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Publication numberUS3604863 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 14, 1971
Filing dateJul 7, 1969
Priority dateJul 7, 1969
Publication numberUS 3604863 A, US 3604863A, US-A-3604863, US3604863 A, US3604863A
InventorsSchink William N
Original AssigneeIndak Mfg Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Multiposition electrical switch
US 3604863 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

O United States Patent [72] In ent William Sch 3319,016 5/1967 Hoy et al. 200/16 Crystal Lake, 111. 3,329,778 7/1967 Bedocs 200/16 1 1 App 73 3,462,564 8/1969 Bedocs..... 200/16 Filed July 7, 1969 3,500,003 3/1970 Schink 200/16 [45] Patented Sept. 14, 1971 P E J R s [73] Assignee lndalt Manufacturing Corp. "Mary mmmer.

Northbmok, m. Att0rneyBurme|ster, Palmatler & Hamby [54] MULTIPOSITION ELECTRICAL SWITCH A BSTRACT: Twin contactors are mounted on a movable car- 14 Claims 12 Drawing Figs nage and are engageable with contacts arranged in first and second rows. The contacts in one row are staggered relative to 200/ 16 R the contacts in the other row. In successive positions of the Int-CI WHOM l5/0o carriage, the contactors alternately form conductive bridges of Search R, between adjacent contacts in the rows A first interconnecting 1 1 C, 166 166 CT, 166 strap extends between staggered contacts in the two rows so that both of such contacts ma serve as battery or feed con- [56] References cued tacts. A second strap extends between another pair of stag- UNITED STATES PATENTS gered contacts in the two rows to provide duplicate switch 3,030,459 4/1962 Elliott et al. 200/16 X positions. Two additional contacts are positioned opposite 3,188,697 6/1965 Schink 200/16 each other at one end of the rows. An additional contactor is 3,223,794 12/1965 Hoy et al. 200/16 mounted on the carriage to form a bridge between such addi- 3,244,822 4/1966 Elliott 200/ 16 tional contacts in one extreme position of the carriage. The 3,281,546 10/ 1966 Aquillon.. 200/16 additional contactor is of small size and is ofiset laterally away 3,316,364 4/1967 Schink..... 200/16 from one of the rows of contacts so that the additional contac- 3,316,365 4/ 1967 Cobb 200/16 tor does not form a bridge between the staggered contacts.

PATENTED SEP1 4|91| 3 504 53 sum 2 or 2 FIG. 10 FIG. 1]

MULTIPOSITION ELECTRICAL SWITCH This invention relates to electrical switches and is particularly applicable to switches intended for automotive usage. However, the invention is applicable to many other types of electrical switches.

One object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved electrical switch which may have a multiplicity of operating positions, yet is extremely compact.

- A further object is to provide such an electrical switch which combines a multipole switching operation with a singlepole switching operation.

In accordance with the present invention, the switch comprises first and second contactors mounted on a movable carriage and engageable with contacts arranged in first and second rows. Each contactor is adapted to form a bridge between adjacent contacts in the corresponding row. The contacts in one row are staggered relative to the contacts in the other row. In this way, the contactors alternately form bridges between the adjacent contacts in the corresponding rows as the carriage is moved to its successive positions. Preferably, a strap or other interconnecting member is provided between a staggered pair of contacts in the first and second rows, so that such contacts will have a common circuit connection, preferably to the battery or other source of power. A second interconnecting member extends between another pair of staggered contacts to provide for duplicate switching positions. It is preferred to provide an additional pair of contacts, disposed directly opposite each other at one end of the rows. An additional contactor is mounted on the carriage to form a bridge between the additional contacts in one position of the carriage. The additional contacts and the additional contactor are offset laterally, away from one of the rows, so that the additional contactor does not form a bridge between the staggered contacts in the rows.

With the construction of the present invention, the switch may have a multiplicity of closely spaced operating positions. At the same time, the switch is extremely compact, easy to manufacture and low in cost.

Further objects and advantages of the present invention will appear from the following description, taken with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGS. 1 and 2 are side and front elevational views of an electrical switch to be described as an illustrative embodiment of the present invention.

FIG, 3 is an enlarged rear view of the switch.

F IG. 4 is a front elevation showing the contacts on the terminal board of the switch, the terminal board being removed from the switch for clarity of illustration.

FIG. 5 is a rear elevation of the switch with the terminal board removed.

FIG. 6 is a horizontal section, taken generally along the line 6-6 in FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 is a vertical section, taken generally along the line 77 in FIG. 3.

FIGS. 8-12 are diagrammatic views showing the successive positions of the switch.

It will be seen that the drawings illustrate an electrical switch intended particularly for automotive service. However, the invention will have many other applications. The particular switch 20 illustrated in the drawings is especially well adapted for dimming the panel lamps of an automobile, while also controlling the operation of the dome light.

The illustrated switch 20 comprises a casing 22 which in this case is rectangular but may be of any other suitable shape. A

end portion 28 which is slidably and rockably received in a slot 30 formed in the front side of the carriage 24.

A handle 32 is mounted on the front or outer end of the lever 26. It will be seen that the lever 26 is swingably mounted on a bracket 34 by means of a pivot 36, which may take the form of a rivet or the like.

Twin contactors 38a and b are mounted on the carriage 24 for movement therewith. The contactors 38a and b are engageable with a plurality of stationary contacts 40a, b, c, d, e and f, arranged in two rows 41a and b which extend parallel to the path of movement of the carriage 24. The contacts 40b, d and f are in the first row 410, while the contacts 40a, c and 3 are in the second row 41b. The contacts in the second row 41b are staggered relative to the contacts in the first row 41a.

The first and second contactors 38a and b are illustrated as being elongated and generally bar shaped. The length of the contactors 38a and b is such that each contactor is adapted to form a conductive bridge between adjacent contacts in the rows 41a and b. Each of the contactors 38a and b is formed 5 with rearwardly projecting end portions 42, adapted to engage the contacts 40a-f. Each contactor has central portion 44 which is offset or recessed as shown most clearly in FIGS. 5 and 7.

The contactors 38a and b are connected to the carriage 24 by means of tabs 46 which project into slots or recesses 48 formed in the carriage 24. Springs 50 are provided between the carriage and the contactors 38a and b to bias the contactors rearwardly toward the contacts 40a-f.

In this case, the contacts 40a-f are mounted on an insulating support 52 which takes the form of a board or plate made of a suitable plastic material. The insulating board 52 is secured to the rear of the casing 22 by means of clinched tabs 54 thereon.

The illustrated contacts 40a-f are in the form of the rounded heads of rivets 56a-f extending through the insulating board 52. In this case, terminals 58d andfare mounted on the corresponding rivets 56d andf. Normally, the terminal 58d is connected to the battery or some other source of power, while the terminal 56fis connected to the lamps or other devices to be controlled by the switch.

It will be seen from FIG. 4 that the contacts 400, c and e in the second row 41b are staggered or offset relative to the contacts 40b, d and f in the first row 41a. In this case there are three contacts in each row, but a greater or lesser number may be employed.

It is preferred to provide an interconnecting strap or other member 60 between one pair of staggered contacts in the first and second rows 41a and b. In this case, the strap 60 is secured to the rivets 56c and d so that it extends between the contacts 400 and d. Thus, both of the contacts 400 and d are normally connected to the battery or other source of power.

In this case, a second strap or other interconnecting member 62 is connected to the rivets 56e and f and thus is connected between the contacts 40e and f. This interconnecting strap 62 provides duplicate switching positions, as will be explained in detail presently.

The illustrated switch 20 is especially well adapted for dimming panel lamps or the like. For such service, the switch is adapted to connect resistors 64 and 66 into the circuit, in series with the lamps. The illustrated resistor 64 is connected between the rivets 56b and e, while the resistor 66 is connected between the rivets 56a and b.

To provide for smooth operation of the switch, the terminal board 52 is provided with a plurality of dummy contacts or bosses 68a-h. These bosses are preferably in the form of insulating semiperforations, punched or otherwise formed from the board 52. In some cases the bosses may be molded integrally with the board 52. Generally, the bosses are interspersed between the contacts 40a-f so that a boss is opposite each of the contacts. Specifically, the bosses 68c-h are opposite the respective contacts 40a-f. The bosses 68c, e and g are in the first row 41a, while the bosses 68d, f and h are in the second row 41b. It will be seen that the bosses 68a and b are opposite each other at one end of the first and second rows Ma and b.

The contactors 38a and b and the staggered contacts 40a-f employed to the perform a multipole switching function. To perform an additional single-pole switching function, the switch 20 is provided with an additional pair of contacts 70a and b, which are mounted on the insulating board 52 at one end of the rows 41a and b. The contacts 70a and b are directly opposite each other rather than being staggered. As shown, the contacts 70a and b are in the form of rounded heads on rivets 72a and b extending through the insulating board 52. A terminal 74 is mounted on the rivet 72a. In this case, the rivet 72b is grounded to the casing 22 by means of a strap or plate 76 which is clinched under one of the tabs 54. A soldered joint 78 is also preferably provided between the strap 76 and the corresponding tab 54.

An additional contactor 80 (FIG. 5) is preferably mounted on the carriage 24 to form a bridge between the contacts 70a and b. In this case the contactor 80 is in the form of a rounded contact point which is generally cylindrical in shape and is slidably received in a recess 82 formed in the carriage 24, as shown to best advantage in FIG. 7. A spring 84 is provided between the carriage 24 and the contactor 80, to bias the contactor rearwardly toward the contacts 70a and b.

The carriage 24 is movable to a series of positions which preferably are definitely established by detend means. In this case, such detent means comprise a plurality of rounded detent projections 86 projecting inwardly from the front wall 88 of the casing 22. Detent notches or seats 90 are effectively formed between the projections 86. The contactor 24 is formed with a plurality of rounded detent projections 92 (FIGS. 6 and 7) which are adapted to be received in the seats 90. It is preferred to form such detent projections 92 at the four front corners of the carriage 24. The contactor springs 50 and 84 have the effect of biasing the carriage 24 forwardly, while also biasing the contactors rearwardly.

The operation of the switch 20 will be clearly evident from FIGS. 8-12, which show the five successive positions of the switch. In these views, the various contacts are viewed from the rear of the switch, while the contactors are shown in broken lines.

FIG. 8 represents the off position of the switch, in which the contactors 38a and b are moved to one end of their range of movement. In this position, neither of the contactors 38a and b is in bridging relation to any of the contacts 40a-f. The contactors 38a and b engage the insulating bosses 68a and b, and also the contact 40b and the insulating boss 68d. The additional contactor 80 is adjacent the contact 40c but is not in bridging relation to any of the contacts. It will be noted that the contactor 80 is offset laterally away from the contacts 40b, d and f in the first row of contacts 41a, so that the contactor will never engage these contacts. The additional contacts 70a and b are similarly offset.

FIG. 9 represents the low position of the switch in which the contactor 38b forms a connecting bridge between the contacts 40a and c. In this way, a circuit is established through the resistors 64 and 66 between the contact 40c, which is one of the battery contacts, and the contact 40f, which is connected to the lamps to be dimmed. Thus, the maximum resistance is in the circuit so that the brilliance of the lamps is low.

FIG. 10 represents the medium position of the switch, in which the contactor 38a forms a connecting bridge between the contacts 40b and d. In this way, a circuit is established through the resistor 64 between the battery contact 40d and the contact 40f which is connected to the lamps. Thus, only the resistor 64 is in the circuit, so that the lamps are lighted t medium brilliance.

FIG. 11 represents the high position of the switch, in whic the contactor 38b forms a connecting bridge between the contacts 40c and e. Thus, a direct connection is established between the battery contact 40c and contacts 402 and f which are connected to the lamps. Accordingly, the lamps are energized to maximum brilliance.

FIG. 12 represents a duplicate high position, in which the contactor 38a forms a connecting bridge between the contact 40d and f. Accordingly, the lamps are energized directly from the battery, as in the case of the position of FIG. II. However, in the position of FIG. 12, the additional contactor forms a bridge between the contacts 70a and b. These contacts may be connected to a dome lamp circuit so that the dome lamp is energized by the bridging action of the contactor 80. In the positions of FIGS. 8-ll, the contactor 80 is inactive. Only in the position of FIG. 12 does the contactor 80 provide a bridging connection between any of the contacts.

It will be evident that the switch combines a multipole switching function with a single-pole switching function, in a switch construction which is compact, economical and easy to manufacture. The single-pole contactor 82 does not interfere with the multipole switching functions performed by the contactors 38a and b. The socket or recess 30 for the rounded end 28 of the operating lever 34 is between the recesses 48and 94 for the tabs 46 and the springs 50 so that the tabs and springs are operated and insulated from the lever.

It will be noted that the twin contactors 38a and b are effective alternately to form bridging connections between adjacent pairs of the contacts 40a-f. This arrangement makes it possible for the switch to have a multiplicity of closely spaced positions. At the same time, the switch is rugged in construction and dependable in operation.

It will be understood that the number of switch contacts and the number of switch positions can be varied. In some cases, the additional contacts and the additional contactor for the dome light circuit will not be needed. If the dome light contact 72a and b are omitted, the duplicate high position contact 40f may also be omitted, along with the strap 62. The switch will then have four positions, instead of five. There will be three contacts in the second row 41b, but only two contacts in the first row 41a. If a three position switch is desired, the contact 400 may be omitted, in which case there will be two contacts in each row.

The resistors 64 and 66 constitute impedance elements. In some cases other types of impedance elements may be employed.

Various other modifications, alternative constructions and equivalents may be employed, as will be understood by those skilled in the art.

I claim:

I. An electrical switch,

comprising a casing,

a carriage movable in said casing,

operating means connected to said carriage and extending out of said casing for moving said carriage,

an insulating support on said casing and opposite said carriage,

a plurality of contacts mounted on said insulating support and arranged in first and second rows generally parallel to the path of movement of said carriage,

said first and second rows extending along respective first and second lines which are generally parallel to the path of movement of said carriage,

said contacts in each row being spaced along the corresponding line,

and first and second contactors mounted on said carriage and engageable with the respective contacts in said first and second rows,

each of said contactors being of a length along the corresponding row to form a connecting bridge between adjacent contacts in the corresponding rows,

' said contacts in said second row being staggered relative to the contacts in said first row whereby said contactors are effective alternately to bridge between adjacent pairs of contacts in the corresponding rows.

2. A switch according to claim I,

in which said contactors are generally bar shaped extending generally parallel to the path of movement of said carriage.

3. A switch according to claim 1,

including a stationary interconnecting member between two staggered contacts in said first and second rows whereby a common circuit connection is made to the interconnected staggered contacts.

4. A switch according to claim 1,

including a first stationary interconnecting member extending between a first pair of staggered contacts in said first and second rows,

and a second interconnecting member extending between a second pair of staggered contacts in said first and second rows, 7

whereby the interconnecting members provide for common circuit connections to the corresponding pairs of contacts.

5. An electrical switch,

comprising a casing,

a carriage movable in said casing,

operating means connected to said carriage and extending out of said casing for moving said carriage,

an insulating support on said casing and opposite said carriage,

a plurality of contacts mounted on said insulating support and arranged in first and second rows generally parallel to the path of movement of said carriage,

first and second contactors mounted on said carriage and engageable with he respective contacts in said first and second rows,

each of said contactors being of a length to form a connecting bridge between adjacent contacts in the corresponding row,

said contacts in said second row being staggered relative to the contacts in said first row whereby said contactors are effective alternately to bridge between adjacent pairs of contacts in the corresponding rows,

an additional pair of contacts on said insulating support at one end of said first and second rows,

and an additional contactor on said carriage to form a bridge between said additional contacts in one position of said contactor.

6. A switch according to claim 5,

in which said additional contacts are directly opposite each other rather than being staggered.

7. A switch according to claim 5,

in which said additional contactor is mounted on said carriage toward one end thereof and spaced from the corresponding ends of said first and second contactors whereby said additional contactor engages said additional contacts in one extreme position of said carriage.

8. A switch according to claim 1,

in which there are at least two contacts in each of said first and second rows.

9. A switch according to claim 1,

in which there are at least two contacts in one of said rows and at least three of said contacts in the other row.

10. A switch according claim 1,

in which there are at least two contacts in each of said rows,

said switch including an interconnecting member extending between one pair of staggered contacts in said first and second rows to provide a common circuit connection to said contacts,

and an impedance element connected between another pair of contacts in said first and second rows.

11. .An electrical switch,

comprising a casing,

a carriage movable in said casing,

operating means connected to said carriage and extending out of said casing for moving said carriage,

an insulating support on said casing and opposite said carriage,

a plurality of contacts mounted on said insulating support and arranged in first and second rows generally parallel to the path of movement of said carrifige, first and second contactors mounte on said carriage and engageable with the respective contacts in said firs and second rows,

each of said contactors being of a length to form a connecting bridge between adjacent contacts in the corresponding row,

said contacts in said second row being staggered relative to the contacts in said first row whereby said contactors are effective alternatively to bridge between adjacent pairs of contacts in the corresponding rows,

at least two of said contacts being in one of said rows, at

least three of said contacts being in the other row,

said switch including an interconnecting member extending between a pair of staggered contacts in said first and second rows to provide a common circuit connection to said contacts,

a first impedance element extending between two other contacts in said first and second rows,

and a second impedance element extending between another pair of contacts in said first and second rows.

12. A switch according to claim ll,

in which said first and second impedance elements are connected to one of said contacts in common.

13. A switch according to claim II,

in which there are at least three contacts in both of said rows,

said switch including a second interconnecting member extending between staggered contacts in said first and second rows to provide duplicate adjacent positions of said switch.

14. A switch according to claim 13,

including an additional pair of contacts disposed opposite each other at one end of said rows,

and an additional contactor on said carriage to bridge between said additional contacts in one position of said carriage.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3030459 *Jul 30, 1959Apr 17, 1962Gen Motors CorpCircuit controller
US3188697 *Aug 5, 1963Jun 15, 1965Indak Mfg CorpLever action switch with embedded compression coil spring and staggered contact means
US3223794 *Nov 13, 1963Dec 14, 1965Indak Mfg CorpMultiple position electrical switch with contact rails and dummy contact pressure stabilizers
US3244822 *Oct 21, 1963Apr 5, 1966Gen Motors CorpCombined push-pull rotary switch with rheostat and thermal circuit breaker structure
US3281546 *Oct 20, 1965Oct 25, 1966Ark Les Switch CorpSlide switch contact structure
US3316364 *Feb 21, 1966Apr 25, 1967Indak Mfg CorpElectrical switch with housing having internal ground contact
US3316365 *Feb 28, 1966Apr 25, 1967Indak Mfg CorpElectrical switch having contact grounded by external tab on casing
US3319016 *May 20, 1966May 9, 1967Indak Mfg CorpMulti-position electrical switch with improved guide rail and movable contact structue
US3329778 *Nov 8, 1965Jul 4, 1967Indak Mfg CorpElectrical switches with improved internal structure for grounding the contactor to the casing
US3462564 *Mar 6, 1968Aug 19, 1969Indak Mfg CorpHigh precision multiposition electrical switch
US3500003 *Jan 29, 1968Mar 10, 1970Indak Mfg CorpPlural break electrical switch
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3703613 *Jul 16, 1971Nov 21, 1972Gen Motors CorpRotary switch with improved pivotally and reciprocable mounted thumbwheel actuator
US3735061 *Dec 16, 1971May 22, 1973Carter Precision Electric CoElectrical switch assembly
US3761652 *Jan 31, 1972Sep 25, 1973Mallory & Co Inc P RBell crank type operating means for simultaneously actuating interlocked pair of electrical switches
US3996431 *Jun 19, 1974Dec 7, 1976Cutler-Hammer, Inc.Multiple circuit slide selector switch having fixed contact retaining band
US4041258 *Jun 2, 1976Aug 9, 1977Niles Parts Company, LimitedSwitch having universal type actuator and guide plate
US4169972 *Jan 10, 1978Oct 2, 1979Indak Manufacturing Corp.Electrical switches with rocker action
US4491703 *Aug 30, 1983Jan 1, 1985Grayhill, Inc.Detenting and contact registration system for a linear dip switch
US4667068 *Jun 4, 1986May 19, 1987Indak Manufacturing Corp.Control mechanisms for automotive heating and air conditioning systems
US5623134 *Mar 15, 1995Apr 22, 1997Alps Electric Co., Ltd.Switch with pivoting control member mounted on slider
Classifications
U.S. Classification200/16.00C, 200/16.00R
International ClassificationH01H23/00, H01H23/16
Cooperative ClassificationH01H23/164
European ClassificationH01H23/16C