US 3468143 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Se t. 23, 1969 c. e. DOUGLAS ETAL 3,468,143
RANDOM SELECTION ELECTRICAL COMBINATION LOCKS- Filed Oct. 20, 1967 5 Sheets-Sheet l c. G. DOUGLAS ETAL 3,468,143
Sept. 23, 1969 RANDOM SELECTION ELECTRICAL COMBINATION LOCKS 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Oct. 20, 1967 Se t. 23, 1969 c. s. DOUGLAS ETAL 3,468,143
5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Ray)? Sept. 23, 1969 Q DOUGLAS ETAL 3,458,143
RANDOM SELECTION ELECTRICAL COMBINATION LOCKS Filed Oct. 20, 1967 5 Sheets-Sheet 4,
Sept. 23, 1969 c. G. DOUGLAS E AL 3,468,143
RANDOM SELECTION ELECTRICAL COMBINATION LOCKS Filed Oct. 20, 1967 5 Sheis-Sheet 5 3,468,143 RANDOM SELECTION ELECTRICAL COMBINATION LOCKS Clifford G. Douglas, London, and George H. G. Guttridge, Hertford Heath, England, assignors, by mesne assignments, to Bambino Electronics Limited, London, England, a British company Filed Oct. 20, 1967, Ser. No. 676,830 Claims priority, application Great Britain, Oct. 21, 1966, 47,139/ 66 Int. Cl. E0511 47/00, 49/00 US. Cl. 70-277 12 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An electrical combination lock comprising at least one manually operable member connectible by drive means to at least one driven member and releasable therefrom for independent movement, and electrical contacts associated with the manually operable member and driven member so as to complete an electrical circuit when the two members are in predetermined relative positions, so that the driven member can be set to any desired position by setting the manually operable member to the same position with the drive means engaged, the drive means being then disengaged to allow the manually operable member to be moved to another position leaving the setting stored in the driven member so that the circuit can be re-made by moving the manually operable member back to the said set position.
This invention relates to electrical combination locks for use to control access to strong rooms, safes or enclosed areas, or to prevent unauthorized changing of the condition of an electrical circuit or other installation.
It is the object of the invention to provide a selector device which is capable of setting into the lock, at the time of locking, any arbitrarily selected combination which is memorized thereby until a subsequent unlocking operation is performed, the arrangement being such that the combination memorized is not revealed in any way, by inspection, by feel or by sound.
According to the invention, a selector device for an electrical combination lock comprises a manual control settable to any one of a plurality of positions, a driven member also movable to any one of a plurality of positions, electrical contacts associated with said manual control and with said driven member, an electrical circuit completed by said contacts when the control and the driven member are in predetermined relative positions, drive coupling means between said control and said driven member, engageable to provide simultaneous rotation of said driven member by said control, and means for disengaging said drive coupling means to permit movement of said manual control independently of said driven member.
Preferably an electrically controlled latch is provided to hold the drive coupling means in the disengaged position, releasing means for the said latch being actuated by completion of the electrical circuit.
The invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a circuit diagram showing the essential electrical circuit of the selector device;
FIGURE 2 is a diagram showing one arrangement according to the invention;
FIGURE 3 is a diagram showing another arrangement according to the invention;
FIGURE 4 shows an arrangement of a selector device States Patent "ice according to the invention in association with a mechanical lock; and
FIGURE 5 is a circuit diagram of the arrangement shown in FIGURE 4.
Referring to FIGURE 1, a rotary switch A having a series of fixed contacts wiped by a rotor contact 11 has each of the said fixed contacts 10 coupled to one of a plurality of corresponding fixed contacts 12 of a second rotary switch B having a rotor contact 13. The rotor of the switch A, which constitutes a manual control, is rotated by means of a manual knob, not shown, and is associated with a dial, not shown, bearing letters or numbers so that a diiferent letter or number is indicated for each position of the switch. Separate coaxial spindles 14 and 15 carry the rotors of the two switches A and B, the two spindles carrying respectively identical gear wheels 16 and 17. A third gear wheel 18, capable of meshing simultaneously with both the gear wheels 16 and 17, is rotatably carried by a pivoted support (not shown) so as to be capable of swinging into and out of engagement with the gear wheels 16 and 17. A spring 19 urges the said gear wheel 18 into engagement with the gear wheels 16 and 17, and a latch 20, loaded by a spring 21, is provided to hold the said gear wheel out of engagement with the gear wheels 16 and 17. A manual control lever 22 is attached to the pivotal support to enable the gear wheel 18 to be moved to its disengaged position when required.
A source of electric current, shown as a battery 23, is arranged in an electrical circuit including the switches A and B in series, a manually operable switch 24, and a solenoid 2.5 which when energised, releases the latch 20. The solenoid 25, or an additional solenoid, actuates or controls the actuation of the device protected by the lock.
The switch 24 is normally open, and the solenoid 25 is therefore de-energised. As will be hereinafter explained, the gear wheel 18, when the lock has been released, is in engagement with the gear wheels 16 and 17. To set the lock, the switch A is moved to any chosen position, the switch B being driven to the same position by the gears 16, 17, 18. The lever 22 is then operated to disengage the gear wheel 18 from the gear wheels 16 and 17, the latch engaging automatically to hold the gear wheel in the disengaged position. The switch A is then moved to another position, and it will be apparent that a circuit through the solenoid 25, to release the latch, can be completed only by returning the switch A to the position to which it was previously set, and closing the switch 24, the switch B serving as a memory to retain the required setting. When the switch A is returned to the previously set postiion, and the switch 24 is closed, the solenoid is energised to release the latch 20 and allow the gear wheel 18 to re-engage with the gear wheels 17 and 18 and actuate, or allow to be actuated, the device controlled by the lock.
An alarm device is preferably provided which is actuate-d if the switch 24 is closed when the switches A and B are not in positions of coincidence, so that any attempt to release the lock without correctly setting the switch A causes the alarm to be actuated.
Only a relatively small number of possible settings could be provided by a single pair of switches A and B, and in practice, two or more sets of such switches will be provided, the electrical circuit including all the pairs of switches in series. An example of a selector device including four pairs of switches is shown in FIGURE 2, the
switch pairs being arranged in two groups of two each.
faces thereof and each pair of opposite contacts being connected one to the other. The switch rotors 33, 34 of the respective switches comprise gear wheels rotatable about a fixed shaft 35 on which the stator 31 is mounted. The rotor 33 of the switch A of each pair is fixed to a drum 36 projecting at one portion of its periphery through a slot in a cover plate 30 enclosing the switches, the edge of the drum bearing indicia, e.g. letters or figures each of which appears in the window when the switch rotor contact engages a different one of the stator contacts. The drum is rotatable by applying a rotating force, e.g. by the operators finger, to its projecting portion. A pivoted frame, not shown in the drawing but lying in a plane substantially perpendicular to that of FIGURE 2, and movable about a pivot parallel to the shaft 35, carries third gear wheels 37 to engage with the gear wheels 33 and 34 of both switch group 26 and 27, the frame being urged by a spring 38 in a direction to engage the gear wheels 37 simultaneously with the gear wheels 33 and 34 of both switch pairs. A push button 39, projecting through the cover plate 30, is provided to move the frame about its pivot end and disengage the gear wheels 37 from the gear wheels 33 and 34. The switch group 28 and 29 is identical with the switch group 26, 27, and includes similar gear wheels 37 associated with the two switch pairs, a separate push button 39 being provided to disengage the gears of these switch pairs.
Two latches 41 are provided each of which serves to latch the gear wheels 37 of one switch group in the disengaged position, the latches being urged to the engaged postiion by springs 42. A common solenoid 43 acting on armatures 44 carried by rods 45 acts, when energised, to release the latches 41.
The solenoid 43 is included in an electrical circuit which also includes a source of electric current, shown as a battery 46, a manual switch 47, and all the pairs of switches 26, 27, 2'8 and 29 in series. Thus the operation of the manual switch 47 can complete the circuit only when the switches A and B of each pair 26, 27, 28 and 29 are in corresponding positions to each other.
The switch 47, when in the position to open the contacts in the circuit including the switch pairs 26, 27, 28 and 29 closes contacts in an auxiliary circuit controlling an alarm device shown diagrammatically at 48 and including a separate current source 49, the alarm being of the known type which is brought into action by the opening of its control circuit. There is also included in the said auxiliary circuit, in parallel with the switch 47. another switch 51, conveniently a magnetically operated reed switch, which is normally open but is closed by energisation of a solenoid 52 in the circuit including the switch pairs 26, 27, 28 and 29, so that if when the said switch 47 is moved to open the auxiliary circuit, the switch pairs 26, 27 28 and 29 are all in corresponding positions, the alarm is not actuated.
Each of the push buttons 39, when actuated to disengage the associated gear wheels 37 from the gear wheels 33 and 34 closes a pair of electrical contacts 53, the closing of these contacts taking place only when the latches 41 have become operative. The closing of either pair of these contacts 53 completes an electrical circuit which, if the selector device is associated with a mechanical lock actuates a solenoid or other electro-magnetic device to hold a bolt or like member in the engaged position or, if the selector device is assoicated with an electrical apparatus, initiates operation of the said apparatus. Thus the locking or operation-initiating function can be performed when either one of the switch groups has been set and the manual controls of the switches of that group can be moved from their set positions before the other group of switches has been set, enabling each group to be set by a different person 'without either of the people involved knowing what setting has been made of the other group of switches.
FIGURE 3 shows a modified mechanism for coupling together two switches A and B for constituting a manual control and a driven member respectively. A panel is indicated at 54 behind which the switches are mounted coaxially, the rotor of the switch A, shown at 55, being mounted on a spindle 56 projecting through the panel and carrying an operating knob 57. The rotor 58 of the switch B is keyed to a separate spindle 59, coaxial with the spindle 56, and also keyed to the spindle 59, so as to be slidable thereon, is a disc 61 in which is formed a hole 62 offset radially from the centre of the disc. Another disc 63 fixed on the spindle 56 carries a pin 64 offset from its centre by the same radial distance as the hole 62. A spring 65 surrounding the spindle 59 urges the disc 61 toward the disc 63 so that, in one relative angular position of the discs, the pin 64 can enter the hole 62, the discs and pin thus constituting a clutch coupling the switch rotors together. An arm 66, axially located with respect to the disc 61 but relative to which the said disc is rotatable, cooperates with a push-button 67 mounted in a panel 54 so that, by pressing on the said push button, the arm 66 and disc 61 can be moved axially away from the disc 63 to disengage the pin 64 from the hole 62 and allow the switch rotor 55 to be rotated independently of the switch rotor 58. A pivoted latch 68 is provided ao engage the arm 66 when the latter is moved to disengage the clutch, engagement of the latch with the arm being effected by gravity or by a spring (not shown), and a solenoid 69 is provided to release the latch 68. The solenoid is arranged in an electrical circuit corresponding to that shown in FIGURE 1, so that the operation of the device is the same as has already been described with reference to FIGURE 1.
Referring to FIGURE 4, a lock for a safe, strongroom or the like comprises a bolt 71 mounted, for example, in a door a part of which is shown at 72, the bolt entering a recess 73 in a door jamb 74. The bolt 71 is moved rectilinearly by a gear wheel 75 meshing with rack teeth thereon. A door handle or knob (not shown) rotates a further gear wheel 76 and also drives through a speed-multiplying gearing, an electric generator 77. An intermediate gear 78, capable of coupling the gears 75 and 76 one to the other, is normally disengaged from both of them, but can be drawn into a meshing position by energisation of a solenoid 79.
A selector device 81, corresponding to that shown in FIGURE 2, has the third gear wheels of the gear trains coupling the manual controls to the driven members mounted on the bolt 71, as shown at 82 so that when the bolt is engaged, as shown, the said third gear Wheels are in the disengaged position and retraction of the bolt brings them to the engaged position.
A set of electrical contacts '83 controlled by a roller 84 which drops into a notch 85 in the bolt 71 to open the contacts when the bolt is engaged, are at other times held closed by engagement of the roller 84 with a side surface of the bolt, and a second set of electrical contacts 86, similarly controlled by a roller 87 are opened by the dropping of the roller 87 into a notch 88 when the third gear wheels 82 are in the position to mesh with the other gears of the selector device, and by dropping of the roller 87 into a notch 89 when the bolt 71 is moved outwardly beyond the last-mentioned position. A manually-operable switch 91 is provided to short-circuit the contacts 86.
Referring now to FIGURE 5, the generator 77 feeds current to the common point of two coils 92 and 93 in the solenoid 79, the two coils 92 and 93 being connected in parallel, each through a diode 94 or 95 to the switch pairs of the selector unit, indicated at 96 and through the contacts 83 back to the generator. The diodes 94 and 95 each permit current to flow only in one direction, so that one coil 92 is energised only when the knob is rotated in one direction (to retract the bolt) and the other coil is energised only when the knob is rotated in the other direction, to engage the bolt. The contacts 86, and the switch 91, are arranged in parallel in the circuit of the diode 94. The contacts 83 are arranged in the circuit of the diode 95.
To release the bolt 71, the manual controls of the selector device are set to the combination which was chosen when the door was locked, and the knob attached to 'the gear wheel 76 is rotated clockwise thus driving the generator 77. Current is therefore supplied to the solenoid coil 92 to draw the intermediate gear wheel 78 into its operative position and the bolt is retracted until the circuit is opened at the contacts 86 by the roller 87 dropping into the notch 88, when the third gear wheels 82 are in mesh with the other gear wheels of the selector deivce. The contacts 83 are closed by the initial movement of the bolt.
The combination can now be reset if desired, and the door is free to open. By temporarily closing the switch 91 and again rotating the gear wheel 76 clockwise, the bolt 71 can be further retracted to again disengage the third gear wheels 82, until the roller 87 drops into the notch 89 and again opens the circuit. The driving members of the selector device can now be moved from their combination position, so that the door cannot be relocked until the combination is restored. To re-lock the door, the driving members are re-set to the combination positions and the gear wheel 76 is rotated clockwise, activating the generator to engage the intermediate gear wheel 78 by energisation of the solenoid coil 93, and so driving the bolt to the engaged position, when the contacts 83 open to break the electrical circuit due to the roller 84 dropping into the notch 85. The driving members of the selector device can now be again moved from their combination positions.
1. A selector device for an electrical combination lock comprising, a first and second multiposition electrical contact means, a drive coupling means connected between said first and second multiposition electrical contact means, a manual control means connected to said first multiposition electrical contact means for selecting at random a contact position, means for disengaging said drive coupling means to permit movement of said manual control independently of said second multiposition electrical contact means, and an electrical circuit completed through respective contacts on said first and second multiposition electrical contact means when said manual control is set at a given previously selected contact position.
2. A selector device according to claim 1, wherein an electrically controlled latch is provided to hold the drive coupling means in the disengaged position, releasing means for the said latch being actuated by completion of the electrical circuit.
3. A selector device according to claim 1, wherein the drive coupling means comprises a gear train includ ing gear members one of which is movable out of engagement with another.
4. A selector device according to claim 1, wherein the drive coupling means is a clutch.
5. A selector device according to claim 3, wherein the gear train comprises two coaxial gear wheels of equal size rotating respectively with the manual control and the driven member, and a third gear wheel adapted to mesh simultaneously with both of said coaxial gear wheels, said third gear wheel being movable in a direction normal to its axis to disengage it from said co-axial gear wheels.
6. A selector device according to claim 5, wherein the said third gear wheel is urged by spring means into engagement with the co-axial gearwheels, is movable out of engagement therewith by manual control means, and is held in the disengaged position by the electrically controlled latch.
7. A selector device according to claim 1, wherein a plurality of manual controls are provided each connectible by a drive coupling means to a driven member, and the electrical circuit is completed only when all of the manual controls are in predetermined relative positions with respect to their associated driven members.
8. A selector device according to claim 2, wherein the electrical circuit includes a normally open manually operated switch which must be closed to complete said circuit.
9. A selector device according to claim 8, wherein an alarm deivce is provided, means for operating the said alarm device being activated by closure of the manually operated switch when the control and driven members are not in their predetermined relative positions.
'10. A selector device according to claim 1 further comprising a bolt, manual operating means for said bolt, and means to prevent movement of said bolt from a locking position, by said manual operating means wherein said movement preventing means is operated to permit movement of said bolt by a solenoid connected in said circuit for rendering said manual operating means operative.
11. A lock according to claim 10, wherein the manual operating means for the bolt are arranged to drive an electric generator providing current for the electrical circuit.
12. An electrical combination lock comprising, a locking member means for inhibiting release of said locking member, an electrical circuit for controlling said release inhibiting means, contacts in said electrical circuit, a selector device for selecting a combination of said contacts for closing said electrical circuit and rendering said inhibiting means inoperative, said selector deivce having at least two control groups, each of said control groups having a manual control settable to any one of a plurality of positions, a driven member also movable to any one of a plurality of positions, a first multiple position electrical contact means associated with said manual control, a second multiple position electrical contact means associated with said driven member, a drive coupling means between said control and said driven member for simul taneously rotating said driven member and said control member, means for disengaging said drive coupling means in each of said control groups to permit movement of said manual control independently of said driven member, actuating means for said disengaging means in each of said control groups, and means to render said release inhibiting means operative by any one of said actuating means, whereby said electrical circuit is completed through contacts on said first and second multiple position contact means when said manual controls of all of said control groups are in predetermined positions relative to said driven members of said control groups.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2/1935 Peterson 200-45 10/1959 Neville, et al. 317-134