US 3710054 A
The invention is a sensitive ribbon switch featuring reliable switch action even on a sharply curved surface. First and second conductive strips are separated by insulated members which are edge mounted in staggered space relationship. The transverse dimensions of the insulated members are considerably smaller than those of the strips. The switch is operative along its entire length due to the staggered arrangements of the insulator members and the switch will operate on a sharply curved surface without short-circuiting.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 11 1 Koenig 1 1 Jan. 9, 1973 541 RIBBON SWITCH MEANS 3,553,404 1/1971 Koenig ..200/86 R Inventor: Robert/H. g, Huntington Hills, 2,938,977 5/1960 Koemg ..200/86 R I Primary Examiner-David Smith, Jr.
 Assignee: Tapeswltch Corporation of America, flltomey-lames Malone Farmingdale, N.Y.
22 Filed: June 7, 1971  Appl. No.: 150,505
52 us. c1. ..200/86 R 511 1111.01. ..H0lh 13/16  Field of Search ..200 /86 R  References Cited I UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,270,160 8/1966 Koenigm; ..200/86 R  ABSTRACT The invention is a sensitive ribbon switch featuring reliable switch action even on a sharply curved surface. First and second conductive strips are separated by insulated members which are edge mounted in staggered space relationship. The transverse dimensions of the insulated members are considerably smaller than those of the strips. The switch is operative along its entire length due to the staggered arrangements of the insulator members and the switch will operate on a sharply curved surface without short-circuiting.
1 Claim, 13 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJAN elm v 3.710.054
4 /II""' i y I i INVENTOR.
ROBERT H. KOENIG eliminates these disadvantages, without requiring a stamped out conductor.
A principal object of the invention is and improved ribbon switch means.
Another object of the invention is to provide new and improved ribbon switch means which will operate to provide new on a sharply curved surface.
Another object of the invention is to provide new and improved ribbon switch means having edgemounted. insulator members which are arranged in a staggered space relation, whereby the switch will operate even if a force is applied directly on top of an insulator member.
Another object of the invention is to provide new and improved ribbon switch means comprising a first conductive strip member having first and second edges, a second conductive strip member having first and second edges, insulator means between said strips, comprising discrete insulator members mounted along the edges of such strips in staggered space relationship, successive insulator members being mounted adjacent opposite edges of said strips, said insulator members being spaced along said edges so that a predetermined force applied perpendicular to said strips will cause said strips to contact each other along said first edges opposite an insulator member mounted adjacent to said second edges.
These and other objects of the invention will be apparent from the following specifications and drawings of which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective exploded view, partially in section, of an embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 1A is a side view of the embodiment of FIG. 1, illustrating the operation,
FIG. 1B is a detail view of the invention mounted on a sharply curved surface,
FIGS. 2 11 are sectional views of modifications of the invention.
Referring to the drawings, the invention comprises first and second conductive strips which are adapted to be separated by by insulator members 3, 3.
FIG. 1 is an exploded view of FIG. 1A shows a side view illustrating the operation of the invention. The assembly is enclosed by an insulating plastic jacket or housing 4. The cover may be extruded in continuous form or it may be pre-molded and the. assembly inserted later. The electrical circuit is closed through wires 7 and 8, which are connected to the switch.
FIG. 1A illustrates how the strips 1 and 2 contact each other when a force F is applied. FIG. 3 shows a sectional view showing the strips 1 and 2 in contactin relations.
Due to the staggered arrangements of the insulator strips and the fact that they are edge 'mounted and have much smaller transverse dimensions than the strips, the
switch will operate along its entire length even if the force isapplied directly over an insulating member.- The insulating member under the applied force acts like a hinge, as shown in FIG. 3. This operation will occur even if the switch is mounted on a sharply curved surface as shown in FIG. 1B. FIG. 1B is an elevation view showing the switch being bent around a cylindrical radius. Notice that while flexing in this manner, the
contacts are not allowed to come together but are maintained parallel and held separate by insulators 3 if no additional squeezing force is applied.
FIG. 2 shows a sectional view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 in open or relaxed position, and FIG. 3 shows the same embodiment in closed position, illustrating how the contact is made at the point A opposite the insulator member 3 which acts like a hinge. The thickness of the parts is greatly exaggerated. The strips 1 and 2 may be tempered steel approximately 0.020 inches thick, and the insulator members may be plastic, for instance, with or without fiber embedded in them and having a thickness of 0.018 inches. The cover 4 may be rubber or plastic which have insulating properties and are waterproof.
FIG. 4 shows an embodiment having a stiffening member 5 which is mounted under the lower strip 2. The stiffening member tends to direct the force towards the edges 1' and 2' since it applies more reaction force at the contacting edges, as shown in FIG. 4. FIGS. 4 and 5 and succeeding Figures, do not show the cover 4 which would normally cover the assembly. The stiffening stripS is preferably continuous and may be of any stiff material; for instance, spring steel. It also adds to the ruggedness and durability of the switch.
FIGS. 6 and 7 show sectional views wherein the strips la and 1b have a transverse curvature. The operation is similar to that described above but additional linear stability is obtained while retaining basic flexibility.
FIGS. 8 and 9 show another modification which is the same as FIGS. 1 and 2, except that a flat stiffening member 6 is added which is separated from the strip 2 by two projecting members 9 and 10. These members may be continuous or interrupted. The operation is the same as previously described with the advantage that the strips 9 and 10 apply more positive forces to the contacting edges.
FIGS. 10 and 11 show another embodiment of the invention which is the same as FIGS. 6 and 7 except that a projecting member or strip 11 is added along the center of the curved member 5. The member 11 may be a continuous strip or may be a series of bumps. The operation is the same as previously described, with the advantage that the member 1 1 provides a more positive snap action. As shown in FIG. 11, when a force is applied the member 5' tends to straighten out and the member 11 exerts a sharp reaction force on the strip la.
I claim: 1. Ribbon switch means comprising, a first conductive strip member having first and second edges, a second. conductive strip member having first and second edges, insulator means being said strips, comprising discrete insulator members mounted along the edges of second edges,
said edge mounted insulator members having a transverse dimension substantially less than said conductive strip, and
a transversely curved stiffening strip mounted below I said lower member.