US 3188439 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 8, 1965 e. H. FULLERTON 3,138,439
SWITCHPLATE MOUNTED EXTENSION OPERATION FOR WALL SWITCH Filed Sept. 20. 1960 kw, m
INVENTOR. GEORGE H. FULLERTON OlLd-j (f n 5' FIG. 4
ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,188,469 SWHCHPLATE MUUNTED E TENSIUN @PERATOR FUR WALL SWETCH George H, Fullerton, Decatur, Ga. (1038 Keene Road, Largo, Fla.) Filed Sept. 20, 19nd, er. No. 57,239 1 Claim. (Ci. 209-172) This invention relates to operating devices for wall switches, and more particularly to improvements in op erator extension devices for use by children.
Most Wall type electric switches are located at levels or heights above the floor to be inaccessible to children to be operated by them. Such diiiiculty is eliminated by use of an operator extension depending downwardly from the switch to a level where the child can operate the switch easily. Some of the prior art devices include arrangements where the switch cover plate must be removed for replacement by the extension device, which lacks decorative appeal or appearance, as well as usually necessitating purchase of a replacement cover plate unless it is stored and readily available should the extension be removed. Other prior art devices that do not require replacement of the cover plate rely on being mounted thereon in a manner to require a rubbing or sliding contact with the cover plate which in turn causes defacernent of the cover plate.
Accordingly it is an object of this invention to provide r a switch operator extension which is easily mountable on a wall switch cover plate in which the operator is movable by a child to actuate the switch.
Another object of this invention is to provide a switch operator extension that is decorative and easily usable by children which is relatively inexpensive and easy to mount upon and remove from a switch cover plate.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a wall switch operator that is usable on both the prevalent known wall switch and mercury type switches which require a much reduced operating force and is subject to operation by gravitational forces on the operator extension.
Other objects and advantages will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is an exploded perspective showing the assembled relation of one embodiment of this invention to .a switch plate cover;-
FIGURE 2 is a partial cutaway perspective view showing the invention embodiment of FIGURE 1 mounted to a switch cover plate;
FIGURE 3 is a partial cross-sectional view taken along a horizontal plane of the assembly shown in FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a side view of a frictional restraint member for the operator; and
FIGURE 5 is a view taken along line 55 of FIG- URE 4.
Referring to FIGURES l, 2 and 3 of the drawings, there is shown a cover plate 1 usually connected to a switch assembly 2 recessed and mounted in an opening 3 in the wall 4-; the cover connected by screws going through openings 5 in the cover and into arms 6 as a part of the switch assembly 2. A toggle actuating member 7 extends through an opening in cover plate 1 which is the familiar actuating member of such a normal type of wall switch.
A switch operator member 8, which may be shaped as a decorative figure as shown or any other appropriate or desired form or shape, has upper and lower T-channel groove portions 9 and lb respectively extending vertically in the surface confronting cover plate 3. and toggle '7. Intermediate the grooves 9 and N is a pair of Bitifidh Patented June 8, 1%65 bosses or projections fill extending perpendicularly outward from the base of grooves 9 and 10, and forming a compartment 12 therebetween.
One of a pair of T-blocl s 13: are placed in each upper and lower T-channel grooves 9 and it), the base portions 13a of T-bloclts 13 extending outwardly from the grooves 9 and iii. A hole 13b in each block 13 has a screw 14- therein.
The mounting of switch operator member 5% on cover plate occurs by placing a block 13 containing screw 14.- in hole 13b in each groove 9 and to. Block 13 in groove 9 is located so hole 13b is in alignment with hole or passage 15 extending horizontally from the front of switch operating member 8 to the base of channel 9, passage 15 in turn being opened or closed by the removal or insertion of a plug 16 at the forward end of the passage 15. The bit of a screwdriver may be inserted into passage 15 to engage the head slot of screw 14 extending through T-block 13 and into opening 5 of cover plate 1, the threaded end of screw 14 seating in threaded engagement with arm 6 of switch assembly 2. This mounts cover plate it to the switch assembly 2., as well as mounts T-bloclz 13 to cover plate 1. Since T-block 13 is within the T-channel 9, switch operator member 8 is in turn mounted on cover plate 1 and with the proper spacing between passage 15 and compartment 12 toggle 7 will be located within compartment 12. A second passage 17 and plug 13 are located in proper relationship to the lower opening 5 in cover plate 1 so as to connect T-block 13 in channel it) to plate ll. With extension arm 19 depending from member 8, toggle '7 can be actuated at a distance remotely below the level of toggle 7 by raising or lowering extension arm 19 by pushing or pulling. There can be no over travel of member 8 relative to toggle '7 by virtue of projections ill preventing such, as Well as member 8 can travel only in a straight line defined by T-blocks 13 in channels 9 and it) guiding travel of member it. Likewise, it can be seen toggle 7 may be operated by a child unable to reach the height of toggle '7 by appropriately pushing or pulling on extension arm 1?, as well as toggle '7 may be operated by an adult appropriately raising or lowering member 8 by grasping an appropriate handle such as 8a or the entire member 8.
'It can further be seen that by providing the height of 'T-blocks 13 from base surface 13a to the surface confronting the bases of channels 9 and it to be greater than the depth of the bases of channels 9 and iii there is avoided any rubbing contact between the back surface of member 8 and face of cover plate 1 during movement of member 3 for operation of toggle '7, as can best be seen in FIGURE 3.
The frictional and throw resistance to movement of toggle 7 in a mercury type switch is substantially less than in a mechanical throw type. To prevent movement downwardly or" toggle '7 from the position it is shown in in FIG- URE 2 due to gravitational forces on the weight of member 8 and the reduced frictional and throw resistance, I provide a biasing means against inadvertent movement of member 8 as can best be seen in FIGURES 2, 4 and 5. This bias means comprises a spring member 26 having a bowed portion 21 and an arm portion 22 extending substantially at right angle from one end of portion 21. Arm portion 22 is inserted into a slot 23 in the base of channel 1% just below the lower surface of lower projection 11, the bowed portion 21 of spring 29 extending downwardly over a portion of the base of channel iii. The lower end of bowed portion Zll is located between the confronting surfaces of T-block 13 and base of channel it the center part of bowed portion 21 extending outward from the base of channel it past the plane extending upward from the confronting surface of lower T-block 13 when member 8 is in the upperpost position as shown in FIGURE 2. This bowed portion 21 supplies enough bias when in contact with the outer, uppermost corner of lower T-block 13 to prevent member 8 sliding. downward to its lowermost position due to gravity when there is insufficient friction within, or force required to operate, toggle '7, such as in mercury type switches. Likewise, the bias force of spring 20 and bowed portion 21 is insufiicient to preclude movement of member 8 in a downward direction by movement through either extension arm 19 or member 8 directly. When member 8 is in its lowermost position, bowed portion 21 of spring 2%) is forced toward the base of channel it so as to lie substantially flat between the confronting surfaces of the base of channel 10 and lower T-block 13.
Thus it can be seen this invention provides a relatively simple and decorative type wall switch actuator that permits retention of the switch plate mounted on the wall and which is not damaged by any rubbing or frictional contact between the wall plate and switch extension or operating mechanism as it is operated.
Additionally by a spring means incorporated therein, there is eliminated the possibility of the switch operator mechanism sliding or falling from its uppermost to lowermost position when the gravitational forces on the switch operator are greater than the mechanical force necessary to operate the toggle.
While a particular embodiment of the invention has been shown and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the invention and it is intended to cover in the appended claim all such modifications and equivalents as fall within the true spirit and scope of this invention.
What is claimed is:
For a wall switch having a switch plate mounted to a wall by a pair of vertically displaced screws passing through the switch plate and a toggle switch actuator extending outward from the wall through the switch plate, said toggle actuator having an uppermost and lowermost position, a switch operator extension comprising: a pair of T-blocks each having an opening extending therethrough from the top to the base for passage of the switch plate wall mounting screws to mount the T-blocks to the switch plate, said T-lblocks when mounted having their bases in contact with the outer face of the switch plate, a switch operating member having a T-channel extending vertically along the back portion, the T-channel being of lesser depth than the height of the T-blocks,
a pair of passages extending horizontally forward through said operating member from the base of said T-channel, said passages appropriately spaced to provide access to the wall mounting screws for the switch plate and T-blocks when the operating member is mounted on the switch plate through the T-blocks, a chamber forming depression in the base of the T-channel intermediate said passages, said chamber receiving the toggle switch actuator when the operating member is mounted on the switch plate through the T-blocks for actuating the toggle switch actuator as the operating member is moved upward or downward 0n the T-blocks, an extension means depending downwardly from the operating member whereby it can be moved to actuate the toggle switch actuator from a level below that of the toggle switch actuator and a spacing between the face of the switch plate and the back of the operating member when it is mounted on the T-blocks, the size of the spacing being substantially the difference between the height of the T-blocks and the depth of the T-channel, a slit located in the base of the T-channcl and perpendicular to the longitudinal axis thereof, a strip spring bias means having a first bowed portion and an arm portion at one end of the bowed portion and extending substantially at right angle thereto, said arm portion recessed within said slit with said bowed portion extending downwardly therefrom along the base of the T-channel, said bowed portion bowing outwardly from the T-channel base whereby said outward bowed portion will rest on the upper outer corner of the lower T-block to prevent the operating member from moving from its uppermost to lowermost positions inadvertently and said bowed portion can be flattened between confronting surrace portions of the lower T-block and T-channel base when the operating member is moved to its lowermost position by positive actuation.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,493,581 1/50 Hood 200-472 2,571,837 10/51 Coles 200172 2,582,379 1/52 Goldberg 200l72 2,724,032 11/55 C-oletta 200-172 2,775,674 12/56 Moder 200-472 3,004,128 10/61 Mikolajeski 200l72 BERNARD A, GILHEANY, Primary Examiner. MAX L. LEVY, ROBERT K. SCHAEFER, Examiners.