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Publication numberUS3174023 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 16, 1965
Filing dateOct 10, 1962
Priority dateOct 11, 1961
Also published asDE1280963B
Publication numberUS 3174023 A, US 3174023A, US-A-3174023, US3174023 A, US3174023A
InventorsJohn Doggart
Original AssigneeV & E Friedland Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electric switch having unitary housing and indicator means
US 3174023 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

.1. DOGGART 3,174,023

ELECTRIC SWITCH HAVING UNITARY HOUSING AND INDICATOR MEANS March 16, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet l Filed OCT.. lO, 1962 lllll 5 05, TR M mmm/W0 V6 T No r n m fw March 16, 1965 .1. DOGGART 3,174,023

ELECTRIC SWITCH HAVING UNITARY HOUSING AND INDICATOR MEANS Filed om. 1o, 1952 2 sheets-she@ 2 iig'ininm /NvE/v ro@ Jaw/v Dow/)Rr BY @www 44 TTOENEYS United States Patent O 3,174,023 ELECTRIC SW'IH HAVING UNITARY HUSENG AND ENDICATQR MEANS John Doggart, Tytherington, lvlacclesiield, England, as= signor to V. & E. Friedland Limited, Maceleslield, Cheshire, England, a British company Filed Oct. 10, 1962, Ser. No. 229,673 Claims priority, application Great Britain, Get. l1, i961, 36,563/ 61 10 Claims. Cl. Zilli-167) This invention relates to electric switches and is more particularly, but' not exclusively concerned with push switches.

According to one aspect of the invention there is provided an electric switch comprising a one piece transparent or translucent housing which has one or more screw holes therethrough to receive a screw or like means whereby the switch may be secured to a door or the like, a main aperture, a pair of contacts, means for supporting a lamp within the housing, a push button slidable in the main aperture to close the contacts, and an opaque cover embracing a large portion of the housing, the arrangement being such that light from the lamp supported in the housing can be seen through the housing except where the cover overlies the housing. PreferablyT also the cover @verlies the housing adjacent the button but an annular gap is left between the button and the cover so that an annular ring of light may be transmitted through the gap.

Conveniently the cover may terminate short of the base of the housing so that an external, annular ring or halo of light may pass through the housing adjacent its base. Further or alternatively the cover may overlie only the upper portion of the housing so that light may pass through the entire lower portion thereof. In this case means may be provided to support a name plate within the housing part which is not' covered by the cover.

Preferably the parts of the housing which are not overlain by the cover are raised so as to be at least ush with the adjacent portion of the cover. A boss may surround the button and may pass through the said annular gap and project slightly beyond the outer face of the cover.

The switches are conveniently substantially cuboidal in Shape to present clean and attractive lines.

Two embodiments of the invention and a modication will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings.

In the drawings:

FIGURE l is a perspective view of an electric switch of the invention;

FIGURE 2 is a rear view to an enlarged scale of the switch shown in FIGURE l;

FIGURE 3 is a section along line 3 3 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of a second switch of the invention;

FIGURE 5 is a back View of the switch of FIGURE 4 to an enlarged scale;

FIGURE 6 is a section on line 6-6 of FIGURE 5;

FIGURE 7 is a section on line 7-7 of FIGURE 5;

FGURE 8 is a circuit diagram of a typical circuit for either oi the two switches described above, and

FIGURE shows a inodied contact.

Referring now to FIGURES l, 2 and 3 of the drawings, the switch comprises a rectangular housing 11 which is moulded in one piece of a colourless transparent material having a high refractive index for example polymethyl methacrylatc. Clipped on to the housing 11 is an opaque, preferably black, removable cover 12 which is substantially cuboidal with slightly tapering sides. This cover 12 is moulded from a toughened polymethyl methacrylate.

saines Patented Mar. 16, 1965 ICC Projecting inwardly from the two shorter sides of the housing i1 are two bosses 14 having screw openings 1S therethrough for the reception of screws 16 (see FIG- URE 3) whereby the switch may be attached to a door, doorpost or the like. The housing 11 has a step 17' extending around the periphery of its lower portion. The housing 11 is also stepped inwardly at 18 above the boss and has a further step at 19 which constitutes a top face of the housing. A bore 2l surrounded by a boss 22 passes through the top face 19 and constitutes a guideway for a hollow push button 23. The push button Z3 is also formed from moulded polyniethyl rnethacrylate. It is white and opalescent. The housing 11 is hollow and has an inner chamber 24 which extends upwardly to just short of the outer step 18. A bore 25 of larger diameter than the bore 21 extends from the chamber 24 and is stepped down at 26 to merge with the guideway 21. The push button 23 is provided with an enlarged flange 27 and skirt 28 at its inner end. The push button 23 is stepped internally to a larger diameter at 29 near its opening.

rl`wo resilient Phosphor-bronze contacts 32 and 33 of different lengths are held on to the roof of 'the chamber 2d by screws 30 and extend across the opening 2S. The shorter contact 32 is bent downwardly into the chamber 24 away from the push button 23. The longer contact 33 is bent towards the push button 23 so that its free end, which has a turned down nose 41 for better electrical contact with contact 32, rests on the bottom of the skirt 28. A leg 421 is pushed out of the contact 33 with its free end more remote from the free end of the contact 33 than the legs connection therewith. The free end of the leg 42 also rests on the skirt. The push button therefore touches the Contact at three points. The con tacts 32 and 33 are provided with upstanding spring arms 34 which releasably trap the capped ends of the tubular low consumption lamp 35 against two triangular pieces 31 formed on the side walls of the chamber 24. The contacts 32 and 33 are also provided with U-shaped lugs 43 which fit closely into holes 44 in the roof 20 of the chamber 24.

A stainless steel compression spring 36 extends between the step 29 and the ends of the Contact 33 and leg 42.

The free ends of the cover 12 rest on the step 17. In the base of the cover 12 there is provided a circular aperture 37 through which the boss 22 projects slightly. The cover 12 is spaced from the step 18 and clips on to the housing 11 at openings 38 by means of its natural resilience being held on the housing 11 by noses 4S which engage in corresponding openings 3S. The sides of the cover 12 are substantially flush with the lower portion of the housing 11 but, as has been stated above, the boss 22 projects slightly beyond the face of the cover 12 to reduce the possibility of rain water entering the gap between the button 23 and boss 22. The heads of the screws 16 are contained within the space between the step 18 and the cover 12.

A small recess 46 is provided in the step 17 adjacent the cover 12 to facilitate the removal ofthe cover.

The switch is operated in conventional manner by pressing the press button 23 so that the contact 33 is moved into engagement with the contact 32.. The spring 36 helps to return the button and gives a pleasant touch to the push. The provision of the leg 42 helps to give a balanced effect.

It will be seen that when the lamp 35 is lit, light will pass through the boss 22 to give a visible ring of light around the button and through the base of the housing 11 below step 17 to give a visible external, annular ring or halo of light. Light will also pass through the opalescent push button 23 to provide a spot of light.

The contact 33 may be replaced by a generally similar contact 91 (see FIGURE 9) which has an opening 92 so located that the push button 23 is illuminated by a spot of light.

In the embodiment of FIGURES 4 to 7 the switch again comprises a hollow light conducting housing 51 which is internally divided into two chambers 52 and 53 by means of a transverse wall 54. The part of the housing 51 above the chamber 52 is recessed at 55 and a boss 56 similar to boss 22 in the preceding embodiment is formed on the face of the recess 55. Within the chamber 53 is formed a transversely extending enlargement 57 to which are screwed two contacts S8 and 59 made of Phosphor-bronze and generally similar in construction to contacts 32 and 33. These contacts S8, 59 are provided with spring arms 58a, 59a which abut the end caps of a tubular low consumption lamp 60 and trap the lamp 60 against rectangular pieces 266 projecting from the transverse wall 54. In this position the glass portion of the lamp 60` is spaced from the transverse wall 54. Two countersunk screw bores 61 extend through the enlarged portion 57 and through the contacts 58, 59 so that screws 62 can pass therethrough from the face of recess 55 for securing the switch to a door, doorpost or the like. The apertures in the contacts 58, 59 are sufficiently great that the screws 62 will be clear of the parts of these contacts surrounding the apertures. An aperture 63 is formed through the enlargement 57 and is stepped down at 64 from a large diameter part 63 to a smaller diameter part 65 which opens through the boss 56. Guided within the aperture is an opaque hollow push button 66 moulded from white polymethyl methacrylate. The periphery of the push button 66 is stepped at 67 to a larger diameter so that its smaller diameter fits within the smaller diameter part 65 of the opening, its larger diameter within the larger diameter part of the opening and its step normally abuts the step 64. The push button 66 is also internally stepped at 68. The end of the larger diameter part of the push button 66 rests on the free ends of the contact 59 and its pressed-up leg 160 which provides a three point support therefor. A stainless steel compression spring 69 abuts against the step 68 and the contact 59 in similar fashion to the spring 36 in the rst described embodiment.

An arcuate prismatic light guide 71 is formed around the upper portion of the aperture 63 to increase the illumination at the top of the boss 56.

An opaque yone piece black moulded toughened polymethyl methacrylate cover 72 overlies the chamber 52 fitting in the recess S and being liiush with the other parts of the housing. The cover 72 has an opening 73 through which the boss 56 projects slightly. Latches 74 are formed on the facing sides vof the housing 51 and cover 72 so that the latter may be clipped on to the former.

A name card 75 may be held in the chamber 53 by means of a thermoplastic card retainer 76. This card retainer 76 is made of colourless transparent polymethyl methacrylate. It is generally box shaped with a sloping front face 77 and is a push fit in the chamber 53.

Light from the lamp 60, when the latter is lit, willV pass through the boss 56 to give a visible ring of light around the button 66. It will also pass through the lower portion of the housing 51 illuminating the name card 75. Further, if the switch is placed above e.g. a key hole in a door the latter will also be illuminated.

To operate the switch the push button 66 is depressed. This pushes the contact 59 into engagement with contact 58. On removal of pressure on the push button 66, the latter will be moved outwardly by the resilience of the contact 59 and by the spring 69 so that the contact 59 will move away from contact 58.

A typical circuit for the switch and a signal is shown in FIGURE 8. The switch indicated generally by 81 and signal 82 are connected in series to the secondary of a bell or chime transformer 83. The contacts 84, 85 are normally open and the lamp 86 which is connected to the contacts 84, 85 as described above is normally lighted. When the contacts 84, 35 close to operate the switch the lamp 86 will be shortcircuited and switched olf.

The switches above described are of pleasant appearance and when mounted on a door, doorpost or the like this pleasing appearance is amplified by the ring of light about the button and from other parts of the housing which are not overlaid by the cover. This feature considerably aids the location of the push button in the dark. Further as the housing is a one piece moulding and carries all the parts of the switch, the assembly of the switch is greatly facilitated.

The invention is not limited to the precise constructional details hereinbefore described. For example the housings may be made of an opal polymethyl methacrylate material or the like to give a diffused lighting effect.

l claim:

l. An electric switch comprising (a) a one-piece translucent housing including front and side wall Vmeans, said housing having at least one screw hole therethrough for mounting the switch on a supporting structure, said housing also having a main aperture provided in the front face thereof,

(b) a pair of contacts mounted on said housing,

(c) a lamp mounted on said housing and disposed to lie within said housing,

(d) a push button slidably mounted in said main aperture and operable to close said contacts, and

(e) an opaque cover embracing a large portion of said housing, the arrangament being such that light from a lamp supported in the housing can be seen through the front and side wall means of said housing except where the cover overlies the housing.

2. A switch as claimed in claim 1 wherein the cover overlies the housing adjacent the button but an annular gap is left between the button land the cover so that an annular ring Iof light may be transmitted through the gap.

3. A switch as claimed in claim l wherein said housing abuts the supporting structure at its base and W.herein the cover terminates short of the base 'of the housing so that an external ring of lightvmay pass through the housing adjacent its base.

4. A switch as claimedV in claim 1 wherein the cover overlies only the upper portion of the housing so that light may pass through the entire lower portion of said front and side wall means.

5. A switch as claimed in claim l wherein the parts of said front and side wall means of the housing which are not overlain by the cover are raised so as to be at least ush with the adjacent portion of the cover.

6. A switch as claimed in claim 5 wherein a boss surrounds the button and passes through the said annular l gap and projects slightly above the outer surface of the cover.

7. A switch as claimed in claim l wherein the switch is substantially cuboidal in shape.

8. An electric switch comprising (a) a one-piece translucent housing which has at least one screw hole therethrough for mounting said switch on a Vsupporting structure, said housing also having a main aperture provided in the front face thereof,

(b) a pair of contacts mounted on said housing,

(c) a lamp mounted on said housing disposed to Vlie within said housing,

(d) a push button slidable in said main aperture and operable .to close said contacts,

(e) an `opaque cover overlying only at least the majority of the upper portion of said housing so that light may pass through the entire lower portion thereof, and

(f) means provided in the lower portion of the housing to support a name plate within said housing part which is not covered by the cover.

9. An electric switch comprising (a) a one-piece translucent housing including front and side wall means, said housing having at least one screw hole therealong for mounting said switch on a supporting structure, said housing also having a mrt-in aperture provided in the front face thereof,

(b) a pair of resilient contacts mounted on said housing,

(c) a lamp mounted on said housing, and disposed to lie within said housing,

(d) a push button slidably mounted in said main aperture and operatively engaging one of said contacts at three points thereon, and

(e) an opaque cover embracing a large portion of the housing, said cover being arranged so that light from a lamp supported in the housing can he seen through the front and side wall means of the housing except where the cover overlies the housing.

10. An electric switch, comprising (a) a one-piece translucent housing including front and side wall means, said housing having at least one screw hole therethrough for mounting said switch on a supporting structure, said housing also having a main aperture provided -in the front face thereof,

(b) a pair of contacts mounted on said housing,

(c) a lamp mounted on said housing and disposed to lie within said housing,

(d) a push button slidably mounted in said main aperture and operable to close the contacts,

(e) a compression spring provided between said push button and one ot said contacts, and

(f) an opaque cover embracing a large portion of the housing, said cover being arranged so that light from a lamp supported in said housing can be seen through the front and side wall means of the housing except where said cover overlies said housing.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,673,914 3/54 Sundt 20G-167 2,802,082 8/57 Kalwo ZOO-167 2,880,536 4/ 59 Sullivan 340-380 2,998,597 8/61 Edwards 340-380 BERNARD A. GlLHEANY, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2673914 *Nov 18, 1950Mar 30, 1954Sundt Engineering CompanyIlluminated switch
US2802082 *Dec 2, 1955Aug 6, 1957Trine Mfg CorpElectric switch
US2880536 *Jun 10, 1957Apr 7, 1959American Mach & FoundryIlluminated display device
US2998597 *Dec 21, 1959Aug 29, 1961American Mach & FoundryIlluminated indicator
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3290473 *Mar 9, 1964Dec 6, 1966Oak Electro Netics CorpIlluminated push button switch
US3409751 *Sep 1, 1967Nov 5, 1968Cutler Hammer IncToggle switch with subdued light indicator
US3610860 *May 12, 1969Oct 5, 1971Lucas Industries LtdElectrical switches incorporating position-indicating means
US5379865 *Mar 2, 1994Jan 10, 1995Inventio AgSurface mounted indicating element for elevators
US5490581 *Sep 23, 1994Feb 13, 1996Inventio AgSurface mounted modular fixture for elevators
US5565661 *Dec 22, 1995Oct 15, 1996Inventio AgSurface mounted indicating element for elevators
US5903107 *Dec 30, 1996May 11, 1999Wade; William G.Lighted switch apparatus
US6855899 *Jan 5, 2004Feb 15, 2005Pentax CorporationPush button device having an illuminator
Classifications
U.S. Classification200/317
International ClassificationH01H13/02
Cooperative ClassificationH01H13/02, H01H13/023
European ClassificationH01H13/02, H01H13/02B