US 3651507 A
A remote controlling device including a control circuit which drives external apparatus, as for example a clock. The circuit is operated remotely by a portable transmitting circuit which generates an electrical signal in response to an input stimulus. The input stimulus may be supplied by an air switch with an air tube connected thereto, and the air switch may be operated by blowing into the air tube. The air tube may be coupled to a whistle for actuating the air switch and emitting an audible signal simultaneously. The control circuit may include a time delay circuit which prevents actuation of the clock for a predetermined period of time after the first input stimulus is applied. The transmitter-air switch combination may be carried by the operator, as for example a referee at a hockey game.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Abbott [451 Mar. 21, 1972  REMOTE CONTROLLING DEVICE John F. Abbott, 416 Grove Street, Melrose, Mass. 02176 221 Filed: Aug. 20, 1969 21 Appl.No.: 855,453
 US. CL. ..340/323, 340/224, 340/309.4,
' 340/320  Int. Cl. ..G08b 27/00  Field of Search ..340/323, 224, 283, 58
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,183,548 12/1939 Crisp et a1 ..340/323 X 3,111,644 11/1963 Froelich et al. ....340/224 X 3,489,998 1/1970 ONeal et a1 ..340/58 AIR SWITCH TRANSMITTER Primary Examiner-Thomas B. Habecker Assistant Examiner-Michael Slobasky AttorneyWolf, Greenfield & Sacks  ABSTRACT A remote controlling device including a control circuit which drives external apparatus, as for example a clock. The circuit is operated remotely by a portable transmitting circuit which generates an electrical signal in response to an input stimulus. The input stimulus may be supplied by an air switch with an air tube connected thereto, and the air switch may be operated by blowing into the air tube. The air tube may be coupled to a whistle for actuating the air switch and emitting an audible signal simultaneously. The control circuit may include a time delay circuit which prevents actuation of the clock for a predetermined period of time after the first input stimulus is applied.- The transmitterair switch combination may be carried by the operator, as for example a referee at a hockey game.
10 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures SCORE BOARO CLOCK CONTROL CIRCUIT CLOCK PATENTEDHAR21 I972 3,651,507
sum 1 or 2 SCORE BUARU BLOCK AIR [ION SWITCH TRANSMITTER CIR CLO CK 40 am I5 5 y Mid 5170f w sacm SHEET 2 UF 2 FATENTEDHARZI I972 REMOTE CONTROLLING DEVICE BACKGROUND OF INVENTION I The present invention relates in general to remote controlling, and more particularly concerns a novel remote controlling device of high electrical performance and small physical form which is relatively easy and inexpensive to fabricate in large and small quantities with uniformly high quality.
The invention relates generally to remote controlling of external apparatus and is especially useful for remotely turning on and ofi' a clock of a type usually used for athletic events and the like.
In most athletic events, there is a referee or other official on the field of play who determines when a play should stop or start, usually by the blowing of a whistle. A second official on the sidelines controls the operation of the clock for the timing of the event in response to the audible signal from the whistle. This method has several disadvantages. The timing official may be far from the area of play and may not hear the whistle due to crowd noise and the like. Thus, timing of the actual event is impaired.
Also, there is the added expense caused by having an extra official whose sole function is to operate the clock.
Where remote control of timing has been attempted, the circuitry used has been unduly expensive and complex, often constraining the movement of the operator on the field of play.
Accordingly, it is an important object of this invention to provide a remote controlling device for actuating external apparatus, which is susceptible to portable operation and actuation by the person controlling the event.
It is another object of the invention to provide a remote controlling device for actuating external apparatus, as for example a clock, which may be operated by the person who actually determines the timing of an event.
It is another object of the invention to provide a remote controlling device which may be carried by an official at an event, as for example a referee at a hockey game, and operated by him on the field of play.
It is another object of the invention to provide a remote controlling device in accordance with the preceding object which will provide for simultaneous audible indication and clock actuation.
It is another object of the invention to provide a remote controlling device which may be carried by an official on the field of play during an event and which is relatively easy and inexpensive to fabricate in large and small quantities.
It is another object of the invention to provide a remote controlling device which is susceptible to indoor or outdoor operation and the accompanying wide range of environmental conditions.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a remote controlling device which may utilize relatively inexpensive, commercially available components.
It is another object of the invention to provide a remote controlling device for actuating external apparatus which may be operated without manual effort on the part of the operator.
It is another object of the invention to provide a remote controlling device which is susceptible to use by a multiplicity of operators. As for example, the invention may be used where there are a number of referees or officials who are authorized to stop and start an athletic event.
It is another object of the invention to provide a remote controlling device which may control a variety of external apparatus.
It is another object of the invention to provide a remote controlling device which may be actuated simultaneously with an audible signal but not necessarily responsive thereto.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the invention, a control circuit is provided which may be actuated by a signal from a remote transmitter. The control circuit is adapted for turning on and off external apparatus, as for example a clock, in response to a signal from the transmitter. The transmitter is adapted for portable operation and may be actuated by an air switch which may be integrally combined with the transmitter. The air switch is provided with an air tube so that an operator may blow into the air tube activating the air switch, thereby sending a signal actuating the control circuit.
The control circuit may include multiple relays, switching energy to the clock in response to an input stimulus supplied to the air switch. The circuit may include a time delay device to prevent a stimulus closely following the primary input stimulus from actuating the clock. Preferably, the transmitter may be carried in the pocket of the operator; and the air tube is allowed to extend from the air switch-transmitter combination to the mouth of the operator. The transmitter may emit a high frequency signal which may be modulated. Preferably, a transmitter-receiver combination such as commonly used for garage door opening and closing may be used.
In a modification of the invention, the air tube is coupled to an audible signaling device, as for example a whistle. The free end of the air tube may extend through the whistle and out the mouthpiece thereof. Thus, the whistle-air tube combination is adapted for simultaneous activation of the air switch and emission of an audible signal upon blowing into the air tube-whistle combination by an operator.
The air tube may extend beyond the front portion of the mouthpiece to allow separation of the actuation and whistle blowing functions. Moreover, the air tube may be connected to a syringe or other device to allow actuation of the air switch by manual operation. Also, the air switch may be fitted with a suction tube to allow actuation by extraction of air instead of blowing.
Numerous other features, objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent for the following specification when read in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a block diagram of the preferred embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of the invention further illustrating a whistle used in conjunction with the air switch;
FIG. 3 is a schematic circuit diagram of the control circuit including the radio receiver according to the invention; and
FIG. 4 illustrates another embodiment of the invention in which a rubber syringe and/or a suction tube may be used to actuate the air switch.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS With reference now to the drawings, more particularly to FIG. 1, there is shown a block diagram of the preferred embodiment of the invention in which the control circuit is fitted with external leads l4 and 16 coupled to remote apparatus, as for example a scoreboard clock. The control circuit is also operatively coupled to a smaller clock which may be integrally combined with the control circuit or may be situated nearby. The control circuit is adapted for turning on and off the respective clocks on application of an electrical signal received from the transmitter. The transmitter is adapted for operation by the air switch on application of an input stimulus applied to the air switch. The transmitter, preferably a small portable type, may be situated remote from the control circuit, which includes a receiver portion for receiving a signal from the transmitter and is responsive thereto. The receiver is adapted for actuating switching portions of the control circuit.
Referring now to FIG. 2, there is shown a schematic circuit diagram of the invention in which air switch 30 is integrally combined with transmitter 15. The cut-away view of transmitter 15 shows air switch 30 contained therein and switching terminals 32 and 33 coupled to transmitter 15. Air switch 30 is also fitted with pressure ports 35 and 36. Air tube 31 couples to pressure port 35 and air switch 30 through the wall of transmitter 15 by one of its ends. Changes of pressure in air tube 31 caused, for example by blowing end 31A, operate air switch 30 thereby activating transmitter 15. Air tube 31 may be coupled to a whistle 40 by inserting air tube 31 through hole 40A of whistle 40 and extending the free end 31A of air tube 31 through the mouthpiece of whistle 40. Thus, an audible signal may be emitted by whistle 40 simultaneously with activation of transmitter 15. Moreover, the free end 31A of air tube 31 may extend beyond the mouthpiece of whistle 40 to provide for separate operation of the whistle 40 and transmitter 15. This arrangement also permits a skilled operator to blow the whistle 40 without actuating transmitter 15 by putting his tongue over the end 31A of tube 31 when blowing the whistle.
Control circuit 10 includes an antenna 12 for receiving the signal from transmitter 15. Control circuit 10 is fitted with an integrally mounted clock 20 and provides leads 14 and 16 for connection to the external apparatus, as for example a score board clock.
With reference to FIG. 3, there is shown a schematic diagram in which the radio receiver 10A is shown connected to switching circuit 108. A radio signal is received by antenna 12 of radio receiver 10A, which includes a relay for an actuating switch 8,. An alternating current line source may supply the power for the switching circuit 108 through leads 44 and 46. The line voltage is directly coupled to a transformer T,, which I is adapted to step down the input voltage from 1 l volts AC to 24 volts AC. The transformer T, is coupled to a latching relay 5,, receiver actuated switch actuated switch S, and switching relay 8,. The actuated portion of relay S, couples to a time delay relay 8,, which is also coupled to latching relay S Output relay S likewise couples to latching relay S and couples the actuating signal to output terminals 14 and 16. Also, the circuit may comprise indicator lights N, and N,, which may be located without a case containing the control circuit 10.
In normal operation, latching relay S, may be actuated on application of a low voltage, as for example a 24 volt signal. When the clock is running l volts are applied to output terminals l4 and 16), latching relay S, provides a signal for output relay 8,, which closes causing an output signal on output terminals 14 and 16. Likewise, the output signal is impressed upon indicator light N, indicating clock operation. When the radio receiver receives a signal, as for example a signal in conjunction with a whistle which stops the play at an athletic event, switch S, is closed actuating latching relay 8;. When latching relay S is actuated, the signal is impressed upon the control portion of time delay relay 8,, causing it to open. The opening of time delay relay 8,, likewise causes relay S, to open. When the relays are positioned as above, a second signal received during the time delay portion of time delay relay 8;, will not actuate latching relay 8,, since relay 8 4 is required to complete the circuit for actuating latching relay S Relay 5, is controlled by time delay relay 8,, thus latching relay S, will not be actuated until the time delay period has passed. This protective mechanism will prevent successive whistles from different referees at the same event from actuating the external clock. Indicator light N, is coupled across the signal terminals of time delay relay 5,, and latching relay S to indicate the time period when the clock is off.
FIG. 4 illustrates a modification of the invention in which the transmitter including air switch 30 is fitted with a syringe 40 and a suction tube 42. Air tube 31 is coupled to syringe 40 for actuating air switch 30. When syringe 40 is pressed, air is forced down air tube 31 (as if air were blown into air tube 31 thereby actuating air switch 30. Also, the opposite side of the air switch 30 may be fitted with suction tube 42. Instead of causing air to flow down air tube 31, suction tube 42 actuates air switch 30 by extracting air from suction tube 42 operating transmitter 15. Air switch 30 may be actuated by syringe 40, by blowing in air tube 31 or by extracting air from suction tube 42. Also, transmitter 15 may be fitted with a clip 45 for carrying on the belt, waistband, or the like of the referee or other official operating the apparatus.
The air switch is shown mounted within the transmitter. But the air switch may be mounted externally where it is desired. The air switch may be of any convenient type, preferably one capable of actuation by an operator blowing into an air tube.
In a specific embodiment of the invention, a Fairchild low pressure sensor No. PSF l00A-3 was used as the air switch. The switch required an activation pressure of 3 inches of water in order for switching operation and was fitted with 3/l6-diameter barbed pressure ports for connection to the air and suction tubes. The tubes were 5/32-inch inner diameter plastic tubes, which fitted to the pressure ports. The length of the tube was essentially determined by the distance from the place where the transmitter was carried to the mouth of the operator. The transmitter receiver assembly was a garage door opener and closer type apparatus manufactured by Alliance Manufacturing Company, model number AT-20B. The air tube was coupled to a referee's whistle by inserting it through the rounded end thereof and extending it through the mouthpiece to provide simultaneous actuation of the air switch and blowing of the whistle. The end of the air tube could be extended beyond the mouthpiece of the whistle to allow separation of the above functions. The radio receiver relay switch was connected within the control unit to a 1 10 to 24 volt step down transformer. The transformer in turn was connected to a latching relay, Guardian Electric model No. A404l0-062727-00. The time delay relay of the control circuit was a Potter & Brumfield ll0-volt actuated CHB38- 70001 adjustable time delay relay. The time delay could be adjusted between 1 and 10 seconds. The output and 24 volt circuit relays were Potter & Brumfield KASAY l 10-volt actuated relays. The clock which was integrally combined with the control circuit (see FIG. 2) was a Westclox direct reading dialite clock model No. S29-C. The leads which extend to the scoreboard clock may be of any convenient length to reach such apparatus. The indicator lights for indicating clock operation were red and yellow neon types for indicating on and OR clock operation respectively.
An important feature of the invention is the adaptability of the apparatus to operate by a multiplicity of means. The switch may be operated by an air tube alone or in conjunction with a whistle, by pressing on a syringe which may be held in the hand of the operator, or by extracting air from the suction tube.
Another important feature of the invention is the adaptability of the apparatus to different types of radio transmitters and receivers. The invention is illustrated with a garage door type radio transmitter receiver combination, but the invention works equally well with any type of transmitter-receiver combination which may be actuated by a fluid switch. The garage door type controllers present advantages: The transmitters are suitable for portable operation, they are usually rugged and dependable, and are commercially available in any number of configurations and designs. Moreover, most of these remote controllers operate in frequency bands allowable under Federal Communication Commission regulations, thereby preventing radio interference and illegality problems in the present invention. The signal from the transmitter must, however, be of sufficient strength to reach the receiver and actuate the same. In the greatest range of operation, a signal distance of 50 yards would be more than suflicient.
Another important feature is the versatility of the invention. The invention may be used in virtually any type of athletic event where a clock is to be stopped or started in conjunction with a whistle or separate therefrom.
The invention also may be used in other remote control aspects. For example, the traffic controller in the middle of an intersection may wish to control the traffic signals to regulate traffic flow. With the invention, he may do so by blowing in the air tube in conjunction with a whistle, thereby giving an audible signal as well as regulating the traffic pattern by the indicating lights, leaving his hands free for signaling.
Another important feature of the invention is that the remote apparatus may be actuated without manual manipulation. Either the suction or air tube may be held in the operators mouth leaving the hands free for signaling or other operations. The invention incorporates a time delay relay within the control circuit so that a second signal following the actuating signal will not affect the external apparatus. This feature is particularly useful in athletic events where there are at least two referees who control the operation of the game. Both officials may wish to stop play at nearly the same time, but the time delay will only allow the signal which is first in time to control. The invention may be incorporated without the time delay where it is desired.
Other modifications and uses of and departures from the specific embodiments described herein may be practiced by those skilled in the art without departing from the inventive concepts. Consequently, the invention is to be construed as embracing each and every novel feature and novel combination of features present and possessed by the apparatus and techniques herein disclosed and limited solely by the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. Apparatus for controlling a timer comprising,
transducer means held by an operator of at least part of the apparatus and responsive to an input pressure signal caused by said operator to thereby generate an actuating signal,
transmitting means responsive to said actuating signal for transmitting an electrical signal representative of said actuating signal,
receiving means disposed relatively remote from said transmitting means and responsive to said transmitted electrical signal for generating a control signal,
control circuit means coupled from said receiving means,
responsive to said control signal, and including at least one switch means coupled to said timer for controlling operation of said timer,
and audible signal transmitting means responsive at least in part to said input pressure signal for emitting an audible signal, said transducer means and said audible signal transmitting means being adapted for substantially simultaneous response to said input pressure signal caused by said operator,
said control circuit means including means responsive to said control signal coupled to said switch means to interrupt operation of said timer in response to commencement of a first one of said control signal and time delay means coupled at least in part to both said means responsive to said control signal and said switch means for rendering said control circuit means nonresponsive to a second one of said control signal during a predetermined time interval.
2. Apparatus for controlling as set forth in claim 1 wherein said transducer means includes pressure switch means for actuating said transmitting means in response to said input pressure signal.
3. Apparatus for controlling as set forth in claim 2 wherein said transmitting means includes portable transmitting means for transmitting said electrical signal, said electrical signal comprising a carrier frequency signal and at least one modulating tone.
4. Apparatus for controlling as set forth in claim 3 wherein said receiving means includes means for receiving and for extracting said modulating tone from said electrical signal and said means responsive to said control signal includes means adapted for operation responsive to said modulating tone.
5. Apparatus for controlling as set forth in claim 1 and further comprising latching relay means responsive at least in part to said means responsive to said control signal and intercoupling to said switch means for selectively applying an inhibiting signal to said timer.
6. Apparatus for controlling as set forth in claim 5 and further comprising relay means responsively coupled to said time delay means and said latching relay means for rendering said latching relay means inoperative during said predetermined time interval.
7. Apparatus for controlling as set forth In claim 6 and further comprising indicator light means responsively coupled to said latching relay means for indicating selective operation thereof.
8. Apparatus for controlling as set forth in claim 6 and further comprising air tube means coupled to said pressure switch means for carrying said input pressure signal to said pressure switch means.
9. Apparatus for controlling as set forth in claim 1 wherein said audible signal transmitting means comprises a whistle and said input pressure signal is in the form of an air pressure signal.
10. Apparatus for controlling as set forth in claim 1 and further comprising external means coupled from said switchable means and including a pair of clocks with at least one of said clocks comprising a display clock for remote viewing.