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Publication numberUS3201542 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 17, 1965
Filing dateJul 23, 1963
Priority dateJul 23, 1963
Publication numberUS 3201542 A, US 3201542A, US-A-3201542, US3201542 A, US3201542A
InventorsHomer T Hutchison
Original AssigneeHomer T Hutchison
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Magnetic mechanical switch
US 3201542 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 17, 1965 H. T. HUTCHISON 3,201,542

MAGNETIC MECHANICAL SWITCH Filed July 25. 1963 FIG. 2

2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR HOMER T. HUTCHI SON ATTORNEY Aug. 17, 1965 Filed July 25, 1963 United States Patent menses lVlAGNE'lll-lil MECHANICAL SWITCH Homer T. Hutchison, Getchell Mine, Golconda, Nev. Filed July 23, 1963, Ser. No. 2%,989 9 Claims. (ill. wit-8'?) This invention relates to the completing and interrupt ing of the flow of electrical energy from a source to an electrical element as well as to apparatus for controlling such flow from a remote position.

The invention relates particularly to a mechanical switch for completing or interrupting the flow of electrical energy which the switch is responsive to the movement or vibration of the electrical element.

Heretoforc, various mechanical switches have sen provided, some of which have been operated mechanically, some have been operated by time controls, and some have been operated from a remote position. However, these prior switches have required additional elements such as springs or the like, or in the case of mercury switche have required that the position of the switch be changed and the switch remain in such position, or the contacts of these switches have been subject to oxidation and corrosion, and for various other reasons have een unsatisfactory.

it is an object of the invention to overcome the difficulties enumerated and to provide a mechanical switch which can be energized and tie-energized by moving such switch in one direction or the other to cause a sliding contact to move.

Another object of the invention is to provide a flashlight with a totally enclosed switch so that the flashlight will be waterproof, explosive-proof and floatable.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a flashlight having non-oxidizing and non-corrosive contacts as well as a flashlight in which battery leakage will not atfect operation of the contacts.

A further object of the invention is to provide a mechanical switch connected to a signalling device and mounted on apparatus in which vibration is required to be maintained at a minimum.

Other objects and advantages will be apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective illustrating one application of the invention,

FIG. 2, an enlarged fragmentary side elevation with portions broken away and illustrating one modification of the switch,

FIG. 3, a view similar to FIG. 2 of a slightly modifie switch,

FIG. 4, a view similar to FIG. 2 of a further modified form of switch,

FIG. 5, an enlarged fragmentary excluded detail of the structure of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6, a vertical section of a flashlight having a switch disposed intermediate the batteries,

Fl". 7, an enlarged top plan View of the switch of FIG. 6,

FIG. 8, a section taken along the line S-d of 6. 7,

PEG. 9, a perspective illustrating another application of the switch of the pre ent invention,

PEG. 19, an enlarged vertical section of the switch of FIG. 9, and

FIG. 11, a section taken along the line ll-lil of FIG. 10.

Briefly stated the present invention is a mechanical switch including a body having a hollow portion into which a pair of contact plates project and such plates are substantially in alignment and in spaced relation with each other. One or more magnetic sliding contacts are located within the hollow portion and are adapted to move by flipping, jerking or through vibration to either bridge a gap to make a circuit or to move away from the gap to break a circuit.

With continued reference to the drawings, H65. 1 and 2? illustrate one modification of the invention in which a flashlight iii is provided with a casing Ill in which at least one battery 12 is received. A reflector i3 is located in the open end of the casing lit and has an upper flange 14 which engages such open end and a lower flange 15 which engages the flange 1d of a lamp 17.

A lens holder 18 having an internal angular projection or flange is provided with a lens 2d and a gasket 21 is disposed between the flange 19 and the lens 2% to prevent the passage of water and air when the lens holder is applied to the casing. The holder 13 has internal threads 22 which engage cooperat'trg external threads 23 on tle casing and, if desired, a gasket 24 may be disposed against a shoulder 25 on the casing ii. for engaging the end of the holder it; to prevent the passage of water through such cooperating threads.

A generally cylindrical insulating block or mem er is disposed within the casing 1.1 and such member has a central bore and a frusto-conical recess 3% which cooperatively engages the reflector 13. The insulating member 28 has an opening or hollow portion 31 into which a nonunagnetic contact plate 32 extends from the bottom of such insulating member and such contact plate has an inwardly extending lower portion 33 which engages the central post on one of the batteries 12. A second nonmagnetic contactplate 35' has a portion disposed within the hollow portion 31 substantially in alignment with and in spaced relation to the contact plate 32 and such upper contact plate terminates in an inwardi extending portion 36 which engages a contact 37 on the lamp E7. The inwardly extending portion 33 of the lower contact is spaced from the inwardly extending portion 3a of the upper contact plate by an insulating snacer In order to bridge the gap between the contact plates 32 and 35 within the hollow portion 31, a pair of magnetized metal slugs 39 are located within such hollow portion 31 and one of such slugs is disposed on each side of the contact plates. The slugs 39 are arranged with the poles in a position to attract each other and to exert a pulling force to maintain the slugs in engagement with the contact plates.

As illustrated in FIG. 2 the lower contact plate 32 extends into the hollow portion 31 a distance greater than the mid-point of such hollow portion and the upper contact plate 35 extends substantially less than half-way of the hollow portion and in spaced relation with the lower contact plate. The slugs 39 as illustrated in P16. 2, are disposed adjacent to the bottom of the hollow portion and entirely in contact with the lower contact plate 32. When the flashlight is flipped in a downward direction, as illustrated in phantom in FIG. 1, the m0- menturn of the slugs will overcome the coeflicient of friction created by the magnetic attraction of the slugs to each other and cause the slugs to slide toward the upper end of the hollow portion.

The slugs are of a length to bridge the gap between the upper and lower contact plates when the slugs are bearing against the upper end of the hollow portion and will be retained in position by the magnetic attraction to each other. When the slugs are in the upper position the circuit will be completed and the lamp 17 will be energized. In order to interrupt the flow of electrical energy, the flashlight 10 may be flipped in the reverse direction to cause the slugs to move to the bottom of the hollow portion where they will no longer bridge the. gap between the contact plates 32 and 35.

With reference to FIG. 3 a modified form of the invention is disclosed in which the insulating member 28 l tented Aug. 1?, 19653 has a smaller opening or hollow portion 42 and in which the contact plates 32 and 35 extend along one side of the hollow portion 42. A ferrous plate 43 is imbedded in the insulating member 28 adjacent to the contact plates anda single magnetized slug 39 is adapted to move lengthwise of the hollow portion 42 and is attracted to the ferrous plate 43 to maintain the slug in position.

With reference to FIGS. 4 and 5 a modified form of flashlight is provided including a casing 45 having a frusto-conical upper portion 46 terminating in an annular flange 47. An insulating block or member 48 is disposed within the upper portion 46 and such insulating member is tapered to correspond to such frusto-conical upper portion. The insulating member 43 has an outwardly extending annular flange 49 of substantially the same diameter as the annular flange 47 'of the casing, and such insulating member may have a tapered recess which is coated with a reflective non-conductive material 49'. A frusto-conical non-magnetic conductor 50 is imbedded within the insulating member 48 and projects outwardly of the insulating member at a point just below the annular flange 49 to form a contact flange which engages the flange 47 on the casing. The insulating member 48 has a hollow portion 51 into whichone end of an upper non-magnetic contact plate 52 is adapted to project, the opposite end of said plate being connected to the conductor 50.

A lower non-magnetic contact plate 53 is disposed within such hollow portion in spaced aligned relation with the upper contact plate and such lower contact plate is connected by a strip 54 to a current carrying non-magnetic sleeve 55 located in the central portion of the insulating member. The sleeve 55 is provided with an inwardly extending annular flange 56 which engages the flange 57 of a lamp 58. The lower portion of the sleeve 55 threadedly engages a plug 59 constructed of plastic or other insulating material.

A contact 60 on the lamp 58 projects. downwardly into engagement with the upper portiondl, a conductor'strip netic slugs 66 are located'within the hollow portion 51f and operated in a manner similar'to that described in relation to FIGS. 1 and 2.

4 Relative to FIGS. 6-8' a further modified form of the inventionis illustrated and includes a flashlight having a casing 68 with a conventional lens holder 69, reflector 70 andlamp'71. The casing is adapted to receive a pair of batteries 72 each of which has aresilient band or spacer173' about the same to prevent the shell of the battery from coming into contact with the casing 68 and thereby completing a circuit. r

A switch 74' is disposed between the batteries72' and includes a generally cylindrical body 75 of a diameter substantially equal to the inside diameter of the casing 68. A relatively long non-magnetic. hollow sleeve 76 having a closed end 77 is mountedwithin'saidbody sub-' stantially alongthe. axis and such sleeve extends inwardly.

slightly more than one-half the length of the body 75.

A relatively short non-magnetic hollow sleeve '78 having' a closed end 79is mounted within said body in longitudinal alignment with the long sleeve 76 and in.

spaced relation thereto. In this construction the end 77 projects outwardly of one side of the bojdy75 and the plate 79 projects outwardly of the opposite side of said body. A generally cylindrical magneticslug 80, is located within the sleeves and is adapted" to move from one end of the body to the other end when the casing is flipped.

In order to maintain the slug in position a ferrous rod 81 is located adjacent to the sleeves 76 and 78 and such rod will attract the slug to hold such slug in position. The plate 77 is adapted to engage one of the batteries 72 and the plate 79 will engage the other of such batteries so that when the slug is disposed at one end of the body 75 it will bridge the gap between the sleeves 76 and 78 and complete a circuit to light the lamp. When the slug is at the opposite end of the body it will be totally received within the long sleeve 76 and the current will be interrupted.

It will-be noted that the flashlight may have one or more batteriesan'd that the switch 74 will function satis.- factorily when inserted anywhere in the circuit.

With reference to FIGS. 9l1 a switch 84'is installed on an electric motor 85 or the like and such switch is connected to an indicator light 86 or other signalling device and to a source of power by electrical conductors 87 and $8. The switch includes a hollow body 39 which is mounted on the motor in any conventional manner and such body includes a relatively long non-magnetic contact plate 95 extending into the hollow body 89 from one end and a relatively short non-magnetic contact plate 91 extending into the hollow body from the opposite end and substantially in alignment with the contact plate 99. Both contact plates 90 and 91 are connected to the electrical connector 37. A pair'of magnetic slugs 92 are disposed within the hollow body 89 in a position to attract each other.

When the body 39 is installed on the motor 85 the slugs 92 are located at the upper end of the body and are in engagement with the contact plate 90. In the event that the motor vibrates excessively the magnetic attraction of the slugs will be loosened and the gravitational pull on the slugs will cause such slugs to move downwardly until they bridge the gap between the plates 90 and 91 and permit electrical energy to flow through the conductor $7 and complete a circuit to the signalling device 86.

The switches described herein are waterproof and explosion-proof and moisture carrying. air is excluded. from the switches as well as from the' contacts. Thus, the contacts will be non-oxidizing and non-corrosiveand any battery leakage will not affect the operation of the switches or the contacts.

It will-be apparent that a relatively simple mechanical switch has been provided which is totally enclosed within a housing and may be moved lengthwise thereof when such housing is moved rapidly in one direction whereupon such switch will either complete or interrupt the flow of electrical energy depending upon the direction of movement of the housing.

It will be obvious to one skilled in the art that various changes may be made in the invention without departing from the spirit and scope thereof and therefore the invention isnot limited by'that which is illustrated in the drawings and described in the accompanying claims.

What is claimed is:

1. In a flashlight, a mechanical switch comprising a body having a hollow portion, a first non-magnetic contact plate carried by said body and extending into said hollow portion a distance substantially more than half the length thereof, a second non-magnetic contact plate carried by said body andextending into said hollow portion a distance substantially less than half the length thereof, said second contact plate being in alignment material having a hollow portion, a first non-magnetic contact carried by said body and extending into said hollow portion a distance greater than half the length thereof, a second non-magnetic contact carried by said insulating body and extending into said hollow portion a distance less than half the length thereof, said first and second contacts being substantially in alignment and in spaced relation to each other, at least one magnetic slug located within said hollow portion and being of a length less than the length of said first contact, means for attracting said magnetic slug for holding said slug in position against at least one of said contacts, said first and second contacts being interposed in an electrical circuit and connected to a source of electrical energy, whereby movement of said body will cause said slug to move by momentum to a position adjacent to one end of said hollow portion to complete or interrupt the flow of electrical energy through said contacts.

3. The structure of claim 2 in which said means for attracting said magnetic slug comprises a ferrous member.

4. The structure of claim 2 in which said means for attracting said magnetic slug includes a second magnetic slug in which the poles are arranged in a manner to attract each other.

5. A mechanical switch comprising a body having a hollow portion, a first non-magnetic contact means carried by said body, one end of said contact means extending into said hollow portion a distance greater than half the length thereof, a second non-magnetic contact means carried by said body, one end of said second contact means extending into said hollow portion a distance less than half the length thereof, the contiguous ends of said first and second contact means being in spaced relation to each other, magnetic means slidably mounted within said hollow portion, and means for maintaining said magnetic means in engagement with at least one of said contact means.

6. In combination, a movable body having a mechanical switch, said body having a hollow portion, a first non-magnetic contact means mounted on said body, a

portion of said contact means extending into said hollow portion, a second non-magnetic contact means mounted on said body and having a portion spaced from said portion of said first contact means, surfaces of said first and second contact means being in substantially the same plane, magnetic means slidably mounted within said hollow portion, said magnetic means being shiftable within the hollow portion of the body from a first position in which it engages said first contact means only to a second position in which it engages both of said contact means, and means for resisting slidable movement of said magnetic means within said hollow portion.

7. The invention of claim 6, in which said magnetic means comprises a permanent magnet and said means for resisting movement is another magnetic body spaced from said magnetic means, said magnet and said body having opposing poles in adjacent relationship and being disposed on opposite sides of said contact means, whereby the frictional resistance to movement is increased.

8. The invention of claim 6, in which said magnetic means is a permanent magnet and the means for resisting its movement is a body of ferromagnetic material, said magnet and said body disposed on the opposite sides of said contact means, whereby frictional resistance to the movement of said magnetic means is increased.

9. The invention of claim 6, in which said magnetic means is a body of ferromagnetic material and the means for resisting movement is a magnet, said body and said magnet disposed on the opposite sides of said contact means, whereby resistance to movement is increased.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,804,;518 8/57 Cooley ZOO-98 X 2,972,739 2/61 Opper 200-6152 X 3,025,372 3/62 Benson 200-67 X 3,162,376 12/64 Furuya 240-1066 NORTON ANSHER, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2804518 *Oct 25, 1954Aug 27, 1957Thompson Wendell LMagnetic switch
US2972739 *Jul 7, 1959Feb 21, 1961Ray C OpperPortable safety light
US3025372 *Aug 7, 1958Mar 13, 1962Louis BenjetskyReciprocating type actuating means
US3162376 *Nov 5, 1962Dec 22, 1964Furuya SyoichiWater-tight portable electric lamp for under-water use
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3792389 *Dec 22, 1971Feb 12, 1974Murphy JFlashlight and switch assembly
US3898450 *Nov 1, 1973Aug 5, 1975Texas Instruments IncReliable flashlight
US5006969 *Oct 31, 1989Apr 9, 1991Plum Industrial Co., Ltd.Flashlight with end cap switch
US5309336 *Feb 6, 1991May 3, 1994Millennia CorporationUniversal connector and automotive cigarette lighter assemblies and rechargeable flashlight incorporating same
US20140268722 *Mar 15, 2013Sep 18, 2014Lighting Science Group CorporationTrough luminaire with magnetic lighting devices and associated systems and methods
EP0813214A1 *Jun 10, 1997Dec 17, 1997PlastimoAlarm signalling device
Classifications
U.S. Classification335/207, 200/60, 362/202, 362/310, 335/196
International ClassificationH01H36/00, H01H35/02
Cooperative ClassificationH01H35/027, H01H36/00, F21V23/0414
European ClassificationF21V23/04L, H01H36/00, H01H35/02D