US 3618102 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventors Richard T. Diclrason Birmingham; John A. Richardson, Harper Woods, both of Mich.  Appl. No. 8,913  Filed Feb. 9, 1970  Patented Nov. 2, 1971  Assignee Ford Motor Company lDearborn, Mich.
 WINDSHIELD ANTENNA SYSTEM 3 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
 ILLS. Cl 343/713, 343/720, 343/906  lnlLCl i-ltllq 1/32  Field of Search 343/7] 1, 712, 713, 720
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,484,584 12/1969 Shaw 343/712 3,bl8,l2
Primary Examiner E li Lie berman Attorneys-John R. Faulkner and William E. Johnson ABSTRACT: A windshield antenna system includes a first sheet of glass, a second sheet of glass having a cutout portion along one edge thereof overlying the first sheet of glass and an interlayer of resinous material bonding the two sheets of glass together A pair of antenna wires are adhered to the interlayer for most of their length but they do have free ends projecting outwardly from between the bonded glass sheets at the cutout portion of the second glass sheet. A conductive terminal, for terminating the antenna wires, has a body portion secured to the exposed surface of the second glass sheet so that a first end portion of the terminal extends over the cutout portion of the second glass sheet. The antenna wires are wrapped about the first end portion of the terminal and the first end portion is deformed into the space formed by the cutout portion of the second glass sheet. Solder is placed on the antenna wires and the terminal to complete an electrical junction therebetweent A sealing material is placed over the junction. The second end portion of the terminal is bent away from the surface of the glass sheet and a connection is made to this end of the terminal for coupling the antenna to a radio receiver.
ll WINDSHIIEILID ANTENNA SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION windshield of the vehicle. In general, the antenna system if formed by a pair of fine wires which are positioned for a portion of their length in the central portion of the glass. The wires extend from the baseof the windshield upwardly to a point near the top of the windshield. The wires then extend outwardly along two diverging legs to termination points near the top side edges of the windshield. The antenna wires, in order not to impair visibility through the windshield and detract from the appearance of the vehicle, are formed from wire of a very fine diameter. Since the fine diameter wire is used. for the antenna system, the manner in which the antenna wire is terminated to an electrical lead which may be connected to the radio receiver is of great importance. The termination is important so that during the installation and utilization of the windshield antenna, substantial stress loads are not applied to the termination point of the antenna wires. Since these wires are of such a fine diameter, any substantial load applied to their junction point would cause a rupture of the termination and thus, an interruption in the use of the an tenna system.
-Our prior patent application for an Improved Windshield Antenna System, Ser. No. 848,799, filed Aug. 11, 1969, discloses and claims an improved antenna system in which the termination of the fine wires to an electrical lead is of such a nature that substantial stress loads are not applied thereto during the use and handling of the antenna system. The present application discloses a simplified terminal for an antenna windshield system which reduces the cost of the labor involved in manufacturing such a windshield antenna system.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to an antenna windshield system, and more particularly, to the construction by which an antenna windshield system is terminated so that the antenna is connectable to the radio receiver of an automotive vehicle. In general, an antenna windshield system is formed from the following elements: a first sheet of glass, a second sheet of glass having a cutout portion overlying the first sheet of glass, an interlayer of resinous material bonding the two sheets of glass together in an assembled condition, and a pair of antenna wires adhered to the interlayer between the glass sheets. The antenna wires extend upwardly in the central portion of the windshield from the lower edge thereof and then outwardly along diverging leg portions which extend in opposed directions across the top of the windshield. The antenna wires, at their free or lower ends, extend outwardly from between the two glass sheets at the cutout portion of the second glass sheet.
In accordance with the structure of the windshield antenna system of this invention, a conductive terminal is formed so as to have a body portion, a firstend portion defining a projecting neck and a second end portion defining a connector tip. The body portion of the terminal is secured to the exposed surface of the second glass sheet with the first end portion of the terminal extending over the cutout portion of the second glass sheet. The free ends of the antenna wires are wrapped about the first end portion ofthe terminal. The first end ofthe terminal is deformed from the plane of the body portion of the terminal into the space formed by the cutout portion of the second glass sheet. The electrical junction so formed has a small amount of solder applied thereto to provide a high quality electrical junction between the antenna wires and the terminal. A sealing material is placed over the area of the electrical junction for sealing and protecting the same. The second end portion of the conductive terminal is displaced away from the exposed surface of the second glass sheet and is formed in such a manner that an electrical connector for the radio receiver may be attached thereto to connect the antenna to the radio receiver.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a plan view showing the improved portion of the windshield antenna system of this invention. FIG. 2 is a crosssectional view showing greater detail of the structure of FIG. ll.
FIG. 3 is another cross-sectional showing the improved windshield antenna system installed in an automotive vehicle.
FIG. 4 is an isometric view of the conductive terminal utilized in constructing the windshield antenna system of this invention.
FIG. 5 is a schematic view ofa windshield having an antenna system located therein.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT This invention relates to a windshield antenna system and, more particularly, to an improved termination structure for the fine antenna wires utilized in such a system. The windshieldantenna system is shown in FIG. 1 and is generally designated therein by the numeral 110.
The following basic parts are utilized in the formation of the windshield antenna system 10. A'first glass sheet 12 and a second glass sheet 14 are laminated together by utilization of a resinous material such as a polyvinyl butyral interlayer 116 in a normal laminating operation (best seen in FIGS. 2 and 3). The glass sheets are normally 0.125inch in thickness and the interlayer is normally 0.030inch in thickness. The second glass sheet has a cutout portion 18 formed therein at the central portion of its lower edge for the purpose of exposing the ends of a pair of fine antenna wires 20-20. These fine antenna wires, for example, may have a diameter of approximately 0.0054-0.0056inch and be formed of copper having a resistance of approximately 4 l Sohms per 1,000feet.
As may be best seen in FIG. 5, the antenna wires 20 extend upwardly from the cutout portion 18 of the second glass sheet 14 to a point at which the ends thereof, laminated between the glass sheets 12 and 14, extend parallel to the base of the glass sheets. The length dimension of the antenna wires in the direction parallel to the base of the glass sheets is one of the principal controlling factors in the reception characteristics of the antenna. As indicated in FIG. 5, the outwardly turned ends of the antenna wires 20-20 are generally laid in the portion of the windshield wherein the gradient band 22 (indicated by dashed lines at its lower end) is positioned. The gradient band is dark in color and it reduces the amount of light energy which may pass through the upper portion of the windshield. Also, because the gradient band is the darkest portion of the windshield, "the extending legs of the antenna are not easily seen from either side of the windshield.
The antenna wires 20-20 are preferably adhered to the resinous interlayer 116 in an initial processing operation. Such may be accomplished by laying the antenna wires out in a prescribed pattern on the interlayer and thereafter ironing the wires to heat them sufficiently so that they become bonded to the interlayer. Thereafter, the interlayer containing the wires is placed between the first glass sheet 112 and the second glass sheet 14 and heat and pressure are applied thereto so that the two glass sheets are laminated into a windshield. Prior to the lamination operation, the free ends of the antenna wires, which extend out beyond the cutout portion 18 of the second glass sheet 14, are bent up and laid over the second glass sheet so that the free ends do not become adhered to the resinous material during the autoclaving step of the laminating operation.
In accordance with the teachings of' this invention, a conductive terminal 24, best seen in FIG. 4, is utilized in terminating the antenna wires 20 so that the antenna wires may be connected to the radio of the automotive vehicle. In greater detail, the preferred conductive terminal 24 is formed from a brass plate, the plate thereafter having a coat of tin placed thereover.
In accordance with a feature of this invention, the conductive terminal 24 has a first end portion 26 formed in the shape of a projecting neck and a second end portion 28 formed in the shape of a connector tip. Between the first end portion and second end portion there is formed. a main body portion 30 of the conductive terminal.
As best seen in FIG. 2, the conductive terminal 24 is bonded to the exposed surface of the second glass sheet 14 by the utilization of a bonding material 32 between the main body portion 30 of the terminal and the surface of the glass sheet. The terminal is bonded to the glass in such a manner that the main body portion thereof extends away from the cutout portion 18 of the second glass sheet in a direction paralleling the direction. in which the antenna wires 20-20 extend away from the same cutout portion. By bonding the conductive terminal to the glass sheet, any forces applied to the conductive terminal are transferred to the glass sheet rather than to the junction which is formed between the terminals first end portion or projecting neck 26 and the free ends of the antenna wires. The bonding material utilized to bond the terminal to the glass may be a material such as polyvinyl butyral and the terminal may be attached to the glass sheet during the autoclaving operation.
Once the conductive terminal 24 has been bonded to the exposed surface of the second glass sheet 14, the free ends of the antenna wires 20-20 projecting outwardly into the cutout portion 18 of the second glass sheet, can be terminated to the first end portion 26 of the terminal. The termination is accomplished by taking an individual free end of one of the antenna wires 20 and wrapping it at least one turn about the projecting neck of the first end portion of the terminal. If the antenna wire has a coating of paint or other material thereon for the purpose of protecting the same, it is necessary to remove the paint or other material to obtain a proper termination. The removal of such material may be accomplished by applying fine sandpaper to the free ends of the wires.
Once the antenna wires have been connected to the first end portion 26 of the terminal 24, the first end portion is deformed into the space left vacant by the cutout portion 18 of the second glass sheet 14. A small amount of solder 33 (FIG. 2) is applied to the antenna wires and the projecting neck for the purpose of insuring a proper quality electrical junction being formed therebetween. Any extraneous antenna wire is then cut off.
Upon completion of the soldering operation, a sealing compound 34, such as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, is flowed into the space left vacant by the cutout portion 18 of the glass sheet 14. The sealing material or compound is flowed by any suitable means, for example, through a pressurized nozzle arrangement, to fill the space as aforedescribed. A suitable compound may be formed from a material such as silicone rubber base adhesive. This type of sealing material dries fairly rapidly and once it is dried, the material forms a barrier which is impervious to moisture and other types of detrimental material which could ruin the electrical characteristics of the antenna wire junction.
As best understood by reference to FIGS. 3 and 4, the second end portion or connector tip 28 of the conductive terminal 24 is bent away from the plane of the body portion 30 of the terminal in a direction away from the exposed surface of the second glass sheet 14. This portion of the conductive terminal is formed so as to be matable with a female electrical connector 36 of standard construction, as is best seen in FIG. 3. The female electrical connector is both supported by various body panels 38-40 of an automotive vehicle and connected to the radio (not shown) carried within the automotive vehicle.
Thus, there has been described a preferred embodiment of a windshield antenna system in which any pulling force applied to the electrical connector which connects the antenna wires of the system to the radio of the vehlcle IS dissipated as a force applied to the glass by the terminal. By applying the force in such a manner, rather than directly to the junction formed between the terminal and the fine wires, the junction is protected from damage.
1. In a windshield antenna system which includes a first sheet of glass, a second sheet of glass having a cutout portion overlying the first sheet of glass, an interlayer of resinous material between the two sheets of glass bonding the same together in an assembled condition, and at least a pair of antenna wires adhered to the interlayer between the glass sheets. the antenna wires being exposed and having free ends extending outwardly at the cutout portion of the second glass sheet, the improvement comprising:
a conductive terminal having a-body portion, a first end portion defining a projecting neck and a second end portion defining a connector tip;
means for securing at least a portion of said body portion of said terminal to the exposed surface of the second glass sheet with said first end portion of said terminal extending over said cutout portion of the second glass sheet, said first end portion both having the free ends of the antenna wires wrapped therearound and being deformed from the plane of said body portion of said terminal into the space formed by the cutout portion of the second glass sheet;
means for forming an electrical junction between the antenna wires and said terminal; and
sealing means overlying at least the area of joinder of said first end of said terminal and the antenna wires for sealing and protecting the same.
2. The improved antenna windshield of claim 1 wherein: the antenna wires extend in a common direction away from the cutout portion of the second sheet of glass and wherein said main body portion of said conductive terminal extends away from the cutout portion of the second glass sheet in the same common direction.
3. The improved antenna windshield of claim 2 wherein: said second end portion of said conductive terminal defining said connector tip is deformed away from the plane of said body portion of said terminal in a direction away from the exposed surface of the second glass sheet.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 2 Dated November 2 1971 lnventofls) Richard T. Dickason, John R. Richardson It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
The Serial Number on the cover sheet is changed to Signed and sealed this 13th day of June 1972.
EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. ROBERT GDTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents USCOMM-DC 60376-969