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Publication numberUS3171908 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 2, 1965
Filing dateSep 15, 1961
Priority dateSep 15, 1961
Publication numberUS 3171908 A, US 3171908A, US-A-3171908, US3171908 A, US3171908A
InventorsLadislav Malota
Original AssigneeGen Electric
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Handle operating mechanism for enclosed electric devices
US 3171908 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

L. MALOTA March 2, I965 HANDLE GFERATING MECHANISM FOR ENCLOSED ELECTRIC DEVICES Filed Sept. 15, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet I mmvroa LAD ISLAV MALoTA fmrfl' y J n r ATTORNEY L. MALOTA March 2, 1965 HANDLE OPERATING MECHANISM FOR ENCLOSED ELECTRIC DEVICES Filed Sept. 15, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 M S mMC v fl A W LV- B ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,171,908 HANDLE OPERATING MECHANISM FOR ENCLOSED ELECTRIC DEVICES Ladislav Malota, Southington, Conn, assignor to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York Filed Sept 15, 1961, Ser. No. 138,363 2 Claims. (Cl. 200-50) My invention relates to enclosed electric control devices, such as electric switches or circuit breakers, and particularly to electric switches or circuit breakers which are contained within an enclosure having an openable door or cover providing access to the interior.

In order to permit operation of the switches or circuit breakers of the type referred to, without opening the door or cover of the enclosure, it has been common practice to do one of two things: (1) provide an opening in the door or cover which permits a portion of the switch to project therethrough so that the handle is accessible from outside the cover, or (2) to provide an exterior handle carried by the door or cover which has means on the inner surface of the door or cover which engages the handle of the switch itself to operate it.

From the point of view of simplicity, it is desirable to utilize the first construction, in which the handle is carried by the switch, and an opening is provided in the cover. This arrangement eliminates any problem of maintaining correct registry between internal and external handles. It also makes it easier for a user to install or remove switches from an enclosure.

It is not possible to use this system with conventional switches and circuit breakers, however, since such devices do not include the required interlocking mechanisms for cooperation with the openable cover. Such interlocks include, for example, an interlock to prevent opening the door or cover when the switch is in the on position, and an interlock to prevent turning the switch on when the cover is open.

In addition, many conventional switches and circuit breakers include a toggle type handle, whereas preferen'ce and practice in most enclosed switch applications calls for a rotary or twist type handle.

While special switches and circuit breakers have been provided including means for performing such interlocking functions, not all applications of such switches and circuit breakers require such interlocks. The variety of switches and circuit breakers required to be manufactured and sold is thereby increased, with an accompanying increase of cost.

It is an object of the present invention toprovide an adapting mechanism which may be used with a conventional switch or circuit breaker to convert the switch or circuit breaker handle actuation from a reciprocal or toggle type to a rotary or twist type of movement.

It is another object of the invention to provide an adapting mechanism for an electric circuit breaker or switch which when mounted on the circuit breaker or switch is capable of providing the required interlocking functions for co-action with the door or cover of an enclosing cabinet.

It is a further object of the invention to provide an adapting mechanism for use with -a conventional switch or circuit breaker which is capable of providing the aforementioned functions of converting the handle actuation from toggle type to rotary type and of providing the required interlocking functions, and which may also be removed from the basic switch or circuit breaker and reused with another such switch or circuit breaker if this becomes necessary.

It is a general object of the invention to provide such adapting mechanism which is simple, dependable, and inexpensive.

3,171 ,908 Patented Mar. 2, 1965 In accordance with the invention, an adapting mechanism is provided comprising a supporting plate or pan having a rotary or twist type manually operable handle on its top surface and operating linkage on its inner surface for engaging the handle of a circuit breaker or switch.

The adapter also includes means for performing the interlooking functions described above.

The invention will be more fully understood from the following detailed description, and its scope will be pointed out in the appended claims.

In the drawings,

FIGURE 1 is an end elevation view of a conventional circuit breaker having an adapter mechanism in accordance with the invention mounted thereon;

FIGURE 2 is a plan View of the circuit breaker and adapter mechanism combination of FIGURE 1 shown within an enclosing cabinet or box, portions of which are broken away;

FIGURE 3 is a perspective view of the actuating adapter mechanism of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 4 is a sectional view of the handle of the actuating adapter mechanism of FIGURES 1 and 3;

FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary bottom view of the mechanism of FIGURE 3; 1

tion of the mechanism of FIGURE 5, and

FIGURE 6 is a view of a portion of the mechanism of FIGURE 5 shown in a different operated condition.

The invention is shown as incorporating in an enclosed electric switch or circuit breaker including a basic conventional switch or circuit breaker 10 such, for example, as of the molded-case type. It will be understood that while the term circuit breaker will be used for convenience in referring to the basic device, the operating mechanism of the present invention may be used equally well with a switching device which does not include the circuit protective or automatic opening features of a circuit breaker.

The basic breaker 10 includes a toggle-type operating handle 11 which moves in an arcuate oscillating path in operating a toggle type mechanism (not shown) in the circuit breaker.

In order to convert the movement of the operating handle of the basic breaker 10 from reciprocating to rotary or twist type, and also to provide desired interlocking mechanism with the cover of an enclosure, an adapting mechanism is provided in accordance with the invention, as indicated generally at 12, which is attached to the basic circuit breaker by suitable means such as by screws 13.

The adapter mechanism comprises a generally rectangular supporting base or pan 14 (see FIGURE 3), having a raised rectangular central area 15. The supporting pan 14 has a top wall 14a, opposed side wall portions 16 and opposed end wall portions 17. Each of the end walls 17 has an outwardly directed flange or foot portion 18 to facilitate mounting of the base, such as by means of the screws 13 through the holes 19.

A manually engageable handle 20 is journalled in the embossed area 15 of the base 14, and is retained thereon by the hub portion 21 of an operating lever 22, at the under side of the pan 14. The operating lever 22 is attached to the handle 20 by means of four equally spaced screws 23. The screws 23 are equally spaced so that the handle may be mounted on the operating lever 22 in selected positions degrees displaced from each other,

1' to permit vertical or hoziontal mounting of the switch -movement by the return-bent guide tracks 28 supported' by brackets 29. The operating slide 26 has a central aperture 27 for engaging and operating the circuit breaker handle 11 (see FIGURE 1). Rotation of the operating handle 2t? therefore produces a reciprocating action of the slide 25, to operate the circuit breaker handle 11.

The cover or door 30 is provided with an opening 31 which closely surrounds the raised area 15 of the supporting pan 14. The opening 31 is made large enough to clear the operating handle 20 in all positions of the handle so that the door may, in proper cases, be opened regardless of the position of the operating handle 2%.

For the purpose of providing a safety interlock preventing the inadvertent opening of the door 30 when the switch is in the on condition, an interlock lever 32' is provided, which is non-rotatably carried by a generally J-shaped stud 33. The interlock lever 32 has a projecting end portion 34 (see FIGURE 3). A bracket 35 is rigidly carried by the inner wall of the cover 30 and is provided with an aperture adapted to receive the projecting end 34 of the lever 32 when the cover is closed and the switch is in the on position. 7

The lever 32 is also provided with an extension 36 which projects into the path of movement of the slide member 26. When the switch is moved to oil position, as shown for example in FIGURE 2 and in FIGURE 5, the slide 26 engages the end of the extension 35 of the lever 32, and rotates the lever 32 counterclockwise as 4 cam action on the projection as and to permit it to enter. See for example FIGURE 5A.

In addition to the operating and interlocking aspects which have been described, it is also desirable that means he provided for positively locking the handle and the accompanying switch or circuit breaker in certain positions. For this purpose, the handle 2% is provided with a relatively thin planar locking slide 42 (see FIGURE 4) hav- 7 ing locking apertures or openings 43 and 44 and a downviewed, against the bias of a spring 3'7, to retract the projection 34 from the bracket 35, and permit opening of the door. a

For permitting the release or defeating of the interlock mechanism just described, an opening 38 is provided in the cover or door 30, affording access to the head of the stud 33 (see FIGURE 1). If it is desired to intentionally open the door 39 while the switch is in the on position, it is only necessary to insert a screwdriver in the opening 38 and turn the stud 33 slightly in the counterclockwise direction, withdrawing the projection 34 from the bracket 35.

A still further function is provided by the interlock mechanism. It is desirable that when the switch is moved.

to oil position and the door opened as described above,

that the handle 20 should not be moved inadvertently to. the on position, since this would cause it to be out-of-.

register with the handle 11 of the circuit breaker mounted in the cabinet.

For this purpose, the stud 33 is provided with a lateral extension 39 (see FIGURES 1, 5 and 6) terminating in .an upwardly directed hook portion 40. When the door of the enclosure is closed, it engages the head of the stud 33 and depresses the stud 33 against the bias of a compression spring 5t (FIGURE 1) and maintains the end 40 out of engagement with the slide 26, permitting movement of the slide and handle.

When the handle is moved to the off position, and the door is opened as previously described, the stud 33 is released and moved upwardly as indicated in FIGURE 1 to a position where the projection enters an opening '41 in the slide 26. This prevents the slide 26 from moving upwardly its full amount, thereby preventing the handle 20 from being turned to the full on position. Thus it will be observed in FIGURE 6 that the lever 32 and the stud 33 are permitted only a limited rotational movement and this is insuificient to permit slide 26 to move its full amount since the two are connected together such as by the projection 40 entering the opening 41.

If, however, it is desired to intentionally move the handle to the on position while the cover is open, it is only necessary to manually depress the stud 33, withdrawing the projection 49 from the aperture 41. If this is done, and the slide is moved to the on position while the cover is open but is thereafter moved back to the off position while the cover is still open, the projection 4t) will automatically become re-engaged in the aperture 41,

since the slide 26 has its edge portion tapered to provide a wardly directed projection 45. The slide 42 is biased by compression spring 46, which is trapped in the recess in the handle 20 and biases the slide 42 inwardly of the handle. The slide 42 is also provided with a manually engageable portion 47, by means of which the slide may be pushed outwardly of the handle 2% as indicated in FIGURE 1. In positions corresponding to the position of the slide 42 when the handle is in the on and off positions respectively, the plate portion 15 of the supporting base or pan I4 is provided with slots 48 (only one shown) for receiving the locking projection 45' of the slide 42, when the slide 52 is pushed outwardly of the handle. A lock or locks may then be inserted through the openings 43 and 44 looking the slide in the projecting A position. Since the forward portion of the slide 52 overlies the surface of the door or cover 38 when the cover is closed, as shown for example in FIGURE 2, it will be apparent that the door 30 is also looked closed when the lock 49 is inserted in the handle. In addition, of course,

, the handle 20 is locked from turning because of the engagement of the projection 45 in the corresponding slot 43.

It will be observed, moreover, that such locking of the handle from turning oil to on and vice versa may be accomplished in the same way when the cover or door 3% is open.

It will be particularly observed that all of the desired functions of locking and interlocking and converting from reciprocal toggle to rotary or twist operation are acomplished by means of the mechanism as shown for example in FIGURE 3 while the basic switch or circuit breaker has a handle of the simple oscillating type, and that no modifications of the breaker are required.

The mechanism is housed and protected by the base or V pan 14, the open bottom wall of which is closed by the top wall of the insulating casing of the basic switch or circuit breaker.

It will also be observed that the handle operating and interlocking mechanism may be removed from the basic switching device, if desired, and reused on another similar device. Likewise, if damage occurs to the handle operating and interlocking mechanism, it can be re-' placed with another similar mechanism, and the same basic switch or circuit breaker continued in use.

While the invention has been shown in only one particular form, it will be readily apparent that many modifications thereof may be made, and I therefore intend by the appended claims to cover all such modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

What I claim as new and desire to secure by 'Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. Handle operating mechanism for use with an enclosed electric device of the type including an external box-like enclosure having an openable cover and a control device therein comprising a molded insulating casing having a generally planar top wall and an operating member projecting therefrom, said operating mechanism lcomprising: an enclosing and supporting base having a generally planar top wall and opposed depending side and end walls and an open bottom wall, means for mounting said base on said top wall of said control device so that said top wall of said control device closes said open bottom wall of said support base, a manually operable handle carried by said top wall of said base at the upper surface thereof, device operating means carried by said top wall of said base at the lower surface thereof and connected to said handle through said top wall for engaging and operating said operating member of said control device, interlocking means carried by said support base at said lower surface of said top wall and projecting through one of said depending walls for interlocking said mechanism with said cover of said external enclosure member, and means operated by said operating handle {or actuating said interlocking means.

2. Handle operating mechanism as set forth in claim 1, wherein said operating handle comprises a twist-type manually operable handle, and said device operating 10 means comprises a reciprocably slidable plate having means for engaging and operating a reciprocating type handle on said enclosed electric device.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 919,423 4/09 Cord 200-44 X 2,550,125 4/51 Schueler 200-50 2,866,864 12/58 Giessner 200-50 3,122,615 2/64 Chase 200-50 BERNARD A. GILHEANY, Primaiy Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US919423 *Sep 16, 1908Apr 27, 1909William S CordLock-switch for electric meters.
US2550125 *Jul 31, 1947Apr 24, 1951Westinghouse Electric CorpEnclosed circuit interrupter
US2866864 *Apr 8, 1954Dec 30, 1958Ite Circuit Breaker LtdClosing mechanism, molded cased breakers
US3122615 *Jul 26, 1960Feb 25, 1964Gen ElectricInterlock mechanism for enclosed switching apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3259705 *Dec 10, 1963Jul 5, 1966Westinghouse Electric CorpOperating mechanism for enclosed circuit interrupters
US3301989 *Jul 2, 1965Jan 31, 1967Gen ElectricHandle assembly for circuit breakers
US3313896 *Feb 25, 1966Apr 11, 1967Ite Circuit Breaker LtdRotary handle operator for circuit breaker with improved blocking position and latching cover structure
US3341672 *Mar 1, 1966Sep 12, 1967Westinghouse Electric CorpEnclosed circuit interrupting structure with improved latching mechanism
US3657606 *Mar 25, 1971Apr 18, 1972Cutler Hammer IncBus duct plug-in unit with improved interlock
US4151385 *Apr 13, 1978Apr 24, 1979Hundt and Weber, Schaltgerate GmbHTurning grip drive for rocker-arm actuated power switch
US4181838 *Apr 13, 1978Jan 1, 1980Hundt & Weber Schalgerate GmbHActuating mechanism with an auxiliary switch for an electrically lockable power switch
US4311887 *Nov 21, 1979Jan 19, 1982Tokyo Shibaura Denki Kabushiki KaishaHandle operating mechanism for use with an electric circuit breaker
US4554421 *Apr 3, 1985Nov 19, 1985Westinghouse Electric Corp.Molded case circuit breaker with handle lock
US4851621 *Aug 15, 1988Jul 25, 1989Borchardt Robert EOperating handle for an enclosed electric switch
US5219070 *Jul 12, 1991Jun 15, 1993Westinghouse Electric Corp.Lockable rotary handle operator for circuit breaker
US5467622 *Apr 29, 1994Nov 21, 1995Eaton CorporationHandle lock for reciprocally movable operator handle
US5477016 *Feb 3, 1994Dec 19, 1995Merlin GerinCircuit breaker with remote control and disconnection function
US5821487 *Sep 19, 1996Oct 13, 1998Eaton CorporationLock out mechanism for circuit breaker handle operator
US5902973 *Jul 10, 1996May 11, 1999Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc.Circuit breaker handle operator apparatus and system
US5963420 *Sep 22, 1997Oct 5, 1999Eaton CorporationInterlock bypass
US6194983 *Aug 30, 1999Feb 27, 2001Eaton CorporationMolded case circuit breaker with current flow indicating handle mechanism
US7874230Nov 29, 2006Jan 25, 2011Schneider Electric Industries SasLockable rotary operating handle such device
US9194159Jun 11, 2013Nov 24, 2015ABUS August Bremicker Söhne KGPadlock
US20070119220 *Nov 29, 2006May 31, 2007Schneider Electric Industries SasLockable rotary operating handle such device
DE102011009011A1Jan 20, 2011Jul 26, 2012ABUS August Bremicker Söhne KGHangschloss zum Sichern und Überwachen eines Schalters
EP0522848A2 *Jul 8, 1992Jan 13, 1993Eaton CorporationLockable rotary handle operator for circuit breaker
EP0540073A2 *Oct 2, 1992May 5, 1993CGE- COMPAGNIA GENERALE ELETTROMECCANICA S.p.A.Device for mechanical control of electric circuit breakers and similar appliances, provided with latching, blocking and signalling means
WO2012097994A1Jan 19, 2012Jul 26, 2012ABUS August Bremicker Söhne KGPadlock for securing and monitoring a switch
U.S. Classification200/50.18, 200/43.11, 200/330, 200/337, 200/308
International ClassificationH01H9/20, H01H9/22
Cooperative ClassificationH01H9/22
European ClassificationH01H9/22