US 3345627 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 3, 1967 A. HERsT ETAL 3,345,627
PROWLER ALARM Filed Feb. l, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet l 6 ZeorzarvdAHenS Marl/Z755@ OC- 3, 1967 L.. A. HERST ETAL 3,345,627
PROWLER ALARM Filed Feb. l, 1965 -l* y V5 United States Patent 3,345,627 PROWLER ALARM Leonard A. Herst, Marvin B. Kaplan, and Charles B. Spangenberg, Chicago, Ill., assignors, by direct and mesne assignments, of fifty percent to Leonard A. Herst, and titty percent to George J. Goldman, both of Chrcago, Ill.
Filed Feb. 1, 1965, Ser. No. 429,322 1 Claim. (Cl. S40- 233) This invention relates to a signalling device. In particular, this invention relates to a portable, self-contained signalling device for sounding an alarm to detect unauthorized entry.
Various portable alarm devices for sounding a signal to warn of unauthorized entry heretofore have been developed. Generally speaking, these earlier devices involved rather elaborate preliminary preparations before the device could perform its intended function. Thus, in certain instances, cord or string was strung from the device to the entry-way to be guarded. Unauthorized movement of the door or window to which the device was connected by the string could then be transmitted to the device to establish a condition of imbalance in the device causing a switch, for example, to close and an alarm to sound. Apart from the disadvantages of time consuming and preliminary awkward preparations necessary for the activation of various conventional alarm devices of the type here under consideration, one of the more significant shortcomingsof their operation, in general, is their 1nability to continue sounding an alarm after the condition of imbalance, which initially activated the device, has been removed. In other words, the person responsible for the sounding of the alarm could, after making entry, quickly silence the alarm by re-establishing the normal, usually upright, non-operating condition of the device.
` In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a portable signalling or alarm device which effectively overcomes the disadvantages of .conventional portable alarm devices. The device of this invention 1s self-contained in that it requires no outside source of power to energize the alarm, is compact and light, and is fool-proof in its operation.
Briey, the device of the present invention comprises a housing having a base portion to enable the device to rest in an upright position on a substantially horizontal supporting surface. An alarm, as well as a source of power to energize the alarm, is carried in the housing. Control means including a tilt switch is provided for initiating energization of the alarm. In the particularly preferred embodiment of the invention, the control means further includes holding means such as a switch or relay or the like for maintaining the'alarm in an energized condition irrespective of the position of the device after the tilt switch initially has been closed and the alarm energized. Resetting means, carried within the housing of the device, is provided for de-energizing the alarm. The re-setting means, which desirably takes the form of a snap switch, is accessible through a restricted opening in the wall of the housing and can be reached only by inserting a pencil, for example, through the opening. The pencil engr` ges the control of the switch and, by proper application of pressure, the contacts thereof are opened thereby de-energizing the alarm. The continuous sounding feature of the device of the present invention, together with the unique arrangement of the re-setting means, serve effectively to prevent or at least substantially delay, an intruder from silencing the device, thus greatly enhancing the possibility of the intruder panicking and departing from the premises, while further increasing the probability of someone on thepremises, or within hearing distance of the alarm, to be alerted and thereafter to summon aid.
These and other objects, advantages and features of this invention will become apparent upon making reference to the specification, claim and drawings wherein:
FIG. l is a view in perspective of an embodiment of the signalling device of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view taken substantially along line 2 2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view taken substantially along line 3 3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a vertical sectional view taken substantially along line 4 4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a horizontal sectional view taken substantially along line 5 5 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is an electrical circuit diagram of one .form of the control circuit for the device of FIG. 1;
FIG. 7 is a vertical sectional view corresponding to FIG. 3 of another embodiment of the device illustrating a variation of the alarm having a switch associated therewith for maintaining the alarm energized;
FIG. 8 is a vertical sectional view taken substantially along line 8 8 of FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a horizontal sectional View taken substantially along line 9 9 of FIG. 7;
FIG. 10 is an exploded view of the alarm, and its associated switch illustrated in FIG. 7;
FIG. 11 is an electrical circuit diagram of the control circuit for the embodiment of the device of this invention incorporating the alarm and switch arrangement illustrated in FIG. l0; and
FIG. 12 is an electrical circuit diagram of an alternative control circuit for the device shown in FIG. 1.
Referring now in particular to FIGS. 1 through 6 of the drawings, the embodiment of the signalling device of the present invention there illustrated, designated generally by reference numeral 10, desirahly comprises an upper, substantially frusto-conically shaped, open-ended housing portion 12 and a lower open-ended housing portion 14. The housing portion 14 has a substantially cylindrical base 16 which flares outwardly at its upper end and forms a short, cylindrically shaped 'top 18 having a diameter such that it can be inserted into the lower opening in the portion 12 with the outer wall thereof engaging the inner wall of the portion 12 at its base. The upper housing portion 12 may be secured to the top 18 of the lower portion 14 in any known manner. In the embodiment of the invention illustrated, the portion 12 is secured to the portion 14 by crimping the walls thereof at their point of engagement. A closure member or end cap 20 is provided for the base 16 of the housing portion 14 for retaining an expansion coil spring 24 and a dry cell battery 26 in the portion 14. The end cap 20 advantageously is maintained on the base 16 of the portion 14 by a machine screw 28. As will become clear hereinafter, this arrangement, while enabling the owner of the device to replace the battery 26, prevents ready silencing of the device which otherwise would be possible if the end cap 20 was, for instance, simply threadedly engaged on the base 16 of the portion 14.
Referring now to the opposite end of the device 10, as illustrated, an alarm assembly 30 is secured to the upper housing portion 12. The alarm assembly 30 desirably has a cup-shaped, open-topped housing 3-2 having a dome-shaped cover member 34. The cover member 34 has a plurality of spaced, downwardly extending spring teeth or arms 36, each of which is provided at its base with an inwardly extending groove 38 for receiving and snugly engaging the inner edge of an inwardly extending flange 40' formed in the top of the housing portion 12. A concentrically ribbed, disc-shaped, metal diaphragm 44 having a centrally located contact 46, .is provided for the alarm assembly 30 and rests on an outwardly ex- J tending ange 48 formed at the open end of the cupshaped housing 32. The cover member 34 and the diaphragm 44 are secured to the housing 32 in spaced relation with respect to each other by crimping a portion of the cover member 34 about the flange 48 and the periphery of the diaphragm 44.
The cup-shaped housing 32 of the alarm assembly 3G has a magnetizable metal bracket t) secured, as by rivets 52-52, to the inner surface of the bottom wall 54 thereof. The bracket 50 is insulated from the inner surface of the wall S4 by an insulation member 56 and is in contact with a magnetizable metal core 58 insulating! ly carrying an electric coil 60 desirably formed by a winding 62 between a pair of insulating discs 64-64. The discs 64-64 each have central openings through which the ends of the core 58 extend. The bracket 5@ is provided along its sides, adjacent one end, with a pair of oppositely disposed, upwardly extending, magnetizable arms 66-66. Each of the arms 66-66 comprises a substantially vertical portion 67 having an upper, inwardly extending substantially horizontal portion 68. The horizontal portions 68-68 of the arms `66--66 engage the discs 64-64 and serve, among other things, to hold the coil 60 in position. The bracket 50, at its other end, is provided with an upwardly extending portion 70` to the free end of which is attached an L-shaped leaf spring 72 having a magnetizable metal armature 74 secured to its free end. The armature 74 carries a contact 76 and is of sufficient length and width to overlie an area of the portions 68-68 of the arms 66-66 and the core 58. With respect to the operation of the alarm assembly 30, the contact 46 on the diaphragm 44 and -the contact 76 on the armature 74 are normally closed and are connected in series with the coil winding 62. When these contacts are closed, the coil winding 62 is energized to generate a magnetic force in the core 58 and the arms 66-66 of the bracket 50 so as to direct the armature 74 downwardly. This downward movement of the armature 74 separates the contacts 46 and 76 to de-energize the coil winding 62 whereby the armature '74 rises to again reclose the contacts 46 and 76. This intermittent energization of the coil winding 62 vibrates the armature 74 and since the contact 76 engages the contact 46 during each vibration the diaphragm 44 is correspondingly vibrated to produce the alarm sound. An adjusting screw 77 desirably is provided for the alarm assembly 30 to enable the pitch of the alarm sound to be changed.
One end lead 78 of the winding 62 is connected to the portion 70 of the bracket 50, and the other end lead 79 thereof is connected to one terminal of a tilt switch, such as a mercury switch 80. The tilt switch 80 is attached to but electrically insulated from an extension 84 formed on the lower arm portion 86 of a substantially U-shaped bracket 88, the upper arm portion 90 of which is secured by screws 92-92 to the outer surface of the bottom wall 54 of the cup-shaped housing 32. When the prowler alarm unit of this invention is in a vertical position, the tilt or mercury switch is open, but when the unit is tilted to any other position, the tilt or mercury switch is closed. The U-shaped bracket 88, in addition to insulatingly carrying the switch 80, has holding means such as a relay 94, insulatingly secured to the lower arm portion 86 thereof, and the connecting portion 96 between the arm portions 86 and 90 of the bracket 88 has a manual snap-switch 100 insulatingly secured thereto by a knurl-headed threaded sleeve 102 and a lock nut 164. The manual snap switch 160` is preferably of the type having a manually operated plunger 106 for progressively switching between on and o conditions. The lower arm portion 86 ofthe bracket 88 further insulatingly carries a cup-shaped contact 108 which engages a contact 109 of the battery 26.
Referring in particular to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawing, the manual switch 100 advantageously is spaced inwardly from the side wall of the upper housing portion 12 and is accessible only through an opening 110 in the side wall of the portion 12. The opening 110 desirably is too small to permit the switch 100 to be operated by direct Contact with a nger, but is large enough to permit insertion of the head of a pencil, for example. This arrangement has the important advantage of preventing, or at least delaying, quick silencing of the device of this invention by an unauthorized person.
The operation of the device 10, as illustrated in FIGS. 2 through 5, is controlled in a unique manner by an electrical control system which is diagrammatically illustrated in FIG. 6. The manual switch 108 has a movable contact 112 and a stationary contact 114. The movable contact 112 is connected to one terminal of the battery 26 by a conductor 116 and said one terminal of the battery 26 is also connected to the coil 60 of the alarm assembly 38 through a conductor 118, and the movable and stationary contacts 134 and 136 of the relay 94 which are normally open. The contact 46 of the alarm assembly is grounded, as indicated at 141, and hence to the other terminal of the battery which is also grounded. The stationary contact 114 of the manual switch 100 is connected to one terminal of the normally open mercury switch 88 by a conductor 120- and to a movable contact 122 of the relay 94 by a conductor 124. The other terminal of the mercury switch 80 is connected to one end of the operating coil of the relay 94 and the stationary contact 126 of the relay 94 is also connected to said one end of the operating coil by a conductor 124. The other end of the operating coil of the relay 94 is grounded by the conductor 130` and is hence connected to the grounded terminal of the battery 26.
The alarm assembly 30 of the device is initially energized when the contacts 112 and 114 of the manual switch 100 and the contacts of the tilt or mercury switch 80 are closed. This condition of the control system, as illustrated, initially energizes the relay 94, closing the contacts 122 and 126 and the contacts 134 and 136 thereof.
An alarm energization circuit is thereby completed from the battery 26 through the conductors 116 and 118, the closed contacts 134 and 136 and alarm assembly 30 to ground 141. A maintaining circuit simultaneously is completed from the battery 26 throughV the conductor 116, the contacts 112 and 114 of the manual switch 100, the conductor 124, the closed contacts 122 and 126 of. the relay 94, the conductor 124, the coil of the relay 94, and the conductor 130, to ground 141. This maintaining circuit maintains the relay 94 energized independently from the mercury switch 80 and keeps the alarm energization circuit closed. Thus, irrespective of whether or not the mercury switch 80 is open or closed, the alarm assembly 30 will continue to be energized until de-energized by manually opening the contacts 112 and 114 of the switch 100.
An effective alternative electrical control system for the device 1t) also employing holding means such as a relay is illustrated in FIG. 12. In this embodiment of the control system, the system is grounded as indicated at 142. It includes a holding relay 144 provided with an operating coil 146, a stationary contact 148 and a movable contact 149. In this system, when the contacts 112 and 114 of the manual switch 100 are closed and the mercury switch 80 is closed, an alarm energization circuit is initially completed from the battery 26 through the closed switches and 80 and the alarm assembly 30 to ground 142. Upon closing of the switches 100 and 88, the relay 144 is simultaneously initially energized and the contacts 148 and 14-9 are closed. This completes a maintaining circuit for the relay 144 and the alarm assembly 30. The maintaining circuit for the relay 144 eX- tends from the battery 26 through the closed switch 100, the closed contacts 148 and 149 and the coil 1'46 of the relay 144 to ground 142. The maintaining circuit for the alarm assembly 30 extends from the battery 26 through the closed switch 100, the closed contacts of the relay 144 and the alarm assembly 30 to ground 142. In this condition the alarm assembly 30 will continue to be energized until the contacts 112 and 114 of the manual switch 100 are opened.
Referring now in particular to FIGS. 7 through 11 of the drawings, an embodiment of a modified alarm assembly is illustrated which provides an effective alternative to the utilization of holding means such as the relay 94 or the relay 144 for completing a maintaining circuit to the alarm assembly of the present invention. The modified alarm assembly, designated generally by reference numeral 150, is in many respects the same as alarm assembly 30, and, where possible, like reference numerals have been employed to identify like parts. In the embodiment illustrated, the core 5S is provided with a substantially horizontal, outwardly extending portion 58a. The upper, horizontal portions 68-68, similarly are provided with outwardly extending portions 68a--68a each of which is substantially coterminus with the free end of the portion 58a of the core 58.
The alarm assembly 150 further is provided with a contact-arm 152 secured at one end to a post 154 anchored to the bottom wall of the housing 32. The arm 152, at its free end, carries a contact 156. Intermediate its ends, the arm 152 is provided with an armature 158, of which advantageously is shaded or slugged with copper, or the like, the purpose of which will be made clear as the description proceeds. A second contact-arm 160 is secured to the side wall of the housing 32 and is electrically insulated therefrom by an insulator 162. The arm 160 has a contact 164 which is positioned above the contact 156 of the arm 152.
The operation of the device of the present invention employing the alarm assembly 150 will become clear upon making reference to the electrical circuit diagram shown in FIG. 11. In the control system there illustrated, the system is grounded at 166. When the contacts 112 and 114 of the manual switch 106 are closed and the mercury switch 80 is closed, an alarm energization circuit is initially completed from the battery 26 through the closed switches 100 and 80 and the alarm assembly 150 to ground 166. Upon closing of the switches 100 and 80', the coil 60 is energized to produce an alarm sound as described hereinabove. The magnetic force generated in the core 58 and its extension 58a by the initial energization of the coil 60 directs the contact-arm 152 upwardly. This upward movement of the arm 152 brings the contact 156 into engagement with the contact 164. The shading on the armature 158 has the efrect of maintaining the contacts 156 and 164 in a closed position even though the coil 60 is intermittently de-energized to produce the alarm sound. Thus, a maintaining circuit for the alarm assembly 150 is completed from the battery 26 through the closed switch 100, the closed contacts 156 and 164, the alarm assembly 150 to ground 166. As with the previously described embodiments of the invention, in this condition the alarm assembly 150 will continue to produce an alarm sound until the manual switch 1001 is opened.
In utilizing the device of the present invention, it is merely necessary to stand the device on its base in a position with relation to an entry-way, a door, for example, to be guarded against unauthorized entry, such that when the door is opened by a prowler, or other intruder, the device will be upset, or at least be tilted from its normal vertical position to a position whereby the tilt switch will be closed. At that instant, the device will sound an alarm. The maintaining circuit and the hidden manual switch features of the device provide ample time for the device to produce an alarm, and the intruder to be detected, before the device can be deactivated, assuming, of course, that the prowler would, from prior knowledge, how how to accomplish this. The device is simple to maintain and can be used in any location to guard against unauthorized entry by prowlers and the like.
It Shoud be understood that numerous modifications may be made in the preferred form of the invention above described without departing from the broader `aspects of the invention.
What is claimed is:
A portable and tippable prowler alarm unit comprising a housing having an enlarged upper portion and a small base portion, said base portion having a at surface for freely resting the alarm unit in an upright position on a substantially horizontal support surface, an audible alarm secured in the upper portion of the housing, a power source carried in the base portion of the housing, control means including a tilt switch in the upper portion of the housing for the alarm which is inoperative when the unit is in its upright position and operative when the unit is tipped over from its upright position, said control means including holding means for maintaining the alarm in an energized condition irrespective of the position of the alarm unit after it has been initially tipped over and the control means has been rendered operative, and resetting means within the upper portion of the housing including a plunger switch for de-energizing the alarm, the outer end of the plunger of said switch being spaced from the wall of the upper portion of the housing and being accessible through a hole through the wall of the upper portion of the housing, said hole being of a size too small to permit entry of a human nger but large enough to permit entry of a pencil, said audible alarm, said control means and said resetting means being positioned in the upper portion of the housing in a manner to render the alarm unit top heavy whereby the unit is readily tippable from its normal upright position.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,724,823 11/ 1955 Toepfer. 3,041,594 6/1962 Charles 340--283 3,248,723 4/ 1966 Miethe 340--283 X 3,266,015 8/ 1966 Pickering et al. 340-81 NEIL C. READ, Primary Examiner.
D. L. TRAFTON, Assistant Examiner.