Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3783542 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 8, 1974
Filing dateNov 10, 1972
Priority dateNov 10, 1972
Publication numberUS 3783542 A, US 3783542A, US-A-3783542, US3783542 A, US3783542A
InventorsJohnson C
Original AssigneeAtkins & Merrill
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Map display system
US 3783542 A
Abstract
This invention describes an improved type of map display system. It comprises a rectangular framework covered with a sheet of translucent material that is held rigidly in a plane, such that a sheet of photographic material can be adhered to the front surface of the display sheet. Means including a plurality of spaced vertical rails and adjustable horizontal rails attached thereto are provided for holding lamp fixtures which may be positioned on the horizontal rails so that a lamp house can be positioned at any point on the back surface of the display sheet. The lamp fixture is of improved design in that it comprises a system which can be moved vertically or horizontally, and has an arm which rotates about a horizontal axis perpendicular to the display sheet, and a lamp fixture that can be rotated about this arm, and holds a lamp house which can be rotated separately about its axis. The lamp house may include 1, 2 or 4 separate lamp bulbs which can be lighted one or more at a time. The lamp house may also include dividers between the lamps such that the light from one or two or four of the lamps can be directed to separate areas of the display sheet.
Images(2)
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Johnson [451 Jan. 8, 1974 MAP DISPLAY SYSTEM [57] ABSTRACT [75] Inventor: coyote Johnson Tulsa Okla This invention describes an improved type of map dis- [73] Assignee: Atkins & Merrill, Incorporated, play system. It comprises a rectangular framework Tulsa, Okla. covered with a sheet of translucent material that is 4 held rigidly in a plane, such that a sheet of photo- [22] 1972 graphic material can be adhered to the front surface [21] Appl. No.: 305,217 of the display sheet. Means including a plurality'of spaced vertical rails and adjustable horizontal rails attached thereto are provided for holding lamp fixtures [52] 40/132 513 which may be positioned on the horizontal rails so that [51] Int Cl 6 13/04 a lamp house can be positioned at any point on the [58] Fie'ld R 132 D back surface of the display sheet. The lamp fixture is 40/130 40/225 240/2 of improved design in that it comprises a system which 2 D can be moved vertically or horizontally, and has an arm which rotates about a horizontal axis perpendicular to the display sheet, and a lamp fixture that can be [56] References Cited rotated about this arm, and holds a lamp house which UNITED STATES PATENTS can be rotated separately about its axis. The lamp 3,603,778 9/1971 Walsh 240/2 R house may include 1, 2 or 4 separate lamp bulbs 2,487,318 11/1949 Elliott 40/l32 D UX which can be one or more at a time The lamp 1*132'108 3/1915 M 'f 40/132 D x house may also include dividers between the lamps 1,490,917 4/1924 Flnkelstem 240/2 D X such that the light from one or two or four of the Primary Examiner wm. H. Grieb lszrzlrggts can be directed to separate areas-of the display Assistant Examiner-John F. Pitrelli Attorney-James Head 8 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures I 2 4 30,4 1* a a I z; 2 il/ I V 1285 30B ,1 i 7' i L a g 11 I 1 L. 18/

34A l J IE f\ A j l i I ,v.\ M 26A 2 i T I {I 28C 2 a I L 268 y] 30C,

1 ly 4. if 7/ l 244 34C 7 l 1 a 22B 8 22w l 1 iii: 1 3 iii: iii h illi MAP DISPLAY SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention lies in the field of display apparatus. More particularly, it is in the field of apparatus for display of maps and the like with provision for back lighting in one or more colors at any point on the face of the display.

In the prior art, display systems have been designed for back lighting of sheets on, which were drawn, or photographically recorded, maps or street plans or the like. There has become a great need for these types of displays in recent years because of the computerization of traffic control in large cities, and some means is required whereby the whole system can be monitored by persons who are responsible for the control of the signal lights on the system.

While such a display system can be used in many ways, it is practical and often used so that at an intersection, where there are traffic control lights, sensors are provided at these locations, the signals from which are carried back as input to the computer. Thus a record is continuously made of which lights, such as green or red, are lighted at any one instant. Thus, it becomes desirable, when a map showing such an intersection is displayed, to have up to at least four lamps clustered in a small area suchthat each one of the four will show the lighting conditions for each direction of travel across the intersection. I

In the prior art it has been the conventional manner of design to provide a grid of small rectangular chambers, such as in an egg crate type of construction, with I one or more lamps in each of the areas. These have often been made as small as possibly one inch square, in the hope that there will alwsys be one square or one area that is positioned at any intersection of interest on the map. However, because of the way in which city streets, boulevards and freeways are actually constructed, it is virtually impossible to provide a rectangular grid of small squares such that the walls bounding the squares can lie upon a road or intersection. Thus it is virtually impossible to align one or more lighted areas with the specific directions of each of the streets at all intersections.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is a primary object of this invention to provide a display board which is of translucent material and can provide a plurality of small lamps which can be adjusted to any position on the back of the board. It is a further object of this invention to provide lamp houses which contain up to at least four separate lamps, including color filters, etc. with dividers between the lamps, so that the four lamps can be displayed indepen- 4 dently on the four quadrants of a given intersection of two streets on a street map.

These and other objects are realized and the limitations of the prior art are overcome in this invention in which a lighting system is provided which includes three parts. The first part provides a clamping means by when the arm is rotated about its first end held in the first part, the second end will describe a circle of substantial diameter. A lamp fixture is provided for attachment to the second end of the arm and is rotatably positionable about the second end. The axis of the lamp fixture is also perpendicular to the display sheet. The lamp fixture holds the lamp house which is a tubular element which can be rotated about its own axis, within the fixture. Thus, by moving the horizontal arm up or down along the plurality of spaced vertical columns,

the lamp can be given a vertical displacement. By sliding the first part of the lamp fixture along the horizontal arm, the lamp can be given a horizontal displacement. By rotating the arm about its first end in the first part, which is clamped to the'horizontal arm, there is a first rotary positioning of the lamp fixture and, as indicated above, the lamp fixture itself is rotatable about the second end of the arm and the lamp house itself is rotatable within the lamp fixture. Thus there are five degrees of motion possible for the lamp house, so that it cannot only be positioned at any point on the back of the display sheet, but it can be oriented so that when there are more than one lamps in the lamp house, the spacers between the lamps can be oriented in any desired direction.

The display sheet is a thin sheet of fiberglass which is translucent, and which-serves to hide from the front a view of the apparatus in back. However, the sheet transmits the light from the lamps in the lamp house, which is placed at back of, and in contact with, the fiberglass sheet. The sheet is held in position in spaced relation to the array of vertical columns by means of rods which are attached to the columns and .which project to the back surface of the sheet. The sheet is cemented to the ends of the rods. The rods which support the sheet can be positioned vertically at any point on the columns and by using a sufficient number of these rods they can be positioned so that they do not interfere with any of the lamp houses, and therefore the lamps can be truly positioned at any point on the back of the sheet within the confines of the cabinet.

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 the following description taken in conjunction with the appended drawings, in which:

FIGS. 1 and 2 provide an elevation and horizontal cross-section of the complete apparatus.

FIGS. 3, 4 and 5 provide three views of the lighting system.

FIGS. 6, 7, 8, 9, l0 and 11 together illustrate a number of embodiments of the lamp house arrangement.

FIG. 12 illustrates the method of clamping the horizontal rods to the vertical columns.

FIG. 13 illustrates in schematic form the five degrees of motion which is provided for the lamp house.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIG. 1 shows in solid line a view of the apparatuswhich is positioned in back of the display sheet. This is shown in a way as if the display sheet were missing. However, the map which would be positioned on the sheet is shown in a dashed line to indicate possible use of the display system.

The display system includes a cabinet 12 which has a framework made up of structural members 14 with side panels 15 and 16 and hinged doors 20 on the back to enclose the housing. On the front is a sheet 18 which is the display sheet. This consists of a sheet of fiberglass. This is thin enough tobe translucent and yet thick enough so that it is impossible to see the physical apparatus in back of the sheet. A plurality of vertical columns 22A, 22B, 22C...22N are provided which are spaced apart and are attached to the framework (not shown). These columns are made of two parallel flat rods of metal which provide convenient means for attaching fixtures to the columns.

As shown in FIGS. 3, 4, 5 and 12, there are fixtures for attaching devices to the vertical columns. Shown in FIG. 1 is horizontal rod 24A in the first space between columns 22A and 22B. Rods 24A, 24B...24N are in the second space between the columns 228 and 22C. Rods 28A, 28B, 28C...28N are in the space between the columns 22C and 22D and so on. In this figure no means are shown for supporting these rods although they are clamped at each of the two columns and can be positioned vertically at any desired level orany desired angle with the horizontal. There are a plurality of rods 19 attached at spaced intervals along each of the columns. These rods extent outto the front and are cemented to the back surfaceof the display sheet as will be shown in connection with FIG. 3. These rods are the means for rigidly supporting this sheet with respect to the network of vertical columns. Also shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 are a plurality of lamp systems such as 34A, 34B...34N which are individually attached to one of the horizontal rods and support a lamp house within a lamp fixture which is positionable at any point on the back of the display sheet.

Referring now to FIGS. 3, 4 and 5 there are shown in three views a lamp system which is an important part of this invention. This system is indicated generally by the numeral 34 and includes a first part indicated by numeral 54 by means of which the lamp system is supported on one of the horizontal rods, a second part which is a support rod joumaled at its first end in the first part, and which, at its second end supports a lamp fixture 56 which supports a lamp house 66, in which one or a plurality of lamps is provided to illuminate the back surface of the display sheet.

The first part 54 of the lamp system 34 provides a block 40 which has a drilled hole 42 into which is inserted a first end of a bent arm 44. This arm has a double bend of about 45 such that the two ends 51 and 52 are parallel to each other and displaced by a selected distance which may be of the order of several inches. The first end 51 of this rod is rotatable in the hole 42 in the block 40. The block 40 has a channel 45 which seats against the outer surface of the horizontal rod, which is a circular tube 24. The block and the rod are clamped by means of a smaller block 46. One end 47 is curved to fit the exterior of the circular rod 24 and the other end has a notch which fits around the end 51 of the rod 44. This block 46 is attached to the block 40 by means of screw 50. As the screw 50 is tightened, the block 46 is moved toward the block 40, and by cam action, pushes upward on the end 51 of the rod causing it to bind in the opening 42 and therefore to be locked in any angular position desired. At the same time, the surfaces 45, 47 clamp the rod 24. By loosening the screw 50, the block 40 carrying the system 34 can be slid along the rod 24. Also the rod 44 can be rotated about the end 51 to any angular position, and, when it is in a selected position, the screw 50 is tightened which looks the block 40 and the rod 44.

At the other end of the rod 52 is a lighting fixture 56. This comprises a lamp house 66 which is held in a clamp 70, which clamp is also supported by the end 52 of the rod 44. In FIG. 5 is shown a face view of the clamp 70, which has an opening 58 into which is positioned the lamp house 66, inside of which is a lamp 68. There is a second opening 60 of a diameter to slide easily on the rod 52. There are two narrow saw cuts 62 and 61, and there are clamp means 63 and 64, such that by tightening the screws 63 and 64, the saw cuts can be pressed together, thereby clamping the lamp house 66 into the clamp 70, and locking the clamp 70 about the rod 52. It will be clear from this construction that the clamp 70 can be rotated about the rods 52 to any selected position before it is tightened. Also, the lamp house 66 can be rotated within the clamp 70 before it is locked in position by the clamp screw 64.

There are many ways in which the clamping of the two parts, that is, the lamp house 66 and the rod 52, can be provided, so that by means of a simple tool, adjustments in angle of rotation of the clamp 70 about the rod 52 and rotation of the lamp house 66 can be effectuated, simply and quickly.

Also shown in FIG. 3 is a rod 76, a plurality of which are clamped to the vertical columns 22, and extend perpendicular to the support sheet 72. This rod 76 is cemented, with a soluble cement, such as soft clay or putty, to the back surface of the sheet 72 so that the sheet can be held in position and yet, due to the soft nature of the soluble cement, when it is desired to move one of the rods 76 to make way for a lamp house at that position, this also can be done, simply and quickly.

As shown in FIG. 1, there are a plurality of these rods 76 (indicated in FIG. 1 as 19) so that there is ample support of the display sheet. Since these rodscan be slid up and down the columns they can be moved at any time that it is decided that they might interfere with positioning.

Referring now to FIG. 12, there is an assembly 36 shown in horizontal section, by means of which the horizontal rods 24 are supported by the column 22. The columns actually comprise two flat vertical rods 22 and 22' which are spaced apart sufficiently to support a bolt 146 which is inserted through an opening in a washer 38. There is a tube supported against the edges of the column 22. The end 142 of this tube 140 is cut out to seat against the surface of the circular rod 24. There is a nut 144 which slides within the tube 140 and has an opening 145 through which the rod 24 can be inserted. By tightening the bolt 146 the nut 144 is pulled in, clamping the rod 24 against the seat 142 of the tube 140.

The rods 76 can be attached in any one of many ways to the vertical columns, such as, for example, by making the rod 76 of a diameter equal to that of the tube 140 and tapping a hole in one end by means of which it would be held against the column 22 by means of the bolt 146.

Referring now to FIGS. 6, 7, 8, 9, and 11 there are shown a number of lamp house arrangements. FIG. 6, for example, shows a small diameter house 80A, with a single lamp 84. FIG. 7 shows an oval type of house 808 with two lamps 84. FIG. 8 shows a larger cylindrical housing 80C with four lamps. In FIGS. 9, 10 and 11 the same houses and lamps are shown, with dividers 82A in FIG. 9 which separate, at the back surface of the display sheet, the light from one lamp from the light from the other lamp. The lamp house of the type of FIG. 8 can be divided with a single divider 82B as in FIG. 10 or with two crossed dividers 82C as in FIG. 11. The lamp house of FIG. 11, for example, could show four lights at an intersection at each quadrant of a twoway intersection. The lamp house of FIG. 11, of course, can be used where there is a single side road intersecting a through road, in which case two of the lamps on one side of the road would be lighted together and this would give a three light system.

In FIGS. 7 and 8 it is possible to usea different color filter on each of the lamps where there are more than one in a house, so that by lighting one or the other lamps, the background light will be of a different color.

It is, of course, possible to design other arrangements of lights and dividers inside of the lamp house to take account of intersections at other than 90, for example.

Referring to FIG. 13 there is shown, in schematic form, a vertical column 22, a horizontal rail 24 clamped thereto by a clamp 36. By adjusting the clamp 36 the rail can be moved vertically to any desired position in accordance with arrow 90. A lamp system 34 is supported on the rail 24 at its first end 54 which can be slid in a horizontal direction to any desired position in accordance with arrow 92. The arm 44 can be rotated in accordance with the are 93 to any angle about the fastening point-54. The fixture 56 is supported on the other end of the rod 44 and can be rotated in accordance with are 94 to any angular position desired. Finally, the lamp house can be rotated in accordance with are 96 to any angular position, so that when dividers are used they can be precisely aligned with and be directly behind a line or mark on the map, such as 74 in FIG. 3, which is attached to the front face of the display sheet 72. Thus, therehas been described a display system in which a plurality of lamp houses can be provided, at any desired location on the back surface of a display sheet with one, two or more lamps available for lighting, positionable at any angle of azimuth.

It will be clear that the separate lamps and dividers in the lamp house, provide separate lighted areas which can be applied to the back surface of the display sheet. In addition it is possible to cut out masks of any desired size and shape from thin opaque material and mount them on the back surface of the display sheet between the lamp house and the sheet. Also it is envisioned that a thin cap can be inserted over the front end of the lamp house, with one or more openings, positioned over the individual lamps. These can be of any desired shape and size, and may be covered with colored translucent material.

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 embodiments 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. A map display system comprising:

a a vertically disposed housing having a front display sheet of translucent material;

b a plurality of transversely spaced vertical columns behind said sheet attached to said housing, a plurality of movable means on said columns to support said sheet;

c a plurality of horizontal support rods, and means to movably clamp said rods to pairs of said columns;

d a plurality of lamp systems each comprising:

1 a first part movably clamped to one of said support rods;

2 a second part comprising bent rod means rotatable at its first end in said first part;

3 a third part comprising lamp fixture means rotatably supported on the second end of said second 4 lamp house means rotatably supported in said lamp fixture, said lamp house in contact with the back surface of said sheet;

5 at least one lamp in said lamp house; and

e electric circuit means to power and control said lamps. 1

2. The display system as in claim 1 including a plurality of lamps in said lamp house.

3. The display system as in claim 2 including dividing walls between each lamp.

4. The display system as in claim 1 including colored filter means in connection with at least one lamp.

5. The display system as in claim 1 including opaque mask means between said lamp house and said sheet.

6. The display system as in claim 5 in which said mask means comprises a thin lid covering the front of said lamp house, at least one opening in said lid of selected size and shape.

7. The display system as in claim l in which said means to support said sheet comprise a plurality of short horizontal rods, movably clamped to said columns and extending forward to the back surface of said sheet, and means to removably attach said rods to said sheet.

8. In a display system including a housing, a plurality of spaced vertical columns in said housing, movable means attached to said columns to support said sheet, at least one horizontal support rod movable attached to 'said columns, the improvement in back lighting means e at least one lamp in said lamp house.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1132108 *Mar 16, 1915August Merk-WirzDirectory-board.
US1490917 *May 12, 1922Apr 22, 1924Samuel FinxelsteinDrawing table
US2487318 *Oct 30, 1945Nov 8, 1949John O ElliottMap with area position indicator
US3603778 *Feb 7, 1969Sep 7, 1971Mc Donnell Douglas CorpTesting device for light panels
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4045896 *Nov 26, 1975Sep 6, 1977General Electric CompanyX-ray film storage and viewing device
US4543572 *Apr 29, 1982Sep 24, 1985Nissan Motor Company, LimitedRoad map display system with indications of a vehicle position and destination
US6167648 *Feb 2, 1999Jan 2, 2001Frederick DimmickIlluminated modular sign having adjustable quick release modules
WO2009112818A1 *Mar 10, 2009Sep 17, 2009Andrew ClarkApparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification40/569, 362/239, 362/97.1, 340/286.14, 40/564
International ClassificationG09F13/04, G09B29/10
Cooperative ClassificationG09B29/102, G09F2013/0454, G09F2013/045
European ClassificationG09B29/10B