US 3564280 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent FLEX-PATH CIRCUMFERENTIAL ENERGY CONTROL AND DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM 8 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.
US. (l 307/155, 307/10, 340/147, 340/163 Int. Cl I-l02g 3/00 Field ofSearch 307/10, 38,
ELECTRICAL  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,584,739 2/1952 Rees et a1. 340/163 3,035,248 5/1962 Grose et al..... 340/163 3,435,416 3/1969 Kretsch et al.. 340/163 3,458,759 7/1969 Chase 307/140UX Primary ExaminerRobert S. Macon Assistant Examiner-H. J. Hohauser Attorney-Ban, Freeman and Molinare SUPPLY u/vs A/l? a p?- 7 l /33 L T wAL LINE 1 r I. E E 1 mm. r t c u M Li I f f f T 4/ 36 2 44 46 4s 49 5/ .97 38 154%? 25g. .-m.- 1 a I supp RESET CLOCK I (12102; 2 22 716 (mo/(c) I I l L E CONTROLLE (OPERATORR /45 COMPZ/TOR SENSOR) PATENTEU FEB? 61am 3,564,280 sum 5 [1F 5 AMP RESET -5/GNAL GENERATOR INVENTORS PETER W. soaNEFEsT, BY RALPH a. NEDBAL BAY E. 5755 gzz FLEX-PATH CIRCUMFERENTIAL ENERGY CONTROL AND DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The electrical wiring systems in many modern vehicles, such as automobiles, have been developed over the years in a brute force fashion wherein an increase in the number of power operated devices used in the vehicle has been achieved primarily by the expedient of adding more wires and switches to the existing electrical harness. Manifestly, this approach, with its large number of connections and its high complexity, has not resulted in the most efficient and reliable type of system.
Furthermore, such present systems are difficult to diagnose when a failure does result. At the same time the replacement of parts often is made more difficult because of the great number of wires present in the system. Those skilled in the art know that a substantial percentage of the problems arising in automobiles today are due to electrical system failures.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention therefore has as its principal object the provision of an improved control system for vehicles which overcomes the defects of prior electrical harnesses and which is characterized by better assembly procedure, high system reliability, simple trouble diagnosis and simple replacement procedures. I
In a preferred embodiment, the invention takes the form of a harness which advantageously may be positioned around the vehicle and to which logic, control and display modules may be connected for controlling every function of the vehicle, such as lighting, comfort, transmission, ignition, power assist, air-fuel, and the like. The harness comprises electrical and fluidic transmission paths for transmitting control signals, timing signals, electrical power and fluid power between the power sources, the control logic and the receiving modules to effect the desired automotive functions.
The harness can be formed of a single fluid supply tube formed of electrically conductive material or it may comprise 4 a plurality of electrical wires in combination with one or more fluid supply tubes, the basic requirement being that the harness must be capable of providing both electrical and fluidic.
module or modules to be selected, the load devices associated with the selected modules are activated to perform the desired function. Each receiver module has an integrated circuit with an associated electric power amplifier or a fluidic amplifier or an electrical relay or any combination of them. The integrated circuit selected by the coded signal permits the electric power or the fluidic power from the harness to be applied to the load device. The electric power can be utilized to provide electric energy to various electrical loads, such as electric motors or lights, and the fluidic power can be utilized to actuate fluidic loads, such as hydraulic power servos in the transmission and mode selection doors in the comfort system.
The various objects, advantages and features of the invention are more clearly set forth in the detailed description of the preferred embodiment which follows.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In a detailed description which follows, reference will be made to the drawings in which: 7
FIG. 1. is a pictorial view of the invention as embodied in an automotive vehicle;
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings, and more particularly to FIG. 1, there is illustrated automotive vehicle embodying an exemplary form of the inventive electric-fluidic control system. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the term fluidics as used herein includes moving part fluid operated devices as well as nonmoving part devices, sometimes called flueric devices.
The vehicle 10 has a harness 11 positioned about its periphery or circumference such that various power, control and receiver modules may be connected thereto at any desired location on the automobile. Thus, the power modulel2 incorporating the sources of electrical and fluidic power can be located beneath the hood of the vehicle for connection to the harness 11. Advantageously, in one embodiment of the invention, the electrical power source may comprise a 12 volt battery and the fluidic power source may comprise a compressor capable of delivering air at a pressure of l 2 lbs. p.s.i.g.
It further will be appreciated as the description of the invention proceeds that it is not intended to limit the use of the system to any particular number of electrical or fluid operated load devices and that the illustrative load devices shown in FIG. 1 and described herein are intended to be merely exemplary of the great utility and flexibility of the invention. Thus, other modules which may be connected to the harness 11, as illustrated in FIG. I, include two head light modules 13 and 17, the two parking and turn signal lights 14 and I6, and the horn 15, all located in their normal positions at the front of the vehicle. The harness also is shown as connected to the front side light module 18 at one fender, the window I9 and door lock 20 modules at the side door locations, the rear side light module 21 and the fuel sensor module 29 at a rear fender location. At the rear of the automobile are the brake light and turn signal modules 22 and 26, the rear taillight modules 23 and 25 and the trunk lock module 24. In addition, for purposes of illustration, FIG. 1 shows the windshield wiper 27 and the comfort module 28 connected to the harness 11 at a position forward of the dashboard, and a display module 30 together with a control or sender module 31 connected to the harness 11 at the dashboard location. Manifestly, as the explanation of the invention proceeds, it will become clear that any desired number of electrically operated or fluid operated load devices may be controlled from the common harness 11 in accordance with the principles and teachings of the invention.
FIG. 2 illustrates the manner in which the modules may be connected to a common harness 11. In this example, the harness 11 is formed of an electrical supply line 32, an air supply tube 33, and electrical signal or information line 34 and an electrical clock or timing line 35.
A source of electrical power 36, such as a 12 volt battery or the like, is connected between ground (the chassis of the car is the ground of the system) and electrical supply line 32. Thus,
the latter carries the electrical power to all other modules compressor capable of supplying compressed air at a pressure of 12 p.s.i. but clearly any other fluid power source, either positive or negative, may be utilized.
A clock or timing module 42 is connected between the electrical supply line 32 and ground, and its output is supplied to the clock line 35 by means of the connector 43. The purpose of the clock module 42 is to supply timing pulses to all of the modules connected to the harness 11 so that their operations will all be synchronized from a common clock source. Advantageously, in a preferred embodiment of the invention, the clock module 42 comprises an oscillator or pulse generator of any suitable construction which is capable of providing output timing pulses at a frequency of 100,000 cycles per second.
FIG. 6 illustrates a schematic diagram of a reset signal generator 38 which supplies a coded signal through connection line 41 to signal line 34 for the purpose of resetting all sending and receiving modules. In this illustrative embodimerit, the reset signal generator consists of a 4-bit binary counter, formed of trigger flip-flop stages 101, 102, 103 and 104, the AND gate 105 and the line amplifier 106. The freerunning (i.e., not reset) binary counter of flip-flops 101, 102, 103 and 104 is triggered by the clock signal on line 35 through line 40. The AND gate 105 is connected to the one state outputs of all flip-flops in the counter except the lowest order flipflop 101. The AND gate 105 is enabled for two consecutive clock states (or clock cycles) which in this case is time count 14 and 15.
Amplifier 106 transmits a signal onto signal line 34 through line 41 during these two consecutive clock states. This twoconsecutive-clock-state signal forms the coded reset signal to be received by all sending and receiving units of the system. It should be noted that there must never be another similar signal for two consecutive clock states transmitted on the signal line 34 during a countercycle (in this illustrative case 16 clock states) since another such signal would look like a reset code to all the senders and receivers causing all to become reset without completing a whole countercycle.
Another module illustrated in H6. 2 of the drawing, and described in greater detail below, is the sender module 44. The latter is connected to a suitable controller 45 which may take the form of a sensor, a computer, an operator, or any combination of the same. The purpose of the sender 44 is to transmit coded information signals throughout the harness 11, by means of the signal line 34, so that a selected module or modules will be activated to operate the associated load devices for the performance of a desired function. Sender module 44 receives its operating power from the electrical supply line 32 and is synchronized with the remaining circuits by its connection to the clock line 35 and signal line 34.
As stated above, any number of receiver modules may be connected to the harness 11 such that they may respond to their uniquely coded signals for the performance of an electrical or fluidic operated function. The next module shown in FIG. 2 is representative of the receiver modules used for providing electrically actuated functions. Such receiver modules used for providing electrically actuated functions. Such receiver module 46 is connected to the electric supply line 32 to receive electrical operating power, to the signal line 34 to receive the coded information and reset signals, and to the clock line 35 to receive the timing signals.
The output of receiver module 46 is provided over the conductor 47 to an electrical load device 48. The latter is connected between the electrical supply line 32 in the harness 11 and ground. lf, for example, the signals transmitted over the signal line 34 of harness 11 contains the code for which the receiver module 46 has been set, then the receiver module 46 supplies an output signal over the connector 47 to turn on the electrical load device 48. Thus, if the electrical load device 48 were the automobile horn, for example, the horn would be actuated whenever the properly coded signals corresponding to the receiver module 46 setting were transmitted down the signal line path 34.
In a similar manner, a fluidic load device may be selected and actuated when the sender 44 transmits a properly coded signal down the signal line path 34. This is illustrated by the receiver module 49 which is connected to receive electrical power from the power line 32, information and reset signals from the line 34 and timing signals from the clock line 35. The output of receiver module 49 is applied by the connector 50 to the fluidic load device 51. The latter is connected by the tube 52 to receive fluidic power from the harness air supply tube 33. Thus, if the fluidic load device 51 is a pneumatic trunk lock, for example, and the properly coded signal was received by the module 49 from the harness signal line 34, receiver module 49 would supply an output signal over the connector 50 to the fluidic load device 51 to cause the compressed air in the tube 52 to operate such pneumatic trunk lock.
FIG. 3 illustrates a schematic diagram of a typical sender circuit which can be attached to the harness 11 to provide coded signal. information so that desired receiver modules can be selected and operated. As shown in FIG. 3, the sender circuitcomprises a binary counter formed of the flip-flop stages 54, 55, 56 and 57, plus the reset circuit comprised of flip-flops 107 and 108, the AND gates and the amplifier. Those skilled in the art are thoroughly familiar with the various forms which such binary counters can take in actual practice and, therefore, the binary counter stages are shown in block form only. Each flip-flopstage of the binary counter is capable of being switched to either one of two states, such states representing the digits 0 and 1, respectively. Although the binary counter illustrated in FIG. 3 comprises four stages, capable of achieving a count up to 16, it will be understood that a larger or smaller number of flip-flop stages may be utilized, as desired.
Two J-K flip-flops 107 and 108, and the AND gate 109 comprise the reset circuit which responds to the reset code generated in the reset signal generator and transmitted on the signal line 34. The reset code from signal line 34, which advantageously in this illustrative embodiment is comprised of a signal for two consecutive clock states. enters the J input of flip-flop 107 causing flip-flop 107 to be set to a 1 upon the arrival of the next clock pulse on clock line 35. The output of flip-flop 107 and the signal from signal line 34 are fed into the AND gate 109. The output of the AND gate 109 is connected to the J input of flip-flop 108. if flip-flop 107 is set to a l and there is a signal on line 34 (the case during the second consecutive signal on the line 34), flip-flop 108 is set upon the arrival of the next clock pulse. The output from flip-flop 108 is connected through line 110 to all reset inputs of counter flip flops 54, 55, 56 and 57. These counter flip-flops are reset to zero whenever flip-flop 108 is set to 1.
It will be noted that the J-K flip-flops 107 and 108 are provided with a K input as well as the 1 input and the clock 'l' input. As shown in FIG. 3, the K input is permanently connected to a l signal source. Thus, whenever a 1 is applied to a .l input, the flip-flop changes to a 1 state when a clock pulse is applied to the T input and changes back to 0 state at the next following clock pulse on the T input, even if the 1 remains at the J input during the second clock pulse. It can be seen that the J-K flip-flops are always reset by changing to a 0 state on the clock pulse following the clock pulse that set the flip-flop to the 1 state. The operation of such .IK flip-flops is well known, as described in the publication entitled USING MRTL l/C FLIP- FLOPS by Motorola Semiconductor Products Inc. dated Sept. 1966.
After being reset the counter flip-flop stages begin counting clock pulses received from line 35. The selective outputs of the flip-flop counter stages are connected to the AND gate 59 along with a line from switch 61. 1f switch 61 is closed (those skilled in the art will appreciate that switch 61 can take the form of some electrical output from a computer or controller) and there is a coincidence of inputs to the AND gate 59 from the counter, there will be an output from the AND gate on line 111 to amplifier 62. Amplifier 62 transmits the AND gate output to the signal line 34. In FIG. 3, the output from the AND gate 59 would occur during counter count 1 (a T 1). Other sending modules may send outputs at different counter states. Furthermore, it is fully withing the principles of the invention that there may be several sending modules at the same counter state, in the event control from more than one location is desired.
In a manner to be described in greater detail below, the receiver modules which have been coded to respond to the T 1 signal are activated to actuate their primary load devices and thereby provide the desired circuit function. For example, if the automobile head lights are controlled by a receiver module coded to respond to a T 1 signal, then the closing of the switch 61 in the sender circuit-either by the automobile driver, the computer, or by a sensor element such as a photocell-will result in the head lights being turned on. Although all of the receiver modules are connected to the harness 11 and will receive the transmitted T 1 signal, only those modules which have been coded to respond to such signal will be actuated and the remaining modules will remain inactive.
FIG. 4 illustrates a typical receiver module circuit which is adapted to be connected to the harness 11 to receive the coded control signals required for the actuation of the module in order to effect a desired function. As shown in FIG. 4, the receiver circuit comprises a reset circuit, a binary counter formed of a plurality of flip-flop stages and an AND gate in a manner similar to the typical sender module as shown in FIG. 3 of the drawing.
lnaddition, an On-Off circuit composed of two J-K flipflops and an AND gate is provided to store the face that the module has received its coded control signal.
The reset circuit comprised of flip-flops 112, 113, and AND gate 114, functions in an identical manner to the reset circuit in FIG. 3 to reset the flip-flops 69, 70, 71 and 72.
The reset circuit is connected to receive the reset signals from the signal line 34 and timing signals from the clock line 35 so that the counter will be reset in a cyclic manner in synchronism with all other send and receive counters.
For purposes of illustration, the binary counter flip-flops comprise a 4-bit counter with the output lead 74 being connected to the 1 state output of flip-flop 69 and the output leads 75, 76 and 77 being connected to the 0 state outputs of flipflops 70, 71 and 72, respectively. Thus, the typical receiver circuit of FIG. 4 is shown, for purposes of illustration, as a receiver which is connected to respond only to a T 1 signal pulse on signal line 34, since there will be an output on all of the output leads 74, 75, 76 and 77 only at the time T 1 in the cycle. Each of these output leads is connected to AND gate 78 and at the time T 1 only, the AND gate is permitted to transmit a signal at time T 1 from the signal line 34. It now is clear that when a T 1 pulse is transmitted on the signal line 34, and only at this time, the AND gate 78 will provide an output on line 116, to the J inputs of .ll( flip-flops 117 and 118. Flipflops 117 and 118 will be set to 1 by the occurrence of a clock pulse (in this case a T 2 clock pulse) is there is a signal on line 116 during T 1. An ON signal will appear on line 81 on the output of flip-flop 118 to be used to actuate an associated load device. Flip-flop 118 will not be reset to 0 unless there is an input to its K input from the output of AND gate 119. The AND gate 119 receives its inputs from the reset signal line 115 and from the 0 output of flip-flop 117. Flip-flop 117 receives a signal from reset line 115 on its K input and is thus reset to zero, if it were in a 1 state, by the clock pulse that follows the reset signal. The AND gate 119 would not be enabled during these times since the flip-flop 117 does not become 0 until after the reset signal has occurred. (Note that flip-flop 113 and flip-flop 117 change state from 1 to 0 on the same clock pulse. Even though there is a possibility of AND gate 119 being enabled for an instant because of .differences in switching times in the flip-flops 113 and 117, flip-flop 118 .cannot possibly switch since the clock pulse has already entered its trigger input.) If, however, there is no signal during T 1 on line 116 and flip-flop 117 does not become set to a 1 state (i.e., it stays in 0 state), AND gate 119 will be enabled when there is a reset signal on line 115. Flip-flop 118 will then be reset to 0 on the next clock pulse.
This will turn the ON signal on line 81 off. Therefore, the associated load device will be turned off at this time.
While the construction and operation of the typical modules and receiver circuits of FIGS. 3 and 4 have been described in connection with a T 1 signal count, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that such sender and receiver circuits may be coded for other signal codes such that a number or receiver modules can be connected to-the harness 11 for operating their associated load devices only at desired selected times. In this way, all of the modules can be connected to a common harness but the coding of the signals permits the selected actuation of only the desired modules associated with the functions to be performed.
In accordance with a feature of the present invention, a selection of a receiver module, in the manner described above, permits the actuation of an electrically powered or fluid powered load device. FIG. 5 of the drawing illustrates an exemplary interface for each of such loads.
In the electrical interface andload, shown in FIG. 5, the output of the receiver 46, when it is turned on by a properly coded signal from the signal line 34, is amplified by the amplifier 83 to turn on the transistor 85 or some other switching device, such as a relay. Amplifier 83 and transistor 85, each receive electrical power from the electrical supply line 32 by means of the leads 84, as does receiver 46. When the transistor 85 is turned on, a circuit is completed from the electrical supply line 32 to the electrical load device 48 to actuate the latter and to enable it to perform itsfunction.
The fluidic interface and load operate in a similar fashion; the selection of receiver 49 by a properly coded signal from signal line 34 provides an output through the amplifier 87 to energize-the electric magnet 90. This energization causes the armature 91 to be moved toward port 110. in doing so, the armature 91 blocks a small air leak which had existed in the fluid port 110 and switches the fluidic amplifier comprised of the NOR gates 95 and 96 to provide pneumatic power to the fluid load device 51.
As shown in FlG. 5b, the fluidic amplifier is connected by the air tube 97. The illustrated amplifier is comprised of two NOR gates 95 and 96, each of which is connected to the main supply tube 97 for their respective air supply. NOR gate 96 is connected directly whereas NOR gate 95, being the lower stage of the amplifier, is connected by tube 102 through a resistor 101 which decreases the allowed flow which facilitates a lower power requirement to switch this stage. The switching pressure for gate 95 is obtained by tapping off the supply tube 102 with tube 107 through another resistor 103. This resistor decreases the pressure in the control tube 107 since the pressure at the control part 104 necessary to switch the flow from the preferred port 105 to the load actuation port 106 is only a small percentage of the gate supply pressure 108. The control tube 107 pressure is controlled, however, by the bleed rate out of port 110, which in turn is controlled by the position of the electromagnet armature 91.
When the electromagnet is not activated, the armature 91 is in the uppermost position A, allowing full bleed out of port 110, reducing the pressure in tube 107 below that needed to switch the flow from leg 105 to leg 106. When the electromagnet is energized, the armature is moved to position B, closing down the bleed rate from port 110, increasing the pressure'in tube 107 to that needed to switch the flow from leg 105 to 106, which is connected to the control port 109 of the second stage gate 96, which then switches its output to port 111 to activate the required fluidic load device 51. The latter may take the form of any pneumatically operated device such as a piston, diaphragm, cylinder or the like and can be used to actuate primary devices such as the automotive door locks, hood latches or power servos in the transmission.
In view of the complete description of the inventive electrical-fluidic control system given above, in conjunction with the illustrative modules shown in the drawing, those skilled in the art now will appreciate that a single harness having electrical and fluid transmission paths can be used to control essentially every desired function in the automotive system. These principles not only provide a control system having higher system reliability than presently existing electrical harnesses but, in addition, greatly simplify trouble diagnosis since a simple connection can be made at any point in the harness to permit an extema] tester to check the entire system in a relatively short time. Still further, once the problem is known, a new module can quickly be substituted for the defective module to permit more effective replacement and repair procedures.
It will be understood that the various embodiments of the invention, which have been described, are merely illustrative of an application of the principles of the present invention. Those skilled in the art will readily understand that numerous other embodiments and modifications may be made without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention.
1. An electrical-fluidic control system comprising, in combination:
a source of electrical power;
a source of fluidic power;
a harness for selectively connectingelectrical and fluidic power to desired load devices, said harness comprising a fluid transmission path connected to said source of fluidic power, electrical power and signal transmission paths connected to said source of electrical power, control means for applying control signals to said electrical signal transmission path, and receiving means connected to said electrical power and signal transmission paths for receiving said control signals to selectively activate electrical and fluidic switching means to operate desired load devices. I
2. An electrical-fluidic control system in accordance with claim 1 wherein said harness comprises: an air tube for carrying compressed air from said fluidic power source, and a plurality of electrical conductors for carrying said electrical power and said control signals.
3. An electrical-fluidic control system in accordance with claim 1 wherein said harness is located in the automotive vehicle and said control and receiving means are positioned in modules connected to said harness at various locations around said automotive vehicles.
4. An electrical-fluidic control system in accordance with claim 3 wherein some of said receiving means are connected to control electrical load devices to perform electrically operated functions when actuated and some of said receiving means are connected to control fluidic load devices to perform fluidically operated functions when actuated.
5. An electrical-fluidic control system in accordance with claim 1 wherein said control means applies coded signals to said electrical signal transmission path to actuate desired ones of said receiving means and said receiving means are set to respond to particularly coded signals to selectively activate electrical and fluidic switching means to operate their associated load devices. I
6. An electrical-fluidic control system comprising, in combination:
a source of electrical power;
a source of fluidic power;
a harness for selectively connecting electrical and fluidic power to desired load devices, said harness comprising a fluid transmission path connected to said source of fluidic power, electrical power and signal transmission paths connected to said source of electrical power, control means for applying control signals to said electrical signal transmission path, said control signals including timing signals and function selection signals, and receiving means connected to said electrical power and signal transmission paths for receiving said control signals to selectively activate electrical and fluidic switching means to operate desired load devices. v p
7. An electrical-fluidic control system comprising, in combination:
a source of electrical power;
a source of fluidic power; a harness for selectively connecting electrical and fluidic 8. A method for controlling electrical and fluidic operated devices comprising the steps of connecting an electrical power source, a fluidic power source, a control signal source and signal receiving means to a common harness having fluid transmission and electrical transmission paths, applying coded control signals to said electrical signal transmission path, to
select desired ones of said signal receiving means and causing the selected signal receiving means to be actuated to apply electrical and fluidic power from the harness to their as sociated load devices for operating the same.