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Publication numberUS3136307 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 9, 1964
Filing dateDec 18, 1961
Priority dateDec 18, 1961
Publication numberUS 3136307 A, US 3136307A, US-A-3136307, US3136307 A, US3136307A
InventorsJoseph D Richard
Original AssigneeJoseph D Richard
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vehicle starting system
US 3136307 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 9, 1964 Filed Dec. 18, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet l RING KEY f4 RESONANT 5 OSCILLATOR REED 3 RELAY SOLENOID STARTER MOTOR AMMETER RING KEY 22 COMPONENT VALUE 23 CONTROL 0 +5- 25/ FREQ. 6 (I) O COMPONENT VALUE RlNG KEY F/G. 6 RESISTANCE Q 0 E 59\: I g F 5a 6o .J 2' Q m 0 RESISTANCE REED RESONANT FREQ.

57 INVENTOR WCEWWK June 9, 1964 J. D. RICHARD 3,136,307

VEHICLE STARTING SYSTEM Filed D80. 18, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 DASH 70 PANEL 7/ 85 87 88 3.9 9/ 72 'IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIJVIII'I'II'II'I'I'I'I'I'IJ'II'I" 79 I 80 73 8/ 9 I 3/1! p 75 99/11/111, b I I i g 92 I 76 OSCILLATOR .I' I i r a.- j .I; .l; g 73 w /I/ m4 as I Q RING KEY 85' 78 g RECEPTACLE 82 jl/l/l/l/I/l/l/l/l/l/ ll/ ll/l/ ///////H msc. ELECT.

' SYSTEM 9a 97 IGN TIO N L SWITCH BATTERY AM METER F G, 7 I] STARTER MOTOR SOLENOID INVENTOR components of that specific value.

3,136,307 VEHICLE STARTING SYSTEM Joseph D. Richard, Miami, Fla. (531 S. Barrancas Ave., Warrington, Fla.) Filed Dec. 18, 1961, Ser. No. 159,944 Claims. (Cl. 123- -179) The present invention relates generally to vehicle ignition and starting systems. More specifically the present invention is directed to a starter locking system for motor vehicles and the like. i

A locking system is described in which the electrical current for operating the starter motor is controlled by an electroniccircuit which is actuated by a key comprising at least one electronic component of a specific value. In a preferred form, the electronic component of a specific value is molded into a removable key assembly having at least two electrical contacts to which the terminals of the component are connected. By means of suitable contacts mounted on or near the vehicle control panel, the

key component may be temporarily connected into an electronic discriminating circuit responsive to electronic This electronic component discriminator typically could consist of a resistance bridge circuit for resistors or a capacitive bridge circuit for capacitors. A variety of other circuits are known in the art which are responsive only to specific values of resistance, capacitance, or inductance. When the correct valued component is inserted in the key receptacle, the discriminating circuit responds by closing a relay, thereby switching power to the vehicle starter motor. Typically a solenoid switch is interposed between the starter switch and the starter motor to handle the high current required.

Although other circuits may be suitable, the preferred embodiment of the present invention comprisesan oscillator circuit the frequency of which is precisely established by the specific value of the electronic component in the removable key assembly. A resonant relay is shown as a convenient method of detecting when the oscillator frequency is ofthe correct frequency. Although the removable key assembly obviously may have any shape, in the preferred form the electronic component of a specific value is mounted in a ring suitable for wearing on the finger. The ring key containing the electronic component is fitted with electrical contacts which are arranged and spaced to mate with corresponding contacts on the control panel or dash board of the vehicle. When the ring contacts are momentarily held against the control panel contacts, the electronic component in the ring is connected in the frequency determining circuit of an oscillator. When the value of the key component is of the correct value, the oscillator frequency will be of the exact value to actuate the starter switch mechanism. Similar rings containing electronic components or" all other values would not actuate the unlock mechanism. I I

In the past, vehicle ignition keys have frequently bee left in their receptacles by the vehicle owner. This negligent practice has resulted in the theft of numerous automobiles and other vehicles.

Another objection of the vehicle ignition locks used in the past has been the ease with which conventional keys could be duplicated for nefarious purposes.

The present invention provides a vehicle starter lock which is devoid of the abovementioned disadvantages and which at the same time is economical and otherwise practical.

An object of my invention is to provide a vehicle starting system in which the key may not be duplicated by conventional means. Any desired number of identical keys may be made originally but none may be later duplicated without exact knowledge of their construction.

United States Patent C) Another object of the present invention is toprovide a vehicle starter locking system which utilizes a key which may be constructed in any desired form, such as a ring suitable for wearing on the finger. When worn on the finger, the key assembly cannot be misplaced, forgotton, or lost.

Otherobjects and advantages will become more apparent from a study of following specifications and drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a schematic drawing and block diagram showing the method and apparatus of my invention. The relative organization between the component key, the key receptacle, oscillator, reed relay, control relay, and conventional ignition and starter circuits is shown.

FIGURE 2 shows the top view of the ring key assembly shown in FIGURE 3.

FIGURE 3 shows the relative organization between the body of the ring, the electronic component mounted within the ring, the ring contacts, and the corresponding contacts mounted on a vehicle control panel.

FIGURE 4 shows the relationship between the specific value of the electronic component in the ring key and the control frequency of the locking system shown in FIGURES 1, 2 and 3.

FIGURE 5 shows, in more detail, a practical vehicle starter locking system including a ring component key wherein a resistor is the critical valued component. A transistor oscillator circuit, reed relay, power relay, and conventional ignition and starting system are also shown.

FIGURE 6 shows the relationship between the specific value of resistance and the resulting specific oscillator frequency needed to switch the starter solenoid of the system'shown in FIGURE 5.

FIGURE 7 shows a practical starter switch assembly mounted behind the control panel of a vehicle. The ignition switch and conventional starter mechanism are also shown.

FIGURE 8 shows a view of the control panel or dash boardof a vehicle showing both the ring component key receptacle and the ignition toggle switch.

Referring again to FIGURE 1, a ring component key I is shown with its integral electrical contacts 2 and 3 mated against corresponding receptacle contacts 4 and 5. The electronic component mounted within the component key 1 is thus connected into the frequency determining network of the oscillator 6 thereby causing an oscillator frequency which coincides with the resonant frequency of the reed relay 7. When the reed relay 7 is driven at its resonant frequency by signals from the oscillator 6, the relay 10contacts are closed thereby actuating the solenoid 16 and closing the solenoid contacts The above sequence can take place only when the ignition switch 12 is closed. When the ignition switch 12 is closed and the ring component key 1 is pressed against the receptacle contacts 4 and 5, the solenoid contacts Ii? connect the battery 14 to the starter motor 15 for aperiod or time corresponding to the time the ring key 1 is held against the receptacle contacts 4 and 5.

FIGURE 2 shows the top view of the ring component key 1 with the two beveled contacts 2 and 3 separated by the insulator 21.

FIGURE 3 shows the ring 1 with the electronic component 26 mounted within the insulated body 27. A pair of beveled contacts 2 and 3, which are electrically separated by the insulated spacer 21, are mounted on the insulated body 27. The terminals of the electronic component as are connected to the beveled contacts2 and 3, which are shown pressed against the receptacle contacts 4 and 5 which are mounted on the control panel 20 of a vehicle. Conducting wires 18 and 19 connect the receptacle contacts 4 and 5 to a suitable oscillator circuit.

FIGURE 4 shows the relationship 23 between the arcane? 3 value of the component as in the ring key 1 and the corresponding oscillator frequency. It can be seen that a specific component value 24 will cause a specific oscillator frequency 25 which is the resonant frequency of the reed relay 7. Obviously only suitable ring keys having components of the specific value 24 can eitectuate the operation of the starter motor 15.

FIGURE 5 shows a transistor oscillator circuit in which the three resistors and three capacitors in the feedback circuit of the transistor 39 determine the frequency of oscillation. This is a transistor version of the well known phase shift oscillator. The phase shift circuit is between the collector lead 40 and the base lead 38 of the transistor 39. One of the resistors 31 is in the circuit only when the component ring contacts 32 and 33 are placed against the receptacle contacts 34 and 35. The resistor 31 is then connected across the contacts 34 and 35 thereby completing the phase shift circuit. When the ring is thus inserted, the frequency of the oscillator coincides exactly with the resonant frequency of the reed 43 of the reed relay. The oscillator signal is coupled to the base lead 41 of the amplifying transistor 42 which drives the coil 44 of the resonant reed relay. When the coil 44 is driven at the resonant frequency of the reed 43, intermittent contact is made with the fixed contact 46 thus actuating the coil 49 of the control relay and closing the contacts 50. The capacitor 48 allows the control relay contacts 50 to be held down continuously despite the intermittent closure of the reed contacts 43 and 46. The above sequence of events can, of course, only take place when the ignition switch 51 is closed. When the control relay contacts 50 are closed, the solenoid coil 55 is actuated thereby closing the solenoid contacts 56 which connect the battery 53 to the starter motor 54-. It can be seen then that the vehicle starter motor 54 can be actuated by first turning on the ignition switch 51 and then pressing the ring component key 3th against the key receptacle contacts 34 and 35. Only the proper ring component key can be successful in eflectuating the operation of the starter motor.

FIGURE 6 shows the relationship 58 between values of resistance which may be inserted between the receptacle contacts 34 and 35 and the corresponding oscillator frequencies which would result. The precise resistance value 59 results in the specific oscillator frequency 60 which precisely coincides with the resonant frequency of the reed 43 of the reed relay.

FIGURE 7 shows the ring key receptacle mounted on the control panel '70 of a vehicle. The oscillator 84 and the relay control circuits are mounted within the housing 71. The ignition switch 100 is also shown mounted on the control panel 70. The housing 71 is held against the back of the control panel by means of the lock nut 72 which is screwed onto the threaded member 73. A Teflon sleeve 82 is fitted within the hollow threaded member 73. A plastic cylindrical member 75 slides smoothly Within the Teflon sleeve 82. A spring 83 keeps the plastic cylinder 75 in the extended position so that the contact 81 is kept away from the grounded metal housing 71. When the cylindrical member '75 is pressed inward against the spring 83, the contact 81 is pushed against the grounded metal housing 71 thereby grounding the oscillator circuit 84 and the relay coil 91. The oscillator circuit 84 and the relay coils S6 and 91 are operative only when the cylindrical member 75 is pressed back against the spring 83. None of the circuits are operative unless the ignition switch 100 is on. When the proper ring component key is pressed against the receptacle contacts 76 and 77, the electronic component in the ring key I is connected into the oscillator 84 circuit by means of the wires 78 and 79, a specific oscillator frequency thereby resulting. The contact 81 is grounded against the metal housing 71 so that the oscillator 84 and relay coil 91 are grounded through the wire 80. It is assumed that the ignition switch contacts 99 are closed. When the oscillator 34 is made to oscillate at the resonant frequency of the reed 83, intermittent contact is made with the fixed contact 8'7 thereby actuating the coil 91 of the control relay. The capacitor and the resistor 89 allow the control relay contacts 92 to remain closed steadily as long as the reed 88 is vibrating against the fixed contact S7. Pressure of the correct ring component key contacts against the receptacle contacts 76 and 77 therefore result in the closure of the control relay contacts 92. When the relay contacts 92 are closed, the solenoid coil 94 is actuated thereby closing the contacts 95. The battery 97 is thus connected to the starter motor 96 thereby starting the vehicle. It may be readily seen therefore that this particular vehicle may be started by turning on the ignition switch 1% and then pressing the appropriate component ring key against the receptacle contacts. The use of improper keys or other manipulations cannot be successful in attempting to start the vehicle.

FIGURE 8 shows a portion of the control panel 70 of a vehicle. The lock nut 72, the receptacle contacts 76 and 77, and the ignition toggle switch 1% are shown.

In these specifications and drawings an oscillator is used as the control circuit and the frequency of the oscillator is determined by the value of one or more components in the removable ring key assembly. A resonant reed relay is shown as the preferred frequency discriminator because of its selectivity and stability and because it can perform simultaneous switching and discriminating functions. Other types of frequency discriminator could also be used such as the band pass filter.

Resonant reed relays are well known in the art and are commercially available over the frequency range of 20 cycles per second to 1600 cycles per second or greater. Power levels of a few milliwatts are sufficient to actuate them. Typical bandwidths are around 0.2%. Resonant reed relays have extremely high selectivity; they are reliable, inexpensive, and require a minimum of associated electronic circuitry. The length of the vibrating reed may be set so that it responds to a specific narrow band of frequencies corresponding to the mechanical reso nance of the reed. When energy is applied magnetically from the relay coil at the resonant frequency, the reed vibrates with sufficient amplitude so as to make intermittent contact with a closely spaced second contact member. The reed relay contacts make only intermittently contact and can pass a limited electrical current and for these reasons the reed relays are usually used to actuate an auxilliary relay which controls the power circuits.

As can be seen from the foregoing specifications and drawings I have provided a vehicle starting system which is secure and convenient and which overcomes the serious disadvantages of ordinary vehicle locking systems. While I have described particular embodiments of my invention for purposes of illustration, it will be understood that various modifications and adaptations thereof may be suggested to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.

I claim:

1. In a vehicle starting system wherein the starter mechanism is operable by means of a power source controlled by a switch, the apparatus which comprises: a detachably key assembly having at least one electronic component of a specific value; an electronic oscillator circuit, the frequency of which may be determined by the said specific valued electronic component; frequency discriminating means reactive only to signals from the said oscillator which are of the specific frequency established by the said specific valued electronic component; electrical switching means operable in response to the reaction of the said frequency discriminating means, the aforementioned power source being connectable to the aforementioned starter mechanism upon closure of the said electrical switching means; and means for connecting the said electronic component of the said key assembly into the said oscillator circuit, the said specific frequency thereby resulting, and the said electrical switching means being thereby actuated.

2. In a vehicle starting system wherein the starter mechanism is operable by means of a .power source controlled by a switch, the apparatus which comprises: a key assembly having a body member into which at least one electronic circuit element of a specific value is mounted; a first pair of electrical contacts integral with the said key assembly to which the terminals of the said electronic circuit element are connected; a key receptacle comprising a second pair of electrical contacts against which the said contacts of the key assembly may be mated, the said key receptacle being mountable on the control panel of a vehicle; an electronic oscillator circuit the frequency of which may be determined by the value of the said key circuit element, the said circuit element being connected into the said oscillator circuit upon the pressure of the said key assembly contacts against the said key receptacle contacts, a specific oscillator frequency thereby resulting; a resonant reed relay, the contacts of which close only in response to signals of the said specific frequency from the said oscillator; power switching means effected through the closure of the contacts of the said resonant reed relay, the said power switching means being thereby actuated whenever signals of the said specific frequency are produced by the said oscillator, the aforementioned power source being connectable to the aforementioned starter mechanism upon closure of the said power switching means.

3. In a vehicle starting system wherein the starter mechanism is operable by means of a power source controlled by a switch, the apparatus which comprises: an electronic component of a specific value; a ring into which the said electronic component is mounted; a first pair of electrical contacts, integral with the said ring, to which the terminals of the said component are connected, an electronic oscillator circuit, the frequency of which may be established by the value of the said electronic component; frequency discriminating means reactive only to signals from the said oscillator which are of the specific frequency established by the said specific valued electronic component; a ring component key receptacle, suitable for mounting on the control panel of a vehicle, comprising a second pair of electrical contacts which match the said ring key contacts, the said second pair of contacts being connected to the said oscillator circuit, a specific oscillator frequency thereby resulting when the said ring component key is pressed against the said component key receptacle; and power switching means operable in response to the reaction of the said frequency discriminating means, the aforementioned power source being connectable to the aforementioned starter mechanism through the said switching means.

4. In a vehicle starting system wherein the starter mechanism is operable by means of a power source controlled by a switch, the apparatus which comprises: an electronic component of a specific value; a ring into which the said electronic component is mounted; a first pair of electrical contacts, integral with the said ring, to which the terminals of the said component are connected, a key receptacle comprising a second pair of electrical contacts against which the said contacts of the ring component key may be mated by light pressure, the said key receptacle being mountable on the control panel of a vehicle; an electronic oscillator circuit the frequency of which may be determined by the value of the said electronic component, the said component being connected into the said oscillator circuit through the said key receptacle contacts when the said ring component key is pressed against the said key receptacle, a specific oscillator frequency thereby resulting; a resonant reed relay, the contacts of which close onlyin response'to signals of the said specific frequency from the said oscillator; and power switching means effected through the closure of the contacts of the said resonant reed relay, the said power switching means being thereby actuated whenever signals of the said specific frequency are produced by the said oscillator, the aforementioned power source being connectable to the aforementioned starter mechanism upon closure of the said power switching means.

5. In a vehicle starting system wherein the starter motor is connectable to an electrical power source by a switch closable by means of a removable key, the apparatus which comprises: a key assembly consisting of a ring into which at least one electronic component of a specific value is mounted; a first pair of electrical contacts integral with the said ring key assembly to which the terminals of the said electronic component are connected; a second pair of electrical contacts mounted on the control panel of a vehicle, the said second pair of contacts being arranged to mate with the said first pair of electrical contacts upon light pressure of the said ring key assembly; an electronic oscillator, the frequency of which may be determined by the value of the said electronic component in the said ring key assembly; means for connecting the said electronic component into the frequency determining circuit of the said oscillator when the said ring key contacts are pressed against the said second pair of contacts mounted on the vehicle control panel, a specific oscillator frequency thereby resulting; a resonant reed relay, the contacts of which close only in response to signals of the said specific frequency from the said oscillator; power switching means effected through the closure of the contacts of the said resonant reed relay, the said power switching means being thereby actuated whenever signals of the said specific frequency are produced by the said oscillator; an electrical power source; and an electrical starter motor operable by means of the said electrical power source when connected by means of the said power switch.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,396,667 Simms Nov. 8, 1921 1,687,274 Watts Oct. 9, 1928 2,000,136 Huss May 7, 1 935 OTHER REFERENCES Radio and Television News, June 1950, pp. 61, 102,

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1396667 *Dec 30, 1918Nov 8, 1921Irwin B SimmsCombination lock and switch
US1687274 *Mar 7, 1927Oct 9, 1928 Felix j
US2000136 *Nov 28, 1932May 7, 1935Burman K BlalockAutomobile theft preventing device
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3344629 *May 2, 1966Oct 3, 1967Sylvania Electric ProdElectronic lock with inductively coupled tuned key card
US3358481 *May 3, 1965Dec 19, 1967Gregory J RoszkowskiProtection system
US3419729 *Aug 3, 1966Dec 31, 1968Lockheed Aircraft CorpTheft - prevention ignition system with electronic voltage regulation for vehicles
US3428033 *Jun 1, 1967Feb 18, 1969Emerson Electric CoPulse controlled mechanism security system
US3492494 *May 17, 1967Jan 27, 1970Greiner Joseph DAnti-theft electronic switch
US3515891 *Aug 15, 1968Jun 2, 1970Margeson Theodore MElectric selective control circuit
US3518655 *Jul 20, 1966Jun 30, 1970Saul Benno BSecurity devices
US3628099 *Jun 17, 1970Dec 14, 1971Wagner Electric CorpResistance-responsive control circuit
US3639772 *Apr 13, 1970Feb 1, 1972Zade WilsonIgnition switching device
US3660624 *Feb 12, 1970May 2, 1972George BellElectrical key for ignition systems
US3673467 *Oct 28, 1970Jun 27, 1972Eaton CorpResistively-coded security system
US3915542 *Jan 16, 1974Oct 28, 1975South East Europ Purchasing &Electronic ignition device for combustion engines of motors vehicles
US3921040 *Nov 2, 1973Nov 18, 1975Walter Wilson Hugh ClarkeLocking system
US4148372 *Sep 21, 1977Apr 10, 1979General Motors CorporationResistor coded theft deterrent system
US4157479 *Oct 25, 1977Jun 5, 1979Chan Stanley S CTheft prevention starter system for a vehicle
US4459935 *Jan 29, 1982Jul 17, 1984The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The NavyPhanton computer gating system
US4517424 *Jun 12, 1984May 14, 1985Inro FranceHand-secured pushbutton control device
US4733638 *Aug 14, 1986Mar 29, 1988Anderson Lyle VAutomotive anti-theft starting system
US5003801 *Jan 20, 1987Apr 2, 1991Ford Motor CompanyProgrammable key and improved lock assembly
US6442986Apr 7, 1999Sep 3, 2002Best Lock CorporationElectronic token and lock core
US6668606Apr 3, 2002Dec 30, 2003Best Access SystemsElectronic token lock core
US6840072Oct 17, 2003Jan 11, 2005Stanley Security Solutions, Inc.Electronic token and lock core
US7316140Jan 11, 2005Jan 8, 2008Stanley Security Solutions, Inc.Electronic token and lock core
Classifications
U.S. Classification123/179.5, 307/10.5, 361/203, 70/277, 200/DIG.200, 123/198.00B, 70/237, 346/52, 307/40
International ClassificationF02P11/04
Cooperative ClassificationF02P11/04, Y10S200/02
European ClassificationF02P11/04