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Publication numberUS3188503 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 8, 1965
Filing dateOct 17, 1961
Priority dateOct 17, 1961
Publication numberUS 3188503 A, US 3188503A, US-A-3188503, US3188503 A, US3188503A
InventorsHendry David W
Original AssigneeHendry David W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Adjustable timer
US 3188503 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 8, 1965 D. W. HENDRY ADJUSTABLE TIMER 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Oct. 17. 1961 INVENTOR.

E I 5-- E D V/0 w. HENDR ATTORNEYS ADJUSTABLE TIMER Filed Oct. 17, 1961 2 Sheets-$heet 2 INVENTOR.

DAV/D W. HENDRY A TTORNE vs United States Patent 0 3,188,503 ADJUSTABLE TIMER David W. Hendry, 215 Crocker Ava, Piedmont, Calif.

- Filed Oct. 17, 1961, Ser. No. 145,676

11 Claims. (Cl. 3197-141) The present invention relates to an adjustable timer and more particularly to an adjustable timer suitable for controlling irrigating systems and the like.

Clock operated timers are known for use in turning sprinklers on and off. An example of such a timer is shown in United States Patent 2,745,918, and this patented unit has been particularly valuable for giving automatic control in a sprinkler system. Yet where a plurality of sprinklers or sprinkler systems were to be operated on different schedules, it was necessary to use and set a plurality of sprinklers of the above type prior to the present invention.

The present invention is directed particularly to a control for irrigating systems and the like where a group of different periods and durations of operation are required. Thus, in the present invention, a timer is provided which will turn on and off a plurality of valves according to a timed program both as to activation and duration of the period of each valve. Considerable flexibility is obtained by suitable controls which allow the timer to be set so as to vary any of these criteria as desired.

Accordingly, it is a primary object. of this invention to provide a timer of the above character capable of being set to any of various programs which can operate a number of sprinklers independently of each other for predetermined periods of time.

Another object of this invention is to provide a timer suitable for automatic control of irrigation systems which can operate substantially continuously on repeated cycles according to a set program.

A further object of this invention is to provide a timer capable of translating a plurality of adjustable programmed movements into shaft rotation whereby such rotation may be usedto control a system or be utilized as an integral part of a larger control system.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a timer of the character described which is immediately responsive to'its setting whereby small periods as well as large periods may be accurately controlled and sprinkling times as short as a half a minute may be accurately provided. I

A still further object is to provide cams cooperating with contacting fingers or brushes in closing and opening electric circuits at adjustably predetermined times, the circuits being operative-through combined means to open and close lines feeding sprinkler systems at designated times.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide a timer of the character described that is simple in construction, eificient in operation, capable of long accurate service, easy to assemble and perfect in its control.

Further objects and advantages of my invention will appear as the specification proceeds, and the new and useful features of my adjustable timer will be fully defined in the claims hereto attached.

The preferred form of my invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawing, forming a part of this application, in which: I

FIGURE 1 is a perspective View of a timer constructed in accordance with this invention and a valve shown operatively connected thereto;

FIGURE 2, a fragmentary rear view of the timer of FIGURE 1, shown partly in section, illustrating the controlmechanism of the timer;

Patented June 8, I965 ice FIGURE 3, an enlarged perspective of a section of control elements of the invention;

FIGURE 4, an enlarged fragmentary view of a part of FIGURE 3, illustrating in greater detail the operation of certain of the electrical contacts of the control elements of the invention;

FIGURE 5, a schematic plan view of a part of the timer illustrating the operation of the electrical circuits utilized therein; and

FIGURE 6, a cross-sectional view of an alternate form of adjusting elements that may be used in setting the program of the timer.

While I have shown only the preferred form of my invention, it should be understood that various changes or modifications may be made within the scope of the claims hereto attached without departing from the spirit of the invention.

Referring to the drawing in detail, my timer com-. prises a housing or chassis 11, a shaft 12 rotatably mounted therein, and activating means 13 responsive to the rotational position of the shaft and capable of hydraulic or electrical control of a plurality of sprinklers. The control may be effected by any known means such as a rotary selector switch or the like. For example, the switch may be the type used in an automobile distributor. Preferably, means 13 functions hydraulically through a rotary selector valve or the like. A typical rotary selector valve would provide hydraulic force from an input line through individual control lines, each being activated independently according to the rotational position of the shaft 12.

As shown in FIGURE 1, activating means 13 is operatively connected to a plurality of valves such as valve 14 through suitable connectors 16, which may consist of hydraulic conduits, wires or the like, so as to cause the valve to regulate the flow of water through ipe 17 from a source (not shown) to a sprinkler system or other operation (not shown). Valve 14 may be of any conventional construction designed for remote actuation by activating means 13 in order to regulate the sprinklers connected thereto.

Shaft 12 has means assosciated therewith for rotating the" shaft in a variable angular velocity according to a predetermined program. These means generally comprise a first motor 18, hereinafter designated as slow motor 18, for driving the shaft through a plurality of preselected positions of fractional rotation, and a second motor 19, hereinafter designated as fast motor 19, for driving the shaft at a higher speed than said slow motor between said fractional positions of rotation.

In order to allow the fast motor to drive the shaft independently of the low motor, a clutch or one-way drive mechanism 21 is provided between the slow motor and the shaft. With this construction, the slow motor may run continuously through the cycle, yet rotate the shaft only when the fast motor is not operating. In this way, the shaft is rotated rapidly or slowly according to the operation of the fast motor. In other words, the shaft is rotating rapidly when the fast motor is on, and the shaft is rotating slowly when the fast motor is off. I

As shown in FIGURE 5, power is supplied to the motors .18 and 19 through lines 22 and 23. Line 23 may be grounded and have the housing 11 serve as a part thereof in conventional fashion, if desired. In either case, it is electrically connected at all times to one side of both the fast motor 19 and the slow motor 1 8. Line 22 supplies power to the slow motor through switch 24, fuse 26 and either line 27 .or line 28. Line 27 is utilized to activate the timer and is controlled by switch 29 which is responsive to clock 31.

The clock 31 may be any timer clock equipped to drive a switch and may be of any desired duration. In a preferred form of the invention, a twenty-four hour clock is used so as to provide irrigation timed on a daily basis. The clock may activate the system in one or a plurality of desired set positions. In addition, gear means or the like may be used to slow down the clock according to daily multiples or other systems used to vary the duration 7 of the timing.

Switch 29 is normally open and, when closed by the clock, it remains closed long enough for shaft 12 to rotate far enough to energize line 28, but is opened before the shaft .12 completes its cycle.

Line 28 is energized when wiper switch 32 is closed by rotation of shaft 12. As best shown in FIGURES 2 and 5,wiper 32 comprises a spring-like .brush electrically connected to line 28 and insulated from the chassis II by insulating block 33 where it is secured by screw 34. Brush 30 is held out of contact with shaft 12 at a fixed position of rotation by arm 36 carried on insulated collar 37. When so held, line 28 is open or not energized. However, when shaft 12 has rotated an amount sufi'icient to allow brush 36 to contact shaft 12, energy is supplied through shaft 12, brush 38 and line 39 to a similar position as that supplied through line 27. Brush 3 8 is held on chassis 11 by means of screw 41 and insulated therefrom by insulating block 42.

' From the above description, it is seen that brush 34 is initially in the off position, and activation of the timer motors is accomplished by clock 31 through switch 29. Then, as the motors turn the shaft, brush 3d electrically contacts shaft 12 and continues supply of power to the motors. This power supply takes over and continues the shaft rotation after switch 29 is opened. After one rotation of shaft .12, arm 35 disconnects brush 3% from shaft 12, breaking electrical contact and shutting off the timer until reactivated by the clock 31 again closing switch 29.

As indicated above, slo-W motor 18 is always running when contact is made to line 22 while fast motor 19 is energized part of the time. From FIGURE 5, it is seen that fast motor 19 is running when power supply 22- is available through either line 27 or line 28, and normally closed relay switch 43 is closed. Fast motor 19 is shut off when relay 44 is activated to open switch 43. Activation of relay 44 is achieved by supplying power to line 46, and this is done in adjustably timed fashion according to the position of shaft 12.

As best seen in FIGURE 5, electrical connection between shaft 12 and line 46, to activate relay 44, is achieved through arm 47, brush 48, terminal 49 and line 51. Thus, the fast motor 19 is stopped through opening of switch 43 when brush 48 is in contact with terminal 49.

Arm 47 is .both electrically and mechanically connected to shaft 12 and carries brush or finger 48 rotatably with theshaft as it moves. Terminal 49 is held 'in a stationary position on cam 52, which is made of plastic or other insulating material. As best seen in FIGURES 3 and 4, terminal 49 is mounted in a cutout or notch 53 in cam 52, with the end of the terminal adapted to first contact the brush being depressed fromthe cam surface and the endlast in contact'with the brush being raised from the cam surface at the notch;

The brush or finger 43 is held in spring tension so as to be urged against the cam surface at all times. This provides good electrical contact, and the arrangement described provides a quick make and quick break as the brush reaches the ends of the terminals.

Thus, it is seen that while the brush is in contact with the terminal 49, relay 44 is activated to open switch 43 and stop fast motor 19. At the same time, the control means 13 at the end of the shaft is activated during this are of rotation to turn on a fixed sprinkler system or the like. When the shaft 12 is rotated by the slow motor 18 far enough to cause brush 48 to drop off terminal 49, relay 44 is de-energized and switch 43 closes to supply current to fast motor 19. Shaft 12 is then quickly driven on past the position of activation of the connector lid to shut off variety of different programs.

station of activity where the motors are repeated. As

shown in the drawings, a plurality of such stations are provided, and eleven may be provided as shown in FIGURE 1. Even more may be provided, if desired.

As indicated earlier, an important feature of this invention is the adjustability of the timer to accommodate a It is of course understood that certain obvious adjustments'such as the speeds of the slow motor and size of terminals 49 may be made. However, the present invention also provides individual adjustability .so that each one of the plurality of systems may be independently controlled as to duration of operation. This is achieved'by independent adjustment of the arc of contact between brush 48 and terminal 49, which-in turn controls the amount of time the particular system is being activated by the means 1.3.

This adjustment of the arc of contact is provided, in the embodiment shown in the drawing, by placing an adjustment cam 54 adjacent to each of the earns 52. Cams 54 have a cut-away notch 56 which is adjustably aligned with notch 53 of cam 52. Brush 4S rides in circular fashion around both cam surfaces. Rotational positioning of cam 54 then is utilized to hold the brush 48 above 58 is also provided to show which control is activated at a given time.

Various alternative forms may be used without departing from the invention. For example, alternative means for adjusting cam 54 and indicating the position is shown in FIGURE 6. In this form, lever 57 rotates cam 54, as dial 59 is turned, by means of threads 61 which translate the rotary motion of the dial to lateral movement. The dial is mounted in housing 11 in a'swivel bearing 62, and

suitable duration indicia are provided as described for the embodiment of FIGURE 3.

, imilar changes may be made in the cam system; For

example, one cam could be used with an associated member of various forms to achieve the desired adjustable control of the contacts. One expedient would be to mount the terminal on the side of the cam with the brush contacting it during rotation. The brush could be normally held outwards of the terminal position by a ringlike boss and a' second ring-like or arcuate member used to adjust contact in similar fashion to the embodiment described in detail. a

, Referring again to FIGURE 2, it is seen that a simple compact unit is provided by mounting the parts as shown.

Thus, shaft 12 is rotatably mounted in brackets 63 and 64 which are mounted on housing 11. Cams 52 and 54' are mounted on bushings 66 through which shaft 12 rotates. The bushings are held in place by brackets 67 which also hold cams 52 stationary.

In operation, the levers 57 are positioned ,to provide the desired amount of on time for each of the associated sprinklers, and pump switch 68 is turned on. The timer is set to the desired on times for the various stations,

and timer switch 24is turned on. From here, the operation is completely automatic, and the operator need only return to make changes as they appear necessary.

The operation of the apparatus begins with the clock 31 closing switch 29 which activates the motors to drive shaft 12 through the fast motor until thefirst station is reached. By this time, clock switch 29 is generally returned to the off position and wiper switch 32 is active to energizethe motors.

At thefirst station, the associated sprinkler or the like is turned on by rotary selector means 13, or equivalent,

and remains on as the slow motor drives the shaft through the arc of rotation corresponding to the arc of contact of the adjusted terminal 49 at the first station. No drive is effected by the fast motor during this contact because the relay 44 has turned it off. However, at the end of the first station, relay 44 is deactivated and the fast motor turned on to quickly drive the shaft 12 to the second station Where the relay is fast motor.

As the shaft moves from the position of the first station to the second, the rotary selector means 13 moves to shut off the sprinkler system turned on at the first station and turns on thespn'nkler system associated with the second station. In this way, the timer proceeds through all of the stations and back to one revolution of rotation Where wiper switch 32 turns off the electrical supply to the motors.

More or fewer stations may be provided by adding cams and associated parts to the shaft and utilizing suitable corresponding switches on rotary selector switch 13. The unit may be used to automatically handle a plurality of sprinkler systems or it may be used to control other like systems. It is also possible to use the timer of the invention in combination with other automatic equipment to provide an extended automated system.

I claim:

1. In an adjustable timer for water systems and the like having a shaft, and control means responsive to the rotational position of the shaft, in combination, means for rotating the shaft in variable angular velocities according to a predetermined program comprising a first motor for driving the shaft, a second motor for driving the shaft at a higher rate of speed than said first motor, clutch means for allowing the second motor to drive the shaft independently of said first motor, and electrical switch means operatively connected to the second motor to run the second motor over predetermined positions of fractional rotation, said switch means containing an electrically conductive brush adapted to contact a cam surface of electrically insulating material and be given relative movement thereto, and an electrically conductive terminal positioned on the cam adapted to contact the brush during part of said relative movement to complete an electrical circuit therethrough. 1

2. In an adjustable timer for water systems and the like having a shaft, and control means responsive to the rotational position of the shaft, in combination, means for rotating the shaft in variable angular velocities accord ing to a predetermined program comprising a first motor for driving the shaft, a second motorfor driving the shaft at a higher rate of speed than said first motor, clutch means for allowing the second motor to drive the shaft independently of said first motor, and electrical switch means operatively connected to the second motor to run the second motor over predetermined positions of fractional rotation, said switch means containing a cam of electrically insulating material, an electrically conductive brush adapted to contact the cam surface and be relatively movable thereto, an electricallyconductive terminal positioned on the cam adapted to contact the brush during a part of said relative movement to complete an electrical circuit therethrough, and means for adjusting the duration of contact of the terminal and the brush.

3. In an adjustable timer for water systems and the like having a shaft, and control means responsive to the rotational position of the shaft, in combination, means for rotating the shaft in variable angular velocities according to a predetermined program comprising a first motor for driving the shaft, a second motor for driving the shaft at a higher rate of speed than said first motor, clutch means for allowing the second motor to drive the shaft independently of said first motor, and electrical switch means operatively connected to the second motor to run the second motor over predetermined positions of fractional rotation, said switch means containing an electriactivated as before to shut off the cally insulating cam, an electrically conductive brush adapted to contact the cam surface and be relatively movable thereto, an electrical terminal positioned on the cam adapted to contact the brush during a part of said relative movement to complete an electrical circuit therethrough, said terminal having the end adapted to first contact the brush depressed from the cam surface and the end last in contact with the brush raised from the cam surface, spring means on the brush to urge the brush against the cam surface and terminal and to effect a quick make and quick break as the brush reaches the ends of the terminal, and means for adjusting the duration of contact of the terminal and the brush.

4. In an adjustable timer for water systems and the like having a shaft, and control means responsive to the rotational position of the shaft, in combination, means for rotating the shaft in variable angular velocities according to a predetermined program comprising a first motor for driving the shaft, a second motor for driving the shaft at a higher rate of speed than said first motor, clutch means for allowing the second motor to drive the shaft independently of said first motor, and electrical switch means operatively connected to the second motor to run the second motor over predetermined positions of fractional rotation, said switch means containing an electrically insulating cam, and electrically conducting brush adapted to contact the cam surface and be relatively movable thereto, an electrical terminal positioned on the cam adapted to contact the brush during a part of said relative movement to complete an electrical circuit more through, said terminal having the end adapted to first contact the brush depressed from the cam surface and the end last in contact with the brush raised from the cam surface, spring means on the brush to urge the brush against the cam surface and terminal and to effect a quick make and quick break as the brush reaches the ends of the terminal, a member positioned to hold the brush away from the first reached portion of the terminal, and means for adjusting said member to vary the length of the terminal over which the brush is held by said memher.

5. In an adjustable timer for Water systems and the like having a shaft, and control means responsive to the rotational position of the shaft, in combination, means for rotating the shaft in variable angular velocities according to a predetermined program comprising a first motor for driving the shaft through the programmed rotational positions, a second motor for driving the shaft at a higher rate of speed than said first motor, means for allowing the second motor to drive the shaft independently of the first motor, a relay connected to the second motor for controlling the operation thereof, said relay being operated by a pair of terminals, a cam having an electrically insulated surface and one of said terminals operatively connected to said relay carried thereon, a brush serving as the other terminal operatively connected to said relay and adapted to contact said cam surface and associated terminal, and means for mounting said brush for rotation on said shaft.

6. In an adjustable timer for water systems and the like having a shaft, and control means responsive to the rotational position of the shaft, in combination, means for rotating the shaft in variable angular velocities according to a predetermined program comprising a first motor for driving the shaft through the programmed rotational positions, a second motor for driving the shaft at a higher rate of speed than said first motor, means for allowing the second motor to drive the shaft independently of the first motor, a relay connected to the second motor for controlling the operation thereof, a plurality of electrically conductive brushes mounted for rotation on the shaft, each serving as a switch terminal for controlling the relay, a plurality of cam units associated with said brushes, each of said cam units having a cam surface including an electrically-conductive terminal adapted to contact one of said brushes to operate said relay, the cam surfaces being formed to contain an adjustable member movable above an end portion of the terminal on the cam surface and a recessat the other end of the terminal, and spring means on the brush to urge the brush against the cam surface and terminal and to effect, a'quick make and quick break as the brush reaches the ends of the terminal.

. '7. In an adjustable timer for water systems and the like having ashaft, and control means responsive to the ro tational position of the shaft, in combination, means for rotating the shaft in variable angular velocities according to a predetermined program comprising a first motor for driving the shaft through the programmed rotational positions, a second motor for driving the shaft at a higher rate of speed than said first motor, means for allowing the second motor to drive the shaft independently of the first motor, a relay connected to the second motor for controlling the operation thereof, a plurality of electrically conductive brushes mounted for rotation on the shaft, each serving as a switch terminal for controlling the relay, a plurality of cam units associated with said brushes, each of said cam units having a cam surface including an electrically conductive terminal adapted to contact one of said brushes to operate said relay, the cam surfaces being formed to contain an adjustable member movable above an end portion of the terminal on the cam surface and a recess at the other end of the terminal, a lever on said adjustable member for making the adjustment, in-

dicia for showing the position of adjustment of said adjustablc member, and spring means on the brush to urge the brush against the cam surface and terminal and to effect a quick make and quick break as the brush reaches the ends of the terminal.

8. In an adjustable timer for water systems and the'like having a shaft, and control means responsive to the rotational position of the shaft, in combination, means for rotating the shaft in variable angular velocities according to a predetermined program comprising a first motorfor driving the shaft through the programmed rotational positions, a second motor for driving the shaft at a higher rate of speed than said first motor, means for allowing the second motor to drive the shaft independently of the first motor, means for stopping the motors driving the shaft after the shaft has passed through its programmed movements, a relay connected to the second motor for controlling the operation thereof, a plurality of electrically conductive brushes mounted for rotation on the shaft, each serving as a switch terminal for controlling the relay, a plurality of cam units associated with said brushes, each of said cam units having a cam surface in cluding an electrically conducting terminal adapted to contact one of said brushes to operate said relay, the cam surfaces being formed to contain an adjustable member movable above an end portion of the terminal on the cam surface and a recess at the other end of the terminal, a lever on said adjustable member for making the adjustment, indicia for showing the position of adjustment of said adjustable member, and spring means on the brush to urge the brush against the cam surface and terminal and to effect a quick make and quick break as the brush reaches the ends of the terminal.

9. The adjustable timer defined in claim 8, in which clock means are included to activate the timer.

10. In an adjustable timer for water systems and the like having a shaft, and control means responsive to the rotational position of the shaft, in combination, means for rotating the shaft in variable angular velocities according to a predetermined program comprising a first motor for driving the shaft, a second motor for driving the shaft at a higher rate of speed than said first motor, clutch means for allowing the second motor to drive the shaft independently of said first motor, and electrical switch means on the second motor operatively connected to run the second motor over predetermined positions of fractional rotation, said switch'means containing a cam, a brush adapted to contact the cam surface and be relatively movable thereto, a terminal positioned on the cam adapted to contact the brush during a part of said relative movement, said terminal having the end adapted to first contact the brush depressed from the cam surface and the end last in contact with the brush raised from the cam surface, said cam surface immediately preceding said terminal being formed to overhang said depressed end of said terminal such that said brush initiates contact with said terminal with a snap action, said raised end of said terminal being formed to overhang the cam surface following such that said brush terminates contact with said terminal with a snap action, spring means on the brush to urge the brush against the cam surface and terminal and to effect a quick make and quick break as the brush reaches the ends of the terminal, and means for adjusting the duration of contact of the terminal and the brush.

, Iii. An adjustable timer for Water systems and the like, comprising a rotatable shaft, water system activating means'responsive to the rotatonal position of said shaft, a first motor mounted in driving engagement with the shaft, a second motor mounted in driving engagement with the shaft and operative to rotate the shaft at a higher rate of speed than said first, motor, clutch means on the shaft for allowing the second motor to drive the shaft independently of said first motor, and electrical switch means connected to said second motor for operating the'latter over predetermined positions of fractional rotation, said switch means containing an electrically in sulating cam, an electrically conductive brush adapted to contact the cam surface and be movable relative thereto, an electrically conductive terminal positioned on the cam adapted to contact the brush during a part of said relative movement, and means for adjusting the duration of contact of the terminal and the brush.

References fitted by the Examiner RALPH D. BLAKESLEE, Acting Primary Examiner.

LLOYD MCCOLLUM, Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3272932 *Sep 22, 1964Sep 13, 1966Mc Graw Edison CoCycle timer with adjustable arcuate cams
US3289494 *Jul 10, 1964Dec 6, 1966Fisher Governor CoAdjusting means for cams and the like
US3293769 *Jun 18, 1964Dec 27, 1966Whirlpool CoAdjustable cool-down control for dryer cycle
US3373254 *Jan 24, 1966Mar 12, 1968Centra Buerkle Kg AlbertTime switching device for controlling a heating system
US5287588 *Feb 18, 1992Feb 22, 1994U.S. Products, Inc.Upholstery and carpet cleaning equipment including external heat exchanger
US6011329 *Aug 28, 1998Jan 4, 2000Mcgovern; Patrick T.Electrical circuit cycling controller
Classifications
U.S. Classification307/141, 200/38.0BA
International ClassificationH01H43/12, H01H43/00
Cooperative ClassificationH01H43/128
European ClassificationH01H43/12D2