Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3585629 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 15, 1971
Filing dateNov 5, 1969
Priority dateNov 5, 1969
Publication numberUS 3585629 A, US 3585629A, US-A-3585629, US3585629 A, US3585629A
InventorsBaynard Joseph S Jr
Original AssigneeWestern Electric Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Display utilizing dimmed or flickering lamps to indicate different data sets
US 3585629 A
Images(3)
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Inventor Joseph S. Baynard, Jr.

Burlington, N.C.

Appl. No. 874,186

Filed Nov. 5, 1969 Patented June 15, I971 Assignee Western Electric Company, Incorporated New York, N.Y.

DISPLAY UTILIZING DIMMED 0R FLICKERING LAMPS T0 INDICATE DIFFERENT DATA SETS 5 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.

US. Cl 340/32411, 340/331, 340/332 Int. Cl G08b 5/38 Field of Search 340/324 R, 331, 276, 332

REGISTER /4 REGISTER [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,174,143 3/1965 Akin 340/276 X 3,225,342 12/1965 Clark 340/324 3,228,020 1/1966 Gassenheimer et a1 340/332 X 3,307,169 2/1967 Beck 340/324 3,411,151 I 1/1968 Abernathy 340/225 Primary Examiner.lohn W. Caldwell Assistant Examiner- David L. Trafton Attorneys-W. M. Kain, R. P. Miller and B. I. Levine ABSTRACT: Different data sets displayed in a lamp array are distinguished by dimming or blinking the lamps associated with the different data sets. Pulse generators having different duty cycles and different frequencies of operation are used to illuminate the dimmed or flickering lamps.

2 comm/v PEG/STEP 28a I80. lad l8e GENERATOR GENfRATD/Q DISPLAY UTILIZING DIMMED R FLICKERING LAMPS TO INDICATE DIFFERENT DATA SETS GOVERNMENT CONTRACT The invention herein claimed was made in the course of, or under contract with the United States Army.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention In various data storage and processing systems, such as digital computers, it is often necessary to display the contents of one or more storage registers of the system upon an opera tors control panel for purposes of troubleshooting or data analysis. This may be done by providing a row or array of indicating lamps which may be selectively illuminated to display the contents of each bit position of a binary storage register. The information in the register, however, may consist of a plurality of different words, each of which has a particular significance and, further, there may be unused bit positions within the register. In order to enable an operator at the display console to distinguish the lamps which correspond to dif ferent words of a display and to be alerted to those bit positions which are unused in the selected register, the display must incorporate some means of dividing the display into word groups and used and unused bit positions.

2. Description of the Prior Art One technique which has been used in the past to distinguish various word groups from one another is that of simply labeling the display lamps and marking off word groups on the face of the panel. However, if a single lamp display is used to selectively display different registers which contain words of different lengths and different word group arrangements, per manent labeling cannot be used. Flexible labeling arrangements, such as an optical screen above the display lamps upon which different labels may be selectively projected to correspond to the selected register being displayed have been proposed. Most of these arrangements, however, are very complicated and therefore very expensive to implement.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An object of the present invention is a display lamp system utilizing new and improved facilities for indicating different groups of the lamps.

In one embodiment of the invention, different modulation signals are superimposed upon the signals to respective groups of lamps to produce different illumination characteristics between different groups of lamps. More particularly, different lamps within a display are either brightly illuminated, blinked or dimly illuminated to distinguish adjacent word groups within the display and/or unused bit positions within the display BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a display panel for a data storage system;

Hg. 2 is a row of indicator lamps which may be selectively energized to display the contents of a given date register upon the face of the console shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of a lamp energizing circuit constructed in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 4 is a chart illustrating the various lamp illumination arrangements for various groups of data; and

FIG. 5 is a diagram of various voltage waveforms produced by pulse generators in FIG. 3 illustrating the timing relationship between the waveforms.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a control panel upon which the contents of selected storage registers within the system may be displayed for purposes of troubleshooting or data analysis. The panel includes a face plate 11 upon which a plurality of adjacent display lamps 12-12 and a plurality of register selection buttons 13-13 are mounted. When a selected one of the register select buttons 13 is depressed, the contents of the selected register are automatically displayed, in binary form, by illuminating various lamps 12 within the lamp display.

Referring to FIG. 3, a circuit is shown to provide a system for illuminating the lamps in a display, such as seven lamps 12a-I2g, indicating different words and unused bit positions. FIG. 3 illustrates the invention by illustratively showing five different registers, 14-18, which may be selectively displayed on the lamps 12a12g by closing a respective one of the switches 13a-13e. The switches 13a-13e are mechanically coupled in a conventional manner to prevent operation of more than one switch at a time. Thus, only one of the registers 14-18 may be displayed on the lamps 12a-I2g at one time. It is to be noted that registers or portions of registers having many more than seven-bit positions could be displayed using the technique of the present invention and the total number of registers which may be selectively displayed could be much greater.

Register 14 includes seven bistable storage devices, such as flip-flops 14a-14g. The state of each of the flip-flops 14a- 14g determines whether a l or 0 is stored in that particular bit position of the register 14. The flip-flops Max-14g are set and reset by an associated computer or storage equipment (not shown) of a data system. Each of the flip-flops 14a-l4g is connected to one input of one of the respective AND gates 24a24g. The other input of each of the AND gates 240- 24g is connected by the register selector switch 13a to a pulse generator 21. The outputs of each of the AND gates 24a24g is connected by a respective OR gate I9a-l9g and a respective amplifier 20a-20g to the respective lamp 12a12g. Thus, the respective lamps 12a-I2g are illuminated if the corresponding flip-flops 14a-l4g have a l stored therein.

Similarly, the registers 15-18 have respective flip-flops 15a-l5g, l6a16g, 17al7g and 18a-l8g which are connected to first inputs of respective AND gates 25a-25g, 26a-26g, 27a-27g and 28a28g. The second inputs of the AND gates 25a-25g, 26a-26g, 27a2 7g and 28a-28g may be selectively connected to the pulse generator 21 by the switches 13b-l3e. The outputs of the AND gates 25a-25g, 26a26g, 27a--27g and 28a-28g are connected by respective OR gates l9a-I 9g and respective amplifiers 20a-20g to the respective lamps l2a12g. Thus, whena respective one of the switches I3bl3e is closed the contents of a respective one of the registers 15-18 is displayed on the lamps l2a- 12g.

The flip-flops 15d, 17c--I7g, 18f and 18g are shown in phantom in FIG. 3 to indicate that these memory positions are unused. In an actual hardware arrangement they may be eliminated along with the AND gates 25d, 27c27g, 28fand 28g, or if the flip-flops 15d, 17c-l7g, 18f and 18g are present, they are maintained in a 0 state.

Signals from pulse generators 31 and 32 are selectively superimposed on the signals from the pulse generator 21 by the selected one of the switches 13a-l3e connecting the generators 31 and 32 to a diode matrix 33 which in turn is designed to selectively apply to outputs of generators 31 and 32 to the OR gates 19a-19g. For example, operation of the switch 13b applies the output of the generator 32 through a diode 36 to the OR gate 19d and applies the output of the generator 31 through the diodes 37, 38 and 39 to the OR gates 19c, l9fand 19g. Similarly, diodes 4l50 in the matrix 33 connect the respective pulse generators 31 and 32 to respective OR gates l9c19d when a respective switch -13 is closed.

The pulse generators 21, 31 and 32 are driven by a common relaxation oscillator 52, having a frequency which does not produce a discernable flicker of the lamps 12a-I2g. Where the lamps 12al2g are incandescentlamps, the oscillator 52 should have a frequency greater than about 40 Hz. while for gaseous discharge lamps the frequency must be somewhat greater or greater than about 45 Hz. The pulse generators 21 and 32 are designed to produce output pulses on every cycle of the oscillator 52. One suitable type of pulse generator is a monostable multivibrator. The duty cycle of the pulse generator 21 is designed to give a medium illumination to the lamps 12a-I2g. A duty of about 70 to 90 percent of the cycle time of the pulse generator 21 has been found to give a medium illumination to incandescent lamps while a duty of about 45 to '60 percent gives a medium illumination to gaseous discharge lamps. The duty cycle of the pulse generator 32 is designed to give a dim illumination to the lamps 12a12g. A duty of about 15 to 40 percent ofthe cycle time of the pulse generator 32 has been found to give a dim illumination to incandescent lamps while a duty of about to 20 percent gives a dim illumination to gaseous discharge lamps. lf lamps other than incandescent or gaseous discharge are used, the duty cycles and frequencies may be accordingly adjusted.

The .pulse generator 31 includes a delay circuit 53 and a pulse generator 54 for applying a pulse to an input of an AND gate 55. The pulse generator 54 has a duty time designed to give a dim illumination to the lamps l2a-l2g. The delay circuit 53 delays the input signal to the pulse generator 54 such that the output pulse of the pulse generator 54 occurs during the off time of the pulse generator 21. Thus, when the output of the pulse generator 54 is superimposed on the output of the pulse. generator 21 to illuminate one of the lamps 12a-l2g, the lamp will be brightly illuminated. A flickering oscillator 56 is connected to the other input of the AND gate 55 to modulate the signal from the pulse generator 54 at a frequency designed to produce a discernable flickering or blinking ofthe lamps 12al2g. For incandescent lamps the frequency must be less than about 20 Hz. while for gaseous discharge lamps the frequency may go up to about 30 Hz. and still be discernable.

Referring now to FIG. 5, there are shown typical output signals for the generators 21, 31 and 32 to operate incandescent lamps. The oscillator 52 operates at 50 Hz. and the oscillator 56 operates at 5 Hz. The generator 21 is triggered by the oscillator 52 and produces a 17 ms. pulse. The generator 32 produces a 5 ms. pulse which is delayed by ms. from the start of each cycle of the oscillator 52. The 5 ms. pulses are produced only-during the first half of the 0.2-second-cycle time of the oscillator 56 while no pulses are produced by the generator 31 during the last half of the 0.2-sccond-cycle time of the oscillator 56.

Referring back to FIG. 3, in operation with the switch 13b closed to display the contents of register 15 on the lamps 12a-I2g, the 85 percent duty cycle pulse from the generator 21 is applied to the AND gates 25a, 25b, 25c, 25e, 25f and 25g. If any of the flip-flops 15a, 15b, 15c, 15e, 15fand 15g are in the 1 state, the pulses pass through the respective AND gate 25a25c, and 25e25g and OR gate 190-190 and 19e19g to the respective lamp 12a12c and 12e-12g. The output of the generator 32 is applied through diode 36 in the matrix 33 to the OR gate 19d and the lamp 12d to dimly illuminate the lamp 12d to indicate that the flip-flop 15d is unused or absent. The output of the generator 31 is applied through diodes 37, 38 and 39 to the respective OR gates 19e, 19f and 193 to su perimpose the output of the generator 31 on the output of the AND gates 25e, 25f and 25g to produce a readily noticeable flickering or blinking ofthe lamps 12e, 12fand 12g.

Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 4, the three lamps 12a, 12b and 120 are operated in the steady condition where the respective lamps are dark if the respective flip-flops 15a, 15b or 15c are in the 0 state or the respective lamps 12a, 12b and 120 have medium illumination of the respective flip-flop 15a, 15b and 15c are in the 1 state. The lamp 12d is dimly illuminated and is easily distinguished from any of the lamps 12a, 12b and 12c which may have medium illumination. The respective lamps 12e, 12f and 12g flicker or blink between dark and dim illumination if the respective flip-flop 15a, 15for 15 is in the 0 state or the respective lamps 12e, 12f and 12g flicker between medium and bright illumination if the respective flip-flop lSe, 15for 15g is in the I state. It is easy to distinguish the flickering lamps 12e, 12f and 12g from the steady" lamps 12a, 12b and 12c and the dimmed" lamp 12d.

The circuit shown in FIG. 1 is merely illustrative of the principles of the invention. Many other display systems could be devised which utilize the principles of the invention. For example, the circuit describes a particular AND and OR gate arrangement for superimposing the flickering" signal on the steady" signal. There are many other modulating arrangements of signal generating arrangements which could be adapted in accordance with the invention to produce the same result.

What I claim is:

1. A system for displaying the contents ofa register wherein the contents represent first and second data sets comprising:

a plurality of lamps each of which is associated with a respective stage of the register;

a first signal generator for producing a first signal to illuminate the lamps;

a second signal generator for producing a second signal to illuminate the lamps wherein lamps illuminated by the second signal are distinguishable fromlamps illuminated by the first signal; and

means responsive to the contents of the register for applying the first and second signals to respective first and second groups of said plurality of lamps to display the respective first and second data sets.

2. A system for displaying the contents of a register containing first and second data sets, comprising:

a plurality of lamps, each of which is associated with a respective stage of the register;

a first signal generator for producing a first signal to illuminate the lamps in a steady condition;

a second signal generator for generating a second signal to illuminate the lamps with a noticeable flickering condition; and

means responsive to the contents of the register for applying the respective first and second signals to respective first and second groups of said plurality of lamps to display the first and second data sets.

3. A system for displaying the contents of a register containing first and second data sets, comprising:

a plurality of lamps each of which is associated with a respective stage of the register;

a first signal generator for producing a first signal to illuminate the lamps in a steady condition;

means responsive to the contents of the register for selectively applying the first signal to first and second groups of the lamps to display the respective first and second data sets;

a second signal generator for producing a second signal to illuminate the lamps with a noticeable flickering condition; and

means for superimposing the second signal onto the signals applied to the second group of lamps to produce a noticeable flickering of the second groups of lamps.

4. A system for displaying the contents of a binary register containing first and second data sets, comprising:

a plurality of lamps each of which is associated with a respective stage of the binary register;

a first pulse generator for producing a pulse signal having a duty cycle of from 45 to percent to illuminate the lamps and having a frequency sufficiently high to produce no noticeable flickering of the lamps;

a plurality of AND gates, one connected to each stage of the register and to the first generator for passing the first signal when the respective stage of the register is in a first state and for blocking the first signal when the respective register stage is in a second state;

a second pulse generator producing a pulse signal having a duty cycle from 5 to 40 percent to illuminate the lamps and having a frequency sufficiently low to produce a noticeable flickering of the lamps;

a plurality of OR gates, one associated with each AND gate for applying the output of each AND gate to the respective lamp; and

selective connecting means for connecting the output of the second pulse generator to the OR gates associated with the register stages containing the second data set for imposing the flickering signal on the first signal whereby the second data set displayed on the lamps is easily distinguished from the first data set.

5. A system for displaying the contents'of a register containing first and second data sets, comprising:

a plurality of lamps each of which is associated with a respective stage of the register;

a first pulse generator for producing an output pulse having a duty cycle of from 5 to 40 percent for illuminating the L-566-PT UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION PatentNo. 3,585,629 Dated June 15, 7

lnvemofls) JOSEPH S. BAYNARD, JR.

It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 2, line 29, after- "each" insert one--.

Column 3, line 37', after la" insert 7 ms pulse. The generator 32 produces a Signed and sealed this 12th day of September 1972.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M .FLETCHER ,JR ROBERT GO'FTSCHALK At test ing Officer Commissioner of Patents Column 1, line 59 cancel "date" and insert -data-.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3747063 *Sep 8, 1970Jul 17, 1973Simplec Mfg CoBistable circuit controlled sequential lamp indicator
US3864677 *Sep 13, 1972Feb 4, 1975Canon KkRegister overflow warning device
US4283659 *Apr 7, 1980Aug 11, 1981The Singer CompanyDisplay system utilizing incandescent lamp multiplexing
US4301450 *Feb 4, 1980Nov 17, 1981Burroughs CorporationError detection for multi-segmented indicia display
US4418334 *Jan 26, 1981Nov 29, 1983Burnett Dorothy KSignal display system and luminaire apparatus for operating same
US4509043 *Apr 12, 1982Apr 2, 1985Tektronix, Inc.Method and apparatus for displaying images
US4568935 *Jun 8, 1983Feb 4, 1986Honeywell Inc.Data reporting system
US4636769 *Jan 18, 1985Jan 13, 1987Tsuyama Mfg. Co., Ltd.Data display unit for a bicycle
US4642606 *Jan 18, 1985Feb 10, 1987Tsuyama Mfg. Co., Ltd.Data display unit for a bicycle
US4734688 *Aug 27, 1985Mar 29, 1988Mannesmann Kienzle GmbhMethods and means for testing faults in a liquid crystal display system
US4858213 *Aug 8, 1986Aug 15, 1989Dictaphone CorporationDisplay for modular dictation/transcription system
US4958915 *Feb 13, 1989Sep 25, 1990Canon Kabushiki KaishaLiquid crystal apparatus having light quantity of the backlight in synchronism with writing signals
US5070327 *Sep 11, 1989Dec 3, 1991Dale EllingsonUsing only ac power
EP0173931A2 *Aug 23, 1985Mar 12, 1986Mannesmann Kienzle GmbH (HR B1220)Method and circuit arrangement to display an erroneously functioning liquid crystal display
Classifications
U.S. Classification345/73, 714/E11.185, 340/331, 340/332, 345/211
International ClassificationG08B5/22, G06F11/32, G09G3/00, G08B5/36
Cooperative ClassificationG06F11/325, G09G3/004, G08B5/36
European ClassificationG06F11/32S2, G08B5/36, G09G3/00C
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 19, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: AT & T TECHNOLOGIES, INC.,
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:WESTERN ELECTRIC COMPANY, INCORPORATED;REEL/FRAME:004251/0868
Effective date: 19831229