US 3226501 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 28, 1965 s. SESERMAN 3,226,501
FINGER MOUNT ASSEMBLY FOR CONTROL SWITCH Filed NOV. 13, 1963 O I? 1 28 O 64 O =IL64 =[L64 24 I NVE NTOR. SAMUEL SESERMAN FIG. 8
w' mw ATTORN EYS United States Patent 3,226,501 FINGER MOUNT ASSEMBLY FOR CONTROL SWITCH Samuel Seserman, 76 Esmond St., Dorchester, Mass. Filed Nov. 13, 1963, Ser. No. 323,346 7 Claims. (Cl. 200-52) This invention relates to switching devices and more particularly comprises a new and improved control switch assembly which may be attached to the hand of an operator without impairing the freedom of movement of the hand or fingers.
A wide variety of machines designed for both domestic and industrial use have control switches which must be readily accessible to the operator. The switches may typically control the operation of a brake or the prime mover of the machine, a feed mechanism for directing work to or through the machine, or the position of a guide or protective screen. These are but a few of the almost infinite variety of operations which such switches may control. Normally the switches are mounted on the front of the machines so that the operator can easily throw the switch in response to some existing condition.
A typical machine which may employ such a switch is disclosed in my copending application Serial No. 274,513, now abandoned, filed April 22, 1963 entitled Work Guide Apparatus for Sewing Machines. In accordance with the invention of that application a guide is movably mounted adjacent the needle of the sewing machine, which guide is under the control of a switch so that it may instantaneously be moved between operative and inoperative positions. In order to afford the operator instantaneous control over the position of the guide, the switch is carried on the hand of the operator rather than being mounted in a fixed location on the machine itself. The present invention is ideally suited for use in the machine of that application for it affords the operator instantaneous control over the machine by placing the switch on his hand without in any way impairing the freedom of movement of the operators hand for carrying out the other normal functions of operating the machine. A switch actually carried about in an operators hand is obviously more accessible than a switch fixed on a machine, and can be actuated even more quickly than the specially designed foot controlled switches.
One important object of this invention is to provide a switch assembly which is extremely light and small so that when worn on the hand to remotely control a machine it does not tire the wearer.
Yet another important object of this invention is to provide a switch assembly to be worn on the hand, which is extremely rugged so that it will not easily be damaged.
To accomplish these and other objects the switch assembly of this invention includes an arcuate block adapted to sit generally on the side and back of the index finger of the user. A ring is secured to the block and surrounds the index finger when the block sits in the position described. A switch is mounted on the block and carries an acutating button on one side thereof located to be conveniently actuated by the thumb of the hand on which the block sits. A stem is secured to the block and weaves about the middle and third fingers at their first joints to steady the ring and block on the index finger. The ring and stem do not in any way inhibit freedom of movement of the fingers but rather allow the operator complete mobility.
These and other objects and features of this invention along with its incident advantages will be better understood and appreciated from the following detailed description of one embodiment thereof, selected for purposes of illustration and shown in the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is a side view of a switching device constructed in accordance with this invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary view, partly in section, of the device shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a front view of the device shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a top view of the device shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a side view of one of the components of the switching device;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary perspective view of the component shown in FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 illustrates the manner in which the switching device is worn on the hand; and
FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 7 but suggesting the unimpaired freedom of movement of the hand.
The switching device shown in the drawing includes in its general organization a block 10, a ring 12 and a stem 14 which together house and support a switch 16 on the hand of an operator.
The block 10 is generaly arcuate in shape and has an inner arcuate edge 18 and an outer edge 20 which are roughly parallel with one another. The block 10 may conveniently be molded of a plastic material and is generally composed of a pair of side walls 22 and 24 secured together by a number of screws 26. The walls may take different forms but essentially define an interior cavity 28 which houses the switch 16. Thus, in FIG. 4 the side walls 22 and 24- are shown joined together at their edges 30 that extend along the center of the outer arcuate edge 20, but it is not essential that the two walls fit together in that precise manner.
The inner edge 18 of the block 10 is provided with a dove-tailed slot 32 throughout its length, which receives the dove-tailed slide 34 carried on the outer surface of the ring 12 over an arc of approximately as is evident in FIG. 5. Once mounted on the block the ring may be releasably held in place by frictional contact of the slide and slot or by any convenient means. The ring 12 is sized to receive the index finger of the hand and support the block 10 over the back and side of the index finger as is clearly shown in FIG. 8. Because the ring may be removed from the block the owner may replace one ring with another of different size which comfortably receives the finger.
The front wall 36 of the block 10 integrally formed with the side wall 22 supports a switch actuator 38 that includes a button 40, a boss 42 and stem 44 as shown in FIG. 2. The stem 44 extends through the wall 36 and is biased to the extended position shown in FIG. 2 by a small leaf spring 46. The spring 46 urges the button outwardly away from the switch stem 38 that controls the internal contacts of the switch 16. When the button 40 is pushed inwardly against the bias of the spring 46 the spring blade 46 and/or the stem 44 engages the switch stem 48 to change the condition of the switch 16. The switch 16 is of the type which changes its condition each time the stem 48 is depressed; that is, if it is in the closed position actuation of the stem 48 the first time opens the switch 16 and when actuated again the stem 48 returns the switch to the closed condition.
When the block 10 is supported on the index finger as viewed in FIG. 7 the thumb of the hand is in a position to depress the button 40 with but a very slight motion. This is particularly true when the hand is slightly curled into the normal position of the hand. It is evident that upon an inspection of FIG. 7 that if the palm is slightly curved and the fingers are slightly bent the thumb of the hand will extend across the front of the button 40 of the actuator 38 so that a slight rearward movement of the thumb will depress the button.
To steady the block 10 on the index finger and assist I the ring 12, the stem 14 is provided which weaves about the middle and third fingers of the hand. The stem 14 extends downwardly from the end wall 50 of the block 10 and generally leaves the block tangentially to the ring 12. The upper portion 52 of the stem 14 is adapted to lie behind the middle finger and below the portion 52, a bend 54 is provided to carry the lower portion of the stem between the middle and third fingers and about the third finger. Thus, the lower portion 56 of the stem extends about the front of the third finger, and the tail 5% of the stem extends rearwardly and terminates between the third and fourth fingers of the hand.
In FIG. 2 the stem 14 is suggested as extending int-o the block and generally follows the curvature of the inner edge 18 of the block. The stem may be either formed as an integral part of the block 10 or alternatively it may be formed as a separate element, and it is only essential that the stem may be secured firmly to the block when the device is assembled. In the embodiment shown the stem extends upward through an opening 60 provided in the end wall 50 of the block, which opening also provides access for the cord of conductor wires 62 that are connected to two of the terminals 64 of the switching device 16. Preferably the cord extends out of the opening 60 behind the stem 14 so that it does not interfere with the position of the stem 14 on the fingers or in any way make the device uncomfortable when Worn. The position of the cord allows it to extend to the receptacle or jack on the machine to which it is connected without interfering with the hand.
In FIGS. 3 and 7 the stem 14 is shown to be provided with a slight curvature to the right as viewed from the front of the device. Preferably the stem 14 remains at the base of the fingers at their first joints, and as the first joints of the index, middle and third fingers define a slightly curved path, in order for the stem to follow those joints it too much be provided with this same curvature. The curvature of the stem 14 helps to retain the stern adjacent the first joints of the fingers and the block 10 at the very base of the index finger at a location particularly accessible to the thumb so that the thumb may actuate the button 40, and at the same time the block is out of the way of the front of the hand. It will of course be recognized that if the device is to be worn on the left hand of the operator the curvature of the stem 14 will be reversed as viewed in FIG. 3. For convenience and versatility the stem 14 may be made of a material possessing enough flexibility so that it may be bent manually by the individual user with perhaps the application of heat so that he may specially tailor the curvature of the stem 14 to suit the shape of his own hand.
Preferably the block 10 is approximately inch in thickness and the thicknesses of the ring and stem are the same or slightly less than the block. The actuator 38 preferably has a 1-2 ounce touch. A ring inner diameter of approximately inch is particularly well suited to fit index fingers of average size.
From the foregoing description it will be recognized that the switching device may be worn on the hand without in any way impairing the maneuverability of the fingers. The hand carrying the switch may freely grasp the Work on which the operator is performing the designated task as if the hand was wholly unadorned. Nevertheless, while complete freedom is afforded the operators hand, the operator can in an instant merely by a flick of the thumb actuate the switch 16 in the housing to control the machine or its particular part dominated by the switch 16. The assembly may be slipped on and off the hand as easily as a ring of jewelry and is so light on the hand that it in no way fatigues the operator.
From the foregoing description those skilled in the art will appreciate that numerous modifications may be made of this invention without departing from its spirit. Therefore, I do not intend to limit the breadth of this invention to the single embodiment illustrated and described. Rather, it is intended that the scope of this invention be determined by the appended claims and their equivalents.
What is claimed is:
1. A finger grip switch comprising,
a generally arcuate block having an inner edge describing an arc of approximately adapted to sit upon the upper side and back of the index finger of the hand of an operator,
a switch mounted in the block,
a ring secured to the inner edge of the block and adapted to surround the index finger adjacent its first joint,
a stem secured to the block adjacent one end of the inner edge and adapted to extend over the back of the middle finger, between the middle and third fingers, about the front of the third finger and terminating between the third and fourth fingers adjacent the first joints of the middle, third and fourth fingers,
and a switch actuator mounted on the block at the other end of the inner edge and adapted to be controlled by the thumb of the operator.
2. A finger grip switch as defined in claim 1 further characterized by,
an opening in the block adjacent the stem,
and conductor wires extending from the switch in the block out of the opening.
3. A finger switch as defined in claim 1 further characterized by,
a dove-tailed slot provided on the inner edge of the block and releasably receiving a dove-tailed slide on the ring to hold said ring on the edge.
4. A finger grip as defined in claim 1 further characterized by said stem being bent inwardly in the direction of the palm of the wearer to conform to the arcuate line of the first joints of the fingers.
5. A finger grip switch comprising,
a block adapted to sit generally on the side and back of the index finger of the user,
a ring mounted on the block and adapted to surround the base of the index finger when the block is seated on the index finger,
a switch mounted within the block,
a switch actuator on the block and adapted to be pressed by the side of the thumb normally facing the index finger,
and a stern secured to the :block and adapted to weave about the bases of the middle and third fingers when the ring surrounds the index finger without interfering with the movement of any of the fingers.
6. A finger grip switch as defined in claim 5 further characterized by,
said ring being detachably mounted on the block to allow rings of different sizes to be attached thereto.
7. A finger grip switch as defined in claim 5 further characterized by,
said block being generally arcuate in shape and extending about a quadrant of the ring and having a thickof approximately of an inch.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,197,652 9/1916 Newton. 1,280,457 10/1918 Harris 200-157 KATHLEEN H. CLAFFY, Primary Examiner.
ROBERT K. SCHAEFER, Examiner.