US 3769870 A
This invention describes an improved caroling bell system in which the bell striker is driven by a rotary drive motor, and the striker element is a mass supported on a flexible element, which is mounted coaxially with the shaft of the drive motor.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ Nov. 6, 1973 CAROLING BELLS  Inventor: Alvin J. Huber, 5738 E. 61 Pl.,
22 Filed: Jan. 12, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 323,273
Primary Examiner-Richard B. Wilkinson Assistant Examiner-Lawrence R. Franklin Att0rney-James R. Head et al.
 ABSTRACT This invention describes an improved caroling bell system in which the bell striker is driven by a rotary drive motor, and the striker element is a mass supported on a flexible element, which is mounted coaxially with the shaft of the drive motor.
The drive motor is conveniently mounted axially of the bell, the shaft being introduced through an opening in the closed end of the bell with the striker inside the bell.
The striker can be controlled by a manual keyboard, by an automatic contact making device, etc. However, the preferred arrangement is to use an electrical musical signal including a plurality of frequency components. A plurality of band pass filters are connected in parallel to the electrical signal. Each band pass filter is connected to a separate bell. The natural frequency of each bell is different and is within the pass band of the corresponding filter. Thus, when a musical selection is provided as the electrical signal, the filters will sound their bells whenever the musical tone includes the frequency component covered by the band pass of that particular filter. Thus, the music will be reproduced by the bells in accordance with the electrical signal.
10 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PAIENTEUuuv 5 I975 SHEET 10F 2 MANUAL PLAYER AUTOMATIC PLAYER MusIc SOURCE (RECORD PLAYER ETC.)
SHEET 2 OF 2 SWITCH BELL NO.I
- BAND PASS FILTER SW'TCH BELL NO.2 BAND PASS FILTER SW'TCH BELL No.3 BAND PASS FILTER 62N 4m 66 f SWITCH BELL NO. N
BAND PASS FILTER 1 CAROLING BELLS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention is in the field of electrical musical instruments. More particularly, it is in the field of caroling bells which have improved sound quality and improved electrical control means.
In the prior art there are a number of musical bell systems described which generally comprise a plurality of bells, each having its own striker system which generally comprises an electromagnetically operated bar carrying'a mass so that when a signal is applied to the magnet, the mass will be caused to strike the bell.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is the primary object of this invention to provide a multiple bell carillon which has improved sound generating properties and which can be palyed in accordance with electrical signals of a musical selection, each of the bells being tied to this source of electrical signals through a band pass filter which is wide enough to cover the natural frequency of the bell.
These and other objects are realized and the limitations of the priorart are overcome in this invention by using a rotary, motor driven striker means which instead of providing simply a single impulsive striking of the bell, provides a continuing series of mechanical contacts so that the tone of the bell is continually reinforced so long as the motor drive continues. The striker means can be mounted inside or outside of the bell and can be introduced through the closed end or the opened end of the bell itself. The striker element comprises a flexible support which is fastened to the shaft of the drive motor and a mass of selected size on the end of the element. The element, for example, can be a simple linear wire or small diameter rod mounted axially of the shaft so that as the motor turns, the centrifugal force causes the mass to move outwardly against the surface of the bell and provides a continuous repetition of the striking effort. If the striker is outside of the bell, of course, it can make only one strike per revolution. On the other hand, when it is mounted inside the bell symmetrically on the axis of the bell, it can make a plurality of strikes for each revolution of the motor shaft.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS These and other objects of this invention and a better understanding of the principles and details of the invention will be evident from thefollowing description taken in conjunction with the appended drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 represents one embodiment of this invention in which a plurality of bells are electrically driven from an automatic player or from a manual player.
FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 indicate various arrangements and types of striker elements.
FIG. 5 illustrates a combination ofa bell and a decorative light.
FIG. 6 illustrates an automatic type player for generating the electrical signals to control the bells.
FIG. 7 illustrates in block diagram a plurality of band pass electrical filters connected to a source of musical signals for controlling the plurality of bells.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings, in which FIG. 1 represents, in general arrangement, a plurality of bells 10A, 10B...10N connected by electrical wires 12A, 12B...12N to a manual player 16, or to an automatic player 14, which will be described more fully in connection with FIG. 6.
FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 illustrate in greater detail the construction of the bell and of the striking means. In FIG. 2 the bell 18 is shown in cross section supported by means 20, which is well known in the art. A rotary drive means or motor 22 is mounted on the top of the bell and its shaft 24 protrudes through the bell into the interior thereof. There is a striker element 26 connected axially to the shaft 24. The element 26 carries a mass of selected size 28 on its outer end. The striker element 26 is shown in FIG. 2 as a tightly coiled small diameter helical spring which normally stays in a linear arrangement shown in dotted outline as 26 with mass 28 extending along the axis of the motor 22 and of the bell 18. When the motor is rotated as by connecting a voltage across the leads 32, the motor shaft will rotate carrying the element 26 with it and since the mass is never exactly centered on the axis, it will be urged radially outwardly by the centrifugal force of the rotation until it strikes the inner surface of the bell 18, causing the bell to resonate. As the motor continues to rotate, the striker ball 28 will continue to strike the surface of the bell, making a continuous oscillation of the bell so long as voltage is supplied by the leads 32 to the motor 22.
Also shown in FIG. 2 is a frame 30 which is attached to the motor 22 which supports a second motor 22A with its axis coaxial with the axis of the bell but with the flexible element 26A inserted through the open end of the bell. Here again, as the motor rotates, the striker ball 28A will be driven outwardly-until it hits the surface of the bell.
It is well known that in striking the bell 18 at different positions along the length of the bell, there will be generated, in different magnitudes, multiple harmonics of the natural frequency of the bell so that the tone will vary depending on the position of the striker element. It is possible, therefore not only to change the position of the striker element in the bell, but also to have a plurality of motor driven striker elements arranged in the bell, both inside and outside, so that they can be used singly, or together, to provide multiple tones for the same natural frequency bell.
FIG. 3 illustrates how it is possible to mount the drive motor 22B on the outside of the bell so that the motor is attached by bracket 49 to the same support 48 that holds the bell 18. When the shaft rotates, the striker element 288 will be deflected outwardly so that in its rotation it will contact and strike the outer surface of the bell 18. By this means as in the case of FIG. 2, it is possible to provide a plurality of striker means on the outside of the bell, each at different longitudinal positions along the bell. It is envisioned also that the striker balls 28 can be made of different size. Also, they can be made of different materials, some of which are of different metals and some of which might be of such materials as hard rubber or other elastic materials, to give a softer, less metallic sound. By having a plurality of striker means on each bell it is therefore possible to have a plurality of different tones generated by each bell.
FIG. 4 illustrates another type of flexible element which is essentially an elastic wire formed in a spiral arrangement so that as the motor rotates the striker mass 54 will be thrown outwardly in contact with the bell.
FIG. 5 illustrates how it is possible to use one or more lamps 46 in conjunction with the bell as a decorative element. The lamps can be connected directly in parallel with the striker means so that whenever the striker is powered the lamp will be lighted and so on.
The striker means 22 of the bell can be powered from a source of DC. or AC. voltage, each bell being controlled by one of a plurality of switches. These can be manually controlled switches which are connected. to a plurality of keys as indicated schematically in FIG. 1. Or as shown in FIG. 6 they can be a plurality of metallic contacts on a moving sheet 38 or drum, which contact a plurality of flexible electrical strips to close a corresponding circuit through a battery 36 to supply power to the striker means.
The preferred electrical system for driving the striker means on the bell comprises, as shown in FIG. 7, a plurality of band pass filters 62A, 62B...62N connected through switches 64A, 64B...64N to a plurality of bells 66A, 66 B...66N. The band pass filters are generally of relatively narrow pass band and the preferably centered about the natural frequency of the bells to which they are connected. The output of a music player, such as a record player or radio signal, etc. is connected in parallel to each of the band pass filters. Out of this electrical signal which has a plurality of different frequency components, the filters select those signals at certain times which correspond to the pass band of the filter, and correspondingly to the frequency of the bell. The output of the pass band filter is amplified to provide power to control the striker on the corresponding bell. By this means each of the filters is a selector for detecting in the composite musical signal, the signals corresponding to the frequency of their specific bells, and for striking the bell each time the frequency occurs in the composite signal. By this means, therefore, with a proper system of filters and bells, the musical signal can be reproduced in terms of the tones of the bells in.
proper timing, intensity, etc.
An improved system for driving and sounding a plurality of bells has been described and au improved system for controlling thestriking elements of the bells has likewise been described. By this means a plurality of bells can be made to duplicate a musical composition with great fidelity.
While the invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is manifest that many changes may be made in the details of construction and the arrangement of components. It is understood that the invention is not to be limited to the specific embodiment set forth herein by way of exemplifying the invention,
but the invention is to be limited only by the scope of the attached claim or claims, including the full range of equivalency to which each element or step thereof is entitled.
What is claimed:
1. In a musical instrument, including a plurality of bells tuned to different natural frequencies, each bell having independent striking means, and including electrical circuit .means to selectively apply electrical power to the striking means of each bell, the improvement in striking means, comprising:
a. rotary drive means with axis of rotation in selected relation to the axis of symmetry of said bell; and
b. striker means comprising a mass on the end of a flexible element connected to the shaft of said rotary drive means;
whereby as said drive means rotates, said striker means will be thrown radially outwardly into striking contact with said bell.
2. The instrument as in claim 1 in which the axis of rotation of said rotary drive means is coaxial with the axis of symmetry of said bell.
3. The instrument as in claim 2 in which the shaft supporting said flexible element passes through an axial opening in the closed end of the bell.
4.'The instrument as in claim 2 in which the shaft supporting said flexible element is inserted into the bell through the open end thereof. 7 H
5. The instrument as in claim 1 in which said flexible element is a flexible wire-like linear element.
6. The instrument as in claim 1 in which said flexible element is a tightly wound helical spring of small diameter.
7. The instrument as in claim 1 in which said flexible element is a spiral shaped flexible element positioned in a plane perpendicular to the axis of rotation.
8. The instrument as in claim 1 including on' at least one bell a plurality of striker elements placed at different positions on the bell.
9. The instrument as in claim 8 in which each of the striker balls on the plurality of striker elements is different.
10. In amusical instrument comprising a plurality of bells tuned to different natural frequencies, each bell having independent striking means, the improvement in electrical power means to operate said striking means, comprising:
a. a source of audio frequency electrical musical signals having a plurality of different frequency components;
b. a plurality of filters connected in parallel to said source of signals, each of said filters covering a different band of frequencies; and I c. the outputs of said filters connected separately to a plurality of striker means on a corresponding plurality of bells, the band pass of each filter including the natural frequency of the bell connected to' it.