US 3623448 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventors John S. Rash; 3,532,061 10/1970 Morgarie t ail HQ: 116/70 James D. Vincent, both of Freeport, 111. 1,227,080 5/1917 Schinkez 1 16/1 17  A pp1. No. 877,386 2,391,916 1/1946 Newell 200/83  Filed Nov. 17, 1969 2,561,700 7/1951 Hughes..... 116/70 UX 1 Patented 0,1 1 2,578,042 12/1951 Chand1er.. 116/125X signee Honeywell Inc. 2,644,052 6/1953 Martin 200/67 Minneapolis. 2,767,275 10/1956 Gaubatz ZOO/81.4 3,236,097 2/1966 Tessmer 73/146.8 s41 TWO-POSITION PANEL INDICATOR CaPzi 5 Claims 2 Drawing Figs Anorneys Lamont B. Koontz and Philip J. Zrimsek  U.S.Cl 116/70,
73/388. 200/67 ABSTRACT: A mechanical panel indicator with a two-posi-  Int. Cl. G011 19/12 tion mechanism capable of providing snap action which  Field 0! Search 116/70, 65; mechanism is operable under the influence of a motor for 73/407, 388, 146.2, 146.8; 200/67 B, 83.9, 83.31 causing changes in indicator condition. Adjustment means are provided to selectively allow for maintained or momentary in-  References (med dicator conditions when the influence of the motor is UNITED STATES PATENTS removed. 2,644,939 7/1953 Ebel et a1 1l6/114X 460 4Ob 4 I 40d o 32 Il I, I, 32d
l "'1 111, 360 I 5 32c 22a 320 I 14b 22a 1 I 1 2o p H. I40 22 v I. I l 36 I 3o I 1 y [l is 340 |1 4 34b ll 346 I 22 34k 38 36b 14d PATENTEDunv 30 1911 JOHN S. RESH JAMES D. VINCENT TWO-POSITION PANEL INDICATOR The present invention is directed to a mechanical two-position panel indicator wherein the indicating member is movable between two positions by a driving mechanism under the influence of a motor means which mechanism is adjustable so as to selectively allow for maintained and momentary conditions of the indicating member upon removal of the influence of the motor means.
Mechanical indicators of the multiposition type are generally slow acting in the movement of the indicating member from one position to another or they incorporate rather complex detent arrangements to provide a degree of snap action. With the slow acting configuration, confusion can arise when the indicating member is between positions. On the one hand in utilizing the detent arrangement while the shortcoming just noted is not encountered, a more intricate mechanism is the result. Further, such mechanical indicators are conventionally limited to either maintained or momentary conditions. That is, the indicating member remains at its new position or returns to its initial position, respectively, upon removal of the driving force.
The mechanical panel indicator disclosed herein overcomes the problem of the indicating member being between positions and accomplishes it without utilizing complex detent arrangements. Thus, the expedient of positioning the indicating member by means of a two-position mechanism capable of providing snap action is utilized. The mechanism in turn is arranged to be positioned by motor means. Further, by selectively adjusting the two-position mechanism, both maintained and momentary conditions of the indicating member are possible. In the specific embodiment disclosed, a spherical member having two distinct signals carried thereby is directly positioned by a toggle overcenter spring system which is under the influence of a double acting fluidic pressure operated device. The selective provision of maintained and momentary conditions in a single indicator involves variably positioning a pivotal connection of the toggle overcenter spring system. The positioning is arranged to be accomplished manually and from outside the indicator and without tools of any kind being required and without any disassembly of the indicator from its mounting.
Therefore, an object of the present invention is to provide a mechanical two-position indicator in which the indicating member can be driven between positions by a two-position mechanism capable of providing snap action.
It is a further object of this invention to provide an indicator as above set forth which includes adjustment means so as to allow for selective maintained and momentary conditions of the indicating member.
These and other objects will become apparent from a reading of the following specification and appended claims in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view, partially in section, of a mechanical two-position indicator incorporating the invention; and
FIG. 2 is an enlarged, perspective, partial, bottom view ofa portion of the indicator of FIG. 1 showing the adjustment means utilized to provide the selective change of the indicating member between maintained and momentary conditions.
in FIG. 1, a mechanical two-position indicator l incorporating the invention hereof is shown secured to a mounting panel 12.
The indicator includes a housing which may be formed of a plastic molded material and which includes a pair of like casings l4 and a cover 16 having a threaded cylindrical mounting bushing 16a extending therefrom.
Each of the casings 14 includes a diaphragm 18 with a driving pin 20 secured thereto and a retainer 22. In initial assembly, the retainer 22 is appropriately fastened to the casing 14 so as to secure the diaphragm 18 in place and accommodates the driving pin 20 in a clearance opening 220 provided therein. The casings 14 each include a threaded opening 14a to accommodate a pressure source, not shown, so as to allow for pressure fluid to pass into the casing and through opening 14b and thereby act on the diaphragm 18 to position the driving pin 20. With the initial assembly of the casings 14, as just set forth, completed, the casings are appropriately secured together. Thereupon the cover 16 is appropriately secured to the assembled casings 14 so as to provide an assembled, integral housing having a motor means of the double acting fluid pressure operated type therein.
A two-position mechanism capable of providing snap action in the form of a toggle overcenter spring system 30 is arranged to be disposed between and acted upon by the driving pins 20. The spring system 30 comprises a U-shaped lever 32 having an outwardly extending extremity 32a and a pair of arms 32b and 320 which are located in a pair of pivotal slots 34a and 34b of an insert 34 which may be formed ofa plastic molded material. A tension coil spring 36 includes a first extremity 36a which is secured in opening 32d of the lever 32 and a second extremity 36b which is disposed, referring now also to FIG. 2, through opening 34c of the insert 34 and located about a centrally crimped U-shaped rod member 38 so as to provide a pivotal connection therebetween. The extremities of rod member 38 are associated with slots 34a whereas the central portion is associated with a set of grooves 34c provided in the insert 34. Additional grooves 34g and 34h are provided in the insert 34, the function of all of the grooves being set forth below.
The arrangement of the coil spring 36 with the lever 32 of course causes the latter as well as the rod member 38 to be placed in compression. The toggle overcenter spring system 30 is initially assembled with the insert 34 and then the assembly of the spring system and the insert is disposed for final assembly into an appropriate opening provided in the lower wall of the casings l4 and is secured in place by means of tabs 34k provided on the insert 34 which overlie shoulders 14d provided in the casings. The upper portion and outwardly extending extremity 32a of the lever 32 are arranged to be disposed through opening 142 located in the upper wall of the casings 14.
With the assembly of the toggle overcenter spring system 30 and the insert 34 in place in the housing, the driving pins 20 are arranged to each engage an opposite side of the arm 32b of the lever 32 upon movement of the pins under the influence of the double-acting fluid pressure-operated device.
The indicating member is substantially in the form of a sphere 40 which may be fabricated of plastic-molded material and which is comprised of two identical half-portions 40a and 40b appropriately fastened together. The outer surface of the sphere halves 40a and 40b are colored differently so as to provide two distinct signals. In assembly of the sphere halves 40a and 4012, a guide member 42 is disposed therebetween so that journal portions 42a of the guide member are disposed in openings 400 provided in the sphere halves. When assembled, the guide member 42 is free to rotate in the openings 40c and about the axis of the journals 42b. The assembled sphere 40 and guide member 42 are disposed in the upper extremity of the threaded cylindrical mounting bushing so that journals 40d of the sphere are disposed in bearing cutouts 16b provided in the upper surface of the bushing. Further, the assembly of the sphere 40 and guide member 42 is located so that the outwardly extending extremity 32a of the lever 32 is disposed into and through opening 42b provided in the guide member.
A lens assembly 44 is conventionally fastened to the bushing 160 by means ofa fastener 46 having a flange 46a which overlies the bearing cutouts 16b and secures the assembly of the sphere 40 and guide member 42 in place.
With the indicator 10 of FIGS. 1 and 2 asjust described and with pressure sources afiixed to the threaded openings 14a of the casings 14, the indicator is ready to use. The toggle overcenter spring system 30 has its pivotal connections located so that the assembly of the sphere 40 and guide member 42 will remain in the position to which it was last driven by the motor means. In other words, the indicator 10 is arranged to provide maintained positions. This of course is caused because of the overcenter action of the spring system 30 and the system being without sufficient return force inherent therein to cause a return thereof to the initial position after the influence of the double-acting fluid pressure-operated device is removed. Consequently, alternate movements of the respective driving pins and the diaphragms [8 under the influence of the doubleacting fluid pressure-operated device will cause snap action of the spring system with resulting snap movement of the sphere 40 to alternate maintained positions to exhibit the two distinctively colored signals.
Should it be desired to have momentary condition of the indicator 10 with one or other of the distinct signals showing when not under the influence of the motor means, the rod 38 may be adjusted against the force of the coil spring 36 from groove 34a to one of the other of the grooves 343 or 34/: and a pressure source affixed to the appropriate threaded opening 14a in the casings 14. Such movement of the rod 38 changes the relationship of the forces in the spring system 30 so as to provide the return force which upon removal of the influence of the motor means causes a return of the sphere 40 from the position to which it was actuated by the motor means to its initial or at rest position.
It will be noted that the adjustment of the rod 38 can be accomplished manually without utilization of tools, from outside the indicator l0 and without any need of removal of the indicator from the panel 12.
From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that we have provided a mechanical two-position indicator which can be snap action operated between the two positions and an indicator which allows for selective maintained and momentary conditions. Many variations of our invention are possible. For example, other forms of adjustment means could be utilized to provide the maintained and momentary conditions. Similarly, other two-position mechanisms which are capable of providing snap action could be utilized. Thus, mechanisms of the type disclosed in the Martin US. Pat. No. 2,644,052 could be employed. Therefore, the scope of our invention should be determined from the following claims.
I. A mechanical two-position panel indicator comprising: a support arranged to be mounted on a panel; a two-position indicating member carried by said support so as to be visible from the front of the panel with the indicator associated therewith; said two-position indicating member being movable alternately between the two positions by a two-position mechanism capable of providing snap action associated in driving relation therewith to separately exhibit two distinct signals carried by said indicating member; said two-position mechanism carried by said support, positionable by a motor driver also carried by said support and incorporating an overcenter spring system having a selective adjustment means movable to at least two positions with respect to said overcenter spring system so as to vary the return force inherent therein and provide maintained and/or momentary conditions thereof and of said indicating member in its excursions.
2. The arrangement of claim I wherein the support member is a housing enclosing said indicating member, said two-position mechanism and said motor and wherein the adjustment means is accessible from outside said housing.
3. The arrangement of claim 2 wherein the two-position mechanism incorporates a toggle overcenter spring system of the two-element type including a first element pivoted on said housing for driving said indicating member and a second element for providing the overcenter snap action having a first extremity fastened to said first element and the second extremity pivoted on said housing, one of said elements being in tension and the other in compression and wherein said adjustment means includes one of said pivotal connections arranged for selective adjustment with respect to the remainder of the indicator.
4. The arrangement of claim 3 wherein the pivotal connection arranged for selective adjustment is that between the second extremity of said second element and said housing and wherein the adjustment means further includes a rod associated with the second extremity of said second element and spaced depressions in said housing to accommodate said rod, movement of said rod against the spring force of said second element from one depression to another providing for change in said indicating member between the maintained and momentary conditions.
5. The arrangement of claim 4 wherein said indicating member is in the form of a pivoted spherical element type, said two-position mechanism includes a compression lever as the first element and a tension coil spring as the second element, and said motor is in the form of a double-acting fluid pressure-operated device.