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Publication numberUS3691325 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 12, 1972
Filing dateMay 18, 1971
Priority dateMay 18, 1971
Also published asCA986562A1
Publication numberUS 3691325 A, US 3691325A, US-A-3691325, US3691325 A, US3691325A
InventorsBognar Bela
Original AssigneeTrw Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Non-snap acting rocker switch
US 3691325 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

O United States Patent [151 3,691,325 Bognar [451 Sept. 12, 1972 [$4] NON-SNAP ACTING ROCKER SWITCH FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS [72] In n r: l sn B ngh m, Mass. 1,329,035 4/1963 France ..200/159 A [73] Asslgneez TRW, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio Primary Examiner David smith, Jr.

[22] Filed: May 18, 1971 Attorney-Philip E. Parker, Gordon Needleman, 1 pp No: 144,498 7 James R. O Connor, John Todd and Hall & Houghton [57] ABSTRACT U-s. C is a cam actuated switch has a two com- [51] Int. Cl. ..ll0lh 19/10, HOlh 21/00 partment housing and a plunger which has a shaft that [58] Field of Search .....200/ 159 A, 6 BB, 6 C, 168 S, is passed through the separation wall of the housing 200/68 from one compartment to another. The shaft having a rat guard to prevent water from going from the 5 R f n Ci d plunger compartment to the contact compartment. The contact compartment houses the contacts and the UNITED STATES PATENTS end of the shaft has a cam portion extending 2,349,655 5/1944 Grout ..200/6 BB engage agamst med 2,626,334 l/l953 Koenig ..200/6 BB 3,040,828 6/1962 Ulinski... ..200/6 BB 2 Claims, 5 Drawing figures PATENTEDSEP 12 1912 SHEET 2 0F 2 ii 1! I mil 1m mlmllh. 36

hp "W 66 m j I FIG. 5

INVENTOR BELA BOGNAR (Jon/(W1 741a Il um: r

ATTORNEY NON-SNAP ACTING ROCKER SWITCH BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION DESCRIPTION OF PRIOR ART There are many rotatable switch patents which utilize a cam as the actuating member. These switches do not pass the actuating shaft from a plunger compartment to a contact compartment, they do not have shafts with rat guards to prevent water from seeping from the plunger compartment into the contact compartment and further more they do not utilize the spring member as a contact member.

For-example, the cam operated switch disclosed in the patent to .I. S. Thompson, US. Pat. No. 2,262,306, shows a shaft 1 l rotating the double earns 52 which engage the inwardly extendingportions 53 and move the ,pivotally mounted contacts 33 and 34 out of circuit,

making engagement against the biasing leaf springs 40, 41. This patent does not disclose separate enclosed compartments for the plunger or knob and the contact elements nor does it disclose that the spring member may also carry the contacts.

The patent to G. W. Jones U. S. Pat. No. 2,832,851, discloses a cam which engages against tang 46 of a contact arm allowing a leaf spring member 56 to bias the contact arm. This patent fails to anticipate the present invention for the same reasons given for the Thompson patent.

Another prior art patent is the one to Lariana, U. S. Pat. No. 3,002,060, disclosing a cam 72 which leans against the toothed type cam follower 50 extending from the saddlemember 38 which in turn bears against the contactarm. The reference fails to anticipate the present invention in that the cam does not bear against an arced surface of the contact spring arm and the contacts are not in separate compartments.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The inventors cam operated spring lever arm switch has fewer parts than the average snap-action switch. It also has a more consistant contact force and less con tact bounce. It is cheaper to manufacture, easier to assemble and less likely to develop mechanical failure.

The present invention provides a cam operated lever arm switch having one compartment for the plunger or rocker arm and another compartment for the contacts.

An object of the present invention is to provide a cam operated spring lever arm switch.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a cam operated spring lever arm switch in which the plunger is separated from the contact holding area.

Still another object of the present inventionis to provide a cam operated spring lever arm switch in which the cam operates from a shaft which extends from the plunger compartment to the contact compartment.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a cam operated spring lever arm switch in which the spring has an arced portion engageable withthe cam.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an exploded view of the switch;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the switch assembly shown in FIG. 1.;

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the contact container portion;

FIG. 4 is a section partly in elevation of the spring container compartment with the cam engaged against the spring; and

FIG. 5 is another side elevation of the switch assembly taken from the opposite side as that shown in FIG. 2.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT As illustrated in the drawing, the switch assembly comprises a two piece housing 10, a rocker-actuator 12, a movable contact arm 14, a torsion spring 16, and a fixed contact 18.

The two piece housing 10 comprises an actuator portion 20 and acontact container portion 22. The front, rear and side walls of the actuator portion 20 define a box like cavity 24. The rear wall of the actuator portion 20 is biased rearwardly to provide a slanted stop portion 26. The stop portion 26 terminates in aplatform that extends backwardly until it abutts a portion 29 of the back wall that extends upwardly and which is in spaced parallel relation to the front wall. A slot 28 is formed, adjacent the portion or section 29, through the platform and is continued as a channel extending outside the cavity 24. One of the side walls is a partition wall 30 having an arcuate slot 32 formed therethrough in close proximity to the section 29 of the back wall. An inner wall 34 is spaced from a portion of the partition wall 30 and has an arcuate slot formed therein which is similar to the arcuate slot 32 and is in spaced parallel relation to the partition wall 30. An arcuate floor is formed between the portion of the partition wall 30 through which the arcuate slot 32 if formed and the inner wall 34. An aperture 36 is formed through the side wall'directly across from and on a line with the arcuate slot 32.

The contact container portion 22 comprises a base portion 44 of a generally rectangular configuration having a rectangular extension at an upper portion. Forward, side and rear walls and a cap portion 46 extend upwardly from side edges of the base portion 44 to define a contact cavity 48. An L-shaped guide wall 50 extends from the rear wall of the contact container portion 22 and a short, stop leg 52 extends from the side wall into the contact cavity 48 toward the guide wall 50. A rectangular slot 54 is formed in the area defined by the rear wall, the side wall, the guide wall 50 and the stop leg 52 through the base portion 44. A pair of barrier portions 56 extend upwardly from the base portion 44, meeting the guide wall 50 and the stop leg 52, providing protection for the contact against moisture which has gotten into the contact cavity 48. A mandrel 58 is formed, in the extension of the contact cavity 48, extending from the base portion 44. The forward wall is angled to provide an overhang 38 having a slot 42 through which the terminal end 40 of the movable contact arm 14 extends.

The mandrel 58 is located in close proximity to the slot 42. The cap portion 46 extends beyond the upper edge of the forward side and rear walls of the contact container portion 22 to provide a dependent portion. An arced wall 59 extends from the base portion 44 between the cap portion 46 and the rear wall of the contact container portion 22 and is raised slightly above the edge of the rear wall.

The rocker-actuator 12 is constructed of a plastic material having a generally pie or wedge shape configuration which is hollow and divided internally by a median wall. A shaft extends from a side wall of the rockeractuator 12 at the apex of the triangle and has a flange and a rat guard extending therefrom.

A wedge shaped actuator arm or cam 62 extends outwardly from the shaft and has an arced engagement surface at its terminal end. A nib 66 extends from the apex of the triangle on the other side wall of the rockeractuator 12 as shown in FIG. 1.

The movable contact arm 14 is constructed of a flat, flexible material such as phosphor bronze and comprises a terminal 40 at one end from which an arced portion 68 extends to form a lever arm having a bight portion 70 which in turn is integral with a V-shaped portion having a contact 72 at its free end. The arced portion 68 is spaced from the terminal 40 to providethe necessary levering action.

The actuator portion 20 is assembled with the torsion spring 16 and the rocker-actuator 12, forming the actuator assembly, by passing either end of the torsion spring 16 through the slot 28 into the channel which extends therefrom. The other end of the torsion spring 16 is passed into the cavity of the rocker-actuator 12 bearing against the median wall. The shaft of the rocker-actuator is passed through the slot formed in the inner wall 34 and the arcuate slot 32 in the partition wall 30. The flange or rat guard 60 lies in the area between the partition wall 30 and the inner wall 34 partially closing the arcuate slot 32 and the slot formed in the inner wall 34. The actuator arm 62 lies outside the actuator portion 20 in close proximity to the partition wall 30. The nib 66 of the rocker-actuator l2 snaps into engagement with the aperture 36 in the side wall of the actuator portion 20. The rocker-actuator 12 can now be rotated through an arc which also causes the actuator arm to roatate through an arc. The contact container portion 22 of the housing has the contact arm 14 and the fixed contact 18 engaged to it thus forming the contact assembly. The upper portion of the terminal end 40 of the contact arm 14 is pushed into the slot 42 and the arced portion 68 partially circumscribes the mandrel 50 positioning the free contact end of the contact arm 14 within the area defined by the guide wall 50 and the stop leg 52. The contact end of the fixed contact 18 is passed through the slot in the base portion 44 into the area defined by the guide wall 50 and the stop leg 52. A terminal portion of the fixed contact 18 extends outside the housing 10. The-length of the contact arm 14 from the arced portion 68 to its contact end is free to move.

The contact assembly is attached to the actuator assembly, by ultrasonic welding, so that the actuator arm 62 overlies the bight portion 70 in close proximity thereto. The arced wall 59 closes the arcuate slot 32 in the partition wall 30 leaving just enough space for the shaft of the actuator to rotate. When a force is applied to the rocker-actuator, the actuator arm 62 engages the bight portion 70 and cams it downwardly causing the length of the contact arm 14 to flex, moving the contact portion of the contact arm 14.

With reference to the foregoing description it is to be understood that what has been disclosed herein represents an embodiment of the invention and is to be constru d as illustrative rath r than restri tive in nature and that the invention 1s best described by the following claims;

I claim:

1. A switch assembly comprising a housing, an actuator, a single unitary flexible contact arm having a contact associated therewith, and having an arced portion looped back on itself to form a bight, and a fixed contact, the housing having a partition wall, the major portion of the actuator located on one side of the partition wall and the flexible contact arm and fixed contact located on the other side of the partition wall from the major portion of the actuator and an actuator cam associated with the actuator and located on the same side of the partition wall as the flexible contact arm in close proximity to the arced portion whereby movement of the actuator in one direction engages the actuator cam against the arced portion causing the contact arm and its contact to change position relative to the fixed contact.

2. A switch assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein the partition wall separates the housing into two compartments and the actuator has a shaft extending therefrom, the shaft having a terminal end, the actuator cam projecting from the terminal end.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3996434 *Apr 23, 1975Dec 7, 1976General Electric CompanyHousehold freezer door alarm switch having an automatic resetting deactivator
US4117280 *Mar 4, 1977Sep 26, 1978Sonitronic, Inc.Miniature switches
US4686336 *Nov 3, 1986Aug 11, 1987Carlingswitch, Inc.Appliance switch
US5380972 *Nov 19, 1993Jan 10, 1995Motorola, Inc.Rocker switch
US5796058 *May 31, 1996Aug 18, 1998Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.Lever operated slide switch
Classifications
U.S. Classification200/6.00C, 200/343, 200/293, 200/295
International ClassificationH01H21/00, H01H21/22
Cooperative ClassificationH01H21/22
European ClassificationH01H21/22