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Publication numberUS3334340 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 1, 1967
Filing dateApr 27, 1964
Priority dateApr 27, 1964
Publication numberUS 3334340 A, US 3334340A, US-A-3334340, US3334340 A, US3334340A
InventorsJames L Mcconnell
Original AssigneeWhirlpool Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Remote signal device for appliances
US 3334340 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

g- 1967 J. L. M CONNELL REMOTE SIGNAL DEVICE FOR APPLIANCES 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 27, 1964 a 4 y w M w V L T 0 E l I. ll] m 0 M m if Ww. m y M M w 1:: Z.

s y d Aug. 1, 1967 J M CONNELL 3,334,340


dam as L. 44 60 e// w/ 5 jZORNEYS Aug. 1, 1967 J. 1.. M CONNELL REMOTE SIGNAL DEVICE FOR APPLIANCES 3 Sheets-Sheet 13 Filed April 2'7, 1964 MW QR INVENTOR. 4/0/77951. 65709 TT( %EYS United States Patent 3,334,340 REMOTE SIGNAL DEVICE FOR APPLIANCES James L. McConnell, Stevensville, Mich., assignor to Whirlpool Corporation, Benton Harbor, Mich., a corporation of Delaware Filed Apr. 27, 1964, Ser. No. 362,619 1 Claim. (Cl. 340-216) The present invention relates to a remote signaling device for various appliances, such as washers, driers, washer-drier combinations, dry cleaning apparatus, and the like.

The present invention provides a remote signaling device for denoting the existence of a condition in the device. For example, in the operation of an automatic washing machine, the user might wish to be advised of the end of a particular cycle so that she could add treating agents such as bleach or softening agents to the water in the tub. In addition, she would want to be advised of the end of the cycle so that the clothes may be removed from the washer for drying. It is also important that the user be advised when there is an unbalanced load existing in the machine which, during high speed spins, could result in damage to the machine.

The present invention also provides a remote signaling device that can advantageously be employed with a clothes dryer to indicate to the user when the drying operation is completed and is particularly applicable to dryers with an automatic dry control where the drying time is indefinite.

The present invention provides a condition responsive device which can be used to signal any of these conditions or all of them to a remote location. This provides the user with complete mobility, making it unnecessary for her to confine herself near the basement or utility room in which the appliance is located. The present invention involves, basically, a condition. responsive switch which senses the existence of the condition to be detected, and operates a transmitter which transmits a signal into the alternating current distribution system which supplies power to the device. This carrier current signal can then be picked up at any outlet in the building which derives its electrical energy from the same alternating current distribution system. A receiver tuned to the frequency of the transmitter picks up the transmitted signal and thereupon operates an indicating device which may be visible or audible or both to signify to the user that the particular condition exists, A receiver can thus be completely portable and moved from room to room by a housewife. The signal from the transmitter need not be a continuous one, since the receiver can be provided with a holding circuit so thatonce its operation is initiated, even through a single pulse, the indicator means will be energized until such time as the user turns off the indicator manually.

proved remote indicating system for appliances which is completely portable.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a remote signaling device which does not require separate wiring to the appliance but operates in a carrier current system.

A further object of the invention is to provide a remote signaling system particularly applicable to automatic washers and clothes dryers to signal the end or other portions of the programmed cycle, and also to signal the existence of excessive vibration conditions.

Other objects and features of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following description of the attached sheets of drawings which illustrate several embodiments thereof.

An object of the present invention is to provide an im- "ice In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a somewhat schematic view indicating the overall organization, and the manner in which the irilvention can be applied to an automatic washing mac me;

FIGURE 2 is a wiring diagram for a suitable transmitter which can be employed for the purposes of this invention;

FIGURE 3 is a wiring diagram of a receiver and indicator system which can be employed;

FIGURE 4 is a modified form of receiver which can also be employed for the purposes of this invention;

FIGURE 5 is a wiring diagram for the electrical components of an automatic washer, illustrating the manner in which the transmitter is actuated both by the completion of the programmed cycle, and by excessive vibrations occurring during high speed spinning operation; and

FIGURE 6 is a graph of a sequence cycle applicable to the system shown in FIGURE 5.

As shown in the drawings:

In FIGURE 1, reference numeral 10 indicates generally a top loading washing machine cabinet having an access door 11 hingedly secured to the top thereof. A drive system is generally indicated at numeral 12, the drive system 12 being arranged to periodically rotate a rotatable basket 13 and to oscillate an agitator 14 contained therein.

The automatic washing machine is put through a programmed cycle under the control of a sequential controller 16 having a control knob 17, usually incorporating a pushpull on-olf switch. A transmitter 18 is coupled to the sequential controller 16, in a manner to be subsequently described, so that it transmits a signal at the end of the programmed cycle controlled by the timer motor in the sequential controller 16. The transmitter 18 is also made subject to energization by a kick-out switch 19 which is located in close proximity to the basket 13. During high speed spin operations, if the motion of the basket 13 should become sufficiently eccentric to cause substantial vibration, the kick-out switch 19 is operated to energize the transmitter 18 and thereby transmit a signal.

The signal from the transmitter 18 is directed through power supply conductors 21 and 22 through the alternating current distribution system of the house, generally indicated at reference numeral 23. This distribution system supplies the normal 60 cycle energy for all of the electrical outlets in the house such as outlet 24 shown in FIGURE 1. A combination receiver and indicating means 26 is plugged into one of the receptacles, and is tuned to the frequency of the transmitter 18 to be actuated thereby. The particular indicator system employed in FIGURE 1 uses a neon bulb 27, although it should be evident that various visual or audible signals can be used, including bells, buzzers, flashing lights, or the like.

FIGURE 2 illustrates a particular type of transmitter which might be employed in the system shown in FIG- URE 1. This circuit is energized from the home power supply through a pair of leads 28 and 29. The alternating current is impressed across a half wave rectifier such as a diode 31 in series with a current limiting resistor 32. A capacitor 33 is placed across the line to serve as a filter capacitor, and resistors 34 and 35 are placed in series across the line to serve as a voltage dividing network. An oscillator coil 36 includes the components for a tuned circuit of predetermined resonant frequency, including coils 37, 38 and 39, in combination with a capacitor 41.

The oscillator transistor 42 is provided with a bias resistor 43 across which there is a signal by-pass capacitor 44. Another by-pass capacitor 46 appears across the resistor 35, while a 60 cycle blocking capacitor 47 is connected between one side of the inductance coil 37 and the other side of the line.

The transmitter circuit of FIGURE 2 is more or less conventional and is illustrated in the drawings merely for the sake of completeness. The circuit is designed to provide a signal at a predetermined frequency which happens to be convenient for a particular installation.

The receiver shown in FIGURE 3 of the drawings is energized from the standard 60 cycle source from a pair of conductors 51 and 52. The voltage appears across the combination of a 60 cycle blocking capacitor 53 and the primary 54 of an input coil generally indicated at numeral 56. Across the secondary of the input coil 56 there is a capacitor 57 forming a tuned circuit therewith. The secondary winding 58 is tapped ofi and the signal current passes through a diode 59 to the base of a transistor 61. A signal filter capacitor 62 and a base biasing resistor 63 are connected between the base and the emitter of the transistor 61.

The incoming line voltage is transformed into a series of half wave pulses by means of a half wave rectifier diode 64. The half wave pulses are smoothed out by'means of a voltage divider network consisting of resistors 66 and 67 and a filter capacitor 68. This rectified voltage is used to energize a neon tube 69 which has one of its electrodes connected to the collector of the transistor 61. A collector biasing resistor 71 is connected across the neon tube 69.

Another arrangement for a suitable receiver which has its own holding circuit is illustrated in FIG. 4. This type of circuit can be used where the transmitter emits only a pulse signal. The input is derived from a 60 cycle line through conductors 51 and 52. It is applied across the combination of a 60 cycle blocking capacitor 76 and the primary winding 77 of an input coil 78. The secondary winding 79 of the input coil has a capacitor 81 connected across it. The remainder of the circuit is like the circuit shown in FIGURE 3 in that it includes a diode 82 interposed between the secondary 79 and an amplifier tran sistor 83. A signal filter capacitor 84 and a base biasing resistor 86 are included to provide the proper operating characteristics for the transistor 83.

A half wave rectifier such as a diode 87 rectifies the incoming voltage and the resulting half wave pulses are smoothed out by the action of a filter network consisting of resistors 88 and 89 and a filter capacitor 90. The potential appearing at the junction of resistors 88 and 89 is used to energize a relay coil 91 which controls the operation of a relay switch 92 operating between a pair of terminals '93 and 94. The indicator means in the circuit of FIGURE 4 takes the form of a neon tube 96. A spring biased reset switch 97 is also included to remove energization from the neon tube 96 when it is desired to manually deenergize the tube.

From the circuit of FIGURE 4, it will be seen that when the receiver amplifies the signal received from the transmitter, the relay 91 will be energized (the reset switch 97 being normally biased closed), so that a potential is applied across the neon tube 96. Upon operation of the reset switch 97, however, the relay coil 91 is deenergized, and the switch arm 92 engages the contact 94 where it shorts out the neon tube 96 from the circuit.

A complete circuit diagram for the automatic washer of FIGURE 1 is illustrated in FIGURE 5. The entire machine receives its energization from an AC power source appearing across terminals 21 and 23. A main on-off switch 101 embodied in the sequential controller 16 controls the energization of the remainder of the circuits. A timer motor 102 is energized as long as the switch- 101 is closed. The timer motor 102 is designed to carry the apparatus through a programmed sequence of washing, high speed spinning, rinsing, another high speed spin, and finally to turn it off. The sequences involved are illustrated graphically in FIGURE 6 of the drawings.

The timer has a plurality of cams driven thereby, including a cam 103 which operates a switch 104 to energize the drive motor 105 of the washing machine, as long as the kick-out switch 19 is in the condition shown in FIG- 4 URE 5. The kick-out switch 19 includes a normally closed switch contact 106 and a normally open switch contact 107 ganged together.

Another cam 108 operates during the last portion of first extraction spin and at the completion of the programmed sequence to close a switch 109 and thereby apply energizing voltage across the transmitter 110 which feeds the signal into the power line. Another cam 111 is provided to operate a switch 112 and thereby energize an agitator solenoid 113 so that the agitator 14 of the washing machine will be operable during the washing cycle and the rinsing cycle.

A cam 114 operated from the timer motor 102 is arranged to close a switch 115 and thereby operate a spin solenoid 116 to provide high speed operation during the two extraction spin steps before and after the rinse, respectively. A cam 117 also driven from the timer motor 102 operates a switch 118 which controls energization of a water supply solenoid 119 to inject water into the tub periodically during the wash and rinse cycles.

From the diagrams, it will be seen that the transmitter 110 is operated by the cam 108 and switch 109 during the last portion of the first extraction spin and at the completion of the programmed cycle.

The transmitter is energized during the last portion of the first extraction spin to notify the user that the machine is preparing to enter the rinse portion of the cycle and thereby indicating to the user that it is time to add a rinse additive if she is desirous of doing so. If, during one of the high speed spinning operations the amount of vibration of the basket becomes excessive, the kick-out switch 19 is put into operation, thereby opening switch 106 and deenergizing the drive motor 105, and applying the line voltage to the transmitter 110 by closing the switch contact 107.

From the foregoing, it will be seen that the present invention provides a small but highly eifective remote signaling device for sensing various conditions during the operation of electrically operated appliances. The three conditions illustrated in the drawings, namely, the end of cycle sensing, the end of the first extraction, and the excessive vibration sensing are but examples of the various ways in which the present invention can be practiced.

It should be evident that various modifications can be made to the described embodiments without departing from the scope of the present invention.

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

For combination with a domestic laundry appliance electrically energized through an AC 60 cycle distribution system having outlet sockets in different rooms and locations of a house for habitation by the user of the appliance and further including a sequence control means having a series of cam operated switches operating said appliance through a programmed sequence of periods in an operating cycle and including a main on-oir' switch,

and a vibration responsive switch for sensing abnormal vibration of the appliance,

an adaptor unit comprising a transmitter having means for connection to said switches of said sequential control means and to said vibration responsive switch and having oscillator circuit means to develop a signal at a selected frequency at a predetermined time corresponding to the end of said operating cycle and to a vibration condition sensed by said vibration responsive switch said transmitter having a pair of conductor leads for coupling the signal developed by the transmitter to the AC 60' cycle distribution system at the situs of the laundry appliance, thereby to impress a control signal on said distribution system,

and a portable combination-receiver and indication unit enclosed within a housing sized to be held and carried in the hands of the user of the appliance from room-to-roorn in the house,

said unit having a plug connector extending out of said housing for effecting a selected plug-in electrical connection of said housing with any socket outlet in the house of the user remote from the situs of the laundry appliance, said unit having circuit means including a tuned circuit pretuned to said oscillator frequency to pick up the control signal on the AC 60 cycle distribution system imposed thereon by the transmitter, and an electrically actuated signal device in said housing responsive to said tuned circuit to actuate said signal device wherever said control sig- 15 nal is developed, whereby the user of the laundry appliance may be apprised of critical periods in the operating cycle at different locations remote from the situs of the appliance by plugging the portable receiver int-o the nearest socket outlet of the AC 60 cycle distribution system.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,433,845 1/1948 Hayes et al. 340261 X 2,681,443 6/1954 Caulk 340222 2,779,937 1/ 1957 Pellerin et al.

3,192,517 6/1965 Werlin 340261 X 3,200,209 8/1965 Fitzgerald 30714l.4 X 3,201,776 8/1965 Morrow et al. 340267 X 3,204,245 8/ 1965 Dykaar.

3,234,543 2/1966 Thompson et al. 340216 X NEIL C. READ, Primary Examiner.

R. M. ANGUS, D. YUSKO, Assistant Examiners.

Patent Citations
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U.S. Classification340/538, 340/310.11, 340/679, 340/310.18, 340/683, 340/12.39, 340/12.32
International ClassificationG08B1/08
Cooperative ClassificationG08B1/08
European ClassificationG08B1/08