US 3626545 A
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Dec. 14, 1971 P. w. SPARROW CENTRAL VACUUM CLEANER WITH REMOTE CONTROL 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed 001;. 9. 1969 T Q Pe rry W. Sparrok IN VENTOR.
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CENTRAL VACUUM CLEANER WITH REMOTE CONTROL Filed Oct. 9, 1969 v 2 Sheets-Sheet z Fig. 3
United States Patent 3,626,545 CENTRAL VACUUM CLEANER WITH REMOTE CONTROL Perry W. Sparrow, Pine Bluff, Ark. (3822 W. 27th, Little Rock, Ark. 72204) Filed Oct. 9, 1969, Ser. No. 865,063 Int. Cl. A47l /38 US. Cl. 15-314 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A vacuum cleaner hose to be selectively connected to separately located outlets connected in parallel by conduits to a dust collection container. A blower is mounted in the container for creating a vacuum which is distributed along the conduit and the hose so that cleaner action can be effected at the outer hose end. The blower in the collection container is motor driven and a radio controlled switch causes the motor to be turned on and off from a remote location, where the operator is located. The operator carries a small radio transmitter for transmitting a command signal to a receiver located in the compartment and the receiver causes actuation of the radio controlled switch.
The present invention relates to radio controlled devices and more particularly to a centralized vacuum cleaner system that is responsive to remotely transmitted starting and stopping command signals.
The present day centralized vacuum cleaner systems utilize an arrangement whereby separately located outlets have switches mounted thereto so that a central vacuum motor is started upon insertion of a vacuum cleaner hose into the outlet. This type of system requires the type of skilled labor and material which precludes installation by the average homeowner. This is in part due to the fact that the switch mounted in the outlet is electrically connected to the house wiring and requires a licensed electrician to install the system. Also, this arrangement presents a shock hazard because the wiring to the outlet switch is generally run to a metal receptacle that is not grounded and may be inadvertently contacted by a persons hand.
The present invention is advantageous when compared with previous systems because of reduced cost in parts and labor required to install a complete system. Also, the aforementioned shock hazard is eliminated because no live wiring is accessible to the operator of the vacuum cleaner hose. The system is particularly amenable to the average homeowner because it does not require installation by a skilled craftsman.
The basic difference between the present system and those of the prior art resides in the fact that the present system includes a radio receiver mounted in the location of the central dust collection container, and upon receipt of a command signal will cause a vacuum generating motor in the container to start or stop operation as desired. All that is required to operate the system is a small transmitter carried by the vacuum hose operator who simply presses a button to transmit the selected type of command signal. This approach furnishes the operator with great convenience because it is not necessary to approach the wall outlet for inserting and removing the hose each time the system is to be temporarily turned on and off.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, referenec being had to the accom- 3,626,545 Patented Dec. 14, 1971 panying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIG. 1 is an over-all view illustrating the relationship between a hand manipulated vacuum cleaner hose and a centralized dust collection container.
FIG. 2 is an electrical schematic diagram of the circuit for controlling the system motor.
'FIG. 3 is a longitudinal sectional view illustrating the components of the dust collection container.
FIG. 4 is a transverse sectional view taken along a plane passing along section line 4-4 of FIG. 3.
Referring to the figures and more particularly FIG. 1 thereof, reference numeral 10 generally denotes a vacuum cleaner hose terminating at the outward end thereof in the conventional cleaner nozzle. The opposite end of the hose is removably inserted in a fitting or outlet 12 which in turn is connected to vertical conduits 14 lying in-between walls of the surrounding structure and then carried horizontally across the ceiling as indicated at 16 for termination at the inlet port of a dust collection container 18. Whereas conventional systems utilize switches in the outlets 12 that are wired to a vacuum generating motor in the collection container 18, the present invention achieves the same ends by remote control.
Considering the remote control system, a radio receiver antenna 20 projects outwardly from the dust collection container 18 and is receptive to a transmitted command signal. The antenna in turn is connected to the input section of a remote control receiver which detects the reception of a command signal and causes certain radio controlled relays to operate in response to the command signal. The operation of these switches causes starting and stopping of a vacuum generating motor in the container 18 as presently described.
In order to issue a command signal, a palm sized radio transmitter 22 is carried by the vacuum hose operator, and when the operator desires to start or stop the vacuum generating motor, the transmitter is preferably pointed in the general direction of the antenna 20 and an appro priate button is pushed to issue the desired command signal. The transmitted and receiver are of a commercially available form and commonly used in remote control garage doors and in devices for turning televisions and other appliances on and off at will. By means of example, the transmitter and receiver can be of the type incorporated in the Telewand and Teleswitch units listed on page 325 of the 1969 Lafayette Radio Catalog.
Now, we turn to the electrical circuit which starts and stops the vacuum generating motor in response to a transmitted command signal. Referring to FIG. 2, terminals 26 and 28 represent input power line terminals connected across the primary winding 30 of a step-down transformer. The secondary winding 32 includes output terminals 34 and 36. Terminal 34 is directly connected to a first terminal of a latching relay coil 38 while the opposite terminal is connected to a first contact of a radio controlled relay 40. This type of relay is included in commercially available receivers hereinbefore mentioned. The other relay contact is connected to secondary terminal 36 thereby effecting a circuit loop including the transformer secondary, the relay coil 38, and the radio controlled relay contacts 40. Current flows through this circuit loop when a command signal is received and processed by the radio controlled relay 40. Inasmuch as the loop just discussed is connected across the step-down transformer, the power delivered to the loop is relatively small and must be adequate to sufiiciently energize relay coil 38 for control purposes. A second circuit loop is connected in parallel with the first mentioned loop and includes a pair of relay contacts 42 associated with the relay coil 38. The coil 38 and associated contacts 42 form a latching relay which exhibits toggle action in response to successive command signals. A first of the relay switch contacts 42 is connected to terminal 34 of the transformer secondary 32. The second relay switch contact 42 is connected to a first terminal of another control relay coil 44. The opposite terminal of the coil is connected to the terminal 36 of the transformer secondary 32. Assuming the control circuitry of FIG. 2 is in a state ready to start motor operation, receipt of a command signal from transmitter 22 causes momentary closing of the radio controlled relay 40 which in turn energizes the latching relay coil 38 with a power pulse. Energization of this coil closes contacts 42 thereby causing energizing current to flow through control relay coil 44. Switch contacts 48 associated with relay coil 44 become closed in response to energization of coil 44. These switch contacts are connected in series with vacuum generating motor 46, the motor and switch contacts 48 being connected across the power line terminals 26 and 28. Thus, upon energization of the control relay coil 44, power line current flows through the motor 46.
When the operator desires to cease operation of motor 46, a second command signal is issued from the transmitter 22 which again closes the circuit loop including transformer primary 32, latching relay coil 38, and radio controlled relay 40, which results in the toggling of associated relay contacts 42 to an open position. Upon opening of these contacts, current ceases to flow through the control relay coil 44 thereby resulting in the opening of associated contacts 48. Once the contacts 48 are opened, current can no longer flow through the serially connected motor 46. This completes motor shut-off and returns the circuit shown in FIG. 2 to a state prepared for the reception of a subsequent command signal that will turn the motor 46 on.
Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, the dust collection container 18 will be seen to include a generally cylindrical housing 50 extending upwardly to a removable frusto-conical lid 52. A mounting flange 54 is disposed along an intermediate length of the cylindrical section 50 and serves to define upper and lower housing compartments. An electric motor 56 is disposed in the upper compartment and powers a vacuum generator. The mounting flange 54 includes an aperture 58 therein for permitting passage of a motor shaft 60 therethrough, the shaft being connected at an outward end thereof to the input shaft of a centrifugal blower 62. The motor driven centrifugal blower forms a vacuum generator having an inlet port 66 along the axis of the blower shaft. An outlet port or fitting 64 communicates tangentially with the blade structure of the centrifugal blower 62 and serves as an exit means for the expulsion of air from the centrifugal blower. An inlet port or fitting 68 communicates tangentially with an intermediate section of the cylindrical housing section 50 as more clearly illustrated in FIG. 4. A cylindrical screen 70 is concentrically disposed with the blower inlet port 66 and is bounded at the upper end thereof by the mounting flange 54. The lower end of the screen is supported by a closed end or base of the housing.
In operation of the dust collector container 18, air is forced to flow inward through inlet fitting 68 and due to the tangential disposition of the inlet fitting, the inward flow swirls around the interior periphery of the cylindrical housing section 50. As will be noted from FIG. 4, the housing has an octagonal cross-section defining eight longitudinally directed interior corners or edges. These corners slow down the flow of intake air in the space immediately adjacent the edges and as a result, any heavy dust particles in this space will fall to the base of the housing. As the intake airflow swirls around the housing, it is forced radially inward to be filtered by the cylindrical screen 70 which traps coarse particles.
A second smaller sized final filter 74 having a lower closed end and an open upper end further filters the airflow passing between the inlet port 68 and the outlet port 64. The upper opened end of the filter 74 is fitted around an annular flange defining the boundary of the inlet port to the centrifugal blower 62. The final filter 74 is designed to filter finer dust particles which have passed through screen 70. The filtered airflow is operated upon the centrifugal blower 62 and expelled through the outlet port 64.
The cylindrical section 50 includes an annular separation along an intermediate legnth thereof as indicated by reference numeral 76. This permits the separation of a lower cup-like receptacle generally indicated by 78 from the container housing. After some use of the present system, dust accumulates in this receptacle and can be conveniently dumped. Of course, if desired, disposable filter bags may be employed in conjunction with or as an alternative to the filters proposed. Mounting of these bags would be in a conventional manner as incorporated in many present day vacuum cleaners.
In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the cap or lid 52 atop the cylindrical housing section 50 mounts a solid state radio receiver 80, of the type previously discussed. An antenna 20 can be mounted on the upper end of the frusto-conical cap so that a minimum distance between the antenna and the radio receiver exists.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. A remote control vacuum cleaner system comprising a vacuum cleaner hose, at least one hose outlet mounted at a preselected point, the hose to be maneuvered by an operator, a particle collection container having an inlet port, conduit means connecting the hose outlet to the container inlet port, generator means for creating a vacuum condition in the collection container and the hose, wireless remote control means initiated by the hose operator for causing switching of the generator means to an operative state, said generator means comprising an electric motor and a blower driven by the motor, the blower having an inlet port serving as the source of the vacuum condition, the remote control means comprising a receiver having a radio controlled switch device for turning the motor on and off in response to command signals, a transmitter normally carried by the hose operator for selectively transmitting a command signal to the receiver, said controlled switch device including a step-down transformer having primary and secondary windings, said primary winding being connected to a power supply, a first control relay including a first actuating solenoid coil and a first pair of contacts for closing in response to actuation of said first coil, a second latching relay including a second actuating solenoid coil and a second pair of contacts for closing in response to actuation of said second coil, and a third radio control relay including a third pair of contacts for closing upon radio actuation of said third relay, said motor and first pair of contacts being connected in series, and in parallel with said primary winding to said power supply, first and second loop circuits connected in parallel to said secondary winding, said third pair of contacts and said second coil being connected in series in said first loop circuit and said first actuating solenoid and said second pair of contacts being connected in series in said second loop circuit.
2. The system set forth in claim 1 wherein the dust collection container comprises a generally cylindrical compartment having a polygonal cross-section terminating at one end in a base, an inlet port communicating with the compartment interior for causing inlet fiow to swirl around the compartment, the longitudinal corners of the compartment serving to catch heavy particles which subsequently fall to the base of the compartment, at least one filter disposed in the compartment for trapping particles, and an outlet port communicating with the outlet'side of the filter OTHER REFERENCES for discharging a filtered flow.
3. The system set forth in claim 2 wherein the filter is Lafayette Radlo Electronics Corporatlon Catalog characterized as a cylindrical screen member, and a second 429; Pubhshfid 1967' cylindrical member for trapping finer particles and dis- 5 W ALTER A SCHELL Primary Examiner posed concentrically radially inward of the screening member. C. K. MOORE, Assistant Examiner References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2 ss z-li 'jjf-lts 479,231 7/1892 Van Gelder ss 4s9 10 15-339, 347, 41 2 3,240,000 3/1966 Hayes et al 55459 X 3,440,347 4/1969 Spencer et a1 343225 X