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Publication numberUS3794852 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 26, 1974
Filing dateSep 20, 1972
Priority dateSep 20, 1972
Publication numberUS 3794852 A, US 3794852A, US-A-3794852, US3794852 A, US3794852A
InventorsWillis J
Original AssigneeSolid State Technology
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Emergency signalling transmitter with improved latch and lock
US 3794852 A
Abstract
Remote electrical signalling system featuring a storage unit which receives mechanical energy from a manually operable member and delivers it to an electro-mechanical generator for the transmitter, a lock assembly for preventing delivery of the stored energy to the generator until the manual operation is complete, and a latch for securing the manually operable member in a position covering the transmitter switches while the storage unit is delivering energy to the generator.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 191 Willis 1451 Feb. 26, 1974 [54] EMERGENCY SIGNALLING TRANSMITTER 3,621,398 11/1971 Willis 325/l85 WITH IMPROVED LATCH AND LOCK [75] Inventor: 11281; George Willis, Wakefield, Primary Examiner Albert l Mayer [73] Assignee: Solid State Technology, Inc.,

' Wilmington, Mass.

22 Filed: Sept. 20, 1972 [57] ABSTRACT [21 1 Appl 290745 Remote electrical signalling system featuring a storage unit which receives mechanical energy from a manu- [52] US. Cl. 325/185, 290/1 E, 322/100, lly oper bl member and delivers it to an electro- 325/119, 325/161, 340/293, 340/309, 340/333 mechanical generator for the transmitter, a lock as- [5 1] Int. Cl. H04b 1/04 Sembly for preventing delivery of the stored energy to [58] Field of Search 325/53-55, 119,- the g nerator n il h m n p r i n is complete,

325/155, 161, 169, 185, 186; 290/1 E; and a latch for securing the manually operable mem- 340/293, 333, 309; 322/100 bet in a position covering the transmitter switches while the storage unit is delivering energy to the gen- [56] v References Cited erator.

UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,633,l06 l/l972 Willis 325/!85 10 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures 42 190 I86 1111 I" Fog EMERGENCY SIGNALLING TRANSMITTER WITH IMPROVED LATCH AND LOCK BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to remote electrical signalling systems, e.g., emergency signal boxes located on highways for calling police, ambulances, or the like.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention provides a signalling system improved with respect to foolproof operation, simplicity, reliability, and cost. The signal box is not easily tampered with. Once a signal is selected and the transmission cycle initiated, transmission will always run to completion, thusavoiding imcomplete signals. Signal selection can be changed prior to final initiation of the transmission.

In general the invention features, in one aspect, a storage unit which receives mec anical energy from a manually operable member and delivers it to an electro-mechanical generator for the transmitter, and a lock assembly for preventing delivery of the stored energy to the generator until the manual operation is complete. In another aspect the invention features a latch for securing the manually operable member in a position covering the transmitter switches while the storage unit is delivering energy to the generator. In preferred embodiments a reset mechanism for the transmitter switches has an actuating member with a resilient, pin actuated extension having an oblique leg past which the pin can slide; and the storage unit includes a coiled strip spring wound on a reel with an end of the spring connected to a take-up reel through a pivot pin having an axis parallel to that of the take-up reel.

Other advantages and features of the invention will be apparent from the description and drawings herein of a preferred embodiment thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a perspective view, partially broken away, of a signal box embodying the invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view partly broken away;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view similar to FIG. 2, showing additional elements, with the lever in its lower position;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary, enlarged perspective view taken from inside the alarm box looking toward the lever; and

FIG. 5 is a front view in section showing the gear train.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to the drawings, a weatherproof enclosure is pivoted at pins 22 to back plate 24 in turn fixed to, e.g., a post 26 along a highway. Key operated latch rod 28 is journaled in enclosure 20 is threaded at end 29 to screw into threaded bore 30 of latch receptacle 31 fixed to plate 24 to hold the enclosure against the back plate. At the front of the enclosure manually operated lever 32, with handle 34, is keyed to shaft 36 pivotally mounted in the enclosure and extending between its side walls.

When lever 32 is in its upright position (FIG. 1) its main wall 38 covers four pushbuttons 40 which extend through the front wall 42 of enclosure 20 and are used,

after the lever is pivoted to its horizontal position (FIG. 3), for selection of the emergency signal to be transmitted. An aperture 44 in wall 38, normally covered by pivotally mounted cap 46, provides access to rod 28.

Buttons 40 select the transmission mode for conventional multi-mode radio transmitter 50 mounted on plate 24 and powered by electro-mechanical spring driven generator 52.

Referring in more detail to the mechanism for driving generator 52, a drive gear 54 (FIG. 5) is fixed to the generator shaft 56, and is in turn driven through gear 58 carried on shaft 60 which also carries one-way clutch 63 with pinion 64 (the clutch effectively keys this pinion to shaft 60 for one direction of rotation, but allows the pinion to rotate on the shaft in the other direction), and gear 66 carried on shaft 68 meshing with pinion 64. Also mounted on shaft 68 is a reel 70 (see also FIGS. 2 and 3) to which is attached an end of a spring metal strip 72 most of which is coiled on a drum 74 freely pivoted to frame 76. Spring 72 is biased to wind itself on drum 74. The spring is attached to reel 70 through a small block screwed to the spring end and pivoted to the reel by pin 82 parallel to shaft 68, an arrangement which avoids sharp bends in the spring when it is wound and unwound. Pin 82 is located adjacent a flat 84 on the reel hub, which provides a-space for block 80 when the spring is wound onto the reel. Reel 70 is held on shaft 68 by a split clamp 85, which allows for adjustment to produce smooth meshing of the gear train. Shafts 68 and 36 are geared together by a train comprising gear on shaft 36, pinion 92 and gear 94 on shaft 96, pinion 98 and gear 100 on shaft 102, and pinion 104 on shaft 68. Gear 90 is rotatable on shaft 36. Block (FIG. 4) is fixed to shaft 36 and has a lateral extension 112 providing a shoulder 114. Pin 116 extends laterally from both sides of gear 90, one end of the pin being in the path of shoulder 114 as shaft 36 rotates. Pin 118 extends laterally from block 110 and overlaps a rod 120 (see also FIGS. 2 and 3) which is pivoted to one end of frame-supported axle 122. The axle carries at its other end an upwardly angled pawl 124 which coacts with ratchet wheel 126 mounted on shaft 56 (see especially FIG. 3). Spring 128 (FIG. 5) extends between pawl 124 and frame 76 to bias the pawl toward the ratchet wheel. All of this generator drive mechanism works as follows.

When lever 32 is pulled down to its horizontal position shoulder 114 acts against pin 116 to rotate gear 90 and hence, through the gear train described, shaft 58, winding some of spring 72 onto reel 70. Clutch 62 allows pinion 64 to rotate without turning shaft 60. Pawl 124 is engaged with ratchet 126. As lever 32 is returned to its vertical position the entire gear train is held stationary by the pawl and ratchet, and shaft 36 turns in gear 90, until pm 118 strikes rod 120, pivoting pawl 124 out of engagement with wheel 126. When the ratchet is released spring 72 rewinds itself on drum 74 and in doing so reverses the original rotation of shaft 68. That reverse rotation not only returns gear 90 to its original position, but also rotates shaft 60, driving the generator through gears 58 and 54. As gear 90 returns, spring biased knob 130 (FIG. 4) on block 110 snaps into rounded recess 132 in the gear.

The force for returning lever 32 is provided by spring (FIG. 4) mounted in damper cylinder 142 between the bottom of cylinder and piston 144 connected to shaft 146. Shaft 146 is pivoted to crank 148 fixed to shaft 36. Piston 144 has a bleed hole 150.

Pushbuttons 40 operate electric switches 160 with which is associated a conventional reset mechanism 162. According to one aspect of the invention, a resilient, generally U-shaped extension 164 is attached to the operating rod 166 of mechanism 162. Free leg 168 of extension 164 extends at about a 45 angle in front of pin 1 16 when gear 90 is in its rest position before the alarm is operated. As lever 32 is pulled down, pin 116 slides easily past leg 168, flexing it somewhat. Upon the return of gear 90, pin 116 strikes the middle section 70 of extension 164, lifting the entire extension and rod 166 to reset the switches. As gear 90 completes its return it slidespast section 170 and returns to its position adjacent leg 168,- allowing rod 166 to drop.

Extending inwardly from lever wall 38 above aperture 44 are a pair of spaced shelves 180 and 182 (FIG. 3). Shelf 180, when the lever is in its upright position, contacts enclosure to prevent access to between the lever and the enclosurefShelf 182 has a latch opening 184 to receive a latch tongue 186 depending from leaf spring 187 (FIG. 4) attached to plate 188 which extends through aperture 190 in the front wall 42 of the enclosure. The pins 192 and 194 depend from plate 188 inside enclosure 20 and are slideable in bores 196 and 198 of frame portion 200. Springs 202 and 204 respectively surround the pins to provide an upward force against the plate. Chain 206 is connected to the plate through spring 208 at one end, passes around pin 116, and is connected at its other end to pin 210 on gear 90. When the alarm is at rest, with lever 32 up right, pin 210 is above shaft 36, so that spring 208 is relaxed and springs 202 and 204 hold plate 188 up with tongue 186 out of aperture 184. When lever 32 is pulled down to its horizontal position, rotating gear 90, pin 110 moves below shaft 36, drawing on chain 206 and extending spring 208 sufficiently to overcome springs 202 and 204. Plate 188 is thus lowered so that when lever 32 returns to its upright position latch 186 will snap into aperture 184. Lever 32 will thus be locked in place until gear 90 completes its reverse rotation, thereby ensuring that buttons 40 cannot be pressed again until the already selected signal has been sent, and that the signalling cycle cannot be interrupted.

Horn 220 (FIG. 3) is mounted on enclosure 20 and wired to the generator to provide a local audible signal whenever a radio signal is sent, thus giving psychological assurance to the user.

Plate 24 is fixed to post 26 by straps 230 the ends of each of which are adjustably connected together inside enclosure 20, preventing tampering.

ln overall operation, lever 32 is pulled down to expose buttons 40 for selection of the signal. At any time before the lever has returned to move rod 120 the selection may be changed, since the generator drive acan electro-mechanical generator mounted within said enclosure and connected for energizing said transmitter,

a unit for storing mechanical energy, said unit being mounted to deliver energy stored therein to drive said generator,

a manually operable member movable from a first to a second position to deliver mechanical energy to said unit, and

a lock assembly for preventing delivery of stored energy from said unit to said generator until said manually operable member is returned to its first position.

2. The system of claim 1 wherein said first position is the rest position of said member. 7

3. The system of claim 1 wherein said transmitter has a manually operable switch associated therewith and said member includes a wall which prevents access to i i said switch when said member is in its first position, and a latch assembly is mounted to latch said member to said enclosure in said first position while said storage unit is delivering energy to said generator.

4. The system of claim 3 further comprising a reset assembly for resetting said switch after its actuation, said reset assembly including an actuating. member movable along an axis and a resulient extension having 'a main portion connected to said actuating member and a leg remote from said actuating member and oblique to said main portion, and a pin linked to said manually operable member and arranged to slide past said leg in contact therewith as said manually operable member is moved from its first to its second position, said main portion being in the path of movement of said pin whereby upon return of said member from its second to its first position said pin moves said main portion and with it said actuating member to reset said switch. 5. The system of claim 1 wherein said unit includes a coiled strip spring wound on a reel, an end of said spring being connected to a take-up reel through a pivot pin having an axis parallel to that of said take-up reel.

6. The system of claim 1 wherein said member is linked to said generator and said storage unit through a gear train, said lock assembly includes a stop member connected to rotate in at least one direction with said gear train, and a link assembly having a first position engaged with said stop member to prevent said rotatiomn in said one direction to thereby immobilize said gear train, and a second position disengaged from said stop, and an element is linked to said manually operable member in position to move said link assembly from its first to its second position as said manually operable member is returned to its own first position, thereby allowing transfer of energy from said unit to said generator through a portion of said gear train. 7. A remote electrical signalling system comprising an enclosure, a transmitter mounted within said enclosure, an electro-mechanical generator mounted within said enclosure and connected for energizing said transmitter, a unit for storing mechanical energy, said unit being mounted to deliver energy stored therein to drive said generator,

a manually operable member movable from a first to a second position to deliver mechanical energy to said unit,

a manually operable switch associated with said transmitter,

a wall forming a part of said member and preventing access to said switch when said member is in its first position, and

a latch assembly mounted to latch said member to said enclosure in said first position while said storage unit is delivering energy to said generator.

8. The system of claim 7 wherein said latch assembly comprises a latch movable between open and closed positions with respect to said manually operable member, first spring means biasing said latch in its open position, a chain linked to said latch and said member and arranged to draw said latch to its closed position when said member moves to its second position and means to prevent movement of said chain until said unit has discharged its energy to said generator.

9. The system of claim 8 wherein a gear train is provided for discharge of energy from said unit to said generator, and said chain is connected to a gear in said train operable by said member for rotation in one direction to draw said chain in the direction away from said latch.

10. The system of claim 9 wherein said manually. operable member is mounted on a rotatable shaft, said gear is freely carried on said shaft, a block is fixed to said shaft, and a pin extends from said gear to overlap said block so that said gear will rotate with said shaft in said one direction only.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3621398 *Oct 30, 1969Nov 16, 1971Solid State TechnologyEmergency transmitter power supply
US3633106 *Apr 3, 1970Jan 4, 1972Solid State TechnologyEmergency signalling transmitter
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3970939 *Oct 22, 1974Jul 20, 1976Solid State Technology, Inc.Signal generating and transmitting apparatus
US4524283 *Jun 16, 1983Jun 18, 1985Innovex OyEnergy converter
US5828292 *Apr 29, 1996Oct 27, 1998Kokhan; Viatcheslav A.Button emergency signal via incorporated transmitter
US6291900Jan 13, 2000Sep 18, 2001General Electric CompanyElectrical energy management for manually powered devices
Classifications
U.S. Classification340/307, 455/128, 340/333, 290/1.00E, 340/309, 322/100, 455/127.1, 340/293
International ClassificationG08B25/12
Cooperative ClassificationG08B25/12
European ClassificationG08B25/12
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 16, 1983AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: SIGNAL COMMUNICATIONS, DIVISION OF GULF INDUSTRIES
Owner name: SOLID STATE TECHNOLOGY, INC.
Effective date: 19830328
May 16, 1983ASAssignment
Owner name: SIGNAL COMMUNICATIONS, DIVISION OF GULF INDUSTRIES
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:SOLID STATE TECHNOLOGY, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004128/0706
Effective date: 19830328
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SOLID STATE TECHNOLOGY, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004128/0706