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Publication numberUS3176105 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 30, 1965
Filing dateNov 13, 1962
Priority dateNov 13, 1962
Publication numberUS 3176105 A, US 3176105A, US-A-3176105, US3176105 A, US3176105A
InventorsHallerberg Don M
Original AssigneeHallerberg Don M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Shock proof switch assembly using inter-ruptor means to disable actuating means
US 3176105 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 1965 0. M. HALLERBERG 3,176,105

suocx PROOF swrrca ASSEMBLY usmc INTERRUPTOR MEANS T0 DISABLE ACTUATING MEANS Filed Nov. 15, 1962 L U INVENTOR.

Dcm M. HALLERBERG' 7 172-- 7.5. QMQ

7 ATTORNEYS United States Patent Filed Nov. 13, 1962, Ser. No. 237,004 4 Claims. (Cl. 200-153 This invention relates to a switch assembly and more particularly to a switch assembly having means to prevent accidental actuation as a result of a sudden change in movement.

Switch assemblies of the general type with which the present invention is concerned are often used in conjunction with indicator lights to monitor a changeable condition. If a change in the condition is desired, or if the condition has changed and the original condition is desired, an operator can manually actuate the switch of the assembly to achieve these results. Indicator lightswitch assemblies of this general nature are disclosed more fully in a co-pending application of Don M. Hallerberg, Serial No. 111,806, now patent No. 3,090,949.

If these indicator light-switch assemblies are mounted in a movable body, such as a missile or a submarine, the body may undergo a change in movement sufficiently rapid to accidentally actuate the switch, because of the inertia of the movable light and switch components. This unintentional actuation may even occur to a switch in a stationary building if subjected to a blast or an earthquake, for example.

The present invention relates to a switch assembly of the type generally discussed above which has means to prevent accidental actuation of the switch because of a sudden movement change. This is accomplished by a weight, which preferably has a mass equal to or greater than the mass of the movable switch operating components, and interruptor meansmovable by the weight. The interruptor means and weight are guided in such a manner that, if a sudden movement occurs, the interruptor means interferes with an actuator for the switch components to prevent operative contact between the actuator and the switch itself.

It is, therefore, a principal object of the invention to provide an indicator light-switch assembly with means to prevent actuation of the switch as a result of a sudden movement of the assembly.

Other objects and advantages will be apparent from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment thereof, reference being made to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a plan view, with parts broken away and with parts in cross section, of an indicator light-switch assembly embodying the invention;

FIG. 2 is a view in cross section and on an enlarged scale taken along the line 2--2 of FIG. 1;

:FIG. 3 is a view in cross section similar to FIG. 2 but with the switch actuator shown in a different position;

FIG. 4 is a side view in elevation on a smaller scale, of the switch components shown in FIGS. 2 and 3; and

FIG. 5 is a w'ew similar to FIG. 4, but with parts broken away and with parts in section, of the components in still a different position.

Referring to the drawings, an indicator light-switch assembly embodying the invention is indicated at and includes a housing 12, a lamp unit 14, a manually-operable actuator unit 16, a switch-actuating assembly 18, and a switch unit 20.

The lamp unit 14 includes a lamp panel 22 carrying lamps 24 which are electrically connected to terminals 26 in a terminal plate 28. The terminals 26 serve to connect the lamps 24 into a suitable circuit so that the lamps are either lighted or extinguished upon the exist- "ice ence or occurrence of a predetermined event or condition. For example, the lamps 24 can be lighted when fuel in a tank drops below a predetermined quantity or upon a predetermined change in temperature of a monitored body or passage. Usually four of the lamps 24 are employed in the switch unit 10 with the lamps connected to four individual circuits, to two circuits, or to a single circuit. In the latter two instances, the extra lamps serve as spares and continue to operate even if the associated ones in the same circuit burn out to provide a margin of safety. Further details on the purpose and operation of the lamp unit 14 are set forth in the aforementioned patent application. Since the lamp unit does not constitute part of the instant invention, it will not be discussed in detail.

The manually operated actuator -16 includes a translucent lens 30 supported by a bracket 32 which is affixed to an actuator rod 34. The lens 30 can carry any desired indicia so that the specific condition being monitored will be apparent to the operator. Usually, a large number of the units 10 are mounted in a control panel so that the operator can quickly check the status of a large number of conditions. The shaft 34 slidably extends through the lamp panel 22 and the terminal plate 28 and can be pushed inwardly by the operator simply by pressing on the lens 30. When released, the actuator unit 16 returns to its original position by means of a spring 36. The actuator 16 can also be completely removed from the housing 12 along with the lamp panel 22 to facilitate changing of the lamps 24 as fully described in my previously mentioned application.

The switch-actuating assembly 18 is in the path of the actuator rod 34 and is moved thereby. The assembly 18 includes a pawl member 38 and a ratchet cylinder 40 which is rotated by the pawl member to actuate the switch unit 20. The pawl member 38 includes a pawl or switchactuating member 42 having cars 44 which are pivotally connected to cars 46 of a lever 48 by a pin 50. A coil spring 52 urges the pawl 42 toward and against the ratchet cylinder 40. The lever 48 is pivotally supported through a pivot pin 54 and is urged upwardly against the end of the actuator rod 34 by a coil spring 56 located around the pin 54 between the lever 48 and a retainer strip 58. The strip 58 is urged by the spring 56 in the opposite direction against the ratchet cylinder 40 to prevent rotation of the cylinder in a counterclockwise direction, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3.

The ratchet cylinder 40 includes a plurality of ratchet teeth 60 which rotate the cylinder 40 when engaged by the pawl 42. 'The cylinder 40 further has longitudinal projection or ridges 62 extending over its length with those portions on each side of the teeth 60 engaging and depressing resilient strips 64 which, in turn, depress =buttons 66 of switches 68 (FIG. 1) of the switch unit 20. The switches 68 can be wired through terminals 70 to any suitable circuitry and can be of many different types so that their poles or contacts are either opened or closed when the buttons 66 are depressed, or some of the contacts can be closed and some opened.

If the switch unit 10 is suddenly moved in a direction opposite to that in which the manually-operated actuator 16 is moved to operate the switches 68, the mass of the actuator unit 16 M11 tend to move it into the housing 12 and, if the acceleration is sufficient, will actually operate the switches 68. This will also occur if the unit 10 is moving in the direction in which the actuator unit 16 is moved and suddenly stops. The mass of the lens 30, the bracket 32, and the rod 34 then will overcome the force of the spring 36 and cause the actuator rod 34 to move toward the switch unit 20 just as if it were depressed by the operator. The rod 34 then overcomes the force of the spring 56 and urges the lever 48 downwardly to move the ai fares pawl 42 into engagement with one of the teeth 60 and rotate the cylinder 40 in a clockwise direction.- This motion brings one of the ridges 62 into contact'with the strips 64 and depresses the buttons 66 to actuate the Switches 68, or vice versa, if 'one of the ridges 62 was previously in'co'n'tact with the strip 64. When the actuator unit 16 again reaches its normal outer position, the

V pawl.42 moves upwardly, sliding over another one of the teeth 60 and is ready for another downward movement. The retainer 58 engages one of the teeth 60 as the pawl'4'2 moves upwardly to prevent rearward or counterclockwise rotation of the cylinder 40. V

Toprevent such an'accidental aotuationof the switch unit 20, thepresent invention includes an interrupter I member having a mass equal to or slightly greater than the the direction in which the switch actuator unit 16 is depressed *to'act'uate' the-switch unit 20; The weights 72 are-normally maintained at the upper ends of the slots 82 by coil springs 84, the upper ends of which engage the lswer surfaces of-th'e weights'72 and the lower ends 7 of which are retained in suitable openings 86 of the side walls 74: The intermediate coil portions of the springs" 84 are' retained on projections 88 bent out from the side" wall 74. V t

The weights 72 are normally in the upper position, at

the upper ends of the slots 82', beeauseof the force of the springs 84, and the cross bar 80 is then at the rear of the pawl 42 and has no effect upon it. If theassembly 10 should suddenly move in a direction opposite to the 'direction to which the actuator '16 is normally depressed or movement in the same direction suddenly ceases, and the change in themovement is suficient to cause the actuatorunit 16 to be depressed and actuate'the unit 20, the weights 72 will similarly be moved relative' to the side wall 74, because the mass of the weights 72 is substantially equal to or greater than the mass of the actuator 16; The weights thus move downwardly in the Slot 82 and move the cross bar 3t) into the path of the pawl 42, pushing it outwardly (FIG, 5)", So that the pawl will move over, and will not engage the teeth 60. of the ratchetcylinder40l With the cross bar 80 in this position, the pawl 42 can be depressed as much as desired without having any elfect on the switch unit 2%. When the sudden movement or accelerationhas ceased, the springs 84 will return the weights 72 to the upper ends of the slots 32 and thereby remove the crossbar 80' from the path of t the pawl '42, so'that it can again operate in the usual manner. 7

Various modifications of the above described embodi-- merit of the invention'will be obvious to' those skilled in the art, and it is to be understood that such modifications can be made without departing-from the scope of the invention, if they arewithin' the spirit and tenor of the accompanying claims.

I claim:

1. In a switch assembly comprising pawl means movable between 'a first position and a second position, manually-operable means 'for moving said pawl means from said first position tosa-id second position; ratchet means movable by said pawl means when in its second position, and switch means actuated by said ratchet means when engagedby said pawl'm ea'ns, the improvement comprising a weight, interruptormeansassociated with said weight'and movable therewith, guide means for directing -said interruptor means between a first position spaced fromthe path of said pawl means and a second position intercepting the path of said pawl means between the first and second positions of 'said pawl means, with said interrupter means preventing said pawl means from reaching the second position of said pawl means when said interruptor means is in its second position, and resilient means holding said interrupter means in its first position except during sudden movement of said switch assembly sufiicient to cause said manually-operable means to move said pawl means from its first position to its second posi tion. 7

2. A'switch' assembly comprising switch-actuating means movable in a given path between a first position and a second position, manually-operable means for moving said switch-actuating means from said first position to said second position, switch means actuated by said switch actuating means when in its second position, said switch actuating means being yieldably movableiin a direction transversely of its path, a weight, interruptor means as sociated with said weight and movable therewith, and guide means for directing said interruptor means in a path intersecting the path of said switch-actuating means between the first and the, second positions of said switchactuating means,asaid 'interru-ptor means moving said switch-actuating means to one side of its .path when said interruptor means intersects said path and engages said switch-actuating means, said interruptor means moving into the path of said Switch-actuating means during Sud-den movement of said switch assembly sufiicient tocause said manually-operable means to;move sai'dswitchactuating means from its first position toward its second position. .t

v 3. A switch assembly comprising switch-actuating means movable in a predetermined path between a first position and asecond position, means 'for moving said switcha'ctuatin'g means from its first position to its second position, switch means actuated bysaid actuating means when in its second position, a weight interrupter means connected to said weight and movabletherewith, means for directing said interrupter means in a lineal path intersecting the path of said actuating means between said first position and said second position to prevent said actuating means from reaching its second position as a result of a' Sudden change in movement of said switch assembly sufiicient to cause movement of said switch- -actuating means and to cause said weight to move said interruptor means into the path of said switch-actuating means, and means forresiliently urging said weight and said interrupter means back toward their original positions; f i a 4. A switch assembly comprising switch-actuating'means movable in a predeterminedpath between a first position and a second position, means for moving said switchactuating means from its first position to its second position, switch means actuated by Said actuating means when in thesecond position, a pair of weights on opposite sides of said Switch-actuating means, interrupter means connected between said weights and movable therewith, means for directing said interrupter means and said weights in a lineal path angularly disposed to and intersecting the path "of said actuating'mean's between said first position and said second position to prevent saidactuating means from reaching its second position by forcing it to one side of its intended path, and yieldable means for moving said switch-actuating means back into its path when out of engagement with said interrupter means.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS BERNARD A. GILHEANY, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2399920 *Sep 25, 1944May 7, 1946Gen ElectricElectric switch
US2506187 *Mar 23, 1946May 2, 1950Ite Circuit Breaker LtdCircuit breaker shock operated lock open device
US2523774 *Apr 23, 1948Sep 26, 1950Gen ElectricElectromagnetic switch
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3467802 *Jun 21, 1968Sep 16, 1969Clare Pendar CoConductor apparatus for switch structure
US3522403 *Oct 14, 1968Aug 4, 1970Korry Mfg CoIlluminated pushbutton switch device
US5122626 *May 20, 1991Jun 16, 1992Omron Tateishi Electronics Co.Illuminated display push-button switch
EP0285110A2 *Mar 29, 1988Oct 5, 1988Omron Tateisi Electronics Co.Push-button switch
Classifications
U.S. Classification200/528, 200/329, 200/319, 200/332.1, 200/314
International ClassificationH01H13/02, H01H13/50, H01H13/58
Cooperative ClassificationH01H13/023, H01H13/58
European ClassificationH01H13/02B, H01H13/58