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Publication numberUS3198892 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 3, 1965
Filing dateNov 16, 1961
Priority dateNov 28, 1958
Publication numberUS 3198892 A, US 3198892A, US-A-3198892, US3198892 A, US3198892A
InventorsBarcus Edward L, Slone Howard I
Original AssigneeGen Motors Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Center biased actuator switch mechanism
US 3198892 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 3, 1965 E. BARcUs ETAL 3,198,892

CENTER BIASED CTUATOR SWITCH MECHANISM Original Filed Nov. 28, 1958 Moro/Q Z UP Dow/v i @www 1 INVENTORS United States Patent O 3,198,892 CENTER BlASEl) ACTUATGR SWTQH MECHANISM Edward L. Barons, Anderson, Ind., and Howard I. Slone,

Birmingham, Mich., assignors to General Motors Corporation, Detroit, Mich., a corporation of Delaware Original application Nov. 28, 1958, Ser. No. 777,107, now Patent No. 3,027,807, dated Apr. 3, 1962. Divided and this application Nov. 16, 1961, Ser. No. 152,895

1 Claim. (Cl. 20G-6) This application is a division of application Serial No. 777,107 filed November 28, 1958 in the names of Edward L. Barcus and Howard I. Slone and now is Patent No. 3,027,807 which issued April 3, 1962.

This invention pertains to remotely controlled mirror mechanisms and, in particular, to an actuator switch mechanism movable along two axes to engage four sets of electrical contacts.

An object of the invention resides in the provision of an actuator switch mechanism comprising a plurality of spaced fixed contacts adapted to energize a dual armature motor upon movement of an actuator having a pair of bridging contacts, said bridging contacts being mounted with respect to the actuator and fixed contacts for movement in a predetermined position and paths so as to selectively bridge groups of the iixed contacts.

In general these and other objects are accomplished by providing an actuator switch member which selectively controls operation of the aforementioned motor means and includes a plurality of spaced xed contacts adapted to be bridged by movable bridging contacts which move in a predetermined position with respect to each other and predetermined paths to selectively bridge the required fixed contacts for controlling operation or the motor means in the desired direction. Moreover, a self-centering spring acts automatically upon release of the actuator mechanism to return the bridging contacts to a circuitopening position thereby holding the mirror in an adjusted position.

The nature and function of the structure by which the foregoing objects are achieved will become more apparent hereinafter as the description of the invention proceeds, and in which reference is made to the following drawings in which:

FIGURE l is an enlarged longitudinal section through an actuator switch made in accordance with this invention.

FIGURE 2 is a view, partly in section and partly broken away to illustrate certain details, taken on line 2 2 of FIGURE l; and

FIGURE 3 is a schematic view of the electrical circuitry of the switch actuator of FIGURES l and 2, and the electrical connections to an actuated device.

Referring particularly to FIGURES 1 and 2, the actuator switch mechanism may be seen to include a contact housing 116 comprising a base wall 115 terminating in integral projecting upper, lower and side walls 12), 122 and 124, respectively, forming a continuous rectangular housing side wall. Radially inwardly bent tangs 126 retain a terminal base or Contact plate 123, fabricated of suitable insulating material, within the housing in abutment with an inward depression or projection 13@ in the upper housing wall 120. A plurality of rivet-like contacts, described more fully hereinafter with respect to FIGURE 3, are ixedly secured in the terminal base 128 and are variously connected to an electrical power source. An insulating plate 132 is interposed between the side wall of the housing 116 and the plate 123, and includes suitable apertures for the spaced rivet-type Contacts.

A Contact carrier member 134- includes oppositely disposed parallel arms 136, each having at its opposite ends Patented Aug. 3, 1965 ICC button-like bearing members 138 slidably abutting the base wall 118 or" the housing 116. The upper and lower portions 141i of the carrier wall intermediate the arms 136 are bent away from the bearing arms to form a receptacle for contact support block 142 made of a suitable insulating material. A pair of substantially U-shaped bridging contact members having contact heads 144 and 146 are axially movably mounted in predetermined spaced relation within recesses in the contact support block 142, a spring 149 being associated with each contact member. As a result, the bridging contacts are continuously urged into sliding abutting engagement with the insulating plate 132 for movement into bridging engagement with various groups of the fixed contacts on plate 128 as will appear hereinafter.

It will be noted that the carrier member 134 is closely confined between side walls 124 of the housing 116 so as to be movable along a single axis toward or away from the upper and lower housing walls and 122. On the other hand, the Contact support block 142 is coned with respect to carrier member 134 for movement along a second single axis in either direction with respect to the spaced housing side walls 124. As a result, upon movement of the carrier member 134 in what is a vertical direction in the installation shown, the movable bridging contacts 144 and 146 are translated therewith, while the contact support block 142 and the bridging contacts 144 and 146 may be translated relative to the carrier member along an axis at right angles to the axis of movement of the carrier member 134. Upon so moving the Contact support member 142 along either of the aforementioned axes, it will be apparent that the bridging contacts 144 and 146 cannot be inadvertently rotated about a longitudinal axis through the switch assembly thereby maintaining the bridging contacts in a predetermined position relative to the fixed contacts on plate 128.

An actuator housing 14S includes a plurality of spaced fingers 150 projecting through suitable apertures in the base wall 118 of the switch housing 116, and are turned radially outwardly to secure the two housings together. The exterior surface of the actuator housing 148 is threaded to receive a pair of lock nuts adapted to secure the entire actuator assembly to a suitable support panel 152. An externally operable actuator rod 154 extends into and through the actuator housing 148, and terminates in a ball-head 156 seated in a suitable socket 158 substantially centrally located within the contact support block 142. The opening 160 in base wall 118 of the switch housing 116, through which rod 154 extends, is of cloverleaf configuration. As a result, the actuator rod 154 is confined for movement substantially along either of two axes at right angles to each other.

At the open end of the actuator housing 148 through which the actuator 154 extends, there is formed a radially inwardly projecting annular shoulder 162 against which a similar shoulder of retaining cup 164 is seated. A radial shoulder 166 on rod 154 is continuously urged towards its seat on the shouldered cup 164 by an axially coiled self-centering spring 168 mounted within the actuator housing in abutment with base wall 118 and the actuator rod shoulder 166. The self-centering spring 168 permits manipulation of actuator rod 154 from the normal or rest position of FIGURE 1 to a circuit closing position. Thereafter, the actuator 154 may be released thereby being automatically returned to its centered circuit-open position by means of the self-centering spring.

Reference will now be made to FIGURE 3 with respect to the disposition of the aforementioned fixed rivet-type contacts on terminal plate 12S, their connections to the respective motor armatures 36 and 38, and their cooperation with the movable bridging contact members 144 and aiaeae 146 of the switch actuator mechanism 3. Moreover, in order to facilitate understanding of the switch structure, the following description will be made with reference to the disposition of the actuator mechanism as shown in FIGUREl; that is, with the bridging contacts 144 and 146 disposed in a substantially horizontal plane. However, it will be appreciated that the actuator may be mounted in any position dictated by convenience.

In FIGURE 3, there are shown two horizontally spaced rivet-type contacts 170 and 172 secured to the terminal plate 128 and respectively connected by the conductors 174 and 17a to the positive and negative sides of a suitable power source such as a vehicle battery. Horizontally spaced between and to either side of these contacts are the three fixed contacts 173, 1313 and 132. Contacts 178 and 182 are connected in parallel by conductors 184 and 186 to one end of the winding for motor armature 36. The contact 1%0 is connected in parallel 'with the other end of the winding of motor armature Se and one end of the winding of motor armature by conductors 18S and 191i.

Disposed directly above the respective contacts 17d and 172 are the horizontally spaced and fixed contacts 1%?. and 194. Contact 192 is connected by the aforementioned conductors 138 and 19d to one end or the winding of motor armature 38. Contact 1%4 is connected by conductors 196 and 19S to the other end of the winding of armature 3S.

In similar fashion, the horizontally spaced iixed contacts 200 and 202 are disposed directly below the contacts 170 and 172. Contact 25)@ is connected by conductor 198 to the end of winding of armature 33 opposite the connection of contact 192, while contact 202 is connected by conductors 188 and 190 to the end of the winding of armature 3S opposite the connection of contact 194.

In operation, the movable bridging contacts 144 and 146, of relatively larger diameter than the fixed contacts aforedescribed, are normally maintained in the position indicated in FIGURE 3 by the self-centering spring 168; that is, these movable contacts normally overiie the contacts 170 and 172 thereby maintaining the circuits through the armatures open. However, upon movement of the actuator rod 154 either in a vertical or horizontal plane, the movable contact members are adapted to bridge between the contacts 170 and 172 and a selected pair of the iixed contacts aforedescribed.

With respect to the above description of operation of the mechanism, and particularly that of the switch actuator shown in FXGURES 1 and 2, particular note should be made of the function of the carrier member 134 and contact support member or block 142. The aforementioned carrier member and contact support member function in cooperation with each other to always maintain the movable contacts 144 and 146 in a predetermined disposition with respect to each other and the spaced fixed contacts on terminal or base plate member 12S. To this end, and as appears more clearly in FIGURE 2, the carrier member 134 is closely confined between the laterally or horizontally spaced side walls 124 of rectangular switch housing 116 so as to be movable only in a vertical plane. c

The contact support member or block 142 is coniined on the carrier member 134 so as to be movable only in a horizontal plane or at right angles to movement of the carrier member. The actuator rod 154 is mounted by means of the ball head 156 within the socket 15S of the contact support member 142 whereby pivoting the actu* ator rod 154 in a vertical plane results in vertical movement of the contact support member 142 with the carrier member 134. As a result, the movable contact members 144 and 146 are maintained in a predetermined disposition for cooperation with respective pairs of fixed contacts 192 and 1% or 2d@ and 2112 for controlling mirror adjustment either downwardly or upwardly, respectively. On the other hand, the actuator rod 154 may be pivoted in a horizontal plane to move the contact support block 142 relative to the carrier member 134 which, in these circumstances, remains stationary due to its confinement within the switch housing. Again, the movable contacts 144 and 146 are maintained in their predetermined disposition for cooperation with various pairs of the contacts 178, 1S@ and 1&2 to control mirror adjustment to the right and left. Moreover, the cloverleaf configuration of the aperture 1653 in the base wall 11S of the switch housing restricts actuator rod movement substantially to the axes yor planes aforementioned, thereby avoiding any danger of one or the other motor armatures being short circuited. For example, if the actuator rod could be moved to any substantial degree diagonally of the switch housing, the movable contact 144 might bridge the iixed contacts 171) and 130 while the movable Contact 146 would bridge the fixed contacts 202 and 172 thereby resulting in a short.

Having disclosed a preferred embodiment for the purposes of illustration, it is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited thereby but only by the claim which follows.

What is claimed is:

A switch mechanism comprising a housing including oppositely disposed end walls enclosed by a continuous rectangular side wall, a plurality of spaced contacts fixed to one of said end walls interiorly of said housing and facing the other of said end Walls, a contact carrier member having oppositely disposed arms, bearing members on said arms slidably engaging the other of said end walls, said contact carrier member further having spaced wall portions bent toward said end wall having the spaced contacts iixed thereto, said contact carrier member being confined between said rectangular side wall for movement along a first axis, a contact support member confined within said spaced wall portions of said carrier member for movement therewith along said first axis and relative thereto along a second axis at right angles to said first axis, plural spaced bridging contacts carried by said contact support member in sliding abutting engagement with said one end wall for simultaneous selective bridging connection of adjacent ones of said plural fixed contacts, an exteriorly accessible actuator member connected to said contact support member for selectively moving the latter with said carrier member along said first axis, and relative to said carrier member along said second axis, and self-centering spring means to automatically return said actuator upon release of the latter to a circuit-opening position.

References Cited by the Examiner UNiTED STATES PATENTS 1,350,924 8/20 Eaton 200-16 1,716,370 6/29 Dark et al. 200--6 2,488,670 11/49 Koenig 200-16 2,589,025 3/52 Phelphs et al 200-16 2,916,567 12/59 Floam et al 200-16 3,030,459 4/62 Elliott et al 20G-16 FOREiGN PATENTS 1,150,461 8/57 France.

ROBERT K. SCHAEFER, Acting Primary Examiner,


Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1350924 *Jul 26, 1918Aug 24, 1920Gen ElectricControl-switch
US1716370 *Sep 3, 1926Jun 11, 1929Dark William FrederickVehicle safety signal
US2488670 *Jan 10, 1946Nov 22, 1949Cutler Hammer IncElectric switch
US2589025 *Jul 21, 1949Mar 11, 1952Curtis Dev & Mfg CoMultiposition switch
US2916567 *Aug 15, 1955Dec 8, 1959Leonard FloamControl switch for vehicle signalling system
US3030459 *Jul 30, 1959Apr 17, 1962Gen Motors CorpCircuit controller
FR1150461A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3475081 *Dec 2, 1966Oct 28, 1969Edward M CarterOutside mirror and magnetic positioning means
US4308434 *Apr 28, 1980Dec 29, 1981Otto Engineering, Inc.Multiposition electrical switch
US5227594 *Dec 12, 1991Jul 13, 1993Guardian Electric Manufacturing CompanyElectrical multi-directional switch
U.S. Classification200/6.00R, 74/471.00R, 74/471.0XY, 200/561
International ClassificationG05G9/00, G05G9/047
Cooperative ClassificationG05G2009/04744, G05G2009/04733, G05G9/04785
European ClassificationG05G9/047S