US 3083317 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 26, 1963 w. Y. FISH ETAL 3,083,317
EMERGENCY SIGN AND AUXILIARY POWER SYSTEM.
Filed April 4, 1960 INVENTOR. Z WALTER Y.FISH.
3,083,317 EMERGENCY SIGN AND AIARY POWER SYSTEM Walter Y. Fish, 2255 Aviation Highway, and W. H. Cornlee, In, 5131 E. 9th St., both of Tucson, Ariz. Filed Apr. 4, 1969, Ser- No. 19,572 3 (Ilairns. (Cl. SIS-87) This invention relates to emergency signs. More particularly the invention relates to an improved emergency sign and an auxiliary power source to operate such a sign in the absence of conventional power.
It is an object of the invention to provide an improved emergency sign.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved auxiliary power source to operate emergency signs when the regular power source fails.
-Another object of the invention is to provide a device of the type described which is relatively small and inexpensive in comparison with the devices presently available for supplying auxiliary power.
A further object of the invention is to provide a device of the type described which operates on an insignificant amount of power.
A still further object of the invention is to provide an emergency sign with an electroluminescent panel which is activated when the regular power source fails.
Other objects will become apparent upon consideration of the detailed description and the claims which follow.
In many localities fire and safety regulations dictate that emergency signs, such as EXIT signs, have auxiliary power available to operate them in the absence of conventional power. Presently available auxiliary power sources are bulky and rather expensive to install and to maintain in good working order. With our invention, the first cost of the auxiliary power source is but a fraction of that of these bulky units. Also, the auxiliary power source can be maintained in operative condition for a minimum cost.
Simply stated, our invention comprises a translucent electroluminescent panel which may be used to replace the conventional panel in emergency signs. The electroluminescent panel is constructed in such a manner that the letters comprising the emergency message, such as EXIT, are electroluminescent and are wired to the auxiliary power source. Under normal conditions the conventional incandescent lamps shine through the translucent panel and illuminate the letters of the emergency sign. When the conventional lamps are extinguished for any reason, such as a power failure or burned-out lamps,
' the auxiliary power source energizes the electroluminescent letters so that they will be clearly visible.
The invention will be understood more readily by reference to the drawings which form a part hereof and wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a front elevational view of an emergency sign of the type employed in the device of the invention; and
FIGURE 2 is a schematic wiring diagram of the electrical circuits employed in the device of FIGURE '1.
While we contemplate many different forms of our invention, we here more specifically describe our invention in connection with one embodiment thereof.
Referring to both FIGURES 1 and 2, an emergency sign 10, of a conventional type, includes a casing 12 in which incandescent lamps 14 are mounted. The lamps 14 may be powered by a conventional alternating current system which energizes the lamps 14- through conductors L and L A pair of normally closed relays 16 have their coils 18 connected to the lamps 14F in a circuit from the conductors L and L A translucent, electroluminescent panel 2!) may be inserted into the casing 12 in place of the conventional panel. The electroluminescent panel 20 comprises a first translucent panel 22, an emergency message 24 and a second translucent panel 26. If desired, the first translucent panel 22 may be derived from the conventional panel taken from the casing 12. The second translucent panel 26, however, must be an electroluminescent panel which cooperates electrically with a series of electroluminescent letters 28 composing the emergency message 24. The individual letters 28 of the message 24- are supported by the first translucent panel 22 and are connected together electrically in a circuit which also includes the second translucent panel 26.
While a number of circuits are known for energizing the electroluminescent panel 20, we show, for purposes of illustration but not of limitation, a high frequency, transistorized system 29 powered by a 5 volt mercury cell battery 3t). The positive pole 32 of the battery 30 may be connected through a conductor 34 to the pole 36 of one relay 16. The negative pole 38 of the battery 34) is connected through a conductor 49, a 0.02 rnicrofarad capacitor 4-2, a conductor 43, a 150 kilo-ohm, carhon-type resistor 44 and a conductor 46 to the contact 48 of the other relay 16.
A step-up transformer 50 is included in the system 29 between the resistor 44 and the contact 48 by connecting one end of the primary winding 52' of the transformer St) to the conductor 46, as shown at 54. The other end of the primary winding 52 is connected to the collector 56 of a transistor 58. The emitter 60' of the transistor 58 is connected through a conductor 62, a 10 ohm resistor 64 and a 100 ohm rheostat 66 to the conductor 40 between the battery 30 and the capacitor 42. The base 68 of the transistor 58 is connected through a conductor 70 and 3.3 kilo-ohm resistor 72 to the conduc'tor 46 between the resistor '44 and the contact 48.
The collector 74 of a transistor 76 is connected through a conductor 78 to the conductor 70 between the resistor 72 and the base 68 of the transistor 58. The base 80 of the transistor 76 is connected through a conductor 82 to the conductor 43 between the resistor 44 and the capacitor 42. The emitter 84- of the transistor 76 is connected through a conductor 85 and a 2.2 kilo-ohm resistor 86 to the conductor 40 between the battery 39 and the capacitor 42. A feedback capacitor 88 may be connected through a first conductor 91 to the conductor 62 and through a second conductor 92 to the conductor 85.
The secondary winding 94 of the transformer 50' has one of its ends connected to the electroluminescent, sec ond translucent panel 26 as shown at 96 and its other end connected to the electroluminescent message 24 as shown at 98.
Briefly described, the above electrical system 29 converts a 5 volt direct current to an alternating current of small amplitude and steps it up to about a volt peak through the transformer 50 which, in turn, delivers the current to the electroluminescent panel 24 when both of the contacts 48 are closed by de-energization of the coils 18 upon failure of the lamps 14.
Operation of the device will be readily understood. Under ordinary conditions, the emergency sign 10' will be illuminated by the lamps 14 from electrical current flowing from conductor L to L Power to the lamps 14 also flows through the coils 18 of the relays 16 maintaining their poles 36 in an open position. When both lamps are extinguished for any reason, the coils 18 will be de-energized causing the poles 36 to close on their respective contacts 48. This closes the circuit in which the electroluminescent panel 26 is included causing cur- 7 3 7 rent from the battery 30 to illuminate the electroluminescent letters 28 of the panel 20.
Thus it will be seen that We have invented a new, useful and unobvious emergency sign andan auxiliary power source to operate such a sign in the absence of conventional power.
1. in an emergency sign including a casing having a translucent panel mounted therein, an incandescent lamp mounted in said casing for illuminating said panel, said lamp having a first pair of terminals for connection to a house lighting system, a normally closed relay having its coil connected to said first pair of terminals, said relay having a pole and an electrical contact adjacent the pole or" said relay, the improvement comprising auxiliary means for illuminating said sign upon extinguishment of said lamp including electroluminescent letters supported by said translucent panel, said letters being connected toge er electrically by means including a second terminal, an electroluminescent panel mounted in said casing closely adjacent said letters, a third terminal mounted on said electroluminescent panel, and an electrical circuit for energizing said letters and said electroluminescent panel including a power source having a positive pole and a negative pole, said positive pole being connected to the pole of said relay, and a transformer having primary and secondary windings, said secondary winding being connected to said second and third terminals, said primary winding being connected to said negative pole and said electrical contact.
2. In an emergency sign including a casing having a translucent panel mounted therein, an incandescent lamp mounted in said casing for illuminating said panel, said lamp having first terminals for connection to a house lighting system, and auxiliary means for illuminating said translucent panel upon extingishment of said lamp, characterized in that said auxiliary means comprises:
4 electroluminescent letters supported by said translucent panel;
conductors connecting said letters together electrically,
said conductors having a second terminal mounted thereon;
an electroluminescent panel mounted in said casing closely adjacent said letters;
a third terminal mounted on said electroluminescent panel; and
an electrical circuit for energizing said letters and said electroluminescent panel, said circuit including a transformer having primary and secondary windings, said secondary windings being connected to said second and third terminals, said primary windings being connected to a power source.
3. In an emergency sign including a casing, an incandescent lamp mounted in said casing, said lamp being adapted to illuminate a translucent panel mounted in said casing, the improvement comprising:
an indicia bearing, electroluminescent panel mounted in said casing for normal illumination by said lamp; and
a transistorized power circuit connected to said panel for illuminating said panel by electroluminescence upon failure of said lamp.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,725,206 Peterson Aug. 20, 1929 1,946,570 Beidler Feb. 13, 1934 2,694,711 Porter July 29, 1952 2,858,632. Caserio et al Nov. 4, 1958 2,919,366 Mash Dec. 29, 1959 2,922,912 Miller Jan. 26, 1960 FOREIGN PATENTS 785,884 Great Britain Nov. 6, 1957