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Publication numberUS3795882 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 5, 1974
Filing dateJan 24, 1973
Priority dateMay 6, 1972
Also published asDE2317144A1, DE2317144B2
Publication numberUS 3795882 A, US 3795882A, US-A-3795882, US3795882 A, US3795882A
InventorsTokubo T
Original AssigneeTeikoku Tsushin Kogyo Kk
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Coordinated control device for variable resistors
US 3795882 A
Abstract
A device for coordinatedly controlling a plurality of variable resistors so as to achieve a desired combination of a plurality of variable resistors, said device comprising a first horizontal crosspiece having a lengthwise slot and a lateral plate perpendicular to the length of the crosspiece per se at each end thereof and second crosspiece having the similar slot and lateral plates the underside of which is partly on the same level as the underside of the first crosspiece when it is mounted on the second crosspiece, the two crosspieces being arranged crosswise and being moved relatively on a plane so that their movement moves a plurality of wipers so as to wipe the corresponding resistor elements.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 [111 3,795,882

Tokubo Mar. 5, 1974 COORDINATED CONTROL DEVICE FOR 3,373,964 3/1968 Bunders 240/81 R VARIABLE RESISTORS 3,244,868 4/1966 Goetz 240/81 R [75] Inventor: Tsugio Tokubo, Yokohama, Japan [73] Assignee: Teikoku Tsushin Kogyo Co., Ltd.,

Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa-ken, Japan [22] Filed: Jan. 24, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 326,194

[30] Foreign Application Priority Data May 6, 1972 Japan 47/44740 [52] US. Cl. 338/128 [51] Int. Cl H0lc 9/02 [58] Field of Search 338/128; 74/471 XY [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,950,892 10/1960 Rick 240/73 BJ 3,629,775 12/1971 Kindred 3,662,313 5/1972 Komatsu 1,781,203 11/1930 Teleki 2,621,503 12/1952 Schaefer 2,107,914 2/1938 Stricker et a1. 240/73 B] 9/1950 Ford 240/81 R Primary Examiner-Harold Broome Assistant Examiner-David A. Tone Attorney, Agent, or FirmLadas, Parry, Von Gehr, Goldsmith & Deschamps [5 7 ABSTRACT A device for coordinatedly controlling a plurality of variable resistors so as to achieve a desired combination of a plurality of variable resistors, said device comprising a first horizontal crosspiece having a lengthwise slot and a lateral plate perpendicular to the length of the crosspiece per se at each end thereof and second crosspiece having the similar slot and lateral plates the underside of which is partly on the same level as the underside of the first crosspiece when it is mounted on the second crosspiece, the two crosspieces being arranged crosswise and being moved relatively on a plane so that their movement moves a plurality of wipers so as to wipe the corresponding resistor elements.

13 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures COORDINATED CONTROL DEVICE FOR VARIABLE RESISTORS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a device for coordinately controlling a plurality of variable resistors to create any desired combination of resistances. More particularly, this invention provides a small-sized device with simple compact structure having a single handle for coordinated control of a plurality of variable resistors.

There has been growing demand for, an inexpensive simple device for controlling a plurality of variable resistors, which are useful in the field of consumer electronics, especially for instance, in the case where volumes of a plurality of loud speakers are to be coordinatedly controlled so as to create a desired sound balance as in a stereo or qudraphonic speaker system. Various devices to achieve this purpose are known.

A typical device of the prior art comprises a control stick or lever supported by a ball-and-socket joint which allows the nutation (joystick movement) of the lever, and two U-shaped bridge-like supporters or bridge members having a lengthwise slot which are pivotably supported horizontally at right angles in a gyroscope-like fashion, whereby the lower end of the lever penetrates the slot of the two bridge members so that the two bridge-members swing as the lever nutates. The ends of each bridge member are provided with a wiper which respectively wipes the surface of a resistor element which is placed perpendicular to the rotation or swing axis of each bridge member when the bridge member swings. In some cases, those bridge members directly contact the variable resistors. Thus the desired resistance is determined by the distance between the contact point of the wiper on the resistor element and the lead terminal of either end of the resistor element for four resistors in this case. However, the construction of the control device of this kind is complicated and therefore is inevitably bulky and costly.

Another typical device of the prior art comprises a horizontally movable crosspiece having a lengthwise slot and another horizontally movable crosspiece having a lengthwise slot which is movable in a direction perpendicular to the direction of the movement of the first crosspiece, said two horizontal crosspieces being moved by means of a joystick the lower end of which is inserted in the slots of both crosspieces at the crossing thereof, and contact means provided at the end of each crosspiece which slide along a resistor element as represented by U. 5. Pat. No. 3,629,775.

In the device of U. S. Pat. No. 3,629,775, the resistor element which keeps contact with one cross piece is not on the same level as that of the resistor element which keeps contact with another crosspiece, and therefore the size of the device is inevitably large.

Prior to the present invention, I invented a device comprising a plate member horizontally movable in any direction and a plurality of wipers which move in accordance with the movement of the horizontally movable plate member in engagement therewith respectively maintaining contact with a resistor. (U. S. Patent Application Ser. No. 249,241 filed May 1, 1972) This device can achieve wide varieties of combination of a plurality of resistances very easily and very smoothly.

I have now invented a further improved device, which is the subject of this patent application. This device can provide more varied combinations of a plurality of resistances with less play than the devices of the prior art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to this invention, a simple compact device for coordinatedly controlling a plurality of variable resistors is provided, which comprises: a first horizontal crosspiece which has a lengthwise slot and a lateral plate perpendicular to the length of the crosspiece per se at each end thereof and is movable in the direction of the width thereof; a second horizontal crosspiece which has a lengthwise slot and a lateral plate perpendicular to the length of the crosspiece per se at each end thereof, is shaped such that, when it is mounted on the first crosspiece, the underside thereof is partly on the same level as the underside of the lower one, and is movable in the direction of the width thereof; said two crosspieces being arranged crosswise with the second crosspiece upon the first; a shaft which penetrates the slots of the two movable horizontal crosspieces at the crossing thereof and drives the crosspieces simultaneously in pair or all at a time; and a plurality of wipers which move in accordance with the movement of the two horizontal crosspieces maintaining contact with resistor elements provided on a common plane.

The stem or shaft may be a lever or joystick which is supported by a ball-and-socket joint at the middle thereof, the lower end penetrates the slots of the two crosspieces at the crossing thereof and the other end functions as a handle. Or it may be a short shaft provided with a knob on its upper end, which can be moved horizontally.

Preferably a short cylindrical or annular member is placed in the slots of the crosspieces at the crossing or intersection thereof, the lower end of the joystick that forms a small ball is inserted in this short cylindrical member, so that the crosspieces can be moved smoothly by the joystick even when it deeply nutates.

Usually four wipers are used, each of which is supported on an insulated base plate at the one end thereof by an axis provided near the center of the base plate so that the other end thereof can rotate keeping contact with a resistor element provided at the peripheral portion of the base plate.

The crosspieces and the wipers have engaging means so that the wipers are moved as the crosspieces are moved. Usually protrusions are provided at suitable positions on the underside of each crosspiece and a slot or groove is provided on the upper surface of each wiper, and a protrusion is placed in the slot or groove of the corresponding wiper. When the crosspieces are moved each protrusion rotates the corresponding wiper BRIEF EXPLANATION OF THE ATTACHED DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a partially cut-away perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the device of this invention.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the device of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the crosspieces and the base plane of the device of FIG. 1, partially showing the wip- BI'S.

FIG. 4 and FIG. 5 are plan views showing the positions 'of the wipers.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing construction of the wiper.

FIG. 7 and FIG. 8 are plan views of base plates showing other arrangements of resistor elements.

FIGS. 9 through 1 1 represent another embodiment of this invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION In FIG. 1, the above-mentioned crosspieces are shown at 4 and 5. The shaft or joystick is shown at l. Member 15 is the base plate and member 3 is. a housing. The crosspieces are designed so that they can move in the direction of the wodth thereof guided by a pair of facing lateral walls of the housing. The joystick l is supported at the middle thereof by a ball-and-socket joint 25 provided at the center of housing. The ballshaped lower end of the joystick 45 is inserted into a short cylindrical or annular member, which is placed in the slots 32 and 33 of the both crosspieces 4 and 5 at the crossing thereof.

The arrangement of the crosspieces and the joystick will be better understood by referring to FIG. 2 and FIG. 3. Each of the crosspieces has a lateral plate on each end thereof, which slides along a wall of the housing 3. A lateral plate of a size as large as possible is desirable as long as the plate does not restrict the movement of the crosspieces. The lateral plates ensure stabilized smooth movement of the crosspieces.

On the base plate 15, a resistor element is provided in a circular form not true circle in this case as shown at 31 in FIG. 1.. The arrangement of the resistor elements will be better understood by referring to FIG. 3 and FIG. 4. Members 16, 17, 18 and 19 are lead terminals.

As seen in FIG. 4, four wipers 7(11), 8(12), 9( 13) and (14) are rotatably secured to the base plate by axes 21, 22, 23 and 24, which are located near the center of the base plate 15. Consequently, the shape of the resistor element 31 is not a true circle but comprises four arcs the centers of which respectively correspend to the axes of the wipers. I

Each of the wiper consists ofa finger and a finger carrier as shown in FIG. 6, in which (A) shows the finger carrier and (B) shows the finger. A finger has an axis hole and a slot (or a groove) 38, and a finger is fixed to the finger carrier by a suitable means.

On the other hand, the crosspieces have a pair of protrusions respectively 34, 35 and 36, 37 on the underside thereof. The pair of protrusions are usually provided at positions symmetric with respect to the center of each crosspiece. But for a specific purpose, the protrusions may be positioned asymmetrically to the center of the crosspiece.

Thus, the housing 3 bearing the joystick l, the crosspieces 4 and 5, a short cylindrical or annular member 6 and the base plate bearing wipers are assembled so that the each protrusion (34, 35, 36 or 37) of the crosspieces placed in the slot or groove 38 of each finger carrier (7, 8, 9 or 10), and the lower end of the joystick is inserted in the annular member 6 placed in the slots 32 and 33 of the crosspieces at the crossing thereof.

With the thus assembled device, when the joystick takes the neutral position, the wipers take positions as shown in FIG. 4. When the joystick is nutated toward the corner C, for instance, the four wipers take the positions as shown in FIG. 5. Thus by nutating or precessionally moving the joystick to various positions, various combinations of resistances are obtained.

The construction and function of the device is explained in further detail.

The base plate 15 is made of an insulating material, and a resistor circuit 31 is provided thereon by printing for instance as shown in FIG. 3, 4 or 5. The finger carrier 7, 8, 9 or 10 of the wiper has protrusions 39 and 40 for instance and the finger has corresponding holes 41 and 42 as shown in FIG. 6. The protrusions are to be caulked or swaged after the finger is placed on the protrusions. Each of thus formed wipers 7(11), 8(12), 9(13) or 10(14) is supported by a conductive rivet 21, 22, 23 or 24 as the rotation axis. The finger is pressed on both resistor element and rivet by virtue of the resiliency of the bent body thereof, and slides on the resistor element. The rivets 21, 22, 23 and 24 are secured to the base plate together with a common grounding terminal 20.

The crosspieces are designed so that one of them can be mounted on another so as to be arranged crosswise but the underside of the upper crosspiece is partly on the same level as that of the lower one so as to be engaged with the wipers provided on a plane. As had been explained above, the crosspieces have a lateral plate on each end and it slides in the direction of the width of the crosspiece along the walls of the housing and the base plate 15. Of course the lateral plates are made of an insulating material. Usually the lateral plates are formed integrally with the crosspiece. The crosspieces are provided with small protrusions 34, 35, 36 and 37 on the undersides thereof, which are respectively placed in the slot or groove 38 of the finger carriers 7, 8, 9, 10 of the wipers. The range of movement of the crosspieces is determined by the length between the lower end 45 of the joystick l and the fulcrum (ball) 2 thereof, the diameter of the opening 53 of the bearing member 26 and the diameter of the part 52 of the stick 1. An annular member 6 is loosely placed in the slots 32, 33 of the crosspieces at the crossing thereof, and the lower end 45 of the joystick is inserted in the annular member.

The fulcrum (ball) 2 of the joystick l is tightly but rotatably supported by means of bearing members 25 and 26 at the center of the top of the housing 3. When the joystick is operated, the crosspiece 4 moves in the direction of line Y Y' in FIG. 3, and the crosspiece 5 in line X X.

With respeect to FIG. 4 and FIG. 5 the operation of the device is explained. FIG. 4 shows the positions of the four wipers when the joystick takes its neutral position. If the joystick is nutated in the Y'-direction, the lower end 45 thereof moves in a vertical plane including the Y Y line drawing an are. But this movement is converted to a horizontal movement in the Y- direction of the crosspiece 4 through the annular member 6. The Y-ward movement of the crosspiece 4 moves the outer ends of the wipers 7(11) and 8(12) in the Y-direction, the wipers being rotated around the axes or rivets 22 and 21 since the protrusions 34 and 35 of the crosspiece 4 inserted in the slots of the wipers 7 and 8 pull said wipers in the Y-direction. Thus the wipers 7 and 8 (protrusions 34 and 35) will turn to the positions 34 and 35 as shown in broken lines. Under this condition, if the joystick is not nutated toward the Y'-direction to the utmost, when the joystick is nutated toward the X-direction or X'-direction, the wipers 9 and 10 are moved in the directions of the arrows shown in the figure, while the wipers 7 and 8 (protrusions 34 and 35) remain at the positions 34 and 35. This means that one pair of resistances are kept constant and another pair of resistances can be relatively changed.

If the joystick is nutated toward the corner C as in FIG. 5, the four wipers will take positions as shown in FIG. 5. Suppose this device is used for a four-channel or quadraphonic stereo, and the terminals 17 and 16 are connected to front speakers FS, and PS and the terminal 18 and 19 are connected to rear speakers RS, and RS respectively. Then, under the condition as explained above with respect to FIG. 4, the volumes of the front speakers are diminished while the volumes of the rear speakers are relatively changed. Under the condition represented by FIG. 5, the volume of the C corner speaker is the largest and those of the other three speakers are diminished. This means balance of volumes of the four speakers can be regulated by nutating or moving the joystick precessionally. When the joystick is moved to front and rear, volumes of the front and rear speakers are relatively changed and when the joystick is moved to right and left, the volumes of the right side speakers and left side speakers are relatively changed. Thus, any desired balance of volumes can be obtained by selecting a suitable position of the joystick.

As has been explained above, this invention has made it possible to coordinatedly control a plurality of resistors by operating a single lever or stick very smoothly without play of the working elements. The device of this invention can be easily manufactured with fewer steps of required circuit formation work. The device is also so simple and compact that it will contribute to designing of stereo audio implements.

The invention of this application can be embodied in different ways as follows, too. As to the shape of the resistors, a common tap or separate taps may be provided in each resistor element as shown in FIG. 7 or FIG. 8. For a specific purpose, a resistor element comprising four separate units each having a tap as shown in FIG. 8 can be employed. In some cases, four sets ofa straight resistor element 55 and a straight current collector element 56 arranged in parallel with the former are provided along the four sides of the base plate as shown in FIG. 9. Each resistor element may or may not be provided with a tap. (FIG. 9 shows such taps.) In this case, on the underside of each of the crosspieces 4 and 5 is secured a short-circuiting member 57 instead of rotatable wipers as shown in FIGS. 10 and 11. By these arrangements, the purpose of this invention is achieved,

too.

What I claim is:

l. A device for coordinatedly controlling a plurality of variable resistors comprising: a first horizontal crosspiece which has a lengthwise slot and a lateral plate perpendicular to the length of the crosspiece per se at each end thereof, and is movable in the direction of the width thereof; a second horizontal crosspiece which has a length wise slot and a lateral plate perpendicular to the length of the crosspiece per se at each end thereof, is movable in the direction of the width thereof and is shaped in a fashion that, when it is mounted on the first crosspiece, the underside thereof is partly on the same level as the underside of the first crosspiece; said two crosspieces being arranged crosswise with the second crosspiece upon the first crosspiece; a housing along the inside surfaces of the side walls of which said lateral plates of the crosspieces slide; a shaft which penetrates the slots of the two movable horizontal crosspieces and drives the crosspieces simultaneously in pair or all at a time; and a plurality of wipers which move in accordance with the movement of the two horizontal crosspieces maintaining contact with resistor elements provided on a common plane.

2. A device for coordinatedly controlling a pluraliy of variable resistors as set forth in claim 1, wherein four wipers are respectively rotatably supported by an axis provided on a base plate made of an insulating material on which a resistor element or elements are provided, and said wipers are moved in accordance with the movement of said crosspieces by means of interlocking of protrusions provided on the underside of the crosspieces and grooves provided on the upper surface of the wipers.

3. A device for coordinatedly controlling a plurality of variable resistors as set forth in claim 2, the shaft is ajoystick provided at the center of the top ofa housing, the lower end of which penetrates the slots of the two crosspieces and the other end of which functions as a handle.

4. A device for coordinatedly controlling a plurality of variable resistors as set forth in claim 3, wherein a short cylindrical member in placed in the slots of the crosspieces at the crossing or intersection thereof; and the lower end of the joystick that forms a small ball is inserted in this short cylindrical member.

5. A device for coordinatedly controlling a plurality of variable resistors as set forth in claim 2, the shaft is a short shaft with a knob at the upper end thereof, which is moved horizontally.

6. A device for coordinatedly controlling plurality of variable resistors as set forth in claim 5, the short shaft has a broad brim as the guide for the movement thereof.

7. A device for coordinatedly controlling a plurality of variable resistors as set forth in claim 2, wherein a circular resistor element with four terminals is provided on the surface of the base plate and the end of each wiper sweeps a part of the resistor element when it is rotated around an axis provided near the center of the base plate.

8. A device for coordinatedly controlling a plurality of variable resistors as set forth in claim 7, wherein the resistor element comprises four separate arcuate units quadrantally arranged on the base plate.

9. A device for coordinatedly controlling a plurality of variable resistors as set forth in claim 7, wherein the resistor element has tapping circuits.

10. A device for coordinatedly controlling a plurality of variable resistors as set forth in claim 8, wherein each resistor element unit has a tapping circuit.

11. A device for coordinatedly controlling a plurality of variable resistors as set forth in claim 2, wherein the wiper comprises a finger and a finger carrier.

12. A device for coordinatedly controlling a plurality of variable resistors as set forth in claim 1, wherein the ing resistor element and current collector.

13. A device for coordinatedly controlling a plurality of variable resistors as set forth in claim 12, wherein the resistor element units have tapping circuits.

* =l l =l

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3918021 *Jun 17, 1974Nov 4, 1975Matsushita Electric Ind Co LtdDevice for simultaneously controlling a plurality of variable resistors
US4161726 *Apr 6, 1977Jul 17, 1979Texas Instruments IncorporatedDigital joystick control
US4281561 *Oct 9, 1979Aug 4, 1981Spar Aerospace LimitedThree axes controller
US5313010 *Nov 4, 1992May 17, 1994Yamaha CorporationHand musical tone control apparatus
US5889461 *Nov 19, 1997Mar 30, 1999Alps Electric Co., Ltd.Structure for mounting an operating member of an electrical part to an operating shaft
US5949325 *Oct 6, 1997Sep 7, 1999Varatouch Technology Inc.Joystick pointing device
US6150919 *Jun 14, 1999Nov 21, 2000Alps Electric Co., LtdMulti-way input device
US6538639Jun 30, 2000Mar 25, 2003Alps Electric Co., Ltd.Multi-direction input device for fetching a sensing signal corresponding to an amount of inclination of lever member
US6805020 *Apr 15, 2002Oct 19, 2004Alps Electric Co., Ltd.Manual input device enabling control of various electric apparatus with single knob
US8072415 *Feb 16, 2006Dec 6, 2011Sony CorporationControl signal input system and control signal input method
Classifications
U.S. Classification338/128
International ClassificationG05G9/00, H01C10/20, G05G9/047, H01C10/00, H04S7/00
Cooperative ClassificationG05G9/047, G05G2009/04707, G05G2009/04748
European ClassificationG05G9/047