Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3636549 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 18, 1972
Filing dateJan 5, 1970
Priority dateJan 5, 1970
Publication numberUS 3636549 A, US 3636549A, US-A-3636549, US3636549 A, US3636549A
InventorsBerman Richard M, Bethke Lyman W, Schwartz Bernard
Original AssigneeAlphamedics Mfg Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Multichannel interval timer
US 3636549 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Umted States Patent 1 9 5 Herman et al. 1 Jan. 18, 1972 I MULTICHANNEL INTERVAL 3,300,775 l/l967 Dowling ..340/309.l

[72} lnventors: Richard M. Berman, Dresher, Pa.; primary Examine, ]ohn w Caldwell Bernard Schwartz spnngfield; Lyman Assistant ExaminerWilliam M. Wannisky Tremor, both of Attorney-Paris, Haskell and Levine 73 A si nee: Al hamedics Mi .Cor Levitt wn,P l 1 S g p g p o a 57 ABSTRACT 22 Filed: Jan. 5, 1970 A multichannel time interval measuring and control instru- 1 pp 649 ment using solid-state logic providing individually preset, programmed or presettable timing channels supplying a wide I range of time intervals, in which each timing channel is in- U S C 340/309 3 31 43 dividually selectable by a pushbutton, or automatically pro- [58] Field of Search 5/92 EA grammed in sequence or in parallel to initiate the operation 235/103 PC 92 92PD being controlled, and wherein the timer audibly and usually 92 130 3 signals the human operator at the end of the selected interval or automatically terminates or starts the operation being I 56] References Cited monitored or controlled.

UNITED STATES PATENTS 7 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures 3,497,682 2/1970 l-laller et al. "235/92 2W WER AC 0R PUlSATlNG 0c AUDIBLE LINE SUPPLY il- ALARM 40 BLINK LIGHT 5 56 51 39 i 4 13 AME I PULSATING Y RESET AUDIBLE 38 4O ALARM LINE PATENYEB MM 8 B 1! 37 32 AUDIBLE pow/ER A AUDlBL E 'I-WUERM c OR PULSATING 0c |2ov, SUPPLY -1 ALARM 4 BLINK LIGHT I I4 '7 w MOTOR 3 I I6 4 l 5 IO H I: CHANNEL 6 l2 N13 v 7 Q Q Q Q T T T T 6 (2 5 4 1 a 1 l 1 32 l 25 26 27 28 AUDIBLE ALARM LINE 38 40 FIG. 2

' INVENTORS RICHARD M. BERMAN BERNARD SCHWARTZ LYMAN W. BETHKE sv g g fow'as ATTORNEYS MULTICl-IANNEL INTERVAL TIMER STATEMENT OF THE PRIOR ART Many timing or time-controlled devices are available and known but few are capable of providing a wide range of independently preset or presettable time intervals, any one of which may be rapidly selected or reset by a pushbutton or switch to independently time each of a series of independent events either in sequence or simultaneously.

SUMMARY OF THE lNVENTlON The present invention provides a multichannel solid-state timing device having a central clock pulse generator producing one or more timing patterns and a series of preset or presettable electronic timing channels, each of which are individually selectable to time a preset time interval. Each selected channel provides an indication of the time interval selected and a signal or indication at the termination of the timed operation, and each channel is both independently initiated and reset by means of a separate pushbutton, switch, or relay. By the use of a common clock and solid-state prepackaged electronic circuits, this multipurpose unit is small and readily portable as well as requiring low power consumption and being inexpensive. The built-in accuracy remains unchanged during the life of the controller. Additionally, further plug-in modules may be supplied to be operated by the same clock and provide additional time intervals.

DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an electrical schematic illustration showing one common clock and one timing channel and signaling means; and

FIG. 2 is a perspective view illustrating the housing, indicators, and individually selectable pushbutton switches.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to FIG. 1, the clock mechanism for supplying electrical pulses to all timing channels preferably comprises one or more constant speed motors whose output shaft rotates an arm 11 carrying one or more permanent magnets 12 past a magnetically susceptible reed switch 13. The contacts of switch 13 are therefore repetitively closed at a constant rate for each passage of a magnet 12 past the contacts, thereby changing the voltage or potential on line 14 from the more positive potential of the power source to ground to provide a negative-going electrical pulse. An additional magnet or magnets on the opposite side of arm 11 (not shown) and additional reed switches may be employed to provide more than one clock source, if desired.

These constant rate negative-going clock pulses are directed over a common line 15 to some or all of the timing channels and are also directed to the base of a switching transistor 16 to repetitively operate a controlled rectifier 17. The omand-off condition of the controlled rectifier 17 operates a blinking or flashing light indicator for each selected channel as will be more fully discussed below.

Each of the timing channels is preferably comprised of a prepackaged integrated electronic circuit, commonly purchasable on the open market from a number of different suppliers, and including, as shown, an input gate 18 feeding a series of cascaded flip-flop stages 19 to 24, inclusive, each stage having a pair of on-off output terminals selectively engageable by switches, such as switches 25, 26, 27, and 28 as shown. The signals from these switches are directed in parallel to a summing or AND-gate 29.

As is known to those skilled in the electronic arts, the func tion provided by the input gate 18, cascaded counter stages 19 to 24, switches to 28, and the gate 29 is to provide a preset or presettable pulse counter that will sum a given number of the clock pulses received over line 15 and provide an output pulse over line when such preset or given number of clock pulses have been received. Since these clock pulses are generated at a constant frequency, or at uniform time intervals, this provides a precise measurement of a given time interval as determined by the number of pulses counted before operating the gate 29, which count is determined by the initial setting or presetting of the switches 25 26, 27, and 28.

More specifically, each of the flip-flop stages 19 to 24 counts two pulses, and on the second received pulse, directs a pulse to the next succeeding stage and returns to its original condition. Therefore, the first stage 19 counts every pulse, and after each second received pulse directs or transmits a pulse to the second stage 20. The second stage, therefore, is energized only in response to every second pulse received from the clock source. The third stage 21 is in turn energized by the second stage in response to every fourth clock pulse, and so forth, until the last stage 24 which is energized in response to every 32nd clock pulse. Therefore, if the clock pulses over line 15 from one time base are generated at the rate of one each second, then the first stage 19 is operated each second, the second stage 20 is operated every 2 seconds, the third stage 21 every 4 seconds, etc., until the last stage 24 is operated every 32 seconds.

The switches 25 to 28 being selectively connected to the output lines of each of these stages can therefore be used to detect any desired time interval within the capacity of this counter; and by interconnecting all of these switches to a common AND-gate 29, the resulting output pulse over line 30 is produced at any time interval preselected within the capacity of this counter.

In the arrangement illustrated in FlG. 1, the switches 25, 26, 27, and 28 are connected to detect the on condition of the last four stages of the six-stage counter and therefore the counter will respond to a count of 60 clock pulses. If the clock pulses are generated at the above discussed rate of one each second, this channel of the timer will respond or produce a time interval measurement of 60 seconds or 1 minute.

However, with a six-stage counter, as shown, the maximum count capacity is 64 and therefore this counter may be preset by the selector switches to time any interval from l to 64 seconds. Similarly, by adding one additional flip-flop stage, the range may be extended to 128 seconds and by adding two additional stages, the range may be extended to 256 seconds, and so forth. The addition of each further stage therefore, substantially doubles the time interval of that channel.

The output pulse produced over line 30 at the end of the preset interval operates an audible indicator 32 in the following manner, thereby to alert the human operator that the timed operation has been completed.

The pulse over line 30 is directed to a low pass filter resistor 33 and capacitor 34 to trigger a controlled rectifier 35 into conduction thereby connecting line 36 to ground potential. The audible indicator or alarm 32, as shown, has one terminal energized by the power supply line 39 and its other terminal on line 40 being connected through diode 38 to line 36. Line 36 is normally not connected to ground whenever rectifier 35 is not conducting and therefore during the timed interval, the audible alarm 32 is not energized. However, at the end of the timed interval, the pulse over line 30 triggers the rectifier 35 into conduction thereby connecting line 40 of the audible alarm to ground and energizing the alarm 32 to provide an audible signal that the time interval has been completed.

The output pulse over line 30 from the counter stages occurring at the end of the selected time interval, also functions to continuously energize the lamp 43, thereby to visually indicate or signal the completion of the measured time interval.

This is performed by connecting one terminal of lamp 43 to power supply line 39 and the other terminal through diode 44 to the controlled rectifier 35. Therefore, at the end of the timed interval when the controlled rectifier 35 is fired, the other terminal of the lamp 43 is grounded to continuously visually indicate the expiration of the timed interval.

As generally discussed above, during the measured time interval, the lamp 43 is flashed on and oh or is blinked" to alert the human operator that this channel is operating to measure a preset time interval. Therefore, when the lamp 43 stops blinking and is continuously energized, the operator is usually alerted to the fact that the time interval has been completed.

For blinking operation of the lamp 43, it is noted that during the timing operation, the second terminal of the lamp 43 is also connected through a diode 45 and resistor 56 to the blink light line 47 which in turn is connected to the anode of the controlled rectifier 17 (shown at the top of the drawing). Whenever the controlled rectifier 17 is not conducting, the lamp 43 is not energized and therefore not illuminated. However, each of the clock pulses produced over line 14 is directed to the switching transistor 16 which in turn energizes or fires the rectifier 17 to energize the lamp 43. Consequently, in response to each clock pulse, the rectifier I7 is fired to momentarily energize the lamp 43. It will be noted that the other terminal of the lamp 43 is connected to line 39 energized by an alternating current signal or a pulsating direct current signal. Consequently, on alternative half-cycles, the voltage applied to the controlled rectifier 17 is made negative or zero to automatically extinguish the controlled rectifier l7 and turn off the light or lamp 43 until the next clock pulse is generated. This provides the pulsing or blinking operation desired to visually indicated to the human operator that one of the timer channels is functioning.

It will be noted that the controlled rectifier 35 is energized by a constant direct current over line 36 and resistor 41 and therefore at the end of the timed interval, the controlled rectifier 35 remains in a conducting or fired condition to continuously illuminate the lamp 43 until such time as the timing channel is reset.

Upon the termination of the timed interval, it is therefore noted that the audible alarm is turned on or operated continuously as is the electric lamp indicator 43. These two indicators remain continuously energized until such time as the human operator depresses a reset button 50 to operate the switches 51 and 52. The operation of switch 51 disconnects the lefthand terminal of the lamp 43 from the ground connection through rectifier 35 and therefore deenergizes the indicator lamp 43. Operation of the other switch 52 disconnects the direct current power supply from the anode of the controlled rectifier 35 to reset the rectifier 35 to a nonconducting condition and also applies the positive potential of the power source over line 53 to all of the stages of the counter 19 to 24 to reset all of the stages to their zero or initial condition. This completely resets the channel to its initial condition and maintains the channel deactivated until such time as the human operator again depresses the two-way button 50 to place the contacts 51 and 52 into their upper position to commence a new timing interval.

FIG. 2 illustrates one preferred construction of a multichannel interval timer. As shown, there is provided an on-off or power applying two-position switch 55 that is connected to apply power to all of the channels. Next to the on-off power switch S is provided openings for a speaker, buzzer, or the like to provide the audible alarm 32 signalling the end of each interval, and alongside of the audible alarm area 32 is provided the series of individual two-position pushbutton switches, such as 50 discussed above, with one such switch for each separate one of the timing channels. In the arrangement shown, there are provided six independent timing channels 56 to 61, inclusive, with each channel providing a different preset time interval extending from 1 minute, 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, and 60 minutes, all as shown. Each one of these channels is substantially as shown in FIG. 1 but provided with a preset number of counting stages to count the desired preset interval desired. At least one common motor and clock-pulse-producing mechanism feeding all of the channels as shown in FIG. 1 and discussed above is provided inside the housing.

It is preferred that the electric lamp 43 provided for each channel be disposed inside of the housing and underneath each of the transparent pushbuttons 50 so as to indicate to the human operator after pushing the button for that channel, that channel is then in operation as would be shown by the blinking light underneath that transparent pushbutton 50.

It will be appreciated that since each of the timing channels operates independently of the others, that more than one of these channels can be employed simultaneously to time more than one function or operation if desired. Alternatively, the multichannel timer can be used to time only one operation but permitting the operator the selective choice of any one of the preset time intervals for timing such operation.

For automatic operation, a relay or solid-state control circuit (not illustrated) may be energized by firing of the controlled rectifier 35, and the closing of such relay contacts being connected to automatically control a particular operation at the ending of the time interval. This would be termed the delay mode of operation. Alternatively, the relay winding may be connected in parallel with controlled rectifier 35 to be energized and operated at the beginning of the timed interval upon closure of switch 52 to its upper position and upon firing of rectifier 35 at the end of the timed interval, this relay would be deenergized to automatically terminate the operation. This would be termed the interval mode. Other relay connections may also be made as desired for automatic operation.

Instead of operating independently, the separate timer channels may be interconnected in cascade to provide a continuous sequence of preset timed intervals, with a relay of the first channel automatically turning on the switch of the second channel at the end of the first time interval. Other presettable timing arrangements in sequence or in parallel may be made as desired.

What is claimed is:

1. In a multichannel interval timer, a plurality of independent presettable timing channels, a common clock source, and a plurality of independently actuable selector switch means, with one for each channel; each selector switch means actuable to interconnect is related channel for operation by said clock source to measure a preset time interval, a visual indicator for each channel and energized by said channel for flashing operation during the timing operation of said channel and for continuous visual operation at the termination of the preset interval of that channel, a common audible indicator interconnected with all channels to provide an audible signal at the termination of the preset interval measured by any one of the channels, and means interconnecting said switch means for each channel in circuit with the visual indicator for said channel and with said common audible indicator whereby actuation of the switch means of an operating channel terminates the operation of both the associated visual indicator and common audible indicator.

2. A multichannel interval timer comprising an electromechanical constant frequency clock source of pulses, and a plurality of independently selectable time intervals channels energizable by said source; each channel having a presettable electronic pulse counter to sum a preset number of clock pulses and count a preset time interval and a selector switch means to initiate operation of said counter, means energizable by said counter at the termination of said preset interval, and circuit means interconnecting said previous means and said switch for deenergizing said previous means and resetting said counter upon further activation of said switch means, a visual indicator for each channel and electrical circuit means for repetitively connecting said visual indicator means in circuit with the selector switch for the related channel for flashing operation in response to said clock source of pulses, and additional circuit means in each channel responsive to said pulse counter in said channel summing said preset number of clock pulses for providing continuous operation of said visual indicator.

3. A multichannel interval timer comprising an electromechanical constant frequency clock source of pulses, and a plurality of independently selectable time interval channels energizable by said source; each channel having a presettable electronic pulse counter to sum a preset number of clock pulses and count a preset time interval and a selector switch to initiate operation of said counter, means energizable by said counter at the termination of said preset interval, and circuit means interconnecting said previous means and said switch for deenergizing said previous means and resetting said counter upon further activation of said switch means, said clock source of pulses including a constant speed motor driving a pulse producing means,

a visual indicator for each channel disposed proximate the selector switch means, circuit means electrically interconnecting said visual indicator with the selector switch means to intermittently energize said indicator after actuation of said selector switch means during said preset time interval, said circuit means controlled by said counter to continuously energize said visual indicator at the expiration of said preset interval, and said selector switch means being actuable to deenergize said visual indicator.

4. In the timer of claim 3, an audible indicator continuously energized by said circuit means at the expiration of said preset interval and being deenergized upon actuation of said selector switch means.

5. A multichannel interval timer comprising an electromechanical constant frequency clock source of pulses, and a plurality of independently selectable time intervals channels energizable by said source; each channel having a presettable electronic pulse counter to sum a preset number of clock pulses and count a preset time interval and a selector switch to initiate operation of said counter, means energizable by said counter at the termination of said preset interval, and circuit means interconnecting said previous means and said switch for deenergizing said previous means and resetting said counter upon further activation of said switch means, a visual indicator for each channel, and means interconnecting said visual indicator and switch means for flashing visual indication during said preset interval and for continuous visual indication at the termination of said preset interval and for disabling said indicator by said switch means.

6. In the timer of claim 5, an audible indicator, and means interconnecting said audible indicator with said switch means for continuous indication at the termination of said preset interval and for selectively disabling said audible indicator by said switch means.

7. In the multichannel timer of claim 6, each channel comprised on an integrated electronic circuit having electronic gate means and a presettable electronic pulse counter, and said switch means for each channel being independently actuable to initiate operation of said counter in response to said clock source, and being independently actuable for resetting said counter and terminating the operation of the visual indicator and audible indicator.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3809864 *Jul 10, 1972May 7, 1974Pentron IndustriesDistance event marker
US3851120 *Jun 15, 1973Nov 26, 1974Gte Automatic Electric Lab IncCombined timing-outpulsing-scanning circuit
US3920961 *Aug 6, 1973Nov 18, 1975Berg Robert HDigital timer
US3958107 *Dec 9, 1974May 18, 1976Edelson Andrew CFuel management computer
US3964046 *May 20, 1974Jun 15, 1976Canon Kabushiki KaishaControl device for a portable machine
US4150337 *Nov 21, 1977Apr 17, 1979Rockwell International CorporationComparator circuit apparatus
US4188621 *Jan 18, 1978Feb 12, 1980Dan-Mar Co. Inc.Alarm system
US4218611 *May 17, 1978Aug 19, 1980Trendmark CorporationMethod and apparatus for controlling eating behavior
US4225853 *May 5, 1978Sep 30, 1980Southall W. HamiltonController for signalling system
US4677541 *Sep 24, 1984Jun 30, 1987Rauland-Borg CorporationProgrammable clock
US5029188 *Nov 3, 1989Jul 2, 1991Joyner Engineers And TrainersApparatus for monitoring operation cycles of an electrically actuated device
US5559495 *Jan 17, 1995Sep 24, 1996Cochran; Danny M.Sleep-preventing alarm operable in conjunction with a motor vehicle
US9195933 *Oct 3, 2013Nov 24, 2015Rohm Co., Ltd.Electronic circuit and electronic device including the same
US20080186295 *Feb 1, 2008Aug 7, 2008Byong-Deok ChoiData driver and flat panel display using the same
US20140098926 *Oct 3, 2013Apr 10, 2014Rohm Co., Ltd.Electronic Circuit and Electronic Device Including the Same
Classifications
U.S. Classification340/309.8, 377/20, 377/16, 377/37, 377/111, 377/114
International ClassificationG05B19/10, G05B19/04
Cooperative ClassificationG05B19/102
European ClassificationG05B19/10I
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 1, 1988AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: ALPHAMEDICS MFG. CORP.
Owner name: WARNER-LAMBERT COMPANY, 201 TABOR ROAD, MORRIS PLA
Effective date: 19760630
Aug 1, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: WARNER-LAMBERT COMPANY, 201 TABOR ROAD, MORRIS PLA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:ALPHAMEDICS MFG. CORP.;REEL/FRAME:004925/0692
Effective date: 19760630
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ALPHAMEDICS MFG. CORP.;REEL/FRAME:004925/0692
Owner name: WARNER-LAMBERT COMPANY, A CORP. OF DE, NEW JERSEY