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Publication numberUS3729602 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 24, 1973
Filing dateOct 27, 1971
Priority dateOct 27, 1971
Publication numberUS 3729602 A, US 3729602A, US-A-3729602, US3729602 A, US3729602A
InventorsR Myers
Original AssigneeR Myers
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tilt responsive switch with ball contact actuating structure
US 3729602 A
Abstract
A pair of hollow concentrically arranged containers having conductive inner surfaces separated by electrical insulating material and having a small conductive ball positioned in a hole in the inner container making contact with the conductive surfaces of both containers when the containers are tilted away from a level position.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 191 Myers 45 Apr. 24, 1973 [s41 TILT RESPONSINVE SWITCH WITH BALL CONTACT ACTUATING STRUCTURE 76 Inventor: Robert Myers, PO. Box 1981,

Scottsdale, Ariz. 85252 22 Filed: on. 27, 1971 21 App1.No.: 192,922

[52] U.S. Cl ..200/61.52, 200/6l.45 R, 200/61.48, ZOO/61.51, ZOO/DIG. 29

[51] Int. Cl. ..HOlh 35/14 [58] Field of Search.. .1. .....2O0/61.1l, 61.45 R, 200/6152, 61.53, DIG. 29, 166 BB, 166 BE,

[56] References Cited UNITED s ATEs PATENTS 12,870,279 1/1959 Cohn ..200/6l.1l

Schrlchte ..200/61.45 R

1,915,267 6/1933 'Bigelow ..ZOO/DlG. 29

2,794,084 5/1957 Segoni ..200/61.52 I 2,898,416 8/1959 Clurman.... .....200/6l.52 X

3,263,033 7/1966 Metzger ..200/11 K X Primary Examiner-J. R. Scott AttorneyWarren F. B. Lindsley 57 ABSTRACT A pair of hollow concentrically arranged containers having conductive inner surfaces separated by electrical insulating material and having a small conductive ball positioned in a hole in the inner container making contact with the conductive surfaces of both containers when the containers are tilted away from a level position.

8 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures TILT RESPONSIVE SWITCH WITH BALL CONTACT ACTUATING STRUCTURE BACKGROUND OFTI-IE INVENTION This invention relates to electrical switches and-more particularly to electrical switches which are open when retained in a level position and closed when tilted away from a level position.

Valuable articles such as television sets, radios, coinoperated vending machines, appliances and articles of furniturein homes, hotels, motels and other public places are often removed or tampered with when left unattended. Warning devices may be connected to such articles to provide an alarm signal when these articles are moved. Prior art warning devices are often large and bulky and may not be suitable for use in smaller articles. Some of the prior art switches used with the warning devices operate the device when tilted in one direction but will not operate when moved or tilted in another direction. Other prior art switches are complicated and expensive.

SUMMARY or THE INVENTION The present invention alleviates the disadvantages of the prior art by providing a switch having only one moving part. The switch is open when retained in a level position and is closed when tilted in any direction awayfrom thelevel position.

It is, therefore, an object of this invention to provide a new, and improved electrical switch which closes whenever the switch is tilted. I

Another object of this invention is to provide an electrical switch which closes when the switch is tilted in any direction. 7 g

A further object of this invention is to provide an electrical switch which closes when the switch is tilted over a wide range of angles. I v

A still further object of this invention is to provide an electrical switch which closes when the switch is tilted over a ,wide range of angles in any direction.

A still further object'of this invention is to provide apparatus which developes an alarm signal when the when tilted in any direction. Theswitch and a small BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a diagram of an alarm system using the present invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates in exploded relationships the components used in the disclosed switch;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the components shown in assembled position taken on line 3 3 of FIG/2;

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIG. 1 shows an alarm system using the switch of the present invention. This system includes a battery or,

source of electric current 10, a tilt-actuated switch 11, and 'an alarm device 12. The alarm system can be housed in or encapsulated in a container 13 and the container mounted in an appliance or other article for protection thereof against theft.

When container 13 is mounted in a horizontal or level position, as shown in FIG. 1, switch 11 is in a level, open circuit position and alarm device 12 is inactivated, i.e. not actuated. If the'container and switch are tilted, switch 11 closes and the alarm device is actuated.

The tilt-actuated switch shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 in-. cludes a ball 15 made of or coated with an electrical conductive material, an inner sphere 16 and a concentrically arranged outer sphere 17. The inner sphere 16 has a plurality of spacedly arranged holes 19 which may be six in number identified more specifically as 19a, 19a, 19b, 19b, 19c and which are approximately the same diameter as ball 15. These holes may be arranged in any suitable pattern but are shown in FIG. 2 and 3 at each end of the vertical diameter of the spherical configuration of the switch and at spaced intervals around the horizontal center line of the sphere. A pair of terminals 21 and 22 are connected to spheres 16 and 17, respectively. Sphere 16 is shown as being formed of an electrical insulating material having a conductive inner surface 24. The entire outer sphere 17 may be made of electrical conductive material or the sphere may be made of a nonconductive material and coated on its inside surface with a conductive material. The inner sphere 16 also may be a sphere made of conductive material having a nonconductive outside surface or an insulative material may be positioned between the two spheres.

When the switch is in the level position shown in FIG. 3, ball 15 is positioned near the center of hole 19a so that the ball touches only the inner surface of outer sphere 17. When the switch is tilted the ball 15 makes contact with the surface of the inner sphere 16 and with the inner surface of outer sphere 17 by rolling against the edges of hole 19a formed in inner sphere 16.

When the switch is tilted further the ball may move out of hole 19a into one of theother holes, such as 19b or 190 where it'may make contact with both the outer sphere l7 and the inner surface of inner sphere 16.

FIG. 4 shows a method of electrically connecting terminals 21 and 22 to the conductive surfaces of spheres 16 and 17. Terminal 21 is insulated from outer sphere 17 by insulating material 27 and terminal 22 provided with an insulating material 28 is electrically connected to the inner surface of sphere 17.

FIG. 5 illustrates a modification of the structure shown in FIGS. 1-4 wherein switch 11 comprises a ho]- low pear or bell shaped container 17a made of or internally coated with an electrical conductive material. Although a pear or bell-shaped container is shown, this container may be made in a wide variety of other suitable shapes. A plate of conductive material 16a is separated from the hollow container 17a by electrical insulating coating or material 24. Plate 16a may be made of a solid piece of conductive material or it may be a conductive coating on insulating material. The bottom of the hollow container is concave toward the inside of the container so ball 15 rolls into its position shown along the bottom of the vertical axis of the device when the container is in its level or untilted position. The insulating material 24 and plate 16a are formed in the same shape as the bottom of container 170 and are provided with holes extending therethrough in the same manner as holes 19 of FIGS. 1-4. When container 17a is in its level position, ball 15 makes electrical contact only with container 170. When the switch is tilted slightly ball 15 makes contact with both container 17a and plate 16a at the side of hole 19a. When the switch is tilted slightly further the ball may move into one of the other holes 19b or 190 and make contact with both container 170 and plate 16a.

When the switch shown in FIG. comprising container 17a and plate 16a is tilted further, ball 15 makes contact with the edge of plate 16a and with container 17a. The switch may be tilted more than 90 away from the level position shown in FIG. 5 and the ball will still make contact with both container 171: and plate 16a through the edges of holes formed in plate 16a and insulative material 24a at other positions in the switch.

Although FIG. 1 illustrates the switch in close association with battery and alarm device 12, it should be recognized that either the battery or alarm may be mounted at a distance from the switch. Thus, the switch may be solely mounted in the protected article while the alarm is positioned at a remote spot. The alarm may be a light, bell or any other suitable alerting device indicating the movement of the protected article. I While the principles of the invention have now been made clear in illustrative embodiments, there will be many obvious modifications of the structure, proportions, materials and components possible without departing from those principles. The appended claims are intended to cover any such modifications.

What is claimed is:

1. An electrical'switch comprising:

first and second concentrically arranged hollow containers having similar shapes juxtapositioned in close proximity to each other;

the inner surfaces of said containers being of electrical conductive material;

electrical insulating material mounted between the ju'xtapositioned surfaces ofsaid containers;

at least one hole arranged to extend through the inside container and the insulating material mounted between said containers;

said hole being arranged in said inner container at its lower most point; and

a ball having an electrical conductive outer surface,

said ball being positioned inside the inner container and assuming a point of rest near the center of said hole when the switch is in a level position;

said ball making electrical contact with only the inner surface of the outer container when said switch is in a level position;

said ball rolling to one side of said hole and electrically interconnecting the conductive surfaces of said first and said second containers when said switch is tilted from a level position.

2. The electrical switch of claim 1 in further combination with:

a pair of electrical terminals; I

one of said terminals being electrically connecting to the conductive surface of said first container and the other of said terminals being electrically connecting to the conductive surface of said second container.

3. The electrical switch set forth in claim 1 wherein the hole in said inner container has a minimum distance across it of substantially the same length as the diameter of said ball, said ball making electrical contact with the conductive surfaces of said first and said second containers when said ball rolls against the side of said hole.

4. The electrical switch set forth in claim 1 wherein a plurality of holes are spacedly arranged to extend through the inside container and the insulating material mounted therebetween;

one of said holes being arranged in the lower most point of said inner container;

said holes in said inner container having a diameter substantially of the same diameter as the diameter of said ball, said ball making electrical contact with the conductive surfaces of said first and second containers when said ball rolls against the sides of any of said holes.

5. The electrical switch set forth in claim 1 wherein:

said concentrically arranged first and second hollow containers comprise spheres, each of said spheres being made of electrical conductive material; said electrical insulating material being mounted on the juxtapositioned surfaces of one of said spheres.

6. The electrical switch set forth in claim 5 in further combination with:

first and second electrical terminals, each of said terminals electrically connected to a different one of said first and second spheres.

7. The electrical switch set forth in claim 5 wherein the inner sphere has a plurality of holes therein, the minimum distance across each of said holes being sub stantially the same as the diameter of said ball, said ball making contact with said first and said second spheres when said ball rolls against the side of any one of said holes.

8. The electrical switch set forth in claim 1 wherein:

the outer container is of a bell shape configuration made of electrical conductive material and having an inner concave surface;

the inner container comprises a conductive plate formed substantually in the same shape as the bottom of the outer container; an electrical insulating material mounted between said plate and the concave surface of the outer container; and said hole extending through said plate and said electrical insulating material.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1915267 *Dec 8, 1930Jun 27, 1933Ralph C BigelowShort circuiting switch
US2794084 *Dec 29, 1953May 28, 1957Aldo SegoniAccident signalling device
US2870279 *Oct 26, 1956Jan 20, 1959Cohn Inc TBall-operated counting device
US2898416 *Dec 17, 1958Aug 4, 1959Gordon W WholeyInertia switch with time delay operation
US3263033 *Jan 4, 1965Jul 26, 1966Metzger Arthur CMiniature rotary multipolar selector switch with rotor resilient conductive brush and ball contact structure
US3531605 *Mar 12, 1969Sep 29, 1970Avco CorpAnti-disturbance switch
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4039789 *Sep 8, 1975Aug 2, 1977Daiko Electronics Co., Ltd.Theft protection sensor switch
US5208430 *Jul 1, 1992May 4, 1993Christiana Industries CorporationPosition responsive switch
US5365116 *Mar 23, 1993Nov 15, 1994Ldi Inc.Inclination switch
US5877686 *May 1, 1997Mar 2, 1999Ibey; Jerry A.Golf bag theft protection system
US5955713 *Oct 3, 1997Sep 21, 1999Circle Seal CorporationTilt switch array for electronic orientation detection
US6852935Oct 30, 2002Feb 8, 2005Itron, Inc.Tilt switch
US7473856 *Nov 10, 2005Jan 6, 2009Hoshizaki Denki Kabushiki KaishaStored material detecting switch
US20070103322 *Nov 10, 2005May 10, 2007Chiyoshi ToyaStored material detecting switch
US20100072098 *Sep 23, 2009Mar 25, 2010Babaco Alarm Systems, Inc.Shred box with alarm system
Classifications
U.S. Classification200/61.52, 200/61.45R, 340/689, 200/61.51, 340/571, 200/DIG.290, 200/61.48
International ClassificationH01H35/14
Cooperative ClassificationY10S200/29, H01H35/14
European ClassificationH01H35/14