pins 36. The complementary pairs of arms 81, 88 extend generally transversely and longitudinally of the plates 74 and 76 and terminate at the center line thereof so that the buttons 84 of arms 81 are located beneath and in alignment with the slot 62 of the switch actuating member 50;

As best shown in Figure 3 of the drawings, each complementary pair of arms 80, 87, normally engages a portion 90 of the one actuator 46 to either side of the pivotal axis thereof as defined by the pin 36 to hold the actuator in a neutral position. In addition, it will be noted that each complementary pair of arms 80, 87 also engage a bar 92 of the extension 66 of the switch actuating member to also hold the switch actuating member in a neutral position. Since the complementary pairs of arms 82, 89, are the same as the complementary pairs of arms 80, 87, they will function in the same manner to hold the other actuator 46 in a neutral position and cooperate with arms 80, 87 in holding the switch actuating member 64 in a neutral position. This arrangement of the complementary pairs of arms and switch actuators is diclosed and claimed in Serial No. 665,956, Meyer, filed June 17, 1957, assigned to the assignee of this invention, and reference may be had thereto for a more complete description.

The center pairs of complementary arms 81, 88 ter minate below the slot 62 and in alignment therewith, as previously mentioned, and the arms 88 are normally in engagement with the rib 56 of the switch actuator 50 to hold the actuator in a neutral position.

It is believed obvious that if either of the switch actuators 46 is moved either upwardly or downwardly as viewed in Figures 1 and 3, the switch actuators will close a respective pair of contacts 84 and 86. During this movement it can be seen that the switch actuating member 64 will remain in position without any movement. Likewise it can be seen that if the switch actuator 50 is moved either to the left or to the right as viewed in Figure 2, the actuator will pivot about an axis defined by the line of engagement of the ribs 60 with the switch actuating member 64 to close a respective pair of contacts 84 and 86 without movement of member 64 since rib 56 will move within slot 62 and the ribs 60 of the switch actuator engage the member 64 at each side of the pivotal axis thereof. In order to insure en gagement of a contact 84 with a respctive contact 86, the actuator 50 includes an integral square shaped lug portion 98 which is received within either of the oppositely disposed legs 100 of the cruciform shaped aperture 16. Thus it can be seen that each of the switch actuators 46 and the switch actuator 50 can be selectively moved to close the respective switches 44 and 45 without any movement of the switch actuating member 64.

Assuming now that it is desired to close respective contacts 84 of the switches 45 to their respective contacts 86. Normally this would be done by moving both of the switch actuators 46 in the same direction, either simultaneously upwardly or simultaneously downwardly as viewed in Figures 1 and 3. However, in accordance with this invention, all that the operator need do is move the switch actuator 50 either upwardly or downwardly as viewed in Figures 1 and 4 with this movement being guided by the lug 98 fitting within either of the oppositely disposed legs 102 of aperture 16. If the switch actuator 50 is moved upwardly, then it will swing the switch actuating member 64 counterclockwise about the pins 36, as viewed in Figure 3, to simultaneously close the one or upper set of contacts 84 of both switches 45 to their respective contacts 86 due to the engagement of the bars 92 of the switch actuating member with the arms 87 and 89 of the switch plate 76. Likewise, movement of the switch actuator 50 in a downward direction as viewed in Figures 1 and 4 will swing the switch actuating member 64 in a clockwise direction about the pins 36, as viewed in Figure 3, to simultaneously close the other or lower set of contacts 84 to their respective contacts 86. During this up and down movement of the switch actuating member 50, the center pair of arms 88 of plate 76 are not depressed, since the rib 56 of actuator 50 merely slides relative to the arms. Thus, the switch actuating member 50 is adapted to operate the switch 45 when moved in one direction of movement and is also adapted to operate the switches 44 when moved in a direction normal to the one direction of movement withoutmovement of the actuators 46 and without operating the switch 45.

If the switch assembly of this invention is used as a seat control switch for a power operated vehicle seat which isv selectively adjustable in both horizontal and 55 *Efiiitl sil fqtion's, theswitches Murray be adapted to respectively control verticalumovement of the front and ,rearportions-of the seat, andpthe :switch45 may be adapted to control ,horizontalmovementof the seat when the switch actuator 50 thereof is moved eithee to the left or to the right as viewed in Figure ,1 and may also be adapted ;to control simultaneous ivertical movement of thefront and rear portionsof the -:seat when the .switch @Ctuatorifl thereof is moved-;either upwardly or down- .wardlyas viewed in Figure ;1:to:simultaneously operate the switches 44 218 ,previously described- It will also be rememheredthat ;the Switch plate 74 is ;of;;stainless steeland theswitchzplate 7 6.is of beryllium copper suitable alloys fortheswitch plate 74 are those containingfrom 18 to,22% chromium and from 8 to l2 nickel, in addition to small amounts of manganese, the-commonly used 188 chrome-nickel austenitic stainless steel being a specific example. Suitable alloys for the switch plate 76 are those containing from 1 to 5% beryllium, small amounts of either :cobalt or nickel, and the-remainder copper, a specific example being an alloy containing 2% beryllium, .25% cobalt or 55% nickel, and the remainder copper.

This feature of the switch assembly provides an improved switch contact arrangement. By mounting the rnovingcontacts 84 of the switches on the upwardly bent arms of the stainless steel switch plate, the life and the current carrying ability of the switch are greatly improved. The arms of the stainless steel switch plate have inherent spring characteristics so that when the switch is opened, the arms instantaneously move the movin :comacts 84 out of engagement with the fixed contacts 86 to thereby prevent arcing or welding of the contacts. Although the stainless steel switch plate 74 is connected to the hot lead 78 of the switch, this plate does not furnish a particularly efficient current path from the hot lead to the moving contacts. The arms of the beryllium copper switch plate engage the contacts 84 and thereby provide an efiicient current path from the hot lead 78 to the moving contacts. A switch embodying this feature of the invention has been built and tested and has successfully operated for 10,000 cycles with 60 ampere, 14 volt DC. current.

It will also be understood, of course, that although the switch plates 74 and 76 are shown as being separate from each other, the two plates could very easily be unitary with each other in the form of a laminar plate. In a construction such as this, the contacts 84 would be secured to the spring arms of the laminar plate.

Thus this invention provides an improved electric switch assembly.

,We' claim:

1. A circuit controller comprising, a switch housing, a plurality of individual switches mounted within said housing, each including an individually operable switch actuator, and means mounted within said housing and operable by the actuator of one of said switches for operating the other of said switches without operation of the actuator thereof or operation of said one of said switches.

2. A circuit controller comprising, a switch housing, a plurality of individual switches mounted with said housing, each including an individually operable switch actuator, each of said actuators being movable in a direction normal to the direction of movement of the other of the actuators to operate a respective switch, and means mounted within said housing and operable by the actuator of one of said switches upon movement thereof in the same direction as the direction of movement of the actuator of the other of said switches for operating said other of said switches.

3. A circuit controller comprising, a switch housing, a plurality of individual switches mounted with said housing, each including an individually operable switch actuator, each of said actuators being movable in a direction normal to the direction of movement of the other of the actuators to operate a respective switch, and means mounted within said housing and operable by the actuator of one of said switches upon movement thereof-in the same direction as the directionof movement of the actu-v ator of the other of said switches for operating said other of said switches without operation of said one of said switches.

4. A circuit controller comprising, a switch housing, a plurality of individual switches mounted within said housing, each including an individually operable switch actuator, means mounting the actuator of one of said switches within said housing for selective movement in directions normal to each other, means mounting the actuator of the other of said switches within said housing for movement in a direction corresponding to one of the directions of movement of said one actuator, and switch actuating means mounted within said housing and operable by the actuator of said one of said switches upon movement thereof in a direction corresponding to the direction of movement of the actuator of said other of said switches for operating said other of said switches without movement of the actuator thereof.

5. A circuit controller comprising, a switch housing, a plurality of individual switches mounted within said housing, each including an individually operable switch actuator, means mounting the actuator of one of said switches within said housing for selective movement in directions normal to each other, means mounting the actuator of the other of said switches within said housing for movement in a direction corresponding to one of the directions of movement of said one actuator, and switch actuating means mounted within said housing and operable by the actuator of said one of said switches upon movement thereof in a direction corresponding to the direction of movement of the actuator of said other of said switches for operating said other of said switches without movement of the actuator thereof, said switch actuating means being ineffective to control operation of said other of said switches upon movement of the actuator of said one of said switches in a direction of movement normal to the direction of movement of the actuator of said other of said switches.

6. A circuit controller comprising, a switch housing, a plurality of individual switches mounted within said housing, each including an individually operable switch actuator, means mounting the actuator of one of said switches within said housing for selective movement in directions normal to each other, means mounting the actuator of the other of said switches within said.,housing for movement in a direction corresponding to one of the directions of movement of said one actuator, and switch actuating means rotatably supported within said housing by said second mounting means and operable by the actuator of said one of said switches upon movement thereof in a direction corresponding to the direction of movement of the actuator of said other of said switches for operating said other of said switches without movement of the actuator thereof.

7. A circuit controller comprising, a switch housing, a plurality of individual switches mounted within said housing, each including an individually operable switch actuator, means mounting the actuator of one of said switches within said housing for selective movement in directions normal to each other, means mounting the actuator of the other of said switches within said housing for movement in a direction corresponding to one of the directions of movement of said one actuator, switch actuating means supported within said housing and operable to control said other of said switches independently of operation of the actuators thereof, and means operatively connecting said actuating means to the actuator of said one of said switches for operating said other of said switches upon movement of said one actuator in a direction corresponding to the direction of movement of the actuators of the other of said switches.

8. A circuit controller comprising, a switch housing, a plurality of individual switches mounted within said housing, each including an individually operable switch actuator, means mounting the actuator of one of said switches within said housing for selective movement in directions normal to each other, means mounting the actuator of the other of said switches within said housing for movement in a direction corresponding to one of thedirections of movement of said one actuator, switch actuating means supported within said housing and operable to control said other of said switches independently of operation of the actuators thereof, and means selectively connecting said actuating means to the actuator of said one of said switches upon movement of said actuator in a direction corresponding to the direction of movement of the actuators of said other of said switches to operate said other of said switches.

9. A circuit controller comprising, a switch housing, a plurality of individual switches mounted within said housing, each including an individually operable switch actuator, means mounting the actuator of one of said switches within said housing for selective movement in directions normal to each other, means mounting the actuator of the other of said switches within said housing for movement in a direction corresponding to one of the directions of movement of said one actuator, a switch actuating member rotatably supported within said housing for operating said other of said switches independently of operation of the actuators thereof and including an axial slot, and means on the actuator of said one of said switches fitting within said slot and engageable with said member to either side of said slot for rotating said member to thereby operate said other of said switches upon movement of said actuator in a direction corresponding to the direction of movement of the actuators of the other of said switches.

10. A circuit controller comprising, a switch housing, a plurality of individual switches mounted within said housing, each including an individually operable switch actuator, means mounting the actuator of one of said switches within said housing for selective movement in directions normal to each other, means mounting the actuator of the other of said switches within said housing for movement in a direction corresponding to one of the directions of movement of said one actuator, a switch actuating member rotatably supported within said housing for operating said other of said switches independently of operation of the actuators thereof, and means on the actuator of said one of said switches engageable with said member transversely of the pivotal axis thereof to rotate said member upon movement of said actuator in a direction corresponding to the direction of movement of the actuators of the other of said switches to thereby operate said other of said switches.

11. A circuit controller comprising, a switch housing, a plurality of individual switches mounted within said housing, each including an individually operable switch actuator, cooperating ball and socket means mounting the actuator of one of said switches within said housing for movement in directions normal to each other, means mounting the actuator of the other of said switches within said housing for movement in a direction corresponding to one of the directions of movement of said one actuator, and actuating means for said other of said switches mounted within said housing and including means seating said cooperating ball and socket means, said seating means permitting selective operation of said actuating means by the actuator of said one of said switches upon movement thereof in a direction corresponding to the direction of movement of the actuator of said other of said switches for operating said other of said switches without movement of the actuator thereof.

12. A circuit controller comprising, a switch housing, a plurality of individual switches mounted within said housing, each including an individually operable switch actuator, the actuator of one of said switches including a ball seating within a socket in said housing to mount said actuator thereon for movement in directions normal to each other, means mounting the actuator of the other of said switches within said housing for movement in a direction corresponding to one of the directions of movement of said one actuator, a switch actuating member rotatably mounted within said housing for operating said other of said switches independently of operation of the actuator thereof, said ball being engageable with said member at spaced points to either side of the axis thereof for seating said ball within said socket, said actuator of said one of said switches rotating said member upon movement thereof in a direction corresponding to the direction of movement of the actuator of said other of said switches to thereby operate said other of said switches without movement of the actuator thereof.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 619,900 Miller Feb. 21, 1899 1,349,818 Coles Aug. 17, 1920 1,701,399 Vickery Feb. 5, 1929 1,864,056 Mott Apr. 12, 1932 2,646,474 Stratton July 21, 1953 2,647,964 Merkel Aug. 4, 1953 2,739,208 Ulrich Mar. 20, 1956 2,799,754 Montchausse July 16, 1957 2,823,272 Adams Feb. 11, 1958

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3033946 *Apr 6, 1960May 8, 1962Gen Motors CorpCircuit controller
US3035211 *Oct 21, 1958May 15, 1962Bell Telephone Labor IncSubscriber calling apparatus
US3109587 *Mar 9, 1960Nov 5, 1963Collins Radio CoMethod of mechanical addition
US3135839 *Feb 12, 1960Jun 2, 1964Gen Motors CorpMultiple position sliding switch
US3138289 *Jan 25, 1961Jun 23, 1964Jr Harold D JonesApparatus for terminating the flow of metered materials
US3371179 *Nov 22, 1966Feb 27, 1968Gen Motors CorpElectrical switch having a floating actuator which is detented into various circuit controlling positions by a leaf spring contact
US3400232 *Sep 30, 1966Sep 3, 1968Ford Motor CoMultiple function circuit controller and circuit
US3482064 *Dec 6, 1967Dec 2, 1969Mc Gill Mfg CoElectrical switch having pressure contacts
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US4611102 *Dec 27, 1984Sep 9, 1986Takao Ooi WaSwitch device for angularly adjusting outer rear mirrors of an automotive vehicle
US4866221 *Jun 6, 1988Sep 12, 1989Eaton CorporationRemote power mirror switch assembly
US5149924 *May 11, 1990Sep 22, 1992Priesemuth WMultiple contact switch arrangement
EP0400313A2 *Apr 14, 1990Dec 5, 1990Wolfgang Dipl.-Ing. PriesemuthMultiple push-button switch
EP0400313A3 *Apr 14, 1990May 20, 1992Wolfgang Dipl.-Ing. PriesemuthMultiple push-button switch
Classifications
U.S. Classification200/5.00R, 200/50.34, 200/559, 200/6.0BB
International ClassificationH01H25/04, H01H23/30, G05G9/047
Cooperative ClassificationH01H23/30, H01H25/04, G05G2009/04744, G05G2009/04703, H01H2300/008
European ClassificationH01H23/30, H01H25/04