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Publication numberUS3760320 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 18, 1973
Filing dateMar 21, 1972
Priority dateMar 25, 1971
Also published asCA943206A1
Publication numberUS 3760320 A, US 3760320A, US-A-3760320, US3760320 A, US3760320A
InventorsNishioka M, Oka S
Original AssigneeMatsushita Electric Ind Co Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Device for simultaneously controlling a plurality of variable resistors
US 3760320 A
Abstract
A bearing having a spherical bearing surface and made of a synthetic resin by molding or the like is attached to an opening formed at the center of the top wall of a casing having four side walls. The bearing rotatably receives a spherical body having a control shaft which extends through the center of the spherical body and is securely fixed thereto. Variable resistors are attached to the side walls of the casing in such a manner that their rotary shafts may extend into the casing. Each of the opposed pairs of the variable resistors are interconnected with a bow-shaped elastic connecting member having an axially elongated slot. The lower end of the control shaft is fitted into the axially elongated slots of the connecting members which cross each other, but do not interfere with each other. As the control shaft is rotated or inclined in any direction, two or four variable resistors may be simultaneously controlled.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Wilson 338/128 D United States Patent 1 11 1 3,760,320 Oka et al. Sept. 18, 1973 DEVICE FOR SIMULTANEOUSLY 3,308,675 3/1967 Jonsson 74/471 XY CONTROLLING A PLURALITY 01 2,201,686 5/1940 Marsten.... 338/174 X 2,984,720 5/1961 Fischer 74/471 XY UX VARIABLE RESISTQRS 2,762,234 9/1956 Dodd 74/471 XY [75] Inventors: Shunzo Olta, Osaka; Matsuo 3,365,975 1/1968 Hathaway 338/128 X Nishioka, Nishinomiya-shi, both of Japan Primary Examiner-Bernard A. Gilheany Assistant Examiner-D. A. Tone [73] Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., 4

Ltd, Kadomwshi osakaffu Japan Attorney Milton J. Wayne et al. [22] Filed: Mar. 21, 1972 I [57] ABSTRACT [211 App]. No; 236,681 A bearing having a spherical bearing surface and made of a synthetic resin by molding or the like is attached to an opening formed at the center of the top wall of fl Application Data a casing having four side walls. The bearing rotatably Mar. 25, 1971 Japan 46/21457 receives a spherical body having a control shaft which Mar. 25, 1971 Japan 46/21458 extends through the center of the spherical body and is Mar. 26, I971 Japan 46/22058 securely fixed thereto. Variable resistors are attached Mar. 26, 1971 Japan... 46/22059 to the side walls of the casing in such a manner that I their rotary shafts may extend into the casing. Each of [52] US. Cl. 338/128, 74/471 XY, 287/52.02, the opposed pairs of the variable resistors are intercon- 1 I 287/53 H nected with a bow-shaped elastic connecting member [5 1] Int. Cl. H0lc 9/00 having an axially elongated slot. The lower end of the [58] Field of Search 338/128; 74/471 XY; control shaft is fitted into the axially elongated slots of 287/52.02,' 53 R, 53 H the connecting members which cross each other, but v do not interfere with each other. As the control shaft [56] References Cited is rotated or inclined in any direction, two or four vari- TE STATES T able resistors may be simultaneously controlled.

y X 6 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures PATENTEDSEP 1 81m sum 3 0f 4 FIG.

FIG. 9

DEVICE FOR SIMULTANEOUSLY CONTROLLING A PLURALITY OF VARIABLE RESISTORS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to generally a device for controlling variable resistors and more particularly a device for simultaneously controlling a plurality of variable resistors.

In the prior art devices for simultaneously controlling a plurality of variable resistors, the rotary shafts of a pair of variable resistors which are attached to a pair of opposed walls of a first casing are fixed to a pair of opposed walls of a second casing respectively, and another pair of variable resistors are attached to the other pair of opposed side walls of the second casing. A control shaft is fixed to the rotary shafts of the other pair of variable resistors. The prior art devices of the type described therefore comprise a large number of components, and it is difficult to make them compact in size and are expensive to manufacture.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Briefly stated, a device for controlling simultaneously a plurality of variable resistors in accordance with the present invention comprises a box-shaped casing having a top wall and side walls, a plastic-molded bearing having a spherical bearing surface, and attached to an opening formed in the top wall of the casing, a spherical body which is rotatably received by the bearing and has a control shaft which extends throughthe center of the sphericalbody and is securely attached thereto, variable resistors attached to the side walls of the casing respectively in such a manner that the shafts of the variable resistors may extend into the casing through the side walls thereof, and bow-shaped elastic connecting members each of which is provided with an axially elongated slot and interconnects the rotary shafts of a pair of opposed variable resistors, the lower end of the control shaft being fitted into the axially elongated slots of the connecting members. When the control shaft is rotated or inclined to a desired direction, two or four variable resistors may be simultaneously controlled. Because of the connecting members of the present invention, the device can be made extremely simple in construction.

According to one embodiment of the present invention, the secure connection between the rotary shafts of the variable resistors and the connecting members can be made in a very simple manner because a cutout portion at the end of each rotary shaft is fitted into an opening at each end of the connecting members which is formed when an ear is struck out, and is securely held in position by this ear.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, a stop member is formed integral with the bearing to extend downwardly in order to limit the angular movement of the control shaft. Therefore, the maximum angle of inclination of the control shaft relative to the vertical direction may be uniformly limited in all directions, and the control operation may be greatly facilitated.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, the end portion of the control shaft is fitted with aninsulating tube having a smooth surface in order to provide electrical insulation between the control shaft and the connecting members and to ensure smooth sliding contact therebetween. Alternatively,

the connecting members may be provided with insulating coatings.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, the control shaft is electrically connected to the connecting members so that the noise which tends to be produced in operation may be prevented.

The above and other features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following description of the preferred embodiments thereof taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side view of a first embodiment of a device for simultaneously controlling a plurality of variable resistors in accordance with the present invention;

- FIG. 2 is a bottom view thereof;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view thereof, on an enlarged scale;

FIGS. 4 and 5 are perspective views used for explanation of the connection between a connecting member and a rotary shaft of a variable resistor;

FIGS. 6 and 7 are perspective views used for explanation of the connection between the lower end of the control shaft and the connecting members;

FIGS. 8 and 9 are perspective views illustrating a variation of the connection between the control shaft and the connecting members;

7 FIG. 10 is a side view of a variation of the present invention in which the control shaft is electrically connected to the connecting members;

FIG. 11 is a bottom view thereof; and

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary sectional view thereof on an enlarged scale.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to FIGS. 1-5, the first embodiment of the present invention will be described. A box-shaped casing 1, has an open bottom and an opening 2 therethrough to which are attached with rivets S respective upper and lower bearings 3 and 4 which are made of a synthetic resin by molding and which have spherical bearing surfaces. As best shown in FIG. 3, a spherical body 8 having a control shaft 7 extending axially thereof is rotatably received by these bearings 3 and 4. A seat member 9 is formed integral with the lower bearing 4 to extend downwardly in order to limit the angular movement of the control shaft 7. Variable resistors l0, 11, 12 and 13 of the conventional type are attached to the side walls of the casing 1 as best shown in FIG. 2. Ears 18-21 struck out of shielding disks 14-17 of the variable resistors 10-13 are fitted into slots (not shown) of the side walls of the casing and are folded back in order to securely attach the variable resistors 10-13 to the casing l. Shafts 22, 23, 24 and 25 of the variable resistors 10-13 which are normally made of an insulating material are extended into the casing 1 through holes (not shown) of the side walls, and, as best shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the end portions of the shafts 22-25 are cut out as indicated by cutout 36 for shaft 22 and cutout 38 for shaft 24 (see FIG. 2). The pairs of shafts 22-25 which are in opposed relation are interconnected with connecting members 26 and 27 as best shown in FIG. 2 which are made of an elastic material and are similar in construction so that it will suffice to explain only one of them. As best shown in FIG. 5 both ends of the connecting member 27 have ears (31 is not shown) struck out therefrom with one ear 28 struck out to form a receiving hole 28a, and, as best shown in FIG. 4, the cutout portion 36 of the shaft 22 is fitted into the receiving hole 28a, and the ear 28 is pressed against the cutout portion 36 in order to securely fix the shaft 22 of the variable resistor to the connecting member 27. Thus as best shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the first pair of opposing shafts 22 and 24 and the second pair of opposing shafts 23 and 25 are interconnected with the bow-shaped connecting members 27 and 26, respectively, which cross each other but do not interfere with the movement of the other member as shown in FIG. 2. These connecting members 26 and 27 have axially elongated slots 32 and 33 respectively as best shown in FIG. 2, and a lower portion 34 of the control shaft 7 is fitted into these elongated slots 32 and 33 as show most clearly in FIG. 6. The lower end portion 34 of the control shaft 7 is fitted with an insulating tubular member 35 (see FIG. 6) in order to provide the electrical insulation between the two connecting members 26 and 27.

Next the mode of operation will be described. Since the spherical body 8 is rotatably received by the bearings 3 and 4, the free angular movement of the control shaft 7 is permitted. Since they lower portion 34 of the control shaft 7 is fitted into the axial elongated slots 32 and 33 of the connecting members 26 and 27, as the control shaft 7 is rotated, the lower portion 34 thereof slides in the axially elongated slots so that the connecting members 26 and 27 may rotate about the axes of the shafts 22-25 ofv the variable resistors 10-13, thereby causing the shafts 22-25 to rotate. Therefore, it is readily seen that when the control shaft 7 is rotated, all variable resistors 10-13 may simultaneously change their magnitudes of resistance. For example, when it is desired to change the magnitudes of resistance of the two variable resistors 10 and 12 or 11 and 13, one may rotate the control shaft 7 in the plane perpendicular to the common axis of the shafts 22 and 24 of the resistors 10 and 12 or 23 and 25 of the resistors 11 and 13 so that the lower portion 34 of the control shaft 7 may slide only in the axially elongated slot 32 or 33 of the connecting member 26 and 27 and may cause the connecting member 27 or 26 to rotate thereby rotating the shafts 22 and 24 or 23 and 25 simultaneously.

According tothe present invention, the control shaft 7 is interconnected to the shafts 22-25 of the variable resistors 10-13 through the bow-shaped elastic connecting members 26, 27 so that the connection between the control shaft 7 and the shafts 22-25 of the variable resistors 10-13 may be greatly simplified.

The connection between the connecting members 26, 27 and the shafts 22-25 of the variable resistors 10-13 with screws is undesirable because a number of components is increased and, the assembly becomes complex, and an additional machining step for providing tapped holes in the shafts of the variable resistors is required. However, according to the present invention, the cutout portions of the shafts of the variable resistors are fitted into the holes of the connecting members 26, 27, such as cutout 36 fitted into hole 28a. Further the ears or struck-out portions are pressed against the cutout portions, such as ear 28 pressed against cutout 36, so that the secure connection between the shafts of the variable resistors and the connecting members may be greatly simplified. Since it is not required to provide tapped holes in the shafts of the variable resistors, the machining of the shafts and the assembly can be greatly simplified, and the cost can be substantially reduced.

In the prior art devices, a stop member is attached to the root of the control shaft where the latter contacts the spherical body in order to limit the angular movement of the control shaft. That is, the angular movement of the control shaft is limited because the stop member contacts the side walls of the casing. However, the number of components is increased, and it is difficult to attain the required dimensional accuracies in assembly. Furthermore, the steps in the assembly are increased.

However, according to the present invention, the angular movement of the control shaft 7 is limited by the seat member 9 which is formed integral with the bearing 4 which rotatably supports the spherical body from which the control shaft extends. Therefore, unlike the prior art devices, the provision of the stop member can be eliminated. Furthermore, since the control shaft is supported and limited in angular movement by the seat member formed integral with bearing, the accuracy in angular movement of the control shaft can be attained so that the error between the magnitudes of resistance of the opposed variable resistors can be minimized. Moreover, the number of assembly steps can be reduced so that a labor saving can be attained.

According to the present invention, the insulating member is fitted over the lower portion of the control shaft in order to provide electrical insulation between the two connecting members 26, 27 and between the control shaft 7 and the connecting members so that noise may be minimized in operation.

, In one variation of the present invention, instead of fitting the insulating member over the lower portion 34 of the control shaft 7, the connecting members 26 and 27 may be provided with insulating coatings 40 as shown in FIGS. 8 and 9.

In another variation of the present invention, as shown in FIGS. 10-12, a reduced-diameter portion 41 is formed in the control shaft, and is fitted with a coiled spring 42 whose one end is fixed to the control shaft 7 and whose the other end is brought into close contact with the connecting members 26 and 27. Therefore, the control shaft 7 and the connecting members 26, 27 which are made of metal may be always electrically connected to each other so that the noise produced when the control shaft makes contact with the connecting members or are disconnected therefrom can be prevented.

We claim:

1. In a device for the simultaneous control of a plurality of variable resistors of the type having a casing, first and second pairs of variable resistors mounted on the casing with their rotary shafts directed into the casing, the resistors of each pair of resistors having axially aligned shafts, a separate slotted bow-shaped connecting member extending between the shafts of each pair of resistors whereby the bow-shaped members together form a crossed bridge, and a control member for the device including a control shaft mounted in a spherical bearing and extending into the slots of the connecting members at their intersection; the improvement wherein the end of each of said rotary shafts extending into the casing is cut out, each end of each connecting member having a hole therein shaped to fit over the end portion of a rotary shaft and an ear extending from a side of the hole therein, said connecting members being mounted on said ends of the aligned rotary shafts with the rotary shafts extending into the hole at the respective end of the respective connecting member and the ear of the connecting member pressed against the cut out portion of the respective shaft.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein said holes are substantially D-shaped with said ears extending from the straight edges of the respective holes.

3. The device of claim 2 wherein said ears extend from the edges of the respective holes in a direction toward the ends of the respective rotary shafts.

I trol shaft.

6. The device of claim 1, comprising an insulating coating on each connecting member adjacent the sides of the respective slot, said insulating coating being positioned to provide electrical insulation between the connecting members and said control shaft.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3918021 *Jun 17, 1974Nov 4, 1975Matsushita Electric Ind Co LtdDevice for simultaneously controlling a plurality of variable resistors
US3939451 *Mar 16, 1973Feb 17, 1976Alps Electric Co., Ltd.Balance control for use in 4-channel stereophonic system
US3942148 *May 29, 1974Mar 2, 1976Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, LimitedDevice for simultaneously controlling a plurality of variable resistors
US4042902 *Jan 20, 1976Aug 16, 1977Firma Simprop-Electronic Walter ClaasApparatus for controlling two crossed proportional adjusting devices by means of a single control stick
US4500867 *Jun 11, 1984Feb 19, 1985Nec Kansai, Ltd.Joystick controller using magnetosensitive elements with bias magnets
US4587510 *Oct 19, 1983May 6, 1986Wico CorporationAnalog joystick controller
US5252970 *Jan 30, 1991Oct 12, 1993David BaronowskyErgonomic multi-axis controller
US6476794 *Jan 29, 1998Nov 5, 2002Yazaki CorporationSystem switch
US6636200Jun 26, 2002Oct 21, 2003Yazaki CorporationSystem switch
US20100147099 *Dec 15, 2009Jun 17, 2010Coactive Technologies, Inc.Device for controlling machines and vehicles
EP0465680A1 *Jan 31, 1991Jan 15, 1992Kabushiki Kaisha Komatsu SeisakushoOperating lever device
Classifications
U.S. Classification338/128, 403/244, 403/383, 74/471.0XY
International ClassificationG05G9/047, G05G9/00
Cooperative ClassificationG05G2009/04707, G05G9/04785, G05G2009/04748, G05G9/047
European ClassificationG05G9/047, G05G9/047S