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Publication numberUS3227822 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 4, 1966
Filing dateNov 20, 1962
Priority dateNov 20, 1962
Publication numberUS 3227822 A, US 3227822A, US-A-3227822, US3227822 A, US3227822A
InventorsCorey Charles D
Original AssigneeCorey Charles D
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sub-miniaturized rotary switch with stationary spring contact members and locking means
US 3227822 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 4, 1966 c. D COREY 3,227,822

SUB-MINIATURIZED ROTARY SWITCH WITH STATIONARY SPRING CONTACT MEMBERS AND LOCKING MEANS 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed NOV. 20, 1962 Jan. 4, 1966 c. D. COREY 3,

SUB-MINIATURIZED ROTARY SWITCH WITH STATIONARY SPRING CONTACT MEMBERS AND LOCKING MEANS Filed Nov. 20, 1962 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. CAM/F455 D, aaesy \z jzew MM 3,227,822 ATIONARY Jan. 4, 1966 c. D. COREY INIATURIZED ROTARY SWITCH WITH ST RING CONTACT MEMBERS AND LOCKING MEANS 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 SUB-M SP Filed Nov. 20, 1962 INVEN TOR. 64 4245: 0. 6095) United States Patent 3,227,822 SUB-MINIATURHZED ROTARY SWITCH WITH STA- 'HONARY SPRING CUNTACT MEMBERS AND LUCKENG MEANS Charles D. Carey, Jones Lane, Huntington, N.Y. Filed Nov. 20, 1962, Ser. No. 239,014 Claims. (Cl. 20011) This invention relates to a miniaturized rotary switch and, more particularly, to sub-miniaturized rotary switches for use in sub-miniaturized circuitry systems.

In recent years miniaturized circuitry systems have become of great importance to the electrical and electronics fields. The need for durable and ruggedly constructed sub-miniaturized rotary switches for use in industry raised many problems. When the design of a standard rotary switch was miniaturized the parts were found to be too small to be manually handled and too fragile to meet the requirements of :a durable ruggedly constructed switch. Consequently, these switches could not be used where they would be subjected to extreme physical conditions such as the extreme gravitational forces and wide temperature ranges encountered in satellite and missile circuitry systerns.

Previous sub-miniaturized rotary switches have many other disadvantages when used as part of a miniaturized circuitry system because the several operative parts of the switch would fail after a short time under normal use. The difliculties of maintaining a hermetic seal when subjected to wide pressure ranges particularly when subjected to reduced pressures which cause an increased electron flow across the contacts of the switch resulting in its failure. Also when the switch is subjected to wide temperature ranges the difiiculty of maintaining a hermetic seal serves to prevent corrosion due to corrosive, dust laden atmosphere. Also, the locking means that held the switch in fixed yielding position would not withstand great impact or gravitational forces and which would fail when subjected to normal rotational movement.

It is therefore an object of my invention to provide a sub-miniaturized rotary switch which is of rugged and durable construction; which may be subjected to extreme temperature ranges; which may be hermetically sealed to provide for normal atmospheric pressure when subjected to extreme pressure ranges; and which will withstand corrosive and dust laden atmospheres.

It is a further object of my invention to provide a locking means in which the switch will remain in a desired position when subjected to extreme gravitational forces and stresses. electrical contacts which will remain in electrical contact when subjected to extreme gravitational forces.

Still another object of my invention is to provide a rotary switch that may be subjected to many rotational cycles which is inexpensive to manufacture and easy to assemble.

An embodiment of my invention contemplates providing a sub-miniaturized rotary switch for use in electrical and electronic circuitry systems which comprises a supporting structure, a commutator rotatably supported by the supporting structure and having a plurality of circumferentially spaced conducting surfaces with intervening circumferentially spaced insulating surfaces and a contact assembly formed of an electrically conducting spring member having a pair of spaced spring contacts integrally formed therewith. The contact assembly is mounted on the supporting structure so that the spring contacts engage the surface of the commutator.

The switch is provided with a ratchet means which serves to yieldingly hold the switch in a fixed position even when subjected to extreme gravitational forces and Also, to provide a rotary switch having 3,227,822 Patented Jan. 4, 1966 yet which will operate over extended periods of time under all operating conditions. Also, the switch is pro vided with a means to facilitate the rotation thereof so that when the switch is rotated to a new position it is positive in action, and is instantly and yieldably locked into place.

In the accompanying drawings there are illustrated various possible embodiments of my invention in which:

FIG. 1 is an exploded View of one form of my rotary switch in perspective;

FIG. 2 is an elevational view in vertical cross-section taken through the center of the switch;

FIG. 3 is a sectional View taken on the line 33 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is another embodiment of my invention shown in vertical cross-section;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken on the line 55 of FIG. 4, showing another embodiment of a locking means, and

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken on the line 6-6 of FIG. 5 showing another embodiment of my commutator.

For a better detailed description of my invention and illustrated by the drawings reference is made by numerals to the specific construction of my switch in which FIGS. 13 illustrate the construction of a make before break type of rotary switch. This type of switch is used where components in a circuitry system are either placed in or taken out of the system without interruption of any other part of the system. Numeral 10 referes to the assembled switch as shown in FIG. 2. Tubular casing 12 has a surface 13 adjacent an end thereof and an opening 14 disposed in said surface 13. A cylindrical ring 16 has an annular surface 18 adapted to be received by opening 14 of casing 12 when mounted therein. Vertical and parallel spaced notches or grooves 20 are provided on ring 16. Any convenient method may be used to mount ring 16 in fixed position to casing 12. Actuating assembly 27 includes a shaft 36 having a flanged surface 28 disposed at one end thereof. A transverse groove 29 is provided in flange 28 as a means for rotating the actuating assembly. A second flanged surface 32 is in spaced relation and parallel to flange 28 so that a groove is provided for mounting an elastic ring 24 having an opening 26 when hermetic scaling is desired. The ring 24 is mounted in groove 30 and retained in position by the corresponding surfaces of the flanges 28 and 32. A spring assembly 37 is mounted on the actuating assembly 27 by passing the shaft 36 through opening 4% of the base 39 of the spring assembly 37 and held in position by a rectangular section on shaft 36. A pair of symmetrical arcuate spring members 38 perpendicular to and integral with base member 39 is attached thereto at a portion of the lower edge of the arcuate member 38 as shown in FIG. 1. A pair of curved ends 41 forming a pawl at the opposite ends of the arcuate members 38 are adapted to engage the notches 20 of the ring 16 to form a detent assembly which comprises the ratchet or locking means. The commutator 43 is provided with a nonconducting surface 42 and mounted thereon is a pair of symmetrical electrically conducting surfaces 44 in spaced relation to each other so that a section of the non-conducting surface 42 forms an insulating means between the symmetrical conducting surfaces 44. An opening 45 is provided in the commutator assembly 43 so that the commutator assembly 43 is mounted on shaft 36 having the insulating surface 42 mounted against the spring assembly 37 on shaft 36 at 35.

The contact assembly consists of electrical conducting spring which is wrapped around the electrical conducting post 54- so that the contacts 51 and 52 are in overlapping staggered relationship to each other and at substantially equal radii with respect to the commutator assembly 43. The contacts or ends 51 and 52 are spaced from each other a distance greater than the width of the insulating surfaces separating commutator assembly 4-3. A flatened surface 53 of electrical conducting spring 50 is provided adjacent electrical conducting post 54 to increase the spring flexibility of compliance in a plane facing away from the flat surfaces. Post 54 is supported by a nonconducting base member 59 at opening 58. A bushing 46 is supported by base 59 to receive the shaft 36 of the actuating assembly 27. The switch is assembled by inserting the actuating assembly 27 into casing 12 so that the detent spring assembly 37 engages the notched ring 16. The elastic ring or O-ring 24 is such that the peripheral edge thereof is in yielding and sealing relationship against the walls of opening 22, thus providing a seal suflicient to enable the switch to be hermetically sealed. The base assembly comprising the posts 54, contact springs 59 and bushing 46 is placed in position so that shaft 36 is inserted in opening 48 of bushing 46. The casing 12 is locked into fixed position on base 59 by any conventional means such as crimping the peripheral edge 11 of casing 12 to base 59.

In FIGS. 4, and 6 of my invention is another form that may be used for my sub-miniaturized rotary switch design. The switch assembly is denoted by numeral The actuating assembly 62 comprises a pair of parallel flanges 64 and 66 in which flange 64 is mounted adjacent the end of shaft 65. A groove 68 extending transversely on flange 64 is provided as a means to rotate the actuating assembly 62. A resilient ring 24 as hereinbefore described is mounted in the groove 67 formed by the parallel flanges 64 and 66 when hermetic scaling is desired. Cylindrical casing 7t) comprising an end surface 71, an opening '72 is provided in surface 71 to receive annular ring 73 of the cylindrical notched surface 74. Notches 75 are spaced radially around the extension surface of the cylindrical surface 74. A spring assembly 37 is mounted on shaft 65 in fixed position and adapted to engage notched surface 74 hereinbefore described.

A nonconducting ring 76 having supported therein a pair of electrical conducting posts 78 one of which has a contact spring member 80 mounted on post 78 forming a pair of spring contacts 82 and 83 in spaced relation and parallel to each other. The above assembly is mounted on shaft 55. Interposed between the spring means 37 and said assembly is an insulating ring 84 so that post 78 does not conduct any current through casing 70.

Mounted on a nonconducting base member 86 is a plurality of electrical conducting surfaces 88, radially and circumferentially spaced having intervening radially and circumferentially spaced insulating surfaces of base 86. Disposed centrally on said base member 85 and insulated from conducting surfaces 88, is a substantially circular electrically conducting ring and extending therefrom an electrical conducting member 91. Extending through the base member 86 and forming a part of the radially spaced surfaces 88 are conducting posts 92. Member 91 forms a post which is a common conductor. Bushing 94 is supported in base member 86 to receive shaft 65 thereby causing contact 82 to be tensioned against surface 88 and contact 83 to be tensioned against ring 90.

It is obvious that my switch as shown by the drawings and described may be varied in construction for many difierent uses. For example, FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 show a rotary switch that may be used as an insertion switch such as placing a component of a circuit into a circuit without interrupting the entire circuit. It is obvious that the removal of a component will have the same effect. Also contemplated would be to have a plurality of components of the circuit electrically connected to the commutator so that one component may be inserted in place of a component in the circuit. The switch may also be used as a simple on and olf type switch.

In FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 by splitting the common conducting surface 90 and providing a post 91 thereon, the switch becomes a multiple pole, multiple circuit switch and the uses for which it may be used would increase and be obvious to one skilled in the art' Also contacts 82 and 83 may be in staggered relationship to each other to provide a make before break type of switch or they may be aligned with each other as shown in FIG. 6 to provide a make before break type of switch.

Thus, I have described and illustrated a sub-miniaturized rotary switch which is durable and ruggedly constructed, having a locking means which is sulficiently miniaturized to be used in a miniaturized switch and yet sufliciently large to be manually handled for rapid assembly. I also provide contacts which are durable, which may also be manually handled and yet miniaturized for use in my switch. Further, I have provided a switch that is easily manufactured and inexpensively assembled for use for electrical and electronic circuitry systems.

The materials that may be used for constructing my switch are many and are a matter of choice to those skilled in the art. Also the reversal of parts to effect the same result is contemplated within the scope of my invention as defined by the appended claims.

I claim:

I. A sub-miniaturized rotary switch for use in miniaturized circuitry systems which comprises in combination a casing, an actuating assembly and supporting structures mounted on said casing at each end thereof, said actuating assembly being rotatably mounted between said supporting structure, a locking means, said locking means comprising a first portion mounted in fixed position on said actuating assembly and rotatable relative to said casing, a second portion of said locking means mounted in fixed position on one of said supporting structures to yieldingly hold said actuating assembly in fixed position, a commutator mounted on said actuating assembly in fixed position and electrically insulated from said locking means, said commutator having a plurality of radially disposed and circumferentially spaced conducting surfaces with intervening circumferentially spaced insulating surfaces, a plurality of circumferentially spaced electrically conducting spring members, each of said spring members having a pair of spaced spring contacts integrally formed therewith, said spring members being mounted on one of said supporting structures electrically insulated from each other and from said supporting structures so that each pair of spring contacts engages the surface of said commutator and each pair of said spring contacts being spaced apart a distance greater than the width of said insulating surfaces of the commutator.

2. A sub-miniaturized rotary switich for use in miniaturized circuitry systems as set forth in claim 1 wherein an O-ring is yieldingly mounted on said actuating assembly to hermetically seal said casing and to provide means for rotary motion of the actuating assembly while maintaining conditioned atmosphere within the sub-miniaturized rotary switch.

3. A sub-miniaturized rotary switch for use in miniaturized circuitry systems as set forth in claim 1 wherein said spring contacts are in substantially staggered and overlapping relationship to each other and are spaced substantially at equal radii with respect to the center of said commutator.

4. A sub-miniaturized rotary switch for use in miniaturized circuitry systems which comprises in combination a casing, an actuating assembly and supporting structures mounted on said casing at each end thereof, said actuating assembly being rotatably mounted between said supporting structures, a locking means, said locking means comprising a first portion mounted in fixed position on said actuating assembly and rotatable relative to said casing, a second portion of said locking means mounted in fixed position on one of said supporting structures to yieldingly hold said actuating assembly in fixed position, an electrically conducting contact assembly mounted on said actuating assembly and insulated from said locking means, said contact assembly having a plurality of circumferentially spaced contact spring members electrically insulated from each other and from said actuating assembly each of said spring members having a pair of spaced spring contacts integrally formed therewith, a commutator mounted on one of said support structures and having a plurality of circumferentially spaced conducting surfaces with intervening circumferentially spaced insulating surfaces and elec trically insulated from said casing, said spring contacts electrically engaging said conducting surfaces so that when said actuating assembly is rotated a change in current flow is effected thereby.

5. A sub-miniaturized rotary switch for use in miniaturized circuitry systems as set forth in claim 4 wherein said spring contacts are disposed in spaced relation and substantially parallel to each other.

6. A sub-miniaturized rotary switch for use in miniaturized circuitry systems as set forth in claim 4 wherein an O-ring is yieldingly mounted on said actuating assembly to hermetically seal said casing and to provide means for rotary motion of the actuating assembly while maintaining conditioned atmosphere within the sub-miniaturized rotary switch.

7. A sub-miniaturized rotary switch for use in miniaturized circuitry systems which comprises in combination, a casing having side and end walls, an actuating assembly rotatably mounted between the end walls thereof and an electrically conducting and switching assembly disposed in said casing and including commutator means electrically insulated from said casing and having a plurality of circumferentially spaced conducting surfaces with intervening circumferentially spaced insulating surfaces and circumferentially spaced contact spring means each having a pair of spaced spring contacts integrally formed therewith and electrically insulated from each other and from said casing, one of said means being connected to the actuating assembly and the other of said means being mounted on said casing, each one of said means being in electrical contact with each other so that upon rotation of the actuating assembly the contact spring means and commutator means are rotated relative to each other to effect a change in current flow.

8. A sub-miniaturized rotary switch for use in miniaturized circuitry systems as set forth in claim 7 wherein said actuating assembly includes a locking means, said locking means comprising a first portion mounted on said actuating assembly and a second portion of said locking means mounted on said casing, both of said portions being mounted in fixed position and rotatable relative to said casing to yieldingly hold said actuating assembly in fixed position.

9. A sub-miniaturized rotary switch for use in a miniaturized circuitry system as set forth in claim 8 wherein said locking means includes a notched ring mounted adjacent the inner surface of an end wall of said casing, said ring having circumferentially spaced notches and a spring assembly mounted on said actuating assembly, said spring assembly including a base member, an arcuate spring member disposed substantially perpendicular to said base member, and extending circumferentially with respect to said base member and a pawl disposed at an end of said spring member, said notched ring concentrically positioned within said spring assembly whereby said pawl yieldingly engages said notches to retain said actuating assembly in fixed position relative to said casing.

10. A sub-miniaturized rotary switch for use in miniaturized circuitry systems as set forth in claim 7 wherein an O-ring is yieldingly mounted on said actuating assembly to hermetically seal said casing and to provide a means for rotary motion of the actuating assembly while maintaining a conditioned atmosphere within the sub-miniaturized rotary switch.

11. A sub-miniaturized rotary switch for use in miniaturized circuitry systems as set forth in claim 7 wherein said spaced spring contact means is mounted on said actu ating assembly so that upon rotation of the actuating assembly, the spring contact means engage the conducting surfaces of the commutator means mounted on an end Wall of said casing thereby effecting a change in current flow.

12. A subminiaturized rotary switch for use in a miniaturized circuitry system as set forth in claim 7 wherein said commutator means is mounted on said actuating assembly, so that upon rotation of the actuating assembly, the spring contact means mounted on an end wall of said casing engage the conducting surfaces of the commutator means thereby effecting a change in current flow.

13. A locking means for use in a sub-miniaturized rotary switch of the type having a casing with side and end walls, an actuating assembly extending longitudinally in said casing and rotatably mounted between the end walls thereof, said locking means comprising a detent assembly including a notched ring mounted adjacent the inner surface of an end wall on said casing, said ring having circumferentially spaced notches and a spring means disposed on said actuating assembly, said spring means including a base member, an arcuate spring member disposed substantially perpendicular to said base member and extending circumferentially with respect to said base member and a pawl disposed at one end of said spring member whereby said pawl yieldingly engages said notches to retain said actuating assembly in fixed position.

14. A locking means as set forth in claim 13 wherein said spring means comprises a plurality of arcuate spring members, said members having a pawl disposed at an end thereof to yieldingly engage the notches on the notched ring so that the actuating assembly is held in fixed position.

15. A locking means as set forth in claim 14 wherein an O-ring is yieldingly mounted on said actuating assembly in said notched ring to hermetically seal said casing of said sub-miniaturized rotary switch.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,053,948 9/1936 Edwards 20011 2,481,649 9/1949 Doucette 20011 2,737,826 3/1956 Gebel 74-527 2,786,104 3/1957 Kirchel 20011 2,956,142 10/1960 Koehler 200166 2,996,570 12/1960 Jordan 200-166 8,013,129 12/1961 Root 20011 X 3,030,460 4/ 1962 Huetten et al. 200-11 3,059,074 10/1962 Dal Bianco et al. 200166 3,059,497 10/1962 Eadie 74527 3,068,335 12/1962 Gregg 200166 3,098,129 7/1963 Lynch et a1. 200-11 3,104,299 9/1963 Koci et al 20011 X KATHLEEN H. CLAFFY, Primary Examiner.

BERNARD A. GILHEANY, Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3869586 *Mar 28, 1974Mar 4, 1975Cutter Hammer InMiniature wrist watch switch
US3946185 *Aug 21, 1974Mar 23, 1976Intersil, Inc.Spring wire contact assembly
US3968338 *Aug 13, 1974Jul 6, 1976Cts CorporationElectrical switch control
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US5264672 *Jan 24, 1992Nov 23, 1993Daiichi Denshi Kogyo Kabushiki KaishaMiniature electrical switching unit
Classifications
U.S. Classification200/11.00H, 200/17.00R, 200/275, 200/302.1, 200/11.00G, 200/7
International ClassificationH01H19/11, H01H1/12, H01H1/44, H01H19/58, H01H19/00
Cooperative ClassificationH01H1/44, H01H19/11, H01H19/58
European ClassificationH01H19/11, H01H19/58, H01H1/44