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Publication numberUS3660919 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 9, 1972
Filing dateJun 26, 1970
Priority dateJun 26, 1970
Also published asCA926119A1, DE2102081A1
Publication numberUS 3660919 A, US 3660919A, US-A-3660919, US3660919 A, US3660919A
InventorsNagel Robert I
Original AssigneeAmerace Esna Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Optical annunciator
US 3660919 A
Abstract
An optical annunciator in which any one of alternate visual displays is revealed for viewing over the entire obverse surface of a lenticulate lens by the displacement of display means juxtaposed with the reverse surface of the lenticulate lens, the display means including alternate visual displays, each divided into portions, each portion of a display being located between adjacent portions of another display, and masking means for blocking from view those portions of the display means which do not form a part of the revealed display.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [is] 3,660,919 Nagel 1 May 9, 1972 s41 OPTICAL ANNUNCIATOR 771,324 9/1904 Ives ..40/137 [72] Inventor: Robert I. N888], Skokie, lll. PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS [73] Assignee: 11:12:11 E n Corporation, New York. 595,2 "4 19 0 Canada 40 137 [22] Filed: June 26, 1970 Primary Examiner-Robert W. Michell Assistant Examiner-J. H. Wolff [2H App! 50043 Attorney-Samuelson&1acob 52 us. CI ..40/78.03,40/106, 40/51, ABSTRACT I Int Cl An optical annunciator in which any one of alternate visual displays is revealed for viewing over the entire obverse surface [58] Search A5H f fi w' i of a lenticulate lens by the displacement of display means juxtaposed with the reverse surface of the lenticulate lens, the display means including alternate visual displays, each divided [56] References Cited into portions, each portion of a display being located between UNITED STATES PATENTS adjacent portions of another display, and masking means for 3 538 632 1 H1970 A d 350/! x blocking from view those portions of the display means WhlCh y erso" H do not form a art of the revealed dis la 3,085,473 4/1963 Bourgeaux et a1... ..350/l67 X p P y 3,562,941 2/1971 Boden ..40/IO6.53

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\NVENTOR ROBERT I. NRGEL HTTORN vs The present invention relates generally to annunciators and pertains, more specifically, to an optical annunciator which relies only upon external, or ambient, light for visually revealing that which is to be indicated by the annunciator.

Annunciators are commonly employed to provide visual indications of the position of various actuators, operators, and like controls or to indicate the condition of various control circuits, such as electrical, hydraulic and fluidic circuits.

Among the most common annunciators are indicator lamps which are usually illuminated to indicate the on position of a switch or to indicate an active condition of an electric circuit. These lamps will remain unlit to indicate the off" position of the switch or an inactive condition of the circuit. Indicator lamps require electric current for their operation and are therefore not the most feasible type of annunciator in installations where electric current is not readily available. Additionally, certain environments mitigate against the use of electrically operated devices in that these devices would either introduce a hazard into the environment, or the environment may cause rapid deterioration and failure of the electrical components of the annunciator. Furthermore, the failure of a lamp, or its related circuitry, which is generally unpredictable, will result in a consequent failure to provide a required indication.

Mechanical annunciators are also available which merely display a character, a word, or a particular color to indicate the position of a switch or the condition of a circuit, or to pro- .vide a wide variety of other indications. However, the visual indications provided by such mechanical annunciators have been rather meager in proportion to the size and bulk of the annunciator mechanisms and large, clearly visible indications have not been available without the presence of a large, bulky annunciator mechanism.

It is therefore an important object of the invention to provide an annunciator which exhibits a relatively large and legible indication in a device which is relatively small and compact and which may be operated entirely by mechanical means.

Another object of the invention is to provide an annunciator which makes use of optical components to exhibit a visual indication or display through the use of available ambient light without requiring electric current.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a device which exhibits an apparently large change in a visual indication with a relatively small amount of mechanical movement of the components thereof, thereby enabling such a large change to take place with a minimal expenditure of mechanical energy.

A further object of the invention is to provide an optical annunciator which is compact and which will provide a desired indication viewable over a relatively wide angle of view and without the presence of false indications.

A still further object of the invention is to provide an optical annunciator which is exceedingly simple in design and construction, requiring a minimum number of component parts which are easily fabricated and readily assembled.

The above objects, as well as still further objects and advantages, are attained by the invention which may be described briefly as an optical annunciator for selectively revealing one of alternate visual displays for viewing along a given direction of view, the optical annunciator comprising a lenticulate lens having an obverse surface including a plurality of elongate lenticular lens elements of prescribed lateral width, each having a plane of symmetry aligned generally parallel with the direction of view and dividing the width, and a reverse surface including a plurality of areas corresponding to the lenticular lens elements, each area being centered about the plane of symmetry of a corresponding lenticular lens element and having a lateral width between opposite edges less than the lateral width of the corresponding lenticular lens element such that adjacent areas are spaced from one another in directions transverse to the planes of symmetry, the contour of each lenticular lens element being such that each area of the reverse surface is viewable along the direction of view at the obverse surface over essentially the entire corresponding len- -ticular lens element, display means juxtaposed with the reverse surface and including alternate visual displays, each display being divided into a set of discrete portions with each discrete portion of one set being located between adjacent discrete portions of another set, each discrete portion having a lateral extent corresponding generally to the lateral width of each area, and adjacent portions of each set being spaced apart a distance equal to the spacing between adjacent planes of symmetry such that all of the portions of one set may be simultaneously juxtaposed with the areas, masking means for blocking from view, along directions at angles to the planes of symmetry, further of the discrete portions which do not form a part of the one set, and means for selectivelymoving the display means in increments of displacement transverse to the planes of symmetry of the lenticular lens elements, each increment corresponding at least to the width of each area of the reverse surface such that any one of the alternate sets may be located for viewing over essentially the entire obverse surface.

The invention will be more fully understood, and still further objects and advantages thereof will become apparent, in the following detailed description of an embodiment of the invention illustrated in the accompanying drawing, in which:

FIG. I is a front elevational view of an installed optical annunciator constructed in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a rear elevational view of the optical annunciator;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged plan view, lined for color, of the display surface of the optical annunciator;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary view, partially lined for color, of a portion of FIG. 5;

FIG. Sis a front elevational view of another annunciator constructed in'accordance with the invention;

FIG. 9 is a partially schematic topplan view of the annunciator of FIG. 8, sectioned along line 9-9 of FIG. '10; and

FIG. 10 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along line 10-10 of FIG. 8.

Referring now to the drawing and especially to FIGS. 1 through 4, an optical annunciator constructed in accordance with the invention is shown generally at 10. Optical annunciator 10 is illustrated as apart of a push-button actuator which may be employed in connection with a two-position device 12, such as a valve or an electric switch, to actuate the device between the two positions and to indicate which one of the two positions the device 12 is in subsequent to the depression of the push-button. Thus, optical annunciator 10 has a housing 14 within which there is mounted a push-button 16, the front face of the housing I4 including a window 20 for displaying one of two alternate visual displays which will indicate whether the device 12 is in an "ON" position or an "OFF" position;

As best seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, the housing 14 of the annunciator 10 is ordinarily mounted upon a panel 22 and the annunciator includes an actuator arm 24 which projects rearwardly through an opening 26 in the panel 22 to engage the device to be operated, the device 12 being located behind the panel 22. The push-button I6 is mounted for forward and rearward sliding movement within the housing 14 between a forwardmost position, illustrated in FIG. 2, and a fully depressed, rearwardmost position. A pair of helical springs 28 resiliently biases the push-button 16 into its forwardmost position where the push-button is retained within the housing by the abutment of the rearwardmost end of a groove 30 in the push-button against a retaining screw 32.

The push-button 16 carries a pin 34 affixed therein for movement with the push-button and a generally rectangular cam 36 is journaled upon the pin 34 with one corner of the rectangular cam engaging a finger 38 which projects laterally from the actuator arm 24. Upon depression of the push-button 16, the rectangular cam 36 will rotate, as best seen in FIG. 4, thereby urging the actuator arm 24 in a lateral or sidewise direction. When the push-button 16 reaches its fully depressed position, the forwardmost end of the groove 30 therein will en- 'gage the retaining screw 32 and the rectangular cam 36 will have rotated through 90 of rotation thereby presenting the shorter side of the rectangular cam 36 to the forward portion 40 of the actuator arm (as seen in phantom in FIGS. 3 and 4). Release of the push-button 16 allows the helical springs 28 to return the push-button to its forwardmost position. Upon such release, the shorter side of the rectangular cam 36 will merely slide along the forward portion 40 of the actuator arm 24 so that the actuator arm will remain in the lateral position determined by the location of the shorter side of the rectangular cam. The alternate lateral position is determined by the location of a longer side of the rectangular cam 36 when the rectangular cam is in the angular position shown in full lines in FIGS. 3 and 4. Thus, each time the push-button 16 is depressed, the rearward sliding movement of the push-button is translated into a lateral displacement of the actuator arm 24 and the actuator arm is positively retained at one of two alternate lateral positions, the first of which is shown in full lines in FIGS. 3 and 4 and the second of which is shown in phantom.

The actuator arm itself has an upward extension 42 which is suspended from a rod 44 which extends laterally within a carrier member 46 mounted for lateral sliding movement within the housing 14 between the window 20 and a rear cover plate 47. A helical spring 48 which extends between the housing 14 and a retainer 50 affixed to the rod 44 biases the rod to the right, as viewed in FIG. 3, and into engagement with the upward extension 42 of the actuator arm 24 to bias the actuator arm to the right so that the actuator arm 24 and the carrier member 46 are both retained in the first lateral position determined by the location of the longer side of the rectangular cam 36. Upon depression of the push-button l6, and the concomitant rotation of the rectangular cam 36, the actuator arm 24 will be urged to the left, as viewed in FIG. 3, against the bias of the helical spring 48 to move the rod 44 to the left. A second helical spring 52 extends between a shoulder 54in the carrier member 46 and a head 56 which is integral with the right end of the rod 44, the second helical spring 52 having sufficient stiffness to couple the rod the carrier member so that as the rod is moved to the left the carrier member will also be moved to the left. Upon the arrival of the carrier member at its leftmost position, the left end of the carrier member will abut the left side of the housing at 58, this leftmost position corresponding to the second lateral position of the actuator arm 24 determined by the location of the shorter side of the rectangular cam 36. However, rotation of the rectangular cam through a 90 displacement requires that the actuator arm move to the left beyond the position corresponding to the leftmost position of the carrier member as the diagonal of the rectangular cam rotates past the forward portion of the actuator arm. In order to accommodate such further movement, the second helical spring 52 will be compressed, enabling further leftward movement of the rod 44 after the carrier member 46 is stopped by virtue of the abutment of the carrier member against the housing 14 at 58. In addition, the actuator arm may move to the left beyond the second lateral position by virtue of the extra width provided in the slot 60 within which the actuator arm is located. Thus, the carrier member 46 is moved between two accurately defined positions and the actual displacement of the carrier member is accomplished by a quickacting, snap-action mechanism.

Turning now to FIGS. 5, 6 and 7, as well as to FIG. 1, optical annunciator is constructed to reveal one of two alternate displays in the window 20, the revealed display indicating the position of the actuator arm 24. Thus, the legend OFF appears in the window when the actuator arm 24 and the carrier member 46 are in the position shown in FIG. 3, while the legend "ON" will appear in the window when the actuator arm is moved to the left, as viewed in FIG. 3, and the carrier member is moved to a corresponding position to the left of that position shown in FIG. 3.

in order to selectively reveal one of the alternate visual displays for viewing, the window 20 is provided with a lenticulate lens 62 having an obverse surface 64 which includes a plurality of elongate lenticular lens elements 66. In this particular instance, the lenticular lens elements 66 have a prescribed length and width and extend parallel to one another along straight lines and generally perpendicular to the direction in which the window is viewed, the planes of symmetry P of the lenticular lens elements being parallel.

Juxtaposed with the reverse surface 68 of the lenticulate lens 62 is a display means shown in the form of a display plate 70 carried by the carrier member 46 for lateral displacement through the increment between the aforesaid two positions of the carrier member. As best seen in FIG. 6, the front surface of the display plate 70 carries the two alternate visual displays, but each display is divided into a set of discrete portions, the portions of the first display (which corresponds to the "OFF" indication) being in the fonn of first strips 72 and the portions of the second display (corresponding to the ON" indication) being in the form of second strips 74. Corresponding parts of adjacent portions of each set of portions are spaced apart a distance equal to the spacing between corresponding portions of adjacent lenticular lens elements 66. Thus, the center-tocenter distance between the strips 72 of the first display is equal to the lateral spacing between the adjacent planes of symmetry P of the lenticular lens elements 66. Likewise, the center-to-center distance between the strips 74 of the second display is equal to the lateral spacing between the adjacent planes of symmetry P of adjacent lenticular lens elements.

The first visual display consists of the word Ol"-'l-' in white upon a green background; therefore, some of the strips 72 are divided into zones 76 and 78, zones 76 being green and zones 78 being white. The second visual display consists of the word ON" in black on a red background; therefore, some of the strips 74 are divided into zones 80 and 82, zones 80 being red while zones 82 are black. it will be seen that by integration of any one set of strips 72 or 74; that is, by placing the strips of one set in contiguous side-by-side relationship, a complete, legible display will appear.

As best seen in FIG. 7, the contour of each lenticular lens element 66 is such that only a limited area 84 of the portion of the reverse surface 68 corresponding to each lenticular lens element 66 is viewable along a direction of view D at the obverse surface 64 over essentially the entire corresponding lenticular lens element as demonstrated by the ray-trace diagram illustrated in FIG. 7. Each of these areas 84 is centered about the plane of symmetry P of a corresponding lenticular lens element and has a lateral width between opposite edges less than the lateral width of the corresponding lenticular lens element such that adjacent areas are spaced from one another in directions transverse to the planes of symmetry. The lateral width of each strip 72 and 74 corresponds to the lateral width of each area so that when a set of strips, in this instance strips 72, is registered in proper juxtaposition with the plurality of areas 84, as illustrated in FIG. 7, each strip will be viewable over the entire obverse surface of the corresponding lenticular lens element and adjacent strips of that particular set will be integrated optically to present a continuous visual display corresponding to the zones of the strips which are so registered with the plurality of areas on the reverse surface of the lenticulate lens. It will be seen that by displacing the carrier member 46 laterally to locate the carrier member in either of the two alternate lateral positions, either one or the other set of strips 72 or 74 will be juxtaposed in proper registration with the plurality of areas 84 to reveal either the first visual display or the second visual display. The contour of each lenticular lens element 66 is an aspheric profile providing a short focal length such that each lenticular lens element is essentially filled with the image from the juxtaposed strip.

Because it is desirable that the particular visual display revealed in the window 20 be viewable over a laterally extending field of view which includes directions of view at an angle to the planes of symmetry P, as well as the direction of view D which is parallel with the planes of symmetry, without revealing the alternate visual display, so that false indications with not occur, masking means are provided in the form of a grid 90 of opaque material for blocking from view, along these directions at angles to the planes of symmetry, the strips which do not form a part of the visual display revealed in the window. The grid 90 includes bars 92 of opaque material which are contiguous with the opposite edges of each area 84 of the reverse surface 68 and the bars extend between confronting edges of adjacent areas. Each bar 92 of the grid includes a stripe 94 of opaque material, preferably black, placed upon the reverse surface 68 of the lenticulate lens 62 between the confronting edges. The lenticulate lens 62 is preferably fabricated of a transparent plastic molded in one piece. In order to facilitate accurate location and delineation of these stripes 94 of opaque material, the reverse surface 68 may be provided with recesses 96, each recess 96 being located between the adjacent areas 84, and the opaque material may be placed within the recesses 96.

Because there is always the possibility of some misalignment of the carrier member 46 with respect to the lenticulate lens 62, due to manufacturing tolerances and other limitations in the accuracy of mating component parts, the strips of each display are provided with a lateral width of slightly less than one-half the width of a corresponding lenticular lens element and, since the center-to-center distance between adjacent strips 72 and 74 is one-half the width of a corresponding lenticular lens element, these adjacent strips 72 and 74 are laterally spaced apart slightly and a band 98 of opaque material is placed upon the display plate 70 between the adjacent strips. These bands 98 overlap the stripes 94 of opaque material on the reverse surface 68 and serve as a barrier between adjacent strips 72 and 74 so that some slight misalignment of the carrier member, in the order of magnitude of the width of each band 98, may be tolerated without revealing the strips of the visual display hidden behind the stripes 94 of opaque material. The bands 98 are also preferably black.

In order to take full advantage of the available ambient light for exhibiting a particular visual display in the window 20, the lenticulate lens 62 is placed in the window with the lenticular lens elements 66 oriented so that their lengths extend in a vertical direction. Such an orientation has been found to enhance the light gathering ability of the lenticulate lens. In addition, the strips of color which make up the visual displays preferably include a photoluminescent material responsive to such incident ambient light. Paints and inks containing such materials are currently available commercially, some being known as Day-G paints and inks.

Referring now to FIGS. 8, 9 and 10, another optical annunciator constructed in accordance with the invention is illustrated generally at 100. Optical annunciator 100 is in the form of a fluid pressure responsive indicator which may be employed in connection with a hydraulic, air or other fluidic system 112 to indicate the presence or absence of a requisite fluid pressure at a particular point in the system 112. Thus, optical annunciator 100 has a housing 114 including an inlet 116 for communicating with a particular point in the fluidic system 112 via a fluid conduit 118, the front face of the housing 114 including a window 120 for displaying one of two alternate visual displays which will indicate whether the requisite fluid pressure is present at the particular point in system 1 12.

As best seen in FIG. 10, inlet 116 of the housing 114 includes a passage 122 which communicates with the interior of an inflatable bladder 124 which lies within a bladder housing 126 affixed to the main housing 114 by a pair of threaded fasteners 128. A carrier member 130 is mounted for sliding movement within the housing 114 between a lower position, shown in full lines in FIG. 10, and an upper position, shown in phantom in FIG. 10. The carrier member 130 includes an integral arm 132 which, in turn, carries an integral finger 134 projecting downwardly through an aperture 136 in the bladder housing 126. The carrier member 130 and the integal arm 132 and finger 134 are all urged downwardly by a helical spring 138 so that the carrier member is resiliently biased into the lower position thereof.

Upon the introduction of a requisite fluid pressure into the passage 122, and consequently into the bladder 124, the bladder will be inflated within the bladder housing 126 and will assume the configuration shown in phantom in FIG. 10 to raise the finger 134 and move the carrier member 130 against the bias of helical spring 138 and into the upper positionthereof.

The carrier member 130 will remain in the upper position as long as the requisite fluid pressure remains within the bladder 124. Should the fluid pressure within the bladder fall below that which is required to maintain the carrier member in the upper position against the bias force of the helical spring 138, the carrier member will return to the lower position thereof. Hence, the presence or absence to a requisite fluid pressure at the inlet 116 of the housing 114 is translated into one of two positions of the carrier member 130.

As in optical annunciator 10, the window of the optical annunciator 100 is provided with a lenticulate lens 140 having an obverse surface 142 which includes a plurality of elongate lenticular lens elements 144. While the lenticular lens elements 144 extend parallel to one another, in this instance each lenticular lens element 144 extends along an arc, and the arcs of all of the lenticular elements 144 are of equal radius such that lenticulate lens 140 is in the form of a portion of a cylinder (see FIG. 9). The planes of symmetry PP of the lenticular lens elements are also parallel.

Juxtaposed with the reverse surface 146 of the lenticulate lens 140 is a display means shown in the form of a display plate 150 carried by the carrier member for displacement perpendicular to the planes of symmetry PP through the increment between the aforesaid two positions of the carrier member. In a manner similar to that described in connection with optical annunciator 10, the front surface 152 of the display plate 150 carries two alternate visual displays, each display being divided into a set of discrete portions. The portions of the first display are in the fonn of strips (not shown) of one color while the portions of the second display are in the form of strips (not shown) of another color, all of the strips running parallel to the planes of symmetry PP and perpendicular to the direction of movement of the carrier member 130. Thus, when the carrier member is in the lower position, a first visual display in the form of one of the colors will be visible at the obverse surface 142 of the lenticulate lens 140. When the carrier member 130 is at its upper position, the second visual display in the form of the other color will be visible at the obverse surface of the lenticulate lens.

As in the earlier described embodiment, the reverse surface 146 of the lenticulate lens is provided with masking means in the form of a grid 154 of opaque material for blocking from view, along directions at angles to the planes of symmetry PP, the strips which do not form a part of the visual display revealed in the-window 120.

Because lenticulate lens 140 is in the form of a portion of a cylinder, the carrier member 130 includes a cylindrical profile 156 which is complementary to the cylindrical configuration of the reverse surface 146 of the lenticulate lens. Likewise, the display plate is arcuate in order to follow the contour of the reverse surface of the lenticulate lens and the profile of the carrier member. The arcuate configuration of the lenticular lens elements 144 and the corresponding cylindrical configuration of the lenticulate lens and the display plate, enable the visual display provided at the window 120 to be viewed over a relatively wide angle of view; that is, the display will be visible over relatively wide angles measured in the planes of symmetry of the respective lenticular lens elements.

Although the above-described embodiments employ a lenticulate lens which is either generally flat and planar or a portion of a cylinder, the lenticulate lens may take other forms. For example, the lenticulate lens may be in the form of a full cylinder or in the form of a sphere. In each instance the juxtaposed display means would have a corresponding configuration and would be displaced in directions corresponding to the displacement described in connection with the above embodiments.

It is to be understood that the above detailed description of preferred embodiments of the invention is provide by way of example only. Various details of design and construction may be modified without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. An optical annunciator for selectively revealing one of alternate visual displays for viewing along a given direction of view, said optical annunciator comprising:

a lenticulate lens having an obverse surface including a plurality of elongate lenticular lens elements of prescribed lateral width, each having a plane of symmetry aligned generally parallel with the direction of view and dividing said width, and a reverse surface including a plurality of areas corresponding to said lenticular lens elements, each said area being centered about the plane of symmetry of a corresponding lenticular lens element and having a lateral width between opposite edges less than the lateral width of said corresponding lenticular lens element such that adjacent areas are spaced from one another in directions transverse to the planes of symmetry, the contour of each lenticular lens element being such that each said area of the reverse surface is viewable along said direction of view at the obverse surface over essentially the entire corresponding lenticular lens element;

display means juxtaposed with the reverse surface and including alternate visual displays, each display being divided into a set of discrete portions with each discrete portion of one set being located between adjacent discrete portions of another set, each discrete portion having a lateral extent corresponding generally to the lateral width of each said area, and corresponding parts of adjacent portions of each set being spaced apart a distance equal to the spacing between adjacent planes of symmetry such that all of the portions of one set may be simultaneously juxtaposed with said areas; opaque masking means centered between said planes of symmetry for blocking from view, along directions at angles to said planes of symmetry, further of said discrete portions which do not form a part of said one set; and

means for selectively moving said display means in increments of displacement transverse to the planes of symmetry of the lenticular lens elements, each said increment corresponding at least to the width of each said area of the reverse surface such that any one of said alternate sets may be located for viewing over essentially the entire obverse surface.

2. The optical annunciator of claim 1 wherein said discrete portions of each display include a photoluminescent material responsive to incident ambient light.

3. The optical annunciator of claim 1 wherein said masking means includes a grid having bars contiguous with the opposite edges of each said area of the reverse surface and extending between confronting edges of adjacent areas.

4. The optical annunciator of claim 3 wherein said bars include stripes of opaque material upon the reverse surface between said confronting edges.

5. The optical annunciator of claim 4 wherein the reverse surface includes a plurality of recesses, each recess being located between said adjacent areas, and said opaque material is placed within said recesses.

6. The optical annunciator of claim 4 wherein said masking means includes further stripes of opaque material upon said display means between adjacent discrete portions of the alternate visual displays, said further stripes overlapping corresponding stripes of opaque material upon the reverse surface when any one of said alternate sets of discrete portions is located for viewing over essentially the entire obverse surface.

7. The optical annunciator of claim 4 wherein:

the reverse surface includes a plurality of recesses, each recess being located between said adjacent areas;

first stripes of opaque material placed within said recesses;

and

second stripes of opaque material upon said display means between adjacent discrete portions of the alternate visual displays, said second stripes overlapping corresponding first stripes of opaque material when one of said alternate sets of discrete portions is located for viewing over essentially the entire obverse surface.

8. The optical annunciator of claim 1 wherein:

the lenticular lens elements extend parallel to one another and the planes of symmetry are parallel;

the discrete portions of each display include laterally spaced parallel strips which, when integrated, form a complete visual display; and

the means for selectively moving the display means includes a carrier movable in increments of lateral displacement and having a surface juxtaposed with the reverse surface of the lenticulate lens, said parallel strips being located upon said surface for lateral movement with the carrier.

9. The optical annunciator of claim 8 wherein said strips include a photoluminescent material responsive to incident ambient light.

10. The optical annunciator of claim 8 wherein each lenticular lens element extends along a straight line.

11. The optical annunciator of claim 10 wherein the lenticulate lens lies in a plane.

12. The optical annunciator of claim 8 wherein each lenticular lens element extends along an are.

13. The optical annunciator of claim 12 wherein the arcs of all of the lenticular lens elements are of equal radius and the lenticulate lens is a portion of a cylinder.

14. The optical annunciator of claim 8 wherein:

the display means includes at least two alternate visual displays; and

the means for selectively moving the display means includes a quick-acting mechanism for rapidly moving the carrier laterally between a first position where the strips of one of said two alternate visual displays are juxtaposed with said plurality of areas of the reverse surface of the lenticulate lens and a second position where the strips of theother of said two alternate visual displays are juxtaposed with said plurality of areas.

15. The optical annunciator of claim 8 wherein:

the display means includes at least two alternate visual displays, each strip of a display having a lateral width no greater than one-half the width of a corresponding juxtaposed lenticular lens element;

each said area of the reverse surface has a lateral width no greater than one-half the width of a corresponding lenticular lens element; and

the masking means includes a grid having longitudinal parallel bars contiguous with the opposite edges of each said area and extending between confronting edges of adjacent areas, said bars including longitudinal parallel stripes of opaque material upon the reverse surface between said confronting edges, said stripes having a lateral width of no less than one-half the width of a corresponding lenticular lens element.

16. The optical annunciator of claim 15 wherein the reverse surface of the lenticulate lens includes a plurality of longitudinal parallel recesses located between said adjacent areas, said recesses each having a lateral width of no less than onehalf the lateral width of a corresponding lenticular lens element, and said opaque material is located within said recesses.

17. The optical annunciator of claim 15 wherein:

the strips of each display have a lateral width of slightly less than one-half the width of a corresponding lenticular lens element and the lateral distance between corresponding parts of adjacent strips of both of said two displays is onehalf the width of a corresponding lenticular lens element so that said adjacent strips are laterally spaced apart slightly; and

the masking means includes further stripes of opaque material upon said display means within the spacing between said adjacent strips, said further stripes overlapping corresponding stripes of the opaque material on the reverse surface.

18. The optical annunciator of claim 15 wherein:

the reverse surface of the lenticulate lens includes a plurality of longitudinal parallel recesses located between said adjacent areas, said recesses each having a lateral width of no less than one-half the lateral width of a corresponding lenticular lens element, said opaque material being located within said recesses;

the strips of each display have a lateral width of slightly less than one-half the width of a corresponding lenticular lens element and the lateral distance between corresponding parts of adjacent strips of both of said two displays in onehalf the width of a corresponding lenticular lens element so that said adjacent strips are laterally spaced apart slightly; and

the masking means includes further stripes of opaque material upon said display means within the spacing between said adjacent strips, said further stripes overlapping corresponding stripes of the opaque material within the recesses in the reverse surface.

19. The optical annunciator of claim 18 wherein each lenticular lens element extends along a straight line.

20. The optical annunciator of claim 19 wherein the lenticulate lens lies in a plane.

21. The optical annunciator of claim 18 wherein each lenticular lens element extends along an are.

22. The optical annunciator of claim 21 wherein the arcs of all of the lenticular lens elements are of equal radius and the lenticulate lens is a portion of a cylinder.

23. The optical annunciator of claim 18 wherein the means for selectively moving the display means includes a quick-acting mechanism for rapidly moving the carrier through an increment of lateral displacement equal to the lateral distance between corresponding parts of said adjacent strips on the carrier between a first position where the strips of one of said two alternate visual displays are juxtaposed with said plurality of areas of the reverse surface of the lenticulate lens and a second position where the strips of the other of said two alternate visual displays are juxtaposed with said plurality of areas.

24. The optical annunciator of claim 18 wherein said strips include a photoluminescent material responsive to incident ambient light.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3918185 *Feb 19, 1974Nov 11, 1975Hasala ErnestAnimated display
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Classifications
U.S. Classification40/491, 40/437, 40/454
International ClassificationG08B5/00, G09F11/00
Cooperative ClassificationG09F11/00, G08B5/00
European ClassificationG08B5/00, G09F11/00