US 3562705 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
I E. L. PARIS Feb. 9,1971
PORTABLE ADJUSTABLE TRAFFIC CONTROL SIGNAL LIGHT DEVICE Filed June '7, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet l ERNEST L. PARIS I NVE NTOR ATTY.
Feb. 9, 1971 E. 1.. PARIS 3,562,705
PORTABLE ADJUSTABLE TRAFFIC CONTROL SIGNAL LIGHT DEVICE Filed June 7, 1968 I 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 4
ERNEST L. PARIS 5 INVENTOR.
"United States Patent Olhce 3,562,705 Patented Feb. 9, 1971 3,562,705 PORTABLE ADJUSTABLE TRAFFIC CONTROL SIGNAL LIGHT DEVICE Ernest L. Paris, 126 SE. Garfield, Camas, Wash. 98607 Filed June 7, 1968, Ser. No. 735,289 Int. Cl. G08g 1/085, 1/095 US. Cl. 340-41 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The use of battery-operated flashing signal lights is known to be old. Also it is known to be old in the art to have traffic control light devices arranged to display red and green lights on different sides simultaneously and alternately, such a device being shown in US. Pat. No. 1,662,348, issued Mar. 13, 1928 to Stricker and entitled Changeable Sign and Traffic Signal.
The object of the present invention, however, is to provide a more simplified and portable light signal device for emergency use in similarly controlling or restricting highway traffic.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention comprises a portable self-contained apparatus having the customary traffic signal lights, specifically red, green and amber colored lights, located on each of two opposite faces for the purpose of enabling traffic in two opposite directions to be restricted and controlled. The lights are battery-operated, making it possible for the device to be set up and put into operation immediately at any time at any location. The circuits to the lights are so arranged that when'a green light is illuminated on one face a red light will simultaneously be illuminated on the opposite face, and vice versa. Similarly, the pair of amber lights on the opposite faces will be illuminated simultaneously. A switch control in the circuit for each pair of lights enables the pair to be turned on or off permanently and also enables them to be intermittently illuminated through the intermediary of an interposed simple circuit alternating means, thus providing for an automatically operating two-way traffic signal control when desired.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a side elevation of the device, the full lines showing'the device in normal set-up position, and the broken lines showing the upper portions of the device swung out from normal position on the lower portion to permit access to the interior;
FIG. 2 is an elevation from one of the two front sides of the device taken on the line indicated at 22 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a sectional elevation on line 3-3 of FIG. 2 drawn to a larger scale;
FIG. 4 is a plan section taken on line 4-4 of FIG. 1 drawn to the same scale as FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional elevation on line 5-5 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary section on line 6-6 of FIG. 4 drawn to a larger scale; and
FIG. 7 is a wiring diagram.
Referring first to FIG. 1, the device includes a housmg 10 which is square or rectangular in cross section and which comprises a bottom portion 11, an intermediate portion 12, and a top portion 13. The intermediate portion 12 is hingedly connected to the bottom portion 11 by the hinge 14 and locked in place on the bottom portion by means of a screw 15 (see also FIG. 3). Similarly, the top portion -13 is hingedly attached to the intermediate portion 12 by the hinge 16 and is locked in place on the intermediate portion 12 by a screw 17. The housing is provided with a suitable carrying handle 18 on the top and with legs 19 at the bottom to enable the device to be set up on a roadway or other convenient surface.
Two opposite faces of the upper portion 13 of the housing each carry three electric signal lights. These are all identical except for the fact that the external glass shields for the lights are not all the same color. In each group the three glass shields are colored green,
' amber and red, respectively. In the drawings the letters g, a and r indicate the colors green, amber and red. Thus, on the face on the right in FIG. 1 (which is the face shown in FIG. 2) the three light assemblies 20, 21 and 22 are colored green, amber and red, respectively. On the opposite face the three light assemblies are similarly arranged, but only two of these, namely the red light 23 and the amber light 24 are shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the other one (the green light 25) being indicated diagrammatically in FIG. 7. The red and green light assemblies are oppositely positioned on the two faces and are energized simultaneously by the same circuit. The pair of amber lights on the two faces are opposite each other and are energized simultaneously by a common circuit. Thus the green light assembly 20 on one face and the corresponding red light assembly 23 on the opposite face are energized simultaneously, and similarly, the red light assembly 22 on the first mentioned face and the green light assembly 25 on the opposite face are energized simultaneously. The two amber light assemblies 21 and 24 on opposite faces, respectively, are energized simultaneously similarly. The reason for such an arrangement in a highway signal device will be readily understood.
The bottom portion 11 of the housing contains a pair of batteries 26 and 27 (FIGS. 4, 5 and 7) by which the light assemblies are energized. These batteries each have one pole grounded to the housing and have the other pole connected by pairs of contact switch elements 26' and 27, and thence through a common contact switch 28 (FIGS. 3, 4 and 7) to one side of the circuits to the three pairs of signal lights. The three pairs of signal lights, namely lights 20 and 23, lights 22 and 25, and lights 24 and 21, (FIG. 7), so arranged that the lights of each pair are energized simultaneously, are shown in FIG. 7 arranged in the pairs designated as X, Y and Z, respectively. One side of the circuit from the batteries to each of these pairs of lights is connected through line 29 to the contact switch 28. The other side of the circuits to the three pairs of lights X, Y and Z is connected through lines 30, 31 and 32, respectively (FIG. 7) with contact switches 33, 34 and 35, respectively (see also FIG. 4) and are grounded as hereafter explained. The contact switches 26', 27', 28, 33, 34 and 35 are opened by the swinging of the inter-mediate portion 12 of the housing 10 from the bottom housing portion 11 on its hinge 14, and
similarly are closed when the portion 12 is brought back to normal closed position on the bottom portion 11 of the housing.
An arm 36 having a right angle bend (FIG. 4), (also shown in part in FIGS. 3 and 6 and diagrammatically indicated in FIG. 7), is secured on a shaft 37 which is rotated by a mechanism contained within a casing 38 located in the bottom portion of the housing. In the particular form of the invention illustrated in the drawings, this mechanism comprises a spring-operated clock-like mechanism, producing rotation of the shaft 37 and arm 36 at the rate of approximately 1 r.p.m. and capable of running for approximately twenty-four hours with each full winding of the driving spring (not shown). The spring is manually wound by a winding key or hande 39 (FIGS. 1 and 2) which extends out from the wall of the lower housing portion 11 and is protected by a pair of external guard flanges 40 on the housing wall. The operation of the clock-like mechanism can be stopped when desired by a manually partially rotating stop element (not shown) having a stem 41 which extends out through the wall of the housing portion 11 on the same side as the key 39 and is also protected by a pair of guard flanges 42. Although the clock-like mechanism is indicated as operated through a manually wound spring, it is to be understood that an electrically driven clock mechanism may be substituted for the mechanical spring mechanism, in which case the electrical clock mechanism can be operated either by a separate battery located within the clock casing 38 or can be connected up with the batteries 26 and 27. In such case, the electric clock mechanism would be turned on or off by partial rotation of a control shaft corresponding to the control shaft 41 illustrated. Thus the device of the invention is to be considered as including either a mechanical spring-operated means or an electrically-operated means for rotating the arm 36.
The arm 36, which is grounded to the housing through the casing of its operating mechanism, has a contact element or brush 43 (FIGS. 6 and 3) attached to it by a conductor 44 and the contact element or brush passes around the circumference of a composite stationary cylinder 45. This composite cylinder is made up of four conductor segments 46, 47, 48 and 49 (FIG. 6) which are insulated from each other but which are clamped together by a clamping element 50 surrounding an insu lating ring 51. The clamping element 50 is secured on the end of a bracket 52 (FIGS. 3 and 4) which in turn is mounted on the casing 38 for the clock-like mechanism.
The conductor segment 46 of the composite cylinder 45 (FIGS. 6 and 7) is connected by conductor line 53 to a terminal 54. A 3-position single pole toggle switch assembly 55 (FIG. 7), connected to line 30 through the switch 33, is so arranged that it can be moved either into contact with the terminal 54 or into contact with the terminal 56 of a grounded line 57 or can be set in the neutral or off position between the two terminals, as shown in FIG. 7. The switch assembly 55 is operated by a finger lever 55' mounted on the outside of the housing wall (see FIGS. 1 and 2). Thus, as will now be apparent from FIG. 7, with the portion 12 of the housing 10 in closed position, and thus with the contact switches 26', 27', 28, 33, 34, 35 closed, and with the grounded arm 36 moving around over the conducting segments on the composite cylinder 45, the closing of the switch assembly 55 with the contact 54 will result in the lights 23 and of the pair X being energized temporarily each time the moving arm 36 is in contact with the conductor segment 46.
Similarly the closing of the switch assembly 55 with the contact 56 of the grounded line 57 will cause the lights of the pair X to remain permanently energized. On the other hand, the placing of the switch assembly 55 in the off position shown in FIG. 7 will result in neither of the lights of the pair X being energized. Thus, since the lights 20 and 23 of the pair X are on opposite sides of the housing, the switch assembly 55 can cause these lights to be energized permanently during the period desired (for allowing trafiic to move in one direction only), or can cause these lights to be energized simultaneously intermittently.
The conductor segment 48 (FIGS. 6 and 7) is connected by the conductor line 58 with the terminal 59. A similar 3-position single pole toggle switch assembly 60, connected to line 31 through the switch 34, can contact the terminal 59, or the terminal 61 of the grounded line 57, or can be placed in the neutral or off position shown in FIG. 7. This switch is manipulated by a finger lever 60' (FIGS. 2 and 3) similarly mounted on the outside of the housing wall. Thus the switch assembly 60 can cause the two lights in the pair Y (on opposite sides of the housing, respectively) to be energized permanently during a desired period or to be energized simultaneously intermittently. The two conductor segments 47 and 49 on the composite cylinder 45 are joined by the connecting line 62 and are jointly connected through the conductor 63 to the terminal 64. A third similar 3-position single pole toggle switch assembly 65, connected to line 32 through the switch 35, is so arranged as to contact terminal 64, or to contact terminal 66 on the grounded line 57, or to be placed in the neutral or ofl position shown in FIG. 7. The switch assembly 65 is manipulated by a finger lever 65 (FIG. 2) on the outside of the housing. Consequently the two amber lights of the pair Z (on opposite sides of the housing, respectively) can be turned permanently on or permanently oif during a desired period, or can be energized intermittently for short periods during intervals between the changing of the red and green lights on both sides of the housing. The finger levers 65 and for the three switch assemblies are protected from inadvertent contact by a pair of upper and lower guard flanges 67 (FIGS. 1 and 2).
Through the setting of the three switch assemblies 55, 60 and as described, and with the clock-like mechanism (whether electrically driven or spring driven) in operation, the device of this invention can be easily and quickly set up at any desired location and employed either for restricting traffic to a single direction in either direction, or for controlling traflic in both directions with the automatic changing of the traflic control lights, or also for slowing down trafiic in both directions by the permanent energizing of the two amber lights alone.
Various minor modifications might be made in the device described and illustrated without departing from the principle of the invention or the scope of the claims, but the device, when constructed as described, has been found to be very satisfactory and practical in actual use and consequently when so constructed is considered the preferred means for the carrying out of the invention.
1. A portable, adjustable traflic control signal device for use on a highway having trafiic in two opposite directions, said device consisting of a housing divided into lower, intermediate and upper portions hinged and locked together respectively, a red signal light and a green signal light mounted on opposite faces of said upper housing portion, a first circuit serving said lights, a pair of amber signal lights mounted respectively on said opposite faces of said upper housing portion, a second circuit servicing said pair of amber lights, a green signal light and a red signal light mounted respectively on said opposite faces of said housing portion, a third circuit servicing said last mentioned green and red signal lights, electric current supply source in said lower housing portion, means conmeeting said first and said second and said third circuits separately with said electrical current supply, a contact switch in each of said circuits comprising a pair of contact elements mounted in said lower housing portion and in said intermediate housing portion respectively so arranged that said contact switches will be opened and each of said circuits will be disconnected whenever said intermediate housing portion is swung up away from said lower housing portion, a rotating alternating switch assembly in said lower housing portion connected with said electrical current supply, mechanism for causing operation of said rotating switch assembly, a manuallyoperated 3-position switch in said lower housing portion for each of said circuits so arranged that, when said contact switches are closed, each circuit separately can be directly connected to said electrical current supply, or entirely disconnected from said current supply, or connected to said current supply through said rotating switch assembly, and a member on the outside of said lower housing portion for operating each of said 3-position switches, whereby depending upon the manual setting of said 3-position switches, said lights may be set for limiting trafiic to one direction only, or for automatically restricting traffic in opposite directions, or for continued slowing of traffic in both directions, said rotating switch assembly so constructed and arranged that, when said three circuits are connected with said rotating switch assembly, said second circuit to said pair of amber lights will be closed alternately with each of said first and said third circuits, whereby said amber lights will be temporarily energized each time prior to the energizing of either of the other pairs of lights on said upper housing portion.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,941,185 6/1960 Mullikin 340-41 3,046,521 7/1962, Cantwell et al. 34041 THOMAS B. HABECKER, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.