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Publication numberUS3772484 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 13, 1973
Filing dateSep 11, 1972
Priority dateSep 11, 1972
Publication numberUS 3772484 A, US 3772484A, US-A-3772484, US3772484 A, US3772484A
InventorsRoeser J
Original AssigneeRoeser J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Dual acting push button toggle switch
US 3772484 A
Abstract
A dual function electrical switch which can be operated either as a three position toggle switch or as a push button switch. The switch includes an elongated plunger-equipped actuator or operating shaft mounted within a casing, a toggle lever blade rockably mounted within the casing below the plunger, and a pair of switch levers pivotally mounted within the casing on opposite sides of the actuator. Each of the levers are engageable with one or more terminals which are mounted within the casing and extend outwardly therefrom. A pair of spring-biased plungers are carried by a cross shaft extending transversely through the actuator shaft and push the switch levers into electrical contact with their associated terminals when the actuator shaft is depressed longitudinally downwardly. When the actuator shaft is not depressed, it is pivotable out of its centered position to operate the toggle lever blade. Abutment means carried by the actuator shaft are cooperable with an opening in the top wall of the casing to prevent toggling action when the actuator shaft is depressed and to prevent push button action when the actuator shaft is pivoted. A flexible sealing boot hermetically seals the interior of the casing during both toggling and push button action.
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United States Patent [191 Roeser Nov. 13, 1973 [541 DUAL ACTING PUSH BUTTON TOGGLE SWITCH [76] Inventor: John 0. Roeser, 414 W. Victoria Ln., Arlington Heights, 111.

Filed: Sept. 11, 1972 Appl. No.: 287,835

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 7/1941 Krieger 200/67. G 10/1943 Krieger 200/67 G 5/l968 McCann 200/6 A 2/1972 Rayner 200/6 A Primary ExaminerDavid Smith, Jr. Atl0rneyRobert D. Silver [57] ABSTRACT A dual function electrical switch which can be operated either as a three position toggle switch or as a push button switch. The switch includes an elongated plunger-equipped actuator or operating shaft mounted within a casing, a toggle lever blade rockably mounted within the casing below the plunger, and a pair of switch levers pivotally mounted within the casing on opposite sides of the actuator. Each of the levers are engageable with one or more terminals which are mounted within the casing and extend outwardly therefrom. A pair of spring-biased plungers are carried by a cross shaft extending transversely through the actuator shaft and push the switch levers into electrical contact with their associated terminals when the actuator shaft is depressed longitudinally downwardly. When the actuator shaft is not depressed, it is pivotable out of its centered position to operate the toggle lever blade. Abutment means carried by the actuator shaft are cooperable with an opening in the top wall of the casing to prevent toggling action when the actuator shaft is depressed and to prevent push button action when the actuator shaft is pivoted. A flexible sealing boot hermetically seals the interior of the casing during both toggling and push button action.

13Claims, 14 Drawing Figures DUAL ACTING PUSH BUTTON TOGGLE SWITCH BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY This invention relates to electrical switches, and

' more particularly, to an electrical switch which can be operated both as a toggle switch and as a push button switch.

Both toggle switches and push button switches have been available for some time. However, I do not believe that any of these switches have a single operating shaft which provides the dual function of both a toggle switch and a push button switch.

The invention provides a switch with a single operating shaft which has a dual function the switch can be operated either as a toggle switch or a push button switch. The push button function and the toggle function are available separately from the other, and only one function can be obtained at a time. Cooperating locking means on the operating shaft and the casing prevent toggling action when the operating shaft is pushed and prevent push button action when the operating shaft is pivoted to actuate the toggle mechanism. All operations of the switch are momentary, and the operating shaft always returns to a centered, raised position after each opertion. Since the switch uses only a single operating shaft for both the toggle and the push button function, the switch can be used in place of two separate switches. The circuit for the toggle switch is single-pole double-throw, center off, and the circuit for the push button switch is double pole normally open. Even though the switch offers a multitude of functions with three poles, the switch is very compact.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The invention will be explained in conjunction with an illustrative embodiment shown in the accompanying drawing, in which FIG. 1 is a longitudinalsectional view of the electrical switch with the operating or actuating shaft in the normal position, this view being taken along the line 1--l of FIG. 3;

FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 showing the switch being operated as a push button switch and the operating shaft in a depressed position;

FIG. 3 is a longitudinalsectional view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a view similarto FIG. 2 showing the electrical switch being operated as a toggle switch and the operating shaft being pivoted to move the toggle switch lever into contact with one of the terminals;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view of the push button of FIG.

FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view of the push button taken along the line 6-6 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a top plan view of the switch casing taken along the line 7-7 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 8 is a top plan view of the base portion of the switch casing;

FIG. 9 is a side elevational view of the guide washer;

FIG. 10 is a bottom plan view of the washer taken along the line 10-10 of FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a side elevational view of one of the switch levers for the push button mode of the switch;

FIG. 12 is a front elevational view of the switch lever taken along the line l2--12 of FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary view-of the operating shaft;

and

FIG. 14 is a side fragmentary view of the operating shaft taken along the line I4 14 of FIG. 13.

DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIGS. 14, the numeral 15 designates generally an electrical switch having a casing 16, an operating button or knob 17, and an operating or actuating shaft 18. The casing 16 includes a generally cylindrical base portion 19 which is closed by a bottom wall 20, and outer tubular case or housing 21 which is ensleeved over the cylindrical case and which includes a top wall 22.

The base 19 is formed of insulating material and includes a pair of parallel, flat partitions or inner walls 23 and 24 (FIGS. 1, 2 and 8) which divide the interior of the base into three compartments 25, 26, 27. A conventional toggle yoke'28 is mounted within the central portion of the middle chamber 26 and includes a terminal portion 29 which extends downwardly through the bottom wall 20 of the base. Also positioned within the middle compartment are a pair of toggle terminals 30 and 31 (FIGS. 3, 4 and 8) which extend through the bottom wall on opposite sides of the toggle yoke 28. A V-shaped toggle lever blade 32 is rockably mounted on the toggle yoke and is provided with a central concave recess 34 (FIG. 2) which receives the rounded nose of a plunger 35. As will be explained more fully hereinafter, the V-shaped toggle blade 32 may be moved by the plunger 35 from the center off position illustrated in FIG. 3 into electrical contact with either of the toggle terminals 30 or 31 as shown in FIG. 3.

A pair of push button terminals37 and 38 are positioned within each of the outer compartments 25 and 27 of the base and extend downwardly through the bottom wall. A metal switch lever 39, which has the general shape of an upsidedown T (FIG. 12), is mounted within each of the compartments 25 and 27 above the push button terminals.

As can be seen best in FIG. 11, each of the switch levers 39 includes first and second lever arm portions 40 and 41, respectively, which are angularly related and which are joined by a pivot or fulcrum portion 42'. The pivot portion 42 is in the form of a ledge which is supported by a shoulder 43 formed in the inner surface of the cylindrical side wall of the base. A contact portion 44 extends transversely from the lower end of the second lever arm 41 and carries a pair of contacts 45 which are engageable with the terminals 37 and 38 when the operating shaft is depressed.

The operating shaft 18 includes a lower cylindrical portion 48 which is telescopingly received in a central bore in the plunger 35,'an intermediate cylindrical portion 49 of greater diameter than the lower portion 48, and an upper cylindrical portion 50. A coil spring 51 is ensleeved over the plunger 35 and is retained between an annular shoulder 52 on the plunger (FIG. 4) and a washer 53 (FIG. 4) which abuts the intermediate cylindrical portion 49 of the shaft. The lower portion of the intermediate cylindrical'portion 49 is recessed to provide a pair of flat sides 54 and 55 (compare FIGS. 13 and 14), and a cross shaft 56 extends transversely through the shaft through an opening provided in the recessed portion of the intermediate cylindrical portion. A pusher or plunger 57 is telescopingly carried on each end of the cross shaft and is biased laterally outwardly from the operating shaft by a coil spring 58. Each pusher 57 extends through a rectangular slot 59 in one of the partitions 23 and 24 which form the compartments in the base 19.

A guide washer 60 is positioned between the top of the cylindrical base 19 and the top wall 22 of the outer case and includes four downwardly extending guide pins 61 (see also FIGS. 9 and 10). The actuating shaft extends through the central opening 62 of the washer, and each of the two pushers 57 extends between a pair of the guide pins 61 and is guided or centered thereby.

relative to the switch levers 39.

The operating button 17 includes a concave top wall 62, a depending cylindrical side wall 63, and an inner annularly shaped downwardly extending projection 64 which is provided with a central bore 64a which re ceives the upper cylindrical portion 50 of the operating shaft. The button may be secured to the actuating shaft by a pin which is inserted through the annular projection 64 and the upper end of the shaft. Comparing FIGS. and 6, a pair of generally half-moon shaped projections 65 extend downwardly from the annular projection 64 at diametrically opposed locations around the bore 64a. The outer periphery of these halfmoon shaped projections corresponds to the periphery of an elongated, somewhat oval shaped opening 66 (see particularly FIG. 7) in the top wall 22 of the outer case. The opening 66 is provided through an upstanding central portion 67 of the top wall which has a beveled outer periphery 68.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 3, a generally hatshaped flexible sealing boot 69 extends between the operating shaft and the casing and hermetically seals the interior of the casing. The boot includes a lower peripheral outwardly extending flange 70 which is compressed between the washer 60 and the top wall of the outer case, an upstanding cylindrical side wall 71, and a top wall 72 which is provided with a central opening through which the operating shaft extends. The top wall includes an annular rib 73 surrounding the opening therethrough which is received in an annular groove 74 in the operating shaft between the intermediate and upper cylindrical portions 49 and 50. The sealing boot is bonded to both the casing and the operating shaft by a suitable bonding material, such as epoxy resin. Bonding material 74 seals the outer peripheral flange 70 to the casing between the guide washer and the top wall of the outer case, and bonding material 75 seals the top wall of the boot to the. operating shaft.

The bottomof the switch can be hermetically sealed by dipping the switch into a suitable sealing material, such as epoxy resin, to seal the opening through which the terminals extend and to seal any space between the outer case 21 and the base 19.

The actuator for the switch comprises the operating button 17, the shaft 18, and the spring-biased plungers 35 and S7. The normal or unactuacted position of the actuator is illustrated in both FIGS. 1 and 3 in which the operating shaft 18 extends along the longitudinal axis of the casing and the operatingbutton 17 is positioned above the top wall of the outer case. The operating shaft is normally maintained in this position by the coil spring 51 which is ensleeved above the plunger 35 and which urges the plunger to telescopingly extend along the rod 48. Referring now to FIG. 1, when the switch is in the unactuated position, the pushers 57'are biased outwardly by the coil springs 58 against the first lever portions 40 of the switch levers 39, thereby maintaining the contacts 45 away from the push button terminals 37 and 38. The pushers 57 extend between the guide pins 61 and are positioned above the bottom of the slots 59 in the inner walls 23 and 24 of the base.

When it is desired to operate the push button mode of the switch, the button 17 is pushed downwardly to depress the operating shaft against the bias of the coil spring 51. As the pushers pass downwardly over the pivot portions 42 of the switch levers 39 and engage the second lever arm portions 41, the contacts 45 are forced outwardly into engagement with the terminals 37 and 38, and each switch lever bridges the space between each pair of terminals 37 and 38 and completes a circuit therebetween. As the pushers 57 move downwardly from the off position shown in FIG. 1 to the on position shown in FIG. 2, the sliding movement thereof on the cross shaft 56 is guided by the guide pins 61 and also by the slots 59 in the internal .walls in the base. The slots also prevent rotation of the operating shaft about its central axis and maintain the operating button 17 in position relative to the casing. When the downward force on the operating button is released, the coil spring 51 returns the operating shaft to its original upper position shown in FIG. 1. As the pushers pass over the pivot portion 42 of the switch'levers and engage the first lever arm portions 30, the contacts 45 are snapped away'from the terminals 37 and 38, and the circuits therebetween are broken.

The toggling mode of the switch will be described with reference to FIGS. 3 and 4. When the operating shaft is in the normal centered position illustrated in FIG. 3, it can be pivoted from the centered position by pushing the operating knob either to the right or to the left. In FIG. 4 the operating knob has been pushed to the right and the operating shaft has pivoted about the cross shaft 56 to move the plunger 35 into engagement with one of the arms of the V-shaped toggle blade 32, thereby rocking the toggle blade on the yoke 28 and forcing one of the contacts 33 into engagement with the terminal 30. The pushers 57 which extend through the slots 59 in the internal walls of the base prevent rotation of the operating shaft during toggling and insure that the pivoting of the operating shaft'will occur about the cross shaft 56.

As the plunger 35 moves from the concave depression 34 in the toggle blade toward one of the contacts 33, the plunger will be telescopingly retracted along the rod 48 and compress the coil springs 51. Accordingly, when the force acting upon the operating button is removed, the coil spring 51 will tend telescopingly extend the plunger 35 and bring the plunger and the operating shaft back to the centered position illustrated in FIG. 1.

The half-moon shaped projections on the operating button and the generally oval shaped opening 66 in the top wall of the outer case act as locking means to prevent toggling of the switch when the push button mode of the switch is being used and to prevent depression of the operating shaft when the toggling mode of the switch is being used. As can be seen in FIG. 4, when the switch is moved to one of its toggled positions, one of the projections 65 is moved laterally beyond the periphery of the opening 66 and is positioned above an imperforate portion of the top wall of the case. In this position the projection 65 is engageable with the top wall to prevent downward movement of the operating button and the operating shaft. When the push button is depressed, the projections 65 move downwardly into the opening 66, thereby locking the operating shaft against pivoting movement.

The elongated non-round shape of the opening 66 and the mating periphery of the half-moon projections 65 on the operating button also serve to prevent rotation of the button and the operating shaft when the shaft is depressed. This provides added strength for the anti-rotation feature provided by the guide pins 61 and the slots 59 in the internal walls of the base.

The flexible sealing boot 69 hermetically seals the interior of the casing during both push button and toggling operations. As can be seen in FIG. 4, the side wall 71 and the top wall 72 on one side of the boot merely collapse during toggling while the side wall and the top wall on the other side of the boot become somewhat straightened. Comparing FIGS. 1 and 2, during operation of the push button mode of the switch, the top wall 72 and the side wall 71 of the boot roll inwardly as the center of the boot moves downwardly with the operating shaft, and the boot tends to be turned inside out on a rolling sleeve principle. This rolling sleeve sealing principle permits theuse of substantially thick rubber without adding appreciably to the operating force required to depress the operating shaft. This is because the boot is flexed in a very well controlled rolling action as distinguished from buckling that normally occurs in an ordinary compression boot.

The rolling sleeve boot also is able towithstand relatively large pressure differences across it, as when being subjected to high vacuum in testing or under high altitude conditions. The ability to withstand large pressure differentials is due not only tothe greater thickness of the boot but because the side wall 71 of the boot is supported by the outer case and the inner periphery of the boot is supported by the operating shaft. Only a small upper portion of the boot is not supported, and I have found that the boot is strong enough to prevent blow out under the influence of the pressure differences normally encountered. In one specific embodiment of the invention the boot was formed from DC 50 silicone rubber, andthe thickness-of the side wall and top wall was about 0.020 inch.

From the foregoing it is seen that the electrical switch has only one body and one operating shaft, but the operating shaft functions both as a three position toggle switch or as a push button switch. Either of these push button or toggle functions is available separately from the other, and only one function may be used at a time. The circuit for the toggle switch is single-pole doublethrow, center off, and the circuit for the push button switch is double pole nonnally open. The operating shaft is normally in an upright center off position, and when the shaft is toggled in either of its two toggling directions, the push button function is locked out. When the shaft is depressed from its center off position, it makes each of two poles, and the toggling function is locked out. All operations of the switch are momentary, and the operating button always returns to center whether from operation as a push button or as a toggle switch.

Even though there are three poles available, the switch-can be made very compact, and in one embodiment of the invention, the outside diameter of the switch casing was only 3/4 inch. Since a single operating knob provides both push button action and toggle action, only one location on an operating panel in an airplane or the like is required for both types of switches. The switch is particularly advantageous in situations where it is desirable to have a relationship between the push button action and the toggling action.

While in the foregoing specification a detailed description of a specific embodiment of the invention was setforth for the purposes of illustration, it is to be understood that many of the details herein given may be varied considerably by those skilled in the arts without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

I claim:

1. An electrical switch comprising a casing, a plurality of terminals within the casing and extending outwardly therefrom, an elongated actuator mounted within the casing for longitudinal movement and for pivoting movement in a plane passing through the longitudinal axis of the actuator and extending generally parallel thereto, toggle switch means movably mounted within the casing below the actuator and adjacent at least one of saidterminals whereby pivoting movement of the actuator moves the toggle switch means into and out of electrical contact with said one terminal, switch lever means mounted within the casing laterally of the actuator and adjacent another of said terminals, the actuator including pusher means for engaging the switch lever means and forcing the switch lever means into electrical contact with said other terminal when the actuator is moved longitudinally, and locking means on the casing and the actuator for preventing pivoting movement of the actuator when the actuator is moved longitudinally and for preventing longitudinal movement of the actuator when the actuator is pivoted whereby only one of the toggle switch means and the lever switch means may be'actuated at a time.

2. The switch of claim 1 in which the casing includes a top wall, the locking means including an opening in the top wall of the casing, the actuator extending outwardly from the casing through the opening in the top wall, and abutment means carried by the actuator, the actuator being moveable longitudinally between a first longitudinal position in which the switch lever means is not in electrical contact with said other terminal and a second longitudinal position in which the switch lever means is in electrical contact with said other terminal, the abutment means being positioned above the top wall of the casing when the actuator is in the first longitudinal position whereby the actuator can be pivoted without having the abutment means engage the periphery of the opening in the top wall of the casing, the abutmentmeans being engageable with the periphery of the opening in the top wall of the casing when the actuator is in the second longitudinal position whereby the actuator is prevented from pivoting, the actuator being pivotable between centered and uncentered positions when the actuator is in the first longitudinal position, the abutment means being positioned over a portion of the topwall of the casing when the actuator is in the uncentered position whereby the abutment means in engageable with the top wall to prevent longitudinal movement of the actuator to the second longitudinal position.

3. The switch of claim 2 in which the opening in the top wall of the casing and the abutment means have mating non-round peripheral portions whereby rotation of the actuator about its longitudinal axis is restrained when the actuator is in the second longitudinal position.

4. The switch of claim 2 in which the actuator includes a push button mounted on the outer end thereof, the abutment means being provided by a collar on the push button which extends around at least a portion of the periphery of the actuator.

5. The switch of claim 1 including a generally hatshaped flexible sealing boot surrounding the actuator and secured to the casing for hermetically sealing the interior of the casing.

6. The switch of claim 1 including a generally hatshaped flexible sealing boot having an outer peripheral flange, an upstanding perimetric side wall, and an annular top wall having a central opening therethrough, the actuator extending through the central opening of the top wall and being hermetically sealed to the top wall, the outer peripheral flange being hermetically sealed to the casing, the side wall of the boot being rollable inwardly with the top wall as the plunger is longitudinally depressed.

7. The switch of claim 1 in which said switch lever means includes a lever having first and second lever arm portions engageable with the pusher means and a contact portion, the lever being pivotally mounted within the casing between said lever arm portions, the pusher means engaging the first lever arm portion when the actuator is not longitudinally depressed whereby the contact portion is held away from said other terminal, the pusher means engaging the second lever arm portion when the actuator is longitudinally depressed whereby the contact portion is forced into electrical contact with said other terminal.

8. The switch of claim 7 in which said lever includes a pair of contact portions and is mounted adjacent a pair of terminals, each of the contact portions being forced into electrical contact with one said pair of terminals when the actuator is depressed longitudinally.

9. The switch of claim 7 in which the actuator includes an elongated operating shaft, said pusher means including a plunger mounted on the operating shaft for and spring means for biasing the plunger transversely outwardly from the operating shaft.

10. The switch of claim 1 in which the actuator includes an elongated operating shaft, said pusher means including a plunger mounted on the operating shaft for sliding movement transversely of the operating shaft and spring means for biasing the plunger transversely outwardly from the operating shaft.

11. The switch of claim 10 including a washer mounted within the casing in a plane extending generally transversely to the operating shaft when the.actuator is not pivoted, the washer including a pair of guide pins extending generally parallel to the operating shaft, the plunger extending between the guide pins whereby the plunger is guided into and out of engagement with the switch lever means as the actuator moves longitudinally.

12. The switch of claim 1 in which casing includes an inner wall provided with a slot extending generally parallel to the actuator, the pusher means extending through the slot and being slidable therein as the actuator means longitudinally, the pusher means being engageable with edges of the slots to prevent rotation of the actuator about its longitudinal axis.

13. The switch of claim 1 including second switch lever means mounted within the casing laterally of the actuator and opposite the first switch lever means, a terminal mounted within the casing adjacent the second switch lever means, the pusher means including a cross shaft extending transversely through the actuator and providing a pair of ends, a plunger slidably mounted on each end of the cross shaft, and spring means for biasing each plunger transversely outwardly from the actuator toward one of the switch lever means.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification200/4, 200/437, 200/302.3, 200/6.00A, 200/553
International ClassificationH01H23/00, H01H13/12, H01H25/00, H01H23/16
Cooperative ClassificationH01H25/008, H01H23/16, H01H13/12
European ClassificationH01H13/12, H01H23/16, H01H25/00D