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Publication numberUS3755718 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 28, 1973
Filing dateSep 9, 1971
Priority dateSep 9, 1971
Publication numberUS 3755718 A, US 3755718A, US-A-3755718, US3755718 A, US3755718A
InventorsNicholson N
Original AssigneeNicholson N
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Combination electric lock
US 3755718 A
Abstract
Electric lock apparatus including two or more multiple position electrical switches for completing a circuit to actuate an electric unlocking device. The electric unlocking apparatus is operable from a conventional AC power source and also is operable from a self-contained battery in the event of power failure. Provisions are made for using the same basic switching arrangement for providing separate unlocking combinations for controlling two or more locks. A simplified provision for changing the unlocking combinations is shown.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

States Patent [191 Nicholson 1 1 Aug. 28, 1973 1 COMBINATION ELECTRIC LOCK [76] Inventor: Newton II. Nicholson, 1122 Lewis Dr., Daytona Beach, Fla. 32017 [22] Filed: Sept. 9, 1971 [21] Appl. No.: 179,028

[52] US. Cl 317/134, 307/10 AT [51] Int. Cl E05b 49/00 [58] Field of Search 317/134; 307/10 AT, 307/10 BP [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,442,487 1/1923 Lacier 317/134 2,583,752 1/1952 Smith 317/134 X FOREIGN PATENTS 0R APPLICATIONS 831,618 l/l970 Canada 317/134 OTHER PUBLICATIONS Dual-Combination Electrolock March 1966 issue of Popular Electronics p. 10 (Stephen Smyka).

Electronic Lock Article Jan. 1966 issue of Popular Electronics p. 61.

Improved Electronic Locks Jan. 1968 issue of Popular Electronics, p. 73.

Primary Examiner-J. D. Miller Assistant E;aminerl-Iarry E. Moose, Jr. Attorney- Harold D. Jones, Jr., Roger T. Frost [57] ABSTRACT Electric lock apparatus including two or more multiple position electrical switches for completing a circuit to actuate an electric unlocking device. The electric unlocking apparatus is operable from a conventional AC power source and also is operable from a self-contained battery in the event of power failure. Provisions are made for using the same basic switching arrangement for providing separate unlocking combinations for controlling two or more locks. A simplified provision for changing the unlocking combinations is shown.

3 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PAYENTEUwcza ms 3.755718 48 INVENTOR 46 NEWTON H. NICHOLSON H04 BY W ATTORNEY COMBINATION ELECTRIC LOCK This invention relates in general to locking devices and in particular to a locking apparatus which is electrically actuated for unlocking only after a predetermined combination number is set in the apparatus.

The need to secure doors and other portals with a lock which is readily openable by authorized persons but yet which is secure against unauthorized entry has been a continuing problem. While the art is replete with various types of latches, locks, and locking systerns, these devices generally fall into one of two categories: key-type locks, wherein a uniquely shaped or otherwise coded key must be used to open the lock; and keyless locks, wherein a particular predetermined combination of numbers or other variables must be set into the lock by the operator to unlock the lock. The key-type locks, while generally being self-contained and operable independently of external power sources, require that each and every person authorized to open the lock must carry or otherwise have access to his own key. This gives rise to the hazard that a person who loses a key or who temporarily leaves the key in the custody of another may find that his key has been used or duplicated so as to permit unauthorized opening of an otherwise locked door. Where a number of individuals are permitted keys for opening a particular lock, moreover, this proliferation of keys makes even more likely the probability that at least one of the keys will become lost or misappropriated. While most modern locks of the bin-tumbler type, for example, have locking elements which can bechanged by a qualified locksmith to require a different key for operation, this changing entails a certain amount of expense.

Various types of mechanical and electrical combination locks have been proposed in the prior art. While combination locks do away with the need for every authorized person to carry or otherwise have access to a key for opening a particular lock, prior art combination locks generally have proven to be complex and expensive in construction if such locks are to provide a satisfactory number of possible combinations necessary to render very low the probability that an unauthorized person can open the lock by trial-and-error settings of random combinations. Changing the predetermined combination of prior art electrically actuated combination locks has generally required either rewiring of selector switches or other circuit elements,'or else has required a separate set of switches for combination changing purposes. In either event, such electrical combination locks'have been expensive to. obtain or have required the services of an electrician to change the predetermined combination, and such factors have made electrical combination locks of the prior art unavailable for the average homeowner, apartment renter, and other typical users of locks. Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved electric combination lock.

It is another object of the present invention to provide an electric combination lock in which the predetermined unlocking combination can be readilyand inexpensively changed.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide an electric combination lock which can be assembled from readily available and relatively inexpensive components.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide an electric combination lock in which a single set of combination selector switches can be used to provide separate and different combinations for unlocking more than one lock.

Other objects as well as many of the attendant advantages of the present invention will become more readily apparent from the following description and drawing of an embodiment of the invention in which:

FIG. 1 shows a pictorial view of the control panel of a lock according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows a schematic wiring diagram of the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 shows a schematic diagram of a modified embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 4 shows a pictorial view of a control knob for a combination selector switch used in the disclosed embodiments of the present invention.

Stated generally, the present embodiment includes an electric combination lock apparatus wherein an electric unlatching circuit is completed by properly positioning a plurality of multiple position selector switches to complete a prewired series circuit including the aforementioned switches. Each switch position corresponds to a particular switch position number, and the numerical position corresponding to a particular switch position can be changed by changing the position of the knob or other actuating device associated with the switch. The switches can be wired to provide multiple series paths, with each series path corresponding to an unlatching circuit for a separate locking device.

More particularly, and with reference taken to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown an embodiment of the present invention including a control panel indicated generally at 10 connected by wires 11 to selectively apply electric power to a latching device 12 which functions to control the operation of the door 13. The latching device 12 may be a conventional device such as a solenoid-operatedlatch or the like, in which the door 13 including a conventional lock striker bolt may be closed and engaged with the latching device 12 and in which application of power to the latching device withdraws a latching member to permit the door 13 to be opened. The control panel l0, which typically but not necessarily is installed adjacent the door 13 to be controlled, includes a cover door 14 which is openable to reveal a number of control switches the identity and purpose of which will become apparent below.

Turning next to FIG. 2, there is shown a schematic diagram of an embodiment of the present invention including four multiple-position switches 20, 21, 22, and 23. While these switches are depicted as I2-position rotary switches of the type wherein a common terminal is selectively connectable to each switch position, it will be understood that switches having a greater or lesser number of positions may be used. It will also be understood that more or fewer switches than four may be used in the present invention, with a corresponding increase or decrease in the available number of locking combinations.

The multiple positions switches 20-23 are interconnected so that at least one of the 12 switching contacts such as the contact designated 24, of the switch 20 is connected to the common terminal 21a of the multiple position switch 21. In a similar manner, at least one of the'contacts of the multiple switch 21, such as contact 25, is connected to the common terminal 22a of switch 22, and at least one of the contacts, such as 26, of the multiple position switch 22 is connected to the common terminal 23a of the multiple position switch 23. The basic circuit further includes an electrical connection from one of the multiple position switch 23 contacts such as the contact indicated at 27, extending through a conductor 28 to a momentary-on switch 29 and the aforementioned latching device 12. The circuit is completed through a power source selection switch 30, which may be a conventional DTDT switch, enabling either a battery power source 31 of an AC converter power source 32 to be applied to the locking circuit of this embodiment. The power source selected by the switch 30 is also connectable to a lamp 33 operated through a switch 34, the lamp and its associated switch being positioned as shown in FIG. 1 to cast illumination on the multiple position contact switches of the control panel.

In considering the operation of the combination electric lock described thus far, assume that each of the common terminals 20a, 21a, 22a, and 23a of the corresponding multiple position switches is positioned to establish contact with corresponding contacts 24, 25, 26, and 27. If this is done, it can be seen that actuation of the switch 29 completes an electric circuit through the several multiple position switches, the latching device 12 and the power source selected by the switch 30 thus causing the latching device to operate and unlock the door 13. Once the door is unlocked, of course, the momentary-on switch 29 can be released.

If the same control panel shown generally at and in detail in FIG. 2 is desired to operate a second latching device 40, an additional contact on one of the multiple position switches such as the contact 41 of the switch 23, is connected in circuit with the second latching device 40 and'another momentary-on switch 42. It can be seen, accordingly, that with the common terminals of the multiple position switches 20, 21 and 22 respectively connected to contacts 24, 25, and 26, and with the common terminal 23a of the 23 connected to the contact 41 instead of the contact 27, a circuit has been energized which upon closure of the switch 42 causes the second latching device 40 to be actuated. The setting of they multiple position switch 23 determines which of the latching devices 12 or 40 has been selected for possible. unlatching, provided that the other multiple position switches also have been properly set. v v

If it is desired to provide a completely different combination of multiple position switch settings for controlling the second latching device 40, a second series of multiple position switch contacts 54, 55 and 56 on the corresponding switches 20, 21 and 22 can be provided with a connection to the respective common terminals 21a, 22a and 23a of the multiple position switches. In this way a first four-digit number corresponding to switch contacts 24, 25, 26 and 27 can be assigned to control unlatching of the latching device 12, and a second completely different four-digit number corresponding to contacts 54, 55, 56 and 41 can be assigned to control unlatching of the latching device 40.It will be understood, of course, that additional contacts of the switch 23 can be assigned to control still other latching devices; moreover, it will be understood that the circuit for the second latching device 40, for example, instead of being associated with the contact 41 of the switch 23 could instead be associated with an available contact of one of the remaining multiple position switches, such as switch 22, thereby giving a threeposition combination number for the control of the second latching device 40 and further confusing a wouldbe unauthorized use of the present combination electric lock.

The provision of plural power sources in combination with the power selector switch 30 enables the latching device to be normally operated from conventionally available AC line power while permitting battery power to be selected for emergency operation of the lock in the event of power failure. The battery 31 may be one or more conventional dry cells connected to provide the appropriate latch operating voltage or may alternatively be a suitable rechargeable battery which may be floated across a suitable charging voltage so that the battery is normally maintained in a fully-charged condition.

Each of the multiple position switches 20-23 may be advantageously of the type depicted in FIG. 4 and including a manual actuation knob 46 which mounts on a switch shaft connected for positioning the respective common terminal of the switch as is known to those skilled in the art. Such switch knobs typically are affixed to the switch shaft either by means of coacting splines on the shaft and the knob interior, or by means of a suitable setscrew which is contained in the knob for engaging the switch shaft. If it is assumed that for each switch position of a given multiple position switch 20, for example, there is a numerical designation such as position 1', position 2 and the like through position 12" (in the case of a l2-position switch), then the numerical designation of a particular switch position in which the common terminal 20a is connected to the contact 24, for example, can be any one of the aforementioned 12 positions simply by appropriately positioning the knob on the switch shaft. For example, the pointer 47 of the knob 46 can be made to point to l or to 5 on the numerical indicator dial 48 by changing the position of the knob relative to the shaft of the switch. Thus a control panel 10 including four multipleposition switches prewired as shown in FIG. 2 to have one set (or more) of switching positions to establish a corresponding number of series paths through the four switch chain, can have anumerical combination selected or changed at will by the simple expedientof changing the positions of one or more of the knobscorresponding to the several multiple positions switches. It is preferableto use multiple position switches that permit continuous rotation, so that'a person'tampe'ring with the lock' will not be advised by the existence of a rotation stop following the twelfth switch contact, for example, that the position of the switch knob may not correspond to the position of the common terminal of that switch.

The modified embodiment depicted in FIG. 3 shows still another arrangement of the present invention wherein a given number of multiple positions switches can be used to provide completely separate combinations for unlatching two (or more) latching devices 12 and 40. The embodiment of FIG. 3 uses three separate two-deck multiple position switches 60, 61 and 62, it being understood that a similar arrangement could be employed using a different number of multiple deck switches, such as the four-switch arrangement of FIG.

2. The actuating circuit for the latching device 12 is first decks 60-1, 61-1, and 62-1 of the three multiple position switches, while the circuit for the second latching device 40 is provided through the second decks 60-2, 61-2, and 62-2 of such switches. The interconnections between the common terminals and switch contacts of the first decks 60-1, 61-1, and 62-1 preferably are at contact positions different from the corresponding interconnections between the second decks 60-2, 61-2, and 62-2 so that a particular numerical setting which permits the latching device 12 to be actuated, for example, will not enable the second latching device 40 to be actuated.

The combination of the FIG. 3 embodiment can be readily changed as described above by repositioning the knobs which operate the multiple position switches, and it will be apparent that such repositioning of the switch knobs will automatically change the combinations for both latching devices 12 and 40. It will be further understood that although the multiple power sources and the lamp depicted in FIG. 2 have been omitted from FIG. 3, these additional features could as well be included in the FIG. 3 embodiment.

Although the foregoing embodiments of the present invention have been shown for operating a solenoidtype latching device, it will be understood that the combination electric lock of the present invention can as well be used to complete an electric circuit through any appropriate device such as a relay for controlling the operation of some other apparatus. For example, the control panel can be mounted on a post or another suitable location adjacent the driveway of a house and the multiple position switches can be used to complete a circuit through a control relay, rather than a latching device, which in turn actuates a garage door opener. Moreover, a combination electric lock according to the present invention is effective as a circuit control apparatus in motor vehicle ignition circuits, for example, either to replace the conventional key ignition lock or to provide an additional locking stage in the ignition cir cuit. Many other uses and applications of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art.

' It should be understood, of course, that the foregoing relates only to preferred embodiments of the invention and that numerous modifications or alterations may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A combination electric lock comprising:

at least two electrical switching means each of which has a common terminal selectively engageable in circuit with one of a plurality of switch contacts;

circuit means establishing electrical circuit between the common terminal of one of said switching means and a first switching contact of the other of said switching means;

a first control circuit establishing electrical circuit between the common terminal of said other switching means and a first switching contact of said one switching means, said control circuit being connected to receive a source of electrical power and including an electrically actuated means;

said electrically actuated means comprising an electrically actuated lock device connected in said first control circuit;

first control switch means operatively connected in said first control circuit and selectively operable to complete a circuit connecting said lock device with the power source when said common terminal of said one switching means is in circuit communication with said first switching contact of said one switching means;

said one switching means comprising a multiple contact rotary switch means having a common terminal capable of continuous rotation for selective engagement in circuit with any one of said plurality of switch contacts;

switch operating means operatively connected to rotate said common terminal;

an indicium disposed for rotation-with said switch operating means;

position indication means fixedly mounted relative to said switch operating means for indication coaction with said indicium; and

means adjustably interconnecting said switch operating means for selective continuous rotation relative to said rotatable common terminal to selectively vary the indication coaction between said indicium and said position indication means without chang ing the switch contact actually selectively engaged by said common terminal.

2. A combination electric lock comprising:

at least two electrical switching means each of which has a common terminal selectively engageable in circuit with one of a plurality of switch contacts;

circuit means establishing electrical circuit between the common terminal of one of said switching means and a first switching contact of the other of said switching means;

a first control circuit establishing electrical circuit between the common terminal of said other switching means and a first switching contact of said one switching means, said control circuit being connected to receive a source of electrical power and including an electrically actuated means;

said electrically actuated means comprising a first electrically actuated lock device connected in said first control circuit;

first control switch means operatively connected in said first control circuit and selectively operable to complete a circuit connecting said common terminal of said other switching means with said first.

switching contact of said one switching means, th power source, and the first lock device;

a second electrically actuated lock device;

a second control circuit including the common terminal of said other switching means and a second switching contact of said one switching means;

said second control circuit being connected to receive a source of electrical power and including said second lock device; and

second control switch means operatively connected in said second control circuit and selectively operable to complete a circuit connecting said common terminal of said.v other switching means with said second switching contact of said one switching means, the power source, and said second lock device.

3. Apparatus as in claim 2, further comprising:

second circuit means establishing electrical circuit between said common terminal of said one switching means and a.second switching contact of the other of said switching means. a a x

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1442487 *May 6, 1921Jan 16, 1923Oliva A LucierLocking mechanism for motor vehicles
US2583752 *Jul 18, 1949Jan 29, 1952Wilke W SmithIgnition control and alarm system
CA831618A *Jan 6, 1970George S YoshidaAnti-theft protection for vehicles
Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1 * Dual Combination Electrolock March 1966 issue of Popular Electronics p. 10 (Stephen Smyka).
2 * Improved Electronic Locks Jan. 1968 issue of Popular Electronics, p. 73.
3 *Electronic Lock Article Jan. 1966 issue of Popular Electronics p. 61.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3856310 *Jan 8, 1974Dec 24, 1974Sniderman KElectrical circuit having an odds selector for a game of chance
US5021916 *Mar 2, 1989Jun 4, 1991Ultimate Security, Inc.Theft deterring security system for attachment to powered appliances
EP0030587A1 *Sep 19, 1980Jun 24, 1981Iwasaki Engineering Co., Ltd.Electronic locking device
EP0047487A1 *Sep 2, 1981Mar 17, 1982Gold- und Silber-Scheideanstalt Oberstein Franz ReischauerElectronically coded latching device for locks
Classifications
U.S. Classification361/171, 307/10.2, 361/189
International ClassificationG07C9/00
Cooperative ClassificationG07C9/00666
European ClassificationG07C9/00E12B