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Publication numberUS3212080 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 12, 1965
Filing dateFeb 7, 1962
Priority dateFeb 7, 1962
Publication numberUS 3212080 A, US 3212080A, US-A-3212080, US3212080 A, US3212080A
InventorsGurian Seymour D, Schwartz Harvey A
Original AssigneeMadigan Electronic Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electroluminescent panel controlled by doorbell switch
US 3212080 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 12, 1965 s. D. GURlAN ETAL 3,212,080

ELECTROLUMINESCENT PANEL CONTROLLLED BY DOORBELL SWITCH 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Feb. 7, 1962 INVENTORS s. D. Gale/4W //4/VY sow/W272 Oct. 12, 1965 s. D. GURIAN ETAL 3,212,080 ELECTROLUMINESCENT PANEL CONTROLLLED BY DOORBELL SWITCH Filed Feb. 7, 1962 I 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR5 5.0. GUE/fi/V United States Patent (Mike 3,212,080 ELECTROLUMINESCENT PANEL CONTROLLED BY DOORBELL SWITCH Seymour D. Gurian, East Meadow, and Harvey A. Schwartz, Merrick, N.Y., assiguors to Madigan Electronic Corporation, a corporation of New York Filed Feb. 7, 1962, Ser. No. 171,721 3 Claims. (Cl. 340-286) This invention relates generally to display devices and more particularly to a combined electroluminescent residence identifying and annunciator control device.

In areas where residences are identified by numbers the numbers are usually displayed near the annunciator or door bell control. It is common experience for a person to be unable to locate the door bell of the house when there is no light in the vicinity.

This invention provides a number device which can be readily seen in the dark in order to identify a specific residence and which will aid the finding of the door bell in the dark.

Heretofore various types of house numbering devices have been designed and utilized in an attempt to solve the problem. Electrical lighting as is commonly found in the house has been utilized to illuminate the house number. Electric lights have been formed as numbers. Also reflective and fluorescent devices have been used.

The electric light devices have been unacceptable since they require high current and power input. The reflective and fluorescent devices have been unacceptable since each requires a source of light energy in the vicinity.

An additional problem which has heretofore remained unsolved and which must be considered a major problem in this area is the installation problem. A device of this type must be easily installed in existing residences and preferably by the home owner himself without the necessity of specialized skill or experience.

The invention herein disclosed has as its principal object the furnishing of a residential number display device which is combined with a residental annunciator control which can be connected with the existing residential annunciator control circuit and which has a numeric display illuminated by means of an electroluminescent panel energized by utilization of the current in the annunciator control circuit.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a combined electroluminescent house identifying display and an annunciator control which upon actuation thereof will actuate a hell or chime while effecting a discontinuance of the light being emitted by the display dev1ce.

An electroluminescent display device embodying the invention and the manner of using the same is described herein with references to the drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a residential entrance utilizing a combined electroluminescent display device and annunciator control constructed in accordance with the teachings of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of the electroluminescent display device shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a partially sectional view taken along the line 3-3 in the direction of the arrows as indicated in FIG FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along the line 44 in the direction of the arrows as indicated in FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a front view of the electroluminescent display device shown in FIG. 2 with portions thereof cutaway;

FIG. 6 is a schematic showing of the circuitry utilized in the electroluminescent display device shown in FIG. 1; and

FIG. 7 is a wiring diagram of the wiring utilized in aziaa Patented Oct. 12, 1965 the electroluminescent display device shown in FIG. 1.

The display device shown in figure-s utilizes a phosphorescent material encapsulated in a dielectric and sandwiched between two conductive surfaces. The material radiates energy in the visible spectrum when excited by alternating electric fields. This phenomenon is well known in the art and called electroluminescence. The invention disclosed and claimed herein untilizes this principle in a unique application.

The device disclosed herein is basically designed to replace a conventional residential annunciator control with an illuminated numeric display while still retaining the annunciator control and without any modification whatsoever to the existing annunciator control circuitry.

The display device which is the subject of this invention is indicated in the figures generally by the numeral 10 and is enclosed in a vertical elongated casing comprised of rectangular back plate 11 and front cover 12 joined together at peripheral junction 13 in any suitable manner. The back plate and front cover are formed out 'of any weather resistant material preferably by molding and a rectangular opening 14 is provided in the front cover. A decorative projection 15 is provided in the front cover at the top thereof and a second rectangular opening 16 is provided in the lower portion of the front cover through which annunciator control 17 is allowed to project. The annunciator control 17 is formed of an electrically non-conductive material preferably the same material from which the casing has been formed such as an acrylic material and is in the form of a projection'15 for decorative purposes. The annunciator control 17 .is maintained in the position that it is shown in FIG. 3 normally and yieldingly urged into that position by spring contact members 18 and 19. Control 17 is free to move horizontally or toward and away from back plate 11 and shoulder 20 is provided in the structure to maintain proper movement of control 17 when it is depressed. Spring members 18 and 19 are formed of brass or other suitable material which will have a resilient property while being suitable for use as electrical contact members. Spring members 18 and 19 are fastened to posts 21 and 22 respectively in such a way that they are normally separated from one another. These members 18 and 19 together with the mounting posts are utilized as part of the electrical circuit as will be explained below. Suffice it to say, at this point in the description that the members 18 and 19 are separated from each other when control 17 is in its extreme outwardly position or to the left as viewed in FIG. 3. The moving of control 17 to the right in FIG. 3 serves to bring contact members 18 and 19 together to complete the circuit.

As seen in FIG. 4 the back place is provided with forwardly projecting flange members 23 and 24 which are utilized for fastening the front cover and back place together by means of screws 24 and which are provided with facing channels 25 and 26 and facing channels 27 and 28.

A suitable rectangular electroluminescent panel 29 is supported in the casing with its vertical edges disposed within channels 27 and 28. A numeric panel 30 is mounted in the casing with its vertical edges disposed in channels 25 and 26. Numeric panel 30 is also a rectangular number and is mounted forwardly of electroluminescent panel 29. Panel 30 is formed of a material which will prevent exposure of the visible light rays emitted from the electroluminescent panel.

A series of numbers such as those shown in FIGS. 2 and 5 and indicated generally by the numeral 31 are formed in numeric panel 30 by fashioning clear-through openings therein. These numbers are visible in the dark because the light rays from the electroluminescent panel can pass the blocking member or panel 30 only through the clear-through openings.

A power pack or transformer 32 is also supported by the back plate to which it is fastened by any suit-able means as are electrical terminals 33, 34, 35, 36 and 37.

The alternating current potential required to excite the electroluminescent plate 29 is in the region of 125 volts rms; however, it is the intention of this invention to operate the entire system from a lower voltage source such as 810 volts, 16 volts or 24 volts which are normally enumerated in residential annunciator circuits.

In FIG. 6 annunciator transformer 38 which is the type normally found in the residential annunciator system is shown. Annunciator transformer 38 can supply 8-10 volts, 16 or 24 volts depending upon the connections made thereto. In FIG. 6 leads 40 and 41 are connected to posts 36 and 37. These leads are also shown in FIG. entering the device through opening 42 provided in the back plate. Electrical leads 43 and 44 connect posts 36 and 37 electrically to posts 34 and 33 respectively. Electrical connections 45 and 46 connect posts 33 and 34 to the primary of power pack transformer 32 and the secondary circuit of the transformer 32 is completed through resistor 47 and electroluminescent panel 29. Resistor 47 is a current limiting resistor. The leads are attached to the electroluminescent panel at 29' in any manner commonly used in the art. Lead 48 connects posts 37 and 21 and contact member 19 together electrically while lead 49 connects posts 36 and 22 and contact member 18 together electrically. Hence annunciator control 17 which is also shown schematically in FIG. 6 and indicated therein by the numeral 50 has been placed in circuit.

The display device is connected electrically in series with the primary annunciator 39 and is normally energized. When electroluminescent plate 29 is illuminated the primary annunciator 39 is not energized however. This is accomplished by so arranging the impedance of voltage step-up transformer 32 so that when plate 29 is in the energized condition the major portion of the primary voltage appears across the transformer; with the primary current flow below the threshold or minimum required energization current. In the event it is desired to activate the residential annunciator 39 depressing control 17 closes the normally open contacts 18 and 19 setting up a short circuit between leads 44 and 43 allowing current to pass through annunciator 39 which is above its threshold value. An advantage of such an arrangement is that a person wishing to operate the annunciator by pressing control 17 will have knowledge whether or not the people inside are actually hearing the hell or other annunciator.

The device disclosed can be provided with an interrupting device of any type placed in the circuit of panel 29 as at 51 as shown in phantom in FIG. 7. Such a device contemplated would be the type which periodically interrupts a circuit by the opening of contacts as a result of heating or a light sensitive type which interrupts a circuit by the opening of contacts upon signal from a light sensitive source so that the illumination of panel 29 will cease during daylight hours.

As used herein, the term annunciator or primary annunciator as indicated by numeral 39 shall mean a bell or buzzer of the type normally found in a residence and which is activated by current passing therethrough above a minimum or threshold value.

Thus, among others, the several objects in the invention as specifically aforenoted, are achieved. Obviously, numerous changes in construction and re-arrangernent of parts might be resorted to without departing from the spirit of the invention as defined by the claims.

We claim:

1. A residence identifying device for use with a pri mary annunciator energized by a low voltage annunciator transformer connected with the residence voltage supply including in combination a step-up transformer, an electroluminescent panel normally illuminated at a high voltage by the secondary of said step-up transformer, said primary annunciator and the secondary of said annunciator transformer being in series with the primary of said step-up transformer, the capacitance of said electroluminescent panel in combination with the inductance of the secondary windings of said step-up transformer providing a maximum secondary impedance reflected back into the primary of said step-up transformer to provide a minimum current flowing in the primary of said step-up transformer normally below the threshold value of said primary annunciator and the current flowing in the secondary of said step-up transformer of a value to normally energize said electroluminescent panel and control means operatively associated with said primary annunciator which upon actuation thereof establishes a current in said primary annunciator above the threshold value and causes discontinuance of energization of said electroluminescent panel, said control means including short circuit means provided in parallel with the primary winding of said step-up transformer.

2. A residence identifying and annunciator control device in accordance With claim 1 in which the short circuit means includes a normally open switch and a push button for closing the same.

3. A residence identifying and annunciator control device in accordance with claim 1 in which numeric panel overlies said electroluminescent panel and openings are formed in said numeric panel exposing portions of said electroluminescent panel to view.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,163,349 12/15 Kimball 40130 1,347,421 7/20 Temple 40130 1,651,084 11/27 Clark 40-130 1,661,994 3/28 Brown 34033O 1,871,650 8/32 Bartley 340330 2,053,588 9/36 Voepel 40-132 2,097,625 11/37 Langlotz 40130 2,118,385 5/38 Shively 40-132 2,673,914 3/54 Sundt 40-130 2,847,602 8/58 Micklin 40l30 2,988,661 6/61 Goodman 313108.1 3,037,137 5/62 Motson 40130 3,114,854 12/63 Koury 313108.1

NEIL C. READ, Primary Examiner.


Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1163349 *Oct 26, 1914Dec 7, 1915Gordon KimballCombined push-button-controlled door-bell and illuminating-sign.
US1347421 *Sep 25, 1917Jul 20, 1920Temple Fred WElectrical indicator
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3339104 *Nov 5, 1964Aug 29, 1967Kollsman Instr CorpSolid state switch
US3344269 *Apr 5, 1965Sep 26, 1967 Electroluminescent panel device
US3680237 *Apr 30, 1971Aug 1, 1972Finnerty John Gerard SrOutdoor illuminated signs
US4164731 *Sep 15, 1977Aug 14, 1979King Harold RElectrical communication signalling device
US4854062 *Jan 25, 1988Aug 8, 1989Bayo Luis EIlluminated house number device
US5709045 *Apr 16, 1996Jan 20, 1998Thelen; Brian L.Electroluminescent identification device
US6058635 *Feb 12, 1998May 9, 2000Morris; Raymond T.Door frame with integrated exit signage
US6060838 *Nov 21, 1995May 9, 2000Creative Concepts And Consulting CorporationIllumination device
U.S. Classification340/286.11, 340/330, 315/182, 40/544
International ClassificationG08B5/36, G08B5/22
Cooperative ClassificationG08B5/36
European ClassificationG08B5/36