US 3697025 A
A neck-mounted socket or holding device with a thermostatic latch for an electric pop-out cigarette lighter, in which a cordless lighter plug unit is received and stored, and generally used in automobiles.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
ilnited tates Patent Edwards 1 NECK-MOUNTED LIGHTER SOCKET  Inventor: Jones B. Edwards, 1923 Woodcrest Avenue, Apt. 6, Charlotte, NC. 28203 221 Filed: July 1,1970 211 Appl. No.: 51,454
 US. Cl. ..248/27, 219/264, 219/267, 339/ 128  Int. Cl. ..Gl2b 9/02, F23g 7/22  Field of Search"; ..219/267, 263, 264-265, 219/260, 270; 248/27; 339/128  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,180,927 1 1/1939 Johnson ..219/263 2,122,962 7/1938 Sinko ..2 l 9/ 267 [451 Oct. 10, 1972 2,126,710 8/1938 Ashton ..219/267 X 2,300,386 10/1942 Lehmann ..219/267 X 2,375,891 5/1945 Bolley ..219/267 X 2,459,650 l/1949 Johnson ..219/264 2,723,337 11/1955 Kempler ..219/264 X 2,932,716 4/1960 Fenn ..219/267 X 3,424,414 1/1969 Horwitt ..248/27 3,433,928 3/1969 Horwitt ..219/267 3,462,581 8/1969 Bristol et a]. ..219/267 Primary Examiner-Volodymyr Y. Mayewsky  ABSTRACT A neck-mounted socket or holding device with a thermostatic latch for an electric pop-out cigarette lighter, in which a cordless lighter plug unit is received and stored, and generally used in automobiles.
7 Clains, 9 Drawing Figures PATENTEDncI 10 1912 Fig.2
IN VE NTOR NECK-MOUNTED LIGHTER SOCKET This application relates, in part, to subject matter shown, described and/or referred to in my copending application which issued July 7, 1970 as US. Pat. No. 3,519,794.
This invention relates to electric cigarette lighters, commonly used in automobiles, having a socket with a thermostatic latch, fastened to an instrument panel, and in which a cordless igniter plug unit is stored and may be energized therein and removed therefrom for use.
Current pop-out lighters have base-mounted sockets, that is, they have threads at the bottom, and are fastened to mounts or panels by outer clamping sleeves with thread means at the bottom of the sleeves engaging the threads at bottom of the sockets. The two principal conventional lighters presently in use in this category are represented in US. Pat. No. 2,495,657 issued Jan. 24, 1950, and No. 2,727,977 issued Dec. 20, 1955, to which reference is made. Such current lighters have thermostatic latches with provisions for interlocking the parts against rotation and centering the parts accurately, during assembly. They also have comprehensive openings in the lower sidewall of the socket opposite the thermostatic latch to provide electrical clearance between it and the socket wall. The clamping sleeve of said lighters is of larger diameter than the socket tube, providing an air space between these two parts when assembled.
A principal purpose of the present invention is to appreciably reduce the cost of manufacturing and assembling a pop-out lighter socket complete with thermostatic latch.
A main object of this invention is to provide effective neck-mounting, or fastening means at the top end of the socket for securely fastening the socket to the panel, eliminating the current bottom-secured clamping sleeve.
A further object of this invention is to provide a thermostatic latch so constructed that with ordinary but expedited assembly methods the bimetallic thermostatic fingers are precisely and uniformly centered and spaced from the socket sidewall to eliminate possibilities of short-circuiting when the lighter is operated. The simplest form of this thermostatic latch requires no interlocking of parts to prevent rotation, when used without openings in the socket sidewall opposite the thermostatic fingers of the latch.
A still further object of this invention is to provide optional interlocking means for the latch parts and socket, and abbreviated clearance openings in the sidewall of the socket, when these features are desired.
Other purposes, objects and advantages will become apparent from the detail descriptions hereinafter set forth.
In the accompanying drawing:
FIG. 1 is an axial sectional view of a socket according to the present invention, including the outline therein of a cordless plug unit.
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary sectional view of the socket along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of a spacing washer.
FIG. 4 is a top plan view of a bimetallic spider. FIG. 5 is a fragmentary axial sectional view similar to parts of FIG. 1, showing a modification of. means for attaching the socket to a mount, with a portion of the socket cut away to show details of a clamping collar.
FIG. 6 is a sectional elevation of a stud in the same plane as FIG. 2, showing keying slot in top portion of the stud.
FIG. 7 is a top plan view of an insulating disk.
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary axial sectional view similar to parts of FIG. 1, showing a modification of means for attaching the socket to a mount.
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary axial sectional view similar to parts of FIG. 1, showing a modification of means for attaching the socket to a mount.
The current pop-out lighter design began possibly 35 or 40 years ago with the advent of the cordless type lighter. At the time, electric wires behind panels of automobiles were rubber insulated cotton covered. It is presumed that the bottom-fastening outer clamping sleeve originated as a protection of such wires against direct contact with the socket tube or barrel, which attains somewhat higher temperature than the outer sleeve when the lighter is operated. The comprehensive openings in lower part of the socket sidewall presumably have been provided to afford latch clearance with a socket tube of minimum diameter.
At present electric wires behind automobile instrument panels are insulated by plastic coatings which are heat-resistant. I have found by experiment that such plastic-coated wires in direct contact with the socket tube of a pop-out lighter are not melted, burned, or in any way damaged when the plug unit is energized and heated for considerably longer time than occurs during normal operation. This is the inventive idea behind my development of the neck-mounted socket without the bottom-fastening outer clamping sleeve.
With my neck-mounted socket, it is advisable to reduce the size of the clearance openings in the socket sidewall when the precise dimensions employed in current lighters are substantially retained. When the optional abbreviated clearance openings are used, it is advisable to use my optional latch interlocking means, which do not appreciably affect the cost of manufacturing, but which would facilitate assembly operations. However, with some enlargement in the panel hole for mounting, and a socket tube of slightly larger diameter, the socket will not require any clearance openings at all, and the latch will not require interlocking means.
The simplest and most economical form of my invention is the lighter socket shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, in which the socket or tubular member I has an open top end and a closed bottom end. A hole 29 in the mount or panel 7 through which the socket I is mounted has one or more notches 28 through which one or more projections 27 on the socket I pass upon insertion of the socket in said hole 29. When the inserted socket is turned, the projections 27 bear against the back of panel 7, and flange 6 on the socket and integral therewith bears against the face of panel 7, securely fastening the socket 1 to the panel 7.
Springy fingers 5 are provided in the socket sidewall, similar to conventional popout lighters, to engage the plug unit 2. Other than as described above, this socket sidewall is devoid of openings or projections.
In its simplest form my thermostatic latch 4 mounts on the bottom end of tubular member 1 through an enlarged hole 37. A one-piece, bimetallic spider 38 has two or more thermostatic fingers 8 upward turned and formed to grasp heating coil cup 3 of plug unit 2 when the lighter is operated, Spider 38 also has interspaced contact arms 9 upward turned with radial ends as shown in FIG. 1. These arms limit the travel of plug unit 2 when operated, but also provide energizing contact when fingers 8 thermostatically release plug unit 2.
A latch mounting stud 13 may have a reduced upper end 41 andmay be cupped at 16 to facilitate riveting, as shown in FIG. 6 (or may have an equivalent swaged ledge, not shown). Spider 38 is riveted, as at 12, to the end of stud 13, which if reduced as shown in the drawing includes a spacing washer 1 1 at the underside of the spider, FIGS. 1 and 2.
An insulating disk 17 (preferably of ceramic material) has a center bore, and the bottom of tubular member 1 has an enlarged hole 37. An insulating washer 39 of heat-resisting material similar to micarta (which has been satisfactory in experiments) is centered with relation to the socket sidewall by several lugs 19 projecting from the socket bottom 40. Stud 13 passes through disk 17, the socket bottom 40, and the precisely fitting and centered hole in insulating washer 39. This latch assembly is secured together by a threaded nut 14 on the threaded end of stud 13. A lock washer for nut 14 may be used if desired. Also if desired, the disk 17 may have pillows 18 supporting arms 9, FIGS. 1 and 7.
The simplicity of the latch as thus constructed may be readily recognized as it is noted that when thebore of disk 17 is precisely perpendicular to its base and the socket bottom 40, and said bore is a precise slip fit for stud 13, the latch assembly is precisely centered in relation to the socket sidewall, requiring no special care or placement of parts in assembly operations. If the disk 17 as made (molded) is not uniformly precise enough, the disk base may be provided with several nubs 20, whereby one simultaneous and brief reaming and grinding operation will size the disk bore and level the base. I have noted that a similar disk in one of the current conventional sockets is uniform in the foregoing specification of preciseness.
A socket constructed according to the foregoing may have a tubular member 1 of lighter stock than conventional sockets. There is actually very little strain on a socket of my type, and worthwhile economies in materials, manufacturing of parts, and assembly, are quite noticeable.
However, when desired, abbreviated openings in the socket sidewall may be provided. These may be punched, sawed or ground. In event these openings are used, the fingers 8 should be so formed at the base or upward bend that they will not contact the socket sidewall when the lighter is operated. The openings 10 will provide the required clearance at the upper tips of fingers 8, FIG. 2. When these abbreviated clearance openings 10 are used there is no danger from spark or ash droppings, or that other wires behind the instrument panel will be damaged.
When the clearance openings 10 are used, the latch parts should be interlocked against rotation during assembly, and to simplify and expedite assembly of all the parts in proper relations. This is simply accomplished without appreciably affecting manufacturing costs. Stud 13 may have a slot in the end which is engaged by projection 23 and projection 24 in the bores of spacing washer l1 and spider 38, respectively, FIGS. 3 and 4. A recess 22 in top of disk 17 has projections 25. Notches 26 in spacing washer ll engage projections 25 on disk 17, hence, stud 13 and spider 38 are keyed to disk 17. Disk 17 has one or more lugs 19 on its base which engage one or more openings in socket bottom 40 resulting when lugs 21 are punched in said socket bottom for centering insulating washer 39. The stated keying features are so positioned in relation to each other that when all parts of the latch are assembled, the tips of fingers 8 register with clearance openings 10. These relations are shown in FIGS. 1,2,3,4,6 and 7. If desired, the slot 15 in stud l3, and projections 23 and 24 in the bores of spacing washer 11 and spider 38, respectively, may be eliminated, since these parts are tightly riveted together, although the complete keying will facilitate assembly operations.
Modifications of neck-mounting means for the socket l are shown in FIGS. 5,8 and 9.
In the modification shown in FIG. 5, the tubular member 1 has an integral flange 6 at its open top end, and projections 27 from its sidewall, spaced rearward (that is, bottomward) from said flange 6. The projections 27 need not be more than one-thirty second inch outward from the socket sidewall and could be less, and this generally applies in all of the neck-mounting constructions shown and described in this application. Thus, the socket may be of current conventional dimensions and with projections 27 may still be inserted in the panel hole 29 of current-dimension. A spring-loaded collar 30 may have springy fingers 33 formed integrally, and have slots 34 and depressions 35 in its base. The collar 30 is slipped on the socket l, bypassing projections 27 through slots 34, and twisted until projections 27 slip into depressions 35 in the collar 30 base, which depressions are locking seats for said projections. All downward thrust of plug unit 2 when the lighter is operated is taken by flange 6 bearing against panel 7, and the spring fingers 33 are strong enough to keep the socket firmly seated when the plug unit is removed for lighting a cigarette. It is apparent that a coil spring or other equivalent may be substituted for the springy fingers 33, if desired, to accommodate greater variations in mounting panel thickness.
In FIG. 8 another modification of neck-mounting the socket is shown. Here the projections from the sidewall of the socket are outward indentations 27a in the socket sidewall which have threads that are engaged by a threaded collar 36, clamping the socket l to panel 7 between flange 6 and collar 36. Again it may be stressed that these lighter sockets are subjected to very little stress, therefore, reasonably fine and shallow threads may be used, and mounting through current holes in panels will be possible, if desired. It is apparent that the threaded indentations 27a in the socket sidewall may be elongated, if desired, to accommodate greater variations in mounting panel thickness.
Still another modification of neck-mounting is shown in FIG. 9, The open top end of tubular member 1 is threaded, and there are projections 27 near said end. A separate flange 6a is threaded. The socket threaded top end is inserted through hole 29 in panel 7 from the rear and threaded flange 6a is screwed on it and tightened by turning the socket. In this construction also reasonably fine, shallow threads will suffice.
It will be appreciated that l have provided various modifications of the present invention to meet most variations in preferences that might exist, each of which effects economies over current constructions. As previously expressed, I prefer the simplest form of my invention, and suggest that economics possible with it would justify its acceptance and warrant some slight modifications in current standardized dimensions to establish new standards.
Variations and modifications may be made within the scope of the claims, and portions of the improvements may be used without others.
1. A neck-mounted electric cigarette lighter socket usable with a thermostatic latch, and adapted to be mounted on a panel, said socket comprising a tubular member having an open top end and a closed bottom end, springy fingers lanced substantially in the upper half of the sidewall of said tubular member, an integral flange at said top end of said tubular member for bearing against the face of a panel on which said socket is mounted, projection means extending radially from the sidewall of said tubular member spaced from and rearward of said flange, collar means adjusting to varying panel thicknesses encircling said tubular member interposed between said projection means and the rear surface of the panel, a substantially flat radial surface on said collar means parallel with the rear surface of the panel, slots in said collar means for bypassing said projection means when said collar means is put on said tubular member from the bottom end, spring means biased axially of said tubular member interposed and acting axially between the flat radial surface on said collar means and the rear surface of the panel, whereby, when said collar means is positioned as described and a turning relation is applied between said collar means and said tubular member, said socket is clamped to the panel.
2. The invention as defined in claim 1, including locking means on said collar means for engaging said projection means and providing positive locking of said collar means against unintentional turning when set in place as hereinbefore described.
3. The invention as described in claim 1, including radially elongated openings substantially in the lower half of the sidewall of said tubular member opposite the upper tips of the thermostatic latch, said openings dimensionally proportioned to provide only positive clearance under all conditions when in use between the sidewall of said tubular member and the upper tips of the thermostatic latch.
4. The invention as defined in claim 1, including indentations in the flat radial surface of said collar means as locking seats engaging said projection means, for positively maintaining said collar means in position against unintentional turning when said socket is clamped to the panel.
5. The invention as defined in claim 3, including locking means on said collar means for engaging said projection means and providing positive locking of said collar means against unintentional turning when set in place as hereinbefore described.
6. The invention as defined in claim 4, including radially elongated openings substantially in the lower half of the sidewall of said tubular member opposite the u er ti 5 of the thermostatic latc said 0 enin s diigensio iially proportioned to provide only Bositfie clearance under all conditions when in use between the sidewall of said tubular member and the upper tips of the thermostatic latch.
7. The invention as defined in claim 6, wherein said spring means is springy fingers integral with said collar means.