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Publication numberUS3663781 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 16, 1972
Filing dateNov 23, 1970
Priority dateNov 23, 1970
Publication numberUS 3663781 A, US 3663781A, US-A-3663781, US3663781 A, US3663781A
InventorsLindsay James R, Zimmerman Robert C
Original AssigneeScm Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrical switch having a flexible one-piece actuator
US 3663781 A
Abstract
In an embodiment of an electrical switch, a rectangular translucent elastic plate having projections which extend from two opposing edges is coupled to a supporting structure. The supporting structure includes a rectangular base, two opposing side walls having projections over the base, and a fulcrum projecting from the base which is parallel to and equidistant from both walls. The plate rests on the fulcrum and the side wall projections overlap the plate projections thereby preventing clockwise rotation of one end of the plate and counterclockwise rotation of the opposing end of the plate. In each of the cavities created by the plate and supporting structure there is mounted a microswitch having a plunger which is triggered by a force responsive flexing of the plate and an indicator light which indicates the state of the microswitch.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Zimmerman et al.

[l5] 3,663,781 [4 1 May 16, 1972 ELECTRICAL SWITCH HAVING A FLEXIBLE ONE-PIECE ACTUATOR Robert C. Zimmerman, Manlius, N.Y.; James R. Lindsay, Fullerton, Calif.

Assignee: SCM Corporation, New York, NY.

Filed: Nov. 23, 1970 Appl. No.: 91,858

Inventors:

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 7/1962 Helmle ..200/l68 G X 1/1970 Mitchell et al. l 1/1958 .lorick, .Ir.

9/ l 969 Krieger ..200/86.5

FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 884,470 l2/ I 961 Great Britain ..200/ l 72 A Primary Examiner-H. 0. Jones Arramey-Milton Wolson and Harvey Zeller [5 7] ABSTRACT In an embodiment of an electrical switch, a rectangular translucent elastic plate having projections which extend from two opposing edges is coupled to a supporting structure. The supporting structure includes a rectangular base, two opposing side walls having projections over the base, and a fulcrum projecting from the base which is parallel to and equidistant from both walls. The plate rests on the fulcrum and the side wall projections overlap the plate projections thereby preventing clockwise rotation of one end of the plate and counterclockwise rotation of the opposing end of the plate. In each of the cavities created by the plate and supporting structure there is mounted a microswitch having a plunger which is triggered by a force responsive flexing of the plate and an indicator light which indicates the state of the microswitch.

5 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION l. Field of the Invention The subject invention relates to an electric switch and in particular to one which is actuated by the flexing of an elastic plate.

2. Description of the Prior Art Heretofore, switches have been mounted on receptacles having a flexible arm which when actuated trigger a switch. One such switching arrangement is shown and described in US. Pat. No. 3,033,966, which was issued to E. I. Dillon on May 8, 1962.

In the switching arrangement above referred to, the flexible arm is integrally formed with a base to provide a cantilever type structure and the base includes a rib to which the switch is slidably mounted.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the invention to provide an improved electric switch which may be manufactured economically.

It is another object of the invention to provide an electric switch having an elastic plate which selectively triggers more than one microswitch element.

It is another object of the invention to provide an electric switch whose on-off state is indicated by illumination.

According to the invention, an electric switch of the type actuated by force exerting means comprises: a base; an elastic plate coupled to said base; a fulcrum, coupled to said base, for pivoting the plate; means, coupled to the base, for preventing clockwise rotation about the fulcrum of one end of the plate; means, coupled to the base, for preventing counterclockwise rotation about the fulcrum of another end of the plate; and means, coupled to the base, responsive to the flexing of the plate by said force exerting means for providing electrical signals.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The above mentioned and other objects of this invention will become apparent by reference to the following description in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, in which:

FIG. I is a perspective view of an embodiment according to the invention in which a section has been removed in order to expose the interior construction thereof, and

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

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT An embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIG. I. The embodiment shown in the drawing comprises: an elastic plate I, a base 2 and sides 3 and 4 with projections 3a and 4a and a fulcrum S, a pair of microswitches 6 and 7, supporting pads 8 and 9, bulb and socket unit 10 and a bulb and socket unit 11 which is not visible in FIG. I, but is shown in FIG. 2.

In the embodiment, a rectangular elastic plate I having projections la and 1b extending from opposite ends may be molded from a translucent plastic.

A preferred unitary structure, which may also be molded, for supporting the plate, in this example, includes the rectangular base 2, a wall perpendicular thereto which serves as the fulcrum and the walls 3 and 4 at opposing ends from each of which the projections 1a and lb extend over the base 2.

Coupled to the base on each side of the fulcrum respectively are microswitches 6 and 7 and bulb and socket units and 11. The microswitches 6 and 7 may be of the type which are plunger actuated such as, for example, part No. BBPO-l-I 39 -MC7, manufactured by Robert Shaw Control Co. of Columbus, Ohio. The microswitches and bulb and socket units may be fastened to the base by screws or other means well known in the fastening art.

Elastic pads 8 and 9 may be fastened respectively to that side of microswitches 6 and 7 which include plungers 6a and 7a for the purpose of reducing any slack, and thereby maintain the plate firmly in place.

The microswitches 6 and 7 and bulb and socket units 11 and 10, respectively on each side of the fulcrum 5, may be electrically connected in series, by means well known in the art, such that the state of the microswitch is indicated by either the presence of or lack of light from the bulbs.

When the plate is held in place by the projections from the side walls 30 and 4a and the fulcrum 5, one end la remains free to travel in a clockwise direction, and the other end, 11;, remains free to travel in a counter clockwise direction.

In operation, the flexing of the plate by a force depresses a plunger which changes the state of a microswitch. As a result of said change of state, the microswitch provides a signal which may be used to control apparatus. Upon removal of the force, the inherent memory of the plate returns it to its former position.

We claim:

I. An electric switch of the type actuated by force exerting means, comprising:

a base;

an elastic plate coupled to said base;

a fulcrum, coupled to said base, for pivoting the plate;

means, coupled to the base, for preventing clockwise rotation about the fulcrum of one end of the plate;

means coupled to the base, for preventing counterclockwise rotation about the fulcrum of another end of the plate;

means, coupled to the base, responsive to the flexing of the plate by said force exerting means for providing electrical signals; and

said plate is a rectangular sheet of plastic having a first extending section at said one end and a second extending section at said another end;

said means for preventing clockwise rotation include means engaging said first extending section; and said means for preventing counterclockwise rotation include means engaging said second extending section.

2. An electric switch, according to claim I wherein said means responsive to the flexing of said plate includes a first microswitch responsive to the flexing of said one end and a second microswitch responsive to the flexing of said another end.

3. An electric switch, according to claim 2 further including:

a first bulb and socket, coupled to said base, responsive to the electrical signal provided by said first microswitch; and,

a second bulb and socket, coupled to said base, responsive to the electrical signal provided by said second microswitch.

4. An electric switch, according to claim 3, further includ ing first elastic means, coupled to said base, for supporting said one end; and, second elastic means, coupled to said base, for supporting said other end.

5. An electric switch, according to claim 4, wherein said fulcrum is positioned equidistant from said one end and said another end.

4- r a: a

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2858631 *May 13, 1955Nov 4, 1958Irving RabinowitzIlluminating electrical indicator
US3042764 *Apr 3, 1959Jul 3, 1962Eduard HermleElectric switch and sealing element therefor
US3467798 *Nov 17, 1967Sep 16, 1969Byrd Ind IncFoot actuated remote control unit for fishing motors
US3491220 *Mar 5, 1968Jan 20, 1970United Carr IncLighted on-off switch
GB884470A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3784765 *Sep 20, 1972Jan 8, 1974Scope IncManually adjustable multiposition switch
US3857007 *Mar 5, 1973Dec 24, 1974Leuenberger PElectric switch
US4017771 *Jul 21, 1975Apr 12, 1977Baumann Ludwig GSafeguarded switching device
US4211991 *May 22, 1978Jul 8, 1980Regie Nationale Des Usines RenaultMagnet-controlled switch
US4385586 *Sep 4, 1981May 31, 1983Schriever Frederick GEscape/rescue system
US4595228 *Apr 30, 1984Jun 17, 1986Prince CorporationGarage door opening transmitter compartment
US4757168 *Jun 6, 1986Jul 12, 1988Jimbo Electric Co., Ltd.Decorative improved switching apparatus having a rocking element
US4885443 *Nov 29, 1988Dec 5, 1989Tokheim CorporationSealed backlit switch assembly
US5811729 *May 2, 1996Sep 22, 1998Rintz; William J.Light switch cover
US5874693 *Apr 4, 1997Feb 23, 1999Rintz; William J.Light switch cover
US6092917 *Nov 5, 1998Jul 25, 2000Lear Donnelly Overhead Systems LlcSingle lens, push-push, dual lamp assembly
EP0068936A1 *Jun 3, 1982Jan 5, 1983Jacques LewinerCoded electronic locking devices
WO2000041195A1 *Jan 6, 2000Jul 13, 2000M U T GmbhPressure switch
Classifications
U.S. Classification200/330, 200/332.1, 200/339, 200/314
International ClassificationH01H3/02, H01H3/12, H01H13/02
Cooperative ClassificationH01H13/023, H01H3/122
European ClassificationH01H3/12B, H01H13/02B