US 3286126 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 15, 1966 A. R. CRAWFORD PORTABLE REMOTE CONTROL LIGHT 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Feb. 23, 1962 Nov. 15, 1966 A, R. CRAWFORD 3,286,126
PORTABLE REMOTE CONTROL LIGHT Filed Feb. 23, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 JIM- ' A/vbur R. (mu fora ATTOR N EY United States Patent 3,286,126 PORTABLE REMOTE CONTROL LIGHT Arthur R. Crawford, P.0. Box 63, Worthington, Ohio Filed Feb. 23, 1962, Ser. No. 175,085 6 Claims. (Cl. 315159) This invention relates to new and improved remote control systems for controlling the operation of electrical circuits such as an electric lamp and more particularly relates to remote control systems of the type that is responsive to audible sounds and which will not only turn on an electrical circuit but will automatically turn the circuit off after a predetermined period of time.
There are many different types of electrical or electrically-controlled apparatus for which convenience and safety of operation may be greatly enhanced by a remote control system. For example, a remotely operated portable lamp that could be placed at any conventional AC. outlet would find extensive use about the average home as well as office and factory buildings. This would be particularly true if the light were completely self-contained, would turn itself off after a predetermined period of time, and require no special transmitter actuating system since these transmitter systems are generally rather expensive to purchase and maintain, are inconvenient to carry and use, and often cannot 'be operated without a special operating license obtained from the Federal Government.
According to this invention, it has been found that such a self-contained portable lamp may be produced which can be operated by an audible noise such as, for example, that produced by a car horn or similar device. The portable lamp is no larger than the well-known night light that is found in many homes and may be plugged into any conventional AC. outlet. This portable lamp is made possible by using a unique and novel transistor.- ized circuit which energizes a lamp when an audible sound is detected and will continue to energize the lamp for a predetermined period of time. After the termination of the predetermined period, the lamp is automaticallyturned 01f.
Accordingly, the primary object of this invention is to provide a remotely operated portable light. Another object of this invention is to provide a completely self-contained remotely operated portable light.
Yet another object of this invention is to provide a completely self-contained remotely operated portable light which does not require a special actuating transmitten' Still another object of this invention is to provide a completely self-contained remotely operated portable "light that is actuated by an audible sound.
A further object is to provide a portable, completely self-contained remotely operated electrical light that may be inserted into any conventional AC. outlet.
Yet a further object of this invention is to provide a portable remotely operated electrical lamp that will automatically turn itself olf after a predetermined period of time.
Another object of this invention is to provide a portable, remotely operated electrical light having a transistorized operating circuit which requires little power yet has an extremely long operating life.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a portable, remotely operated electrical light having the 3,286,126 Patented Nov. 15, 1966 above-named characteristics yet is inexpensive to construct.
These and further objects and advantages of the invention will become more apparent upon reference to the following description and claims and the appended drawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a side view of the remotely operated portable light of this invention;
FIGURE 2 is a sectional view taken along line 2-2 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a schematic diagram of the preferred transistor control circuit of the present invention;
FIGURE 4 is a schematic diagram of another type of transistor control circuit that may be used; and
FIGURE 5 is a third type of transistor control circuit that may be used in the present invention.
The same reference numerals denote the same parts throughout the several views of the drawings.
With reference to FIGURES l and '2, it is seen that the overall physical construction of the remotely controlled portable light closely resembles that of a conventional nightlight. The portable light consists of a body 10, which may be made of plastic or any suitable material, having the typical prongs 12 as used to make connection with a conventional AC. outlet. A lamp or bulb 14 is shown inserted into the outer end of the body 10.
Located within the cavity 16 of the body 10 is the control circuit, indicated generally at 18, for the portable light. This control circuit consists of .a printed circuit board 20 and. a relay 22 which controls the electrical circuit between the bulb andthe prongs 12. The various electrical components used in constructing the control circuit are mounted upon the printed board.
The preferred remote control circuit used in the portable light is shown in FIGURE 3. This circuit consists of first and second audio amplifiers 24 and 26, a binary flip-flop 28 and a power supply 30.' The output from the binary flip-flop is used to operate the relay 22 which in turn controls the lamp 14. Capacitor 30 is also connected to the output terminal of the relay through a series connected diode-resistor arrangement and to one input of the flip-flop 28 through a neon. bulb 32, A microphone 34 is coupled to the input of the first audio amplifier 24'through a conventional coupling capacitor.
The overall operation of the control system will'be' readily apparent and may be explainedin substantially the following manner. A suitable audible sound such as, for example, from an automobile horn ispicked up by the microphone 34. The electrical signal produced by sound is then applied to the audio amplifier stage 24 where it is amplified and applied to amplifier stage 26. The output from stage 26 is then applied to the first transistor 28a of the binary flip-flop 28, thereby placing the transistor in a conducting state. With the transistor 28a conducting, a low resistance path is provided through the transistor to ground. This causes a large current to flow through the relay 22 and it is pulled-in or closed,- thereby connecting the the bulb 14 to the source of AC. power. The bulb 14 will then be lighted and will remain in this condition until the flip-flop 28 is triggered back to its original state.
With the relay closed, the capacitor 30 will be connected to the AC. power source through a suitable limiting resistor and a rectifier device or diode arrangement indicated generally at 29. This arrangement permits the capacitor to charge at a predetermined rate toward the maximum value of the A.C. signal presented to the bulb 14. As the capacitor continues to charge, it will acquire a potential of sufiicient magnitude to fire or cause the neon lamp 32 to glow. The firing of the neon lamp causes the capacitor 30 to discharge and thereby produces a pulse which is applied to the transistor 28b of the flip flop 28. This pulse is of sufficient amplitude and proper polarity to cause the flip-flop to revert to its original condition. With the transistor 28a no longer conducting, the relay 22 will open and the bulb will be extinguished. The length of time that the lamp 14 remains on may be adjusted by varying the value of the resistor in the resistor-diode arrangement 29 or the value of the capacitor 30.
This novel transistor control circuit may be produced at a relatively low cost and is extremely stable regardless of the environmental conditions in which it is placed. The use of two audio amplifier stages also makes the circuit extremely sensitive.
FIGURE 4 shows another type of control circuit which may be used to control the portable light. This circuit uses only a single audio amplifier circuit 24 which is connected to a one-shot multivibrator circuit 36. When an input from the microphone 34 is applied through the amplifier 24 to the multivibrator 36, the transistor 36a will become non-conductive, thereby switching transistor 36b into its conductive state. With transistor 36b conducting, the relay 22 will be pulled in and the bulb 14 will light. After a predetermined period of time, capacitor 38 will charge to the point where transistor 36a will again be switched to its normally conductive state.
This control circuit is slightly less expensive to construct, requires less space and will operate satisfactorily under extreme conditions. The simplicity and low cost of this circuit makes it desirable for many applications.
One of the simplest of the control circuits that may be used is shown in FIGURE 5. In this circuit, a single audio amplifier 24 is again used. The output from the audio amplifier is connected to a biased switch transistor circuit 40 which is normally biased in an off or non-conducting condition. An audible sound will be picked up by the microphone 34, amplified by circuit 24 and applied to the switching transistor circuit 40. This signal causes the transistor circuit 40 to become biased in its conductive state, thereby closing relay 22 and turning lamp 14 on.
The heat from the lamp 14 will cause the thermostat 42, which in its normal closed condition shunts a high series resistor 44 in the power supply, to open after a predetermined period of time. Once the thermostat has opened, the high series resistor 44 will drop the bias on transistor 40 below its conducting level, thereby placing the transistor in its non-conductive state and causing the ialay 22to open. This, in turn, extinguishes the lamp A lamp constructed in accordance with this invention has been found especially desirable for use in the average home garage. In such use, the lamp is lit by sounding the car horn as the car is driven into the garage. The lamp will then remain on for a sufficient time to allow the occupants of the car to get out and enter the house. Thus, with this remotely controlled automatic lamp, there s no danger of falling over some object hidden in the darkness of the garage as might occur if no light were turned on.
It will be apparent from the foregoing that the remote control lamp of this invention is readily portable, completely self-contained and only requires that it be plugged into a conventional A.C. socket for proper operation. This portable, remotely controlled lamp may be produced at a low cost, is rugged in construction and has practically an indefinite operating life. The use of the novel control circuit makes it possible to operate the light without any special transmitter, thus cutting substantially the cost of obtaining remotely controlled lighting. Obviously, the relay could be connected to various other elements or circuits other than a lamp if such were desirable.
The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiment are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.
What is claimed and desired to be secured by the United States Letters Patent is:
1. A remote control system for a light comprising a housing small enough to be portable, a lamp receptacle on the housing for receiving a lamp, connector means carried by the housing for establishing electrical connection to an external source of power, detector means in the housing for generating an electrical signal in response to the impingement thereon of radiant energy, multivibrator means connected to the detector means, and adapted to be set in a first state in response to the electrical signal from the detector and including a charging circuit connected between the multivibrator output and input and responsive to the first multivibrator state to transfer the multivibrator to a second state after a predetermined time period, and switching means to couple the connector means to the receptacle for energizing the lamp therein while the multivibrator means is in the first state.
2. The apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein the detector means comprises a microphone, a first transistor amplifier connected to the microphone, a second transistor amplifier connected to the first amplifier and wherein the multivibrator means comprises a bi-stable multivibrator having an output, a first input corresponding to the first state, and a second input corresponding to the second state, the first input being coupled to the output of the second amplifier, and the second input being coupled to the charging circuit.
3. The apparatus as set forth in claim 2, where the charging circuit comprises a time constant circuit in series with a unilaterally conducting circuit element connected between the output of the bi-stable multivibrator and ground, and a threshold circuit element connected between the time constant circuit and the second input of the bi-stable multivibrator.
4. The apparatus as set forth in claim 3, wherein the switching means comprises relay means having a pair of normally open terminals, and an energizing coil, the energizing coil being connected to the output of the multivibrator means and the normally open contact being coupled between the connecting means and the lamp.
5. The apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein the detector means includes a microphone, an audio amplifier connected to the microphone, and where the multivibrator means comprises a mono-stable multivibrator having a triggering input and a signal output, the triggering input being connected to the output of the audio amplifier, and where the switching means comprises relay means operated by the multivibrator to connect the lamp receptacle to the connecting means.
6. A remote control system for a light comprising a housing small enough to be portable, a lamp receptacle on the housing for receiving a lamp, connector means carried by the housing for establishing an electrical connection to an external source of power, detector means including a microphone within the housing and a transistor amplifier connected to the microphone for generating an electrical signal in response to a sound wave striking the microphone, a further transistor circuit connected to the output of the audio amplifier and adapted 5 to 'be biased into its conductive state in response to the electrical signal, switching means connected to the further transistor circuit and responsive to the conductive state thereof to couple the connector means to the receptacle for energizing the lamp therein and a thermostatic timing circuit including a thermally responsive switch disposed within the housing in close proximity to the lamp, and means connected to the input of the further transistor circuit and to the thermally responsive switch to bias the further transistor circuit out of its conductive state when the thermally responsive switch is operated.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,545,218 3/1951 Weber et al. 317-149 7/1960 Davenport 30788.5
9/1960 Brueggenman et a1.
317-149 X 1/1961 Amfahr 317-1485 12/1961 Dill et al 340'33 X 3/ 1962 Campbell 30788.S 6/1964 French 31573 X FOREIGN PATENTS 1/1959 France.
JAMES W. LAWRENCE, Primary Examiner.
ARTHUR GAUSS, DAVID J. GALVIN, Examiners.
15 C. R. CAMPBELL, Assistant Examiner.