US 3752945 A
An electrical alternating contact switch is designed to produce switching impulses by inclining and rotating the switch and for this purpose is made up of an electrically conductive ring with a pyramidally tapered inner surface, a cover plate on the ring closing the larger end of this taper and having conductive and non-conductive parts, and a rolling body which can be released by tilting the switch so as to roll between the surfaces presented by the ring and the cover plate.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 [111 3,752,945
Achterberg Aug. 14, 1973 ELECTRICAL ALTERNATING CONTACT 3,629,748 12/1971 Collier et al. ZOO/61.52
SWITCH  Inventor: Dieter Christian Achterberg, Krs. p i Examiner R0bel-t S h f Landsberqbech, Halls 94, 8911 Assistant Examiner-William J. Smith schoeffeldms. Germany AttameyKenneth s. Goldfarb  Filed: June 14, 1972 ] Appl. No.: 262,622
 ABSTRACT  Foreign Application Priority Data An electrical alternating contact switch is designed to June 4, l97l Germany P 21 27 900.5
produce switching impulses by inclining and rotating the switch and for this purpose is made up of an electri- 200/166 1 200/6152 Zoo/DIG 29 cally conductive ring with a pyramidally tapered inner [51 1 Cl. surface a cover plate on the ring closing the larger end 0 Search BB, BH, of taper and having conductive and non- 0 /1 29, 61-52 conductive parts, and a rolling body which can be re  References Cited faces presented by the ring and the cover plate. UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,534,194 10/1970 Speller 200/166 BB 3 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures leased by tilting the switch so as to roll between the sur- Patented Aug. 14, 1973 3,752,945
BACKGROUND 1. Field of the Invention DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT A ring 1 of electrically conductive material has a hol- This invention relates to an electrical alternating conlow interior defined by a set of flared sections 2. These tact switch of the kind in which switching impulses are produced in response to a change in position of the switch.
2. Description of Prior Art Such switches, which are also known as positionsensitive switches, are used in many branches of industry. Thus, for example, a switch of this nature known in the aircraft industry comprises a rocker which is rigidly connected to the aircraft and has a mercury slug moving therein to provide a liquid contact for producing switching impulses.
A further field of use is, for example, the toy industry, where a spherical body equipped with a battery has a switch of this nature which switches a flashing light on and off; the flashing light is illuminated and extinguished in a rapid rhythmic pattern by a movement of the spherical body.
It is an object of the invention to provide a switch of the type indicated above which is reliable in operation and can be made easily and inexpensively.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION With this object in view, in the present invention, the switch comprises an electrically conductive ring or the like with a shaped inner rolling surface for an electrically conductive rolling body, and a cover plate or the like which provides a partially conductive and partially non-conductive rolling surface for said rolling body.
The ring form referred to above obviously applies only to the interior of the body with the rolling surface, whilst the outer margin of the body can have any desired form. Deviations from the inner ring form are possible and an oval or arched rolling surface can also be used to suit particular uses.
The rolling body is preferably a ball. The cover plate may be flat and be provided with electrically conductive strips or the like arranged in star fashion.
Internally the ring may have symmetrically arranged flared sections. A symmetrical arrangement of this kind is obviously only required when a rhythmical switching on and off is required in response to rotation of the switch. Advantageously the flared sections are inclined towards the cover plate. They may individually be flat or convexly curved.
The cover plate may itself be conical or a slightly rounded form is suitable.
In another form of the invention the rolling body is cylindrical. This cylindrical body may have an annular race in the interior ofthe ring, this race serving to guide the rolling body and preventing its escape from the shaped rolling surface.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS An embodiment of a selector switch according to the invention is illustrated by way of example in the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. I is a section through the switch on the line 1 I of FIG. 2,
FIG. 2 is a section on the line 2 2 of FIG. I, and
FIG. 3 is a side perspective view of the switch shown exploded.
sections are such that the interior of the ring 1 widens pyramidally towards a cover plate 3 which is described in more detail below.
In the drawings the rim of ring I is circular, but it may have any other useful form, for example square, the shape depending primarily on the form of the device in which the selector switch is to be installed or used.
The cover plate 3, illustrated in FIG. 3, is made for example of an electrically non-conductive material. and has electrically conductive strips 10 applied in convenient fashion in star form to one face thereof. These strips 10 are so arranged that, when the ring 1 and the cover plate 3 are assembled together, each of the strips substantially coincide with a medial line of a flared section 2.
A ball 4 made of a conductive material provides the electrical contact means. When, for example, it rolls over the flared section 6 it provides electrical contact with the corresponding contact strips I0 on the cover plate 3.
It will be apparent that, inter alia, the ball can be freed from the cover plate 3 or from ring 1 by including the ring, i.e., the selector switch, to the axis 11.
In the embodiment illustrated the incline 12 of the pyramidal shaping of the flared sections is chosen so that the switch, as can be seen from FIG. 3, can be rocked to and fro through 30 relatively to axis 11 without this oscillation affecting the efficacy of the switch. That is to say the contacts are rhythmically made when the switch is rotated, independently of whether the switch goes beyond this angular amount when it is being rocked.
The switch described operates as follows:
When the switch is rotated, for example in the direction of arrow 5, and independently of an inclination of the switch up to 30, the ball 4 is first held in the corner or bight of the pyramidal flared sections 2 and no contact is made between the conductive ring I and the electrically conductive strips I0 on the cover plate. As the rotary angle increases the ball reaches an equilibrium position and finally begins to roll. It rolls down approximately to the central area of a flared section and there makes the required contact; if the rotation is continued there is an interval of no-contact, a contact making, and so on in sequence.
It will be understood that many variations can be made in the switch described within the scope of this invention. Thus the shapings of surfaces 2 in ring 1, the number of contacts which can be made, the intervals between them. and the rhythm of the contact making can be varied as required.
It will moreover be unnecessary to have provision for contact making over the complete periphery of the ring I and it will for example be suffleient when at least two contacts with appropriate intervals are provided in the ring, to match with corresponding contact points or contact strips on the cover plate.
Again, the ring 1 may be of greater thickness than that illustrated, and the inclination 12 of the eight-point notional pyramid can be varied. The number of side faces of this pyramid can also be varied.
A rolling body of cylindrical shape may, for example, be used in place of a ball 4.
The cover plate 3 may, inter alia, readily be made of conical shape; it can even be of shell form. Point contacts can be used instead of contact strips 10.
The alternating contact switch can be made as a closed body. It could also have an internal ring or some other internal solid body to predetermine the path of the ball as in the case of a ball race.
The potential uses of a switch as described above are multitudinous. It can be made very simply because the electrically conductive ring 1, even with its flared shaping, can be fabricated simply yet accurately, as can, also the cover plate of non-conductive material, and electrical contacts can for instance be applied to the latter by known printing methods.
1. An improved electrical alternating contact switch in which switching impulses are produced in response to positional variation thereof comprising an electrically conductive ring which defines a shaped inner rolling surface, a cover plate mounted on said ring and providing a second rolling surface which is partially electrically conductive and partially non-conductive, and a rolling body of electrically conductive material movable over said inner rolling surface and between the latter and said second rolling surface, said ring being made up internally of symmetrically arranged flared sections.
2. An alternating contact switch according to claim 1, in which the flared sections are inclined towards said ranged thereon in star fashion.