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Publication numberUS3611151 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 5, 1971
Filing dateFeb 24, 1970
Priority dateFeb 24, 1970
Publication numberUS 3611151 A, US 3611151A, US-A-3611151, US3611151 A, US3611151A
InventorsFernandez Jose L
Original AssigneeFernandez Jose L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Clock radio with tape player
US 3611151 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y o i hit States Patent 3,61Ll5l [72] Inventor Jose L. Fernandez 5 References Cited 6115 Westgate Terrace, Streamwoodl, llll. OTHER REFERENCES 60103 [2H Appl' No. 13,589 lgCA Tech. Note #371 June 1960, Copy m 325-3ll Au. 221 Filed lFeb. 24, 11970 23 [45] Patented Oct. 5, 1971 Primary Examiner-Robert L. Richardson Attorney-Hill, Sherman, Meroni, Gross & Simpson [54] CLOCK RADIO WITH TAPE PLAYER 6 Clmms 2 Drawing Flgs' ABSTRACT: A unitary home appliance including within a sin- [52] US. Cl 325/396, gle cabinet an electric alarm clock, a radio and a cartridge- 1 9/ 100- 325/31 1 ty e tape receptacle and playback head mechanism. Also in- [51] Int. Cl ..Gllb31/00, cluded are an awake" switch and a sleep" switch ofthe type H 1/16 normally included in a present-day clock radio and a selector [50] Field of Search 325/31 1, switch for selectively operating the radio or the tape 396; 179/100. 1 l mechanism in the morning and in the evening.

/4L7 kip/0 L 45 a I Zl Z 50 d 5/ L 2/ J6 p xix/P I SHEET 1 [1F 2 a Q 4% Z 4 A'T'I'URNEYS PATENTED nm 5 Ian sum 20F 2 CLOCK RADIO WITH TAPE PLAYER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to the field of home appliances and more particularly to a unitary time-sound appliance which may for convenience be considered an im proved clock radio.

In recent years the clock radio has come into great popularity. it offers a variety of conveniences. First of all, within a single unitary cabinet are included an electric alarm clock and a radio. The alarm feature of the clock makes the appliance par ticularly useful in the bedroom.

Furthermore the alarm clock and radio are interconnected by switch means so that the radio itself can be used as an alarm in the morning whereby the user can be awakened by a sound other than the usual irritating bun of an electric alann, and at a selectively controlled sound level.

The switch which enables the radio to be used as an alarm is often referred to as an awake" switch. Generally it has several manually selectable positions which are referred to as ofi',"on," alann" and auto."

ln the off position the awake switch is merely open. In the on" position the radio is energized. In the alarm position the switch will energize the alarm of the clock at the time at which the alarm is set. in the auto" position the radio is energized at the time at which the alarm is set. In some clock radios the awake" switch, if turned to the auto position, will first energize the radio at the set time, but if the switch is not turned from the auto position to, let's say, the on position within a given period of time after the radio is energized, the alarm is then energized. This is a precautionary measure to ensure that the user is awakened, if not by the playing of the radio, then by the sound of the alarm.

In addition, present day clock radios are generally equipped with another switch which is often designated as a sleep switch. This switch is time responsive and generally can be set for any period of time between and 60 minutes. Manual setting of the switch energizes the radio, independently of the awake switch, for the period of time for which the switch is set.

The sleep" switch is generally employed at night and is useful in permitting the radio to be played while the user is falling asleep, with the knowledge that after the selected period of time, the radio will automatically turn off.

Clock radios have gained such wide popularity, in my opinion, for three reasons. First, the unitary cabinet construction renders the use of a clock and a radio highly convenient, particularly in bedrooms. Second, most people find it easier to fall asleep to the sound of a radio rather than in dead silence. Third, most people would prefer to be awakened in the morning by the sound of a radio rather than by the sudden often highly irritating sound of an alarm buzz or ring.

However, l have noticed, and l assume many other users of clock radios have noticed, certain drawbacks, having to do principally with the radio.

For example, I often use the sleep" switch to turn on the radio, and then select a station which at that time is programmed in a manner best suited to fit my mood and induce sleep. I generally select a station having a program consisting of quiet music. However, after being almost completely lulled to sleep, I have often been abruptly reawakened by the sound of music having a different sound or beat, such as rock and roll," or else by a commercial" using loud voices or jumpy music or a combination of both.

I generally find, after such an experience, that it is more difficult to fall asleep the second time than if I had not listened to the radio at all.

Furthermore, I often use the awake switch to be awakened in the morning by the sound of the radio rather than the alarm. Some morning radio programs, however, play music or employ commercials which are at least as irritating to me when l am awakened as is the sound of the alarm. The sta tion that the radio is turned to, however, is the same station to which I listened the night before. Often one station has a program during the evening which is entirely satisfactory for creating a relaxed mood and inducing sleep but the same station may have a program in the morning hours which is loud and brassie and which employs commercials particularly distasteful to me early in the morning.

Thus, I often attempt to compromise in my station selection, in an attempt to select one that is programmed for pleasant music both in the evening as well as the morning. I am often disappointed by my selection. Often the format and music selection of programs varies from day to day and the time at which commercials are broadcast is also quite unpredictable.

This lack of selectability and the high degree of unpredictability in station programming has often caused me to lose hours of sleep in the evening and complete loss of pleasant awakening in the morning.

Furthermore, in some areas outside the larger urban areas, there are few if any radio stations transmitting signals during the late evening hours and the early morning hours. ln other areas the choice of music generally broadcast by the local stations is not at all calculated to induce sleep or pleasant reawakening. in such areas the use of clock radios is greatly proscribed and their greatest purported advantages, of inducing sleep and causing pleasant reawakening, are entirely lost.

According to my invention the problems which I have encountered and which I have described hereinabove, and the limitations inherent in the use of known clock radios, are completely solved and overcome. By virtue of my invention. the user is able to select not only the type of program or music he wishes to enjoy as he goes to sleep and awakens in the morning, but specific musical selections. lf the user enjoys classical music during these hours, he may select such music without fear of changes in station programming which may require him to listen to another style or type of music and without fear of interruptions and disturbance in mood caused by commercials," news broadcasts and the like.

And the foregoing is true regardless of the geographic area involved, since no longer is the user subject to station programming policies concerning types of music, or frequency and volume of news broadcasts and commercial or choice of program announcer. In any part of the country, in any rural or urban area, the user is able to select the type of music which his own personal and present mood and preferences may suggest.

As a consequence of my invention the annoyances, indeed the frustrations, which are often occasioned in the use of known clock radios, and the proscriptions in their use which must necessarily arise from these annoyances, are completely eliminated. Furthermore, the enjoyment and salutary effects which such devices were originally intended to produce are fully realized.

SUMMARY OF THE lNVlENTlON Briefly my invention comprises, within a unitary cabinet structure, an electric alarm clock, a radio, a speaker system and, in addition thereto, a cartridge-type tape receptacle and playback head so that selected tape musical numbers (or other sound programs) can be played in addition to the radio. Also included is an "awake" switch, a sleep switch and a selector switch so that either the radio or the taped program can be played in the evening and morning hours when energized by the awake and sleep" switches.

As a result of this arrangement all of the uses and conveniences of the known clock radio are retained but in addition my invention offers the user very real selectivity in his choice of programming during those periods of time when the invention is being used to induce sleep and to avoid abrupt awakening.

Regardless of differences in programming of a given radio station between the evening and morning hours, regardless of the general type or style of music or programming indigenous to a given geographic area of the country, regardless of the frequency and unexpectedness of news broadcasts and commercial included in radio programming, the user can select the music which best fits his mood and which, in his opinion, will produce the desired effect upon his nervous system.

Because of my invention, for example, the user can be awakened by quiet classical or semiclassical music, and then, after he is fully awake, switch the awake" switch to auto to energize the radio. Then the news broadcasts, weather reports, popular records and so forth that only minutes before would have been a source of irritation, are welcomed and are fitting to the mood of the user and his desire to learn of the morning's news, the weather forecast and so forth.

My invention also contemplates the provision of another selector switch so that, in effect, both the awake switch and the fsleep" switch are equipped with a selector switch. In this arrangement either the radio or tape can be selected for use with the "sleep switch, and again either can be selected for use with the awake switch.

Thus, if the user has a particular radio program to which he enjoys listening to lull him to sleep, he can listen to that program in the evening but will wake up to his selected taped music in the morning. Or the opposite may be the case. The user may find certain taped music as being conducive to sleep in the evening, but may wish to be awakened by hearing a particular radio program.

In view of the foregoing, some of the objects of my invention are to provide a much more satisfactory clock radio type home appliance than those known heretofore; to enable the user to select the music or other sound arrangement best suited to his personal and present mood and mental condition; to diminish not at all the various conveniences and enjoyments inherent in known clock radios, but instead to eliminate the irritations and frustrations often caused by known clock radios and to increase the utility thereof and to more satisfactory fulfill'the purposes for which they were originally intended.

Many other features, advantages and additional objects of the present invention will become manifest to those versed in the art upon making reference to the detailed description which follows and the accompanying sheets of drawings in which a preferred structural embodiment incorporating the principles of the present invention is shown by way of illustrative example.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT My invention comprises a unitary cabinet structure indicated generally at reference numeral in which is mounted an electric alarm clock 11, a radio 12 and a cartridge-type tape receptacle and playback head indicated at 13. A front face 14 of the clock 11, the sound emitting face 16 of a speaker system 17, a front plate 18 of the radio 12 and a cartridge receiving opening 19 of the receptacle 13 may all be disposed along a front wall 20 of the cabinet 10.

The clock 11 is illustrated as being of the digital type since I prefer this type for bedroom use and, of course, clock radios are primarily used in the bedroom. However, the clock may be of the more conventional type having a circular face on which the usual indicia is imprinted and having the conventional hour, minute and alarm setting hands. The speaker system 17 may comprise merely a single speaker lacking the usual high qualities of speakers associated with high-fidelity sound and multispeaker arrangements associated with stereophonic sound. It is possible, of course, within the ambit of my invention, to provide more elaborate and expensive sound systems but thus far, at least, there would appear to be no compelling reasons based upon the requirements of the market place to provide appliances of this type with more elaborate and expensive speaker systems.

The radio 12 may preferably be of the AM-F M type, and in many areas FM programming is more likely to provide the relaxed mental condition that is sought in the late evening and morning hours.

The tape receptacle and playback head assembly indicated at reference numeral 13 may be any one of a variety of types presently available. For example, there are presently, to my knowledge, four tape-handling systems referred to respectively as the cassette, the four-track continuous loop cartridges, the eight-track continuous loop cartridges and playtape. Each of the basic systems has certain advantages over the others but all operate similarly and are capable of producing such similar programming as to be useful in the practice of my invention and all fall within the scope of my inventive concept.

In the embodiment illustrated, which may be considered the preferred embodiment, the receptacle 13 is particularly adapted to receive a four-track cartridge which generally comprises a casing approximately 4X5 /t inches which houses a single spool (often called a hub) on which is wound a length of V4 inches lubricated audio tape. The tape is a long continuous loop to effect continuous play and for that reason this particular cartridge is often referred to as a continuousloop cartridge." In operation the tape moves from the center of the spool past a guide at the front end of the casing, across two pressure pads that hold the tape against the playback head (which in the present embodiment may be located at the inner end of the receptacle), and back inside, onto the outer part of the spool. In effect, the tape feeds from itself back onto itself. The movement of the tape is generally achieved by use of a pinch roller (which may be included within the receptacle mechanism 13) urged against a motor driven shaft. In many conventional playback machines the pinch roller is activated when the operator inserts a cartridge into the receptacle or feed slot" and pushes an operation lever. The roller moves upward into an opening in the cartridge and into contact with the tape, which in turn contacts the capstan drive shaft so that the tape is driven past the playback head.

In the illustrated embodiment, however, as will be described hereinafter, the pinch roller is activated when either the awake switch or the sleep switch is energized.

Suitable electric circuitry is contained within the cabinet I0 for energization of the various components and included within such circuitry are the various switches necessary for complete operation of the device. The operating members or elements of the various switches are conveniently arranged across the front wall 20 of the cabinet 10 and, from left to right, as viewed in FIG. I, include, along with certain adjustment knobs, a sleep" switch 21, a selector switch 22 operatively associated with the sleep" switch 21, a time set adjustment knob 23 for adjusting the setting of the clock 11, an alarm set indicator hand and dial 24 for indicating the setting of the alarm, an adjustment knob 26 for adjusting the setting of the hand at 24, an awake" switch 27 and a selector switch 28 operatively associated with the "awake" switch 27.

On the right-hand side of the front wall 20 are various switches and adjustment mechanisms relating to the radio 12 and include a tuner 29, a volume control 30, a tone control 31 and a selector switch 32 for manual selection of FM or AM.

The "sleep switch 21 is used to selectively play the radio 12 or a tape cartridge inserted into the receptacle 13 for a selected period of time. Generally, the sleep" switch 21 is used at bedtime and is set for a period of time up to 60 minutes. The selector switch 22 can be moved from a first position, at which the sleep switch 21 will energize the radio 12, to a second position at which the tape cartridge drive shaft will be operated.

The awake switch 27 has several positions. First, it may be moved to an off position. In that position neither the radio 12 nor the cartridge receptacle I3 is operative unless, of course, the sleep" switch 21 has been turned so as to energize either the radio 12 or receptacle I3.

In addition, the awake switch 27 has three operating positions, an on position, an Auto" position and an Alarm position. When turned to the on" position the switch 27 will energize either the radio 12 or the cartridge receptacle 13, depending upon the position of the selector switch 28 associated therewith. 1f the selector switch 28 is moved to a first position, the radio 12 will be energized. If moved to a second position, however, the tape cartridge receptacle 13 will be operated.

When the switch 27 is moved to the AUTO" position thereof, the radio 12 or the cartridge receptacle 13 will automatically become operative at the time at which the alarm 24 of the clock 11 is set. For example, if the alarm 24 is set for 6:00 am. and the awake switch 27 is adjusted to the AU- TO" position thereof, the radio 12 or the cartridge in receptacle 13, depending upon the position of the selector switch 23, will automatically begin to play at that time.

When the switch 27 is turned to its ALARM" position, a conventional alarm of the buzzing or ringing type will become activated. Those skilled in the art will appreciate, however, that awake" switches are available to automatically sound the alarm while in an AUTO position after the audio com ponent has been energized for a given period of time, say about or minutes, unless the awake" switch in the meantime has been turned to the on position thereof.

It is possible, of course, to reduce costs by eliminating one of the selector switches 22 and 28, the effect of which would be to eliminate the choice between radio and tape during the evening and morning hours respectively.

Thus, if only one selector switch is used, then if the tape is played in the evening it will also play in the morning and the same, of course, would be true in respect of the radio. Simple button-type switches such as switches 22 and 21, however, are relatively inexpensive and the additional selectivity afforded by two switches makes the use thereof highly desirable.

A simplified schematic wiring diagram of the electric circuitry within the cabinet 10 is shown in FIG. 2.

F 16. 2 illustrates a pair of power leads 411 and 41 which are connected to a suitable power plug 42 for connection to a standard power outlet.

The power leads 40 and 41 are connected to the clock 11 and to a conventional commercially available timer 42 which carries the sleep" switch 21 and the awake switch 27. Alarm unit 43 forms part of the timing mechanism and is electrically connected to the timer 42 and carries the dial 24 and the alarm set knob 26. A first pair of leads 44 and 45 are electrically connected with the sleep switch 21 which is a conventional timer switch which directly applies power from the lines 40 and 41 to the lines 44 and 45 when the switch 21 is at any position other than 0. Thus, when the switch 21 is away from the 11 position, power will be connected to leads 44 and 45. The selector switch 22 is connected to the leads 44 and 45 and selectively connects the leads 44 and 45 to leads 46 and 47 which are connected to radio 12 in a first position of switch 22 or to the tape machine 13 when the switch 22 is in engagement with contacts connected to leads 4% and 49.

A second pair of leads 51 and 52 are energized by the awake" switch 27 and the alarm 43 which apply power to selector switch 28 which selectively connects the leads 51 and 52 to leads 48 and 49 of the tape machine or to the leads 46 and 47 of the radio 12.

The radio 12 is connected to the audio amplifier 57 and speaker system 17 by leads 53 and 54 and the tape machine is connected to the audio amplifier 57 and speaker 17 by leads S5 and 56, respectively.

It should be realized that the tape machine 13 may be any of a number of conventional types. Certain machines receive cartridges which have notches into which mechanical interlocks are received to hold the cartridge in the machine and to simultaneously interlock the on" switch of the tape machine when power is applied at its input power leads. If such a tape machine is being utilized the tape machine will start to play as soon as power is applied to the leads 43 and 49 through either the switches 22 or 2%.

Other types of tape machines utilize cartridges with pinch rolls which move up through the cartridge which occur mechanically as the cartridge is placed into the opening 19. The mechanical interlock which is actuated by the cartridge also closes an on" switch for the tape machine 13. With this type of machine when the cartridge is placed into the machine the tape machine will be energized as :soon as power is applied to the leads 4% and 49.

In operation the plug 42 is placed in a suitable power outlet and the clock 11 is set to the correct time with the knob 23. The alarm 24 is set by the knob 26 to the desired wake-up" time and the switch 22 is moved to the radio or tape position depending upon the desire of the operator for the sleep position.

The switch 28 is placed in the position of radio or tape depending upon the user's desire for the wake-up" condition.

The sleep switch 21 may be moved if desired for music prior to going to sleep. For example, in the position of the switches as illustrated in PM]. 2, the selector switch 22 engages the radio power leads 46 and 47 and the knob 21 will control the radio for the preset time before the switch 21 turns the radio off. The switch 29, on the other hand, has been moved to engage the leads 43 and 49 so that the tape machine 13 will be energized at the alarm set time. Switch 27 may be set to the automatic position and the timer and alarm unit will energize the leads 51 and 52 and the tape machine through leads 4% and 49 at the alarm set time.

It is also to be realized that the switch 27 may be set to the on position and the switch 28 may selectively energize either the radio or tape machine in this mode of operation.

It is seen that this invention provides a simple and unique unitary home appliance and although it has been described with respect to embodiments, it is not to be so limited as changes and modifications may be made therein which would fall within the scope of the invention as defined by the appendant claims.

What I claim is:

1. An improved clock radio comprising a cabinet,

a clock, a radio, a cartridge-type tape receptacle and playback head and a speaker system mounted in said cabinet, and

electric power circuit means including means for connecting said speaker system to said radio and to said playback head and further comprising a selectively adjustable awake switch operably connected to said clock for closing at a selected clock time, a time responsive sleep" switch for closing for a selected time period, and selector switch means for alternatively connecting said awake switch and said sleep" switch to said radio and to said player head.

2. The invention as defined in claim 1 wherein said selector switch mean comprises means for respectively connecting said awake switch and said sleep" switch to either said radio or said playback head.

3. A unitary time-sound home appliance comprising a cabinet,

a clock including an alarm setting mechanism, a radio, a cartridge-type tape receptacle and playback head and speaker system mounted in said cabinet, and

an electric power circuit including circuit means connecting said speaker system to said radio and to said playback head, a clock circuit and first and second sound circuits, separate on-ofi' switch means for said radio and said player head, volume control means for said radio and said playback head. awake" switch mean operably connected to said alarm setting mechanism for closing said first sound circuit at a predetermined time, sleep" switch means for closing said second sound circuit for a selected time period,

first selector switch mean for selectively connecting said first sound circuit to said radio or to said player head, and second selector switch means for selectively connecting said second sound circuit to said radio or to said playback head. 4. A unitary time-sound home appliance comprising a cabinet, an alann clock, a radio, a sound tape player including a cartridge-type tape receptacle and playback head and a speaker system, electric circuit means for interconnecting said alarm clock, said radio, said playback head and said speaker system and including an awake switch operably connected to the clock a time-responsive sleep" switch and selector switch means for connecting the awake switch and the sleep switch to the radio or to the tape player. 5. The invention as defined in claim 4 wherein said selector switch means comprises a pair of independent selector switches connected respectively to said awake" switch and to said sleep switch.

6. A unitary home appliance having a cabinet and comprising,

a radio,

a tape player,

a sound reproducer connected to said radio and tape player, an alarm, a clock, and a timer connected to a power source and having two pairs of output power leads and with a first pair of selector switches to respectively control power to one or the other pair of said output leads, a third selector switch connected to said first pair of output power leads and adapted to selectively connect them to the radio or tape player, and a fourth selector switch con nected to said second pair of output power leads and adapted to selectively connect them to the radio or tape player

Non-Patent Citations
1 *RCA Tech. Note -371 June 1960, Copy in 325 311 Au. 233
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3824472 *Jan 24, 1973Jul 16, 1974Gen DeliveryPortable radio/tape recorder charging and locking system
US3825836 *Jul 3, 1972Jul 23, 1974Rca CorpDelayed alarm and drowse for clock receivers
US3949303 *Oct 9, 1974Apr 6, 1976Sony CorporationTime controlled switching arrangement for two timer radio receiver
US3962532 *Apr 18, 1975Jun 8, 1976Bell & Howell CompanyPower supply for an audio-video recording system
US4060973 *Apr 2, 1976Dec 6, 1977Dom MartinoAutomatic variable-sound alarm clock
US4205353 *Jul 20, 1978May 27, 1980Pioneer Electronic CorporationCombination device having a magnetic recording and reproducing unit and an electronic tuning type receiver
US4546399 *Mar 8, 1984Oct 8, 1985Olympus Optical Company LimitedTape recorder
US5369797 *Mar 4, 1992Nov 29, 1994Tyree; James G.Radio alarm clock with removable cassette player/recorder
US5555536 *Jul 19, 1994Sep 10, 1996Rolf; Rebecca L.Device for playing recorded audio at a selected time
US6034591 *Mar 13, 1998Mar 7, 2000Ideal Ideas, Inc.Alarm clock with time activated and speed controlled vehicle device
US6795377Apr 23, 2002Sep 21, 2004Christopher J. GordenPersonalized alarm clock
US20050007889 *Jul 8, 2003Jan 13, 2005Peterson Karin LynnNight light with sleep timer
US20060251405 *May 9, 2005Nov 9, 2006Saleh George AMethod of tracking predetermined periods of time while encouraging brand loyalty
USRE38528 *Dec 19, 2001Jun 8, 2004E. Mishan & Sons, Inc.Alarm clock with time activated and speed controlled vehicle device
DE10239439A1 *Jun 28, 2002Jan 29, 2004Robert Bosch GmbhCombined radio/playback device, especially for motor vehicle, has time controller that interacts with radio receiver and playback device configured to change over between them at predefined time points
U.S. Classification455/231, 369/6, 968/605, 455/344
International ClassificationG04C23/00
Cooperative ClassificationG04C23/00
European ClassificationG04C23/00