US 3782148 A
An electronic anti-theft locking system comprising a key for unlocking the mechanism, and a mating key for setting the combination of the system. The mechanism operates using logic principles, but uniquely features electromechanical circuitry. Since no expensive electronics need be used, the system is highly reliable and inexpensive to manufacture. A combination is set in both the unlocking segment of the system, and the combination segment of the system. When the two combinations match, a bolt, solenoid or other output is activated. The combinations in the two segments of the system are formed by a number of SPDT switches. The combination segment of the system may be made like the keyway of the unlocking segment. A key throws the switches in each keyway to form a pattern or combination. Another embodiment of the invention features setting the combination by a set of multi-pole rotary switches. A corresponding panel of multi-pole rotary switches are electrically connected to the other set of switches. A matching combination in both switch panels will effect release of a locking mechanism, or send a signal to an output circuit. A high number of permutations is possible.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Goldman Jan. 1, 1974 1 ELECTRONIC ANTI-THEFT LOCKING SYSTEM  Inventor: Gerald M. Goldman, Knollwood Extension, Elmsford, N.Y. 10523  Filed: Nov. 18, 1971  Appl. No.: 199,883
Related US. Application Data  Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 864,801, Oct. 8,
1969, Pat. No. 3,631,301.
 US. Cl 70/278, 200/43, 307/115, 317/134, 340/274  Int. Cl. E05b 47/04  Field of Search 70/277, 278; 317/134; 200/43, 44, 45; 307/113, 115
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,819,770 l/1958 Gibbs 180/82 3,500,326 3/1970 Benford..... 340/147 3,024,452 3/1962 Leonardmn 340/274 1,923,968 8/1933 Chase 70/278 1,692,878 11/1928 Watts 200/44 3,165,599 1/1965 Clay 200/44 3,631,301 12/1971 Goldman 317/134 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 523,003 4/1931 Germany 200/44 A1 AZ As Primary ExaminerAlbert G. Craig, .lr. Att0rneyPaul J. Sutton  ABSTRACT An electronic anti-theft locking system comprising a key for unlocking the mechanism, and a mating key for setting the combination of the system. The mechanism'operates using logic principles, but uniquely features electromechanical circuitry. Since no expensive electronics need be used, the system is highly reliable and inexpensive to manufacture. A combination is set in both the unlocking segment of the system, and the combination segment of the system. When the two combinations match, a bolt, solenoid or other output is activated. The combinations in the two segments of the system are formed by a number of SPDT switches. The combination segment of the system may be made like the keyway of the unlocking segment. A key throws the switches in each keyway to form a pattern or combination. Another embodiment of the invention features setting the combination by a set of multi-pole rotary switches. A corresponding panel of multi-pole rotary switches are electrically connected to the other set of switches. A matching combination in both switch panels will effect release of a locking mechanism, or send a signal to an output circuit. A high number of permutations is possible.
10 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures Our 1 ELECTRONIC ANTI-THEFT LOCKING SYSTEM RELATED APPLICATION This application is a continuation-in-part of the previously filed copending application for an Electronic Anti-theft System, Ser. No. 864,801, filed Oct. 8, 1969, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,631,301, issued Dec. 28, 1971.
In the copending application, a pass key, having a predetermined profile, when placed in a keyway, carries out a switching function which, in an associated logic circuit, establishes an electrical test pattern whose nature depends on the key formation or profile. Also set up in the logic circuit is an electrical reference pattern whose nature depends on the formation of a replaceable coded reference key. This reference key is totally inaccessible from the front of the door.
The logic circuit is so arranged that if the electrical test pattern created by the pass key exactly matches the electrical reference pattern established by the reference key, an output will be generated which serves to electromagnetically unlock the locking mechanism. But if a wrong pass key is used, the patterns will be mismatched, and not only will the lock remain closed, but an alarm will be set off to call attention to this fact.
Should the proper pass key be lost and it become necessary to use another key, this does not require a new logic circuit or any other basic alteration of the system, for all that one need do is to replace the existing reference key with a fresh insert, thereby setting up a new electrical reference pattern, and to make use of a pass key having a test pattern compatible therewith.
In short, the crucial feature in the copending application resides in a logic circuit adapted to compare a test pattern established by the users pass key when inserted in the keyway which an existing reference pattern created by the replaceable reference key, the logic circuit yielding an output to activate the locking mechanism only when the two patterns exactly match. Thus, each reference key effectively reconditions the logic circuit to render it receptive only to a pass key consonant with the insert.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The main object of the present invention is to provide an electronic locking system of the type disclosed in my copending application, but having a highly simplified logic circuit avoiding the need for semi-conductor elements and making use of inexpensive switches connected in a series pattern. The logic circuit employed in the present invention involves only connections between switches, the connections therebetween being determined as a function of a key or code pattern, thereby creating a system that is reliable and efficient in operation and yet of low cost.
In general, the electronic locking systems currently in use display complex componentry which reduces their reliability and increases their cost. Moreover, none of the presently known systems provide for setting the combination by means of a mating key as is accomplished in my earlier copending application and in the present application.
The use of a key instead of a card to produce a code combination is much more practical, since the general public is accustomed to carrying keys. Keys can be made or duplicated by any locksmith on existing machinery, whereas cards cannot be so made or duplicated. Certain systems, such as those shown in the Welsh U.S. Pat. No. 3,403,380, require that a nonconducting material be used for the card. The present systems do not have such a requirement. If a conducting card is accidentally used in such systems, a potential shock hazard results. A conducting key as used in the present invention can be made to be safe. Keys present greater versatility since they can be made to have any shape or tooth configuration.
It is another object of the invention to provide a logic system for an anti-theft device that requires no expensive electronic components for the basic sensing and switching system, that is safe and free of electrical hazards and through using logic principles, is basically electromechanically constructed.
Briefly stated, the invention deals with an anti-theft system having a first set of electrical switches disposed in a keyway portion thereof, and a second set of switches disposed in the reference combination setting section. The switches are generally of a single-poledouble-throw type, so that a logic condition may be produced, i.e., a go or no-go" function is obtained depending upon the switch position. The switches of the keyway are interconnected to the switches of the combination section. First, a reference key is inserted in the combination section to set the combination switch pattern for the system. A pass-key having a corresponding or complementary formation is then inserted into the keyway, thereby creating a combination pattern in the keyway. If both combinations match, then a release condition is effected for the system.
More particularly, the present system connects the two sets of switches in series. The poles of the switches in the keyway are connected to the poles of the switches in the reference combination section. The pole points in each switch correspond to their counterpart poles in the other combination setting section. This is accomplished by pairing switches in each segment. After the switches are paired together, they are connected in series so that a mating combination in each segment will produce a conducting circuit, and a non-mating condition will be non-conducting. The position of the switches, or pole position, is determined by the profile of the keys, or the presence or absence of a tooth of a key.
OUTLINE OF THE DRAWINGS These and other objects of the invention will be better understood and become more apparent with reference to the following detailed description and drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a block diagram of the anti-theft system of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a schematic view of the electrical circuitry of the invention with the switches set in their proper mating pattern to accomplish a release condition;
FIG. 3 is a schematic view of the circuitry of FIG. 2 with the switches set in an alternate mating pattern to effect a release condition;
FIG. 4 is a schematic view of the circuitry of FIG. 2 with the switches set in an improper or non-mating pattern, so that a release condition will not be effected:
FIG. 5 is a schematic view of an electrical circuit embodiment featuring multi-pole switches; and
FIG. 6 is an exploded view of one possible keyway configuration of this invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION can have the same construction as the set of switches 4. Likewise, key 12 which fits switches 14, may have a corresponding profile with the key 2.
The switches 9 in the reference and in the pass-key combination segments of the systemare generally single-pole double-throw (SPDT). Because the switches in each keyway are SPDT switches, a logic pattern is developed in each switch of each segment of the system, i.e., a go" no go condition is set up for each switch. When the combination of the set of switches 4 corresponds to the combination of the reference set of switches 14, a conducting circuit is completed, sending a signal shown by arrow 10, to the output circuit 5. Power may then be supplied to a solenoid 6 or other output device, as shown by arrow 11.
Now referring to FIG. 2, a schematic view of the circuitry of this invention is shown. For the purpose of illustration only, four pairs of switches are depicted. The set of switches denominated S1 through S4 refer to those switches disposed in the keyway 4. The switches denominated S11 through S14 are those switches disposed in the reference combination setting keyway 14.
All the switches are single-pole-double-throw (SPDT). Switches S1 through S4 each have two pole positions a and b respectively. Switch S1 has a movable armature or slider 21 which can be set either at pole position a or at pole position b. Similarly, switches S2, S3, and S4, have sliders 22, 23 and 24, respectively, that are set in like fashion.
Switches 811 through S14 each have two pole positions and d. respectively. Switch S11 has a slider 31 that can be set either at pole position 0 or at pole position d. Similarly, switches S12, S13, and S14 have sliders 32, 33 and 34, respectively, that are set in like fashion to switch S11.
Switches 811 through S14 are set by key 12 inserted into the reference combination keyway l4.
Switches S1 through S4 are set by key 2 inserted into keyway 4. Key 12 will position sliders 31, 32, 33, and 34 in either of their two pole positions 0 and d, respectively. The pass-key 2 will position sliders 21, 22, 23, and 24, in either of their two pole positions a or b, respectively.
The circuit of FIG. 2 shows each of sliders 21, 22, 23 and 24 in their a position, and each of sliders 31, 32, 33 and 34, in their c pole position, respectively. Pole position a corresponds with the pole position c, i.e., they are conductively linked together. Pole positions b and d correspond, and are conductively linked.
Since corresponding pole positions a and c are all thrown in the circuit depicted in FIG. 2, a conducting series circuit has been created. Thus, current will be made to flow from input point 20 to output point 30. This current flow will activate the output circuit as shown in FIG. 1. FIG. 3 shows an alternate conducting configuration as compared to the one shown in FIG. 2.
In the circuit of FIG. 3 poles b and d match for switches S1 and S11, and for S3 and S13, while poles a and 0 correspond in switches S2 and S12 and switches S4 and S14, as shown.
Matching keys will throw the switches in each keyway to their corresponding pole positions to complete a conducting circuit configuration. The presence or absence of a tooth on the respective keys determines the pole position for the switch it services.
Keys that do not mate or match will produce a nonconducting circuit configuration like the one shown in FIG. 4. In this circuit configuration, switches .81 through S4 are all in their a pole position. However, only switches S12 and S14 are in the matching pole position 0. Since Switches S11 and S13 are in noncorresponding pole position d, a non-conducting or open-circuit configuration is produced and the locking solenoid will not be energized.
The switches in this circuit can be of the type where a key must remain in the keyway to maintain the setting of the switches, or of the type where the the switches remain set and the key can be removed. Many variations in the circuitry and the keys can be made. For example, if the pole positions are inverted, i.e., pole a now corresponds with pole position 11, and b corresponds with c, mating keys will now feature an inverted image with each other. In other words, where the first key has a tooth, the second key will be blank, and vice versa, so that to operate the lock, the combination setting or reference key and the pass-key are complementary.
Another variation can be made by pairing different switches together, viz., S1 and S14, S2 with S 13, etc., etc. Other pairing combinations are of course possible. An inverted pairing of the switches will also change the tooth configuration of the keys that will produce a matching combination, wherein the keys will not appear identical with each other.
Other modifications in the circuitry may include the use of contacts in place of switches in some cases. An alarm circuit can be incorporated so that a nonconducting configuration (wrong key) will activate a warning signal.
The set of switches in segments 4 and/or 14 (switches S1-S4, and/or switches S11-S14) may have the mechanical configuration shown in FIG. 6. A key 2 having discrete profile teeth 7 is inserted into a series of switches 9 shown here in an exploded view. The key fits the switches 9 through keyway 40, having teeth slots 41. The switches are stacked or ganged together, and held in place by two rods extending through holes 19 in each switch. The switches 9 have an outer stationary piece 18 held in place by rods 49 as aforementioned, and an inner rotating piece 8. Both pieces 8 and 18 are non-conducting, and respectively, have keyway 40 with teeth slots 41 for the passage of key 2. If a tooth 7 is present at any tooth slot 41 of any disc 8, it will cause disc 8 to rotate in sleeve 18 when the key is turned as shown by arrow 50. Since all the switches 9 are constructed the same way, the rotation of each disc 8 is dependent upon its corresponding tooth 7. If a particular switch 9 sees no tooth from the key 2, then its disc will not be made to turn.
Each switch 9 has three contacts, 43, 43a, and 43b, respectively. Contact 43 corresponds to the common pole point of the SPDT switch. Contacts 43a and 43b, respectively, correspond to the end poles of the switch.
Disc 8 has a sliding contact band 48 which makes contact with either combination (43, 43a) or (43, 43b) as it rotates. In the initial or unturned condition, band 48 will make a circuit between contacts 43 and 43a. In the rotated position, band 48 of disc 8 will make a circuit between contacts 43 and 43b. The teeth on the key 2 are positioned to contact only the disc portion of each switch. If any tooth is made too large so that it extend into slot 41 of any stationary piece 18, the key will not be able to turn, and the whole set of switches will not be caused to operate. It has been found, however, that the tolerances are not very great for a normal keyway having between ten and twenty switches. As a result, the possibility of tooth overlap is not a problem.
When a tooth is not present, the base of the key profile 51 will rotate within hollow 40 of its corresponding disc 8, causing a non-rotating condition for that disc. In other words, if no tooth is present for that particular switch, a circuit will be had between contacts 43 and 43a.
When a tooth is present, it will fit within slot 41 of disc 8 for that particular switch 9 and cause the disc 8 to respond when the key is turned. When the key is rotated, the disc 8 will turn in the same direction as the key. A limiting pin 44 is anchored in disc 8 and prevents overshooting of the disc within stationary sleeve 18- by means of slot 42 in which it rides. This insures positive contact of band 48 with contacts (43, 430) or (43, 43b), respectively.
Band 48 corresponds to the sliders of the electrical circuitry shown in F168. 2-4. Poles 43a, and 43b, respectively, correspond to individual poles a and b or poles c and d of these Figures.
The nice feature of the design is that each switch 9 is made the same, and each set of switches for the pass? key and reference key is also the same, thus reducing manufacturing costs. Also, it will be seen from FIG. 6, that the switches are completely enclosed, and never see contact with the key. The keyway presents to the observer looking into the keyway, a smooth flat surface with no contacts.
Since each keyway for every lock is the same, every keyway looks the same, so that no information is given to someone trying to intrude. Also, if a keyway is removed from its door, only dangling wires will be seen by the intruder. He will have no way of correlating how to match all the wires to produce a conducting circuit, since the combination of switches in the reference keyway is inexcessible to his view, i.e., the reference keyway is hidden behind the door, or another inaccessible partition out of the reach of the intruder.
It is evident from the foregoing, that a superior system has been developed that meets all the objectives aforementioned. Each switch may be molded of nonconducting plastic except for the contacts or slider portion. Since the switch keyway is of basic nonconducting construction, no shock hazard is ever introduced. Contacts 43, 43a, and 43b may need no wiring if snapped into a circuit board, or the switches 9 may themselves be made as a circuit board having parts receptive to key positions, with each circuit board (switch 9) being ganged to the next circuit board (switch 9). This latter scheme would have both keyway circuits 4 and 14 on the same board already connected to each other.
Another embodiment of the invention is depicted in F IG. 5. This embodiment proposes the replacement of all the SPDT switches with multi-pole rotary switches having, for example, 10 pole positions. Of course, these rotary switches may have any 'number of poles and/or throws. In this circuit, switch S1 has been replaced by switch A1, switch S11 has been substituted for switch Bl, etc., etc. in order for this circuit to produce a conducting configuration, corresponding poles must again match. Therefore, pole position 6 of A]. must match pole 6 of B1, and pole position 3 of A2 must be matched with pole position 3 of B2, etc., etc.
The embodiment may replace the keyways of FIG. 1
with two panels of rotary switches. Thus, keyway 4 will now be a panel with switches Al through An, and keyway 14 will be a second panel with switches Bl through Bn. When either panel A1...An, or Bl...Bn, is set in a discrete pattern, a conducting circuit will be obtained by setting the other panel in a matching pattern. It should be noted, however, that inverted pole positions, and inverse pairing is also possible for this embodiment as was previously mentioned. For example, combinations 9,6,3,l,0,5, in the first panel may correspond to the inverted setting 5,0,1,3,6,9, in the second panel.
A time generated combinated can be designed where several (or all) of the combination reference portion switches can be set by a timing mechanism. Thus, the releasing combination will change with time, or become inert until a certain time is reached.
In hotels and motels, the circuitry may be designed so that there is an external switch in the main office that will open the door, or prevent the door from opening. The switch or switches may be wired directly to the output circuit, by-passing the keyways. The combination setting keyway can also be in the main office and wired to the keyway in the door. This will facilitate cleaning the room or allowing entrance for loss of key.
Because many modifications and changes have been discussed and other contemplated are known in the art, the above discussion and the included drawings are deemed exemplary in nature, and the scope and purview of this invention should be interpreted with respect to the appended claims.
1. An electrically-controlled locking system operable only by personnel carrying a pass-key having a profile which matches or complements the profile of a reference key, said system comprising:
a. a signal-operated locking mechanism including a lock which is releasable to permit entry only when a signal is applied to the mechanism;
b. a keyway whose opening is generally accesible,
said keyway having a first group of single pole, double throw, switches therein which are selectively actuated by insertion of said pass-key to create test switching connections which depend on the profile thereof, a throw position of each switch of said first group of switches being obtained by turning said pass-key to an actuation position, whereby a particular pole of each switch of said first group of switches is selected;
c. a combination setting device installed at a generally inaccessible position constituted by a second group of single pole, double throw, switches which are selectively actuated by said reference key to create reference switching connections depending on the profile of the reference key, a throw position of each switch of said second group of switches being obtained by turning said reference key to an actuation position, whereby a particular pole of each switchof said second group of switches is selected;
d. means interconnecting said first and second group of switches to produce a series circuit, said interconnecting means including readily connecting means comprising at least one circuit board into which the poles of said first and second groups of switches are respectively connected, said series circuit being defined by said test and reference connections and being electrically a closed circuit only when the inserted pass-key matches or complements the reference key, the circuit otherwise being open; and
e. means to interpose said series circuit between a signal source and said locking mechanism to produce said signal only when the circuit is closed.
2. A system as set forth in claim 1, wherein said lock is constituted by a bolt operating in conjunction with a solenoid responsive to said signal.
3. A system as set forth in claim 1, further including an alarm, and means to activate said alarm in the event the inserted keys are mismatched.
4. A system as set forth in claim 1, wherein the combination setting device is constituted by a reference keyway corresponding to said keyway having a first group of switches whereby a signal is produced only when the profile of the inserted pass-key is identical to the profile of the reference key.
5. A system as set forth in claim 1, further including means to apply a signal to said locking mechanism which by-passes said series circuit to provide for emergency access.
6. The electrically-controlled locking system of claim 1, wherein the first and the second groups of switches are invertedly arranged with respect to each other, and
I whereby said keys do not have to match in order to provide a closed circuit.
7. An electronically-controlled system associated with a solenoid and arranged to activate said solenoid only when a pass-key having a particular profile is inserted by a key holder, said system comprising: a. a keyway mounted at a position accessible to key holders, said keyway being provided with a first group of single pole, double throw, electrical switches which are selectively activated by a passkey inserted therein in accordance with the profile thereof to create a test switching pattern, a throw position of each switch of said first group of switches being obtained by turning said pass-key to an actuation position, whereby a particular pole of each switch of said first group of switches is selected;
b. a second group of single pole, double throw, electrical switches which are mounted at a position generally inaccessible to key holders and which are selectively activated by a profiled reference key in accordance with the profile thereof to create a reference switching pattern, a throw position of each switch of said second group of switches being obtained by turning said reference key to an actuation position, whereby a particular pole of each switch of said second group of switches is selected;
c. means interconnecting said first and second groups of switches to produce a series circuit which is closed only when the switching patterns produced by the keys are those established by keys which match or complement each other, the circuit otherwise being open, said interconnecting means including readily connecting means comprising at least one circuit board into which the poles of said first and second groups of switches are respectively connected; and
d. means to interpose said series circuit between a voltage source and said solenoid to activate said solenoid only when the series circuit is closed.
8. A system as set forth in claim 7, wherein the switches in the first group are alternately interconnected to the switches in the second group.
9. An electrically controlled system as set forth in claim 7, wherein said solenoid is arranged when activated to operate the ignition system of a vehicle, said second group of switches and said reference key being concealed in said vehicle.
10. The electrically-controlled system of claim 7, wherein the first and the second groups of switches are invertedly arranged with respect to each other, and whereby said keys do not have to match in order to provide a closed circuit.