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Publication numberUS3508257 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 21, 1970
Filing dateSep 12, 1966
Priority dateSep 12, 1966
Publication numberUS 3508257 A, US 3508257A, US-A-3508257, US3508257 A, US3508257A
InventorsGrogan Garner H Jr
Original AssigneeSecurity Electric Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrical control circuitry
US 3508257 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

' April 21, 1970 Filed Sept. 12. 1966 G. H. GROGAN, JR

ELECTRICAL CONTROL CIRCUITRY 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 I NVEN TOR.

arzzezkfzggam BY WLQGMR FEWQ H/S ATTORNEY April 21, 1970 G. H. GROGAN, JR

ELECTRICAL CONTROL CIRCUITRY 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed. Sept. 12, 1966 :Zfl

INVENTOR.

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H/S A TTO/Q/VEY iH HH H H II United States Patent 3,508,257 ELECTRICAL CONTROL CIRCUITRY Garner H. Grogan, Jr., Pontiac, Mich., assignor to Sccurity Electric Corporation, Pontiac, Micl1., a corporation of Michigan Filed Sept. 12, 1966, Ser. No. 578,525 Int. Cl. G091. 7/08 US. Cl. 340381 12 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE My invention relates to electrical control circuitry for production machinery.

When such machinery, particularly high production automated machinery, shuts down due to a defect or fault it is very expensive. Crews of electricians are employed on each shift on a stand-by basis to trouble-shoot and trace such circuitry in order to locate and correct the fault in the shortest possible time.

The principal object of m invention is the provision of illumination means and method for signaling intelligence concernig said circuitry such as the voltage status and identity of wire numbers and the electrical components of such circuitry whereby the facilitate such trouble shooting and circuit tracing.

The foregoing object of my invention and its advantages will appear during the course of the following description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGS. 1-3 are views of an illumination means embodying my invention;

FIGS. 4-6 are views of said embodiment in combination with an electrical control relay;

FIGS. 7 and 20 are views of another illumination means embodying my invention; and

FIGS. 8-23 are views of parts of said other embodiment.

Referring to the drawings in greater detail, 25 designates the first-mentioned embodiment which comprises a clear plastic solid housing 26 having embedded therein a source of illumination, preferably a watt neon light 27 such as a GE. NE-2 neon light, a resistor 28, preferably a carbon resistor no smaller than a 47 kohm, /2 watt, resistor and electrical wiring connecting the light 27 and the resistor 28 together and in series with each other and with relatively stiff lead-in wires 32 and 34 embedded in and projecting from opposite sides of the housing 26. The embedded end of one lead-in wire 32 has wrapped about it and soldered thereto one of the connecting wires 33 of the resistor 28, the other of which connecting wire 33 has wrapped about it and soldered thereto one of the filament wires 35 of the light 27, the other of which filament Wire 35 is wrapped about and soldered to the embedded end of the other lead-in wire 34. The wires 32-33; 33-35; and 35-34 are interconnected by wrapping about each other as shown and by soldering prior to embedment thereof with the light 27 and its dropping resistor 28 in the plastic material of the solid housing 26.

The front face of the housing 26 is covered with an opaque information-bearing sheet 36 which is bonded to the front face of the housing 26 by a layer 39 of adhesive. The information-bearing sheet may be inked or stenciled with the intelligence which is desired to be conveyed, such as control relay 12; head forward as in the case of the sheet 36 on the housing 26. The housing 26 must be constructed to provide a flat area for the sheet 36 so that the latter is at least one-half square inch in area. In the eX- ample shown in FIGS. 1-6 the sheet 36 is approximately 2 square inches in area. Preferably the adhesive layer 39 is of the pressure sensitive type operative upon the application of pressure to the front face of the sheet 36 against the front face of the housing 26, and preferably non-drying so that the sheet 36 may be removed and replaced with like sheets at any time. As shown in FIG. 1 the layer 39 is normally covered by a peel-off backing sheet 40 which is removed just before the sheet 36 is bonded to the housing 26. The lead-in wires 32 and 34 are insulated over their lengths as shown except for the embedded ends thereof and except for their free ends which are normally bared of insulation sufiiciently to make an electrical connection therewith.

The embodiment 25 of my invention is adapted and intended for use with motor starters and with electrical control relays such as the relay 45 shown in FIGS. 4-6 to signal the voltage status of the relay and its function and identity in the particular electrical control circuitry. The embodiment 25 of my invention is always contained within a control panel (not shown) for said circuitry. The relay 45 has a plurality of relay contacts (not shown) which are housed within the plastic insu ator body 47 of the relay 45 and commonly controlled as is well known by the relay coil (not shown) also housed within the body 47. A mounting plate 46 is provided with mounting apertures (not shown) to mount the relay body 42 thereon and with other mounting apertures, such as the top mounting aperture 48 shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, to mount the plate 46 (with the relay 45 mounted thereon) to the inside of the control panel.

Each relay contact has a pair of terminal posts which connect internally within the body 47 to opposite sides of the respective relay con-tact and project outwardly of said body 47 where they are provided with conventional wire fastening means including a clamp and a screw as shown. Such pairs of posts and fastening means constitute relay contact connectors and are designated 50-51; 60-61; -71; -81; -91; and -101. The wiring for the relay contacts which happen to be employed in the particular electrical control circuitry (the relay contacts corresponding to the relay contact connectors 60- 61 not being utilized in the instance) is shown and indicated at 52-53; 72-73; 82-83; 92-93 and 102-103, respectively. The relay coil also has a pair of terminal posts which connect internally within the body 47 to opposite sides of the relay coil and project outwardly of said body 47 where they are provided with the same type conventional wire fastening means including a clamp and a screw as previously mentioned and shown. Such pair of posts and fastening means constitute coil connectors and are designated -111. The bared free ends of the lead-in wires 32 and 34 are connected to the coil connectors 110-111, respectively, and in effecting such connection the housing 26 is maintained in an out-of-the-way position in respect to said coil connectors 110-111 such as the elevated position shown in dotted outline in FIGS. 4 and 5. After such connection is effected, the housing 26 can be adjusted to any desired position within the range of accommodation of the lead-in wires 32 and 34, preferably one directly in front of the relay 45 and in front of the coil connectors 110-111 such as the lowered position shown in full lines in FIGS. 4 and 5.

The coil connectors 110-111 are shown connected to wire numbers 4 and 113. The wire number 4 is ordinarilyv the common line of the pair of 110 volt control power lines for the electrical control circuitry which are connected (either directly or through relay contacts and fuses) across the secondary of the control power transformer. One side, which is the right side in reference to the circuit diagram, of the relay coil of the relay 45 is connected to the common line 4. Such connection may be directly to the common line 4 or, as in the case of metal stamping presses or the like, may be through relay contacts, push buttons, limit switches, etc. The other or left side of the relay coil of the relay 45 is connected via a series circuit of electrical components (ending with wire member 113) to the other line of said pair of 110 volt control power lines which other line is commonly referred to as the hot line. In most circuit diagrams the hot line is on the left side of the print and the common line is on the right side of the print. Hereinafter the pair of 110 volt control power lines will be referred to as the left and right control power lines. Similarly the left and right sides of any electrical component as referred to herein mean such sides which correspond to the left and right power lines, respectively. That is the left side of any electrical component is connected either directly or indirectly through other electrical components to the left power line and the right side of any such electrical component (other than a coil, solenoid or indicating light) is connected always indirectly (at least through either a coil, solenoid or an indicating light) to the right power line. In practice the right power line in most electrical control circuit diagrams carries a low one digit member like the common line 4 just referred to. The series circuit of electrical components mentioned may be any combination of push button switches, limit switches, relay contacts and other electrical elements in parallel or in series-parallel circuit with each other.

In such position and electrical condition of the embodiment 25 an electrician is signalled as soon as voltage appears across the coil of the relay 45 as to the occurrence of such event by the illumination of the information on the sheet 36 via energization of the light 27 which illuminates the housing 26. The light 27 energizes upon the occurrence of such event because it and its series dropping resistor 28 are in parallel across the relay coil of the relay 45 by virtue of the connection of the bared free ends of the lead-in wires 32 and 34 with the coil connectors 110111. With 110 volts across the relay coil of the relay 45 there will be approximately 90 volts across the light 27 and approximately 20 volts across the resistor 28. An electrician observing the illuminated condition of the housing 26, in the instance, is made aware via the clearly and brightly appearing information on the sheet 36 that the relay 45 is number 12 in the particular control circuitry, that its coil is energized and that the head of the machine involved should be forward or be moving forward at that time. This intelligence is extremely useful in trouble-shooting and circuit tracing particularly by reason of the illuminated form in which it is conveyed as all such electrical control relays are frequently contained in dimly lit control panels.

When an electrician opens the door of an electrical control panel equipped with the embodiment 25 of my invention on the control relays and motor starters in said panel he is immediately told by observation a very useful story in illuminated form. He is immediately told by observation of the voltage status of all control relays and motor starters which are energized at that time (and even as to those which are not but which should be so energized). Otherwise the electrician would have to manually voltage test each such control relay or get his eyes close enough to it to observe, if possible, the position of the plunger for the moveable contacts. In the case of elevated panels where the relays are more than six feet above the place of standing the electrician must climb upon a ladder to make either such manual test or close observation. Depending upon the size of the panel the electrician may have to climb up and down and change the position of the ladder a number of times before he has checked all of the relays that need to be checked. With my invention the electrician is immediately told by observation of the location of all such control relays which he would otherwise have to locate with the aid of the panel layout diagram, if available. With my invention the electrician is immediately told by observation of the identity of each such control relay, i.e., the number which it has been assigned in the particularly control circuitry. Otherwise the electrician would have to search the panel layout diagram for this information. With my invention the electrician is immediately told by observation of the function of all such control relays which he would otherwise have to obtain by searching the circuit diagram, if available and if readable. Relays may be physically located adjacent to each other in the control panel but they may be separated from each other by several pages of circuit diagrams and the electrician would have to locate the particular relay coil on the diagram to learn of its function which may be one of any number of functions such as head forward, table indexed, clamp released, tap returned, etc. In machinery consisting of clearly identified stations, where separate functions are carried out, the information-bearing sheet can carry the particular station number. For example, if the particular machinery consists of separate stations, each information-bearing sheet can carry the particular station number involved inked or stenciled thereon. For example, in the case of sheet 36 STATION 1 for instance, can be inked or stenciled beneath HEAD FWD.

The wires 32 and 34 must be sufliciently stiff to support in any desired position the weight of the housing 26, i.e., with the light 27, the resistor 28, the wires 3233; 33-35 and 3534 and the sheet 36 and adhesive layer 38. I have found that wires 32 and 34 must be at least No. 14 solid wire and preferably are No. 10 solid wire. The sheet 36 is preferably colored in accordance with the color code that I propose hereinafter so that the light given off by the illuminated housing 26 will be distinctly colored.

The second-mentioned embodiment of my invention is generally designated 125 and comprises a hollow plastic housing assembly 126 containing therein a source of illumination 127 the same as the neon light 27 already described, a resistor 128 the same as the carbon resistor 28 already described, and electrical wiring connecting the light 127 and the resistor 128 together and in series with each other and, as will appear more fully hereinafter, with individual wire-connector means on the one hand and with common conductor means on the other.

The housing assembly 126 is made in several parts which comprise a hollow (preferably clear) plastic upper housing 130, a hollow plastic lower housing 138, a plastic plug 140 for each such housing, a two-piece interlocking metal sleeve 142 joining the two plugs 140, a pair of spring metal contactors 144 outwardly pressed by the sleeve 142, an information-bearing sheet 136 for the upper housing and a metal wire-connecting contactor 148 for the lower housing 138.

The upper and lower housings each have an open end in which is inserted one of the plugs 140 via a press fit and preferably a reverse taper therein. Each such plug 140 has a central axial passageway 150 through it from end to end thereof. FIG. 21 is a perspective view of a plug 140. The plug 140 in the upper housing 130 has threaded through it via such passageway 150 one of the filament wires of the light 127 and the plug in the lower housing 138 has threaded through it via the same passageway one of the connecting wires 133 of the resistor 128. The closed end of the lower housing 138 has a central axial aperture 151 through it through which is threaded the other of the connecting wires 133 of the resistor 128. Each such plug 140 also has a laterally offset axial passageway 152 through it from end to end thereof. Such pasageway 152 is preferably offset laterally from the central longitudinal aXis of the plug 140 so as to form an open longitudinal slot as shown in one of the outside faces of the plug 140. The other filament wire 135 of the light 127 is threaded through the upper half of the passageway 152 of the plug 140 in the upper housing 130 while the lower half thereof is unused in the instance. The entire passageway 152 of the plug 140 in the lower housing 138 is unused in the instance. Each outside face on each plug 140 has an identically located open transverse slot formed therein midway of the length of the plug as shown to form an annular locking groove 154 (deeper than the longitudinal slot forming the passageway 152) by which the plug 140 is capable of being locked in an end of the two-piece metal sleeve 142. The two pieces which make up the sleeve 142, designated 156, are identical to each other and have partial end walls which enter the locking grooves 154 on the two plugs 140.

The portions of such plugs 140 which project from the housings 130 and 138 are captured interiorly of the mutually interlocked pieces 156 of the sleeve 142. This is shown in FIGS. 22 and 23 which are plan views, respectively, of the plug 140 and of the lower half (in section) of the plug 140 in the upper housing 130 captured by the interlocked pieces 156 of the sleeve 142. Such pieces 156 have offset shoulders 157 along pairs of interlocking sidewalls as shown which render such pieces, when interlocked, incapable of axial movement relative to each other. The other filament wire 135 of the lamp 127 which is threaded through the upper half of the passageway 152 of the plug 140 as described is captured as shown in FIG. 12 along one of the interlocking pairs of sidewalls of the pieces 156 which pairs of sidewalls are paced from each other to form a gap over their lengths equal to the diameter of the filament wire 135. The pieces 156 are soldered to such other filament wire 135 and to each other along each pair of interlocking sidewalls to make fast the connection between the upper and lower housings 130 and 138. Prior to soldering the pieces 156 together and to such other filament wire 135 the free ends of the one filament wire and of the one resistor wire 133 which are threaded through the passageways 150 are first wrapped together as shown and soldered. The pieces 156 are assembled together in mutually interlocking positions with the other filament wire 135 bent along one of the interlocking pairs of sidewalls of the pieces 156 as shown in FIG. 12. The inner ends of the plugs 140 are captured within the sleeve 142 formed by the interlocked pieces 156. The resistor 128 without its housing 138 and the light 127 without its housing 130 project from the outer halves of the plugs 140. The pieces 156 are soldered together along the interlocking pair of sidewalls which captures the other filament wire 135 and along the other interlocking pair of sidewalls which contains no wire at all. Preferably these two soldering operations are carried out simultaneously.

After the sleeve 142 is thus soldered into a rigid assembly the light 127 is then inserted into its housing 130 and the latter is press fitted via its open end over the outer half of the plug 140 through which the one filament wire is threaded. The resistor 128 is then inserted into its housing 138 and the latter is press fitted via its open end over the outer half of the plug 140 through which the one resistor wire 133 is threaded. The open ends in the housings 130 and 138 are square in cross-section correspond ing to the cross-section of the corresponding plugs 140 and this square cross-section is uniform throughout the length of the cavities 131 and 139, respectively, in said housings 130 and 138. Preferably the outer halves of the plugs 140 and the outer part of the cavities 131 and 139 over the length of such plug halves are provided with reverse tapers (about one-thousandth of an inch or so) to insure locking against axial movement between said housings 130 and 138 and the respective inserted plugs 140.

Each housing 130 and 138 has a pair of open slots and 162, respectively, which are formed in the open end thereof outwardly of the opening therein and extending from the front face to the back face of said housing. The opposite ends of the pair of spring metal contactors 144 are inserted into opposing slots 160, 162 and are pressed outwardly by the interlocked sidewalls of th metal sleeve 142. The housing assembly 126 is completed by affixation of the metal wire-connecting contactor 148 to the lower housing 138 and by soldering of the other resistor wire 133 to the contactor 148. The contactor 148 is generally U-shaped in transverse cross-section and has a rounded bottom portion and upstanding legs 164 and 165 which are inserted into correspondingly shaped open slots 166 and 167 in the closed end of the lower housing 138 by sliding movement in respect thereto from front to back of said housing 138 because of the inwardly and right angle bend on the free end of the leg 165. The leg 165 is a pressfit in respect to the slot 167 in which it slides. The leg 164 is urged by spring tension imparted to the part 148 and by the bends thereof forming its U-shape so that it is resiliently urged outwardly of the housing 138-The leg 165 is provided with an open slot 169 which extends inwardly from its front wall. The other resistor wire 133 is inserted into said slot 169, soldered in place at the blind end thereof, and trimmed in length just out side of the leg 165.

The housing assembly 126 is adapted and intended to be inserted and removed from the center of a terminal assembly which is made in several parts comprising a plastic terminal block 182 and a pair of metal wire connectors 184. The terminal block 182 has a center lower section 185(8) and a pair of flexible legs 186 by which the block 182 is mounted upon a channel shaped metal member 188 which serves as a common line as will be described. The member 188 has a fiat bottom which is welded via its outside face to a flat metal strip 198 which in turn is fastened via a sandwich sheet 192 of fiberboard to a metal subplate 193 within an electrical control panel. In the instance the strip 190, the fiberboard sheet 192, and the metal subplate 193 are provided with commonly aligned apertures as shown in FIG. 20 and the strip is insulated from the subplate 193 via the fiberboard sheet 192 and a tubular flanged plastic washer 194 which insulates a fastener 195 from the strip 190 against which the head of the fastener bears via the flange on the washer 194. The member 188 has a pair of legs 196 which upstand from the fiat bottom thereof, the free end of each of which leg 196 is outwardly bent at right angles as shown.

The block 182 is mounted upon the member 188 by insertion of the lower section 185 between the legs 196 with one of the legs 186 of the block 182 outwardly of and engaged by the bent free end of one of the legs 196. The other leg 186 of the block 182 is then forced outwardly with respect to the lower section 185 until such other leg 186 snaps over the bent free end of the other leg 196. The legs 186 are each constructed for this purpose by reason of the flexibility thereof and the enlargement formed on the lower portion thereof which is provided with a shoulder construction, as at 198, for snapping over and engaging the bent free ends of the legs 196 and which is provided with a prying groove 199 extending the length of the leg 186 from the front face to the back face of the terminal block 182. The prying groove 199 is intended for reception of the shank end of a screw driver or the like for forcing the respective leg outwardly of the lower section 185 by using the outside side wall of the block 182 at the top of the leg 186 as a fulcrum for application of an outward prying force on the respective leg 186. The prying groove 199 is used as described when it is desired to remove the terminal block assembly 180 from the member 188.

The block 182 is provided with spaced platforms 200 formed outwardly of the center section thereof on which the metal connectors 184 rest. Each such connector 184 is placed on its respective platform 200 by sliding movement of the connector 184 in respect to the block 182 from front to back thereof. In this way frontwardly projecting studs 202 integrally formed with the back wall 187 of the block 182 enter corresponding apertures 203 formed in the vertical back Walls of the connectors 184 near the inner ends thereof. The apertures 203 are best shown in FIG. 16 in which the inner wall of a connector 184 is sectioned and entirely removed at the vertical center thereof to show the aperture 203 in the vertical back wall thereof. The top walls of the connectors 184 near the inner ends thereof slide under frontwardly projecting adjacently spaced vertical inside walls 205 integrally formed with the back wall 187 of the block 182. The top walls of the connectors near the outer ends thereof also slide under frontwardly projecting oppositely spaced vertical outside walls 207 integrally formed with the back wall 187 of the block 182. Tapered vertical walls 209 are formed integrally with the back wall 187 and extend above the platform 200 on the outside of the connectors 184. Similarly tapered horizontal walls 210 are formed along the outside top edges of the platform 200 on the outside of the connectors 184. The walls 209 and 210 are integrally connected with the back wall 187 and together at the outside back corners of the platforms 200. The tapered walls 209 and 210 serve as a pilot to insertion of the bared free end of wires into the outside open ends of the connectors 184 as shown in FIGS. 7, 16 and 18. Such wires carry the same wire number in said control circuitry, as for example wire number 234. The walls 209 and 210 also assist in preventing movement of the connectors 184 laterally outwardly of the block 182 as best shown in FIG. 7. The connectors 184 are provided with set screws 212 threadedly engaged in the top walls thereof, the inner ends of which set screws 212 operate inwardly and downwardly upon bared ends of electrical wiring of said electrical control circuitry inserted into the outer open ends of such connectors 184 as shown for the wire number previously mentioned and indicated at 234.

The block 182 is provided with vertical gibs 216 which are integrally formed on the inside faces of the walls 205 and with aligned vertical gibs 218 which are integrally formed on the inside faces of similar walls 215 on the lower block section 185 which gibs 216 and 218 cooperate with vertical open slots 220 and 222 formed on the outside walls of the upper and lower housing 130 and 138, respectively, so that when the housing assembly 126 is lowered into the center of the terminal assembly 180 and brought to its operative position therein it cannot be moved in respect to such terminal assembly 180 except by vertical sliding movement in respect thereto. The slots 220 and 222 are of the same width and depth but the gibs 216 are made smaller in cross-section than the gibs 218 so that there is a press fit (about 8 lbs. or so) between the lower housing 138 and the terminal block 182 and so that there is a sliding but tight fit (about 1 lb. or so) between the upper housing 130' and the terminal block 182. This insures that the housing assembly 126 will not move upward in respect to the terminal block 182 except when such movement is desired and made manually. In the lowered position of the housing assembly 126 the contactor 148 via the outside face on the bottom portion thereof is in full surface contact with the inside face of the bottom portion of the member 188 and also a horizontal shoulder 225 formed on the back wall of the upper housing 130 is in mechanical engagement with the top face of the back wall 187 of the block 182. The contactors 144 are also in full surface contact with the inner ends of the connectors 184 which inner ends are closed ends for this reason. In this position of the housing assembly 126 the upper part of the back face of the upper housing 130 (FIG. 14) is flat and flush with the fiat back face (FIG. 9) of the back wall 187 of the block 182 for reasons which will appear.

The side faces and the top face of the upper housing 130 are covered with an opaque information-bearing sheet 136 which is bonded to such side and top faces by a layer of adhesive 139. The upper housing 130* must be constructed to provide a fiat area for the sheet 136 so that the latter is at least one-half square inch in area. In the example shown in FIGS. 723 the sheet 136 is approximately of a square inch in area. Preferably the adhesive layer 139* is of the type described for the adhesive layer 39 and is normally covered by a peel-off backing sheet (not shown) which is removed from the back of the sheet 136 just before the latter is bonded to the upper housing 130. The front and back faces of the upper housing 130 may be blackened or silvered to insure that the illumination from the light 127 passes out of the upper housing 130 through the information-bearing sheet 136 only. Also to accomplish the same purpose the upper housing 130 may be formed of an opaque plastic and its side and top faces suitably apertured to pass such illumination through the information-bearing sheet 136 only.

The embodiment of my invention is adapted and intended for use as a terminal connector means for said circuitry. Each wire number of said circuitry which is brought from the control panel to the machinery controlled by said circuitry and from such machinery to the control panel is connected through such a terminal connector means. There are also other wire numbers of said circuitry which are brought from either the control panel or from such machinery to a terminal connector means to serve as a check point from which to check the voltage status on one side of the respective electrical components. The embodiment 125 of my invention is always contained within either a control panel, a junction box or a push button box for said circuitry. With my invention for the first time it would be worthwhile to bring 100% of the wires of said circuitry to a terminal connector means so that such voltage status can be determined visually by the servicing electrician. Presently, depending upon the particular circuitry involved, only 50% to 90% of such wires are brought to a terminal strip which of course has no illumination means whatsoever. The wire number 234, for example, shown in FIGS. 7 and 18 as comprising two separate wires (the bared free ends of which are fastened in the connectors 184 via set screws 212) is connected to the right side of a limit switch. The number of such limit switch for the particular machinery happens to be number 19 and this information is provided, as shown, on the opposite sides of the upper housing via the information-bearing sheet 136. The wire number which brings voltage to the right side of the limit switch 19 happens to be 234 for the particular machinery and this information is provided, as shown, on the top of the upper housing 130 via the information-bearing sheet 136. The fact that wire number 234 is connected to the right side of the limit switch 19' is shown by the dash indicated at 41 on the opposite sides of the upper housing 130 via the information-bearing sheet 136. The side not shown of the information-bearing sheet 136 carries the same information as on the side shown in FIG. 7 and identically except that it reads LS l9 dash from the bottom upwardly instead of from the top downwardly as on the side shown in FIG. 7. Thus the dash on the side of the information-bearing sheet 136 not shown is at the top of the upper housing 130 just as it is on the side shown in FIG. 7. Whenever voltage appears at wire number 234 by being brought thereto by the closing of the limit switch 19 the light 127 will illuminate and signal such voltage status of the right side of the limit switch 19. This is because wire number 234 is connected via a series circuit of electrical components (including the limit switch 19 and ending with wire number 234) to the left power line. Such series circuit of electrical components may be any combination of push button switches, limit switches, relay contacts and other electrical components in parallel or in series-parallel circuit with each other as previously explained in connection with the relay coil of the relay 45. Such illumination of the light 127 occurs also because the member 188 is connected to the right power line such as the previously mentioned common or right power line 4 as shown in FIGS. 7 and 18.-In these figs. the right power line 4 is shown electrically connected to the strip 190' via a screw 226 which may be of the self-tapping type and does not penetrate the fiberboard sheet 192. The washer 194 is omitted in this connection of the right power line 4 to the strip 190. By such connection the voltage potential of the right power line 4 is placed on the common connector member 188 and hence on the side of the resistor 128 connected to the contactor 148. Whenever voltage appears at the right side of the limit switch 19 (by the closing thereof) the voltage potential of the left power line is placed on wire number 234 and hence on the side of the light 127 connected to the sleeve 142, to the contac-tors 144 and to the connectors 184. The differential of voltage across the light 127 (which is about 90 volts because of the dropping resistor 128) causes it to illuminate and to light the upper housing 130'.

Identical housing assemblies to the housing assembly 126 are shown in FIG. 7 and indicated at 326, 426, 526 and 626 therein. These are inserted into identical terminal block assemblies to the terminal block assembly 189 also shown in FIG. 7 and indicated, respectively, at 380, 480, 580 and 680. The combination assemblies 126-180; 326- 380; 426-480; 526-580; and 626-680 and still others not shown are flush and in full face contact with each other front to back thereof over the length of the member 188. It is for this reason that the front and back faces of each such combination assembly are entirely flat and smooth. The housing assembly 326 will illuminate prior to illumination of the housing assembly 126 when voltage appears at wire number 233 which is connected to the left side of the limit switch 19 as shown by the dot indicated at 40 on the information-bearing sheet for the housing assembly 326. Wire number 232 is connected to the left side (as shown bythe dot 40) of a relay contact of control relay 25. The housing assembly 426 will illuminate when voltage appears at the left side of said relay contact of control relay 25. The tops of the housing assemblies carry the Wire numbers in said control circuitry and the sides of the housing assemblies carry information concerning the component to which such wire numbers are connected and as to which side thereof, i.e., whether such lines are connected to the left or right side of such component. In the case of the housing assembly 526 the fact that wire number 231 is connected to the left side of a push button switch is denoted by the information PBSW and by the dot 40 carried on the information-bearing sheet bonded to opposite sides of the housing assembly 526. Wire number 230 is connected to the left side of solenoid valve number 16 on said machinery which facts are denoted by the information SV16 and by the dot 40 carried on the information-bearing sheet bonded to opposite sides of the housing assembly 626.

Because of my invention down-time on such machinery can be at a minimum by reason of the speed and ease with which such control circuitry can be circuit traced with the embodiment 125 of my invention. An electrician is told a very important trouble-shooting story in illuminated form immediately upon opening a control panel and looking at the long line of terminal connector means therein as he is appraised via illumination of the housing as semblies 126, 326-626, etc., of many things without using his voltage tester. For example, the illumination of housing assemblies 626-326 and 126 tells the electrician the following: that voltage is present on wire number 230; that wire number 230 is connected to the left side (by reason of the dot 40) of solenoid valve 16 and that there is power to the left side of the coil of solenoid valve 16; that all necessary connections through electrical components to the left of solenoid valve 16 have been made to establish electrical connection with the left control power line; and that solenoid valve 16 should "be energized and if it is not the coil therefor is faulty or the valve itself is faulty or there could be a broken wire between the terminal connector means and the left side of the solenoid coil or there could be a broken wire between the terminal connector means 125 and the left side of the solenoid coil or there could be a broken wire between the right side of the solenoid coil and the right power line 4; that voltage is present on wire number 231; that wire number 231 is connected to the left side (by reason of the dot 40) of a push button switch and that there is power to the left side of this push button switch; and that all necessary connections through electrical components to the left of this push button switch have been made to establish electrical connection with the left control power line; that voltage is present on wire number 232; that wire number 232 is connected to the left side (by reason of the dot 40) of a relay contact (which may be either normally closed or normally open) of control relay number 25 and that there is power to the left side of this relay contact; and that all necessary connections through electrical components to the left of this relay contact have been made to establish electrical connection with the left control power line; that voltage is present on wire number 233; that wire number 233 is connected to the left side (by reason of the dot 40) of limit switch 19 and that there is power to the left side of limit switch 19; and that all necessary connections through electrical components to the left side of limit switch 19 have been made to establish electrical connection with the left control power line; that voltage is present on wire number 234; that wire number 234 is connected to the right side (by reason of the dash 41) of limit switch 19 and that there is power through the limit switch 19 (or if there is a circuit in parallel therewith through such circuit); and that all necessary connections through electrical components to the right of limit switch 19 (which includes limit switch 19 or electrical components in parallel therewith) have been made to establish electrical connection between wire number 234 and the left control power line. If any of the housing assemblies 626-326 and 126 is not illuminated when it should be according to the particular cycle in which the machinery is at the particular time the electrician is told that the trouble is in the connections to left of solenoid valve 16 if housing assembly 626 is not illuminated; to the left of the particular push button switch if housing assembly 526 is not illuminated; to the left of the particular relay contact of control relay 25 is housing assembly 426 is not illuminated; to the left of limit switch 19 if housing assembly 326 is not illuminated; to the left (including the limit switch 19) of wire number 234 if housing assembly 126 is not illuminated.

The terminal connector means 126 is adapted and intended to replace presently used terminal connector means which provide no assistance whatever in circuit tracing (except for being a convenient place to which the electrician can touch his voltage tester) but merel serve to connect wires between the control panel and such Inachinery. Consequently, the cost of the terminal connector means 125 is nil considering the fact of its value in trouble shooting such control circuitry. The savings in downtime and in the number of electricians necessary to have on hand to trouble shoot in the event of shut-downs will recoup many, many timesthe cost of such terminal connector means 125 so that the latter can be considered as more than self-paying in a very true sense. My system is safer in that an electrician can trouble shoot by observing the terminal strips which are equipped with embodiments 125 of my invention and by observing the control relays and motor starters equipped with embodiments 25 of my invention. Otherwise the electrician has to manually voltage test within the control panel under the risk of accidental electrical shock or electrocution. Less experienced electricians can trouble shoot control circuitry faster with my system than highly experienced electricians can trouble shoot such circuitry without my system. With existing terminal connectors when it is desired to disconnect a wire number from such circuitry the bared ends of the wire must be disconnected from the respective wire connector of the terminal strip and such wire ends must be taped. With the embodiment 125 of my invention the housing assembly 126 need only be removed from the terminal assembly 184} and the spring metal contactors 144 replaced with like contactors (not shown) made of insulating material such as plastic or pressed fiberboard. In this way any wire number, such as the wire number 234, can be removed from such circuitry by simpl replacing the conductive contactors 144 with non-conductive ones of the same shape.

To further enhance the utility of my invention I propose to illuminate the embodiments 25 and 125 of my invention with different colors, for example, by using differen ly colored information-bearing sheets 36 and 136 on the housing assemblies 26 and 126, respectively. In this way a color code as proposed below can be established and followed by which electricians will be furnished at a glance at any illuminated housing assembly still further information to save time in trouble shooting. As previously explained, the embodiment 25 of my invention is constructed for use with control relays and motor starters and I propose to illuminate all housing assemblies 26 with a color depending upon the type of machine function involved for the particular control relay or motor starter. In the case of control relays if an air function is involved, e.g. an air operated piston and cylinder unit, the control relay which controls such air operated unit will be equipped with an embodiment 25 of my invention which gives off a blue colored illumination; if an oil function is involved, e.g. an oil operated piston and cylinder unit, the control relay which controls such oil operated unit will be equipped with an embodiment 25 of my invention which gives off a red colored illumination; if a water function is involved, e.g. a water valve, the control relay which controls such water valve will be equipped with an embodiment 25 of my invention which gives off a green colored illumination; if more than one function is involved whether it be two air functions, two oil functions, two water functions, or any mixed air, oil and water function is involved, e.g. two air cylinders operated by the same control relay, such control relay will be equipped with an embodiment 25 of my invention which gives off a brown colored illumination; if a miscellaneous function is involved, e.g. a function other than an air function, an oil function, a water function or a combined function as described, such as energizing a heater, the control relay which energizes such heater will be equipped with an embodiment 25 of my invention which gives off a white colored illumination. In the case of motor starters if an air function is involved, e.g. the motor controlled by the motor starter operates an air blower, such motor starter will be equipped with an embodiment 25 of my invention which gives off a blue colored illumination; if an oil function is involved, e.g., the motor controlled by the motor starter operates an oil pump such motor starter will be equipped with an embodiment 25 of my invention which gives off a red colored illumination; if a water function is involved, e.g. the motor controlled by the motor starter operates a water pump such motor starter will be equipped with an embodiment 25 of my invention which gives off a green colored illumination; if more than one function is involved whether it be like or unlike functions as described, e.g. two motors controlled by the same motor starter, such motor starter will be equipped with an embodiment 25 of my invention which gives off a brown colored illumination; if a work function is involved, e.g. the motor controlled by the motor starter operates a metal working part, such motor starter will be equipped with an embodiment 25 of my invention which gives off a yellow colored illumination.

The embodiment 125 of my invention is constructed for use as a terminal connector means and I propose to illuminate all housing assemblies therefor, such as the housing assemblies 126, 326-626, with a color depending upon the nature of the electrical component connected by such terminal connector means and identified by the information-bearing sheet 136 on said housing assembly.

Embodiments of my invention, if connected to limit switches on the machinery which are identified on the corresponding housing assemblies will each give off a red colored illumination. For example, the housing assemblies 126 and 326 which happen to be connected, respectively, to the right and left sides of limit switch 19 in the particular example shown in the drawings will each give off a red colored illumination. Embodiments 125 of my invention, if connected to solenoids on the machinery which are identified on the corresponding housing assemblies will each give off a blue colored illumination. For example, the housing assembly 626 which happens to be connected to the left side of solenoid valve 16 will give off a blue colored illumination. Embodiments 125 of my invention if connected to manually operated electrical switches, such as push button switches, stop switches, selector switches, palm buttons, foot switches, which are identified on the corresponding housing assemblies will each give off a green colored illumination. For example, the housing assembly 526 which happens to be connected to the left side of the previously mentioned push button switch will give off a green colored illumination. Embodiments 125 of my invention, if connected to any other electrical components than those mentioned (e.g. relay coils, motor starter coils, relay contacts, motor starter contacts, overloads, circuit breakers, etc. which are identified on the corresponding housing assemblies) will each give off a white colored illumination. For example, the housing assembly 426 which happens to be connected to the left side of a relay contact of control relay 25 will give off a white colored illumination.

With my color code as proposed above a tremendous amount of time can be saved in trouble shooting such circuitry. For example, if a solenoid valve is suspected as being faulty all an electrician need do with my system is to observe only the embodiments 125 of my invention which give off a blue colored illumination until he finds the particular terminal connector means 125 for that particular solenoid valve to determine if the solenoid therefor is in. Or he can observe if the suspected solenoid valve is an hydraulic solenoid valve only the embodiments 25 which give off a red colored illumination until he finds the particular control relay which energizes the suspected solenoid valve. If this control relay is in then the suspected solenoid valve should be in. He can do all of this, as an example, without even having to refer to the print of the circuit diagram or voltage test any electrical components. There will be other cases where the print will have to be referred to and where electrical components will have to be voltage tested but in each and every instance the amount of time involved in locating any fault will be drastically reduced by virtue of said color code.

With my invention a minimum amount of wiring is required as with the embodiment 25 the lead-in Wires 32 and 34 are all that are necessary and with the embodiment 125 the resistor and filament wires 133 and 135 and the common wire 4 are all that are necessary.

It will thus be seen that there has been provided by my invention improvements in electrical control circuitry controlling high production automation machinery in which the foregoing object together with many other thoroughly practical advantages has been successfully achieved.

What is claimed is:

1. In a combined electrical connector and monitoring terminal block which is adapted to be supported on a track member in conjunction with other like terminal blocks, said terminal block including a main insulating body member, attaching means connected to the main body member for attaching the terminal block to the track member, and an illumination element and connector means fixedly supported relative to the body member, the improvement comprising said track means being formed at least in part of a continuous conductive strip, and means for utilizing the track as a common conductor to electrically connect the illumination element of the block and the other blocks in circuit, one with the others, while permitting the removal of any block from the track and utilizing the common conductor after removal including conductive means on each block electrically connected to the illumination element and mechanically in contact with the track, said conductive means including a conductor positioned adjacent the lower portion of the block and exposed to the exterior thereof, said conductive means being resiliently held in mechanical contact 'With said conductive strip.

2. The improvement of claim 1 further including an insulated housing from the illumination element, said housing and said terminal block being relatively supported by sliding frictional engagement.

3. The improvement of claim 2 wherein said conductor includes a relatively thin metal contactor connected to the terminal block and means for electrically connecting said illumination element to said metal contactor.

4. The improvement of claim 3 wherein the illumination element includes a filament having a first and second end and means for electrically connecting the first end of the filament to the connector means and the other end of the filament to the metal contactor.

5. The improvement of claim 3 wherein said relatively thin metal contactor is generally U shaped.

6. The improvement of claim 4 further including dropping resistor electrically connected to each illumination element, said resistor connecting the filament of each illumination element with one of the respective connector means and metal contactor on the same terminal block.

7. The improvement of claim 1 wherein the removal does not alter the electrical circuit of the remaining blocks.

8. The improvement of claim 1 wherein each block is independently electrically connected to said conductive strip.

9. A combination connector and monitoring terminal block assembly for connecting various electrical components, and for indicating when electrical energy is supplied to the components, the assembly including a main body member formed of insulating material having an interior cavity, an illuminating element supported in said body cavity adjacent an upper portion of said body member, and an electrical connecting element supported by the body member for connecting the electrical components, the improvement comprising wall means in the body member forming a passage for communicating the exterior of the body member with the cavity, and lamp housing means having identifying means thereon for associating selected components with selected block assemblies, said housing means being telescopically received about the exterior of the illumination element and relative to the wall means for removably selectively providing indica of the selected components, said housing means and said wall means being in sliding frictional engagement.

10. The improvement of claim 9 wherein said housing frictionally engages the interior passage of said wall means to retain the housing within the body member.

11. The improvement of claim 9 wherein said illumination means includes a conductor connected thereto and the assembly further includes a plug element having an aperture located therein, said aperture being adapted to receive said conductor for supporting the lamp, said housing being adapted to fixedly position the plug element.

12. The improvement of claim 11 wherein said housing has an interior cavity of a specific geometric configuration, said plug member being of a mating external configuration for mating with the cavity of the housing, said illuminating means being positioned between the indica portion of the housing and the plug element.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,033,692 3/1936 Dover 340-381 3,099,771 7/1963 Matiyak et al. 340-381 X 3,207,956 9/1965 lRothweiler et al. 339-198 X 3,241,136 3/1966 Harrington et al. 340-381 3,245,029 4/1966 Piperato 339-198 3,286,255 11/1966 Sanchez 340-381 3,236,975 2/1966 Smidt et a1. 339-198 3,274,587 9/1966 Sanders 340-381 JOHN W. CALDWELL, Primary Examiner C. MARMELSTEIN, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 339-198

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3648044 *Dec 15, 1969Mar 7, 1972Smiths Industries LtdHolder for a capless light bulb
US4197527 *Nov 4, 1975Apr 8, 1980Romney Russell HComprehensive information display system
US4550964 *Jul 23, 1984Nov 5, 1985The Siemon CompanyHinged cover and label assembly for connector block
US5525079 *Jul 8, 1994Jun 11, 1996Johnson; SteveField interconnect terminal assembly mounted on pivoted arm and wire duct
US5743768 *Mar 26, 1996Apr 28, 1998Wago Verwaltungsgesellschaft MbhShunting lattice for electrical distributors
US8482423Nov 10, 2008Jul 9, 2013Remake Electric Ehf.Ground terminal block fault indicator
CN101855787BNov 10, 2008Dec 5, 2012希尔米尔因吉琼森Ground terminal block fault indicator
WO2009060474A1 *Nov 10, 2008May 14, 2009Hilmir Ingi JonssonGround terminal block fault indicator
Classifications
U.S. Classification340/815.74, 439/716, 439/721
International ClassificationH01R9/26, H01R9/24
Cooperative ClassificationH01R9/2691
European ClassificationH01R9/26G