US 3169241 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 9, 1965 Filed March 1. 1961 W. R. AIKEN SIGNALLING DEVICE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 POWER SUPPLY 1 mwER :swPPuY "POWER SUPPLY f F i g.
Feb. 9, 1965 2 Sheets-Sfwet 2 Filed March 1. 1961 MW m wx M. W
United States Patent ()fiice 3,169,24l Patented Feb. 9, 1965 3,169,241 SIGNALLING DEVICE William Ross Aiken, 10410 Magdalena Ave.,
Los Altos Hills, Calif. Filed Mar. 1, 1961, Set. No. 92,691 2 Claims. (Cl. 340-373 It is'an object of my invention to provide a signalling I device of the type referred to, that is of simple and im expensive construction, is inexpensive and easy to operate, and is dependable in performance.
This and other objects of the present invention will be apparent from the following description of the accompanying drawings which illustrate certain preferred embodiments thereof and wherein FIGURE 1 is a schematic perspective of an embodiment of my invention;
FIGURE 2 is a plan view of the embodimentillustrated in FIGURE 1 in a'diiferent operational position;
FIGURE 3 is a schematic perspective similar to FIG- URE 1, of a modified embodiment of the invention;
FIGURE 4 is a perspective of an apparatus formed by a plurality of superposed rows of devices such as illustrated in FIGURES 1' to 3; and i FIGURE 5 is a schematic plan view of the uppermost row of an apparatus of the type" shown in FIGURE .4 illustrating an exemplary controlcircuit therefor.
located in a corner adjacent the window 12 is a fiap or vane 16 of an electrically conductive non-magnetic material, such as still aluminum foil. Attached to the side wall 18 of the enclosure 10is a spiral coil 20 whose leads are connected to' the poles of a suitable source of alternating voltage 22 and contain a normally open switch 24. Also attached to said side wall at a centerpoint thereof may be a. suitable spacer 25. By mountingthe hinge rod 14 of the vane 16 in an appropriately tilted position or by suitable spring means as indicated at 27 in FIG- URES land 2, the vane may be arranged to assume ordinarily a position closely adjacent to the side wall 18 as illustrated in FIGURE 1 as determined by the spacer 25. Upon closure of switch 24, however, the alternating magnetic field generated by the energized-coil 20 repels the flap 16 causing it to move into a position adjacent the to its initial position adjacent the side wall 18 and thus withdraws theiidentifyingm ark on its outer surface 26 I from view. Hence, by closingor opening the switch 24,
I. For actuating a hinged component, such as asheet or plate,-to display, expose oriconccal anidentifying mark, the present invention makesus'e of the motion-producing effect Iof ,force fields,. .upon ,conductive fb'odies,f More specifically,; the ,presentinvention makes use of the .motion-proiducing effect of magnetic force fields upon, conductive bodies whether they are made of a magnetizable g or non-magnetizable material) 'For thispurpos'e a magnetizing coil is provided in the vicinity of; the hingedcomponent, and if said component is made of a 'non-magnetizable electrically conductive materiaL-energization of the coil with-an alternating current produces an alternat-s ing magnetic field which. induces eddy currents in the component. the coil in the same manner in which the rotor of an eddy current motor is actuated,'causing said component to move about its hinges from a position of rest wherein tionwherein it displays or je'xposes an identifying mark into a position wherein saidmarkis concealed from view.
the display controlling component, and by energization of the coil, said component may be' moived from a posiln FIGURE .1, the reference numeral 10 identifies a cubeshaped cell orenclosure which may be made of a suitable plastic. Said enclosure has a transparentffront wall or window 12 or may be open at the front, In the accompanying drawings the enclosure 10 has'been represented as if it'were entirely transparentso as to show the compo: nents in its: interior. In practice, howe'ver,;all itsqwalls FIGURE 3 Y en "b coilSl) atfthe sidewall 34 isenergiz'ed, I magne c field gel-iterated by said coil 30 movesthe flap 44 into apo'sition adjacen'tthe window 32 whereiniit displays whateveridentifying mark'may be provided on its outer'surface 46." By reversing the position ofthe This is e'lfective to repel thejcomponent from p switches 40 and 42, the coil 30 is dc-energized but the coil 28 is energized and establishes an alternating field that repels the flap or vane 44 from the window 32 of the enclosure into afposition adjacent the side wall 34 thereof f I 7 @iso thatits signalling surface is no longer visible through j the windowJ The embodiment of the invention'illustrated 1 in FIGURE 3 requires no mechanical means for returns ing the flap orvane '44 from its display position to its idle 2 position, as. doesthe embodiment illustratedin FIGURES l and 2. However, it has the disadvantage that the mag-- netizing'coil 28 adjacent the window 32 must be' made of a transparent material such, as transparent conductive I coating deposited onto a surface of said window, lest it FIGURE 4 smal ness plurality of signalling devices of the type illustrated in FIGURESl to 3, asse'r'nbled in superposed rowsto form an apparatus thatmay'be rna nipulated by activation oflselected ones of said signalling devices tofform' letters or characters, such as the-character 2 shown in saidFIGURE 4. The apparatus illus- J trated in FIGURE 4 is" assembled from devices of the type, illustrated in 'FIGURES'I'I: and 2,- and the outer surfaces 26'of the flaps 16 of all devices comprisedjin the f 2 except the front wall 12 areypreferably opaque. Arranged for rotation about a vertically disposed. hinge rod 14" apparatus are painted (black; The magnetizing coils zil s the position illustrated in l the co il Zfli adjacent the window fl32 is 'denating voltage 48 by appropriate setting of individual switches 24, 24-", 24 and 24" as illustrated in FIG URE 5. Said figure is a planview of the uppermost row of juxtaposed signalling devices in an apparatus of the type illustrated in FIGURE 4 and shows that the switches 24-" and 24 are closed to energize thecoils of the two center devices of said uppermost row to cause the flaps 16 thereof to expose their" black outer surfaces 26 through the window 12, which surfaces are necessary to form the character 2 upon the front surface of the apparatus. The magnetizing coils of the devices in the lower rows of the apparatus illustrated in FIGURE 4 may be individually connected to the source of power 48 by individual switches so that the complete character 2, or any other character or letter may readily be displayed on the front surface of the apparatus shown in FIGURE 4 by closure of the appropriate switches 24.
Analogically operating devices may be constructed by employing magnetizable material for the flaps or vanes 16 or 44, respectively, the only difference being that energization of the magnetizing windings will then attract, instead of repel said vanes. If the vane 16 (FIGURES 1 and 2) is constructed from a magnetizable material, such as iron, it has to be biassed by appropriate tilting of its hinge rod 14, or suitable spring means 27 in such a manner it will normally assume a position adjacent the window 12 wherein it displays whatever identifying mark may be provided on its outer surface 26. Energization of the magnetizing coil 20 as effected by closure of switch 24 will then pull the vane 16 into a position adjacent the side wall 18 of the enclosure, wherein its identifying mark is concealed from view.
Similarly, if the vane 44 of the device illustrated in FIGURE 3 is constructed from a magnetizable material, it will perform as satisfactorily as if the vane were constructed from an electrically conductive, non-magnetizable material, but closure of switch 40 and opening of switch 42 would cause the vane'44 to move into its display position, and opening of switch 40 and closure of switch 42' FIGURE 5 may be assembledfrom signalling devices employing vanes of a' magnetizable material; The embodiwhen the vanes 16 and 34 of the apparatus illustrated in FIGURES 1 to 5 are constructed of magnetizable material, the provision of spacers adjacent the magnetizing coils, such as indicated at 25 in FIGURES 1, 2, 3 and 5 to prevent direct contact of the vane with the magnetizing coils, is practically a necessity for satisfactory perforrnance of the devices, in order that the vanes may dependably detach themselves from their positions adjacent the magnetizing coils whenever they are supposed to swing into their opposite positions.
1. A signalling device comprising an enclosure having side portions and at least one window, a sheet of magnetizable material, means mounting said sheet for movement between a position wherein it conceals an identifying mark from view throughsaid window and a position wherein it displays the mark to view through said window, a spiral coil mounted on the surface of a side portion of said enclosure which is adjacent to said window, the
convolutions of said coil being substantially in a surface parallel with the side portion on which it is mounted, and means operable to energize said spiral coil to move said sheet from one to the other position thereof.
2. A signalling device comprising an enclosure having a window and a side wall adjacent said window, a sheet of magnetizable material, hinge means mounting said sheet for rotation between a position adjacent said side wall and a position adjacent said window, a spirally wound magnetizing coil mounted in a surface parallel with and adjacent to said side wall, and means for energizing said coil to withdraw said sheet from said window.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 596,774 1/98 HGIZOg 340 33s 2,359,546 10/44 Carroll 340-373 2,367,299 1/45 McLarn et al. 340473 2,405,429 8/46 Jewell 340 373v 2,909,973 10/59 Koelsch et a1 340-37 2,912,674 11/59 "Aiken 340 44 2,952,835 9/60 Aiken 340-44 3,021,519 2/62 McLaughlin 340-373 NEIL C. READ, Primary Examiner. BENNETT G.'MILLER, Examiner.