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Publication numberUS3691323 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 12, 1972
Filing dateJun 18, 1971
Priority dateJun 18, 1971
Publication numberUS 3691323 A, US 3691323A, US-A-3691323, US3691323 A, US3691323A
InventorsAnderson Willis H, Graddy Willard E
Original AssigneeGen Motors Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Combination lighting switch mechanism
US 3691323 A
Images(3)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent I Anderson et al.

[ 51 Sept. 12, 1972 [54] COMBINATION LIGHTING SWITCH MECHANISM [72] Inventors: Willis H. Anderson; Willard E.

Graddy, both of Anderson, Ind.

[73] Assignee: General Motors Corporation, Detroit, Mich.

[221 Filed: June 18, 1971 [21] Appl. No.: 154,423

[52] US. Cl. ..200/4, 200/ 16 C [51] Int. Cl. ..ll0lh 9/00, H01h 15/10 [58] Field of Search ..200/4, 16 C [56] References Cited UNlTED STATES PATENTS 3,188,678 6/1965 Mandy et al ..200/4 X 3,510,839 5/1970 Elliott et al. ..200/4 X Primary Examiner-J. R. Scott AttorneyW. E. Finken et al.

[5 7] ABSTRACT In a preferred form, this disclosure relates to alight switch assembly for controlling the operation of a vehicle lighting system having a park lighting mode, a

normal headlamp lighting mode, and an expressway driving headlamp lighting mode. A first switch means includes a manually manipulatable first actuator means which is rotatably supported by housing means for movement between an off position and first and second on positions in which it effects thepark and normal headlamp lighting modes, respectively. A second switch means includes a second manually manipulatable actuator for alternately effecting the normal headlamp driving mode and the expressway driving headlamp lighting mode when moved between first and second positions. The second switch means and the first actuator means carry cooperable means which prevent the second switch means from effecting the expressway driving headlamp lighting mode when the first actuator means is in either its off or first on position and which allows the second switch means to effect the expressway driving headlamp lighting mode when the first actuator is in its second on position. The cooperable means also actuates the second switch means to effect the normal headlamp lighting mode when the latter is in the expressway driving headlamp lighting mode and the first actuator means is rotated from its second on position toward its off position.

6 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures PATENTEDSEP I 2 I972 3. 691. 323

SHEET J. 0F 3 IDENTIFICATION l PARK LIGHTING PosITIoN [LIGHTING POSITION 1} NORMAL- v HEADLAMP LIGHTING "-;II.' POSITION ATT NEY COMBINATION LIGHTING SWITCH MECHANISM The present invention relates to a switch assembly, and more particularly to a switch assembly for controlling the operation of a vehicle lighting system having an identification lighting mode, a park lighting mode, a normal headlamp lighting mode, and an expressway driving headlamp lighting mode.

Vehicle lighting systems have heretofore been provided with an identification lighting mode in which certain external lights of the vehicle are lit at all times during normal operation of the vehicle. Further, the identification lighting mode is generally effected when the ignition switch of the vehicle is turned on. Under certain driving conditions such as when entering a tunnel, it is necessary to de-energize the identification lights. The vehicle lighting systems have also been previously provided with a normal headlamp lighting mode, i.e., with high and low beams, which has been supplemented with an expressway driving headlamp lighting mode. The expressway driving headlamp lighting mode usually provides a beam or beams of light directed at a height intermediate the heights of the high and low beams and to the side of the road away from approaching traffic.

The present invention relates to a novel switch assembly for controlling the operation of a vehicle lighting system having an identification lighting mode, a park lighting mode, a normal headlamp lighting mode, and an expressway driving headlamp lighting mode and a completely off mode in which all of the identification lights can be de-energized.

An object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved light switch assembly for use in a vehicle lighting system having park, normal headlamp, and expressway driving headlamp lighting modes and which includes a first switch means having first actuator means rotatable between an off position and first and second on positions in which it effects the park and normal headlamp lighting modes and a second switch means having a second actuator means for switching from the normal headlamp to the expressway driving headlamp lighting mode, or vice versa, when the first actuator means is in its second on position, and in which the first and second switch means are constructed and arranged such that the second switch means can only be actuated to effect the expressway driving headlamp lighting mode when the first actuator means is in its normal headlamp lighting position, and the first actuator means is operable to effect movement of the second switch means from its expressway driving headlamp lighting position to its normal headlamp lighting position when the former is moved from its second on position toward its off position.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved light switch assembly for use in a vehicle lighting system having an identification, park, and normal headlamp lighting modes and which includes a housing means, a switch means having an actuator rotatably supported by the housing means for movement between first, second, and third positions in which it effects the identification, park, and normal headlamp lighting modes, and in which the housing means has a stop means to normally prevent rotation of the actuator past its first position when returned theretoward, but which is disengageable from the actuator in response to depression of the latter to allow the actuator to be rotated past its first position toward a fourth position in which it effects de-energization of all the vehicle lights.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved switch assembly for selectively controlling the operation of a vehicle lighting system having park, normal headlamp, and expressway driving headlamp lighting modes, and in which the switch as sembly'includes a housing, first switch means for effecting the park lighting mode and the normal headlamp lighting modes and including a manually manipulatable first actuator supported by the housing for movement between an off position and a park lighting position and a normal headlamp lighting position, a plate drivingly connected with the first actuator for rotation therewith and having a cam slot with circumferentially and radially extending slot portions and a tapered cam surface at their juncture, second switch means carried by the housing for effecting either the normal headlamp lighting mode or the expressway driving headlamp lighting mode when the first actuator has been moved to its normal headlamp lighting position, the second switch means including a contact carrier movable between two positions toeffect the normal and expressway driving headlamp lighting modes and a second ac- 1 tuator means comprising a push button concentrically supported by the first actuator for moving the contact carrier between its two positions in response to manual depression of the push button, the contact carrier having a pin extending through the circumferentially extending slot portion of the detent plate and engageable therewith when the first actuator is in its off or park lighting position to prevent movement of the contact carrier to energize the expressway driving headlamp lighting mode, the pin being aligned with the radially extending slot portion when the first actuator is in its normal headlamp lighting position to allow the contact carrier to be moved to energize the expressway driving headlamp lighting mode, and the tapered cam surface camming the pin from the radially extending slot portion to the circumferentially extending slot portion to move the contact carrier to de-energize the expressway driving headlamp lighting mode when the first actuator is rotated from the normal headlamp lighting position.

These and other objects of the invention are accomplished, in a preferred embodiment, by providing a switch assembly having a housing and a first switch means carried by the housing for effecting the identification lighting mode, the park lighting mode, or the normal headlamp lighting mode. The first switch means includes a manually manipulatable first actuator which comprises a knob rotatably supported by the housing for movement between an identification lighting position, a park lighting position, and a normal headlamp lighting position and a plate which is drivingly connected with a knob. The knob is spring biased from the housing for movement between inner and outer positions and has cooperably engageable stop means with the housing to prevent the knob from being rotated past the identification lighting position when being returned thereto in its outer position. The stop means is disengageable when the knob is moved toward its inner position which allows the knob to be rotated beyond the identification lighting position to an off position to de-energize the identification lighting mode. The plate has a cam slot with a circumferentially extending slot portion, a radially extending slot portion, and a cam surface at the juncture of the two slot portions.

The switch assembly also includes a second switch means for effecting either the normal headlamp lighting mode or the expressway driving lighting mode when the knob has been rotated to the normal headlamp lighting position. The second switch means includes a contact carrier which is movable between two positions to effect the normal and expressway driving headlamp lighting modes and a second actuator means which comprises a push button concentrically supported by the first actuator for moving the contact carrier between its two positions when manually depressed. The contact carrier has a pin which extends through the cam slot of the plate and which is disposed within the circumferentially extending slot portion when the knob is in its off, identification lighting, or park lighting position. Under such conditions, the pin is engageable with the plate to prevent energization of the expressway driving headlamp lighting mode. The radially extending slot portion is aligned with the pin when the knob is moved to its normal headlamp lighting position, and the contact carrier can thereby be moved to effect the expressway driving headlamp lighting mode. The tapered cam surface earns the pin from the radially extending slot portion to the circumferentially extending slot portion to move the contact carrier to deactivate the expressway driving headlamp lighting mode when the knob is rotated from its normal headlamp lighting position.

These and other objects of the invention will become more fully apparent from the following description and drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of the switch assembly of the present invention;

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

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken approximately along line 3-3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken approximately along line 4-4 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken approximately along line 5-5 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken approximately along line 6-6 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken approximately along line 7-7 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 8 is a plan view of another part of the switch assembly of the present invention;

FIG. 8a is a sectional view taken approximately along line 8a-qa of FIG. 8; and

FIG. 9 is a sectional view taken approximately along line 9-9 of FIG. 3.

As representing a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the drawings show a switch assembly 10. Although the switch assembly could be used for controlling various electrically operated devices, it is particularly susceptible for use in controlling the vehicle lighting system having an identification lighting mode, a park lighting mode, a normal headlamp lighting mode, and an expressway driving headlamp lighting mode. Because the vehicle lighting system does not, per se, form a part of the present invention, it will not be described in detail.

The switch assembly 10 broadly comprises a plastic housing 12 and a first switch means 14 for effecting the identification lighting mode, park lighting mode, or normal headlamp lighting mode and which includes a manually manipulatable first actuator 16 comprising a knob 17 rotatably supported by the housing 12 for movement between an identification lighting position, a park lighting position, and a normal headlamp lighting position. The knob 17 is also depressible from a normal outer position toward an inner position in which it can be rotated beyond its identification lighting position to an off position to effect de-energization of the vehicle identification lights. The switch assembly further includes a second switch means 19 for effecting either the normal headlamp lighting mode or the expressway driving headlamp lighting mode when the first actuator 16 has been moved-to its normal headlamp lighting position.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 4, the plastic housing 12 is generally rectangular in shape and comprises rear and front members 21 and 22, respectively. The rear member 21 includes a back or bottom wall 24, side walls 25-28, and intermediate walls 29 and 30 which divide the rear member 21 into first, second, and third chambers 31-33. Now referring to FIGS. 3 and 5, the front member 22 has a rectangularly shaped rear wall 34 complementary with the rear member 21, a front or forward wall 35, and annular side walls 36. The front wall 35 of the front member 22 has a circular hole 37 therethrough.

The rear and front members 21 and 22 are connected together by any suitable or conventional means, such as by screws 38. Clamped between the front and rear members 21 and 22 is a flat metal plate or bracket 39 which divides the housing 12 into an annular front chamber 40 and the three rear chambers 31-33. Referring to FIG. 6, the bracket 39 has a pair of T-shaped slots 41, three arcuately shaped second slots 42 spaced equally apart in a circular relationship, a short linear third slot 43, and a rectangularly shaped fourth slot 44 positioned directly between the T-shape'd slots 41 and equidistant from the arcuately shaped second slots 42. The bracket 39 further includes two separate pluralities of raised detent receiving depressions 45 and with each plurality being in an arcuately shaped pattern. The two pluralities of detent receiving depressions 45 are positioned in substantially symmetrical relationship around the fourth slot 44 and equidistantly from the first slots 41.

The first switch means 14 for effecting the identification lighting mode, the park lighting mode, or the normal headlamp lighting mode of the vehicle lighting system (not shown) includes first and second stationary terminals 47 and 48 which are carried by the back wall 24 of the housing 12 and which have contact portions disposed within the rear chambers 31 and 33, respectively. The respective stationary contacts 47 and 48 are adapted to be electrically connected to the circuitry of the vehicle lighting system (not shown).

The first switch means 14 also includes a first plastic contact carrier 50 which is located within the rear chamber 33 of the housing 12 and slidably supported on the back wall 24 for linear movement in opposite directions. Now referring to FIG. 3, the contact carrier 50 carries a bridging contact 51 which is slidably supported thereon for limited movement toward and from the back wall 24 of the housing 12. To this end, the bridging member 51, as shown in FIGS. 8 and 8a, has a pair of rearwardly extending flanges 53 which are received within stepped grooves 55 in the contact carrier 50. The flanges adjacent their rearward ends have laterally extending tangs 57 which are adapted to engage the steps of the grooves 55 to retain the bridging member 51 on the contact carrier 50. The bridging member 51 has three raised dimples or contacts 58 on its forward portion which are spring biased into engagement with the back wall 24 of the housing 12 by a compression spring 60 which has one end in an abutting engagement with the bridging member 51 and its other end in abutting engagement with the bottom of a central opening 61 in the contact carrier 50. Movement of the contact carrier 50 by the spring 60 away from the back wall 24 of the housing 12 is limited by upstanding pin shaped portions 63 formed integral with the contact carrier 50 and which are adapted to engage the bracket 39, as shown in FIG. 3. The contact carrier 50 is positioned within the rear chamber 33 immediately adjacent the intermediate wall 30 and has a pair of projections 65 which are received within a linear narrow guide slot 66 in the back wall 24 of the housing 12, as shown in FIG. 3, to guide the movement of the contact carrier 50 through a linear path.

The first switch means 14 also includes a second plastic contact carrier 68 which is located within the rear chamber 31 of the housing 12 and slidably supported on the back wall 24 for linear movement in opposite directions. The second contact carrier 68 also carries a bridging member (not shown) which is slidably supported thereon for limited movement toward and from the back wall 24 of the housing 12, and in the same manner as the bridging member 51 is supported by the first contact carrier 50. The second contact carrier 68 is positioned within the rear chamber 31 immediately adjacent the intermediate wall 29 and is similar in structure to the first contact carrier 50, but does not have projections which are received within a guide slot as does the first contact carrier 50.

The bridging member 51 of the first contact carrier 50 and the bridging member of the second contact carrier 68 are adapted to selectively bridge different ones of the stationary terminals 47 and 48 to effect an identification lighting mode, a park lighting mode, or a normal headlamp lighting mode of the vehicle lighting system in response to linear movement of the first and second contact carriers 50 and 68. The first and second contact carriers 50 and 68 are adapted to be moved linearly between a first position, as shown schematically by the solid lines in FIG. 4, in which the bridging members bridge selective ones of the stationary terminals 47 and 48 to effect the identification lighting mode; a second position, as shown by the dash lines in FIG. 4, in which the bridging members bridge selective ones of the stationary terminals 47 and 48 to effect the park lighting mode; a third position, as shown by the dotted lines in FIG. 4, in which the bridging contacts bridge other selective ones of the stationary terminals 47 and 48 to effect the normal headlamp lighting mode; and a fourth position, as shown by the phantom lines in FIG. 4, in which the bridging contacts effect de-energization of all of the vehicle lights.

Now referring to FIG. 2, the first switch means 14 further includes a manually manipulatable first actuator means 16 for moving the first and second contact carriers 50 and 68 between their respective positions. The first actuator means 16 includes an annular, stepped knob 17 which projects from the front chamber 40 of the housing 12 through the circular hole 37 in the front wall 35. An inner portion 70 of the knob 17 is rotatably supported by the annular side wall 36 of the front member 22 of the housing 12. The knob 17 has an outer portion 71 which is of a lesser diameter than the inner portion 70 and which extends outwardly of the housing 12 through the circular hole 37 to enable the knob 17 to be manually manipulated. Outward axial movement of the knob 17 is prevented as a result of engagement by a radially extending portion 72 of the knob 17 at the juncture of the inner and outer portions 70 and 71 with the front wall 35 of the housing 12. The knob 17 has a pair of relatively large aligned bores 73 and 74 through its central portion, and the outer end of the outer portion 71 has a flange 75 extending inwardly to define a circular opening 76 which is aligned with the bores 73 and 74.

The knob 17 is connected to a detent plate 78 which is slidably supported upon the inner portion 70 for movement toward and from the bracket 39. The detent plate 78 is generally circular and has three peripherally spaced keyways 79, as shown in FIG. 5, which are located approximately apart and which receive three keys or lugs 80 which are formed integral with the inner portion 70 of the knob 17 to thereby drivingly connect the detent plate 78 to the knob 17 for rotating movement therewith.

The detent plate 78 includes a pair of radially extending slots 82 spaced inwardly from a periphery thereof and which are located approximately apart. One of the slots 82 receives a pin projection 83 carried integrally by and which extends upwardly from the first contact carrier 50 and through one of the T- shaped slots 41 of the bracket 39. The other of the radial slots 82 receives a pin projection 84 which is carried integrally by and which projects upwardly from the second contact carrier 68 and through the other of the T-shaped slots 41 in the bracket 39. In this manner, first and second contact carriers 50 and 68 are drivingly connected via the detent plate 78 with the knob 17 of the first actuator means 16. The radial slots 82 in the detent plate 78 enable the pin projections 83 and 84 of the first and second contact carriers 50 and 68, respectively, to move radially inward and outward with respect thereto, and thereby permit the first and second contact carriers 50 and 68 to be guided through a linear path in the rear chambers 31 and 33 of the housing 12 by the linear portions of the T-shaped slots 41 of the bracket 39.

The detent plate 78 has a central aperture 86 and has first and second pluralities of raised dimples or detents 88 which are located immediately adjacent the periphery of the central aperture 86. The first and second pluralities of raised detents 88 are formed in arcuate patterns and are aligned with the detent receiving depressions 45 of the bracket 39. The detent plate 78 is biased into engagement with the bracket 39 by compression springs 89 (only one of which is shown in FIG. 3) which have one of their ends in abutting engagement with the detent plate 78 and the other of their ends in abutting engagement with the bottoms of two holes 90 (only one of which is shown in FIG. 3) in the knob 17.

The detent plate 78 is slidable on the bracket 39 and serves to detent the knob 17 of the first actuator means 16 in any of the positions to which it is moved. When the knob 17 is rotated, the detents 88 engage the sides of the detent receiving depressions 45 to cam the detent plate 78 against the bias of the springs 89 to permit the detents 88 to pass over the crests between the depressions 45. The biasing force of the springs 89 maintains the detent plate 78 in engagement with the bracket 39 and serves to maintain the detents 88 within the depressions 45. The engagement of the detent 88 with the sides of the depressions 45 is sufficient to detent the knob 17 until it is manually manipulated to another of its positions.

Now referring to FIG. 7, the knob 17 and the front member 22 of the housing 12 have cooperably engageable portions which define a stop means 92 for preventing rotation of the knob 17 past its identification lighting position. The front member 22 of the housing 12 has an integral projection 94 at one portion of the juncture between its front wall 35 and side wall 36, as shown in FIG. 3, and the knob 17 has a step 96 in its radial portion 72 at the juncture of inner and outer portions 70 and 71, as shown in FIG. 7. The step 92 of the knob 17 engages the projection 94 of the front member 22 of the housing 12 when the knob 17 is in its identification lighting position and thereby prevents rotation of the knob 17 past its identification lighting position.

The knob 17, however, is also slidably supported by the front member 22 of the housing 12 and the bias of the springs 89, as was previously described, for linear movement toward and from the bracket 39 between the rear and front members 21 and 22 of the housing 12. When the knob 17 is in its identification lighting position and is depressed against the bias of the springs 89, the knob 17 is moved to an inner position and the step 96 is disengaged from the projection 94 of the front member 22. The knob 17 can then be manually rotated beyond the identification lighting position to an off position, as shown in FIG. 1, which effects the deactivation of the identification lighting mode of the vehicle lighting system. It is only when the knob 17 is in its identification lighting position, however, that the keys 80 on the inner portion 70 of the knob 17 are aligned with the arcuately shaped slots 42 of the bracket 39 and pass therethrough when the knob 17 is depressed to allow the knob 17 to be moved to its off position. Depression of the knob 17 to its inner position is, therefore, prevented by engagement between the keys 80 and the bracket 39 when the knob 17 is in its part lighting or normal headlamp lighting position because the arcuately shaped slots 42 and the keys 80 are not aligned.

Now referring to FIG. 5, the detent plate 78 includes a cam slot 98 which has a circumferentially extending slot portion 99 and a radially extending slot portion 100. The detent plate 78 also includes a tapered cam surface 101 at the juncture of the circumferentially extending slot portion 99 and the radially extending slot portion 100.

Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the switch assembly also includes a second switch means 19 for effecting either the normal headlamp lighting mode or an expressway driving headlamp lighting mode when the first actuator means 14 has been moved to its normal headlamp lighting position. The second switch means 19 includes a third plurality of spaced stationary terminals 102 which are carried by the back wall 24 of the housing 12 and which have contact portions exposed within the rear chamber 32, as shown in FIG. 4, and are adapted to be electrically connected to the circuitry of the vehicle lighting system. The second switch means 19 also includes a third plastic contact carrier 104 which is located within the rear chamber 32 of the housing 12 and which is slidably supported by the back wall 24 for linear movement in opposite directions. The third contact carrier 104 carries a pair of spaced bridging members 105, as shown in FIG. 2, which are slidably supported thereon, and in the same manner as the bridging member 51 is supported upon the first contact carrier 50 for limited movement toward and from the back wall 24 of the housing 12. The intermediate walls 29 and 30 of the rear member 21 of the housing 12 serve to guide the movement of the third contact carrier 104 through a linear path.

Each of the bridging members 105 carry three contact portions 106 which are adapted to selectively bridge different ones of the stationary terminals 102 to effect either the normal headlamp lighting mode or the expressway driving headlamp lighting mode of the vehicle lighting system in response to linear movement of the third contact carrier 104. The third contact carrier 104 is adapted to be moved linearly between a first position as schematically shown by the solid lines in FIG. 4, in which its bridging members 105 bridge selective ones of the stationary terminals 104 to effect a normal headlamp lighting mode, and a second position, as shown by the dashed lines in FIG. 4, in which its bridging members 105 bridge other selective ones of the stationary terminals 102 to effect the expressway driving headlamp lighting mode.

Now referring to FIG. 9, the third contact carrier 104 has a detent pin 107 located within a hole 108 in the third contact carrier 104 and which is biased into one of two detent receiving depressions 109 in the back wall 24 of the housing 12 by a compression spring 111 located concentrically about the detent pin 107 and which has one end in abutting engagement with the bottom of the hole 108 and its other end in abutting engagement with the detent pin 107. The engagement of the detent pin 107 with the sides of the detent receiving depressions 109 serves to detent the third contact carrier 104 in either of its positions until it is moved to the other, as will later be described. When the third contact carrier 104 is moved linearly, the sides of the detent receiving depressions 109 serve to cam the detent pin 107 against the bias of compression spring 111 to permit the detent pin 107 to pass over the crest between the detent receiving depressions 109 whereupon the bias of the compression spring 111 locates the detent pin 107 into the other depression 109.

The second switch means further includes a second actuator means 113, as shown in FIG. 2, for shifting the third contact carrier 104 between its positions. The second actuator means 113 comprises a manually depressible push button 114 which is slidably supported by the rear member 21 of the housing 12 and the knob 17 for movement toward and from the back wall 24 of the housing 12. The push button 114 is concentric with the knob 17 and is biased toward a normal outer position, as shown in FIG. 2, by a compression spring 116. The spring 116 is in abutting engagement with the bracket 39 and with the bottom of an opening 120 in the push button 114. The bias of the spring 116 forces a peripheral flange 122 of the push button 114 into engagement with the flange 75 of the knob 17 to maintain the push button 114 in its normal outer position. The push button 114 also has a pair of downwardly projecting legs 124, as shown in FIG. 3, which extend through the T-shaped slots 41 of the bracket 39, as shown in FIG. 6, and which are slidably received within a pair of slots 126 in the intermediate walls 29 and 30 of the rear member 21 of the housing 12.

Again referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the second actuator further includes a drive rod 128 which is pivotally supported upon a transversely extending pin 130 located within the opening 120 and carried by the push button 114. The drive rod 128, upon manual depression of the push button 114 against the bias of the spring 116, engages either of two inclined surfaces 132 of a pawl 134. The pawl 134 is pivoted upon an integral pin 136 projecting outwardly from the sides of the pawl 134 and which are received within semicircular grooves 138 in the intermediate walls 29 and 30. The pawl 134 has a rounded cam surface 140 which is received within an opening 142 in the third contact carrier 104. When the drive pin 128 engages one of the inclined surfaces 132 of the pawl 134, the pawl 134 is pivoted upon the pin 136. The pivoting of the pawl 134 results in the engagement of the cam surface 140 with the walls of the third contact carrier 104 which define the opening 142 which serves to shift the third contact carrier 104 linearly to one of its two positions.

When the push button 114 is released, the drive rod 128 is disengaged from the one inclined surface 132 of the pawl 134 and is thereafter positioned immediately adjacent the other of the inclined surfaces 132 so that manual depression of the push button 114 will serve to engage the drive rod 128 with the other inclined surface 132 to shift the third contact carrier 104 in a similar manner back to its other position. It should be seen that in this manner the third contact carrier 104 is shifted between its normal headlamp lighting position and the expressway driving headlamp lighting position each time the push button 1 14 is manually depressed.

Now referring to FIGS. 2 and 5, the third contact carrier 104 of the second switch means 113 has a pin 144 projecting therefrom and which extends through the slot 43 of the bracket 39 and the cam slot 98 of the detent plate 78. The pin 144 engages the sides of the detent plate defining the circumferentially extending portion 99 of the cam slot 98 to prevent movement of the third contact carrier 104 toward its expressway driving headlamp lighting position when the push button 114 is manually depressed and the knob 17 of the first actuator means 116 is in its off, identification lighting, or park lighting positions. The radially extending portion 100 of the cam slot 98 is aligned with the pin 144 of the third contact carrier 104 when the knob 17 is in its normal headlamp lighting position to thereby allow the third contact carrier 104 to be moved to its expressway driving headlamp lighting position to effect that mode of the vehicle lighting system when the push button 114 is manually depressed. The tapered cam surface 101 of the detent plate 78 serves to cam the pin 144 of the third contact carrier 104 from the radially extending portion of the cam slot 78 to the circumferentially extending portion 99 to move the third contact carrier 104 from its expressway driving headlamp lighting position to its normal headlamp lighting position when the knob 17 is rotated from its normal headlamp lighting position toward its identification lighting position.

Referring to FIG. 4, the switch assembly 10 also includes a suitable circuit breaker 148 located within the rear chamber 33 of the rear member 21 of the housing 12 and which is operatively connected with the conventional battery power source (not shown) of the vehicle and the circuitry of the vehicle lighting system.

In operation, with the ignition switch of the vehicle on, the vehicle lighting system is normally in its identification lighting mode. The park lighting mode is effected by rotating the knob 17 in a clockwise manner as shown in FIG. 1 to the park lighting position. The rotating of the knob 17 serves to shift the first contact carrier 50 and the second contact carrier 68 linearly to their respective positions corresponding to the park lighting mode as shown schematically by the dashed lines in FIG. 4. The normal headlamp lighting mode is effected by rotating the knob 17 further in a clockwise direction to the normal headlamp lighting position which shifts the first and second contact carriers 50 and 68 to their normal headlamp lighting positions as shown schematically by the dotted lines in FIG. 4. The expressway driving headlamp lighting mode is effected by depressing the push button 114 which serves to pivot the pawl 134 with the drive rod 128 and shift the third contact carrier 104 to its second position, as shown schematically by the solid lines in FIG. 4. To de-energize the expressway driving headlamp lighting mode, the push button 114 is again manually depressed which will linearly shift the third contact carrier 104 to its first position, as shown schematically by the dashed lines in FIG. 4.

Further, when the second switch means is in the expressway driving headlamp lighting mode and the knob 17 is rotated toward its identification lighting position, the cam surface 101 of the detent plate 78 automatically cams the pin 144 of the third contact carrier 104 to shift the third contact carrier 104 from its expressway driving headlamp lighting position to its normal headlamp lighting position. When the knob 17 is in its identification lighting position and outer position, it can be manually depressed to its inner position to disengage the stop means 92 and rotated counterclockwise to its off position to effect deactivation of the identification lighting mode.

The foregoing disclosure relates to only one embodiment of the invention which may be modified within the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A light switch assembly for controlling the operation of a vehicle lighting system having a park lighting mode, a normal headlamp lighting mode and an expressway driving headlamp lighting mode comprising: a housing means; first switch means carried by said housing means for effecting said park lighting mode and said normal headlamp lighting mode, said first switch means including a manually manipulatable first actuator means rotatably supported by said housing means for movement between an off position and first and second on positions in which it effects said park lighting mode and normal headlamp lighting mode, respectively; second switch means for effecting either said normal headlamp lighting mode or said expressway driving headlamp lighting mode when said first actuator means is in its second on position, said second switch means including a second manually manipulatable actuator for alternately effecting said normal headlamp driving mode and said expressway headlamp driving mode when moved between first and second positions; and cooperable means carried by said second switch means and said first actuator means to prevent said'second switch means from being actuated to effect said expressway headlamp driving mode when said first actuator means is either in its off position or first on position and to allow said second switch means to be actuated to effect said expressway headlamp driving mode when said first actuator means is in its second on position, said cooperable means also actuating said second switch means to effect said normal headlamp driving mode when the latter is in the expressway driving mode and said first actuator means is rotated from its second on position towards its off position.

2. A light switch assembly for controlling the operation of a vehicle lighting system having a park lighting mode, a normal headlamp lighting mode and an expressway driving headlamp lighting mode comprising: a housing means; first switch means carried by said housing means for effecting said park lighting mode and said normal headlamp lighting mode, said first switch means including a manually manipulatable actuator means rotatably supported by said housing means for movement between an off position and first and second on positions in which it effects said park lighting mode and normal headlamp lighting mode, respectively; second switch means for effecting either said normal headlamp lighting mode or said expressway driving headlamp lighting mode, said second switch means including a plurality of spaced stationary terminals carried by the housing, a contact carrier carrying a bridging contact and supported by said housing for movement between first and second positions, a push button actuator for alternately moving said contact carrier between its positions to selectively bridge different ones of said stationary terminals to effect said normal headlamp driving mode and said expressway headlamp driving mode, respectively, and cooperable means on said contact carrier and said first actuator means to prevent the contact carrier from being moved from its first position toward its second position when said first actuator means is either in its off position or first on position and to allow said push button to move said contact carrier between its positions when said first actuator means is in its second on position, said cooperable means also causing said contact carrier to be moved from its second position toward its first position when in the latter position and said first actuator means is rotated from its second on position toward its off position.

3. A light switch assembly for controlling the operation of a vehicle lighting system having an identification lighting mode, park lighting mode and a normal headlamp lighting mode comprising: a housing means;

first switch means carried by said housing means for affecting said identification, park and normal headlamp lighting modes, said switch means including a manually maniputable actuator means rotatably supported by said housing means for movement between first, second and third positions in which it affects said identification, park, and normal headlamp lighting modes, respectively; cooperable stop means on said housing and actuator means to prevent said actuator means from rotating past its first position when being returned theretoward, said actuator also being movable axially of the housing between inner and outer positions and said stop means on said housing and actuator means being disengaged from each other when said actuator means is moved towards its inner position to allow said actuator to be rotated beyond its first position toward a fourth position in which it effects deenergization of said identification lighting mode.

4. A light switch assembly for controlling the operation of a vehicle lighting system having a park lighting mode, a normal headlamp lighting mode, and an expressway driving headlamp lighting mode, comprising: a housing; first switch means for effecting said park lighting mode and said normal headlamp lighting mode, said first switch means including a first plurality of spaced stationary tenninals carried by said housing and having contact portions disposed interiorly of said housing, a first contact carrier supported within said housing for linear movement and carrying a bridging contact, said first contact carrier being linearly movable between an off position and first and second on positions in which said bridging contact bridges different ones of said first terminals to effect said park lighting and normal headlamp lighting modes respectively, said first switch means further including a manually manipulatable first actuator rotatably supported by said housing for movement between an off position and a park lighting position and a normal headlamp lighting position, a plate drivingly connected with said first actuator for rotation therewith and operatively connected with said first contact carrier for moving said first contact carrier toward said first and second on positions in response to rotary movement of said first actuator toward said park lighting and normal headlamp lighting positions respectively, said plate having a cam slot therethrough, said cam slot including a circumferentially extending slot portion and a radially extending slot portion and with said plate at the juncture of said circumferentially and radially extending slot portions defining a tapered cam surface; second switch means for effecting either said normal headlamp lighting mode or said expressway driving headlamp lighting mode, when said first actuator has been moved to said normal headlamp lighting position, said second switch means including a second plurality of spaced stationary terminals carried by said housing and having contact portions disposed interiorly of said housing, a second contact carrier carrying a bridging contact and supported within said housing for linear movement between first and second positions in which said bridging contact bridges different ones of said second terminals to effect said normal and expressway driving headlamp lighting modes, respectively, said second switch means further including second actuator means including a manually depressible push button concentrically supported by said first actuator for sliding movement toward and from said second contact carrier and having means cooperably engageable with said second contact carrier for moving the same between its positions in response to depression of said push button, said second contact carrier having a pin projecting therefrom and extending through said cam slot, said pin being located within said circumferentially extending slot portion in said plate and engageable with said plate to prevent movement of said second contact carrier toward its second position when said first actuator is in said off or park lighting positions, said radially extending slot portion being aligned with said pin when said first actuator is in said normal headlamp lighting position and thereby allowing said second contact carrier to be moved toward its second position to effect said expressway driving headlamp lighting mode, and said tapered cam surface camming said pin from said radially extending slot portion to said circumferentially extending slot portion to move said second contact carrier from its second position toward its first position when said first actuator is rotated from said normal headlamp lighting position toward said off position.

5. A light switch assembly for controlling the operation of a vehicle lighting system having an identification lighting mode, a park lighting mode, and a normal headlamp lighting mode, comprising: a housing; switch means carried by said housing for effecting either said identification lighting mode or said park lighting mode or said normal headlamp lighting mode, said switch means including a plurality of spaced stationary terminals carried by said housing and having contact portions disposed interiorly of said housing, a contact carrier supported within said housing for movement in opposite directions and carrying a bridging contact, said contact carrier being movable between first, second and third positions in which said bridging contact selectively bridges different ones of said terminals to effect said identification lighting, park lighting and normal headlamp lighting modes respectively, said switch means further including a manually manipulatable actuator means for moving said contact carrier between its positions, said actuator means comprising a knob rotatably supported by said housing for movement between an identification lighting position and a park lighting position and a headlamp lighting position, a plate drivingly connected with said knob and slidably supported on part of said housing and by said knob for movement toward and from said housing part, said plate being operatively connected with said contact carrier for moving said contact carrier in response to rotary movement of said knob, said knob also being linearly movable toward and from said part of said housing between inner and outer positions, spring means for biasing said plate into engagement with said housing part and said knob toward its outer position, said knob and said housing having cooperably engageable portions to prevent said knob from being rotated past said identification lighting position when being returned thereto and when in said outer position, said portions being disengageable from each other when said knob is moved toward said inner position to allow said knob to be rotated beyond said identification lighting position to an off position to effect movement of said contact carrier to a fourth position in which it effects a de-energization of said identification lighting mode.

6. A light switch assembly for controlling the operation of a vehicle lighting system having an identification lighting mode, a park lighting mode, a normal headlamp lighting mode, and an expressway driving headlamp lighting mode, comprising: a housing with a bracket dividing said housing into front and rear chambers and having first, second, third, and fourth slots therethrough; first switch means for effecting said identification lighting mode or said park lighting mode or said normal headlamp lighting mode, said first switch means including a plurality of first spaced stationary terminals carried by said housing and having contact portions exposed within said rear chamber of said housing, said first switch means also including a first contact carrier supported within said rear chamber for linear movement and carrying a bridging contact, said first contact carrier being linearly movable between first and second and third positions in which said bridging contact selectively bridges different ones of said first terminals to effect said identification lighting or park lighting or normal headlamp lighting modes respectively, said first switch means further in cluding a manually manipulatable first actuator means for moving said first contact carrier between its positions, said first actuator means comprising a knob rotatably supported by said housing within said forward chamber for movement between an identification lighting position and a park lighting position and a normal headlamp lighting position, a detent plate drivingly connected with said knob and slidably supported on said bracket and by said knob for movement toward and from said bracket, said detent plate being operatively connected with said first contact carrier which extends through said first slots of said bracket and into said forward chamber for moving said first contact carrier in response to rotary movement of said knob, said knob also being linearly movable toward and from said bracket between inner and outer positions, spring means for biasing said detent plate into engagement with said bracket and biasing said knob toward its outer position, said knob and said housing having cooperably engageable stop means to prevent said knob from being rotated past said identification lighting position when being returned thereto and when in said outer position, said stop means being disengageable when said knob is moved toward said inner position and passed through said second slots of said bracket into said rear chamber to allow said knob to be rotated beyond said identification lighting position to an off position to effect movement of said first contact carrier to a fourth position in which it effects the deactivation of said identification lighting mode, movement of said knob toward said inner position being prevented by said bracket when said knob is in said park lighting or normal headlamp lighting positions, said detent plate and said bracket having cooperably engageable detent means for maintaining said knob in any of its positions until manually rotated to another of its positions, said detent plate having a cam slot therethrough, said cam slot including a circumferentially extending slot portion and a radially extending slot portion and with said detent plate at the juncture of said circumferentially and radially extending slot portions defining a tapered cam surface; second switch means for effecting either said normal headlamp lighting mode or said expressway driving headlamp lighting mode when said first actuator means has been moved to said normal headlamp lighting position, said second switch means including a plurality of second spaced stationary terminals carried by said housing and having contact portions disposed interiorly of said rear chamber of said housing, said second switch means including a second contact carrier carrying a bridging contact and supported within said rear chamber for linear movement between first and second positions in which said bridging contact bridges different ones of said second terminals to effect said normal and expressway driving headlamp lighting modes respectively, said second switch means further including second actuator means including a manually depressible push button concentrically supported by said first actuator for sliding movement toward and from said second contact carrier and having means extending through said third slot of said bracket and cooperably engageable with said second contact carrier for moving the same between its first and second positions in response to depression of said push button, said second contact carrier having a pin projection extending through said fourth slot of said bracket and said cam slot of said detent plate, said pin being disposed within said circumferentially extending slot portion and said detent plate being engageable with said pin to prevent movement of said second contact carrier toward its second position when said first actuator is in said off or identification lighting or park lighting positions, said radially extending slot portion being aligned with said pin when said first actuator is in said normal headlamp lighting position and thereby allowing said second contact carrier to be moved toward its second position to effect said expressway driving headlamp lighting mode, and said tapered cam surface camming said pin from said radially extending slot portion to said circumferentially extending slot portion to move said second contact carrier from said second position toward said first position when said first actuator is rotated from said normal headlamp lighting position toward said identification lighting position.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3793491 *Jun 5, 1972Feb 19, 1974Lucas Industries LtdSteering column mounted, multiple circuit controller operating means with slide-type multi-switch assembly
US3996431 *Jun 19, 1974Dec 7, 1976Cutler-Hammer, Inc.Multiple circuit slide selector switch having fixed contact retaining band
US4748298 *Apr 16, 1987May 31, 1988JaegerBistable switch, in particular for use as a headlamp dipswitch on a motor vehicle
US4891475 *Oct 24, 1988Jan 2, 1990United Technologies Automotive, Inc.Automotive beam selector switch system with flash-to-pass
US5670761 *Feb 9, 1995Sep 23, 1997Delta Schoeller Ltd.Electrical switch
US5939683 *Jan 30, 1998Aug 17, 1999Eaton CorporationHigh/low beam headlamps and fog lamps switch assembly
Classifications
U.S. Classification200/4, 200/16.00C
International ClassificationH01H13/50, H01H25/06, H01H13/60, H01H25/00
Cooperative ClassificationH01H13/60, H01H25/06
European ClassificationH01H25/06, H01H13/60