US 3586807 A
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United States Patent  Inventor Kurt Guttlnger Plaflhausen, Switzerland  Appl. No. 793,421  Filed Jan. 23, 1969  Patented June 22, 1971  Assignee Dictaphone International A.G.
Wettingen (Aargau), Switzerland  Priority Jan. 24, 1968  Switzerland  1067/68  DICTATING MACHINE BALL-LIKE FINGER CONTROL MOUNTED BY A UNIVERSAL JOINT 8 Claims, 2 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl 200/ 157, v 200/6, 179/167  Int. Cl ..1101h 25/04; 110111 21/10,H01h 9/06  Field of Search 200/6 A, 157,61.85,61.58;179/l67,178, 179,187
 References Cited UNITEDVSTATES PATENTS 1,612,729 12/1926 Johnson 200/6 (A) 2,478,923 8/1949 lmre 200/157 2,863,010 12/1958 Riedl 20016 (A) X 2,933,566 4/1960 Muller et a1. 179/167 3,308,675 3/1967 Jonsson 200/6 (A) X FOREIGN PATENTS 1,268,251 5/1968 Germany ZOO/6 (A) Primary Examiner-Robert K. Schaefer Assistant ExaminerRobert A. Vanderhye Attorney-Curtis, Morris and Safford ABSTRACT: A control for setting the operating states of a dictating machine or the like. This control has a single balllike actuating member rotatably mounted in a housing and operatively associated with contact switches for setting the operating states of the machine when the ball-like control is rotated; The housing, in which this actuating member is mounted, which may be the handle of a dictating machine microphone, preferably is adapted to be held by hand. The ball-like actuating member is then positioned on the housing so that it will be conveniently near a finger, preferably a thumb, when the housing is held. A universal joint is secured to said actuating member and pivotally mounted along a pair of axes intersecting at right angles to each other, thereby permitting movement of said actuating member perpendicularly in a second direction of movement from either end of a first direction of movement. With only a small amount of movement, the ball-like control is easily rotated by a finger for setting all of the operating states of the machine.
DICTATING MACHINE BALL-LIKE FINGER CONTROL MOUNTED BY A UNIVERSAL JOINT The invention relates to a control for a dictating machine, and more specifically to such a control having manually operable switches for setting the various operating states of the machine, i.e. off, on, reverse or backspace, dictation and playback or the like.
Microphone devices for dictating machines commonly have an oblong handle,-or body portion to be held in the hand. The actual microphone is arranged at one end of the device, and is enclosed by a continuous housing. The switches required to set the operating states of the dictating machine are usually within the handle portion which also carries one or more actuating members for these switches. These actuating members are adapted to be worked by the thumb which usually rests on or adjacent the top of the member or members in the handle portion.
Known microphones of this kind have as a rule two actuating members which are arranged one behind the other lengthwise along the handle portion. One of these actuating members is usually the speaking, i.e. dictating, control member. This speaking control member must be actuated when dictating to the dictating machine, but such actuation does not start the forward running, i.e. operation, of the dictating machine which occurs only by actuation of the second member arranged alongside. Accordingly, to set the machine in operation for recording, the thumb must execute two movements in succession. If the speaking control is not activated along with the control for forward running, the machine is switched for listening, sometimes also referred to as playback."
Moreover, in known microphones the second control, besides being used to control the forward running, i.e. to set the machine in operation (whether it be for dictating to the machine or for replaying for listening), is also used to switch the machine off. This control is used also to reverse, or backspace, the machine. Usually this is accomplished by a lever or button or the like which can be moved beyond the off position counter to the action of a spring, from which position the lever or button snaps back into the off position elastically.
The object of the present invention is to simplify the operation of the dictating machine control or controls. In particular the object is to reduce the movement of the thumb required for causing the actuating member to close or open the switches which condition the machine for dictation and forward running, which, in hitherto known control devices, required the successive actuation of two members.
According to the invention, this and other objects are achieved by a control device in which movable contact parts of all switches for setting the operating states of the machine are arranged with their ends in the pivot range of an actuating member mounted pivotably in the handle portion of a microphone or in a like housing. This actuating member can be pivoted in radial directions through an angle required for closing the contacts of the switches which are located radially about the actuating member.
Preferably the actuating member, sometimes called a fingerpiece or a finger control, is a hollow body open on one side. The switch ends bear against the edge of the body on its open side. In order for the actuating member to be pivotable in all radial directions, it is advantageously mounted cardanically, i.e. by a universal joint, in the handle portion of the microphone.
Preferably, the hollow body is a hemispherical shell with a spherical surface which protrudes from a circular cutout in the microphone handle portion. Hence, this actuating member is ball-like in appearance. The movable contact parts of the switches are located advantageously at the four end points of two directions of movement of the actuating member which are at right angles to each other and which correspond to switch positions for setting the operative states of the machine. The actuating member advantageously engages movable contact parts located and adapted to be engaged at the end of a direction of movement. Also, the actuating member is pivotable from that end point in a second direction of movement perpendicular to the first. The actuating member can move to both sides in this second direction of motion counter to the action of a spring. Preferably the actuating member snaps back into one of the positions under the action of a spring. Accordingly, one of the contacts is switchable constantly, i.e. can be constantly maintained, while, additionally thereto, another position can be maintained temporarily. Thus, on the basis of the cardanic suspension, i.e. the universal mounting, of the actuating member, any switch position can be achieved on any desired path, but preferably they are achieved in paths perpendicular to each other.
The end points in one direction of movement wherein the actuating member is preferably engaged are advantageously correlated to the switch positions for the operative states "off" on the one hand and forward running" (the position to set the machine in operation to run forward either for dictation or listening) on the other. The end points of the direction of movement perpendicular thereto are advantageously effected counter to the action of a spring and are advantageously correlated to the switch positions speaking" or dictation" on the one hand and reverse or backspace on the other.
A preferred embodiment of the invention is explained more fully in the following description with reference to the drawing, in which:
HO. 1 shows in perspective a microphone having a finger control embodying the invention; and
FIG. 2 is a sectional view through the microphone in FIG. 1 showing the control portion in detail and showing the actuating member of the control in its of? position.
With reference to FIG. 1 the microphone for a dictating machine shown thereinhas a speaking membrane 1 at one end. The section adjacent this membrane is a handle portion 2. An actuating member 3 is arranged near the speaking membrane on the side of the handle portion which is to be gripped by hand. This actuating member 3 has an arched, ball-like surface which protrudes from a cutout in the handle portion. The actuating member 3 is a unilaterally open hollow body, i.e. it is open on one hollowed-out side. This body preferably is a hemispherical shell which is mounted for rotation in the handle portion of the microphone along one axis of a universal joint. Consequently, because of its universal joint suspension, this actuating member is pivotable in all radial directions. Advantageously, it is pivotable in two directions perpendicular to each other, which directions are represented in FIG. 1 with arrows. Direction 4 denotes the direction of movement for the position off; 5 denotes the direction of motion for "forward running"; 6 denotes the direction for dictation (sometimes called speaking); and 7 denotes the direction for reverse or backspace. A control lamp 8 lights up when the actuating member 3 is placed in the direction 6 for dictation."
According to FIG. 2, the actuating member 3, which is a hemispherical shell, is mounted by a universal joint in an insert 10 which is firmly connected with the handle portion 2 of the microphone. This insert 10 has forklike portions which fit, one on each side, over a flat plate 11 arranged in the median plane of the hemispherical shell. A shaft 12 passes through this plate and is mounted at both its ends in the fork-type portions of the insert 10 which are on both sides of the plate. The hemispherical shell can be pivoted around this shaft 12 in opposing directions, i.e. it may be pivoted from a central position to either side.
Adjacent each narrow side of plate 11, the hemispherical shell 3 has, firmly connected with it as its edge, a bearing eye 13, through which a short shaft 14 passes. Each of these shafts 14 extend into the plate 11. The hemispherical shell can be pivoted about these two shafts in a direction perpendicular to the first-mentioned direction of motion about the shaft 12. The median lines of the shafts l2 and 14 intersect at right angles, and consequently the two pivot movements can be carried out simultaneously.
In FIG. 2, the actuating member 3 is pivoted backward out of the plane of the drawing. With respect to its pivotal movement about the shaft 12 it is in a central position.
A movable contact part [6 of contact switch 17, rests against the edge 15 of the hemispherical shell. ln FIG. 2 the switch 17 is shown in open position, because the hemispherical shell is pivoted backward, corresponding to the "otT position. When the actuating member 3 is pivoted about shaft 14, in the direction opposite the illustrated position, switch 17 is closed, whereby the operative state of the machine forward running is set. in this particular switching arrangement the operative state forward running for listening," or playback," is set. The shafts 14 together with the actuating member 3 move through a similar circular path, i.e. a path of about the same angle, when the actuating member is pivoted about the shaft 12.
A movable contact 18 projecting into the range of movement of the actuating member 3 can be moved in two opposing directions from a zero, or start position, by the movement of the actuating member 3 about the shaft 12. Movement in one direction closes a switch 19 and in the other direction closes a switch 20.
The end of movable contact 18 is connected to the shaft 14 as shown by a small spring 21. By the closing of switch 19 the reverse running or backspacing" of the dictating machine is accomplished. Upon closing of the contact pair 20 the machine is switched, or conditioned, for speaking, or dictating."
By pivoting the actuating member about the shaft 14, when contact 20 is closed, the movable contact 16 causes switch 17 to close also. In this switching arrangement, with both the switches 17 and 20 closed, the machine is set for "forward running" for dictation," or recording. If only switch 17 were closed, as described heretofore in this disclosure, the machine would be conditioned for forward running" for listening, or playback."
It should be noted that the machine can be conditioned either for playback" or for dictation" before the switch 17 is closed to start the forward running of the machine.
it should be understood, of course, that the foregoing disclosure relates only to a preferred embodiment of the invention and that numerous modifications or alterations may be made therein without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.
Whatl claim is:
l. A hand held dictating machine control unit for setting the operative states of said machine, comprising, a body member adapted to be held in the palm of the hand and gripped by fingers overlying the body member and having a plurality of switch means operably connected to said machine for setting its operative states, an actuator member for actuating said switch means, a universal joint secured to said actuator member and pivotally mounted in said body along a pair of axes intersecting at right angles to each other, whereby said actuator member is mounted in said body for rotation in at least first and second directions of movement at right angles to each other, said first and second directions of movement having ends defined at the limits to which said actuating member can be rotated, said switch means being operatively connected to said actuating member for actuation by selective rotation of said actuating member, said actuating member being adapted to remain at either one of the ends of said first direction of movement to operate a selected one of said switches, and said universal joint permitting movement of said actuating member perpendicularly in said second direction of movement from either of said ends of said first direction of movement to either of said ends of said second direction of movement thereby to actuate another of said switch means and change the operative state of said machine.
2; A control unit as defined in claim 1 wherein said switch means includes at least three switches positioned in said body member adjacent one of said ends of said second direction of movement, one of said switches being actuated by rotation of said actuator member to one of the ends of said first direction of movement and the other of said switches being actuated respectively by rotation of said actuator member to the respective ends of said second direction of movement whereby, said one switch and a selected one of said other switches are adapted to be sequentially and simultaneously actuated by sequential rotation of said actuator member in said second direction of movement to a respective one of the ends thereof and in said first direction of movement to said one end thereof.
3. A control unit as described in claim 1 wherein said actuating member is a hemispherical shell and each said plurality of switch means includes a movable contact with an end positioned adjacent the edge of the hemispherical shell and adapted to be displaced by said shell to actuate said switch means when said shell is rotated.
4. A control unit as described in claim 1 wherein said actuating member is moved in said second direction of movement against a bias.
5. A control unit as described in claim 1 wherein a microphone is located at one end of said housing and said actuating member is a hemispherical shell having its outer rounded portion protruding from an aperture in said housing and located intermediate said housing ends.
6. A control unit as described in claim 5 wherein said second direction of movement is coextensive with a direction along an axis through said microphone and said hemispherical shell, and said machine is conditioned for dictation when said hemispherical shell is rotated to the end of movement in said second direction nearest said microphone, said machine is controlled for backspacing when said shell is rotated to the other end of said second direction of movement and said machine is conditioned respectively for off and forward running" when said shell is rotated to an end of said first direction of motion.
7. A hand held dictating machine control unit for setting the operative states of said machine comprising, a body member adapted to be held in the palm of the hand and gripped by fingers overlying the body member, an actuator member, a universal joint secured to said actuator member and pivotally mounted in said body along a pair of axes intersecting at right angles to each other, whereby said actuator member is mounted in said body for rotation in at least first and second directions of movement, said first and second directions of movement having ends defined at the limits to which said actuating member can be rotated, at least three switches mounted in said body member adjacent one end of said second direction of movement, each of said switches being adapted to be selectively and operatively engaged for actuation by said actuator member by the selective rotation of said member in said first and second directions of movement to set the operative states of said machine, one of said switches being actuated by rotation of said actuator to one of the ends of said first direction of movement and the other of said switches being actuated respectively by rotation of said actuator member to the respective ends of said second direction of movement whereby said one switch and a selected one of said other switches are adapted to be sequentially and simultaneously actuated by sequential rotation of said actuator member in said second direction of movement to a respective one of said ends thereof and in said first direction of movement to said one of the ends thereof.
8. A control unit as defined in claim 7 including a first contact member for said one switch adapted to be engaged by said actuator to close said one switch upon rotation of said member to said one end of said first direction of movement and a second contact member, for said other switches operatively connected to said actuator member to selectively close said other switches upon selective rotation of said actuator to the respective ends of said second direction of movement, (said actuator member being adapted to maintain engagement with said second contact member during movement of the actuator member in said first direction of movement to sequentially and simultaneously actuate a selected one of said second switches 563 said one switch to set the operative state of said machine.)
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE. OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,586,807 Dated June 22 1971 Inventor(s) Kurt Guttinger It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 4, Claim 8, line 71, delete line 76, delete Signed and sealed this 28th day of December 1971.
EDWARD MJFLETCHER, JR. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attestingr, Officer Acting Commissioner of Patents ORM PO-IOSO (IO-69) USCOMM-DC 60376-F'59 fi US GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFHCEi IBIS 0*366-31