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Publication numberUS3040556 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 26, 1962
Filing dateDec 31, 1958
Priority dateDec 31, 1958
Publication numberUS 3040556 A, US 3040556A, US-A-3040556, US3040556 A, US3040556A
InventorsWilliam Rosenhagen
Original AssigneeSimplex Lock Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Permutation lock
US 3040556 A
Abstract  available in
Images(6)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 26, 1962 w. ROSENHAGEN 3,

PERMUTATION LOCK Filed Dec. 51, 1958 6 Sheets-Sheet l 25 30 50 INVENTOR.

|- /2 W/LLM'M FPOSE/W/HGE/V ,qrro/PA/sys.

June 26, 1962 w. ROSENHAGEN 3,040,556

PERMUTATION LOCK Filed Dec. 31, 1958 6 Sheets-Sheet 2 20 K 5 X 7% 2 'III I. v E

- 63 LLL/l V A V l A I I I l 2/ I r v June 26, 1962 W. ROSENHAGEN PERMUTATION LOCK 6 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Dec. 31, 1958 INVENTOR. W/ZZM/I/ FUSE/VAJG'f/V BY M me, "Jy

ATTORNEYS June 26, 1962 w. ROSENHAGEN 3,040,556

PERMUTATION LOCK Filed Dec. 51, 1958 6 Sheets-Sheet 4 '35 35 l 3 ml 70 2 2 26 50 INVENTOR.

WILL/AM POSEA/HflEA/ BY K Q MW /X June 26, 1962 w. ROSENHAGEN 3,040,556

PERMUTATION LOCK Filed Dec. 51, 1958 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 FIG. /0

BY Kama, M )QM 3,040,556 PERMUTATIGN LOCK William Rosenhagen, ()ssining, N.Y., assignor, by mesne assignments to Simplex Lock Corporation, New York, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Dec. 31, 1958, Ser. No. 7841,2452 17 Claims. (Cl. 70-615) This invention relates to a structurally and functionally improved lock of the permutation type. It is a primary object of the invention to furnish a mechanism which will be of simple and economical design, and which will virtually assure against the successful opening of the lock by persons other than those cognizant of the proper permutation.

A further object is that of providing an improved assembly in which, under the control of an authorized person, the permutation may be changed to present or include any desired new sequence; such change being effected with the expenditure of minimum effort and time, and without the necessity of the operator being mechanically skilled or having to employ tools for this purpose.

Still another object is that of designing a lock in which an uniformed person will not be able to observe or otherwise detect the positions assumed by the elements of the mechanism and thus ascertain the permutation sequence which has been employed, to effect an opening of the lock mechanism.

With these and other objects in mind, reference is had to the attached sheets of drawings illustrating a practical embodiment of the invention, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a complete lock assembly constructed in accordance with the present teachings;

FIG. 2 is a rear elevation of the same with the back plate removed to disclose the enclosed mechanism;

FIG. 3 is an elevation similar to FIG. 2, but partly in section and with the intermediate plate of the casing and the parts rearwardly of the same removed;

FIG. 4 is a transverse sectional view taken along the line 4-4 in the direction of the arrows as indicated in FIG. 2

FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 are perspective views of a schematic layout of portions of the mechanism, showing the elements of that mechanism in diiferent positions;

FIG. 8 is a View similar to FIG. 2, but showing thev positions assumed by the parts after the permutation has been actuated;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary view corresponding to FIG. 8, illustrating the parts in different positions, with the locking slide shifted and the lock opened;

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary view similar to FIG. 9, with the elements of the mechanism moved to positions uncle which a new permutation may be set up;

FIG. 11 is a view similar to FIGS, but showing the parts shifter to positions assumed by the parts with the lockin open condition;

FIG. 12 is a transverse sectional view taken along the line 12-12 in the direction of the arrows as indicated in FIG. 2;

FIG. 13 is a similar section, but with the elements of the mechanism shown in different positions corresponding to the condition illustrated in FIG. 8;

FIG. 14 is a transverse sectional view taken along the line 14-14 in the direction of the arrows as shovm in FIG. 2; and

FIG. 15 is a view corresponding to 'FIG. 14-, illustrating the parts shifted to different positions corresponding to the condition shown in FIG. 8.

In order to avoid unnecessary drawings and description, merely one preferred form of assembly has been shown and described. Such an assembly would be of a type Patented June 26, 19362 conveniently usable in a motor vehicle to, for example,

enable an operator to energize the ignition and starting circuits. Similarly, this exemplification could be advantageously utilized to rotate an element such as a shaft to effect a retraction of a plunger or bolt. In any event, the drawings and appended description are to be taken in an illustrative rather than a limiting sense, except where otherwise restricted by the claims, in that the lock mechanism may be readily modified to efiect the operation of any desired mechanism.

Referring primarily to FIG. 1, the numeral 20 indicates the cover plate of a casing assembly, which includes rearwardly extending side walls 21 and a back plate 22. It is preferred in the present lock to employ plungers which may be operated to provide a correct permutation under which the mechanism of the lock is released. Therefore, it will be seen that plungers 23 project forwardly of the cover plate 20 and may have associated with them suitable indicia for identification purposes. Five of these p'l ungers have been illustrated, in that this is a convenient number. A greater or lesser grouping of plungers might be employed. An actuator 24 also extends forwardly of cover plate 20. A knob or head portion 25' projects through an opening in one of the side walls 21. It is preferred that in addition to the cover and backing plates 20 and 22, a central or intermediate plate 26 be provided as part of the assembly, and which extends in spaced relationship and parallel to plates 20 and 22. This intermediate plate has been shown at 26 in FIG. 2, as well as in other views. It serves to divide the encasing structure into forward and rear compartments. Plate 26'is conveniently retained against movement with respect to the other parts of the encasirig structure by example, positioning tongues and notches 27 and securing elements 23 extending through it. Actuator 24 is mounted by a shaft 29 rotatably supported with respect to the casing structure and extending transversely of the latter. This shaft has a length such that it supports, at a point exposed beyond the face of back plate 22, a disk 50 carrying a crank pin 30, or other suitable operating element, which is mounted to rotate with shaft 29.

Extending within the rear zone of the encasing structure and conveniently supported by the side walls 21 of the latter are shafts 31, 32 and 33. Shaft 31 is conveniently designated as a. counter or timing shaft, 32 as an idler shaft and 33 as a code shaft. These shafts each carry certain assemblies cooperating with each other. In view of the fact that five plungers are present in the illus trated embodiment, five assemblies will be associated with each shaft. Each of the assemblies will include a motion- ,transmitting unit, which may take one of a number of different forms, but which, for a preferred concept, will include a gear.

The assemblies supported by the shaft 31 will be fixed against movement with respect to the same. Each of those assemblies will include what might be termed a homing ring" 34 and a driving element, such as a gear 35. Upon the idler shaft 32 there are supported assemblies which are incapable of axial movement with respect to that shaft, but are rotatable around the same. These latter assemblies include, as shown, gears 36, the teeth of which can mesh with the teeth of gears 35, and elements 37, which may be termed starting rings. The latter correspond generally with the homing rings 34. Rotatably mounted upon shaft 33 are units 38, which, following the preferred form of the invention, will also be gears and will have their teeth meshing with the teeth of gears 36. Gears 38 are fixed against axial movement with respect to shaft 33. The latter is supported for such movement. Shafts 31 and 32 are not thus supported.

An arresting or looking slide is positioned below shaft 33, as viewed in FIG. 2. This slide is preferably formed by a pair of plates 39 and 40 disposed in face-to-face contact and maintained in that position by rivets .or pins 41, which will cause these plates to shift as a single unit. The slide is conveniently supported by forming its opposite ends with longitudinally extending slots or recesses 42, the edges of which movably bear against the surfaces of supporting members 43 extending transversely of the assembly and conveniently mounted by the intermediate plate 26.

The upper edge of the locking slide assembly extends into the plane of the teeth of gears 38. The overlap is less than the height of these teeth. Notches 44 are provided in this upper edge, and in the normal position of the parts, these notches are aligned with gears 38 and have a depth such that the gears may freely rotate without interference or obstruction by the arresting or locking slide assembly. The lower edge of this assembly in the zone of transverse shaft 29 is characterized by having the adjacent edges of both plates 39 and 40 formed with recesses 45. Cooperating with the edges defined by these recesses are arcuate tabs 46 and 47, as shown, for example, in FIGS. 2, 8, 9 and 10. Recesses 45 are preferably in the form of semicircles, the centers of which, in a lock of given dimensions, may be offset by, for example, .109". Therefore, the different recesses will have overlapping zones. The tabs 46 and 47 are mounted beside each other upon the shaft 29, as in FIGS. 12 and 13, and have a common center. These tabs constitute segments of circles of a diameter equal to the diameters of the recesses 45.

The arcuate recess 45 in plate 40 is formed with a notch providing a shoulder portion 48 in a zone substantially in line with its apex. Similarly, plate 39 has formed in the apex portion of its recess 45 a shoulder 49. These shoulders are engageable with edge zones of the arcuate tabs 46 and 47. As illustrated, the shoulders are opposed to each other. Therefore, if the locking slide assembly provided by plates 39 and 40 is otherwise free to reciprocate, a turning of shaft 29 in clockwise and counterclockwise directions will result in such reciprocation. While such a design is in many respects preferred, it is apparent that the structure could be reversed so that the tab segments would have different centers and the recesses would have a common center but be developed along arcs of different radii. Alternative structures could likewise be employed which would also prevent any backlash or objectionable clearance of the parts with respect to each other.

With primary reference to FIGS. 3 and 4, it will be observed that in the compartment or space intervening cover plate 20 and intermediate plate 26, a lockout plate or member 51 is pivotally supported, as at 52. This support should involve a definite friction fit, so that lockout plate 51 does not tend to rock freely around its pivot. As will be observed in FIG. 3, this member is formed with an opening and has an outline such that when occupying one position, the base portions of plungers 23 will not be obstructed thereby in their movements. However, when shifted to an opposite. extreme position, as shown in FIG. 11, the lockout plate 51 will present body portions in line with the .inner end surfaces of these plungers. So disposed, the plate will provide an obstruction to movement of the plungers. As will also be seen in these views, shaft 29 mounts a cam 53. Lookout plate 51 is formed with projecting portions 54 and 55 to each side of its pivot 52 and disposed adjacent the peak of cam 53. Therefore, when this cam is turned counterclockwise, as in FIG. 3, it will engage with projecting portion 54 to rock plate 51 from the position shown in FIG. 3 to that illustrated in FIG. 11. In the latter figure, if cam 53 is moved in a clockwise direction, it will engage with projection 55 to return lockout plate 51 to its neutral position, as shown in FIG. 3. A

reset lever 56 is pivotally supported, as at 57, and is provided with a projecting edge portion 58 also disposed adjacent cam 53. It is therefore apparent that with the parts in the positions shown in FIG. 11 and cam 53 rotated in a clockwise direction, that cam will not alone return plate 51 to its neutral position, but also will initially engage surface 58 of lever 56 to rock the latter in a counterclockwise direction from the position shown in FIG. 11 to that illustrated in FIG. 3.

The free end of lever 56 conveniently treminates in a fork portion 59. That portion straddles a bar 60 forming a part of a slide 61 mounted for reciprocation adjacent the inner face of the proximate side Wall 21. The upper end of slide 61 provides a rack formed by a suitable number of teeth 62. These teeth (see FIG. 14) mesh with the teeth of a gear 63 fixed against movement with respect to shaft 31. It is therefore apparent that when the reset lever 56 is rocked, gear 63 will be turned to rotate shaft 31 through a definite arc. Having in mind the proportions and components present in the currently described exemplification, the effective teeth 62 of slide member or rack 61 should be six in number.

As afore brought out, each of the assemblies 34-35 is secured against movement with respect to shaft 31. To normally retain that shaft against rotation and accordingly maintain the assemblies in stationary condition, an annular ratchet or toothed member 64 is fixedly secured to shaft 31. A detent 65, conveniently in the form of a sphere, extends through the central or intermediate plate 26, as especially illustrated in FIGS. 4, l4 and 15. This detent is thrust into contact with the surfaces of ratchet 64 by means of a spring 66 having one of its ends secured against the face of plate 26 and its opposite end bearing against detent 65. Accordingly, shaft 31 will not accidentally rotate.

The assemblies 3637 are rotatably mounted on shaft 32 and restrained against axial movement with respect to the latter. These latter assemblies are normally maintained in desired positions also by employing detent structures. These detent structures are individual to each of the assemblies 36--37. Each (see FIGS. 12 and 13) preferably includes a spring 67 mounted on plate 26 ad jacent a given assembly and having a raised or latch portion 68. This spring is disposed in line with a starting ring 37. That ring is formed in its periphery with a recess 69 to receive the projection 68. Therefore, with these parts engaged each assembly is normally retained in the position shown in FIG. 12. The teeth of each gear 35 preferably provide a completeannulus. A gap or interruption is provided in the annular series of teeth of each gear 36. That gap will conveniently involve the elimination of three of those teeth. Likewise, the annular series of teeth of each gear 38 is interrupted by a gap, which may embrace the elimination of two of its teeth. In any event, the gaps of gears 38 should have a width such as to accommodate the upper edge of the locking slide assembly provided by plates 39 and 40.

As illustrated, the plungers 23 are conveniently cylindrical, with the inner portions of substantial area. Thus, with a shifting of the lockout plate 51, the plungers will engage against the surface of the latter if one attempts to project them. It is preferred that stem plates 70 be atfixed to the inner ends of the plungers and provided with openings through which the coils of compression springs 71 extend. The inner ends of these springs bear against the surface of intermediate plate 26, and their outer ends against the base portions of sockets formed in the plungers 23. Therefore, the latter are normally maintained in the positions shown in FIGS. 4 and 12. In line with the zone intermediate a homing ring 34 and a starting ring 37, each stem plate 70 carries pins "72 and 73 arranged one to the rear of the other. The plate 70 may have its inner end defined by a fork portion 74, which will straddle shaft 31 to thus guide the movements of that plate. Each of the starting rings 37 is provided with a projection 75.

, axially shifted. The code gears 38 are rotatably supported upon this shaft, but are incapable of axial movement with respect thereto. To properly mount this shaft, the knob 25 affixed to one end of the same is carried by the side wall. The opposite end of the shaft is slidably supported in a bearing 78. Therefore, this shaft may be shifted from the position shown in FIG. 8 to that illustrated in FIG. 10, by simply exerting thrust upon the outer end of the knob or button 25. A detent structure serves to retain the shaft in the position to which it has been shifted. That detent structure conveniently embraces a shaft area 79, which may have the same diameter as the main body Zone of shaft 33. The ends of this area are defined by oppositely tapered surfaces 80. A detent element 82 in the form of a C-washer or resilient and normally constricted ring is mounted in a slot on bearing 78. Therefore, as thrust is exerted inwardly against shaft 33, the element 32 will be expanded by the cam surface 80 against which it bears. Continued projection of the shaft will cause this element to override area '79 and constrict around the inner tapered zone 86, as shown in FIG. 10. Thus, the shaft will be held in retracted position. To shift it from that position, knob 25 is conveniently provided with a flange 83. That flange extends in line with the end of the locking slide assembly of plates 39 and 40. One or both of these may include a laterally extending portion 84 to underlie therim or outstanding part 83 of the knob 25. Accordingly, when the slide assembly is shifted from the position shown in FIG. to that illustrated in FIG. 9, at least portion 84- will exert a thrust against shaft 33 to return it to the position illustrated in FIG. 8. In this position, the detent structure involving the constrictible element 82 will exert a restraining influence upon the shaft .to prevent it from accidentally shifting.

As afore brought out, with the parts proportioned in the manner illustrated in the present drawings, an elimination of two of the teeth of each code gear 38 provides a gap sufiicient for the slidable accommodation of the looking assembly furnished by plates 39-40. As shaft 33 is axially shifted, it carries with it the code gears 38. Therefore, the teeth of the latter move out of mesh with the teeth of gears 36 as shaft 33 shifts in one direction. Under these circumstances, the end teeth of the annular series forming a part of each code gear 38 will he one adjacent each of the opposite upper side edges of the locking slide assembly. Now, when shaft 33 is returned to its initial position, the teeth of gears 38 must mesh with the teeth of idler gears 36, as otherwise the return movement of shaft 33 would be blocked. To avoid this difficulty, those teeth of each gear 38 which are opposite the gap zone will have imparted to them a triangular configuration, as indicated at 35. This will provide a simple guiding or centering structure assuring a proper meshing of the teeth of gears 36 and 38;.

As afore described, if a structure as illustrated is employed for the shifting of the locking slide assembly, and with the parts of the entire lock involving certain dimensions, the centers of the circles defining the arcuate recesses 45 are offset by .109". In the following review, further distance measures will be given. These again are vide elements 35, 36 and 38. The number of teeth embodied in each element is a matter of election, and dependent upon the size of these teeth, the gaps in the annular series of elements will involve the elimination of a greater or lesser number of those teeth. Other factors, of course, may also be varied to meet the demands of any given installation. With this in mind, the operation of the present apparatus may be considered.

To illustrate this operation, attention is invited to FIGS. 5, 6 and 7. These views schematically illustrate essential parts of the mechanism. Only three sets of assemblies have been shown, and incidential structures have been eliminated, so that the inner workings and conditions of movements of the parts may be readily understood.

Thus, referring primarily to FIG. 5, it is to be understood that the mechanism is shown in home or restored condition. The gaps in the code gears 38 are each misaligned with the slide member by an amount representing the required permutation. The idler gears 36 are not in mesh with the teeth of gears 35 mounted by the counter shaft 31. However, the homing teeth 76 are disposed adjacent the starting teeth 75. This condition was established as the parts were returned to a restored or cleared condition in a previous operating sequence.

In FIG. 6 there has been illustrated the position which the parts assume after the drive pin 73 has advanced the right-hand idler gear 36 into mesh with the teeth of the adjacent gear 35 on counter shaft 31 and caused that shaft to be advanced. In FIG. 6 it is to be noted that the right-hand idler gear and the code gear 38 associated therewith are advanced two tooth spacings, while the counter shaft 31 and all the gears carried thereby are 1 rotated through one tooth spacing. The central and leftmerely by way of example, with the parts of the assembly involving predetermined dimensions. As is apparent, a greater or lesser number of plungers or equivalent actuating members 23 could be employed, which would have the result that a greater or lesser number of assemblies 34 -35 and 3637 would be present, with a corresponding difference in the number of code gears 38. Toothed members, or gears, are preferably utilized to prohand idler gears 36, as shown in this view, have not been moved. However, the right-hand code gear. 38 has advanced twosteps toward alignment with a given station occupied by the slide member or its equivalent.

In FIG. 7 the condition prevailing after the central idler gear 36 has been roated by actuation of the plunger to cause its starting'pin 73 to shift the parts in the manner heretofore described. This idler gear'has moved two tooth spacings and caused the code gear 38 associated therewith to move a corresponding amount. In this manner the gaps of all three of the code gears are brought into alignment. Under these circumstances, the lock mechanism is to be considered open. In these schematic views, the left-hand idler and code gears have not moved, in that the set-up of the permutation did not require it. As will be appreciated, should the plunger of this latter gear assembly be operated, then the gap of. the left-hand code gear 38 would be shifted so that misalignment would occur. Under these circumstances, no amount of further manipulation could result in an alignment of the gaps in the several code gears.

Having in mind the operation as illustrated in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 as just described, and considering the complete structure as illustrated in the other figures of the drawings, it will primarily be assumed that a proper permutation has been set up in the lock. This permutation will be characterized by the gaps in the teeth of the code gears 38 being all aligned with each other and with the adjacent edges of the locking slide assembly, when the permutation has been properly defined by the operator. Under these circumstances, the lock may be opened by ator 24. Employing five assemblies, and with the parts corresponding to the. illustrations, more than one thousand different permutations may be set up and used to effect a release of the lock mechanism. With the mechanism locked, the gaps in the code gears may occupy practically any desired positions.

7 The teeth of the code gears are normally in mesh with the teeth of the idler gears 36. The gaps in the latter in the home or initial position will extend upwardly, as viewed in the present drawings. Accordingly, the teeth turning actu- I of gears 36 will not initially be in mesh with the teeth of gears 35. Assuming that a five step permutation has been set up in the lock, and with the parts of the latter in an initial position, such as has been shown in FIG. 12, the projection of a proper first plunger 23 will cause the pin 73 carried by its stem plate 70 to engage with projection 75 of the corresponding starting ring 37. So engaged, and with continued projection of that plunger, the extended portion 75 will cause the adjacent extended portion 76 of a homing ring 34 to be turned, thus rotating shaft 31. Under these circumstances, the teeth of the corresponding idler gear 36 of the assembly will be brought into mesh with the teeth of the adjacent gear 35. As the movement of the parts was initiated, the detent portion 68 of spring 67 moved out of the retaining recess 69 of the starting ring 37.

The second plunger 23 is now operated. Again, precisely the same sequence of events occurs as happened when the first plunger was caused to function. Of course, each step of movement of the counter shaft 31 requires an overcoming of the detent structure 64-66. With no deliberate operation of the parts, any accidental shifting of shaft 31 is prevented by this detent structure. With certain dimensions existing, and returning to a consideration of the functioning just described, the first A of movement of the plunger 23 did not result in any movement on the part of the counter shaft 31. It was only the second and final of movement that caused the counter shaft to be rotated the distance defined by one tooth of a gear 35. The initial plunger operation served to drive the teeth of an aligned code gear 38 in mesh with the teeth of a gear 36, so that the code gear rotated through an arc corresponding to two teeth. With such advance, the gap in the annular tooth series of that code gear moved in the direction toward the position at which it would be aligned with the locking slide assembly. With the operation of the second plunger, and as a consequence of the rotation of counter shaft 31, not alone is the corresponding code gear advanced, but also the initially turned code gear is similarly advanced. This operation continues throughout the entire sequence of functioning of the five plungers. Simultaneously with the turning of shaft 31, gear 63 carried thereby will turn. Therefore,

rack 61 will be shifted from the position shown in FIG. 14 to that illustrated in FIG. 15. Also, lever 56 will be moved downwardly from the position shown in FIG. 3 to that illustrated in FIG. 11. At the end of that se quence, it will be found that the gaps of all the code gears are aligned with the adjacent edge of the locking slide assembly. Accordingly, the latter may be shifted to the left, as viewed in FIG. 8, by simply turning shaft 29 through, for example, actuator 24. This will occur because the leading edge of cam element 46 will engage with the shoulder 48 of recess 45 in plate 40 to thus push the latter in the desired direction. Simultaneously with the turning of the actuator shaft 29, the lockout plate will also have been shifted from the position shown in FIG. 3 to that of FIG. 11. This will obstruct any projection of plungers 23. a

As will be understood, due to the cooperation of the edge portions of tabs 46 and 47 with the edges of recesses 45, substantially no play will occur between the locking slide assembly and these tabs or their equivalents. If it is desired to restore the parts of the lock to their initial positions, then a rotation of shaft 29 in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 10, will be resorted to.

With such rotation, tab element 47 will have its leading edge brought into engagement with recess 49 to shift the assembly of plates 39 and 40 from the position shown in FIG. 9 to that illustrated in FIG. 2. counterclockwise movement of the shaft 29 and tab 46 may be continued in'the assembly, as illustrated, throughout an arc of substantially 135 Beyond this point, further movements will be prevented by the leading edge of tab 47 striking against the lower edge of plate 39. Movements of shaft 29 in a clockwise direction will cause this tab 47 to have its forward edge zone again engage against the surfaces defining recess 49, and thus return the locking plate assembly to its initial position.

When shaft 29 rotates in a clockwise direction, as shown in FIG. 3, cam 53 will engage with the projecting portion 55 of plate 51, as well as the corresponding portion 58 of lever 56. Therefore, the lever will be shifted upwardly from the position shown in FIG. 11 to that illustrated in FIG. 3. Similarly, the lockout plate will be shifted from one to the other position shown in these figures, so that the plungers may again be operated. With the upward rocking of lever 56, rack 62, in engagement with the teeth of gear 63, will return shaft 31 to its initial position. That shaft will be retained in that position incident to the detent structure furnished by the springpressed element 65 in cooperation with the recesses formed in the periphery of the annular element 64. Under those circumstances, the several gears 35 will be rotated to turn idler gears 36, as well as the code gears 38. Accordingly, the gaps in the latter will be moved out of registry with the locking slide plate assembly, so that shaft 29 may not be turned counterclockwise. As the parts thus move, they will shift from the positions shown in FIG. 13 to those illustrated in FIG. 12, and in which the projection 76 has moved into engagement with the projection 75 to rotate each starting ring 37 to a point at which the detent 68 of each assembly lies within the recess 69 to prevent further and accidental movements of the parts. Thus, the home or initial position of the parts is reestablished.

Accordingly, the entire mechanism is now ready for further operation. As afore brought out, that mechanism, in the present exemplification, is visualized as being of use in connection with the ignition-controlling and starting apparatus of a present-day motor vehicle. In other words, a partial turning of actuator 24 in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 1, will result in the ignition circuit of the vehicle being energized. Continued rotation of the actuator in this direction may result in the energization of a relay controlling the starting motor of the vehicle. Thus, an operator will not be confronted with any unfamiliar manipulations to effect the result which he ordinarily achieves by simply turning a key in this manner. The crank 30 is desirably connected with the controlling apparatus of the vehicle. A spring may be conventionally associated with that apparatus, so that upon the release of actuator 24, a thrust is exerted against crank 30 to partially shift the actuator in a counterclockwise direction and thus de-energize the relay of the starting motor. As is apparent, the control element or elements of the lock may be designed in accordance with the requirements of any given installation, and may involve desirable substitute parts for the crank 30, and, for example, its mounting disk 50.

It has been found that for the usual purposes, a lock involving five plungers, with corresponding assemblies of actuating elements embracing timing gears 35-homing rings 34, idler gears 36starting rings 37 and code gears 38 is adequate. Obviously, a greater or lesser number of operating elements, such as plungers, might be employed, with a corresponding variation in the number of the assemblies. In setting up the permutations, a proper sequential operation of all five plungers may be provided for, or else one or two of these plungers might require no operation, according to that permutation. Likewise, a simultaneous operation of two or more plungers might be necessary to effect a release of the locking mechanism. In any event, as a plunger is released, it will return, under the influence of its spring, to an initial position. It may thereupon be operated any number of times, but will effect no driving result which will be imparted to the assembly mounted upon shaft 32. Each time the actuator 24 is turned to shift the locking slide assembly from the position shown in FIG. 2 to that illustrated in FIG. 9, the lockout plate 51 will be moved from the position illustrated in FIG. 3 to that shown in FIG. 11. Therefore,- the plunger-s or their equivalents may not be operated. Accordingly, a guarding structure is presented which prevents an unauthorized person from attempting a decoding of the lock permutation. In this connection, it will be undertsood that with the lock open and a person desiring to ascertain the combination, it would be feasible to selectively press against the plungers until one was found which resisted movement, due to the pin 73 engaging with the projection 75. This, then, would be the last plunger which had been I actuated. By now shifting rack 62, the next plunger which had been actuated could be ascertained. This procedure could be continued until the entire combination was ap parent. Any such procedure is prevented by the lockout plate. Any incorrect operation of the permutation results in a failure of the locking slide assembly to move in response to a turning attempt exerted on actuator 24. Under these circumstances, the operator must move shaft 29 byshifting actuator24 in a counterclockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 1. So moved, the parts are reset for a complete unlocking operation involving a knowledge of the permutation.

Now, assuming that a user desires to set up a new permutation. The first step to be achieved will be that of causing a functioning of the lock mechanism in accordance with the permutation theretofore set up. Pressure is now exerted on knob or button 25. Accordingly, that button and shaft 33 will be moved from the positions shown in FIG. 8 to those illustrated in FIG. 10. Under these circumstances, the gaps in the code gears 38 will still engage the opposite edge Zones of the slide assembly, so that these gears will not be capable of turning. Thereupon, a user will shift the plungers or other operating elements in a desired sequence, or permutation, to set up the new code under which the mechanism of the lock is released. With these conditions, the idler gears 36 will be turned in the several assemblies in proper sequence. Counter gears 35 and the homing rings 34 will likewise be rotated. The code gears will remain stationary.

With the completion of the new permutation, the operator will shift actuator 24 in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 1. This will return the locking slide assembly to its initial position. This is shown in FIG. 9. However, up to this point, code gears 38 are still displaced to one side of gears 36. It is only with the final stages of movement of shaft 29 that the offset portion 84 or equivalent part of the bar engages with the extension 83 of knob 25 to shift the latter from the position shown in FIG. to that illustrated in FIG. 9. With the shifting of the knob or button .25, shaft 33 is returned to its normal position, at which the teeth of the gears 38 carried thereby mesh with the teeth of gears 36. This meshing is assured incident to the use of the triangular or'similarly shaped teeth 85 included in each of the gears 38. These teeth will, at the moment shaft 33 is returned to its initial position, be extending upwardly so as to be in line with the teeth of gears 36. A movement of shaft 29 actuates rack 62, thus turningshaft 31 and the assemblies associated therewith, after gears 38 and 36 are in mesh with each other. Under these conditions,-the parts of the lock are reestablished in their neutral or initial relationship. The mechanism of the lock can now be operated only in a proper sequence, according-to the new permutation which has been set up. During all the foregoing operations, any undesired turning of the assemblies associated with shafts 31 and 32 is prevented incident to the detent structures such as 68-69 and/ or 64-66.

It is apparent from the foregoing that the crank 39 or its equivalent provides a suitable operating element, preferably extending beyond the surface of the casing. This element is operatively connected with the actuator 24.

The locking slide assembly is slidably displaceable within sembly, the operating element may be caused to function.

On each idler gear there is a section so constructed that one part bears against the plunger drive pin 73 in the home position. The detent spring is engaged in a notch cut into another part of this section, and will hold the gear in this position against any accidental or inadvertent movement. Whenever a plunger forces its idler gear to mesh with the counter shaft and rotate it a timing step, there is a moment of instability which could allow the gears to overrun the correct position. This overrunningis prevented by having a stop pin 72 on the plunger assembly engage itself with the driven gear teeth to force them to stop their forward travel when the plunger is completely depressed.

I The idler gears are all forced back into the home position simultaneously by a homing device on the counter shaft. As the mechanism is cleared or restored to home, the counter shaft is rotated in a reverse direction by the control shaft, and so carries the idler gears backward until they unmesh themselves as the cut-outs reach the counter shaft teeth. The point of unmeshing is ambiguous in timing and usually is short of the homingspring detenting position. Therefore, an additional movement is created by a common set of homing teeth on the counter shaft engaging sections of the idler gears and rotating them the required further amount until they all reach home. At this point the gearing is considered completely restored and ready for plunger actuation. This resetting action can be accomplished at any time in the cycle of events, and is a required movement before any permutation is to be entered. v

If the permutation required to open the lock is designated as i34-5, this wouldrequire that plunger No. 1 be depressed first, then plungers 3 and 4 simultaneously, and finally No. 5. Plunger No. 2 is not to be used in this instance. Internally the code gears will be arranged, under these conditions, in a manner such that the gap in the code gear associated with plunger No. 1 will be farthest from alignment with the unlocking slide-in this particular instance, four'tooth spacings away.

The code gear associated with plunger No. 2 (the unused one) will of course have its gap in alignment. Any movement of plunger No. 2, therefore, will cause this gear to move out of registry, and so maintainthe mechanism in locked condition regardless of any further plunger manipulations. Code gears 3 and 4 will find themselves in like positions-in this instance, three tooth spacings removed from alignment. Code gear No. 5 will be only two tooth spacings from alignment.

To open the lock under these conditions, plunger No. 1 is depressed first. This action causes the No. 1 idler gear to go into mesh with the counter shaft; and further depression of the plunger (and thus continued rotation of the idler gear). will cause the counter shaft to rotate forward one detent step or tooth spacing. It is to be noted that the entire rotation of the idler gearcauses its associated code gear No. 1 to advance two steps toward the aligned condition. At this time the No. 1 gear will be but two steps from alignment, while the other gears will not have moved from their original positions.

The next operation of the plungers requires that No. 3 and No. 4 be depressed simultaneously, so that the third and fourth idler gears will go into mesh with the counter shaft together and cause-it to rotate another detent step. While these two idler gears are advancing, they will carry their corresponding code gears two steps forward. The first idler gear having been put into mesh with the counter shaft in the firstaction of the sequence, it will beobserved that when the counter shaft is rotated this second detent step that gear (and thus the first code gear) advances an additional step. Now the No. 1 code gear will be only one step from alignment, and the third and fourth code gears similarly will be one step from alignment. The No. 2 gear will still be in registry, as before, while the No. 5 gear will need to be advanced two steps.

Continuing as before, plunger No. 5 will be depressed. Idler gear No. 5 will go into mesh with the counter shaft; the counter shaft will advance one detent step; and the No. 5 code gear, having advanced two steps, will find itself in alignment with the slide. The three previously turned idler gears, having been meshed with the counter shaft, are forced to advance one step again, and so at this time all five code gears will be in alignment with each other and the unlocking slide. It is to be noted that this alignment is achieved without the use of plunger No. 2, thereby satisfying the original permutation requirements.

If at any time the plungers areoperated out of their required sequence, the gaps in the incorrectly used code gears will be out of step with the accumulating sequence, and no maneuvering of the plungers will ever put it back into proper timing. The only way out is to completely restore the lock and start all over again.

If when the lock is open, the combination is to be changed, the code gears can be unmeshed from their corresponding idler gears by simply shifting the entire code gear assembly sidewise. The lock will then be restored, with the counter shaft and all the idler gears returned to their respective home positions. The code gears, of course, are not turned, nor could they be, as they are locked onto the unlocking slide in the aligned condition. The new permutation is set into the lock by simply depressing whatever sequence of plungers is desired.

As each plunger is depressed, it will cause the associated idler gear and the counter shaft to react exactly as if the lock were being opened. The idler gears will assume positions corresponding to whatever step of the sequence was chosen for the depressing of any given plunger. The code gears are then shifted back into mesh with their corresponding idler gears. Therefore, when the lock is again restored, the code gears will be forced to rotate and assume positions of misalignment denoting the new permutation.

If, for example, the new permutation is to be 5--2, the fifth code gear will find itself three tooth spacings from alignment, and the second gear will be two tooth spacings from alignment. The first, third and fourth code gears, not having been moved, will of course remain in registry, or at zero tooth spacing from alignment.

It is to be remembered that the initial movement of both the idler and code gears caused by the plungers is two tooth spacings, whereas each additional movement caused by rotation of the counter shaft is but a single tooth spacing.

As is apparent, the amount of rotation of a code gear is dependent upon when in the sequence the corresponding idler gear is meshed with the counter shaft, not upon how often or how deeply the plunger is depressed. The maximum rotation, in a five-plunger lock, is six steps.

At this point, it will be clear how the sequence of plunger depressings is accumulated and held in the idler gears and counter shaft. Any incorrect action will also be stored, and until the mechanism is cleared, will prevent the opening of the lock. Only the correct permutation will accumulate in the gearing so that the code gears and their cut-outs will reach their aligned positions simulta neously.

Thus, among others, the several objects of the invention as specifically aforenoted are achieved. Obviously, numerous changes in construction and rearrangements of the parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of the invention as defined by the claims.

I claim:

1. A look controlling mechanism including in combination a supporting structure, a shaft rotatably mounted thereby, an annular series of teeth fixed to said shaft and extending outwardly therefrom, a second shaft mounted by said structure, a plurality of gears on said second shaft and rotatable with respect to each other, the teeth of said gears being equally spaced to furnish continuous annular rows interrupted to provide gaps in excess of the area of one tooth of a row and into which gaps the series of teeth of the first shaft extend when the parts of the mechanism are in an initial position, movable actuating means for rotating at least one gear of said second shaft to a position at which a tooth of that gear drivingly engages to tooth of the series mounted by said first shaft to rotate the latter, manually operated means carried by said structure andupon movementcausing an operation of an assembly connectible therewith, a member also carried by said structure and connected to said manually operated means to shift upon the latter moving and means connected to and controlled by the positions of the gears of the second shaft for obstructing and permitting movements of said member and manually operated means.

2. In a mechanism as defined in claim 1, said actuating means for such gear comprising a projection fixed against movement with respect to that gear and extending radially of the axis of said second shaft and advancing means engageable with said projection to move it and cause rotation of the adjacent tooth series mounted by said first shaft.

3. In a mechanism as defined in claim 1, means functioning during operation of said actuating means to pre- 3 vent an overrunning of a selected gear.

4. In a mechanism as defined in claim 1, the means controlled by the positions of the gears comprising a third shaft mounted by said supporting structure, gears carried by said third shaft in line with and having teeth meshing with the teeth of the gears of the second shaft and said third shaft gears presenting gaps disposable in positions such that said member is unobstructed thereby.

5. In a mechanism as defined in claim 4, said third shaft being mounted by said structure for movement from a certain position in a predetermined manner with respect to said second shaft to cause disengagement of the gears carried by the second and third shafts and said third shaft, with such predetermined movement, shifting with respect to said member to cause the latter to engage with the gears of said third shaft and prevent their rotation.

6. In a mechanism as defined in claim 5, said actuating means being movable with the gears of the third shaft being prevented from rotating, to rotate the gears of the second shaft and the tooth series of the first shaft whereby, upon subsequent return movement of said third shaft to such certain position, 'its gear teeth will mesh with teeth of the gears of the second shaft different from those with which they initially meshed.

7. A lock-controlling mechanism including in combination a supporting structure, a shaft rotatably mounted thereby, an annular series of teeth fixed to said shaft and extending outwardly therefrom, a second shaft mounted by said structure, a plurality of gears on said second shaft and rotatable with respect to each other, the teeth of said gears being equally spaced to furnish continuous annular rows interrupted to provide gaps in excess of the area of one tooth of a row and into which gaps the series of teeth of the first shaft extend when the parts of the mechanism are in an initial position, actuating means for rotating at least one gear of said second shaft to a position at which a tooth of that gear drivingly engages a tooth of the series mounted by said first shaft to rotate the latter, said actuating means being subsequently operable to rotate at least one further gear of said second shaft to a position at which a tooth of that further gear engages another tooth' of the series of the first shaft to continue rotation of the latter; such continued rotation causing the teeth of said first shaft series to continue to rotate the first actuated gear, manually operated means carried by said structure andupon movement-causing an operation of an assembly connectable therewith, a member also carried by said struc ture and connected to said manually operated means to shift upon the latter moving and means connected to and controlled by the positions of the gears of the second shaft for obstructing and permitting movements of said member and manually operated means.

8. In a mechanism as defined in claim 7, mechanismresetting means movably carried by said supporting structure and connected with said first shaft to rotate the latter 7 7 and drive the gears of the second shaft connected therewith to said initial position wherein the series of teeth carried by said first shaft extend into the gaps in the teeth of the gears mounted by said second shaft.

9. In a mechanism as defined in claim 8, shiftable means for moving said member, means connected to be operated by said shiftable means to prevent further movements of said actuating means, and means forming a part of said resetting means to render said movement-obstructing means inoperative.

10. A lock-controlling mechanism including in combination a supporting structure, three parallel shafts carried thereby, gear assemblies mounted by the first of said shafts, means forming a part of 'said assemblies and providing radially extending notches initially disposed in nonaligned positions, a plurality of gears carried by the second of said shafts, the teeth of said latter gears meshing with the teeth of the assemblies to rotate the latter, means providing final teeth extending radially of and mounted by said third shaft, said final teeth being engageable by the teeth of the gears carried by said second shaft, a slide shiftably mounted by said structure and disposed adjacent the gear assemblies of the first shaft, said slide having a width such that it is disposable within the notches of said assemblies, movable operating means connectible with and individual to the gears of the second shaft to rotate and engage them with the gear assemblies to rotate such assemblies and align their notches with said slide, and actuating means movably connected to said slide to shift the latter to enter said notches upon such alignment being established. 11. In a lock-controlling mechanism as defined in claim 10, the teeth of the gears carried by said second shaft being equally spaced from each other and terminating to provide a gap disposed adjacent teeth mounted by the third shaft in an initial condition of the parts of said mechanism and said operating means being movable to rotate said gears of the second shaft to causethem to engage and move the teeth mounted by the third shaft.

12. In a mechanism as defined in claim 10, said actuating means being movable in one direction to cause said slide to enter those notches, and means connected to said actuating means and operable upon the latter being moved in another direction to rotate the gears, teeth and assemblies to reestablish an initial disposition of said notches.

13, In a mechanism as defined in claim 10, said first shaft being axially movable to dispose slide portions within said notches, the teeth of the gear assemblies being disposed in positions clear of the gears of said second shaft upon such axial movement being efifected and the teeth of the second shaft gears remaining in mesh with the teeth mounted-by said third shaft despite such axial movement.

14. A look controlling structure including in combination a plurality of relatively rotatable code gear assemblies each providing a slide-receiving opening, rotatable timing gear means the teeth of which in an initial position are disconnected from the teeth of said assemblies, operating means for rotating one of said assemblies to connect it with the teeth of said timing gear means and to rotate and advance the latter a limited distance, a further operating means for rotating and connecting the teeth of a second assembly with the teeth of said timing means to rotate the latter and also to advance the said assembly, a reciprocable slide having parts disposed adjacent said assemblies and thereby initially prevented from being projected, a rotatable control and means for connecting the same with said slide to project the latter upon the openings of said assemblies registering with said slide parts.

15. In a controlling structure as defined in claim 14, rotatable idler gear assemblies individual to each of said code assemblies forming parts of said operating means and having the teeth of their gears in constant engagement with said code assemblies and manually engageable means movable into contact with said idler assemblies for rotating the latter.

16. In a controlling structure as defined in claim 15, said manually engageable means comprising a series of projectable plungers and said plungers being movable according to a selective sequence to align the openings of the code assemblies with said slide parts.

17. In a controlling structure as defined in claim 15, means for shifting the teeth of the gears of the code assemblies out of meshing engagement with the teeth of the gears of the idler assemblies, means for preventing-under those circumstances-rotation of the code assemblies, said operating means being thereupon susceptible to functioning to rotate said idler gear assemblies and establish them in predetermined positions and means for subsequently causing a meshing of the gears of the code assemblies with the gears of the idler assemblies by again axially shifting said code assemblies.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 22,319 Westcott Dec. 14, 1858 1,452,503 Grubb Apr. 24, 1923 1,596,670 Linlaud Aug. 17, 1926 1,613,550 Wildrick Jan. 4, 1927 1,707,523 J-aner Apr. 2, 1929

Patent Citations
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US22319 *Dec 14, 1858 Charles s
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3115765 *Dec 28, 1960Dec 31, 1963Simplex Lock CorpPermutation lock
US3552518 *Nov 20, 1967Jan 5, 1971Sam AidnerVehicle anti-theft device utilizing the parking brake
US4014194 *Jan 7, 1976Mar 29, 1977Susan Nilson HartmanMechanical push button lock
US4027508 *Nov 20, 1975Jun 7, 1977Mcgourty Thomas KPush-button combination lock
US4848116 *May 19, 1988Jul 18, 1989Ilco Unican Inc.Permutation type lock control assembly
US5006697 *Jan 19, 1990Apr 9, 1991Convoy Security CompanySequential seal
US5040652 *May 9, 1989Aug 20, 1991Ilco Unican Inc.Cylindrical and permutation lock arrangements with clutch
US5063764 *Feb 9, 1989Nov 12, 1991Convoy Security CompanyRoll-up door lock
US6026665 *Mar 31, 1998Feb 22, 2000Ilco Unican CorporationDoor lock combination chambers
US8375751Sep 21, 2010Feb 19, 2013Master Lock Company LlcLockable enclosure
US8555686Dec 7, 2010Oct 15, 2013Master Lock Company LlcMechanical pushbutton locking arrangements
EP0342851A1 *May 9, 1989Nov 23, 1989Ilco Unican Inc.Permutation type lock control assembly
WO2013169947A1 *May 8, 2013Nov 14, 2013Schlage Lock Company LlcMechanical combination lock
Classifications
U.S. Classification70/315, 70/306
International ClassificationE05B37/00, E05B37/16
Cooperative ClassificationE05B37/163
European ClassificationE05B37/16B