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Publication numberUS3766351 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 16, 1973
Filing dateJun 23, 1972
Priority dateJun 23, 1971
Also published asDE2230326A1, DE2230326B2, DE2230326C3
Publication numberUS 3766351 A, US 3766351A, US-A-3766351, US3766351 A, US3766351A
InventorsCryer E
Original AssigneeLucas Industries Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electric switch module
US 3766351 A
Abstract
A switch module comprising a body having on opposite sides thereof an electrical plug and an electrical socket. The plug and socket have corresponding electrical contacts and the plug is so dimensioned that it can mate with a socket which is substantially identical to the socket on the other face of the body of the switch module. A switch mechanism is incorporated in the body of the switch module and is capable of completing connections between selected contacts. There are inter-connections between corresponding contacts on the plug and the socket which are not, in use, connected by the switch mechanism.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Cryer 1 ELECTRIC SWITCH MODULE [75] Inventor: Edward Cryer,I-Iigham,Nr.

Burnley, England [73] Assignee: Joseph Lucas (Industries) Limited, Birmingham, England [22] Filed: June 23, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 265,692

[30] Foreign Application Priority Data Primary Examiner-David Smith, Jr. Attorney-John C. Holman et al.

[4 Oct. 16, 1973 571 ABSTRACT A switch module comprising a body having on opposite sides thereof an electrical plug and an electrical socket. The plug and socket have corresponding electrical contacts and the plug is so dimensioned that it can mate with a socket which is substantially identical to the socket on the other face of the body of the switch module. A switch mechanism is incorporated in the body of the switch module and is capable of completing connections between selected contacts. There are inter-connections between corresponding contacts on the plug and the socket which are not, in use, connected by the switch mechanism.

face opposite the first switch a plug substantially identical to the plug of the first switch. The second switch having interconnections between selected contacts on the plug and socket respectively and a further socket adapted to be received by the plug on the second switch to provide external electrical connections for the assembly.

2 Claims, 1 Drawing Figure 1 ELECTRIC SWITCH MODULE This invention relates to a switch module which can be assembled in tandem with similar switch modules.

A switch module according to the invention comprises a body having on opposite sides thereof an electrical plug and an electrical socket, said plug and socket having a plurality of corresponding contacts, the plug being dimensioned so as to be receivable by a socket which is substantially identical to the socket on said other face, a switch mechanism in the body operable to complete connections between selected contacts, and inter-connections between corresponding contacts on the plug and socket which are not, in use, connected by the switch mechanism.

The invention further resides in a switch assembly for mounting on the steering column of a vehicle, comprising first and second switches having bores through which, in use, said column extends, said first switch having on one side thereof a plug coaxial with said bore, said second switch having on one side thereof a socket in which the plug on the first switch is engageable and on an opposite side thereof a plug substantially identical to the plug of the first switch, said second switch having interconnections between selected contacts on the plug and socket respectively, and a further socket adapted to be received by the plug on the second switch to provide external electrical connections for the assembly.

An example of the invention willnow be described with reference to the accompanying drawings which shows, somewhat diagrammatically, a longitudinal section through a switch arrangement. The arrangement includes switches 10, 11, 12, 13 which are arranged in tandem on a steering column 14 of a road vehicle. Each of the switches 10, 11, 12, 13 has an insulating body which is generally in the formof a disc having an axial bore 15 through which the column 14 extends. Each switch body has a pair of parallel, axially directed faces 16, 17.

Extending from face 17 of switch is a spigot 18 of the same material as the body. Spigot 18 supports a plurality of Contact strips 19 which extend axially of spigot 18 to provide a plug.

Contact strips 19 extend within the body of switch 10, and selected ones of these contacts are interconnectible by a switch mechanism, shown generally at 20, within the switch 10.

Switch 11, abuts switch 10, adjacent faces 17, 16 of the respective switches l0, 11 being in contact. Face 17 of switch 11 has a spigot 21 extending therefrom and supporting contact strips 22, providing a plug identical to the plug of switch 10. Within the body of switch 11 is a switch mechanism 23 operable to interconnect selected ones of the contacts 22. The remainder of the contacts 22 are cranked within switch 1 1 and lie on the inside of an insulating sleeve 24 so as to provide a socket capable of receiving the plug of switch 10, the said remainder of contacts 22 engaging associated contacts l9.

Switches 12, 13 are generally similar to switch 11. The switch mechanisms of switches 10, 11 and 12, however, are provided with operating elements in the form of levers 10a, 11a, 12a which extend generally rathe push-push type, operated by a button 130. Selected contacts of switches 12, 13 are inter-connectible by the associated switch mechanisms, the others of the contacts extending through the switches, as described in connection with switch 11.

Surrounding the column 14 below switch 13 is a socket 25 adapted to receive the downwardly extending plug of switch 13. Socket 25 has contacts 26 to which cables 27 are connected to provide external connections for the switch assembly. Socket 25 has a body of resilient plastics material having three equispaced retaining tongues 28 which engage in complementary recesses in switch 13. Switches 10, 11 and 12 are also provided with recesses in which tongues 28 of the adjacent switch can engage to physically interconnect the switches. The socket 25 is secured to the column 14 and the switches 10, 11 and 12 are subsequently assembled on to the column 14, being supported and located by the socket 25.

It will be seen therefore, that any of switches 10, 11 12, 13 can be assembled onto shaft 14 either alone or in combination with any others of the switches, the necessary connections being made to socket 25 via the aligned contacts of the switches. Furthermore, with the exception of switch 10 which when fitted is always at the top, the switches may be arranged in any order on shaft 14.

In a typical switch arrangement, switch 10 is associated with direction indicators, switch 11 with lighting, switch 12 with windscreen wipers and switch 13 with a hazard warning system.

I claim:

1. A switch assembly for mounting on the steering column of a vehicle, the assembly comprising a first switch unit having a bore extending therethrough capable of receiving a vehicle steering column, a firstpart of an electrical plug and socket connector carried by said first switch unit and accessible at one side of said unit, a second switch unit having extending therethrough a bore within which the steering column can be received, a second part of said electrical plug and socket connector carried by said second switch unit and mating with said first part of the connector carried by the first switch unit, a first part of a second electrical plug and socket connector carried by said second switch unit and accessible on the side of the second switch unit remote from the first switch unit, and, a second part of the second plug and socket connector mating with said first part of the second plug and socket connector carried by said second switch unit, said second part of said second connector unit providing external electrical connections to the second switch unit, and also providing external electrical connections to the first switch unit by way of conductors extending within the second switch unit from the first part of the second plug and socket connector to the second part of the first plug and socket connector.

2. A switch assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein said first and second plug and socket connector units are coaxial with said bores of said switch units, said first parts of said first and second connectors being plug parts, and said second parts of said plug and socket dially of the column 14. Switch 13 has a mechanism of COI'II'ICCtOl'S being connector parts.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2340356 *Jul 23, 1941Feb 1, 1944Protectall Motor Signal IncDirection indicator switch
US3324260 *Oct 1, 1965Jun 6, 1967Gen ElectricSwitched outlet adapter
US3530266 *May 31, 1968Sep 22, 1970Vif Vitaloni S A S Di VitaloniSwitching control apparatus for vehicle direction indicators and main lights with oscillatory disc contacts
IT361311A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4144425 *Aug 11, 1975Mar 13, 1979Swf-Spezialfabrik Fur Autozubehor Gustave Rau GmbhSteering column switch mounting
US4196323 *Sep 16, 1977Apr 1, 1980American Optical CorporationCombined input connector and lead selection switch for electrical signal processing apparatus
US4336428 *Jun 11, 1979Jun 22, 1982Firma Leopold KostalSteering column assembly switch for automotive vehicles
US4379954 *Oct 21, 1980Apr 12, 1983Kabushiki Kaisha Tokai Rika Denki SeisakushoLever operated plural switch assembly
US5581061 *Nov 4, 1994Dec 3, 1996Eaton Controls Gmbh & Co. KgMotor vehicle steering column switch
US5747763 *Jun 26, 1996May 5, 1998Niles Parts Co., Ltd.Fitting structure of rotary connector and switch
US5780796 *Apr 25, 1997Jul 14, 1998Niles Parts Co., Ltd.Mounting construction of a combination switch
US5977494 *Aug 19, 1996Nov 2, 1999Yazaki CorporationSymmetrically mounted switches on steering wheel column body including wiring connection and control unit
US6384351Mar 23, 2000May 7, 2002Valeo Electrical Systems, Inc.Switch apparatus for actuating a plurality of electrical circuits
US6396011Mar 23, 2000May 28, 2002Valeo Electrical Systems, Inc.Multi-function switch lever apparatus
US6403899Mar 23, 2000Jun 11, 2002Valeo Electrical Systems, Inc.Vehicle fog lamp interlock switch apparatus
US6444929Mar 23, 2000Sep 3, 2002Valeo Electrical Systems, Inc.Multi-function stalk switch with zero backlash drive gear pair
US6534733Sep 14, 2001Mar 18, 2003Valeo Electrical Systems, Inc.Stalk switch apparatus with biased latch and return components to prevent damage
Classifications
U.S. Classification200/307, 200/51.00R, 200/61.27
International ClassificationB60Q1/14, H01H19/64, H01H19/00
Cooperative ClassificationB60Q1/1461, H01H19/64
European ClassificationH01H19/64, B60Q1/14M2C