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Publication numberUS3609623 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 28, 1971
Filing dateDec 22, 1969
Priority dateDec 22, 1969
Also published asCA918768A, CA918768A1, DE2061723A1, DE2061723B2, DE2061723C3
Publication numberUS 3609623 A, US 3609623A, US-A-3609623, US3609623 A, US3609623A
InventorsWeingart Norman C, Zdanys John Jr
Original AssigneeCts Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Variable resistance control having hinged based member
US 3609623 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72 inventors John Zdanys, Jr.

Edwardsburg, Mich.; Norman C. Weingart, Elkhart, Ind. [21 Appl. No. 887,228 [22) Filed Dec. 22, I969 [45] Patented Sept. 28, 1971 I 73] Assignee CTS Corporation Elkhart, Ind.

[54] VARIABLE RESISTANCE CONTROL HAVING Primary Examiner-Lewis H. Myers Assistant ExaminerGerald P. Tolin Attorney-John J Gaydos ABSTRACT: A variable resistance slide control employing a rectilinear slide carrying a contactor wipably engaging a resistance element and a conductive element supported in a housing. A pair of spaced guide means on the slider supported by resilient dielectric guide-supporting means in side members of the housing permits uniform operation of the slider. The guide-supporting means provided in the side members are of the same width throughout the entire length of the housing. The side members are integral with and hingeably secured to the bottom member. In one embodiment tolerance compensators are provided on resilient guide means of the slider for substantially eliminating pitch and yaw of the slider during movement. An operating member secured to the slider extends outwardly through a slot provided in the housing.

VARIABLE RESISTANCE CONTROL HAVING HINGED BASED MEMBER The present invention relates to variable resistance controls and, more particularly, to a variable resistance slide control having a slider movable rectilinearly in the housing.

Variable resistance slide controls are well known in the art as exemplified by Rubinstein U.S. Pat. No. 2,242,327, Lovejoy et al. U.S. Pat. No. 3,412,316 and Barden et al. application Ser. No. 680,190 filed on Nov. 2, 1967. Although Lovejoy et al. and Barden et al., assigned to the same assignee as the present invention, disclose how to make variable resistance slide controls having smooth and uniform slider movement, maximum buildup of tolerances of cooperating parts of such controls causes undesirable pitch and yaw of the movable sliders especially when the slider operating means extends outwardly through a slot provided in the housing of the control. These problems can be minimized by decreasing tolerances but as is well known tighter tolerances increase the manufacturing cost of the control. It would, therefore, be desirable to provide a variable resistance slide control having improved slider movement and where tolerance buildup of a majority of parts employed in assembling the control does not affect operation of the slider.

Accordingly it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved variable-resistance slide control. Another object of the present invention is to provide a variable resistance slide control where slider movement is virtually independent of the dimensional variations resulting from manufacturing tolerances of a majority of the parts of the control. An additional object of the present invention is to provide a variable resistance slide control with a slider having a pair of runners received in channels, provided in opposite sidewalls of the housing. A further object of the present invention is to provide a variable resistance slide control with a resilient dielectric insert defined by a bottom member and channeled side members hingeably secured and integral with the bottom member for uniformly guiding rectilinear movement of a slider. Still another object of the present invention is to provide a slide control with tolerance-compensating means. Further objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent as the following description proceeds, and the features of novelty characterizing the invention will be pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this specification.

Briefly, the present invention is concerned with a variable resistance slide control employing a rectilinear slider carrying a contactor wipably engaging a resistance element and a conductive element supported in an elongated housing. The rectilinear slider mounted in the housing has a pair of spaced guide means received in guide-supporting means provided in opposite side members of the housing. The guide-supporting means in the side members are of the same width throughout the entire length of the housing to assure that the pitch of the slider will not vary during rectilinear movement of the slider from one end of the control to the other end. The guide supporting means also maintain the contactor a predetermined distance from the resistance and conductive elements. Preferably the side members are of resilient dielectric material and are hingeably secured to the base member to facilitate assembly of the side members in the housing. In one form of the invention, the ends of the guide means are provided with tolerance compensators for eliminating pitch and yaw of the slider when the slider is moved. An operating member extending from the housing is connected to the slider for moving the slider in the housing.

For a better understanding of the present invention reference may be had to the accompanying drawings wherein the same reference numerals have been applied to like parts and wherein:

I FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a variable resistance slide control made in accord with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged sectional view taken along line lI-Il of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the control shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of a guide supporting means best shown in FIG. 3 of the drawings with the side members hingeably secured to and lying in the same plane as the base member;

FIG. 5 is an end view of the guide supporting means shown in FIG. 4; and

FIG. 6 is a sectional view of another embodiment of the present invention.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, there is illustrated a variable resistance slide control generally indicated at 10 comprising an elongated channel-shaped housing 11 formed from a stamped single piece of metal and defined by a bottom wall 12 and a pair of sidewalls I3, 14 integral with the bottom wall and projecting upwardly therefrom. The top of the housing is defined by a dielectric member 15 of suitable material and end tabs 16 extending upwardly from the sidewalls are folded laterally over the dielectric member for securing the member 15 to the housing 11. As best shown in FIG. 3 of the drawings, a pair of elongated resistance elements 17 are disposed in the housing and secured to one side of the dielectric member 15 with terminals 18a. Two resistance elements are employed when the variable resistance control is employed in stereo equipment. For purposes of the present invention, either a single resistance element or a pair of resistance elements such as shown in the drawings can be employed with the control. Further reference to a stereo or dualelement slide control is disclosed in Barden et al. U.S. Pat. application Ser. No. 680,190 filed on Nov. 2, 1967, and a singleelement slide control is shown in Lovejoy et al. U.S. Pat. No. 3,412,361. A pair of conductive elements 19 (see FIGS. 2 and 3) corresponding to the resistance elements 17 are fixedly secured with terminals 18b to an insulated bottom member 20 disposed along the bottom wall 12 of the housing. As shown in FIG. 3, a pair of tabs 12a projecting inwardly from the bottom wall 12 of the housing 11 and received in openings 20a provided in the bottom member 20 locate the bottom member in the housing.

According to the present invention, a pair of side members 21, 22 are hingedly secured to and integral with the bottom member 20. The side members are provided with guide-supporting means, e.g., longitudinal channels 23, 24, in spaced parallel relationship to the bottom member 20. Slidably supported by the guide-supporting means are a pair of guide means, e.g., runners 25, 26 integral with a slider 27 for guiding rectilinear movement of the slider in the housing. An operat ing member 270 integral with the slider 27 extends outwardly through a slot provided in the housing, e.g., in the dielectric member 15. Preferably the resistance elements 17 are disposed on opposite sides of a plane passing through the slot and the center of the bottom member 20 dividing the housing into two equal sections. Bearing surfaces on the guide means and on the guide-supporting means permit smooth operation of the slider in the housing. To assure that the slider can be moved from one end of the housing to the other, without an increase in the degree of pitch, it is necessary that the width of the channels be uniform throughout the length thereof. As used herein pitch" denotes a rocking motion or alternate rising and falling of the front and rear of the slider as the slider is moved back and forth in the housing while yaw" denotes a turning from a desired line of movement about the normal, or vertical axis of the slider.

To this end and in accord with the present invention, the

base member 20 and the side members 21 hingeably secured.

thereto are extruded or molded as a single part or housing insert with the side members lying in the same plane as the base member (see FIGS. 4 and 5 of the drawings). By forming the side members in the same plane as the base member, it is possible to keep the width of the guide-supporting means 23, 24 constant for the entire length thereof in each of the side members and prevent a change in pitch of the slider as it is moved from one end to the other. Such uniformity of width is.

possible since the portions of a mold forming the channels 23, 24 are removed'from the insert in a direction nonnal or transverse to the insert instead of in a direction longitudinal to the insert, i.e., from one end thereof. Any minor taper of the sides of the channels toward the bottom thereof is insignificant since such taper also is constant for the entire length of the channel. If the housing insert were molded with the side members extending upwardly as shown in FlGS. 1 to 3, then the channels would probably have an undesirable taper to facilitate longitudinal removal of the portions of the mold fonning the channels of the insert. The side members are connected to the base member with hinges 28 defined by grooves such as V-shaped slots and the walls of each slot are at 90 to each other when molded to assure that a substantially square corner will be formed when the side members are folded upwardly of the base member and assembled in the housing. The molded insert, i.e., the bottom member and the integral side members are preferably molded from a resilient dielectric material such as hard rubber, nylon, or polychlorotrifluoroethylene. The material below the V-shaped slots joins the side members to the bottom members and being elastic or resilient hingeably secures the members together. The slider is molded of the same or similar dielectric material as the insert.

For the purpose of further minimizing and substantially eliminating pitch and yaw of the slider, the end portions 250, 26a of the runners 25, 26 extend beyond the body of the slider and tolerance compensators 29 and 30 (see FIG. 3) are provided on the end portions. In a preferred form of the invention, the tolerance compensators 29 and 30 extend respectively'outwardly and downwardly from the end portions of the runners a distance equal to the tolerances desired to be overcome. For example if dimension D (see FIG. 2) between the channels is at a maximum, the outwardly extending tolerance compensators 29 are designed to take up the additional space and prevent yaw of the slider and, if dimension D is at a minimum, the end portions of the runners flex slightly inwardly to compensate for the decrease in dimension D and assure proper rectilinear movement of the slider without yaw. If by design the outwardly extending tolerance compensators 29 have a dimension greater than dimension D, then the ends of the runners are always biased inwardly toward each other regardless of the variation in dimension D in width resulting from manufacturing the control parts within tolerance. The downwardly extending tolerance compensators 30 limit pitch of the slider. Since the slider is supported solely by the guide support means, variations in the thickness of the housing 11, height of the sidewalls 13, 14 and the location of the dielectric base to the bottom wall do not afiect pitch and yaw of the slider. Two individual contactors 311, 32 constrained to move with the slider wipingly engage the conductive and resistance elements.

The cross section of the embodiment shown in FIG. 6 of the drawings is similar to the control shown in FIGS. 1 to of the drawings, the main difference being that the dielectric member has been eliminated. Resistance elements 117 and conductive elements 119 are secured to the same bottom member 12% instead of to a pair of oppositely disposed dielectric members. A channel-shaped housing llll closes the top of the channeled insert and sidewalls 113, 114 of the housing extending along the outside of the side members 121 of the insert. Tabs 116 integral with the sidewalls 113, 114 of the housing are folded over the bottom surface of the bottom member 120 for securing the insert to the housing. Guide means 125, 126 on the slider 127 shown in FIG. 6 are identical to the slider shown in FIGS. 1 to 5 and cooperate with the guide-supporting means 1123, 124 in the same manner.

While there has been illustrated and described what is at present considered to be a preferred embodiment of the present invention, and an additional modification thereof, it will be appreciated that numerous changes and modifications are likely to occur to those skilled in the art, and it is intended to cover all those changes and modifications which fall within the true spirit and scope of the present invention.

What is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent of the United States is:

ll. A variable resistance slide control comprising a housing having a top member and a bottom member spaced from the top member, an elongated resistance element and a conductive element disposed in the housing between said members, terminal means connected to the elements, a pair of spaced dielectric side members hingedly secured to one of said top and bottom members and disposed between the top and bottom members, the resistance and conductive elements being disposed between the side members, each of the side members being provided with a channel, a slider having a pair of spaced runners received in the channels, said runners supporting the slider a predetermined distance from the resistance and conductive elements, contactor means carried by the slider wipably engaging the elements, and operating means connected to the slider and extending outwardly of the housing.

2. The variable resistance control of claim 1, wherein one of said members is provided with an opening, the operating means extends outwardly of the housing through said opening, the bottom member is of electrically nonconductive material, and a pair of hinges having a thickness less than the thickness of the bottom member and integral therewith connect the side members to the bottom member.

3. In a variable resistance control the combination comprising an elongated housing having top and bottom walls and a pair of sidewalls, one of said walls being provided with an elongated slot, a pair of conductive elements disposed in the housing, a pair of resistance elements disposed in the housing on opposite sides of a plane passing through the slot and dividing the housing into two sections, terminals connected to the ends of the conductive and resistance elements, an electrically nonconductive insert fixedly secured to the housing comprising a resilient bottom member adjacent to the bottom wall and a pair of resilient side members hingeably secured to the bottom member and adjacent to the sidewalls, each of the side members being provided with first guide means having bearing surfaces parallel to the bottom member, a slider disposed in the housing, a pair of second guide means integral with the slider and having bearing surfaces engaging the first guide means for supporting the slider in the housing, contactor means carried by the slider and wipably engaging the elements, operating means connected to the slider and passing through the slot for uniformly moving the slider.

4. The control of claim 3, wherein hinge means is integral with each of the side members and hingedly connects the side members to the bottom member, each of the hinge means being defined by an elongated groove in spaced parallel relationship to the first guide means.

5. A variable resistance slide control comprising a housing having a top member and a bottom member spaced from the top member, and elongated resistance element and a conductive element disposed between said members, terminal means connected to the elements, a contactor wipably engaging the elements intermediate the ends thereof, dielectric slider means constrained to move with the contactor means, dielectric slider-supporting means disposed between the top and bottom members, the slider-supporting means comprise a pair of resilient dielectric side members integral with and hingedly secured to the bottom member, one of said means being provided with a channel, and channel receiving means connected to the other means for uniformly guiding the slider means.

6. The variable resistance control of claim 5, wherein each of the side members is provided with a channel and the channel receiving means comprises a pair of runners on opposite sides of the slider.

7. The variable resistance control of claim 5, wherein tolerance compensators are carried by the slider means for stabilizing movement of the slider during rectilinear movement thereof.

8. The variable resistance control of claim 5, wherein the channels are formed in the slider-supporting means, the channel receiving means are connected to opposite sides of the slider means and tolerance compensators are provided on the ends of the channel receiving means for stabilizing movement of the slider during rectilinear movement thereof.

9. ln a variable resistance slide control, the combination of a slider, a support member of dielectric material supporting and guiding the slider, means for moving the slider relative to the member, said support member comprising a resilient bottom member, a pair of resilient side members, means hingedly connecting each of the side members to the bottom member, guide means extending along each of the side members, said side members extending normal to the bottom member, resistance and conductive elements supported by the support member, and contactor means constrained to move with the slider and wipably engaging the elements.

10. The control of claim 9, wherein each of the second mentioned means is defined by a groove, the material below each of the grooves connecting the side members to the bottom member.

11. The control of claim 9, wherein each of the second mentioned means is defined by a V-shaped groove, the material below each of the V-shaped grooves connecting the side members to the bottom member.

12 The control of claim 9, wherein each of the guide means comprises a channel, and a pair of runners connected to the slider are receivable in the channel.

13. A variable resistance slide control comprising a housing having a top member and a bottom member spaced from the top member, one of said members being provided with an opening, an elongated resistance element and'a conductive element disposed in the housing between said members, terminal means connected to the elements, a pair of spaced dielectric side members disposed between the top and bottom members, the resistance and conductive elements being.

disposed between the side members, each of the side members being provided with a channel, a slider having a pair of spaced runners received in the channels, said runners supporting the slider a predetermined distance from the resistance and conductive elements, contactor means carried by the slider wipably engaging the elements, tolerance compensators integral with the runners for stabilizing movement of the slider during rectilinear movement of the slider in the housing, and operating means connected to the slider and extending outwardly of the housing through said opening.

14. The variable resistance control of claim 13, wherein the runners extend longitudinally beyond the body of the slider and the tolerance compensators extend outwardly and downwardly from the end portions of the runners.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4223177 *Jul 26, 1978Sep 16, 1980Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.Structure and method for sealing electronic parts
US4369424 *Jul 16, 1981Jan 18, 1983Alps Electric Co. Ltd.Slide rheostat
US4665376 *Oct 31, 1985May 12, 1987Caterpillar Inc.Vibration resistant linear potentiometer
US5345215 *Jan 26, 1993Sep 6, 1994Alps Electric Co., Ltd.Variable resistor device with reduced slider vibration
Classifications
U.S. Classification338/183, 338/184, 338/125, 338/199
International ClassificationH01C10/20, H01C10/44, H01C10/00
Cooperative ClassificationH01C10/44
European ClassificationH01C10/44