US 3626452 A
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United States Patent Inventors Ronald C. Winter Johnson Creek; Enno Knlel, Watertown, both of Wis.  Appl. No. 2,898 7  Filed Jan. 14,1970  Patented Dec. 7, 1971  Assignee Cutler-Hammer, Inc.
 MULTIPOSITION BIDIREC'IIONAL ROTARY MEANS FOR A SWITCH OR THE LIKE 5 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
 U.S. Cl. 74/143, 74/577, 74/575  lot. Fl6h 21/02, 005g 1/00  Field of Search 74/143, 575, 577;235/91,92;200/156,153 J 56 Relerences Cited UNHED STATES PATENTS 1,743,478 1/1930 Pratt 74/143 2,269,858 1/1942 Obszarny.. 74/143 2,601,010 6/1952 Trad 200/156 3,299,724 1/1967 Chandler 74/143 3,435,167 3/1969 Pfleger... 200/156 3,504,558 4/1970 Zenner....' 74/143 3,504,559 4/1970 Shaw,Jr.et al..... 74/575 3,544,748 12/1970 Schwab 74/577 ABSTRACT: Multiposition bidirectional rotary means for a switch or the like includes a rotary ratchet operated by two actuating levers. Two' advance .levers slidably and pivotally mounted to engage this ratchet from opposite radial directions. Each advance lever has means for engaging the ratchet to rotate the ratchet one step to an adjacent position and means to engage the ratchet and releasably hold it in a position. One lever rotates it in one direction the other lever rotates it the opposite direction. Springs urge each advance lever toward the ratchet and tangentially thereof toward projected at rest positions. The push levers have projections to engage the advance levers for effecting lineal sliding movement and permitting pivoting of such advance levers relative to the ratchet and the push levers.
MULTIPOSITION BIDIRECTIONAL ROTARY MEANS FOR A SWITCH OR THE LIKE BACKGROUND or THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention.
This invention relates to multiposition bidirectional rotary means including a rotary ratchet operated selectively by actuating levers. The rotary ratchet controls the position of a switch or other like member and if desired operates a visible position indicator. The actuating levers and advance levers are spring controlled and so related that operation of the ratchet is accomplished without resilient deflection of either of the levers. This increases the life of the device, minimizes friction and provides it with uniform predetermined values.
2. Description of the Prior Art.
Bidirectional rotary operating means for counters and switches have heretofore been operated by electric solenoids,
see U.S. Pat. Nos. 1,831,545; 2,904,250; 2,948,471; and.
2,273,899. None of these patents disclose independent slidably and pivotally mounted spring biased actuating levers.
U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,303,3ll and 3,435,167 disclose a bidirectional rotary operating means for switches which are operated manually by two operating members positioned on opposite sides of a ratchet. In these patents these operating members have yieldably flexible extensions with portions for engaging the ratchet. They do not disclose independently slidable and pivotally mounted spring biased actuating levers for engaging the ratchet.
IN THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a manually operated multiposition bidirectional switch embodying the present invention, parts being broken away for clarity of illustration;
' FIG. 2 is a view in end elevation of the switch shown in FIG.
FIG. 3 is a schematic plan view showing the mechanical layout, with the rotary ratchet, actuating levers and advance levers embodying the present invention in the fully projected at-rest position;
FIG. 4 is a view similar to that of FIG. 3 with one actuating lever and its associated advance lever activated to the inner position after advancing the ratchet one step counter.- clockwise; and
FIG. 5 is a view in perspective of the one of the actuating levers and an associated advance lever illustrating the pivotal connection and the therebetween relative widths.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to the drawing by reference numerals, the multiposition bidirectional rotary means embodying this invention is shown for the purpose of illustration operatively associated with a rotary selector switch which includes a position indicator number wheel (see broken view parts of FIG. 1). A switch of this type includes a printed circuit board 16 against which a resilient wiper 11 is rotated by a rotary ratchet 12. This switch is mounted in a frame or base 14 on which the printed circuit board 16 is secured. The rotary ratchet 12 in this embodiment is mounted on a spindle 18 which may be formed as an integral part of the base 14. The peripheral face of the number wheel 10 is visibly through a lens 20 in the front sidewall of such base (see FIG. 2). The number wheel 10, as well as the wiper II, is rotated by the ratchet 12. As shown, the ratchet 12 may take the form of a multiple tooth star wheel.
In order to advance the ratchet one step at a time in either direction, there is slidably mounted in the base 14 a pair of advance levers 22 and 24. Each of these levers are positioned to engage the ratchet from essentially opposite radial directions. These advance levers 22 and 24 are shaped as shown in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5. Each one has; (a) a rounded bearing portion 26 which is guided by ribs 28, 30 formed up from the base 14; (b) a spring seat 32 against which a compression spring 34 reacts; (c) a ratchet engaging arm 36, the outer end of which has ratchet hook 38 and a blocking part 40; and (d) a notch 42 by which they are s 44 and 46.
Each of he actuating levers 44 and 46 have: (a) portions 48 which extend through openings in the end wall of the base to be engaged for operating the actuating levers; (b) guide portions 50 which slide against the inner face of wall ,of the base and the printed circuit board 16; (c) fingers 52 providing pivots which cooperate with the notches 42 of the advance levers; and (d) abutrnents 54 which limit the outward movement of the actuating levers. The outer end portions 48 may be provided with indicia such as a plus sign and a minus sign (see FIGS. 2 and 5) to distinguish which advances the ratchet in one direction and which advances it in the opposite direction; the outer portions 48 may provide for coupling to power operated means. These actuating levers 44 and 46 may also be operated lineally by pulling means operating in a rearward direction.
The at rest or fully retracted position of the rotary means is shown in FIG. 3. In this position the springs 34 have caused each advance lever to be pivoted inwardly toward the ratchet l2 and the actuating levers to be moved outward to the limit provided by the abutrnents 54. The bearing surfaces which slidably guide all the levers are those provided by: (a) the portions 48 and the sides of the respective openings through which they project; (b) the guide portions 50 and the respective inner surfaces of the wall of the base 14 and printed circuit board 16; and (c) the bearing portions 26 and the respective surfaces of the ribs 28 and 30. In this at-rest position the blocking parts 40 of the advance levers are seated against the sides of essentially oppositely related teeth of the ratchet as shown in FIG. 3 to keep the ratchet from accidentally moving to another position.
When, for example, the plus sign actuating lever is pressed inwardly the hook 38 on advance lever 24 will engage the adjacent tooth on the ratchet l2 and advance the ratchet one step counterclockwise. The position of the parts at the completion of such advance is shown in FIG. 4. During this advance, the other advance lever 22 is cammed outwardly by the approaching tooth. This moves the hook 38 of lever 22 out of the path of the advancing tooth. When the step is completed the blocking part 40 of the advance lever 22 will snap inwardly to the position shown in FIG. 4 and lock the ratchet 12 against rotation as the plus sign actuating lever is moved outwardly to the at rest position by the spring 34.
When the minus sign actuating lever is pressed inwardly, it will cause the advance lever 22 to rotate the ratchet 12 one step in a clockwise direction in the manner with the respective parts performing described for the counterclockwise rotation.
An important feature of-the arrangement described above is that there is no resilient deflection of any of the advance or actuating levers. The only resilient deflection occurs in the springs 34. Thus these levers, the base, and the ratchet may be formed from rigid materials which will permit these parts to be molded or cast without requiring any machining. The material selected may also have inherent lubricating characteristics which keeps friction to a minimum. Since the only deflection is in the springs 34, calibrations can be easily controlled within close tolerance and uniformity of multitudes of manufactured rotary means easily maintained.
We claim: I. A multiposition bidirectional rotary means for a switch or the like comprising:
a rotatively mounted ratchet for rotating parts connected therewith, said ratchet having spaced teeth therearound; independently slidably and pivotally mounted advance levers positioned to engage said ratchet from radial directions and having means to engage said teeth and rotate said ratchet upon sliding movement of said levers; spring means for (a) urging said advance levers radially inward toward said ratchet and (b) sliding said advance levers tangentially of said ratchet; and slidably mounted actuating levers having means engaging an advance lever to permit relative pivoting therebetween,
. claim 1 in which:
and to effect simultaneous lineal sliding motion of an advance lever and a respective actuating lever. 2. A multiposition bidirectional rotary means as set forth in there is a mounting frame for said rotary means, said frame having bearingportions; said ratchet is a multiple tooth star wheel; and said advance levers have rounded bearing portions in sliding and rocking engagement with said bearing portions on said frame. 3. A multiposition bidirectional rotary means as set forth in claim 2 in which: I
said advance levers have ratchet hooks and blocking parts engageable with the teeth of said star wheel.
cooperating with said notches to provide pivoting and sliding action for said advance levers. 5. A multiposition bidirectional rotary means as set forth in claim ,1 in which: 7 g
said advance levers and said actuating levers are formed of rigid materials and are constrained against resilient deflection.
m gi UNKTED STATES PATENT 0mm CERTIFEQATE or C0 EQ'EEON D d December 7, 1971 Patent No. I 3 626,452
' Inventor) Ronald C. Winter and Enn0 A. Knief It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
' In Column 2, line 2:
Delete "ares" Insert --are.pivota1ly associated with actuating levers-- 8ignedand sealed this 2nd day Of m 1972.
EDWARD MBFLETGHER, JR. ROBERT GOIT scams Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents