US 3093718 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jun 1963 I A. G. BLOMQUIST ETAL 3,0
I INDICATING PUSH BUTTON TYPE SIGNAL LIGHT ASSEMBLY Filed Sept. 21. 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 ARTHUR G. BLOMOU/ST WILLIS I". HE/NS INVENTORS BY myizw ATTORNEY June. 1 1963 A. e. BLOMQUIST ETAL 3,093,718
INDICATING PUSH BUTTON TYPE SIGNAL. LIGHT ASSEMBLY Filed Sept. 21, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 ARTHUR G. BLOMOU/ST WILL/S E HE/NS INVENTORS ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,093,718 INDICATING PUSH BUTTON TYPE SIGNAL LIGHT ASSEMBLY Arthur G. Blomquist and Willis F. Heins, Minneapolis, Minn., assignors to Northern Ordnance, Incorporated, Fridley, Minn., a corporation of Minnesota Filed Sept. 21, 1960, Ser. No. 57,437 Claims. (Cl. 200-167) This invention relates generally to electrical circuit making devices, and more particularly it pertains to indicating push button switch assemblies.
In complicated electrical switchboards, space is of the essence. Modern electrical circuitry demands more performance in smaller packages. For example, a missile launching panel may require a plurality of ready signal lights, each to designate the accomplishment of a certain count-down function. Such signal lights are often associated with a manually performed switch function.
In order to prevent costly mistakes, it is good human engineering to have the signal light and the corresponding switch grouped closely together and preferably that they be physically the same. Where there is a further requirement for, say an interrogating light and a response light thereto after a switching function is performed, the combination of all three is of decided advantage both psychologically and physically.
Commercially available miniature switches are useful in helping to reduce the size of circuit-making assemblies and they are especially adaptable to gauging for plurality circuit control. Because of their small size, however, commercial miniature switches are susceptible to damage if suddenly pounded home. Therefore, various forms -of cushioned actuators have been required for use therewith to absorb and to equalize the actuating force.
It is an object of this invention, therefore, to provide a rugged-compact single hole mount indicating push button switch which will handle a large number of switching circuits and one whose actuating plunger fingersurface is illuminated from within by easily replaceable bulbs.
Another object of this invention is to provide a switch follow-up adjustment in an illuminated push button actuator assembly which requires no tools for setting thereof.
And yet .another object of this invention is to provide a spray proof, single'hole mount plural circuit indicating push button switch of great ruggedness and compactness wherein a single actuating button is a conductor of light from more than one source to illuminate the same or separate zones on the facethereof.
These and other objects and attendant advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following specification and accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a side elevation of a novel indicating push button switch incorporating features of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the indicating push button switch taken ninety degrees to the position thereof shown in FIG. 1; i
FIG. 3 is a cross section taken along theline 3-4: of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a vertical section taken along the line 44 of FIG. 2;
FIG. S is a perspective view of a lamp socket;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a light conducting plunger assembly; and 1 FIG, 7 is a perspective view of the key washer which locks the components of the adjustable actuator feature.
Referring now to the details of the drawings and particularly FIGS. 1, 2, and"4, there is shown a novel indieating push button switch incorporating features of this invention which is designated generally throughout this specification by reference numeral 10. As shown best in FIGS. 1 and 2, the indicating push button switch 10 consists of a main body assembly 12, a microswitch assembly 14, a pair of spaced lamp bulb receptacle assemblies 46, and a plunger assembly 82.
The main body assembly 12 consists of a cast generally tubular body 22 which is externally threaded and shouldered at its upper end for mounting to a panel P. The other or lower end of body 22 is provided with an axially-located threaded bore 20 which communicates with a main bore 84 as shown best in FIG. 4.
Mounting flats 50 are formed on the sides of the body 22 for the previously mentioned lamp bulb receptacle assemblies 46. Each of these mounting flats 50 is provided with a hole or aperture 54 to receive an apertured boss 52 of the receptacle assemblies 46. Each boss 54 is secured in the apertured structure preferably by cement or the like.
Each receptacle assembly 46 consists of a molded insulation terminal plate 48, shown best in FIGS. 1, 2, 4, and 5, having the previously mentioned aperture boss 52 and a barrier boss 80. On opposite sides of the barrier boss 80, a pair of spaced terminal pins 60 and 78 are secured in the terminal plate 48. A bulb base contacting lug 56 is recessed into the terminal plate 48, and it is secured under the terminal pin 60 in electrical contact therewith. A small spring contacting tongue 58 is lanced into the contacting lug 56 as shown best in FIG. 5.
A bus strip 72 is positioned under the terminal pin 78 and it extends to an eyelet 74 which is secured to the terminal plate 48. A tip contact 68 is pivotally positioned about the eyelet 74, and by means of a compression coiled spring 76 therearound, it is held in contact with the bus strip 72 and urged toward the apertured boss 52. A concave dimple 70 is formed near the free end of the tip contact 68. Electrical contact is thereby made between the terminal pin 78 and the movable tip contact 68.
As shown best in FIG. 4, a thirnble 114 is freely supported within the main bore 84 of the main body 22 by means of a compression coil spring 116. The previously mentioned plunger assembly 82 slides within the main bore 84 on top of this thimble 114-.
With additional reference to FIG. 6, it is to be noted that the plunger assembly 82 consists of body segments 86 and 88 formed of a longitudinally split rod of clear lightpiping plastic, such as polymerized methyl methacrylate. The segments 86 and 88 are each provided with a longitu dinally arranged bulb slot 92 cut into their sides.
The segments 86 and 88 are then cemented together with an intervening light-turning opaque baffle plate 90. A frosted or translucent disc 94 of light conducting plastic, which may be colored, is cemented on the top of this assembly. Except for the disc 94, the outside surface of this plunger assembly 82 is then covered with a lightturning opaque coating 102.
A key slot 96, as shown best in FIG. 3, is cut longitudinally in the plunger assembly 82, and a key screw 98 which is secured by a lock not 100, extends therein to slidably captivate the plunger assembly 82 within the main bore 84. As best shown in FIG. 4, the previously mentioned bulb slots 92 provide clearance for the longitudinal motion of the plunger of the plunger assembly despite the presence therein of lamp bulbs 62 as will be related.
The miniature switch assembly 14 consists of an inverted U-shaped bracket 16 to which is centrally secured a threaded ferrule 18, as best shown in- FIG. 4. A longitudinally arranged keyway or slot 28 is provided along the side of the ferrule 18. An actuating button 36 is slidably received within the ferrule 18. A conical lower face 38 of the actuating button 36 bears against the uppermost of a pair of overcenter spring-held actuating plates 40 and 42 which are pivotally mounted to the bracket 3 16. These plates 40 and 42 are adapted to thus move downwardly in snap action to actuate one or more miniature switches 44 which are secured at the bottom of the bracket 16 by any conventional means.
The length of thrust provided on the actuating button 36 is limited by the depth of counterbore in the thimble 114. When the thimble 114- contacts the threaded ferrule 18, no further movement of the actuating button 36 is possible. This prevents damage of the miniature switch assembly. The distance the plunger assembly 82 must be depressed before actuating the miniature switch assembly 14, is adjustable. By advancing or retracting the miniature switch assembly 14 in the threaded bore 20 by means of the threaded ferrule 18, adjustment positions can be obtained corresponding to the pitch of the threads thereon.
A key washer 24 shown in FIGS. 1, 2, and 4, and in detail in FIG. 7 is provided with a tongue 26 and a tab 30. When the key washer 24 is placed on the threaded ferrule 18, the tongue 26' engages with the slot 28. The key washer 24 is urged upwardly by a resilient wave washer 34, as best shown in FIG. 1.
For each adjustment turn of the miniature switch assembly 14, a locked position occurs wherein the tab 30 becomes seated in a notch 32 shown best in FIG. 1, two of which are provided therefor diametrically spaced in the bottom of the main body 22. If further adjustment of the miniature switch assembly 14 is required, the tab 38 is retracted from the notch 32 by finger pressure against the force of wave washer 34 and another half turn can be made before locking again occurs.
it should be understood that any switch assembly having the same diameter threaded ferrule and actuating button and having comparable operating characteristics could be used in place of the specific construction described to give equivalent performance.
The movable tip contact 68 is pivoted to the side of the receptacle assembly 46 as shown best in FIG. so lamp bulbs 62 can be inserted into the apertured bosses 52. With the lamp bulbs 62 thus located within the bulb slots 92 of the light piping plunger assembly 82 as shown in FIG. 4, the base shells 64 of the bulbs 62 make electrical contact with the contacting lugs 56-. The dimple 70 of each movable tip contact 68 provides electrical connection as Well as detent action against its respective bulb base tip contact 66.
Ventilation holes 104- are provided in the mounting flats 50 to vent the heat developed by the illuminated bulbs 62 as shown best in FIGS. 1 and 4.
Only that sector or zone of translucent disc 94 will glow corresponding to the illuminated body segment 86 or 88 whichever has the energized bulb 62. Thus, the operator has at his finger tip the signal, the means for answering the signal, and the response signal.
As shown in FIGS. 1, 2, and 4, a special locknut 106 having a flexible transparent plastic anti-weather boot 110 molded to its flange 108 and carrying a gasket 112 is used to mount the indicating push button switch assembly '10 to the panel P. The boot 110 encloses the plunger assembly 82 but does not render it less visible. When the plunger assembly 82 is depressed, the boot 110 corrugates easily without allowing entrance of moisture into the indicating push button switch assembly A popular application of the novel indicating push button signal light assembly 10 is the feeding of an order indication to both sides thereof simultaneously from a blinking light source. When the order is executed by pressing the switch plunger 82, the indication light source is shifted and the illumination becomes steady (again on both sides). In such application, the segmented plunger 82 and dual construction provide what is known as double bulb protection with unlimited means of displaying to an operator when the filament in one'of the bulbs 62 has failed. Further, through the use of suitable indicia marked over the zones of illumination, indication can be provided as to response which can be expected such as right side (R) or channel (B), for example, of a system.
Obviously, many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is therefore, to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.
What is claimed is:
1. An indicating push button switch device, comprising, a housing structure, a biased plunger positioned in said housing extending from one end thereof and terminating short of opposite end thereof, said plunger having a longitudinal opaque baffle plate to divide said plunger into a plurality of longitudinally extending sections, each section of said plunger having independent illumination transmitting characteristics throughout the length thereof for segregation of the illumination in the respective section of said plunger from adjacent sections of said plunger all the Way from one end of said plunger to the opposite end thereof, each section of said plunger having at least one longitudinally extending slot provided in the peripheral surface thereof, an insulation receptacle assembly mounted on said housing adjacent each slot of each section of said plunger, each said receptacle assembly having a pair of spaced terminals and a lamp positioned in each slot of each section of said plunger for illumination of the respective section throughout its length independent of said other sections of said plunger, whereby :a plurality of independent illuminated sections of the plunger are obtained for signalling a plurality of independent functions, and switch means positioned at the opposite end of said housing and engageable by said plunger for actuation thereof upon movement of said plunger theretowards.
2. An indicating push button switch device as recited in claim 1, and means for cushioning said plunger.
3. An indicating push button device as recited in claim 1, and transparent boot means for protecting the free end of said plunger from climatic conditions.
4. An indicating push but-ton switch device as recited in claim 1, wherein said opposite end of said housing is internally threaded and has a slot at the exterior thereof and said switch means includes a threaded member to threadedly engage the internal thread of said opposite end of said housing, said threaded member having a longitudinal slot in the threads thereof and in addition a washer is provided having a projection to engage said longitudinal slot in the threads of said threaded member and another projection to engage said slot in said housing, whereby the position of said switch means is threadedly adjustable with respect to said plunger and said Washer locks said position of said switch means, and means to urge said Washer against said housing so as to prevent accidental disengagement of said another projection of said washer from said slot in said housing.
5. An indicating push button switch device as recited in claim 1, wherein each said illumination means is positioned in axial alignment with respect to its corresponding section of said plunger.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,123,058 Maislin et al. July 5, 1938 2,790,881 Schueler Apr. 30, 1957 2,883,652 Ireland Apr. 21, 1959 2,904,662 Spring Sept. 15, 1959 2,924,692 Campe et al. Feb. 9, 1960 2,935,653 Campe et al. May 3, 1960 2,953,668 Bassett Sept. 20, 1960