US 3705983 A
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1396- 12, 1972 YNAOJIRO YAMADA 3,705,983
FLASHLIGHT Filed May 11, 1970 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 u v J" -|I F f K T I FLASHLIGHT 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 11, 1970 Dec. 1972 NAOJIRO YAMADA FLASHLIGHT 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed May 11, 1970 Dec. 12, 1972 NAOJIRO YAMADA FLASHLIGHT 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed May 11, 1970 FIG] Dec. 12, 19 NAOJIRO YAMADA 3,705,983
FLAS HLIGHT 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed May 11, 1970 United States Patent O US. Cl. 24010.6 5 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE According to the flashlight of the present invention, the light emitted from a single light source can be projected either as a white light for illumination or as a red light for signal or warning purposes, so that the flashlight can be used for multiple purposes. The present invention, in order to attain this end, comprises a filter member disposed in front of a single illuminating light source, a mechanism for opening and closing this filter member, a mechanism for effecting the opening and closing of said filter member with one touc (or single) operation, and a mechanism for retaining the opened or closed condition.
STATE OF THE ART Heretofore different types of flashlights have been used according to the purpose for which they are used. For example, one such flashlight is exclusively used for the purpose of illumination at night or in dark places, and the other for the purpose of giving a signal or warning in a trafiic accident or other like circumstances. Therefore, in order to utilize both said purposes two different types of flashlights were required.
With a view to overcoming such inconvenience, attempts have been made to remodel a flashlight, which is originally designed for illuminating purposes, so that it may also be used as a signal or warning light. However, such doublepurpose flashlights, which are proposed or known in the art, have a construction in which an illuminating light assembly and a signal or warning light assembly are provided separately in a light case and said assemblies are used separately from each other, so that such conventional devices are complicated in structure, large in size and require many parts. The switch mechanism is also complicated and must be of a multi-stage system. Thus, most of the known types of double-purpose flashlights involve inconvenience and heavy expense in assembling parts and manufacture thereby resulting in high production costs.
Also, in the conventional lighting devices such as a signal light or flashlight, when they are used as signaling or warning means in traffic on a rainy day, rain water or dust may penetrate the lighting mechanism from the switch assembly used for changover operation, resulting in impairment of the functioning of the electrical elements. If the structure is water and/or dustproof, the switch assembly, as well as the entire device itself, will become complicated in structure, thus posing additional problems in construction and in realization of mass production at low costs.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION operation of said plates in abutment therewith; and an actuator coupled to said working element.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a flashlight doubling as a signal light, in which the light emitted from a light source can be switched from a white light to a colored light and vice versa.
The present invention is desigated to eliminate the aforementioned defects of the conventional devices, and a primary object of the invention is to provide a flashlight which is simple in construction and can be manufactured at low cost and in which the light emitted from a single light source is projected either as a white light or as a colored signal or warning light when it is passed through a light-transmitting plate assembly.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a structure which allows safe and sure projection of light of desired color with no fear of inadvertent change-over during use and in which desired change-over operation can be effected with ease and smoothness.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide a flashlight which is simple in structure and easy to handle and which is provided with an economical switch means for changeover to a signal light, such switch means having high waterand dustproof eflect.
According to the present invention, change-over from a white light to a colored, for example red light or vice versa, can be achieved quickly and with ease by selectively operating an actuator or operating element, by the use of a single light source, thus allowing convenient use either as an ordinary flashlight or as a signal or warning light. Since the same light source can be utilized for both purposes, the structural members of the light emitting mechanism can be simplified or partly omitted.
The present invention is also characterized by its wide versatility since it can be adapted directly to an existing illuminating flashlight, and change-over operation can be performed with ease and safety with a single finger and with little possibility of causing mechanical trouble. Also, even if it is wielded or waved about during use either as a signal light or as an illuminating light, there is no possibility of causing looseness or dislocation of the filter members or in emission of light for signal or for illumination, thus assuring appropriate projection of light of the desired color. The assembly is simple in structure and can be manufactured by simple operation at low cost.
In addition, in the present invention the change-over mechanism for effecting the switching from an illuminating light to a signal or warning light, or vice versa, involves no immoderation or overstrain in assemblage to allow easy opening and closing operation of the filter members. Thus, the product according to the present invention is compact in construction, is suited for mass production, has wide versatility in usage and can be used for multiple purposes.
Although the light case of the present invention is formed with an opening through which a finger actuator or operator element exposed on the outside is connected to a working element in the inside of the instrument, it is possible to perfectly inhibit any ingress of water or dust into the interior of the instrument from such opening to always allow smooth and correct working of the actuator. There is no need of interchanging or replacing any of the structural members, thus eliminating conventional inconvenience related thereto and allowing ready use of the instrument, so that the present product, for its simple assembling and construction, is extremely economical and can avoid enhancement of manufacturing cost which may otherwise be caused due to provision of waterproof structure. The operating mechanism is compact and simple and has good external appearance.
The invention will be described in more detail by way of its embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a partially cut-away side view of the flashlight according to the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a front view thereof;
FIG. 3 is a sectional plan view as taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the essential parts of the present invention;
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4, showing another embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 6 is a partially cut-away side view of another embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 7 is a front view thereof;
FIG. 8 is a sectional front view as taken along the line 8-8 of FIG. 6;
FIG. 9 is an exploded perspective view of the essential parts of the embodiment shown in FIG. 6;
FIG. 10 is an exploded view of an alternate mechanism for displacing the working element in accordance with the invention; and
FIG. 11 is a top partially sectioned plan view of the arrangement of FIG. 10 as assembled.
Referring first to FIGS. 1 to 4, it will be seen that a light projector plate assembly consisting of colored plural divided but coupled light-transmitting plates 1 arranged so as to cover a light projecting face in front of a light source of the illuminating light, said light-transmitting plates 1 being openably and closably supported by a supporting stem member 2. There is also provided a working element 3 adapted to manage the opening and closing operation of said light-transmitting plates 1 in abutment therewith. Said working element 3 is movably secured tosaid supporting stem member adjacent to said colored light-transmitting plates 1 and is connected to an actuator or operator element 4.
Each said colored light-transmitting plate 1 is made of a filter of a red or other signaling or warning color and is provided with hinges 5 at the juncture between the plates so that the latter, when opened, will constitute a circular covering structure and when closed will be folded into a linear strip as viewed from the front of the instrument. As will be noted, the plates 1 are secured through these hinges 5 to said supporting stem element 2 which is, in turn, fastened to a detachable cover member 6 which constitutes a part of the signal light assembly. Around the supporting stem member 2 may be, if need be, mounted a return spring 7 whose ends bridge the divided light-transmitting plates 1, 1 to allow single opening and closing operation. Said working element 3 is provided slidably along the inner wall face of the cover member 6, and the actuator 4, which may be of a dial pick-up or push-button type and connected to said working element 3, is protruded above the outer wall surface of the cover member 6 as shown.
The working element 3 is integrally formed with clicks or engaging means 8, 8 adapted to contact and press the respective colored light-transmitting plates 1, 1 so as to open or close the latter as desired. Between said clicks 8, 8 is formed a space 9 in which said colored lighttransmitting plates 1, 1 are inserted to keep them in an opened condition.
In the drawings reference number 10 designates a slide guidance protuberance fitted into a guide grOOVe formed in the cover member 6. Supporting stem member 2 passes through an opening or slot 11 in working element 3 and is supported by a supporting portion of cover member 6. Said slot also facilitates the smooth movement of said working element. Coupling means 12 is provided between working element 3 and actuator element 4. One or more stoppers 13 are provided for limiting the rotation of colored light-transmitting plates 1 when said plates are in the closed position depicted in phantom lines in FIG. 3. Stoppers 13 may consist of one or more projecting rods 4 or wall faces. Lens or other protective block 14 is positioned in the light projecting opening of the flash light at a point where it will not obstruct the moveemnt of lighttransmitting plates 1. 15 is an electric bulb serving as a light source, 16 a reflector, 17 a packing, 18 a thread adapted to engage the cover member with the light body, 19 a cell casing, 20 cells, and 21 a switch for turning the electric bulb on or off.
Said actuator 4 may be fitted in a recess formed in the cover member 6 so that its rotational operating position can be retained. It is also to be noted that the return spring 7 may be mounted either at one or both sides or at the center of the supporting stem member 2, and in connection between the working element 3 and the actuator 4, a motion-transmitting means such as a cam may be interposed to convert rotation of the actuator 4 into sliding motion of the working element 3. Such a motion-transmitting means is depicted in FIGS. 10 and 11, wherem working element is linearly displaced in the direction of arrows 40 in response to the rotation of cam 42. Said cam is mounted on one end of a shaft 44 having a knob 46 which serves as a manually displaceable actuator. Knob 46 would project outside of case 6, with shaft 44 projecting through an aperture through said case. Cam 42 abuts against the downwardly projecting portion 48 of working element 3, said working element being biased against said cam by means of spring 50 mounted between said working element and shaft 44. If desired, the click portions -8-, 8
may be formed in a stepped manner (namely, one is formed longer than the other) by or without bending one of them, as shown in FIG. 5, so that the colored lighttransmitting plates 1, 1 may be opened or closed in a step-by-step manner. Although the colored light-transmitting plates 1, 1 are so arranged as to be opened inwardly in the shown embodiment, it is also possible to arrange them so that they are opened outwardly. In the latter case, consideration should be paid to the configuration of the lens 14 to facilitate such opening stroke.
In the event the present device is used as an ordinary flash light to propect white illuminating light, the actuator 4 is moved with a finger, whereupon the working element 3 works to fold the colored light-transmitting plates 1, 1 into a linear strip (as viewed sidewise or frontwise) aligned with the center of the light source 15, thereby opening the light-projecting face out in front of the light source 15 to allow direct projection of light from said source. When the actuator 4 is returned to its original position, the colored light-transmitting plates 1, 1 are accordingly turned about the center axis of the stem member 2 so as to spread out to cover up the light-projecting face, so that the light from the light source 15 is now passed through the colored light-transmitting plates 1, 1 to give out a signal or warning light which will be red if the plates 1, 1 are colored in red.
In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 6-9, an improvement is made in the switch assembly of the preceding embodiment. Namely, a recess 22 is formed in the actuator 4 of the change-over contacts or the light-transmitting plates, and an annular waterproof band 24 having a central hollow 23 is fitted in said recess 22. It is to be noted that said waterproof band 24 is so positioned as to enclose the periphery of an opening 25 which is formed in the case body 6 movably supporting the actuator 4 and through which an actuator-connecting rod 12 is insertable. The actuator 4 is closely but movably contacted against the case body 6 so that the former can slide on and also retain said waterproof band 24 in position.
In the shown embodiment the waterproof band 24 is made of a ring-shaped felting impregnated with a waterrepellant agent such as oil or unguent, but if desired such band may be a water-resistant ring made of synthetic resin or the like. In order to facilitate fitting and retainment of the waterproof band 24, it is desirable to provide a projected wall 26 surrounding the opening 25. Such projected wall may be provided either on the outside or in the inside of the case body, but in the latter case the working element 3 is used in place of the actuator 4.
The reference numbers in the figures of this embodiment correspond to those utilized in the preceding embodiment, but the parts not used in the preceding embodiment but employed in this embodiment are identified by the following notation. Namely, 11 designates a slot opening communicated with the space 9, 27 and elastic plate adapted for supporting purposes, 28 a stop ring, 29 a guide wall along which the actuator is slid, and 30 a recess in which the actuator 4 is engaged.
Thus, in this embodiment the actuator 4 slides on the face of the waterproof band '24 and is tightly fitted in the opening 23 through which the connecting rod 12 extends, so that movement of the actuator 4 does not cause ingress of rain water or dust into the instrument. Also, since the connecting rod 12 is inserted into the hollow 23 of the waterproof band 24, the switching operation does not cause movement of the waterproof band 24, thus assuring perfect waterand dust-proof functioning of the assembly.
What is claimed is:
1. A flashlight comprising a case having an opening therethrough for the transmission of light; a light source mounted within said case and positioned to transmit light through said opening; an axle positioned to extend laterally across said case opening and substantially centered relative to said case opening; a pair of colored light-transmitting plates hingedly mounted on said axle for displacement between an open position at which said plates are aligned in side by side relation and a closed position at which said plates extend substantially transverse to said opening and intercept substantially all of said light; spring means for normally biasing said plates in said closed position; a fork-shaped working element displaceably mounted within said case for operative displacement of said plates betwen said closed and open positions, said workshaped working element having a pair of spaced engaging.
means that contact said plates, by causing said spaced engaging means to push against said plates the plates are caused to assume their open position, when said engaging means are released from pushing against said plates said spring means causes said plates to assume their closed position; and an operating element mounted outside of said case and extending therethrough to operatively couple with said working element for the displacement thereof for the opening and closing of said plates.
2. A flashlight as recited in claim 1, wherein said 6 working element is formed with an opening therethrough and is mounted with said axle extending through said Working element opening for positioning and guiding thereof.
3. A flashlight as recited in claim 1, wherein said operating element includes a manually displaceable actuator, an actuator connecting rod coupling said actutor and said working element, said case having a further aperture therethrough dimensioned to permit said actuator connecting rod to extend therethrough and to permit the displacement thereof, a waterproof band positioned about said further aperture intermediate said actuator and said case for providing a waterproof seal therebetween, and spring means mounted on said actuator connecting rod intermediate said working element and said case for biasing said actuator against said waterproof band.
4. A flashlight as recited in claim 1, including glide means in said case for cooperation with said operating and working elements for guiding the displacement thereof.
.5. A flashlight as recited in claim 1, wherein one of said working element engaging means is longer than the other of said engaging means for the sequential closing of said pair of plates.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,236,966 8/1917 Minetti 240-463 X 2,751,490 6/ 1956 Emerson 240-106 3,532,875 10/1970 Keller 2401O.66 3,329,810 7/1967 Meagher 24010.63 3,474,243 10/ 1969 Miller 240-13 3,551,033 12/1970 Beesley 350'3l5 1,176,120 3/1916 Wilson 240-4659 3,555,264 1/ 1971 Schimmelpfenn 240-3.1 3,001,185 9/1961 Cleek 24010.6 R X FOREIGN PATENTS 298,913 10/1928 Great Britain 24010.6 SD
JAMES J. GLLL, Primary Examiner M. SMOLLAR, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.