US 3564495 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 16, 1971 5, GOULD ETAL PEDESTRIAN TRAFFIC CONTROL SIGNAL UNIT 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed May 1, 1968 n v Z M m 7 24 n 4i Feb. 16, 19 71 5, GOULD ETAL PEDESTRIAN TRAFFIC CONTROL SIGNAL UNIT 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 1, 1968 a a/r0196.-
Arm #5) Feb. 16, 1971 '5, GOULD ETAL 3,564,495
PEDESTRIAN TRAFFIC CONTROL SIGNAL UNIT Filed ma 1; 1968 3 Sheets-$heet 3 United States Patent US. Cl. 340-44 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An improved pedestrian traffic crosswalk control signal unit of the walk/dont walk type is provided, which conforms in all respects with national safety standards, and yet which is less bulky in its construction than the prior art signal units, less expensive to build, and easier to ship without breakage.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Many persons killed or injured in traffic accidents are pedestrians, and frequently the pedestrian is to blame. In an attempt to reduce pedestrian accidents, illuminated signals are often provided at the crosswalks and street intersections to direct pedestrian traffic. A type of pedestrian trafiic control signal which has been approved by the National Safety Council is an illuminated signal which has a first energized condition in which the word WALK is displayed with a green illumination; and which has a second energized condition in which the words DONT WALK are displayed with a red illumination The prior art pedestrian trafiic control signal which fulfilled the requirements set forth above is a somewhat massive unit. The prior art unit has a face on which the words DONT and WALK are inscribed, one above the other. These words are formed, for example, either by a mask with neon tubes positioned behind the mask, or by an appropriate configuration of the neon tubes themselves.
A first neon tube which glows with a green illumination when energized is positioned to display the WALK word; and a second neon tube which glows with a red illumination when energized is positioned to display both the DONT and WALK Words simultaneously. An appropriately timed energizing circuit is provided in conjunction with the control signal unit which causes the green and red neon tubes to be alternately energized each on a selected time basis.
Insofar as the WALK word is concerned, the prior art units have found it necessary to place the green neon tube behind the red neon tube in order to provide adequate illumination by the red tube when the latter is energized. This is because the tubes are mounted one over the other in the prior art units, and only the red tube is transparent since the green tube has a coating of green fluorescent powder on the inner surface of its wall. This is a disadvantage since it reduces the luminosity of the green tube. It is also a disadvantage from a servicing standpoint since the green tube has been found to need replacement more often than the red tube. However, in the prior art units, the green tube cannot be removed without first removing the red tube, so that a major operation is involved. In the unit of the present invention, the construction is such that the opaque green tube may be mounted over the red tube.
In addition to being massive, the construction of the prior art pedestrian traffic signal units includes protruding fragile glass parts. Such a construction renders shipment of the prior art units most difiicult, and a high breakage proportion is prevalent. A feature of the pedestrian traffic "ice control signal unit of the present invention is that it is relatively light and sturdy, and it has no projecting parts. One of the embodiments of the invention to be described does have projecting electrodes of solid electrically conductive metal, which are received in sockets in the transformers when the unit is assembled, but these electrodes may be unscrewed for shipping purposes.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is. a front elevation of a pedestrian traffic control signal unit of the general type with which the present invention is concerned, and which may be constructed in accordance with the concepts of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the pedestrian trafiic control signal unit of FIG. 1, taken from the front and to one side;
FIG. 3 is a front elevation of a housing component of the unit of FIGS. 1 and 2, as viewed essentially along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a perspective exploded view of certain components of the signal control unit, specifically showing a face plate and a panlike support member which are included in the unit;
FIG. 5 is a front view of the unit, with the face plate removed;
FIG. 6 is a side view of the aforesaid panlike support member, taken essentially along the line 66 of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a perspective showing as to how a second embodiment of the invention may be mounted when in use; and
FIG. 8 shows the casing of the second embodiment in an opened condition.
DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENTS As shown in FIG. 1, the present invention concerns a pedestrian traflic control signal unit, designated generally as 10 The control unit 10 may be mounted, for example, on a post 11, and the signal unit may be provided at street intersections and at crosswalks, so as to control pedestrian traffic. As is well known, the unit is controlled so that either the word WALK is illuminated in green to permit the pedestrians to cross; or both the words DONT and WALK are illuminated in red, so as to prevent pedestrian crossing during the interval of such illumination. The unit 10, as shown in FIG. 2, for example, includes a hood 12 which acts as a sunshade, and a housing 14 which supports the transformers and control circuitry for the signal.
As shown in FIG. 3, for example, a pair of transformers 16 and 18 is supported in the housing 14, and these transformers incorporate appropriate sockets 20a, 20b, 20c and 20d which receive respective electrodes 22a, 22b, 22c and 22d (FIGS. 4 and 6), the electrodes protruding from the rear face of a rectangular pan-shaped support member or tray 24. The electrodes 22a-22d, for example, are composed of solid brass, or other appropriate electrically conductive material, and they are threaded to respective threaded rods 26a, 26b, 26c and 26d, so that they may be removed from the rear surface of the tray 24 for shiping purposes. The threaded rods, for example, are supported on porcelain washers 27a-27d by nuts 29a, 29b, 29c and 29a.
The hood 12 is attached to a flange around the front of the housing 14 in the first embodiment by means, for example, of a plurality of shackle bolts 50. The tray 24 and its face plate 52 are supported between the hood 12 and the housing 14, and the various components are sealed by means, for example, of epoxy resin. A U-shaped molded gasket 54 may also be used to extend around the periphery of the tray 24 and its face plate 22 to assure a water-tight seal. The support tray or member 24 may be composed, for example, of appropriate low dielectric plastic material. A partition 56 (FIG. formed of plastic or other suitable material, extends across the front of the tray 24 dividing it into two regions A and B.
A first neon tube 60 supported in the tray 24 by cementing it, for example, to the bottom of the tray by means of silicone cement, such as marketed by General Electric or Du Pont. One electrode of the first neon tube 60 is connected to the electrode 22b by means of appropriate connections to the threaded rod 2617. This first tube 60 is formed to approximate the word DONT in the region A of the panlike support member 24. A second neon tube 61 is connected to the first tube through a usual connector 63, and the second neon tube extends into the region B. The second neon tube may likewise be supported on the tray 64 by cementing it to the bottom of the tray. The neon tube 61 has a uniplanar coiled configuration in the region B, comprising a plurality of sections extending across the region B, as shown in FIG. 5. The other electrode of the second neon tube .61 is connected to the electrode 22a by means of an appropriate connection to the rod 26a. The first and second neon tubes 60 and '61 are constructed to glow with a red illumination when energized.
A third neon tube 62, which is constructed to glow with a green illumination when energized, is connected across the electrodes 22c and 22d, by appropriate connections to the threaded rods 26c and 26d. The latter neon tube is configured to approximate the word WALK, and it is positioned over the coiled portion of the second neon tube -61. The neon tube 62 may be supported on the neon tube 61 in the region B by means, for example, of the aforesaid silicone rubber cement. The partition 56 serves to prevent light from the green neon tube 62 from entering the region A, when the green tube is energized.
The face plate 52 is selectively masked by means, for example, of black paint on its rear face, the paint being applied by a suitable stencil, so that the words DONT" and WALK appear one above the other as transparent portions of the face plate. The face plate itself may be formed of a transparent plastic material, and its front surface may be beaded for light diffusion purposes.
It will be appreciated that the trafiic control signal unit described above may be easily shipped, with the various components being supported flat in the shipping container. As mentioned above, the electrodes 22a, 22b, 22c and 22d may be unscrewed from the rear surface of the support member 24 for shipping purposes.
The signal unit of the embodiment of the invention described above may be put into service in a simple and expeditious manner. It is only necessary to unpack the unit, to screw in the electrodes 22a-22d, and the tray 24 is then placed over the front of the housing 14, so that the electrodes 22a-22d are received by the corresponding sockets a-20d in the transformers 16 and 18 so that the electrical energizing circuit to the neon tubes may be completed. The face plate 52 is then placed over the front of the support member 24, and the hood 12 is placed over the front of the assembly. The sealing resin may be applied to the peripheral joint, and the bolts 50 put in place and tightened. Then, the gasket 54 may be placed around the peripheral joint to complete the sealing between the components.
The transformers 16 and 18 are alternately energized when the signal unit is in operation. When the transformer 16 is energized, for example, the red neon tube 60 is energized, so that both words DONT" and WALK are displayed in red on the face plate 52. Then, when the transformer 18 is energized, the neon tube 62 is energized, so that only the word WALK is displayed in green by the face plate 52. During the energization of the neon tube 62, the partition 56 shields the region A, so that no green light extends into the latter region and the word DONT is not visible.
The embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 is similar in some respects to present day prior art units. The latter embodiment includes a casing for supporting a pair of transformers 102 and 104. The casing 100 is supported, for example, on a pole 106, by means of brackets 108 and 110.
The tray 64 of the previous embodiment is divided into two plastic trays 112 and 114 in the embodiment of FIGS. 7 and 8. The two neon tubes 61 and 62 of the previous embodiment may be mountedin the tray 114, and the neon tube 60 of the previous embodiment may be mounted in the tray 112. The neon tubes may be supported in the trays by adhesive, as before.
The electrodes 22a-22d of the previous embodiment are not used; instead, cables 120, 122 are used to connect the neon tubes in the trays 112 and 114 to the transformers 100 and 102. As before, when the transformer 112 is energized, for example, the red neon tubes in the trays 112 and 114 are activated and the words DONT and WALK are displayed in red from face plates 126 and 128 which are mounted in a frame 130 and which are disposed in front of the trays 112 and 114, respectively.
The frame 130 also serves as a support for the trays 112 and 114, the trays being mounted on the frame in any appropriate manner. The frame 130 is hinged to the casing 100, and an appropriate watertight flange is provided, so that the unit is waterproof when closed. A sun hood 132 may be attached to the frame 130, as shown.
In the latter embodiment, the unit is normally supported by the post 106 on which the casing 100 is mounted. When servicing is required, the screws of a pair of fasteners and 152 are loosened, and the frame 130 and attached hood 132 are swung open, as shown in FIG. 8, to reveal the trays 112 and 114. The trays may then be removed from the frame 130 so that the neon tubes may be replaced.
The invention provides a simple and rugged construction for a pedestrian traftic control signal, and one that may be manufactured inexpensively to be relatively low in cost. The unit of the invention is easy to ship, and easy to install. It represents a sturdy and rugged signal unit, fully satisfactory for outdoor operation over long periods of time, and answering the national safety requirements in all respects.
While a particular embodiment of the invention has been described and shown in the drawings, modifications may be made. It is intended in the following claims to cover all the modifications which fall within the scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A pedestrian trafiic signal unit including: a first planar dish-shaped support means defining first and second tray regions; a first electrically energized luminous tube mounted in said first tray region and extending across said first tray region; a second electrically energized luminous tube mounted in said second tray region and extending across said second tray region; a third electrically energized luminous tube mounted in said second tray region and extending across said second tray region; a first pair of rigid electrodes extending outwardly from the rear side of said planar dish-shaped support means; a second pair of rigid electrodes extending outwardly from the rear side of said planar dish shaped support means; connector means connecting said first and second luminous tubes in series across said first pair of electrodes; further connector means connecting said third luminous tube across said second pair of electrodes; a selectively masked face plate mounted on the front of said planar dish-shaped support means and extending across the front face thereof; a housing for said planar dishshaped support means; transformer means mounted in said housing to the rear of said planar dish-shaped support means; and socket means mounted in said housing for removably receiving said electrodes, said socket means being electrically connected to said transformer means.
2. The pedestrian traffic signal unit defined in claim 1, in which said first electrically energized luminous tube is adhesively supported on the bottom of said first support tray region and extends transversely with respect thereto, said second electrically energized luminous tube is adhesively supported on the bottom of said second tray region and extends in coiled uniplanar configuration across said second tray region; and in which said third electrically energized luminous tube is adhesively supported on said second luminous tube and extends transversely with respect thereto.
3. The pedestrian traffic signal unit defined in claim 1, in which said planar dish-shaped support means comprises a unitary plastic member, and includes a partition extending across said member to divide said member into said two tray regions.
4. The pedestrian trafiic signal unit defined in claim 1, in which said electrodes are metallic rods threadably supported on said rear face of said support means to be removable therefrom.
5. The pedestrian traffic signal unit defined in claim 2,
in which said first luminous tube is configured to approximate the word dont and in which said third luminous tube is configured to approximate the word walk and to extend in a transverse relationship with respect to the uniplanar sections of said second luminous tube.
6. The pedestrian traffic signal unit defined in claim 5, in which said first and second luminous tubes are neon tubes and glow with a red illumination when energized, and in which said third tube glows with a green illumination when energized.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,813,759 7/1931 Peters 340105 2,141,243 12/1938 Godchaux et a1 340-105 2,793,356 5/1957 Hart 340-44 3,085,224 4/1963 Becka 34044 3,101,177 8/1963 Loomis et a1. 340-44 DONALD J. YUSKO, Primary Examiner