Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3274354 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 20, 1966
Filing dateJul 15, 1964
Priority dateJul 15, 1964
Publication numberUS 3274354 A, US 3274354A, US-A-3274354, US3274354 A, US3274354A
InventorsStevens Curtis Ray
Original AssigneeMaster Specialties Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Switch mechanism
US 3274354 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 20, 1966 c. R. STEVENS SWITCH MECHANISM 2 Sheets-heat Filed July l5, 1964 IEE!" 7 Mr 0/a j mfENTOK- 4554 EUR TIS R. 5 Tf1/ENS.

ILE-Ll:-

Sept. 20, 1966 c. R. STEVENS SWITCH MECHANISM Filed July 1954 fri-7- l 'ENTORJ EUR TIS ZZ. 5 T51/ENS.

. T TYS.

United States Patent O l 3,274,354 SWITCH MECHANISM Curtis Ray Stevens, La Mirada, Calif., assigner to Master Specialties Company, Gardena, Calif., a corporation of California i f Filed July 15, 1964, Ser. No. 382,912 15 Claims. (Cl. 20o- 76) The present invention relates vto snap acting push button switches; and more particularly to alternate action snap acting push button switches.

An object of the present invention is the provision of a switch having new and improved constructional features which include a novel manner of securing multiple contacts to a wall of a switch housing.

Another object of the invention is the provision of a switch having two pairs of contacts positioned in a rectangular pattern, and a new and improved inexpensive switch blade and switch blade holder assembly reciprocable by a snap action between front and rear contacting positions, and so constructed as to assure a good contact for all switch blades in both positions.

Another object of the invention is the provision of a new and improved overcenter snap acting device for a switch blade holder which, at the completion of its movement from one position to another, is divorced in its action from the actuator by which the movement was initiated.

Another object `of the invention is the provision of a new and improved and inexpensive pawl for actuating the ratchet wheel of an alternate action switch mechanism.

A further object of the invention is the provision of a new and improved alternate action switch which can be quickly and easily converted to a direct acting or momentary switch and vice versa.

The invention resides in certain constructions and combinations and arrangements of parts, and further objects and advantages will become apparent to those skilled in the art to which it relates from the following description of the preferred embodiment described with reference to the accompanying drawings forming a part of lthis specification and in which:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of an assembled switch structure embodying the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of the switch structure shown in FIG. l but turned around so that the rear end of the switch can be clearly seen; the view also showing the lamp housing of the switch removed endwise of the switch housing;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 3 3 of FIG. l, and showing the switch structure in one of its actuated positions;

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 but showing the switch in the other of its actuated positions;

FIG. 5 is an exploded view showing those parts which go to make up the switch, exclusive of the lamp housing;

FIG. 6 is a sectional View taken along the line 6--6 of FIG. l; and

FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along the line 7-7 of FIG. 5.

The switch structure shown in the drawings, embodies a preferred form of the invention and comprises a sheet metal housing 10 forming an internal chamber 11 of rectangular cross section. The rear of the housing is closed off by a plastic wall 12 having one or more rows 13 of three contacts, and the switch shown is provided with four rows, or tiers, of terminals. One ofthe terminals 14 of each tier 13 is generally L-shaped, the lateral contact portion 15 of which is adapted to be abutted on its backside by a switch blade 16. The center terminal 17 of each tier has a contact portion positioned behind the lateral portion 15, and is adapted to be abutted by the "ice switch blade 16 when moved to its rear position. Tl other terminal 18 of each tier 13 has a generally shaped notch 19 in its side facing terminals 14 and l and into which the other end of the switch blade 16 pr jects so that the switch blade will engage the front al rear contacts of the terminal 18 in either of its front rear positions. 'Ihis arrangement avoids4 the hinge stru ture usually used in threeterrnina1 switches. Hinge stru tures usually have only small current carryingy capaci and the arrangement of contacts shown provides a thre terminal switch with a current carrying capacity of four-terminal switch. Each of the rows 13 is identic and only one will be described in detail. The portion I and front face of terminal 17 formi one pair of contacts each tier, while the front and rear sides of the notch I form another pair of contacts of each tier. The plast wall is held in position in the housing by a ange which abuts the end of the housing 10 and four inward deformed tabs 21 (only two of which are shown) whit are received in slots 22 (see FIG. 5) in the plastic et wall 12. p

There are four identical, wide but thin and exibl switch blades 16 of large current carrying capacity, o1 for each row 13 of contacts, and each blade 16 has t( and bottom center projections 23 and 24, shown by dottf lines in FIG. 6. The switch blades 16 are supported l a switch blade holder 25 that isl formed in two sectioi 26 and 27 which abut along vertical mating surface Four sets of vertically aligned switch blade receiving slo 28 are formed through each section 26 and 27, and tl portions of each slot 28 adjacent the mating surfaces a: enlarged to receive one-half of the projections 23 and 2 The half sections 26 and 27 are slipped endwise ovt opposite ends of the four blades 16 and are heldtogetht by a rivet 29. The sections 26 and 27 have lateral pn jections 30 made of an insulating material between eac set of blades 16. The switch blade holder 25 also carrit projecting pin 31 which extends therefrom for guidir purposes. The switch blades 16 abut contacts of term nais 17 and 18. when the holder 25 is in the rear pos tion (see FIG. 3) and abut the contacts of terminals 1 and 18 when in the forward position (see FIG. 4).

It will be seen that all of the switch blades are hel and actuated by a single solid piece, and that each blac' is cxible so that abutment of one blade against its co1 tacts will not prevent good contact between the ohr blades and the contacts associated therewith.

The switch blade holder 2S is adapted to be snappe between its forward and rear positions, as shown in FIG! 3 and 4, by a single overcenter structure actuated by rectangularly-shaped actuating slide or switch actuat( 32. By causing all of the switch blades to be actuated l: a single overcenter device, simultaneous actuation of a of the switch blades is assured. Plastic insulator platt 33 and 34 extend along opposite sides of the housin and the actuating slide 32 has rearwardly extendingprt jections 35 and 36 which slide along the insulator plate 33 and 34. The projections 35 and 36 have two pairs t aligned slotted openings 37 therethrough, each of whic is enlarged vertically at its outer ends to provide top an bottom shoulders 38. A U-shapcdl pin 39 is inserted int each opening 37. A coil spring 40 is fastened betwee opposite U-shaped pins 39. The coil spring 40 so tightl holds the spaced-apart legs of the U-shaped pins 3 against the switch blade holder 25 that the weight of th holder 25 is supported from the pins which, in turn, ar supported by the sidewalls of the openings 37 in the slid 32 and the inner ends of the legs 42 of the pins 39 projet into indentations 43 in the side of the switch blade holde 25. The switch blade holder 25 has openings 44 there through between indentations 43 through which the spring 3 pass to permit snap actuation of the pins 39 and switch blade holder 25. It will, therefore, be seen that the switch blade holder 25 has no rigid connection to and is free from its actuating mechanism. Tests indicate that the overcenter structure has no dead point.

The forward position of the actuating slide 32 is limited by abutment with a plastic partition seated in the housing 10. The partition 45 has a central opening 46 therethrough, through which a headed pin 47 extends with its head portion 48 positioned forwardly of the partition 445 and its rcar portion riveted to the actuating slide 32.

The rear end of the pin 47 is hollow to receive and guide the pin 31 of the switch blade holder 25, and the actuating slide 32 is biased to its front position against the back of the partition 45 by a coil spring 49 positioned around the pin 47 between the head 48 and the partition 45.

In the form shown in the drawings, the actuating slide 32 is adapted-to be moved from its front position, shown in FIG. 3, to a position slightly to the rear of the position shown in FIG. 4, by a movable lamp housing or lighted push button 50 which is slidably received in the front end of the housing 10. The lamp housing 50 has a rear end wall 51 with two lamp openings 52, only one of which is shown, through which lamps 53 extend. The rear end wall 51 also has a central opening 54 therethrough which aligns with the headed pin 47. A headed contact pin 55 projects forwardly through the opening 54 of a headed, hollow rivet 56 which extends through the wall 51. The head 57 of the rivet 56 is cup-shaped and a coil spring 58 is positioned between the head 59 of the pin 55 and the bottom of the cup-shaped head 57. A ground contact 60 is positioned between the back of the lamp housing and the head 57 of the rivet 56, and has portions that extend forwardly in the openings 52 to engage the metal bases of the lamps. Upon rearward movement of the lamp housing 50, the rear end of the cup-shaped head 57 abuts the head 48 of the pin 47 to move the actuating slide 32 rearwardly.

The actuating slide 32 is normally biased to its front position, shown in FIG. 3, by coil spring 49 to cause the switch blade holder 25 to hold blades 16 across contacts 17 and 18. When the device is used as an alternate action switch, the actuating slide 32 is caused to. be held in the rear position shown in FIG. 4 by a star wheel 61 having four points and which is rotatably mounted around a vertical pin 62 received in the partition 4S. When one of the points 63 projects rearwardly, it engages in a V- shaped abutment 64 on the front of the actuating slide 32 to hold the slide in its rear position. When the star wheel 61 is rotated 45, so that the space between points 63 is presented to the slide 32, the slide is free to move to its front position, shown in FIG. 3.

The star wheel 61 is rotated 45 each time the lamp housing 50 is pressed, by an eight-toothed ratchet wheel 65 fixed to the star wheel 61. A ratchet actuating mechanism, designated generally at 66, is positioned between the ratchet wheel 65 and the lamp housing 50.

The ratchet actuating mechanism 66 comprises a bracket 67 (see FIG. 5), which may be wedged between the housing and one side of the partition 4S. The bracket 67 has two legs 68 which engage the back of the partition 45 and a leg 69 which engages the front of the partition. The inner end of the leg 69 is bent forwardly to engage a side of a tooth of the ratchet wheel 65 to prevent clockwise rotation, as seen in FIG. 3. The bracket 67 includes two inwardly extending, parallel legs 70 positioned forwardly of the leg 69, which legs 70 contain slots 71 for receiving vertical ears 72 on the top and bottom of the outer end of a pawl 7 3. The inner portion of the pawl 73 is bent forwardly to provide a U-shaped actuating abutment 74 and the inner end 75 of the pawl extends 'rearwardly to engage a tooth of the ratchet wheel 65 on the side of the pin 62 opposite the slots 7l. A coil spring 76 connects thc U-shaped portion 74 and a projection 77, which extends forwardly of the legs 70, to simultaneously bias the pawl 73 against the outer side of the bracket 67 and pull the pawl 73 forwardly'until it abuts an inwardly bent stop 78. Only one'spring is necessary to perform both movements.

The lamp housing 50 is slidably retained in the front of the housing 10y in any `suitable manner, as by a pair of tingers'79, the rear ends of whichare spot-welded to the inside of the housing, and thev front ends of which have inwardly bent V-shaped projections which ride in longitudinal grooves 81. t y

The lamp housing 50 isl biased forwardly by spring 58, and the normal forward position of the lamp housing 50 occurs when the Vshaped projections 80 of the lingers 79 engage the shoulders 82 at the rear end of the grooves 8l. By pulling the lamp housing 50 forwardly, the V- shaped projections 80 can he caused to snap out of the grooves and the lamp housing 50 can be removed. The rear end of the Ilamp housing 50 has a removable abutment means or plug 83 therein positioned opposite the Ushaped abutment 74 on the pawl 73 to actuate the pawl and provide alternate action for the switch mechanism. By removing the plug 83, the U-shaped abutment 74 is allowed to enter the hole 84 upon depressing the lamp housing 50, so that the alternate action mechanism cornprising the star wheel 61 is disabled and the switch converted by the user to act as a momentary switch, if desired.

A lamp 53, not shown, is positioned above the plug 83, shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. Electrical connections with the center terminal of the lamps 53 are provided by identical, headed contact pins 85 which are biased forwardly against the lamps by springs 86 (see FIG. 5). The rear ends of the springs 86 bear against the lateral -legs 87 and 88 of L-shaped terminals 89 and 90, which lateral legs are recessed into the front face of the partition 45 for the top and bottom lamps 53, respectively. The ground electrode spring 49 bears against the lateral leg 91 of an L-shapedl terminal 92, which leg is also recessed into the partition 45 between the legs 87 and 88. The rearwardly extending legs of the terminals 89, 90 and 92 are received in recesses in the plastic insulating plate 34 and project out of the rear end wall 12. The front of the lamp housing 50 is closed off by a conventional lens assembly 93.

Assuming that the plug 83 is in position in the lamp housing 50 and the switch is to be used as an alternate action switch, the operation of the switch will be generally as follows: With the switch in the condition shown in FIG. 3, manual pressing of the lens assembly 93 inwardly causes the lamp housing 50 to move rearwardly and, in turn, cause the end of the head 57 of the rivet 56 to abut the head 48 of the pin 47. During rearward movement of the lamp housing 50, the plug 83 abutsfthe abutment 74 of the pawl 73, and the pin 47 that is attached to the actuating slide 32 is caused to move rearwardly before the inner leg 75 of the pawl 73 engages a tooth of the ratchet wheel 65. Rearward movement of the slide 32 causes the U-shaped pins 39 to pivot about the indentations 43 in the switch blade holder 25, and causes the spring 40 to move towards a position which is in line with the pins 39. During rearward movement of the slide 32, the end 75 of the pawl 73 engages a tooth ofthe ratchet wheel 65 and turns the star wheel 61, 45 in a counterclockwise direction, as seen in FIG. 3, so that a point of the star wheel projects directly rearwardly -at a time just prior to the time that the coil spring 40 is in line with the pins 39. Thereafter, continued rearward movement of the slide 32 causes the coil springs to move overcenter with respect to the pins 39, and the switch blade holder 25 is caused to snap forwardly to bring the V-shaped abutment 64 of the slide 32 against a point 63 of the star wheel 61. During the snap actuation which occurs-y as the coil spring l40 lmoves overcenter with respect to the pins 39, the switch blades 16 are moved rapidly out of contact with the rear of the notch 19 'in the terminal 18 and the front face of the terminal 17, and are caused to snap into engagement with the front end of the V-shaped notch 19 of the terminal 18 and the back end of the projection of the terminal 14.

During the previously described rearward movement of the lamp housing 50, the end 75 of the pawl 73 engages a tooth of the ratchet to engage a tooth of the ratchet wheel 65 on the opposite side of the center of the pin 62 from the slots 71, and thereafter the end 75 of the pawl must travel inwardly and rearwardly in an arc, during which time the coil spring 76 is elongated and the ears 72 of the pawl 73 slide inwardly within the slots 71.

During the above-described rearward movement of the lamp housing 50, the. coil spring 49 maintains a contact between the ground terminal 92 and the contact pin 55, and the coil springs 86 cause the headed contact pins 85 to remain in abutment with the center electrodes of the lamps 53.

Upon release of pressure upon the lens assembly 93 the combined forces of the several springs 86 and coil spring 58 force the lamp housing 50 to return to its front position wherein the V-shaped projection 80 engages the shoulders 82 of the slots 81. In this position, the coil spring 76 of the ratchet actuating mechanism 66 pulls the pawl 73 forwardly and laterally to cause its ears 72 to pivot about the slots 71 and move into engagement with the stop 78.

lf it is desi-red to move the switch structure from the position shown in FIG. 4 wherein an electrical connection is established between the terminals 14 and 18, to

. vthe position shown in FIG. 3 wherein an electrical connection is established between the terminals 17 and 18, rearward force is again applied to the lens assembly 93. This moves the lamp housing 50 rearwardly to again cause the abutment plug 83 to engage the pawl 73 and move it rearwardly towards the ratchet wheel 65. Just prior to the time that the leg 75 engages the ratchet wheel 65, the cup-shaped head 57 abuts the head 48 of pin 47 to cause the actuating slide 32 to start to move rearwardly. The end 75 of the pawl 73 rotates the rgtchet wheel 65 counterclockwise to swing the point 63 out of the V-shaped abutment 64 after the V-shaped abutment 64 has been moved clear of the point 63. The point 68 is rotated 45 and the overcenter spring 40 moves sl-ightly rearwardly from the position shown in FIG. 4. Thereafter, release of pressure on the lens assembly 93 allows the coil spring 49 to follow the forward movement of the contact pin 55 until theovercenter spring 40 moves slightly past center with respect to the pins 39. Tension of the spring 40 thereafter snaps the switch blade holder 25 rearwardly from the position shown in FIG. 4 to the posi tion shown in FIG. 3, wherein the switch blade 16 engages the rear of the notch 19 in the terminal 18 and the front of the terminal 17.

Any time that it is desired to relamp the switch, the plastic retainer 96 can be grasped and pulled forwardly to cause the V-shaped projections 80 to spring outwardly over the shoulders 82 and the lamp housing 50 to be removed. Thereafter, the lamps 53 can be withdrawn from the rear of the lamp housing 50 and new ones installed.

If it should be desired to make the switch a momentary switch instead of an alternate action one, the abutment plug 83 can be removed when the star wheel 61 is in the position shown in FIG. 3, and thereafter, electrical contact will be established between the terminals 17 and 18 when the lamp housing 50 is in its outer position, and the blades 16 will be snap actuated to establish contact between the terminals 14 and 18 whenever the housing 50 is pressed inwardly.

Although the plastic wall 12 can be made as a single piece, in the preferred embodiment shown, it is made from four molded plastic blocks 100, 101, 102 and 103. The terminals 14, 17 and 18 are cast into each block, and adjacent blocks are provided with abutting keying surfaces. While any keying arrangement can be used, each of the blocks 100, 101, and 102 is shown with a dependir projection 104 of rectangular cross` section running acro the bottom surfaces of the blocks, and each of the blocl 101, 102, and 103 has a rectangularly-shaped groove 1( running across the top sunface of an overlying block i111 which a projection 104 extends. The top surface of tl block and the bottom surface of the block 103 ai molded with slots 22 therein into which tabs 21 are bei to lock the assembly of the blocks into the housing 10.

While the invention has been described in considerabj detail, it is not desired to be lirni-ted to the particular en bodiment shown and described and it is intended to cove hereby all novel adaptations, modifications and arrangt ments thereof which come within the practice of thos skilled in the art to which the invention relates.

What I claim is:

1. A switch comprising: a housing having a forwardl and rearwardly extending chamber, two pairs of facin contacts, said contacts lying generally in a forwardly an rearwardly extending plane with one contact of each pa: being positioned generally forwardly of the other contat of each pair, a laterally extensive one-piece switch blad having opposite ends positioned between the facing cor tacts of respective pairs of contacts, a switch blade holde loosely supporting the center of said switch blade, an an overcenter device actuating said switch blade holde to snap said blade between a position wherein said switc blade engages the forward members of each pair of cor tacts to a position wherein said switch blade engages th rear members of each pair of contacts, the contacts of on pair of facing contacts being formed by a generally Il shaped notch in a single contact mem-ber.

2. A switch comprising: a housing havin-g a forwardl and rearwardly extending chamber, two pairs of facin contacts, said contacts lying generally ina forwardly an rearwardly extending plane, with one contact of each pai being positioned generally forwardly olf the other contat of each pair, a laterally extensive switch blade having op posite ends positioned between the facing contacts of rc spective pairs of contacts, a switch blade holder, sait switch blade holder being movable between a front posi tion wherein said switch blade engages the forward mem bers of each pair of contacts to a rear position wherei: saidswitch blade engages the rear members ofeach pai of contacts, the contacts of one pair of facing contact being formed by a generally U-shaped notch in a singl contact member, a switch actuator movable between fron and rear positions in said housing,l an overcenter devic operatively connecting said switch actuator and said switcl blade holder for causing said switch blade holder to bi snapped into its front position when said switch actuato is moved from said front position to said rear position and said switch blade holder being snapped to said reaposition when said switch actuator is moved from sait rear position to said front position, means normally bias ing said switch actuator to said front position, a -push but ton positioned forwardly of said switch actuator, said pusl button being movable between front and rear positions rst abutment means operatively positioned between sait push button and said switch actuator ca-using movemen of said push button from said front position to said rea position to move said switch actuator from said fron position to said rear position, an alternate action mech anism having an actuating forwardly extending abutmen` projecting towards said push button, said actuating abut ment being biased to a normal forward position fron which it is moved to a rear position to actua-te said mech anism and said mechanism being operative to hold sait switch actuator in said rear position upon alternate rearward movements of said actuating abutment from said norI mal forward position, said push button having an opening for receiving said actuating abutment during movement of said push button between said front and rear positions and removable abutment means in said opening in said push button for engagement with said actuating abutment to move said actuating abutment from said forward position to said rear position during movement of said push button from said front position to said rear position.

3. A switch comprising: a housing, a switch actuator movable between front and rear positions in said housing, a push button positioned forwardly of said switch actuator, said push button being movable between front and rear positions, first abutment means operatively positioned between said push button and said switch actuator and constructed and arranged so that movement of said push button from said front position to said rear position moves said switch actuator from said front position to said rear position, an alternate action mechanism having an actuating forwardly extending abutment projecting toward said push button, said actuating abutment being biased to a normal forward position from which it is moved to a rear position to actuate said mechanism and said mechanism being constructed and arranged to hold said switch actuator insaid rear position upon alternate rearward movements of said actuating abutment from said normal forward position, said push button havin-g an opening for receiving said actuating abutment during movement of said push button between said front and rear positions, and a removable plug pressed into said opening nonpivotally retained by said push button for engagement with said actuating abutment to move said actuating abutment from said forward position to said rear position during movement of said push button from said front position to said rear position.

4. A multiple switch comprising: a housing having a forwardly and rearwardly extending chamber, at least two tiers of electrical contacts each tier of which comprises two pairs of facing contacts arranged in a generally forwardly and rearwardly extending plane with one contact of each pair positioned generaly forwardly of the other contact of each pair, flexible laterally extensive onepiece switch blades respective ones of which have opposite ends positioned between the front and rear facing contacts of respective pairs of facing contacts of a respective tier, a switch blade holder supporting the center 'of said exible one-piece switch blades of each tier, and

an overcenter device actuating said switch blade holder to snap the one-piece switch blades between positions abutting the -front contacts of respective pairs of contacts to positions abutting the rear contacts of respective pairs of contacts, said blades being sufciently tiexible to bend by an amount equal-to inaccuracies of location of said contacts, and whereby abutment of one blade with contacts associated therewith does not prevent abutment of the other blade with contacts associated therewith.

5. A multiple switch comprising: a housing having a forwardly and rearwardly extending chamber, at least two tiers of electrical contacts, each tier of which comprises two pairs of facing contacts arranged in a generally forwardly and rearwardly extending plane with one contact of each pair positioned generally forwardly of the other contact of each pair, flexible laterally extensive one-piece switch blades respective ones of which have opposite ends positioned between the front and rear facing contacts of respective pairs of facing contacts of a respective tier, a switch blade holder movable between a front position wherein said switch blades engage the front contacts of respective pairs of facing contacts of respective tiers to a rear position wherein respective blades engage the rear contacts of respective pairs of contacts of respective tiers, a switch blade actuator movable between front and rear-positions in said housing, means biasing said switch actuator to said front position, an overcenter device which snaps said switch blade holder to said front position when said switch actuator is moved from said front position to said rear position and which moves said switch blade holder to said rear position when said switch actuator is moved from said rear position to said front position, said one-piece switch blades being suicicntly flexible to bend by an amount equal to inaccuracies in location of said contacts and whereby abutment of one switch blade with contacts associated therewith does not prevent abutment of another switch blade with contacts associated therewith, a push button positioned forwardly of said switch actuator, said push button being movable `between front and rcarpositions, first abutment means operatively positioned between said push button and said switch actuator causing movement of said push button from said front position to said rear position to move said switch actuator from said front position to said rear position, an alternate action mechanism having an actuating forwardly extending abutment projecting toward said push button, said actuating abutment being biased to a normal forward position from which it is moved to a rear position to actuate said mechanism and said mechanism being constructed and arranged to hold said'switch actuator in said rear position upon alternate rearward move. ments of said actuating abutment from said normal forward position, said push button having an opening for receiving said actuating abutment during movement of said push button between said front and said rear positions, and a plu-g in said opening in said push button for engagement with said actuating abutment to move said actuating abutment from said forward position to said rear position during movement of said push button from said front position to said rear position.

6. A switch comprising: a housing having a forwardly and rearwardly extending chamber, two pairs of facing contacts, said contacts lying generally in a forwardly and rearwardly extending plane with one contact of each pair being positioned generally forwardly of and facing the other contact of each pair, a laterally extensive one-piece switch blade having opposite ends positioned between the facing contacts of respective pairs of contacts, a switch blade holder supporting the center of said switch blade, an actuator positioned generally forwardly of said switch blade holder with rearwardly extending projections on opposite sides of said switch blade holder, said projections having openings therein, a pair of U-shaped pins, said pins having the ends of the legs of said pins positioned against opposite sides of said switch blade holder with the closed portion of said pins positioned in respective openings of said projections of said actuator, and a tension spring biasing said pins toward each other against said switch blade holder to act as an overcenter device and support said switch blade holder from said actuator.

7. A multiple switch comprising: a housing having a of each tier, an actuator positioned generally forwardly 1 of said switch blade holder with rearwardly extending projections on opposite sides of said switch blade holder, said projections having openings therein, a pair of U-shaped pins, said pins having the ends of the legs of said pins positioned against opposite sides of said switch yblade holder with the closed portion of said pins positioned in respective openings of said projections of said actuator, and a tension spring biasing said springs toward each other against said switch blade holder to act as an overcenter device and support said switch blade holder from said actuator.

8. A switch comprising: a housing having a forwardly and rearwardly extending chamber, two pairs of facing contacts, said contacts lying generally in a forwardly and rearwardly extending plane with one contact of each pair being positioned generally forwardly of and facing the other contact of each pair, a laterally extensive switch blade having opposite ends positioned between the contacts and respective pairs of contacts, a switch blade holder supportin-g the center of said switch blade, said switch blade holder being movable from a forward position wherein said switch blade abuts said front contacts of respective pairs to a back position wherein said switch blade abuts said rear contacts of respective pairs, a switch actuator positioned forwardly of said switch blade holder, said switch actuator having rearwardly extending side projections which lie generally laterally of and parallel to the forward end of said switch blade holder and which arc guided for movement between front and rear positions, at least one pair of ytoggle pins the adjacent ends of which are positioned laterally against opposite sides of said switch blade holder and the outer ends of which are loosely retained by said side projections of said switch actuator, spring means biasing said toggle hars toward each other `whereby said switch blade holder is snapped to said forward position when said switch actuator is 4moved to said rear position and said switch blade holder is moved to said back position when said switch actuator is moved to its front position, a support -positioned forwardly of said switch actuator, means biasing said switch `actuator towards said support, a star wheel rotatably car- .ried by said support about an axis generally normal to the movement of said switch actuator such that the points of said star wheel rotate rearwardly for engagement by said switch actuator, said star wheel being arranged such that said switch actuator is held in said rear position when a point of said start wheel projects normal to and is engaged by said switch actuator, and said switch actuator is in its front position when a space between points of said star wheel is normal to said switch actuator, said star wheel including a ratchet, a push button positioned forwardly of said support for movement between front and rear positions, labutment means for moving said switch actuator from said front position to said rear position when said push button is moved from its front to its rear position, means having a pair of ylaterally extending slots spaced apart in a manner generally parallel to said axis of said star wheel and positioned generally laterally of said axis, a pawl having one end with projections pivotally engaged in said slots and with the other end of said pawl 'bent rearwardly to engage a tooth of said ratchet on the opposite side from said slots, a spring biasing said pawl forwardly and laterally toward the end of said slots spaced away from said axis of said ratchet, and said pawl being arranged to be engaged by said push button when moved from said front to said rear position to rotate said star wheel between positions wherein a point extends rearwardly of a position where a space between points faces rearwardly. l

9. A multiple switch comprising: a housing having a forwardly and rearwardly extending chamber, at least two tiers of electrical contacts each tier of which comprises two pairs of facing contacts arranged in a gen erally forwardly and rearwardly extending plane with one contact of each pair positioned generally forwardly of the other contact of each pair, tlexible laterally ext'ensve switch blades respective ones of which have opposite ends positioned between the front and rear facing contacts of irespective pairs of facing contacts of a respective tier, a switch blade holder supporting the oenter of said switch blades, said switch blade holder being movable from a forward position wherein said switch blades abut said front contacts of said respective pairs of con tacts to a back position wherein said switch blades abut said rear contacts of said respective pairs of contacts, a switch actuator positioned forwardly of said switch blade holder, said switch actautor having rearwardly extending side projections which lie generally laterally of an parallel to the forward end of said switch blade holder Cil and which are guided for movement between front an rear positions, at least one pair of U-shaped toggle pir the ends of the legs of which are positioned laterali against opposite sides of said switch blade holder and tt outer ends of which are loosely retained by said side prt jections of said switch actuator, a spring biasing th upper ends of said U-shaped toggle pins toward eac other with said spring extending between said legs of sai pins and through said switch blade holder whereby sai switch lblade holder is snapped to said forward positio when said switch actuator is moved to said rear positio and said switch blade holder is moved to said bacl` pos tion when said switch actuator is moved to its front pos tion, a support positioned `forwardly of said switch acti ator, means biasing said switch actuator towards sai support, a star wheel rotatably carried by said suppo; about Ian axis generally normal to the movement of sai switch actuator, such that the points of said star whet rotate rearwardly for engagement by said switch actu: tor, said star wheel being arranged such that said switc lactuator is held in said rear position when a point of sai star Wheel projects normaly to and is engaged by sai switch actuator, and said switch actuator is in its fror position when a space between points of said star wher is normal to said switch actuator, said star wheel ir cluding a ratchet, a push button positioned forwardly c said support for movement between said front and rez positions, abutment means operative to move said switc actuator from said front position to said rear positio. when said push button is moved from its front to its rea position, means in said housing having a pai-r of laterall extending slots spaced apart in a manner `generally paral lel to said axis of said star wheel and laterally of sait axis, a pawl having one end with projections pivotall engaged in said slots and with the other end of said paw bent rearwardly to engage a tooth of said ratchet on thopposite side of said axis from said. slots, a spring biasin said pawl forwardly and laterally towards the end of sait slots spaced away from said axis of said ratchet, and sait pawl being arranged to -be engaged by said push butto: when moved from said front to said rear position to ro tate said star wheel between positions wherein a poin extends rearwardly to a position where a space betweei points faces rearwardly.

10. A multi-ple switch comprising: a housing havinI a forwardly and .rearwardly extending chamber, at leas two tiers of electrical contacts each tier of which com prises two pairs of facing contacts arranged in a gen erally forwardly and rearwardly extending plane wtl one contact of each pair positioned generally forwardlj of the other contact of each pair, exible laterally ex -tensive switch blades respective ones of which have op posite ends positioned between the front and rear facinj contacts of Irespective pai-rs of facing contacts of a re spective tier, a switch blade holder supporting the cente: of said switch blades, said switch blade holder being mov able from a forward position wherein said switch blade abut said front contacts of said respective pairs of con tacts to a back position wherein said switch blades abu said rear contacts of said respective pairs of contacts, i switch actuator positioned forwardly of said switch bladt holder, said switch actuator having rearwardly extend ing side projections which -lie generaly laterally of an( parallel to the forward end of said switch blade holde: and which are guided for movement between front an( rear positions, at least one pair of U-shaped toggle pini the ends of the legs of which are positioned laterall) against opposite sides of said switch yblade holder anc the outer ends of which are loosely retained by said side projections of said switch actuator,l a spring biasing the upper ends of said U-sha-ped toggle pins towards each other with saidV spring extending between said legs ot said pins and through said switch blade holder whereby said switch blade holder is snapped to said forward position when said switch actuator is moved to said rear position and said switch blade holder is moved to said back position when said switch actuator is moved to its front position, a support positioned forwardly of said switch actuator, means biasing said switch actuator towards said support, a star wheel rotatably carried by said support about and axis generally normal to the movement of said switch actuator, such that the points of said star wheel rotate rearwardly for engagement by said switch actuator, said star wheel being arranged such that said switch actuator is held in said rear position when a point of said star wheel projects normal to and is engaged by said switch actuator, and said switch actuator is in its front -position when a space between points of said star wheel is normal to said switch actuator, said star wheel including a ratchet, a push button positioned forwardly of said support for movement between said front and rear positions, abutment means operative to move said switch actuator from said front position to said rear position when said push button is moved from its front to its rear position, means in said housing having a pair of laterally extending slots spaced apart in a manner generally parallel to said axis of said star wheel and laterally of said axis, a pawl having one end with projections pivotally engaged in said slots with a center section extending forwardly towards said push button by a distance at least equal to the distance between front and rear positions of said switch actuator and with the other end of said pawl bent rearwardly to engage a tooth of said ratcheton the opposite side of said axis from said slots, a spring biasing said pawl forwardly and laterally towards the end of said slots-spaced away from said axis of said ratchet, said push button having an opening therein of a size to receive said forwardly extending section of said pawl, and a removable plug in said opening in said push button for engaging and moving said pawl to rotate said star wheel between positions wherein a point extends rearwardly to a position where a space between points faces rearwardly as said push button moves said switch actuator between said front and rear positions.l

1t. Aswitch comprising: a housing having a chamber therein, a switchblade holder movable between a forward position in said housing and a back position in said housing, a switch actuator positioned forwardly of said switch blade holder, said switch actuator having rearwardly extending side projections which lie generally laterally of and parallel to the forward end of said switch blade holder and which move between front and rear positions, at least one pair of U-shaped toggle pins the ends of the legs of which are positioned laterally against opposite sides of said switch blade holder and the outer ends of which are loosely re- .tained by said side projections of said switch actuator, a spring biasing the outer ends of said U-shaped toggle pins towards cach other with said spring extending between said legs of said pins and through said switch blade holder whereby said switch blade holder is snapped to said forward position when said switch actuator is moved to said rear position and said switch blade holder is moved to said back position when said switch actuator is moved to its forward position.

l12. A switch comprising: a housing having sidewalls which form a chamber therein, a tixed support extending laterally between sidewalls of said housing, a switch actuator positioned rearwardly of said support, means biasing said switch actuator towards said support, a star wheel rotatably carried by said support about an axis positioned in such manner that the points of said star wheel rotate rearwardly for engagement by said switch actuator, said star wheel being arranged such that said switch actuator is held in a rear position when a point of said star wheel projects normal to and is engaged by said switch actuator, and saidl switch actuator being biased to a forward position when a space between points of said star wheel is nornml to said switch actuator, said star wheel including a ratchet, a push button positioned forwardly of said support for movement between -front and rear positions, abutment means for moving said-v switch actuator from said front position to said rear position when said push button is moved from its front to its rear position independently of said star wheel during the time that a point of said star wheel'I is being rotated rearwardly, a pawl for engaging a tooth of said ratchet to rotate said ratchet, said pawl being arranged to be engaged by said push button when moved from said front to said rear position to rotate said star wheel between positions wherein a point extends rearwardly to a position where a space between points faces rearwardly.

13. A switch comprising: a housing having sidewalls which form a chamber therein, a support extending laterally between sidewalls of said housing, a switch actuator positioned rearwardly of said support, means bias-ing said switch actuator towards said support, a star wheel rotatably carried by said support about an axis positioned in such marmer that the points of said star wheel rotate rearwardly for engagement by said switch actuator, said star wheel being arranged such that said switch actuator is held in a rear position when a point of said star wheel projects normal to and is engaged by said switch actuator, and said switch actuator being biased to a forward position when a space between points of said star wheel is normal to said switch actuator, said star wheel including a ratchet, a push button positioned forwardly of said support for movement between front and rear positions, abutment means for moving said switch actuator from said front position to said rear position when said push button is moved from its front to its rear position independently of said star wheel during the time that a point of t said star wheel is being rotated rearwardly, a pawl for engaging a tooth of said ratchet to rotate said ratchet said push button having an opening therein of a size to receive the forwardly extending section of said pawl to provide clearance therewith when said push button is moved between said front and rear positions, and a removable plug in said opening in said push button for engaging and moving said pawl to rotate said star wheel between positions wherein a point extends rearwardly to a position where a space between points faces rearwardly as said push button moves said switch actuator between said 'front and rear positions.

14. (In a switch comprising a housing, a ratchet wheel carried by said housing for rotation about an axis of said ratchet wheel for movement between front and rear positions, means in said housing spaced apart in a manner generally parallel to said axis of said ratchet wheel and positioned generally laterally of said axis and having slots extending generally laterally toward and away from said axis, a pawl having one end with projections pivotally engaged in said slots and with the other end of said pawl bent rearwardly to engage a tooth of said ratchet on the opposite side of said axis from said slots, a spring biasing said pawl forwardly and laterally towards the end of said slots spaced away from said axis of said ratchet wheel, and said pawl being arranged to be engaged by said push button when moved from said front to said rear position, and whereby said other end of said pawl 'follows the arcuate movement of said ratchet wheel as it turns said ratchet wheel while extending said spring and said spring returns the pawl forwardly and laterally upon forward movement of said push button.

15. A multiple switch in accordance with claim 4in which said housing is generally rectangularly-shaped sheet metal housing, at least three plastic insulator blocks each having a tier of terminals molded therein with contacts projecting from the one face thereof and lugs having soldering surfaces projecting from the opposite end face, said plurality of plastic insulator blocks being stacked across and filling one end of said housing with said contacts projecting inwardly and with the plastic of the center blocks extending outwardly of said soldering surfaces of the lugs of the outer tiers, said insulator blocks hav- 13 14 ing mating surfaces which key together in said stacked 3,014,112 12/ 1961 Millerwise 20G-156 position, the sides of the outer blocks of said stack which 3,153,714 10/1964 i Bury. are generally parallel to said keying surfaces engaging sides 3,157,771 l1/ 1964 Reeser.

of said sheet metal housing and having depressions there- 3,175,065 4/ 1965 Strader. in, and said housing having tabs bent into said depressions 5 to lock said stack of insulator blocks to said housing. FOREIGN PATENTS 33,795 7/ 1928 France. References Cited by the Examiner 728,735 12/1942 Germany' UNITED STATES PATENTS 10 ROBERT IK. SCHAEFTER, Primary Examiner. 887,252 5/1908 Jackson 20G- 76X 1,738,878 12/1929 Esinga. KATHLEEN H. CLAFFY, Examiner. 2,591,684 4/1952 Deakin D. SMITH, JR., Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US887252 *Sep 16, 1905May 12, 1908Dugald C JacksonControlling system.
US1738878 *Apr 22, 1926Dec 10, 1929Nat Steel Construction CoThermostatic control
US2591684 *Dec 23, 1948Apr 8, 1952Int Standard Electric CorpElectrical contact
US3014112 *Dec 28, 1959Dec 19, 1961American Radiator & StandardSwitch and actuator therefor
US3153714 *Aug 28, 1962Oct 20, 1964Illinois Tool WorksAlternate action snap action switch and lighted push button assembly
US3157771 *Jan 10, 1961Nov 17, 1964Illinois Tool WorksLighted push button switch assembly
US3175065 *Jan 17, 1963Mar 23, 1965Punton CorpPush button operated snap-acting electric switch
DE728735C *Jun 23, 1940Dec 3, 1942Stotz Kontakt GmbhElektrischer Druckknopfschalter mit zwischen festen Widerlagern eingespannter Schnappfeder
FR33795E * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3509300 *Jan 25, 1968Apr 28, 1970Robertshaw Controls CoPushbutton means with pullout pushin release
US3511954 *Jan 25, 1968May 12, 1970Robertshaw Controls CoPushbutton assembly means,casing,and locking means
US3514564 *Jan 25, 1968May 26, 1970Robertshaw Controls CoIlluminated push-button switch construction with safety set and reset mechanism
US3517148 *Jan 25, 1968Jun 23, 1970Robertshaw Controls CoPushbutton switch construction with safety set mechanism
US3522402 *Apr 18, 1968Aug 4, 1970Robertshaw Controls CoIlluminated switch construction with releasing slidable cam
US3528099 *Jan 25, 1968Sep 8, 1970Robertshaw Controls CoLocking and release means in a switch assembly
US3582592 *Feb 4, 1969Jun 1, 1971Rudolf SchadowPushbutton switches
US3601566 *Mar 19, 1969Aug 24, 1971Globe Union IncElectrical switch apparatus
US3604878 *May 22, 1969Sep 14, 1971Korry Mfg CoLatch mechanism for releasably engaging pushbutton caps in electrical devices
US3694603 *Sep 29, 1971Sep 26, 1972Buttner HoracePush-push switch with improved alternate make and break latching mechanism
US3735066 *Nov 26, 1971May 22, 1973Kidde & Co WalterSwitching device for a coin controlled machine
US3754243 *Apr 29, 1971Aug 21, 1973Alps Electric Co LtdControl device with self-contained visual indication means
US3776049 *May 19, 1971Dec 4, 1973Korry Mfg CoAlternately released and detained reciprocable actuating mechanism
US3789173 *Dec 7, 1972Jan 29, 1974Illinois Tool WorksAlternate action switch convertible to momentary by putting latch on different pivot
US3833899 *May 19, 1972Sep 3, 1974BloscopDevice for actuating an alarm in the case of breaking in
US3876845 *Nov 16, 1973Apr 8, 1975Neo Dyn IncPressure and temperature actuated switches
US4016561 *Jun 28, 1974Apr 5, 1977Trw Inc.Push button switch with indicator
US4086455 *Mar 31, 1977Apr 25, 1978Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki KaishaSnap action type of electric switch
US4197440 *Jan 18, 1979Apr 8, 1980Cgee AlsthomPush button mechanism for controlling a contact unit
US4533804 *Mar 27, 1981Aug 6, 1985Itt Industries, Inc.Push button slide switch
US4736081 *Jun 23, 1986Apr 5, 1988Eaton CorporationMechanically operated electric pulse switch and anti-tie down control circuit using the same
US4933523 *Nov 29, 1988Jun 12, 1990Omron Tateisi Electronics Co.Push-button switch
US5294900 *Sep 25, 1992Mar 15, 1994Eaton CorporationSwitch assembly
US5659162 *Jun 27, 1995Aug 19, 1997Eaton CorporationSwitch assembly
US20070159188 *Mar 5, 2007Jul 12, 2007Cram Daniel PMethod for testing electronic modules using board with test contactors having beam contacts
EP0184185A2 *Dec 3, 1985Jun 11, 1986Omron Tateisi Electronics Co.Push-button switch
EP0184185A3 *Dec 3, 1985Sep 21, 1988Omron Tateisi Electronics Co.Push-button switch
Classifications
U.S. Classification200/241, 200/314, 200/526, 200/260
International ClassificationH01H13/58, H01H13/02
Cooperative ClassificationH01H13/023, H01H13/58
European ClassificationH01H13/02B, H01H13/58