US 3145276 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
w. L. BROWN .ETAL
SELF-POSITIONING DOOR SWITCH CONSTRUCTION Filed Feb. 23, 1962 Aug. 18, 1964 0 KW M O h mmwmm EBm E V.0mN m R r 0 .a T Z 5 ./OM WE Y/M B mote portion of the appliance.
United States Patent 3,145,276 SELF-POSITEONIN G DOOR SWITCH (JGNSTRUCTIGN Wiiliam L. Brown, Garden City, and Robert Thomson,
Dearborn, Mich, assignors to Boyne Products, Inc.,
Detroit, Mich, a corporation of Michigan Filed Feb. 23, 1962, Ser. No. 175,244 9 Claims. (Cl. 20061.62)
This invention relates to a switch construction of the kind adapted to be actuated in response to the opening and closing of a movable member such as the door of a dish washer, washing machine or the like, and more particularly the invention pertains to a switch that is capable of being self-positioned in operative relationship with a movable door or the like in response to movement of the door.
There are many electrical devices that are adapted to be operable or inoperable according to the position of a movable member such as a door. For example, it is common practice to provide a switch adjacent the door of a dishwasher, clothes washer, clothes dryer or the like, and which is so mounted with relation to the door as to permit the appliance to operate only when the door is fully closed. In order for such a switch to function properly, it must be precisely located with respect to the door so as to assure operation by the door. The necessity of precisely locating a switch is time consuming and consequently adds to the cost of producing the appliance. Moreover, because of the physical contact which must exist between the switch and some part of the appliance door, it is not unusual for either the switch or the door part to become misaligned, resulting in malfunctioning of the switch. This problem is particularly prevalent in those instances where the switch is not properly positioned relatively to the door initially.
Door actuated switches of the kind heretofore in use have been rigidly mounted on some part of the appliance structure. The rigidity of the mounting makes it difiicult for the appliance owner to adjust a misaligned switch, even if he were inclined to do so, thereby necessitating a service call by an appliance repairman, with its resultant expense. Adjusting the known switches is not alwaysan easy task, particularly if the switch is located in some re- For this reason, many appliance manufacturers locate the switch in a fairly accessible position, but this usually requires the provision of extended wiring and wire holding means, thereby adding to the cost of the appliance.
An object of this invention is to provide a switch that is operable in response to opening and closing of a movable member such as a door and wherein the switch is capable of being self-positioned by movement of the movable member.
Another object of the invention is to provide a switch of the kind indicated provided with means for yieldably holding it in adjusted position.
A further object ofthe invention is to provide an adjustable switch construction which is of such simplified construction as to permit it to be adjusted by the most unskilled person.
Another object of the invention is to provide a switch assembly which is capable of being mounted in a readily accessible position and yet which does' not necessarily require the use of extended wiring.
- Another object of the invention is to provide a' switch of the character described which is simplified in construction and'rugged and durable in use.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be pointed out specifically or will become apparent from the following description when it is considered in conjunction with the appended claims and the accompanying drawing, in which:
3,145,276 Patented Aug. 18 1964 FIGURE 1 is a view partly in section and partly in side elevation and illustrating the switch in operative associationwith a pivoted door;
FIGURE 2 is a view partly in section and partly in front elevation of the apparatus shown in FIGURE 1 and I on an enlarged scale; and
FIGURE 3 is a longitudinal, sectional view taken on the line 3-3 of FIGURE 2.
Apparatus constructed in accordance with the invention is illustratively disclosed as adapted for use in an appliance 1 such as a dish washer, clothes washer, clothes dryer or the like, having a main cabinet portion 2 including a side wall 3 and a top wall 4, the top wall having an opening therein that is adapted to be closed by a swingable door or lid 5 having a top wall 6 and side flange 7. The door 5 may be swingably mounted on the main cabinet 2 by means of a hinge bar 8 that may be spot welded or otherwise suitably fixxed to the side flange 7 of the door, the hinge arm terminating at one end in an arcuate portion 9 that is provided with a forwardly projecting extension 10 and a rearwardly projecting portion 11. The hinge may be pivoted to the cabinet side wall 3 by means of a pivot pin 12 that passes through the projection 10. The hinge projection 11 includes a laterally extending operating stud or post 13 which will be referred to in more detail hereinatter.
The switch assembly is indicated in its entirety by the reference character 14 and comprises a casing 15 having a cover plate 16 and a hollow body formed by afront wall 17, a rear wall 18, side walls 19, and a bottom wall 20 which includes an upwardly and rearwardly inclined portion 21. The cover and all of the casing walls are formed of a suitable insulating material such as nylon or the like which is capable of being molded. The side, end and bottom walls of the casing preferably are molded as an integral unit and the cover 16 is formed separately. In order to maintain the casing parts assembled, the cover and body portions of the casing may be provided with laterally projecting ears 22 and 23, respectively, through which rivets 24 or the like may extend so as to maintain the casing parts assembled.
Supported in the casing 15 is a pair of electrically conductive contact posts 25 and 26, each of which extends through the bottom wall 20 of the casing, and each of the contacts being headed at both ends so as to be stable and to permit the contacts to serve as anchor members for' electrically conductive terminals 27 and 28 to which wires (not shown) may be connected.
Within the casing 15 is movably supported a flexible bridging arm 29 formed of electrically conductive material and having one of its ends anchored to the bottom wall 20 by means of the headed contact 25. The length of the arm 29 is such as to enable it to bridge the distance between the contacts 25 and 26, and the free end of the arm 29 is provided with a contact 30 that is adapted to engage the contact 26. When the arm 29 is in its normal or unstressed condition it is substantially planar and supports the contact 30 in a position out of engagement with the contact 26. The flexibility of the arm 29, however, enables the arm to be deflected so as to effect engagement between the contacts 30 and 26.
Means is provided for effecting movement of the bridging arm 29 into engagement with the contact 26 and comprises a preferably metal, relatively inflexible actuating member 31 that is bent intermediate its ends as at 32 to form a lip portion 33 and a carrier portion 34 at the end of which is fixed a button 35 formed of nylon or other insulating material. The front wall 17 of substantially to the width of the lip 33, but the height of:
the opening is substantially greater than the thickness of the actuator lip so as to enable the actuator 31 to rock about the fulcrum 32. Rocking of the actuator in a counterclockwise direction, as viewed inFIGURE 3, is limited by the base of the opening 36 and by engagement of the carrier portion 34 with the cover 16, and clockwise rocking of the actuator 31 is limited by engagement of the lip portion 33 with the cover 16. Accordingly, the cover 16 constitutes stop means for limiting rocking movement of the actuator 31.
The actuator 31 is mounted in the casing in such manner that the button 35 is located at a position that is substantially midway between the contacts 25 and 26, and the actuator is rockably maintained in that position by a tang 37 that extends laterally from the actuator and projects into a slot 38 that is formed in one side wall 19 of the casing.
Means is provided for rockably mounting the switch casing 15 on the cabinet 2 and comprises a bracket 39 having a flange 4011 which is secured to the casing by means of the rivets 28 and another, right-angular flange 40 through which extends a pivot post 41, the pivot post also passing through the cabinet wall 3. The bracket 39 is rockably mounted on the pivot post 41 in spaced relation from the wall 3 by means of a spacer 42, a washer 43, and a nut 44. The arrangement is such that the easing 15 is rockable as a unit about the axis of the pivot post 41.
Although the switch casing is intended to be rockable about the axis of the pivot 41, it is not intended that the casing be freely rotatable. Instead, the casing is mounted on the cabinet wall in such manner that the casing will be stable in any adjusted position until a force of predetermined magnitude is exerted on the casing to adjust its position relative to the cabinet.
Apparatus constructed in accordance with the invention includes a stabilizer 45 comprising a blade of spring steel or the like 46 that terminates at one end in a mounting flange 47 that may be secured to the casing by one of the rivets 24. The other end of the blade 46 is curved toward the side wall 3 and terminates in a squared edge 48. The curvature of the blade 46 is such that, when the switch casing is mounted, the squared edge 48 of the blade forcibly but yieldably bears against the side wall 3 and tends to bite into the side wall, thereby frictionally holding the casing in any selected position of adjustment relative to the side wall 3.
To condition the apparatus for operation, the casing is pivoted on the cabinet wall 3 in such position that the lip 33 of the actuating member 31 lies in the path of movement of the post 13 which is carried by the hinge 8. The initial positioning of the casing 15 should be such that rocking movement of the door 5 toward its closed position will effect engagement between the actuator lip 33 and the post 13 well in advance of the doors reaching its fully closed position. Upon engagement of the parts 33 and 13, further closing movement of the door will cause the actuator to be rocked about its fulcrum 32, thereby causing the button 35 to deflect the bridging arm 29 in such direction as to move the contact 30 toward the contact 26.
The spacing between the contacts 30 and 26 and the height of the opening 36 in the front wall of the casing should be such that engagement of the contacts 26 and 30 is effected prior to the time the actuator 31 reaches its limit of clockwise rotation. Thus, upon initial engagement of the contacts 26 and 30 the actuator still will be capable of additional clockwise rotation.
Continued closing movement of the door after initial engagement of the contacts 26 and 30 will cause the actuator 33 to be rocked to its limit of clockwise rotation, thereby eifecting bowing of the bridging arm 29 as is indicated in dash lines in FIGURE 3 and effecting engagement of the lip portion 33 with the cover 16. Bowing of the bridging arm is permitted by reason of the inclination of the wall portion 21. Further closing movement of the door will cause the post 13 to exert sufficient force on the switch casing 15 that the latter bodily is rocked about the axis of the pivot pin 41 against the drag of the stabilizer blade 46. When the door is fully closed, the actuator 31 will be in the position shown in dash lines in FIGURE 3 and the bridging arm 29 will be bowed.
Upon opening movement of the door 5, the post 13 will be moved in a direction away from the actuator, thereby relaxing the force exerted by the actuator on the bridging arm 29. Initial relaxation of the force exerted on the bridging arm will not cause disengagement of the contacts 26 and 30, but will cause the arm 29 to assume a somewhat less bowed position. However, when the post 13 moves out of engagement with the actuator lip 33 the resilience of the arm 29 will cause the latter to become completely unstressed, thereby eifectiug disengagement of the contacts and restoration of the actuator to the position shown in full lines in FIGURE 3.
The reaction between the stabilizer blade 46 and the wall 3 will maintain the switch casing in the position to which it is adjusted and the tendency of the blade edge 43 to bite into the cabinet wall will deter inadvertent rocking of the casing. In the event the switch should rock accidentally in a counterclockwise direction, as viewed in FIGURE 1,,closing of the door will restore it to its operative position. in the event the switch should be rocked in a clockwise direction from the position shown in FIG- URE 1, it is a simple matter to rock the casing counterclockwise a distance suflicient to enable closing of the door to restore the switch to its operative position.
The previously described two stage action of the bridging arm 29 when being moved to its contact bridging position is an important characteristic of the inven tion in that the second or bowing stage of the arm 29 assures sufficient force being applied to the bridging arm to compensate for any Wear of the contacts 26 and 30 and to insure good electrical engagement therebetween.
The disclosed embodiment is representative of a presently preferred form of the invention, but is intended to be illustrative rather than definitive thereof. The invention is defined in the claims.
1. A self-positioning switch construction for use with a member movable in a path, said construction comprising a casing; contact means supported by said casing; bridging means movable into and out of bridging engagement with said contact means; actuating means operable to efiect movement of said bridging means; support means; means movably mounting said casing on said support means with said actuating means in the path of movement of said member for operation thereby and for adjustment of said casing relative to said support means by said member; and frictional means reacting between said casing and said support means for frictionally but yieldably holding said casing in an adjusted position relative to said support means.
2. A self-positioning switch construction for use with a member movable in a path, said construction comprising a casing; contact means supportedby said casing; a bridging arm movable into and out of bridging engagement with said contact means; movable actuating means operable to effect movement of said bridging arm; support means; means adjustably mounting said casing on said support means in such position that said actuating means lies in the path of movement in one direction of said member for movement thereby; and stop means reacting with said actuating means for limiting movement of the latter, said actuating means being operable to transmit movement to said casing relative to said support means in response to continued movement of said member in said one direction after engagement of said actuating means and said stop means.
3. The construction set forth in claim 2 including means reacting between said casing and said support 5 means for yieldably holding said casing in an adjusted position relative to said support means.
4. The construction set forth in claim 3 wherein said reacting means comprises spring means.
5. The construction set forth in claim 2 wherein said bridging arm is flexible and wherein said stop means is spaced from said actuating means a distance such that said bridging arm is in said bridging relation and is flexed by said actuating means prior to engagement between the latter and said stop means.
6. A self-positioning switch construction for use with a member movable in a path, said construction comprising a casing; spaced apart contact means supported by said casing; bridging means movable into and out of bridging engagement with said contact means; actuating means movably supported by said casing for moving said bridging means, said actuating means extending beyond said casing for engagement with said member; mounting means on said casing for mounting the latter on a support for movement relative thereto; and resilient stabilizing means supported by said casing and extending beyond the confines of the latter for reaction with said support to yieldably maintain said casing in any selected position of adjustment relative to said support.
7. The construction set forth in claim 6 wherein said stabilizing means comprises a spring arm having a free end that extends in a direction to bear against said support.
8. A switch construction comprising a casing; means on said casing for adjustably mounting the latter on a support; a pair of contacts supported by said casing; a relatively flexible bridging member movably received in said casing and adapted to bridge said pair of contacts; relatively inflexible actuating means movably mounted on said casing and operable in one direction of movement to move said bridging member into bridging relation with said pair of contacts, said actuating means being movable in said one direction an amount greater than is necessary to effect said bridging relation of said pair of contacts by said bridging member so as to flex the latter; stop means reacting with said actuating means for limiting movement of the latter in said one direction; and stabilizing means supported by said casing and extending beyond the confines of the latter for reaction with said support to yieldably maintain said casing in a selected position of adjustment relative to said support. 9. The construction set forth in claim 8 wherein said actuating means is mounted for rocking movement.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,206,102 Meuer July 2, 1940 2,627,567 Bell Feb. 3, 1953 2,759,057 Whildin et a1. Aug. 14, 1956 2,785,257 Smith Mar. 12, 1957 2,849,547 Taylor Aug. 26, 1958 2,986,616 Hanserd May 30, 1961 ,141 Whilden et a1. June 19, 1962