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Publication numberUS2960576 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 15, 1960
Filing dateMay 31, 1957
Priority dateMay 31, 1957
Publication numberUS 2960576 A, US 2960576A, US-A-2960576, US2960576 A, US2960576A
InventorsKath Norman A
Original AssigneeKath Norman A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Signal-controlled actuator for telephones and the like
US 2960576 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 15, 1960 N. A. KATH 2,960,576




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INVENTOR. 50 N. A. KATH ATTORNEY United States Patent SIGNAL-CONTROLLED ACTUATOR FOR TELE- PHONES AND THE LIKE Norman A. Kath, 1019 W. 15th St., Davenport, Iowa Filed May 31, 1957, Ser. No. 662,681

1 (Claim. (Cl. 179-84) This invention relates to a signal-driven or controlled means finding particular utility in the field of telephones and like instruments having an energizable signal device. In its simplest and quite specific form the invention uses the force of the moving signal member to mechanically operate a controller or actuator for an instrumentality other than the telephone; e.g., to complete an electrical circuit to a lamp or other appliance in response to energizing of the ring or annunciation circuit.

It is a significant object of the invention to provide the herein disclosed improvement in such form that it may be readily and easily attached to and/ or built into telephones, for example, of existing designs, with but slight alteration in the housing or support structure and with no alterations in the mechanical and electrical parts of the instrument. It is an important object to use a circuit-controlling switch and means for closing the switch by mechanical means driven by the annunciator armature, clapper or extension thereof. A further object is to provide selector means operative manually to set or cock the mechanism for release by the signal device and to further provide means for manual release of the mechanism. Other and nonetheless important objects and features reside in: incorporation of the design in a form adaptable as original equipment in a telephone; provision of a fused circuit; in provision for adjustment of the timing of the trip mechanism; the use of appropriate insulation insuring safety against electrical shocks; mounting of the trip means so that once it is tripped by the signal device it remains clear thereof until the mechanism is reset; and such other details of construction and arrangement of parts as are inherent in and encompassed by the invention according to the disclosure of two presently preferred embodiments thereof in the ensuing specification and accompanying sheets of drawings, the several figures of which are described immediately below.

Figure l is a pictorial perspective illustrating an example of a typical arrangement.

Figure 2 is a rear elevation of a conventional telephone as modified according to the invention.

Figure 3 is an enlarged fragmentary section as seen on the line 33 of Figure 2.

Figure 4 is a wiring diagram.

Figure 5 is a plan of the telephone base as seen with the upper housing removed and with the actuator means cocked or set and the switch open.

Figure 6 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective of parts of the actuator and selector means.

Figure 7 is a view similar to Figure 5 but shows the actuator means released and the switch closed.

Figure 8 is a view similar to Figure 5 but shows a modified form of actuator and selector, with the mechanism cocked or set and the switch open.

Figure 9 is similar to Figure 8 but shows the mechanism released and the switch closed.

Figure 10 is similar to Figures 8 and 9 but shows a pre-set condition of the mechanism.

It should be noted at the outset that the instant disclosure is based on presently preferred forms of the invention and that other forms the full equivalent thereof can be used in exploiting the invention. Hence such details as the types of switches, the type and position of the convenience outlet etc. should be taken as illustrative only. Likewise, the telephone, although lending itself particularly well to the use of the invention, is but representative of a general class of similar instruments or devices that could be adapted to the invention.

With the foregoing in mind, a conventional style of telephone is shown as comprising the usual housing and supporting structure 12 having an upper housing 14, a removable base plate 16 and a handset 18. The housing 14 is shown (Figure 3) as modified to the extent of incorporating a typical convenience receptacle or electrical outlet means 20 into which the male connector 22 of a lamp cord 24, for example, is plugged to illuminate what is here shown as a table or desk lamp 26. It will be appreciated that the lamp could be any electric or electrically actuated or controlled appliance and it is not beyond the scope of the invention to have the lamp or appliance built directly into or otherwise associated with the telephone. In this respect, as to the lamp, the feature of the invention is that the lamp is lit when the telephone rings so that a person called by the telephone in the darkness will be served by at least sufiicient illumination to locate the instrument. As will be obvious, several lamps may be lit at once, an entire house or building may be illuminated, and a myriad of other examples will readily occur. The circuit to the outet 20 could of course be wired directly into a room or building circuit, as for lighting overhead or Wall lamps.

The telephone is conventionally wired at 28 to the usual box or jack 30, and an electrical connection extraneous to the telephone circuit is effected by a typical two-wire cord 32 to a wall outlet 34 as a source of electrical potential; e.g., 110 V. AC. In the event that the instrument is portable and is connected to a jack at 30, the cord 32 may have a conventional male plug 36. The circuit portion afforded by the means 323436 leads to the outlet means 20 as shown diagrammatically in Figure 4, one side of the circuit being fused at 38 and the other side being controlled by a switch 40 contained in the housing 14 as will be brought out below. When the lamp 26 is connected, it becomes part of the circuit and is controlled by the switch 40, as would any other appliance, etc. plugged in at 20 or incorporated directly into the circuit; e.g., a lamp built into the telephone housing.

Figures 5 and 7 show only so much of the telephone base 16 and associated structure as is necessary to orient and explain the invention. To this end, the numeral 42 designates an energizable signal device having coils 44 and a normally quiescent member 46 movable when the device is energized. In the instant case, the device is the conventional annunciator, energized by the ring circuit in a known manner and the member 46 is the armature thereof, pivoted at 47. The details are not material, because other signal devices could be used. A hammer or clapper 48 is secured to or forms an extension of the member 46 and operates conventionally between a pair of bells or gongs 50 as the member 46 rocks about its pivot 47. As will be brought out below, the switch 40 is responsive to force derived from the hammer 48.

condition and is released or moved to a closed position in response to energizing of the signal device 42. As will be detailed below, the switch may be also closed by the selector means 56.

The switch shown in Figures 5-7 is of the leaf type and has a block 60 carried by the base 16 within the housing 14. At this point, it is well to note that the switch, the actuator means 58 and the selector means 56 (with the exception of an external knob 62) are compactly arranged completely within the housing 14.

The block 60 carries one contact 64 of the switch, and a companion contact 66 is carried by a spring leaf 68 which carries a suitable extension arm 70. In cases in which the arm 70 is metallic, it is appropriately electrically insulated from the leaf 68 by insulator blocks 72. In the particular type of switch shown, additional biasing means is provided at 74 for urging the switch to its closed status. When the switch is closed, the circuit portion to the outlet means 20 is made and any appliance, such as the lamp 26, plugged into the outlet 20 is energized. The switch opens of course to break this circuit and that is the normally expected situation when the telephone is quiescent.

The open condition of the switch 40 is incurred by the selector means 56 and is retained by the actuator means 58 prior to automatic release by the signal device or deliberate release by the selector means. Hence, the selector means is operative not only to open the switch but also to close the switch.

The selector means includes a base-mounted bracket 76 which carries a plunger 78 for axial shifting among neutral, active and release positions. The knob 62 is secured to the external end of the plunger and the housing 14 of the telephone is appropriately apertured or slotted at 80 (Figure l) to accommodate the plunger. Centering means in the form of a pair of springs 82 at opposite sides of an ear 84 on the bracket 76 yieldingly maintains the idle or neutral position of the plunger. Washer and pin means 86 confine the ends of the springs remote from the ear 84. Hence, the plunger may be pushed in to its active or setting position and may be pulled out to its release position, and in either instance the centering springs will restore the plunger to its neutral or idle position, which position is shown in the drawings.

The switch extension arm 70 has its outer end forked or slotted at 88 (Figure 6), and the plunger has a reduced portion 90 loosely received in the fork or slot; but the reduced portion affords a pair of axially spaced shoulders 92 and 94, the former of which engages the fork when the plunger 78 is pushed in, which thereby opens the switch 40 by separating the contacts 64-66. In order that the contacts may remain separated when the plunger is released for centering at its neutral position, the actuator means 58 is provided as a cockable or trippable means, set or cocked as the plunger 78 is pushed in and released or tripped in response to energizing of the signal device 42 through the medium of trip means, here a trip rod 96 carried by a bracket or support 98 to which is rigidly secured a sleeve 100 in which the rod freely slides, being preferably unopposed by springs, etc. The rear end of the rod has a head 102 proximate to and adapted to be engaged by the hammer or clapper 48, and this head is threadedly adjustable in the rod proper to vary the clearance between it and the clapper and thus to vary the time of response of the switch to the signal device.

The support or bracket 98 for the trip rod 96 may be part of a unitary support on which the switch 40 is mounted, and may additionally serve to carry an upright pivot 104 for a latch 106 which forms a principal part of the actuator means 58. As best seen in Figure 6, the latch is here a bellcrank having a bifurcated or slotted arm 108, a control arm 110 and a latch arm 112. The slotted arm 108 loosely receives or straddles the reduced plunger portion 90 of the selector plunger 78 between the switch arm extension fork 88 and the rear plunger shoulder 94; the control arm 110 is in the path of the front end of the trip rod 96 as said rod moves forward; and the latch arm 112 is in alinement with a rectangular opening 114 in the switch arm extension 70. The free end of the latch arm has a hook or lug 116 adapted to hook through the opening 114 for engaging the arm extension 70 so as to retain the open condition of the switch 41] until upset by the trip rod 96 or by shifting of the selector means to its release position.

The operation of the mechanism of Figures 1-7 is as follows: Normally, the switch 40 is open and the telephone performs conventionally, having no effect on the extraneous circuit 3234-3620. If the user now desires to utilize the advantages of the invention, he pushes in on the selector plunger 78, and this sets or cocks the actuator means 58. Specifically, as the plunger 78 is pushed in, the front shoulder 92 thereon engages the forked end 88 of the switch arm 70, opening the switch 40 by separating the contacts 64-66. As the switch arm 70 swings rearwardly, or to the right as seen in the drawings, it picks up the forked arm 108 of the actuator bellcrank 106, swinging the bellcrank counterclockwise, whereupon the lug 116 on the latch arm 112 enters the aperture 114 (Figure 6) in the rearwardly moving switch arm 70. The movement of the parts is so calculated that the lug 116 hooks over or in front of the near edge of the switch arm aperture 114, so that when manual pressure is released from the plunger 78 to enable return thereof to neutral by the centering springs 82, the switch arm 70 is retained in the position of Figure 5, with the switch 411 open.

Now, as the bellcrank 106 rocks to its Figure 5 position, it picks up the front end of the trip rod 96 and shifts it to the rear, or to the right as seen in the drawings, bringing it close to the clapper 48. The mechanism is now conditioned for operation in response to energizing of the ring circuit by an incoming call. When this occurs, the armature or signal member 46 is vibrated on its pivot 47 and the first stroke of the clapper 48 drives the trip rod 96 to the front, or to the left as seen in the drawings, rocking the bellcrank 106 clockwise and withdrawing the latch arm lug 116 from engagement with the switch arm 70, whereupon the biased switch arm closes and makes the contacts 6466 to complete the circuit 32343626, and the lamp is illuminated (or the equivalent instrumentality if actuated). The axial spacing between the plunger shoulders 92 and 94 is such that these shoulders do not interfere with movement of the switch arm to its closed position (Figure 7). Likewise, the trip rod 96, being freely slidable in the bracket-supported sleeve and unopposed by springs etc., does not interfere with the vibration of the clapper 48. As already indicated, the trip rod head 98 may be adjusted to vary the timing of release or tripping of the actuator means 58, since the head may be adjusted closer to or farther from the clapper as desired. Preferably, the adjustment is such that tripping occurs immediately, or before the clapper moves far enough to strike the bell 50.

In the event that it is desired to trip the cocked actuator means 58 manually or deliberately, the plunger 78 is pulled out, the rear plunger shoulder 94 engaging the forked arm 108 of the bellcrank 106 so as to rock this bellcrank clockwise, which withdraws the latch arm lug 116 from the switch arm 70 just as in automatic release. In the day time, for example, the mechanism is manually tripped and the lamp 26 is disconnected or shut 011 by its own switch. As will be clear, the ring circuit could be used as described above even if the gongs were removed, in which case an incoming call would be indicated visually by the lamp 26 rather than both visually and audibly. Of course, other variations of lamp signals could be used instead of the simple arrangement shown, but that disclosed will serve to demonstrate such other possibilities.

The modified form of the invention shown in Figures 3-H) employs the previously described principles in a similar telephone, but with a different type of switch 119 and a somewhat modified form of actuator means 121 set by selector means 123 for tripping by a trip rod 125. The basic telephone parts are the same and bear reference numerals previously employed.

The switch 119 is of the type known as a microswitch and is mounted on the base 16 by a compact support 127 which serves also to carry a trip rod bracket 129 to which is rigidly aflixed a trip rod sleeve 131 in which the trip rod 125 slides freely for cooperation with the clapper 48 just as in Figures 1-7. Similarly, the trip .rod 125 has an adjustable head 133 for the same purposes as described above. The switch 119 is controlled by a switch arm 135, pivoted at 137 for swinging between the open position of Figure 8 to the closed position of Figure 9. This switch fits into the Figure 4 circuit in place of the switch 40 and in all other respects performs the same functions.

The selector means 123 is made up of a bracket 139 having apertured ears 141 in which a selector plunger 1143 is axially shiftable against the biasing action of centering springs 145 which perform like those at 82 and .hence need not be elaborated. The plunger 143 has an external knob 147 for control thereof. Like the selector means 56, the means 123 is two-way operable and has a neutral position (Figures 8 and 9), a setting position (Figure 10) and a release position (not shown). Here, as in Figures 17, the mechanism is compactly arranged within the instrument housing 14 except for the external control knob 147.

The actuator means 121 comprises a lever or bellcrank 149 having an input arm 151 and a generally E-shaped arm 153 made up of three minor arms 155, 157 and 159. The bellcrank is pivoted at 161 on the support 127 and the input arm 151 is connected to the inner end of the selector plunger 143 by a link 163. The actuator means includes a second bellcrank or rocker 165, pivoted at 167 to the support 127. This rocker is set by the selector means 123 and first bellcrank 149 and is released or tripped by the trip rod 125 when moved by the vibrating clapper 48. In addition, the rocker has the function of retaining the switch arm 135 in its open position, and for these purposes has three arms 169, 171 and 173.

The mechanism operates as follows: Figure 9 shows the tripped position of the mechanism, and the switch 119 is of course closed, the switch arm 135 being to its leftwardmost position. The extraneous circuit (as 32--34- 36--26) is now energized. To restore the mechanism for response to the next incoming call, the user pushes the selector plunger 143 in and this acts through the link 163 to rock the bellcrank 149 clockwise (Figure 10), causing the nose of the arm 155 to pick up the switch arm 135 and swing it to the right. Substantially simultaneously, the arm 157 engages the leftwardly projecting arm 169 of the rocker 165 and rocks the rocker counterclockwise so that the rocker arm 171 clears and swings to the left of the free end of the switch arm 135 as the bellcrank arm 155 swings the switch arm to the Figure 10 position. In the meantime, the third rocker arm 173 picks up the free end of the trip rod 125 and moves the trip rod to the right and into proximity to the clapper 48. This is the pre-set position as shown in Figure 10.

Now, as the selector plunger is released to be returned to neutral by the centering springs 145, the bellcrank 149 rocks counterclockwise and its arm 155 is followed by the switch arm 135, which, as stated above, is biased to swing to the left. However, as the switch arm tends to follow the receding bellcrank arm 155, it is intercepted by the tip of the second arm 171 of the rocker 165 and is held in its open position (Figure 8). Retention is augmented by the presence of the middle arm 157 of the bellcrank 149 because, as will be seen in Figure 8, when the selector means is centered, the third arm 159 of the bellcrank 149 engages under the first arm 169 of the rocker and prevents further counterclockwise rocking of the rocker, since the centering springs are obviously stronger than the closing spring (not shown) in the switch 119. Hence, the switch is retained in its open position by the combined eifects of the actuator and selector means, and the mechanism is conditioned for actuation in response to energizing of the ring circuit or signal device 42 by the next incoming call, which involves driving of the trip rod to the left so that its free end engages the arm 173 of the rocker 165 to turn the rocker clockwise. The top arm 171 of the rocker temporarily carries the switch arm to the right but almost immediately clears the switch arm to allow the switch arm to snap to the left past the rocker arm to close the switch 119 and ultimately to stop against the nose of the bellcrank arm 155 (Figure 9). The above snap action occurs because of the short radius of the arm 171 and the relative location of the pivots 137 and 167. Reset of the mechanism is achieved by repeating the procedure first described above.

Manual release via an outward pull on the selector plunger 143 changes the mechanism from the Figure 8 position (switch 119 open) to that of Figure 9' (switch closed), because such outward movement of the plunger acts through the link 163 in tension to rock the bellcrank 149 counterclockwise, whereupon the bellcrank arm 159 engages the rocker arm 169 to turn the rocker clockwise, or in the same direction it was turned when tripped automatically by the trip rod 125. Thus, the same tripping results follow. When the plunger is released, it is centered by its springs and the mechanism occupies the Figure 9 condition, with the switch 119 closed, until reset by an inward push on the plunger.

The several significant objects of the invention have been outlined at the beginning of the specification. Others have been developed in the description of the structures and the operation of each. Still others will readily occur to those versed in the art, as will various alterations and modifications in the preferred forms of the invention disclosed, all of which may be achieved without departure from the spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

For use with a telephone or like instrument having a supporting and enclosing housing containing an energizable signal device activated by the telephone circuit to signal an incoming call and including a normally quiescent elongated clapper adapted to be vibrated transverse to its length when said device is energized: mechanism for controlling an electrically operated appliance other than said instrument, comprising an electrical outlet means carried by said housing and exteriorly accessible for connection to such appliance; means atfording an electrical circuit portion connected to the outlet means and connectible to a source of electrical energy other than the telephone circuit and including a switch having an arm generally paralleling the clapper and biased to close the circuit portion and shiftable to open said circuit portion, said switch being contained within said housing; a bellcrank latch pivotally carried within the housing intermediate the clapper and switch arm and having one arm extending toward the switch arm and another arm generally paralleling the clapper, said one arm having a portion engageable to hold the switch arm in its open position against the bias thereon; a plunger slidably carried by and within the housing and having first and second ends respectively proximate to and engageable with the clapper and said latch other arm to be shifted When the clapper moves in one direction for pivoting the latch to release the switch for movement of the latter to close said circuit portion; and means for shifting the plunger manually in the opposite direction, including a reset member carried by the housing and including a portion accessible from outside the housing and an inner portion within and enclosed by said housing, said inner portion including means for engaging both said Z l h ot arm an th h. rm qr m i th l tte PQ it elY t OBEY} PQ t and 91 mo n he t h positively to a position in which said latch portion en gages the switch armfwhereby said switch is cocked in open po tio sai t es t b r h v e ter n r n mean aini g sam y ld ngly n a n u a p i i n conditioning said latch for pivoting by said plunger when the clapper moves in said one direction, and said reset member being movable in a direction opposite to the direction in which it is movable to engage the latch other arm and the switch arm for rocking the latch in the other direction to enable manual release of the switch from cocked open position independently of the clapper.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 594,131 Dickerson Nov. 23, 1897 699,582- Shaifner May 6, 1 902 1,650,699 Dillon Nov. 29, 1927 2,275,539 Matthews n Mar. 10, 1949 2,616,972 McNutt Nov. 4, 1952 2,813,154 Rabinow Nov. 12, 1957

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US594131 *Aug 11, 1897Nov 23, 1897 Bell extension for telephones
US699582 *Jan 9, 1902May 6, 1902Samuel C ShaffnerSignal apparatus.
US1650699 *Feb 5, 1927Nov 29, 1927Dillon Walter HTelephone signal light
US2275539 *Jul 11, 1940Mar 10, 1942Bell Telephone Labor IncTelephone call indicator
US2616972 *Aug 30, 1948Nov 4, 1952Mcnutt Ralph LTelephone operated lighting means
US2813154 *Apr 16, 1954Nov 12, 1957Jacob RabinowTelephone call indicator
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4518821 *Feb 18, 1983May 21, 1985Yuter Seymour CRestaurant telephone entertainment system
US4694486 *Apr 10, 1984Sep 15, 1987Yuter Seymour CCombined telephone-table system
US4951311 *Jul 10, 1989Aug 21, 1990Sterr Kevin KTelephone call indicator
US5509068 *Mar 25, 1994Apr 16, 1996Bayless; Samuel R.Electronic ring monitoring device for telecommunications line
WO1985001853A1 *Oct 19, 1984Apr 25, 1985Achille Joseph DelahayeElectronic adapter for a telephone, enabling to provide a complementary call warning, different from a conventional ringing
U.S. Classification379/376.1, 200/61.58R
International ClassificationH04M19/00, H04M1/22, H04M19/04
Cooperative ClassificationH04M1/22, H04M19/04
European ClassificationH04M1/22, H04M19/04