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Publication numberUS3696222 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 3, 1972
Filing dateSep 9, 1970
Priority dateSep 9, 1970
Also published asCA939711A, CA939711A1
Publication numberUS 3696222 A, US 3696222A, US-A-3696222, US3696222 A, US3696222A
InventorsCobbeldick Charles R, Langan John P
Original AssigneeEssex International Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Latchable reciprocating switch construction
US 3696222 A
Abstract
A switch having an axially reciprocable actuator movable from a projected position to a number of retracted positions and return, and which carries conductive elements engageable and disengageable with fixed contacts in response to movements of the actuator. The actuator normally is latched in its projected position in which none of the conductive elements engage the contacts, but operating means is provided for releasing the latch and simultaneously shifting the actuator to an intermediate or partially retracted position in which engagement between at least one of the conductive elements and the fixed contacts is effected, and from which the actuator is movable to its fully retracted position. As the actuator is moved to its fully retracted position at least one of the conductive elements is deflected so as to disengage it and the fixed contacts.
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United States Patent [151 3,696,222 Langan et al. 51 Oct. 3, 1972 [s41 LATCHABLE RECIPROCATING 2,810,050 10/1957 Johnson ..200/169 R SWITCH CONSTRUCTION 3,511,943 5/1970 Kibler ..200/61.27 X [72] Inventors: John Langan Detroit; Charles R. 3,567,874 3/ 1971 Strobel ..200/ 16 R Garden both of Primary Examiner-R. F. Staubly Attorney-Learman & McCulloch [73] Assignee: Essex International Inc. 22 Filed: Sept. 9, 1970 [57] ABSIRACT A switch having an axially reciprocable actuator [2}] Appl' 70321 movable from a projected position to a number of retracted positions and return, and which carries con- 52 U.S. c1. ..200/16 R, 200/169 PB ductive elements engageable and disengageable with 51 1111. C1. ..H01h 3/20, HOlh 9/20 fixed contacts in response to movements of the actua- [58] Field of Search ..200/16 R, 169 A, 169 C, Thsfiig 9999911119 fihd i its Pmiecmd 169 PB, 200/169 R position in which none of the conductive elements engage the contacts, but operating means is provided for releasing the latch and simultaneously shifting the ac- [56] References Cited tuator to an intermediate or partially retracted position in which engagement between at least one of the UNlTED STATES PATENTS conductive elements and the fixed contacts is effected, and from which the actuator is movable to its fully :3 Elebrelch 88 retracted position. As the actuator is moved to its fully g 141919 200/16 R retracted position at least one of the conductive cle- I e s s n t d n t d d t d f d 3,431,371 3/1969 Stoi et a1. ..200/16 R 8 6 as 'sengage e 1,101,866 6/1914 McConnell....200/l69 PB UX 1,496,582 6/1924 Libby ..200/16 R 13 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures P A'TENTEDIJBI 3 I972 SHEET 1 0F 2 TORS INVEN JOHN P. LANGAN CHARLES R. COBBELDICK vm m N mm mm mm NI: w

PAIENTEDnma 1912 SHEET 2 BF 2 INVENTORS JOHN P. LANGAN BCi HARLES R. COBBELICK LATCHABLE RECIPROCATING SWITCH CONSTRUCTION This invention relates to electrical switches and more particularly to a reciprocating switch that is especially adapted for use in vehicle speed control mechanisms of the kind wherein the speed of a vehicle equipped with such mechanism may be maintained-substantially constant. A switch construction of the general class to which the invention relates is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,431,371.

Vehicle speed control devices conventionally include an on-off or arming switch mounted on or adjacent a vehicles instrument panel and which must be moved to its on position so as to condition the speed control mechanism for operation. It also is conventional to provide an additional actuating switch in the vehicles direction signal operating lever or elsewhere and which must be operated by the vehicle driver, following operation of the arming switch, to render the speed control mechanism operable. The necessity of providing two different switches and their associated parts represents substantial expense.

An actuating switch mechanism such as is disclosed in the aforementioned patent includes a push button which projects from the free end of the direction signal operating lever and which is reciprocable between a projected position and a number of retracted positions. When an arming switch associated with this switch mechanism is in its off position, reciprocation of the actuating switch has no effect on the speed control mechanism, but is the arming switch is in its on position, it is possible for the speed control mechanism inadvertently to be energized. Inadvertent energization of the speed control mechanism can be hazardous.

An object of this invention is to provide an actuating switch construction applicable tovehicle speed control devices and which performs not only the function of controlling the speed control mechanism, but also the function of conditioning the speed control mechanism for operation.

Another object of the invention is to provide a reciprocable switch mechanism having an actuating member which may be latched in an off or inoperable position and which may not be operated without the latch being released deliberately.

A further object of the invention is to provide a switch mechanism of the character described and wherein release of the latch automatically effects movement of the actuating member to an armed position.

Another object of the invention is to provide an actuating switch mechanism of the kind described for use with vehicle speed control mechanisms and which is compatible with such mechanisms currently in use.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be pointed out specifically or will become apparent from the following description when it is considered in conjunction with the appended claims and the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a longitudinal sectional view of a switch constructed in accordance with the invention and illustrating the actuating member in its fully projected, latched, inoperable position;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken on the line 22 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 1, but illustrating the actuating member in a partially retracted, armed position;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 2, but illustrating the actuating member in an operative position between its armed position and its fully retracted position;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken on the line 6-6 of of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 5, but illustrating the actuating member in its fully retracted, momentarily disabled position; and

FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken on the line 88 of FIG. 7.

A switch constructed in accordance with the disclosed embodiment of the invention comprises a tubular support member 1 formed of insulating. material such as nylon or the like and having a bore 2 therein terminating at one end in a flared chamber 3 which merges with a chamber 4. The chamber 4 leads to a chamber 5 which, in turn, leads to a chamber 6 that terminates in an annular recess 7 at one end of the member 1. At the opposite end of the member 1 is a bore 8 in communication with the bore 2 and in which is fitted one end of a hollow arm or lever 9 which may constitute the direction signal operating lever of a conventional direction signal switch.

Located within the support member 1 is a generally thimble-shaped mounting member 10 formed of insulating material and having a body 11 terminating at one end in an annular, enlarged skirt 12 which is accommodated snugly in the chamber 5. The body 11 terminates at its other end in a cylindrical neck 13 which is accommodated partially in the chamber 3 and partially in the chamber 4. At the juncture of the body 11 and the skirt 12 is a series of three uniformly spaced openings 14 which establish axial communication between the exterior of the body 11 and the interior of the skirt 12. Extending through the openings 14 are conductive contact blades 15, 16 and 17, one end of each of which is peened over the skirt 12 and the other end of which is shaped to conform to the configuration of the juncture of the body 11 and the neck 13. The contact elements thus are fixed with respect to the member 1. Insulated conductors 18, 19 and 20 are joined at corresponding ends to the fixed contacts and extend through the member 9 for connection to a source of electric energy and to electrical apparatus to be operated, in the manner illustrated in the aforementioned patent.

Actuating means 21 is mounted in the chamber 6 and includes a body or push button 22 formed of insulating material from one end of which extends a generally cylindrical rod 23 having one flat surface 24. The rod terminated in a reduced extension 25 which is slidably accommodated in the cylinder 13 so as to support and guide the push button in its movements.

Fitted onto the rod 23 is a conductive member 26 comprising a disk 27 from which extend flexible, conductive arms 28, 29 and 30, the arms diverging radially from the'disk 27 and the arm 28 being of greater length than the other arms 29 and 30. The disk 27 has an opening 31 therein that is shaped similarly to the crosssectional shape of the rod 23 and accommodates the latter. The spacing and arrangement of the conductive arms 28-30 correspond to the spacing and arrangement of the fixed contacts -17, and the free ends of the movable contact arms are so located as tobe engageable with the radially inner surfaces of the fixed contacts. The conductive member 26 is maintained snugly against the push button body 22 by a compression spring 32 which surrounds the rods 23 and 25 and reacts between the mounting member 11 and the disk 27.

The actuator member 22 is restrained against rotation by a pair of radially extending ribs 33 which are accommodated in grooves 34 formed in the chamber 6, and the member 26 is restrained against rotation relative to the member 22 by the flat surface 24 on the rod 23 and the correspondingly shaped side of the opening 31 in the disk 27.

The-member 22 has a radially extending bore 35 within which is mounted a compression spring 36 and a ball 37, the ball being urged to a radially projected position by the spring 36. The ball normally is accommodated in a groove 38 formed in the chamber 6 and which terminates at its inner end in a detent shoulder 39.

Fitted into the recess 7 of the support member 1 is a rotatable operating ring 40 through which the actuator member 22 extends. The ring is maintained in the recess 7 by means of a bead or rim 41 at the inner end of the ring and which is accommodated rotatably in a groove 42 formed at the base of the recess.

Releasable latching means 43 is provided for the purpose of enabling and disabling retracting movement of the actuator 22 from the position shown in FIG. 1. The latching means comprises a latch part or stud 44 projecting radially from the member 22 and which is accommodated in an axial groove 45 formed in the ring 40. The groove 45 terminates short of the inner end of the ring 40 so as to form a latch part or ledge 46. The groove 45 communicates with a groove 47 at the inner end of the ring 40, the groove 47 having an oblique cam surface 48 for a purpose to be described.

In the position of the parts illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the actuating member 21 is in its fully projected, disarmed position, the fixed and movable switch contacts are disengaged, and the latch stud 44 rests on the ledge 46. The spring 32 urges the member 22 outwardly of the member 1, but further projected movement of the member 22 is prevented by the engagement of the ribs 33 with the ring 40.

Upon rotation of the latch operating ring 40 clockwise, as view in FIG. 1, the stud 44 will enter the groove 47 so as to be released by the ledge 46. Further rotation of the ring 40 will cause the cam surface 48 to bear against the stud 44 so as to displace the actuator 22 to the left and move it to a partially retracted position as determined by the engagement of the stud 44 with the inner end of the ring 40. See FIG. 3. In this position of the actuator 22, the longest conductive member 28 will be in engagement with the conductor 15 so as to establish connection between the conductor 26 and the vehicle battery or other source of energy. The position of the parts indicated in FIG. 3 is the armed position of the switch mechanism.

From the position shown in FIG. 3 the actuating member 22 manually may be displaced inwardly or retracted relatively to the support member 1 to an operative position shown in FIG. 5 in which the ball 37 engages the shoulder 39 and arrests further retracting movement of the member in theabsence of the application of a greater force thereto; In this position of the actuator, all of the arms of the conductor 26 will be in engagement with the fixed contact blades so as to establish circuit continuity among the blades l5, l6 and 17 via the disk 27, thereby enabling operation of the electrical apparatus.

From the operative position of the actuator 22 shown in FIG. 5, it may be retracted further by the application of sufficient additional force on the member 22 to overcome the force of the spring 36 and retract the ball 37 into the bore 35. Further retracting movement of the actuator 22 may continue until such time as the ribs 33 engage the inner ends of the recesses 34 at which time the actuator 22 will be in its fully retracted and momentarily inoperable position as shown in FIG. 7. In this position of the actuator, the free end of the contact blade 28 will be deflected radially inwardly by an inclined surface 49 that is provided on the inner surface of the skirt 12 of the member 10 and which lies in the path of movement of the blade 28. The blade 28 thus will be disengaged from the contact 15, thereby breaking'the circuit to the source of energy.

Due to the bias of the spring 32, the actuating member 22 must be held manually in either of the positions shown in FIGS. 5 or 7. Once the force applied to the member 22 is released, the spring automatically will restore the actuator and the conductor 26 to the positions shown in FIG. 3. As the actuator moves from its fully retracted position to either of the positions shown in FIGS. 3 or 5, the inherent resilience of the blade 28 will effect reengagement of the members 28 and 15 so as to re-establish circuit continuity with the energy source.

To return the actuator 22 to its fully projected or disabled position, the ring 40 may be rotated counterclockwise from the position shown in FIG. 3 so as to enable the stud 44 to enter the groove 47. As the ring 40 continues to rotate, the spring 32 will urge the actuator 22 outwardly of the member 1, as is permitted by the inclined cam surface 48 so as to position the stud 44 at a level such as to permit the stud 44 once again to seat on the ledge 46. The actuator 22 thus is disabled from movement to its retracted position.

The apparatus disclosed herein may be substituted for the apparatus disclosed in the aforementioned patent.

The disclosure is representative of a presently preferred form of the invention, but is intended to be illustrative rather than definitive thereof. The invention is defined in the claims.

We claim:

1. A switch construction comprising a support member; actuating means carried by said support member for reciprocating movements relative to said support member between first and second positions; first and second contact means responsive to movements of said actuating means to engage and disengage one another; latch means for disabling and enabling movement of said actuating means; operating means movable relatively to said actuating means for latching and releasing said latch means; and means operable in response to movement of said operating means following release of said latch means to move said actuating means to a third position between said first and second positions.

2. The construction set forth in claim 1 wherein said latch means comprises a first part carried by said actuating means and a second part carried by said operating means for movement relative to said first part into and out of engagement therewith.

3. The construction set forth in claim 2 wherein said second part is rotatable.

4. The construction set forth in claim 1 including biasing means constantly acting on said actuating means and urging the latter toward said first position.

5. The construction set forth in claim 1 wherein said operating means comprises a cam.

6. A switch construction comprising a support member; first contact means carried by said support member; an actuator member slidably mounted in said support member for reciprocating movements from a first position to a second position; second contact means engageable with and disengageable from said first contact means in response to movements of said actuating member; cooperable latch means operable releasably to latch said actuator member in said first position; movable latch operating means for locking and releasing said latch means; and means responsive to movement of said operating means following release of said latch means to effect movement of said actuating member from first position toward said second position.

7. The construction set forth in claim 6 wherein said operating means is rotatable.

8. The construction set forth in claim 7 wherein said responsive means comprises a cam.

9. A switch construction comprising an elongate support member; contact means supported on said support member; an actuating member carried by said support member for reciprocating movements longitudinally of said support member between first and second positions; a plurality of conductive elements carried by said actuating member for movements therewith into and out of engagement with said contact means, at least one of said conductive elements being resilient; means located in the path of movement of at least said one of said conductive elements as said actuating member moves from one of said positions toward the other position to deflect said one of said conductive elements out of engagement with said contact means; latch means for disabling movement of said actuating member from said one position toward said second position, said latch means comprising a first part carried by said actuating member and a second part carried by said operating means for movement relative to said first part into and out of engagement therewith; and operating means for latching and releasing said latch means.

10. The construction set forth in claim 9 wherein none of said conductive elements engages said switch contacts when said actuating member is in one of said positions and wherein all of said conductive elements engage said switch contacts when said actuating member is in an intermediate position between said first and second positions.

1 l. The construction set forth in claim 9 wherein said one of said conductive elements is of greater length than the others thereof. t

12. The construction set forth in claim 9 wherein said second part is rotatable.

13. A switch construction comprising an elongate support member; fixed contact means supported by said support member; an actuating member carried by said support member for reciprocating movements longitudinally of said support member between projected and fully retracted positions; a plurality of conductive elements carried by said actuating member for movements therewith into and out of engagement with said fixed contact means, at least one of said elements being resilient; latch means carried by said actuating member for latching the latter in said projected position and in which none of said elements engages said contact means; operating means carried by said support member and movable relatively to said actuating member for releasing said latch means; means carried by said operating means and operable in response to movement thereof relative to said actuating member to move the latter from said projected position in a direction toward a partially retracted position and in which at least one of said elements engages said contact means; and means located in the path of movement of said resilient one of said elements for deflecting the latter out of engagement with said contact means as said actuating member moves from said partially retracted position toward said fully retracted position.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3753475 *Nov 15, 1971Aug 21, 1973Andersen PPassenger safety restraint device including bumper mounted switch and associated circuitry
US3824363 *Jun 26, 1972Jul 16, 1974Korry Mfg CoInterchangeably structured electrical cartridge with cross-biased latch mechanism for the releasably tethered cap of the same
US3881077 *Mar 11, 1974Apr 29, 1975Cutler Hammer IncRefrigerator-freezer, two-door operated switch
US4133992 *Apr 11, 1977Jan 9, 1979Compagnie Francaise Des PetrolesSelf-purging electrical connector
US4225758 *Jul 3, 1978Sep 30, 1980Alps Electric Co., Ltd.Switch operated axially or rotatably
US4650945 *Jul 26, 1982Mar 17, 1987Emhart Industries, Inc.Four terminal switch
US5221816 *Sep 9, 1991Jun 22, 1993Delta Systems, Inc.Plunger switch
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US5528007 *Jun 27, 1994Jun 18, 1996Delta Systems, Inc.Plunger switch and method of manufacture
US7637181 *Dec 29, 2009ThalesOperating device
US20050093663 *Sep 2, 2004May 5, 2005ThalesOperating device
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EP0951035A1 *Apr 13, 1999Oct 20, 1999Falard Industrie SarlSwitch with four position to allow establishing three electrical contacts
Classifications
U.S. Classification200/16.00B, 200/43.16
International ClassificationH01H13/64, B60Q1/14, H01H13/50
Cooperative ClassificationH01H13/64, B60Q1/1476
European ClassificationH01H13/64, B60Q1/14M2C3B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 11, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: UNITED TECHNOLOGIES AUTOMOTIVES, INC., A CORP. OF
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:ESSEX GROUP, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004933/0578
Effective date: 19880223