|Publication number||US3715541 A|
|Publication date||Feb 6, 1973|
|Filing date||May 18, 1971|
|Priority date||May 18, 1971|
|Publication number||US 3715541 A, US 3715541A, US-A-3715541, US3715541 A, US3715541A|
|Original Assignee||Tapeswitch Corp Of America|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (3), Referenced by (24), Classifications (7)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [191 Koenig  CUSHION SEAT SWITCH SENSOR MEANS  Inventor: Robert H. Koenig, Huntington Hills,
 Assignee: Tapeswitch Corporation of America, Farmingdale, N.Y.
22' Filed:' May 18,1971
21 Appl. No.: 144,584
[ 1 Feb. 6, 1973 Primary Examiner- David Smith, Jr. Att0rney.lames P. Malone  ABSTRACT A ribbon switch is provided for operating on cushioned seats, for instance, between the spring and padding of automobile seats. First and second flexible conductive strips are normally separated by a plurality of insulating members sandwiched between them. The insulating members are spaced so as to hold the con ductive strips separated unless the conductive strips are flexed or bowed; as for instance, into a soft cushion by someone sitting on them. The spacing of the insulating members and the flexibility of the strips is chosen so that after a predetermined amount of flexing, the conductive strips will snap together forming a good electrical contact. The strips are held together by an appropriate sleeve. The outer cover consists of two flexible strips having transverse curvature placed convexly opposing to form a central shaftway.
3 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTED FEB 6 I973 R O T MG VN m K H. T R E B 0 R CUSHION SEAT SWITCH SENSOR MEANS This invention relates to ribbon switches, and more particularly, to such switches adapted to be used on soft yielding cushioned seats between the cushion and the seat spring.
This Application is a supplement to our prior copending application for CUSHION SWITCH MEANS, Ser. No. 131,083 filed Apr. 5, 1971.
One use of the invention would be to detect someone sitting in a cushioned seat; for instance, an automobile, aircraft or theater seat.
This switch has special design requirements since the sensor must be well protected from the spring and have good stability for different load conditions.
This invention is a sensitive ribbon switch featuring reliable switch action even at extremely low temperature. It uses simple conductor contact strips and has a narrow width dimension. This design achieves reliable results under various load conditions and is easy to install and remove on seats of varying design. It does not have to be built into the seat or cushions.
Accordingly, the principal object of the invention is to provide new and improved ribbon switch means for operation between seat cushions and seat springs.
Another object of the invention is to provide new and improved snap-action ribbon switch means, that are easy to install and remove on many types of seats.
Another object of the invention is to provide new and improved ribbon switch means .for detecting a person sitting in a seat.
Another object of the invention is to provide new and improved cushion switch means.
Anotherobject of the invention is to provide new and improved ribbon switch means for mounting between a seat cushion and one of its supporting springs comprising, a first flexible conductive strip, a second flexible conductive strip, a plurality of insulating members connected between first and second strips, said insulating members being spaced along the axes of said strips so that said strips will be held in noncontact, separated position unless said strips are flexed about an axis perpendicular to their longitudinal axes, an insulating sleeve enclosing said strips and third and fourth flexible strips having transverse curvature enclosing said sleeve, whereby when said strip assemblies are mounted between a soft seat cushion and a seat spring and a force is applied on top of said cushion, they willflex, and, after a predetermine amount of flexing, the strips will snap together to provide a good electrical contact.
Another object of the invention is to provide seat switch sensing means which can be easily installed and replaced in an automobile type seat for sensing presence of a passenger.
Another object of the invention is to provide a seat sensor switch which is reliable and stable when placed between spring and padding, a difficult place for a switch to operate satisfactorily.
Another object of the invention is to provide such a switch which permits reliable choice of operating sensitivities for mass production runs.
Another object of the invention is to provide such a sensing switch with widest range of operating sensitivities, in either squeeze mode, only, flex mode only, or a combination of these modes.
FIG. 1 is a perspective exploded view, partially cut away of an embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 2 shows a sectional view of the seat cushion assembly. 7
FIG. 3 is a bottom view of an embodiment of FIG. 2.
FIG. 3A is a bottom view of an embodiment of FIG. 2 with the switch at to that of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 shows the switch in closes position due to flexing.
FIG. 5 shows a sectional view of another embodi-. ment of the invention.
Referring to the drawings, the inner switch comprises, conductive strips 1 and 2, each preferably with a slight transverse curvature which are supported by spaced insulating members,, 3, 4, etc. The strips 1 and 2 are held together and enclosed by a insulating sleeve 5. The switch thus far described is the same as in my copending Ser. No. l3l,083 for CUSHION SWITCH MEANS, filed Apr. 5, 1971. That switch is generally mounted on top of the seat cushion under the outer cover of the seat cushion so that it is difficult to install and remove.
The present switch is adapted to be mounted under the cushion between the cushion seat and one of the cushion supporting springs. In this mounting position the switch may be easily inserted on the seats of many designs, such as, automobile seats, aircraft seats, theater seats, etc. and it is not necessary to remove or modify the seat or the cushion in order to install the switch of this invention.
This proposed manner of installation requires a well protected switch and this protection is provided by two outer flexible strips, 6 and 7,, which have a transverse curvature and which are mounted so as to provide an enclosure in the center to accommodate the sleeve 5. The entire assembly may be held together by tape 8 or other holding means. The switch may be made in continuous form and cut to any desired length. The electrical connections are made to the strips 1 and 2 by means of the lead wires, '10 and 11, at one end thereof.
FIG. 3 shows a bottom view of FIG. 2, showing only one spring.
FIG. 2 shows a sectional view of the seat cushion assembly, the cushion 12 is supported by a plurality of springs, 13, 14, 15 and 16. The switch assembly S is shown mounted between the spring 15 and the bottom of the cushion 12.
The sensor switch could be installed at right angle from the way shown in FIG. 3. When installed that way, it is slipped under the several springs, or over the tops of coil springs, as shown in FIG. 3A.
- FIG. 4 shows a sectional detail view with someone sitting in the seat causing the spring assembly S to flex so that the strips 1 and 2 contact each other at the central portion. Due to the averaging affect of the cushion the force per square inch is surprisingly small since the weight of the person is spread over perhaps square inches of the seat. However, this small flexing is sufficient to make a good contact since once a predetermined amount of flexing has been obtained then the strips 1 and 2 will tend to snap together to form a positive contact. If the spring is squeezed by a localized force it will also make contact.
FIG. 5 shows a sectional view of an embodiment with spacer strips 17 and 18, placed between the outer edges of the cover strips 6 and 7. This embodiment is preferred for light curvature caused by light loads.
One important feature of this invention is that a choice of sensitivities is permitted with this design by selecting the amount of transverse curvature of the outer spring strips.
Another feature of this invention is that with this selection of sensitivity, the sensing switch means may be made to operate by squeeze force alone or flex force alone, or a combination of these.
For flex only mode of operation, which is in some cases the most desireable in seat sensing because of stability, the curvature and dimensions are chosen so that the edges of strips 6 and 7 touch without squeezing the switch. Note if small curvature is used spacers may be used as shown in FIG. 5.
For flex only operation choice of sensitivity is made by the amount of curvature formed into the strips 6 and 7 the greater the transverse curvature the more rigid the assembly. Thickness and width of the cover strips also relate to the operating force, but for a standard width of say 1 inch, and thickness of 0.012 inches, the amount of curvature would be made to meet particular seat switch requirements.
I claim: 7 l. Ribbon switch means for mounting between a seat cushion and one of its supporting springs comprising a first flexible conductive strips,
a second flexible conductive strip,
a plurality of insulating members connected between first and second strips, said insulating members being spaced along the axes of said strips so that said strips will be held in non-contact, separated position unless said strips are flexed about an axis perpendicular to their longitudinal axes,
an insulating sleeve enclosing said strips,
and third and fourth flexible strips having transverse curvature enclosing said sleeve,
whereby when said strip assemblies are mounted between a soft seat cushion and a seat spring and a force is applied on top of said cushion,-they will flex, and, after a predetermined amount of flexing, said first and second strips will snap together-to provide a good electrical contact.
2. Apparatus as in claim 1 wherein said first and second strips have a transverse curvature, the degree of said transverse curvature being adapted to control rigidity and sensitivity.
3. Apparatus as in claim 1, having spacers mounted between the edges of said third and fourth strips.
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|U.S. Classification||200/86.00R, 200/86.00A, 200/85.00A|
|International Classification||H01H3/02, H01H3/14|