Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS2976526 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 21, 1961
Filing dateApr 21, 1959
Priority dateApr 21, 1959
Publication numberUS 2976526 A, US 2976526A, US-A-2976526, US2976526 A, US2976526A
InventorsSamuel Fialkoff
Original AssigneeCamin Lab Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Selective signaling system
US 2976526 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


March 21, 1961 s. FIALKOFF 2,976,526

SELECTIVE SIGNALING SYSTEM Filed April 21, 1959 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 U 2 7 /02 7 4 I! i W SAMUEL F ALKOFF f O INVENTOR. U? 4/ March 21, 1961 s. FIALKOFF 2, 76,526


Agenf SELECTIVE SIGNALING SYSTEM Samuel Fialkoif, Roslyn, N.Y., assignor to Camin Laboratories, Inc., Brooklyn, N.Y., a corporation of New My present invention relates to a system for the selective actuation of a signaling device, common to a plurality of remote stations, in a manner causing the device to give off different signals depending on the identity of an actuating station.

The general object of this invention is to provide a system of this character in which the type of signal produced by the controlled device will be independent (or very nearly so) of the manner in which the associated control devices at the remote stations are actuated, i.e. whether a switch at such remote station is held closed for a longer or a shorter period or, in some instances, whether it is actuated once or several timesin rapid succession.

The term signal as hereinabove referred to is to be understood as broadly including all types of visible and/or audible phenomena, such as for example the operation of a bell, a buzzer, an indicator needle or a lamp; it may also include the action of a responsive device, e.g. a relay, to start a machine or to produce some other useful result.

A more particular object of my invention is to provide a system in which the mode of operation specified above is realized by extremely simple and inexpensive means.

In accordance with this invention 1 provide a springloaded operating element having a limited range of displacement, such as a swingable lever, and a plurality of electromechanical control units such as solenoids adapted upon their energization to impart different displacements to this element. The operating element, in turn, acts through a unidirectional coupling (such as a pawl-andratchet assembly) upon a clockwork which allows the operating element -to return to its normal position at a controlled rate whereby an off-normal period will be measured whose duration depends on the initial-displacement of that element. Also coupled with the operating element, either directly or through the associated clockwork, is a circuit breaker adapted to close a load circuit either intermittently or continuously while the operating element is off normal, this load circuit being open in the normal position of the operating element. The time during which the load circuit remains closed, or the number of its closures, .will therefore depend on which of the control units associated with the operating element had been energized.

"plication of the invention to a signaling device of the type disclosed in my co-pending application Ser. No. 720,503,

filed March 10, 1958, now Patent No. 2,925,593, issued February 16, 1960.

In Fig. 1 I have shown a source of current, represented by a transformer 10, adapted to energize a signaling device 20 here shown as a conventional door chime; the

system illustrated in Fig. 2, I provide means for selectively to the origin or the destination of each user.

2,976,526 Patented Mar. 21, 1961 chime comprises an electromagnet 21, a striker 22 adapted to be attracted by the magnet, and a tubular metallic reed 23 positioned to be hit by the striker when the magnet is de-energi zed. The magnet 21 has a first energizing circuit, adapted to be closed by a switch 13, and a second energizing circuit which leads over a star wheel 14 and a contact arm 15 positioned adjacent thereto. Two other switches 11 and 12, when closed, allow the current from the secondary of transformer 10 to pass through the windings of two solenoids 31 and 32, respectively. The cores of both of these solenoids are attached to an operating lever 30 which is freely swingable about the shaft 16 of star wheel 14 and is normally urged against a stop 33 by a spring 34. Lever 30 further carries a pawl 35 which co-operates with a ratchet wheel 17 rigid with shaft 16, this shaft also forming part of a conventional clockwork 18 containing the usual movement for regulating the speed of the shaft when the latter is acted upon by the spring 34 after being displaced by either of the two solenoids 31 and 32. I

Since the core of solenoid 31 is attached to lever '30 at a relatively remote location from its pivotal axis 16, energization of this solenoid will cause the lever to move clockwise from its normal position 0 through a relatively small angle into the position I shown in dotted lines. Pawl 35 will pass over the teeth of ratchet 17 during this movement but will engage the ratchet as soon as the spring 34 starts to retract the lever when the solenoid is deenergized. The resulting counterclockwise return movement of the lever 30 is thus imparted to the ratchet 17, the shaft 16, the clockwork 18 and the star wheel 14. As the star wheel rotates, its teeth will make contact with the arm 15 a relatively small number of times (e.g. twice) to operate the chime 20 a like number of times. If, however, the solenoid 32 had been energized in lieu of solenoid .31, the lever 30 would have been displaced into its alternate position II, shown in dot-dash lines, so that a'longer return stroke would have ensued and a larger number of teeth (e.g. three) would have successively contacted the arm 15 so as to operate the chime 20.

It will thus be seen that the system of Fig. 1 enables a. signaling device 20 to be operated either once (closure of switch-13), twice (closure of switch 11), or a larger numberof times (closure of switch 12), depending only .Onthe switch selected but not on the manner in which suchswitch is being operated.

In'Fig. 2 I have shown my invention applied to a socalled night light as used, particularly in Europe, for the temporary illumination of staircases after the normal house lights have been turned off for the night. In such systems it is desirable that a tenant entering or leaving, by operating a conveniently located switch, will have sufiicient light to reach the door of the house or of his apartment without, however, causing more current to be drawn than is necessary for this purpose. Heretofore, such systems usually caused the light to remain turned on for a fixed period of, say, three minutes; such a period while somewhat excessive for persons living on the lower, floors, is not always suflicient for tenants and visitors with four or five flights of stairs to climb. Top-floor residents, therefore, often would push additional buttons along the way to extend the period or, if the system enabled no such extension, wait at a landing for the light to go out and then press the button again. This procedure,"of course, is wasteful for the landlord and cumbersome for the tenant, yet represents often the only alternative for a person wishing to avoid being stranded on the stairs in the darkness.

In accordance with my invention, as embodied in the varying the length of the illumination period according Thus, I

antenna have shown a first landing 101 and a second landing 102 next to which respective pushbuttons 111 and 112 are provided; other pushbuttons 111' and 112', bearing the legends I and II to indicate the respective landing, are shown provided next to the entrance door 100 at the ground level and are connected in parallel with the pushbuttons 111 and 112, respectively. Two solenoids 131, 132 have energizing circuits which include the secondary of a transformer 110 and either the two pushbuttons 111, 111' (solenoid 131) or the two pushbuttons 112, 112' (solenoid 132). The cores of the solenoids are, as in the preceding embodiment, attached to an operating lever 130 normally biased against a stud 133 by a spring 134.-

Lever 130 is again freely swingable on a shaft 116 which extends from a clockwork 118 and is keyed to a ratchet 117; the latter is engageable by a pawl 135 on lever 130 when this lever returns to position 0, adjacent stud 133, after having beendisplaced into position I or position II by solenoid 131 or 132, respectively.

: An extremity of lever 130 remote from solenoids 131, 132 carries a non-arcing mercury switch 114 adapted to close a circuit through its contacts 115', 115 when the lever is in off-normal position. Contacts 115' and 115" form part of a load circuit which includes the A.-C. mains 109, bridged across the primary of transformer 110, and the illumination of the staircase here shown as two lamps 120, 120" connected in parallel with each other. Thus, if a person descending from the first landing 101 presses the button 111, or if on entering through the door 100 such person operates the button 111, the arm 130 will be displaced into position I and the illumination 120', 120" will stay on for a relatively short time; it, however, button 112 or 112' had been operated by a person coming from orheading for the second landing 102, lever 130 would have reached the position II and the period of illumination would have been correspondingly lengthened. It will be understood that the pushbuttons 111, 112' could also be the floor-selecting buttons of an elevator not shown.

It will be apparent that a person pressing the button 111 after previously actuating, say, the button 112 will not materially, if at all, extend the illumination period originally selected if the system is properly timed so that the lever 130 passes through position I at approximately the time when such person reaches landing 101.

Reference is now made to Fig. 3 for a description ,of a modified signaling device 220 adapted to be used in lieu of the device 20 of Fig. 1'. The device 220 is a chime similar to that disclosed and claimed in my co-pending application Ser. No. 720,503 and comprises a pair of concentric bells 211,- 212 mounted on a common reed 214. The reed carries an armature 217 positioned for attraction by an electromagnet 41, a second such magnet 43 being provided with a resilient armature 219 which carries a damper 49 normally engaging the rigid bell assembly 211, 212. A slow-releasing first relay 51 and a quickoperating second relay 52 are connected in parallel across the leads 36, 37 coming from the control circuit of Fig. 1. Two stationary strikers 46, 47 are positioned adjacent the inner bell 212 and the outer bell 211, respectively, to produce a signal when the bells are set in vibratory motion as hereinafter described.

The energizing circuit of the bell-actuating magnet 41 includes an auxiliary winding of transformer in series with an armature and front contact of relay 52. The energizing circuit of damping magnet 43 includes the same auxiliary transformer winding in series with an armature and back contact of relay 52 and an armature and front contact of relay 51. The operation is as follows, it being assumed that the spacing of the teeth of the wheel 14 (Fig. 1) is sufliciently large to accommodate a full operating cycle of relays 51, 52 between engagements of contact 15.

When the relays 51 and 52 are operated by closure of the contacts 13 or 14, 15 of Fig. 1, they attract their armatures so that magnet 41 operates to flex the reed 214, the signaling device 220 remaining, however, inoperative because the bells 211, 212 are still immobilized by the damper 49. Subsequently, as the contacts in the control circuit are reopened, relay 52 releases to energize the magnet 43 and to de-energize the magnet 41 so that reed 214 and bells 211, 212 begin to oscillate, thereby causing the successive emission of different notes by strikers 46 and 47, respectively. Shortly thereafter, e.g. after two such notes, slow-releasing relay 51 opens its contacts and de-energizes the magnet 43 so as to stop the oscillations of the bells. It will be apparent that the same successi'on of steps will be repeated two, three or more times as the star Wheel 14 rotates past the contact arm 15 to cause iterative operation of the relays 51 and 52.

As will be apparent from the preceding description, at large variety of signaling devices may be actuated in a controlled manner by my improved system and that the specific uses mentioned hereinabove have been given merely by way of illustration and not as a limitation upon the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A signaling system comprising a signaling device, a plurality of control units for said device, a plurality of controlled circuit elements respectively responsive to operation of said control units and independently actuatable thereby, an operating member displaceable over difierent distances by said controlled elements, restoring means for returning said operating member to a normal position at a controlled rate upon such displacement, and circuit means responsive to displacement of said operating member for actuating said signaling device during the return movement of said operating member and over an interval determined by the duration of said return movement.

2. A system according to claim 1 wherein said circuit means comprises a circuit breaker intermittently operative throughout said interval to energize said signaling device.

3. A system according to claim 1 wherein said circuit means comprises contacts closed continuously throughout the major part of said return movement.

4. A system according to claim 1 wherein said restoring means comprises a clockwork operatively coupled with said member and a spring tending to rotate said clockwork through said member.

' 5. A system according to claim '4, further comprising unidirectional coupling means between said operating member and said clockwork.

6. A system according to claim 5 wherein said coupling means comprises a pawl-and-ratchet assembly.

7. A system according to claim 1 wherein said controlled elements comprise respective solenoids, said operatin-gmember being a lever engaged by said solenoids at different distances from its fulcrum.

8. A system according to claim 1, comprising a further control unit for directly operating said signaling device, said further control unit being connected to said signaling device in a circuit bypassing said controlled elements.

9. A system according to claim 1 wherein said signaling device comprises an audible indicator.

10. A system according to claim 9 wherein said indicator is provided with an operating circuit adapted to produce a single signal during each closure and opening of said operating circuit.

11. A lighting system comprising electrical illuminating means, a source of current for said illuminating means, a plurality of switches, a pluralityof electromagnetic devices respectively controlled by said switches, an operating member coupled with said electromagnetic devices for displacement thereby over different distances depending upon the electromagnetic device operated, restoring means for returning said operating means to a normal position at a controlled rate upon such displacement, and contact means controlled by said operating member in its off-normal positions for closing an energizing circuit between said source and said illuminating means during the return movement of said operating member.

12. A system according to claim 11, for use in a multistory building, wherein said switches are located at different floors of said building.

References'Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Van Zweigbergk Mar. 17, 1903 Davis Sept. 26, 1911 Jordan Oct. 2, 1917 Wells Mar. 4, 1930 Heising et a1 Aug. 9, 1932 Rudolph Sept. 20, 1932

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US723119 *Apr 23, 1902Mar 17, 1903Thorsten Von ZweigbergkController.
US1004383 *Oct 22, 1910Sep 26, 1911Ernest W DavisAutomatic electric switch.
US1241520 *Feb 21, 1917Oct 2, 1917John H JordanElectric-light-control system.
US1749173 *Apr 4, 1927Mar 4, 1930Frederick Wells GeorgeElectrically-heated waffle iron
US1870682 *Jan 5, 1924Aug 9, 1932 Direction indicating system
US1878251 *Mar 8, 1930Sep 20, 1932Rudolph Corrie FElectron tube apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4508997 *Apr 15, 1983Apr 2, 1985Delmatic LimitedLighting control system
EP0094166A1 *Apr 22, 1983Nov 16, 1983Delmatic LimitedLighting control system
WO2011107636A1 *Mar 4, 2011Sep 9, 2011Cano Juan Manuel MorenoPower saving circuit for lighting fixtures located in common areas in dwellings
U.S. Classification340/322, 340/524, 340/397.3, 315/136, 340/319, 968/813, 335/65, 340/331, 315/360, 340/329
International ClassificationH05B37/02, G04F3/02, G04F3/00
Cooperative ClassificationH05B37/0209, G04F3/027
European ClassificationG04F3/02D, H05B37/02B