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Publication numberUS3653237 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 4, 1972
Filing dateAug 19, 1969
Priority dateAug 19, 1969
Publication numberUS 3653237 A, US 3653237A, US-A-3653237, US3653237 A, US3653237A
InventorsGideon A Durocher
Original AssigneeEssex International Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Power locking and unlocking apparatus for vehicle doors
US 3653237 A
Abstract
Power locking and unlocking apparatus for a vehicle's doors each having a latch and locking means movable from latch locking position to latch unlocking position and vice versa, the locking and unlocking apparatus comprising a reversible permanent magnet motor associated with each door and being operable in one direction or the other in response to the closing of a switch to lock or unlock the associated latch means. The power locking and unlocking apparatus associated with selected doors is operable to effect locking and unlocking of the latch means of all of the doors from inside the vehicle. The locking and unlocking apparatus associated with selected doors is operable by key controlled means and such key controlled means preferably has associated with it switch means operable from outside the vehicle to energize one or all of the locking and unlocking motors so as to permit one or all of the latch locking means to be operated by a selected one of the key controlled means. Time delay means preferably is associated with each of the locking and unlocking motors to provide a time interval between successive operations of any of the motors.
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United States Patent [151 3,653,237 DuRocher [451 Apr. 4, 1972 54] POWER LOCKING AND UNLOCKING Primary Examiner-Albert 0. Craig, Jr.

APPARATUS FOR VEHICLE DOORS Attorney-Learman & McCulloch [72] Inventor: Gideon A. DuRocher, Mt. Clemens, Mich. [57] ABSTRACT [73] Assignee: Essex Imermuona] Wayne Power locking and unlocking apparatus for a vehicles doors [22] Filed: Aug. 19, 1969 each having a latch and locking means movable from latch locking position to latch unlocking position and vice versa, the [21] Appl' 851,343 locking and unlocking apparatus comprising a reversible per- Related Us Application Data manent magnet motor associated with each door and being operable in one direction or the other in response to the clos- [63] Continuation-impart 0f ing of a switch to lock or unlock the associated latch means. 1963, ,874. The power locking and unlocking apparatus associated with selected doors is operable to effect locking and unlocking of [52] U.S. Cl. ..70/264 the latch means f a f the doors f inside the which The [51] Int. Cl ..E05b 65/36 locking and unlocking apparatus associated with selected [58] Field of Search ..70/264, 280, 283; 292/144, doors is operable by key controlled means d h key com 292/201 trolled means preferably has associated with it switch means operable from outside the vehicle to energize one or all of the [56] References cued locking and unlocking motors so as to permit one or all of the UNITED STATES PATENTS latch locking means to be operated by a selected one of the key controlled means. Time delay means preferably is as- 2,799, l Beal ociated each of the locking and unlocking motors to pro. 2,904,938 9/1959 vide a time interval between successive operations of any of 2,934,930 5/1960 Garvey the motors. 2,959,238 11/1960 Dyer et al. ..70/264 X 17 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures 27 28 5 i 36 20 l9 2 l ,r

l0 1 /9 tr? W E H. 1 V6 1 k i 12 n 9J1 66 I3 'l"' n 34 PATENTEDAPR 4 I972 SHEET 1 [IF 3 INVENTOR. GIDEQN A. DUROCHER PATENTEDAPR M972 8,653 237 SHEET 2 or 3 INVENTOR. GIDEON A. DUROCHER VIBY PATENTEDAPR 4 I972 SHEET 3 BF 3 INVENTOR' GIDEON- A. DUROCHER FIG. 7

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POWER LOCKING AND UNLOCKING APPARATUS FOR VEHICLE DOORS RELATED APPLICATION This application is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 773,159, filed Nov. 4, 1968, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,541,874, dated Nov. 24, 1970.

The invention disclosed herein relates to power operating means for actuating the latch locking and unlocking mechanisms of vehicle doors and more particularly to improved power apparatus whereby one or all of the latch locking and unlocking devices may be operated either from the inside or the outside of the vehicle, and wherein the latch locking and unlocking mechanisms manually may be operated individually without reliance upon the power apparatus.

Power apparatus for locking and unlocking the door latching means of vehicles has been proposed heretofore and has relied primarily upon the use of solenoids or pneumatic devices. Fractional horsepower electric motors are less expensive than solenoids and pneumatic devices, but one of the problems encountered in'the use of such motors is that the switching means for controlling the operation of the motors has to be located within the vehicle door in an area having a particularly high moisture content which adversely affects the switching means.

Another problem encountered in the utilization of solenoid and pneumatic operating means for power door locking and unlocking devices is that relatively heavy cables, hoses and the like must be mounted within the door, thereby necessitating accommodation of the cables and hoses in the door hinge mechanism. Fitting of hoses, cables and the like in the door hinging mechanism is an intricate operation, requiring the exercise of considerable care so as to avoid cutting or pinching of the cables or hoses, and is made even more complex if the control switch is mounted in the door.

An object of this invention is to provide power apparatus for locking and unlocking the latching mechanism of one or more vehicle doors and which overcomes the problems of prior devices for similar purposes.

Another object of the invention is to provide apparatus of the character referred to and which is operable either from inside or outside the vehicle.

A further object of the invention is to provide improved switching means for controlling the operation of power apparatus for locking and unlocking vehicle doors.

Another object of the invention is to provide power apparatus for locking and unlocking door latching mechanisms and which is less expensive and more reliable than apparatus previously proposed for similar purposes.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be pointed out specifically or will become apparent from the following description when it is considered in conjunction with the appended claims and the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary, side elevational view of a four-door vehicle having the door locking and unlocking apparatus mounted therein, portions of the outer panels of the doors being broken away for purposes of illustration;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary, enlarged sectional view taken on the line 2--2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary, elevational view of a portion of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged, fragmentary, elevational view of a portion of the rear door locking and unlocking apparatus shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged, fragmentary, elevational view of the key actuated locking and unlocking mechanism illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged, vertical sectional view of a control switch forming part of the invention; and

FIG. 7 is a schematic wiring diagram.

Apparatus constructed in accordance with the invention is adapted for use in conjunction with a typical four-door automobile 1 having a front door 2 and a rear door 3 at one side and identical front and rear doors at the opposite side. Within each front door 2 is mounted a latch assembly designated generally by the reference character 4. The latch assembly 4 may be any one of a number of conventional kinds and, for purposes of illustration, it corresponds to that disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 2,934,930, issued May 3, 1960, and to which reference may be had for a more detailed disclosure of the latch. Briefly, however, the latch assembly 4 comprises a frame 5 mounted inside the door between its inner and outer panels. A latch bolt 6 rotatably mounted in a bolt housing 7 projects through an opening in the jamb face of the door for engagement with a keeper mounted on a center pillar 8 of the vehicle body. The bolt is held against rotation in one direction by engagement of a detent mounted on the latch frame with a ratchet that is mounted for rotation with the bolt, an end of the detent being shown at 9 in FIG. 3. Inside the vehicle door there is a multi-armed lever 10 pivoted at 11 on the latch frame. One arm of the lever terminates in a notch, the walls of which straddle the detent 9. Another arm of the lever terminates in a turned flange which lies adjacent one arm of a remote bell crank 12 that is pivoted at 13 on the latch frame and which is connected by means of a rod 14 to a turn handle 15 rotatably mounted on the door inner panel. When the handle 15 is rocked in a door opening direction it exerts, via the rod 14, a force on the bell crank 10 to swing the latter in a counterclockwise direction whereupon the bell crank engages the multi-armed lever 10 and swings the latter in a clockwise direction, thereby moving the detent 9 downwardly out of engagement with the bolt ratchet. The bolt then is freely rotatable and the door may be opened.

To operate the latch mechanism from outside the vehicle, there is provided a push button 16 slidably mounted in a gripping handle 17 that is fixed on the doors outer panel. A rod 18 connects the push button mechanism with a lever 19 (FIGS. 3 and 5) that in turn is connected to an intermittent link 20. Operation of the push button 16 causes downward movement of the intermittent link 20 whereupon a shoulder 21 thereon engages the detent 9 to swing it out of engagement with the bolt ratchet.

To lock the door against outside operation, the intermittent link 20 may be swung in a clockwise direction from the FIG. 3 position so as to move the shoulder 21 sufficiently far to the left that the detent 9 lies out of the path of downward movement of the shoulder 21 when the push button 16 is depressed. Thus, the intermittent link 20 is uncoupled from the detent 9 so that the intermittent link moves idly when the push button is operated and the detent is undisturbed.

The intermittent link 20 is connected to one arm of a bell crank 22 that is pivoted at 23 on the latch frame 5. The other arm of the bell crank carries a rivet 24 which is received in a slot formed in a locking member 25 that is pivotally mounted at 26 on the latch frame. The locking. member is movable between latch locking and unlocking position and is held yieldably in either position by an overcentering spring 27 which is connected between the locking member 25 and the latch frame 5. The locking member is limited in its range of pivotal movement and is blocked against excessive overtravel in either direction by a stop tab 28 bent from the member 25 and extending through a slot 29 in the latch frame. The slot 29 is of such length, however, as to permit overtravel of the member 25 a predetermined distance for a purpose presently to be explained.

To lock the door from outside the vehicle, there is a conventional key cylinder 30 mounted on the doors outer panel and having a rockable operating lever 31 that is connected by link means 32 to a rock lever 33 that is pivotally mounted on the latch frame and which is connected to a link 34, the upper end of which is connected by the rivet 24 to the locking member 25. Rotary movement of a key in the key cylinder 30 will shift the locking member 25 between its latch locking and unlocking positions.

To lock the door from inside the vehicle, there is conventional manual lock operating means comprising a button 35 that is fixed to the upperend of a reciprocable link or red 36, the lower end of which is pivoted as at 37 to the locking member 25. Depression or downward movement of the button 35 rocks the locking member 25 counterclockwise from the position shown in FIGS. 1 and 3 so as to move the intermittent link to its locked or uncoupled position. Upward movement of the button 35 returns the locking member to its original position.

In each of the rear doors 3 is door latching means designated generally by the reference character 40 and which is similar in many respects to-the front door latching means 4. The principal differences between the front and rear door latches are that the rear door latch does not have an outside key-operated locking device and the rear door latch has an a different mechanical arrangement for inside operation to provide a selective free wheeling function. Those parts. of the front and rear door latches which are identical are designated by the same reference characters as corresponding parts of the front door latch with the addition of the suffix a.

The rear door latch may be operated from outside the vehicle by means of a push button assembly 41 that is slidably mounted in a fixed gripping handle 42, the push button being connected via a rod 43 to the door latch. For inside operation there is a rockable handle 44 mounted on the doors inner panel and connected by a rod 45 to a motion transfer bell crank 46 which in turn is connected by a rod 47 to the remote lever 12a in the door latch. For mechanical locking from inside the vehicle, there is a conventional button 48 that is connected by a link or rod 49 to a bell crank 50 which is connected by a rod 51 to the pivotally mounted locking member Power means 55 is provided in each front door for operating the associated latch locking and unlocking mechanism 4 and comprises a reversible, permanent magnet motor 56 mounted on a bracket 57 that is secured to the inner door panel, the motor 56 having a drive shaft 58 on which is fixed a pinion 59.

lnterconnecting the .driving motor 56 and the locking member 25 is drive transmission means 60 comprising a gear segment 61 journaledas at 62 on the bracket 57 and having teeth 63 in mesh with the pinion 59. The gear has an arcuate slot 52 in which is accommodated a stop finger 53. Engagement between the finger 53 and the end walls of the slot limits movement of the gear.

Pivoted to the gear 61 at a point radially offset from the axis of rotation thereof is one end of a link assembly 64 comprising a lower link 65 and an upper link 66, the upper end of the latter being connected by the pin 37 to the locking member 25. Forming part of the link assembly 64 is control switching means 67 which will be described in greater detail hereinafter. For the present, however, it is sufficient to state that rotation of the motor shaft 58 in one direction will effect clockwise movement of the gear segment 61 from the position shown in FIG. 1 so as to shift the locking member 25 to its latch locking position, and rotation of the motor shaft in the opposite direction will enable the link assembly 64 to restore the locking member 25 to its latch unlocking position.

Power operating apparatus is provided for each of the rear door latch locking and unlocking devices and is substantially identical to the apparatus 55. Corresponding parts, therefore, are identified by corresponding reference characters with addition of the suffix a. The principal difference between the mechanisms 55 and 55a is that the latter mechanism includes, in lieu of the link assembly 64, a one piece drive transmitting link 68 which is pivoted at its lower end to the gear segment 61a and at its upper end to an arm 69 fixed to the locking member 250.

The link means 32 associated with the key controlled cylinder mechanisms includes upper and lower links 70 and 71 respectively, the upper end of the link 70 being pivoted to the lever 31 and the lower end of the link 71 being pivoted to the rock lever 33. Forming part of the link means 32 is control switching means 72 similar to the switching means 67.

The structure of the switching means 67 and 72 is illustrated in FIG. 6 and comprises a hollow, cylindrical casing 75 formed of insulating material such as nylon or the like and within which is a concentric, electrically conductive sleeve 76 that has an axially elongated, diametral, lost motion slot 77 between its ends. The upper end of the link 65 extends into the sleeve 76 and is fixed to the latter by means of a pin 78. The lower end of the link 66 also extends into the sleeve 76 and is connected to the latter by means of an actuating pin 79 which passes through the slot 77 so as to permit limited lost motion between the link 66 and the sleeve 76 and between the links 65 and 66. Encircling the sleeve 76 and arranged on opposite sides of the pin 79 is a pair of electrically conductive washers 80 and 81. In face to face engagement with the washer 80 is an annular, pressure sensitive transducer or switch 82 and in axially spaced, confronting relation to the transducer 82 is an annular conductor 83 having a pair of axially extending legs 84 which parallel the inner wall of the housing 75. Fitted within the legs 84 is a rigid, annular plug 85 formed of insulating material such as nylon and which is fixed with respect to the casing 75 by the pin 78 and by an electrically conductive screw 86 which extends through the casing 75 and through one leg 84 of the conductor 83 so as to connect to the latter an electrically conductive wire 87.

In face to face engagement with the conductive washer 81 is a pressure sensitive transducer or switch 88 similar in all respects to the transducer 82. In axially spaced relation to the transducer 88 is an annular conductor 89 corresponding to the conductor 83 and from which extends a pair of legs 90 which parallel the wall of the casing 75. An insulating plug 91 similar to the plug 85 is accommodated between the legs 90 and is fixed with respect to the casing 75 by a pair of screws 92 corresponding to the screw 86. One of the screws 92 connects a wire 93 to one of the legs 90 of the conductor 89. A wire 94 is coupled by means of a conductive clamp 95 to the link 66.

The central opening in each of the annular conductors 83 and 89 is larger than the outside diameter of the sleeve 76, thereby providing an annular space between each of the annular conductors and the sleeve 76. The plugs 85 and 91, however, include axially extending, annular projections 96 and 97, respectively, which occupy the annular spaces and bear against the associated transducers 82 and 88. The projections 96 and 97 thus perform the function of providing axial spacing between the transducers and their respective conductors 83 and 89, and the projections 96 and 97 also provide concentrated force applying means in a manner and for a purpose presently to be described.

Each of the transducers 82 and 88 preferably is constructed in the manner disclosed in application Ser. No. 857,941, filed Sept. 15, 1969, and comprises an annular pad of resilient, deformable, non-conductive, synthetic rubber material such as that produced by combining Dow Corning silicone 3120 with Dow Corning catalyst S or F and throughout which is dispersed a large number of electrically conductive particles such as commercially available silver coated, copper particles. The pad constituting each of the transducers is completely moisture impervious and may be formed by combining the silicone resin and catalyst and stirring the conductive particles therein, following which the mixture may be cast in a mold and cured. The pads thus produced are non-conductive until such time as they are subjected to sufficient compression to cause the conductive particles to establish a conductive path through the pad. Upon release of the compressive force, the resilience of the silicone rubber will enable the pad to expand and break the conductive path therethrough. The two pads constituting the transducers yieldably maintain the links 65 and 66 in their normal positions in which neither of the transducers is conductive.

Only one of the transducers 82 and 88 may be rendered conductive at any one time. If the transducer 82 is to be rendered conductive, a compressive force must be applied to the transducer 82 sufficient to establish a conductive path via the conductive particles between the conductors 80 and 83. This may be accomplished by applying a downward force on the link 66, via the operating button 35 and the locking member 25, of sufficient magnitude to take up the lost motion between the pin 79 and the slot 77 in the sleeve 76 and to cause the actuating pin 79 to bear against the conductor 80 so as to compress the pad 82 between the conductor 80 and the conductor 83. The projection 96 will provide a concentration of force adjacent the conductor 83 so as to assure establishing a conductive path through the transducer 82. v

To render the transducer 88 conductive, the pin 79 must be moved upwardly so as to compress the transducer 88 between the conductors 81 and 89. Such movement of the pin 79 may be accomplished by upward movement of button 35 and corresponding rocking of the member 35 a distance sufficient to enable the link 66 to take up the lost motion between the pin 79 and the sleeve 76 and to effect engagement between the conductors 81 and 89. The projection 97 will provide a high concentration of force adjacent the conductor 89 so as to assure the establishing of conduction through the transducer 88.

The tab 28 of the locking member 25 limits rocking movement of the latter in accordance with the length of the slot 29, but the length of the slot is sufiicient to enable the relative movement of the links 65 and 66 the distance required to effect compression of the transducers 82 and 88.

The construction of the switching means 72 is the same as that of the switch 67, and it will be understood that it is the expansion and contraction of the link means 32, and specifically the movement of the link 70 relative to the link 71, which effects operation of the two transducer pads of the switch 72. Electrical leads 87a, 93a and 94a are associated with the switch 72 and corresponds to the leads 87, 93 and 94, respectivcly.

H6. 7 discloses schematically one arrangement for operating the power locking and unlocking apparatus of all of the doors of a vehicle. As shown, there is one motor 56 for each of the four doors, the motor 56(L) being the motor in the left front door, the motor 56(R) being the motor in the right front door, and the motors 56a(L) and 560(k) being the motors in the left rear and right rear doors, respectively. The armatures of all of the motors are connected in parallel circuit relation between power lines L1 and L-2. The control switches or transducers of the left front door only are shown in FIG. 7, but it will be understood that the right front door has similar switches associated with it. The locking transducer 82 associated with the operating button 35 is depicted at 82BL, the unlocking transducer 88 associated with the button 35 is depicted at 88BU, the locking transducer 82 associated with the key cylinder 30 is depicted at 82KL, and the key unlocking transducer is depicted at 88KU.

The transducers 82KL and 82BL are connected in parallel between the junction of the wires 87, 87a and the battery B by the line 94. The transducers 88KU and 88BU are connected in parallel between the junction of the wires 93, 93a and the battery by the line 94a.

The apparatus includes a double pole, double throw relay 99 having two similarly wound windings 100 and 101. One end of each winding is adapted to be connected with the battery B through the transducers 82BL, 82KL and 88BU and 88KU, respectively. The opposite ends of the relay windings are joined and are connected to the emitter of a PNP-transistor T having its collector grounded. A capacitor 105 is connected between ground and the base of the transistor T. The junction of the capacitor and the base of the transistor is connected through resistors 108 and 109 to the junctions of the lines 87, 87a and 93, 93a, respectively. The relay 99 has two switching contacts 102 and 103 which are adapted to connect the four door motors 56 to the battery B.

When either of the transducers 82BL or 82KL is rendered conductive the relay winding 100 is energized and effects movement of the switching contacts 102 and 103 to the left so as to connect the battery B to the armatures of all of the motors 56 via the lines L-l and L-2. The polarity of the battery should be such as to effect driving of the motors in a direction to effect movement of the locking members 25, 25a to their latch locking positions.

When either of the transducers 88BU or 88KU is rendered conductive, the winding 101 is energized to effect movement of the switching contacts 102 and 103 to the right, thus connecting the armatures of the motors 56 to the battery B with a reverse polarity. The motors thus will be driven in the opposite direction to effect movement of the locking members 25, 25a to their latch unlocking positions.

Regardless of which transducer is rendered conductive, the emitter of the transistor T will be connected to the positive side of the battery B through the appropriate winding and 101 so as to bias the transistor forwardly into conduction. Simultaneously, the capacitor will begin to charge and within a very short time, such as one second, the charge of the capacitor will be sufficient to decrease the forward bias on the base-emitter junction to render the transistor T non-conductive. When the transistor is rendered non-conductive, the current through the winding 100 or 101 ceases and the switching contacts 102 and 103 return to their neutral positions as shown in FIG. 7, whereupon the motors 56 will be disconnected from the power source. In essence, therefore, each of the motors is energized by a current pulse of short duration, but for a period of time sufficient to drive all the locking members 25, 25a to their latch locking or latch unlocking positions.

Although the transistor T is rendered non-conductive shortly after energization of the motors 56 in either direction of operation, the capacitor 105 will maintain its reverse biasing charge through the resistor 108 or 109 until such time as the actuated transducer is rendered non-conductive and opens the circuit to the capacitor 105, at which time the capacitor will discharge through the transistor T. The discharge of the capacitor is at a slower rate than its charging rate, however, so as to require 2 or more seconds before the transistor can be rendered conductive. Thus, the apparatus has a time delay characteristic which prevents rapid locking and unlocking operations such as may be attempted by a child and which would be harmful to the apparatus.

In the operation of the apparatus, any one of the four doors of the vehicle may be locked independently of the others by downward movement of the appropriate operating button 35 or 48. Each of the doors also may be unlocked independently of the others by upward movement of the appropriate operating button 35 or 48. That is, the locking members 25 and 250 may be shifted between latch locking and latch unlocking positions in the conventional manner. Although rocking of the members 25 and 25a causes either upward or downward movement of the associated drive transmitting links, the shafts of the respective motors 56, 56a offer insufficient resistance to movement of the gear segments 61, 61a to effect compression of the associated transducers. Thus, each door locking and unlocking mechanism may be operated completely independently of the others in the usual manner.

When it is desired to lock all of the doors from within the vehicle, the operating button 35 of one of the front doors may be depressed so as to shift the associated locking member 25 to its latch locking position. If the operating button 35 is depressed further to the limit permitted by the slot 29, the link 66 will be moved downwardly, but the gear segment 61 will be unable to rock clockwise due to the engagement between the stop finger 53 and the end wall of the slot 52. Consequently the links 65 and 66 will be contracted and the transducer 82 will be compressed so as to rendered conductive, thereby energizing all of the motors 56(L), 56(R), 56a(L) and 56a(R). The drive shaft of each of the motors, with the exception of the motor 56(L) will be driven in such direction as to move the associated latch locking members 25, 25a to their latch locking positions. The drive shaft of the motor 56(L) will not rotate because the gear segment 61 associated with it then already will be in its extreme limit of rotation. The inability of the shaft of the motor 56(1.) to rotate is not detrimental inasmuch as the current pulse supplied to the motor is of extremely short duration. Upon release of the button 35, the inherent resilience of the transducer 82 will cause the latter to expand and become non-conductive.

When all of the doors are in their locked condition, any one of them may be unlocked by upward movement of the appropriate operating button 35 or 48 in the conventional manner. If it is desired to unlock all of the doors simultaneously from inside the vehicle, however, either of the front door operating buttons 35 may be moved upwardly so as to rock the associated gear segment 61 until the stop finger 53 engages the opposite end wall of the slot 52. Further upward movement of the operating button 35, as permitted by the slot 29, will efiect elongation of the links 65 and 66 and compression of the transducer 88 to render the latter conductive. When the transducer 88 is rendered conductive, all of the drive motors will be energized, except for the motor 56(L) or 56(R) so as to drive the associated gear segments 61, 61a in such direction as to effect movement of the locking members 25, 25a to their latch unlocking positions. Again, the drive shaft of the motor 56(L) or 56(R) will not be capable of rotating, but the short duration of the current pulse supplied to that motor will not harm the latter. Upon release of the operating button 35, the inherent resilience of the transducer 88 will cause the latter to expand, thereby rendering it non-conductive and disconnecting the driving motors from the power source.

If all of the doors of the vehicle are locked and if it is desired to unlock one door, such as that on the drivers side, from outside the vehicle, a key may be fitted into the lock cylinder 30 and be rocked clockwise from the neutral or full line position shown in FIG. to a first or dotted line position A. The linkage 32 will shift the rock lever 33 and effect movement of the locking member 25 to its latch unlocking position. The front door on the drivers side then may be opened, but all of the other doors will remain locked as is conventional.

Should it be desired to unlock all of the doors from outside the vehicle, the key may be rocked further so as to shift the lever 31 beyond the position A to the position B, thereby causing the linkage 32 to elongate inasmuch as the rock lever 33 will be at one limit of its rocking movement. Elongation of the linkage 32 will effect compression of the transducer 88 so as to render the latter conductive, whereupon all four of the drive motors will be energized simultaneously to effect unlocking of all of the latch mechanisms.

Although all doors of the vehicle may be locked by depressing one of the front door operating buttons 35, there are occasions when it is desirable to lock all of the doors from outside. In the disclosed embodiment of the invention, this may be accomplished by rocking the key cylinder 30 counterclockwise whereupon the lever 31 will be rocked from the neutral or full line position shown in FIG. 5 to the dotted line position C so as to shift the rock lever 33 to its locking position. Such movement of the lever 31 not only will lock the associated front door, but also will effect contraction of the linkage 32 and compression of the transducer 82 so as to render the latter conductive and energize all of the drive motors so as to shift the associated locking members to their latch locking positions.

Since all doors of the vehicle should be locked if any one of them is locked from outside the vehicle, the transducer 82 associated with the control switch 72 should be more sensitive than the transducer 88 which controls unlocking of the door latches. The relative sensitivities of the transducers 82 and 88 may be varied in any one of several ways. For example, the transducer 82 could have incorporated in it a larger number of conductive particles than are included in the transducer 88. Alternatively, the transducer 82 could be made much thinner than the transducer 88, thereby requiring less travel of the links 65 and 66 toward one another to render the transducer 82 conductive.

The disclosed embodiment is representative of a presently preferred form of the invention but is intended to be illustrative rather than definitive thereof.

1 claim:

1. Power locking and unlocking apparatus for a vehicle door having latch means and locking means movable from latch locking position to latch unlocking position and vice versa,

said apparatus comprising extensible and contractile operating link means connected to said locking means and movable in either of two directions for moving said locking means from either of said positions to the other; electrical drive means; drive transmission means interconnecting said drive means sand said locking means for moving the latter from either of said positions to the other in response to movement of said drive means; and normally open switch means forming part of said operating means in circuit with said drive means and operable when closed to connect said drive means to a power source, said operating means being operable to close said switch means in response to movement of said operating means a predetermined distance in either of said directions.

2. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 including second operating means connected to said locking means for moving the latter from either of said positions to the other independently of said drive means and independently of the operating link means.

3. Apparatus as set forth in claim 2 wherein said second operating means comprises a key operated rotary linkage assembly.

4. Apparatus as set forth in claim 3 wherein said linkage assembly includes a rod connected to a rotatably lever and movable in response to rotation of said lever.

5. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein said drive means comprises an electric motor.

6. Apparatus as set forth in claim 5 wherein said motor has a rotary shaft and wherein said transmission means comprises gear means driven by said shaft.

7. Apparatus as set forth in claim 5 wherein said motor is reversible.

8. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 including a rotary lever and wherein said operating link means interconnects said lever and said locking means.

9. Apparatus as set forth in claim 8 wherein said operating link means comprises first and second elements movable relatively to one another from a normal position, and wherein said switch means is resilient and acts on said elements to bias them to said normal position.

10. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 including means in circuit with said drive means for disabling operation thereof for a limited period following movement of said locking means from either of said positions to the other.

11. Power door locking and unlocking apparatus for a vehicle having a plurality of doors each having latch means and locking means movable from latch locking position to latch unlocking position and vice versa, said apparatus comprising electrical drive means on each of said doors; drive transmission means interconnecting each of said drive means and its associated locking means and operable to move the latter from either of its positions to the other; normally open switch means in circuit with all of said drive means and operably when closed to connect all of said drive means to a power source; and manual operating means comprising a pair of relatively extensible and contractile links connected at least to the locking means of one of said doors and movable in either of two directions, said operating means being operable to close said switch means in response to movement thereof a predetermined distance in either of said directions, said switch means acting on said links and yieldably maintaining them in a normal position from which they are relatively movable in either of two directions of movement.

12. Apparatus as set forth in claim 11 including means in circuit with said drive means for disabling operation thereof for a limited period following movement of said locking means from either of said positions to the other.

13. Power door locking and unlocking apparatus for a vehicle having a plurality of doors each having latch means and locking means movable from latch locking position to latch unlocking position and vice versa, said apparatus comprising reversible electric drive means carried by each of said doors; drive transmitting means interconnecting each of said drive means to the associated locking means for moving the latter from either of said positions to the other; at least one of said drive transmitting means including relatively movable parts; normally open switch means forming part of said one of said drive transmitting means, said switch means being in circuit with all of said drive means and operable when closed to connect all of said drive means to a source of electrical power; means responsive to relative movement in one direction of said parts for closing said switch means to drive all of said drive means in one direction to move their associated locking means from one of said positions to the other and responsive to relative movement of said parts in opposite direction for closing said switch means to drive all of said drive means in the opposite direction to move their associated locking means from said other position to said one position; and means for effecting relative movement of said relatively movable parts.

14. Power door locking and unlocking apparatus for a vehicle having a plurality of doors each having latch means and locking means movable from latch locking position to latch unlocking position and vice versa, said apparatus comprising operating means carried by at least one of said doors and connected to the associated locking means for moving the latter from either of said positions to the other, said operating means including parts movable relatively to one another following movement of said one of said locking means from either of sald positions to the other; electrical drive means carried by all of the remaining doors and connected to the associated locking means for moving the latter from either of said positions to the other; a pair of normally open switch means forming part of said operating means, said pair of switch means being in circuit with all of said drive means, each of said switch means being operable when closed to connect all of said drive means to a source of electrical power; means operable in response to relative movement in one direction of said parts to close one of said switch means and drive all of said drive means in one direction to move their associated locking means from one of said positions to the other; means operable in response to relative movement in the opposite direction of said parts to close the other of said switch means and drive all of said drive means in the opposite direction to move their associated locking means from said other position to said one position; and means for effecting relative movement of said parts.

15. Door locking and unlocking apparatus for a vehicle having a power source and a plurality of doors each having latch means and locking means movable from latch locking position to latch unlocking position and vice versa, said apparatus comprising key controlled, rotary operating means carried by at least one of said doors and rockable in one direction from a neutral position to and beyond a first position; means connecting said operating means to the locking means on said one of said doors for moving such locking means from one of said positions to the other in response to rocking of said operating means from said neutral position to said first position; electrical drive means carried by all the remaining doors and connected to the associated locking means for moving the latter from one of said positions to the other; normally open, resilient switch means in circuit with all of said drive means and biasing said operating means to said neutral position, said switch means being operable when closed to connect all of said drive means to said power source; and actuating means operable in response to rocking of said operating means beyond said first position to close said switch means and effect driving of all of said drive means in one direction.

16. The apparatus set forth in claim 15 wherein said operating means is rockable from said neutral position in the opposite direction to a second position; and second actuating means operable in response to rocking of said operating means to said second position to close said switch means and effect driving of all of said drive means in the opposite direction.

17. The apparatus set forth in claim 16 wherein the means connecting said operating means to the locking means on said one of said doors is operable to moye such locking means from said other position to said one position in response to rocking of said operating means to said second position.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4135377 *Nov 30, 1976Jan 23, 1979Arn. Kiekert SohneCentral locking equipment for vehicle doors
US4342209 *Mar 24, 1980Aug 3, 1982Kiekert Gmbh & Co. KommanditgesellschaftCentral vehicle door-lock system
US4364249 *Mar 24, 1980Dec 21, 1982Kiekert Gmbh & Co. KommanditgesellschaftCentral door-lock system for motor vehicles
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Classifications
U.S. Classification70/264
International ClassificationH01H1/029, H01H13/52, E05B65/12
Cooperative ClassificationH01H13/52, H01H1/029
European ClassificationH01H13/52, H01H1/029
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 11, 1988AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: ESSEX GROUP, INC.
Owner name: UNITED TECHNOLOGIES AUTOMOTIVES, INC., A CORP. OF
Effective date: 19880223
Jul 11, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: UNITED TECHNOLOGIES AUTOMOTIVES, INC., A CORP. OF
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:ESSEX GROUP, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004933/0578
Effective date: 19880223