US 2956357 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
L. l.. RAKES Oct. 18, 1960 DISPLAY 2 Sheets-Sheet l Filed Feb. 19. 1959 1N VENTOR Oct. 18, 1960 L. L. RAKES 2,956,357
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INVENTOR. s j/aes 163cv B2 Q wil( lg JM/d United States Patent O DISPLAY Lee L. Rakes, 638 W. 46th Place, Chicago, lll.
Filed Feb. 19, 1959, Ser. No. 794,332
'12 Claims. (Cl. 40-28.3)
This invention is concerned generally with a display item, particularly one for the Christmas season.
Christmas displays are widely used in the home, in
stores, and in many other places. A lighted Christmas tree is customarily included among such displays. Various additional items may also be included. Most such displays are quiescent, or else have moving parts which operate continuously. Christmas tree lights may be left on continuously, or may be blinked by means of a thermo timer or the like. Most Christmas displays are remarkably similar, and hence no one of them draws particular attention. The sameness of Christmas displays, coupled With the fact that Christmas displays are often left up for a period from several days to several weeks, tends to lead one to tire of seeing Christmas displays. Accordingly, in my copending application Serial No. 568,587, led February 29, 1956, now Patent Number 2,874,496, issued February 24, 1959, for Display, I have set forth a Christmas display having a switching arrangement whereby various functions take place in accordance with a predetermined sequence, which sequence can be overcome by a manual switch. In accordance with the aforesaid application, a Christmas tree is provided on a rotating stand, and lights are placed on the Christmas tree. A village scene is placed beneath the Christmas tree, and an electric train is arranged to travel around the village scene. Furthermore, a phonograph is incorporated for providing music along with the display. Switching means is provided, as further set forth in the aforesaid application, for operating the various items singly or in combination.
Although the aforesaid display Works very well indeed, certain minor deficiencies have been found, and are overcome by this present invention. For example, if a long playing record were on the phonograph, the timer motor in the aforesaid application would cause a step from one set of conditions to another set after a predetermined time during the playing of the phonograph, irrespective of whether the phonograph record had come to an end. Additionally, if a phonograph record of short duration Were played, the concurrent operation of the timer would result in only a short amount of time left between the end of the phonograph record and the next switching operation as effected by the timer. Various steps in the time sequence thus would be non-uniform. The situation could be further confused by indiscriminate operation of the manual push button switch.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a display having various operated parts controlled by a timer, and further having a phonograph in conjunction therewith, wherein playing of the phonograph results in disabling of the timer and places operations under time control of the phonograph.
More specically, it is an object of this invention to provide a display in accordance with the preceding object wherein operation of the phonograph effects disconnection of the timer motor, but with means provided to cause the timer motor to continue in operation past its switching position.
It is further an object of this invention to provide means remote from the displayfor control thereof.
Other and further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein: Y
Fig. l is a perspective view of a Christmas display embodying the principles of this invention;
Fig. 2 is an axial sectional view through the base beneath the Christmas tree as taken substantially along the line 2 2 in Fig. l;L Y
Fig. 3 is a fragmentary side view as taken along the line 3 3 in Fig. 2 within the base;
Fig. 4 is an electrical wiring diagram of the invention;
Fig. 5 is a fragmentary axial View generally similar to Fig. 2 and showing a modiiication of the invention; and
Fig. 6 is a side View partially in section as taken along the line 6 6 in Fig. 5.
Referring now in greater particularity to the drawings, and iirst to Figs. l-3, there will be seen a Christmas display indicated generally by the numeral 10 and including a Christmas tree 12 having a plurality of lights 14 thereon, and preferably having ornaments and other decorations. The Christmas tree is supported on a base 16, and a village scene 18 is provided beneath the base. The village scene includes various buildings 20 each of which is provided with an interior light. In addition, an electric train 22 runs through the village scene on a track 24. The invention also incorporates a phonograph 26, and a control box 28. The control box is connected by cables (not shown) to the phonograph, and to the tree and village scene, including the train.
The base 16, as shown in Figs. 2 and 3, includes a preferably circular floor 30 having an upstanding cylindrical wall 32 about the periphery thereof. The wall 32 may have a scalloped top, and a design onrthe surface thereof, such as bricks, for ornamental effect.
Within the base 16 there is centrally disposedA an upstanding post 34 braced at the bottom 36 to the oor 30. The post is provided at its upper end with a reduced diameter section 38, and a sleeve bearing 40 is placed on this portion. A bevel gear 42 is journaled on the sleeve bearing 40, and an insulating disc 44 is positioned about the sleeve bearing. A plate 46 is suitably secured to the disc 44, and the gear, disc, and plate are non-rotatably secured together, as by a key 48. A Christmas tree stand 50 of any suitable construction is secured to the top of a plate or disc 52, and this is secured to the plate 46.
A motor 54 is mounted within the base 16, and has a bevel gear 56 on the output shaft 58 thereof meshing with the bevel gear 42. Accordingly, when the motor 54 is run, the Christmas tree 12 is rotated. Y
Slip rings 60 are suitably secured to the underside of the insulating disc 44. The slip rings are connected by Wires 62 to a female socket or receptable 64 on the top of the plate or disc 52. A bracket 66 on the side of the post 34 insulatedly supports a pair of brushes 68 respectively bearing on the slip rings 60, yand suitably connected to a source of electric current, as hereinafter set forth. Thus, when the tree 12 is rotated by the motor 54, power will be transmitted to the socket 64, and hence to the tree lights plugged into the socket, without danger of entangling any Wires. Y
The control box 28 is illustrated schematically in Fig. 4, and reference should be had thereto at this time. Starting at the upper left hand corner of the figure, there is provided an electric connector 70 yfor connection to the usual flexible line cord. The connector 70 is connected through fuses 72 to a power switch 74. One side of the power switch74 is connected to a bus 76, while the other side is connected to a bus 78.
. 3 A pilot light 80 is connected between the bus 78 and the bus 76 to indicate 'when the display 'isturned on. VA timer toggle switch 82 is connected at one side to the 78, and at the other sideV to a junction84. The timer toggle switch82 normally is closed, and is opened manually when it is' desired for any particular switching con- "t'iitio'rlv to remain indefinitely '(except when a record is being played) as set.V The junction 84 is' connected by a wire 86 to'a pairof contacts 88. YThe contacts are conn eeted to a junction 90, and the junction 90 is connected -through-a stepping relay coil92 to the bus 76. VThe contacts 88.normally`are"open, and are closed intermittently by a high spot'94 on a timer cam 96. The timer cam 96 is' driven' by a timer motor'9'8. The timer motor 98 is connected at one side to the junction' 84, and at the other side to a` wire' 100 leading to a junction 102, and onto aV pair of normally closed contacts 104 connected serially to another pair'of normally Yclosed contacts 106, the latter' beingconnected to the'bus 76. A second pilot light 108 is connected acrossthe timer motor 98 and parallel therewith, to indicate when the timer motor is operating. Since the timer toggle switch 82 is normally closed, and theV contacts 104 and 106 are normally closed, the timer motor 98 normally operates whenever the power switch 74is closed. However, the timer motor can be manually stopped by opening the timer toggle switch 82. It also is stopped automatically at two different times during the sequence of the display when the contacts 104 'o'r106.are'op 'en'ed, asV will beset forth hereinafter.
`In connection withthe opening of the contacts 104 and 106, these switches will normally open when the high spot 94 on' the cam 96 closes`the contacts 88. If the timer motor were to stop immediately at this point, the stepping relay coil 9.2 would remain energized. This could cause damage to they stepping relay coil, and could result in Y spurious operation'of the relay. Accordingly, a timer override cam -110 is driven by the timer motor 98, and a relatively long high spot 112 thereon. This high spot is arranged to close normally open contacts 114 connected between the junction 102 and the bus 76, Ythereby paralleling, the series combination of the confacts 104 and 106. Thus, Ywhen the contacts 104 or 106 open, the timer motor 98 will not be stopped immediately, but 'will' continuev to run until the high spot 112 of the cam 102 allows the contacts 114 toopen.
phonograph toggle switch 116 also is connected to the Vbfus 78. This phonograph toggle switch normally is closedgan'd is connectedon the other side to a phonograph phone jack 118, which is connected by a wire 120 to the junction 90. `The phonograph 26 is of the type incorporating an automatic record changer 122 (Fig. l), and'means' is provided carrying a low travel switch for actuation during the change cycle. For example, the switch'could be mounted at 124 at the top of a post, 1n position' to be struck by the pickup arm 126 upon movement thereof away from the turntableduring the `change cycle. The switch 124 preferably is of the makeand-break type which remains closed only momentarily. Alternatively, the switch could be mounted within the phonograph to be actuated by the trip mechanism of the record changer. The switch 124 is connected by1a suitable wire or cable and phone plug (not shown) to the jack '118. Hence, whenever the switch 124 closes, the kstepping relayV coil 92 will be pulsed, the same as it is by the timer contacts 88. When the phono switch 116 is open, the record changer will play records indefinitely in accordance with the usual operation of record changers.
Further means is provided for pulsing the stepping relay coil 92, comprising a push button switch 128 (Fig. 4) connected at one side to the bus 78, and. at the other side to the wire 120. 4Whenever the push button switch 1s manually closed, a circuit will be completed from the bus 78 tov the bus 76 through the stepping relay coil 92 whereby to pulse the latter. Normally the switch 128 W1 not be pushed during. the. Pleyag. Oia'rsqrif The changer reject switch can, however, be used to stop record playing and return to the timed sequence. The relay is provided with ten fixed contacts, preferably on a stepping disc 130 and numbered zero through nine, and with a movable contact 132 which is stepped sequentially Vfrom one to another of the contacts 0-9 by the stepping relay coil 92. The movable contact is electrically connected to the bus 78, andto a bus 134, the bus 134 being connected to the bus 78V.
Each of the contacts 1,- 9 is connected to a respective one of a plurality of relays 136. The relay coils'136 are respectively connected tothe bus 76, and are arranged to operate individual ones, or groups of contacts 138, 140, 142, 144, 146, 148 and 150. Thus, relay coil 1 is arranged to cause the tree lights to be on and to blink, and to this end, the relay coil 136-1 causes contact l of switch group 138 to close. As will be apparent, switchcontacts 5 and 8 operated respectivelyV by relay coils 5 and 8, are in parallel with contact l. Contact 5 causes the tree lightsto blink, and there is a similar contact 5 in contact group v144. There are additional contactsV 8 in contact group 142, in contact group 144, in contact group 146, and in contact group 148. Thus, at one point or another in the switch groups 13S-150, there is a contact 8 in parallel with each of contact numbers l-7. Accordingly, closing of the various lcontacts 8 selectively concurrent operation of all of the elements controlled by relay coils l-7.
Pour contact numbers l, 5, 7 and 8 of the stepping disc 130 are connected by a wire 152 to Ia blink cam motor 154, the opposite side of which is connected by a wire 156 to the buis/"76,V Thus, Whenever the movable contact 132 is inv engagement with any of the fixed contactsV l, 5, 7 or 8, theV motor 154 will run. The motor 154 drives a cam 158fhaving a high spot 160 thereon for closing normally' opened contacts 162 to cause the tree lights to blink or iiicker. The motor 154 also drives a cam 164 having a high yspot 166 thereon for closing normally open contacts 168' to cause the village lights to blink or icker. One of the contacts 162 is connected by a wire 170 to the side of the contact group 138 `oppsitc the bus 134, while the other side of the contact 162 is connected by a wire to a junction 174. The junction'174 is connected by a wire 176 to contact 1 of a multiple contact socket or connector 178. A corresponding connector has contact 1 thereof connected to thetree light socket 64 through the slip rings 60. The yadjacent contact2 of the connector 178 is connected bya common wire tothe bus 76. As will be observed, all of the'even numbered contacts 2-12 are con# nected to this common Wire 180. Hence, opening and closing of the contact-s 162 causes the tree lights to blink.V The duration of the high spot 160 can be varied, or more than one high spot may be provided, as desired, to cause the tree lights to blink in the desired time relation.` A hold switch`182 is connected lacross the confacts 162 iiii'paralleltherewith. This switch is normally open, but can'be closed manually so that the switch lights may remain on without blinking whenever any one ofthe contacts of the contact group 138 is closed.
yThe preceding example should make all of the relay coils and contacts yclear vas to operation, since all are plainly shown and labeled on the drawing. The only item that might be worthy of lspecial mention is the cam 164 and associated contacts"168. The contacts 168 are connected from a junction Y184 between contacts 7 and 8 of contact group 142k and a junction 186 between contacts 2 `and 6 of contact group 142. The junction 186 is connected by a wire 188 to contact 3 of the connector 178, the corresponding contact of the complementary connector beingconnected to the village lights. Thus, whenever contacts 2. or 6 of contact group 142 are closed, the village lights, will be on, but will not blink. Oni the other hand, when contacts 7 or 8 of this group are closed, the (village lights will blink. hold toggle vswitch 190 is connected across the contacts 168 in parallel therewith, whereby to prevent blinking of the village lights. As will be apparent, the high spot 166 on the cam 164 could be of any desired arcuate extent, or more than one high spot could be provided, to cause the village lights to blink in the manner desired.
One further item Worthy of mention is an extra outlet 192 connected below the multiple connector 178, and connected on one side to contact 9 of the connector, and on the other side to the bus 76. For example, the contact 9 could be arranged to control only the record changer of the phonograph 26, while the phonograph could be plugged into the outlet 192. Alternatively, the phonograph could be plugged into the wall in the usual outlet, whereby the amplifier would operate continuously, but the record changer mechanism would operate only when power was supplied to contact 9 of the multiple connector 178.
Operation Assuming that the movable contact 132 is on the zero or non-connected contact of the lstepping disc 130, and it is `desired to operate the display, all that is necessary is to close the power switch 74. This starts the timer motor in operation, assuming that the timer switch 82 is closed, and causes the cam 96 momentarily to close the contacts 88, thus to pulse the stepping relay coil 92. This moves the movable contact 132 to fixed contact l of the stepping disc 130, and energizing relay coil l of the group of relays 136, whereby to close contact l of the contact group 138, and thus to cause the tree lights to blink on and oi. After a predetermined time the cam 96 again closes the contacts 88, and the movable contact 132 is stepped along to iixed contact 2, thereby closing the corresponding relay contacts 2. Operation continues under the control of the timer motor 98 until the fourth fixed contact of the stepping disc 130 is reach. This contact causes energization of relay coil 4 of the relay coils 136, and effects opening of the contacts 106, thereby tending to deenergize the timer motor, and closes contacts 4 of the contact groups 140, 144, 146 and 148, thereby starting the phonograph and train in operation. With the switch 106 open, the timer motor stops as soon as the cam 110 allows the contacts 114 to open. The phonograph then continues to run until the record is finished, and the record changer closes the switch 124, whereby again to pulse the stepping relay coil 92, and to step the movable contact 132 onto the next contact of the stepping disc 130. A `similar timed step by the phonograph occurs when the movable contact 132 reaches contact 8, this causing opening of the contacts 104 along with closing of the contact 8 in the relay contact groups. As will be apparent, the timer motor resumes operation as soon as the pulse from the phonograph switch starts the movable contact stepping toward the next fixed contact.
As noted heretofore, switch 182 Will not hold record player selections unless switch 116 is open. If switch 116 were eliminated and a wire connected directly from junction 84 to one side of phone jack 118, the timer toggle or hold switch 82 would hold all selections. However, if phono hold switch 116 were eliminated, there would be trouble if the manual push button 128 were pushed with the switch 82 open. The phono selection would not shut off automatically at the end of a record. With the provision of switch 116, as disclosed, and with the switch in closed position, the stepping switch is pulsed to its next position when the end of the record is reached. Of course, when the switch 116 is open, the changer continues to operate.
A modication of the invention is illustrated in Figs. 5 and 6. The parts shown in Figs. 5 and 6 are similar to those heretofore shown and described, and are identiiied by similar numerals with the addition of the suix a. Needless repetition of description thereby is avoided. The essential difference is that the cams 15811 and 164a have been moved from the control box 28 to a position within Vthe base 16a. The blink cam motor 154 is eliminated, and the cams 158a and 164a are placed on the motor shaft 54a. The corresponding contacts 162a and 16841 obviously are disposed within the base 16a for operation by the respective cams.
It is to be understood that the structure as heretofore shown and described is illustrative only. Various changes will no doubt occur to those skilled in the art, and will be understood as forming a part of the invention insofar `as they fall within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
The invention is claimed as follows:
1. A display including a plurality of items alternately quiescent or activated to appeal to at least one of the perceptory senses, a plurality of switch means for rendering said items quiescent or activated, timer means for operating said plurality of switch means in predetermined order, one of said items having an independent time cycle, means tending to render said timer means inoperative when said one item is activated, means continuing said timer means in operationfor a predetermined time after said last named means tends to render said timer means inoperative, and means for rendering said timer means operative upon completion of the independent time cycle of said one item.
2. A display as set forth in claim l wherein the plu,- rality of switch means comprises a stepping switch, a plurality of relays selectively energized through said stepping switch, wherein the means tending to render lthe timer means inoperative includes one of said relay switches, and a plurality of relay switches, and further including a relay coil energized through said time switch means or by switch means associated with said one item having the independent time cycle.
3. A display as set forth in claim 1 wherein the timer includes an electric motor and wherein the continuing means comprises a switch in series with the timer motor and controlled by a cam driven by the timer.
4. A display including a plurality of items alternately quiescent or activated to appeal to at least one of the perceptory senses, a plurality of switch means for rendering said items quiescent or activated, said switch means including a stepping switch, a plurality of relays selectively energized through said stepping switch, a plurality of relay switches, and a relay coil for operating said stepping switch, timer means for energizing said relay coil from time to time for operating said plurality of switch means in predetermined order, one of said items having an independent time cycle, means for rendering said timer means inoperative when said one item is activated including contacts included among said relay switches and opened upon activation of said one item, said contacts being in series with said timer means, additional contacts in parallel with said contacts, cam means operated by said timer means and holding the additional contacts closed for a limited time after opening of the rst mentioned contacts whereby said timer means stops a predetermined time after opening of the first mentioned contacts, and means for subsequently rendering said timer means oper-ative upon completion of the independent time cycle of said one item.
5. A display including a plurality of items alternately quiescent or activated to appeal lto at least one of the perceptory senses, a plurality of switch means for rendering said items quiescent or activated and including a stepping switch, a plurality of relays selectively energized in sequence through said stepping switch, a plurality of relay switches operated by said relays, and a relay coil for stepping said stepping switch from one position to another, timer means for periodically operating said relay coil to effect operation of said switch means in predetermined ordergone of said items having an independent time cycle,
switch contact means in series with `and controlling the operation VVof said timer, said series contact means being included among said relay switches and opened upon activation of said one item to render said timer means inoperative, means for retaining said timer means in operation a predetermined time after the opening of said contact means, and means for rendering said timer means operative upon completion of the independent time cycle of said oneritem.
6. A display including a plurality of items alternately quiescent or activated to appeal to at least one of the perceptory senses, a plurality of switch means for rendering Ysaid items quiescent or activated, timer means for operating said plurality of switch means in Ypredetermined order, one of said items comprising a phonograph having an independent time cycle, means on` said phonograph for operatin'grsaid switchrmea'ns independently of said timer, means for rendering said timer means inoperative when said phonograph is operated, said last named means comprising a switch in series with said timer, and means operatively connecting said switch means and said switch Vfor opening said switch when said switch means renders 'said phonograph operative, and means controlled by the phonograph for subsequently closing said switch to render said timer means operative upon completion of the cycle of Vsaid phonograph.
7. A display as set forth in clai'mr and including mannally operable means inparallel with said timer means 'and said phonograph vfor manually operating said switch means.
8. A display as set forth in claim 7 and further including manuallyl operable means for removing the timer Vmeans from operation.
9. A Christmas display comprising a plurality of items including a Christmas tree mounted on a rotatable stand, lights on said Christmas tree, a phonograph having an independent time cycle, and a scene adjacent said Christmas tree and having lights thereon, said items being alternatively quiescent or activated to appeal to at least one of the perceptory senses, a plurality of switch means operable individually and in groups for similarly rendering said items quiescent or activated, time switch means for operating said plurality of switch means individually and in groups in predetermined order, manually operable switch means connected in parallel with said time switch means for operating said plurality of switch means irrespective of the operation of said time switch means, means for rendering said time switch means inoperative when said phonograph is energized and including a switch in series with said timer and operatively connected to one of said switch means, and means operatively connected to `said phonographV for subsequently closing said switch Cir 8 to render said timer means operative upon completion of the independent time cycle of said phonograph;
10. A display comprising a plurality of items alternatively quiescent or activated to appeal to -at least one of the'perceptory senses, one of said items having an independent time cycle, a plurality of switch means connected to said items for changing the condition of quiescence or activation thereof, means including timer means for operating said plurality of switch means in accordance with aV predetermined pattern, means rendering said timer means inoperative when said independent time cycle means is activated and including a switch in series with said timer and means operatively connecting said switch to the switch means connected to the independent time cycle item', and means operated by said independent time cycle means for subsequently closing said switch to render said timer means operative upon completion of the independent time cycle of said one item.
11. A display comprising a plurality of items alternately quiescent or activated to apply to at least one of the perceptory senses, time switch means comprising a stepping contact operated by pulses and a plurality of switches operatively connected to said items for changing the condition of quiescence or activation thereof, first timer means connected to said stepping switch means for providing pulses thereto, a switch in series with said rst timer means, second timer means, means operatively connecting said second timer means to the switch in series with the vfirst-timer means for opening said switch as said second timer means is started in operation, means operatively connecting said second timer means to at least one of the .iixed switch contacts of the stepping switch means for operation of said second timer means, and means for subsequently closing the switch in series with the iirst timer means and operatively connected .to the second timer means for so closing said switch upon operation of said second timer means.
12. A display as set forth in claim ll and further including override control means operatively connected with the switch means in series with the rst timer means for reclosing said series switch independently of lthe second timer means.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,034,224 Butler Mar. 17, 1936 2,307,296 Peyton Ian. 5, 1943 2,558,490 Koei June 26, 1951 2,874,496 Rakes Feb. 24, 1959 FOREIGN PATENTS 546,174 Great Britain July 1, 1942 UNITED STATES PATENT oEEICE CERTIFICATION OF CORRECTION Patent No, 2,956,357 October I8, 1960 Lee L., Rakes It is hereby certified that error appears in J@he above numbered patent requiring correction and that J@he said Letters Patent should read as corrected below.
Column Ei line 45, for "cam 102" read cam IIO =5 column 5, line 29, for energ`1zing" read energizes line 38, for "reach'-I read -m reached line 57l for switch 182" read switch 82 column line 35, strike out farld a glurality of relay switches# and insert the'same after "swltch, and before "whereinu in line 33, same Column.
Signed and sealed this 2nd day of May 1961.
ERNEST W. SWIDER DAVID L7 .LADD Attesting fficer Commissioner of Patents