US 3640463 A
A water fountain having a plurality of nozzles, which are arranged in a disposition suitable for representing one or more of letters, numerals, patterns, and forms.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
O Umted States Patent [151 3,640,463 Kawamura et al. Feb. 8, 1972  FORM-INDICATING WATER  Field of Search ..239/2l l 17-21, FOUNTAIN 239/551, 12, 16
 Inventors: Koreichi Kawamura; Yoshilko Kawamura; [56 R f r s cu d Koichi Kawamura, all of 66, Jyomyoji, Kamakura, Japan UNITED STATES PATENTS . Filed: Apr. 2, 1970 3,432,099 3/1969 Boniecki et al. ..239/21l X Appl- N03 25,206 Primary ExaminerLloyd L. King Att0rney-McGlew and Toren  Foreign Applimfion Priority Data ABSTRACT Aug. 30, 1969 Japan ..44/68294 A water fountain having a plurality of nozzles, which are an ran ed in a dis ition suitable for re resentin one or more 52 us. Cl 239/17, 239/21 1, 239/551, 15m,numggswmmsyandfmg g 239/69  Int. Cl ..BOSb 17/08 9 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures o 0000 o 0 0000 9% s 5 8 8 0 oo a 8 Q8 goo o 2) 0ooo o 8 0 80000 0 o 0. 5 (9 2, 0% O 0 0 8 0 09,8 0 0 0000800 0 65 0000 ooo 0 '5 "'4 o 0 0 0 80 0 :9 0 0 o O o 0% 0 o 3 o 0 ooooooo oo 0 o 0 o 800 00 o o ooooo J 0 000 oO g 0 5 2- PATENTEUFEB 8 I972 SHEEY 1 0F 7 o o no 0 w a o 0 5 0 0m. 0. 0 I 00 O N o o w w o o o w w w w w o 0 000000 o 0 o o 0 0 0 0 A vM 0 M00 00 M 000 O M w 0 0 o 0 w w w 0000000 0 0 o o n g 0,. ll 0 8 o a. w w w 4 00000 0 0 000 0 0 0 w 0 M F .M 0 0 M 0% 0 0 INVENTORS' M. H 9 mm \a KORE um ATTORNEY PAIENTEUFEB 8 I972 SHEET 3 of 7 INVENTORS URElU-h Hum WW W H mm: 0' un mum PAIENTEDFEH 8 I972 3.6401163 sum 0F 7 EIIIJDDC'JDDDDCD o 43 o O J 8 0 0 0 o o o O o 0 000008 8 O o O O o o 00 00 o o o 0 0 0 0 00000 0 CJEJDBUUEDUU IN VENTORS MOREMIHI KnunnuRn WW: K0 K IH PM'RH MolCM UHNHhu'RH BY Va 34 1s m ATTORNEY FORM-INDICATING WATER FOUNTAIN This invention relates to a form-indicating water fountain, and more particularly to a water fountain for producing water columns, which represent a given form. What is meant by the "form in this invention includes letters, numerals, symbols, designs, patterns, and the like.
There are various known illuminating signs, e.g., neon signs, for showing given forms by selectively actuating electric light bulbs, neon discharge tubes, and the like. Since such illuminating signs are so widely used, it is difficult to attract public attention by installing such signs, e.g., for the purpose of advertisement.
Therefore, an object of the present invention is to provide a form-indicating water fountain, which produces water columns in one or more given forms. The forrn-indicating water fountain of the invention is particularly useful in advertisement of commodities and aesthetic appreciation.
For a better understanding of the invention, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram, illustrating various forms which can be indicated by a water fountain according to the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram, showing the nozzles and piping of a water fountain, which indicates five Roman letters, according to the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a diagram, showing an electric control circuit of the water fountain of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an expanded view of a rotary drum switch used in the control circuit of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a diagram, showing another control circuit applicable to the water fountain of FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram, showing the nozzle disposition of a water fountain according to the present invention, which selectively indicates two combinations of letters;
FIGS. 7A and 7B are diagrammatic illustrations of the two different letter combinations which can be indicated by the water fountain of FIG. 6, respectively;
FIG. 8 is a diagram, showing an electric control circuit of the water fountain of FIG. 6;
FIG. 9 is a schematic diagram of a water fountain consisting of a large number of nozzles arranged in a lattice disposition for selectively indicating different forms;
FIG. 10 is a diagram, showing the essential portion of an electric control circuit diagram usable for the control of the water fountain of FIG. 9;
FIG. 11 is a partial view of a punched card which is usable in the control circuit of FIG. 10 for selecting the form to be indicated in the water fountain of FIG. 9; and
FIG. 12 is a diagrammatic illustration of a tape reader for reading the punched tape of FIG. 11.
Like parts are designated by like numerals and symbols throughout the drawings.
Referring to FIG. 1, water fountains of the present invention indicate various forms by disposing nozzles in desired forms; namely, Roman letters 1-1, numerals l-2, Greek letters 1-3, a symbol 1-4, a picture l-S, and the like.
FIG. 2 shows an embodiment, which selectively indicates five Roman letters A, B, C, D, and E, as represented by reference numerals 2-1, 2-2, 2-3, 2-4, and 2-5, respectively. The production of water columns representing such Roman letters is controlled by regulating manual valves 3-1 to 3-5, and solenoid valves 4-1 to 4-5, so as to selectively pass and interrupt the water flow from a main water pipe 5 to such nozzles. A water pump 7 driven by an electric motor 8 feeds water to the pipe 5 from a water supply conduit 6.
FIG. 3 shows an electric circuit for controlling the solenoid valves 4-1 to 4-5 of FIG. 2 by using instruction signals stored in a rotary drum 11. The rotary drum 11 has a plurality of projections 13-1 to 13-5 formed on the periphery thereof at selected positions. As the rotary drum 11 is rotated by a lowspeed motor 9, the projections 13-1 to 13-5 close electric switch contacts 10-1 to 10-5, respectively, in a predetermined sequence. The sequence of timing of the operation of the switch contacts 10-1 to 10-5 is controlled by regulating the position of the projections 13-1 to 13-5 on the rotary drum and the rotating speed of the motor 9. The closing of the switch contacts 10-1 to 10-5 causes electric currents to flow through solenoids 4-1a to 4-5a from power source (not shown) by way of terminals 12, so as to open the solenoid valves 4-1 to 4-5, respectively.
FIG. 4 is an expanded view of the drum 11 of FIG. 3. indicating the disposition of the projections 13-a to 13-5 on the peripheral surface thereof. The projections 13-1 to 13-5 are so disposed that the corresponding solenoid valves 4-ll to 4-5 are energized for desired periods of time, respectively, by keeping the associated switch contacts 10-1 to 10-5 as closed for the desired periods. In the illustrated embodiment, water flows through the solenoid valves when they are energized. The duration of the water column ejection from each of the form indicating nozzle groups 2-1 to 2-5 can be controlled by varying the length of the projections 13-1 to 13-5 on the peripheral surface of the rotary drum 11, taken along the circumferential direction thereof.
The water fountain nozzle groups of FIG. 2 can also be controlled by means of rotary switches, as shown in FIG. 5. In the circuit of FIG. 5, an electric switch 15a is intermittently closed in response to the rotation of a synchronous motor or an electric clock, for causing a current to flow through the actuating solenoid 16a of a rotary switch 16 for turning a rotary arm 16b one notch at a time. The circuit of the actuating solenoid 16a of the rotary switches traces from the ground, through batteries 14, the switch 15a, and the actuating solenoid 160, back to the ground, as shown in the figure.
The rotary switch 16 includes a plurality of stationary contacts which are directly connected to different buslines 17a to 17e of a matrix circuit 17. When the rotary arm 16b is at one of the buslines 17a, 17b, 17c, and 172, a relay 18-1 is actuated by the batteries 14, by way of a circuit tracing from the ground through the batteries 14, the rotary arm 16b, one of the lastmentioned buslines of the matrix circuit 17, a diode, and the relay 18-1, back to the ground. Similarly, a relay 18-2 is actuated when the rotary arm 16b is at the busline 17a or 17s; a relay 18-3 is energized when the arm 16!) is at the busline 17c or 172; a relay 18-5 is energized when the arm 16b is at the busline 17d or 17e. The batteries 14 selectively actuate the solenoids 4-1a, 4-2a, 4-3a, 4-4a, and 5-5a of the valves 4-1, 4-2, 4-3, 4-4, and 4-5, in response to the actuation of the cor responding relays 18-1, 18-2, 18-3, 18-4, and 18-5, respectively, by means of the contacts of the relays, as can be seen from FIG. 5. The diodes in the matrix circuit 17 act to isolate adjacent buslines, and also as adders.
The detailed construction of the rotary drum with projections and the combination of the rotary switch and the matrix circuit is not restricted to as illustrated, but it is apparent to those skilled in the art that numerous changes are possible in the details and the combination and arrangement of the parts of the illustrated embodiment.
FIG. 6 illustrates a water fountain having three groups of nozzles, which can selectively indicate Roman letters ABC or III]. The nozzle group is divided into three subgroups, each having one control valve; namely, the first or extreme left nozzle group has subgroups connected to control valves 19-1, 19-2, and 19-3, respectively; the second or central nozzle group has subgroups connected to control valves 19-4, 19-5, and 19-6, respectively; and the last or extreme right nozzle group has subgroups connected to control valves 19-7, 19-8, 19-9, respectively.
In order to indicate Roman letters ABC or III], as shown in FIGS. 7A and 7B, the aforesaid control valves are selectively actuated for passing water therethrough. The following table shows a schedule of the control valve operation for indicating different letters, in the water fountain of FIG. 6.
Letter Valve actuated A 19-2, 19-3 B l9-4. 19-6 C 19-7, 19-8 FIG. 8 is a diagram of a control circuit for regulating the valves 19-1 to 19-9 in the water fountain of FIG. 6. The control circuit includes a selector switch 20 having one common stationary contact connected to the positive terminal of a DC power source 21 and two stationary contacts ABC and III], which are selectively connected to the common contact by a swingable arm of the switch 20. The ABC terminal is connected to a line, which is in turn connected to a negative line being charged from the negative terminal of the DC power source 21 through six parallel branches; namely a branch consisting of a relay 23-2 in series with diode 22-2, a branch consisting of a relay 23-3 in series with a diode 22-3a, a branch consisting of a relay 23-4 in series with a diode 22-4, a branch consisting of a relay 23-6 in series with a diode 22-6a, a branch consisting of a relay 23-7 in series with a diode 22-7, and a branch consisting of a relay 23-8 in series with a diode 22-8a. The 111.] terminal is connected to another line, which is in turn connected to a negative line being charged from the negative terminal of the DC power source 21 through six parallel branches; namely a branch consisting of a relay 23-1 in series with a diode 22-1, a branch consisting of a relay 23-3 in series with diode 22-3, a branch consisting of a relay 23-5 in series with a diode 22-5, a branch consisting of a relay 23-6 in series with a diode 22-6, a branch consisting of a relay 23-8 in series with a diode 22-8, and a branch consisting of a relay 23-9 in series with a diode 22-9.
Each of the relays 23-1 to 23-9 has a normally open contact, which is connected in series with the corresponding one of the solenoid coils 19-1a to 19-9a of the solenoid valves 19-1 to 19-9, respectively. Each of the solenoid coils 19-la to 19-9a of the solenoid valves 19-1 to 19-9, which is in series with the corresponding one of the normally open contacts of the relays 23-1 to 23-9, is connected to a power source of AC I volts, in the illustrated embodiment.
Accordingly, when the selector switch 20 is turned to the ABC contact, the solenoid valves 19-2, 19-3, 19-4, 19-6, 19-7, and 19-8 are actuated to pass water therethrough, so that the water fountain of FIG. 6 indicates Roman letters ABC, as shown in FIG. 7A, by means of the relays connected to this terminal ABC. Similarly, when the selector switch 20 is turned to the HI] contact, the solenoid valves 19-1, 19-3, 19-5, 19-6, 19-8, and 19-9 are actuated to pass water therethrough, so that the water fountain of FIG. 6 indicates Roman letters HIJ, as shown in FIG. 73, by means of the relays connected to this terminal HIJ.
In FIGS. 6 to 8, water pumps, manual valves, and water pipes extending between such pumps and the valves are not shown for simiplicitys sake.
FIGS. 9 to 11 illustrate another embodiment of the invention including a plurality of nozzles arranged in a lattice disposition, so that a number of different forms can selectively be indicated by individually controlling each of the nozzles. In this embodiment, various different patterns, letters, and numerals can be indicated in an easily controllable manner. In the diagram of FIG. 9, a plurality of nozzles are arranged in a lattice disposition. The arrangement is, however, not restricted to the lattice disposition, and any other suitable disposition, e.g., a concentric disposition, can be employed for indicating the desired forms. The nozzles 31 are connected to the main pipe 35 of a water source, through solenoid valves 32, respectively. The main pipe 35 is connected to a pump 33 driven by an electric motor 34, for receiving water from a supply source pipe 36.
FIG. shows an electric control circuit for regulating the operation of each solenoid valve 32 in the water fountain of FIG. 9. The solenoid valve 32 has a solenoid coil 32a, which is connected to a power source 38 for driving the solenoid valve 32, through the contact 37a of a solenoid valve controlling relay 37. In this particular embodiment, as illustrated in the figure, a photodiode 41 is used, so that upon the incidence of light beams to the photodiode 41, a current flows from a DC power source 39 to a transistor 40, which is amplified by the transistor for forcing the current thus amplified through the valve driving relay 37. Thus, the normally open contact 370 of the relay 37 is closed. Accordingly, upon incidence of the light beams to the photodiode 41, the solenoid valve 32 associated with the photodiode 41 is actuated for ejecting water from a nozzle, which is controlled by the solenoid 32.
If a plurality of photodiodes 41 are arranged in a lattice disposition, which corresponds to that of the nozzles 31 of FIG. 9, and a punched opaque card tape 42 is placed on the photodiodes thus disposed, as shown in FIG. 11. the punched holes of the tape 42 allows light beams from the above to pass downward through the tape, but the remaining portions of the opaque tape 42 interrupt the light passage therethrough. As a result, the photodiodes 41 thus illuminated through the holes of the punched tape 42 actuate the solenoid valves 32 for projecting water column in the same form as the shape defined by the punched holes.
Alternately, it is, of course, possible to use any informationcarrying tapes, e.g., optical films in lieu of the punched tape. In the case of the optical tapes, the desired pattern may be represented on the optical film by representing the desired forms with transparent portions, instead of the punched holes.
FIG. 12 illustrates a device for sequentially changing the water column form, such as a plurality of patterns, letters, and numerals, by using a punched tape. A punched tape 42 is rolled on one of the reels 44 and 45, and fed by a tape feeding roll 50 driven by a motor 49, so as to be transferred to the other one of the reels 44 and 45. When the punched tape 42 moves on a transparent glass plate 47, it is illuminated by a light source lamp 48, which is disposed below the glass plate 47, in the illustrated embodiment. A diode holder 46 above the glass plate 47 carries a plurality of photodiodes 41 in the same disposition as the nozzles of a water fountain being controlled. The photodiodes thus disposed receive light beams from the light source 48 through punched holes of the punched tape 42, or transparent portions of an opaque tape, for generating an electric current through the related relays for actuating the corresponding solenoid valves. Accordingly, the form prepared on the punched tape 42 by the punched holes or by transparent portions can be indicated by water columns of the water fountain. It is now apparent that the forms produced by the water columns in the water fountain can be moved in either direction, in response to the movement of the punched tape on the transparent glass plate.
With the device of FIG. 12, the forms, patterns, letters, symbols, and pictures produced by a water fountain by the water nozzles can easily be changed over a very wide range. The detection of the pattern of punched holes on the punched tape can be detected by a known mechanical detector, as used in the sky signs, instead of the aforesaid optical detecting means.
As described in the foregoing disclosure, according to the present invention, there is provided a water fountain which can produce various forms, such as patterns, letters, numerals, pictures, and the like, with the water columns therein. Whereby, a truly novel attractive advertising means is provided, which is completely different from neon signs and other conventional advertising means.
Furthermore, if the water fountain of the invention is constructed in the form of a floating dock, which may be used with a tank, it can be mounted in any pond or sea water, regardless of its depth.
The erection of the water fountain is very easy and can be completed in a very short period of time.
Accordingly, the water fountain of the present invention provides a novel advertising medium for promoting commercial interests and public attraction. Thus, the invention contributes greatly to the industry.
What is claimed is:
l. A water fountain comprising at least one nozzle group having nozzles arranged in a disposition representing at least one of letters, numerals, patterns, and forms to be indicated;
valves connected to the nozzles, respectively; and a control means for selectively actuating the part of the nozzle group for indicating a selected one of the letters, numerals, patterns, and forms which are incorporated in the disposition of the nozzles.
2. A water fountain comprising a main water supply conduit, a group of nozzles for producing streams of water, connecting pipes connecting the nozzles to the main conduit, at least two valves for supplying water to at least one nozzle, and control means for operating the valve provided so as to display letters, figures, numerals and marks.
3. A water fountain comprising at least one nozzle group whose nozzles are arranged in a disposition representing a combination of at least two of the letters, numerals, patterns, and forms to be indicated; valves connected to the nozzles, respectively; and a control means for selectively actuating a part of the nozzle group for indicating selected one of the letters, numerals, patterns, and forms which are incorporated in the disposition of the nozzles.
4. A water fountain comprising a plurality of nozzles which are arranged at uniform intervals, a plurality of solenoid valves, each being operatively connected to one of the nozzles, an information-carrying tape, a tape reader, and a control means for selectively actuating the nozzles in response to the information read from the tape by the reader, so as to indicate information by water columns in the water fountain.
5. A water fountain according to claim 4, wherein said nozzles are arranged in a lattice disposition.
6. A water fountain according to claim 4, wherein said nozzles are disposed in a concentric disposition with uniform radial and angular intervals.
7. A water fountain according to claim 4, wherein said information-carrying tape is a punched tape.
8. A water fountain according to claim 4, wherein said information-carrying tape is an optical film.
9. A water fountain according to claim 4 and further comprising a tape feeder, whereby the indication of the water fountain varies in response to the movement of the tape.