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Publication numberUS3138674 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 23, 1964
Filing dateMar 29, 1962
Priority dateMar 29, 1962
Publication numberUS 3138674 A, US 3138674A, US-A-3138674, US3138674 A, US3138674A
InventorsBoyles Robert L
Original AssigneeGen Electric
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrical time switch mechanism
US 3138674 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 23, 1964 R. 1.. BOYLES 3,138,674

ELECTRICAL TIME SWITCH MECHANISM Filed March 29, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet l [)7 V6)? 6 or? Pober L B g/es,

@VZAM/W June 23, 1964 R. L. BOYLES 3,138,674

ELECTRICAL TIME SWITCH MECHANISM Filed March 29, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 [)7 we)? tar.

Robert L Bog/es,

United States Patent 3,138,674 ELECTRICAL TIME SWITCH MECHANISM Robert L. Boyles, Wayland, Mass., assignor to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York Filed Mar. 29, 1962, Ser. No. 183,519 Claims. (Cl. 20038) This invention relates to an electrical time switch, and more particularly to a switch mechanism for controlling a radio receiver or the like. In devices of this type, the radio or appliance being controlled may be turned on or off manually at any time, or the switch may be set to turn the radio on automatically at a predetermined time. My invention is concerned with such a time switch.

Accordingly, it is a primary object of this invention to provide an improved reliable time switch having a minimum number of structural components thus producing a relatively inexpensive assembly.

A further object of the invention is to provide a time switch having uniquely designed and arranged components for facilitating ease of manufacture.

Briefly stated, in accordance with one aspect of the present invention, a timer switch assembly is provided having a three position switch that may be either manually operated or automatically actuated by a timer. The switch assembly includes a contact which may be selectively moved in one direction from an ON position to an OFF position and in the opposite direction from the ON position to an AUTOMATIC-OFF position. Means are provided to bias the shaft from the AUTO- MATIC-OFF position to the ON position. A latch means retains the contact in the AUTOMATIC-OFF position against movement of the biasing means until the contact is released at a predetermined time by the timer movement so that the contact may be moved by the biasing means from the AUTOMATIC-OFF position to the ON position.

While the specification concludes with claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter, which may be regarded as the invention, the organization and method of operation together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a timer movement and switch assembly in accordance with the present invention with parts elongated along the axis of the shafts;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the timer movement and switch assembly in accordance with the present invention with a front plate of the timer movement .shown inphantom;

FIG. 3 is a front View of the timer movement and switch assembly representing certain details of the latch lever interaction with the timer; and

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the switch assembly in accordance with the present invention.

Referring to the drawings, particularly to FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, there is illustrated a timer switch assembly having an electrically driven clock movement. A self-starting synchronous electric motor 1 drives the clock movement at a regulated speed such that an hour hand gear wheel 2 will be caused to rotate at one revolution every 12 hours in a clockwise direction. A time setting pointer 3 is correlated to the-angular position of an alarm set gear 4 that is manually revolved in a conventional manner by the setting knob 4a to position the pointer as may be desired.

The hour hand gear wheel 2 and the alarm set gear 4 have suitable cam projections 5 and 6 punched into the respective gears and so aligned radially as to be in exact angular alignment once every 360 revolution of the 3,138,674 Patented June 23, 1964 hour hand gear. The hour hand gear 2 is capable of being moved axially along the peripheral surface of a minute hand sleeve 7 as the cam projections 5 and 6 are rotated into exact angular alignment. The effect of this timer axial movement of the hour hand gear 2 is the primary control means for the automatic actuation of the electrical switch assembly of the invention that will be hereinafter described.

In the form of the present invention, particularly shown by FIG. 1 and FIG. 4, the respective indicia having relation to the improved electrical switch assembly are shown positioned adjacent to the periphery of a manual set button 10 that is positioned generally at 6 oclock location on a front plate 8 of the clock movement. The manual set button 10 is fixed to a selector shaft 11 which is adapted for angular movement when the button is moved. The selector shaft 11 has an integral molded portion that defines a specially shaped and enlarged portion 12 of the selector shaft. A molded switch cup 15 of the switch assembly has a radially extending cup flange 16 that fastens the cup to a rear or base plate 17 of the clock movement and receives the selector shaft 11 under axial urging of a latch spring 18.

The latch spring 18, in the form shown, is a helix spring positioned under compression between the front plate 8 and a latch lever 20. The latch lever 20 extends radially from the axis of the selector shaft 11 and is keyed to the selector shaft by a suitable keyway 21 in the latch lever 20. An axially extending key 22 integral with the portion 12 of the selector shaft 11 engages the keyway 21. When the latch spring 18 is thus positioned under compression, an axial spring bias is developed not only upon the latch lever 20 but also upon the selector shaft 11. The latch spring 18 further provides a spring bias against rotary action of the selector shaft 11 in a counterclockwise direction since the latch spring end 23 is formed to engage a related edge of the latch lever 20, most clearly shown by FIG. 1.

When the selector shaft 11 is moved in a counterclockwise direction, a front plate lug or latch means 25, punched from the front plate 8 at 25a and bent to extend rearwardly in a generally axial direction with relation to the selector shaft axis, engages and retains the latch lever 20 by means of a suitable catch 26 therein. This engagement of the catch 26 by the latch lug 25 is dependent upon the angular position of the hour hand gear 2 as will be hereinafter described. A limit post 27 is also punched from the front plate 8 at 27a and bent rearwardly to serve as a stop for the latch spring end 28 when the selector shaft 11 is positioned in the extreme counterclockwise or AUTOMATIC-OFF position. This limit post 27 for the latch spring end 28 is more clearly shown by FIG. 3.

Referring now to FIG. 4, the rotary electrical switch assembly of the present invention is shown in an exploded view. The selector shaft 11 of the switch assembly receives the concentrically positioned latch spring 18 and .also the latch lever 20 thereon. The latch lever 20 has the keyway 21 adapted to engage the key 22 which eX- tends above a flat portion 29 of the portion 12 of the selector shaft 11. The latch lever 20 also has the catch 26 adapted to engage the front plate latch lug 25, which engagement is again dependent upon the angular position of the hour hand gear 2 as will be hereinafter described. The latch lever 20 is further provided with a segmented arcuate lip edge that forms a plurality of tips or bearing surfaces 30 and 31 to ride upon the rear surface of the hour hand gear 2 as best shown by FIG. 1. The shaft portion 12 has an integrally formed, radially extending flange 32 providing an enclosure for the switch contacts when the switch is assembled. The portion 12 of the selector shaft 11 has a suitable lateral slot 33 to receive the axial spring bias.

a freely positioned electrical switch contact bar 34 therein. The selector shaft 11 terminates in a reduced diameter journal portion 35 inserted into an aperture or toe bearing 36 in the base of the molded switch cup 15.

The molded cup has collar bearing surfaces 38 and 39 that do not extend for a full 360 but terminate in opposed inclined cam surfaces to be more fully described.

The collar bearing surfaces 38 and 39 provide the necescam surfaces 40 and 41 lie 180 apart and terminate in suitable flats or detents 42 and 43 which provide a limit means when the assembled switch is moved to the first or manual OFF position. Automatic OFF cam surfaces 44 and 45 oppose each of the OFF cam surfaces 40 and 41 but are not provided with detents or flats such as those related to the OFF cam surfaces. The base of the molded switch cup 15, in addition to having the centrally positioned toe hearing, has stationary contacts 47 and 48 on either side of the toe hearing. The stationary contacts 47 and 48 extend axially from the molded cup 15 to provide suitable switch terminals which receive conductors not shown.

When assembled, the latch lever is adapted, by means of an inclined plane 49 on the selector shaft 11, for limited arcuate movement in an axial direction against This provides the necessary tolerance to permit spring bias of the tips 30 and 31 riding 'upon the rear surface of the hour gear wheel 2 and the axial displacement thereby as will be hereinafter described. The tips 30 and 31 of latch lever 20 continuous- 1y engage the rear surface of the hour gear 2.

'2 is axially displaced away from the front plate 8 in a rearward direction toward the base plate 17. When the hour gear 2 is thus axially displaced, the segmented lip edge of the latch lever 20 which forms the tips or bearing surfaces 30 and 31 is also axially displaced. Such axial displacement causes the lever 20 to describe an arcuate movement in an axial direction about an imaginary lateral 'pivot point developed through the selector shaft 11 adjacent the key 22. The inclined plane 49 on the enlarged portion 12 of the selector shaft 11 permits this pivotal movement of the latch lever in the axial direction under the spring bias of the latch spring 18. As more clearly shown in FIG. 2, the latch lug 25 extending rearwardly from the front plate 8 shown in phantom, is disengaged from the catch 26 of the latch lever 20 when the cam projections 5 and 6 are in exact angular alignment. In the remaining angular positions of the hour gear wheel 2, as related to the alarm set gear 4, the cam projections 5 and 6 will not be in exact angular alignment and as such, under the urging of the latch spring 18, the hour hand gear will be urged in an axial direction toward the front plate 8.

Referring now to FIG. 3, a front view of the timer switch assembly of the present invention is shown. The 7 solid lines of FIG. 3 illustrate the electrical switch assembly as it is set in an intermediate ON position by :the selector shaft 11 so that the tips 30 and 31 of the latch lever 20 ride upon the rear surface of the hour hand gear wheel 2. FIG. 3 also shows by dashed lines the position of the latch lever 20 when the selector shaft .11 is rotated in a counterclockwise direction to an AU- TOMATIC-OFF position where the latch lug 25 engages the catch 26 of the latch lever 20 to restrain the latch when the respective cam projections 5 and 6 of the hour gear 2 and the alarm set gear 4 are not in exact angular alignment. When cam projections 5 and 6 become angularly aligned at the set time the latch lever 20 will be moved arcuately away from engagement with the latch lug 25 as previously described to release the switch for movement from the automatic OFF to the intermediate ON position.

In the switch assembly of the present invention, when the selector shaft 11 is manually moved in a clockwise direction from the intermediate ON position to the OFF position, the switch contact bar 34 is displaced from the inverted apexes 50 and 51 of the opposed automatic cam and OFF cam surfaces and will ride up the opposed OFF camsurfaces 40 and 41 to axially displace the selector shaft 11 and the contact bar 34 away from the stationary contacts 47 and 48. Clockwise movement is restricted when the switch contact bar 34 reaches the upper limit of each of the OFF cams and engages the detent portions 42 and 43.

Manual rotation of the selector shaft 11 from the OFF position in a counterclockwise direction to the intermediate ON position accomplishes the reverse of the preceding motions so that the contact bar 34 is urged from the detent portions 42 and 43 down the OFF cam surfaces 40 and 41 to remake electrical contact across the stationary contacts 47 and 48 in the base of the molded switch cup 15. Thus in the intermediate ON position, the contact bar 34 returns to the inverted apexes 50 and 51 of the opposed cam surfaces.

' or catch 26 of the latch lever 20. The movement from the intermediate ON position to the automatic OFF position advances the switch contact bar 34 in an arcuate direction along the opposed automatic cam surfaces 44 and 45 to axially displace the selector shaft 11 against the spring bias of the latch spring 18. As the contact bar 34 is urged along the automatic cam surfaces, the latch lever 20, that is keyed to the selector shaft 11, describes an arcuate path in a counterclockwise direction to terminate in the position shown by the dashed lines of FIG. 3, as previously described. In such a position, the catch 26 of the latch lever 20 engages the latch lug 25 extending from the front plate 8 and restrains the selector shaft 11 in the automatic OFF position against the rotary bias of the latch spring 13. Thus, the switch contact bar 34 is maintained out of electrical contact with contacts 47 and 48 at some point on the automatic cam surfaces 44 and 45 by the catch 26 of the latch lever 20 restraining the selector shaft 11. 7

As the hour hand gear wheel 2 rotates, the cam projection 5 thereon describes an arc of 360 so that at the selected time the cam projection 5 will exactly coincide with the cam projection 6 of the alarm set gear 4. When the cam projections are in exact angular alignment at the desired letoff time, the hour hand gear wheel 2 is axially displaced to release the catch 26 of the latch lever 20 by arcuately displacing the latch lever 20 in an axial direction against the axial spring bias of the latch spring 18. Under the rotary spring bias of the latch spring 18, the selector shaft 11 is urged in a clockwise direction ,to the intermediate ON position. During this rotary clockwisemotion, the switch contact bar 34 rides down the automatic cam surfaces 44 and 45 to the inverted 'apexes 50 and 51 between the opposed automatic cam and OFF cam surfaces to make electrical contact between the stationary contacts 47 and 48 in the base of the molded cup 15.

It should be noted that the free end of latch lug 25,

as seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, is tapered to form cam surfaces rather than having sharp corners. This arrangement permits the latch lever 20 to be manually moved by clockwise torque on the selector shaft 11 from the AUTO- MATIC-OFF position at any time without having to wait for the timer mechanism to release the lever. In so moving the shaft 11, the forward biasing force on latch lever 20 is overcome by superior manual force, Whereas the torsional biasing force provided by the spring 18 is unable to overcome the latching force until the latch lug 25 is disengaged from the lever 20 by the axial motion of the hour gear 2.

As will be evidenced from the foregoing description, certain aspects of the invention are not limited to the particular details of construction illustrated, and it is contemplated that other modifications and applications will occur to those skilled in the art. It is, therefore, intended that the appended claims shall cover such modifications and applications that do not depart from the true spirit and scope of the invention.

Having described the invention, what is claimed is:

1. A timer switch assembly comprising a clock mechanism, a three position switch including a switch contact, said contact being positionable in an on position, said contact being movable in one direction from said on position to an off position, said contact being movable in a direction opposite to said one direction from said on position to an automatic off position, means normally biasing said switch contact from the automatic off position to the on position, latch means to retain said switch contact in the automatic off position against movement by the biasing means, and means controlled by said clock mechanism to operate and release said latch means to enable the biasing means to move said switch contact from the automatic off position to the on position at a desired time.

2. A timer switch assembly comprising a clock mechanism, a three position switch including a selector shaft and a switch contact mounted on said shaft, said shaft and contact being positionable in an on position, said shaft and said contact being rotatable in one direction from said on position to an off position, said shaft and said contact being rotatable in a direction opposite to said one direction from said on position to an auto matic ofi position, means normally biasing said shaft from the automatic off position to the on position, latch means to retain said shaft in the automatic off position against movement by the biasing means, and means controlled by said clock mechanism to operate and release said latch means to enable the biasing means to move said shaft from the automatic off position to the on position at a desired time.

3. A timer switch assembly comprising, a clock mechanism having a gear that describes continuous angular movement with intermittent axial displacement at a selected time, a rotary three position switch including a selector shaft and a switch contact carried by said shaft, said shaft having an on position, said shaft being rotat able in one direction from said on position to an off position, said shaft being rotatable in a direction opposite to said one direction from said on position to an automatic off position, a latch lever mounted on said shaft, means normally biasing said lever and said shaft from the automatic off position to the on position, means to retain said lever in the automatic off position against movement by the biasing means, said lever being engaged with said gear in a manner such that axial displacement of said gear at the selected time will move said lever to release said latching means to permit said shaft to rotate from the automatic off position to the on position in response to the urging of said biasing means at the desired time.

4. A timer switch assembly comprising, a clock mechanism, a pair of fixed switch contacts, a selector shaft, a contact bar mounted on said shaft and adapted to connect said contacts, said shaft having an on position wherein said contact bar connects said contacts, said shaft having an off position wherein said contact bar does not connect said contacts, said shaft having an automatic off position wherein said contact bar does not connect said contacts but is adapted to be automatically moved to said on position, spring means normally biasing said shaft to the on position, latch means to retain said shaft in the automatic off position against movement by the spring means, and means controlled by said clock mechanism to operate and release said latch means to enable the spring means to move said shaft from the automatic off to the on position to thus connect the contacts at a desired time.

5. A timer switch assembly comprising a clock mechanism, a switch selector shaft adapted to control the connecting and disconnecting of a plurality of switch contacts, said shaft being selectively rotatably and axially movable to an off position, an on position, and an automatic-off position, a latch lever adapted to rotate with the shaft and to pivot on an axis substantially perpendicular to the shaft rotational axis, means to bias said shaft from the automatic-off position to the on position, latch means to retain the lever and said shaft in the automaticoff position against movement by the biasing means,

and means controlled by said clock mechanism to pivot said latch lever to release the lever from the latch means and enable the biasing means to move the shaft from the automatic-off position to the on position to thus connect the switch contacts at a desired time.

6. The switch assembly of claim 6 wherein the latch lever may be manually released from the latch means by rotation of the selector shaft.

7. A timer switch assembly comprising a clock mechanism, a molded cup base having a pair of diametrically spaced contacts and a plurality of internal cam tracks, a switch selector shaft carrying a switch contact bar adapted to be received Within the cup base to co-act with the internal cam tracks to connect or disconnect the contacts, said shaft being selectively rotatably and axially movable to an off position wherein the contact bar does not connect the contacts, an on position wherein the contact bar connects the contacts, and an automatic off position wherein the contact bar does not connect the contacts but is in position to be automatically moved to the on position, means to bias said shaft rotatably and axially from the automatic-off position to the on position, latch means to retain said shaft in the automatic-off position against movement of said biasing means, and means controlled by said clock mechanism to release the latch means to enable the biasing means to move the shaft rotatably and axially from the automatic-off position to the on position to thus allow the contact bar to connect the contacts at a desired time.

8. A timer switch assembly comprising a clock mechanism, a switch selector shaft carrying a switch contact bar which extends transversely across one end of the shaft, said shaft having an enlarged portion intermediate the shaft ends, a molded cup base adapted to receive said one shaft end and one end of the enlarged portion, said cup base having a pair of diametrically spaced switch contacts and a plurality of internal cam tracks adapted to guide the contact bar into or out of engagement with the contacts, said shaft being selectively rotatably and axially movable to an off position wherein the contact bar does not engage the contacts, an on position wherein the contact bar engages the contacts, and an automatic-off position wherein the contact bar does not engage the contacts but is in position to be automatically moved to the on position, a latch lever mounted on said shaft to rotate with the shaft and mounted adjacent said enlarged portion to pivot against said portion on an axis substantially perpendicular to the shaft rotational axis, spring means to bias said shaft and said latch lever to move rotatably and axially from the automatic-off position to the on position, latch means to restrict rotary motion of said latch lever to retain the lever and said shaft in the bar which extends transversely across one end of the shaft, a molded cup base adapted to receive said one end of the selector shaft and having a pair of diametrically spaced switch contacts to be connected by said contact 'bar, said cup base having a first pair of diametrically spaced internal cam tracks each of which extends from a respective one of the contacts and terminates in a detent and having a second pair of diametrically spaced internal cam tracks each of which leads to a respective one of the contacts and opposes a respective one of the first pair of cam tracks, said shaft being selectively rotatable to an off position wherein the contact bar is positioned by the detent of the first pair of cam tracks and does not connect the contacts, and an automaticoff position wherein the contact bar engages the second pair of cam tracks and does not connect the contacts but is in position to be automatically moved to an on position intermediate the off and automaticoif positions wherein the contact bar connects the contacts, means to bias the shaft from the automatic-off position to the on position, latch means to retain the shaft in the automatic-off position against movement of the biasing means, and means controlled by said clock mechanism to release said latch means and enable the biasing means to move the shaft from the automatic-off position to the on position to thus connect the contacts at a desired time.

10. A switch assembly comprising a switch selector shaft carrying a switch contact bar which extends transversely across one end of the shaft, a molded cup base adapted to receive said one end of the selector shaft and having a pair of diametrically spaced switch contacts to be connected by said contact bar, said cup base having a first pair of diametrically spaced internal cam tracks each of which extends from a respective one of the contacts and terminates in a detent and having a second pair of diametrically spaced internal cam tracks each of which leads to a respective one of the contacts and opposes a respective one of the first pair of cam tracks, said shaft being selectively rotatable to an off position wherein the contact bar is positioned by the detent of the first pair of cam tracks and does not connect the contacts and an automatic-off position wherein the contact bar engages the second pair of cam tracks and does not connect the contacts but is in position to be automatically moved to an on position intermediate the oil? and automatic-off positions wherein the contact bar connects the contacts, means to bias the shaft from the automatic-off position to the on position, latch means to retain the shaft in the automatic-off position against movement by the biasing means, and signal means to release said latch means and enable the biasing means to move the shaft from the automatic-off position to the on position to thus connect the contacts.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 277,640 Weston May 15, 1883 2,421,986 Bohman June 10, 1947 2,721,441 Boyles Oct. 25, 1955 2,782,274 Powers et al Feb. 19, 1957 2,816,969 Gallagher et al Dec. 17, 1957 2,839,623 Stolle June 17, 1958 3,032,618 Johnson May 1, 1962

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US277640 *Oct 24, 1882May 15, 1883The United states Electric Lighting CompanyEdward weston
US2421986 *Mar 7, 1946Jun 10, 1947Telechron IncAlarm clock and switch
US2721441 *Nov 12, 1952Oct 25, 1955Gen ElectricSwitch and alarm clock
US2782274 *Jun 19, 1953Feb 19, 1957Gen ElectricLow cost clock switch
US2816969 *Apr 9, 1956Dec 17, 1957Int Register CoClock switch
US2839623 *Jan 23, 1956Jun 17, 1958Int Register CoTime switch mechanism
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3777582 *May 3, 1972Dec 11, 1973Amf IncTime switches
US4069750 *Mar 2, 1977Jan 24, 1978General Electric CompanyBrewer with timer mount
US4414439 *Apr 30, 1982Nov 8, 1983Timex CorporationTimed switch
US4695683 *Jul 23, 1986Sep 22, 1987Telechron, Inc.Electric appliance timer with automatic turn off
Classifications
U.S. Classification200/38.0FB, 968/613, 74/3.5
International ClassificationG04C23/00, G04C23/16
Cooperative ClassificationG04C23/16
European ClassificationG04C23/16