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Publication numberUS3241419 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 22, 1966
Filing dateJan 6, 1964
Priority dateJan 6, 1964
Publication numberUS 3241419 A, US 3241419A, US-A-3241419, US3241419 A, US3241419A
InventorsGracey Yale W
Original AssigneeWed Entpr Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Audio frequency-responsive lighting display
US 3241419 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 22, 1966 Y. w. GRACEY 3,241,419

AUDIO FREQUENCY-RESPONSIVE LIGHTING DISPLAY Filed Jan. 6, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 FREQ FREQ. FREQ. 01w DIV. 2 DIV 3 20 v 22 24 A: A2 A3 /4 DE K TAPE c (3 TRACKS) 2 /Z I /Z6 3 FIG.5

INVENTOR. YALE 14 GRACEY BY Mm pm 6PM 87 22 6 WM March 22, 1966 Y. w. GRACEY AUDIO FREQUENCY-RESPONSIVE LIGHTING DISPLAY 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 6, 1964 I Mi :m A in II II II m ii? M INVENTOR. YALE W 694C 5 Y A rrae/vsys United States Patent 3,241,419 AUDIO FREQUENCY-RESPONSIVE LIGHTING DISPLAY Yale W. Gracey, Beverly Hills, Calif., assignor, by mesne assignments, to Wed Enterprises, Inc., a corporation of California Filed Jan. 6, 1964, Ser. No. 335,826 3 Claims. (Cl. 84-464) The present invention relates to an audio frequency lighting display, and more particularly to an audio frequency lighting display in which a commingled display of relatively sharp and relatively diifuse light images is projected upon a display panel.

There are many systems in the prior art for varying the intensity of a plurality of lights in accordance with an audio frequency signal emanating from a signal source such as a record player, tuner, tape deck, or the like. In such systems the output of the signal source is suitably amplified and fed to a frequency divider network, the separated plurality of frequencies then being amplified and fed to the plurality of lights so that the various lights brighten and dim as their associated frequencies occur, for example, in a musical program. Certain of the lights brighten when bass notes are played, other lights brighten with the middle frequencies, and still other lights brighten with the high frequencies, the intensities of the various lights varying with the intensity of the signals associated with the various frequencies.

However, the visual eifects provided by such prior art systems have been largely confined to a display of successively or contemporaneously winking lights and the dominant pervasiveness of a bass note, for example, is

visually indistinguishable from the sharper, piercing high orchestral composition by displaying a plurality of commingled light images, those corresponding to the lower bass notes being relatively ditfuse and those corresponding to the high or treble notes being relatively sharp. Thus, for example, if the lights corresponding to the bass frequencies are red and those corresponding to the treble frequencies are white, the light image pattern is charac- -terized by relatively sharp and distinct white images and a background of larger, more pervasive red images, it being apparent that various colors of lights for the intermediate frequencies may be provided to lend texture and composition to the overall display. viewer experiences a visual display which is correlated In this manner, the

with the character of the musical program, the sometimes subtle gradation between the sharp and diffuse and the intermediately sharp and diifu'se images producing a pleasing visual eifect at once related but radically different from corresponding display systems of the prior art. 1 Another object of the present invention is to provide a visual display of the aforementioned character in which a diffuser panel is utilized which is characterized by a regular pattern of embossed, pyramidal diffuser sections which are productive of diamond-shape images, the

images underlying and overlying one another according to the positioning of the sources of the light images.

A further object of the invention is the provision of a display of the aforementioned character in which a plurality of banks of lights are utilized, each of the 3,241,419 Patented Mar. 22, 1966 banks being responsive to a separate channel of a plural channel audio frequency source, each of the banks including a plurality of lights responsive to different fre quencies of an associated one of the channels of the source. With this arrangement, the light image display is not only stereophonic but three-channel so that the display or diffuser panel is adapted to display, for example, the light images associated with one channel at one side of the panel, the light images associated with another channel at the opposite side of the panel, and the light images associated with the third channel in the central portion of the panel. Assuming that three loudspeakers are positioned adjacent the three sections of the panel, the listener-viewer is not only apparently hearing the musical instruments from directions corresponding to their location in the orchestra, but also experiences a visual eifect correlated to the multi-directional sound program.

Another object of the invention is the provision of a display of the aforementioned character in which the plurality of lights are mounted at differential distances from the diffuser panel by means of a corresponding plurality of mounting elements, certain of the mounting elements being elongated and of different lengths so that certain of the lights are located adjacent the diffuser panel, certain of the lights are mounted farther away from the panel, and the remaining lights are mounted still farther away from the panel. The resultant light image pattern is characterized by commingled relatively sharp and relatively diffuse images for the purposes above adverted to.

A further object of the invention is the provision of a display of the aforementioned character in which the plurality of lights are arranged to direct their light beams up a sheet of flexible, reflective material such as metal foil, and a vibrator is coupled to the foil to vibrate the foil in an undulating pattern whereby the resultant light image pattern reflected upon the display panel is characterized by moving, commingled relatively sharp and relatively diffuse images.

A further object of the invention is the provision of a display of the aforementioned character wherein a plurality of elongated coils of light-conducting plastic material are arranged behind the diffuser panel and the plurality of audio frequency-responsive lights are directed upon the coils of plastic material, with means being employed to rotate the coils of plastic material so that the resultant light image pattern is characterized by commingled relatively sharp and relatively diffuse images which apparently move in the plane of the display panel.

Other objects and features of the invention will become apparent from consideration of the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic showing of the display according to the present invention and in association with a system for varying the intensity of a plurality of lights in accordance with audio frequency signals;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged view taken along the line 22 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a further enlarged, detail view of a portion of the display shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged, detail elevational view of a portion of the diffuser panel;

FIG. 5 is a view of a portion of the diffuser panel illustrating the character of the light images produced by the diifuser panel pyramidal pattern shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is an elevational, cross-sectional view of another embodiment of the display according to the present invention; and

FIG. 7 is an elevational, cross-sectional view of a third embodiment of a display according to the present invention.

Referring to the drawings, and particularly to FIGS. 1 through 5, there is illustrated a display 10 operatively associated with a system for varying the intensity of a plurality of lights in accordance with audio frequency signals. The audio frequency signals are provided by a signal source constituted, in the present case, by a tape recorder or tape deck 12 characterized by three channels or three playback heads (not shown). Although the three-channel tape deck 12 is illustrated, any suitable source of audio frequency signals such as a record player or tuner may alternatively be employed if desired.

The three-channel output of the tape deck 12 is amplified by three suitable amplifiers 14, 16, and 18, whose outputs are applied to three frequency dividers 20, 22, and 24. Each frequency divider is operative to separate the audio frequency signal applied to it into four separate frequencies, herein conveniently referred to as a low frequency, high frequency, first intermediate frequency, and second intermediate frequency. The particular construction of the frequency dividers does not form part of the present invention, and a number of frequency dividers are commercially available to accomplish the purpose above adverted to.

The display 10 includes a planar, vertically oriented rectangular display or diffuser panel 26 which is secured at its perimeter to a rectangular, box-like mounting structure comprising a mounting panel 28 and a rectangular frame 30 secured to the top, bottom, and sides of the mounting panel 28, thereby defining an interior space 32 between the panels 26 and 28.

A plurality of light sets 34 are regularly spaced in vertical and horizontal rows within the space 32, each light set 34 including light sources constituted by a white light 36, a blue light 38, a green light 40, and a red light 42. In addition, the light sets 34 are divided into three banks extending vertically in coextensive relationship with the diffuser panel 26, and located, respectively, behind different portions of the diffuser panel 26, these portions conveniently being represented by the dash-dot lines in FIG. 1 and referred to herein as panel portions 44, 46, and 48.

The mounting structure for the lights of each light set 34 includes, as best illustrated in- FIG. 3, mounting elements 50, 52, S4, and 56 which are of differential lengths. The mounting element 50 is preferably constituted by an elongated rod which mounts the white light 36 at one end and is fixed to the mounting panel 28 at the other end, thereby orienting the white light 36 substantially immediately adjacent the rearward surface of the diffuser panel 26. The mounting elements 52 and 54 are of successively lesser lengths, with the mounting element 56 being substantially flush with the mounting panel 28. Thus, the lights 36, 38, and 42 are located at differential distances from the rearward surface of the diffuser panel 26. One arrangement which has operated satisfactorily spaces the diffuser panel 26 from the mounting panel 28 a distance of 24 inches, the lengths of the mounting elements 50, 52, 54, and 56 being such that the White light 36 is located 6 inches behind the diffuser panel 26, the blue light 38 is located 12 inches behind the diffuser panel 26, the green light 40 is located 18 inches behind the diffuser panel 26, and the red light 42 is located substantially flush with the forward face of the mounting panel 28 approximately 24 inches behind the diffuser panel 26.

As best illustrated in- FIGS. 4 and 5, the diffuser panel 26 preferably is translucent and characterized by a regular pattern of embossed pyramidal diffuser sections 58 arranged in vertical and horizontal rows. With this pattern, illumination of the lights 36, 38, 40, and 42 produces a plurality of commingled relatively sharp and relatively diffuse, diamond-like light images 60, 62, 64, and 66 upon the diffuser panel 26, the images being progressively larger and more diffuse as the distance of the respective lights from the diffuser panel 26 increases, with the commingled images underlying and overlying one another, according to their particular spacing.

It will be apparent that the panel 26 need not be characterized by the pyramidal configuration above-described, but may employ other configurations.

The various light sets 34 are electrically coupled to a frequency divider, each light set 34 of the panel portion 44 being coupled by a set of four leads 68 to the frequency divider 20, each light set 34 of the panel portion 46 being connected to the frequency divider 22 by aset of four leads 70, and each light set 34 of the panel portion 48 being connected to the frequency divider 24 by a set of four leads 72. In this manner, the light sets 34 of each panel portion are individually responsive to all of the frequencies of a separate channel or track of the threechannel tape deck 12. Each panel portion thus displays a visual counterpart of one channel of the three-channel signal source.

The visual display is correlated with a sound system comprising three speakers 74, 76, and 78 which are coupled, respectively, to the amplifiers 14, 16, and 18 so that the audio outputs of the speakers 74, 76 and 78 correspond to the visual displays upon the panel portions 44, 46, and 48, respectively.

The showing of the sets of leads at 68, 70, and 72 is partially diagrammatic in that a set of each of these leads is connected to each light set 34, as Will be obvious, and the showing of the multiplicity of sets of leads is omitted for clarity.

Referring now to FIG. 6, there is illustrated another system for varying the intensity of a plurality of lights in accordance with a plural-channel audio frequency signal source. This system includes a rectangular, vertically oriented and planar diffuser panel 80 made of lightdiffusing plastic material or the like, and connected by a three-sided perimetrical frame 82 to a vertically oriented mounting panel 84. The frame 82 extends between the top and both sides of the panels 80 and 84 to define a hollow interior space 86, and a plurality of light sets 88 are suitably secured to the mounting panel 84 as illustrated. Only one representative light set 88 is illustrated for brevity, each light set including a number of different colored lights. Thus, the arrangement illustrated in FIG. 6 includes a white light 90, a blue light 92, a green light 94, and a red light 96, each of the lights including a light hood or shield to substantially prevent the light source from being seen by viewers located on the outside of the diffuser panel 80.

The lights of the light sets 88 are aimed or directed downwardly upon a flexible reflective element, which is preferably constituted by a sheet of thin metallic foil 98, it being noted that the lights of each set 88 are preferably located at different distances from the foil 98. One edge of the foil 98 is preferably fixed, as by securement to the interior side of the diffuser panel 80, and the opposite edge of the foil 98 is secured in any suitable fashion to a conventional vibrator 99 which is operative to vibrate and introduce undulations in the foil 98. These undulations are more-or-less random in nature and reflect the light from the light sets 88 upon the diffuser screen 80, giving the effect of a shimmering, multi-colored Water surface.

Moreover, the light sets 88 are responsive to the pluralchannel audio frequency source 12 in the same manner as the arrangement previously described, the light sets 88 preferably being divided into three banks adjacent three side-by-side portions of the panel 80 in an arrangement similar to the embodiment of FIG. 1. The three banks are also electrically coupled to different channels of the tape deck 12 to provide a three-channel visual display.

The undulating pattern of the foil 98 provides a light image pattern upon the diffuser panel 80 characterized by moving, commingled relatively sharp and relatively diifuse images of different colors, the images brightening and dimming in accordance with the program provided by the signal source or tape deck 12.

In FIG. 7 there is illustrated yet another embodiment of the present invention. This embodiment includes a diffuser panel, frame, and mounting panel substantially identical to the embodiment of FIG. 6 and therefore like reference numerals are employed to designate these components.

A floor 100 at the base of the structure supports a plurality of electric motors 102 which are each drivingly connected to one extremity of a helical coil 104 made of light-conducting plastic material, such as the material known in the trade as Plexiglas. The opposite extre-mities of the coils 104 are each rotatably supported in a bearing (not shown) mounted to the underside of the upper wall or roof of the frame 82.

Although six coils 104 are illustrated at different dis tances from and inwardly of the diffuser panel, a number of additional coils are preferably arranged on either side of the illustrated coils behind the diffuser panel in an arrangement substantially coextensive with the panel.

The coils 104 are illuminated by a plurality of light sets 106, only one of which is illustrated in FIG. 7, which each include lights 108 of different colors, each light 108 being provided with a light shield or hood to shield the viewer on the opposite side of the diffuser panel 80 from the glare of the lights. The light sets 106 are preferably divided into three banks, and a separate bank is connected to each of the three channels of the signal source 12, as in the embodiment of FIG. 1, to give a three-channel visual display upon the diffuser panel 80.

The light sets 106 brighten and dim in response to the audio frequency signals of the tape deck signal source 12, and the light therefrom is projected upon the plurality of coils 104 which are simultaneously being rotated by the motors 102. Thus, the arrangement provides an entertaining visual display varied by the character of the audio program and heightened by apparent vertical movements of columns of differently colored lights.

From the foregoing it will be seen that the present display is adapted for use in conjunction with a system for varying the intensity of a plurality of lights in accordance with audio frequency signals, and that the display provides a plurality of commingled relatively sharp and relatively diffuse light images varying according to the character of the audio frequency signals and affording a three-dimensional lighting effect. The desired character of light images is produced in one case by predetermined spacing of the light sources from the diffuser panel, in another embodiment by spacing lights at different distances from a vibrated reflective element or foil, and in another embodiment by illuminating a plurality of moving, light-conductive elements located at different distances from a diffuser panel.

Various modifications and changes may be made with regard to the foregoing detailed description without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the following claims.

I claim:

1. In a system for varying the intensity of a plurality of lights in accordance with plural channel audio frequency signals, a display comprising:

a diffuser panel made of translucent material;

a plurality of banks of lights, each of said banks being responsive to a separate one of the channels of the audio frequency signals, each of said banks including a plurality of lights responsive, respectively, to different frequencies of the associated channel of said audio frequency signals;

a mounting structure behind said panel;

and means mounting said banks of lights on said mounting structure adjacent separate portions of said panel, the lights of each said plurality of lights being mounted at different distances from said panel whereby the resultant light image pattern on each of said separate portions of said panel is characterized by commingled relatively sharp and relatively diffuse images.

2. In a system for varying the intensity of a plurality of lights in accordance with audio frequency signals, a display comprising:

a plurality of lights responsive, respectively, to different frequencies of said audio frequency signals;

a diffuser panel made of translucent material;

and a mounting structure behind said panel including a plurality of mounting elements mounting said plurality of lights, certain of said elements being elongated and those of said elements which are elongated being of different lengths thereby to orient said plurality of lights at different distances from said panel whereby the resultant light image pattern is characterized by commingled relatively sharp and relatively diffuse images.

3. In a system for varying the intensity of a plurality of lights in accordance with audio frequency signals, a display comprising:

a plurality of lights, including red, blue, and white lights responsive, respectively, to the low, intermediate, and high frequencies of said audio frequency signals;

a diffuser panel made of translucent material;

and a mounting structure behind said panel including a plurality of mounting elements, certain of said elements being elongated and of at least two different lengths, the shortest of said elements mounting said red lights, the longer ones of said elements mounting said white lights, and the intermediate length ones of said elements mounting said blue lights thereby to orient said plurality of lights at different distances from said panel whereby the resultant light image pattern is characterized by commingled relatively sharp white images, relatively diffuse red images, and blue images intermediate a sharp and a diffuse character.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,351,562 8/1920 Foster 84-464 1,690,279 11/1928 Craft 84-464 1,946,026 2/ 1934 Lewis et al 84-464 1,977,997 10/1934 Patterson 84-464 2,131,934 10/1938 Burchfield 84-464 2,275,283 3/1942 Burchfield 84-464 2,665,609 1/1954 Gilluly 88-24 3,038,061 6/1962 OReilly 84-464 3,048,075 8/ 1962 Wright 84-464 3,062,085 11/1962 Smith 84-464 3,111,057 11/1963 Cramer 84-464 3,140,347 7/1964 Cohen 84-464 X LEO SMILOW, Primary Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3771406 *Aug 10, 1971Nov 13, 1973Wurlitzer CoMusical instrument with digital data handling system and lighting display
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Classifications
U.S. Classification84/464.00R, 353/85, 353/15
International ClassificationG09F19/18, G09F19/12
Cooperative ClassificationG09F19/18
European ClassificationG09F19/18