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Publication numberUS3365824 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 30, 1968
Filing dateJun 1, 1966
Priority dateJun 1, 1966
Publication numberUS 3365824 A, US 3365824A, US-A-3365824, US3365824 A, US3365824A
InventorsDonald Winrow
Original AssigneeFerranti Packard Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Magnetically operated display or indicating device
US 3365824 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 30, 1968 D. VVINROW MAGNETICALLY OPERATED DISPLAY OR INDICATING DEVICE Filed June 1, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVEN'TOR. DONALD WINROW D. WINROW Jan. 30, 1968 MAGNETICALLY' OPERATED DISPLAY OR INDICATING DEVICE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. DONALD WIN ROW Filed June 1, 1966 WJJM United States Patent 3,365,824 MAGNETICALLY OPERATED DISPLAY 0R INDICATING DEVICE Donald Winrow, Downsview, Ontario, Canada, assiguor to Ferranti-Packard Electric Limited, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, a corporation of Canada Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 342,057, Feb. 3, 1964. This application June 1, 1966, Ser. No. 554,472

Claims. (Cl. 40-28) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A number of magnetically actuable rotatable elements having two alternatively displayable contrasting surfaces are mounted in an array visible in a viewing direction. Rotatably mounting the elements on projections extending outwardly from a base member in the viewing direction allows for large display surfaces on the elements relative to the area of the array allocated for such elements.

This invention relates to magnetically actuated signs of the type disclosed in my United States Patent No. 3,140,553 and in my United States application 534,273, filed Feb. 14, 1966; a continuation-in-part of application 342,057, filed Feb. 3, 1964, now abandoned.

In these cases, an array of rotatably mounted elements is provided, each element carrying a magnet which defines a magnetic axis at an angle to the rotational axis, and two contrastingly colored surfaces, alternatively displayable by alternative orientations of said element. Corresponding to each element, is means, exterior thereto, for selectively providing one or another magnetic field designed to display, respectively, one or the other of said contrasting surfaces, whereby, through the combined appearance of the elements in the array, 2. design or indicia is displayed.

In prior designs, in accord with the above applications and patents, the element is rotatably mounted in a ring whose circumference is in the plane of the array, that is, perpendicular to the mean viewing direction. Since the ring is stationary and does not contribute to the appearance of the array, the appearance of the design or indicia displayed, is impaired by the percentage of the gross display area which is not covered by the elements.

It has been found that by replacing the ring with a pairof projections on each side of an intended element location, such projections extending generally in the viewing direction, between which a rotatable element is rotatably mounted, that the ratio of the total area of the contrasting surfaces to the gross display area, may be increased.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention: the assembly, removal and replacement of the rotatable elements, is achieved and facilitated by providing that they are individually rotatably mounted in U-shaped members, independently of the sign. The U-shaped members are then mounted on the sign, by providing for each element, two projections which are attachable to the two uprights of each U, to mount the rotatable element in the array.

In both the general and the preferred form, referred to above, an additional operational advantage is achieved from the replacement of the ring, as a means for holding the rotatable element by the posts. In view of this, if desired, the magnetic element may be located axially beside the contrasting surfaces (but rotatable therewith) and the magnetic field means may be placed in close "ice proximity thereto, thus producing higher magnetic torque and better operating characteristics.

FIGURE 1 is a perspective of a part of a module in accord with the invention;

FIGURE 2 shows the means for mounting one element of a module;

FIGURE 3 shows the arrangement of the means for actuating one of the elements;

FIGURE 4 is an end view of the energizing means for the pole forming members;

FIGURE 5 is a section along the lines 5--5 of FIG- URE 2; and

FIGURE 6 is a front view of a 5-7 module in accord with the invention.

In the drawings a module or sub-array will be arranged to present 35 elements arranged in 5 columns and 7 rows, generally in a plane, with the direction perpendicular to the plane being considered the viewing direction. The module will be sufiicient to form one letter, numeral, character or design and will with similar modules, as discussed in my Patent 3,140,553, go to make up a sign or display device. The module includes a base 10, preferably of plastic and comprising on opposed sides of each intended element position, a projection 12 extending outwardly therefrom in the viewing direction, and preferably molded as part of the base 10. Although in the disclosure and the claims herein, it is set out that there are two projections for each rotatable element position, it should be realized that it does not follow that there are twice as many projections as elements. The reason is that a single projection may serve as one of the pair, corresponding to one, or usually two rotatable elements.

Preferably, in each of the projections 12, in a direction facing the other projection corresponding to an element position, is a groove with the roots of facing grooves 15 parallel.

Each rotatable element comprises a circular disc 14 which is oppositely colored on opposite sides. The disc 14 is mounted on a pin or shaft 16 which extends along a disc diameter and projects on each side thereof. A magnet 18 is mounted on the shaft, at one side of the disc but adjacent thereto. The magnet 18 may be of any desired type to provide a magnetic polar axis at an angle to .and preferably perpendicular to the pin or shaft 16 as indicated by the arrows A-A of FIGURE 2.

The pin or shaft 16 is rotatably mounted adjacent the free ends of the uprights 20 of a resilient U-shaped member 22. The U-shaped member 22 is provided, in the mutually facing portions of such uprights, with Wells 24 to receive the ends of the pin or shaft 16 and is dimensioned so that in its normal attitude, it would prevent the insertion or retraction of a disc shaft to or from such wells but wherein the uprights 20 of shaft 16 may be sprung apart to allow insertion of the ends of shaft 16 in the wells 24, after which the uprights 20 are released to retain the shaft 16 in position. The uprights 20 are, on the sides remote from one another, shaped to be received in the grooves 15 but are, in their normal attitude, sloped outwardly as indicated in the dotted portion of FIGURE 5, to be biased inwardly by the roots of groove 15 with the bias supplying the frictional force to hold the element in position.

The above described method of removably holding the U-shaped members in position by friction, may be replaced by any other means of removably attaching the U-shaped member to the projections on the sign. However, for practicability and economy, the projections seem the best method of attaching the uprights and the frictional method seems the best method of effecting sucl'l attachment.

. .5 The -U-shaped member 22 and pin or shaft 16 are so designed, that the disc 14 and shaft 16 still pivot freely (together) even when the uprights 20 are biased inwardly by the groove roots.

In preferred form of the invention, means are provided for limiting the rotation of the rotatable elements to less than 180. Preferably this comprises a post 26 formed by a member projecting outwardly from the centre oi .the cross-bar of the U and perpendicular thereto, while roughly parallel to the general plane of the base, and then curving outwardly from the base in the mounted orientation of the U-shaped member to a free end having a detent 28 directed inwardly toward the intended disc position with the post 26 and detent 28 dimensioned to provide a stop preventing rotation of disc 14 thereby, in either direction. Alternatively, if desired, the post 26 with detent 28 thereon may be formed as a part of the base rather than as a part of the U-shaped member 22.

There has thus been discussed, a device wherein an array of magnetically actuable elements (discs 14) are provided, which are adapted to produce desired indicia or designs when selectively oriented. The individual ele ments are, by their and the base design, easily mounted, dismounted and replaced.

Because only the discs 14, the ends of the uprights of the U-shaped member of projection 20, and of the detent 28appear in the array, in the viewing direction, the ratio of the area displayed by the contrasting sur faces (i.e., the sum of the disc areas) to the total area encompassed by the array, is higher than in prior signs wherein a ring about the magnetically actuable sign is located in the plane of the array. Moreover there has been provided, a sign where the disc and its U-shaped mounting member, are easily mounted, dismounted and replaced, an important factor in signs having a large number of elements.

For simplicity of illustration in FIGURE 6, some of the elements 16, 12, 20, 18, 37, 14, etc., have been omitted from some of the thirty-five element positions, although these elements in fact appear at all positions. The arrangement of these elements .is shown best in the upper three rows of the left hand three columns.

The means for actuating the magnetically actuable elements will now be described.

When viewed in the display direction, the base 10 is provided (corresponding to each magnetically actuable element) with bores 30 passing therethrough on each side (in the viewing direction) of the magnet position.

It should be noted that the line joining a pair of bores 30 does not pass through the centre of the rotatable disc, but rather (approximately) through the position (pro jected on the base in the viewing direction) of the magnet 18, at an angle to and preferably perpendicular to the direction of shaft 16.

On the side of the base 10, remote from the array, a

base 10 from the array. Combined with the deeper recess is a shallower oval recess 34 having its longitudinal axis extending along the line joining the bores 30 and having These are described in detail in my copending application Ser. No. 534,273. The two flux permeable members 38 are each in the form of a 6 with the loop 42 of the 6 shaped to be received on the rod-like member 36 and the extent adjacent the free end 44 of the 6 on its concave side, shaped to clip onto a loop of the other similarly shaped element. Thus the flux permeable members 38 are provided with energizing windings 40. They are assembled by placing the loop 42 of a flux permeable member on each pole piece, rearward of the base 10 relative to the array and clipping the concavities of each flux permeable member clip 38 about the loops of the other. The inter-clipped pairs of flux permeable members 38 are then moved into the wells with the flux permeable members 38 being received in the oval wells and the windings received in the circular well 32.

Because of the arrangement of the mounting for the rotatable members projecting outwardly from the base it will be noted that the magnetic element 18 may be placed its periphery curving about and outwardly of each of the V V bores. Corresponding to each of the discs 14 are a pair of rod-like pole forming members 36, each of which is adapted to extend through a bore 30 to project on both sides ofthe base 10 and to be held at position'therein by any desired means. In the preferred form of the invention, such pole pieces are retained frictionally, and in addition, the bores 30 are spaced wider than the desired spacing of the poles 37 (at the array end of the mem bers-36) at the magnet 18 on the magnetically actuable disc 14. Thus the rod-like members 36 are bent inwardly from the array end of bores 30 to form poles 37 at the desired spacing. Rearward of the base 10 a pair of flux permeable members 38 couple the rodlike members 36.

axially at the end of the disc 14 instead of on the disc 14 as in previous designs, thus the poles may be brought closer to the magnet, whereby better torque may be obtained.

I claim:

1. In a magnetically operated sign wherein there is provided an array of magnetically actuable elements which are rotatably mounted to provide, in two alternative orientations, contrasting surfaces; each of said magnetically actuable elements being provided with a magnetic field forming member, rotatable therewith, said elements being arranged to be selectively rotatably actuable by fields external to the element being actuated, to display one or the other of the contrasting surfaces; means for mounting said elements comprising:

a mounting base for the elements;

a pair of projections extending outwardly from said base corresponding to each of said rotatable elements;

grooves in each of such pair of projections facing the other projection of said .pair and having parallel mutually opposing roots;

a U-shaped member of resilient material wherein the U-shaped uprights diverge, but are shaped to be received within said grooves with said uprights biased inwardly by the roots of said grooves;

a magnetically actuable element with contrasting sides mounted in said U-shaPed member on a rotation shaft extending between said uprights to be rotatable relative to said U-shaped member when said uprights are so inwardly biased; and

means for selectively magnetically actuating said magnetically actuable elements. 7

2. In a magnetically operated sign wherein an array of magnetically actuable elements are rotatably mounted,

to provide in two alternative orientations, contrasting surfaces; each provided with a magnetic field forming member, rotatable therewith, said elements being arranged to be selectively rotatably actuable by a field external to the element to display one or the other of the contrasting surfaces, whereby a variable display may be provided in a viewing direction relative to said array; means for mounting said elements comprising:

a mounting base for the elements;

a pair of projections extending on the viewing direction from said base arranged on opposed sides of the intended position in the array of each of said rotatable elements; V

a U-shaped member of resilient material;

a magnetically actuable element with contrasting sides and a magnetic field forming member, rotatably mounted in said U-shaped member;

means co-operating between each upright of said U, and such pair of projections to provide a mounting of said uprights on said projections.

3. In a magnetically operated sign wherein an array of magnetically actuable elements are rotatably mounted, to provide, in two alternative orientations, contrasting surfaces each provided with a magnetic field forming member, rotatable therewith, said elements being arranged to be individually selectively rotatably actuable by a field external to the element, to display one or the other of the contrasting surfaces, whereby a variable display may be provided in a viewing direction relative to said array; means for mounting said elements comprising:

a mounting base for the elements;

a pair of projections extending in the viewing direction from said base on each side of the intended position of each of said rotatable elements;

grooves in said projections running longitudinally thereof facing the other projection of said pair;

a U-shaped member, shaped so that the uprights of said U may be received in said facing grooves;

means for retaining said U-shaped member in position when said uprights are received in said grooves; and

a magnetically actuable element with contrasting sides, mounted in said U-shaped member, to be rotatable when said uprights are inwardly biased.

4. In a magnetically operated sign, wherein an array of magnetically actuable elements are rotatably mounted, to provide in two alternative orientations, contrasting surfaces each provided with a magnetic field forming member, rotatable therewith, said elements being arranged to be individually selectively rotatably actuable by a magnetic field external to the element, to display one or the other of the contrasting surfaces; means for mounting said elements, comprising:

a mounting base for the elements;

a U-shaped member;

a magnetically actuable element with contrasting sides,

mounted in said U-shaped member;

means for mounting said U-shaped member with the uprights thereof projecting outwardly from said base; said magnetically actuable member being rotatably mounted in said U-shaped member when the latter is so mounted; and

means for selectively magnetically actuating said magnetically actuable elements.

5. In a magnetically operated sign, wherein there is provided an array of elements each rotatably mounted to provide, in alternative orientations, contrasting surfaces, each of said elements being provided with a magnetic field forming member rotatable therewith, said elements being arranged to be individually selectively rotatably actuable by a field, external to the element, to present one or the other of the contrasting surfaces; means for mounting said elements comprising:

a mounting base for the elements;

a pair of projections extending from said base on opposed sides of the intended position of each of said rotatable elements;

grooves in each of the pair of posts facing the other post and having parallel mutually opposing roots;

a U-shaped member of resilient material;

means for mounting said U-shaped member in said grooves; and

an element having contrasting sides mounted in said U-shaped member to pivot therein.

6. A device as claimed in claim 1, wherein a member extends outwardly from the cross-bar of the U, and outwardly beside the disc locus to provide a stop to limit rotation of the rotatable element therepast in either direction.

7. A device as claimed in claim 4 wherein a member extends outwardly from the cross-bar of the U, and outwardly beside the disc locus to provide a stop to limit rotation of the rotatable element therepast in either direction.

8. A device as claimed in claim 2 wherein a member extends outwardly from the cross-bar of the U, and outwardly besides the disc locus to provide a stop to limit rotation of the rotatable element therepast in either direction.

9. A device as claimed in claim 3 wherein a member extends outwardly from the cross-bar of the U, and outwardly beside the disc locus to provide a stop to limit rotation of the rotatable element therepast in either direction.

10. A device as claimed in claim 5 wherein a member extends outwardly from the cross-bar of the U, and outwardly beside the disc locus to provide a stop to limit rotation of the rotatable element therepast in either direction.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,096,594 7/1963 Skrobisch 40-28 3,186,115 6/1965 Todt et al. 4028 3,267,455 8/ 1966 McGuire et a1. 340-324 3,283,427 11/1966 Winrow 40-28 EUGENE R. CAPOZIO, Primary Examiner.

W. J. CONTRERAS, Examiner.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3486258 *Dec 6, 1967Dec 30, 1969Contraves AgMovable display arrangement
US3947984 *May 7, 1975Apr 6, 1976Ferranti-Packard LimitedSupport for display elements
US3991496 *Jul 31, 1975Nov 16, 1976Ferranti-Packard LimitedGravity bias for display elements
US4115936 *Jan 3, 1977Sep 26, 1978Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanyChangeable character sign structure
US4223464 *Mar 22, 1979Sep 23, 1980Ferranti-Packard LimitedDisplay or indicator element
US4521983 *Oct 7, 1983Jun 11, 1985Yoshimasa WakatakeRotating display element and display unit using the same
US4528932 *May 31, 1983Jul 16, 1985"Fok-Gyem" Finommechanikai Es Elektronikus Muszergyarto SzovetkezetIron core for the magnetic induction of a visual information displaying element with a magnetic tilting plate
US4531318 *Sep 16, 1983Jul 30, 1985Nei Canada LimitedDisplay or indicating element with bent core
US4583312 *Jul 18, 1983Apr 22, 1986King Design, Inc.Changeable sign board with magnetic characters
US4615131 *Apr 13, 1984Oct 7, 1986Yoshimasa WakatakeRotating display element and display unit using the same
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US4819357 *May 23, 1985Apr 11, 1989Salam Hassan P AInformation display devices
US5111193 *Jun 6, 1990May 5, 1992American On-Premise Advertising CompanyElectronic display element for electronic display device
US5148156 *Jun 6, 1990Sep 15, 1992American Electronic Sign CompanyElectronic display device having a plurality of pixel elements
US5858158 *Aug 5, 1993Jan 12, 1999Mark Iv Industries LimitedElectromagnetic disk and method of making
US6510632 *Sep 1, 2000Jan 28, 2003Mark Iv Industries LimitedSmall dot display element
US6677922Oct 12, 2000Jan 13, 20043M Innovative Properties CompanyDisplay element having retroreflective surface
US8514170Sep 27, 2007Aug 20, 2013Art Technology Inc.Magnetic display for watches
US20040080484 *Nov 22, 2001Apr 29, 2004Amichai HeinesDisplay devices manufactured utilizing mems technology
US20050088404 *Dec 3, 2002Apr 28, 2005Amichai HeinesDisplay devices
DE2915060A1 *Apr 12, 1979Nov 29, 1979Ferranti Packard LtdSchreibsensor fuer anzeigeelemente
Classifications
U.S. Classification40/449, 40/463
International ClassificationG09F9/37, G09F19/12, G09F19/18
Cooperative ClassificationG09F19/18, G09F9/375
European ClassificationG09F19/18, G09F9/37M