US 3515835 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 2, 1970 R. DEBRAS 3,515,835
ILLUMINATED PUSHBUTTON SWITCH Filed May 27, 196e 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 l I l l .526 J2 J4 J0 32a v I, u
l l l www1 0W Rossa-v 'Dumas June 2, 1970 Filed May 27, 1968 R. DEBRAS ILLUMINATED PUSHBUTTON SWITCH 2 Sheets-Sheet @www Deba 'l ILA @Timur/s United States Patent O 3,515,835 ILLUMINATED PUSHBUTTON SWITCH Robert Debras, Palaiseau, France, assignor to Societe de Fabrication dInstruments de Mesure (S.F.I.M.), Massy (Essonne), France, a company of France Filed May 27, 1968, Ser. No. 732,342 Claims priority, application France, May 29, 1967, 108,194 Int. Cl. HOIh 9/18 U.S. Cl. 200--167 ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLQSURE A pushbutton of the type which comprises, in a casing, switch means which can be actuated by being pressed in order to act on the functioning of an electric circuit, and rwhich comprises lamps mounted on a support and adapted to indicate this functioning. A pushbutton, such that the lamp support of the button is easily accessible and can be extracted through the front face of the casing, and which supplies the maximum amount of visual information with a maximum safety.
The present invention relates to a pushbutton.
It is more specifically concerned with a pushbutton of the type which comprises, in a casing, switch means which can be actuated by being pressed in order to act on the functioning of an electric circuit, and which comprises lamps mounted on a support and adapted to indicate this functioning, as is the case, for example, with the pushbuttons described in UAS. Pat. No. 3,267,245 and in French Pat. No. 1,311,485.
When the casing is sunk and fixed in a structure, it frequently happenes that only a front face of the casing is accessible, it not being possible to obtain access to the major part of the casing from the side.
A first object of the invention is to provide a pushbutton, such that the lamp support of the button is easily accessible and can be extracted through the front face of the casing.
Another object of the invention is to provide a pushbutton which, for a ygiven size, supplies the maximum amount of visual information with a maximum safety.
For this purpose, the pushbutton comprises, in a casing or housing unit, having the form of a shell: a switch unit sunk and fixed in the housing unit, the said switch unit comprising the switching means of the pushbutton to be connected to the circuit; a lamp-supporting unit detachably mounted on the switch unit, the lamp-supporting unit being fastened to the switch unit by fixing means which are detachable from the face above the lamp-supporting unit, and the lamp-supporting unit comprising holding means for the removable mounting of the lamps of the pushbutton; electric conductors carried by the switch unit and to be connected to the circuit and electric conductors carried by the lamp-supporting unit and assog ciated by contact with the electric conductors of the switch unit when the two units are brought together, for the required functioning of the lamps; a pushbutton body sur- 6 rounding the lamp-supporting unit and resiliently mounted on the switch unit, the said body being displaceable by sliding movement along the housing, between a lower abutment position and an upper abutment position for controlling by a pressing action the switching means of the switch unit; a separable cap mounted on the pushbutton body between the lamp-supporting unit and the wall ofthe housing unit for sliding with the said body, the said cap covering the lamp-supporting unit and projecting above the housing unit.
The lamp-support carries four lamps mounted by being fitted tightly into four openings in the support, and the 8 Claims l 3,5l535 Patented June 2, 1970 ice 0 button according to the invention, the different units which form the said button being shown separated from one another and with some parts broken away;
FIG. 2 is a section of the pushbutton in a plane perpendicular to the direction of displacement of the movable part of the button, at a level situated above the lamps of the pushbutton.
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the pushbutton, after re- `rnoving the cap and the lamp support;
FIG. 4 is a section of the pushbutton on the line fgh of FIG. 2, the different sectional planes being perpendicular to the plane of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a section of the pushbutton along the line bcd of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 6 is a section of the pushbutton along the plane e of FIG.A 2.4
The pushbutton according to the invention is essentially formed by live units (FIG. 1), namely: a housing A, a switch unit B, a pushbutton body C, a lamp-supporting unit D and a cap E.
When the different units are assembled to form the pushbutton, the switch unit B is enclosed in the housing A at a fixed position in the latter; a peripheral space then remains between the external contour of the switch unit and the internal Wall of the housing, and in this space is mounted for sliding movement the pushbutton body C which itself forms a frame in which the lamp support D is accommodated; in addition, between the external contour of the body C and the internal wall of the housing A, a peripheral space exists in which is fitted the cap E which bears on the body C and which serves for pushing the latter in the direction of the switch unit B at the time of operating the pushbutton. The relative dispositions of these various units can best be seen in FIGS. 4 to 6.
The unit B is fixed inside the housing unit A by means of rivets (not shown) extending into suitable perforations in the said housing and switch unit; the holes 1 and 2 of the switch unit (FIG. 1) are the orifices of bores which extend from side to side of this unit and into which extend the rivets or any other locking means.
The upper part of the switch unit is cut away in such a manner that a substantially peripheral space 3 exists between the contour of the said part and the inside Wall of the housing, the lower part 4 of the pushbutton body ,5 C being capable of sliding in the said space; the 'body is guided in its displacement by its lateral Contact with the upper part of the switch unit. Mounted in corner recesses 40 of the switch unit B are springs 5, which ensure a resilient mounting of the pushbutton body on the switch 0 unit and which tend to space the body C away from the unit B (FIGS. 1 and 4); furthermore, the spacing apart of these two units under the action of resilient means is limited by abutment means 6, which are fixed on the internal face of the housing A and against which corre- 5 sponding parts of the pushbutton body C are adapted to cover of rectangular or square cross-section, made of synthetic plastics material; this cover has an inherent elasticity, which enables it to be mounted with a tight lit on the upper part 7 of the pushbutton body C, the cap E and the said body C thus forming an assembly which is displaceable as a whole, but which can be separated into its two parts C and E by a suitable manually applied force.
Under these conditions, a pressure exerted on the cap in the direction of the arrow F is transmitted to the pushbutton body C which, on approaching the switch unit B, acts on switches mounted inside the latter unit. Such switches, which are known per se, will not 'be described in detail. By way of example, two switches are indicated at 10 and 1li with their associated control elements 11 and 11', which are operated by the pushbutton body C when the latter is displaced towards the switch unit B.
The lamp-supporting unit D and its means of electrical supply, which are characteristic elements of the invention, will now be described.
This unit has the general form of a prism with a rectangular or square section and has four openings 12, 13, 14 and 15 which extend through the unit in the height direction. Each of these openings is arranged tO receive a lamp, which is inserted in or extracted from the opening by a simple pressure of the finger; each opening also comprises a ring or sleeve made of copper or other conducting metal, into which the lamp is fitted and tightly held, said lamp causing the sleeve to be radially deformed and to bear against the wall of the opening, this ensuring the tight fit of the lamp. The lamp can at will be removed from the sleeve and the opening by an axial pressure exerted on its head. In the igures, the four lamps have been represented at 16, 17, 18 and 19 and the corresponding sleeves at 20, 21, 22 and 23.
The sleeves form for each lamp one of the conductors which connect the lamp to a source of electrical energy. These conductors are in fact so arranged that the lamps are mounted in pairs and in parallel, so that if one lamp becomes inoperative, the other lamp of the pair continues to act as an indicator. In the constructional example which has been illustrated, the Sleeves and 123 are formed by the two loop-shaped ends of a metal strip 24 and the sleeves 21 and 22 are formed by the two loopshaped ends of another strip 25. These strips are each contained in a groove in the unit D, there being in fact a groove 26 for the strip 24 and a groove 27 for the strip 2S. In addition, conductor rods 28 and 29 which extend through the unit parallel to its axis and which project beyond the lower face of the unit also end in these grooves; the conductor rod 28 is electrically connected to the strip 24, which extends into a slot in the rod, and the conductor rod 29 is electrically connected to the strip in similar manner.
The switch unit B on which is to be mounted the lampsupporting unit D comprises two conductor tubes 30 and 31 which are adapted to receive the rod 28 and the rod 29, respectively; these tubes end at the lower face of the switch unit. Furthermore, the unit B is provided with two conducting strips 32 and 33, each having two upwardly bent ends. When the lamp support D is mounted on the switch unit B, the bases of the lamps 16, 19, 17 and 18 are respectively in contact with the ends 32a, 32h, 33a and 33h of the strips 32 and 33. The bending of these ends ensures their elasticity and their contact with the lamp bases.
The conducting strip 32 is electrically connected to a conductor tube 34 which extends through the switch un i t so as to end at the lower face of the unit and, in similar manner, the conducting strip 33 is electrically connected to a conductor tube 35 extending through the switch unit to end at its lower face (FIGS. 3 and 6). Under these conditions, the four lamps can be supplied by connecting the conductor tubes 30, 31, 34 and 35 to an electrical The lamp support D, which is already to a certain` degree fastened to the switch unit B when the rods 28' and 29 are inserted into the corresponding tubes 30 and 31, is preferably detachably iixed to the switch unit byj another xing means, for example, `by a screw 36 (FIGS.
2 and 5), which can be tightened and slackened from the top of the pushbutton when the cap or cover is removed.
The two pairs of lamps have separate indicating functions, according to their supply circuits, which are differm ent for each of the pairs, and in order to .facilitate the visual distinction of these two pairs, the cap is equipped with a transverse internal partition 37 which is situated between the two pairs, and which extends into a groove 38 in the upper face of the lamp support when the cap is mounted on the pushbutton body.
It will be understood that it is within the scope of the invention to increase, if necessary, the number of pairs of lamps by increasing in corresponding manner the number of openings in the lamp support, the transverse partitions of the cap and the electric conductors for supplying the lamps, the twolamps of each pair advantageously be-` form of more complicated polygonal section or with a.
circular section, without departing from the scope of the invention.
The housing will preferably be made of metal and the` other units of a moulded synthetic plastics material.
1. A pushbutton comprising:
(a) a housing in the form of an opencnded shell,
(b) a switch unit iixed within the lower region of said housing, said switch nnit carrying (I) a switchoperable upon application of pressure to it, and (Il) electrical conductors for connection to anfexternal circuit to be controlled by said switch, said switch unit and housing formed to provide a space between the periphery of the upper portion of said switch unit and said housing;
(c) a pushbutton body in the form of a sleeve open at both ends, the lower portion of said pushbuttonibody located within said space and slidable therein along the axis of said housing betweeniupper and lower limit positions, resilient means `urging said body` toward its upper limit position.
(d) a lamp supporting unit detachably secured to said switch unit by means accessible from the top face of said lamp supporting unit, said pushbutton body surrounding said lamp supporting unit, said lamp supporting unit `carrying (I) mounting means fordetachably securing at least one electric lamp thereto, and (II) electrical conductors for connection to the electrical conductors of said switch unit via the external circuit to be controlled by said switch, whereby said lamp will function, and
(e) a cap separably mounted on said pushbutton body and slidable within the upper region of said housing, downward pressure on said cap transmitted to said switch via said pushbutton body.
2. A pushbutton as claimed in claim 1, in which the lamp supporting unit carries four lamps tightly. mounted in four openings in the lamp supporting unit, and the electrical conductors carried by said lamp supporting unit Iare designed so as to supply in parallel two of the lamps forming a first lamp pair and for supplying in parallel the other two lamps forming a second lamp pair.
3. A pushbutton as claimed in claim 2, in which the cap comprises a light-transmitting cover formed with an internal partition situated between the two pairs of lamps, and including a groove in the upper face of the lamp supporting unit for accommodating said partition.
4. A pushbutton as claimed in claim 2, in which the electrical conductors carried by said lamp supporting unit comprise, for each pair of lamps, a tube extending through the switch unit, a rod extending through the lamp supporting unit and adapted to t into the tube, and a strip electrically connected to the rod, said strip having two ends curved around the two lamps of the pair in the corresponding Openings of the lamp supporting unit.
5. A pushbutton as claimed in claim 2, in which the electrical conductors carried by said lamp supporting unit comprise, for each pair of lamps, a strip xed on the top of said switch unit, a tube extending through the switch unit and electrically connected between said strip `and the bottom of the lamp supporting unit, the two ends of said strip bent upwardly so that each comes into contact with the conducting base of a lamp.
6. A pushbutton as claimed in claim 1, in which the detachable xing means fastening the lamp-supporting unit to the switch unit comprise at least one screw accessible from the top of the pushbutton body when the capi is removed.
7. A pushbutton as claimed in claim 1, in which the housing, the switch unit, the push-button body, the lamp supporting unit and the cap have the general form of a prism with a rectangular cross-section.
8. A pushbutton as claimed in claim 1, in which said lower limit position is defined by the switch unit and the said upper limit position is determined by abutment means on the housing.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,157,771 11/1964 Roeser. 3,163,708 12/1964 McMains. 3,163,740 12/1964 Ross.
3,197,598 7/1965 Andersen et al. 3,249,705 5/ 1966 Amis et al. 3,267,245 8/ 1966 Vincent. 3,268,889 8/1966 Ast.
3,270,162 8/1966 Alpert.
HERMAN O. JONES, Primary Examiner