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Publication numberUS3205487 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 7, 1965
Filing dateMar 25, 1963
Priority dateMar 25, 1963
Publication numberUS 3205487 A, US 3205487A, US-A-3205487, US3205487 A, US3205487A
InventorsVriend Joseph A
Original AssigneeVriend Joseph A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Portable visual signal device for giving visual morse code signals
US 3205487 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept; 7, 1965 J. A. VRIEND 3,205,487

PORTABLE VISUAL SIGNAL DEVICE FOR GIVING VISUAL MORSE CODE SIGNALS Filed March 25, 1963 INVENTOR.

JOSEPH A VRIEND.

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United States Patent 3,205,487 PORTABLE VISUAL SIGNAL DEVICE FOR GIVING VISUAL MQRSE CQDE SIGNALS Joseph A. Vriend, PA). Box 505, Squamish, British Columbia, (Jauada Filed Mar. 25, 1963, Ser. No. 267,555 7 Claims. (Cl. 340-621) This invention relates to a portable automatic distress signalling device which will automatically emit a predetermined series of light flashes arranged in a distress pattern.

The device is primarly intended to act as a distress signal, however, it may also be used as a beacon or as an illuminating device as the occasion warrants.

Devices designedto emit intermittent flashes of light are numerous. They do not, however, provide in one compact portable device, operable by one who has no knowledge of signal codes, a means whereby the operator of the device is assured that his signal will always be taken for one of distress.

The present invention is not limited to its use in any one circumstance. It is, however, especially adapted for use in boats where in case of engine failure or the like the boat operator wishes to signal his distress in a continuous manner and at the same time try to repair or operate his boat.

The present invention provides a portable automatic visual signalling device which will continue to emit a visual distress signal independently of the operators continuous attention and which may be operated by any one having no knowledge of distress signal codes. The device is capable of being made watertight and is so proportional that it will float in water while emitting the distress signal.

The present invention consists of an automatic visual distress signalling device comprising an electric light bulb connected in an electric circuit to a source of electric power, automatic switch means operable by said source of electric power to open and close the circuit in predetermined intervals so that the light bulb will emit a light beam in corresponding intervals.

An example of this invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a side elevation of the device partially in section;

FIGURE 2 is a section taken on the line 22 of FIG- URE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a diagrammatic view showing the wiring diagram, and

FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary view of a switch connected with this apparatus.

Referring to the drawings, generally represents a casing having an upper section 12 and a lower section 14, and which is preferably composed of a resilient plastic material capable of being easily molded and which can be made watertight.

The lower section 14 of the casing is substantially a rectangular box of sufiicient internal size to accommodate a battery 16, which may be of the dry or wet type, and which is held securely in the lower section 14, and pressed upwardly against stops 18 formed in the side walls of the casing by a base plate 26, said base plate having an inwardly grooved lip 21 formed on its periphery, said lip fitting on outwardly disposed flange 22 formed around the bottom of the lower section 14, the lip 21 and flange 22 forming a snug watertight seal.

The upper section 12 of the casing is molded to form a central handle 23 and projects outwardly at its forward end 24 over the lower section 14 of the casing, said forward end being tubular in shape and having mounted therein an electric light bulb 26, preferably of the seal beam type. By referring to FIGURE 1, it will be seen 3,295,487 Patented Sept. 7, 1965 that the electric light bulb 26 has a peripheral flange 28 arranged to fit a corresponding annular recess 29 formed in the wall of the casing, the fitted seal being sufficiently snug so as to prohibit the entry of water therethrough. Mounted in the forward end 24 inwardly of the electric light bulb 26, is a circuit breaking mechanism 27, which will be described hereinafter electrically connected to the electric light bulb 26.

The rear end 32 of the upper section 12 of the casing 10 is provided with a flanged socket 34 in which a thermobreaker type light bulb 35 is secured, the socket being secured to the casing 10 by screws 37 projecting through the flange 38 of the socket 34 and into the casing 10. A red lens 39 is mounted centrally over the thermo- 'breaker light bulb 35, said lens having a base flange 41 adapted to fit and interlock with an annular flange 42 molded on the casing concentrically around the socket 34. The electric light bulb 26, the circuit breaking mechanism 2'7, and the thermo-breaker light bulb 35 are electrically connected to the battery by wires through a multiple selector switch 43 mounted on the upper section 12 slightly above the lower section 14, the wiring circuit being shown in FIGURE 3. The switch 43 is mounted inside the upper section 12, being secured thereto by screws 45 and has a switch spindle 46 protruding outwardly of the casing 10, being sealed by a seal 47. The switch spindle 46 is rotated by an indicator arm 48 secured on its outer end 49 to thereby permit selective positioning of the multiple selector switch 43.

Referring now to the current breaking mechanism 27, it will be seen by referring to FIGURES l and 2, that said circuit breaking mechanism comprises a housing 50 in which a fibrous non-conductive disc 52 is mounted for rotation on an axle 54, the ends 55 of which are rotatably journalled in bearings 56 secured in side walls 57of the housing 50. Metal inserts 58 are arranged in the disc 52 concentrically around the axle 54, said inserts being slightly thicker than the web of the disc to thereby project slightly outwardly on each side thereof. By referring to FIGURE 2, it will be seen that the metal inserts are of various lengths and are so spaced that they describe the pattern depicting an S. O.S. signal in the International Morse Code. A pair of spring contact fingers 59 and 60 are secured to the housing 50, one on each side of the disc 52, by screw 61 and 62 and insulated by non-conductive washers, said fingers 5h and 60 projecting inwardly of the housing 50 through recesses 63 and 64 therein, respectively. The contact ends of the spring contact fingers 59 and 60 are arranged so that they will simultaneously slidably engage each metal insert. An electric motor 66 is secured to the housing 50 and has a worm pinion 67 projecting inwardly thereof to mesh with worm gear teeth 68 formed in the periphery of the disc 52, the electric motor serving as a driving mechanism to to rotate the disc 52, which will thereby bring each of the metal inserts 58 into consecutive engagement with the spring contact fingers 59 and 60. The electric motor is also connected in the wiring circuit to the battery 16 through the multiple selector switch 43.

In the operation of the device to emit a distress signal, it will be seen that if the multiple selector switch is positioned such that current flows through the electric motor 66 and through the spring contact fingers 59 and 60, the disc 52 will rotate and as each metal insert 58 passes between said spring contact fingers, a circuit to the electric light bulb 26 will be made, thereby causing the electric light bulb to emit a flash of light during the period of time that said spring contact fingers are in contact with one of said metal inserts. This circuit will be broken during the period that the spring contact fingers engage the non-conductive web of the disc 52 and will then be re made when the next metal insert is engaged by the spring ano es? contact fingers. It will be seen that the length of each of the metal inserts will determine the period of the emission of each flash of light. I

Details of construction of the multiple selector switch 43 will not be described as switches of this nature are standard in the electrical field. The main components of the switch as described as follows and as diagrammatically shown in FIGURE 3, comprise a first series of peripherally arranged contact points A, B, C, D and F connected by electrical conductors to light bulbs 26 and 35, as shown, and a contact bar 70 mounted on the spindle 46 for rotation therewith as the indicator arm 48 is rotatably positioned, one end 71 of the contact bar 70 being adapted to make slidable contact with each of the said contact points A, B, C, D and F. A second series of contact points A, B, C, D, and F are peripherally disposed so that when said one end 71 of the contact bar 70 is placed in contact with any one of the contact points of the first series, the other end 72 of the contact bar will contact its contact point in the second series. By referring to FIGURE 3, it will be seen that contact points A and B are connected directly to the battery 16 while contact points C, D and F are connected to the battery through the electric motor 66, the circuit breaking mechanism 27 and a secondary switch 73, said secondary switch 73 being open in its normal position and adapted to'be closed by a switch closing mechanism 74 when the end 71 of the contact bar 70 is placed in contact with contact points C, D, or F. One example of a .type of secondary switch 73 which may be used is shown in FIGURE 3 and FIGURE 4, and comprises two spaced .arcuately shaped contact elements 75 and 76, element- 75 being connected to the motor 66 and circuit breaking. mechanism 27, and the other element 76 being directly connected to the battery. The circuit is completed across said contact elements by a secondary contact bar '77 which is secured to the contact bar 70 and insulated therefrom by an insulator 78 substantially as shown in FIG- URE 4, and being so disposed that it will slidably and simultaneously contact contact elements 75 and 76.

Itwill be seen by referring to FIGURE 3, that when the contactbar 70 is placed in position A, the circuit between the battery and light bulb 26 will be made-permitting said light bulb 26 to emit a single steady beam of light to enable the device to be used as a flash light. When contact bar 70 is placed in position B, a similar circuit will be made to electric light bulb 35 alone, permitting said light bulb to emit intermittent flashes of light.

When contact bar 70 is placed in position C, light bulb 26 will be connected in a circuit to the battery through the circuit breaking mechanism 27, thereby permitting said light :bulb to emit flashes of light in the 8.0.8. pattern. When contact bar 70 is placed in a position that the end 71 contacts contact points C and D simultaneously, both light bulbs 26. and 35 are connected to the battery through the circuit breaking mechanism 27, thereby permitting both said light bulbs to emit flashes of light in the 8.0.8. pattern. It will be noted here that the thermo-breaker light bulb 35 must be of the type which has a period of 1 emission of light which is of longer duration than the period of emission of light produced by the circuit breaking mechanism in order for the light bulb to emit light flashes in the 5.0.8. pattern. When contact bar 70 is placed in posi on F, light bulb 35 alone is connected to the battery through the circuit breaking mechanism 27 permitting said light bulb to emit flashes of light in the 8.0.8. pattern.

As it is intended to use the device primarily inconjunction with boats, it is necessary that the distress signal be aimed in the right direction. A compass 80 is therefore mounted on the upper section 12 of the casing in a suitably fitting recess 81. By referring to FIGURE 1, it

will be seen that the recess 81 is inwardly lipped at its outer end 82, the compass being forced downwardly into the recess to be held securely by said outer end 82.

' may, therefore, be secured by a lanyard to a life preserver or the like and switched to any. operating position desired.

What I claim as my invention is:

1. An automatic visual distress signalling device comprising a portable casing, a battery mounted in the casing, a light bulb mounted in the casing and connected in a first electrical circuit to the battery, and a circuit breaker mounted in the casing and connected in series in said first circuit and being adapted to alternately open and close the latter, said circuit breaker comprising a rotatable member, an electric motor connected in a second circuit to the battery and geared to the rotatable member to drive the latter, a pair of contact points in the first electrical circuit being biased towards each other on each side of the rotatable member, and a plurality of spaced contact elements secured to the rotatable member for rotation therewith, each of said elements presenting contact surfaces on each side of rotatable member and arranged so that as the rotatable member is rotated each element' will, in turn, simultaneously brush each of the contact points to close the first electrical circuit and thereby energize the light bulb, said contact elements being spaced so that the light bulb will emit flashes of light in a sequence corresponding to an S.O.S. signal in the International Morse Code.

2. An automatic visual distress signalling device comprising a portable casing, a battery mounted in the casing, a light bulb mounted in the casing and connected in a first electrical circuit to the battery, and a circuit breaker mounted in the casing and connected in series in said first circuit and being adapted to alternately open and close the latter, said circuit breaker comprising a disc formed of a dielectric material mounted for rotation in the casing, an electric motor connected in a second circuit to the battery and geared to the rotatable member to drive the latter, a pair of contact points spaced on opposite sides of the disc and being resiliently biased against the sides thereof, and a plurality of contact elements connected to the disc each presenting contact surfaces extending beyond the opposite side surfaces of the disc and arranged so that as the disc is rotated each element will, in turn, simultaneously brush each of the contact points to close the first electrical circuit and thereby energize the light bulb, said contact elements being spaced so that the light bulb will emit flashes of light in a sequence corresponding to an 8.0.5. signal in the International Morse Code.

3. An automatic visual distress signalling device comprising a portable casing, a battery mounted in the casing, a light bulb mounted in the casing and connected in a first electrical circuit to the battery, and a circuit breaker mounted in the casing and connected in series in said first circuit and being adapted to alternately open and close the latter, said circuit breaker comprising a disc formed of a dielectric material and mounted for rotation in the casing, said disc having gear teeth formed on its periphery, an electrical motor connected in a second electrical circuit to the battery and arranged to drive a worm, the latter being operatively engaged with the teeth of the disc to thereby drive the disc, a pair of contact points spaced on opposite sides of the disc and being resiliently biased against the sides thereof, and a plurality of contact elements connected to the disc each presenting contact surfaces extending beyond the opposite side surfaces of the disc and arranged so that as the disc is rotated each element will, in turn, simultaneously brush each of the contact points to close the first electrical circuit and thereby energize the light bulb, said contact elements being spaced so that the light bulb will emit flashes of light in a sequence corresponding to an S.O.S. signal in the International Morse Code.

4. An automatic visual distress signalling device as claimed in claim 3 including a second light bulb mounted on the casing and connected in a third electrical circuit to the battery.

5. An automatic visual distress signalling device as claimed in claim 3 including a red coloured lens mounted over the second light bulb.

6. An automatic visual distress signalling device is claimed in claim 4 including a thermo switch connected in the third electrical circuit in series with the last-mentioned light bulb so as to automatically energize and deenergize the latter. I

7. An automatic visual distress signalling device as claimed in claim 4 including a selector switch operable to open and close all electrical circuits in combination or separately.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 12/36 Fink et a1. 34033 1 5/42 James 340--33l 11/42 McAllister 340-331 11/ 54 Stoker et al. 340-321 3/56 Harmon 340321 10/56 Free 340321 X 10/62 Iorritsma 340321 12/ 63 Shattuck 34032l FOREIGN PATENTS 1/ 5 9 Austria.

NEIL C. READ, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2066145 *Jun 13, 1933Dec 29, 1936Fink John HChangeable color electric lamp
US2283442 *May 31, 1940May 19, 1942Cyclite Company IncPeriodic switch
US2300795 *Jul 9, 1941Nov 3, 1942Internat Marine Radio CompanyDistress buoy and the like
US2695403 *Oct 30, 1953Nov 23, 1954Donald L MessengerFlashing flashlight
US2739305 *Feb 18, 1952Mar 20, 1956Hugh E HayesCombination flash and beacon light
US2767390 *Jul 21, 1953Oct 16, 1956FreeEmergency road light
US3056954 *Oct 3, 1960Oct 2, 1962Jorritsma SidneyPortable signal device
US3114906 *May 11, 1962Dec 17, 1963Frank Howard JrPortable flare
AT204933B * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3938132 *Dec 6, 1974Feb 10, 1976Cunningham Jerry LIlluminated fishing tackle box
US4048631 *Jan 15, 1976Sep 13, 1977Jose FloresPortable variable intensity signalling flashlight
US4124842 *Jan 12, 1976Nov 7, 1978Robert BachelorMorse code signalling device
US4408182 *Jul 30, 1981Oct 4, 1983Kazuo HashimotoLighting and morse code signaling device
US5446345 *Oct 13, 1993Aug 29, 1995Visibility Systems Connecticut Limited PartnershipMiniature portable flasher light
Classifications
U.S. Classification340/321, 340/332
International ClassificationH04B10/04
Cooperative ClassificationF21L11/00
European ClassificationF21L11/00