|Publication number||US3734869 A|
|Publication date||May 22, 1973|
|Filing date||Mar 17, 1972|
|Priority date||Mar 17, 1972|
|Publication number||US 3734869 A, US 3734869A, US-A-3734869, US3734869 A, US3734869A|
|Inventors||Menard E, Webster D|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (12), Referenced by (19), Classifications (12)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent 1191 Menard et al. 45 M 22, 1973 [541 ROTARY SWITCH ASSEMBLY WITH 3,286,046 11/1966 ADJUSTABLE PROGRAMMING LIMI'I g; MEQFANISM 3:236:959- 2/1966  Inventors: Edward A. Menard, Lafayette; 3,251,956 5/1966 David O, Webster, Longmont, both 3,409,747 11/1968 Mincone ...200/l1 TW f 3,531,603 9/1970 Ashman.... .....200/llJUX 3,089,923 5/1963 Wright ..200/11'rw x  Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation, Armonk, NY. Primary Examiner-J. R. Scott Attorney-Francis A. Sirr, Gunter A. Hauptman, 22 Filed: Mar. 17, 1972 J jafiaijr et  Ap l. No.: 235,518
p  ABSTRACT 52 Us. (:1 ..200/11 R, 200/11 DA, 200/17 R A multifunction Switch Selectively Providing 9 51 Int. Cl. ..110111 21/78 tipsifin a multiwsifim 0881c, a 58 Field of Search ..200/8 R 11.1 11 TW my Switch functim- A switch a movable switch member. A detent means cooperates ZOO/14,17 R, 166 PC, ll R, 11 DA v with the rotor and establishes a plurality of stable rotor positions and inten'nediate unstable rotor posi-  References Cited tions. A selectively changeable switch function pro- UNITED STATES PATENTS gram member selectively limits movement of the rotor relative to its stable and unstable positions in a :g manner to achieve the desired switch function. 0 man 3,303,313 2 1967 Okamoto ..200/166 20 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures 2,503,885 4/1965 Nygren ..200/1 1 Patented May 22, 1973 3,734,869
3 Shoots-Sheet 1 Patented May 22, 1973 3,734,869
3 Shoots-Shut 2 FIG. 2 Y5 Patented May 22, 1973 3,734,869
3 Shoots-Shut :5
I FIG. 4
BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to the field of electrical circuit makers and breakers, and specifically to a switch having pivoted or rotary contacts which are carried by a rotating mechanism, wherein adjustable or programmable means limits rotation of the mechanism to accomplish different desired switch functions. 7
The prior art discloses switches of this general type wherein rotation of a switch shaft is selectively limited to two-or-more stable positions in accordance with the manual adjustment of a movable member.
The prior art also discloses switches which selectively provide stable and/or unstable switch positions by the selective use of interchangeable camcarrying parts whose cams are designed to accomplish the desired switch function.
The switch of the present invention is selectively programmable to provide a multiposition rotary, a multiposition toggle or a momentary toggle switch function. In addition, special decode functions, such as hexadecimal-to-binary, may be provided by selective design of a stationary printed circuit switch member.
A movable, brush-like, switch member cooperates with the printed circuit member and is attached to a rotor, to rotate therewith. The rotor carries, for example, 16 notches for hex-to-decimal conversion. These notches are circumferentially equally spaced about the rotor axis. Adjacent notches are separated by a ridge formed by the line-intersection of the oppositely sloped sides of adjacent notches. A spring-biased wedge-like member cooperates with these notches to define a detent means. This detent means establishes l6 stable rotor positions when the wedge is seated in a notch, and establishes unstable rotor positions when not seated.
The rotor also carries an extending flag or tab which coincides in circumferential position with one of the above-mentioned ridges.
The rotor is mounted for bidirectional rotation within a housing having, for example, 16 selectively usable stop means in the form of 16 holes. Each hole is critically located so that when the rotor is in one of its 16 stable positions, the rotors flag is in substantial coincidence with one of these holes. Stop pins may be inserted in spaced holes to program the switch for less than 360 rotation and for from two to 16 stable positions.
The rotors housing also includes additional holes critically located so that when the rotor is in one of its unstable positions, with the spring-biased wedge in substantial coincidence with one of the above-mentioned ridges, the rotors flag is in substantial coincidence with the one of these two holes.
Stop pins may be inserted in these last-mentioned holes to program the switch for one or more stable intermediate positions and unstable positions, one or two at either or both extremities of movement.
For hex-to-binary switching, the above-mentioned example of stable rotor positions is utilized with a printed circuit member having four circuit patterns cooperating with movable switch brushes carried by the rotor. A fifth circuit pattern provides electrical input to facilitate the binary 0 and l four-digit output for each of the 16 hexadecimal positions.
Another printed circuit pattern provides a conventional multi-position output, for example 16-position, such that a separate output terminal is active for each stable rotor position. In addition, this printed circuit member includes circuit patterns providing an output when the rotor is in the above-mentioned unstable positions.
The foregoing and other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following more particular description of preferred embodiments of the invention, as illustrated in the accompanying drawing.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is an exploded view of the multi-function switch of the present invention, showing a printed circuit board of the type used for a hex-to-decimal multiposition rotary switch function,
FIG. 2 shows the switch of FIG. I mounted on the printed circuit board, a toggle actuator attached to the rotor shaft, and stop pins inserted to provide a threeposition toggle switch function,
FIG. 3 diagrammatically shows the switch programming member set for a two-position momentary toggle switch function,
FIG. 4 shows a printed circuit board of the type used for a multi-position rotary, a toggle, or a momentary toggle switch function, and
FIG. 5 shows the FIG. I printed circuit board for a hexadecimal-to-binary rotary switch function.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The FIG. 1 exploded view of the multi-function switch of the present invention shows the switch programmed to provide a multi-position continuous rotary switch function, namely a rotary switch having 16 stable positions about the 360-rotation of knob actuator 10. This knob includes a centrally located mounting opening 11, having a positioning surface 12 adapted to cooperate with corresponding surface 13 of rotor shaft 14. Surface 13 is oriented in a known manner to extending flag 15 carried by rotor 16.
Shafts l4 and 17 establish the center of rotation of rotor 16. Shaft 14 terminates at a relatively flat disk shaped surface of rotor 16, not shown. Rotor 16 is preferably formed of an electrically nonconductive material, for example a form of plastic. This surface mounts metallic movable switch member 18 having five flexible brushes 19-23 formed integrally therewith. Switch member 18 may take many forms. For example, member 18 could be split for a different switching applica tion, causing brushes 22 and 23 to be common and brushes 19, 20, and 21 to be common, but isolated from brushes 22 and 23. This switch member is positioned in known alignment with stop 15 and surface 13, and thereby with knob 10, by means of three mounting openings 24.
Wipers 19-23 are adapted to cooperate with three concentric electrically conductive circuit patterns formed on nonconductive planar printed circuit board 25. Brushes 21 and 22 cooperate with the innermost circuit pattern, that is, the circuit pattern immediately adjacent opening 26 adapted to freely receive shaft 14. Wipers 20 and 23 cooperate with the intermediate circuit pattern. Wiper 19 is the only wiper cooperating with the outermost circuit pattern.
The structure of FIG. 1 is normally associated with an instrument panel 70. This panel carries visual indicia cooperating with means such as an indicating pointer (not shown) carried by knob 10, to visually indicate the position of rotor 16.
Rotor 16 is constructed and arranged such that detent or indexing means establish a plurality of stable rotor positions, with unstable rotor positions intermediate adjacent stable rotor positions. Specifically, rotor 16 carries a movable portion of the detent means, this movable portion consisting of a series of notches about the circumference of the rotor. More specifically, in the embodiment shown, 16 similar shaped notches 27 are equally spaced about the circumference of the rotor. The stationary portion of the detent means is spring biased pawl 28 having a surface 29 conforming to the surface of notches 27. This pawl is biased toward rotor 16 by spring 30 and, as knob 10 is rotated, stable knob positions are defined by surface 29 cooperating with a notch 27. The unstable rotor positions are defined by the line-like ridges 31 between adjacent notches, these ridges being formed by the joining of the opposite sloping walls 32 and 33 of adjacent notches. The predetermined orientation of rotor flag 16 places the flag in alignment with one of these ridges, as shown in FIG. 1.
The switch function program member, whereby a plurality of switch programs may be selectively provided, is included within housing 34. This housing includes an elongated channel 35 which receives pawl 28 and spring 30 and facilitates radial movement of the pawl relative to rotor 16. The housing also includes a circular cavity 36 which freely receives rotor 16, with the flat surface 37 of the rotor engaging the top portion 38 of boss 39, and with rotor flag l freely riding in doughnut shaped cavity 40.
The switch function program member includes selectable stop means cooperating with the rotor, and particularly with rotor flag 15, to limit the rotation thereof, in accordance with the selected switch function. More specifically, flag 15 cooperates with stationary stop pins which are adapted to be inserted in openings 41. One or more pins extend into cavity 40, into interferring relationship with flag 15. The orientation of pawl 28 relative to openings 41 is such that flag 15 is immediately adjacent an opening 41 for each of the stable positions of the rotor. Thus, for the example shown, housing 34 includes 16 openings 41 equally spaced about the center of rotation of rotor 16, as established by shaft opening 42. As will be discussed, housing 34 includes further type openings 43 to facilitate selection of a momentary toggle switch function.
Housing 34 carries two extending positioning posts, not shown, which cooperate with openings 71 and 72 in circuit board 25, to thereby align, fasten, and mount the housing and its switch function program member i a known manner or registry to board 25.
Referring now to FIG. 4, this figure is a view of a printed circuit board 60 which may be used in the manner of board 25 shown in FIG. 1. The printed circuit pattern of board 60 facilitates a multi-position rotary switch function providing from two to 16 stable rotary switch positions, or alternatively, provides toggle switch functions, and/or including a momentary toggle function. In this figure, the inner section of the circuit pattern, disposed immediately adjacent opening 73, has
been numbered 1 through 16, this corresponding to the 16 stable positions of rotor 16, FIG. 1. A circuit pattern identified by reference numeral 44 is connected to a reference source of electrical potential. The circuit pattern of board 60 provides selective connection of this reference potential to a different one of the 16 output conductors of circuit board 25 for each of the l6 distinct positions of rotor 16. For example, in the 1 position of the rotor, wiper 19 (FIG. 1) cooperates with contact segment 45; wipers 20, 21 and 22 cooperate with contact segment 44; and wiper 23 cooperates with contact segment 46. Thus, contact segment 45 and output conductor 47 are connected to the reference. Contact segment 46 is not used and serves the function of providing a riding surface for wiper 23.
In like manner, it is apparent that a separate one of the output conductors is connected to reference potential for each of the 16 stable switch positions.
Referring now to the momentary switch function achieved by the present invention, it is noted that seg ment 48 associated with the 4 position of the rotor covers a circumferential arc that is smaller than adjacent contact segments 49 and 50. When the rotor is in the 4" stable position, contact segment 48 is connected to reference potential. Likewise, when the rotor is in either the 3 or the 5 position, segments 50 and 49, respectively, are connected to reference potential. However, as the rotor is moved from the 4 position toward either the 3 or the 5 position, wiper 19 of the movable switch member engages contact segment 50 or 49 while the rotor is still in an unstable position.
With reference to FIG. 3, rotor 16 is shown in the 4 stable position wherein wiper 19 engages contact segment 48. In this position, pawl 28 engages the bottom 51 of a notch. When the rotor is moved toward an adjacent position, wiper 19 engages the adjacent segment 49 or 50 before pawl 28 leaves this notch. For the momentary two-position switch function illustrated, housing 34 (FIG. 1) provides two openings 43 which receive pins 52 and 53 (FIG. 3). These pins are positioned to stop rotation of rotor 16 while the rotor is in unstable positions on opposite sides of the stable position shown in FIG. 3. Thus, rotor 16 may be manually moved to one of two unstable positions, on opposite sides of stable 4" position to thereby connect contact segments 49 or 50 to reference potential. Release of the manual force holding the knob in the unstable position causes the rotor to assume the stable position shown in FIG. 3 wherein contact segment 48 again connects to the reference potential.
As will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art, the switch function program member carried by housing 34 can be constructed and arranged to provide a range of stable rotor positions, with an unstable position at one end of the range of movement, or at both ends of the range of movement.
As is apparent from FIG. 4, circuit board 60 is constructed to selectively provide a second momentary switch function at the l l, 12 and 13" switch positions.
Referring to FIG. 2, in this figure the multi-function switch of the present invention is shown mounted on printed circuit board 54 and toggle switch crank arm 55 is mounted on shaft 14. Board 54 may carry a circuit pattern such as that disclosed in FIG. 4, in which case the momentary switch function is a toggle type function. Here again, the mounting opening provided in the crank arm includes a reference surface 56 to orient the arm in a known manner to shaft 14 and to the surface 13 carried by the shaft. The crank arm includes toggle actuator or handle 57 which is displaced from the axis of rotation of the rotor, thus, amplifying the rotor movement. This arm assembly is used to selectively provide a multi-position toggle switch function or a momentary toggle switch function. The arrangement shown in FIG. 2 cooperates with instrument panel 75 having a generally vertically oriented slot 76 through which handle 57 extends. As viewed from the panel side, handle 57 appears to be a normal toggle actuator, although it in fact moves through a slight are. For the switch program selected in FIG. 2, pins 58 and 59 have been inserted in two of the openings 41 carried by housing 34 so as to provide a three-stable-position toggle switch function. Had the pins been placed in openings 43, the switch function selected would have been momentary toggle, with a center stable position and an unstable position on each side of this center position, as shown in FIG. 3.
As will be appreciated, slot 76 may be critically sized to limit movement of rotor 16, in the manner of pins 58 and 59 (FIG. 2) or 52 and 53 (FIG. 3), above described.
With reference to FIG. 5, this figure shows printed circuit board 25 of FIG. 1 which carries a circuit pattern to facilitate the hexadecimal-to-binary decode wherein the 16 rotor positions, identified by the hexadecimal indicia through F, provide binary outputs on conductors 61-64 in increasing powers of 2. The presence of a binary l is indicated by the connection of an output conductor 61-64 to common conductor 65. By way of explanation, and selecting the 3 rotor position, wipers 21 and 22 (FIG. 1) engage the contact segment associated with common conductor 65; wiper 23 engages the contact segment associated with the least significant power of 2 conductor 61; and wiper 19 engages the contact segment associated with the next significant power of 2 conductor 62. Thus, for the hexadecimal position 3" of the switch, the output provided on conductor 61-64 is the binary output 0011, namely, the binary equivalent of hexadecimal 3.
By way of the above description, the manner in process of making and using the present invention has been described with reference to specific switch functions and specific printed circuit board patterns. However, as will be appreciated by those of skill in the art to which the present invention pertains, the use of the present invention can be extended to a variety of circuit patterns, movable brush configurations, and stable and/or unstable switch positions as may be related to a particular desired switch function.
While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A multi-function switch, comprising:
a stationary switch contact member,
a movable switch contact member adapted to cooperate with said stationary contact member,
a rotor connected to said movable switch member, the position of said rotor controlling the position of said movable switch member,
detent means having a stationary member and a member carried by said rotor, said detent means being constructed and arranged to define a plurality of spaced mechanically stable rotor positions, adjacent stable rotor positions being separated only by an unstable rotor position, and
a stationary switch function program member having a plurality of selectable means selectively operable to limit the range of the rotors movement to mechanically stable positions to thereby provide multi-stable-position switch programs equal to or less than said plurality of stable rotor positions, or to limit the rotors movement such that at least one end of said range of movement includes a mechanically unstable position to thereby provide mornentary-unstable-position switch programs.
2. A multi-function switch as defined in claim 1 wherein said switch function program member includes selectable stationary stop means cooperating with said rotor to limit the range of rotation thereof.
3. A multifunction switch as defined in claim 2 wherein said stop means includes an extending flag carried by said rotor and selectively positionable stationary stops cooperating with said flag to limit at least one end of the rotors range of movement to a stable position or to an unstable position, in accordance with the selected switch function.
4. A multi-function switch as defined in claim 3 including a crank-arm adapted to be selectively attached to said rotor in a known orientation to said flag and including a handle disposed from the axis of rotation of said rotor and extending generally parallel thereto to provide a multi-stable-position switch program and/or a momentary-unstable switch program.
5. A multi-function switch as defined in claim 3 including a knob adapted to be selectively attached to said rotor in a known orientation to said flag to provide a multi-stable-position rotary switch program and/or a momentary-unstable rotary switch program.
6. A multi-function switch as defined in claim 1 wherein said stationary switch contact member is formed on a nonconductive planar surface including electrically conductive circuit patterns, including a hollow housing mounted on said planar surface, and a rotary shaft supported by said housing and supporting said rotor within said housing with said movable switch contact member in electrical contact with said circuit patterns.
7. A multi-function switch as defined in claim 6 wherein the stationary member of said detent means is carried by said housing and is positioned relative to said circuit patterns so as to establish a predetermined switching relationship between said movable switch contact member and said circuit patterns when said rotor is in said stable positions and when said rotor is in one unstable position.
8. A multi-function switch as defined in claim 7 wherein said switch function program member includes a flag carried by said rotor, and wherein said plurality of selectable means includes stationary stop means carried by said housing and selectively movable into the path of said flag to restrict at least one end of the rotors range of movement to a stable position and/or to said one unstable position.
9. A multi-function switch as defined in claim 8 including a crank arm attached to said shaft by means of mating positioning surfaces, and a switch handle disposed from the axis of rotation of said rotor and extending generally parallel to said axis to provide a multi-stable-position switch program and/or a momentary-unstable-position switch program.
10. A multi-function switch as defined in claim 8 including a knob actuator attached to said shaft by means of mating positioning surfaces to provide a multistable-position rotary switch program and/or a momentary-unstable-position rotary switch program.
11. A programmable multi-function switch comprismg:
a printed circuit board carrying an annular circuit pattern,
a housing mounted on said circuit board in known alignment with said circuit pattern,
a rotor mounted in said housing for rotation relative to said circuit pattern,
movable switch contacts carried by said rotor and engaging said circuit pattern in switching relationship,
indexing means associated with said housing and said rotor to establish a plurality of discrete mechanically stable rotor positions for a complete revolution of said rotor, adjacent stable positions being separated only by an unstable rotor position,
said circuit pattern being formed to provide a unique switch configuration for at least certain of said stable rotor positions, and additionally being formed to provide a unique switch configuration for at least one of said unstable rotor positions, and manually adjustable program means effective to limit the range of rotation of said rotor such that each end of said range includes a stable rotor position to provide a multi-position switch function, and/or to limit rotation of said rotor such that at least one end of said range includes said one unstable rotor position to provide a momentary switch function.
12. A multi-function switch as defined in claim 11 including positioning means cooperating with said printed circuit board and said housing to produce known registry between said circuit pattern and said stable and unstable rotor positions.
13. A multi-function switch as defined in claim 12 wherein said indexing means includes spring-biased detent means operable between said rotor and said housing, a portion of said detent means including a series of notches establishing said stable rotor positions, said unstable rotor positions being defined by line-like ridges between adjacent notches as formed by the joining of the opposite sloping walls of adjacent notches.
14. A multi-function switch as defined in claim 13 wherein said program means includes an extending flag carried by said rotor, and manually positionable stops associated with said housing effective to limit the ends of the range of rotation of said rotor by virtue of engagement with said flag.
15. A multi-function switch as defined in claim 13 including manually actuable means for selective use with said rotor to selectively provide rotary knob switch functions or pivotal-handle switch functions.
16. A multi-function switch as defined in claim 12 wherein said annular circuit pattern includes a plurality of unique configurations disposed about a 360 annular circuit pattern, and wherein said indexing means establishes a like plurality of stable rotor positions in registry with the unique configurations of said circuit pattern.
17. A multi-function switch as defined in claim 16 wherein said indexing means includes a series of discrete notches formed about the 360 annular circumference of said rotor, one for each of said stable rotor positions, and a spring biased member mounted at a fixed position on said housing and cooperating with said notches to establish said stable rotor positions.
18. A multi-function switch as defined in claim 17 wherein said program means includes an extending flag carried by said rotor in substantial alignment with the line-like ridge formed by the joining of the opposite sloping walls of two adjacent notches, and a ring of holes formed in said housing adapted to receive one or more stop-pins to establish the ends of the range of rotor rotation to stable positions by virtue of engagement with said flag, and at least one additional hole formed in said housing adapted to receive a stop pin to establish at least one end of the range of rotor rotation to include an unstable position by virtue of engagement with said flag as said spring biased member engages the wall of a notch adjacent the ridge which joins said wall to the wall of the adjacent notch.
19. A multi-function switch as defined in claim 18 wherein said program means includes two additional holes formed in said housing adapted to receive stop pins to establish a range of rotor rotation which includes a stable mid-position and two unstable end positions, one on each side of said mid-position, and wherein said annular circuit pattern includes a short arcuate conductive segment corresponding to said midposition and a relatively long arcuate conductive segment corresponding to each of said two unstable positions.
20. A multi-function switch as defined in claim 19 including a manually rotatable knob selectively usable with said rotor for rotation about the axis of rotation of said rotor when said program means is set to allow substantial rotation of said rotor, to thereby provide rotary-knob switch functions, and a manually actuable crank arm, including a handle disposed from the axis of rotation of said rotor, extending generally parallel thereto, and selectively usable with said rotor when said program means is set to allow rotation through no more than three positions of said rotor, to thereby provide pivotal-handle switch functions.
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|U.S. Classification||200/11.00R, 200/11.0DA, 200/17.00R|
|International Classification||H01H19/00, H01H19/58, H01H19/03, H01H19/11|
|Cooperative Classification||H01H19/03, H01H19/585, H01H19/11|
|European Classification||H01H19/58B, H01H19/11|