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Publication numberUS3685040 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 15, 1972
Filing dateApr 13, 1970
Priority dateApr 13, 1970
Also published asDE2117868A1
Publication numberUS 3685040 A, US 3685040A, US-A-3685040, US3685040 A, US3685040A
InventorsRichard T Hart
Original AssigneeScience Associates Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Display apparatus
US 3685040 A
Abstract
A display apparatus having a plurality of horizontally extending panels pivotally connected to form an endless belt, the belt of panels being movable in a closed path having a front vertical view portion, each of the panels having a plurality of longitudinally spaced groups of light passages, each group of passages being arranged in horizontal rows and vertical columns, from lamps positioned behind the panels when they are in the front view portion of their paths of movement for transmitting light through the light passages, each of the light passages having a closure operatively associated therewith and movable between an upper operative position wherein it is held by a latch pin and wherein its associated light passage is closed and a lower inoperative or open position wherein the closure does not prevent transmittal of light through its associated light passage. The display apparatus also includes means for moving selected ones of the latch pins to inoperative positions to permit their associated closures to move from their operative to their inoperative positions whereby each of the groups of light passages may present desired alpha-numeric visual information.
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United States Patent Hart [54] DISPLAY APPARATUS [72] Inventor: Richard T. Hart, Garland, Tex.

[73] Assignee: Science Asociates, lnc., Garland,

Tex.

22 Filed: April 13,1970

21 Appl. No.: 27,790

[52] US. Cl. ..340/334, 40/28 C, 340/324 R [51] Int. Cl ..G07f 11/16 [58] Field of Search..340/324 R, 334, 378, 376, 381; 250/219; 40/28 C, 53 A, 132 D, 132 H, 133 B, 28 R, 28 A, 28 B, 28 D, 30, 31, 32, 52 R;

[451 Aug. 15, 1972 3,460,276 8/1969- Payne ..40/28 C Primary Examiner-John W. Caldwell Assistant Examiner-Marshall M. Curtis AttorneyWalter J. J agmin [57] ABSTRACT A display apparatus having a plurality of horizontally extending panels pivotally connected to form an endless belt, the belt of panels being movable in a closed path having a front vertical view portion, each of the panels having a plurality of longitudinally spaced groups of light passages, each group of passages being arranged in horizontal rows and vertical columns, from lamps positioned behind the panels when they are in the front view portion of their paths of movement for transmitting light through the light passages, each of the light passages having a closure operatively associated therewith and movable between an upper operative position wherein it is held by a latch pin and wherein its associated light passage is closed and a lower inoperative or open position wherein the closure does not prevent transmittal of light through its associated light passage. The display apparatus also includes means for moving selected ones of the latch pins to inoperative positions to permit their associated closures to move from their operative to their inoperative positions whereby each of the groups of light passages may present desired alpha-numeric visual information.

18 Claims, 26 Drawing Figures PATENTED B 15 19?? 3.685.040

SHEET 1 or 5 //VVE/V7"0R Richard T. Hart ATTORNEY PATENTEDAus 15 1912 SHEET 2 0F 5 Fig.5

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A 7' TOR/L PATENTED I973 3.685, 040

SHEET 3 BF 5 lll/l/E/VTOR Richard T. Hort W XW ATTORNEY PATENTEDAus 15 m2 SHEET l 0F 5 CONTROL CIRCUIT //VVE/V7'0R Richard T. Hqrt Fig. 26

ATTORNEY PATENTEDAUG 15 1972 SHEET 5 OF 5 F ig.22

By Richard T. Hort W*W- ATTORNEY DISPLAY APPARATUS This invention relates to display apparatus.

An object of this invention is to provide a new and improved display apparatus which may present a large amount of continuously transmitted alpha-numeric information for a relatively long period of time.

Another object is to provide a display apparatus which will display a large amount of information for an appreciable period of time even though the information is being transmitted for display, such as letters and numbers over a teletype line, at a very rapid rate.

Still another object is to provide a display device wherein the information is presented by directly transmitted light.

Still another object is to provide a display apparatus having a plurality of horizontally extending panels pivotally connected to form an endless movable belt or display assembly which has a front upwardly moving visible portion, with each panel having a plurality of groups of light passages spaced longitudinally there along, and closures for selectively closing the light passages, and means for selectively causing a whole line of teletype information to be written or presented by groups of light passages of each panel during its movement into the bottom visible portion of its upwardly moving visible portion of its path of movement.

An important object is to provide a display device usable with a display apparatus of the type described which had an elongate horizontally extending substantially vertical panel provided with a plurality of groups of light passages arranged in predetermined arrays and closures operative associated with each of the panels for individually and selectively closing the light passages.

Another object is to provide a display device wherein the closure members are movable mounted in elongate internal cavities of the panel which intersect the light passages.

Still another object is to provide a display device wherein the closures for the light passages are held by latch pins upper positions in cavities of the panel when the panel is in a vertical upright position.

A further object is to provide a display device of the type disclosed wherein the latch pins permit vertical displacement or movement of the closures by gravity from their upper positions in the cavities to permit them to fall freely to their lower positions in the cavities, the closure when in one of their upper and lower positions closing their associated light passages.

A still further object is to provide a display device of the type disclosed wherein the latch pins are movable from their inoperative to their operative positions by operator means, such as electromagnets disposed inwardly and spaced from the panels.

Another object is to provide a display apparatus of the type described wherein all of the closures of a panel are moved to their upper positions in their cavities and the latch pins to their operative latching positions holding their associated closures in their upper positions during the movement of the panel from the upper end of the front visible portion of its movement to the lower end of the front visible portion of its path of movement.

Additional objects and advantages of the invention will be readily apparent from the reading of the following description of a device constructed in accordance with the invention, and reference to the accompanying drawings thereof, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front view, with some parts removed, of a display apparatus embodying the invention;

FIG. 2, is a sectional view of the apparatus, with some parts broken away taken on line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary view with some parts broken away of an end section of a panel embodying the invention;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view takenon line 4-4 of FIG.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged vertical fragmentary sectional view showing the endless belt display assembly of the apparatus;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view, with some parts broken away taken on line 6-6 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged sectional view taken on lines 7j of FIG. 1;

FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken on line 8-8 of FIG.

FIG. 9 is an enlarged sectional view taken on line 9- 9 of FIG. 1;

FIG. !0 is a fragmentary perspective view of a display assembly showing the manner in which the panels are formed of panel sections;

FIG. 11 is a framentary perspective view of one of the panel sections;

FIG. 12 is an enlarged sectional view taken on line 12-12 ofFIG. 10;

FIG. 13 is a sectional view taken on line 13-13 of FIG. 8;

FIG. 14 is a front fragmentary view of one of the panels showing a closure in a cavity being held in its upper operative position closing its associated light passage by a latch pin;

FIG. 15 is a sectional view taken on line 15-15 of FIG. 14;

FIG. 16 is a sectional view taken on line 16-16 of FIG. 14;

FIG. 17 is a sectional view taken on line 17-17 of FIG. 16;

FIG. 18 is a view similar to FIG. 14 showing the closure member in its lower inoperative position in the cavity and the positions of the closure and the latch pin during the upward movement of the panel in the front view portion of its path of movement;

FIG. 19 is a sectional view taken on line 19-19 of FIG. 18;

FIG. 20 is a sectional view taken on line 20-20 of FIG. 18;

FIG. 21 is a sectional view taken on line 21-21 of FIG. 20;

FIG. 22 is a fragmentary front view of a display panel showing the positions of the closure member and its latch pin during the downward movement of the panel in its rear and downward portion of its path of movement;

FIG. 23 is a sectional view taken on line 23-23 of FIG. 22;

FIG. 24 is a sectional view taken on line 24-24 of FIG. 22;

FIG. 25 is a sectional view taken on line 25-25 of FIG. 24; and

FIG. 26 is a block diagram of a control circuit for the display apparatus embodying the invention.

Referring now to the drawings, the display apparatus 30 embodying the invention includes a housing 31 having side walls 32 and 33, top and bottom walls 34 and 35, a rear wall 36 and a front wall 37. The front wall is provided with a rectangular aperture or window 38 defined by the inwardly extending side portions 39 and inwardly convergent top and bottom portions 40 and 41 of the front wall. The walls are secured, as by screws, to a rectangular support frame which includes horizontal angle members 42, 43, 44, and 45 extending between the housing side walls, a left rectangular frame 47 connected by welds, bolts or the like to the left ends of the angle members and a right rectangular frame 48 similarly connected to the right ends of the angle members.

A movable display assembly 50 is mounted between a pair of bearing plates 51 and 52 by means of a shaft 53. The shaft 53 includes a tubular central section 55 having sprockets 56 and 57 rigidly secured to opposite ends thereof, as by welding, and outwardly extending end sections 58 and 59. The end sections protrude through roller bearings 60, FIG. 8, secured in the bearing plates. The bearing plates are rigidly affixed to the top angle members of the support frame in any suitable manner, as by screws 61, which extend through suitable apertures in the angle members into threaded bores in the bearing plates.

The display assembly 50 comprises a plurality of horizontal panels 62, connected by horizontal pivot shafts 63 whose ends project laterally outwardly of the extreme side panels and are provided with sleeves 64 of nylon or other suitable low friction substance. The sprockets 56 and 57 have spaced radial arms 65 in whose outer recesses 66 are receivable the sleeves 64.

The sprockets are disposed in inwardly opening top recesses 67 (P16. 8) of left and right guide plates. 68 and 69, respectively. These guide plates are spaced inwardly of the left and right walls of the housing and are rigidly secured to the angle members of the support frame by screws. Each of the guide plates has front and rear vertical guide grooves or channels 71 and 72 which open at their lower ends to a lower internal recess 79. The downwardly facing shoulders of the guide plates defining the lower recesses 77 provide arcuate guide surfaces along which the sleeves 64 may slide. The upper ends of the guide channels of each guide plate open to the upper recess of the plate.

It will be apparent that as the shaft is rotated in a clockwise manner, as seen in FIG. 4, the engagement of the sprocket arms with the sleeves 64 on the ends of the shafts causes the front portion of the display assembly, visible through the housing window 38, to be moved upwardly, the movement of the front portion being guided by the engagement of the sleeves with the surfaces defining the front guide grooves 71, and the rear portion of the display assembly to be moved downwardly with its movement being guided by the engagement of the sleeves 64 on the ends of the shafts with the surfaces defining the rear grooves 72. As the panels move downwardlyout of the rear grooves 72, their movement to the lower ends of the front grooves is guided by the engagement of the sleeves on the ends of the shafts with the guide surfaces 75.

The drive shaft is rotated by an electric motor 80 having a speed reducing transmission whose output shaft 81 is connected to the left end section 59 of the shaft 53 by means of sprockets 82 and 84 and a belt 85 which extends about the sprockets, the belt having intemal teeth engageable by the sprocket teeth. The assembly of the electric motor and speed reducing transmission is rigidly secured by bolts to a mount plate 86 which is rigidly secured to the left rectangular frame by means of bolts 87.

The panels 62, each formed of a plurality of panel sections 90, are connected by the pivot shafts to form an endless belt which travels in a closed path having a front portion A in which the panels move upwardly past the housing window, an upper portion B in which the panels move rearwardly, a rear portion C in which the panels move downwardly and a bottom portion D in which the panels move forwardly. When the panels are located in the front portion A of the path of movement of the display assembly, the outer sides of the panels located in the front portion A, except the lowermost panel in the front portion, are visible to view through the housing window.

Each of the panel sections 90 includes an outer member 91 having a recess 92 in its inner surface whose upper and lower ends are defined by the downwardly and upwardly facing surfaces 93 and 94, respectively. An inner member 95 is disposed in the recess 92 and is bonded or otherwise secured to the outer member 91. An inner translucent light diffusing plate 97 is also disposed in the recess 92 inwardly of the inner member and is rigidly secured thereto, as by bonding, adhesive and the like while a similar diffusing plate 97a is secured to the other member.

The outer member 91 at their upper ends have tongues 101 and recesses or slots 102 at their lower ends, it being apparent that the tongue of each lower panel section 90 is received in the slot or recess 102 of an adjacent upper panel section. The outer panel members are of course provided with horizontal passages 104 and 105 through their tongues and lower end portions through which the shafts 63 extends.

Each outer panel member 91 has outwardly facing upper horizontal and vertical side surfaces 107 and 108, respectively, and inwardly facing lower horizontal and vertical side surfaces 109 and 110, respectively. The outwardly facing side surface 108 of one panel section 90 overlaps the inwardly facing side surface 1 10 of the immediately adjacent panel section and, similarly, the lower inwardly facing surface 109 of one panel section overlaps the upper outwardly facing surface 107 of the next panel section to which is connected by a shaft 63. As a result, no light will pass between adjacent panel sections of each panel or between the panel sections of adjacent connected panels.

It will be apparent that by the provision of panels formed of a plurality of panel sections, panels of various lengths may be easily formed and the cost of fabrication of the panels is, of course, greatly reduced.

Each'panel section 90 has a group G of light passages formed by the apertures 116 and 117 of the outer and inner panel members 91 and 95, respectively. The apertures of the panel members are somewhat cone shaped, i.e., decrease in diameter inwardly and open to internal recesses 118 in the inner side of the outer panel member.

Each recess 118 is defined by its substantially parallel upper and lower surfaces 121 and 122, respectively, of the outer member which extend angularly upwardly and to the right, FIG. 14, and arcuate upwardly and I n I 0. [15.1

downwardly facing lower and upper surfaces 123 and 124, respectively. The surfaces of the outer member defining the recesses 118 and the inner surfaces of the inner member form cavities 126 which at their upper portions intersect the light passages 1 15.

The upper portion of the cavity is of larger size then the inner ends of the passages 116 and 117 so that the disc shaped closures 125 overlap the inner ends of the passages 116 and 117 when the closures are held in their upper operative positions, illustrated in FIGS. 14 through 17 of the drawings, by latch pins 127 slidably mounted in recesses 128 of the inner member 95 which open to the cavities 125. The latch pin recesses 128 slope upwardly and away from the cavity, when the panel is in its front view portion of its path of movement so that the latch pins are biased by gravity downwardly and into the cavities and thus hold the closures in their upper operative positions. The latch pin recesses 128 are disposed outwardly and to the left of the center of the longitudinal axis of the elongate cavities so that the closures each have an edge portion engaged and supported by the lower support surface 121 and an edge portion engaged with the latch pin.

It will be apparent that a considerable portion of the weight of the closure is borne or supported by the support surface 121 so that force of the friction between the closure and the latch resisting upward movement of latch pin 127 is very small.

As a panel moves rearwardly upwardly and then rearwardly and downwardly in the top portion B of the path of movement of the display assembly 50, any latch pins 127 which may have been in their inner operative positions supporting closures in their upper operative positions, as illustrated in FIG. 14 through 17, move by gravity downwardly into the latch pin recesses 128 since these extend angularly downwardly from the cavities 125 when the vertical position of the panel is reversed. Any closure which were in their inoperative positions in the cavities also then drop by gravity to their positions, illustrated in FIGS. 22 through 25, wherein the closures engage the surfaces 122'and 124 of the outer member defining the recesses 118. As the panel then moves in the portion D of its path of movement from the lower end of the rear portion C of its path of movement, the latch pins slide inwardly into the cavities and the closures thereafter move back to their operative positions illustrated in FIGS. 14 through 17 wherein they are supported by the pins and the support surfaces 121.

As a result all closures of each panel as it moves into the bottom end of the portion A of the path of movement of the display assembly 50, are in their upper operative positions so that the light passages are closed.

In order to move selected ones of the closures to their lower positions wherein their associated light passages 115 are open so that the light transmitted through the open light passages of each group of passage will present a predetermined character such as a number or letter, a plurality of electromagnets 130 are mounted inwardly of the panels at the lower end portion of the vertical portion A of their path of movement by means of a support bar 131 which has end arms 132 rigidly secured to the guide plates 68 and 69.

If, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3, the panels are designed to display alpha-numeric characters, the

passages of each group G of each panel section are arranged in plurality, for example, 5 vertical columns, C1, C2, C3, C4 and C5, and a plurality, for example, 11, horizontal rows Rl-Rl 1. In order to control the operation of the horizontal row of electromagnets as the latch pins 127 of the rows Rl-Rll of the groups move successively into horizontal alignment with the row of electromagnets, reflective strips 134 are mounted on one end panel. A sensor assembly 135 mounted on a bracket 136 secured to the guide plate 68 includes a light bulb 137 and a photocathode 138. The light bulb and the phototube are aligned horizontally and the light bulb directs a light beam at the reflective strips so that each time a row of the light passages 115, for example the row R1, begins to move upwardly and into alignment with the row of electromagnets, the reflection of the light of the lamp from the strips 134 causes the photocathode tube to provide a signal which will enable any of the electromagnets selected by a suitable control means, as will be explained later, to become energized. When an electromagnet associated with a particular column of light passages is energized and as the latch pin 127 of a closure of such column moves upwardly past such electromagnetic, such latch pin, which is made of magnetizable substance is moved inwardly into the recess 128 and the closure previously supported thereby drops downwardly by gravity into its inoperative position, illustrated in FIGS. 18-19, and its associated light passage 115 is opened.

The upper portion of the closure in its lower open position projects upwardly over the inner end of the recess 128 so that when the electromagnet is de-energized and the latch pin slides downwardly, its inner end will engage the upper side surface of the closure and will be prevented from moving into its fully inner position.

A plurality of elongate fluorescent lights 140 are mounted in the housing on a reflector wall 141 whose opposite ends are secured to the guide plates 68 and 69 by means of brackets 142. The fluorescent lamps or tubes are mounted in the usual manner on fittings 143 which are secured in any suitable manner to the opposite side portions of the reflector wall.

Assuming that one of the panels are now moving upwardly into the bottom end of the frontportion A of its path of movement and it is desired that such panel be moved upwardly to be visible through the lower end of the window 38 of the housing and that during such movement the closures 125 of selected rows and columns of the light passages of the groups of the light passages in such horizontal panel be moved to open positions so that the light will be transmitted only through so selected passages 115 of the several groups of such panel, the motor 80 is energized and rotates the drive shaft 53 in a clockwise direction (FIG. 4) thus moving such panel upwardly. As the top rows R1 of the groups of light passages of such panel move into alignment with the sensor assembly, a signal is provided by the photocathode tube as the first reflective strip 134 at the first row R1 moves into alignment with the sensor assembly to a suitable control circuit which enables preselected ones of the electromagnets to be energized. Such selected electromagnets are then energized for a short predetermined period of time to cause the latch pins of the preselected closures to be retracted to allow the closures to drop by gravity to their inoperative positions. As the next strip 134 of the next row R2 moves into alignment with the sensor assembly, the photocathode tube again transmits an enabling signal and the latch pins of preselected closures closing the light passages in the row R2 of the light passages of such panel are moved to their retracted positions. In this manner the electrom agnets are selectively actuated as each of the eleven rows of light passages of a panel moves into alignment and past the electromagnets so that when the panel moves to the position wherein its bottom rows R11 of light passages are above the bottom edge of the window, such panel is visible and presents a whole horizontal line of alpha-numeric characters since the light passes through the open light passages, light not being allowed to be transmitted through the other light passages which are closed by the closure members.

The panels are preferably opaque so that each open light passage is visible as a disc of light on the light diffusing plate. It will be apparent that the light may be of any desired color and that the panels themselves may 7 be black or any desired color.

Each panel 62 is held in its lowermost visible position by a braking and positioning assembly 150, (FIGS. 7, 8 and 9) at a desired location above the bottom edge of the window 38. The assembly 150 includes a disc 151 rigidly mounted on the right end section 69 of the shaft 53 by a set screw 153. The disc 151 is provided with four peripheral recesses 154a, 154b, 154s, and 154d in which is receivable the peripheral outer portion of a roller 156 rotatably carried intermediate the ends of a pivot bar 157. The upper end of the pivot bar, as viewed in FIG. 7, is pivotally secured by a suitable pin 158 to a slide plate 159. The slide plate is affixed to the ,bearing plate 52 by bolts 160 which extend through vertical slots 161 in the slide plate into threaded bores in the plate 52. An adjusting screw 163 is mounted on a strap 164 rigidly secured, as by welding, to the plate 52. The screw extends into a threaded bore in the plate 159 and is held against vertical movement relative to the plate by a suitable split ring which is received in an external annular recess in the screw shank above the strap.

lt will be apparent that when the screw 163 is rotated in one direction it will move the slide plate 159 upwardly and when it is rotated in the opposite direction it will move the slide plate downwardly. When the slide plate is positioned properly relative to the disc 151, it is regidly secured to the bearing plate 52 by the bolts 160.

The pivot bar 157 is biased in a clockwise direction about the axis of the pin 158 by a spring 166. One end of this spring extends about a bolt 167 secured to the lower end of the pivot bar, and the other end is hooked about a similar bolt 168 secured to the bearing plate 52.

Each 90 clockwise rotation of the drive shaft 53 from a position in which the roller 156 is in a recess of the disc 151, for example the recess 154b, to a position where the roller is in the next recess 1540, causes movement of the lowermost visible row of panels up wardly and properly positions the next lower row of panels above the bottom edge of the window 38. As the roller enters the next recess 154a, it prevents further rotation of the panel in either direction.

To prevent overrunning of the shaft 53 in a clockwise direction, the motor is de-energized just before the next recess 154a moves into alignment with the roller 156. The momentum of the display assembly and its driving means continues the movement of the disc 151 until the roller 156 enters the recess 154a and the disc comes to rest. The de-energization of the motor 80 is controlled by a sensor assembly 170 which includes a lamp 171 and a photocathode tube 172. The lamp directs a beam of light through successive slots 173a173d (FIG. 27) in a position indicator disc 175 rigidly mounted on the left end portion of the shaft 53. The sensor assembly is supported by a bracket 177 secured to the bearing plate 51.

The relative angular positions of the position indicator disc 175 and the positioning disc 151 on the shaft 53 are such that, as the shaft rotates in a clockwise manner, as viewed in FIG. 7, the slot 173a, for example, will move into alignment with the lamp and photocathode tube of the sensor assembly just before the recess 154a moves into alignment with the roller 159. As each successive slot becomes aligned with the lamp and tube, a voltage pulse is supplied to a suitable control circuit to de-energize the motor 80.

As can be readily seen in FIG. 4, the square crosssectional shape of the central portion 55 of the shaft 53 causes the two topmost rows of panels to be supported not only by the sprockets but also by the top sides of the central portion. It is preferable that the shaft be provided with a resilient coating of nylon, polytetrafluoroethylene or the like to minimize noise and wear.

The display apparatus may be used to present such data as stock quotations, news items and the like which may be transmitted in serial digital form over teletype lines 180 to a control circuit 181 which decodes and stores each complete line of data in proper form for transmittal to the row of electromagnets 130.

When a complete line of such information has been transmitted to the control circuit, the control circuit causes the motor 80 to be energized and, as the lowermost panel moves upwardly past the row of electromagnets 130 and as the reflective strip 134 of the eleven rows Rl-Rll movesuccessively past the photocathode 138, the control circuit causes selected ones of the electromagnets 130 to be energized, as determined by a suitable computer or digital logic circuit of the control circuit, as each row of light passages moves therepast so that such panel will then visually present such data.

As was explained above, as each panel which, now presents the data, moves above the bottom edge of the window 38, the photocathode tube 172 sends a signal to the control circuit to stop operation of the motor 80. Thereafter the positioning assembly 150 ensures that such lowermost panel is in proper position above the bottom edge of the window 38. If the control circuit has in the meantime received another line of data to be presented visually by the next lowermost panel, the motor 80 will either be again energized or its de-energization will be prevented by the control circuit so that the presentation of the data may be almost continuous.

It will now be seen that a new and improved display device has been illustrated and described which eomprises a panel having a plurality of transverse light passages, closure members for closing the light "ulna passages and latch pins for holding the closures in their upper positions.

It will also be apparent that while the closures have been shown as closing the light passages in their upper positions, the cavities could intersect the light passages at their lower portions in which case the light passages of a panel would all be open as the panel moves into the bottom end of the portion A of its path of movement and that the closures of such light passages would then close them when their associated latch pins are retracted.

It will further be seen that while the latch pins have been illustrated as being disposed above the central longitudinal axes of the cavities and a substantial distance from the lower surfaces defining the cavities, if desired, the latch pins could be located at lower positions, for example, at the locations of the central longitudinal axes of the cavities.

It will further be seen that the closures can be formed of any suitable non-magnetic substance, such as a plastic, brass or the like since the closures themselves are not moved by the electromagnets.

It will further be seen that by the provision of latch pins which are movable by the electromagnets, the light passages may be arranged with very small separations therebetween and that since only the latch pins, which may be tubular if desired, and are light in weight, are moved by the electromagnets to release the closures for movement from their upper positions in the cavities to their lower positions therein, the electromagnets themselves may be relatively small and require small currents for their operation.

The foregoing description of the invention is explanatory only, and changes in the details of the construction illustrated may be made by those skilled in the art, within the scope of the appended claims, without departing from the spirit of the invention What is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

1. A display device including: an elongate horizontally extending substantially vertical panel, said vertical panel having a plurality of substantially horizontal transverse light passages extending therethrough and a plurality of internal cavities intersecting said light passages; a closure member in each of said cavities and movable between an inoperative position wherein said closure is spaced from its associated light passage and closures to move from one of said operative or inoperative positions to the other as each one of said columns and rows of said light passages moves toward alignment with said electromagnets tocause the light transmitted through open light passages of said panel to present predetermined visual information.

The display device of claim 5, wherein said control means includes a plurality of index means carried by said panel in predetermined relation to said one of said columns and rows of light passages to cause said control means to be placed in condition to enable said electromagnets to be energized only when said electromagnets are in predetermined aligned relation with said closures operatively associated with said one of said columns and rows of said light passages.

7. The display device of claim 6, wherein said index means comprises light reflective means on said panel, light emitting means for directing light at said reflective means and a light responsive means for receiving the light reflected from said reflective means for producing a control signal.

8. The display device of claim 1, wherein said panels have recesses opening at either outer ends to said cavities andextending upwardly and inwardly therefrom,

an operative position wherein said closure member is moving means includes electromagnetic means operatively associated with said latch means, said latch means being of a magnetic substance.

3. The display device of claim 2, wherein said light passages are arranged in groups of vertical spaced columns and horizontal spaced rows.

said latch means being movably disposed in said recesses and being adapted to have their outer end portions engage said closures to hold said closures in said one of said positions.

9. The display device of claim 8, wherein said cavities are of elongate configuration and extend angularly from the vertical, said panel having support surfaces defining the lower elongate sides of the cavities, said closures being engageable by said support surface.

10. The display device of claim 9, wherein said latch means engage said closures at locations spaced above and from the locations of engagement of said closure with said support surfaces.

11. The display device of claim 10, wherein said closures when in said other of said positions extend past and close said inner ends of said recesses whereby the closures when in said other of said positions hold said latch means against outer movement into said cavities.

12. A display apparatus including: a display assembly including a plurality of horizontally extending panels pivotally connected to form an endless belt; means for moving said display assembly in a closed path having a front vertical view portion, a rear vertical portion, a top portion between the top ends of the front and rear portions and a bottom portion between the bottom ends of the front and rear portions, each of said panels having a plurality of substantially horizontal transverse light passages extending therethrough and a plurality of internal cavities intercepting said light passages, closures in said cavities and movable between first upper positions in said cavities and second lower positions in said cavities, said closure members closing their associated light passages when in one of said first and second positions; individual latch means operatively associated with said closures for releasably holding said closures in said first positions and latch moving means operatively associated with said display assembly for causing latch means of preselected closures of each of said panels to release their associated closure for movement from their first positions to their second positions to cause each of said panels as it moves upwardly into the front view portion of its path of movement to present predetermined visual information, said closures of each panel being moved by gravity to their first positions during the movement of the panel from the top end to the bottom end of the front portion of the path of movement and said latch means are moved by gravity to positions holding said closures in said first positions.

13. The display device of claim 12, wherein said passages of said panels are arranged in predetermined arrays.

14. The display device of claim 13, wherein said latch moving means includes electromagnetic means operatively associated with latch means, said latch means being of a magnetic substance.

15. The display device of claim 14, wherein said light passages are arranged in groups of vertical spaced columns and horizontal spaced rows.

16. The display device of claim 15, wherein said latch moving means comprises a plurality of electromagnets disposed in a horizontal row and substantially aligned with the columns of light passages of said display panels, said panels being mounted for upward vertical movement relative to said electromagnets.

17. The display device of claim 16, and control means operatively associated with said electromagnets for causing said electromagnets selectively to move the latch means of selected closures to release said selected closures for movement from said first to said second positions as each horizontal row of said light passages moves into alignment with said electromagnets to cause the light transmitted through open light passages to present pre-determined visual information.

18. The display device of claim 17, wherein said control means includes a plurality of index means carried by said panel in predetermined relation to said rows of light passages of said panels to enable said electromagnets to be energized only when said electromagnets are in predetermined aligned relationship with said latch means.

In! I. nun

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3813673 *Jun 26, 1972May 28, 1974Trans Lux CorpDisplay panel
US4045895 *Jul 26, 1976Sep 6, 1977American Sign And Indicator CorporationDisplay sign
US4053340 *Jul 26, 1976Oct 11, 1977American Sign And Indicator CorporationMethod for producing display sign panel
US4264906 *May 18, 1979Apr 28, 1981Yoshimasa WakatakeDisplay element and display panel employing such display elements
US6603457 *Jun 21, 2000Aug 5, 2003Canon Kabushiki KaishaDisplay device with moving pixel members
US8237685 *Jun 26, 2007Aug 7, 2012Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.Method and apparatus for object learning and recognition based on optical parameters
US8615970 *Mar 23, 2010Dec 31, 2013Charles HobermanPanel assemblies having controllable surface properties
US20100243180 *Mar 23, 2010Sep 30, 2010Charles HobermanPanel assemblies having controllable surface properties
Classifications
U.S. Classification345/109, 40/452
International ClassificationG09F9/37, G08B5/36
Cooperative ClassificationG08B5/36, G09F9/375
European ClassificationG09F9/37M, G08B5/36