Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3166638 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 19, 1965
Filing dateJan 30, 1962
Priority dateJan 30, 1962
Publication numberUS 3166638 A, US 3166638A, US-A-3166638, US3166638 A, US3166638A
InventorsHills Joseph A
Original AssigneeHills Joseph A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Code sending key
US 3166638 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 19, 1965 J. A. HILLS 3,1

CODESENDING KEY Filed Jan. 30, 1962 INVENTOR. JOSEP/l 0. ///!5 ayi p wm United States Patent 3,166,638 CQDE SENDING KEY Joseph A. Hills, 8165 Inwood Ave, Dayton, Ohio Filed Jan. 30, 1962, Set. No. 169,876

16 Claims. c1. 178-108) This invention relates to a mechanical switching device enabling an improved telegraph key and will be so described. However, it will be obvious that its application is not so limited and that such is not intended.

A switch as provided by the invention is unique in that its operating components are simply designed to have optimum balance. It may be manipulated with ease and at a high rate of speed. Therefore, it is ideally suited for use in sending code. Employed as a telegraph key, it is capable of triggering the transmission of code with a degree of speed and accuracy beyond the capabilities of a conventional key. Moreover, it provides means enabling an operator to manipulate it for extended periods of time, and without the discomfort normally attendant similar use of a conventional key.

Accordingly, the invention provides mechanical switching devices which are particularly advantageous for use in sending code. Embodiments are simply fabricated. In a preferred form they provide an improved double throw key so pivoted to eliminate the drag and inertia eitects inherent in the operation of a conventional key. They also feature finger tip controls of a novel character enabling their operation with ease and a minimum of effort.

A primary object of the invention is to provide a switching device which may be economically fabricated, more elficient and satisfactory in use, adaptable to a wide variety of applications and unlikely to malfunction.

A further object of the invention is to provide an improved telegraph key.

Another object of the invention is to provide a novel switching device, particularly adaptable for use as a telegraph key, having an optimum balance which enables its use to send code with a minimum of effort and a maximum of efficiency.

An additional object of the invention is to provide an improved double throw switching device having novel finger tip control features.

A further object of the invention is to provide mechanical switching devices possessing the advantageous structural features, the inherent meritorious characteristics and the means and mode of operation herein described.

With the above and other incidental objects in view as will more fully appear in the specification, the invention intended to be protected by Letters Patent consists of the features of construction, the parts and combinations thereof, and the mode of operation as hereinafter described or illustrated in the accompanying drawings, or their equivalents.

Referring to the drawings, wherein a preferred but not necessarily the only form of application and embodiment of the invention is shown,

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a code sending device, partly in section, as provided by the invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary view in cross section taken on line 22 of FIG. 1, the base being shown in elevation; and I FIG. 3 is a view in longitudinal section taken on line 33 of FIG. 1, the base being shown in elevation.

Like parts are indicated by similar characters of reference throughout the several views.

The mechanical switching device illustrated includes a base 1 having a generally triangular outline. An aperture vertically oriented in each of two corners of the base is lined by an insulating sleeve 2. Each sleeve confines the lower end of a terminal post 3, the upper end of which is mately two-thirds the distance from the upper surface of the base totheir vertical extremity, the opposed surfaces of the post branches are identically recessed to threadedly engage a metal screw 4 passing therebetween. The confinement of the screws 4 is established by screws 5 bridging the branches of the posts at their projected extremities.

bifurcated and projects vertically of the base 1} Approxi- Screws 4 are oriented to project perpendicular to the posts 3, generally parallel to the respective adjacent sides of the base 1. Their one ends, outermost with reference to the base, are expanded in the manner of thumb screws while their inner ends, which relatively converge each provides a disc-like contact 6 on its projected extremity.

A generally annular plate 7 is oriented vertically of the base 1, in a plane common to the posts 3 and centered therebetween. A diameter of the plate 7 is positioned in a plane common to the screws 4 and the bottom of the plate is abbreviated to lie in generally spaced relation to the base 1. Thus, posts 3 and plate 7 are positioned adjacent one side of the outline of the base 1 to establish what might be considered the base of a horizontally oriented tri angle.

A pair of L-shaped brackets 8 are fixed back to back with their base portions 9 in a common plane and fixed to the relatively outer face of the plate '7 on its aforementioned diameter. Metal screws 10 project through the remote ends of the base portions 9 and diametrically opposite portions of the plate 7 to mount spacer sleeves 11 and project through spaced apertures in a bar 12. Tubular nuts 13 adjustably mount on the projected extremities of the screws 19 to fix the central portion of the bar 12 parallel to and in direct alignment with the base portions 9 of the brackets 8. The nuts 13 are effective to clamp the bar 12 against the adjacent ends of the sleeves 11. The heads of screws 10 are thereby caused to fix the brackets S to project perpendicular to the plate '7 and outwardly with reference to the base 1, in a plane common to screws 4. The ends 14 of the bar 12 are identically bent from the plane of its central portion, respectively perpendicular to the lines of the respective screws 4. Each of the end portions 14 mounts a disc-like contact 15 arranged adjacent co-axially with and in spaced relation to the contact 6 on the adjacent screw 4. It will be obvious that the spacing between the respective pairs of contacts 6 and 15 can be established by adiustment of the screws 4'- relative the posts 3 to which they mount.

A relatively heavy ring-shaped member 19 is edge mounted by screws to orient vertically of the base 1 in a plane spaced forwardly of and parallel to the plane common to the plate 7 and the posts 3. It should be noted that the member 1% has essentially the same diame- .ter as the plate '7.

Pins 20 are triangularly oriented to project perpendicular to the face of the ring 19 most adjacent the plate 7. Two pins 20 are uppermost, in closely spaced relation, equally spaced to either side of the diameter of the ring 19 oriented perpendicular to the base 1.

The third pin 20 is positioned to the bottom of the ring 19, equidistant from each of the upper pins 20. The pins 24} are of equal length and their projected extremities are conically reduced to bear in recesses similarly oriented in the adjacent face of the plate 7.

A rigid wire-like member 21 extends between the screws ill and anchors thereto in a manner to establish it adjacent the upper edge of base members 9 of brackets 8. Directly to either side of its center, the anchor member 21 is formed with horizontally oriented triangularly shaped projections 22. Projections 22 extend in the direction of the member 19 and in a sense generally perpendicular thereto.

Posts 23 are fixed perpendicular to the base 1 adjacent its third corner, in a plane parallel to that of ring saeasae 19 and equally spaced to either side. Anchor. pins 24 are respectively and oppositely engaged through the posts 23 and suitably confined for rotation therein. The pins 24 are coaxially disposed with their innermost ends 25 in closely adjacent relation between posts 23 and their uppermost surface portions in a plane generally common to the anchor wire 21. This latter plane represents a level two-thirds the distance between the lower and upper pair of pins 20.

A pair of springs 26 are provided, respectively connected between the apex of one of the projections 22 and an aligned end portion 25 of a pin 24. The connections to the pins 24 are respectively effected by means of wire cable 27 which anchors to and wraps around the end 25. As may be readily seen, a selective rotation of a pin 24 supplies a predetermined tension to the connected spring 26. The springs as, through their connection to the anchor 21, apply a bias to the assembly including plate 7, bar 12 and brackets 8 and in the direction of the pins 20. This bias of the springs 26 establishes a complete static and dynamic balance of the plate '7 and associated structure on the conical ends of the pins 26.

lit will be seen that the recesses in plate 7 provide for its support on three points of the triangle determined by the projected ends of pins 20. It should also be noted that the biasing springs 26 are respectively oriented between and parallel to the lower pin 20 and one of the upper pins 20, in the respective planes defined thereby, two-thirds the distance from the lower pin.

A screw 1d successively projects through an aperture in one end of a bar shaped lever 17 and axially aligned apertures in the projected extremities of the brackets 8 which are positioned outwardly of the base 1. The head of screw 16 is thereby positioned to confine the one end of the lever 17 against the left side of the brackets 8, as shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings. The projected extremity of screws 16, to the right of the brackets 8, mounts a threadedly engaged generally conical operator element 18 having a disc shaped base outermost. Adjustment of the element 18 to have its apex abut the right side of the brackets 8 causes the head of the screw 16 to clamp the bar 17 in any position of radial orientation in which it is established relative thereto. The preferred setting of the lever 17 provides that its free extremity is positioned beyond the projected extremities of the brackets 8. The free extremity of the bar 17 mounts a disc-like operator element 28 on its side remote from the operator element 18.

It should be observed that the disc operators 18 and 28 are disposed to opposite sides of brackets 8, in longitudinally displaced positions with reference to the base 1. This facilitates an operator effecting a comfortable application of a thumb and forefinger to their respective disc portions.

Utilizing the embodiment described, on pressing against either operator element it will be seen that the assembly including the bar 12 and plate 7 will pivot readily subject to the influence of a single spring 26. The pivoting is such to provide a dynamic balance of plate 7 and associated structure as it turns about an axis defined by the conical extremity of the lower of the pins 20 and one of the upper pins 20. This balance occurs irrespective of which direction force is applied with reference to the operator elements and about which of the relatively inclined axes defined by pins 20 the operator assembly including brackets 8 turns. For example, with reference to FIG. 1 of the drawings, if forefinger were to press against the base of the operator element 18 and to the left, the whole assembly including plate '7 and bar 12 will pivot on the lower pin 20 and the left of the upper pins 20. This causes the contact 15 to the right to engage the contact 6 on the adjacent extremity of the screw 4. The manner of pivoting of the assembly including the bar 12 and the plate 7 completely avoids any influence of the spring 26 lying in the plane defined by the upper and lower pins 2th on the extremities of which the assembly pivots. Thus, there is merely a return biasing influence of the other spring 26. The structural arrangement makes it evident that the operator elements 18 or 28 may be selectively and lightly engaged to provide a closing of a pair of contacts 6 and 15, free of any drag or inertia effect. It is of course evident the closing of either pair of contacts 6 and 15 may induce the transmission of a predetermined code signal or signals.

The novel support of the key assembly on the conically formed triangularly positioned extremities of the pins 2d, as described, provides it with a complete static and dynamic balance. This enables its manipulation to close the contacts 6 and 15 to either side with complete ease and a minimum of effort. The mechanical switching apparatus thus provided is free of any inherent unbalance, insuring it a prolonged and efiicient operating life. Moreover, the relative displacement and character of the operator elements 13 and 29 facilitates easy manipulation of the switching assembly intermediate the thumb and forefinger of the operators hand. An operator may send or transmit information through the switching apparatus provided for extended intervals with little danger, if any, of a cramp or discomfort in the process.

While the invention has been particularly described with reference to its application as a telegraph key, it

should be readily apparent to those versed in the art that the application of the invention is not so limited and such is not indicated.

From the above description it will be apparent that there is thus provided a device of the character described possessing the particular features of advantage before enumerated as desirable, but which obviously is susceptible of modification in its form, proportions, detail construction and arrangement of parts without departing from the principle involved or sacrificing any of its advantages.

While in order to comply with the statute the invention has been described in language more or less specific as V to structural features, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the specific features shown, but that the means and construction herein disclosed comprise but one of severalmodes of putting the invention into effect, and the invention is therefore claimed in any of its forms or modifications within the legitimate and valid scope of the appended claims.

Having thus described my invention, I claim: I

1. A signalling unit including, a base means, pin-like elements mounted on said base means in a manner to have their projected extremities lie in a common plane and define a triangle, a key assembly including an integrally connected plate-like base which moves therewith, and means biasing said key assembly to have its base bear and dynamically balance on the projected extremities of said pin-like elements in a manner to provide for a pivoting movement of said key assembly normally limited to axes which are symmetrically and relatively inclined to each other.

2. A code sending unit comprising, a base having spaced terminals providing contacts'thereon, a mount-ing ring terminals mounting contacts thereon, means supporting a key assembly on said base including spaced contacts for selectively mating with the contacts on said terminals, said supporting means providing a pair of relatively inclined to each other pivot axes for said key assembly to swing thereabout to selectively mate said contacts and biasing means for said key assembly, normally preventing mating of the contacts, and respectively oriented substantially at right angles to said respective pivot axes.

4. Signalling apparatus comprising, a base, a ring member vertically of said base, means defining terminals including contacts disposed in a generally triangular orientation with said ring member, bearing means triangularly oriented on and projected from said ring member, a plate like member having recesses accommodating said bearing means, spring members supported intermediate pairs of said bearing means and in planes common thereto connected to bias said plate-like member to maintain its hea ing relation to said bearing means and in a plane generally common to said terminals, said plate-like member having contacts connected and normally held thereby relatively spaced from said respective terminal contacts and means defining an operating arm projected from said plate-like member, said bearing means adapting said arm to selectively pivot about axes relatively inclined to each other to selectively close said terminal contacts to transmit 21 signal.

5. The structure as set forth in claim 4, said axes being respectively defined by pairs of said bearing means and pivoting of said arm about any one of said axes nullifying the influence of the spring intermediate the bearing means defining the axis.

6. Signal apparatus including, a key, means providing a three point mount establishing a plurality of pivot axes for said key, a plurality of spring means, one of said spring means being extended through each of said pivot axes, intermediately of two of said points and in alignment therewith, said spring means being so connected to mutually bias and normally maintain said key in a condition of static and dynamic balance.

7. Signal apparatus including, a base, a key, means providing a three point mount for said key on said base, means defining terminals to either side of said key on said base, biasing means connecting between said base and said key afiording the sole means for maintaining the three point mount of said key and maintaining a static and dynamic balance thereof, said key including an operating lever for swinging it on said mounting means to effect a selective contact thereof with said terminals, the projected extremity of said lever providing for fingertip control and having a short arm adjustably pivoted to one side thereof and adapted to project therebeyond, and longitudinally oflset operator elements one on said projected extremity of said lever and another on said short arm to facilitate easy swinging of said lever between a thumb and forefinger.

8.'Switching apparatus including, a base, means oriented perpendicular to said base, means defining a pair of terminals on' said base in a plane displaced from and generally parallel to the plane occupied by said perpendicular means, triangularly oriented pins projected perpendicular to said perpendicular means, a lever assembly biased in bearing relation to projected extremities of said pins including spaced contacts normally established thereby in respectively spaced relation to said terminals, said lever assembly being adapted thereby for selective pivoting about the projected extremities of said pins.

9. Switching apparatus as set forth in claim 8 wherein said lever assembly at its projected extremity includes finger operable portions adapted for relative vertical and axial displacement to facilitate swinging thereof by means of opposed finger tips.

10. Switching apparatus comprising, a key assembly, means providing terminals adjacent and spaced from said key assembly, means mounting said key assembly for selective pivoting about axes relatively inclined to each other to selectively contact said terminals, said key assembly including a first finger operator means and a second relatively displaced operator means for ready manipulation between a thumb and forefinger.

11. Signalling apparatus, including a base having a relatively stationary abutment member rising therefrom, a switch bar assembly in longitudinally spaced relation to said abutment member, key means connected to and extending longitudinally from said switch bar assembly in one direction, biasing means connected to and extending longitudinally from said switch bar assembly in the opposite direction and a triangular mount interposed between said bar assembly and said abutment member defining inclined planes about which said bar assembly is alternatively pivotal in response torelative lateral pressure applied to said key means, said biasing means tending to maintain and to restore said bar assembly to a seat on said abutment member through said mount.

12. Signalling apparatus according to claim 11, characterized by anchor means for said biasing means longitudinaliy spaced from said abutment member in a direction opposite to said switch bar assembly, said abutment member being open for passage of said biasing means therethrough.

13. Signalling apparatus according to claim 12, charac terized in that said anchor means is adjustable to vary the tension of said biasing means.

14. Signalling apparatus according to claim 11, said interposed mount defining an isosceles triangle, said biasing means including a tension spring connected to said bar assembly in the plane of each long side of the triangle intermediate the ends thereof.

15. Signalling apparatus, I including a base having a relatively stationary abutment member rising therefrom, a switch bar assembly in longitudinally spaced relation to said abutment member, means spacing said switch bar assembly from said abutment member, said means being disposed in divergent inclined planes and defining relatively inclined axes about which said switch bar assembly is alternatively pivotal, spring means connected to said bar assembly in the triangular area defined by said spacing means and anchored to urge said bar assembly to a seat on said abutment member through said spacing means, and means for rocking said bar assembly in opposite directions on said inclined axes.

16. Signalling apparatus according to claim 15, characterized in that said spring means includes a pair of tension springs each connected at its one end to said bar assembly and lying in a respective one of said inclined planes.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,793,259 5/57 Parson 200-6 2,988,597 6/61 Tfemblay 178102 ROBERT H. ROSE, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2793259 *Apr 12, 1954May 21, 1957Parsons John BSwitch mechanism
US2988597 *Oct 18, 1957Jun 13, 1961Tremblay Alexander JCode keyer
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4440515 *Jun 1, 1982Apr 3, 1984International Business Machines CorporationKeybar keyboard
U.S. Classification178/108, 200/6.0BA
International ClassificationH04L15/00, H04L15/08
Cooperative ClassificationH04L15/08
European ClassificationH04L15/08