|Publication number||US3723757 A|
|Publication date||Mar 27, 1973|
|Filing date||Mar 17, 1972|
|Priority date||Mar 17, 1972|
|Publication number||US 3723757 A, US 3723757A, US-A-3723757, US3723757 A, US3723757A|
|Original Assignee||S Bernath|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (1), Classifications (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent n 1 Bernath 51 Mar. 27, 1973  ELECTRICAL CONVERTOR MEANS AND CIRCUIT  Inventor: Stanley Bernath, 5l36 Richmond Road, Bedford Heights, Ohio 44146 22 Filed: Mar. 17, 1972 211 Appl. 1510.; 235,754
 US. Cl ..307/l14, 317/DIG. 7
51 1m.c1. .11011119/64 5s FieldofSearch ..307 114,112,115,142;
317/123, 154, DIG. 7
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,496,379 2 1970 Platzer,Jr. .1 ..307 114 Primary Examiner-Herman J. Hohauser Att0rney--Arthur L. Cain et al.
 ABSTRACT A convertor for a three-way switching system by which a pair of leads therefrom can be maintained hot 'or live without regard to the live condition of the three-way system, the position of the respective threeway switches or which dummy line is otherwise hot.
The convertor includes means ensuring that the output hot lead of the convertor is always interconnected with the dummy line in a three-way switching circuit, which is connected to the power source, so that the convertor output provides a complete circuit to and from the power source.
14 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures ELECTRICAL CONVERTOR MEANS AND CIRCUIT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to electrical convertors and, more particularly, to a means and circuit by which the remote end of an ordinary three-way switching system can be caused to provide a pair of live leads or constant voltage source.
2. Description of the Prior Art Lights and other electrical devices adapted to be controlled (i.e., actuated and deactuated) from a plurality of switching points are well-known in the art. One installation, common to residences, commercial buildings, and the like, is to provide a light or base socket in a room or garage and then arrange two switching points at which the light or socket can be turned on or off, each using a so-called three-way switch.
In such systems, the return or neutral line is generally connected directly from the voltage source to the electrical device, socket or base plug, while the hot line is connected with the nearer or more convenient of the two three-way switches, a further line interconnects the second of the two switches with the electrical device, socket or base plug and two lines, sometimes called dummies, interconnect the two switches.
The line between the second switch and the electrical device, socket or base is open unless the second switch is closed to the same line of the two lines between the two switches as the first switch is.
In many circumstances, there is no desire to actuate the electrical device, socket or base plug under primary control in order to obtain a pair of hot leads, or constant voltage source, at, near or dependent from the second switch. At other times, the hot. leads or constant voltage source are, or is, necessary or desirable when, for practical purposes, the device under primary control must or should be deactuated.
One common example of the latter instance is in connection with detached garages which have a light therein for the usual purpose of providing illumination during period of darkness.
in such instances, there is usually one three-way switch in the house where the voltage source is usually located the first switch in the above example, and on in the garage, the second switch in the above example. Further, the circuit is normally off except when a light is actually needed, and three wires, theneutral and the two dummies, lead from the house to the garage/These wires are often buried and frequently are under concrete driveways, aprons, patios, and the like, which exist intermediate the house and garage.
Everything is and was fine until the advent of automatic garage door openers which are becoming more A problem has arisen in the art, however, because mass production techniques have so reduced the price of door openers and rising labor costs have so increased the costs of providing electrical outlets in remote places, that the door openers cost less or about the same as installing them when it is necessary to provide hot leads in a garage or other place remote from the voltage source. This is especially so when the wires are buried or must run under concrete or other similar types of permanent installations. But a constant voltage source is necessary if the opener is to be properly utilized.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is, therefore, a general object of this invention to provide new and improved method and means by which hot leads, or a constant voltage source, can be provided at the remote end of a three-way switching system without regard to the status of the system or the positions of the switches therein.
It is a further object of this invention to provide method and means by which a pair of hot leads, or constant voltage source, may be tapped from a three-way, three-wire switching system without regard to the status of the system or the position of the switches.
It is a further object of this invention to provide new and improved method and means by which constantly hot leads, constant voltage sources, can be obtained from a three-wire, three-way switching system without any interferences with the normal operation of the three-way system or with the electrical device(.s) operate thereby.
Still further objects of this invention include the provision of new and improved method and means by which a constant source of electrical power can be obtained by tapping into a three-wire, three-way electrical system without interfering with normal operation of the three-way system; which is economical to manufacture and install; which is readily adapted for many applicachanging conditions within the three-way system to maintain a voltage at the tap outlet; which is useful for permanent installation, as with garage door openers, etc., but may be adapted as an appliance or tool for temporary connection with a three-way system, as by artisans and repairmen when only a temporary constant source of voltage is needed; which is of simply construction; and which is effective, simple and foolproof in operation.
A still further object of this invention is to provide new and improved method and means by which a constant source of electrical power can be obtained from an ordinary three-wire, three-way system without regard to the condition of the three-way system or the position of the switches therein, which obtains one or more of the objects and advantages set forth above.
These and other objects and advantages of this invention will appear from the following description of preferred embodiments thereof, reference being had to the accompanying drawing.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS As noted above, this invention provides method and means by which a constant source of voltage (i.e.-, hot leads) can be provided from an ordinary three-wire, three-way, two-switch electrical switching system without regard to the condition, including switch positions, of thethree-way system and without interference with the original switching system or the electrical device(s) being operated or controlled thereby.
Apparatus embodying this invention is indicated generally at l, dotted lines, FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, and includes the circuit indicated generally at 2, FIG. 1.
The apparatus 1 and circuit 2 are adapted for use with and in conjunction with an ordinary three-wire, three-way switching system indicated generally at 4, FIGS. 1 and 3.
The three-wire system 4 includes a neutral or return lead 6 and a hot lead 7, each of which is connected to a convenient voltage source, such as a domestic fuse box, or the like, not shown, which may, for example, be in a house, or the like.
The neutral lead is connected with the electrical device to be operated or controlled by the three-way system, socket 9, having a lamp therein, for example, which may, for example, be located in a detached garage, or the like.
Hot lead 7 is connected with a first three-way switch 12, for example, which may, for example, be located within the house.
Two leads, called dummy leads, 13 and 15, respectively, extend from and interconnect the switch 12 with a second three-way switch 16 located at any desired location, as, for example, in the aforesaid garage, or the like. A further lead 18, selectively hot, extends from the second switch 16 to the socket 9.
The operation of this system is old and well-known in the art. Switch 12 always connects one or the other of leads l3 and with the hot lead 7, and, thereby, with the voltage source. Whether or not the light bulb 10 or other device is on or operable depends on whether or not switch 16 is positioned to connect whichever lead, 13 or 15, is hot with lead 18. Obviously, no matter what the status of the light bulb with respect to actuation, on or off, it will be changed to the opposite status by switching or changing the position of either switch. For example, if switch 12 interconnects leads 7 and 13, as shown, in FIG. 1, lead 13 is hot to the switch 16 and lead 15 is cold. If switch 16 then is positioned to interconnect leads 13 and 18, as shown, the circuit is complete and the light is on. If now, switch 12 is operated to connect lead 7 with lead 15, lead 13 will become cold and lead 15 will be hot to the switch 16, but the light will be off because there is no connection between leads 15 and 18. At this point, operation of either switch will turn the light bulb on by connecting the circuit either through lead 13 by turning switch 12 back to its original position or through lead 15 by turning switch 16 to it position opposite that shown in FIG. I.
Had the bulb been turned off following the original conditions set forth above by first turning switch 16 the result would have been equivalent but the hot lead to switch 16 would be line 13, the bulb being off because the interconnection between lead 15, which is cold under the conditions stated, and lead 18 would not complete the circuit. All of the above is old and, per se, forms no part of this invention.
The apparatus 1, FIG. 2, includes an electrical device to provide a constant source of voltage. Preferably and conveniently, this device comprises an ordinary electrical outlet 20 mounted within a suitable case, box or container 21, formed of any convenient material, such as metal. Box 21 includes a base member 23 and a cover 24 held in place by suitable means such as screws 26. The cover 24 is removable to provide access to the box 21 for purposes of assembly, repair or use. Three leads, 27 29 and 30, extend from the box. These are of any convenient length and any convenient form, even that of plugs or sockets. Further, while shown as terminating in bare wires 32, leads 27, 29 and 30 may be provided with alligator clips or other means for conveniently establishing or obtaining an electrical connection between the leads 27, 29 and 30 and the leads 6, l3 and 15, respectively. I
More particularly, the lead 27 of box 21, see FIG. 1, is a neutral lead connected directly with the outlet 20 (or constant voltage output means) of the converter 1. Lead 27 is adapted to be connected with the neutral lead 6 of the three-way system 4 at any place convenient to the user.
The leads 29 and 30 are connected by suitable means, as noted above, with dummy leads 13 and 13, respectively, intermediate the switches 12 and 16, such intermediate position by definition including the near terminal or port 33 of said switches, respectively.
Since one of the leads, 13 or 15, is always hot to the near terminals of switch 16, as explained above, it follows that one of the leads 29 and 30 is also hot, and the other, like the other lead of 13 and 15, is cold.
Leads 29 and 30 both connect with a double-acting switch or relay, indicated generally at 35, from which a single lead 36, a constantly hot output lead, connects to the other side of the connector output device or leads being provided with and as a constant voltage source, another wire or the outlet 20.
Relay 35 includes one normally closed switch 38 connecting one of the leads, 29 or 30, for example, with the hot output lead 36 and a normally open switch 39 interposed between the other of leads 29 and 30, lead 30, for example, and the hot output lead 36.
The lead 30 which is connected with the normally open switch also functions as the winding 41 for the coil or relay by which the switches 38 and 39 are shifted together and simultaneously from their normal position with 38 closed and 39 open to their other position with 38 open and 39 closed.
Lead 30 then continues by a further lead, identified in FIG. 1 as 30' for clarity of understanding, to a junction with lead 27 and thence with the neutral lead 6 and hence with the permanent voltage source, not shown. When line 30 is hot, because line is, the coil is actuated to shift the switches 38 and 39 to their opposite position from that shown in FIG. 1, thereby opening the circuit between leads 29 and 36 and completing the circuit from lead 30 through switch 39 to output lead 36.
Relay 35 remains in this condition and voltage is delivered to the outlet (constant voltage source) so long as lead 15 and, therefore, lead 30 remains hot.
However, if switch 12 is thrown to connect lead 13 with lead 7, leads 15 and 30 will become old, the coil 41 will be deactivated and the natural bias of switch 35, whether imposed by a spring or otherwise, will immediately return switches 38 and 39 to their normal positions, respectively, shown in FIG. 1. This will again complete the circuit between the now hot lead 13 via lead 29 and switch 38 to output lead 36 so that the voltage in outlet 20 continues, with only the interruption necessary for switching, at the constant voltage source.
The operation of the convertor 1 and circuit 2 should now be clear.
The convertor 1 is positioned and lead 27 is connected with lead 6 and auxiliary dummy leads 29 and 30 are connected with leads 13 and 15, respectively, for example.
The position of switches 12 and 16, the status of electrical device 9 relative to activation or deactivation (on or off) is of no moment.
If lead 13 is hot (and either it or 15 is) and the other is cold, the circuit to the constant voltage source 20 is completed without more, and leads 15 and 30 are cold. On the other hand, if lead 15 is hot, the circuit through lead 30, coil 41, lead 30' and lead 27 will activate the relay 35 to shift from its normal position, as shown in FIG. 1, to its other position described above. The circuit will then be complete from lead 15 through lead 30, switch 39 and output lead 36, thus presenting a voltage at the constant voltage source 20.
If switch 12 is then operated to disconnect lead 15 from lead 7 and connect lead 13 therewith, coil 41 will immediately become inoperative and switch 35 will be returned because of its bias, by spring or otherwise, to its normal position, as described above, with the circuit to the constant voltage source complete through switch 38, as described above.
Obviously any other electrical device, such as a garage door opener, plugged into outlet 20, or other.- wise, connected with the constant voltage source output of convertor 1 would operate continuously or in response to its own operating patterns or characteristics, except for the momentary interruption during switching. This interruption would make no difference unless the device plugged into the convertor output were responsive to such a circuit break to do something else, such as a motor which would change direction. But most, if not all, electrical devices normally found about a household are not so responsive and thus the outlet 20 or other output device of convertor l is a constant voltage source obtained from an ordinary threeway system.
FIG. 3 discloses an alternate circuit embodying this invention. In this instance, a voltage divider 43 is interposed between leads 30 and 30' and the coil 41 is connected therewith, as at 44, so that the voltage in the coil 41 is reduced. This obviates any tendency to damage or overheat the coil should the operation of the switch 12 (which is random in effect) be such that lead 15 and, therefore, lead 30 is hot for prolonged periods of time, even days.
.Obviously, as suggested above, this invention may be utilized either as part of a permanent installation or as an accessory.
Modifications, changes and improvements to the preferred forms of the invention herein disclosed, described and illustrated may occur to those skilled in the art who come to understand the principles and precepts thereof. Accordingly, the scope of the patent to be issued hereon should not be limited to the particular embodiments of the invention set forth herein,
but rather should be limited by the advance by which the invention has promoted the art.
1. A convertor for providing a constant voltage outlet from a three-way switching system having a neutral lead and two dummy lead means, one only of which is randomly, electrically hot, said convertor having an output and comprising a first lead for connection to said neutral lead means and said convertor output, a second lead for connection to one of said two dummy lead means, a third lead for connection to the other of said dummy lead means, and means automatically connecting the electrically hot lead of said second and third leads with said convertor output.
2. The convertor according to claim 1 in which said convertor output is an ordinary electrical baseboard type of socket.
3. The convertor according to claim 2 comprising a housing, said last-named means and socket being disposed within said housing with said socket being functionally available for use from without said housing, and said first, second and third leads extending outwardly from said housing for connection to said neutral and dummy leads respectively.
4. A convertor for providing a constant voltage output from a three-way switching system having a neutral lead and two dummy lead means, one of which is electrically hot, said convertor comprising a first lead for connection to said neutral lead, a second lead for connection to one of said two dummy lead means, a third lead for connection to the other of said dummy lead lines, and means automatically connecting the electrically hot lead of said second and third leads with the convertor output, said last-named means comprising a relay having a normally closed switch and a normally open switch and a coil for operating said relay to change said switches to the opposite position from that normally obtained, one of said second and third leads being connected with said normally closed switch and the other said second or third lead being connected with said normally open switch and said coil.
5. The convertor according to claim 4 in which said first lead is connected directly to one side of said convertor output and the output side of said switches, respectively, is connected with the other side of said convertor output.
6. The convertor according to claim wherein the said coil is also connected at its operative end remote from said second or third lead, as the case may be, with said first lead.
7. The convertor according to claim 6 with means biasing said switches into their normal positions, respectively, said coil operating to shift said switches to their opposite positions, respectively, when said lead thereto is hot.
8. The convertor according to claim 7 in which said biasing means is spring means. 7
9. The convertor according toclaim 8 in which said convertor output is an ordinary electrical baseboard type of socket.
10. The convertor according to claim 8 in combination with a three-way electrical switching system having two switches, a neutral lead and two dummy lead means interconnecting said switches, with said first lead connected with said neutral lead, and said second and third leads connected to said dummy lead means, respectively.
11. The convertor according to claim 10 in which said convertor output is an ordinary electrical baseboard type of socket.
12. The convertor according to claim 4 in combination with a three-way electrical switching system having two switches, a neutral lead means and two dummy lead means interconnecting said switches, with said first lead connected with said neutral lead means, and said second and third leads connected to said dummy lead means, respectively.
13. The convertor according to claim 5 including a voltage divider having two ends, one end of said voltage divider being connected to said other of said second and third leads and the other end of said voltage divider being connected to said first lead, and means interconnecting said coil remote from said other of said second and third leads with said voltage divider intermediate said ends of said voltage divider.
14. A three-way electrical switching system having two switches, a neutral lead means and two dummy lead means, one of which is randomly, electrically hot, interconnecting said switches, with said first lead connected with said neutral lead means and said second and third leads connected to said dummy lead means, respectively, and a convertor for providing a constant voltage output from said three-way switching system, said convertor comprising a first lead for connection to said neutral lead means, a second lead for connection to one of said two dummy lead means, a third lead for connection to the other of said dummy lead means, and means automatically connecting the electrically hot lead of said second and third leads with said convertor output.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US3496379 *||Sep 23, 1968||Feb 17, 1970||Platzer George E Jr||Lazy-man type switching circuit|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US4104540 *||Aug 23, 1977||Aug 1, 1978||Lien Del R||Lamp switch circuit|