US 3048673 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug- 7; 1962 RE. KIRK 4 3,048,673
SWITCHING DEVICE Fi led Sept. 12, 1960 2 Sheeis-Shaet 1 INVENTOR. R008 5. Kirk vBY i HI; Attorney 1962 R. E. KIRK 3,048,673
SWITCHING DEVICE Filed p 12, 0 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. Robert E. Kirk His Attorney United tates Patent Patented Aug. 7, 1952 o ice 3,048,673 SWITCHING DEVICE Robert E. Kirk, Warren, Ohio, assignor to General Motors Corporation, Detroit, Mich, a corporation of Delaware Filed Sept. 12, 1960, Ser. No. 55,303 Claims. (Cl. 200-51) This invention relates to an electrical device, and, particularly, to a device having parts connected to each other for making and breaking an electric circuit connection.
An object of this invention is to provide a new and improved switching device having a minimum number of parts economical to produce and easy to assemble.
Another object of this invention is to provide a switching device having an insulating member reciprocally mountable through an apertured support electrically engageable by an electrical terminal means secured directly to the member in a location to assure maintenance of assembly of the member to the support and shiftable into as Well as out of electrical contact with the support in response to reciprocal movement of the member. Another object of this invention is to provide a two-part switching device for an apertured support and including only a bifurcated terminal means secured to button means of insulating material reciprocal as combined with each other to be assembled through the aperture of the support such that a resiliently deflectable laterally extending portion of the button means provides a spring-like bias of the terminal means and button means into a normally closed electric contact relation between the bifurcated terminal means and apertured support.
A further object of this invention is to provide a switching device mounted on an apertured support adjacent to which there is a pivotable compartment closure means such as a door, cover and the like having a path of movement to engage one end of a reciprocable nonconducting member formed to be rigid yet capable of a flexing action that provides a spring-like bias of the member normally into a position wherein a terminal means secured to the member is in electrical contact with the apertured support though the non-conducting member when shifted under force transmitted from the closure means, effects electrical separation between the support and terminal means, the terminal means having a dual function both as a circuit conductor and mechanical stop that holds the non-conducting member in assembled relation on the support though the non-conducting member serves as a carrier for the terminal means, serves as an actuator of the switching device and further serves as a spring-like element to bias the terminal means into a predetermined position.
Another object of this invention is to provide a ground switch device having the simplest construction in an improvement requiring a minimum of two components, one of which is a generally mushroom-shaped stemmed-actuator means of electrically non-conducting material formed such as by molding to have a cup-like resilient flange portion on a first side of an apertured support and an integral stem portion extending through the apertured sup port to a second side of the support opposite that engaged by thecup-like portion, the stem portion having grooveforming means adjacent to an end of the stem where electrical terminal means can be placed and retained after the mushroom-shaped stem-actuator means has been fitted through the aperture of the support, this terminal means having dual function both as a circuit conductor and mechanical stop that holds the stem-actuator means in assembly on the support in a position so that the terminal means is normally held against a grounding surface on the second side on the support under spring-like bias force cup-like portion resiliently bearing against the first side of the support, there being a switching action when force is applied against the stem-actuator means to shift the terminal means away from the grounding surface.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description, reference being bad to the accompanying drawings wherein preferred embodiments of the present invention are clear- 1y shown.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is an elevational view of a switching device in accordance with the present invention.
FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary cross-sectional elevational view taken along line 22 in FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 3 is a diagrammatic representation of a switching device in an electric-lamp energization circuit such as on a vehicle and indicating on-oif switch positioning in response to actuating force such as from a pivotally mounted member effective upon an assembly similar to that of FIGURE 2.
FIGURE 4 is a cross-sectional elevational view of one component of the switching device in accordance with the present invention.
FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of electrical terminal means used as a second component of the switching device in accordance with the present invention.
Referring now to the drawings, a switching device generally indicated by numeral 10 is shown in FIGURE '1 assembled to a panel 11 of conducting material such as metal. This switching device 10 includes a pair of parts or components, one of which is an electrical terminal means 12 having a conductor engaging end portion 13 projecting in annular relation to a body portion 14 bifurcated adjacent to its end by a slot 15 defined by a pair of arms or legs 16.
As a second component of this two-part switching device 10, there is a button means, insulating member or mushroom shaped stem-actuator means 20 made of nonconducting insulating material including a substantially rigid stem portion 21 as well as a laterally extending portion, cup-like portion or resilient flange 22 integral with the stem portion. The stem portion 21 further includes a groove forming end or means 23- defining an annular under-cut or groove 24 having a diameter slightly greater than width of the slot 15 of the electrical terminal means 12. The slot 15 can have an enlarged portion defined by arcuate cut-outs 15a adapted to fit snugly and resiliently in engagement with a neck portion 23n of the non-conducting member or button means 20. The vehicle panel 11 or metal support to which the switching device is to be fitted includes one side having a first surface 11 engaged by an annular edge 22a of the cup-like portion 22. The support or panel 11 can be a door jamb of a motor vehicle or a wall defining a storage compartment and the like relative to which a switching device is to provide for energization of a suitable lamp bulb or illuminating means. The support or panel 11 has an aperture 11a therein having a diameter greater than the diameter of the stem portion 21 but less than the diameter of the annular edge 22e of the cup-like portion 22. Width of the body portion 14 of terminal means 12 including the bifurcated end thereof is greater than the diameter of the aperture 11a.
FIGURE 3 illustrates circuit connections and on-ofi positioning of switching device components in accordance .3 with the present invention. A pivotally mounted member 26 such as a door or cover 26 pivotally journalled by hinge means including a pin 27 and the like relative to a fixed location so as to be movable into engagement with a plunger end 21p of the button means or non-conducting member such as 20. The non-conducting member 20 illustrated in FIGURE 3 differs from that of FIGURE 2 only as to provision of a hollow interior H or bore into whicha suitable tool can be inserted for use during mounting and positioning of the button means or nonconducting member 20 relative to aperture 11a of the vehicle panel or support 11. Terminal means 12 in FIG- URE 3 differs from that shown in FIGURE 2 only so far as the angular relationship between the conductor engaging end portion 13 and body portion 14 which are coplanar with each other as illustrated in FIGURES 3 and 5. This angular relationship as well as the hollow interior H are optional features so far as the switching device in accordance with the present invention is concerned.
The conductor engaging end 13 of the terminal means has dual pairs of side wings crimped into engagement with an insulated metal conductor C which can be connected to a lamp bulb L in series with a source of power such as a battery B grounded as indicated in FIGURE 3. The support or panel 11 is also grounded to complete the electric circuit and provide energization of the lamp bulb L whenever the terminal means 12 and particularly the body portion 14 thereof engages a grounding surface 11g on a second side of the vehicle panel or support 11. In response to force applied against the plunger end 21p by a cover or door 26, there is a shifting of the stem 21 axially through the aperture 11a so as to displace the terminal means 12 from the grounding surface 11g and thereby move the switching device into an off position to effect deenergization of the electrical load such as lamp bulb L. FIGURE 4 illustrates the non-conducting member or button means 20 alone and FIGURE 5 illustrates the second part or terminal means 12 alone. The stem 21' of the non-conducting member or button means 20 is reciprocally shiftable and moveable axially through'the aperture 11a and the terminal means 12 is maintained insubstantially transverse mounting position adjacent to one end of the stern as shown in the draw ings. It is to be understood that the non-conducting member or button means 20 can be made of a rubberlike material including plastics such as vinyl, butyrate and the like and that the cup-shaped portion 22 provides a spring-like resilience normally biasing the terminal means 12 into engagement with the grounding surface 11g. The terminal means 12 performs several functions including that of a limit stop to prevent separation of the two parts from the apertured panel 11. The terminal leads 12 also provides an electrical connection and maintains engagement between the terminal means and nonconducting' member or 'button means 20 as described.
It is apparent that a minimum number of parts can be used to form a switching device in accordance with the present invention. These parts or components are inexpensive to produce and easy to assemble. Switching action occurs when force is applied axially against the plunger end 21p so as to shift the stem-actuator means or button'means combined with the terminal means away from the grounding surfa'ce'llg. Resilience of the cuplike portion 22 is such that the switchingdevice is automatically shifted into an on position as soon as a cover or door is opened. No separate metal springs are required and no complicated assembly of multiple parts such as eyelets, sleeves and the like as well as housings need be provided. The non-conducting component or button means is constructed so that the electrical terminal means is held tightly against the grounding mounting surface until a force is applied against the non-conducting component from a direction forcing the stem portion of the non-conducting component axially through the aperture 11a and carrying the terminal means away from the grounding surface so as to constitute a switching action.
It is apparent that a switching device in accordance with the present invention can be used not only for motor vehicles but also for appliances such as refrigerators for example where a door can be moved or unlatched from a storage compartment in which a lamp means is provided and is energized simultaneously upon opening of the door. It is also possible that in place of a pivotally mounted cover such as 26 that a flange portion of an end of a drawer can transmit force to the non-conducting member which can effect switching action for energization or deenergization of a lamp bulb inside storage space of a drawer of a piece of furniture for example. One example of such an installation would be a phonograph installation where a record playing apparatus is illuminated in response to pulling out a cover or drawer in a reciprocable linear path.
While the embodiments of the present invention herein disclosed constitute preferred forms, it is to be understood that other forms might be adopted.
What is claimed is as follows:
1. A two-part switching device for an apertured support comprising, button means of insulating material including a stem portion to fit and be shiftable through the apertured support, and a bifurcated terminal means to straddle said stem portion on one side of the support so as to maintain assembly of said button means and terminal means on the support, said button means being substantially mushroom-shaped and resiliently biased in itself without metal spring means so that said bifurcated terminal means is normally in electric contact with one side of the apertured support.
2. A switching device having a minimum number of parts, comprising, in combination, a metal support having an aperture therethrough, a non-conducting member formed to be rigid yet capable of a flexing action that provides a spring-like bias thereof in one direction, said member having a stem portion to slide to and fro in the aperture of said support, and a terminal means secured to said non-conducting member on one side of said support, said terminal means having a dual function both as a circuit conductor electrically engageable with said support and also as a mechanical stop that holds the nonconducting member in assembled relation to said support, said non-conducting member being substantially mushroom-shaped including a resilient cup-like portion that engages one side of said support and that is integral with said stem portion which is provided with an annular groove adjacent to one end thereof, said terminal means having a bifurcated body portion that straddles said stem portion in a tight fit in the groove on a side of said support opposite to the side engaged by said cup-like portion.
3. For use in combination with a metal vehicle panel having an aperture therethrough and having a ground connection to a source of power for energization of an electrical load in response to movement of a cover means for a compartment adjacent to the panel, a two-part switching device consisting of a generally mushroomshaped stem-actuator means of electrically non-conducting material having a cup-like resilient flange portion on a first side of the apertured panel as Well as an integral stem portion extending through the aperture to a second side of the support opposite to that engaged by said cuplike portion, and electrical terminal means carried directly by said stem portion to be normally biased by said cup-like portion so as to establish ground connection of the load directly to the panel, said cup-like portion being resiliently deformable against said panel in response to force transmitted from the cover means for axial displacement of said stem portion thereby to break electrical contact between said panel and said terminal means.
4. The device of claim 3 wherein said terminal means includes a conductor engaging portion and a bifurcated to reciprocal movement of said member, said member including a laterally extending resilient flange portion for normally biasing said terminal means into electrical engagement with the support.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,655,580 Tetrault Oct. 13, 1953