US 3172981 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 9, 1965 R. E. LoEscH 3,172,981
PLUNGER TYPE CAM ACTUATED SWITCH Filed June 8. 1962 5 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR.
Rona/d E. Loesc/l BY H/'s A Homey March 9, 1965 R E; LQESCH 3,172,981
PLUNGER TYPE CAM ACTUATED SWITCH Filed June 8, 1962 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 lllii! INVENTOR Rona/d E. Loesch BY H/'s Harney United States Patent O 3,li/l,9lti1 lPLUNGlER TYPE (Chilli /aCTllA'lll/ill) lJl'ltClil Ronald E. lioesch, Warren, Ghia, assigner to General Motors Corporation, Detroit, Mich., a corporation of Delaware Filed Enne S, i962, Ser, No 201,153 lil Claims. till. 26di649 'l`his invention relates to electrical devices, and, more particularly, to energization control and operating features of a panel mountable switching device.
An object of this invention is to provide a new and improved electrical device which can be supplied attached to a wiring harness means and having provision for addition of multi-circuit lead connections thereto.
Another object of this invention is to provide an electrical energization control switch means having a hollow insulating body with a linearly conlined plunger provided with an intermediate portion adapted to impart a rotary movement to a mating contact carrier assembly that eiiects a wiping interconnection for making and breaking electrical energization of electrical conductor means.
Another object of this invention is to provide an elec* trical energization control switching device having a cuplike insulating body portion longitudinally grooved to receive outer snapdn terminal means having semi-arcuate ends thereof internally exposed for wiping engagement that makes and breaks electrical contact in accordance with rotary movement imparted to a multiple contact and carrier that is helically mated to an intermediate portion of a reciprocable plunger keyed longitudinally with the body portion all mountable in sealing engagement with an aperturcd mounting panel.
A further object ot this invention is to provide an electrical energization control switching device for use with a mounting panel such as in a vehicle doorjamb, as well as a coverable storage area to be illuminated such as on a refrigerating appliance and the like so that optionally one of at least a pair of conductor-attached outer snap-in terminal means can establish electrical circuit interconnection though engageable in a rotary wiping action by a metal cagelike contact l1aving elbow-like axially-extending projections which can and break electrical connection to curved ends of the terminal means in accordance with axial shift of an actuating plunger keyed to a hollow interior surface of an insulating body adapted to be held by an insulating cup-like retainer centrally apertured for the plunger which has a twisted helix-like substantially squared intermediate portion matingly complementary to a contact carrier such that a spring linger mounting clip and plate assembly can hold a bellows-like boot in place relative to one end of the plunger axially shiftable as to an opening in the mounting panel also sealingly engaged by the boot.
Another object oi this invention is to provide a doorg'arnb switch means having an axially reciprocable plunger of insulating material with an outwardly keyed spring socket integral therewith at one end, an intermediate plunger portieri having a twisted generally helical configuration as well as a reduced boot-receiving end shiftable through an apertured metal clip-plate panel and boot engaging mounting means to hold a cap-like retainer and extended cup-like body portion in position for litting of conductor-attached terminal means to an outer longitudinally undercut grooved periphery thereof such that a terminal tang locks in engagement with a shield ing projection of the body portion surrounding a radially inwardly exposed curved terminal end maintained radially in alignment with rotary-wiping areuatelydnterconnected metal finger means secured to a sleeve-like insulating carrier with a hollow helix-like inner periphery that mates to translate reciprocable plunger' action into a rotary wiping action optionally for ground connection to a longitudinal tab integral with the clip-plate mounting means as well as for electrical interconnection of terminal means for one, two and three leads from electrical components in a vehicle.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description, reference being had to the accompanying drawings wherein preferred embodiments of the present invention are clearly shown.
ln the drawings:
FlGURE l is a sectioned elevational view of a switch and operating means in accordance with the present invention.
Flr/SURE 2 is a perspective View of an actuating plunger used in the switch and operating means of FIGURE l.
FlGURE 3 is a side view of the plunger per se of FlGUiE 2.
FEGURE 4 is an end View of the plunger per se of lFlGURES 2 and 3.
FGURES 5, 6 and 7 provide side and opposite end views of a Contact and carrier assembly to lit on an intermediate portion of the plungers or FEGURES 2, 3 and sas can be seen in FlGURE l.
FGURES S, 9 and 10 provide side and opposite end views of an insulating body portion for the switch and operating means of PlGURl l.
FlGURES ll and l2 are plan views of a clip and plate means used for panel mounting as shown in FiG- FESURES i3 and 14 show end and blank views of terminal means used as shown in FIGURE l.
An electrical energization control switching device or Switch means generally indicated by numeral Ztl is shown in assembled relationship in FlGURE l. Components thereof for use in this assembly providing unique features can be seen in the remaining views of the drawings. This switching device Ztl includes an insulating body portion 2l with a hollow interior defined by a substantially cylindrical inner surface continuous except for a longitudinally extending keyway or cutout 22 which extends from an open end of the body portion 2l to a closed end having a substantially centrally located axial projection 2d that forms a seat for one end of a coil spring means 25. The coil spring means 2S as shown in the view of FIGURE l, is adapted to lit into the hollow interior of the body portion 2l of insulating material such as polycarbonate, acetal resin and the like. An end of the spring means Z5 remote from the projection 2d lits into a cup-like end portion 26 integrally joined to an intermediate portion 27 of a plunger 23 having a reduced diameter end 2,9 as can be seen in views of FGURES 1 through 4 inclusive. This reduced diameter end 29 of the plunger 2li is sealingly engaged by a mating hublike portion H of a bellows-like boot B that terminates in a radially inwardly extending sealing flange F forced against a mounting panel 3d having an aperture Si therethrough. The panel Btl and aperture 3l, as indicated in FIGURE l7 can have the flange F forced one side thereof by a plate 32 visible in views of FlGURES l and l2. This plate 32 can be spot welded as indicated at diarnetrically opposite locations 33 in FIGURE l2 to a clip means 3d visible in views of FlGURES l and ll and outlined in FlG'URE l2. This clip means 3d includes at least three radially outwardly extending integral elbow-shaped spring fingers 35 adapted to engage a periphery or" the opening or aperture 3l in the mounting panel 3d as indicated in a lower URES 2, 3 and 4.
portion of the sectional View of FIGURE l. The plate 32 is centrally apertured as indicated by reference A and the clip means 3d has a keyhole-like opening l therein formed by a central opening as well as an integral though axially extending semi-arcuate or curved grounding tab G which extends into an open end along an inner periphery ot the body portion 2l as seen in FIGURE l. This grounding tab G is located radially inwardly from the spring lingers 35 as well as a plurality of axially extending resilient arms having hooked ends 36. The arms with hooked ends are adapted to engage a laterally outwardly extending stop member 37 integral with the body portion 2l and visible in views of EGURES l and 8 through l0. A secondary radially outwardly extending ilange or rib 3S is provided integrally with the body portion 2l and is adapted to have a dovetail lit complementary to a cap-like retainer 39 centrally apertured as can be seen in FlGURE l. This retainer 39 has a slot S axially therethrough to one side of a central opening therein and the slot permits the grounding tab G to project along an inner periphery of the body portion 2l. External diameter ot the caplike retainer 39 is substantially equal to external diameter of the radially outwardly extending flange 37 and this is substantially less than diameter of the opening 3l in the mounting panel Sil. Thus the body portion 2l can be moved through the opening 3l to either side of the panel il@ subject to sealing closure ot the opening 3l on one side thereof as the flange E of the boot B is forced resiliently thereagainst by the plate 32 due to spring engagement o the fingers 3S along a periphery of the opening 3l. rihe hooked arms 36 serve to hold the body portion 2l in a cantilevered support extending to a side of the mounting panel 3G opposite to that engaged by the tlange F of the boot B. Dust as well as moisture can be kept from entering through the opening 3l as weil as around the plunger Ztl due to sealing engagement of opposite ends of the boot B as indicated in FGURE 1. It is to be understood that the boot has an annular coniiguration such that the hub-like end H thereof can telescope centrally thereof due to resilience of rubber-like natural or synthetic material used to form the boot.
The plunger 23 can be seen per se in views of FIG- A carrier means lo of insulating material mates in a complementary rit in a location radially outwardly from the intermediate portion 27. rl`his carrier means di) is shown per se as a subassembly including metal contact means lll as indicated in views of FlGURES 5, 6 and 7. The carrier and contact means id-4l together form a substantially cylindrical contiguration except for elbow-like outward though longitudinally extending projections or contacts 42 visible in views of FlGURES l as well as 5 through 7. These contacts l2 are joined by bridges d3 of reduced width to a common contact connection dit which is adapted to provide interconnection of certain terminal means and leads to each other and/or to the ground tab G. The common-connection Contact means 41 can have a substantially squared coniiguration though it is to be understood that an annular conliguration thereof together with a minimum of two projections or contacts 42 are to be provided. The outer periphery of the carrier means lll is recessed radially inwardly to accommodate the projections or contacts d2 in diametrically opposite locations and it is to be understood that multiple recesses for corresponding projections or contacts 42 can be provided in accordance with the number of terminal means and/ or grounding tab interconnections to be provided for. In any event, the carrier means lo has a squared or complementary inner surface adapted to mate with a progressively helix-like periphery of the intermediate portion 2"? of the plunger Ztl. This substantially helically or twisted intermediate portion 27 of the plunger 23 can be seen in views of FGURES 2,
l 3 and 4. rThe perspective views of FIGURE 2 and the end View or' FlGURE 4 provide an indication as to generation of this twisted intermediate conliguration that, in effect, results from axial extension as well as at least forty-live degree turning of a square cross-section through the plunger 23 for forming the intermediate portion 27 thereof. Linear shitting of the plunger 28 due to engagement of a door such as D indicated in FIGURE l against the end 29 will result in axial movement of the plunger while the helix-like intermediate portion 2? translates this axial to and tro movement into rotary movement of the carrier means thereby etecting a contact wiping or rotating movement ot the projections or contacts d3 in a circular path located radially outwardly from the plunger through radially inwardly from the ilange 37 and rib 33 of the insulating body El. initial depression of the plunger causes the contact carrier dil to rotate su'iciently to break electrical contact. After contact has thus been inlluenced, the helix or twisted intermediate portion 27 on the plunger Z3 leaves the contact carrier 40 and the plunger ZS is free to travel an additional distance without causing movement of the contact carrier. The helically complementary square hole axially through the center of the contact carrier assembly 4to-dl engages and mates with the substantially or generally square helix on the plunger Zl and the rotative movement of the carrier results from the fact that the plunger is dovetailed or keyed to the insulating body 2l by cooperation of a radially outwardly projecting and longitudinally extending rib il integral with the cup-end 2.6 oi the plunger. This rib moves along the key or groove 22 along an inner periphery of the insulating body 2l. The rib R can be seen in views of FlGURES l through 4 and the mating groove 22 in the insulating body portion 2l can be seen in views or" EGURES 1 as well as 10. Since the plunger is keyed to the insulating body 2l and thus cannot rotate, movement of the plunger against the force or" the spring means 25 causes contact-carrier oscillation thereby resulting in mal-:ing and breaking contact between the ground tab and/ or terminal means 5t?. The terminal means 5@ can be seen in views of FIG- URES l as well as 13-l4 including pairs of laterally extending wings Sl and 52 adapted to be crimped to a conductor or wire W having an insulating covering C thereon as indicated in FlGURE 1. This insulated conductor or wire projects from a Wiring harness means on a vehicle or appliance. The terminal means 5@ is made of metal having a longitudinally extending body portion from which a tang 53 is struck to extend laterally and angularly to one side thereof. A curved end integral with the terminal means Sil provides an arcuate surtace having a radius for rotary winding engagement thereof by the projections or contacts l2 carried in a location radially outwardly from the intermediate helix-like portion of the plunger 28. The insulating carrier it? abuts axially against a shoulder 55 of the insulating body 2l such that axial movement of the carrier lll with the contacts i2 thereon is limited in one direction by the insulating body 2l and in an opposite direction by the cap-like retainer The curved-surface ends 5d of the terminal means Sil can be of substantially the same radius as the curved surface of the grounding tab G such that a rotary wiping action of the contacts between the terminal means Se having the curved ends as well as the grounding tab G can be encountered.
The insulating body portion 21 is provided with longitudinally extending outer grooves 56 under cut at opposite sides as indicated by numeral 57 and best seen in ElGURE l0. The undercuts 57 are adapted to accommodate the longitudinally extending body of the terminal means Sli as well as the curved end Srl integral therewith. The insulated wire or conductor can be Iitted to the terminal means Sil as part of the wiring harness arrasar means with a sufficient length of wire being provided adjacent to the opening 3l in the mounting panel 3b such that removal of the switching device 2t) can be permitted to one side of the panel 3b. Thus, servicing and replacement of the switching device 2li is provided for and it is to be noted that each terminal means having the tang 53 can be locked to the insulating body 2l by engagement of a free end of the tang S3 against an abutment or shoulder S8 formed by a projecting shield 59 integral with the body portion 21 to protect the curved end 54 of the terminal means at a location radially outwardly thereof though permitting the curved end 5d to be exposed and engageable along an inner periphery of the insulating body 21. The free end of the tang 53 can be located to one side of the shoulder 59 while bare conductor or Wire engaged by crimping or" the side wings 5i of the terminal means 50 thereto can be located on an opposite side of the shoulder or abutment 59 thus serving to anchor the terminal means in iixed positioning as to the insulating body 2l. These shoulders or abutments 58 and integral projections 5'9 have been indicated in views such as FIGURES l and 8 through 10. lt is to be understood that suitable small holes could be provided radially outwardly through the projections 59 in a location in alignment with the free end of the tangs 53 of each terminal means so as to permit temporary displacement thereof radially inwardly for disengagement from the insulating body means 2li. Also it is to be noted that axially extending openings could be provided in the cap-like retainer 39 to permit insertion of a tool such as a screwdriver longitudinally as to the body portion 2l so as to permit displacement of the free end of each tang 53 for disengagement from the abutment or shoulder 53. Also, it is possible to disassemble the boot as well as the plate and clip means from the insulating body thus permitting removal of the cap-like retainer 39 for axial access for displacement of the free end of the tangs 53 from locking positioning as to the abutments or shoulders it is apparent that the ground tab G could be eliminated and the grounding function would then be provided by one of several insulated conductors having terminal means :Sil secured thereto. The grounding tab G could easily be severed from the clip means 34tthrough use of the grounding tab G is advantageous when a metal mounting panel 3) is provided.
The switching device in accordance with the present invention could be provided by a manufacturer of wiring harness means and delivered integrally therewith. Also the switching device can be supplied individually with snap-in terminals mountable along an outer periphery of the insulating housing 2li. The housing parts are preferably made of an insulating material such as molded plastic and the like and the diameter of the insulating body thereof is less than dameter of the mounting opening so as to permit installation from one side of the mounting panel aperture. A length of insulated conductor sutiicient to permit removal of the insulating body 21 through the mounting aperture 3l can be provided so that the switching device can be removed from the mounting aperture and can be serviced subject to being pushed back into mounting position as to the hole in the panel 30. At least one, two or three circuits can be established with a grounding connection to the mounting panel 3@ by way of the grounding tab G and clip means 3d having the spring fingers 35 resiliently engageable with a periphery of the mounting apterture 31. If a grounding wire rather than a grounding tab is to be provided, it is possible to make at least two electrical circuits simultaneously upon translation of the axial movement of the plunger into a rotary contact movement effecting wiping engagement between the contacts or projections 42 as well as the curved ends .lill of the terminal means 5b.
The subject switching device can be used as a doorjamb switch on a motor vehicle and also on appliances such as refrigerating devices including deep freezers having a door or cover movable to permit access to an illuminated storage area. The flexible boot B completely seals out dust and moisture which could enter the switching mechanism from the exposed side of the doorjamb panel. The switching action is rotary accompanied by wiping-contact electrical energization between the engaging surfaces for smoother operation and reduction in arcing wear. Because the switching device has an insulating body portion with a diameter smaller than that of the mounting hole, it is possible for the switching device to be inserted through the hole from the mounting clip side thereof after which the boot assembly is snapped into the switch at one end thereof. The completed switch assembly can be readily snapped into the mounting hole and is retained therein resiliently by three spring fingers or gears located radially on the mounting clip means 34.
Use of the terminal means 50 adapted to iit in the undercut grooves or cutouts ot' the insulating body 21 provides external access to the circuits with either a wire or panel ground connection. The outer snap-in terminals can be provided directly from a wiring harness means and a predetermined number of rotary-wiping contacts can be provided directly from a wiring harness means and a predetermined number of rotary-wiping contacts can be provided internally for subsequent addition of multi-circuit lead connections such as by terminal means Sti fitted to the body portion 2li.
While the embodiments of the invention herein disclosed constitute preferred forms, it is to be understood that other forms might be adopted.
What is claimed is as follows:
l. A vehicle light control switch means, comprising, a hollow insulating body having longitudinal grooving along an outer surface thereof, a centrally-apertured end mounting retainer means to engage said body at one end thereof, fixed outer snap-in terminal means having a curved end at least semi-arcuate to complement curvature of said insulating body internally and iittted to the grooving of said body, a carrier and contact means thereon positioned radially inwardly from said terminal means and adapted to have rotary Contact wiping make and break engagement with only said curved end of` said iixed terminal means, and an axially shiftable plunger having an intermediate helix-like portion directly therewith to translate linear plunger action into a rotary wiping movement of said carrier and contact means into radially located engagement with said curved end of fixed terminal means during at least a portion of plunger shifting action.
2. The switch means oi claim l wherein said insulating body has a closed end with a cup-like indentation and said plunger has a socket end portion positively keyed linearly to an inner periphery of said insulating body longitudinally thereof, and spring means interposed between said closed end with indentation and said socket end portion for biasing said plunger into a position wherein said intermediate portion engages said carrier and Contact means therewith into a rotary contact wiping position.
3. The switch means of claim 1 wherein a metal mounting clip means is provided including longitudinally extending hooi; arms to hold said retainer means and said insulating body together as well as integral spring fingers on said clip means to engage an apertured mounting panel for installation and removal as a unit to one side of said panel and having a semi-arcuately curved integral grounding tab that projects axially of said retainer means and said insulating body complemented thereby.
4. A vehicle light control switch means to tit a panel opening such as in a doorjamb, comprising, a hollow insulating body having a radially outward extending flange near one end thereof and having longitudinal grooving under out along an outer surface thereof, a centrallyapertured end mounting retainer means having at least one axial opening therethrough as well as having an annular integral flange portion to interlock with said insulating body adjacent to one side of said iiange all at a diameter less than that of the panel opening, a plate-clip mounting means having hook arm means projecting longitudinally along said flange portion of said retainer means and interlocking with said liange of said insulating body as well as having integral linger means to engage said panel `opening peripherally thereof, outer snap-in terminal means having an inwardly exposed semi-arcuately curved end fitted to said grooving of said insulating body particularly t'o have curvatures thereof internally coinplementary to each other, an insulating carrier and metal contact means interconnected thereon positioned radially inwardly from said terminal means of metal so as to permit rotary Contact wiping make and break engagement with said curved end of said terminal means, and an axially shiftable spring-biased plunger having an exposed end extending through said centrally apertured mounting retainer means and having an intermediate helix-like squared portion immediately radially outwardly thereof to translate linear action into rotary wiping movement of said insulating carrier and contact means during at least a portion or" plunger shitting action.
5. A vehicle light control switch means to lit a panel opening such as in a doorjamb, comprising, a hollow insulating body having a radially outwardly extending liange near one end thereof and having longitudinal grooving under cut along an outer surface thereof, a centrally-apertured end mounting retainer means having at least one axial opening therethrough as well as having an annular integral tiange portion to interlock with said insulating body adjacent to one side of said flange at a diameter less than that of the panel opening, a plate-like clip mounting means having hook arm means projecting longitudinally along said flange portion of said retainer means and interlocking with said flange ot said insulating body as well as having integral inger means to engage said panel opening peripherally thereof, outer snap-in terminal means having an inwardly exposed curved end fitted to said grooving of said insulating body, an insulating carrier and metal contact means interconnected thereon positioned radially inwardly from said terminal means so as to permit rotary contact wiping make and break engagement with said curved end of said terminal means, and an axially shiltable spring-biased plunger having an exposed end extending through said centrally apertured mounting retainer means and having an intermediate helix-like portion to translate linear action into rotary wiping movement of said carrier and Contact means during at least a portion of plunger shitting action, said plate-clip mounting means having a keyhole-like central opening including an axially bent and curved grounding tab portion also engageable by at least one of said Contact means on said insulating carrier.
6. The switch means of claim 4 wherein a bellow-like boot oi resilient material has an axially open though restricted hub portion at one end fitted snugly though radially outwardly of said exposed end ol said plunger and a radially inwardly extending flange as a dust and moisture seal pressed against said panel opening directly by said plate-clip means.
7. rThe switch means of claim 4 wherein said terminal means are itted to said insulating body and include an intermediate tang engageable to fix positioning thereof against a shoulder at one end of an axially extending insulating body shielding portion located radially outwardly from said semi-arcuately curved end of said terminal means, said terminal means having crimp connection directly to an insulated conductor of a wiring harness and the like of minimum external terminal exposure while maintaining insulating shielding of said semi-arcuately curved end of said terminal means.
8. The switch means of claim 4 wherein said helix-like portion of said plunger has a conguration resulting from axially progressive twist and turn of a squared crosssection complementary to an inner periphery of said insulating carrier though an axial and radially outwardly extending key-like rib portion also integral with said plunger restricts said plunger per se only to linear to and fro movement.
9. For use in a vehicle light control switch means having a cup-like insulating body with outer grooving undercut and extending longitudinally to a radial opening at one end thereof, a terminal means per secomprising, a longitudinally extending metal body including at least one pair of conductor crimping wing means adjacent to one end and a tang struck angularly from said metal body with a free body-engaging termination of said tang projecting away from an opposite end of said tang, and a semi-arcuately Curbed end integral with said metal body at a location remote from said crimping wing means so that said curved end lits in a location corresponding to the radial opening, said curved end having a radius to complement inner curvature of said cup-like insulating body so as to permit internal rotary wiping contact engagement therewith.
10. In a vehicle light control switch means to it a panel opening such as a doorjamb with an apertured panel engageable by mounting clip means litted to a centrally apertured end mounting retainer means that mates with a hollow substantially cylindrical insulating body having longitudinal grooving under cut along an outer surface thereof at least to radial opening therein, the improvement which comprises a composite plunger means including an axial portion as well as an integral intermediate squared helix portion and a longitudinal rib to restrain plunger movement to only linear to and fro positioning in cooperation with the insulating body, an insulating carrier complementary to said intermediate helix portion and contact means directly thereon subject to a rotary wiping movement radially outwardly thereof during plunger linear actuation, and a terminal means including a se-mi-arcutely curved Contact ending held by body portion grooving specifically to a position corresponding to radial opening such that internal peripheral surfacing of the insulating body is complemented by said semi-arcuately curved contact ending of said terminal means to smooth rotary wiping make and break of electrical energization with a minimum of arcing and wear.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,431,366 Buell Nov. 25, 1947 2,584,883 Karsch Feb. 5, 1952 2,605,375 Ellithorpe July 29, 1952 2,899,511 Fraser Aug. 11, 1959