US 3270160 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1966 R. H. KOENIG 3,270,160
TAPE SWITCH HAVING ZIG ZAG INSULATOR MEANS Filed July 19, 1965 INVENTOR. ROBERT H. KOEN IG United States Patent 3,270,160 TAPE SWITCH HAVING ZIG ZAG INSULATOR MEANS Robert H. Koenig, Cambria Heights, N.Y., asslguor to Tapeswitch Corporation of America, Elmont, N.Y. Filed July 19, 1965, Ser. No. 472,925 6 Claims. (Cl. 200-86) This invention relates to tape or ribbon switches and more particularly to tape switch means which are narrow and flexible.
Tape or ribbon electrical switches are used in many applications, for instance on edges of automatic doors, power windows, as control for machines, horn blowing signaling switch in automobiles, for burglary alarms and many other applications.
There is a need for a tape switch which is narrow enough to be used on door edges and window edges and steering wheels and flexible enough to be coiled without short circuiting the switch.
The present invention provides such a switch generally comprising a first lower conductor member which consists of a plurality of overlapping leaves, a strip of insulating material having alternate sections mounted along opposite edges of the conductors and a top conductor mounted on the insulating strip and having the same width as the bottom conductor. The top conductor is a continous strip. This sandwich assembly is enclosed in an insulating waterproof cover of plastic or rubber. The insulating strip is cemented to or otherwise fixedly connected to the upper conductor. The leaves of the lower conductor are adapted to slip relative to one another and are held in place by the external cover.
Since the insulating strip is mounted along the edges of the conductive strip, when foot, hand or other pressure is applied to the switch, the free ends of the conductor strip contact thereby energizing any connected control, alarm, or other utilization device.
Accordingly, a principal object of the invention is to provide new and improved tape switch means.
Another object of the invention is to provide new and improved ribbon switch means.
Another object of the invention is to provide new and improved tape switch means which is flexible enough to coil without short circuiting.
Another object of the invention is to provide new and improved tape switch means which is narrow enough to mount in restricted spaces.
Another object of the invention is to provide new and improved tape switch means for making easy manufacturing and which is durable and economical.
These and other objects of the invention will be apparent from the following specification and drawings of which:
FIGURE 1 is an exploded view of the embodiment of the invention without the cover.
FIGURE 2 is a side view of the embodiment of FIG- URE 1 in assembled position.
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view of the embodiment of FIGURE 2 also illustrating the cover.
FIGURE 4 is a sectional view illustrating the operation of the invention.
FIGURE 5 is a detail view of a modification.
Referring to the figures, the invention generally comprises an upper conductor strip 1, an insulating strip 2 and lower conductor strip consisting of overlapping leaves 3, 4, 5, 6, etc. The conductor strips are preferably of a spring tempered metal and may be as narrow as A; inch.
The insulating strip 2 comprises a strip of dielectric material or rubber of square wave shape, with alternate sections of the strip being mounted on the opposite edges 3,270,160 Patented August 30, 1966 "ice of the upper strip for instance by cementing. The lower conductor strip comprises a series of conductive metal elements or leaves which are overlapping. The purpose of the compound construction of the lower conductors 3, 4, 5, 6, etc. is to make this member stretchable so that when coiled or flexed, it may adjust itself and prevent buckling due to the diiferent radii of the two strips caused by thickness of the dielectric strip 2.
A feature of this invention is that the switch will not be disabled when flexed with conductors 3, 4, 5, 6, on the outside of the curve, since conductors will remain parallel and apart at all points until pressed, and ends of the segments will be stressed away from the solid conductor eliminating any possible shorting out. In actual practice, there is no shorting from reasonable flexing in either direction.
FIGURE 3 shows a cross section of the switch taken at any point between crossovers. Dielectric strip 2 would appear on the left or right as section cut is taken along the switch. The jacketing 7 is extruded over the entire assembly to hold it together and give it protection. The cover 7 is of insulating material and serves to protect and waterproof the switch and hold the bottom leaves in position. At the ends of the switch suitable lead wires or terminals are attached and the cover is sealed.
As shown in FIGURE 4, force against the top will bring conductors 1 and 3, 4, 5, 6 together to close the circuit of the switch.
Materials for conductors may be any good spring conductor, for instance Phosphor bronze, beryllium copper, tempered and clad steel, etc. Dielectric strips 2 may be stamped or cast from plastic or rubber.
Thees conducting switch members are held apart as shown in FIGURE 3 by dielectric material 2, until force is applied at any point to bring the two conductors together as shown in FIGURE 4.
In operation, conductor 1 is pushed down to touch the lower conductors between the crossovers of part 2. These occur at alternating sides of the switch, depending at what point the force is applied. When force is applied exactly at a crossover point, contact action will still take place because the force of a finger or other member will be broad enough to bridge the crossover. Furthermore, resilience of the jacketing 7 will distribute force to either side of the crossover.
The configuration of FIGURE 5 which is a modification of the same invention, eliminates the crossover strips and the dielectric takes the form shown, namely a series of separate strips, alternate strips being mounted along opposite edges of conductor 1.
The showing in FIGURE 5, is inverted in order to illustrate the mounting of the strips 10, 11, and 12 which are cemented on or otherwise aifixed to the conductor 1.
The thickness of the conductors may be quite thin, in the order of .005 inch. Typical spacing between the crossovers of the insulator may be one and one half inch and the thickness is preferably .010 to .020 inches. However, it is not limited to this thickness.
This assembly may be made in continuous indefinite lengths. In assembling the invention, the insulation is first cemented or otherwise affixed to the conductor 1. This assembly is placed on top of the lower conductor and this sandwich assembly is then placed into an extruding machine which extrudes the waterproof insulating jacket which serves to hold the lower conductor in place and protect the switch. In practice, a nylon yarn binder could be Wrapped around the assembly to te1rl1(porily hold parts in place before extruding the plastic jac et.
Many modifications may be made by those who desire to practice the invention without departing from the scope thereof which is defined by the following claims:
1. A tape switch comprising a first top conductor of uniform width,
insulating strip means mounted on said first conductor,
said strip means having substantially less width than said uniform width and having alternate sections mounted along opposite edges of said first conductor,
a second conductor member mounted on the bottom of said insulating strip,
said second conductor having a plurality of elongated overlapping conductive leaves,
and a cover of insulating material surrounding said assembly of said first and second conductor and insulating strip.
2. Apparatus as in claim 1 wherein said alternate sections of said insulating strip means are connected together.
3. Apparatus as in claim 1 wherein said alternate sections of said insulating strip means are separate.
4. A tape switch comprising a first top fiat conductor of uniform width,
insulating strip means mounted on said first conductor, said strip means having substantially less width than said uniform width and having alternate sections mounted along opposite edges of said first con doctor,
and a second conductor strip means mounted on the bottom of said insulating strip,
said second conductor strip means having a plurality of flat elongated overlapping conductive leaves.
5. Apparatus as in claim 4 wherein said alternate sections of said insulating strip means are connected together.
6. Apparatus as in claim 4 wherein said alternate sections of said insulating strip means are separate.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,896,042 7/1959 Koenig ZOO-86 BERNARD A. GILHEANY, Primary Examiner. H. A. LEWITTER, Assistant Examiner.