US 3592098 A
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. United States Patent  inventor Ernest A. Zadig 1 Benton St., South Norwalk, Conn. 06854 [21 1 Appl. No. 826,440
 Filed May 21, 1969  Patented July 13,1971
 ELECTRONIC MUSICAL INSTRUMENT EMPLOYING PLURAL TUNING SHEETS ANDA Primary Examiner-Milton O. Hirshfield Assistant Examiner-Stanley .l. Witkowski Attorney-Sandoe, Hopgood & Calimafde ABSTRACT: A device for producing selected tones includes an electrically operated tone generator which includes a stylus and a plurality of terminals for producing tones by completing a circuit through the stylus and the one of the terminals that will cause the desired tone to be produced. A separate conductor for each terminal is on a sheet and extends to one edge. Each conductor is uninsulated at a portion at said edge, and at least at one other point. By folding the edge portion of the sheet each conductor will have an uninsulated portion at both the upper and under side s of the sheet for making contacts with similarly arranged conductors on another sheet, above or below, if a number of the sheets are stacked. A contact board has contacts connected respectively to the tone generator terminals and arranged to contact respective conductors on one or more sheets by placing the board against the edge portion of one or more of the sheets. A selected tone is produced by contacting the stylus with an uninsulated point on one of the conductors on a sheet.
PATENTED JUL? 3 I97! ERNEST A. zAdlo LOUDSPEAKER OSCILIBATOR AN AMPLIFIER ATTORNEYS ELECTRONIC MUSICAL INSTRUMENT EMPLOYING PLURAL TUNING SHEETS AND A HAND-HELD SELECTOR The present invention is a device for electrically producing selected tones by completing alternative tone-producing circuits through a tone generator by applying a stylus, which is connected to the generator, selectively to uninsulated points of conductors which are carried on a sheet. The conductors are connected respectively to different terminals of the tone generator for connecting the conductors into different toneproducing circuits through the generator.
The conductors and their uninsulated points may be arranged on the sheet in positions representing the positions of musical notes on a conventional musical staff marked on the sheet in which case the tones are identified by conventional musical symbols; or the tones may be identified by words, letters or other symbols, and may be arranged in any desired array on the sheet.
Devices of this general type are known and an example is illustrated by U. S. Pat. No. 3,376,778, Apr. 18, 1968, to C. O. Musser for an Electrical Musical Instrument with Conductive Tune Sheet." The drawbacks of known devices of this type are that the sheets as heretofore constituted are complicated and expensive to manufacture and the connections of the conductors to the tone generator are cumbersome and awkward to handle.
An object of this invention is to provide an improved device of this type which is simple and economical to manufacture.
Another object is to provide such a device in which a plurality of the sheets in accordance with the invention are adapted to be arranged in a book in which the tone generator is incorporated.
This invention will now be described in more detail with reference to illustrative embodiments shown in the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a schematic representation of the elements of the tone-producing electric circuits in a device in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is an exploded view of two sheets and a board element in accordance with the invention, showing them in their relative positions in a stack for mounting in a book, as in FIG. 1, for example;
FIG. 3 is a partial isometric view of the edges of a plurality of sheets in an alternative form of stack wherein the sheets are superposed with their edges in staggered relation; and
FIG. 4 is an isometric view of an embodiment of the invention wherein a plurality of the sheets are mounted in a book incorporating a tone generator.
Referring to the drawings, FIG. 1 illustrates schematically an electrically operated tone generator which is adapted for producing a variety of different tones and which is utilized in combination with one or more of the sheets of this invention for producing selected tones, the structure of the sheets 10 being illustrated most clearly in FIG. 2.
As shown in FIG. 1, the tone generator for the device of this invention is suitably provided by an audio oscillator having a loudspeaker 12 at its output side and a tuning circuit which includes an amplifier-oscillator element 11, a stylus 13, a source of electric power, such as a battery 14, and a plurality of resistors 15 connected respectively to a plurality of contacts 16 ofa contact board 17. The particular circuit configuration for the oscillator is not critical to the invention and a different circuit configuration-for example, one having a plurality of capacitors rather than resistors 15-could also be used.
The sheet 10 provides means for actuating the tuning circuit to produce a tone by completing a connection between the stylus l3 and one of the resistors 15, the pitch of the tone produced being determined by the value of the particular resistor 15 through which the circuit is completed.
Referring to FIG. 2, the sheet 10, which may be of any suitable dielectric material, such as paper or plastic, has a plurality of separate conductors l8 thereon. The number of conductors 18 corresponds to the number of different tonesand hence the number of resistors I5-that it is desired to provide, eight resistors 15 and eight conductors 18 being shown. The conductors 18 extend across the sheet 10 to one edge 10a and are arranged on the sheet in accordance with the desired arrangement of tones to be produced-as explained in more detail below-but the portions of the conductors at, and for a short distance back from, the edge 10a, are in parallel uniformly spaced relation and are concentrated along one portion of the edge for convenience of design. Each of the conductors is covered with insulation except for a short length 18a back from the edge 10a, where it is exposed for making electrical contact with a contact 16 of the contact board 17. A gap in the insulation on each conductor 18 is also provided at least at one other point,-indicated at 19 in FIGS. 2 and 4at which the conductor is exposed to provide a point where the stylus 13 is to be placed in contact with it for producing the tone that the particular conductor is connected to produce. The conductors 18 and their uninsulated points 19 may be arranged in a pattern of notes on a musical staff marked on the sheet, or in any other desired pattern, such as the scale illustrated on the top sheet 10in FIG. 4.
In a preferred form the conductors 18 are formed on the sheet 10 by printing lines of electrically conductive ink and the insulation is provided by overprinting a layer 20 of nonconductive ink. The overprinted layer 20 stops short of the edge 10a to leave the end portions 18a of the conductors exposed for a short distance up to the edge 10, and appropriate holes are provided for in the layer 20 to leave the conductors exposed at the points 19.
The uninsulated end portions 18a of the conductor 18 extend to the edge 10a of the sheet 10 in parallel lines at right angles to the edge for a short distance in from the edge. By folding the edge portion of the sheet back under itself in the direction indicated by arrow 21, along a straight fold line 22 which is parallel to the edge 10a an uninsulated portion 18 of each conductor is provided at the underside of the edge portion of the sheet in alignment with the uninsulated portions 18a on the upper side. A plurality of similarly folded sheets 10 may then be stacked on one another with the conductors 18 on each one in electrical contact with the corresponding conductors on the others. In this way, connecting the conductors 18 of one sheet 10 to the respective resistors 15 of the tone generator is also effective to connect the conductors 18 of the other sheets in the stack to the resistors.
The contact board 17 by which the conductors of a sheet 10 are connected to the resistors 15 has its contacts 16 (which are connected respectively to the resistors) spaced along it so as to make contact with the respective uninsulated portions 18a of the conductors on a sheet 10 by placing the board 17 on, under or against the edge portion of the sheet 10. When the edge portions of a stack of sheets 10, which have their edge portions folded over as described above, are placed in a stack, the board 17 is effective to make contact with corresponding conductors 18 on all the sheets in the stack by being placed in contact with the conductors 18 on either the top or the bottom sheet in the stack.
When a plurality of sheets 10 and the contact board 17 are combined in a stack, shown in FIG. 2, they may be held together by suitable means such as by capscrews 23 through appropriate holes 24 in the sheets and in the board.
In an alternative form of the sheets 10 shown in FIG. 3 the edge portions of the sheets are not folded over as in FIG. 2 and the uninsulated portions 18a of the conductors are thus exposed only at the upper sides of the sheets. In this instance a plurality of the sheets are stacked in staggered relation so that uninsulated portions of all the conductors on the several sheets are exposed in the manner shown, and the contact board 17 will be placed on the oblique edge of the stack to make contact with the conductors on all the sheets.
FIG. 4 illustrates a preferred embodiment of the invention wherein a stack of sheets 10 are combined in a book with all the elements of the tone generator carried in a housing 25 which forms the back end of the book. The housing 25 is mounted along one edge of a base sheet or plate 26, and a stack of sheets with a contact board 17 placed in contact with the bottom of the stack are attached to the baseplate 26 adjacent the housing 25 by capscrews 23 attached through the stack to the baseplate. The book is suitably provided with a hinged cover 27, and the stylus 13 may be connected with the tone generator tuning circuit through a jack 28. Being thus able to plug the stylus 13 into the jack 28, or unplug it, provides a suitable on-off switch for the device.
Due to the construction described above the corresponding conductors 18 on all the sheets 10 in the stack are connected through the contact board 17 to the respective resistors of the tone generator in the housing 28. Thus, in order to produce the tones provided for on any one of the sheets 10 in the stack the appropriate sheet is uncovered by folding back the sheets above it,as in opening a book to a desired page,- so that the stylus 13 may be placed on the uninsulated points 19 of the conductors 18 in a sequence, and at time intervals, which may be indicated by the positions of the points 19 on the sheet, or by symbols or directions marked thereon.
What we claim is:
l. A device for electrically producing selected tones comprising an electrical tone generator which produces a selected tone when a particular circuit is completed therethrough by making a connection between a stylus and one of a plurality of terminals of the generator, a sheet having a plurality of spaced electrical conductors thereon extending to one edge of the sheet, each of said conductors being covered with electrical insulation except along a portion of its length inward from said edge of the sheet and at least at one other selected point, an elongated board element contacting the portion of the sheet along said edge which carries the uninsulated portions of each of the conductors, said board element having a plurality of electrical contacts on at least one side thereof, said contacts being spaced to conform to the spacing between the uninsulated conductors at the edge of the sheet, so that each of said contacts is in contact with the uninsulated portions of one of the conductors, and each of said contacts being connected to one of said terminals of the tone generator whereby a selected tone is produced by placing the stylus in electrical contact, through one of said uninsulated points, with the conductor that is connected through said board element to the appropriate terminal for the tone desired.
2. The device of claim 1 in which said conductors are lines of electrically conductive ink and said insulation is an overlay of nonelectrically conductive ink.
3. The device of claim l'in which said uninsulated portion of each conductor extends substantially at right angles in from said edge of the sheet, and in which the portion of the sheet along said edge is folded over to expose the uninsulated portion of each conductor on the upper side and on the underside of the sheet with the uninsulated portion of each conductor exposed on the underside in alignment with the uninsulated portion of the same conductor exposed on the upper side, at least one additional similarly constituted sheet stacked with the other with uninsulated portions of the conductors on the under side of one sheet in contact with uninsulated portions of corresponding conductors on the upper side of the sheet below, said board element having its contacts in contact with the conductors of one of the sheets to thereby effectively connect the corresponding conductors of each of the sheets to the respective terminals of the tone generator.
4. The device of claim 3, and in combination, a base member having said tone generator mounted thereon, said sheets and said board element being supported on the base member, and means attaching said edge portions of the sheets and the board element to each other and to the base member.
5. The device and combination of claim 4 in which the tone generator is arranged along one edge of the base member with said edge portions of the sheets and said board element attached to the base member ad'acent the tone generator and parallel to said one edge of the ase member thereby to form a booklike structure wherein the main portion of the topmost sheet is adapted to be folded up and away from the next lower sheet to expose the said uninsulated points of the conductors on the latter sheet for access of the stylus thereto.
6. The device and combination of claim 5 in which said conductors are lines of electrically conductive ink and said insulation in an overlay of nonelectrically conductive ink.